Bose is upping its game in noise cancellation for the car, which may or may not create more headaches for aftermarket installers.
It’s taking noise-cancelling technology for headphones called QuietComfort and applying it to the car. This involves accelerometers that mount on the body of the car, plus in-cabin microphones.
Bose applies algorithms to the vibration information detected by the accelerometers and creates a cancellation signal this is delivered through the car’s speakers. It also uses microphones in the car cabin to “listen” for any additional background noise and processes that as well.
The new technology is necessary because electric cars are quieter—there’s no engine noise to mask road noise from uneven surfaces and grooves in the road, so these noises become all the more glaring. Typically car makers solve this problem by adding thick insulation to cars and by using customized tires, but these solutions increase the weight of the cars and make them less fuel efficient.
The Bose system is basically a sound system within a sound system. But, instead of outputting sound, it is outputting cancelling noise to combat the frequencies generated by road and cabin noise, said an aftermarket industry member, commenting on the system.
Called QuietComfort Road Noise Control, the system works even if there’s no Bose audio system in the car.
“For years, we’ve been asked why we can’t simply adapt our noise cancelling headphone technology to vehicle cabins for a quieter driving experience,” said John Feng, Manager, Bose Automotive, Active Sound Management Solutions. “But we know it’s much more difficult to control noise in a large space like a car cabin compared to the relatively small area around your ears. However, through research advances and our relentless efforts to solve tough problems, we’ve achieved a level of road noise reduction that sets Bose apart from competitive offerings.”
The system is expected to be in new cars starting at the end of 2021.
Bose also offers Bose Engine Harmonic Cancellation (EHC) and Bose Engine Harmonic Enhancement (EHE), which remain available.