Noise Reduction Products

Written by Robert Mac
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Noise reduction products are becoming more popular every day, as the technology necessary to operate them has finally dropped enough in price to make them affordable to the general public. Before, they could have been science fiction gadgets that we'd never see. Today, you can buy noise reduction products--headphones are the most successful commercial product--for less than a hundred bucks.

Noise Reduction Products: The Future Is Here Today

The theory for noise reduction has been around for a few decades, but nothing practical could come of it until the technology caught up with it. Finally, it has. The secret to noise reduction products is creating a sound wave and playing it at the same time as another wave: you need a fast processor.

First, a recap of high school psychics. Sound travels in waves, and when two waves going in the same direction meet, they create a larger wave. When two equal waves traveling in opposite directions meet, they cancel themselves out: noise reduction works by creating a "negative" sound wave.

The only problem was that monitoring a sound wave, creating a negative copy of that wave, and then playing both those waves at the same time was tough without a fast processor. Now that today's processors can handle those tasks, we have the ability to reduce--and even cancel--low-frequency ambient sounds. Listen to a CD, or just silence if you want, in a noise reduction headset to see what all the buzz is about.

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