Noise-Canceling Airplane Seats May be in the Works

by  Christine Dayao | Oct 9, 2014
Baby on plane
Baby on plane / tatyana_tomsickova/istock

The future of noise-canceling devices may lie in a…bubble?

Silentium, a technology company specializing in noise-reduction products, has developed new technology called the Quiet Bubble that would create an invisible barrier to drown out the noise for a “personal quiet zone” around your head.

The technology is intended to be embedded in the headrests of plane seats, capturing and muffling the ambient sounds by delivering active noise reduction in a range of 100-1500Hz.

The company is working with aviation suppliers to integrate the technology into aircraft equipment, but it's unknown if and when the new seats will become available. Silentium is aiming to implement this technology into automobiles, trains, and even home furniture seats, too.

In the meantime, it looks like we’ll have to stick with earplugs and noise-canceling headphones to escape the din around us. The Ear Plug Superstore has a variety of earplugs designed for travel, for about $4-40, but you can probably get a multi-pack for much less at the drugstore. And while noise-canceling headphones aren’t exactly cheap, they come in a range of price points. Bose, perhaps the most famous manufacturer of these specialized headphones, sells three models to the tune of $300. But others, like this foldable Seinnheiser number, are under $100.

Another way to help cut out noise is to use a white noise smartphone app. Relax Melodies is one such app that we've already raved about. It allows users choose from different white noises and ambient sounds to help them relax.

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