Bose noise-canceling technology (Image: Flickr user me and the sysop, used under CC license)Enlarge Photo
Many performance car fans are rather fond of the noises their vehicles make, but there are times when you just wish a car would shut up--the drive home after a long day at work, perhaps, or while listening to the drone of your muffler on a highway drive.
For such eventualities several companies have developed noise-canceling technology, and audio specialists Bose have announced a new chip that allows the technology to be incorporated into any vehicle--not just those with Bose audio systems.
According to Autoblog, a new NXP semiconductor chip allows all manner of systems to be incorporated into AM, FM and DAB tuners. As well as running the various features of modern in-car infotainment packages, it can also run Bose's noise-canceling technology. Active noise canceling has the ability to take the wavelength of unwanted sounds such as engine and powertrain noise and play back noise at opposite frequencies--so those inside the car enjoy reduced noise over those frequencies. That doesn't just mean loud noises from your exhaust, but unpleasant sounds associated with engines meeting modern emissions and fuel standards, with unusual harmonics and other odd sounds.
The system does rely on your vehicle's audio equipment working at the frequencies required by the technology, and your audio head unit must incorporate the appropriate NXP SAF775x car radio integrated circuit. But aside from those limitations, it should work in anything. Until now, the system was only available in models from Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and Infiniti, which used original equipment sound systems by Bose.
The company also says the sounds are programmed for each vehicle, which means a whole range of vehicles could get the option of a quieter, more pleasant cabin.