Electronic Design

Audio-Technica Picks Wolfson ANC Tech For Headphones

2008 INTERNATIONAL CES — Audio-Technica has chosen Wolfson’s new active noise cancellation (ANC) technology for its in-ear headphones, the QuietPoint ATH-ANC3. Wolfson’s ANC technology reduces ambient noise by providing more noise cancellation over a wider frequency range. That way, users can hear music in noisy environments without having to turn the volume to excessive levels. In traditional ANC technology, a microphone is fitted within the earpiece and the sound is fed back to remove the noise from the original audio. This has required noise reduction techniques, like padding, to better cancel out ambient noise, according to a Wolfson release. Wolfson’s ANC, on the other hand, uses a feed-forward technique in which the microphone is fitted on the outside of the earpiece. Ambient noise is inverted and then mixed with the original audio to cancel more decibels of noise over a wider frequency range. Unlike traditional feedback methods, it does not interfere with music playback. "Many existing feedback based ANC products rely on forming a physical block between the external noise and the users ears," Peter Frith, Wolfson’s CTO, said in a statement. "Removing the need for bulky sound insulation empowers designers to use Wolfson’s ANC to improve the user experience of the latest compact products created for today’s mobile lifestyle." Audio-Technica’s headphones are the first consumer products to use Wolfson’s ANC technology. Wolfson' QuietPoint ATH-ANC3 is on display at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) at booth 35638 at LVCC South 4.

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