SoundSense's Active Noise-canceling System

We all know and love noise-canceling headphones. Who can bear to fly without them, right? Now, imagine that same technology used in your home theater? Come on, who here has a completely acoustically quiet home theater? Between air-conditioners, electronics' fans, outside rumble, or even the dishwasher running down the hall, there are many noises that detract from the performance of your ultimate home theater, try as you might to eliminate them.

SoundSense has been known for passive acoustic solutions. Noise-reducing wall treatments and architectural designs were great, but there had to be more they could do. So, SoundSense has come up with a new concept in noise-reduction for home theaters. Active noise reduction. How's that work?

Similar to how your favorite pair of noise-reducing headphones works, this new system works by using a microphone to capture the offensive sounds and a small speaker to generate the same signal, out of phase. This, in theory, will cancel out the sound.

"This simple and effective process will save installers and clients both time and money," says Bonnie Schnitta, SoundSense LLC president. "Every home theater system has unwanted noise that would greatly improve the user experience if eliminated. Our noise cancelling system seamlessly corrects those imperfections every time."

Ssheader_2 No word on how much this system is going to cost.

Honestly, there is a bit of skepticism on how effective this product can be. A few questions arise. How can it differentiate between wanted and unwanted noises? More importantly, offensive sounds that reach your ears are different from the sounds that will reach the microphone due to time-delay and reverb. Will this help, or just add another layer of interference?  Noise-canceling headphones work so well in part because the microphone and speaker are placed so close to your ear. The acoustics of your home theater adds another dimension to the problem.

Let us know if you have this system installed, and tell us if it's truly effective. If it works, it could be a great solution to many home theater problems. -Leslie Shapiro