The History of Active Noise Control

    Active noise control was invented by Paul Lueg in Germany in 1932. He registered a patent in 1934 with uses including “suppression of noise in ducts, cancellation by interference at points in space, and creation of protected "zones of quiet."” (Cunefare) The ideas in the patents worked in theory but they lacked the equipment in detection, processing, and sound generation to make and products commercially viable.

    In the 1950s Harry Olsen started experimenting in making silent areas using active noise control systems to some success. Also in the 1950s Active noise control was introduced to headphones. The first public civilian use of noise controlling headphones was in 1986 when Jeanna Yeager and Dick Rutan had a flight around the world.


Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager

    More recently, active noise control is commonly included in many commercial applications.  Devices featuring active noise control are commonly included in aviation.  The cock pit often features noise canceling technology and noise canceling headphones are common for the air traffic controllers.  Cars also use active noise control to reduce the noise from tires, wind, and the engine for the interiors.  High quality headphones are available commercially from many popular headphone brands.