Cars are noisy inside. After all, a car is essentially a big metal box with a noisy engine up front and rattling suspension underneath. Fortunately, automotive engineers have known this since the early days of car design and have developed materials and construction techniques to quiet things down. Most of these methods are inexpensive and easy to implement and include things like filling up body cavities with acoustic foam, gluing tar-like acoustic materials to interior sheet metal panels, choosing acoustically-deadening upholstery materials, and other techniques. The downside is that while these sound control methods are tried and true, most cars are still noisy inside!
The magic of electronics
Today, another high-tech technique is being used in the war on car noise. It’s called Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). ANC is a sophisticated electronic system that has been used for years in professional and semi-professional audio gear. Bose ANC headphones are a standard device in the aviation world where engine noise can be a problem, think helicopters. Today, ANC has been tuned and refined for noise reduction and has been installed installed in premium automobiles for many years. Warren Henry Infiniti of Miami, FL told us that their Infiniti line of luxury cars was one of the first to use ANC and this goes back close to 10 years.
How ANC works
The way that ANC works in cars is that small microphones inside the vehicle pick up the internal sounds generated by the engine, body and other sources. The ANC system takes these noise signals and develops a counteracting signal which gets fed it into the car’s audio system. The result is that the “negative noise” from the speakers is added to the “positive noise” inside the car, and the result is that the noise “is cancelled out.” In other words, the noise is gone.
The Infiniti approach
The engineers at Infiniti realized that making an automobile quiet inside takes more than just ANC technology, however. In order to make their cars the quietest in the industry, they developed a complete set of noise abatement techniques. These include things like suspension and body components specifically designed for low noise; tires chosen to roll quietly; even windshields that are acoustically laminated and constructed from a thicker glass. Every noise producing component in a car was evaluated by Infiniti engineers.
An ultra-quiet automobile
Once all the above techniques are deployed, then ANC is added to the mix. The result is an almost eerie silence. Read what reviewers say o, even better, take a ride in an Infiniti. You are going to be impressed at what almost ten years of fine-tuning automotive noise abatement techniques will yield.