Although it’s been around for several decades, Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) is just becoming known by many people. It’s a very cool technology and is the principle behind the popular active noise cancelling headsets, such as the popular Bose Noise Cancelling series, that are available today. ANC is now available in automobile and is one of the major facets of Buick’s QuietTuning suite of noise-quieting technologies.
The way that noise cancelling works is that small microphones measure the background noise in the local environment and “removes it” electronically from the audio that is being played. In the case of an automobile, the microphones would pick up the sounds of the engine, wind and other distracting noises as heard inside the car. The ANC system then takes this noise, develops a counteracting signal and then feeds it into the audio system. Our local Palmyra, PA Buick dealer, Klick Lewis, tells us the result is a muted, very quiet car interior that allows music and other sources to be fully enjoyed.
Buick’s QuietTuning technology includes ANC but also utilizes more conventional sound dampening techniques. For example, high tech sound dampening materials that are tuned to specific sound frequencies are used throughout the automobile interior and in other places known to generate noise. Buick has also worked on their basic automobile aerodynamics to quiet down wind noise. In addition, the windshield is acoustically laminated, and the side windows are made from a thicker 5mm glass. Even the tires are specifically chosen for their ability to keep the noise down.
An interesting note is that QuietTuning technology allows Buick engineers to actually allow a little more exhaust noise as this is often desired by those that want a sporty automobile. Because some noises are relatively easy to eliminate via ANC (and exhaust noise is one of them) the engineers at Buick can design their cars to sound “sporty” outside and quiet inside. This is the best of both worlds for many car enthusiasts.