Development and Evaluation for an Adaptive-Feedback Active Noise Cancellation Headset

J.-H. Lin, P.-T. Liu, S.-T. Tang, W.-R. Han, F.-I. Lee, and S.-T. Young (Taiwan)

Keywords

Active noise cancellation, DSP, headset, industrial noise, WDT

Abstract

The louder noises are a health hazard for industrial workers, and hearing protection is necessary to avoid hearing loss. The conventional passive methods, such as ear muffs, are ineffective against low-frequency noise. To solve this problem, the present study developed a headset equipped with a digital signal processing system to implement adaptive-feedback active noise cancellation (AFANC) to reduce the low-frequency noise. The proposed AFANC headset was effective against wideband industrial noise, with a maximal noise spectrum power reduction of 37.9 dB. The study also evaluates the hearing quality on a disyllabic Mandarin word discrimination test (WDT) platform. Finally, the SNR below -10dB, the mean WDT score with AFANC headset was superior to without AFANC headset 13 to 32%. These results suggest that a headset with AFANC would be useful for hearing protection in workplaces with high levels of low frequency industrial noise.

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