Can the science of acoustics reduce the roar of an airplane engine?

The initial problem: aircraft noise

It all began on a 1978 flight to Europe. Dr. Amar Bose was trying out a new set of airline-supplied headphones and found that he couldn't really enjoy the sound with the roar of engines in the background. He wondered: Could you use headphones to reduce noise so you could hear music better?

Calculations begun on that flight indicated it was possible. Those calculations led to an entire research group dedicated to noise reduction technology. But it took more than a decade before the first Bose® Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headset was a reality.

Less noise. More clarity.

Bose noise reduction headphones may look like ordinary headphones on the outside, but that's where the similarity ends. The technologies inside are a true advancement, reducing background distractions and increasing the clarity of the audio you want to hear.

A microphone in each earcup monitors sounds before they can reach your ears. Advanced electronics recognize what you want to hear—an MP3 player you've connected to the headphones, for example—and compares it to the sounds you don't want. Bose proprietary electronics then calculate and generate a signal opposite to the unwanted sound, reducing it while preserving the music, speech or tranquility you desire.

Bose engineers first applied our noise reduction technology to headsets for military and private pilots. In 2000, we introduced QuietComfort® Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones—our first noise reduction headphones designed specifically for airline passengers. Soon owners began telling us how much they enjoyed listening with QuietComfort headphones on trains, buses, offices and at home.

Noise Reduction Technology Explore the fundamental concepts behind noise reduction and our unique solution.

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The 110-decibel noise in this open cockpit underscores the importance of Bose noise reduction technology.


Acoustic Noise Cancelling® Technology


The technology that made Aviation Headset X a must-have for pilots is also found in our QuietComfort headphones. .

QuietComfort® 3 headphones
QuietComfort® 2 headphones