Sono: noise cancellation for your windows

sono noise cancellation windows

Your house, with all it’s sheetrock, insulation, wood panels, and siding, would be an impenetrable fortress if it weren’t for your windows. Those thin panes of molten silica sand are a chink in your home’s armor, letting in all kinds of noise from the outside world.

Sure, if you live out in the country and the only noise pollution you deal with are songbirds and the sound of wind blowing through trees, this might not be much of an issue. But if you live in a more urban environment, under the constant drone of traffic, pedestrians, and other miscellaneous street noise, sound leaking through your windows can be a massive disturbance to the peace and quiet of your pad.

The problem is that your big, flat, windows – despite being relatively solid and sturdy – behave like big membranes when hit with vibrations, and tend to transfer sound pretty readily. It’s especially bad if you’ve only got a single-pane glass between you and the outdoors. If that’s the case, you may as well be living next door to a 24-hour karaoke bar. 

sono technical setupNoise pollution is everywhere, so wouldn’t it be nice if you could get rid of all that extraneous sound, much like a pair of noise-cancelling headphones nullifies the sound of a jet engine? Well good news – that’s exactly what Sono, an upcoming sound neutralizing device for you windows, does. 

The device is still just a prototype at this point, but it works almost exactly like the active noise cancellation module you’d find in a pair of high-end headphones. It uses a microphone to pick up incoming sounds, and then sends out sounds of the exact same frequency and wavelength, but 180 degrees out of phase. When these outgoing sound waves collide with the incoming ones, they effectively cancel each other out, so no noise ends up reaching your window.

But it’s also a bit more sophisticated than that. Instead of just blocking out everything like a pair of noise-canceling cans, Sono allows users to isolate specific noises they want to hear while simultaneously filtering out the ones they don’t. For example, lets say you want to block out the sound of traffic and people’s voices, but still want to be able to hear the sound of birds chirping. Thanks to Sono’s ability to discern between a wide range of frequencies and selectively neutralize them, this is totally possible. 

Unfortunately the product isn’t yet past the prototype stage, but the good news is that the design is currently a finalist in contention for the prestigious James Dyson award. If it wins, designer Rudolf Stefanich will be awarded prize money to help accelerate the product’s development. We’ll keep you posted on availability, but until then you can find out more about Sono here.

Home Theater

Leave the charger behind: Wireless headphones will get epic battery life in 2019

From wireless in-ears to noise-canceling over-ears, virtually every headphone manufacturer has seriously improved wireless headphone battery capacity, making fears about charging up for long listening sessions a thing of the past.
Deals

Bose QuietComfort wireless headphones are more than $80 off for a limited time

The Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II is one of our favorite wireless headphones. Its noise-canceling and Bluetooth capabilities make it an excellent pair of over-ear headphones. If you've been wanting the high-quality headphones, it is now…
Cars

Bose introduces QuietComfort Road Noise Control tech for cars at CES 2019

If you find road noise annoying and tiresome at highway speeds, Bose introduced QuietComfort Road Noise Control (RNC) active sound managment technology at CES 2019 to help quiet your world when you travel in cars, trucks, and SUVs.
Home Theater

These loaded cans bundle a wireless stand that even charges your phone

We thought we'd seen just about every kind of wireless headphone feature under the sun, but HiVi's new AW-85 active noise-canceling headphones come with a cool new trick: A wireless charging stand for the headphones and your phone.
Smart Home

This Silicon Valley studio rents for $1,500 per month — to 2 cats

A man in San Jose, California, rents a studio apartment for $1,500 per month for a very important reason: So his daughter's two cats have a place to call their own. It may be the swankiest cat pad on the West Coast.
Deals

Amazon drops prices on Roomba robot vacuums by up to $150

Amazon is offering discounts on iRobot Roombas and other robot vacuums to help you get a leg-up on those chores. We've rounded up the best deals available now and put them all in one place.
Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…
Smart Home

Speed up cooking with one of the best pressure cookers on the market

Not all pressure cookers are created equally. You have to choose between stovetop cookers, multicookers, canners, and even microwave cookers. Our pressure cooking buyer's guide includes our picks for the best in each category.
Smart Home

Brew it fast, hot, and flavorful with our favorite coffee makers

Whether you're looking for a simple coffee maker to get you through the morning or a high-end brewer that will impress your taste buds and your friends, you'll find some of the best coffee makers around on this list.
Smart Home

This just in: Alexa can now deliver the news like a professional newscaster

The Amazon Alexa team has given Alexa a newscaster voice that improves the way she delivers the news and reads Wikipedia articles, making the smart assistant easier to understand.
Product Review

Ring Video Doorbell 2 is the simplest entry into a smarter doorway

The Ring Video Doorbell 2 may lack the style and sophistication of premium door-dingers, but few can match its simplicity and versatility. The device, available in both wired and wireless configurations, is easy to set up and adds instant…
Smart Home

Ring security camera catches man licking the doorbell for hours

A family in Salinas, California had their Ring camera capture something pretty unexpected: a man licking the doorbell outside of their home for more than three hours. The incident took place around 5:00 a.m.
Smart Home

GHSP makes a (back)splash with its touchscreen concept kitchen

One of the coolest concept kitchens from CES 2019 came from GHSP. It created a backsplash entirely made of touchscreens. That means the control panel for your kitchen is accessible no matter where you are.
Product Review

Kwikset Kevo Contemporary review

Tired of carrying around keys? Make keyless entry so easy that all you have to do is have your phone nearby to open the door. It’s a little pricey, but sleek lines and simple features make the Kwikset Kevo Contemporary a great choice for…