Active noise cancellation makes the leap from your headphones to... your car

Jaguar F-Pace
The Jaguar F-Pace comes with Active Road Noise Cancellation (Image credit: Jaguar Land Rover)

Active noise cancellation in headphones is well known, as outside sounds are reduced so you can focus on the audio you're playing back - and now this technology has made its way into cars.

Jaguar Land Rover has revealed that it's built what it's calling Active Road Noise Cancellation into three of its vehicles, and claims it can reduce fatiguing road sounds by up to 10dB.

The technology can apparently dampen 'unwanted noise peaks' by up to 10dB, while JLR claims overall noise levels are reduced by 3-4dB.

While the change in decibel levels is pretty small, the technology takes data from sensors on each wheel which "constantly monitor the vibrations from the road surface and calculates the opposite phase sound wave needed to remove the noise heard by the occupants."

With this real-time monitoring, the technology - developed by Silentium - can remove or isolate unexpected noises from potholes or rough surfaces.

Range Rover Velar

The new Range Rover Velar is one of the cars featuring Active Road Noise Cancellation (Image credit: Jaguar Land Rover)

Available now, in three vehicles

The cancelling sound is played through the vehicle's sound system, to reduce the obvious noise caused by the road surface for the driver and passengers.

The system is also able to detect how many passengers are in the car, and adjust the cancelling playback levels through the various speakers for the most effective results.

With a reduction in road sound, driving should become less tiring on long journeys, which should make traveling more enjoyable, not to mention safer.

This isn't the first time we've heard about in-car noise cancellation. Audio specialist Bose announced its own solution back at the start of 2019, but its technology isn't expected to be available in cars until the end of 2021.

JLR's tech is available now, although only in three cars initially; the new Jaguar F-Pace, Jaguar XF and Range Rover Velar. Just how well this technology works remains to be seen, but we've contacted JLR to arrange a test.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.