back to article Sound-mufflers chuck acoustic sleep blanket at the noise-plagued

Ever wondered why the Bose-style noise-cancelling technology can’t be made to work for rooms? Actually it can, but getting it to muffle sudden noises such as dogs barking or gunshots, so your sleep isn’t broken, and doing so at consumer prices represents a whole new set of challenges. A new Kickstarter project from sound- …

  1. Sam Jelfs

    This has nothing to do with noise cancellation as in Bose headphones - it merely adds more noise to mask out the background noise. In effect just giving a constant, but higher level sound environment. Constant noise is less disruptive for sleep.

    1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

      Indeed, and you can get that for free (or even cash back) by moving to a house within earshot of a motorway !

    2. David 132 Silver badge
      Coat

      it merely adds more noise to mask out the background noise.

      It plays a continuous loop of John Cage's 4'33". At a sleep-inducing volume.

  2. Justicesays
    Trollface

    Tired of being woken up ?

    By smoke alarms, your crying children, or gunshots in your house?

    Why not try our new "sleep well" sound blanket.

    Also available:

    Peril Sensitive Sunglasses, for where you are better off not seeing what's coming!

    1. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: Tired of being woken up ?

      Actually I believe the US and or the UK military had Peril Sensitive Sunglasses for their nuclear bomber/C3I aircraft pilots. When the nuclear flash was detected they went opaque to protect the wearers eyes from blindness. Before that they were issued with an eye patch so that they could switch eyes if blinded in one. Cheerful thought for Tuesday Aftenoon.

  3. Elmer Phud Silver badge

    And it looked so promising

    " A one-room kit consists of two wall-mounted speakers and integrates with home IoT kit such as . . ."

    Hmm, 50calibre machine gun fire at 3 in the morning via the 'secure' IoT?

  4. frank ly Silver badge

    From the website:

    "NOTE: Nightingale only works in the United States. We are working on making it compatible with other countries in the future."

    Is sound different in the USA?

    1. seanf

      Re: From the website:

      Sure is. Can't you hear the idiot Trumpeting?

    2. nevstah

      Re: From the website:

      looks like its only manufactured to plug in to 120v AC @60Hz at the moment

      1. Roq D. Kasba

        Re: From the website:

        120V 60Hz limitation must be pretty arbitrary in such a system. It can't be relying on 60Hz for a reference frequency or anything, and indeed I'll bet the internal electrons are all nicely queued DC style so the IC's can work and speakers don't carry their own 60/120Hz hum.

        1. JaitcH
          Meh

          Re: From the website:

          More likely the existence of many international variances in electrical outlet standards will require small engineering and approvals changes.

          Of course, British versions will cost more because of the excessively large monster plugs used there.

          1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

            Re: From the website:

            @JaitcH

            Of course, British versions will cost more because of the excessively large monster plugs used there.

            The design goes back to the 1940s, and one could argue that by modern engineering capabilities, it is a behemoth. The plug and socket incorporate various safety features not found on other systems around the world.

            BS 1363 is a British Standard which specifies the common single-phase AC power plugs and sockets that are used in the United Kingdom. Distinctive characteristics of the system are shutters on the line and neutral socket holes, and a fuse in the plug. It has been adopted in many former British overseas territories. BS 1363 was introduced in 1947 as one of the new standards for electrical wiring in the United Kingdom used for post-war reconstruction.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC_power_plugs_and_sockets:_British_and_related_types

            http://www.fatallyflawed.org.uk/

            http://www.bs1363.org.uk/

            Anoraks, apply here:

            http://shop.bsigroup.com/ProductDetail/?pid=000000000030272031

          2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: From the website:

            excessively large monster plugs used there.

            You mean - the ones that have won awards for safety and security? The ones that, if wired correctly, mean you can't get a shock from the plug?

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: From the website:

            Holy crap, JaitcH

            Don't you know? Whatever you do, do NOT attempt to make fun of the Brits' humongous electrical plugs that resemble something from a Soviet bunker on the Register! They're very protective of their big clunky plugs over there.

  5. Mike Shepherd
    Meh

    You'd think...

    ...that in an explanatory video, they'd make some attempt at a demonstration. Instead, all we hear is inane, jangling "music".

    Maybe the idea is to show how unpleasant noise can be if you don't buy their product?

    1. Dr Scrum Master

      Re: You'd think...

      God that's annoying.

      Still, at least it's not that bloody American woman with the awful voice who's in all the other promo videos.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's why I keep an OLD computer

    .. because I sleep so well to spindle and fan noise ..

    :)

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: That's why I keep an OLD computer

      .. because I sleep so well to spindle and fan noise ..

      In winter, when the computer room^w spare bedroom door is open (summer, it's closed because the aircon is on in that room) the soothing sound of the fans in my server lulls me to sleep. And the waste heat keeps the upstairs nice and warm :-) [1]

      Have to put a stairgate across the door, otherwise BiggestCat goes and sleeps up against the outflow fans on the acoustic case and the server gets hot. Also reduces the risk of cat-puke on the equipment on top of the server case..

      [1] But not a warm as the old Dell 2U server did. Thankfully, the new server is considerably more quiet as it doesn't have 6x15K RPM SAS drives whirring away.

  7. fruitoftheloon
    Happy

    Err, Boots 'Muffles' wax earplugs work for me...

    Yes, I can still hear the smoke alarm or small boy asking for something during the night...

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Err, Boots 'Muffles' wax earplugs work for me...

      I still have the custom-made earplug from my motorbike[1] days. And a box of squidgy foam ones that I was given.

      [1] Mostly used nowadays to prevent hearing loss at prog rock[2] gigs.

      [2] Yes, yes, queue the jokes..

  8. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge
  9. Francis Vaughan

    Not noise cancellation. Not at all.

    As noted above. This isn't noise cancellation. Noise cancellation on open spaces is astonishingly difficult, and it only works in headphones because the distances involved and the acoustic environment is so small. (And why the heck does everyone think Bose invented this either?) Once you have a reverberant field you are pretty much sunk.

    You have been able to buy noise blanketing systems forever. Before they were electronic, a wire brush rotating inside a metal cylinder made for a very effective white noise generator.

    All this offering is is an expensive way of making the noise source an IoT device that looks cool. There is no real technical innovation from the actual acoustics point of view over something you could buy 50 years ago.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Not noise cancellation. Not at all.

      >And why the heck does everyone think Bose invented this either?

      Because Bose marketed it heavily at consumers, often in the same glossy newspaper supplements as they have long advertised their other wares.

      There is lots of aviation technology that only later is affordable for Joe Punter. Additional examples include e-ink (several kg of flight manuals cost fuel) and eyeball tracking.

      In any case, it doesn't bother people where a technology originated from... they only need to know who they can buy it from. Oh, and they don't want to buy a 'how', they want to buy a 'what'.

  10. earl grey Silver badge
    Pint

    IOT? hellz no

    it must be beer o'clock somewhere.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    White noise masking is fine for some office spaces. But I think I'll stick to rockwool and plasterboard for the home.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm not sure I want to hear about your hobbies. Or not, more accurately.

      :)

  12. Eponymous Bastard

    Noise

    Or we could just give the police the right to tell your selfish neighbour to shut the fuck up or go to jail - now. I dream of all the selfish cunts in this world suffering unimaginable pain in the next or even better instant retribution. Selfishness is one of the greatest malignancies blighting the 21st century and if there is a god then it's failing to wipe out the selfish. No wonder I'm an atheist.

    1. Commswonk Silver badge

      Re: Noise

      I dream of all the selfish cunts in this world suffering unimaginable pain in the next or even better instant retribution.

      Part of me agrees wholeheartedly with this; another part feels that the sentiment is inherently, er, selfish.

      Selfishness is one of the greatest malignancies blighting the 21st century and if there is a god then it's failing to wipe out the selfish.

      Sadly that does appear to be true; hardly a day goes by without my seeing a parent effectively teaching offspring that it's OK to be selfish - not by words but by example. I doubt if I will ever hear the words "have some consideration for other people" ever again.

  13. Chris G Silver badge

    Analogue noise cancellation

    In the '80s I lived in a flat in an old Victorian house, one Saturday a similar house across the road was having a very loud party, several irate neighbours had called the police who came, told them to 'turn it down' and duly went. At which point the reveller turned it up again. Eventually my neighbour from the top floor knocked on my door and asked if I would accompany him across the road to ask the party people to turn it down, I said sure but I didn't think we would make much difference. Anyway we went over and began talking to the guy who actually lived there and was about as ratarsed as one could get, while I was nattering on the doorstep to an incoherent idiot Gary walked in pulled a rounders bat out of his shirt and beat the crap out of the stereo. Silence! even the party goers were so stunned they said nothing.

    The moral is $249 against a £5 or less rounders bat? I know which one I would consider buying.

  14. stu 4

    wind and rain

    I don't think I'm the only one that loves the noise of wind and rain battering off windows/roofs.

    nothing beats night in tent, or in motorhome when it's like this.

    A device that plays that sound realistically would be good.

    of wait... that'd be like - a set of speakers - I've got them... will give it a go and save my 249 dollars.

    1. Fr. Ted Crilly

      Re: wind and rain

      Well yes i'm all with you on the kipping in a tent with rain... BUT:

      1/ Said tent must definitely be known to Not leak.

      2/ Must sport a sewn in ground sheet (drafts) that also does not wick damp.

      3/ Plenty of warm bedness with puffy sleeping bag etc.

      4/ (big ask this buut) Listening to some poor sod putting their tent up in the pissing rain in the dark.

      4a/ much prepared smugness...

      ps: canvas tents are a better sound as the plitt-plitting is more damped, nylon test are harsher sounding, but nicer in soft rain. swing/roundabouts etc

  15. More Jam

    Silence Please

    Time to go read Tales from the White Hart again.

  16. JaitcH
    Happy

    After years of smothering noise with even higher levels of White (or Pink) Noise ...

    the accumulative effect will be substantial or complete deafness.

    At that point in time no artificial aids will be needed and a good nights kip will have been achieved.

  17. M7S
    Alien

    Silence will fall

    As title

  18. spacecadet66

    Or, for $10...

    ...you can buy a cheap radio and turn it to the static at the end of the band. What you do with the $239 you save is up to you, but I suggest you send it to me.

    1. Terrance Brennan

      Re: Or, for $10...

      A cheap box fan has been doing the trick for us for years now. And, in the summer has the benefit of cooling the room a bit.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You need the next Reg. story

    Surely this is a job for a SonicWall.

  20. Karl Lattimer

    Circuit used for a long time

    http://electronics-diy.com/noise-canceling-headphones.php

    I built one, it worked, circuit I built was terrible so it eventually failed, next time I'll tin the boards properly ;)

    Applying this to a room isn't so hard either.

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