Business traveler solved the airplane noise problem

Everybody knows how noisy flying by airplane is. Engines are whirring, the wind is whizzing and the air conditioning is blowing. Depending on the type of the airplane and the place you are sitting, the loud, low frequency noise can be stressful and ear-fatiguing.

The enormous noise level in airplanes irritated business traveler and physicist Janne Kyllönen. He started to investigate the noise profiles inside airplanes and different ways to attenuate noise. He noticed the best way to reduce noise is the active noise canceling technology that is used in high-end music listening headphones. Janne formed the idea to miniaturize the technology to earplug size, and build a traveler-optimized device. The earplugs should have no wires and be so comfortable that they let you sleep with your ear on a pillow, and yet still have great noise canceling performance. 

Prototypes were built and the company QuietOn was established. QuietOn have widely tested their active noise canceling earplugs. The Finnish airline Finnair and QuietOn conducted a user study to investigate how QuietOn earplugs improve the in-flight experience. Altogether 60 passengers tested the device and completed a questionnaire. The results showed that the earplugs provide noise reduction on the same level as the best on-ear noise canceling headphones. In addition, their small size enables sleeping, which makes the product really attractive for travelers. Altogether 97% of the test users found that QuietOn earplugs improved their traveling experience.

Study results for performance, comfort and overall traveling experience: (attached QuietOn infoGraphic.jpg).

After receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback from many usability tests, Janne understood that the need for calming silence is universal. QuietOn earplugs also reduce noises that affect sleep, such as snoring or noise coming through the walls. They bring benefits in many other situations too, for example working in stressful, noisy surroundings such as open plan offices, factories and schools.

QuietOn earplugs utilize active noise cancellation technology as well as passive acoustic attenuation. The earplugs' microphones capture external sound and use speakers to produce phase-shifted sound that cancels out the original sound. The greatest benefit of active noise canceling technology is that it reduces the low frequency sounds that ordinary passive earplugs are not able to address. QuietOn provides top class noise cancellation performance with up to 50 hours of battery life on a single charge. The earplugs come with two interchangeable silicone tips to fit larger and smaller ears. They come in a carry box that also functions as a charger box, powered by a regular micro-USB cable.

The device will be available globally in June 2016, but for now the earplugs can be preordered from QuietOn’s Indiegogo campaign.

QuietOn Ltd. is a technology company, established in April 2015. The company develops and produces its own electronic earplugs that utilize active noise cancellation technology. QuietOn employs 10 persons at the moment. The personnel have a strong working history at Nokia.

More information:

Janne Kyllönen, Founder, Product Director, COB

+358 50 373 2021

Outi Forsten, Marketing Director