Semi-adaptive active noise cancellation headphones



Active noise cancellation (ANC) headphones are becoming increasingly important as they can effectively attenuate perceived ambient noise. Fixed filters are commonly applied in commercially available ANC headphones due to their robustness. However, they are not capable of adapting to changes that occur in dynamic environments, resulting in degraded ANC performance. In contrast, adaptive filters are able to update the ANC filters to compensate for noise in dynamic environments, but large estimation errors can occur due to a sudden change in direction/type of noise or secondary path.
Some studies have suggested an ANC system by combining fixed and adaptive filters. Based on this mechanism, we propose a semi-adaptive ANC system in which the fixed and adaptive filters are weighted in real-time. Initially, the weighting for the fixed filter dominates the whole system to ensure the robustness of the ANC system. Then, the residual error provided by the adaptive filter is simulated and compared to the real measured one to determine the relative weighting between the fixed and adaptive filters. In this study, this approach is applied to a feedback ANC system. Simulation results show that our proposed approach achieves high noise attenuation performance while maintaining robustness with time-varying secondary paths.