Nolan helmets may soon have active noise-cancelling systems after signing a deal with Norwegian tech startup DAAL.
DAAL issued a media release saying their innovation would “give motorcyclists the chance to ride their bikes at highway speeds without the discomfort of tiring and potentially damaging wind noise”.
They say wind noise in a helmet can exceed 110dB that can cause tinnitus (ringing in the ears) over time. Click here for more information.
“This system also enables the rider to listen to music or talk to fellow riders in a quieter environment than today,” they say.
“By use of so-called active noise cancellation (ANC), the DAAL team has developed a technology that significantly reduces wind noise for the rider, without interfering with important traﬃc sounds like sirens and horns.
“For us, it is all about providing riders the freedom to get out there and enjoy the ride, without worrying about their hearing.”
Active noise cancelling
Sena was the first to introduce a helmet with an integrated electronic noise-cancelling intercom system.
However, DAAL founder and CEO Dag Axel Aarset says their system is different to other active noise-cancelling systems.
“Unlike generic noise cancellation headphones, our system is developed specifically to perform in the harsh and demanding noise environment inside a motorcycle helmet – and actually performs well for wind noise,” he says.
I have tried several active noise-cancelling earphones and agree that they can’t cope with loud wind buffeting.
Active noise-cancelling systems generate a reverse sound wave of the background noise and play it through the speakers to cancel out the unwanted, harmful noise.
It requires a microphone next to your ear as well as speakers. There is also a power pack in the back of the helmet. However, they say their system weighs the same as other intercoms.
Tested and verified
Their prototype has been tested and veriﬁed for speeds up to 140km/h. The product is expected to be available in the market in 2020.
While the system is separate to an intercom, we imagine Nolan will integrate it with their N-Com Bluetooth intercom.
DAAL marketing manager David Schecroun says they “cannot go into the specifics of the project goals at this point”.
“We want our system to be compatible with both helmets and communication systems in the future,” he says.
“The collaboration between DAAL and Nolan is a joint effort to make our technology as effective as possible within the constraints of the Nolan helmet, but we can and intend to work with other helmet manufacturers to make sure our technology can fit into more than one line of helmets.
“Our long-term goal is to reach as many helmets as possible, probably through an aftermarket solution that may include some sort of communication features.
“Today our focus is on the mutual benefits of collaborating with innovative first movers such as Nolan, where we can offer a competitive edge before ANC becomes the norm for motorcyclists, while at the same time we can see a clearer way towards the total market.”
They aim to launch their product globally in mid-2020.
DAAL was established in 2016 in Trondheim, the technology capital of Norway.
Italian helmet maker the Nolan Group was recently bought by French motorcycle company 2Ride Holding, makers of Shark helmets, Bering and Segura motorcycle clothing and Bagster bike luggage.
Meanwhile, if you have issues with ringing in the ears after a long ride, we suggest you wear earplugs to reduce harmful wind noise.