Nolan deal to include active noise cancelling

Daal Nolan noise cancelling helmet

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.DAAL Active noise-cancelling system for helmets

“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

DAAL Active noise-cancelling system for helmets
Speakers, microphone and battery pack.

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.

Daal Nolan noise cancelling helmet
DAAL tech being tested in a Nolan helmet

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.

Daal Nolan noise cancelling helmet
DAAL tech in testing

“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.

Damaging noise

Meanwhile, if you have issues with ringing in the ears after a long ride, we suggest you wear earplugs to reduce harmful wind noise

Alpine MotoSafe earplugs make riders safer sound
BUY Alpine MotoSafe earplugs now in our online shop

3 Comments

  1. I have tinnitus – related to a diving incident, not motorbikes (though 30 years of that probably hasn’t helped!) – and it’s not fun. Ear protectors are essential, and can be cheap and easy. I have some nice ones that I can wear all day, but I always carry a few packs of disposable ones in my gear just in case.

    I like the idea of active sound cancelling, but even my nice Bose headphones don’t do a perfect job on a plane, so I wonder what the actual consistent real-world results of these will be. And a get nervous with a battery on the helmet (not to mention all the rules about intrusions and protrusions)… and when the battery goes flat you’ll still need earplugs!

    Oh, and can someone please explain why my helmet gets a *lot* noisier inside when I have the visor down?!

    1. Hi JC,
      I’ve noticed the same thing with noisy visors.
      I would suggest it depends on the seal of the visor.
      If the seal is not good, it creates a “venturi” effect where it actually increases the speed of the air as it passes through a smaller aperture.
      It’s like squeezing the end of the hose to make water spurt out further.
      The higher the airspeed, the higher the volume of wind noise.
      Hope that clears it up.
      Cheers,
      Mark

      1. Nolan’s existing helmets are approved to EN Standard bith with and without the intercom fitted. Also, since it is manufacturer-approved it is not a ‘modification’. So you wouldn’t have any legal issues.
        Personally I would welcome this, but for long highway trips would back it up with a set of earplugs in addition to the noise-canceling.

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