NOISE/NOTES (Mar 2019)

by Eoin A. King, NNI Editor,
Eva Von Dell, NNI Social Media Assistant, and
Brianna Cervello, NNI Social Media Assistant

NNI is on Facebook and Twitter—we try to keep our readers informed with noise news from all across the globe by highlighting interesting research and projects. Here is a roundup of some of the stories that have been making headlines. Follow @NNIEditor to stay up to date with all noise-related news.

WHO and ITU release new standard for personal audio device
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) have issued a new international standard for the manufacture and use of personal audio devices (including smartphones and MP3 players) to make them safer for listening. It is estimated that 1.1 billion young people may be at risk of hearing loss due to prolonged and excessive exposure to loud music. The standard was developed under WHO’s “Make Listening Safe” initiative, which seeks to improve listening practices especially among young people.

City may help music venues soundproof in an effort to curb neighbors’ noise complaints
The San Francisco Examiner reports that city authorities have proposed the Music Venue Sound Mitigation Assistance Program, which would offer grants of up to $25,000 to bars, restaurants, and music venues in order to pay for soundproofing. Priority would go to those that “demonstrate a commitment to hiring local musicians and a pressing need for sound mitigation work.”

A noise-cancelling doghouse!
Dog owners know that when a thunderstorm comes, their pets cower and hide from the noise. Ford Europe has created a space for “man’s best friend” to calmly stay inside, utilizing acoustic panels and speakers that counter the incoming frequencies. Check out more in a recent article on

Noise control using graphene
Could graphene, a material made of sheets of carbon a single atom thick, change the noise absorptive game entirely? reports that a new high-tech low-cost soundproofing foam invented at the University of Adelaide could help.

Life in the Spanish city that banned cars
The Guardian reports on life in Pontevedra, a city in Spain that banned cars from the city center, where “the usual soundtrack of a Spanish city has been replaced by the tweeting of birds and the chatter of humans.”

New York City lawmakers call for less piercing emergency vehicle sirens
NPR reports that lawmakers in New York City have argued that the shrill sound of police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances has got to go. They would prefer emergency vehicles change their sirens within two years to an alternating high and low sound similar to that heard in many European countries.