Noctua and Rotosub's Active Noise-Cancelling Fan Gets Detailed and Videotaped

Brad Chacos

Remember the active noise-cancelling fans Noctua promised to have on display at the Computex exhibition last week? Well, said cooling technology was indeed available, along with new information about pricing and release info for the products. So does Rotosub's ANC technology actually quiet things down as much as promised? Noctua's posted a video of the noise-cancelling fan in action so that you can judge for yourself.

After watching (and listening) to the video, our ears report that the ANC tech manages to dull the noise of the fans by quite a bit. The soft, soothing quiet is thanks to a team effort by a mic, a signal processor and a metal band in the center of the fan. As the fan spins, the microphone feeds the noise to the signal processor, which does its frequency-finding magic and then delivers a signal to magnets embedded in the tip of the fan blades. The magnets make the blades quiver oh-so-slightly in response to the metal band in the center of the fan, which creates a sound that largely cancels out the noise of the fan itself.

Now for the bad news: Noctua told the Verge than ANC-enabled fans are at least a year away from retail shelves, and the initial versions may be bulky, as they won't necessarily have the mic and signal processor integrated into the body of the fan itself. The fans are also expected to cost somewhere between $40 and $50 bucks, whereas the currently available Noctua NF-F12 can be found for between $20 and $25, depending on where you're shopping.

So, hearing (or not -- ha!) all that, are you still intrigued by active noise-cancelling fans, or does the anticipated price point cool down your enthusiasm?

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