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This paper investigates the robustness of a hybrid analog/digital feedback active noise cancellation (ANC) headset system. The digital ANC systems with the filtered-x least-mean-square (FXLMS) algorithm require accurate estimation of the secondary path for the stability and convergence of the algorithm. This demands a great challenge for the ANC headset design because the secondary path may fluctuate dramatically such as when the user adjusts the position of the ear-cup. In this paper, we analytically show that adding an analog feedback loop into the digital ANC systems can effectively reduce the plant fluctuation, thus achieving a more robust system. The method for designing the analog controller is highlighted. A practical hybrid analog/digital feedback ANC headset has been built and used to conduct experiments, and the experimental results show that the hybrid headset system is more robust under large plant fluctuation, and has achieved satisfactory noise cancellation for both narrowband and broadband noises.
Date of Publication: July 2005