Devices Offering Great Solutions (DOGS)

Noise Management Tools

Tools to block out noise can help you concentrate and relax

What does it do?

Sometimes the sound in the room can be overstimulating. On the other side, silence can be anxiety provoking. There are many tools out there that can block out excess noise or provide ambient noise to make you feel more comfortable and relaxed in your environment.

What kinds of tools are there for managing noise?

Noise Cancelling Headphones

Active noise-cancelling technology counteracts environmental noises that are low-to-moderate in volume. It works best on background noise that is repetitive and consistent. It doesn’t work well on sudden or loud sounds.

You can choose an on-ear, over-ear, or in-ear (like AirPods) fit for your noise cancellation.

Hearing Protection

Passive noise reduction dampens all sounds. This works better than active noise cancelling technology on sudden or loud sounds.

You can choose an over-ear fit like safety ear muffs or you can use ear plugs.

Sound Absorbing Panels

Foam wedges or acoustic panels can be applied to the walls to control sound in a space. There are also portable room dividers made from these materials.

Related Apps

Choosing your own background noise – whether that is white noise or music – can be helpful. If you do not have a white noise machine, consider apps for ambient sound.

Yellow ear defender headphones

How do I see what's new?

Technology changes all the time. To find out about the latest options for these, you can type keywords into a search engine such as Google, Safari, Firefox, or Bing on a computer or tablet. These are the keywords for this type of item:

ear plugs, ear protection, noise cancelling headphones, sound reduction, sensory overload

How do I find out more?

If you live in the US outside of Pennsylvania you would need to find your state's AT program.

If you live in Pennsylvania:

  • you could contact TechOWL to work with a specialist. We can meet with you and sometimes demonstrate this equipment. We can also help with different ways to get one for your own.
  • you might borrow this equipment to try out. Do we have this in our lending library?


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Tom DiAgostino

Tom is the Outreach and Training Coordinator at TechOWL. Before starting at TechOWL in 2019, Tom worked as an English Teacher through the Fulbright Commission in Uruguay as well as a Social Worker and Spanish interpreter in the foster care system in North Philadelphia. As a person with dyslexia, Tom is passionate about readability and website accessibility. Along with managing TechOWL’s social media platforms, Tom also co-leads the Fabrication program CreATe together and assists with managing the TechOWL website.

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