Active Noise Cancelling Headphones System
OptoActive™ active noise cancelling headphones open new MR research areas, including the study of sleeping and hearing disorders, autism, children suffering from claustrophobia, and auditory fMRI

Product Highlights

  • Cancels the most annoying MR EPI gradient noise, both actively and passively
  • Extraordinarily clear sound for passing stimuli, music and communications
  • Ultra-slim headphones compatible with today's tight 32- and 64-channel fMRI head coils for 3T, as well as with all standard MR head coils
  • Quiet two-way communications during a scan using bundled FOMRI-III™ noise cancelling microphone
  • Self-hearing headphones with real-time SPL monitoring and recording
  • Self-calibration at both session and patient levels, as well as manual fine calibration of both left and right channels (0.1 dB resolution)
  • Simple operation with digital touch screen Operator console, as well as advanced hardware and software control
  • Real-time display shows noise exposure, stimuli levels and spectrum analysis
  • Built-in Waves® MaxxAudio® digital sound enhancement
  • CE MDR certified and US FDA 510(k) cleared
  • Completely safe, field-proven, certified EMI/RFI immunity

OptoACTIVE Noise Cancelling Headphones for MRI


Highest level of noise reduction available for fMRI
  • Proprietary real-time algorithmic, out-of-phase harmonic active noise cancelling
  • Unsurpassed passive noise reduction
  • Slim design fits all head coils (including 32- and 64-channel for 3T)
  • Outstanding sound clarity enables use of high-fidelity audio stimuli

Slim & Robust

Over a decade of applied research and engineering:
  • Extensively tested in leading research labs on a range of platforms
  • Certified as completely safe and transparent for MRI
  • Ultra-slim form factor fits all head coils (32- and 64-channel for 3T also)
  • Headphones provide 50-15,000 Hz frequency response range
  • Built-in optical microphone for auto-calibration, SP monitoring and recording in real time
  • Inputs for concurrent SPDIF and TTL
  • Outputs for recording and web-based broadcast


Calibration, attenuation and channel mixing at your fingertips:
  • Automatic self-calibrating noise control, session-by-session
  • Combined digital touch and pushbutton display with instant, intuitive control over headphones and System performance
  • Noise-free, full duplex two-way communications with bundled FOMRI-III adaptive noise cancelling microphone
  • Push-to-talk (PTT) inline communications with Patient during all operations
  • Real-time recording as well as concurrent work with multiple audio inputs, including TTL

Hear it Now

Note that you may wish to lower the volume of your speakers before sampling these sounds.

Above are 'before and after' recorded audio samples and waveforms from typical MRI systems using OptoACTIVE. All recordings are made directly from the OptoACTIVE headphones inside the MRI bore.

How OptoACTIVE Active Noise Control Works

EPI sequences used in MR imaging can produce acoustic noise levels as great as 130 dB (about as loud as a jet plane at takeoff), as well as very high electromagnetic and radio frequency noise. These noises are not just discomforting to patient and staff alike, they make standard noise reduction devices completely ineffective.

OptoACTIVE removes the most difficult and disturbing sequence noise, enabling calm, quiet communications and interactions between patients and MRI staff, even during the noisiest scans.

We achieve this using two complementary techniques:

  • Optimal passive noise reduction with a revolutionary design, resulting in unsurpassed sound clarity, wearer comfort and safety
  • Real-time algorithmic, out-of-phase harmonic active noise cancelling using our proprietary DSP

The OptoACTIVE system provides the highest level of noise reduction available in MRI-safe headphones, safely and effectively canceling EPI main gradient resonance by 60 dB (over 95%) without latency.


OptoACTIVE has been developed in close collaboration with many of the world's leading MRI research institutes.

Search on Google Scholar for 'OptoACTIVE' MRI »

Case Studies

"I can do ear selective fMRI audiometry prior to cochlear implantation. I also use it for better stimulus transmission and to reduce startle movement."

— Dr. Andreas Bartsch, Neuroradiologist and OptoACTIVE User

Because Optoacoustics' OptoACTIVE active noise cancellation (ANC) dramatically reduces fMRI noise and enables an ongoing dialog with the patient, radiologists are able to improve testing results as well as clinical outcomes, especially for children.

The OptoACTIVE System changing what radiologists can achieve with their current MRI systems. OptoACTIVE is an important part of the MRI facilities today at leading research and treatment facilities.

Read more: Children's MRI Gets Simpler with Active Noise Cancelling



OptoACTIVE accessories include:

  • OptoACTIVE MULTIPAD fixation device, specially customized by Pearltec to provide the best vibro-acoustic isolation available
  • OptoACTIVE MULTIPAD disposable covers for complete hygiene (50 pack)
  • Fitted hygienic earpad disposable covers (50 pack)
  • Fitted hygienic disposable FOMRI microphone pop-screens (100 pack)


Online Training

Please enter your password to access this page:

For complete and comprehensive operating instructions, see the OptoACTIVE II User Guide below.

Your Optoacoustics support representative can help you, if needed.