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POISE IN THE NOISE

WITH NOISE CANCELLING TECHNOLOGY

It gets loud. Fighter jet loud.

The crowd’s roaring. Music is blaring. 82,000 fans are packed into London’s Twickenham Stadium for the NFC West matchup between head coach Sean McVay’s Los Angeles Rams and the Arizona Cardinals. McVay’s offense has the ball with less than 2 minutes to play in the first half, and the clock’s running. They’re rolling, and another score before the half could put the game away.

In these situations, McVay preaches “poise in the noise.” It isn’t easy in this environment. It’s loud — stadium noise regularly exceeds 100 decibels, equal to a military jet taking off from an aircraft carrier.

That’s why McVay and the rest of the league’s coaches rely on the powerful noise cancelling technology of the custom-designed Bose SoundComm B30 Headset. It allows them to block out distractions, and focus on assessing the situation and making the right decision in a split second.

“Focus is one of the main things we talk about all the time with our team. Being able to lock in, concentrate on the moment, and focus on the little details that end up being the difference in winning and losing.”
— Sean McVay, head coach, Los Angeles Rams

In the short time McVay has to make a play call, he and his assistants must assess the situation, consider what the defense may do, and get the right personnel on the field. They are in constant communication through the Bose SoundComm B30 headset.

142.2
decibels

World record for stadium noise, set September 29, 2014 at the Kansas City Chiefs’ Arrowhead Stadium

25
seconds

The time NFL coaches have to call a play (communication with the quarterback is shut off at 0:15 of the 0:40 play clock)

150

Average number of plays run during an NFL game.

Quarterback Jared Goff of the Los Angeles Rams during a game

Quiet the crowd

Not all noise cancellation headphones are the same. Because not all noise is the same. Our consumer noise reduction headphones help block out things like the constant drone of an airplane engine and enhance the sound of music — with its rhythmic, reproducible, distinct sound. Stadium noise is much less predictable.

“We went to a lot of different stadiums and collected a lot of different noise. What we learned was that it’s a very high-dynamic range, meaning it can get pretty quiet and it can get amazingly loud.”
— Matt Ruwe, product engineer, Bose

The NFL headsets are custom designed to focus on low-end frequencies to help block out both the crowd and stadium sound system. And unlike our consumer noise cancellation headphones, the NFL headset lets in a narrow band of frequencies related to human speech — allowing coaches to hear players and other coaches on the sideline.

“The Bose headset provides the ability to eliminate some of those distractions and maintain focus and concentration.”
— Sean McVay, head coach, Los Angeles Rams

Surrounding noise and opposing signal sound waves
Coach McVay wearing the SoundComm B30 Headset during a game

The game before the game

The Rams’ practice facility buzzes with activity all day, every day leading up to a game. Team meetings, one-on-one sessions with coaches and players, practices, and media press conferences pull McVay in all directions.

But there are times he avoids the madness with the help of noise cancellation headphones.

Coach McVay fine-tuning game plans wearing QC35 II headphones

“It’s about being able to lock in. You try to play that game before the game, make sure that you’re making great decisions to put our players in great situations.”
— Sean McVay, head coach, Los Angeles Rams

He arrives at the Rams’ practice facility by 5 AM each day. It’s just him and QC35 headphones II as he pores over film or fine-tunes his game plan at the whiteboard.

Coach McVay wearing the SoundComm B30 Headset during a game

Every second matters

Back in London, the seconds are ticking away, so McVay quickly makes a call. The coaches talk back and forth on their Bose SoundComm B30 Headsets, sharing information and giving opinions on what will work best. Clarity — and composure — is key. McVay decides on a zone read option. The defense’s reaction will determine what quarterback Jared Goff will do: hand off to the running back or keep the ball himself.

“When there is clear communication there is no gray and guys can operate with confidence.” — Sean McVay, head coach, Los Angeles Rams

McVay’s play works to perfection. Arizona’s defensive end locks onto the running back, so Goff fakes the handoff and runs around the right edge. He’s sandwiched by a pair of defensive backs at the goal line, but it’s not enough to keep him out of the end zone. Punching in the touchdown keeps the Rams momentum going into the half on the way to victory.