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i want to make active noise cancelling headphones my generating destructive sound. is this even possible with an arduino? if it is, how would i go about doing this?
thanks!
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IMHO, arduino isn't up to. Ether completely analog or digital version, first one doesn't require MCU, and you only need bunch OPA, second one need more processing power than arduino could afford.
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what is an opa? sorry, im a noob
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 As the raw input and output for this kind of application is analog, the AVR micro-controller is just the wrong tech to use. Dsp equipped processor chips would be a better match for this kind of application.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_signal_processor

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How about checking these out?

http://www.headsetsinc.com/

I put these in the headphones in my plane.
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You can get a very impressive amount of noise reduction with just passive means. Much easier than dealing with DSP. I just use a pair of JVC HA-FX34s with the foam pieces replaced with ear plugs with a hole drilled in them.

An easy way is to just crank up the volume and use earplugs to get it back down to a comfortable level. It would almost certainly use less power than a DSP unless there's already one in your application. A cheap pair of earplugs would give 29dB of SNR improvement, probably more than you need.
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Passive doesn't dampen the effect of deeper bass rumble, like from an engine. Active is much better for that.
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How about checking these out?

http://www.headsetsinc.com/

I put these in the headphones in my plane.

WOW... you have a plane?
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Yes. Others have a boat. Or drive very expensive cars.  I bought a plane instead.
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Yes. Others have a boat. Or drive very expensive cars.  I bought a plane instead.

I have several planes. This is the nicest one.

But a Mooney would be fun. Or a personal gyrocopter.
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As the raw input and output for this kind of application is analog, the AVR micro-controller is just the wrong tech to use. Dsp equipped processor chips would be a better match for this kind of application.

where would i cheaply get one of these?
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As the raw input and output for this kind of application is analog, the AVR micro-controller is just the wrong tech to use. Dsp equipped processor chips would be a better match for this kind of application.

where would i cheaply get one of these?

http://ww1.microchip.com/downloads/en/DeviceDoc/70324d.pdf

This brochure list 'noise cancellation' application information avalible, so search around their site.
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The link I posted earlier is for $170 or so for two boards that do noise cancelling, one for each ear, and work quite well.
Find apair of Peltor hearing protectors and mount them in it.
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Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years. Check out the ATMega1284P based Bobuino and other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  www.crossroadsfencing.com/BobuinoRev17.
Arduino for Teens available at Amazon.com.

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