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 'Softtone' 
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An acoustic control system for the noise reduction at MRI scanners.
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Acoustic Noise
 
Vibrations of the gradient coil support structure create sound waves. These are caused by the interactions of the magnetic field created by pulses of the current through the gradient coil with the main magnetic field in a manner similar to a loudspeaker coil. The sounds made by the scanner vary in volume and tone with the type of procedure being performed.
Sound pressure is reported on a logarithmic scale called sound-pressure level, expressed in decibel (dB) referenced to the weakest audible 1 000 Hz sound pressure of 2*10-5 pascal (20 micropascal). Sound level meters contain filters that simulate the ear's frequency response. The most commonly used filter provides what is called 'A' weighting, with the letter 'A' appended to the dB units, i.e. dBA.
MRI system noise levels increase with field strength. Disposable earplugs and/or headphones for the patient are recommended in high-field systems. Noise-canceling systems and special earphones are available, and active acoustic control systems were developed, e.g. softtone, pianissimo. A sequence with low noise gradient pulses is also called 'whisper sequence'.
See also Phon and Decibel.
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Further Reading:
  Basics:
MRI Noise in Utero Not Harmful for Baby's Ears
Tuesday, 28 September 2010   by www.medgadget.com    
  News & More:
Noise from Magnetic Resonance Imaging Can Have Short-Term Impact on Hearing
Thursday, 22 February 2018   by www.diagnosticimaging.com    
Echo Planar Imaging at 4 Tesla With Minimum Acoustic Noise(.pdf)
   by www.bnl.gov    
GE Healthcare unveils Silent Scan MRI for patient comfort
Friday, 25 October 2013   by www.pharmabiz.com    
TOSHIBA SHOWCASES PATIENT-FRIENDLY 3T MR SYSTEM
Sunday, 29 November 2009   by medical.toshiba.com    
MRI Resources 
Homepages - MRI Physics - MRI Centers - Collections - Intraoperative MRI - Examinations
 
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Your MRI scanner(s) in 5 years should be :
more automated 
much quicker 
quiet 
voice controlled 
iPhone compatible 
as it is right now 

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