For several years Beech had included an active noise attenuating system to quiet the cabin. As in headsets with active noise reduction, a network of microphones detects ambient noise, and then speakers deliver an opposing sound that is 180 degrees out of phase with the unwanted noise. The clash of the two sound waves cancels most of the noise. The active system works well, but proved to be a maintenance issue. There were some failures of the electronic equipment, but more often an adjustment of microphone position or other tweaking was required to make the system work properly. So, Beech has now replaced the active electronic system with a passive noise reduction system that uses 83 "tuning fork" sound absorbers and insulation sealed in plastic bags. The tuning forks are bolted firmly to the airframe structure, and their vibrations, tuned to the propeller frequency, absorb sound energy and help stop it from being transmitted via the metal airframe. There is zero maintenance to the system, and no electrical power is required, but it does add 30 pounds to the empty weight compared to the electronic system. The flying qualities of the 350 are as predictable and dependable as the rest of the airplane. The wind was gusting to 30 knots when I flew the airplane last December, and as you can imagine, it was bumpy down low. The control forces on the 350 are heavy, but the harmony of forces between ailerons, elevator and rudder is excellent. But most importantly, there is lots of power in those control surfaces. It takes muscle to move the controls, but the 350 responds with precision and smoothness, and despite the gusts, my landings were darn good.