Simply put, a projector is a machine that generates images from a device such as a computer or a smartphone, onto a screen.
However, the Internal mechanisms of a projector coupled with the fan and cooling system result in a loud distracting experience for the viewer. Luckily, a number of quiet projectors exist to help combat these problems.
Remember, not all noise is fan-based, the type of projector can also have an impact on sound. While noise levels are important, it can be a secondary/tertiary factor if it impacts the picture quality.
Let's take a closer look at projectors that are cognizant of sound while offering a superior output.
The Quiet Projectors
1. Epson Home Cinema 3800 EDITOR'S CHOICE
The Epson 3800 is a must-buy for those seeking razor-sharp, realistic images for a home theater or gaming purposes.
The projector itself is a thing of beauty; a solidly built unit with a multi-element glass lens that can be manually adjusted for optimum zoom and focus. The lens also has superior shift capabilities, allowing the user to move the projection vertically 60%, and left-right 24%. This projects an immaculate image even if the projector or screen has to be positioned slightly off-center.
Multiple ports allow connection of an array of devices via HDMI or USB, however, it is also Bluetooth compatible, enabling streaming from all of the latest streaming and gaming devices with 4K speed and accuracy at a full 60Hz.
Contrast ratio is a superb 100,000:1 and with 3000-lumens of both color and white light you are assured of brilliant brightness and rich blacks.
Superb HDR2 color processing and 4K projection technique result in enhanced color and image processing.
Gaming is brought to life on the big screen, in fact, a huge screen. The image can be projected on to a screen of up to 150" and will play at 60-frames per second. Images will still have high definition and superb color depth, even when moving at fast speeds on a huge screen. Although there is an audio port to add external speakers, the 2, built-in 10-watt speakers supply clear, high-quality audio.
When watching in Eco-mode, any fan-noise is reduced to virtual silence. In other modes, it can be heard but it is certainly not disruptive unless you are sat right next to the projector.
The Epson projector can easily and beautifully displays all of your favorite content with an exceptional level of brightness and accuracy, in any conditions.
2. BenQ HT2050A 1080P DLP Home Theater Projector
BenQ is the highest-selling projector worldwide that adopts DLP projection. This is the same technology that 90% of cinemas and 100% of iMax theaters employ to give the most color accuracy and sharpest images possible.
This model has a short throw, enabling it to project a 100" screen from a distance of just 8-feet. Possible projection images are as small as 50" up to a whopping 300". The unit can be ceiling mounted or placed on a table, and as it features keystone correction, it doesn't have to be directly in front. It features both vertical and horizontal correction, allowing it to throw a perfect image from multiple indirect angles.
It possesses a high lumen count of 2200, and when this is combined with a high color ratio of 15000:1, it is easy to understand how such accurate depths of color are achieved. Color accuracy can be altered depending on what you are using the projector for, There are two, 6-color wheels that highlight brilliant colors or brilliant text. The latter being ideal for PowerPoint presentations.
The BenQ employs DLP technology with 1920 x 1080p HDTV resolution to produce sharper, crisper images. Even when gaming, a 60Hz refresh rate ensures smooth, responsive play with low input lag.
The projector has HDMI and USB ports for easy connectivity from all devices including smartphones, tablets, and Macs. It supports 3D-imagery from a compatible 3D Blu-ray player when wearing the silly glasses.
With 2 built-in 10-watt speakers, audio quality is great and fan noise at the bare minimum, the BenQ projector offers the full cinema experience in the comfort of your home.
3. Optoma HD243X 1080p Projector
If you're on the hunt for a projector that is equally competent at movie viewing, gaming, and sports, whether you are in or outdoors, then look no further.
The Optoma HD243X is the perfect model for large venues as it projects an image up to 300" and offers high sound quality from the built-in speakers.
It can be paired with a PC, Blu-ray player, or console to provide a superb cinematic experience in your home. Connectivity is simple with HDMI, VGA, and USB ports. It is compatible with both iPhone and Android devices and requires a small adaptor to pair with an iMac.
DLP,(Digital Light Processing) technology provides increased projection with good pixel structure, ensuring no LAG or color degradation when gaming.
Full HD 1080 resolution combined with 3000-lumens and 24000:1 contrast ratio, ensure the Optoma delivers perfect quality, bright imagery for gaming, sports, and movies.
1080p guarantees sharp images without down-scaling or compression, resulting in clear and well-defined pictures with a fast response time.
The projector appears to remain incredibly cool, even during prolonged use. This gives the quiet fans little call to arms, and can rarely be heard. When they do run it is at a very quiet 19-25 decibels. There is an audible high-pitched sound as the projector powers up, but that is very short-lived.
This is an impressive Full HD projector, that is super bright, and simple to install. It can virtually be plugged and played straight from the box. When paired with a compatible device, it is possible to screen 3D movie nights.
4. Anker Nebula Capsule Projector
The award-winning Nebula Capsule from Anker is about as portable as a projector can get; it is the same size as a can of soda.
It has DLP technology, with Advanced IntelliBright algorithms to ensure incredible brightness whichever room of the house you might be in. The 100 ANSI-lumen range projects a brilliant crisp image onto any smooth surface with its 40ft throw. Imagine lying in bed and watching your favorite movie on the ceiling, does it get much better than that?
The projector can also be used as a stand-alone music device, one single charge gives enough power for up to 30-hours of music. The 360-degree speaker supplies great-quality sound to every corner of the room.
If you are watching the screen, the power will last for at least 4-hours before it will need to be recharged.
The projector has wifi connectivity and runs on Android 7.1. This enables the user to watch the latest streaming and media apps such as YouTube and Netflix, via Bluetooth, Miracast, or Airplay. Download the Nebula app onto your smartphone and you won't need the remote for total control. Camping in a field? No worries, there are HDMI and USB ports available for areas where there is no wifi signal.
It is possible to screen images of up to 100” anywhere in the home or outdoors, but more defined images with higher clarity are produced when the light is dimmed.
This is a brilliant little projector to carry anywhere with you. It has keystone correction, manually adjustable focus, and 30000-hours of lamp life. It runs virtually silently, you wouldn't even know it was there.
5. YABER Native 1080P Projector
The Yaber projector has put noise reduction high on its list of priorities and designed a machine with brilliant noise reduction technology. The advanced cooling system has intelligent temperature control that senses when the light source heats up. This initiates the 3-fans to alter their speed accordingly. Some machines have a loud buzz as fans switch on, with this projector the slight speed change is silent and causes no disturbance.
With an impressive 6500-lumens and a 7000:1 contrast ration, you can expect sharp, detailed, and bright images of HD and 4K content. The high-refraction, 6-layer glass lens provides superb clarity enabling first-class color reproduction. The precision and accuracy of the color standards are unrivaled.
Multiple ports provide easy connection with various interfaces including TV box, Fire Stick, ChromeCast, Play Station and X-Box, and all smartphones. There are HDMI, USB, VGA, and AV ports for fast connection with wide compatibility for multiple devices.
Most projectors need to be physically moved to alter the projection size, not this one. There is a motorized X/Y Zoom button that you can operate via the remote. This allows the user to reduce the projection size at the touch of a button. This might be useful when you consider it can project anywhere between 45” and 300”.
Built-in speakers provide 5-watts each of Hi-Fi audio. There is a focus ring and manual keystone correction that permits the unit to project perfect images even when it isn't directly aligned with the screen.
This 1920 x 1080 resolution projector is an impressive piece of kit that streams TV, allows high-quality gaming, and shows movies in superb depths of color, whether you're indoors or sat out on the deck.
What to Look for in a Quiet Projector
There are multiple factors worthy of consideration when choosing the ideal projector for your requirements. Let's explore these factors in more detail.
Types of Quiet Projectors
DLP – Dual Light Projector
Utilizes a digital micromirror device that turns towards and away from the direction of the lens. This combines with a rotating color wheel to project images onto a screen.
This is one of the most popular styles but can suffer slight color depth and interference issues.
3 LCD – Liquid Crystal Display
Utilizes 3 panels and splits white light from a lamp into an RGB color scheme using a dichroic filter and reflector mechanism.
This provides superior color quality but slightly inferior contrast properties when compared with DLP projectors.
LcoS – Liquid Crystal on Silicone
This is a hybrid of the DLP and 3-LCD systems and utilizes the best parts of each. Tilted mirrors reflect light away from and towards the lens whilst LCD projection uses liquid crystals on glass panels to regulate the passage of light.
This system provides the highest resolution, contrast, and color solutions. However, it is the most expensive.
Projectors need a light source and any light creates heat. In electrical devices, fans are used to keep the mechanisms cool. Fans also create unwanted noise.
Another unwanted noise is possible from the poor acoustic quality of speakers creating second-rate audio.
Consider projectors with quiet running fans that have lower decibel ratings.
Shown as two numbers, resolution is the measurement of width and height of the number of pixels in an image. Each pixel is 1 individual dot; the more pixels that a projector fits into space, the higher the resolution.
- Full HD (1920 x1080)
- 2K (2560 x 1440)
- 4K (3840 x 2160)
- XGA (1024 x 768)
Projectors with high resolution provide the clearest and crispest images.
Color Accuracy, Saturation, Gamut, and Reproduction
Accuracy- How accurate colors are represented and measured by 1 of 3 scales, RGB, sRGB, or NTSC. The accuracy rating of a projector is shown as a percentage with a higher number providing greater accuracy.
Projectors with high color accuracy scores are ideally suited to home theaters; images won't look washed out.
Saturation – The vibrancy and brightness of an image. Beware as an over-saturated image might look fake and unnatural.
Gamut – The range of possible project-able colors. The higher the gamut rating ensures the viewer will instantly identify the images.
Reproduction – The method used to ensure colors are reproduced on the big screen exactly as they would be seen in reality.
This is the standard measurement for brightness. Variable lumens counts are required in rooms where ambient light differs, how big the screen is, and what you will be projecting.
In rooms with no natural light such as basements, 1300lm is sufficient.
In rooms with some ambient light or blinds at the windows, 1500 -3000lm
In very bright rooms such as open-plan offices, 4000lm+ is recommended.
As projectors are portable, we suggest a higher lumens output meaning you will be covered for all eventualities.
Essentially the reflection of light from all black and white images.
It is the numerical way of showing the comparison between the brightest white and the deepest black.
A contrast ratio of 1500:1 means that the white is 1500 times brighter than the black.
Compared with a great lumens rating, a high contrast ratio results in better picture clarity.
1500:1 is considered a good rating, anything 2000:1 and upwards is excellent.
Projectors have many ways to connect to external devices to operate them. All models feature display and HDMI ports, others will have USB ports. This makes it easier to connect speakers, a mouse, or a laptop.
The latest models offer Bluetooth connectivity, this is a desirable feature to enable wireless connection to a laptop or smartphone.
The minimum distance that the projector should be from the screen to project the highest-quality image. It is measured by dividing the throw distance by the image width.
Short throw projectors are suited to restricted spaces.
Long-throw projectors have high ratios making them compatible with large venues and big audiences.
You must consider room size to ensure sufficient spacing between the projector and the screening surface.
Self-explanatory, the size of the image that you need to project. Projectors will show their smallest and largest parameters, with some machines capable of variances of 50-300”.
Projectors rely on a powerful bulb to supply enough light to project images. Each bulb has a life-expectancy, usually given in hours. The length of time between bulb replacement will depend upon how frequently the projector is used, the power setting, and the brightness.
Certain models are suited to table positioning, whilst others will need to be wall or ceiling mounted.
Other Features of Quiet Projectors
Some projectors have speakers built into them, which is a great cost-cutting feature. Whilst sound quality will be good, it won't measure up to a well-placed audio system. However, in a small space and used for presentations, etc., it is more than sufficient.
Lens shift and keystone correction are useful features that enable the user to either manually or digitally adjust the lens to the optimum angle for better picture quality. This is ideal when it's not possible to put the projector in an exact position in front of the screen. Some projectors have fobs to perform this task remotely.
3-D support is available on high-end projectors. With the use of 3-D specs, the audience can watch 3-D movies in perfect clarity.
A popular feature of the projector is the ability to use it in various places with little stress. It can be carried from the workplace, to the home, and even into the garden for an outdoor movie night.
Most machines are lightweight and compact enough to do this with ease.
Reasons for Using a Projector
Experience the latest movies at home on a screen as big as a movie theater. No charge to get in, no annoying strangers, and no nuisance noise. Better still, you can pause the movie when it's time for a bathroom break.
Some projectors hook up to all of the latest TV streaming channels or connect to apps on iPhone or Android smartphones.
Imagine smooth, uninterrupted gameplay with a projector that has high refresh rates. This is possible and on a screen several times larger than any monitor.
In large or small venues, a projector is an ideal apparatus to show a PowerPoint presentation, chart, or series of images to a group of people.
Projectors are usually less expensive than the latest large screen TVs, they are portable, and can be used in and outdoors.
Silent projectors are somewhat difficult to find, however, quiet projectors that rely on sound-reducing technology are more readily available.
Most of the quiet projectors featured in our reviews have 'soft' running fans and cooling systems in place to keep noise to a minimum.
Most projectors can be ceiling mounted or have throwing distances where they are out of the hearing distance of the audience.
Once installed, invite everyone around and enjoy the full big-screen experience at home, on the big screen.