Quiet Projectors: Create the Perfect Home Theater!

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

epson home cinema projector
EPSON
3,000 Lumens
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benq home theater projector
BenQ
2,200 Lumens
CHECK PRICE
optoma projector
OPTOMA
3,300 Lumens
CHECK PRICE

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

quiet home theater 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.

Noise Output

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.

Resolution

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.

For example:

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.

Lumens

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.

Contrast Ratio

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.

Connectivity

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.

Throw Distance

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.

Screen Size

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”.

Lamp Hours

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.

Placement

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.

Portability

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

Home theatre

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.

Gaming

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.

Presentations

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.

Final Thoughts

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.

Quietest Blenders of 2020: Home and Commercially!

Blenders are exceptionally versatile pieces of kitchen equipment. They're capable of performing multiple task; From blending a healthy smoothie to pureeing baby food.

While blenders are efficient at their task, they do so in a manner that's noisy. Very noisy.

If you own a cafe or restaurant, the nuisance noise could be enough to drive regular customers away. The same applies at home, most blenders are loud enough to wake sleeping house-mates.

Both the home-kitchen and commercial applications can benefit from a quiet blender. Let's explore blenders that are capable of pulverizing with the best, albeit quietly.

The Quiet Blenders

Vita-Mix Blender
VITAMIX
48 oz
CHECK PRICE
Jamba Appliances Blender
JAMBA APPLIANCES
20/32 oz
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Hamilton Beach Blender
HAMILTON BEACH
32 oz
CHECK PRICE

1. Vitamix Quiet One Blender 

The Vitamix, The Quiet One blender is designed with restaurants, bars, and cafes in mind. However, it shouldn't solely be considered for commercial use as it's an impressive blender that's perfect for the home.

It is operated via a series of light-touch, low-profile buttons and has a digital screen that displays settings.

It is a beverage blender that easily pulverizes soft to the most fibrous fruits and vegetables to make smoothies, frappes, and frozen drinks, in record time.

It utilizes 6 pre-programmed buttons, the lowest setting is capable of preparing 'thin' juice drinks in 15-seconds, whereas, on number-6, it takes just 30-seconds to mix the perfect smoothie, and that includes crushing the ice cubes. There are 34-optimized programs along with 93-variable speeds to ensure perfect consistency.

The Advance Blade container is made from Tritan – a BPA-free polymer renowned for its excellent durability and sound reduction properties.

It has a large 48oz capacity but other smaller Vitamix containers are also compatible with the centering pad. It has an ergonomic pitcher-style design to assist easy-pour and to prevent unnecessary dripping. Precise measurement markings ensure fool-proof recipe results.

The most impressive feature of the blender has to be the noise or lack thereof. With multiple technologies employed to keep sound at a bare minimum, it's possible to have a regular-level conversation whilst stood alongside the Vitamix in full-operational mode.

A patented air management system, powerful 3-peak output motor, and an integrated sound-reducing pad are some of the damping techniques that make this the quietest blender around. The most visual sound-reducing aid is the enclosure that seals around the blender container. It is easy to use, via a twist and lock mechanism, and simple to clean.

With a motor-life time, to tell you how many hours or cycles the blender has performed, and a simple over-heating prevention system, this powerful, made in America blender would complement the busiest kitchen environments. The employees and customers need never know it's there.

Just one more word. Excellent.

2. Jamba Appliances Quiet Shield Blender

If you've ever experienced a refreshing drink at Jamba Juice and wanted to replicate the taste at home, the lifestyle brand has made that possible. Jamba has released a range of kitchen blenders for use at home to encourage more healthy and active life choices.

With an all-metal coupling gear and a powerful 1.6HP motor, the blender makes light work of vegetables and fruit, for smoothies and shakes, and kinds of butter, sauces, and soups.

The stainless steel blade cut from 1-piece of metal is incredibly sharp and powers through tough vegetables and ice cubes with ease. With a simple twist of the power dial for variable speed or a push for the pulse function, you can blend, mix, crush, grind, or puree various ingredients.

It is supplied with 2-blender containers. The first is made from a thick, BPA-free polymer that looks and behaves like glass, with the exception that it is shatter-proof. It has clear measurement markings to help with multiple recipes. The second container is a single serving travel beaker, with a handy, locking flip lid, and drinking spout. Lock it into position on the blender plate loaded with healthy ingredients in the morning. Go and brush your teeth, upon your return you will have a delicious smoothie to grab and go.

The noise-dampening enclosure greatly reduces sound, by approximately 7dB. Even when crushing ice cubes it is possible to have a conversation next to the machine with no need for raised voices. The shield can be removed if you're home alone and don't mind a little noise. Every part of the blender that is removable is dishwasher safe for easy cleanup. If you prefer not to, half fill the blender with warm, soapy water and give it a 30-second blitz. Once thoroughly dried you will have a hygienically clean container.

With an 18" profile, the Jamba blender can comfortably fit beneath kitchen cabinets. The contemporary polished stainless steel power unit will enhance any setting. The 5-year limited warranty offers plenty of peace of mind, and if it is peace that you desire, this sound-reducing quiet blender should be given serious consideration.

3. Hamilton Beach Professional Quiet Shield Blender

The Hamilton Beach blender is a powerful model; it has a 2.0HP, 1500w motor, that when combined with hardened stainless steel blades, fears nothing. Frozen fruits and ice cubes take seconds to grind to make the most refreshing summer smoothies, juices, and frappes.

It is capable of much more than blending; it chops, grinds to any texture, and can puree to your chosen consistency. This makes it the perfect blender for small portions of healthy food for weaning babies. With its large 32oz capacity, there is copious space for several portions.

Soups and sauces mix to an even consistency with the help of the included tamper.

The blender has a noise damping enclosure. It simply clicks into place over the top of the blender and vastly reduces the sound emitted. The kitchen immediately becomes a more peaceful and relaxed environment, even during tough vegetable chopping or ice crushing duties.

Operating the blender couldn't be easier. There are no awkward settings to be concerned about, instead, blending speed is controlled to perfection via a dial. With 3000-18000rpm, ingredients are mixed at up to an eye-watering 105mph.

It's possible to switch the power on, choose 1 of the 4-pre-programmed settings, choose the speed, and walk away. The pitcher sits securely within the base unit and won't jump about. If all you require is a quick blitz, there is a pulse function that can be used across the entire speed range. This gives the user total control over the texture of the finished product.

The blender is simplicity itself, 1-touch convenience and effortless control. With an easy-clean setting and dishwasher safe removable parts, this is an excellent choice for a family, a truly versatile blender.

4. Blendtec Professional Blender

You might recognize Blendtec as one of the big names within the blending industry. We have reviewed the Vitamix equivalent model, let's see how this holds up against it.

Firstly, the promise of quiet blending is adhered to. The large, sturdy enclosure snaps into place and immediately dampens any noise to a barely audible whirr. Similarly, it clips off easily to enable fast and easy cleanup. That applies to all of the removable parts, they are all top-rack dishwasher safe, equally, they are easy to clean by hand. The self-cleaning cycle requires 2 drops of detergent and some water to return the blending jug to new.

The jug itself has unique design; it is 5-sided. This prevents any ingredients from settling on the sidewalls as everything is automatically pulled towards the blade. It negates the need for a tamping tool. The blade also differs from any that we have seen thus far, it has blunt ends, not sharp blades. Whilst this may seem curious, it extends their service-life enormously as they are 80% thicker and up to 20X stronger than similar brands.

They are forged from the toughest steel and efficiently pulverize even the toughest ingredients in a few seconds. They also enable very effective cleaning without the fear of accident or injury.

This is an exceptionally versatile blender that many professional settings wouldn't be without. Along with the expected actions of a blender, you can add soup-making(add cold ingredients, friction, and blending combine to make a hot soup) or ice-cream, frozen yogurt, and sorbets for tasty desserts. Speaking of desserts, the blender is capable of mixing beautifully smooth batters for crepes, pancakes, and waffles. It can even knead dough to perfection.

The smooth interface provides a 1-touch operation. With 11-speeds and a touch slider, control is effortless. There are multiple preprogrammed cycles and countdown is shown on an LCD screen to always keep you in control.

With a large 90oz, BPA-free container that has a 36oz blending capacity, this is a solidly made, modern, and reliable blender.

The recently extended 10-year warranty is a bonus too. It's indicative of a company that stands behind their products.

5. Optimum Vacuum Blender

The Optimum Vortex blender employs Vacuum technology to remove all of the air from the jug before the blending process begins. This reduces oxidation of the ingredients and almost entirely eliminates the frothy foam that often settles at the top of a healthy smoothie.

It also serves to prolong the life of the drink while preserving freshness, nutrients, and flavor, for up to 72-hours. For people with a busy lifestyle this is the blender for preparing and refrigerating a healthy drink for later.

It has a 2238w motor that supplies exceptional strength and power, particularly when combined with the set of 6-stainless steel blades. Mixing, pureeing, and blending is a breeze, and with the use of the pulse function, precise chopping and dicing are easily achieved.

The metal gear-drive socket is driven by a powerful motor. The extraordinary speeds of the blade create friction heat that can turn vegetables into hot soup within a few minutes. Equally, in the correct setting, the same speed can turn frozen ingredients into ice creams and sorbets in seconds. They rotate at excessive speeds, giving the ice no chance to melt.

The Optimum Vortex is capable of mixing both wet and dry ingredients in the large 2-liter, BPA-free Tritan jug. Although the blender has no designated noise-reduction enclosure, the motor runs smoothly and has added insulation to make it naturally quieter than many similar models.

There are 15 pre-programmed settings on an easy to operate control panel. With auto-blend settings in 35, 60 and 90-second increments, the user doesn't need to stand with their finger on a button throughout the operation.

This contemporary-styled machine was designed to exacting Australian standards and remains their best-selling blender. With a 10-year motor, and 5-year parts and labor guarantee, this solidly built, reliable could be a staple part of a busy professional environment or a family kitchen for several years.

What to Look for in a Quiet Blender

silent blender

Features and specifications can vary greatly across the many blender brands. Sadly, most brands see 'quiet' as an added premium and therefore expect increased costs.

Noise Levels

As obvious as it may seem, the major factor when looking to purchase a quiet blender should be the noise it generates. Most manufacturers won't give you a measurement in decibels, but with a little investigative work, you are bound to find a YouTube video and can listen for yourself.

Many quiet blenders feature a smart enclosure. This is usually a transparent, solid plastic case that sits over the blending jug and effectively dampens any noise emitted to a very acceptable level.

Manufacturers add insulation material such as rubber to key parts of the blender to both dampen and absorb motor sounds.

Motor Power

The size and power of the motor define the blender's ability to work effectively. Powerful motors and high-quality blades combine to produce high torque that enables the toughest foods to be chopped without putting the motor under unnecessary duress.

Blade Quality and Speed

The blade speed is controlled by the gear drive system and the motor. Greater speed or RPM, enables faster and more efficient blending.

Models with increased power output can create enough heat via friction, to transform previously raw ingredients into a delicious hot soup. Similarly they can make excellent frozen desserts such as ice creams and sorbets.

Blades should be made of the highest-quality stainless steel for strength, durability, and rust-resistant properties. Not all blades are sharp, see the Blendtec model for example, but those that are should be regularly maintained so as not to impede performance.

Size

Beware, not all blenders will fit beneath standard kitchen cabinets. Check the dimensions of your chosen blender to ensure it will.

The capacity of the blender jug also varies between models, consider this if you need to blend a smoothie for each day, or prepare soup for the family.

Warranty

'Limited', the word that features in many warranties and means you should take a look at the small print to see what is covered.

Most often, companies that offer very long warranties of 5+ years on electrical appliances, really believe in their product and aren't afraid to back it.

Further Ways Reduce Noise Levels of a Blender

quiet blender

The most powerful blenders emit exceptionally high amounts of noise, some operate at 93dB. That is equivalent to the noise the gardener hears whilst pushing a power mower.

There are measures worth attempting if you can no longer bear the noise.

Move the blender as far away from a wall as possible. All sound waves are looking for a solid surface to bounce off and reflect into the room. Make their journey more difficult.

Double-folding a dishtowel beneath the blender will help to absorb much of the airborne noise that's created.

How Quiet Blenders are Constructed

If you've stuck with us until this point, you will have realized that a designated 'quiet' blender comes at a premium price. If you're wondering about the reason for the price hike, it helps to understand the technologies and equipment involved in noise reduction.

Energy Star Design

Powerful motors that achieve Energy Star design standards operate with less friction. Friction creates noise, so not only is sound-reduced, but the blender also becomes more energy-efficient.

Insulation

State of the art insulation material is used to line the sound chamber within the base unit. It creates a lining that absorbs excessive noise.

Jar Construction

Recent years have seen the introduction of noise-reduction polymers as the material of choice for constructing blending jars.

They are shatter-proof materials that behave like glass but their thick construction prevents sound transmission. When combined with a tight-fitting seal, any sound created inside the jar, remains inside the jar.

Container-in-Container Design

This is the option of the most elite, and dare I say most expensive brands. By employing a sound enclosure or shield that surrounds the blending jug, and escaped sound waves are effectively trapped inside by creating dead-space. This is similar to how double or triple-paned windows work.

Increased costs arrive when manufacturers use a combination, if not all of these techniques to greatly reduce sound levels of a quiet blender.

Final thoughts

Whether you own a health club, work in the food-service industry, or want an appliance for your home, there are many benefits in owning a quiet blender.

Any piece of kitchen equipment that doesn't annoy staff, customers, or your household is surely worthy of investment.

Any multi-functional machine that can reduce food-preparation and cleanup time whilst being energy-efficient gets a big thumbs up. Particularly when we can stand and chat right next to them.

Quietest Kettle of 2020: Boil in Silence!

The noisiest kettles boil at up to 95dB, which is equivalent to the noise emitted by an electric drill.

If you're weary of whistles, clicks, and clangs from your stove-top kettle, maybe the time has come to consider upgrading to a quiet electric kettle.

You might be surprised to learn that many models include multiple noise-reducing features that allow your morning coffee or tea to be enjoyed in virtual tranquility.

The Quiet Kettles

Remington Russell Hobbs Retro Electric Kettle
REMINGTON SOLAR
CHECK PRICE

Fellow Stagg EKG, Electric Pour-over Kettle

Don't be fooled into thinking that the bold, minimalist design of this matte black kettle comes at the expense of performance and functionality; it most certainly doesn't.

With the ability to make coffee or tea like a Barista, it's not surprising that the Stagg EKG is often used in professional competition.

The trick to perfecting a brew lies in the temperature of the water. With its variable temperature dial that adjusts from 135 – 212 degrees Fahrenheit you have complete control. The LCD screen in the base displays the desired temperature and an illuminated element real-time temperature as it increases.

Once the required temperature is reached, it can be held TO THE DEGREE for 60-minutes, adding energy-efficient to the long list of positive features.

If Celsius is your preferred metric, you can use the toggle on the underside of the base to switch from Fahrenheit.

There is an integrated stopwatch, the perfect tool to alert you when optimum brewing time is achieved. This is referred to as extraction time and results in the fullest-tasting coffee possible when a series of criteria are met; including water temperature and rest time.

The counter-balanced design of the handle guarantees a steady, comfortable pour, and the fluted tip of the spout prevents any drips. Pouring is effortless and accurate, a big positive when preparing both tea and coffee.

The 1200w of power from the heating element provides a gentle boil with very low-level noise output. The long, slim-line spout, and tight-fitting lid help to capture sound inside the kettle.

This kettle is a thing of beauty that would take pride of place in most kitchens. If the matte black finish isn't your style, it is also available in polished stainless steel, white, and copper. All are equally handsome, efficient, and quiet.

Remington Russell Hobbs Retro Electric Kettle

With its retro style and cream accented chrome colorway, the Remington kettle enhances any kitchen setting.

The delightfully curved body holds a large 1.7-liter capacity, with a rear-facing water gauge to enable the user accurate measurement. For a less precise method of estimating quantity, the interior of the kettle features 1,2, and 3-cup markings that are clearly visible from overhead.

The tea connoisseurs amongst you will know that each variety shouldn't necessarily be made with boiling water. For instance, green tea's optimum temperature is 150-180 F and black tea is 180-212 F. This is where this kettle comes into its own.

The front of the kettle houses an attractive gauge with a needle showing the actual temperature of the water throughout the boiling process. The markings are displayed in both Celsius and Fahrenheit.

The kettle is surprisingly lightweight considering its substantial design. It is only 0.9kg and has an ergonomic handle that makes transporting the kettle both safe and comfortable.

The handle features stay-cool technology that prevents it from heating during use. Other safety features include hidden cord storage and a swivel base. This enables the user to easily reach and transfer the kettle.

A water filter sits just behind the spout and can be easily removed for cleaning. It effectively prevents mineral build-up inside the kettle and prevents unwanted sediment in your beverages. The spout is designed to pour in a single, continuous stream that eliminates drips.

The kettle boils softly and has no annoying clicks, the power button is rubberized and gently switches off automatically. This is an elegant kettle that will cause little disturbance whilst making the perfect cup of tea.

Bodum Melior Gooseneck Electric Kettle

This Bodum kettle doesn't have a traditional pouring spout, instead, it has an elongated, slender Gooseneck spout. To say it is eye-catching is an understatement.

Designed for the precision pouring of water onto French Presses or Pour Over Coffee Makers, it enables maximum control at all times.

Water needs to be boiled to perfection before being poured over coffee beans to extract all of their natural oils. This chic kettle achieves that with ease, and, as such, will improve perfect coffee brewing techniques resulting in rich-tasting, freshly brewed coffee.

It is made from 304, 18/10 stainless steel for durability, and has a conical body to make cleaning easy. Both of the featured handles are made from sustainable European cork, which contrasts perfectly against the matte silver or black of the kettle. Cork is not only comfortable to hold but also remains cool.

Inside the kettle is a BPA-free plastic nozzle, although the instructions don't make it clear, this isn't part of the packaging and should be left in situ. It is a safety cover that prevents the overflow pipe from leaking. It is harmless providing you never fill the kettle past the maximum fill line.

Boiling is rapid, it takes around 3-minutes to complete, much faster than a stovetop kettle. An indicator light combines with soft automatic shut-off when the temperature is reached.

These factors contribute to quiet operation, along with the narrow spout and tight-fitting lid that contain sound within the kettle. The attractive cork handles also add a small amount of sound absorption.

COMFEE' Electric Kettle

Comfee has designed a kettle with multiple noise-reduction features but didn't stop there. They also considered design, function, and safety in equal measure.

It has a double-wall construction; the interior is 304-grade stainless steel and the exterior is BPA-free plastic with a soundproof coating.

There is a vacuum between the 2-layers that prevents sound from traveling and reduces the decibel level of the boiling kettle to a meager 59dB, equivalent to a refrigerator.

Most kettles boil above 70dB, which ranges from a vacuum cleaner or louder. Both the power button and the open-lid button are soft-touch, resulting in minimal noise.

Double-wall construct assists energy-efficiency; boiled water will stay hotter for longer, enabling the next use to take less time. It also entraps the heat keeping the handle and body cool, safer for children, or partially-sighted people who accidentally come into contact with it.

It utilizes 1500w of power to supply a fast boil, cold to boiling takes less than 4-minutes. Strix thermostat technology is employed for accurate boiling whilst providing auto-shutoff, and boil-dry protection.

The kettle's interior is solely made from stainless steel, there are no plastic parts.

There is a removable filter to ensure the best quality water, helping to minimize mineral deposits that make it into your drinks. There is a wide spout if you prefer to fill a kettle that way, otherwise, 1-touch of button lifts the lid to make filling a breeze.

The base swivels through 360-degrees and has a cord storage area underneath.

This is a thoughtfully-designed kettle that guarantees not to disturb the peace. If soft baby pink isn't your thing, fear not, it is available in several pastel shades or black to complement any kitchen layout.

COSORI Electric Gooseneck Kettle

If you're looking for an electric kettle that provides the user maximum control over temperature and precision pouring, the Cosori is worthy of serious consideration.

It is a cordless kettle that sits securely on a base with multiple soft-touch buttons. Each is a pre-set program, there are 5, designed to boil water to the exact recommended temperature for various hot drinks.

All of the guesswork is removed as every button is marked, for instance, Oolong – 195f. and Coffee – 205f.

The hold temperature button will keep water to your desired temperature for up to 60-minutes. You need never burn tea leaves or coffee again.

When reviewing quiet kettles, you wouldn't expect to see one that emits a beep, yet this one does just that. Once the set temperature has been reached, 3-beeps will sound to alert the user. These are 'soft' beeps and shouldn't cause great consternation, however, the audible sounds can be switched off, leaving the blue light system to inform of readiness.

If you are looking for a kettle to complement your Pour-Over Coffee system, the Gooseneck spout was designed with this in mind. The large, stay-cool handle provides the exact amount of counter-balance required to ensure a consistent water stream. Perfectly brewed coffee is easily achievable when the water is poured at exactly the right temperature, in the perfect style. That is what you will get from this kettle.

It is constructed from stainless steel, all of the interior, including the lid and spout, feature no plastic whatsoever, and as a result your drinks will taste pure with no 'plasticky' after-taste. Food-grade stainless steel contains no harmful chemicals, is rust-resistant, durable, and very easy to clean.

Quiet boiling is aided by the narrow spout and secure-fitting lid. 1200W of power supplies a full kettle from cold to boil in 3-5-minutes.

The Cosori kettle is user-friendly, provides excellent functionality and flexibility, and is very easy on the eye.

What to Look for in a Quiet Kettle

kettle pour over

Quiet kettles provide the same functionality as regular kettles; the distinction is the methods employed to combat any noise nuisance.

We have compiled some useful hints to help on your journey to peaceful brewing.

Noise

The variant in the range of noise output between kettles can be quite significant. Designated 'quiet' or 'silent' kettles are available, usually at a premium.

They use a combination of methods including soundproof coatings, double-wall construction, and tight-fitting lids. Glass kettles with smooth surfaces offer insulation against unwanted noise.

Higher wattage often equates to a louder boil, but not always. Investing in a rapid-boil kettle is not only energy-efficient, but any noise it creates is over in less than a few minutes.

Capacity

Kettles with capacities of less than a liter only hold enough water for 2 or 3 drinks at a time, which is essentially pointless for a large family.

Large capacity kettles often come equip with a 'keep warm' feature. This allows water to be held at your desired temperature for up to an hour.

Design

Electric kettles can come in 2-designs: jug, or dome.

The dome-style has the handle swooping across the top making it quite awkward to fill. This closely resembles traditional stovetop kettles.

Our featured kettles are all jug style though some have regular spouts whilst others rely on the precision-pouring of the Gooseneck spout.

This elongated, slender neck is an essential piece of equipment if you employ the pour-over technique.

Constructed of stainless steel, plastic, and toughened glass, kettles come in a variety of finishes and colors. There will always be a model to complement or contrast with your kitchen décor.

Safety

Any feature that increases the safety aspect of boiling water is a bonus.

Most kettles have a cool-touch method. In essence, it's some form of engineering that keeps the handle and lid at a temperature comfortable enough to hold and transfer.

Many cordless kettles have a 360-degree swivel base. This enables the user to comfortably pick up the kettle from any angle.

Short power cords prevent it from being accidentally pulled across a counter. Hidden cord storage is also useful.

LED lights that illuminate when the kettle is in use. If you are lucky enough to have found a near-silent model, it won't always be obvious.

Variable Temperature Gauges

Coffee, tea, and various other hot beverages taste their best at differing temperatures. Some kettles have pre-programmed settings whilst others have a dial to enable the user to set their desired temperature to within a degree of accuracy.

Water Level Indicator

electric kettle water level

Not all kettles have an exterior gauge that shows how full the kettle is, some rely on interior measurement. This might be fine for some, but prove awkward for other users.

Weight

There is quite a difference between the weight of kettles, with metal tending to be the heaviest. With each millimeter of water adding an extra gram of overall weight, this might be a consideration for less able-bodied folk.

Filters

Hard water and total-dissolved solids (TDS) can lead to mineral build up and can leave unwanted deposits in your drinks. They can also negatively affect the taste when they come into contact with the compounds of coffee or tea.

Most filters remove easily and are simple to clean and replace.

Boil-dry prevention

The best electric kettles are equipped with the ability to automatically switch off when it senses there is no water remaining.

Energy Efficient

Features such as rapid-boil, one-cup or minimal fill, and eco-friendly usually reduce the amount of energy a kettle uses to boil.

If you're a regular tea or coffee drinker this could have a noticeable reduction in your annual energy consumption.

How Does a Cordless Kettle Work?

Electric kettles are powered by a heating element. This method of heating is similar to how an electric range works.

The heating element is a resistor, or a material that resists the flow of electricity. Meaning when electricity flows through it, it transforms it into heat. The heat can then boil the water.

By increasing the wattage of the heating element, you effectively decrease the boil-time.

The kettle itself is cordless and can be moved independently of the base, which remains close to the power outlet.

Final thoughts

Mechanically boiling water to 158f. and above, is the most effective way of purifying drinking water, thus killing 99.99999% of bacteria and viruses.

Many kitchen appliances have the issue of being loud. However, electric kettles have the ability to be near silent in operation and allow you to brew a fresh cup of coffee or tea at all hours of the day.

The ability to control the temperature of water at the touch of a button can be the difference between a perfect or average cup of tea – or coffee.

Quietest Bike Trainer of 2020: Cycle in Silence!

Whether you are a hobby cyclist, a tri-athlete, or anywhere in between, you probably have a desire to ride year-round. Sadly, some situations simply cannot be avoided and force you and your bike indoors.

If outdoor conditions aren't favorable, a bike trainer is the ideal piece of equipment to enable you to ride your bike indoors, while it remains stationary.

However, as with most mechanical products, bike trainers emit noise. If you're wearing headphones as you ride this will be of no concern to you.

However, grinding, humming, and whirring noises can be very annoying and off-putting to other members of your household and neighbors.

Different styles of trainers emit different noise levels due to their operating mechanisms; some are virtually silent. Let's explore some of the quietest bike trainers available.

The Quietest Bike Trainers

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1. Tacx Neo Smart Direct Driver Trainer

When owning a bicycle trainer that operates quietly is a necessity, the Tacx Neo Smart Trainer is worthy of some serious consideration. With many impressive features, operational silence is paramount.

Aesthetically, this machine is pleasing. It looks powerful, maybe the satin black body, smooth lines, and solid build attribute to this. It is relatively compact and folds down, which makes for easier storage in places where space is at a premium.

Magnetic resistance is supplied via 32-magnets that rotate around 30-coils. This enables the motor to create 2000w of output and ensures minimum power loss whilst supplying maximum torque. It is this power that offers the rider realistic road feel. Even at lower speeds, you will get an accurate simulation of hill climbs.

Direct drive operation is used to maximum effect; with no rear wheel attached, the rider will experience zero slippage. The bike will have more resistance and have a faster, more accurate response time.

Included with the bike trainer is an impressive software package that is compatible with Apple and Android. Hook the system up to a smart screen and choose the course you wish to ride. The technology ensures you feel every vibration and sense each bump in the road, for an ultra-realistic experience. Smart technology analyses your movements, up to 1000 per second, and personally customizes your settings to complement your training regime and to provide greater challenges.

Once connected to your device via Bluetooth you can join with and compete against users from across the world.

This is an exceptionally impressive piece of training equipment with multiple adjustable speeds and powers. Direct drive machines need no calibration and require very little maintenance.

2. Elite Drivo Interactive Trainer

The Elite direct drive trainer provides a smooth and quiet home cycling experience with an additional wireless interactive software package. It has extreme +/-1% power accuracy, but more about that in a moment, let us first look at the trainer itself.

It is a solidly-built machine weighing around 15kg. Assembly is a pretty easy task although, like most home trainers, it isn't supplied with a cassette, you will need to get one. No skewer comes with this setup either.

It has integrated smart technology and comes with an ANT+ stick along with a Lifetime subscription to Elite's E-Training camp. There is also a free month trial of Zwift so you can sample and compare both protocols.

The large 6kg flywheel makes for exceptionally smooth pedaling and ensures that the machine responds quickly and accurately in gradient changes.

Overall this is an impressive direct drive machine that requires no electricity so it can be taken anywhere. It is one of the quietest trainers featured.

It is robust and easy to use. Once the rear wheel is removed and your bike is affixed, pair with the software, then get on your bike and ride!

3. Kinetic by Kurt Rock and Roll Smart 2

If you're new to the world of app-based power training then the Kinetic 2 trainer is a fine place to start.

The trainer comes with Kinetic in Ride 3 pre-installed and allows the rider to connect to multiple training opportunities via apps such as Kinetic fit. Everything needed is supplied with no expensive sensors or add-ons required, you will just need a power outlet, a level floor, and some stamina.

Compatible with Bluetooth Smart and ANT+ connectivity, rider's statistics and metrics are transmitted to a device of their choice. Detailed workout schedule and multiple virtual course options with varying degrees of difficulty are just some of the benefits available.

The app doesn't have any control over the power and fluid resistance of the bike trainer; they are dependant upon pedal speed and gear shift patterns. Speeding up and slowing down varies the amount of resistance with the maximum amount being 1400w at 35mph.

The frame employs a slight rocking motion. Unlike all other brands that find themselves fused in one static position, the Kinetic instead gently rocks from side to side to offer a more realistic ride feel.

The free-moving fluid combined with the 6.25lb flywheel combines to give a smooth and exceptionally quiet ride. The bike trainer is compact and portable, and as it requires no electricity it can be used anywhere, indoors or out.

4. Alpcour Bike Trainer Stand

This magnetic resistance bike trainer from Alpcour has a simplistic design and ease of use at its core. It is made of robust and durable stainless steel, and withstand the toughest regimes and most intense training sessions.

Set up is fast, simple, and requires no tools:

  1. Lock the sturdy stainless steel frame into place
  2. Remove the existing skewer from the rear tire of your bike and replace it with the supplied one.
  3. Secure the bike on the trainer by adjusting the nozzles until a tight grip has been achieved.

Disassembling is even quicker utilizing 2 fast-release clips. With fold-down construction and a sturdy carry bag, the Alpcour trainer stand is ready to take wherever you need it.

When the front tire is settled on the provided wheel riser block, you are good to go.

The frame has a wide stance that is relatively low which adds great balance, stability, and realism to your ride.

Resistance is provided by a small cable controlled meter that mounts on the handlebar. It supplies 6-levels of fixed resistance giving the rider total control over their riding conditions. The settings simulate various road surfaces, hills, and intervals. With a quick touch of the dial, you can adjust the gradient of the incline.

The advanced magnetic resistance system reduces friction on the bike's tires. With no unnecessary wear and tear, you can expect increased longevity from the whole tire, including the tube and tread.

Finally, the issue of noise, or lack of it. With its innovative noise reduction wheel, the Alpcour virtually eliminates any whirring sounds.

5. CycleOps Fluid2 Indoor Trainer

The CycleOps Fluid2 bike trainer has sold more models worldwide than any other brand, and it is easy to see why. At first glance, it is a chunky machine, solidly-built, and sturdy.

The 2-inch tubular steel frame is made from 100% recyclable material that can comfortably hold a combined bike and rider weight of 300lbs.

Adjustable foot pads secure the trainer to give the rider a stable ride even on the most uneven surface. It is compatible with both road and mountain bikes, although we always recommend the use of a training tire. This not only protects your trainer but also your bike tire from any unnecessary wear and tear damage.

The large precision-balanced flywheel is dual purpose; it enables the rider a personalized ride with progressive resistance. Shifting through the gears gives the rider a very accurate simulation of an outdoor ride.

The second purpose of the flywheel is a self-cooling mechanism, it blows a constant stream of cool air across the fluid reservoir. With a steady temperature comes a consistent ride, no matter how far.

Few companies back a fluid resistance bike trainer with a Lifetime Warranty, but Saris does. Their faith in the longevity and reliability of their product should give any purchaser valid reason to invest.

Although this isn't a smart trainer per-say, there are no electronics involved, it is still compatible with many training apps, including Zwift. With the assistance of a smartwatch or similar device and some smooth gear-shifts, you can simulate climbing, speed work, and recovery.

Your legs will know they've had a high-quality training session and your neighbors won't have heard a thing.

What to Look for in a Quiet Bike Trainer

With such a variety of bike trainers available, it is difficult for novice and seasoned cyclists to decide on a model.

A rule of thumb is to use pricing as the initial guideline. Often, but not always, one should expect budget machines to be noisy and more prone to breakage.

Models that cost more often feature more superior noise reduction technology, provide a more realistic ride, and are most durable.

Type

Try and match your trainer with your ability, targets, and fitness regime.

For a realistic experience, we would recommend either fluid or roller machines.

Rollers also help to improve core balance and form, however, they are notoriously difficult for novices to master.

Beginners, in our opinion, would be better served using wind or magnetic resistance bike trainer with added stability.

Stability

The bike stand should be robust and of solid construction. Frames with a wider stance provide more balance and decrease the probability of accident or injury.

Certain models have adjustable feet to ensure they remain level on uneven surfaces.

Bike Attachment

Direct drive bike trainers require the removal of the back wheel and attachment to the frame via the rear drops. They don't rely on tire friction and therefore create no life-shortening wear and tear.

Axle fixture is done with the wheel in place and relies on axle adaptors to keep the bike in place. Some models allow side to side movement via a pivoting attachment.

Always check your bike and tires compatibility with your prospective trainer.

Interaction

zwift heads-up display

High-end bike trainers often use interactive technology with wireless connectivity. This offers an immersive and realistic experience for the rider and an opportunity to connect with and compete against other cyclists.

Dual-band transmission not only allows the app to collect and collate training statistics from the rider but also to plan personalized fitness and training sessions.

Be aware that this will probably incur a monthly subscription charge to a 3rd party fitness app.

Accessories

Cassettes, skewers, safety mats, and fronts blocks are sometimes included with bike trainer packages. They are necessities and may incur additional expenses.

Noise

Often the biggest and most difficult problem for an indoor cyclist to overcome. All bike trainers emit sound caused by vibration, some are exceptionally quieter than others.

Due to their design and functionality, wind resistance trainers tend to be the noisiest, whilst magnetic trainers are quieter. The quietest models of all often rely on fluid resistance.

Different models employ different techniques to combat noise issues, including noise reduction wheels and flywheels that react as cooling fans on fluid chambers. Anything that keeps fluid at equilibrium provides a quieter and smoother ride.

Different Types of Bike Trainers

As we have already alluded to, all bike trainers don't operate in the same manner. There are two main types:

Roller Bike Trainers

As the name suggests, this style of the trainer is a set of metal rollers in a sturdy frame. Mastering its use can take some time as there is nothing but the rider to steady the bike in a vertical position. Initially, it is beneficial to set the rollers up adjacent to something sturdy until you get your balance.

Once perfected, the rider is treated to a realistic riding experience as they will move their body and not sit statically.

To gain any resistance you need to shift through the gears, and roller trainers are only compatible with road and touring tires, not mountain bike tires.

With their simplicity comes an inexpensive price tag.

Mechanical Resistance Bike Trainers

This style of bike trainer is a frame to which you attach your bike via the rear axle.

One of the 3 following mechanisms supplies a form of resistance that prevents free-wheeling and instead replicates regular cycling conditions over various terrains.

Although you won't achieve the rocking motion that a roller trainer gives you don't have to worry about an initial breaking-in period. The bike will be stabilized in a vertical position ready for immediate use.

Flywheel Resistance Trainers

This style provides a very accurate simulation of outdoor cycling as it supplies a smooth ride.

The flywheel is located on the front wheel of the bike and builds momentum as the rider pedals. This creates constant resistance which most effectively mimics uphill riding.

Interactive Trainers

Otherwise known as Smart Trainers, these machines connect wirelessly using ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart protocols to give the rider an interactive indoor cycling experience.

Once connected to a 3rd party app such as Zwift, the app enables riders to compete, ride, and join in group training sessions, all virtually, via an Apple or Android device.

Conditions, terrains, and inclines are all simulated and can be tailored to a cyclist's specific targets.

Of the varieties discussed, roller bike trainers are more affordable but require more space as they are bulky. They are usually noisy with fewer quiet models available.

Mechanical resistance bike trainers vary from budget range through the top end of the market, depending on technicalities, construction, and design. They usually have a smaller footprint with a larger range of quiet models available.

Resistance Levels

Wind resistance and power are most often generated by the rider and gear shifts. Some bike trainers automatically increase the resistance the harder you pedal, others require the rider to manually adjust a dial. The pedaling motion is what powers a fan to supply the resistance.

Initially, resistance should be set to moderate and be comparable with cycling on a flat road.

Magnetic resistance isn't affected by pedal power, instead, it supplies fixed-resistance using magnetic force.

Fluid bike trainers provide progressive resistance, the faster you pedal the greater the resistance.

Intense resistance requires some serious exertion from the rider as it is equivalent to a severe uphill ride.

If your trainer doesn't have an integrated power meter it is a relatively small expense to buy one and measure exact resistance, accurately.

Noise Nuisance

zwift bike trainer

The best quiet bike trainers are commonplace alongside soccer pitches and in athletics stadium, providing the ideal warm-up and down function.

They are ideal for home use in inclement weather conditions or when it isn't possible to get outside.

Whatever has driven you inside you will want to keep the noise down and not annoy family members or neighbors.

Even the quietest running bike trainer can benefit from some basic soundproofing tips

Final Thoughts

Indoor cycling is a simple way to stay in shape and to meet all of your fitness targets.

An old-fashioned, noisy bike training stands might not directly affect your ride but it will almost certainly have a negative effect on your enthusiasm.

Sources

Best Soundproof Curtains of 2020: Do They Work?

Most people hang curtains in a room either for decorative purposes, or to control the amount of light coming in. Sheer fabric curtains can add the right accent to a décor, while thick, blackout curtains are a better choice for bedrooms or home theaters.

Ambient noise is usually a secondary consideration for most homeowners or apartment dwellers buying curtains. Some types of window treatments, however, can be quite effective at limiting the amount of disturbing noise created by traffic, kids, or inconsiderate neighbors.

Before going any further, here’s a somewhat-disappointing truth: no curtains are completely “soundproof.”

Pieces of fabric will never be able to completely eliminate airborne sound, let alone structure-borne noise that travels through walls and floors. However, certain materials can help to absorb and dampen the overall noise transmission in your home.

The Best Soundproof Curtains

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1. US Cargo Control Small Sound Blanket

The purpose of a moving blanket is to be wrapped around furniture and fragile items to prevent damage during transport. These blankets are mainly used for their durability and because of how they're engineered.

Regardless of the brand, the outer shell is often comprised of a durable woven material like cotton and polyester. The inside then features a filler material like cotton that absorbs impacts. While these qualities are suitable for safely storing and moving furniture, they are also perfect for sound absorption.

These US Cargo blankets are made with a woven cotton and polyester shell that’s wrapped around a 100% cotton filler, providing dense layers (weighing roughly 9 lbs) that are ideally suited to capture and reduce airborne sound from outdoor and indoor sources. The blanket is 72” x 80” in size, enough to cover a normal-sized window.

Since it’s a plain-looking blanket and not specifically a window curtain, the US Cargo Control Blanket doesn’t have thermal backing or provide any extra UV protection. It’s just a black, thick blanket designed to do the best possible job of preventing excess noise from intruding your life.

However US Cargo Control knows the intended application and installed grommets/eyelets that allow you to hang them over windows and doors.

My Father worked for 30 years in the moving industry. From experience (folding these neatly in the back of a tractor trailer for two summers in my early 20s), these blankets, regardless of manufacturer will have a "from factory" smell.

Clayton Dillon

If you intend on using a moving blanket to block sound, look for one that's machine washable and consider doing 2-3 cycles of washing and hang drying before you use them. This will help to mitigate any potential lingering smells/odors.

2. Nicetown Thermal Insulated Blackout Curtains

Unlike the US Cargo blanket, these are acoustic curtains you won’t mind showing to your mother.

It’s true that they won’t block quite the same amount of sound as the blanket. But they’ll come fairly close thanks to their triple-weave polyester construction, and their two layers of fabric (attractive in-facing fabric and thermal backing on the window-facing side).

This design does a nice job of trapping airborne sound and damping it considerably. The thermal backing also helps regulate room temperature by keeping cold air at bay in winter, and keeping air conditioning inside the house during summer.

These nicely-priced Nicetown products are made to be used as either curtains or drapes, available in heights from 45” to 108” and in widths from 42” to 52”. There’s a wide selection of solid and patterned designs and colors, and the very dark ones like brown or burgundy will provide nearly 100% light blackout.

The curtains are machine-washable, but be aware that they’re also extremely heavy, with some weighing ten pounds or more (depending on the dimensions you choose).

The grommets at the top of the curtains are solid and won’t rip out – but your curtain rods may bend or even break if they’re lightweight, so be careful before hanging. The same caution extends to the rest of the soundproof curtains on this list.

3. RYB Home Portable Room Divider Curtain

The RYB Home curtain is designed to serve as a room divider, splitting a large space into two smaller rooms. However, there’s no law saying you can’t use it as a soundproof curtain instead.

When used as a divider it will damp sound somewhat, but noise can certainly still invade the protected area via the space above and below the curtain.

Hang it in front of your windows, though, and the triple-weave polyester fabric (high density polyester yarn is the middle layer) will absorb or damp a considerable amount of airborne noise.

Just as with the Nicetown curtains, there are 14 different colors/patterns available. The darker colors like black and brown will block out close to 100% of the ambient light coming from outdoors, when the RYB curtain is used as a window treatment.

As you would expect, light will still flow above and below the curtain when it’s used as a room divider. There are two layers of identical material front-and-back, with no thermal backing; this heavy curtain comes in 8.3’ to 15” widths and 7’ to 10’ heights.

4. Yakamok Blackout Window Curtain Panels

These Yakamok panels provide about the same noise-absorbing and damping effect as the Nicetown and RYB curtains. They’re made from similar triple-weave blackout fabric with two layers; the backing isn’t thermal, but it will still block most UV rays from entering the room.

The darker colors also provide a nearly 100% blackout of all light and noticeable protection against winter’s cold winds.

Those darker colors are burgundy, navy blue and dark gray, among the eight attractive colors available. These curtains are all 52” wide, but they come in heights from 45” to 108” so you can use them either as standard curtains or full-sized drapes.

The Yakamoks are also machine washable.

5. H. Versailtex Premium Blackout Curtains

These curtains feature triple-weave polyester microfiber construction, thermal insulation backing to protect against cold and UV rays, and a luxurious look and feel.

As large pleated curtains, the folds add another element to their sound damping properties, and they will absorb most outdoor airborne noise and damp reflected indoor sound nicely.

There are 12 attractive patterned colors available, with all choices 100” wide and options from 84” to 108” high. The black and plum purple will do the best job absorbing sound, but there are a number of other darker colors to choose from as well.

The H. Versailtex curtains offer one final selling point you won’t often see in relatively-inexpensive blackout curtains: an eight-year quality warranty.

What to Look For in Soundproof Curtains

soundproof drapes

To preface this section we first need to define what Soundproof Curtains really means:

As mentioned at the top of this article, “soundproof” curtains aren’t really soundproof.

Solid walls, doors, and windows block many of the sound waves that reach your home, but some of that noise still makes it through. Even if most of the outside noise can be blocked, the sound generated inside your house is constantly reflected and amplified as it bounces off these surfaces.

Curtains, whether they’re made from flimsy decorative lace, or multiple layers of heavy-duty fabric, microfiber, vinyl or fiberglass, can’t block all of the sound bombarding the exterior and floating around the interior of your home.

Meaning, if walls and windows can’t do it, porous curtains certainly can’t.

In fact, fabric curtains with properties approaching “true” soundproofing capabilities would have to be made from material that’s at least a couple of inches thick – impractical at best and unavailable at worst – and they also have to be attached to the structure that forms the wall or window frame.

Structures like window plugs or inserts can engineered to block sound transmission through your window. While these plugs are made to be removable, they're often heavy (50-70 lbs), expensive, and defeat the purpose of having a window as they completely obstruct the view.

Here’s what all of that means:

“Soundproof” curtains (commonly called acoustic curtains) are really noise-damping curtains, designed to absorb as much sound as possible. They may cut the level of noise way down, but they can’t completely block it.

Compared to decorative curtains, acoustic curtains can reduce noise by nearly 10 dB. To outline:

Evaluating Acoustic Curtains

Two key factors determine the effectiveness of acoustic curtains: the material they’re made from and their thickness.

The materials that are best at absorbing sound are noted as being porous and thick.

When it comes to materials that are specifically regarded for their soundproofing ability, they'll be rated for either NRC, STC, or IIC.

Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that you’ll find consumer curtains labeled with an NRC or STC rating as they're generally used for “true” soundproofing materials like foam, and other commercial and industrial products.

Here's a quick overview of the pertinent ratings:

Sound Transmission Class or STC

A materials STC rating describes it's ability to attenuate airborne sound.

While more can be said about STC ratings, essentially, the higher the rating, the better the materials ability to reduce airborne noise transmission.

Note that STC ratings are based on a logarithmic scale. Meaning increases in only a few points can result in significant decibel change.

Noise Reduction Coefficient or NRC

A materials NRC rating or Noise Reduction Coefficient is a measure of it's effectiveness at absorbing sound in any given space.

NRC is measured with what appears to be a narrow scale of 0.0 - 1.0. This number appears as a decimal and can be easily converted into a fraction.

To illustrate:

Perfect Relection: NRC 0.0

Perfect Absorption: NRC 1.0

To demonstrate:

A material with an NRC rating of 0.3 will absorb 30% of the sound while the remaining 70% will be reflected into the space.

A material with an NRC rating of 0.03 will absorb 3% of the sound and 97% will be reflected into the space.

Meaning the higher the NRC rating, the better the soundproofing ability of the material.

Learn More: Noise Reduction Coefficient Explained

While this metric would certainly be useful to look at when purchasing soundproofing curtains, it is rarely supplied by manufacturers.

So if you can’t compare NRC or STC ratings, what factors do you look at?

Fabric Considerations

curtain material

Fabric should be porous, thick, and dense – these factors enable more sound to be damped and absorbed.

Velvet, suede and certain types of polyester are usually the best choices because they’re manufactured with extra fibers in them, making them denser. If you can find a triple-weave fabric, it’s a particularly good choice.

Then, consider the curtains’ thickness. That doesn’t simply mean how dense the material is, but also how many layers of fabric are used to make the curtains. Acoustic curtains are usually made with two layers of fabric. That serves two purposes:

  1. It provides more material in which sound can be trapped.
  2. It allows for an outward-facing layer that can block light and harmful ultraviolet rays, and an inward-facing layer that can be chosen to match your room’s décor.

This design is normally used for what are sold as “blackout curtains.” They will have dual layers of fabric, and the most effective ones will also come with multiple pleats or folds which results in more material to help with sound absorption.

Curtains with thermal insulation backing will also make them more “soundproof."

Curtain Rods and Thermal Backing

window thermal backing

Dense material is likely to be heavy, so don’t be surprised if it’s difficult to find lightweight acoustic curtains. There’s nothing wrong with the heavyweight ones; just be aware that you’ll probably need sturdier curtain rods, and the curtains themselves should be manufactured with a good number of heavyweight support grommets at the top.

We’ve mentioned thermal backing, and it’s useful for more than noise reduction. It’s also the best choice in many climates, since it minimizes heat transfer.

Chances are that you want your curtains to keep light out, not just sound. Manufacturers are better at detailing the amount of sunlight that they’ll block than they are at determining and publicly releasing NRC ratings. That information will usually be described as the percentage of light that they block out.

Naturally, you’ll want to consider the color and size of the curtains, to ensure that they look good in your room and are long and wide enough to have the desired effect.

Remember that light (and sound) can “sneak in” through the open sides of the curtains, so you may want to buy curtains which will extend well past the edges or bottom of each window.

Final Thoughts

Finally, the old adage “if one is good, two is even better” may be worth thinking about. Many people have found that hanging two sets of curtains, one in front of the other, is a good way to block out as much noise and light as possible.

Quietest Treadmills of 2020: Home & Apartment!

Treadmills are one of the best ways to do cardio without leaving your house. They offer a variety of programs for different experience levels, types of workouts, and other customizable options.

They can help you improve your heart health, lose weight, build muscle strength and bone density, and improve your mental outlook. With that said, treadmills can also be extremely noisy.

That’s why people who live in apartments or condos – or folks who live in close quarters with roommates or family members – will find that their downstairs neighbors and living companions don’t love the treadmill as much as they do.

Fortunately, there are a number of quiet treadmills available. They can help you improve your cardiovascular system without compromising those around you.

The Quiet Treadmills

ASSAULT FITNESS
MANUAL POWERED
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BOWFLEX
4.0 CHP
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NORDICTRACK
2.6 CHP
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1. Assault Fitness AirRunner Treadmill

The AirRunner is a manual treadmill that uses uses no electricity or motorized system, since the curved slat-belt running surface is self-powered; it runs as slow or as fast as you make it go with your legs.

This is a machine that’s built like a tank with a steel frame and steel handrails, and since it has the unique slat-belt instead of a traditional treadmill belt virtually no maintenance is required.

This type of treadmill doesn’t incline, and typically doesn’t have tons of bells and whistles. Surprisingly, though, the Assault treadmill does come with a full-featured, battery-powered control panel that monitors time, calories, distance, speed, watts and pace, lets you set interval programs and connects to a heart rate monitor, and provides Bluetooth connectivity as well.

It’s one of the quietest units you’ll find, lets you burn more calories than on a comparable motorized unit, and provides an amazing number of options for a manual treadmill. It’s expensive, but worth the price.

2. Bowflex BXT116 Treadmill

Here’s a more traditional motorized treadmill, from a respected company in the fitness world, Bowflex. Due to being motorized, it's a bit noisier than the AirRunner. It's powered by a 3.75 CHP motor capable of reaching speeds up to 12 mph.

However, the Bowflex motor makes a lot less noise than those on comparable treadmills. You can always run it at a lower speed if it gets too loud. On a related topic the base is heavy and solid, which minimizes the amount of structure-borne noise transmitted through the floor.

The BXT116 can incline through a range of 0-15°, with a wonderfully-large track that’s 20 inches wide and 60 inches long. The belt is comfortable to run on and is made of triple-ply material for longer life, and the computerized LED console is large and full featured with a wealth of programs.

The machine can be synched to an app for even more options and Bowflex’s JRNY personal coaching technology that creates personalized workouts that gives daily feedback. This is a powerful choice which also happens to be very quiet in operation.

3. NordicTrack T Series Treadmills

The motorized T Series from NordicTrack comes in a number of different models (at varying price points), ranging from the smaller T 6.5S that tops out at 10 miles per hour and a 10° incline, to the top-of-the-line T 9.5S which can go 12 mph with a 12° incline.

The decks are all 20” wide, although the 6.5S deck is just 55 inches long (compared to 60” on the other models). The motors become more powerful (between 2.6 and 3.6 CHP) and the consoles become larger and more feature-rich, as you move up in models.

The two highest-level models, the 8.5S and 9.5S, are not only self-cooled but feature motors with special noise-reducing technology.

There are plenty of programs available through the console, and thousands more can be used through the Bluetooth-connected app, along with live interactive training and daily workouts (membership fee required, naturally). This one is less expensive than the Bowflex, but still a very good option.

4. Horizon T303 Go Series Treadmill

There are actually three models in this series from Horizon. We’ve chosen the high-end T303 because of its longer running deck (60” x 20”), and because of its enhanced HIIT console which doesn’t have an enormous number of pre-set programs, but connects via Bluetooth for a terrific interactive experience.

The 3.0 CHP motor on this machine is very quiet, and the construction is so solid (creating very little structure-borne noise) that the company backs the frame and motor with a lifetime warranty. Typically if a company backs a lifetime warranty on parts, it's bound to last.

The T303’s maximum speed is 12 mph, maximum incline is 12°, and the price is reasonable for a high-quality treadmill which should last for a very long time.

5. MaxKare Folding Electric Treadmill

Our budget choice specifies its ability to fold up in its name, but that doesn’t make it unusual; most of the machines on this list fold for storage.

What does make it unusual is that it’s a very good treadmill for about one-third the price of the Horizon – and that it’s extremely quiet for an inexpensive, motorized (2.5 CHP) unit. A proprietary anti-shock system also reduces the amount of noise transferred through the floor.

As could be expected, performance isn’t quite as robust as you’d find in a higher-end model. The highest speed you can reach is 8.5 mph, the incline has to be set manually (three choices) instead of electronically, and the running deck is somewhat short and narrow at 53 x17 inches.

Even so, there are more than a dozen pre-set workout programs along with all of the monitoring functions you’d expect from a treadmill’s LCD console. It’s a sturdy unit – and a very good buy.

What to Look For in a Quiet Treadmill

quiet treadmill

All treadmills produce some form of noise. Your feet hitting the deck is likely to result in a squeak and/or vibration due to footfalls. The belts, bearings and other components are mechanical in nature and are apt to squeak as well.

All of these elements contribute to both airborne and structure-borne noise. This results in noise both in the room it's being used as well as adjoining spaces.

There are ways to limit the “damage,” though. Noise output is usually a result of the overall construction and the mechanical/moving-parts of the treadmill.

Treadmill Construction

A lot of the noise generated by a treadmill is created when the machine rocks, shifts from side to side, or creaks as you walk/jog/run on it.

Many of those sounds can be mitigated by the engineering of the treadmill. For instance, many treadmills are often built with a feature designed to make their use easier on your feet, legs and joints: a floating or suspended deck attached to the frame with rubber or elastomer material. This is similar to how structures are decoupled in soundproofing applications which help to prevent noise output.

In effect, these are essentially shock absorbers (many are adjustable to fit your taste), and they do more than just give you a comfortable run. They also absorb some of the noise created by the treadmill’s operation, making a suspended deck worth searching for if you want to minimize the noise your machine makes.

One other important feature of a quiet treadmill is anti-vibration rubber feet. They not only hold the unit in place, but minimize the vibrations which are transmitted through the floor and even the building’s foundation. To ameloriate this effect you can also place a layer of mass-loaded vinyl or sound absorbing material beneath the treadmill to absorb impact sound.

Minimum Specifications

In essence, the minimum specifications you should be after are:

Motor

Just like automobiles, vehicles with bigger motors typically generate more noise. However in terms of treadmills, you have two options: manual or motorized.

Manual Treadmills

A manual treadmill is powered by the user. In order for the treadmill belt to stay in motion, the user must continue walking/jogging/running. As a result, these treadmills require extra effort from the user.

Typically, a manual treadmill is more cost effective and requires no electricity. With that said, they also tend to have less features.

There are two types of manual units, hydraulic and magnetic. The primary difference between them is how the resistance that you “run against” is created, via hydraulic pistons or large magnets.

Each of these treadmills puts more stress on your joints than a motorized model, and requires more effort in return for a “less-realistic” run. They’re also less likely to have bells and whistles like fancy control panels and touch screens. They’re quiet, though, and also a lot less expensive than their motorized counterparts.

Motorized Treadmills

As the name implies, these treadmills use a drive motor to power the treadmill mechanism. Looking at treadmill motors can be rather confusing.

Peak vs Continous Duty

There are two measures of motor power: peak duty horsepower (HP) and continuous duty horsepower (CHP). These numbers are important factors to consider because of how certain companies advertise their products leading to discrepancies.

Peak Duty Horsepower indicates the power potential of the motor (the highest power it's capable of operating at). With that said, treadmills can't sustain this power during use and will overheat.

Continuous Duty Horsepower is a more accurate measurement. This tells the user the power the motor can run at continuously for a 24 hour period.

Overall, look for a motor with at least a 1.5 CHP motor. If you plan to use your treadmill for running, use a 2.5 - 3.0 CHP motor. Your weight will also have an impact on motor requirements.

Keep in mind that RPM ratings should also be kept low to minimize noise output. You should always look for lower RPMs for optimal performance, torque, lower noise, and energy efficiency.

Other Ways to Minimize Noise

treadmill belt

Treadmills are mechanical devices, so they need regular maintenance. When you neglect that annoying but necessary work, motors can get clogged with dirt or hair and run more noisily, belts can loosen and begin squeaking, or screws can come loose and leave parts vibrating. Inspecting, cleaning and lubricating a treadmill according to manufacturer recommendations will help your treadmill run as quietly as possible.

Believe it or not, it makes a difference where you set up your treadmill. Noise generated close to walls will bounce off them and be amplified, so a machine placed in a corner will sound louder. But unfortunately, the floors in the corner of a room are also most likely to squeak. Decide on your treadmill’s placement depending on the characteristics of your space.

One final tip: the type of shoes you wear while running makes a big difference. Hard street shoes will create a resounding “thud” every time your feet land, but soft, flexible running shoes will minimize noise and vibrations.

Treadmill Frequently Asked Questions

Just because you’re looking for a quiet unit, that doesn’t mean you should ignore other features.

Some of the questions to ask before buying:

How large is the machine, and will it fit into the space you have available? Is the belt long and wide enough for your needs?

You’ll need a little more space for running than walking; the belt should be 22” wide and about 55-60” long for running.

How fast will the treadmill go? (Of course, remember our earlier discussion of speed vs. noise.)

The average machine will reach speeds of 10-12 miles per hour, and a motorized treadmill should run at 2.5-3.0 CHP for jogging or running.

Does the treadmill incline?

Most good units will have an automatic incline of at least 10-15°.

Does the treadmill have pre-set workout programs? Is there enough variation in them to keep you interested and motivated? Can it connect to an outside fitness platform like iFit to expand the program options?

These programs can work as motivation. Being able to sync your workouts to an app or your phone can help to best your previous workout.

Can the treadmill be folded and easily carried for storage?

This is a common feature for a number of treadmills. If you have minimal space, being able to fold your treadmill prevents it from being a permanent fixture in your space.

Final Thoughts

Treadmills are a great way to improve your cardiovascular system. However, most treadmills will make ample amounts of noise that can affect the people who live above or below you.

A treadmill that ends up being used just as a clothes hanger won’t make any noise at all – but it will be the most expensive clothes hanger you’ve ever bought.

Quietest Toilet of 2020: Flush Guilt-Free!

Every home has at least one toilet. Unfortunately, toilets are traditionally quite loud and, in some cases, embarrassing or disruptive to other people in your home.

We've all been there – trying to sneak in for a quick trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night, left with the decision: to flush or not to flush. The latter carrying the risk of waking up the entire house.

Apart from soundproofing the bathroom and the adjacent rooms, newly engineered toilets are capable of quiet operation. Let's explore some of the better options available.

The Quietest Toilets

WOODBRIDGE
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1. Winzo Elongated One-Piece Toilet

The Winzo is a high-efficiency toilet with a soft closing seat and a sleek, contemporary look. With a minimalist design, the Winzo has no sharp corners or grooves, and a skirted trapway which makes cleaning very easy. It is easy to install and looks great in any space.

The Winzo comes equipped with a powerful flushing system that can help save on water. The dual-flushing system uses only 0.8 gallons for liquid waste and 1.6 gallons for solid, per flush. The double nozzle flushing function makes it easy to keep clean by minimizing the build-up of trapped debris and allowing for easy clean-up.

The seat height stands at 17 inches and is perfect for most adults. Elongated toilets do sit slightly higher than standard options, so they tend to be more comfortable when descending. This is great for people who may have knee problems or arthritis.

The soft close seat is a feature that is also great when it comes to minimizing sound. It helps prevent loud slams when closing the lid, and helps keep your children's fingers safe.

2. Toto UltraMax II One-Piece Elongated Toilet

The Toto Ultramax II is a one-piece toilet with a compact elongated bowl. Being that it's a one-piece design, it's much easier to clean all the surfaces in comparison to a two piece toilet. One piece designs also have the benefit of being less prone to leaks as they lack bolts and gaskets that attach two-piece toilets.

This toilet features TOTO's tornado flush system (1.28 gpf). It features a hole-free rim design with dual-nozzles that creates a centrifugal washing action. It's not clear how this system is different from regular double-cyclone flushing mechanisms. With that said, double cyclone systems are better at cleaning the toilet bowl and help to minimize use of water, and harsh chemicals.

To further help with cleaning, TOTO uses their patented CEFIONTECT/SanaGloss glaze. This glaze creates a smoother surface and prevents particles and debris from adhering to the surface which reduces cleaning frequency.

This toilet is noted as being ADA compliant and meets the standards for EPA WaterSense, and California's CEC and CALGreen requirements.

Lastly, in terms of noise considerations, TOTO created their SoftClose seat. It features high-impact plastic, an ergonomic design, molded bumpers, and high gloss polypropylene. The Ultramax II also uses a gravity-feed system which is much quieter than pressurized options.

3. Woodbridge T-001 Dual Flush Elongated One-Piece Toilet

Woodbridge specializes in high-end kitchen and bathroom appliances and has been creating these products since 2005. Needless to say, they know and understand how to make a quality product.

The overall design of the Woodbridge T-001 is very similar to that of the Winzo model. It has a skirted trapway that makes cleaning easier. It's minimalist in design and has no corners or grooves that can make cleaning tough.

It features a dual flush mechanism using only 1 GPF for liquid waste and 1.6 GPF for solid waste. Woodbridge notes that the siphon flushing mechanism is "super quiet and powerful" resulting in no clogs or leaks. While they don't quantify what super quiet means, we know it's a gravity-fed system and they are known for being quiet in operation.

Woodbridge also offers other added features for noise reduction like a slow closing seat and a quiet refill tank. The toilet comes all-in-one and has the seat pre-installed, wax ring and floor bolts ready as well as installation instructions.

The Woodbridge uses a siphon flushing technique, which allows for the water in the bowl to rise and subside quickly. Siphon flushing allows for an efficient, clean flush while keeping things ultra-quiet.

Lastly, in terms of certifications, Woodbridge notes: UPC & CSA, High-efficiency, WaterSense Certified toilet - meets or exceeds ANSI Z124. 1 & ANSI A112-19. 7.

4. Black Dual Flush Two-Piece Elongated Toilet

The Black Dual Flush from Renovators Supply Manufacturing is an excellent choice if you are looking to save space and want to make a bold, elegant statement in your bathroom. This is a two-piece toilet and apart from it's color, it's a much more traditional design.

One of the significant advantages to a two-piece style toilet is the ability to line up the rough-in space when setting the toilet in place. With the one-piece options, this can be a bit tricky because they are big, bulky, and hard to maneuver.

The elongated design means that it will sit slightly higher – again, great for the average adult or folks suffering from arthritis.

Like the Woodbridge, the Black Dual Flush uses a siphonic flushing mechanism. The Siphon flushing method is gravity-fed which allows for an efficient, clean flush while keeping things quiet.

It's also a dual-flush system which uses 0.8 GPF for liquid waste and 1.6 GPF for solids. Like the other models listed, this efficiency helps with a reduction in water usage.

Note that a matching toilet seat is included however bolt covers are not. There is also no mention of being soft-close so it's worth looking for a black, elongated soft-close toilet seat for this unit.

5. Woodbridge T-0020 Dual Flush Elongated One-Piece Toilet

The reason we've included two Woodbridge models on this list is because of their high regard for quality. Again, Woodbridge is known for specializing in high-end kitchen and bathroom appliances, and this model is no exception.

You will get all of the same features as the Woodbridge T-001, but this toilet is square in design. So, if you're in the market for something that stands out from a traditional toilet but isn't quite as bold as the black option, then this design could be a great option or you.

This Woodbridge T-0020 is conducive to a quick and easy clean. The skirted trapway and smooth exterior eliminate clean up time. No nooks or crannies means a quick, periodic wipe down is all it will ever need.

This Woodbridge model also considered noise reduction – a soft closing seat and a gravity-feed flushing system. Woodbridge also opted to use stainless steel seat hinges which is a nice addition. Traditional plastic bolts and hinges tend to break quite easily with regular use.

The Woodbridge uses a siphon flushing technique allowing for an ultra-quiet, powerful flush. Siphon flushing is great for preventing clogs and leaks.

Finally, like all elongated options, the Woodbridge T-0020's height makes it very comfortable for the average adult when descending and ascending the seat. The square seat also offers additional comfort as apposed to that of an oval/circular option.

What to Look For in a Quiet Toilet

types of toilets

Picking a toilet can be a tough decision. While all household toilets may look the same, there are a surprising number of options available.

Types of Toilets

Toilets are categorized primarily by their flushing mechanism. Certain mechanisms are louder than others.

Gravity-Feed

gravity fed toilet

The gravity-feed toilet is the most popular toilet used today. As the name suggests, a gravity-feed toilet simply uses gravity to flush waste and has no mechanical assistance.

As the flush valve is pressed, water drops down from the reservoir or tank, and moves waste through the trapway. These toilets make use of a siphoning action that helps to clean the toilet bowl.

Due to using fewer mechanical parts, noise levels are minimal and repairs are quick and easy.

Pressure-Assisted

Pressure-assisted toilets are most noted for their powerful flushing ability. A system of pressurized air forces water from the reservoir/tank into the bowl.

As you might expect , due to flushing mechanism the system is much louder than a gravity-feed toilet. That said, the system is capable of flushing waste faster and more efficiently.

If you have a larger family, this type of toilet is a good choice. Clogs are also far less common than a gravity-feed toilet.

Dual-Flush

dual flush valve

Dual flush toilets are becoming more popular due to their ability to save on water. These toilets are a combination of gravity-fed and pressure-assisted and allow you the ability to half-flush or full-flush.

The half-flush makes use of a gravity-feed system and is best suited for liquid waste. The full-flush uses a pressured-assisted system and is best suited for solid waste.

Double-Cyclone

A double-cyclone toilet is a descriptor for how water enters the toilet-bowl. Unlike a traditional toilet where the holes are placed on the rim, a double-cyclone toilet has two nozzles on the rim that create a "double-cyclone."

Due to how the nozzles are engineered, the mechanism requires less water. Water savings in an individual flush are minimal however over time they definitely add-up.

Toilet Style

After determining your desired type of toilet or flushing mechanism being used, the second factor to consider is the style.

There are three popular styles used: one-piece, two-piece, and wall hung.

One-Piece

one piece toilet

As the name suggests, a one-piece toilet is manufactured from a single piece of material. This material used is often ceramic and includes a toilet bowl, reservoir/tank, and trapway. A one-piece design makes installation and maintenance very easy.

Two-Piece

Again, as the name suggests, a two-piece toilet simply means it's comprised of two pieces. These two pieces are the toilet tank and the bowl.

A two-piece toilet is usually more efficient and lasts longer than a one-piece design. In the event a certain part fails, you can also simply replace that piece rather than the entire toilet.

Wall Hung

wall hung toilet

This type of toilet isn't as popular in residential settings. More often than not, you'll see wall hung toilets in a commercial space.

In this design the toilet bowl is hung and the toilet's tank is hidden behind the wall. The flush plate or mechanism is also mounted on the wall.

While these toilets are popular in commercial settings, they are also useful in bathrooms where space is limited.

Flush Type

The third factor to consider is the flushing type. There are three main options used in residential settings: single-flush, double-flush, and touch-less flush.

Single-Flush

Single-flush toilets are the most popular option. A single-flush toilet only has one flush setting. By pushing down on the flush valve/lever the toilet will deliver the same pressure and quantity of water every time you flush the toilet.

Double-Flush

A double flush toilet has two flushing settings. By pressing lightly on the flush valve/lever you can half-flush for liquid waste. By pushing down firmly on the flush valve/lever you can full-flush for solid waste.

Touchless-Flush

A touch-less flush toilet is commonly seen in commercial settings like a public restroom due to the spread of germs. Instead of touching a flush valve/lever, the toilet is able to detect when you're no longer using it.

Residential options are often equipped with a motion sensor. By simply waving your hand over the sensor, it will flush. You can convert both single and double-flush toilets into touchless.

Toilet Design Considerations

Most toilets are similar however there are minute differences that can make all the difference. For instance: color, dimensions, bowl shape, and trapway.

Color

The traditional color for a toilet is either white or a white hue. With that said, there are now a number of colors in use: black, grey, blue, etc. These colors are primarily neutral and flow with most designs.

Dimensions

Toilets are available in a range of lengths and widths, however the standard height is 15 inches. People who suffer from arthritis or have trouble bending might prefer a taller toilet. With that said, children might have trouble with a taller toilet.

Bowl Shape

elongated toilet

There are three main bowl shapes used: elongated, compact elongated, and round.

An elongated toilet is oval in shape. They are longer than round toilets and the extra length makes the toilet more comfortable and spacious.

A round toilet is circular in shape. While they're not as comfortable as an elongated toilet, they are a good choice when space is limited.

A compact elongated toilet is a combination of an elongated and round toilet. They have a smaller footprint and also allow for a more comfortable experience.

Noise Considerations

The culprits for noise with toilets are the flushing mechanism and the toilet seat.

We talked considerably about flushing mechanisms above. As we learned, gravity-fed systems are typically less noisy than a pressurized system. However being able to flush both types of waste can help to mitigate sound and save on water.

The answer to seat related noise is to simply look for a soft-close toilet seat. These can either come packaged with the toilet or be purchased separately. Ensure that the seat matches the bowl type and can work with your intended purchase.

Final Thoughts

As we've reiterated throughout this article, while toilets all may look the same, there are a number of options and features that make them different. The flushing mechanism, style, as well as other factors can impact the sound levels associated with using your toilet. Focusing on these factors can help to limit noise output.

References

Best Soundproof Underlayment of 2020: All Floor Types!

If you’ve ever bought carpeting or hardwood flooring, you know that you also need underlayment. That’s the usually-thin layer of material which is placed between the subfloor and the new carpet or floor. (It’s often needed for most other types of flooring as well.)

The underlayment establishes a flat, stable base for the flooring. It provides extra comfort for those walking on carpet, acts as a firm surface that tile can adhere to, functions as a moisture barrier if needed – and can also deaden or absorb some of the sound and reverberation caused when people walk on the floor.

All types of underlayment, whether they’re plywood, foam, cork or another material, will somewhat deaden unwanted noise. However, underlayment specifically engineered for soundproofing floors can help to prevent structure-borne noise and eliminate footfalls.

The Best Soundproof Underlayments

We've mentioned that different types of underlayment are appropriate for different types of flooring – while this is guide is structured as a list, your choice will be narrrowed down based on your type of flooring.

ROBERTS
66 STC 67 IIC
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QUIETWALK PLUS
66 STC 71 IIC
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FEATHER STEP
65 STC 64 IIC
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1. Roberts 70-193A Felt Cushion Roll Underlayment For Laminate Flooring

This Roberts felt underlayment is primarily intended for use with either laminate or engineered wood floors, so you may want to move on if your floor is hardwood.

The sound absorption and reduction metrics of the Roberts felt are strong, with a STC rating of 66 and an IIC rating of 67. To put that into perspective, the International Building Code requires each rating to be at least 50, and many state, municipal or HOA codes require STC and IIC to be at least 60 for multi-unit buildings. Generally speaking, 60 is considered to be “superior” soundproofing, and 70 is considered “virtually soundproof.”

The Roberts felt underlayment comes in a 360-square foot roll and is priced fairly. It is dense, 4mm thick and made from recycled felt, and an attached plastic film provides decent vapor barrier protection.

As we prefaced at the top, this product is designed for use with engineered and laminate wood floors, not nailed floorboards.

Overview of Specifications:

2. QuietWalk Plus QW100PLUS Underlayment For Hardwood, Laminate And Vinyl Plank

While this felt underlayment isn’t quite as dense as the Roberts felt we just looked at, it has slightly higher noise-reducing properties and can be used on virtually all types of wood floors, including nailed-down hardwood and vinyl plank flooring that’s at least 5mm thick. Its STC rating is 66 and the IIC rating is a stellar 71, meaning nearly all noise that’s “blockable” will indeed be blocked by QuietWalk Plus.

It has several other attractive features as well. The recycled fibers allow the felt to breathe and there’s an attached vapor barrier; the underlayment is Greenguard certified to release no VOCs or harmful gases; it’s approved for use with radiant heating systems that are installed in the floor; and it’s exceptionally easy to install. The 100-foot rolls are more expensive (per square foot) than the Roberts product, but this product is worth its extra price.

Overview of Specifications:

3. Feather Step 3-in-1 Flooring Underlayment

Here’s our budget choice, suitable for use with engineered floating wood floors and with wood laminate flooring. The Feather Step underlayment is made from dense foam that’s 2mm thick and more rugged than many of its foam competitors, and it provides noise reduction measured at STC 65 and IIC 64. While it won’t make a room quite as “soundproof” as the QuietWalk underlayment, it will still make a big difference in noise comfort.

There is an attached film that serves as a vapor barrier, and the Feather Step product comes in 100-foot rolls which are very attractively-priced. Just be warned: if you use this with vinyl plank or hardwood flooring, it could void your warranty.

Overview of Specifications:

4. TMS Mass Loaded Vinyl Soundproofing Barrier

This isn’t actually soundproof underlayment, but it can be used for that purpose. It’s a flexible product known as mass loaded vinyl (MLV) which is commonly used as a sound barrier in a variety of ways: hung between rooms, wrapped around pipes and ducts to prevent noise transmission, used to screen off noisy industrial equipment from the rest of a plant, or installed in the passenger areas of vehicles to reduce engine vibration. In all of those cases, its primary function is to deaden sound.

However, MLV can also be attached to drywall or laid underneath flooring – which is the use we’re most interested in. The TMS blanket is a thin (1/8”) layer of extruded virgin vinyl which is both dense and very heavy, and can be spread below nearly any type of floor.

Its STC is only 27 so it won’t do the job all by itself, but it’s so thin that you can install several layers and dramatically boost its sound absorbing properties. This MLV product may not be our first choice as a soundproof underlayment, but it’s a good multi-purpose option.

Overview of Specifications:

5. Roberts First Step Underlayment

We finish where we started, with a Roberts product. It’s more expensive than the company’s felt underlayment, but it provides one important benefit for that extra cost: it’s made from foam with a layer of cushioning foam beads between the layers.

That extra layer helps a bit with comfort and noise reduction, but the beads are there for a different reason. They allow air to circulate throughout the underlayment, preventing the growth of mold while also acting as a vapor barrier. That means this the perfect product to use for floor-level (or lower) applications in humid or moisture-prone climates and locations.

This foam is quite impressive, maintaining almost all of its thickness after regular use. By comparison, most foam underlays will eventually compress to nearly half their original thickness. It works for noise absorption and damping as well, with an STC rating of 66 and an IIC rating of 68. As with the Roberts felt, however, their First Step foam is only suitable for laminate or engineered wood floors.

Overview of Specifications:

What to Look For in Soundproof Underlayment

floor underlayment

Floors are a common source of noise pollution. Footfalls, people talking, an object falling will all create vibrational energy in the form of sound-waves.

It's important to understand that there are two types of noise involved in soundproofing: airborne and structure-borne.

Airborne Noise

airborne noise
Image credit: Greengluecompany.com

As the name implies, airborne sound refers to any noise that travels through the air. Examples of airborne noise include conversations, the television, or noise generated by appliances.

The soundwaves generated will travel through the air until they collide with another solid object. This soundwaves then travel through the object and into adjoining spaces.

Structure-borne Noise

impact noise
Image credit: Greengluecompany.com

Structure-borne noise is also referred to as impact noise. As the descriptor suggests, soundwaves are generated as a result of an object impacting another object or structure.

For instance footfalls, or a ball impacting the floor or a wall. This impact results in soundwaves being transmitted through a structure and into an adjoining space.

The ideal soundproof underlayment will block both types of sound.

Soundproof Underlayment Materials

Underlayment products are available in a number of materials. The most common are rubber, vinyl, felt, cork and foam; they’re all quite dense, so they’re ideal for absorbing the maximum amount of airborne noise and deadening structure-borne noise. However, some are better than others for different types of flooring.

Carpet

carpet underlayment

Foam and rubber are the best choices, because they’ll make the floor softer to walk on and absorb much of the structure-borne sound that’s created.

Hardwood

hardwood underlayment

Cork is the underlayment that’s most likely to stay firm without flexing, while still deadening sound. Foam is a decent second choice as long as it’s thick and very dense, although cork will last longer and perform better.

Laminate

Foam works best underneath laminate floors if it has vapor barrier properties, since that type of flooring is particularly susceptible to moisture. Otherwise, cork will provide even more noise reduction.

Vinyl

There’s an important issue to look into before buying underlayment for vinyl flooring: many manufacturers won’t honor warranties if additional underlayment is used.

The good news is that vinyl floor products often ship with attached cork underlayment. If you need (and are allowed to use) additional soundproofing, felt, cork and foam will all work but cork is best because it won’t harm or stain the flooring. Stay away from rubber as it will cause stains.

Tile

Most materials aren’t suitable for use under tile floors; a thick subfloor, or a rubber-cork underlayment, is the best approach.

You can buy soundproof underlayment products made from almost all of those materials. Once you decide on the right type for your floor, the next step is to evaluate the sound absorption and deadening properties of the various products you have to choose from.

How Soundproof Underlayment is Evaluated

The flooring industry uses two widely-accepted measurements to test and label its products, including underlayment: Sound Transmission Class and Impact Insulation Class.

STC Rating

A material’s ability to reduce airborne noise is measured by its “Sound Transmission Class,” or STC. It’s determined through a series of complicated lab tests and reported as a number that’s generally between 15 and 80; the higher, the better.

The STC is not calculated on arithmetic or geometric scales, but on a logarithmic one. That means that relatively small differences in STC ratings can mean big differences in sound blocking. The average wood floor has an STC in the neighborhood of 40.

IIC Rating

The Impact Insulation Class rating, or IIC, measures how well a material blocks structure-borne noise that’s caused by one object impacting another.

It’s determined in labs after generating somewhat low-tech noise: steel hammers tap the material, with the resulting vibrations measured on a numeric scale similar to the one used for STC.

A non-insulated wood floor would average an ICC of between 40 and 45; most building codes require an IIC of at least 50.

It’s important to understand that even a high-quality soundproof underlayment with high STC and IIC ratings may not completely deaden all sound. Low-frequency noise (the rumbling of a passing truck, the hum of an air conditioner or even superior bass in a home theater setup) is extremely difficult to attenuate – and it’s just as difficult to measure the effectiveness of a material to deaden low-frequency sounds in lab tests.

Nevertheless, installing underlayment products with strong IIC and STC ratings, along with the concurrent use of other soundproofing products like noiseproofing compound and floor joist isolators, will greatly reduce the amount of airborne and structure-borne noise transmitted through your home.

Other Flooring Considerations

flooring underlayment

In most cases, the thickness and density of underlayment will go hand-in-hand with its sound reduction ratings. However, if you have a choice, thicker and denser – as you would probably expect – is more effective.

Many underlayments have a built-in vapor barrier (sometimes referred to as “damp proofing”), which is designed to resist moisture and condensation in the area under the flooring. This may not be necessary for upper-story floors, since they’re not normally at risk for the development of unwanted moisture. A vapor barrier is highly desirable, though, for underlayment that’s installed at or below ground level.

It can be tempting to simply install the “free” underlayment that’s included with the purchase of flooring for your home. There’s nothing wrong with using that thin underlayment if you don’t have major problems with noise and its associated vibrations, because it will block some noise and make the floor more comfortable to walk on.

Final Thoughts

Using an underlayment creates a predictable, smooth surface for flooring installation. In any situation where noise is an issue, however, spending extra for soundproofing underlayment with high STC and IIC ratings is well worth the expense.

Quietest Mini Fridges of 2020: Dorm, Office, Home!

A mini-fridge is one of the best ways to have convenient access to a cold beverage or a light snack on demand. If you live in a dorm room or work in an office or garage, they tend to feel like a necessity.

However, something that's plagued all refrigerators is noise output. Luckily, a number of quiet mini-fridges using compressors or thermo-electric cooling exist. Choosing an option boils down to your specific needs as well as where you intend to use the refrigerator.

The Quiet Mini Fridges

hOmeLabs
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1. Midea Compact Mini-Fridge

Midea is a well established brand in the home appliance space. They were established in 1968, have been featured in the fortune 500 list, and have received 40 design awards for their products.

This model by Midea is a two-door style mini-fridge. Meaning it has separate sections for refrigerator and freezer. This particular mini-fridge features a separate fruit and vegetable drawer making it a true compact refrigerator.

The refrigerator compartment is capable of adjustable temperature ranges of 32 to 50 degrees F. The freezer compartment is capable of adjustable temperature ranges of -11.2 to 5 degrees F.

Midea doesn't offer much in the way of dB ratings. However they do note that they engineered a whisper-quiet compressor that's virtually undetectable when it cycles on and off. This makes it perfect for dorm rooms, offices, RVs, and other spaces that require quiet operation.

2. hOmeLabs Beverage Refrigerator and Cooler

hOmeLabs is a well known appliance manufacturer. Just like all their appliances, they know and understand that appliances should be both functional as well as add to the aesthetics of the space. They accomplish this via design as well as utilizing neutral colors.

This mini-fridge is a tall style beverage cooler. It's rated for 120 standard size beer/soda cans or even several bottles of wine. With that said, all the chrome shelves are removable and adjustable.

Since it's designed to chill beverages, it's temperature is rated as low as 34 degrees F, which is the ideal temperature for beer and soda. hOmeLabs also notes that you should not store meat, veggies, fruits, or other fresh foods.

The compressor is powered by 120V/240W and is noted to be whisper quiet. This cooler also uses a small convection fan that allows for consistent air circulation.

3. Kuppet-Mini Refrigerator

This is a tall style mini-fridge that features 3.2 cubic feet of storage space. Combined with a can dispenser, it's best suited for beverages and a small load of groceries.

Unlike two door mini-fridges, tall style options have a smaller freezer that's best suited for making ice or storing a candy-bar rather than freezing food.

This mini-fridge is designed to work with your space. The door is reversible which makes opening and closing a breeze regardless of position. The glass shelf is also removable making cleaning easier and allows you to store taller items.

This fridge uses a compressor cooler which are normally quite loud in operation. However, due to Kuppet's engineering, the mini-fridge only outputs 40 dB of noise which is essentially whisper quiet in operation.

4. Antarctic Star Beverage Mini-Fridge

This model by Antarctic Star is a compact mini-fridge made specifically for beverages, in particular, wine. While you don't have to be a wine drinker to own it, you can enjoy the benefits of a temperature controlled environment made specifically to chill drinks.

Wine's number one enemy is heat. This mini-fridge allows you to store wine at optimal temperatures to allow for long-term aging. The working temperature is rated at 40 to 61 degrees F. This temperature is ideal for a number of beverages: soda, beer, wine, etc.

The mini-fridge itself features 18 standard red or white bottle capacity, which is also perfect for beer or soda. This horizontal storage is a space-efficient way to store your beverages.

In terms of noise output, Antartic Star notes it emits 38 dB of noise. This is due to the advanced cooling system. The internal three-dimensional air-cooling system ensures that each corner of the fridge maintains a constant temperature with only a +/- 1 degree C swing.

5. Cooluli Classic Portable Mini Fridge

This mini-fridge by Cooluli is a portable, 10.3 lb, AC/DC powered cooler. It works based on thermo-electric cooling known as the Peltier effect.

Thermo-electric coolers perform best in small enclosures. They're also known for being near quiet in operation; This is due to having minimal moving parts.

This cooler is on the smaller side, being more so catered to beverages. It's capacity is 15 liter/18 cans. In terms of cooling, it's rated at 35-40 degrees F which is the ideal temperature for beverages.

It's important to place this cooler is an area that's not prone to temperature extremes. Ideally in a cool dry place where ambient temperature will have minimal effect on the cooling ability.

What To Look For In a Quiet Mini Fridge

Nothing beats having access to a cold drink or snack on demand.

A mini fridge can also be the difference between a stark home office or a lackluster college dorm.

However, before making a purchasing decision, it's important to understand the differences between the types of mini fridges available as well as the factors that impact noise output.

Your choice will also depend on your personal needs. For instance, are you only looking to store beverages? Or do you also want to store food. Will it be in a Dorm? Office? Garage? All of these factors impact your decision.

Mini Fridges Method of Cooling

When it comes to mini-fridges, there are typically two methods of cooling available: thermo-electric, and compressor based.

Thermo-Electric or Thermoelectric Coolers (TEC)

tec refrigeration explained

These types of coolers work based on the Peltier effect. This effect creates a difference in temperature by transferring heat energy between two electrical junctions.

A voltage is then applied across joined conductors in order to create an electrical current. The current then flows and heat is removed from one junction and as a result, cooling occurs. The heat is then deposited at the other junction.

The main goal of a Peltier effect is for cooling, hence applications in mini-fridges. However it's also used for heating and temperature control, for instance in dehumidifiers.

The Pros of Using a TEC

The Cons of a TEC

Compressor Coolers

refrigeration cycle

The refrigerator compressor is both a pump and a motor that moves refrigerant through a cooling system.

Temperature sensors will signal the compressor to operate when the temperature rises above a set point on a thermostat. Refrigerators aren't a closed system, meaning cold air will leak out and warm air can leak in resulting in temperature fluctuations.

As the compressor starts it will take in cold refrigerant gas in liquid form as it leaves the evaporator. The compressor then applies pressure to the gas, causing it to compress. When the gas in compressed, it causes its temperature to increase.

The now hot, compressed refrigerant gas is pushed out of the compressor and into condenser coils on the back of the refrigerator. The coils work to dissipate heat into the air and the gas then changes back to liquid form.

The liquid refrigerant travels through the system until it reaches the expansion valve. This valve will force the liquid through a small hole. This hole creates a pressure imbalance that causes the refrigerant to boil over and vaporize/mist as it passes through. This mist then evaporates as it passes through the freezer coils (occurs at -27 degrees F).

The cold liquid gas travels through the coils and draws heat out of the surrounding air in the refrigerator. This concept works based on the second law of thermodynamics: heat moves from warmer objects to colder objects. In this scenario the cold object is the refrigerant, and the warm object is the air.

The coils then lead back to the compressor. This process of compression and evaporation will continue until the sensors indicate that the desired temperature has been reached.

The Pros of a Compressor Cooler

The Cons of a Compressor Cooler

Types of Mini Fridges

The different types of mini-fridges are more so a descriptor for the size or shape of the fridge. As you might expect, size and shape are heavily influenced by cooling method.

For instance, it's rather hard to incorporate the moving parts and compressor system into a compact mini fridge.

Tall

tall mini fridge

These types of mini-fridges are the most popular. They typically use a compressor based cooler. However the placement of the thermostat is usually in the refrigerator, rather than the freezer meaning temperature performance is usually better in the refrigerator section.

The compressor cooling system enables you to store both beverages and food. The separate freezer can also be used to make ice and store small things like a candy bar. As noted above, due to thermostat placement, it's best to avoid storing temperature sensitive items like ice cream because of temperature inaccuracies.

Note that tall models do exist without a freezer. These are usually labeled as "beverage coolers." As the name suggests, these refrigerators are only for beverages. They also tend to use thermo-electric cooling systems so placement of the mini-fridge is important.

Two-Door

These mini-fridges are similar to a regular refrigerator. As the name implies, it has two doors, one for the freezer and another for the refrigerator.

However, unlike the Tall models, the thermostat for two-door mini fridges is usually placed in the freezer. This means you can store temperature sensitive items without worrying whether they'll remain cold or not.

Like the Tall models, these also tend to use compressor cooling systems. As a result, you can safely store food and beverages as well as temperature sensitive items.

Cube

cube refrigerator

These are popular in college dorms as well as small living spaces. They are essentially bare bones mini-friges with enough space for a few items.

The thermostat is usually located in a very small freezer compartment that has enough space for an ice tray. If your goal is to store beverages, a cube mini-fridge will serve that purpose.

These types of mini-fridges can use both compressor-based coolers as well as thermo-electric. However, the compact nature usually results in more noise output in a compressor system.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are a number of factors to consider. Namely, determining what you're trying to store as well as the ambient temperature of the surrounding space.

While noise output is lower in thermo-electric coolers, being able to store food that's safe to consume is a priority. If this is your intention, opt for a compressor mini-fridge and consider ways to soundproof it instead (noise damping mats for example).