What Makes A Super Quiet Generator Quiet?

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The main things that make super quiet generators quiet are enclosed or open design, noise-reducing material choices, power levels, inverter technology, and engine design.

What generator brands choose in these areas will ultimately influence the number of decibels that reach your ears.

Differences between quiet vs loud generators

There are a few differences that influence the decibel levels and in turn, make a super quiet generator quiet and other models (a lot) louder.

  1. Open frame vs enclosed design construction
  2. Material choices and padding
  3. Power capacity
  4. Inverter vs regular generators
  5. Exact engine design

1. Open frame vs enclosed design construction

First of all, generators in terms of the frame around the motor.

The quietest generators tend to have enclosed designs which you can describe as an almost closed box.

Similar to something like a wall reducing decibel levels, this enclosed design gets in the way of the sound waves.

In turn, the noise someone outside of the box, in this case you, experiences is lower.

2. Material choices and padding

Two generators can both have an enclosed design but different noise levels anyway.

One of the reasons for this is that generator brands can still choose what noise-reducing material they use and in what quantities.

I’m not familiar with the different costs of these materials.

However, from the prices of super quiet generators, I assume these noise-reducing materials cost at least somewhat more for the brands.

3. Power capacity

The previous details definitely matter but one of the main things that influence how many decibels a super quiet generator is is its power capacity.

Noise-making generator processes like the combustion of the fuel take place to a larger extent with more powerful models.

For example, the quietest 1000 watt generator on the market is the Honda EU1000i with 42 to 50 dBA at 25% to 100% load.

On the other hand, the quietest 9000 watt generator is the GENMAX GM9000iE with 62 dBA at 25% load.

4. Inverter vs regular generators

Inverter generators are a category of portable generators with a few internal differences.

Some of these make inverter generators quieter all other things being equal.

One of these is that inverter generators can adjust their engine speed based on how much power you draw from them.

In turn, this keeps your inverter generator quieter (and more fuel-efficient).

5. Exact engine design

The engines inside generators can vary in terms of how much noise they make due to different part sizes and how these move together.

I’m not familiar with the actual generator engines but I assume brands have at least sometimes differences in this area.

How does Honda make their generators so quiet?

Honda makes their generators so quiet by choosing an inverter design, eco-throttle options, sound-dampening materials, and specific engine designs according to their website.

In any case, Honda is a good generator brand that is known for its quiet noise levels and durability.

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Mats is the founder and head editor of Generator Decision. With a combination of critical thinking, tireless research, and a healthy interest in electronics he helps people find the right generators and how to use these. At this point in the journey, Mats has done research on hundreds of portable generators.