There are few things more annoying than the constant drone of a noisy generator. It can feel like someone is running a lawnmower in your ear for hours on end.
If you rely on a generator for your RV, campsite, or even to power your home generator noise can be a nuisance. Unfortunately, many people don’t think about this problem until after they’ve already purchased a generator that turns out to be louder than a small aircraft.
There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a generator, so to make your life a little easier we conducted an in-depth independent research study to not only find the quietest generators but the best quiet generators for different use cases, power outputs, fuel types, portability and much more.
Keep reading to the quietest generators available.
Honda generators are known for being quiet workhorses, and the Honda EB2200i is no exception. It produces 2,200 watts and operates between 47-53 decibels plus it's loaded with features including carbon monoxide detection, GFCI outlets, and auto oil/gas shutoff sensors.
The EB2200i is also relatively light and compact given its output and feature list. It weighs 46 pounds and has dimensions of 20" x 11.4" x 16.7". It’s relatively light and has a comparable size to the 18 other portable generators we reviewed.
If you still aren’t sold, the EB2200i has great user reviews as well. 91% of Home Depot shoppers recommend the EB2200i and it has a perfect 5-star rating on Amazon.
If you are willing to sacrifice a little bit of portability in exchange for more power, but still don’t want to wear earplugs the Firman HO3651 is the quietest mid-sized generator in our study.
The Firman HO3651 has an operating volume of 67 decibels, similar to the sound level of a restaurant, but has a running watt output of 3650 and starting/peak output of 4550 watts. Additionally, it has the key features we look for like low oil shutoff, CO2 sensor, and GFCI protection.
The Firman HO3651 also has positive reviews. Amazon customers rate it 4.2 out 5 stars with most negative reviews having issues with the seller, not the actual generator. Northern Tool customers rate it a perfect 5 out of 5 stars.
If you are looking for a home backup generator or something to power your off-grid home, you need something powerful but you definitely don’t want to have to listen to an engine running non-stop. Enter the Generac G0072250 a great blend of power output, and reliability with a low volume rating of 55 decibels - quieter than your average conversation.
The G0072250 is a bit more complex than the portable generators previously mentioned. It is meant to be installed permanently and requires propane or natural gas for fuel.
In exchange for a lack of portability, you gain a substantial amount of power. The G0072250 produces 14kW of electricity, enough to power many of the appliances in your home.
Many of the most common questions about energy usage are related to generators. How much energy do they produce, which one is right for my application, etc. We wanted to be able to give our users the right information so that they could make the best decision for whatever their application.
To that end, we conducted an independent study that breaks down 54 of the most common generators from 20+ brands by over 70 different attributes and performance metrics. We looked at everything from price and running costs to engine size and number of outlets.
We do not and did not receive any free products or make any suggestions based on the manufacturer’s input. We looked at the numbers and make suggestions based off the data. However, we may earn some sort of fee from the seller if you do decide to purchase using one of the shopping links we provide.
Many homeowners, RV owners, campers, and outdoor enthusiasts use generators as either a backup or main source of power. This guide was intended to inform these types of folks about the best choices available.
We realize there are many commercial or niche use cases for a generator. In most, cases these scenarios require a unique or specialized type of product that may or may not align with our recommendations.
For example, if you’re living off-grid and want to power a custom workshop with high-powered electrical equipment, our recommendation for the best medium-sized generator may not be right for you.
This guide is intended to help those looking to find a quiet generator. We selected generators from our study that had the lowest decibel volume levels during normal operating conditions. Many generators will have varying volume levels depending on how much load they are under.
For example, Generator A might be 50 decibels when it's under 10% load, but when it’s under 50% load it skyrockets to 80 decibels.
This means that if you just turn on a generator without drawing any power our recommendations may not be the quietest, but they will be quietest based on what is considered a normal load.
Furthermore, the conditions in which your generator is running may cause the sound to be louder or quieter than our study may suggest. For example, if your generator is tucked inside an RV storage compartment it may be louder than if it was sitting in an open area.