Lab tests have shown that the quietest projector operates at 19-25 decibels (dB) with the lamp power set on high mode and in low power mode.
Other projectors operate at 21 and 28 decibels at low and high-power ranges respectively. A few others have a sound decibel rating of 23 and 32 decibels when on low and high-power mode. (Source)
Unfortunately, you shouldn’t expect projectors to get quieter any soon. That’s because manufacturers are competing in pushing more lumens out of the to deliver 3D projection.
However, that doesn’t mean you won’t get any quiet projector- below is a review of the best quiet projectors for home use.
Factors That Determine How Quiet or Noisy A Projector Is
Three main factors determine how much audible noise a projector makes. When you fully understand them, you’ll be able to make necessary adjustments on the projector you buy to make it as quiet as possible.
Where the projector is placed– the location you’ve mounted your projector relative to your seat will determine how much audible noise the projector makes. A projector mounted 4.5ft directly above your head will appear noisy than if installed 6 ft above you and 6ft behind you.
Low or high lamp modes– low lamp mode is often quieter than high lamp mode. You’d be surprised to learn that even the noisiest projector will be quieter in low lamp mode than a quiet projector in high lamp mode.
Noise tolerance– some people can’t tolerate gaming or watching a movie with the slightest background noise. However, most of us will be okay with less than $30 decibels of sound.
What Is the Best Quietest Projector?
The quietest projector type is the Sony Home Theater Projector VPL-HW45ES. It’s a 3D compatible 1080P full HD video projector ideal for movies, gaming, TV with 1,800 lumens for brightness and SXRD Imagers.
It’s available in two styles (Projector and Projector plus a screen). The unit is equipped with a whisper-quiet fan that emits 22decibels during showtime.
I purchased this unit last year at Christmas, and I must admit that it’s quieter than I expected. I could hear hard drives spinning in my media center, not the projector’s fan- that’s unbelievable.
You’re guaranteed up to 6000-hour lamp life in low mode. The 1,800 lumens guarantee refined brightness and high contrast ratio, full HD images.
Advanced SXRD panel technology blended with Advanced Reality Creation refines colors, subtle details, and textures to provide crisp, detailed full HD pictures.
The projectors come with a built-in RF transmitter that synchronizes with compatible RF 3D glasses for 3D projection.
The fan is positioned at the front end of the projector. So, you won’t have to worry about wall clearance for air intake and exhaust when installing.
A-List of the Quietest Projector for Gaming and Home Theatres
If you’re willing to spend over $1000 on a genuinely silent projector, I would recommend the Sony VPL- HW45ES above. Though it may seem a little too expensive, it’s a one-time investment that will serve you for years to come. Its 3D compatibility makes it even better.
However, if you’re on a budget and want a decent quiet projector without breaking the bank, below are seven different options to choose from.
1. Optoma HD143X Affordable High Performance 1080p Home Theater Projector
With 1920×1080 resolution, you get sharp and detailed images without compression or downscaling. In addition, with a 23,000:1 contrast, you get stunning picture quality with accurate colors that are aligned to the REC.709b and REC.709 color space.
The lamp lasts up to 12,000 hours- therefore, you’ll be able to enjoy viewing time up to 8+ years with a 4-hour daily watch time.
3000 lumens allow enough brightness to light up any room in your home living room, home theater, or in your backyard for backyard movie nights. The projector supports full 3D 1080p from any 3D source, including 3D broadcasting, 3D glasses, and 3D Blu-ray disc players.
2. VANKYO Leisure 510 HD Projector
The VANKYO is an entry-level projector that supports 1080P resolution. It uses a TFT LCD technology, and an upgraded LED light source, which provides +80% brightness and significantly reduces light attenuation.
At a distance of 4.9ft, you get a 44 inches projection screen size while at 18 inches, you get a 230inches projection size. However, the best-recommended viewing distance is 10ft, giving a 98inches screen size.
It’s equipped with a variety of inputs, including VGA, HDMI, USB, Micro SD, and AV. It’s compatible with smartphones to deliver a memorable viewing experience.
You will need extra lighting to HDMI adapter to connect it to an iPhone and an extra Micro USB/Type C to HDMI adapter for android phones. These are sold separately.
Overall, this is a $200 projector with an $800 dollar quality. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support 3D, which might be a drawback when looking for a unit that supports 3D for a budget price.
3. YABER Native 1080P Home & Outdoor Projector
The YABER Native boasts ± 50 ° 4D keystone correction to ensure that the projected screen is always a standard rectangle.
It supports 1080 native resolution with a high dynamic contrast ratio of 8000:1 and remarkable 6500 lumens bright. For this resolution, you get sharp and detailed images without compression or downscaling that are up to four times better than 720p.
It’s equipped with an advanced and quiet cooling system with three fans that run simultaneously.
This unit also utilizes SmarEco technology that minimizes lamp power consumption extending its lifetime up to 100,000 hours.
The projection size ranges between 45” to 200” at a distance of 1.5 to 5.5 meters, with 3meters being the recommended viewing distance.
Upon purchase, you get a 6-month return for a full refund period and a 3-year warranty.
4 . VANKYO LEISURE 3 Mini Projector
Mini projectors have become popular in recent years for various reasons. One of the main reasons is its portability.
They are compact and can be easily carried on a backpack. In addition, they support clear images as traditional projectors and are smartphone compatible.
For this reason, if you like camping and enjoy some late-night movie thrills in your trailer or backyard, a mini projector will get the job done.
The VANKYO LEISURE 3 boasts an MStar Advanced Color Engine that provides +60% brightness than regular projectors.
It supports 1920×1080 resolution making it great for home entertainment. However, this unit isn’t recommended for any office presentation.
This unit is excellent for playing TV series, football matches, photo sharing, and videos. It can be easily connected to PS3, PS4, smartphone, X-Box One to enjoy big games. The unit comes with a customized bag for portability and storage purposes.
It provides a screen size from 32” to 170” at a distance between 4.9ft to 16.4ft, respectively. The recommended viewing distance is 6.5ft.
It’s equipped with a noise suppression technology that cuts the audible noise of the fan by half. Power input: 100V-240V 50/60Hz.
5. BenQ HT2050A 1080P Home Theater Projector
Anyone looking for a quiet gaming projector should consider the BenQ HT2050A. At the recommended distance of 8ft, this unit will project a screen size of 100 inches- however, it can project up to 300 inches.
The unit also utilizes DLP technology, which is used in 90% of the world’s cinemas and 100% in IMAX theatres. Therefore, you will experience long-lasting, slimmer, sharper, and crisper images in BenQ than in regular projectors.
It supports 1080P resolution with a brightness of 2,200 lumens, quality native contrast ratio, and 96% Rec. 709 color space.
The unit has a sound decibel rating of 29 decibels- it’s not dead quiet, but it’s something that most of us can tolerate even during those silent movie scenes.
6. ViewSonic M1+ Portable Smart Wi-Fi Projector
With ViewSonic, you get 100” screen size at 8.5ft away perfect for projecting big images in small spaces.
It’s equipped with a safety auto-off feature that powers down the projector when an object is detected too close to the lens. This feature is quite useful for protecting the eyes of wandering pets or children from direct light exposure.
Additionally, it features an integrated Smart Stand that allows for a 360- degree setup. The vertical keystone correction helps adjust the picture for an improved viewing experience.
7. APEMAN NM4 Mini Portable Projector
The APEMAN weighs only 0.44 pounds, making it one of the lightweight and smallest projectors in this guide.
In addition, it measures only 3.86×3.86×0.85 inches and its compact enough to carry around for projection on the go.
You’ll be able to get sharp, detailed images thanks to its 1000:1 contrast ratio. And while it has an 854×480 contrast ration, the projector supports up to 1080p resolution.
It can connect to any media device with HDMI compatibility, including PS3/PS4, laptops, Nintendo, TV box, camera, and PCs.
The upgraded cooling system ensures that the unit cools down quietly without causing unwanted noises during showtime.
Quietest Projector Buying Guide
There are several important factors that you should consider before investing in the quietest projector. Take these factors into consideration to be able to narrow down a projector that meets your specific requirements.
Because you’re looking for a quiet projector, the first important factor to take into consideration is the noise levels.
We all need total silence when watching movies, especially spooky ones or when doing a presentation in the office.
If you’re looking for something truly quiet for home, gaming or office, then Sony Home Theater Projector VPL-HW45ES is the perfect choice for you.
If you’re on a budget, consider the other projectors I’ve listed in the guide. However, note that some have a limitation, so check if they meet your specific needs before buying.
If you’re looking for a gaming projector or your home theater, the resolution plays a vital role.
The resolution determines how clear/sharp the images in movies or games appear. Always stick to higher resolutions, ideally something at/above 1080P- your best bet would be a 4K resolution projector.
There are three lighting sources: laser, standard lamp, and light-emitting diode (LED). Standard lamps have lifespans between 4000-5000 hours while in normal and eco mode, respectively. They are also the cheapest options on the market.
Laser lamps are brighter than standard lamps and LED lamps. They also have better contrast ratios than standard lamp powered projectors.
LED lamps can last up to 20,000 hours, and the best part is that they are the quietest of the three options. They also don’t heat too much during showtime and hence require less cooling.
Depending on how you install your projector, it does not allow possible to place it at a right angle to the screen. Keystone correction plays a vital role in correcting image distortion that occurs when the projector is installed off to the left or right of the screen.
This function is an added advantage to any projector as it will save you the time of having to find the perfect angle during showtime.
Brightness and Contrast Ratio
If you’ll be using your projector in a room with background lighting/ brightly lit room, consider a projector with more lumens.
On the other hand, a higher contrast ratio will allow you to view detailed shadows, adding more depth to the picture.
Final Thoughts on The Quietest Projector
The best quietest projector for gaming and home, as we’ve seen in this guide, is rated 22 decibels, which can be compared to a quiet area with no wind or whisper.
However, as I’ve already mentioned, most of us can tolerate noise levels at 30 decibels. That’s why all the projectors in this review have noise ratings below 30 dB. Also read: Quietest Air Rifle: Top 6 Most Quiet Air Rifle for Neighborhood Use
Meet Mike O’Connor, (a DIY enthusiast), living in Cincinnati, a city ranked as the noisiest in the USA.
As a work from home dad, I have a first hand experience of how noise can truly affect your well being.
Soundproofing isn’t something that should be taken as a hobby, it should be a skill that every homeowner should be equipped with.
Most of the work documented on this blog comes from purely first hand experience, and the products recommended work as indicated.