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View Poll Results: How much premium would you pay for a quieter car?
Silence is golden - I don't mind shelling out for it 184 47.67%
Nice to have - maybe a 5-10k premium for this? 160 41.45%
Turn up the music or ignore it - won't pay for silence 42 10.88%
Voters: 386. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 3rd February 2020, 10:55   #16
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Default Re: Premium for quieter cars with superior sound insulation?

I wish there was a 4th option - "Silence is golden, but I don't always have to pay for it" .

My Hyundai Verna CRDI is super quiet inside, and has great insulation. You hardly hear the engine at cruising speeds, a nice purr at idle, and a nice raspy sound during acceleration. Ofcourse, blaring horns from the Force motors/tempo travellers/indicas in the taxi segment still sound louder than ideal, but then you do need to hear external sounds from a safety perspective. Switch on the music and even that is damped. Even the i20 has great insulation, and the entry level Xcent does fairly well too. And nobody really pays a premium for this.
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Old 3rd February 2020, 11:01   #17
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Default Re: Premium for quieter cars with superior sound insulation?

Well,

My previous car was a Hundai Xcent and the current one is TATA Tigor.

Both have equally good sound insulation, in the sense that the outside traffic and road noise is minimum when windows are rolled up.

However the difference is in the engine refinement. Whereas the Xcent was super refined and dead silent at idle, the Tigor's engine is vocal and makes a roar when revved. However this is compensated to a great extent because of the superb Harman sound system in the Tigor, which i keep always on, so it does not matter me much.

I would, any day, prefer a car having good sound insulation (not necessarily good engine NVH), so that i am insulated from traffic and road noise.

I remember the previous generation of Swift and DZire had very thin window glass, which resulted in very very poor sound insulation.
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Old 3rd February 2020, 11:24   #18
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Default Re: Premium for quieter cars with superior sound insulation?

The difference in interior quality and NVH is the only difference in between some mass-market and entry level premium cars in the USA.

I wish Indian cars didn't skimp on NVH as much as they do.
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Old 3rd February 2020, 11:54   #19
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Default Re: Premium for quieter cars with superior sound insulation?

The sound coming from outside of the car does not bother me much as opposed to the sound of rattles coming from the car itself. I can never live with a car that makes any sort of noise.
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Old 3rd February 2020, 12:10   #20
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Default Re: Premium for quieter cars with superior sound insulation?

I prefer as minimum NVH inside the cabin as possible. For me the noise intrusion, creaks and rattle contribute towards the fatigue, more so during long drives.

Damping the doors makes a big difference to the NVH and i absolutely love the calmness inside the cabin with this.

I also try to arrest possible noise caused due to loose items rolling around in the cup holders etc
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Old 3rd February 2020, 12:31   #21
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Default Re: Premium for quieter cars with superior sound insulation?

For me, it does not really matter as long as
1. Noise pollution is not generated by the car causing disturbance to the environment
2. Car is reliable for long trips and not troubling in any way in spite of the sound
3. Engine characteristics is, generating the sound, and NOT any other abnormal sounds of the car.

Hence, Voted for "Turn up the music or ignore it - won't pay for silence"
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Old 3rd February 2020, 12:52   #22
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Default Re: Premium for quieter cars with superior sound insulation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by VeluM View Post
Measuring insulation is not going to be as easy as using a measuring device.
Agree, it would be difficult to measure various driving conditions.

However, we could set up a testbed, such as a garage, and play various noises like this one

mynoise.net

We could then measure gain from inside, with windows rolled up. Also, we could do a crowd sourced experience rating.

This was one of the biggest thing we noticed, when we moved from our old Figo, to our new Polo. Sound insulation was nowhere as good as the ford
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Old 3rd February 2020, 12:56   #23
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Default Re: Premium for quieter cars with superior sound insulation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmartCat View Post
Among mainstream brands, Hyundai has an uncanny ability to make noticeably "quiet cars", especially models priced above Rs. 10 Lakhs. Inside the cabin, you hear less engine, tyre and wind noise at highway cruising speeds when compared to its competitors. And no, this is not something new - even their 10 year old models (Eg: 1st gen Hyundai verna) were pretty quiet at cruising speeds.
That's an interesting observation - I always thought Hondas were quieter among mainstream brands. Just goes to show how much we need some tbhp data behind these opinions


Quote:
Originally Posted by VeluM View Post
Measuring insulation is not going to be as easy as using a measuring device. There will have to be conditions that are equal for all cars measured, in terms of ambient noise levels, pitch, tone and type. Also the driving conditions will greatly affect the result, for example my car is super quiet at idle and gradual acceleration, but becomes noisy when revved (not in a nice way).

Some cars could be inherently noisier but have better insulation, and may come at par with others that are quieter but poorly insulated. They may score the same in a test in quiet areas, but wouldn’t in noisier environments.

Noise may be subjective too, because people react differently to different kinds of noise. I think in general a car can be subjectively rated as quiet or otherwise, but it would be difficult to quantify it numerically.
Good point - my aim is to assess how well cars insulate their occupants from the surrounding noise as well as own car noise. One can park the car in different environments, measure sound in dB outside and simultaneously inside. A final third reading of in-car noise levels in different environments will give the full picture. You don't even need a dedicated device - an app will do the job.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I think this "premium" is already in place, informally. I have noticed that, the more expensive the car, the better its overall NVH package usually is.

It doesn't bother me personally as I listen to my music pretty loud. All the unwanted sounds are automatically drowned out .

How loud is loud enough to drown out Mumbai traffic ? If the premium is in place, we should definitely measure and quantify it in car reviews.
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Old 3rd February 2020, 13:02   #24
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Default Re: Premium for quieter cars with superior sound insulation?

Issues like tyre noise, engine thrum, or high speed wind noises are deal breakers for me. However, driving a fully sound insulated car too is dangerous especially in Indian streets.

I am all for good NHV levels covering the former points, and am willing to shell out some extra for them. But having said that, I would hate to see manufacturers offer this as a 'premium' feature as these should be basic, and therefore do not support paying any level of premium for these features, just to avoid giving manufacturers wrong ideas!
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Old 3rd February 2020, 13:05   #25
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Default Re: Premium for quieter cars with superior sound insulation?

I voted for the second option.
I like listening to low volume mellow music on long drives and I hate it when some part buzzes just because of small bass in the song. I wouldn't mind having optional factory-fitted accessories which would improve the sound insulation. Otherwise, I would do it myself (Like I did for my Venue).
Hyundai Venue has irritating door vibrations which would discourage you from listening to higher volumes. I got some door damping done a few months back and now the cabin is much quieter and vibrations are gone.
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Old 3rd February 2020, 13:32   #26
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Default Re: Premium for quieter cars with superior sound insulation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simhi View Post
I never realized the importance of a silent car till I bought Yaris. Before Yaris, I had driven i10 and Santro and thought nothing could be done in a car to have a quiet cabin. In Yaris, tire noise is not cut-off completely, but traffic noise is cut-off to a large extent. Family loves the silent cabin and have become addictive to it and I can even take office calls without outside noise interference.


Will we Indians pay for it? It appears Toyota learnt that we don't give much importance to it and hence removed the Acoustic & Vibration Control Glass from all variants except top end VX variant.
I love silent cars. To me it feel luxurious when you are inside a silent car. And it also makes long journeys less tiresome. My Verna is very good in this department. How is Yaris ( with Acoustic & Vibration Control Glass and without) compared to Verna, if you have experienced Verna. How much a difference Acoustic & Vibration Control Glass is making.

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Old 3rd February 2020, 13:34   #27
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Default Re: Premium for quieter cars with superior sound insulation?

I have voted for the 3rd option. When we buy a car, on day one we're all gaga and feel it's very silent, after driving it around for sometime we starting hearing the noises from the engine bay, wheel wells, tyre noise, etc. All these noises communicate an important info to the driver, so certain amount of feedback is actually good until it isn't a ruckus. It also depends from what car one is graduating: whether it's diesel or petrol and also what segment. For the "Sounds of Silence" nothing beats a well damped and sound deadened EV, I guess.

Last edited by Durango Dude : 3rd February 2020 at 13:37.
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Old 3rd February 2020, 14:20   #28
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Default Re: Premium for quieter cars with superior sound insulation?

Among the five senses, the sense of sight and the sense of sound are the two most used senses while on the road. The sounds around us provide us with vital information on things which are not in our line of sight.

Given this, why should I pay more to eliminate 50% of the sensory input that is required for driving/riding? It just does not make sense. Vehicles nowadays have acceptable levels of noise coming into the cabin with the windows up. Any reduction will only have a placebo effect (in my opinion). Additionally manufacturers will also get another reason to hike the prices saying "Pay me more and I will give you a quieter car".

Who determines how much noise reduction is enough and how much should be charged for it?

Normal conversation sound levels are at around 60dB.
Busy traffic noise is at around 70dB.
I have measured this using a sound meter.
Is a 10dB noise reduction enough? How much is this reduction worth?

Just for reference, I have driven the 2004 Indica V2 diesel for about 1.2 lakh kms under varying conditions and have never been in any situation where I found the noise to be intrusive when the windows are rolled up. If you think that modern cars are producing more sound than this, then the manufacturer is shortchanging the customer by using sub-standard materials/design.
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Old 3rd February 2020, 15:00   #29
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Default Re: Premium for quieter cars with superior sound insulation?

In this age of increasingly number of concretised roads (especially the highways and major city roads), and the outrageous amount of tyre noise that filters into cabin, while driving on such abrasive road surface, I am more than willing to pay a nice premium for superior sound insulation. In fact, one of the things that I check for in a new car is the amount of wheel well cladding applied by the manufacturer.
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Old 3rd February 2020, 15:04   #30
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Default Re: Premium for quieter cars with superior sound insulation?

Coincidentally, on the latest video from Harry Metcalfe (founder of Evo Magazine), he complains about the 992 hitting 80 dB (!!!) at 61 mph on British roads. That is uncomfortably high for a car that is NOT a trackday special. Some factors which are making cars louder are:

- low aspect and wider tyres
- much improved chassis stiffness
- switchover to materials such as Aluminium and Carbon Fibre
- weight reduction goals (for performance or for CAFE)

I think we would see computerized noise cancellation mechanisms in more cars going forward, given the above factors.

Here is the referenced video. Jump to 10:48


Last edited by vipul_singh : 3rd February 2020 at 15:06.
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