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Drones can truly enhance your capabilities as a photographer or videographer. It enables you to be more creative, taking unique and captivating photos and videos.
As revolutionary as the technology may be, it isn’t completely flawless. Most people complain about the noise produced by the propeller on the drone and its build. Especially in the case of videos in which you have no option but to play music over the actual audio because all you can hear is the noise produced by the drone.
Many people also find the noise drones produce to be annoying.
This prompted drone manufacturers to look into developing silent drones, but how do you know if they are actually silent? Well, the ideal way is to test them out, but you probably don’t have time or the resources to go around testing drones to determine if they are silent or not.
This is why we have done all the hard work for you. Here, we take a look at the 5 top silent drones on the market today and pick the best silent drone out of them all.
Best Silent Drone: Top 5 Picks
In the following sections, we’ll be taking a look at 5 of the best silent drones on the market today, starting with our top pick.
1. DJI Mavic Mini (Top Pick)
The DJI Mavi Mini is tailor-made for individuals looking for a stealthy drone. It is a palm-sized, light-weight drone (249 grams) that is the perfect companion for any outdoor activity.
In our tests, the Mavic Mini had an average flight time of about 26 minutes, which is close to the 30-minute mark mentioned by DJI. The temperature and wind played a role in the flight time, which typically reduces as temperature drops or weather becomes iffy.
You get DJI’s Fly app along with the drone. It offers you ease of control over the drone and has an easy user interface. It doesn’t take too long for you to get the hang of it.
When it comes to the noise produced by the drone, the Mavic Mini is lightweight, features small propellers and a sturdy body. This reduces the sound it produces in-flight when compared to other bigger model drones. Most people won’t hear it unless you hover it directly over or next to them.
The Mavic Mini doesn’t feature the most powerful of cameras but it does take decent video and images. The CMOS image sensor equipped can take still images at 12-megapixels (MP) and video at 1080/30p and 2.7K/30p.
Overall, the drone is ideal for anyone looking for a compact, budget-friendly, and quiet drone. There are some drawbacks such as the lack of collision-avoidance sensors and its use of a USB-A instead of a USB-C for charging, but it is one of the quietest drones you can find on the market.
This drone is the quietest on our list and also a top pick for first-time drone users.
- Dimensions: 5.5 x 3.2 x 2.2 inches (folded)
- Max flight time: 30 minutes (our average was around 26 minutes)
- Max speed: 29 miles per hour on Sports mode
- Weight: 8.78 ounces (249 grams)
- Compact, lightweight design. The drone can easily fit into your pocket.
- 12 MP camera that takes decent photos and videos at up to 2.7K HD.
- Silent operation. The drone is almost unnoticeable unless it hovers over or next to someone.
- USB-A charging port, while the world is now using USB-C.
- No collision-avoidance sensors in the front or rear.
2. DJI Mavic 2 Pro
The Mavic series is known for its portability and ease of use. The Mavic 2 Pro is not as compact as the Mini but it has plenty of additional features that more than make up for it.
This drone is for anyone that values images and videos. It features a 1” CMOS camera which can take 20 MP images and 4K videos. It also tracks subjects better than DJI’s model before it, which makes for crisp, clear images and videos.
While DJI claims that the drone’s flight time is 31 minutes, we averaged around 26 minutes of flight in our testing.
As far as stealth goes, the Mavic 2 Pro isn’t as silent as the Mavic Mini. For obvious reasons, too, as it is bigger in size which means bigger propellers. However, the fact that it features such an impressive camera means you can fly it high enough so people won’t notice it without compromising image and video quality.
The Mavic 2 Pro is one of the best drones you can buy. It features a powerful camera, sturdy build, and is fairly silent. It also features omnidirectional obstacle avoidance which makes sure you don’t easily crash it into something.
If you need a silent drone that also delivers quality images and videos, then this is the drone for you.
- Dimensions: 8.4 x 3.6 x 3.3 inches (folded)
- Max flight time: 31 minutes (our average was around 26 minutes)
- Max speed: 44 miles per hour on Sports mode
- Weight: 31.99 ounces (907 grams)
- Sturdy build and light for its size.
- Exceptional camera with active tracking and 4K video capabilities.
- Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing helps in avoiding crashes.
- Has a great remote control with an HD display.
- It is expensive.
3. Holy Stone HS720E
The Holy Stone HS720E offers users an array of features that you would want in a drone. It also produces a lot less noise than other drones its size. So, we had to feature it on our list.
Holy Stone is known to create reliable, low-cost drones and it does just that with the HS720E. This drone is compact, not when compared to the Mavic Mini, but in general. It features a high-quality plastic body that works well at blocking out any motor noise.
For those that value images and video, the drone features a Sony image sensor that takes crisp images and records 4K videos. It is GPS enabled, allowing you to control it from 900 meters away.
The HS720E has plenty to offer users looking for a budget-friendly, silent drone. One drawback is the flight time. Holy Stone advertises it at around 23 minutes, but from our test, it was around the 20-minute mark. We felt that that just wasn’t enough since its competitors’ average around 25-26 minutes of flight.
In our tests, the propellers of the drones were louder than the Mavic Pro 2, but the fact that it is on our list means the noise produced is less than most drones. So, if you can shell out the money, the Mavic Pro 2 is a better option.
- Dimensions: 13.3 x 9.5 x 2.3 inches (unfolded)
- Max flight time: 23 minutes (our average was around 20 minutes)
- Battery charge: 5 hours
- Weight: 17.46 ounces (495 grams)
- HS720E is quieter than most drones and the plastic body blocks out the noise produced by the motor.
- Decent camera with Sony image sensor which can record 4K videos.
- Budget-friendly drone.
- Flight time isn’t that great, we averaged around 19-20 minutes.
4. Holy Stone HS160 Pro
The Holy Stone HS160 Pro is the lightest drone on our list weighing in at 124 grams (the Mavic Mini is slightly more compact, though). For its size, the drone has a lot to offer, albeit it won’t be in flight for too long.
This drone is ideal for beginners that want a silent option to get the hang of drones. It doesn’t cost too much and offers you enough to get the hang of flying and using a drone for capturing images and videos.
Don’t get us wrong, it features an HD camera that can record 1080p videos, but you will find others that do a much better job at this. One feature we did like is how responsive the drone is to the path we drew in its Tap Flying mode. The drone followed the exact trail we drew out.
When it comes to the level of noise, this drone is second to the Mavic Mini. The body and internal mechanics might be quieter but the propellers are louder. They generate a buzzing sound that you can hear about 6-7 feet away from the drone. Which is fairly good when compared to others.
Overall, the HS160 won’t blow you away as a drone. It features a low flight time of about 9-10 minutes and doesn’t offer too many features you usually get in higher-end drones, but it is a great low-cost, silent option for a drone.
- Dimensions: 6.3 x 2.6 x 1.5 inches (folded)
- Max flight time: 10-12 minutes (our average was around 10 minutes)
- Battery charge: 110 minutes
- Weight: 4.37 ounces (124 grams)
- Silent drone goes unnoticeable until it comes at around 6-7 feet of an individual.
- Lightweight and portable drone, easy to take with you wherever you go.
- Inexpensive option
- Low flight time, averages around 10 minutes.
5. Parrot PF728000 ANAFI Drone
Parrot is second to DJI when it comes to drone manufacturing and rightfully so. The Anafi model is a decent drone but doesn’t match up to the DJI Mavic series. We breakdown why.
The Anafi features a great 21 mp camera that comes with a “lossless” zoom lens. The lens lets you zoom in up to 1.4x while shooting a 4K video and 2.4x with 1080p. This is one of the best zoom options you will get in a drone. So, as far as images and videos go, on this list, Anafi is at par with Magic Pro 2 and higher than the other two.
But our list is about silent drones and the Anafi does an exceptional job at silencing noise but the Mavic Mini and HS160 did a better job. It is on par with the bigger models on our list, Mavic Pro 2 and HS720E. Which is still better than other drones in the market.
The drone has a decent flight time of about 25 minutes. Which is on par with the Mini and Pro 2. It can also reach speeds of up to 33 mph, but that won’t matter to most.
Overall, the Anafi is a reliable drone that blocks out most of the unnecessary noise produced by drones. However, it isn’t the quietest on our list.
- Dimensions: 2.5 x 2.6 x 9.6 inches (folded)
- Max speed: 33 mph
- Max flight time: 25 minutes (our average was around 25 minutes)
- Weight: 11.3 ounces (320 grams)
- An exception zoom lens that can go zooms up to 1.4x on 4K videos.
- Decent battery life which averages around 25 minutes flight time.
- Compact design
- No remote control, you need a smartphone for operation.
- No obstacle detection or collision prevention features.
The Benefits of a Silent Drone
We have briefly gone over this already, but let’s go deeper into the benefits of silent drones:
- In videos, silent drones offer a lot more than noise-producing options. The quality of the video in both depends on the camera used, so that’s not really impacted. However, the audio is. Silent options give you the chance to keep the original audio.
- The noise produced by drones makes it difficult for them to be used as a stealth option for surveillance. Many individuals and companies that want to keep an eye on their property for security purposes prefer silent technology because it lets them perform surveillance checks without anyone knowing.
- Silent drones can also be used to drop supplies like food, water, and medical supplies to people in a hostile environment.
The Noise Producing Components in a Drone
Drones consist of various components but the two major aspects that enable it to function as it does are the propellers and motor. Without both, it wouldn’t be able to fly. However, the two are also the forces behind the noise it produces.
- Propellers: The amount of noise a propeller makes depends on its size, how its end is tipped, and the inclination of the blade. The faster the propellers rotate, the more noise they produce. So, manufacturers have worked on these particular aspects of the propellers to reduce the noise generated by them.
- Motor: Drones feature either a brushed or brushless motor. The former is used in silent options because it produces less noise.
- Build: The thicker the body of the drone, the less noise escapes.
It is important that you understand what you need to look for when buying a silent drone. This way, you won’t have to test them out to know for certain if they are silent.
FAQs About The Best Silent Drone
Q: How Much Sound Does an Average Drone Produce?
A: A normal drone produces between 75 and 80 decibels of sound when in flight. That is equivalent to a flushing toilet and borderline of heavy traffic or a noisy restaurant.
Q: How Much Sound Does a Silent Drone Produce?
A: A silent drone isn’t completely noise-free. However, it does produce less noise than a normal drone at around 65-70 decibels. This noise level compares to that of a normal conversation you have.
Q: Can Drones Be Completely Noise-Free?
A: At present, you can’t find a noise-free drone in stores. The mechanics behind the technology limits it from being completely silent. The rotation of the propellers and vibration of the motors will produce some level of noise. You can reduce it but can’t get rid of it.
Some countries may have stealth drones, which are truly silent and used for military purposes, but you won’t find that type of device in a store near you because they are top secret and just too expensive to produce for the masses.
Q: What Key Features Should I Look For in the Best Silent Drone?
A: You want to look for an option that has a solid, sturdy body. This will block out the noise of the motor and other internal components of the drone. It essentially blocks out any vibration noise that is produced by these components.
It won’t be possible to get rid of the noise generated by the propellers. There is no way to fly the drone without them rotating and slicing the air around them, producing noise.
Things to Consider When Buying a Silent Drone
Yes, the noise level is key but there are other things you need to consider. A drone won’t be of much use if it only takes flight for 5 minutes or captures pixelated images. This is why you need to consider the following:
You won’t find any consumer drones with a non-destructive build. Most feature a plastic body that will break down with time, especially if you are reckless with it. Plus, you need to understand that the drones, when flying, have to withstand wind in order to stay afloat and operate.
You want to buy one that is sturdy and won’t just wobble around each time the wind blows. Make sure the casing is dense. This adds to weight but also makes it durable.
The motor of the drone powers it, allowing it to carry out multiple tasks at once from flying to making HD videos. The more powerful the motor, the more the drone can do (but the louder it will be).
In consumer drones, you usually have two options: brushed and brushless motors. As previously mentioned, the former is ideal if you want a silent drone since it produces less noise.
These play a vital role in keeping the drone afloat and assist with its flying mechanics. The first thing you need to consider is how many propellers you want. Quadcopters come with 4 while hexacopters have 6.
Hexacopters produce more noise because of the two additional propellers. Then, you need to decide on the shape of the propellers. V-shaped is ideal because it is designed to handle air pressure in a better manner.
Consumer drones don’t come with extensive battery life. The most you would find is around the 30-minute mark, so you want a drone with a battery strong enough to keep it up in the air while recording for 25-30 minutes.
Keep in mind that Li-on batteries, which are typically used in consumer drones, don’t work as well in the cold. You can expect the flight to reduce some if you plan on flying the drone in unfavorable conditions.
This technology helps avoid collisions. It doesn’t stop them altogether but drones with the technology tend to collide less. You will find this technology in higher-end drones.
For those that value quality pictures and videos, then this should be a priority above anything else. You need to consider the lens, zoom functionality, and the final output in terms of the quality of the image and videos the drone camera can take.
This will be the ultimate deciding factor for most buyers, but you should understand that if you want quality, you will have to spend money. It’s just the way it is. The lower-budget options will have a low-quality build and less flight time.
That concludes our guide. This should have made your hunt for the best silent drone a lot easier. If as little noise as possible is your main concern, then the DJI Mavic Mini is your best bet.
If you can compromise a little on the noise level and seek better quality in the build and camera, then opt for the DJI Mavic Pro 2.
With that said, you shouldn’t rule out the other three on the list. They are quieter than most others in the market and also function well.
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