Some of the Best Quiet Portable Generators on the Market Today

Overview

If a reduced noise level is more important to you than sheer power then our selection here should have you off to a good start.

But before we get into it, let's remind ourselves about how noise can be a very subjective issue. To some extent, a lot depends on how good or bad our hearing is, and it's hard to find two people who can agree on how loud anything is. We've added a bit more information on noise and what effects it can have on you.

We've seen a wide variety of review opinions relating to all kinds of portable generators. Some say a generator is really quiet, while others will swear it's louder than advertised. This goes to prove our point.

So we guess the only way to make up your mind is to listen physically to any generator that interests you as it revs through its paces. But we also know how impractical that is nowadays.

Manufacturers

The wide selection we have here includes models from A-iPower, Briggs & Stratton, Champion Power Equipment, DuroMax, Honda, WEN, Westinghouse and Yamaha.

Quiet Model Types - Single and Dual Fuel - Open and Closed Frame

Of the sixteen generators we describe below, all but one, the Champion 100402 - a dual fuel gasoline/propane model - operate with the single fuel, gasoline. They are all of the closed frame type, which helps a lot to reduce noise, and they are all inverters. The models range from 48dB to 59dB.

Power Outputs

With one exception (the Westinghouse iGen4500) which is in a league of its own, the quietest of the portable generators are among the smallest and lightest. They have running power outputs of between 900 and 2000 running watts, and starting powers of between 1000 and 2400 watts. These kinds of power are more suited to recreational use, though they can, at a pinch, power very basic appliances in an emergency.

Although most of these model are on the low side as far as power is concerned, you benefit from the newer inverter technology, which is able to output the kind of clean voltage you are used to at home. You will, therefore, have no difficulties in safely connecting the growing amount of sensitive electronics we all seem to have nowadays. This is not the case with generators built on conventional/traditional technology. 

Portable Power Stations

It's worth mentioning here that if you regard quietness as the number one priority, and you are not so much concerned about power outputs, them you could also have a look at portable power stations. These are of a completely different technology in that they use lithium-ion batteries to store electrical energy once they have been charged rather than use an engine to generate power. They are silent and generally much more portable. 
5 stars

Honda EU2200i

Sound: 48dB - Weight: 46lbs
Gasoline Start: 2200w - Run: 1800w
The Gold Standard of inverters, this no frills reliable workhorse is backed by Honda's fame for the best in engineering excellence.
See our Review Here
4 and a Half stars

WEN 56200i 2000

Sound: 51dB - Weight: 48lbs
Gasoline Start: 2000w - Run: 1600w
Another simple to operate example from WEN, this will suit those who like weekend camping and being out and about.
See our Review Here
5 stars

Westinghouse iGen 2200

Sound: 52dB - Weight: 46lbs
Gasoline Start: 2000w - Run: 1800w
Light weight, low noise and simple to operate, making it ideal for casual campers and recreational uses in general.
See our Review Here
4 and a Half stars

DuroMax XP2000iS

Sound: 52dB - Weight: 47lbs
Gasoline Start: 2000w - Run: 1800w
Honda reliability, quiet operation and light weight have made this one of the top choices for camping away from the grid.
See our Review Here
4 and a Half stars

Westinghouse iGen4500

Sound: 52dB - Weight: 98lbs
Gasoline Start: 4500ws - Run: 3700w
Powerful and surprisingly quiet, if relatively heavy. LED Data Center and electric start make this a great choice for lots of uses.
See our Review Here
4 and a Half stars

WEN 56225i

Sound: 52dB - Weight: 48.5lbs
Gasoline Start: 2250w - Run: 1800w
A well-reviewed inverter both for recreational use and for some limited backup during short-term power outages.
See our Review Here
4 and a Half stars

WEN 56203i SuperQuiet 2000

Sound: 53dB - Weight: 39lbs
Gasoline Start: 2000w - Run: 1700w
A simple model from WEN, where light weight and quiet operation combine to make an affordable inverter for casual use.
See our Review Here
4 and a Half stars

Champion 100692 2000

Sound: 53dB - Weight: 39.5lbs
Gasoline Start: 2000w - Run: 1700w
Champion make great generators and this is no exception. It's light and quiet, is simple to operate and is ideal for a lot of basic uses.
See our Review Here
5 stars

Yamaha EF2000Sv2

Sound: 53dB - Weight: 44.1lbs
Gasoline Start: 2000w - Run: 1600w
Easy to operate and well-engineered, Yamaha is popular among buyers who value a brand renowned for its high quality products.
See our Review Here
4 and a Half stars

Champion 100402 2000

Sound: 53dB - Weight: 47.6lbs
Gasoline Start: 2000w - Run: 1800w
Propane: Start: 1800w - Run: 1440w
A light and quiet DUAL FUEL inverter with a digital display, designed to give you maximum flexibility at and away from home.
See our Review Here
4 and a Half stars

Yamaha EF2400iSHC

Sound: 53dB - Weight: 75lbs
Gasoline Start: 2400ws - Run: 2000w
A top quality portable inverter with a retro look, and built to last for discerning buyers who value durability over cost.
See our Review Here
5 stars

Yamaha EF1000iS

Sound: 57dB - Weight: 27.9lbs
Gasoline Start: 1000w - Run: 900w
Popular with buyers demanding top quality and durability in a light inverter. It's not the quietest, but its features may suit you.
See our Review Here
4 and a Half stars

A-iPower SUA2000i

Sound: 58dB - Weight: 46lbs
Gasoline Start: 2000w - Run: 1600w
A compact and light weight inverter excellent for light and recreational use, with an engine said to be compatible with a Yamaha.
See our Review Here
4 and a Half stars

A-iPower SC2000i

Sound: 58dB - Weight: 46lbs
Gasoline Start: 2000w - Run: 1600w
Nearly identical to the A-iPower SUA2000i, this model is fitted with the Yamaha 79cc engine and is more expensive, possibly for that reason.
See our Review Here
Last updated on: 1 December 2022
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