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  • avatar elias 04/29/12 12:02 pm PST

    tires make huge difference in road noise. old tires can be super noisy compared to new. road noise numbers are published by the automags for the various vehicles they test, might require manually checking each page however.
    no comment/knowledge about aftermarket sound-deadening, except that it is sure to reduce mpg.

    one aftermarket sounddeadening I vouch for is: new/proper/quiet tires. tire road noise is measured/rated by many web sites and tire experts. the most efficient tires are often the quietest - this is not a coincidence. look at michelin MXV4 perhaps...

    final question about passenger conversation enhancement for hearing-impaired driver,via speaker system is quite intriguing . YES this is technically possible to do in an older vehicle with phono-plug or cassette-adapter, combined with proper microphone setup for the passenger. (noise-cancelling microphone/preamp/software/iphone-setti
    ng). I am not aware of specific products/apps however. In newer vehicle it is also technically possible but with the small matter of software possibly being an impediment. For example, in my 2011 Chevy, the bluetooth connects nicely to iphone, but it won't arbitrarily operate through the car speakers except via phone call or specific "app" built into the car/dashboard itself.
    With software changes, the exact functionality you request could be programmed into a base model new car like chevy cruze. There is little doubt that there are human-factors/engineering people at the various automakers working on such things and getting them to market - ask your favorite vehicle manufacturer and they may well route your question to the correct engineering/marketing department and maybe get you in a "focus group" for new products.

    Current aftermarket products may well be available. Perhaps google-search using some of the keywords... best regards...

Answers

  • elias 04/29/12 12:02 pm PST

    tires make huge difference in road noise. old tires can be super noisy compared to new. road noise numbers are published by the automags for the various vehicles they test, might require manually checking each page however.
    no comment/knowledge about aftermarket sound-deadening, except that it is sure to reduce mpg.

    one aftermarket sounddeadening I vouch for is: new/proper/quiet tires. tire road noise is measured/rated by many web sites and tire experts. the most efficient tires are often the quietest - this is not a coincidence. look at michelin MXV4 perhaps...

    final question about passenger conversation enhancement for hearing-impaired driver,via speaker system is quite intriguing . YES this is technically possible to do in an older vehicle with phono-plug or cassette-adapter, combined with proper microphone setup for the passenger. (noise-cancelling microphone/preamp/software/iphone-setti
    ng). I am not aware of specific products/apps however. In newer vehicle it is also technically possible but with the small matter of software possibly being an impediment. For example, in my 2011 Chevy, the bluetooth connects nicely to iphone, but it won't arbitrarily operate through the car speakers except via phone call or specific "app" built into the car/dashboard itself.
    With software changes, the exact functionality you request could be programmed into a base model new car like chevy cruze. There is little doubt that there are human-factors/engineering people at the various automakers working on such things and getting them to market - ask your favorite vehicle manufacturer and they may well route your question to the correct engineering/marketing department and maybe get you in a "focus group" for new products.

    Current aftermarket products may well be available. Perhaps google-search using some of the keywords... best regards...

  • morin2 04/29/12 12:20 pm PST

    Excellent post by elias.

    I recommend the www.tirerack.com site to use for relative comparisons for noise. Click on "surveys" and compare to all tires within the performance category. I agree with elias about the Michelin MXV4 - but also compare with the Goodyear Assurance ComforTred Touring, which received the same user rating for noise. Mostly, look up the noise rating for your current tires to get some indication of how much improvement you might expect with another tire model. And finally, read the user reviews to see what people say about noise over time as the tires wear, since noise often increases as tires both age (and the rubber degrades) and wear.


  • Stever@Edmunds 04/29/12 3:24 pm PST

    Dynamat is usually mentioned when people talk about sound deadening. I've read mixed comments on the Edmunds Forums over the years but the reviews on Amazon.com are mostly favorable. It's not cheap though.

    If you decide to trade cars, you may want to look at a Lexus or a Mercedes M-Class. They've rated high for quietness in past comparisons by JD Power, although I didn't stumble across recent stories in a quick net search.

    One indicator of a company paying attention to quiet construction would be using laminated glass.

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