Quiet Mark appeared on BBC Watchdog, July 19th, 2017. Brian Blessed and Poppy Szkiler investigate the issues with product noise.The programme also discovered Brian Blessed is louder than a jet engine at 11 ...Read Full Article
Does it really matter if our appliances are quieter? The World Health Organisation research on Noise Effects and Morbidity believes it is crucial. It says; ‘Environmental noise acts as a stress, at night by disturbing sleep, and via annoyance during the day… With chronically strong annoyance, a causal chain may exist between the three steps: health-annoyance-disease’. So it is extremely important to carefully consider the collection of machines we surround ourselves with. A desirable appliance must not only look good, but needs to be efficient and have a pleasant sound quality. An appliance instantly becomes unwelcome if its starts to dominate.
With the trend for open plan living and quest for light and space, replacing curtains and carpets with hard floor surfaces and shutters has brought a whole set of new challenges and created a more complex and noisier domestic soundscape.
“I couldn't hear my baby crying over the noise of the hairdryer”
Quiet Mark is the international approval award programme associated with the UK Noise Abatement Society charitable foundation. It encourages companies worldwide to prioritise noise reduction within the design of everyday machines and appliances, and find solutions to noise problems.
Through scientific testing and assessment, we can identify the quietest products in a given category, making purchase decisions quicker and easier. The more successful the scheme becomes, the more designers and manufacturers will be driven to reduce sound levels in their next generation of product.
What is clearly understood is that when one is exposed to loud, unexpected noise, or low continual sound vibration, strong physical and emotional responses are triggered, depending on the volume, length of time and the sound quality and context. We all know what sounds we like and which ones we hate.
For this reason, Quiet Mark does not mention any specific decibel levels relating to tested products, as every different environment they are used in will subtly influence how the sound is perceived. Our scheme compares products like-for-like in the same environment, and identifies the ones that are quieter than their peers.
"Your washing machine no longer has to sound like a train coming through your kitchen"