Since launching in 2011, Quiet Mark has clarified the complex world of sound. When consumers see our Q logo on a product they know it to be one of the quietest on the market. Which is very helpful, especially in this era of increased work from home; when the last thing you need in the background is a humming fridge, a rattling washing machine, a blasting hair dryer, or a rumbling kettle!
Over the past couple of years, Quiet Mark has drawn together a unique alliance of leading retailers including Argos, Asda, Bira Direct, Currys PC World, Lakeland, John Lewis & Partners, Littlewoods and Very. Each one is helping shoppers find the quietest appliance technology available on the market to support consumer health and wellbeing.
Image: Helping consumers find the quietest appliances - Quiet Mark pages on the Argos, John Lewis & Partners and Very websites.
By highlighting the distinctive purple Quiet Mark as a trusted symbol, our retail partners are enabling consumers to make a more informed choice about quieter high-performance products they will share their homes with. This is a powerful example of collective customer care to combat stress-related noise, an important health and environment issue.
Image: Quiet Mark trigger banner on John Lewis website
Our research reveals that almost half of Britons (49%) consider sound an important factor when buying home appliances or kitchen table top electricals. This increases to 62% of those with an open plan kitchen, lounge or dining room. During the night, off peak energy prices are reduced, but everyday appliances like your washing machine can be noisy - disturbing you, your sleeping family and possibly your neighbours.
Image: The Quiet Mark page on Lakeland.co.uk
Image: In response to increased searches for Quiet Mark certified products John Lewis & Partners Online shoppers, in Spring 2021 a new Quiet Mark campaign went live across 17 categories at www.JohnLewis.com. In addition to attention-grabbing banners, the campaign also includes a new Quiet Mark advice landing page with over 200 certified products, all assessed and approved by Quiet Mark's acoustic experts.
We are now spending more time living and working at home where the search for quieter technology is becoming a priority. Excess noise can increase stress levels, reduce productivity, disturb sleep, impede health recovery and impair human relations. By choosing quieter technology and effective acoustic solutions a serene backdrop can be created to rebalance well-being at home, work and in every living space.
In our stressful lives we are surrounded by a cacophony of sound and often feel unable to control this pollution. There can be huge differences in sound levels between machines that perform the same function to the same quality. Quiet Mark uniquely helps consumers make an informed choice, based on independent, expert assessment of sound levels across any given product category.
Image: A recent Deloitte’s survey found that 32% of workers are expected to work remotely after pandemic-related lockdowns have ended.
Quiet Mark leads its definitive acoustic measurement system engaging with specialist acoustic teams conducting assessments of declared technical test
data, and acoustic measurement of products in the purpose-built Quiet Mark test laboratory and specialist acoustic lab partners for specific product categories. Acoustic product data is compared like for like in each category triangulating the core performance data of the product with its acoustic performance. From a comprehensive data set of a selection of current comparable market samples for each category, between 10% to 20% of the quietest best performing products are awarded Quiet Mark certification. Each product category is re-evaluated annually to reflect new models coming on to the market.
Currently sound is commonly measured in the linear logarithmic decibel system. Measurements are taken from the products sound source to determine the sound pressure level, the difference in pressure between a sound wave and the ambient air pressure. This system is complex because every three decibel increase equates to a doubling of sound intensity or acoustic power therefore the level of declared decibels is often not easily interpreted as to how loud something will be actually be experienced. Also, sound is context driven and the same sound may be perceived differently in different places, at different times, and often dependent on an individual’s emotional response to that particular sound. Beyond this the tone and frequencies of sound add another layer of analytical complexity in the evaluation process.
The Quiet Mark acoustic testing laboratory has been purpose built with hard floors, walls and surfaces to reflect a realistic domestic home, office or washroom environment with tiled surfaces and open plan living space to make sure we test repeatedly in the toughest acoustic setting. Small Domestic Appliances (SDAs) and home/office technologies including kettles, food preparation, floor-care, personal grooming and office equipment are tested with a sound meter at the source of the sound out-put, but without influence from external environmental noise with typical background sound levels falling well below 25dB(A). Another factor that is considered during the Quiet Mark acoustic assessment is the listener experience of that appliance. Most sound isn’t monotone—it typically comprises many frequencies at varying levels. A product may have a low-noise output, but may also have an annoying element to that sound quality which may mar the consumer experience. This is also taken into consideration in the assessment process.
Quiet Mark’s expert acoustic analysis team independently reviews declared acoustic test and core performance data based on BS EN or ISO standards comparing products in category and sub-category like for like with other products currently on the market, including dishwashers, laundry, refrigeration, extractor hood and home technology. Between 10% and 20% of the quietest products in each category are eligible for Quiet Mark certification. Each product category is re-evaluated annually to reflect new models coming on to the market to provide the public with latest qualifying models. Quiet Mark has built unique market-wide datasets over many years to monitor progress in acoustic engineering.
So, whatever your next appliance purchase might be, it pays to check it’s quiet before you buy it, and you know you can easily find it at our retail partners, Argos, Asda, Bira Direct, Currys PC World, Lakeland, John Lewis & Partners, Littlewoods and Very.