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What is Quiet Mark?

What is Quiet Mark?

Quiet Mark is the independent global certification programme associated with the UK Noise Abatement Society charitable foundation (est.1959). Through scientific testing and assessment Quiet Mark identifies the quietest products in multiple categories spanning many sectors, including: home appliances and technology, building sector materials and commercial sector products. 

Quiet Mark certification is the unique consumer and trade champion mark of approval and resource platform. It provides reliable and independent information about the sound a product makes and approved noise reduction performance before purchase with the primary focus to improve health and wellbeing. Stimulating manufacturing worldwide to prioritise responsible acoustic design to reduce noise pollution.

Why Quiet Mark is Needed Now More Than Ever Before

As a result of the Covid-Lockdowns everyone around the world is spending more time living and working at home. The search for quieter technology has now become a priority. Excess noise can increase stress levels, disturb sleep, reduce productivity, 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.

Noise and Our Health

Noise is unwanted sound. The damaging effect of excessive noise on health, productivity and social cohesion is seriously underestimated. World Health Organization research shows that environmental noise pollution affects mental and physical health and is now second only to air pollution as the world’s largest killer pollutant. In our fast-paced lives, vibrancy is exciting and necessary. But this heightened state can only be valued if there is also the opportunity to choose the alternatives of calm, quiet and the chance to switch off. 

Quiet Mark helps consumers refine their aural environment as Soundscape becomes the new design priority to support a vital health balance. If a sound is perceived as too loud or has an irritating quality or is unable to be stopped, there will be both a physiological and psychological reactions which could be extremely detrimental to health and wellbeing. Noise annoyance has been linked to depression and anxiety Hypertension, increased secretion of stress hormones, thickening of the blood and cardiovascular disease are resultant conditions experienced from a distressed reaction to excessive and unwanted noise.

How Sound Affects Us

Sound does not exist until sound waves physically hit the delicate bone structure within the ear. The subsequent vibrations send signals to the brain where they are interpreted into the different characteristics of sound that we understand. 

Sound waves affect humans emotionally, as well as physically, and exactly the same sound may affect us in very different ways depending on where and when that sound is heard. And it’s not just about loudness, it’s also about the quality of the sound, the tonalities, high sharpness, roughness and irregular fluctuations during operation that has a profound effect on our physical and emotional responses.

Quiet Mark

How Quiet Mark Certifies Products

Quiet Mark leads its definitive acoustic measurement system engaging with global specialist acoustic teams. Quiet Mark conduct 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. Quiet Mark certified BuzziSpace Acoustic Panels are used in the Quiet Mark lab during the testing process.

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.

Anderson Acoustics is at the forefront of acoustic measurement affiliated with the Institute of Acoustics and Association of Noise Consultants.

Quiet Mark is established with Good Housekeeping Institute in North America and Canada with a long-standing acoustic testing association.

HEAD Acoustics is one of the world’s leading companies in the comprehensive analysis of sound and vibration wherever acoustics and sound quality play a role.

Intertek is a leading Total Quality Assurance provider to industries worldwide providing acoustic testing for Quiet Mark in specialist laboratories.

Read more about how Quiet Mark certifies products

Noise Abatement Society Our Heritage

Entrepreneurial businessman John Connell OBE founded the Noise Abatement Society (NAS) in 1959. He believed exposure to excessive noise profoundly affects health, children's learning, productivity, and general quality of life, calling noise ‘the forgotten pollutant’.

John was instrumental in lobbying the Noise Abatement Act through Parliament in 1960 when noise became a statutory nuisance for the first time in the UK. He was a problem solver, introducing many practical noise reducing solutions. He stopped night flights and commissioned detailed assessments for a revolutionary Thames Estuary Airport directing flight path noise out to sea.

Today NAS seeks to improve the aural environment through new methods of sound management, education , incentivising low-noise technology and providing a free UK-wide noise Helpline

NAS cannot change the human condition, but it can offer practical ways to support those who wish to exercise choice in an otherwise noisy world.

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