When it Matters
A wand vibrator’s noise is important if you need something you can use while other people are home.
Nearly every wand we tested remained inaudible on the other side of a closed bedroom door for at least part of their power range. So most wands can be used discreetly. But wand vibrators that are quiet throughout their entire power spectrum can add more freedom and ease of mind that no one will hear.
Noise also matters if sounds tend to distract you and take you out of the mood. How loud a wand can be before it’s considered distracting is different for each person. But to provide some context, the only wand I personally find too noisy on all power levels is the Viben Obsession.
Results Discussion & Our Recommendations
Here we’ll discuss the most useful results of our testing and provide our recommendations. If you want to see the nuts and bolts details of how we conducted each test, head to our testing methods section.
Decibels on Low Power
For this test we used a sound level meter to measure how loud each wand vibrator is on low power (full method discussed here).
This measure is important if you need to remain discreet, and you enjoy the deep, broad stimulation wands provide but don’t need the ultra-powerful levels many wands reach.
Since wands are the strongest type of vibrator, several reach power levels I hardly ever use. Instead, I typically stick to the first two levels of wands like the Magic Wand Plus and Rechargeable, BMS PalmPower Extreme Ultrapowerful, Doxy Die Cast, and other exceptionally intense wands.
Because I’m typically using the lower settings of these wands, those are the levels I need to remain quiet during typical use. The decibel measure on low power is a good measure of how these wands’ noise compare on their lower settings.
While many wands had comparable sound levels around 35dB, anything less than 43 dB is good and is unlikely to be heard behind a closed door.
These two were in the best-scoring group of wands on low power. But unlike many of the other wands in this group (such as the Romp Flip and Bellesa Demi), the Magic Wand Rechargeable and Lelo Smart Wand 2 (Large) still have substantial vibrations. They’re powerful, quiet wand vibrators.
Their low levels pack a lovely, deep impact while remaining discreet. They have good high power levels when you want them too.
Decibels on High Power
For this test we used a sound level meter to measure how loud each wand vibrator is on its highest power.
This metric is important if you need to remain discreet and you enjoy wand vibrators’ ultrapowerful settings. Many people won’t use the top power levels on the strongest wands, but others crave that extreme intensity.
This metric is also important if you choose a more midrange or moderately powered wand, since you’ll be more likely to use their top power level.
The wand vibrators listed in the recommendations above measured under 50dB on their highest setting. They are moderately to extremely powerful with reasonable sound levels.
The Viben Sultry achieved the most power while remaining inaudible behind a closed door. Its top vibration power is a 7.3 out of 10 and measured just 47.7dB noise level. Every wand that had more power than the Viben Sultry’s 7.3 strength was louder, and most had sound levels above 50 dB on their highest setting.
Most of the ultra high-powered wands are audible behind a closed door on their top power if the house is silent. However, most of these wands remained discreet if music or a fan was turned on in the room (more on this in the next test).
Audibility Behind a Closed Door
If you prefer mid-powered wands there are plenty of options available to you that my partner could not hear at any power level.
Most of the extremely powerful wands are louder since they have more oomph. In a silent house, super-powered wands like the Magic Wand Plus & Rechargeable, Doxy Die Cast, BMS PalmPower Extreme, and others can be heard behind a closed door on their top vibration powers.
However, each of these has lower powers that still pack plenty of strength and went unheard behind a closed door – even in a silent house. And many wands that were audible on high power in a silent house were drowned out when I turned on a box fan inside the bedroom – including the Magic Wand Rechargeable (see those results in the Test Results table).
And as an additional comfort, every single wand vibrator except the Viben Obsession was inaudible once I played music in the bedroom. So you can have peace of mind with almost anything when you crank up the tunes.
Our Testing Methods
Our noise score consists of three test results: Decibels on Low Power, Decibels on High Power, and Audibility Behind a Closed Door.
For the first two tests, we quantitatively measured the loudness of each wand’s low and high power levels in decibels using a sound level meter. These tests are intended to give an objective, quantifiable comparison between different wands’ noise levels. (The next test provides more practical context.)Keep Reading (Show Full Text)
We also filmed the decibel test and provide the videos so you can hear each wand’s vibrations. The video is included in each wand’s full review.
We recorded the decibel measurements with a Class II Sound Level Meter (Gain Express SPL-25). The sound level meter was mounted to a tripod and positioned approximately 12 inches away from the wand vibrator’s motor.
We turned the wand to its lowest power, recorded the noise levels for 30 seconds using our sound level meter, and transferred the measurements to a spreadsheet. We then averaged the decibel readings over these 30 seconds and reported the average noise level as our test result.
We repeated the process with each wand vibrator at its highest power level.
We also recorded our testing room’s ambient noise levels for two reasons: First, to provide a baseline for understanding our decibel measurements. Second, we cannot measure sound levels quieter than the ambient noise of the room since our sound meter is picking up the room’s noise too.
So when a wand’s recorded noise level is within one standard deviation (1.91 dB) of the room’s average noise, we assume the meter is actually recording the sound of the room. Therefore these wands are at least as quiet as the room’s ambient noise, so we conservatively record their noise level as being the same as the room’s average decibel reading.
We also chose to hold each wand vibrator with our hands instead of creating a setup to grip each wand at an exact distance from the sound level meter. We found when a wand is in contact with something other than skin, it introduces additional noises by vibrating the setup that are not present during normal use of the wand. So instead, we held the wands ourselves for more realistic results.
As a result, the center of the wand’s motor to the center of the sound level meter is not precisely 12 inches since we’re physically holding the wand in place. But we marked the position to maintain consistency within about a half inch. We also found that slight differences in the distance had a very minimal effect on the decibel reading when the wand was held approximately 12 inches away from the meter.
It’s also worth mentioning that most of the wands are actually quieter when pressed to your body than they are when held in the open air. So in typical use, your wand will be quieter than our reported values. But we wanted to report the louder scenario since realistically you won’t keep the vibrator fully in contact with your body 100% of the time.Show Less
Audibility Behind a Closed Door
The third test is designed to provide more practical context about how discreet each wand is. We wanted a test to help you understand how likely a wand is to be noticed by other people living with you.
If someone is on the other side of the house, there’s little concern someone will hear your wand. So our test scenarios are designed to see if someone immediately on the other side of a closed bedroom door or a shared wall may hear the wand while you use it.
For this test, I used each wand on its low, middle, and high power levels in bed under a blanket. My partner sat directly on the other side of our closed bedroom door and noted whether he could or could not hear the wand at that power level.Keep Reading (Show Full Text)
We turned off our furnace and any fans to make the house as silent as possible. We wanted to imitate the scenario where a housemate is most likely to hear your wand vibrator.
To err on the safe side, anything that my partner thought he could hear was marked as “Audible” – whether the sound was loud and obvious or my partner was uncertain he was really even hearing the wand. That way anything marked “Inaudible” was unquestionably discreet.
After testing each wand in a silent house, we re-tested all the wands that did not pass on their highest power level. This time I turned a box fan on inside the bedroom (to its lowest setting) to test whether you can use a fan to successfully hide the sound of your wand vibrator.
The fan successfully masked the sound of several wand vibrators that had been audible in the silent house.
We performed a final test on the wands with noise levels that were not successfully hidden by the box fan. For this part of the test, we played music in the bedroom to see whether music covered up the sound of the wand vibrator.
We played “Cruel Summer” by Taylor Swift on repeat to keep results reasonably consistent between wands. We played the music at an average of 69.8 decibels (measured using our sound level meter positioned next to where I was in the bed).
According to the Hearing Health Foundation’s decibel infographic, the sound of the music playing was louder than “background music” and a tad quieter than “average office noise.” I’d describe the music’s volume as comfortable but with reasonable volume. Definitely loud enough that other people in the house will hear you listening to music.
While jamming to Tay Swift’s Cruel Summer, my partner could not hear any of the wand vibrators on their highest power – except for the Viben Obsession whose sound confidently defeated the best effort of a world-famous pop star to drown it out.
Scores were then awarded to each wand based on the percentage of tests it passed.
This test is meant as a general gauge and has its limitations. A wand that was inaudible on high power during testing in our silent house, may not have the same exact results in your home. Every house has its own set of little background sounds, noises happening outside, and hearing perception differs between people too.
For some context, my partner and I live in a house that’s over 100 years old and is not an “air-tight” house. For instance, there’s about a 2 inch gap between the floor and the bottom of our bedroom door where we performed our audibility testing.
So chances are we’re more likely to hear a wand in our house than in a newer home. But all this to say – your results may vary.
Use this test as a gauge to compare wands. Tests that performed well in our testing are more likely to remain discreet behind a closed door for you too.Show Less
How to Keep A Wand Vibrator Quiet
Apart from choosing a quieter wand vibrator, there are a few things you can do to reduce the likelihood of someone hearing.
First, make sure you have something that can inconspicuously add some background noise in your room like a box fan or music. Turning one of these on will hide even the highest power level of most wands.
Wands are also quieter when they’re pressed against your body than when they’re vibrating in the open air. If you’re nervous about sound, be sure to keep the wand in good contact with your body.
If you have a gap between the floor and the bottom of your door, you can also shove a blanket in the gap to better prevent sound from being heard on the other side of the door.
If you haven’t chosen a wand yet and you’re nervous about noise, it’s a good idea to choose one with a wide power range. That way you can use the quieter low levels when you need them, but crank the power when you feel comfortable.
Also keep in mind that many wands have power levels far above what most people will typically use. If you’ve got an ultra-powerful wand, it’s likely you’ll often use the quieter lower settings anyway.
While there are many quiet wand vibrators, finding a powerful quiet wand is trickier. The Magic Wand Rechargeable and Viben Sultry are my favorite wands with strong, yet reasonably quiet vibrations – and each performs well in other areas too.