Whether you’re an automotive junkie or not, upgrading your muffler is never a bad idea. Your muffler plays an integral role in your vehicle’s exhaust system. Even on fuel-efficient cars, engines can produce a lot of noise.
The constant combustion and firing of cylinders generate loud pops that, without a good muffler, can be heard across the neighborhood. The muffler works to dampen noise levels a bit, making your ride far more enjoyable. Not only will your experience more peace inside the cabin, but your neighbors and passerby will appreciate the quiet, too!
Finding the best quiet performance mufflers is no easy task. Several qualities can impact exhaust noise. Not only that, but this complex component can also affect engine performance and fuel efficiency!
If you’re looking for the quietest mufflers on the market, we have you covered. Check out our top picks below and read on to our buying guide to learn more about choosing the right muffler for your vehicle.
Best Quiet Performance Mufflers Reviewed
Check out this muffler from MBRP. Compatible with a wide range of vehicles, this glasspack will provide impressive results in the noise reduction department. This is a straight-through muffler that utilizes thick insulation around the core. The diameter is quite large, giving sound plenty of opportunities to dampen as it travels through.
The muffler is made out of strong aluminized steel. This resilient material does a fantastic job of cooling exhaust gases down before they escape the tailpipe. Pair that with the wide diameter and you have a unit that can do wonders for your engine’s performance.
- Up to 10 percent decibel reduction
- 10-inch diameter
- 5-inch exhaust pipe diameter
- High flow
- Aluminized steel
From Walker is this chamber muffler. This is a unique buy that’s meant to replace dinged or damaged stock mufflers. It provides some light noise reduction. But, it can do a lot to improve the muffler’s tone. It enhances the engine’s natural sound, making it more pleasant and bearable.
Made of aluminized steel, the muffler is surprisingly easy to install. Great for DIY enthusiasts, it comes with hangers and brackets that mimic many original components. As a result, most car owners aren’t going to have to make major changes to install this unit.
- Easy installation
- OE-style brackets
- Resists corrosion
- Chamber-style muffler
- Enhanced stock tone
Here’s a muffler that you can add to your existing setup. This is a resonator-style muffler that fits onto the end of your exhaust system. What this means is that you can use it alongside a standard chamber muffler.
The unit provides light noise reduction. But it’s primary goal is to improve the sound rather than dampen it. The unit comes with a 2.5-inch pipe diameter for the inlet. There’s also a built-in silencer. On the other end, you have a titanium-burnt tip to create a rainbow effect for your tailpipe.
- 2.5-inch inlet pipe diameter
- Titanium tip
- Stainless steel construction
- 4-inch exhaust pipe
- Resonator-style muffler
Here’s another fantastic choice from Walker. This unit is designed to have a universal fit. It installs onto most vehicles without any issues. Though, there are always some exceptions.
Inside the muffler are a series of perforated tubes and baffles. The distinct design noticeably impacts noise levels. The exhaust muffler is quiet. But thanks to the large chamber, it also improves airflow for performance enhancements.
- Universal fit
- Chamber muffler
- Tubes and baffles inside
- Aluminized steel construction
Looking for an eye-catching alternative to your OEM muffler? This unit from MagnaFlow has you covered! MagnaFlow is no stranger to producing top-notch mufflers. It’s one of the most popular brands out there. The MagnaFlow 10416 muffler show why.
It’s a stainless steel unit that easily resists heat damage and corrosion. Not only that, but the exterior is polished to provide an attractive finish. Inside, you’re getting thick insulation of acoustic fiber. It’s not the quietest unit out there. But, you will experience some sound improvements while giving your engine more airflow.
- Universal fit
- Stainless steel
- Glasspack muffler
- Resistant to heat and corrosion
- Polished finish
Vibrant is another brand worth checking out! This stainless steel muffler is a worthy upgrade that can significantly dampen sound. The unit features a perforated core. While it is a straight-through muffler, the core and subsequent insulation do a fine job of absorbing sound waves. In total, it can provide up to 90 percent noise reduction!
The component also has a built-in resonator. So, the little noise that does escape will be pleasant!
- Provides up to 90 percent noise reduction
- Straight-through core
- T304 stainless steel construction
- Wide diameter
- Integrated resonator
Looking to achieve a mellow growl? Try this muffler on for size. The Dynomax 17748 is a premium turbo muffler with all the features you need to achieve good noise reduction. Inside, it’s sporting an S-shaped tube. Perforations allow sound waves to travel through to the fiberglass mat, where they absorb.
The noise has a long way to travel, resulting in a noticeable change. The exhaust noise that does come out is subtle and mellow, ensuring that your drives are pleasant no matter what!
- Turbo muffler
- Long S-shaped perforated tubes
- Fiberglass mat insulation
- Aluminized steel
- Limited lifetime warranty
Great for vehicles with dual exhaust systems, these Loud Mouth Bullet resonators have a lot to offer. They are high-performance resonators that let you achieve more with your engine. But, they can also dampen the noise a bit and give you that signature growl you’re after.
The resonators have 2.5-inch inlets. However, the units are about 4 inches in diameter. With a little over 18 inches of length, sound waves have many opportunities to bounce around the chamber before exiting your tailpipes.
- 2.5-inch inlets
- Comes in a pair
- Stainless steel
- Just over 18 inches long
Last, but not least, we have this muffler from Flowmaster. This unit is all about noise reduction and enhanced performance. Inside, the muffler has a series of baffles that force sound waves and air to travel around the chamber. Despite the movement of sound waves, it has very little interior resonance.
As a result, the sound is dampened significantly. Thanks to the large chamber, airflow is enhanced as well. You can experience more horsepower, better fuel efficiency, and more torque.
- Chamber muffler
- Complex baffles
- Low resonance
- Good for improving performance
What Does a Muffler Do?
Stock mufflers these days do a fine job of reducing noise levels. In fact, many states and municipalities require mufflers to provide a certain level of noise reduction for a car to be legal. That said, there’s always room for improvement.
To better understand what features you need to look for in your new muffler, it’s important to get a good grasp of how these components work.
When your engine combusts to create horsepower, it produces exhaust gases. Not only are those gases unsightly, but they hurt our planet and could potentially cause illness. So, the exhaust system treats the gases to make the output of your car safer.
From the engine, the exhaust flows through to the catalytic converter. There, the converter restricts airflow to reduce the effects of those potentially harmful gases. But what about the noise?
Well, along with the gases are sound waves. Every pop and growl travels through the muffler, too. Several factors, such as the pipe diameter and length, will help to dampen exhaust noise.
However, exhaust systems are most efficient when they include some type of baffling or insulation. Baffled exhausts will bounce the sound around a chamber, breaking up the sound waves to reduce their effects before they escape the tailpipe. The same goes for insulated mufflers. Typically, the sound waves absorb into thick material like steel wool.
Regardless of the design of the muffler, it should have a positive effect on the noise levels that escape your tailpipes. Think of the muffler as your car’s silencer! It allows you to have a quiet ride while keeping the peace in the neighborhood.
Resonators vs Mufflers
Oftentimes, there is some confusion between resonators and mufflers. While they look similar, the goal of these components is very different.
With mufflers, manufacturers aim to dampen sound waves as efficiently as possible without sacrificing performance.
But resonators are built to manipulate the sound. Ever pull up next to a muscle car and hear its deep low growl? The sound isn’t abrasive at all. Chances are, it used a resonator. The resonator changes the characteristics of the sound waves produced by the engine, making the resulting sound far more pleasant. It’s easier on the ears, and many auto enthusiasts make upgrades just to achieve that low growl.
Now, you might see ultra-quiet resonators or mufflers with resonator-like features. Manufacturers like to combine features to achieve as many positive results as possible. If you can get a quieter ride while also making the existing tones more pleasant, why not? Just make sure that you’re getting a muffler that will improve sound rather than making it more jarring!
What Kinds of Mufflers are Available?
Mufflers are not a one-size-fits-all kind of component! While many can be adjusted to fit most cars and trucks, there are several designs out there.
There are three types of muffler designs, which most aftermarket components will use. These include chambered mufflers, glasspack mufflers, and turbo mufflers. All of these units can reduce and manipulate sound waves. But, they go about the job very differently.
Chambered mufflers look like large metal boxes! They incorporate, you guessed it, a large chamber that noise and gases flow into. Inside the chamber, there are several baffles. As the sound waves hit the baffles, they can produce a distinct exhaust note and lower the intensity of the noise.
These units do a lot to improve airflow. Thus, they are a good option if you’re looking to improve fuel economy.
Also referred to as straight-through mufflers, these units are very slim and streamlined. Rather than a large chamber, they have a straight perforated core. Gases and noise can quiet-flow continuously through the muffler without interruption. But, some of the noise will dampen thanks to the thick insulation surrounding the perforated core.
Insulation materials can vary quite a bit. Typically, you’ll see things like steel wool or fiberglass.
The biggest benefit of a glasspack muffler is its performance enhancement. These mufflers can increase airflow, which will do a lot to reduce stress on your engine. As a result, you can take advantage of more of the horsepower under the hood! The downside? They aren’t the most effective when reducing noise. Glasspacks are the loudest type of muffler you can get.
Turbo mufflers are like a combination of chambered and glasspack designs. At face value, they look like traditional chamber mufflers. But inside that large compartment is a lengthy S-shaped perforated tube.
Gas and noise have a long way to travel through this muffler. As a result, you can experience the most noise reduction possible. Thanks to the included insulation around the tube, the resulting sound quality is impressive.
Choosing The Best Quiet Performance Mufflers
Now that you understand the different types of mufflers out there and how they work, how do you choose? Every unit has its unique draws, but what’s right for your vehicle will depend on the following factors.
This should be one of the first things you look into when choosing a car muffler. Many manufacturers will provide some decibel ratings to give you a better idea of what to expect. Compare those figures to what’s legal in your jurisdiction. The last thing you want is to get pulled over every five minutes because of your muffler!
Turbo mufflers and chambered units are going to provide the best results. The more features to baffle and dampen the noise, the better.
A muffler is only going to serve you well if it can fit on your vehicle! Pay close attention to the length of the muffler and make sure it fits into your existing exhaust system. Also, take note of exhaust pipe diameters and overall footprint.
You may have a harder time finding stock options for dual exhaust systems. Even single exhaust may require custom fabrication for installation. Consider your automotive skills. If you’re not comfortable making the upgrade yourself, seek a professional!
Your muffler will go through the wringer! It’s not protected from road debris or weather. So, you need to choose a material that will provide you with the right amount of durability. Mufflers come in a handful of materials.
The first is aluminized steel. Good for areas with consistently high temperatures, this material is a good thermal conductor. It’s a bit thicker, but this can make installation easier if welding is involved. These mufflers have an aluminized coating, which resists corrosion. But, it offers the strength of steel.
Stainless steel is another good option. Lighter than aluminized steel, it won’t weigh your vehicle down too much. Stainless steel resists corrosion as well and can last for about two decades with proper care. The only downside is that it’s difficult to bend or weld if you need a custom install.
Finally, there’s titanium. Titanium is one of the lightest muffler materials out there. It also happens to be the strongest! With those two features, titanium comes at a premium. But if you’re looking for a unit that will last, titanium is the way to go.
Effects on Performance
Earlier, we said that mufflers can impact performance. The impact can go both ways. A high-quality muffler will improve your engine’s capabilities. But, a substandard one will make performance take a nosedive.
Look for a muffler that improves airflow. The goal here is to reduce backpressure that accumulates at the engine. With better airflow, that backpressure falls significantly. As a result, your engine won’t have to work as hard! You’ll experience greater horsepower capabilities. At the same time, you might see improvements in fuel efficiency. Your engine can operate smoothly with less fuel, providing gains all around!
Ready to upgrade your muffler? The best quiet performance mufflers have a lot to offer. While stock mufflers are fine, an aftermarket unit can bring the best out of your vehicle! It’ll make your drive more pleasant while giving you measurable improvements in performance and fuel economy. Whether you’re driving a large truck, a small car, or a high-powered racer, a good muffler will make all the difference.
If you like this post, and are looking for other ways to reduce noise in your car, our quiet tires post may also be of interest!