You’ll find that some vehicles come with a quiet performance muffler installed while others are aftermarket add-ons.
There are many different types of mufflers and as the name suggests, they play an important role in the car’s exhaust system and help to lower engine noise.
Some states in the US have strict rules with regards to a proper muffler system.
If you live in one of those states where it’s mandatory to have a muffler installed then you may be looking for the best on the market.
In this article, we’ll take a look at what a quiet muffler is, how it works, the different types and even review some of the best quiet performance mufflers available today.
What is a quiet performance muffler?
A performance muffler is designed to suppress sound and minimize airflow restriction.
There’s a lot of science involved in this process where the muffler improves the airflow and reduces back pressure from the engine.
The muffler works in conjunction with your exhaust system.
Exhaust noise comes from the combustion chamber of the engine.
The noise you hear is a result of the explosion of gases from the fuel-oxygen mixture.
These gases exit the exhaust ports somewhere between 80 to 100 psi and fire into the manifold at speeds up to 2800fps.
The pressure and speeds at which these gases blast out result in an eardrum rupturing cacophony and happens 1000 times a minute.
This is what you hear as the exhaust sound.
The function of your performance muffler is to minimize this sound as much as possible and leave you with a quiet exhaust.
Let us move on to how performance mufflers work.
How do quiet mufflers work?
Vehicle exhaust systems are usually between 8 to 16 feet long.
When pressurized gas speeds down the exhaust pipes, they make a lot of noise.
The longer the pipes in the exhaust system, the more time the gases have to bounce around.
However, the diameter and the length of the pipe can sometimes help to dissipate some of the energy and sound.
Mufflers are located between the catalytic converter and tailpipe which plays a crucial role in the control of energy and noise.
All mufflers are not the same but they all use similar principles when it comes to slowing the airflow and reducing sound.
Most mufflers operate on the destructive interference and absorption principle.
Let’s take a look at some of the designs that you’ll find in both performance and stock mufflers.
Chambered mufflers have different compartments or chambers filled with baffles or noise-stopping plates that deflect sound pressure.
As the exhaust enters, it will travel through the different chambers of the muffler and the baffles will help to kill sounds.
With this design, the flow-through is less restricted than in most stock exhausts.
The improved flow increases torque and horsepower while decreasing fuel consumption.
A glasspack muffler is pretty simple and features a low restriction high flow design.
This type of muffler includes a perforated core tube wrapped with sound dampening fiberglass stone wool or steel wool and encased in a metal shell.
A glasspack muffler increases horsepower but sadly does not decrease much of the roar of the exhaust.
However, if your glasspack muffler has a longer perforated core from intake to outlet then the quieter your ride will be.
A turbo muffler will have three or fewer perforated tubes inside instead of 5.
The exhaust flows much faster through these tubes than most stock units so they improve horsepower.
They also make things quieter than most chamber or glasspack mufflers.
Some turbo mufflers may have their tubes wrapped in fiberglass which makes the exhaust even quieter.
Quiet Muffler Review
- Material: Aluminized steel
- Overall Dimension: 35 x 16 x 8 inches
- Weight: 24 pounds
The MBRP M2220A high flow muffler improves horsepower, torque and fuel efficiency.
It also helps to keep the engine and exhaust temperatures relatively low.
The perforations on the inner tube are visible from the inlet end which makes it easy to identify which end is which.
The perforations catch and dampen soundwaves.
This muffler decreases idle and acceleration noise but is still able to produce a deep rumble.
However, the volume of the sound is tuned down to a more suitable level but it is still louder than factory OME.
This quiet muffler is one of the quietest performance mufflers and can reduce decibel volume by up to 10%.
The MBRP 2220A muffler is 31’ long, 8’ in diameter with 5’ diameter in-out connections on the ends.
The connections fit over the existing 5” outside diameter pipes.
Overall, the entire length of the muffler is 35’ and it weighs about 24 pounds.
- Material: Stainless 304
- Overall Dimension: 9.75 x 5.00 x 5.00 Inches
- Weight: 6 pounds
The Vibrant 2.2’ Ultra Quiet works together with your muffler to further tone down exhaust noise.
This unit does not restrict airflow as the perforated core is 2.5 inches in diameter.
The perforated core fine-tunes sound frequency and modulates the resonance to produce a deep tone.
It removes any rasp, drone or high pitch thrilling or rifling noise that is commonly heard coming from most 6 and 8 cylinder engines.
This resonator is made from stainless 304 which means that it can withstand hot exhaust temperatures and its interior is fitted with sound-deadening material.
It dampens all the sounds and vibrations produced in the engine making this one of the most effective products in this category.
You can expect to get a reduction in exhaust system noises up to 90%.
This resonator can be mounted between the catalytic converter and muffler or after the muffler.
The housing is 9.75’ long with an overall length of 13.75”.
Its oval body is 4.75”x 6.5’ wide and it adds about 5.95 pounds to the exhaust system
- Material: Stainless Steel
- Overall Dimension: 4.25 x 9.75 x 20 inches
- Weight: 11.5 pounds
All walker products combine Original Equipment(OE) design, fit and style.
This is why Walker’s Quiet Universal Muffler can fit most domestic and foreign vehicles.
It provides a better fit or is sound and or exhaust flow.
Be sure to enter the correct year, make and model of your vehicle to get the perfect fit when going for a Walker muffler.
The Walker 21357 is made from stainless 409 which can be found on both the inside and the outside of the muffler.
This allows it to last three times longer than aluminized mufflers in the same environment.
The inside diameter of the offset outlet is 2.25” and the inlet connections are centered so that they both align for an easy fix.
The locking heads help to prevent backfire rupture while the internal partitions are spot welded for stability.
The louvered internal tubes are mechanically fastened to the partitions which will prevent breakage and permit temperature expansion and contraction.
This will improve corrosion resistance since the internal drainage system will remove condensation and acid collection.
The Walker muffler has an oval-shaped cylinder that measures 27.5” long, 10.5” wide and 5’ high.
This unit weighs about 11.5 pounds and the volume of the sound produced will be louder than those from OE with a deeper rumble.
- Material: Stainless Steel
- Overall Dimension: 18.5 x 5.12 x 5.12 inches
- Weight: 4.04 pounds
The Evil Energy Muffler features a straight-through design which allows it to provide less disruptive interference to the exhaust flow.
It is made from stainless 304 and has a polished clean chrome finish.
This heavier steel construction makes this muffler able to outlast mufflers made from lighter steel or aluminum.
With this muffler, you get improved horsepower torque and fuel efficiency as it helps keep the engine cooler.
It features a universal fit for 2.5’ exhaust pipes and mounts at the end of the exhaust system.
The placement of this exhaust provides more residence time for greater sound control and the double steel wall helps decrease vibrations.
The unit is easy to install and you can do so using a seal, U bolt, butt, or lap joint clamps.
On the other hand, you can choose to have it welded on as well
The Evil Energy muffler adds about 4.19 pounds to your vehicle while the 2.5” diameter perforated flow-through core pipe is lined with fiberglass to absorb sound waves.
This muffler will improve exhaust tone and volume and produce quiet idle or cruising sounds.
It can also produce an impressive deep rumble or growl when under load or upon acceleration.
- Material: Aluminized steel
- Overall Dimension: 20.8 x 10.2 x 4.8 inches
- Weight: 10.1 pounds
The Dynomax Super Turbo is a super quiet muffler that comes with three large bore tubes on the inside to minimize back-pressure.
This design allows it to produce an improved flow of 700 SCFM.
The patented flow direct this patented flow directors will eliminate turbulence to help control exhaust flow.
This enables it to increase torque power and acceleration for a better driving experience.
The unit also makes use of fiberglass which absorbs noise resonance and decreases noise levels.
As one of the quietest performance mufflers, it can eliminate droning sound, produces low idle noise, and a low rumble or growl under load or during acceleration.
The DynoMax Super Turbo is made from 100% aluminized steel fabrication and arc-welded seams for durability.
iI has an overall length of 18.5” and weighs around 10 pounds.
The oval body is 14” long, 9.75” wide and 4.25” high.
Buying Guide to the quietest performance muffler
There are several factors to consider before purchasing a quiet performance muffler.
A muffler may have one or more chambers to produce a quieter ride but the engine performance may be on the lower side.
On the other hand, they can also be a straight-through or glasspack which provides better performance but is noisier.
So when looking for a quiet muffler there may be some tradeoff between noise and performance.
With that said, let us dive into details of the factors you’d need to take into consideration when looking for a quiet performance muffler.
Mufflers come in either of three designs; chamber glasspack and turbo.
The internal configuration of each type controls sounds and noise levels.
Baffles, chambers, perforated tubes and sound insulation control soundwaves differently resulting in each type producing different sounds.
Chambered mufflers are reactive which means that they produce the throaty rumble of muscle or power vehicles.
Glasspack or straight-through mufflers are absorptive.
This means that these mufflers maximize horsepower and produce the scream of the street racer.
Turbo mufflers will usually have an S-configuration of perforated tubes.
These types of mufflers control more volume without the loss of much horsepower.
You will hear a quieter bass rumble with a turbo muffler installed.
Mufflers are made from stainless steel, aluminized steel or titanium.
Let’s take a look at each in detail to give you an idea of how they perform and hold up.
This material has a high thermal conductivity which means that it can handle heat better than stainless steel.
It is usually slightly thicker in mufflers and is easy to Weld or customized when compared to stainless.
Moreover, aluminized steel can last up to 10 years in dry climates that have little to no ice or snow.
However, if the aluminum scratches, cracks or wears, it could rust out in a year.
As mentioned before, stainless steel does not stand up to heat as well as aluminized steel.
It comes in a dull silver or high polished silver color that discolors over time.
This material is corrosion-resistant and withstands road and airborne salts better.
It is 4% denser than aluminized steel but the weight difference is offset by using a thinner material in mufflers.
In mufflers, you would find two grades of stainless steel with stainless 409 being the most common.
Stainless 409 contains less chromium which makes it less expensive and it has an 8-year lifespan.
The other type of stainless steel is stainless 304 which is a marine grade making it very resistant to salts.
Stainless 304 can last up to 20 years or more.
Weighing at least 40% less than stainless steel, titanium is much stronger but it is also more expensive.
This metal also dissipates heat better than stainless, has a shinier look and does not rust, corrode or stain.
Due to its lightweight nature, titanium produces a raspy metallic sound and has a better power-to-weight ratio to improve acceleration and handling.
Finding the right muffler for your vehicle depends on several factors.
These factors include engine displacement, horsepower, single or dual exhaust and existing piping.
Racing or street horsepower may also affect pipe size.
Smaller engine displacement and horsepower mean that there are smaller diameter inlet-outlet connections.
You find that the diameters of these connections typically range from 1-¾ to 5 inches and may come with adapter couplings to allow you to increase or decrease the pipe size.
If you choose the wrong size, you can end up with increased back pressure which decreases engine performance, fuel efficiencies and torque.
It can even cause your engine to overheat.
The price you pay for your muffler will depend on the type and the material that it is made from.
Aluminized steel muffler prices tend to be less expensive than stainless steel.
That being said, Stainless 409 is cheaper than Stainless 304 while titanium stands at the top of the list for being the most expensive.
Do keep in mind that the price of the muffler does not include the rest of the exhaust system either.
So set out a budget and identify your specific needs before rushing into purchasing a muffler.