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The Loudest Whistle and Quietest Car

on 06 Apr 2022 11:22 AM
Blog Category: Noise Blog

At 143 dB the HyperWhistle, claimed to be the Worlds loudest whistle, exceeds the legislated peak maximum workplace standard and cannot be used without hearing protection (which it comes with).  Hard to believe that a whistle is louder than a jet on the tarmac but if it performs as shown in a Youtube video, where it belts out 143 dBLCPeak  measured with a Bruel and Kjaer sound level meter, this whistle can be heard over a distance exceeding 3 kilometres.  Just think of the uses!

The high frequency, high volume output of the HyperWhistle is attributed to the patented Tri-Frequency Design, a system of three “carefully engineered, specific frequency chambers which, in unison, are harmonics of the same note, generating much higher output, up to three times the normal whistle.”  A product of over 2.5 years of engineering effort, the HyperWhistle exceeds the US Navy Officials original design requirement for a whistle that could be heard on the decks of US Aircraft carriers, where ambient noise level exceeds 125 decibels.

This whistle presents all sorts of possibilities for emergency warning signals in high noise environments from airports to engine rooms without automated systems or as a backup and as a replacement for the standard whistle attached to lifejackets.  Retailing around $50-60 the HyperWhistle is more expensive that others on the market but, if you ever find yourself in the water trying to attract the attention of a passing vessel, you will be grateful for each and every extra dB blasting out of the precision engineered triple chamber system. 

At the other end of the scale of precision engineering the Rolls Royce Motor Company is often seen as the epitome of quality. Henry Rolls is famous for putting engineering precision before profit. He considered noise, or more accurately its absence, as a key performance indicator for his vehicles, associating it with wearing parts and wasted energy.   The latest Rolls to roll off the hand-built assembly line is no exception with one of the Australian newspaper’s motoring journalists suggesting that it may be the quietest car ever built.  

The association with quietness and quality is not the only sound related performance factor sought after by luxury car makers. The solid thump of a closing door signifies mass and structural strength and internal fit outs accentuating the quality of high-end sound systems are other up-market acoustic design elements.  

More generally, the search for quiet which extends to every facet of the automobile, just made a great leap forward with electric vehicles in which engine and drive train noise drops out dramatically.   But this step forward does not suit all, some manufacturers are designing in special exhaust noise effects (presumably the throaty roar of a high performance V8) for the true-blue rev-head.  What would Henry Rolls think?

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