New World Record for Quietest Place on Earth

Anechoic testing chamber creates -20 dB space.

Imagine the quietest place in the world. What do you hear?

If your answer is “Nothing,” you’re not quite correct.

Eckel’s anechoic chamber sets new world record for quietest place on Earth.

Eckel’s anechoic chamber sets new world record for quietest place on Earth.

But a newly built anechoic chamber designed for audio and device testing now offers a space that is as close to true silence as any place on Earth, with a world record-breaking -20.6 dB.

For context, the theoretical noise produced by Brownian motion—the random movement of particles in air—is the quietest known sound outside the vacuum of space and is measured at -23 dB.

Human hearing sets the threshold, being able to perceive sounds 0 dB and above. A person’s calm breathing measures at +10 dB; rustling leaves at +20 dB; normal conversation at +60 dB and a jet plane takeoff at +150 dB (at a distance of 25 meters).

So how was this record-breaking measurement achieved?

Engineers from Eckel Noise Control Technologies were commissioned to create an acoustic testing room to measure noise from audio equipment and other devices for Microsoft. The chamber walls, ceiling and door are lined with Eckel’s sound-absorbing anechoic wedges and anti-vibration mounts isolate the chamber from the rest of the building’s foundation.

The team was aiming to build a room with a -16 dB threshold, enough to beat the previous world record of -13 dB held by an Eckel designed chamber at Orfield Laboratories Inc. in Minnesota.

Instead they shattered the previous record, with independent tests of the chamber by professional sound specialists confirming the new record of -20.6 dB.

“We are absolutely thrilled with the results of our chamber for Microsoft,” said Eckel vice president Jeff Morse. “Not only did we fulfill the requirements they needed for their testing, but we were able to deliver a facility that set a new world record. We couldn’t be more honored to have been part of this exciting project.”

Anechoic chambers are used for acoustic measurements in a wide variety of research and development applications, particularly in the automotive and aerospace industries.

Having the ability to engineer and build anechoic chambers with such a low sound threshold can lead to more accurate and sensitive measurement of noise radiation from industrial machinery, electronic components and mechanical devices.

For more on anechoic chamber technology, visit Eckel’s website.