Noise-cancelling tyres are the ones which produce very low or no noise at high speeds. With the modern car technology focussing on reducing the various noises coming into the cabin from the engine, panels, etc., the occupants have started to experience more serene rides. However, the insulation work on car parts have made car cabin quieter than before, but in due course, the noise from tyres has become more evident. Tyre makers have been working on various innovative technologies and techniques to bring down the noise levels of the tyres.
Among the tyre makers, Pirelli has been a torchbearer with its recent breakthrough technology for the noise-cancelling tyres. The Pirelli Noise Cancelling System (PNSC) reduces the noise and vibrations created by tyres on the road. Known as the tyre cavity noise, Pirelli’s technology uses a sound-absorbing sponge which substantially decreases the amount of noise and vibration filtering inside the cabin.
Goodyear too has developed the same technology where a cushion is deployed between the tyre wall and the wheel to decimate the air creating vibration when the vehicle moves. Christened as SoundComfort Technology in Goodyear’s books, it functions in the same manner as Pirelli’s.
Here are the names that each manufacturer likes to call its noise-cancelling tyre technology;
- Bridgestone – B-Silent
- Dunlop – Noise Shield Technology
- Continental – ContiSilent
- Hankook – Sound Absorber
- Michelin – Acoustic Technology
How to identify whether a tyre is silent or noisy?
Tyre makers are increasingly working on technologies to help reduce tyre noise. The tyre engineers/designers are now crafting tread patterns which avoid creating harmonics and disrupt airflow. To verify which tyres are noise-free yourself, keep in mind the below tips.
Tyres having circumferential, continuous ribs with straight grooves in between or the ones which have smaller blocks are a good fit for quieter tyres. Other options for such tyres would be ones with softer rubber composition, narrower tyre sizes or the one with a reinforced shoulder which stabilizes tread blocks. You can also go for a tyre having asymmetrical tread blocks which create multiple pitch patterns or the one which has sipes inside the grooves to decimate airflow.
Tyre factors that create noise
There are several sources which contribute to the tyre noise. Similar to a drum, there is only one air section inside the tyre. Once the tyre rolls, it starts creating a low-frequency sound like a “hum”. Not only the air chamber inside the tyre but the airflow and tread pattern too also play a vital role. Whether the tyres carry uniform tread blocks or dissimilar ones, they will produce a sound. The former creates a more recognisable whining sound, known as harmonic noise, whereas the latter produces a sound which gets cancelled within the treads and is barely audible to the human ear.
Similarly, tyres with tall tread blocks also create noise as the air circulates within the grooves and large gaps. Even the tyres of vehicles carrying heavy loads tend to produce high levels of noise. In the same manner, tyres wearing out unevenly due to misalignment or wheel imbalance or any other reason also contribute to the tyre noise. Moreover, the tyres nearing their tread end-life are also reported to produce disturbing sound as the rubber between the steel belts inside and the road is less.
Why choose noise-cancelling tyres?
If you are someone who likes to have a comfortable and peaceful journey (which most of us do), you don’t have an option but to go for the noise-cancelling tyres. With quieter cabins, the user can take full advantage of the features/equipment list offered by a car manufacturer inside the cabin. Often customer reviews have spoken about how they have to lower the volumes of their in-car entertainment system after putting noise-free or silent tyres in their vehicles. Apart from their low levels of noise, they contribute to better ride and comfort handling of the car.