Best Quiet Inverter Generators 2020: Reviews and Buying Guide
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I value the peace and tranquility of my home more than anything else!
I’ve worked hard and changed my living conditions bit by bit to keep disturbing noises away from my house. I believe minimal noise can help people achieve perfect living conditions.
It’s very pretty on paper. It sounds nice. I bet people can handle things to a certain degree to make their house virtually noiseless. Well, as long as the power stays on.
What if there’s an outage or you’re out camping with kids? What then? I know many who’d jump the gun and say, “Generators, duh!” Yes, buying generators is a good solution.
There goes your dream of having a soundproof home.
Generators are bulky, expensive, and… you guessed it… noisy. In fact, very noisy.
Like always, I have a way out.
Let’s hunt for the best quiet inverter generators out there. Inverter generators have smaller footprints and other perks that I’ll be addressing shortly.
In this mammoth of an article, you’ll find recommendations that I compared and researched in-depth.
There’s a buying guide explaining certain aspects of these machines. Be on the lookout for my tips on managing the sound in case you get yourselves a loud unit.
WEN 56125i Super Quiet Portable Generator
Champion 4000 RV Ready Open Frame Generator
Generac 6866 iQ2000 Super Quiet Generator
Honda Power EU3000IH1A Handi Portable Generator
Yamaha EF2000iSv2 Gas Powered Generator
Inverter Generator vs. The Conventional Ones: The Difference
It’s no secret inverter generators are more convenient than normal ones. But why so?
As it turns out, these machines work in different ways than their older counterparts.
For example, both the conventional generators and inverter versions produce electricity.
But the conventional varieties only dish out AC current whereas the inverter generators can dish out DC current as well.
Conventional generators are often bulky and hard to move. Their inverter cousins are portable. People can even carry some of them by hand from place to place.
I’m not saying that these things can’t be bulky. Even if they are, you’ll find a handle or a nifty pair of wheels that aid in transportation.
My main reason for choosing to talk about inverter generators is that they are quiet when compared to normal generators.
You’ll find quite a lot of products (expensive in nature) that make no noticeable sound.
Some of the products do make a loud sound. But they hardly get louder than a human conversation.
Let me be blunt about one thing: normal generators eat or chew through your fuel and end up costing a lot of money.
Inverter generators save us fuel by reducing or increasing engine speed depending on the load users put on these machines.
How to Choose Your Own Quiet Inverter Generator?
Not satisfied with any of these models that you see on my list? No problem! Choose your own product.
Let me arm you with knowledge of a handful of factors that will help you in selecting the ideal product that fits your bill.
The “Noise” Factor
As you know by now, inverter generators and normal generators are not the same things. Inverter generators are quieter than their cousins.
If they are inherently quiet, why am I pushing for even quieter products?
The simple answer is that even inverter generators have different noise levels that they work with.
Some of the products work within a range of 48 – 51 dBA and others go as high as 57 – 65 (even 68) dBA. It’s up to you to decide how quiet you want your machine to be.
You’ll find the noise ratings on the package or on the body of the product. Compare two competing models to choose one.
Tip from a user: Different noise levels can apply to different places and occasions. We choose less noisy products for our houses. Job sites and RVs can muff moderate noises.
Camping sites need quiet inverter generators for the night. Keep all these things in mind.
Also, nothing is what we call “absolutely” quiet. The tolerance level for the sound is different for different people.
Choose a product only if you are comfortable with the noise it makes.
How Much Power Do You Need from Your Unit?
This is one aspect you must consider. Depending on how much power you need, your budget for inverter generators will take shape.
The last thing you want to do is to spend more money on a product you barely need or use at full capacity.
Let me give you an idea about inverter generators’ power ranges and their uses:
People can run their TVs, small lights, fans, gaming consoles, and electric razors with a 1000-watt inverter generator. This is sort of an emergency measure.
You’ll have to increase power if you want to run higher power consuming devices.
Inverter generators with 2000 watts of power are perfect fits for electric ovens, coffee machines, and BBQ grills. Not to mention these are good for normal equipment too.
Products that can supply 3000+ watts of power are mammoths. These things can take care of anything from supplying power at a camping site to running the AC in your RV.
In fact, these units can run ACs worth 13,500 BTU of power.
The Issue of Runtime
Do you encounter long and constant power outages?
Do you go on short but frequent camping trips or really long ones?
How much time do you spend on the road in an RV?
You need to consider all these aspects to map out a runtime and find out which product can grant you uninterrupted power supply for that amount of time.
Why? Because bigger units have a bigger fuel tank that holds more fuel than normal.
If you have quite a number of electric accessories to manage and the runtime is failing you, consider joining two or more inverter generators of the same brand and model with each other.
Use a connector kit for the job. It’ll increase the runtime.
Consider If Your Inverter Generator is Fuel Efficient or Not
Okay, I might have oversimplified things when I indicated that the only way to get maximum runtime out of a product is by giving it a bigger fuel tank or pairing two together.
There’s one more way of doing that. Your unit needs to be fuel efficient.
There’s a reason I’m speaking for inverter generator and nor generators in general.
Inverter generators have this handy ability to adjust their engine speed depending on how many accessories they are supplying power to. They do it via microprocessors.
In doing so, they save fuel. Make sure to compare the performance of these microprocessors in 'economy mode'. Buy the product that saves the most amount of oil.
Consider Portable Generators for Buying
As you can see from my reviews later, some of the machines are really heavy. Others are lightweight.
You’ll find this common with inverter generators. More powerful units are usually heavier than the others. You’ll find some that are stationary and hard to move.
These things are good in their own right. But to me, the best quiet inverter generators are always portable.
Yes, those with wheels attached at their feet or a handle or two at their back. These additions make it easy for the user to carry or transport them from place to place.
These machines are lightweight as well. People won’t have to put too much strain on their backs while carrying them.
Make Sure Your Product Has a Detailed Control Panel
For me, it’s a must. Not all of us are pros at using an inverter generator. We need all the help we can get.
People should be able to provide specific commands to the machine for it to function as they’d like and bring out its full potential.
Yes, some practice runs will help a beginner get the hang of it. But a sophisticated control panel shortens the learning curve.
Most of these things come with innovative features and benefits. Without a clear control panel, it’ll be hard even for a “pro” user to understand what’s a product capable of.
What Perks Do You Want Your Control Panel to Have?
Well, the operator must have a clear idea of the fuel level, different modes of the product, the economy mode, and the power output level.
An overload indicator helps people to know better about their products’ limits.
Look for a product with multiple starting mechanisms and a “Touch Control Panel” while you are at it.
As I keep striving towards a soundproof home, the need for a noiseless inverter generator is inevitable.
Hence, I went ahead and did some testing picking the top brands and models in the business. After months of testing, I managed to compile a list with brief reviews.
Best Quiet Inverter Generators 2020
For the second, I needed a reliable brand.
Luck and research brought me to WEN 56125i. This is a portable inverter generator with constant power with miniscule fluctuations. Oh… yeah, it’s super quiet.
WEN 56125i supplies 1250 watts when at peak capacity. The machine dishes out 1000 watts of power under normal conditions. The engine is EPA III and CARB cirtified.
Recently, I did some experiments by running a small TV, charging my phone, and writing on my laptop at a camping ground.
These are all known to cause voltage fluctuations or spikes. Yet, to my surprise, they ran smoothly.
What’s the secret, you ask?
Allow me to bombard you with some stats. WEN’s portable generator is able to mimic natural sine waves through the 60cc motor.
It contributes to limiting harmonic distortions to 0.3% when there’s no load to 1.2% at full capacity. It’s 'clean' energy, people.
Hence, there won’t be any voltage spikes or drops. Yet, if something bad happens; there’s an “Overload Protector” circuit breaker that keeps this tool and our electric goods safe.
Don’t forget I experimented with it 'at a camping ground.'
WEN 56125i is lightweight (weighing just over 31 pounds). As a result, I could carry it anywhere I like.
Those of you who need a reliable alternative power source at job sites or tailgates, WEN 1250-Watt inverter generator is a match made in heaven for you.
One can even prepare for hunting trips and be tailgating with the 56125i in the center.
Okay, I get all that but a question still remains. “How quiet is this device?”
As it turns out, “Very.”
You can expect it to make 51 decibels of sound from a distance of 22 feet when I worked it up to a quarter of its capacity.
If you want a comparison, its quieter than a window AC. It’s just like having a conversation with someone in a normal voice.
Cool, right? There’s more.
I understand that people may need more juice at times. This model comes with a parallel compatibility.
It means that users can pair it up with an additional WEN inverter generator. You’d need a WEN 56421 connector kit for that. Care to buy it separately.
This model comes with an “Eco-Mode.” It adjusts the fuel consumption level as we plug in or unplug several items that we need or don’t need power for.
It helps us to limit the use of gasoline when we don’t need to.
Whenever the unit is low on fuel or gasoline, there’s an indicator light on board to let you know. It even has an “Automatic Shutdown” system once it’s out of gas.
This is the perfect machine if you have a mobile home like an RV. Champion 4000-Watt RV Ready machine weighs at 81.6lbs. It’s 20% lighter than the traditional Champion 3500-watt inverter generator.
Thanks again to the “Open Frame” Technology.
This one outdoes Champion 3500-watt model in terms of noise reduction as well. I calculated the sound to be around 64 dBA when running.
Champion utilizes a 240cc motor for this little gem (hence, the sound). Still, it’s 50% quieter than its predecessor.
I admit: This is 'slightly' louder than a normal human conversation. But don’t forget, the makers mentioned it to be good for RVs. It even comes with an RV outlet of 12V (30A).
That being said, it’s not a pushover when used for power backup in houses. This beast can deliver 4000 watts of power at the start. It settles down at 3500 watts of power when stable.
With two 120V (20A) home outlets, my neighbor’s house is well taken care of.
He even has a 12V DC adapter outlet and two USB ports for recharging electric accessories.
The sound? I doubt it will bother anyone at home. Especially, when you’re standing 23 feet away from the generator.
We all can tolerate this much sound in our daily life, can’t we?
That’s all well and good. But how long do you think Champion 4000 holds up? Take a guess.
This little beast has a 2.9-gallon gasoline tank. A full tank of gasoline keeps the inverter generator running for 17 hours (yes, you read it right) at 25% load.
To me, the only catch is the recoil start mechanism. On cold days, people will have to pull the cord 'really hard' to get this thing started.
Let me warn you, it won’t start right away. My advice to ladies: Leave this to the men of the house.
Other than that, this generator is a breeze to handle. We have a touch panel on it. The panel gives us an easy access to all the controls.
There’s a “Low Oil Indicator” as well. It flashes when your generator needs to refill its tummy (read: fuel tank).
Champion 4000 supplies sine-wave electricity with less than 3% THD. That means the power won’t spike abruptly and cause your appliances a sudden death.
That’s not all. Champion inverter generator winds down in “Economy Mode” as we disconnect devices and free up the ports. Automatic load balancing is one of its specialties.
This model is “Parallel Ready” as well. One can pair two 2800-watt (or higher) capacity generators with Champion 4000 with a nifty connector kit. It’s included with the package.
If you don’t know, portable inverter generators have smaller fuel tanks than normal.
This reduces their size and aids in portability. In the case of Generac 6866, the fuel tank can hold 1.06 gallons of gas.
This much is enough to keep accessories running for 5.7 hours at 50% load. Decrease it to 25% and you can get 7.7 hours of run time out of a full tank.
This little product runs on Generac OVH engine. It’s CARB compliant.
The engine grants 2000 watts of starting power to Generac 6866. Once it settles down, the power stabilizes around 1600 watts.
People should be able to use this thing to power most of their electric appliances.
As I said, Generac 6866 iQ2000 is super quiet. I couldn’t distinguish between the sound of a mosquito and a generator when it was running at 50% of its capacity.
Stand 10 feet away from this beauty and you’ll not be able to hear anything!
Guys at Generac facilitated a 3rd Party noise test between Generac 6866 and Honda EU2000i.
The result was astounding. Generac 6866 iQ2000 turned out to be quieter than Honda’s model at 50% load. That’s some achievement guys!
Obviously, there’s more to the iQ2000 than “less sound” and a top-notch motor.
The design makes it super convenient to use. For example, people can use a simple dial to start the machine, run it, and stop after they are done.
Generac 6866 iQ2000 gives you three modes of power to play with. Standard, Turbo, and Economy. I could keep normal electric appliances running in standard mode.
The “Economy” mode is helpful when you’re running low-power tools. It saves you fuel by doing so.
Turbo mode goes the extra mile. It gives you more juice to run some of the heavy-duty devices. With these three modes, engine speed varies. Naturally, the level of noise varies too.
I love the fact that Generac lets the users keep track of the vital stats.
The users can constantly monitor the fuel level and remaining runtime thanks to an LED dashboard at the back. Generac’s put in something called a “Power Bar” as well.
I could see the current level of power the device is dishing out. Too much and the device will overheat.
Speaking of which, the makers pulled off a masterstroke by adding four different indicators. Two of these indicators tell you when you’re low on fuel and oil.
The other two kick into gear when the machine is about to overheat and there’s a threat of overloading.
One can run an entire refrigerator using this device. But, if you need more power to run a device like an AC in RV, feel free to pair an additional Generac 6866 with your device. The connector kit is included with this product.
Sure, it costs you more than an average portable inverter generator. But it’s every bit worth the price.
I can see people complaining about the EU3000IH1A being heavy. Sure, at around 80lbs, it is.
Despite that, setting it up for the first time is easy as well. When I did the testing, I enlisted the help of a friend to unload this thing.
The manual was really easy to interpret. I could fuel it up and start it on my first try.
The EU3000IH1A comes with two folding handles. There are wheels at the bottom of this unit. Together, these two parts make it a breeze to transport from place to place.
When I pay this much for a unit, I expect it to be powerful. Honda EU3000IH1A is! It supplies you 28000 watts of power at a stable condition.
This much is enough for people to run an Air Conditioner in their RV. One can pour up AC units up to 13,500 BTUs.
Running an RV is fine and dandy but can it handle the power backup job at home and be quiet about it? Yes, it can.
The motor packs a punch. You have the standard AC port of 120V and a DC port of 12V on board. Run ACs, laptops, lights or charge phones. Your call.
But, how convenient is the Honda EU3000IH1A to operate. My experience: Very. This is a battery operated machine. It’s rechargeable.
You can turn it on or off with two switches. The “On” switch kicks the ignition system into gear and opens up the fuel valve.
The “Off” switch shuts down the engine and closes the fuel valve.
In addition to the battery, you have a choking cord. People can use this cord (by pulling it hard) to kick-start this beast too. I advise you to use it only when it’s cold outside.
A word of warning: Use the choking cord with caution. I’d recommend refueling the machine outdoors.
Gasoline is extremely flammable. Refuel when the engine is absolutely cold to avoid starting fire. A bit of precaution never hurts anybody. It saves lives.
Obviously, you spend all that money on Honda EU3000IH1A just for the controls. We’re here for a noiseless inverter generator.
As it turns out, Honda’s products are quiet. This one produces 57 to 65 dBA of sound depending on how much load you put on it.
If you must know, this is JUST on par with the noise of a human conversation. Stand few feet away and you won’t hear it.
People recommend this to be used on job sites and RVs. I say you try this for your home’s power backup too.
People may ask me all sorts of questions like, “Why should we?” Well, like other choices of mine, this one comes with an Eco-Throttle” mode.
Turn it on via the switch and sit back to see the magic. EU3000IH1A Handi will dish out power according to the load.
This red devil can keep going for 7.7 hours straight on a full tank depending upon the load it has.
The EF2000iSv2 is a lightweight portable inverter generator. Those of you who have issues with the Handi EU3000IH1A being bulky can try this.
Obviously, you won’t get that much power but this is no muck by any stretch of the imagination.
For my readers who don’t know, The EF2000iSv2 is an upgrade of EF2000iS. This machine can comfortably power up a wide array of electric appliances.
Yet, it’s a retro-style inverter that is lightweight (weighing just 45lbs). One can keep it in any corner of the house with 2.2 cubic feet of space.
If you're following me through these short reviews, I keep mentioning about the inverter generators and their ability to produce sine-wave electricity.
Inverters have the technology to produce electricity with a stable voltage and minimal fluctuations in frequency.
It helps to keep your electric devices safe by preventing short circuits and burnt parts.
Yamaha EF2000iSv2 is no different.
It comes with PWM or Pulse Wide Module technology that keeps the voltage fluctuation to ±1%. The frequency is stable as well. It stays between ±0.1 Hz.
I must mention that this machine is extremely efficient even in cold weather. In the cold regions, the mechanism of the EF2000iSv2 increases the engine’s speed.
It lets the inverter generator handle the accessories that demand a high electricity supply.
In areas where the weather follows a normal pattern, people have an Auto Decompression system. It starts the machine easily without you overworking yourselves.
No inverter generator can be quiet without some sort of technology in place to muff the sound.
Since it’s on my list of best quiet inverter generators, it must have some sort of countermeasure against sound, right? It does!
Say hello to Yamaha’s muffler with USFS-approved spark arrestor. What does this thing do? It keeps the sound between 51.5 dBA to 61 dBA.
Of course, it depends on the load you put on this little thing (from 1/4th to full load).
Switching through different options is ridiculously easy thanks to the controls of the EF2000iSv2. The upgrade here is the advanced programming feature.
One can fine tune between AC and DC modes of current, getting to economy mode when needed, and more.
Thanks to the swift controls, Yamaha’s wonder machine can get a surge power of 2000 watts and a steady power of 1600 watts.
Thanks to the economy mode that I mentioned, the device can match engine speed to the current’s load. I could get 10.5 hours of runtime on a gasoline-filled tank at 1/4th of the load during my testing.
Don’t worry about the safety of this machine. The makers installed an “Overload” indicator. It signals us whenever there’s too much load on the machine.
I found a “Low Fuel Indicator” on the panel too. With this, users will have a constant idea about where they stand with fuel level and take steps before things go bad on a dark night.
It doesn’t pollute the air if that’s what people are worried about. Yamaha EF2000iSv2 is CARB and EPA certified. Users can operate it all over the USA.
Additional Measures to Keep the Sound of Inverter Generators Down
Buying an already quiet inverter generator helps in soundproofing your home.
But if you still think you need to keep the noise to manageable proportions or want to troubleshoot few problems yourselves, few of my tricks can be of great help. So, here goes:
On the Quietest Inverter Generators
Did you make it through the end of this long guide of mine? Thank you! I’ll let you in on a secret as a bonus!
There’s no list on the planet that defines best quiet inverter generators. These are not products where one brand or model would fit everyone’s choices.
People have different definitions of the word “Quiet.” I get that.
Yet, there are brands like WEN and Generac that make a strong case when it comes to providing clean power and quiet operation. The control panels are detailed and self-explanatory as well.
However, if anyone wants to go for power alone, Champion 4000 is a good option.
Let me warn you, there’ll be more noise than normal for you to contend with. Of course, you can counter the noise with various impromptu measures.
Just in case you’re not satisfied with the list, I gave you a number of characteristics to look for in your own product.
Don’t forget to look through my set of tips to manage the noise for your product as well (if it’s not quiet enough for you).