5 Quietest Drones Available
The first thing to mention is that there’s no such thing as a silent drone—yet. There are, however, some consumer drones that are much quieter than others. Noisy aircraft can be particularly bothersome when flying indoors or at close quarters. Take the foldable DJI Mavic air 4K camera quad as an example. It’s a brilliant flying robot, but it has an irritating high-pitched whine.
|F100 GoPro-Ready Quad|
|Flight Time: 15 minutes|
|Easy-to-learn controls, GoPro-ready, brushless motors, 360° flips, crash-resistant.|
|DJI Spark Mini Camera Quad|
|Flight Time: 16 minutes|
|Camera: 12MP 1080p|
|FaceAware, hand gesture control, TapFly, DJI GO 4 app, Intelligent Flight Modes.|
|DJI Mavic Pro Platinum|
|Flight Time: 30 minutes|
|Camera: 12MP 4K UHD|
|Foldable sleek body design, long flight time, long range, FlightAutonomy technology.|
Why Drones Are So Noisy
Drones make a racket because of a few things, but there are three main culprits:
- The engines (motors)
- The propellers
- Drone vibrations caused by the above
Part of the solution is to use better materials and thicker bodies to mask the drone’s vibrations. Some people demand whisper-quiet copters for discreet surveillance and filming. These folks often build their birds from scratch. DIY silent drone construction is beyond the scope of this guide.
Noise Polluting Props & Motors
The design of the propellers can make a big difference. Some blades have lower acoustic signatures than others. So, why don’t all drones go for the quietest prop designs? The answer is to do with efficiency for the model in question like flight performance and flight time. In other words, a drone maker has other priorities to consider before sound.
Noise reduction shrouds are one way to quieten propellers. They use acoustic dampening materials that reduce radiated noise by directing it skyward. They also protect the blades and the pilot’s fingers.
Brushless motors—as opposed to brushed—are usually quieter. They’re also more powerful, energy- efficient, last longer, and need little to no maintenance. The only downside to brushless motors is the higher cost compared to the brushed alternatives.
No two drones are equal, and the noise they emit can vary a lot depending on the model. Consider what you want the drone for and where you expect to fly it most. Noise issues matter more the closer the drone flies to the controller (you) and whether flights are indoors or outside.
Don’t forget to consider other drone factors as well as noise levels. Some of these may include:
- Flight time on a single charge (battery life)
- Flight range: distance the drone can fly from its controller
- Battery charging time
- Cost of spare batteries
- Camera quality, capability if it’s a camera quadcopter
- Anything else that’s important to you
About My Guide
The five drones on this page are all camera quadcopters and among the quietest fliers around. They are the result of personal research, the views of industry experts, and user feedback. Human ears—rather than a sound level meter—determined the noise produced by these quads. After all, meters only check decibel (dB) levels. They don’t reveal the ‘perceived’ noise decibels and irritating sounds.
OK, my first three reviews are in order of editor’s Best Budget, Best Value, and the Top Pick. The table below shows the five quietest drones in the order they appear on the page.
Quietest Drones Comparison Table
|Make and Model||Flight Time||Camera||Price|
|F100 GoPro-Ready Quiet Brushless Motor Drone||15 minutes||GoPro-ready||Check Price|
|DJI Spark, Quiet Portable Mini Camera Drone||16 minutes||12MP 1080p||Check Price|
|DJI Mavic Pro Platinum, Quiet Collapsible Quad||30 minutes||12MP 4K UHD||Check Price|
|The Quiet Parrot Mambo Mini-drone||9 minutes||0.3MP fixed||Check Price|
|DJI Phantom 3 Professional Quiet 4K Camera Quad||23 minutes||12MP 4K UHD||Check Price|
1. F100 GoPro-Ready Quiet Quadcopter | Best Budget
Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5
The Best Budget pick is the F100. It’s an excellent beginner drone with enough agility and functions to please experienced pilots. It’s also an ultra-quiet flyer when compared to other models in its class.
- Best feature 1: Ultra-quiet flyer
- Best feature 2: Two speed modes
- Plus points: Easy-to-learn controls, GoPro-ready, brushless motors, 360° flips, crash-resistant
- Minus points: Average flight time, no camera included
Quieter drones—like this one—are also less distracting for trainee pilots, especially at close quarters.
Flying the Quiet F100 Brushless Quadcopter
The two speed modes let first-time pilots develop their flying skills at a steady pace. Performing impressive flips and 360° rolls is easy with this capable little quad. The model is incredibly fast, agile, and crash-resistant for an aerial drone in its price category. Best of all is that it’s GoPro compatible. That means you can transform this bird into a camera quad whenever you’re ready.
Force1 hasn’t skimped in the critical areas despite the affordable price of this model. The F100’s smooth, quiet flights are due to its powerful brushless motors. Brushless motors are superior in several ways to the brushed alternatives. They’re more efficient, last longer, and need zero maintenance.
The Not So Good
The flight time—without a camera attached—is 15-minutes max on a calm day. That’s better than some toy-grade quads, but it’s still a low average. The box does contain a bonus battery that effectively extends the flight time to 30-minutes. Just remember to allow the motors to cool down for a few minutes between battery swaps. The other con is that it’s camera-ready, so no camera in the box.
|Size: 15.6 x 13.8 x 6.5”|
|Weight: 1.01 lbs. (without camera)|
|Camera type: GoPro Hero 3, 4 or similar (not included)|
|Max Flight Time: 15 minutes|
|Max Flight Range: 1640 ft. (500m)|
|Battery: 7.4v 1800mAh 25C Li-Po|
|Charging time: 2.5+ hours|
|Two speed modes|
|GoPro ready (includes mount)|
|Powerful brushless motors|
|Easy-to-perform 360° flips & rolls|
|Crash-resistant with mild crashes|
|Average flight time (extended with bonus battery)|
|No camera included|
2. DJI Spark, Quiet Portable Mini Camera Quad | Best Value
Editor’s Rating: 4.2/5
The Best Value drone is the popular DJI Spark. It’s 81 decibels makes it quieter than many other portable camera quads in its class.
- Best feature 1: Quiet for a portable camera quadcopter
- Best feature 2: Active Track follows moving objects
- Plus points: FaceAware, hand gesture control, TapFly, DJI GO 4 app, Intelligent Flight Modes
- Minus points: Disappointing battery life, fragile props
The DJI Spark is not a quiet “indoor” drone and registers at around 89 dB. It’s much better in outdoor spaces, though. The props seem to do an excellent job at reducing air-resistance and thus lessen some of its noise. The Spark is a portable camera quadcopter that’s packed with intuitive flight features. One of the most popular modes is ActiveTrack which locks onto moving targets and follows it/them.
Control Without a Controller
You can fly and control the Spark functions using a remote controller (RC), but you don’t have to. It’s also possible to launch this little camera quad using facial recognition and hand gestures. The TapFly mode is another cool feature. TapFly works by the drone flying in the direction—or to the exact spot—tapped on the screen. And the DJI app makes editing and sharing footage to social media effortless.
The Sparks Intelligent Flight Modes and intuitive controls make it a popular DJI quadcopter. It’s a superb choice for fans of portable, high-quality flying cameras.
The Not So Good
The Spark has a limited 16-minute flight time, and its batteries are not cheap. The propellers are also notoriously brittle and prone to damage even with blade guards.
|Size: 9.8 x 3 x 8.2”|
|Weight: 10.56 oz. (299g)|
|Camera type: 12MP 1080p 2-Axis|
|Max Flight Time: 16 minutes|
|Max Flight Range: 1.2 miles (1.93km)|
|Battery: Intelligent Flight Battery, 11.4 V 1480 mAh|
|Charging time: Charging Hub: 52 minutes, USB charger: 80 minutes|
|Quiet for a portable camera quad|
|ActiveTrack tracks moving objects|
|FaceAware, hand gesture control|
|Intuitive DJI GO 4 app|
|Intelligent Flight Modes|
|Disappointing battery life|
3. DJI Mavic Pro Platinum Quiet Camera Quad | Top Pick
Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5
The DJI Mavic Pro isn’t all that quiet, but the Mavic Pro PLATINUM certainly is. The smart folks at DJI did a little tweaking of the rotors, and it lowed the volume to just 68 decibels—quieter by 4dB.
- Best feature 1: Ultra-quiet 8331 noise-reduction aerodynamic propellers
- Best feature 2: 4K gimbal stabilized camera
- Plus points: Foldable sleek body design, long flight time, long range, FlightAutonomy technology
- Minus points: Price tag, cost of spare batteries
DJI’s Whisper Quiet Wingtips
The Mavic Pro Platinum has set a new standard for whisper quiet quadcopters. Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but the technology is here to make drones much quieter. The wingtips have gone from being flat and horizontal to curved and slightly vertical. It’s a delicate and ultra-precise modification and one that has made a significant difference.
Quiet flying is just one of many attractions of the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum camera quadcopter.
Flying the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum Camera Quad
The DJI Mavic Pro Platinum is foldable, highly-portable, and super easy to fly. Its vision and GPS sensors give pilots confidence as they maneuver this bird indoors and outside. Easy flight controls let operators focus more on the 4K 3-axis gimbal-stabilized camera. Simple finger and thumb pushes is all it takes to capture stunning aerial stills and smooth video.
TapFly is another novice-friendly feature. Just tap the screen and the quad auto-flies toward its destination. It’s ideal for newbies who haven’t yet mastered joystick control. TapFly leaves pilots free to use the gimbal and capture video and photos. The flight time is a remarkable 30-minutes. There’s an equally impressive long flight range of 4.3 miles (7km).
The Mavic Pro Platinum has a top speed of 40mph (65kph) in Sport Mode. The long flight time, long range, and fast speeds can take the drone to its destination and back with time to spare.
The Not So Good
Few would argue with the value this drone offers, especially the Ultimate Bundle here. Value for money, though, doesn’t mean it’s cheap. The high cost of the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum is sure to be over-budget for a lot of folks. The other downside is the high cost of Mavic Pro Platinum Intelligent Flight Batteries. They currently retail at around 90 dollars a piece.
|Size: 14.9 x 12.13 x 6.88”|
|Weight: 1.64 lbs.|
|Camera type: Integrated 12MP 4K w/ 3-axis gimbal|
|Max Flight Time: 30 minutes|
|Max Flight Range: 4.3 miles (7km)|
|Battery: Intelligent Flight Battery, 11.4V 3830 mAh LiPo 3S|
|Charging time: 60-80 minutes|
|Ultra-quiet 8331 noise-reduction aerodynamic propellers|
|4K UHD camera|
|Foldable sleek body design|
|Long flight time|
|Long control range|
|Higher price tag|
|High cost of spare batteries|
4. The Quiet Parrot Mambo Mini-Drone
Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5
The sound of an approaching wasp is scary. They also sound louder than they are as fear sensors kick in. But a drone that’s as quiet as a wasp is welcome. Meet the affordable Parrot Mambo Mini-Drone.
- Best feature 1: Quiet as a wasp
- Best feature 2: Beginner-friendly
- Plus points: Affordable, robust build, acrobatic tricks, CANNON & GRABBER accessories
- Minus points: Short flight time, poor camera quality
The Parrot Mambo Mini-Drone is quiet enough to fly indoors without annoying the occupants.
Flying the Parrot Mambo Mini-Drone
Flying this little indoor/outdoor copter is a blast. It’s a perfect training drone for young pilots who want an introduction to camera quads. It’s not only beginner-friendly but robust too. That means it stands up to those inevitable mild crashes and collisions reasonably well. The Parrot Mambo comes with some cool accessories to make flying more fun and to help develop skills.
The Mambo is also able to perform a few show-off aerial tricks. These stunts are easy to achieve yet impressive to watch. And the drone’s autopilot functionality ensures smooth flights and stable hover.
Flying Fun with CANNON & GRABBER
The CANNON accessory attaches to the drone and shoots miniature balls up to 6ft away. The Cannon holds up to six shots at a time. You can set up some targets like paper cups and race against the clock to knock them all down. The GRABBER accessory also attaches to the drone. All you do is activate the claw using the FreeFlight Mini app. You can then transport lightweight objects to other locations.
The Not So Good
The flight time is just 7–9 minutes max. The good news is the low cost of batteries and the short 30-minute charging time. Always allow the motors time to cool between battery swaps. Don’t expect much from the 0.3MP camera. The quality is poor though quite viewable, but this is primarily a drone for fun flying. Its tiny camera is a simple introduction to basic aerial photography.
|Size: 5.2 x 1.6 x 5.2”|
|Weight: 2.24 oz. (63.50g)|
|Camera type: 0.3MP fixed|
|Max Flight Time: 9 minutes|
|Max Flight Range: 330 ft. (100M)|
|Battery: 3.7V 550 mAh LiPo|
|Charging time: 30+ minutes|
|Quiet as a wasp|
|Affordable price tag|
|Small fixed camera|
|CANNON & GRABBER accessories|
|Fast charging time|
|Short flight time|
|Poor camera quality|
5. DJI Phantom 3 Professional Quiet 4K Camera Quad
Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5
Last of the quietest drone picks goes to the DJI Phantom 3 Professional. The previous pick sounds like a wasp, but this one has a softer hum that’s closer to a bumble bee.
- Best feature 1: Quiet as a bumble bee
- Best feature 2: 4K gimbal camera up to 30fps (frames per second)
- Plus points: Easy to fly, FPV, intuitive controller, powerful app, Vision Positioning technology
- Minus points: No obstacle detection, high cost of DJI Intelligent Flight Batteries
The DJI Phantom 3 Professional is quiet considering its size. The bee-like hum is not annoying like the high-pitched whine of the smaller Mavic Air and a few others.
Flying the DJI Phantom 3 Professional
It’s easy to fly the DJI Phantom 3 Professional at any level thanks to its Beginner’s Mode. All the favorite flight features are accessible from the dedicated DJI controller (included). There’s full control of the 4K gimbal camera and flight settings via the DJI Pilot App. The Pilot App works with all modern iOS and Android mobile devices. You can also use the device screens for First Person View (FPV).
This drone was—and continues to be—a big hit with aerial photographers and videographers. The aerial video shoots in stunning 4k quality up to 30fps (frames per second). The 12-megapixel photos are equally striking with their clean, sharp imagery and pleasing colors. Pilots can stay in the air filming for around 25+ minutes on a single charge up to a range of 1.24 miles (2000 meters).
The Not So Good
The major downside to the DJI Phantom 3 Pro is that it doesn’t have obstacle avoidance. It’s not a cheap camera quad either, so pilots need to be extra careful when flying in tight spaces. The other con is the high price of spare Intelligent Flight Batteries. They cost over $100 a piece at the time of writing.
|Size: 18 x 13 x 8”|
|Weight: 2.82 lbs.|
|Camera type: 3-axis gimbal 4k 12MP|
|Max Flight Time: 23 minutes|
|Max Flight Range: 1.24 miles (2000M)|
|Battery: Intelligent Flight Battery, 15.2V 4480 mAh LiPo 4S|
|Charging time: 50+ minutes|
|Quiet as a big bumble bee|
|4K gimbal camera up to 30fps (frames per second)|
|Easy to fly at beginner level|
|First Person View (FPV)|
|Intuitive DJI controller (included)|
|Powerful DJI Pilot App|
|Vision Positioning technology|
|No obstacle detection|
|High cost of spare batteries|
- Why Drones Are So Noisy
- Noise Polluting Props & Motors
- Summing Up
- About My Guide
- Quietest Drones Comparison Table
- 1. F100 GoPro-Ready Quiet Quadcopter | Best Budget
- Flying the Quiet F100 Brushless Quadcopter
- The Not So Good
- 2. DJI Spark, Quiet Portable Mini Camera Quad | Best Value
- Control Without a Controller
- The Not So Good
- 3. DJI Mavic Pro Platinum Quiet Camera Quad | Top Pick
- DJI’s Whisper Quiet Wingtips
- Flying the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum Camera Quad
- The Not So Good
- 4. The Quiet Parrot Mambo Mini-Drone
- Flying the Parrot Mambo Mini-Drone
- Flying Fun with CANNON & GRABBER
- The Not So Good
- 5. DJI Phantom 3 Professional Quiet 4K Camera Quad
- Flying the DJI Phantom 3 Professional
- The Not So Good