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The Listening Room


The Listening Room


Listen to every fan we sell here in Sidewinder Computers' The Listening Room. All fan sounds were recorded in MP3 audio format (128kbps bit rate; 44.1kHz sample rate) and are ranked by apparent loudness. To hear them, you must have an MP3 player installed, such as Winamp, Sonique, Musicmatch and others.

For high-bandwidth users (cable/DSL), click the green Play button in the chart below to hear streaming MP3 audio in your player. For low-bandwidth users (dial-up), click the red Save button to store each sound file onto your Desktop for trouble-free playback.

Or, click here to download all the fan sounds in The Listening Room Sound Pack (7.10 MB). All the sounds are neatly organized by their rankings and fan names.

Check out A Primer in Digital Audio and Recording below for a closer look at the making of The Listening Room.

 

Updated 01-22-02

Key to Sizes:

40-60mm

80mm

90-92mm

120mm

 

Manufacturer

Fan Name

Model #

Speed (RPM)

Flow Rate (CFM)

Noise Level (dBA)

Noise Level (dBV)

Intensity Graph

Play Save

1

Delta 80x38mm (EHE)

FFB0812EHE

5700

80.2

52.5

-11.0

01 Delta 80x38 FFB0812EHE_A.gif

Play this badboy now

Download this mp3

2

Delta 80x38mm (SHE)

FFB0812SHE

4900

68.5

48.5

-15.2

FFB0812SHE

Listen to this fan

Download this mp3

3

Sunon 120x38mm

KD1212PMB1

3100

108.0

42.0

-18.0

Sunon 120x38 KD1212PMB1

Listen to this fan

Download this mp3

4

Sunon 120x25mm High Speed

KD1212PTB1

3100

90.0

44.5

-20.5

Sunon 120x35 KD1212PTB1

Listen to this fan

Download this mp3

5

YS Tech 120mm

FD1212387B-2R

4200

131.0

45.0

-23.2

YS Tech 120x38 FD1212387B-2R

Listen to this fan

Download this mp3

6

Delta 60mm Black Label

AFB0612EH

6900

37.6

46.5

-24.4

Delta 80x38 Black Label AFB0612EH

Listen to this fan

Download this mp3

7

Sanyo Denki 80x32mm

109P0812A201

4600

53.0

45.0

-25.3

Sanyo Denki 80x32 109P0812A201

Listen to this fan

Download this mp3

*8

Papst 60mm

NGHH

6850

33.0

43.0

-27.3

Papst 60mm NGHH

Listen to this fan

Download this mp3

9

Sunon 80mm Ultra High Speed

KD1208PTBX-6A

3900

50.6

40.5

-27.5

Sunon 80mm Ultra High Speed KD1208PTBX-6A

Listen to this fan

Download this mp3

10

Sunon 60mm Slim

KD1206PFB1

5200

16.3

36.0

-29.4

Sunon 60mm Slim KD1206PFB1

Listen to this fan

Download this mp3

*11

Thermaltake 60mm

TT6025-A

4550

31.0

31.5

-29.8

Thermaltake 60mm

Listen to this fan

Download this mp3

12

Delta 80x38mm (HHE)

FFB0812HHE

3400

45.2

39.0

-30.2

Delta 80x38 FFB0812HHE

Listen to this fan

Download this mp3

13

Sunon 120x25mm

KD1212PTB3

2400

69.0

35.5

-30.2

Sunon 120x25 KD1212PTB3

Listen to this fan

Download this mp3

14

Ultra-Cool 120mm Clear Fan

clear120mm

2600

89.0

39.0

-31.9

Ultra-Cool 120mm Clear Fan

Listen to this fan

Download this mp3

15

Sunon 40mm

N4010B1

7300

6.9

30.5

-32.1

Vantec 40mm N4010B1

Listen to this fan

Download this mp3

16

Sanyo Denki 92mm

109P0912H201

2900

55.1

36.0

-32.1

Sanyo Denki 92mm 109P0912H201

Listen to this fan

Download this mp3

17

YS Tech 60mm

FD1260257B-2A

4200

26.0

34.0

-32.6

YS Tech 60mm FD1260257B-2A

Listen to this fan

Download this mp3

18*

Sunon 80mm High Speed

KD1208PTB1

3200

42.5

36.5

-33.3

Sunon 80mm High Speed KD1208PTB1

Listen to this fan

Download this mp3

19

Sunon 60mm

KD1206PTB1

5100

23.5

34.0

-33.4

Sunon 60mm KD1206PTB1

Listen to this fan

Download this mp3

20

Sunon 60x20mm

KD1206PKB1

4300

22.0

32.5

-34.0

Sunon 60x20 KD1206PKB1

Listen to this fan

Download this mp3

*21

Thermoengine Stock 60x25mm

V60-4210

~4500

~18.1

~32.8

-34.1

Thermoengine Stock V60-4210

Listen to this fan

Download this mp3

22

Sunon 90mm High Speed

KD1209PTB1-6

2700

51.0

35.0

-37.2

Sunon 90 High Speed KD1209PTB1-6

Listen to this fan

Download this mp3

23

Sunon 90mm

KD1209PTB2

2500

44.0

33.0

-39.0

Sunon 90mm KD1209PTB2

Listen to this fan

Download this mp3

24

Ultra-Cool 92mm Clear Fan

UC-9FBC

1900

33.5

27.0

-39.4

Ultra-Cool 92mm Clear Fan UC-9FBC

Listen to this fan

Download this mp3

25

Sunon 80mm

KD1208PTB2

2800

36.0

32.5

-40.1

Sunon 80mm KD1208PTB2

Listen to this fan

Download this mp3

26

Sunon 80mm Low Speed

KD1208PTB3

2500

33.1

28.0

-42.6

Sunon 80mm Low Speed KD1208PTB3

Listen to this fan

Download this mp3

27

Ultra-Cool 80mm Clear Fan

UC-8FBC

2000

29.5

25.0

-43.2

Ultra-Cool 80mm Clear Fan

Listen to this fan

Download this mp3

Notes:
  8. Papst 60mm is sold only with the MCX(C)370-0A.
11. Thermaltake 60mm (TT6025-A) was previously named Volcano II 60mm (F126025BH). At the time of our initial testing, this fan was only available with the heat sink. Test shown reflects fan recording while attached to the heat sink. We believe this accounts for some additional noise/turbulence.
18. The Specifications of the Sunon 80mm high speed have changed slightly since the publishing of the Listening Room. The new specifications are 39.5 CFM, 33 dBA and 3000 RPM. 
21. We no longer actively stock the Thermoengine. For this fan, the RPM, CFM and dBA ratings shown are manufacturer's estimates noted by a tilde ("~") before the number.  However, Sidewinder's The Listening Room tests measured the fan's apparent loudness as exactly -34.1 dBV, earning it the 21st spot on our chart.


A Primer in Digital Audio and Recording

The loudness of audio is commonly measured in decibel units (dB), and it is even sometimes measured in units such as Pascals, microbars, or dynes/cm2. But for this discussion, we’ll stick to decibels.

In general, a decibel is a unit for expressing the ratio of the magnitudes of two electric voltages or currents. For the purpose of measuring sound, a decibel is equal to 20 times the common logarithm of the voltage or current ratio.

How does this apply to the sounds we hear? We will look at two ways the intensity of sound can be measured.

The intensity of continuous, audible sound is measured in decibels with a Sound Pressure Level (SPL) meter, and often, the results are weighted on a scale that takes into account the typical human ear response. Above, you will see the manufacturer’s "dBA" readings, meaning that the results have been weighted on the A-scale. The A-weighted scale reduces the frequency response of an SPL meter to the 500 to 10,000 Hz range - the frequency range to which our ears are most sensitive. This gives us a better idea of the loudness of the fan when we hear it. You may have seen similar scales that show the sound of a whisper rated at 20 dB; a vacuum cleaner rated at 70 dB; and a jet engine at take-off rated at 110 dB.

For other uses, the B-weighted scale (dBB) allows the SPL meter to "hear" lower frequencies down to 32 Hz, and expands up to 10,000 Hz, while the C-weighted scale (dBC) opens the meter up to all audible frequencies from 20 to 20,000 Hz and is commonly used to measure the intensity of high-fidelity sound at car stereo competitions.

Another way sound’s intensity can be measured is in the voltage output of our audio equipment, also in decibels. But instead of measuring the SPL with a meter, we will measure volts in terms of dB, or rather, dBV.

You may have seen these levels on your cassette deck or stereo system indicated in dB, with the optimal settings at 0 dB. Oftentimes, especially for analog equipment, you will see the readings exceed 0 dB ("in the red"), meaning that the voltage level output is something greater than 1 volt. Therefore, we can say that our analog equipment has a certain degree of "headroom" that can accommodate signal levels over 1 volt. Overdriven signal levels of +1 dB or higher begin to take on a different, sometimes pleasing, sonic characteristic, and are a way of achieving natural audio compression in recordings, as the source material’s amplitude gently pushes the equipment’s limits of reproduction.

In contrast, if you are at all familiar with digital recordings or equipment, you will know that the maximum sample amplitude we can record is 0 dB, or 1 volt - and nothing more. The absence of sound has 0 voltage and is noted like this: - (negative infinity).

Unlike with analog, if you try to record input levels higher than 0 dB on digital equipment, the result is "clipping" of the audio signal where the peaks are flattened so that they will go no higher than 0 dB. Clipped digital audio tends to have a harsh, unnatural sound.

A "line-level" source signal from our stereo, CD player, or sound card, measures approximately 1 volt, or 0 dBV. Anything less than 1 volt is shown as a negative value dBV. For example, -75 dBV is equal to 0.00018 volts.

Why not express levels in terms of volts? Well, because of the great difference between 0 dBV and -75dBV and expressing it in hundred-thousandths of a volt, it’s easier to compare terms of dBV than to talk about the difference being 0.99982 volts.

Now that we have discussed two ways the intensity of sound can be measured, take a look at the manufacturer’s dBA ratings and our own dBV ratings found in the columns above. There is no "right" or "wrong" way to display the results, but we thought to show you two ways.

In general, use the dBA ratings to give you an idea how the noise level compares perhaps with a whisper (20 dB) or a person talking (in the 40-60 dB range). Use the dBV ratings for comparative purposes, for example, to see exactly how much quieter a Sunon 120x25 rates to a Sanyo Denki 80x32 - yet pushes 16 more cubic feet of air per minute!

The manufacturer’s dBA ratings were taken using SPL meter equipment, while the Sidewinder ratings were taken directly from the sound samples you hear and are measured in dBV, or the voltage your own sound card is making as you hear them! We tried our best to "put you there" as if you were standing right next to the fan as we powered it on, in order to give you a better idea of how it’s going to sound before you buy.

Our fans were recorded without the heat sinks attached, so what you’re hearing is the fan all by itself. During our tests we found that different makes of heat sinks make sounds of varying loudness based on how the air is blowing off of them. And, when you try each fan on every heat sink, you start to get hundreds of combinations for fans and heat sinks. To keep The Listening Room simple and to the point, we recorded only the fans for you in our testing lab.

We hope this helps you find the cooling solution which best satisfies your needs. Send us your comments on The Listening Room to comments@sidewindercomputers.com.






All content in The Listening Room 2002 Sidewinder Computer Systems Inc.