Founded in England in 1889, Dunlop is one of the oldest and most popular tire makers in the world.
Its lineup includes high-performance tires, all-season tires, winter tires, and many more. Dunlop tires are popular for their durability, handling, and value.
Are Dunlop tires quiet or noisy?
Dunlop tires, especially newer ones, are quiet. The company’s tires feature a Noise Shield Technology that helps reduce road noise and vibration by up to 4 decibels. However, a handful number of Dunlop users have made noise-related complaints, so Dunlop’s noise performance is average.
Are Dunlop Tires More Quiet Than Other Brands?
If you bought a regular budget-price tire, chances are you would not get any dedicated noise-decreasing feature.
However, Dunlop tires have features that help reduce road noise and increase comfort. We are of the view that Dunlop tires are quiet compared to many tires on the market.
However, we must say that Dunlop’s tires cannot match the noise performance of most of the biggest tire brands. A case in point: we analyzed various “Quietest Tires” lists and noticed the absence of Dunlop tires on many of them.
In comparison, rivals like Michelin, Goodyear, Bridgestone, and others had various models on the lists we evaluated.
This does not mean the Dunlop tires are extremely noisy, only that they are less quiet than most premium tires.
Since they cost less than high-end tires, this is not particularly surprising.
Even at that, a Dunlop is still a better choice for reduced noise than some budget-tire brands.
The major factor responsible for reduced noise on Dunlops is the innovative Noise Shield Technology. This feature helps reduce noise resulting from “tire cavity resonance.”
Tire cavity resonance refers to noise generated when the air in the tire vibrates as the tire rolls. This vibration leads to structure-borne noise, which eventually filters into the vehicle’s interior.
To prevent this, the Noise Shield Technology uses a polyurethane foam layer in the tire to stop the air from vibrating.
This dampens tire cavity resonance, making the vehicle’s interior quiet, even at high speeds.
Thanks to the lightweight quality, the foam layer does not, in any way, impact negatively on tire performance.
How Are Dunlop Tires Tested for Noise?
Tire manufacturers, including Dunlop, use a variety of methods in testing for noise.
These methods are similar to those used in official tire approval tests and include:
- Coast-by Method
- Drive-by Method
- Cruise-by Method
The first of these, the coast-by method, requires a test area with these dimensions:
- Length: 20 Meters
- Width: 20 Meters
Before the test, two microphones are placed in the center of the test area. These are usually located at a distance of 7.5 meters from the axis of motion of the vehicle.
For the test, the test driver enters the area at a specific speed, immediately engages neutral gear, and kills the engine.
In other words, he “coasts” through the area and past the microphones.
The mics pick up the noise from the passing vehicle and analyze the noise level.
The cruise-by method and the drive-by method feature a similar procedure. In the former, the vehicle enters and goes through the test area at a fixed speed.
For the latter, the driver enters the test zone in second or third gear and accelerates as he goes through the area.
All three methods are only good for testing external tire noise, i.e., noise audible to people outside the vehicle. To test cabin noise, engineers speed up the car and record the amount of noise audible to occupants.
However, the occupant, in this case, is a dummy, not an actual human.
What Dunlop Tires Are the Quietest?
Here are some of the quietest Dunlop tires:
Dunlop Grandtrek AT20 All-Season Tire
Designed for light trucks, crossovers, and Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs), the Grandtrek AT20 can handle all kinds of road conditions.
Whether you are driving over slick, snow-covered roads or dry, summer-season roads, this tire delivers consistent traction and stability.
Much of the Grandtrek AT20’s versatility is due to its unique design elements. For instance, it features circumferential grooves and zig-zag sipes for increased control on wet road surfaces.
Similarly, an aggressive tread pattern and specially formulated tread compound give it enhanced traction on dry roads.
Handling and braking performance on the Grandtrek AT20 is also impressive because of Dunlop’s VersaLoad technology. The benefits do not end there. The Grandtrek AT20 is one of the quietest tires in the Dunlop lineup.
There are two reasons for this:
- The Grandtrek AT20 tire uses a Dimensionally Stable Polyester body that reduces road noise significantly.
- It also sports a four-channel pattern and multi-pitch tread design, both of which help reduce noise and boost ride comfort.
If you own a luxury SUV or crossover and want quiet rides, the Dunlop Grandtrek AT20 is a perfect choice for you.
Dunlop SP Sport Signature
Featuring advanced tire technology, the Dunlop SP Sport Signature provides good year-round performance for passenger cars.
One of such tech-infused feature is the ‘double tread zone.’
Basically, the tire comes with two tread zones for handling different driving needs. The Dry Performance sector comes with a multi-ribbed design for increased grip and stability on dry surfaces.
Meanwhile, the Wet Performance sector features Dunlop’s Hydro-Paddle technology, which uses wide grooves and a silica-infused compound.
This helps remove more water from the tire while driving over wet road surfaces, preventing the vehicle from hydroplaning.
More important, road noise on this tire is minimal because the tire effectively absorbs road vibration.
This improves passenger comfort and the overall quality of the ride.
What Dunlop Tires Are Noisier?
Dunlop’s lineup of tires also includes noisier models, including:
Dunlop Sport Maxx
The Dunlop Sport Maxx tire is a summer performance tire that provides riders with increased grip, handling, and cornering ability.
However, its good performance is often marred by various noise-related complaints.
A Lexus LS 460 owner complained about getting a thumping noise from his tires, particularly at low speeds. According to him, the noise was usually absent at higher speeds.
Another owner said he experienced the same “thump-thump” noise on his tires but later swapped them for another brand.
Per reports, this problem is quite common on the Dunlop Sport Maxx tires. Many owners found that the edges on the tires wear out in a “feathering” pattern.
This resulted in stair-steps on the inner and outer tread blocks that caused the thumping noise.
In most cases, owners had to replace the tires with a new set from a different brand.
While some got their dealers to replace the tires free, you may not be so lucky.
Dunlop SP 31 A/S
The Dunlop SP 31 is an all-season tire that boasts low rolling resistance and impressive fuel efficiency.
Its fuel economy credentials are likely the reason for its use on fuel-efficient vehicles such as the Honda Fit and Honda Insight.
Great gas mileage is the only good thing about the Dunlop SP 31 tire, however. There have been various complaints about the tire, ranging from poor tread life to dismal performance on a wet surface.
The tire is infamous for its severe road noise.
On a forum dedicated to Honda Fit owners, we found several complaints of noisy performance on the OEM Dunlop SP 31 tires. A particular owner said he had his quietest ride yet only after swapping out the stock SP 31 tires.
Many OEM tires are known to perform poorly, so the Dunlop SP 31’s case is hardly surprising.
For your own sake, consider avoiding buying this tire for your vehicle.
Can You Make Dunlop Tires Quieter?
Road noise from tires is a nightmare for many drivers.
Not only will it distract your attention, but it will also reduce both ride comfort and ride quality.
While replacing the tires can solve the problem (if the tires are worn), it is not always necessary.
Here are some tips on how to make your Dunlop tires quiet:
- Inspect wheel bearings:
Although wheel bearings are an important part of your tire, we can wager that you hardly pay them attention.
- If the wheel bearings suffer serious damage, they can cause problems, including pronounced tire noise.
- Inspect air pressure:
The service manual recommends a specific level of air pressure for the tires.
- If the air in your tire is higher (overinflation) or lower (underinflation) than the specified limit, the tires may squeal.
- Also, irregular air pressure will induce uneven wear, another cause of excessive tire noise.
- Rotate your tires:
Tire manufacturers, including Dunlop, advise rotating the tires at intervals.
- Uneven tire wear is a major cause of tire noise and can reduce ride quality.
- Regular rotation will ensure the tires wear properly and do not make noise.
- Inspect suspension:
You may not know it, but the suspension on your car influences tire performance greatly.
- If parts of the suspension, such as the shocks or forks, are worn, the tires will start to vibrate.
- Soon enough, tire noise will increase, and ride comfort will decline.
If you detect extraordinary levels of noise on your tires, get a technician to examine the suspension for signs of faulty or worn components.
Which Tire Brand Is the QUIETEST?
Tire manufacturers have spent millions in research money to reduce noise on their products.
Below are the tire brands that make the least noise:
Michelin’s tires feature its signature Acoustic Technology that helps cut down road noise.
- Goodyear: Goodyear’s SoundComfort technology helps reduce road noise and vibrations on its tires.
Pirelli’s pioneering Noise Cancelation System decreases tire cavity noise for impressive ride quality.
Continental uses its ContiSilent technology to limit noise on its tires and provide tranquil rides for users.
Hankook tires feature Sound Absorber technology to keep road noise and vibration minimal.