Kumho is a South Korean tire brand that started operations about 60 years ago.
The company offers various “budget tires” that provide excellent performance at a low price point.
We have previously written about the quality of Kumho tires, and in this article, we’ll look at how noisy they are.
Are Kumho Tires quiet or noisy?
Kumho tires offer quiet rides, also on bumpy ground. They may not be as quiet as premium tires, but they are not overly noisy. The quietness of Kumho tires can be attributed to the Noise Canceling Tread design and multiple pitch patterns.
Are Kumho Tires Quieter Than Other Brands?
As a maker of discount-priced tires, Kumho provides cheap tires that work well as OEM and replacement tires.
While these tires have decent performance credentials, they place less emphasis on ride comfort. Thus, a budget tire brand like Kumho cannot be as quiet as an expensive, top-range tire brand like Michelin.
Against other tire brands, it is a different story altogether. Kumho tires are perhaps some of the quietest tires in the budget tire class. Models like the Kumho Crugen KL33 (which we will review later) are renowned for their low noise and road quietness.
The relatively noise-free operation of Kumho tires is because of design elements that reduce noise and vibrations.
An example is the variable pitch tread sequencing; this feature helps minimize noise output and increases ride quality.
Other noise-canceling features include a symmetric tread pattern that prevents pattern noise while driving.
Combined, these features eliminate noise on Kumho tires and make driving an enjoyable experience for riders.
How Are Kumho Tires Tested for Noise?
Kumho assesses noise level on its newest tire designs before earmarking them for mass production.
Such tire noise assessment takes place at the company’s proving grounds. There, the tires (fitted on test vehicles) are used on various surfaces, and the various noise output recorded for analysis. Below, we evaluate Kumho’s tire noise testing procedure:
Like other tire manufacturers, Kumho monitors both interior noise and exterior noise on its tires. Exterior noise is tire noise emitted into the atmosphere while driving.
Meanwhile, interior noise refers to tire noise transmitted to the vehicle’s cabin during rides.
The former affects people outside the car (e.g., road users), while the latter affects passengers and reduces ride quality.
Exterior noise, also called an external rolling nose, is assessed using the ‘pass-by test.’ The pass-by test requires a driver to drive through a racetrack, while sound sensors placed on both sides measure pass-by noise from the moving vehicle.
Below, we discuss the different pass-by tests:
1. Coast-by technique:
This procedure involves the driver navigating the test course with his engine off (coasting).
Before this, he must have engaged neutral gear as he entered the course.
2. Drive-by technique:
According to this method, the driver approaches the track at a slow pace, usually in second or third gear.
As he enters the track, he floors the accelerator and speeds past the sound sensors.
3. Cruise-by technique:
Here, the driver starts and concludes the test, all the while driving at the same speed.
This means he advances towards the course at a stable speed and maintains that level to the end.
Interior noise, or internal noise, requires different procedures. Typically, the test driver will drive over various surfaces and describe her impressions of noise output.
The driving involves using various tires with different tread patterns. Tire manufacturers do this to know what tread design makes the least noise on a particular surface.
In some cases, engineers could monitor interior noise through microphones placed in the cabin.
These mikes pick up cabin noise and then trigger connected sound measurement devices, which analyze the sound volume.
What Kumho Tires Are the Quietest?
The popular thinking is that affordable tires often skimp on ride silence and other aspects of comfort.
However, Kumho disproves this thinking, as it offers a handful of quiet tires.
.Below, we review the quietest Kumho tires available:
Kumho Crugen Premium KL33
First used as OEM tires on the Hyundai Santa Fe vehicles, the Crugen Premium KL33 is an all-season tire that blends year-round performance with comfortable riding.
If you own an SUV, crossover, or light pickup, the Crugen KL33 is a perfect choice. But what exactly makes this tire special?
To start with, it comes with a unique low-profile design that improves the overall look of your vehicle. So, your tires will turn a few heads next time you go on a ride.
But that is hardly where the benefits end. The Crugen KL33 features an all-season tread compound designed to provide a sharper grip and traction, regardless of weather conditions.
Furthermore, an advanced rubber compound helps the Crugen KL33 stay cool in hot weather and increases flexibility in frigid conditions.
In addition, the tire sports a rounded edge that ensures continuous contact with the road while increasing steering response. Tread grooves also help boost grip and handling, particularly on wet pavement.
Perhaps the best part of the Crugen Premium KL33 tire is its excellent noise reduction abilities. The tire is rarely prone to excess road noise and is among the quietest in its class.
Its secret lies in the noise-canceling tread and variable pitch tread patterning.
Even with all its high points, the Crugen Premium KL33 costs less compared to similar tires.
If you want an affordable and quiet tire, we recommend buying the Crugen Premium KL33 tire.
Kumho Solus KH16
The Solus KH16 is the choice of Original Equipment (OE) for various coupes, sedans, and minivans today.
It provides excellent year-round traction and handling, with a serene ride experience as a bonus.
The tire features Kumho’s signature ESCOT design technology, which increases lateral response and enhances ride quality. Cornering Lag Technology (CLT) improves steering response, making for a more enjoyable riding experience.
Wet performance is exceptional, thanks to tread grooves that boost the tire’s grip by removing water from the tread. Additionally, multiple sipes provide a biting edge important for navigating roads covered with snow and ice.
Kumho’s variable pitch tread technology greatly reduces noise production on this tire, and the riding is smooth and comfortable.
Anyone looking for a quiet all-season tire will find the Kumho Solus KH16 an attractive and low-cost option.
Kumho Ecsta 4X II
The Kumho Ecsta 4X II is part of the Korean tiremaker’s ultra-high performance (UHP) collection.
Created for sports cars, coupes, and sedans, the Ecsta 4X II offers excellent all-season traction and long service life. It costs less than most tires in the UHP segment, making it a low-cost alternative to premium brands.
The tire comes with a silica-based tread infused with polymer and resins for an enhanced grip on all surfaces. In particular, the high silica content gives the tire exceptional grip in winter driving conditions.
Wider tread blocks and a symmetric tread pattern boost handling and cornering qualities. Steering response is also impressive, mostly because of the computer-optimized contact patch, continuous center rib, and a stronger tread block design.
Kumho added noise reduction features to this tire for better ride quality. This includes the variable pitch sequencing that appears on many other Kumho tires.
With this, riding on the Kumho Ecsta 4X II is a relatively tranquil and smooth experience.
Kumho Solus KR21
The Solus KR21 is a standard all-season tire that blends year-round traction and handling qualities with a quiet ride.
This tire is suitable for a wide range of vehicles, including minivans, sedans, coupes, and SUVs.
This tire comes with an advanced carbon-infused tread compound that guarantees high traction and longer tread life. Crosscut grooves in the shoulder blocks also help improve grip while driving over the snow-covered pavement.
Additionally, high-tensile steel belts, mostly found on premium tires, provide strength and stability in high-speed situations. Circumferential grooves increase traction and handling on wet roads.
The grooves expel water that accumulates in the tread while driving in wet weather. This boosts the tire’s grip and prevents mishaps such as aquaplaning.
The presence of intermediate tread blocks and a continuous center rib means noise is largely absent on Kumho Solus KR21 tires. As such, it comes as no surprise that Solus KR21 often receives plaudits for its quietness.
What Kumho Tires Are Noisier?
Since we have given you the quietest Kumho tires, it is only fair that we give you the noisy ones. Here are the noisiest Kumho tires (based on customer complaints):
1. Kumho Ecsta SPT KU31
The Kumho Ecsta SPT KU31 is an ultra-high-performance tire with a silica-infused compound for maximum grip on roads.
Despite its excellent qualities, the Kumho Ecsta KU31 cannot provide a noise-free ride for users. This has been a major dealbreaker for many buyers.
Many users report that they had to replace this tire with quieter variants.
Can You Make Kumho Tires Quieter?
With a few procedures, you can make your Kumho tires quieter.
Below are some things you can do to reduce noise on your Kumho tires:
- Check wheel bearings for signs of wear or damage. Replace if necessary.
- Check the suspension setup for worn or damaged components. Replace parts as recommended.
- Get the tires rotated for even wear (uneven wear causes tire noise).
- Ask your technician to check if your wheels are aligned properly. Pay to get them aligned if they are not.
- Also, check if the tires are balanced-balance them if needed.
Which Tire Brand Is The QUIETEST?
Here is a list of the quietest tire brands you can buy:
Kumho Crugen Premium KL33 Tire Review Tire Review & Rating
Kumho Solus KH16 Tire Review & Rating
Kumho Solus KR21 Tire Review & Rating
Kumho Ecsta 4XII Tire Review & Rating
Different Tyre Noises On The Road: When Should You Worry?