Founded over a century ago, Sumitomo is among the oldest tire brands on the market.
Sumitomo produces and markets tires made for a range of vehicles and these are usually affordable.
Are Sumitomo tires quiet or noisy?
Sumitomo tires rarely have advanced design elements dedicated to reducing noise. Research shows that most Sumitomo tires lean heavily towards noisy performance. However, how much noise you get depends on the model, as some of their tires are relatively quiet on rides.
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Are Sumitomo Tires Quieter Than Other Brands?
Sumitomo is essentially a budget tire brand.
This means its tires rarely have the bells and whistles present on rivals that are more expensive. Often, the lack of extra design features means the tires are noisier and more uncomfortable compared to premium models.
So, Sumitomo tires are, often more than not, actually less quiet than tires from high-end brands such as Goodyear or Michelin.
Not that this is surprising; you get what you pay for.
Are Sumitomo Tires the Noisiest Tires on the market?
Some of the company’s tires are among the quietest in the budget brand segment.
Thus, if you are looking for tires that are affordable and provide some measure of quiet performance, Sumitomo tires fit the bill.
The Japanese tire brand actually invests in a handful of noise-canceling technologies. While these are hardly advanced as ones as premium tires, they are effective to some extent.
An example of such a noise reduction feature is the Multi-pitch Variation Tread Blocks Technology. This feature works by staggering the tread blocks, which counteracts road noise.
Another is the Asymmetric Optimized Tread featured on some Sumitomo tires.
By using computers to optimize the tread pattern, Sumitomo is able to reduce noise to the barest minimum.
How Are Tires Tested for Noise?
As with other brands, Sumitomo conducts in-house appraisals of the noise output of its tires.
The purpose of these tests is twofold: ensuring tires meet noise emissions requirements and improving ride comfort.
In its tests, Sumitomo evaluates different types of noise on its tires including:
A. Interior Noise:
Also called tire-induced interior noise, this refers to tire noise that seeps into the vehicle’s interior while driving.
It affects occupants and negatively affects ride quality.
B. Exterior Noise:
Also called external rolling noise, this is noise emitted by the tires into the atmosphere under operation.
This tire noise contributes to noise pollution and affects other road users and individuals living close to the road.
The test for interior noise involves monitoring the amount of tire noise transmitted to the cabin while driving. Usually, experienced drivers will travel over different road surfaces and describe the noise experienced and its impact on overall ride comfort.
To assess the impact of tread design on interior noise, the driver uses tires with different tread patterns on different roads.
This helps to determine what tire tread is suitable for a type of road surface.
In addition, they may prepare the roads used for the test in advance to resemble real-world driving conditions.
This means objects including speed bumps, expansion joints, manhole covers, etc., may appear as part of the track.
With this, engineers can better predict how much interior noise buyers will experience.
Meanwhile, appraisals for external rolling noise takes a different approach. Sumitomo uses the standard pass-by test to evaluate external noise on its tires.
How does This Procedure Work?
The pass-by test happens on a Noise Test track that meets regulatory provisions.
This track will have two microphones placed 7.5m away from the center of the track. The microphones record and measure sound pressure levels (SPL) of noise from the vehicle in decibels (dB).
The pass-by test itself takes different forms, which we discuss below:
- Coast Test:
For this procedure, the vehicle drives over the track with the engine off and the gear in neutral.
- The driver may repeat the procedure additional times at different speeds.
- Wide Open Throttle Test:
This requires the driver to accelerate through the track, while the microphones measure sound pressure levels.
- Cruise Test:
In this procedure, the driver simply has to travel the track without accelerating or decelerating.
- In other words, he “cruises” through the test zone.
What Sumitomo Tires Are the Quietest?
As we said before, Sumitomo is a budget brand, and ride comfort is not its strongest suit.
However, you can get some Sumitomo tires that are above average in terms of ride silence.
Below, we review the quietest Sumitomo tires on offer:
1. Sumitomo HTR A/S P02
The Sumitomo HTR A/S PO2 is an all-season tire engineered for sports cars and other performance-focused sedans.
It provides trusty all-weather traction and excellent ride quality. This alone makes the HTR A/S P02 an attractive option for anyone looking for a decent and affordable all-season tire.
This tire comes with a special tread compound infused with high amounts of silica for better grip in winter conditions. The asymmetric tread design features sturdy shoulder blocks for greater dry handling qualities.
Circumferential grooves and lateral grooves improve traction on wet pavement.
Ride quietness on the Sumitomo HTR A/S P02 is impressive for a budget tire. Reviews we found for the model praised its “smooth and quiet ride”.
We believe Sumitomo’s trademark Optimized Asymmetric Tread technology helps reduce noise output on the tire.
2. Sumitomo Encounter HT
The Sumitomo Encounter HT tire is an all-season tire made for SUVs, crossovers, and pickup trucks.
Buyers have praised its combination of unwavering year-round performance, long tread life, and enhanced ride comfort.
Present on this tire is an asymmetric tread pattern and a special all-season tread compound. The combination of both elements results in impressive traction and handling in dry and wet conditions. Additionally, the continuous center rib improves steering response, making the ride enjoyable.
The Encounter HT performs well on wet surfaces, as crosscut sipes give it a stronger bite in such conditions.
Moreover, the combination of crosscut and lateral grooves staves off the accumulation of water in the tread, reducing the risk of hydroplaning.
This tire offers quiet performance, which further increases its appeal to buyers. It comes with a computer-optimized tread pattern that delivers a serene riding experience.
Thus, the Encounter HT tire is comfortable to ride on most road surfaces.
3. Sumitomo HTR Z III
This bestselling high-performance tire is proof of Sumitomo’s commitment to providing exceptional performance for those on tight budgets.
The Sumitomo HTR Z III handles well on virtually every type of road and is great at attacking corners.
This tire features a combination of silica-infused tread compound, five-rib asymmetric tread design, and wide shoulder blocks. The result is an increase in dry and wet surface traction.
Interlocking tread blocks and a continuous center help deliver responsive steering and stability at high speeds, and at corners.
Typical of Sumitomo all-season tires, the HTR Z III performs well in summer and winter. Particularly, its excellent winter performance is because of its use of grooves that deter the buildup of water in the tread. This enables drivers to ride without fear of a hydroplaning accident.
Ride comfort on the HTR Z III is among the best in its class, an impressive feat for a Sumitomo-produced tire. The use of an innovative noise canceling tread explains why the HTR Z III is quiet on rides.
For anyone looking for affordable tires with better ride quality, the Sumitomo HTR Z III is highly recommended.
What Sumitomo Tires Are Noisier?
While Sumitomo offers some quiet tires, it has others notorious for excessive noise output.
Sumitomo HTR Z II
The Sumitomo HTR Z II is a performance-focused radial tire made for sporty cars and sedans.
The premise of the HTR Z II is simple: provide excellent traction and handling for spirited drivers on a budget. However, buyers find that the tire forces a tradeoff between performance and ride comfort.
To get an idea of the problem, we visited several car forums. On one, an Audi forum, an owner reported that his HTR Z II tire got noisy around 50-60 mph. This owner further explained that the tires had worn evenly, and were balanced regularly, yet the problem persisted.
On another forum, this time for Mustang owners, we found similar noise-related complaints about the Sumitomo HTR Z II tire. An owner reported experiencing excessive tire noise even though the tires had barely reached 12,000 miles of use.
Given the multiple complaints of noisy performance on this tire, you should review your options before buying.
Prepare for pronounced road noise and reduce ride quality.
Can You Make Sumitomo Tires Quieter?
Yes, you can definitely make your Sumitomo tires quieter.
However, you must ensure the tires still have significant tread life, as the worn-out tire is typically noise.
Here are some tips to guide you on reducing noise in your Sumitomo tires:
- Make sure the tread wears out evenly (regular rotations can help here).
- Get the wheels balanced and aligned properly.
- Inspect the wheel bearings and suspension parts for signs of wear or damage.
Which Tire Brand Is The QUIETEST
To aid your buying decision, we have compiled a list of the top 10 brands in terms of the quietest performance.
Here they are: