The fourth-largest tire in the world, Continental employs years of experience to create some of the best tires in the market.
Its tires offer an attractive combination of excellent grip on surfaces and exceptional ride comfort.
However, these qualities may not matter if the tires are noisy.
Are Continental tires quiet or noisy?
Continental’s ContiSilent noise-reducing technology uses an inner tire absorber to decrease interior road noise by up to nine decibels. This delivers noiseless, comfortable rides.
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Are Continental Tires More Quiet Than Other Brands?
Regular tires do not have any noise-reduction technology. Let’s turn to tires designed to reduce noise.
Continental tires have various features designed to reduce road noise as much as possible.
One of these noise-canceling features is the innovative ContiSilent technology. Featured on models such as the Continental PremiumContact, the ContiSilent technology helps significantly lower road noise.
Even when you drive at high speeds, it will ensure the ride is quiet.
You may also like to read our article about Continental Tires: Are They Worth the Price?
How Does the ContiSilent Feature Work?
The CS system comprises a polyether-derived polyurethane foam that helps the tire “soak up” road noise.
The foam is attached to the inner tread area with an adhesive and stays there, irrespective of temperature or weather conditions. So, as you drive, the tire absorbs noise and prevents it from filtering into the cabin.
However, the ContiSilent feature is only present on Continental’s summer performance tires. All-season tires like the Continental Extreme Contact DWS06 use clever tread designs to reduce the noise.
This further solidifies the German manufacturer’s reputation as a maker of quiet tires.
How Are Continental Tires Tested for Noise?
Like most tire makers, Continental carries out its noise tests using one or a combination of the following methods:
1. Coast-by Method:
This is the most widely used technique for testing tire noise. In this method, officials prepare a 20m x 20m square-shaped test zone, with the track in the middle.
Microphones are placed on both sides of the track, 7.5m away from the track itself.
For the test, the test driver is required to enter the test zone at a stipulated speed, turn off the engine and switch the gear to neutral. The microphones pick up the sound from the moving car while computers connected to the mics analyze the sound level.
2. Drive-by Method:
The drive-by technique is similar to the coast-by technique as they both involve driving past the microphones.
However, the drive-by procedure requires that the driver enter the test zone with the car in second or third gear.
And the driver must speed up as he goes through the zone for the test to be valid.
3. Cruise-by Method:
In this method, the test driver enters the zone and drives past the mics at a constant speed.
The mics record the noise and transmit signals to computers, which analyze the noise level in black sound waves and/or decibels.
The three aforementioned procedures apply only to testing exterior noise.
Below is a guide on how manufacturers test for internal noise:
- A dummy is placed in a stationary test car.
- This dummy will have mics in both ears connected to computers.
- The car is accelerated up to a specific speed e.g., 60 mph, and the sound is recorded for a defined period.
- Engineers repeat the process at different speeds to know how much noise a tire will make at various points.
What Continental Tires Are the Quietest?
Here are Continental Tire’s quietest products:
The Continental PureContact is one of the best all-season tires in the German manufacturer’s product collection. It provides excellent year-round traction and stability, and good cornering ability.
Moreover, it uses EcoPlus technology that decreases fuel consumption and boosts tread life.
Perhaps the best quality of the PureContact tire is its quiet performance, which helps increase ride comfort. In designing the PureContact model, Continental used its innovative ComfortRide technology.
The ComfortRide feature helps cushion the effects of vibration, reducing road noise.
The PureContact’s advanced tread is also part of the reason the tire is that quiet. First, the tread pattern is computer-optimized, reducing the amount of noise the tires make.
Second, the tread compound features a high level of silica content that makes the tireless susceptible to pattern noise.
All these noise-reduction features mean the Continental PureContact tire is one of the quietest in any class.
Continental CrossContact LX20
If you are looking for an all-season tire that guarantees value for money, you cannot go wrong with the Continental Cross Contact LX20.
This tire comes with a silane-infused tread compound.
The CrossContact LX20 uses Continental’s Smooth Response Technology to minimize road noise.
Additionally, it features central tread blocks and extended center ribs that reduce road noise and greater ride quality.
Continental ExtremeContact DSW06
The Continental ExtremeContact DSW06 is an ultra-high performance, an all-season tire made for performance cars.
The DSW, in its name, stands for Dry, Snow, and Wet, showing its versatility in all road conditions.
The DSW06 utilizes specially designed grooves that boosts its stability on slick surfaces such as snow-covered roads. Its asymmetrical tread pattern and unique tread compound also combine to give this tire exceptional grip on all surfaces.
It features a criss-cross tread pattern, oblique grooves, and three circular grooves.
This helps reduce road noise.
What Continental Tires Are Noisier?
These Continental tires are noisier despite the company’s superior sound-dampening technology:
Continental SportContact 5
The SportContact 5 is a summer performance tire designed to provide better road grip, stability, and reduced fuel consumption.
It comes as standard tires on some models such as the Audi S3. However, some riders have complained about the high road noise experienced while using the tires.
Particularly, many Audi S3 owners reported finding the SportContact 5 tires noisy. For instance, one owner noticed a harsh noise coming from the tires, especially when driving over rough ground.
Another owner also reported swapping out the stock SportContact 5 tires after just 7,000 miles because of the excessive noise.
Continental SportContact 3
Another member of the SportContact family, this tire also has noise-related issues.
We found that some owners experienced noisy rides using these tires.
Some owners faced this issue even when the tires had barely aged. In one case, an Audi S3 owner started noticing a droning noise at just 4,000 miles.
On another forum, a Suzuki Swift Sport owner said the ContiSportContact 3s on his car made a “horrendous” droning noise.
These cases show the SportContact 3 is not the tire you want to buy if you want a quiet ride.
Continental SportContact 2
You may want to stay away from the Continental SportContact tires if you want silent riding.
Like its other counterparts, the SportContact 2 is infamous for its excessive road noise and harsh ride. A visit to online forums revealed a series of noise-related complaints about the SportContact 2 tires.
On a Mercedes-Benz forum, an owner reported hearing a severe humming noise while cruising at highway speeds. This owner had used the tires for only 10,000 miles, so the problem was likely due to increased wear and tear.
Other owners also reported experiencing the infamous “Conti Droning Noise” at various points. From the reports, it seems the problem often starts between 6,000 and 12,000 miles.
We should state here that the droning noise on the SportContact 2 tires may not result from a design defect. A likely cause is improper edge wear on the tires.
Nevertheless, we would advise that you avoid these tires.
Can You Make Continental Tires Quieter?
Sometimes, you need not replace your tires to solve vehicle noise problems.
Rather, try applying any of these tips to reduce noise on your Continental tires:
a. Pronounced Squealing Noise:
One common noise on tires is harsh squealing that is audible when turning corners.
If you notice this sound, it means your tires have low air pressure, or the wheels are not properly aligned.
To solve this, check the air pressure in the tires. If they are up to spec and the squealing persists, then it is likely you have poorly aligned wheels.
While you can inflate your tires at home, you cannot do wheel alignment at home as it requires special equipment.
b. Popping or Droning Noise:
Sometimes, you may get the feeling that your car is driving over bubble wraps.
At other times, you may feel as though your tires are emitting a low hum noise.
The former sounds like a series of pops, while the latter feels more like a drone. Both may point to problems with the tire or some part of the wheel assembly.
A visit to the repair shop should reveal the cause of the noises, and a possible fix.
Which Tire Brand Is The QUIETEST?
In recent times, tire manufacturers have spent millions on research aimed at reducing tire noise.
Here is a list of the quietest tire brands: