Quietest Drones – [2021 Reviews and Buyers Guide]

Picture this, you’re lying on a golden sandy beach on an exotic vacation, all you can hear is the blissful sound of softly crashing waves… and then your paradise is rudely interrupted by a loud buzzing noise.

You look up and there’s a drone hovering above you and a glance down the beach shows that someone is flying it. 

We’re guessing if you’ve found yourself upon this article, you are not the person lying on the beach, but you’re the person flying the drone and ruining someone’s peace.

No hate to you, we totally get it, sometimes you’ve got to capture the natural beauty of the world from the skies, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of everyone else’s peace and quiet.

When consumer drones first hit the market, they were clunky and loud and also caused a lot of annoyance in beauty spots.

Nowadays, technology has provided manufacturers with the ability to produce quieter drones that won’t cause too much disruption to those around you when you’re flying them.

However, we don’t expect you to spend the time and effort to trial and test what drones are quietly operating or not.

That’s why we’ve done all the work for you, so you can easily pick which one is best for you based on their features and specifications. 

Keep on reading, to find out the best quietest drones on the market. 

OUR TOP PICK

DJI Mavic Mini Combo - Drone FlyCam Quadcopter UAV with 2.7K Camera 3-Axis Gimbal GPS 30min Flight Time, less than 0.55lbs, Gray

Our top pick for the quietest drone is the DJI Mavic Mini drone that is also one of the best options for someone’s first drone.

It’s a powerful yet compact device that is ideal for those who want something to take away on vacation or even traveling around the world.

It supports 12MP aerial photos and 2.7K HD videos along with the 3-axis motorized gimbal for ultimate stability when recording for smooth footage.

You’ll be able to fly and capture all the photos and videos you need within the 30 minute flight time. 

The DJI Fly app included with the device has a Flight tutorial to help you get started with flying your drone and will also allow you to create cinematic imagery right from your smartphone. 

It weighs less than 0.55lbs, meaning you’ll be able to fly this in the US and Canada without having to register the drone with the government.

It’s lightweight also provides a longer flight time compared to heavier models offering more video capturing time of your surroundings. 

This combo kit also comes included with spare propellers, additional batteries, a case, and screws for adjusting your drone and will save you hundreds of dollars with what you would pay by buying them separately. 

Unfortunately, there are no collision detection sensors on this drone but that's not surprising considering it’s more of an entry-level model. 

Pros

  • Adheres to FAA regulations  - No need to register drone yourself

  • Long flying time - This allows you to capture a lot of footage whilst up in the air

  • App and smartphone compatibility - Control camera angles from your phone

  • 12MP pictures and HD videos - Great for travel vloggers and hobbyists

Cons

  • No collision detection technology - Will need to take more care when flying in busy areas

EDITORS CHOICE

Ruko F11 Pro Drones with Camera for Adults 4K UHD Camera Live Video 30 Mins Flight Time with GPS Return Home Brushless Motor-Black(1 Extra Battery + Carrying Case)

Next up is the Ruko F11 Pro Drone that comes with a brushless motor for quiet operation and also boasts 4K Ultra HD image quality to capture all your memories in clarity with vivid colors.

The Ruko drone has a battery that provides up to 30 minutes of flight time and also comes inclusive of 1 additional battery to extend your flight time up to 60 minutes. 

The LED indicator will also show you how much remaining battery you have left so you’ll know whether to charge it up before heading out with your drone. 

This model will ease anyone who has anxieties over losing their drone as it has a built-in GPS that can be operated in a ‘Follow Me’ mode settings and automatically return home which will help the land the drone where it took off from if it begins to lose power or lose signal, so you won’t ever lose it. 

The last position of the drone will continuously update, so if your drone does happen to lose battery and land somewhere then you’ll be able to find it. 

The strong GPS signal will also help the drone hover stably to prevent shaky or blurred images and videos. 

The sturdy construction provides stability during flight, even in level 7 wind conditions, and can achieve speeds of up to 43.2km/h for those dramatic panning shots of your environment.

This is one of the quietest drones on the market with great features at a reasonable price.

Pros

  • Return to home mode - Reduces risk of losing your drone

  • 60 minute run time - This allows you to get plenty of pictures and footage in one go

  • Strong GPS signal - Produces better images and also helps find lost drones

  • Sturdy construction - Stable in level 7 wind conditions

Cons

  • Needs to be FAA registered - Takes more time and effort on your behalf

BEST VALUE

Holy Stone HS720E GPS Drone with 4K EIS UHD 130°FOV Camera for Adults Beginner, FPV Quadcopter with Brushless Motor, 2 Batteries 46 Min Flight Time, 5GHz Transmission, Smart Return Home, Follow Me

This Holy Stone 4K EIS drone is a great entry-level and budget-friendly option for those unfamiliar with drone technology and want something powerful, reliable but without paying a premium.

The drone has image stabilization which reduces video blurring and the Sony Sensor included will produce superior image quality than any other drone.

 Videos can be recorded in 1080p or 4K with varying FPS to suit whatever style of video you want. 

The drone is easy to use and has settings to suit the air pressure and airflow on the day that you’re using your drone.

The Holy Stone model also comes with GPS-assisted features that will return your drone to its takeoff position automatically when it starts to lose power or signal so you won’t lose it.

It can also be put on a ‘Follow Me’ setting if you’re traveling on a boat and also waypoint mode if you're walking or driving along a route. 

The drone comes with 2 batteries, each with 23 minutes of flying time, offering over 45 minutes to capture images in the sky.

Charging time is around 5 hours, so we recommend being prepared to get the most out of your drone. 

There is also a carrying bag included for when the drone is not in use as well as 4 additional propellers, and a charging hub for your batteries. 

Pros

  • Decent video and imagery - Good for general traveling 

  • 45 minutes of flying time - Provides plenty of time to capture footage

  • Carry bag included - Conveniently transport your drone around 

  • GPS features - Minimizes risk of crash landing or losing the drone

Cons

  • Needs FAA license - Can’t fly it until it’s registered

RUNNER UP

DJI Mavic Air 2 - Drone Quadcopter UAV with 48MP Camera 4K Video 8K Hyperlapse 1/2' CMOS Sensor 3-Axis Gimbal 34min Flight Time ActiveTrack 3.0 Ocusync 2.0, Gray

One of the most popular mid-range quiet drones is the DJI Mavic Air 2, known for its easy-to-learn and use operation and stunning image and video quality.

This drone can capture impressive 48MP photos and 4K video which is benefited by the Quad Bayer image sensor to help to record the memories of your trip in the best light.

It can also deliver 1080 resolution directly from the phone’s camera so you can easily capture your images and also fly the drone more easily. 

The spotlight 2.0 feature allows you to keep the camera locked on a subject while you fly freely, great for getting those shots of you and your friends from the beach out to the water.

It has a maximum flying time of 34 minutes which comes inclusive of the 1 battery, but we’d recommend buying an additional one to extend your flying time and recording potential. 

Be warned that using your phone to control the drone will drastically deplete your battery, so it may be advised to keep a portable charging bank with you at all times. 

You won’t be required to have a license to fly this drone, but you will be required to register the model with the FAA which is $5. 

Pros

  • Easy to fly - Great for beginners and the pros

  • Stunning images and video - Ideal for professional use

  • Livestream and control from your phone - Provides easy operation

Cons

  • App eats up battery - Will need additional phone battery when operating from the app

RUNNER UP

DJI Phantom 3 Professional Quadcopter Aircraft, 3-Axis Gimbal & 4K UHD Video Camera, Remote Controller Included - Bundle with Extra Battery, Aluminum Case

The best premium quietest drone is the Phantom 3 model from DJI, which would be the ideal choice for someone who's experienced in the area of drones, a professional, and certainly not to be used by children as a toy. 

The camera offers 4K UHD video recording which is fully stabilized using the 3-axis gimbal for smooth and crisp footage.

You can also stream the video from the drone directly to your phone where you can also control the device as it flies. 

Be sure to know that this drone doesn’t support audio recording, so any footage you use will be silent.

The DJI Phantom 3 is also designed to be suitable for indoor flying and has optical and ultrasonic sensors which make it safe and easy to fly indoors without a GPS. 

The GPS navigation built-in has the ability for automatic take-offs and landings and a database for no-fly zones to make navigating your drone effortless and safe at all times. 

The drone comes with 2 flight batteries that will offer around 45 minutes of flying time between them and only takes 1 hour to fully charge the battery from dead, meaning you'll spend more time in the air. 

Pros

  • Ability to fly indoors - Unique feature that many drones don’t have

  • 1 hour charging time - Minimal compared to other drones

  • 4K UHD - Capture crisp and smooth footage in the air

Cons

  • Drone files are huge - Will need to purchase an additional HDD

Quietest Drones Buying Guide

Level Of Experience

Before you invest in a drone, you’ll need to consider and be realistic about your level of experience with these pieces of tech.

quietest drones

If you’ve never flown a drone before, then spending over $1,000 on something like this could potentially result in disaster as you won’t be comfortable with the basic functioning and control over a device like a drone. 

More professional and expensive drones also come with lots of additional functions which may be more difficult to understand and make use of if you’ve never flown one before.

Application

Drones can be used for all sorts of applications, but not every drone is suited to every kind of purpose.

You’ll need to think about what you’ll be using your drone for, whether it’ll be a new hobby with friends or you’ll be using it for professional purposes. 

If it’s for professional purposes then you’ll want to invest in a higher-end drone to contribute to your career, but if it’s going to be used as a fun piece of kit when you’re bored, then a cheaper model will be sufficient. 

Build

Look at the overall build quality to ensure it’ll be able to withstand the conditions that you’ll be flying it in.

If you plan on traveling with your drone, then make sure it’s sturdy and durable enough to take a few hits along the way. 

You’ll need to also consider the weight of the drone, as FAA regulations state that any drone above 0.55lbs must be registered with them, but this can vary from state to state and depending on what purpose you’re using the drone for.

If you get caught flying a drone that you haven’t registered then you could get a fine and possibly face jail time. 

The more sturdy and protective the build of the drone, the higher the weight will be.

Motor

A motor is what powers a drone and allows it to fly, but that’s not all it does, other functions like image or video capturing will also require power from the motor.

So if you plan to fly your drone around to take panoramic videos of where you travel, then you’ll want to ensure you pick one that’s powerful enough to multi-function. 

You’ll have a choice of a brushless or brushed motor, with the brushless motor being the quietest drone option. 

Propellers

Propellers will keep the drone balanced in the air during the flight and will also contribute to the overall noise of the drone when it's flying.

There are two main types of drones, a quadcopter that comes with 4 propellers and then a hexacopter that comes with 6. 

Quadcopters are slightly more portable whilst hexacopter offer more balancing abilities. 

Battery Life

You’ll have to face the fact that the average drone for consumers doesn’t come with hefty battery life, so don’t go expecting to find one that’ll provide you with hours of flight time.

Most drones will have a battery life of around 30 minutes, which will be reduced if you’re flying them in windy or colder weather conditions as this affects the Li-ion batteries that are used in drones.

Anti-collision technology

If you’re spending a lot of money on a drone and you’re very accident-prone, then we’d recommend looking for one that has anti-collision technology built in.

This won’t completely prevent collisions in the air, but the sensors on the drone will alert you of any obstacles and give you notice to move away in time before something happens. 

Image/Video Quality

If you’re a budding travel blogger or maybe photography and videography is your career, then you’ll want to ensure the image and video quality is up to scratch.

This means seeking out drones that come with 4K quality cameras, high-quality lenses, and zoom capability.

The memory card capability will also vary between drones, some will take large 128GB memory cards where others are only compatible with 32GB ones, which limits how much you can record on your drone. 

Frequently Asked Questions

At What Height Can You Hear A Drone?

The height that you’ll be able to hear a drone will depend on the drone model and also the environment you are in.

Even in the most silent environments with no noise pollution, you may still be able to hear a subtle buzzing noise if a drone is flying above you.

The further away your drone is from you, the quieter it will be to your ear. Buying a quiet drone will allow you to fly it lower without causing a disturbance.

Can You Make Drones Silent?

There is no current way to make drones silent, however, there are things you can do to make your drone quieter.

You can equip your drone with noise-reducing propellers but make sure to get ones that will match the brand and model of your drone. 

If your drone wings are large, then consider replacing your larger and few motors with several smaller motors as they will produce less noise but will also fly efficiently. 

An easy way to make your drone quieter is by sanding down the propellers to smoothen the surface so it produces less noise. 

Why Is My Drone So Loud?

Drones make a noise because the propellers are moving quickly through the air and the rotors are also slicing the area creating a noise. The more air it shifts, the more noise it will make. This is the same reason why even the quietest inline fans make a fair amount of noise.

However, if your drone is making a louder noise than usual or the noise sounds abnormal then there may be an issue with the rotors or the propellers and it’s worth taking it to a specialist to take a look.

If you want to know how to make your drone quieter you can also consider some of the tips in our guide to make a fan quieter.

What Are Quiet Drones Used For?

Nowadays, the quietest drones are used for surveillance and fighting crime as they allow the correct authorities to view or see an area without the noise being overly obvious and alerting potential criminals that they’re being watched.