We’ve covered a lot of ground with our series on choosing the best portable oxygen concentrator. We began with the oxygen flow, then discussed the size and weight, followed by the battery power. Now we’re wrapping up the series with an often-overlooked factor–the sound level.
Here’s the low-down on the official sound levels as provided by the manufacturers:
SeQual Eclipse 3 – 41 dBA
DeVilbiss iGo – 40 dBA
Oxlife Independence – 40 dBA
Invacare Solo2 – 42 dBA
Respironics SimplyGo – 43 dBA
Pulse Flow Only Units
Inogen One G2 – 38 dBA
Inogen One G3 – 42 dBA
Respironics EverGo – 43 dBA
Invacare XPO2 – 46 dBA
AirSep FreeStyle – 41 dBA
Inova LifeChoice – 46 dBA
But what does it mean? Well, the dBA is the decibel measurement. Keep in mind that this is an exponential rating system, so a difference of 5 decibels is noticeably louder.
Also, the average decibels of a quiet home is 40 dBA. Therefore, you’ll find that most units, particularly the larger, continuous, and pulse flow models, are a low hum, not much louder than your refrigerator when it kicks on, and much quieter than the average dishwasher.
The pulse-only models is where you’ll find a wider range of decibel ratings. The Inogen One G2 is noticeably the quietest portable concentrator on the market today. The new Inogen One G3 has a quiet motor like the G2, but it has a loud purging sound; so every fifteen seconds you hear *tsshh*. While this doesn’t bother some people at all, others find it personally distracting, and they feel uncomfortable with the unit when out in public, particularly in quiet places, like church or the theater.
While it is perhaps not the greatest concern when choosing a portable oxygen concentrator, it is often a factor for many. Think about your personal hearing sensitivity and the places you plan to use your portable oxygen concentrator. Would a higher noise level bother you? Would it distract others around you?
Use this information to help you find the best portable oxygen concentrator for you.