Why are Honda Generators So Quiet?

Backup power will remain an indisputable addition to your home. You have a power source that you can use during an emergency and a power source when you need to step off-grid. In the past, such convenience came with one noticeable inconvenience.

Generators were loud. It turns out a noisy generator is not a very convenient tool to have in the woods or at home. Thankfully, companies like Honda pay attention to user feedback, and they came up with a better solution, a quiet generator. 

Honda positioned itself as one of the best generator manufacturers with quiet generators. They made the generators by changing these few things. 

  • They improved the quality of the material used in constructing the generator.
  • They made the generators more compact
  • They opted for inverter generators
  • They included Eco-throttle and auto-throttle
  • They started using generators that produced less sound when running.

How Quiet are Honda Generators?

Imagine a close conversation with your friends. A one-on-one chat by the grill in summer. That natural voice. It’s not loud and animated, and neither is it in hushed tones. That’s how quiet a typical Honda generator is. 

Technically, the sound range for Honda generators is between 48 to 57 dBA. For comparison, a normal conversation is 60dB. A Honda generator hums like a refrigerator. (about 40dB)

A quiet generator isn’t just convenient for your next-door neighbor or your safety in the woods. It also preserves your sense of hearing. Let’s assume you run your generator for about 100 minutes. If your generator was as loud as a gas-powered lawnmower, your ears would be getting a constant 80-85dB for almost two hours. That puts you at risk of mild ear damage. 

Why are Honda Generators So Much Quieter?

Honda generators are recognized as some of the quietest in the market. There are some adjustments and technologies that go into making them quiet. Also, these adjustments have helped Honda generators be more fuel-efficient and environmentally safe. 

A Compact Body

In the past, generators were bulky. The extra space between components left enough room to bounce around sound waves that made the generators louder. However, a compact body means all the components are well-fitted and firmly in place. You have fewer rattling parts, no shaky internal components, and a closed body that reduces the noise inside the generator.

Upgraded Construction Material

A compact body is a great first step to reducing the noise in a generator. However, using noise-canceling material for the outer build is a masterstroke in noise reduction. Honda uses material that absorbs the noise while keeping the generators lightweight, portable, and strong enough for the outdoors. 

Inverter Technology

Ever since inverter technology was introduced in generators, it’s safe to say they have improved generator uptake for noise reduction and fuel economy. 

Ordinarily, a generator would have to run a full 3600 RPM to generate 60Hz power. Running 3600RPM makes the generator noisy and uses more fuel. However, inverter technology means the generator does not need to run the full 3600 RPM to produce as much power. 

Inverter generators produce power in 3 phases. In the first to the second phase, AC converts to DC. The DC converts to a stable AC. The last stage is where the inverter kicks in. That means the generator only produces as much power as is needed at the time. It’s gentler on the engine, easier on the fuel consumption, and less noisy. 

Eco-Throttle Technology

Eco-throttle technology in Honda generators is another factor that’s made Honda generators super popular. You can find eco-throttle in the residential, recreational, and home-use units of Honda generators. 

It’s a feature that automatically adjusts the engine speed to the current power draw. If you plug in appliances only drawing 1000 watts from the genny, the engine will only run at speeds needed to provide as much power. 

The machine is much quieter, and you save on fuel. Also, it ensures your generator lasts longer. 

The industrial line has auto-throttle technology that reduces engine speed when all loads are disconnected or turned off. However, the engine speed will return to the rated setting when all loads are turned on. 

You should use auto-throttle when you’re running appliances that need constant power. 

Engine Upgrade

Some of the Honda generators have the GX390 engine. The popular EU2200i model has a Honda GXR120 engine. These engines are upgrades from previous, noisier models. These two 4-stroke engines are popular in other power tools that need a quieter operation, such as welders, pumps, and tillers.

Also, it would help to know that the 4-stroke engines are much quieter. 

A 4-stroke engine fires once. If the engines were a 2-stroke engine, it would fire twice as many times to produce the same power output. 4-stroke engines prioritize fuel economy, and quiet operation over power since they can produce the same power at quieter levels. Therefore, they have restrictive exhaust systems that reduce noise emissions. 

Fuel Type

Did you know that fuel type can influence the noise level of a power tool? Solar generators are the quietest power tools in terms of fuel. By ranking, diesel fuels are the noisiest., 

Honda generators use gas and propane as fuel. They fall behind solar generators in quietness. Additionally, gasoline and propane burn cleaner. They’re better for the environment. 

What’s the Quietest Generator On the Market?

You have to make a compromise with quiet generators. They might be quiet, but you should only get them if you are willing to trade off noise with wattage. Most quiet generators are in the 1500-3000W bracket. Still, they’ll give you excellent performance on limited-time use, such as on a camping trip or a few hours into a blackout. 

If you’re looking for a quiet generator, here are your nine best choices. 

Generator BrandGenerator ModelNoise Level (dB)
Generac7172 iQ350054

1. Honda Eu2200i Generator (48dB)

The Honda Eu2200i is a fuel-efficient, compact unit that’s a favorite among campers. At only 48dB at ¼ load, it is one of the quietest generators on the market. It also ranks among the most fuel-efficient generators in its class. 

Granted, it only pushes about 1800 watts of running power and a maximum of 2,200 watts. It will give you 8 hours at ½ load. It’s a lightweight unit, capping at only 46.5lbs. Its weight makes it perfect for trips where you don’t want to haul too much baggage. 

However, its 0.95-gallon tank might be a small disadvantage, so be sure to pack extra fuel. 


  • Low emission
  • CARB-Compliant
  • Super quiet Honda 4-stroke GXR120 engine
  • Eco-Throttle
  • Portable


  • You can’t monitor fuel consumption
  • Small gallon tank

2. Honda EU3000is Generator (50dB) 

The EU3000is a step up to the Honda Eu2200i if you’re looking for more power. While it may not be as lightweight as the Honda Eu2200i, it does push put a decent 2800 Watts running power and peaks at 3000 watts surge power. 

This inverter generator comes with a bigger 3.4-gallon fuel tank capable of running your appliances for 20 hours at a ¼ load (pretty impressive!).

Even though it’s heavy at 134lbs, it delivers 50dB of noise when you’re about 23 feet away. It’s safe as a home backup generator. You can also take it camping, although you’d have to buy separate wheels for extra portability. 


  • It has a float style fuel gauge
  • Low fuel shutoff
  • Auto shutoff feature to protect generator when oil is low
  • It has a parallel set function where you can use it with another EU3000is for more power.
  • Automatic circuit breaker


  • It’s bulky
  • It needs a separate set of wheels

3. Yamaha Ef2000isv2 Generator (51-61dB)

Sometimes you don’t need too much power. You only need a light unit to power your convenient electronics, such as smartphones. The Yamaha Ef2000isv2 fits that bill. It has the least wattage on this list at 1600 watts of running power and peak power of 2000 watts. 

It weighs about 44 pounds. Thanks to its muffler, you can only get 61 decibels at full load from this super portable generator. However, it gets quieter at ¼ load at 51 dB. 

Its 1.1-gallon tank will give you 10 hours to 11 hours on ½ load. It also has a dual coil alternator stator that reduces engine speed to boost fuel efficiency. 


  • Air cooling system
  • Great heat retention
  • Parallel function
  • Monitoring fuel gauge
  • Gasoline petcock
  • Auto-decompressor
  • Auto-warm up


  • Low power output

4. Westinghouse iGen2200 Generator (52db)

Westinghouse generators rank high among fuel-efficient quiet inverter generators. The iGen2200 is a compact and portable generator fit for light outdoor use and only weighs 46lbs. You can easily carry it and store it in a confined space. 

The iGen2200 generator pushes between 1800 and 2000 running watts and peaks at 2200 watts. Its 1-gallon tank gives you 12 hours at ¼ load, all while producing a maximum of 52dB noise. The noise suppression is courtesy of its double-insulated acoustic enclosure, asymmetrical cooling fans, and low tone mufflers. 

As an inverter generator, it has all the bells and whistles you can expect from a lightweight emergency generator. 


  • 2 USB ports for safe, direct charging.  
  • Parallel function
  • Original 4-Stroke OHV Westinghouse engine
  • EPA and CARB compliant


  • Probable quality control issues
  • Gas smell due to testing 

5. Yamaha EF2400iSHC Generator (53db)

Next up is the Yamaha EF2400iSHC inverter generator. Although it’s not too high-powered, this generator is good for commercial-grade operation. It has a smart design with double handlebars for that RV life. 

It is a 2000-watt quiet generator that tops out at 2400 watts. And get this, it hits only 3400 RPM at full engine speed. Like most Yamaha inverter generators, it comes with an OHV engine, smart throttle for quiet operation, and Pulse Width Modulation for cleaner power.

It comes enclosed in an Aluminum die-cast frame with a cast-iron cylinder liner for longer life and better portability. 

The 1.6-gallon gasoline tank will give you 8.6 hours at ¼ load. It’s not as light as the Ef2000isv2, but at 75lbs, it’s suitable for easy traveling in an RV. Its noise level is between 53-60dB. 


  • EPA and CARB approved
  • Gasoline petcock to prevent damage from stale gasoline
  • Removable back access panel


6. Generac 7172 iQ3500 Generator (54dB)

The Generac iQ3500 is the highest-powered generator on this list, which makes it more impressive. While it comes in a super-compact body, it can push out 3000 watts of running power and up to 3500 surge wattage. 

Its 2.6-gallon will keep it running for up to 14 hours at ¼ load, only producing 54dB while at it. It weighs 109lbs. It’s not lightweight, but it will give you more power on your camping site or job site. Also, it comes with five outlets, two of which are USB ports for your smartphones. 


  • Digital Smart LCD  to monitor run time, fuel level, and oil level.
  • PowerRush technology that increases electrical current on-demand.
  • 212cc OHV 4-stroke engine
  • Electric start
  • Engine speed selection
  • PowerDial with start and stop settings in one dial.


  • There are reports of quality control issues right out the box.
  • It’s heavy

7. Wen 56203i Generator (51dB)

Wen generators are relatively quiet. Even the higher capacity ones run quieter than their competitors in the 2500-3000-watt bracket. This Wen 56203i model, though, has a 1700 running watts output and 2000-watt peak wattage. 

It comes with a 79cc OHV 4-stroke engine that’ll give you 10.8 hours from its full 1-gallon fuel tank. At 39lbs, it’s a lightweight, compact camping generator and great for home emergencies. 

The Wen 56203i is one of the quietest generators in its bracket, at 51dB. 


  • You can use synthetic oil
  • Auto shut-off that uses all the fuel in the carburetor before shutting off. 
  • WEN parallel connection 
  • Two 5V USB ports
  • Built-in overload protection
  • CARB Compliant


  • WEN Parallel Connection comes in a separate kit

8. Predator 3500 Generator (57dB)

The Predator 3500 is relatively low-key, but you should not underwrite it. The 3500 comes in a compact body with casters for better portability. 

It’s in the 3000-watt bracket, pushing out 3000 running watts and peaking at 3500 watts. The wattage is impressive, considering you’ll get only 57dB of noise. As a bonus, the pneumatic casters act as sound absorbers. 

A 212 cc air-cooled OHV gas engine powers the Predator 3500 for up to 11 hours at ¼ load. Also, it has an LCD screen to monitor the vitals. At 110lbs, it’s not the lightest generator, but it’s an excellent backup plan for your camping, home use, or job site. 


  • Electronic overload protection
  • Warning light for refuel notification
  • It comes with a 30 amp RV adapter


  • No gas gauge with the fuel tank
  • The stock casters are low quality

9. Champion Power Equipment 755337i Generator (58dB)

The Champion brand is well known in the generator space for sturdy equipment. The 755337i comes with a single-cylinder air-cooled 171cc engine. It’s a powerful generator, pushing at least 2800 running watts and peaking at 3100 surge wattage. 

The 1.6-gallon tank will keep it going for 8 hours at ¼ load, so you know it can last you through the night. Design-wise, it’s compact with a cast iron sleeve casing. The exciting bit about the Champion 755337i is it only produces 58dB of sound despite its power. It weighs only 96lbs, perfect for outdoor activity. 


  • Wireless remote start with an 80-feet range
  • Free lifetime technical support
  • 3-year limited warranty
  • Pull start or an electrical start
  • Automatic low oil shut-off
  • EPA-approved and CARB-compliant


  • No parallel connectivity

Which Is Quieter: Honda or Yamaha Generators?

Yamaha and Honda’s generators are constantly pitted against each other when ranking noise levels. People compare the two because Yamaha had a solid reputation for being great generators before Honda took over most people’s preferences. 

Generally, it appears that Honda edges out Yamaha in quiet operation. The Honda EU2200i operates at 48db while the Yamaha EF2200is operates at 57 dB. There are areas where the Yamaha EF2200is shines, especially in case-by-case comparison. 

The Yamaha EF2200is performs better than Honda EU2200i  on a full tank of gas. 

Final Thoughts

Quiet generators are a huge convenience. They’ll help you cut down your fuel costs with technologies meant to increase efficiency. Although conventional generators currently overpower them, they are still worth the price if you look for reliable inverter generators. 


Hubert Miles

I've been conducting home inspections since 2002. I'm a licensed Home Inspector, Certified Master Inspector (CMI), and an FHA 203k Consultant. I started PickGenerators.com to help people better understand whole-house and portable generators.

Recent Posts