Best Quietest Drone Reviews and Buying Guide

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One of the fastest-growing hobbies these days is flying a drone, whether you just want to enjoy a relaxing cruise, take some captivating photos and video, or race it against other pilots. However, drones require powerful motors to get them off of the ground which often makes a lot of noise.

Thankfully, numerous advancements in technology allow modern drones to fly significantly quieter than the models first produced. That said, it can still be fairly difficult to not only find the quietest drone on the market but figure out what makes it quiet and improve upon its design.

That is why we put together a list of the 5 best silent drone reviews, highlighting what each one does best. We also provide a thorough buyer’s guide, so you can figure out how to choose the right features for your drone while still keeping the noise made down to a minimum.

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Best Seller
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
Top Pick
DJI Mavic 2 Pro - Drone Quadcopter UAV with Hasselblad Camera 3-Axis Gimbal HDR 4K Video Adjustable Aperture 20MP 1" CMOS Sensor, up to 48mph, Gray
Best Value
DJI Mavic Mini - Drone FlyCam Quadcopter UAV with 2.7K Camera 3-Axis Gimbal GPS 30min Flight Time, less than 0.55lbs, Gray
Holy Stone HS720 Foldable GPS Drone with 4K UHD Camera for Adults, Quadcopter with Brushless Motor, Auto Return Home, Follow Me, 26 Minutes Flight Time, Long Control Range, Includes Carrying Bag
Ryze Tech Tello - Mini Drone Quadcopter UAV for Kids Beginners 5MP Camera HD720 Video 13min Flight Time Education Scratch Programming Toy Selfies, powered by DJI, White
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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
DJI Mavic 2 Pro - Drone Quadcopter UAV with Hasselblad Camera 3-Axis Gimbal HDR 4K Video Adjustable Aperture 20MP 1" CMOS Sensor, up to 48mph, Gray
DJI Mavic Mini - Drone FlyCam Quadcopter UAV with 2.7K Camera 3-Axis Gimbal GPS 30min Flight Time, less than 0.55lbs, Gray
Holy Stone HS720 Foldable GPS Drone with 4K UHD Camera for Adults, Quadcopter with Brushless Motor, Auto Return Home, Follow Me, 26 Minutes Flight Time, Long Control Range, Includes Carrying Bag
Ryze Tech Tello - Mini Drone Quadcopter UAV for Kids Beginners 5MP Camera HD720 Video 13min Flight Time Education Scratch Programming Toy Selfies, powered by DJI, White
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Best Seller
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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
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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
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Top Pick
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DJI Mavic 2 Pro - Drone Quadcopter UAV with Hasselblad Camera 3-Axis Gimbal HDR 4K Video Adjustable Aperture 20MP 1" CMOS Sensor, up to 48mph, Gray
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DJI Mavic 2 Pro - Drone Quadcopter UAV with Hasselblad Camera 3-Axis Gimbal HDR 4K Video Adjustable Aperture 20MP 1" CMOS Sensor, up to 48mph, Gray
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Best Value
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DJI Mavic Mini - Drone FlyCam Quadcopter UAV with 2.7K Camera 3-Axis Gimbal GPS 30min Flight Time, less than 0.55lbs, Gray
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DJI Mavic Mini - Drone FlyCam Quadcopter UAV with 2.7K Camera 3-Axis Gimbal GPS 30min Flight Time, less than 0.55lbs, Gray
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Holy Stone HS720 Foldable GPS Drone with 4K UHD Camera for Adults, Quadcopter with Brushless Motor, Auto Return Home, Follow Me, 26 Minutes Flight Time, Long Control Range, Includes Carrying Bag
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Holy Stone HS720 Foldable GPS Drone with 4K UHD Camera for Adults, Quadcopter with Brushless Motor, Auto Return Home, Follow Me, 26 Minutes Flight Time, Long Control Range, Includes Carrying Bag
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Ryze Tech Tello - Mini Drone Quadcopter UAV for Kids Beginners 5MP Camera HD720 Video 13min Flight Time Education Scratch Programming Toy Selfies, powered by DJI, White
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Ryze Tech Tello - Mini Drone Quadcopter UAV for Kids Beginners 5MP Camera HD720 Video 13min Flight Time Education Scratch Programming Toy Selfies, powered by DJI, White
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Best Silent (Quietest) Drone Reviews

Best Seller: 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

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
  • Up Your Game: The Mavic Air 2 camera drone takes power and portability to the next level. It combines a powerful camera with intelligent...
  • Next-Level Content: Capture impressive 48MP photos with a 1/2-inch CMOS sensor while the 3-axis gimbal provides 4K/60fps video. The secret...
  • Improved Flight: An impressive flight time of up to 34 minutes allows you to pull off epic, fast-paced shots. Obstacle sensing in three...

DJI is easily one of the most experienced and respected drone manufacturers in the world with products in virtually every niche and making a good showing on our list. That said, DJI does not specialize exclusively in drones and also makes gimbals for photography as well as branch out into consumer robotics more generally.

That said, this does not seem to impact the DJI Mavic Air 2 drone in the slightest which is one of DJI’s newest releases and one of the quietest drones we could find. Almost certainly a big part of this comes from the fact that this drone uses brushless motors which are not only quieter than brushed models but more durable as well.

However, the main reason that the DJI Mavic Air 2 drone makes our best seller list likely comes down more to its photography capabilities than anything else. While it does not have the largest sensor on our list, the ½” CMOS sensor is still the second-largest and comes with a host of software that further expands its capabilities.

For example, at its base, the DJI Mavic Air 2 drone boasts the second-best still image quality at 12 MP but can take four separate images and combine them to produce a 48 MP shot. As if that were not enough, this is also the only drone on our list that can shoot 4k UHD at 60 fps, producing a lifelike feel with moving subjects.

The DJI Mavic Air 2 drone keeps the photography features coming thanks to its 3-axis gimbal, affording it the ability to shoot in a wide variety of angles and positions. With this setup, this drone can free fly while tracking a subject with Spotlight 2.0, keep a moving subject centered with ActiveTrack 3.0, and track moving subjects with POI 3.0.

Out of all the other drones we reviewed, the DJI Mavic Air 2 drone also boasts some of the most impressive flying capabilities. In terms of its range, this drone has the farthest maximum range at 6 ⅕ miles and the second-tallest maximum height at 3 miles, though you will need to be careful to avoid locations with electronic interference to achieve these ranges.

In terms of its dimensions, the DJI Mavic Air 2 drone is not exactly small or lightweight, but neither is it as large as some of the bigger models on our list. Its dimensions are a solid 10” x 7 ⅕” x 3” with a weight of 598 g meaning it can handle stiffer winds than most but still must be registered with the FAA.

As far as flying performance is concerned, the DJI Mavic Air 2 drone is not quite the easiest to fly, but it is still much easier than most thanks to obstacle detection sensors in the front, rear, and bottom. Like most other DJI drones, this entry also combines GPS and GLONASS to maintain a steady hovering position.

For raw flying specs, the DJI Mavic Air 2 drone boasts the longest flight time on our list at 34 minutes, though this depends on how you use it. While this drone is not ideal for sporting purposes, it still manages to hit a solid top speed of 42 ⅕ mph which is good for the second-fastest on our list.

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

Features

  • Hums along at the quietest 63 to 68 dB
  • Flies for up to 34 minutes
  • Takes 12 MP captivating still images
  • Records in solid UHD 4K
  • Zips by at 42 ⅕ mph

Verdict
When you consider all of the specs that the DJI Mavic Air 2 drone comes with, its price may seem relatively minor in comparison. It also does not hurt that all of this power comes without the caveat of additional noise thanks to the use of brushless motors and specialized low-noise propellers.

Pros

  • Only makes 63 to 68 dB
  • Has a 34 min flytime
  • Records in 4K UHD
  • Takes 48 MP images
  • Comes with a controller
  • Has a 3-axis gimbal

Cons

  • Is more expensive
  • Requires FAA registration

Top Pick: DJI Mavic 2 Pro – Drone Quadcopter UAV with Hasselblad Camera 3-Axis Gimbal HDR 4K Video Adjustable Aperture 20MP 1″ CMOS Sensor, up to 48mph, Gray

Sale
DJI Mavic 2 Pro - Drone Quadcopter UAV with Hasselblad Camera 3-Axis Gimbal HDR 4K Video Adjustable Aperture 20MP 1" CMOS Sensor, up to 48mph, Gray
  • Equipped with a Hasselblad L1D-20c camera with a 20MP 1” CMOS Sensor, the Mavic 2 camera drone lets you capture gorgeous aerial shots in...
  • Up to 31 minutes flight time, 44 mph max speed, 907G takeoff weight, 3-axis gimbal for steady shots, 8GB internal storage, SD card Support...
  • Functions include ActiveTrack 2. 0, Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing, Hyperlapse, Low-Noise Design, Adjustable Aperture, HDR Photos

Our top pick might seem like an odd one considering the review’s particular focus, but we felt that an overall improved functionality more than made up for some of its potential flaws. It is also important to remember that the DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone came out in 2018, and DJI continues to innovate to remain atop the consumer-drone market.

That said, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone is still no slouch when it comes to the noise department as this model only generates between 70 to 75 dB of volume. Like the other DJI drones, this model employs brushless motors to help reduce the noise, though they are slightly larger which ultimately generates a bit more noise in general.

Outside of the noise generation, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone is an incredibly capable drone and the only entry on our list that provides omnidirectional obstacle detection. These sensors make this drone much easier to control for beginners as well as improving the various auto-flying modes to avoid collisions.

Beyond the obstacle detection sensors, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone also uses both GPS and GLONASS to make sure it maintains a stable position as well as keep track of the user. As if that were not enough, the size and power of this drone allow it to handle stronger winds better than most of the competition we encountered.

Of course, this can be both a blessing and a curse as the DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone is one of the larger drones on our list at 12 ⅗” x 9 ½” x 3 ⅓” and more difficult to carry. On top of that, this is also the heaviest drone that we reviewed at 907 g and will require you to register it with the FAA, especially if you plan to use it for commercial purposes.

In terms of its capabilities, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone boasts the tallest maximum height at 3 ⅔ miles as well as the second-best maximum range at 5 miles. Granted, you are unlikely to be able to control the drone at those ranges unless you fly it in very specific locations without additional electronic interference.

When it comes to flight capabilities, no other entry on our list can come close to matching the DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone for sporting purposes with a maximum speed of 48 mph. As if that were not enough, this drone also boasts an impressive flight time of 31 minutes which is excellent given its size.

If you are more artistic, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone has you covered in the photography department as well with a 1” CMOS sensor that can shoot still images at 20 MP. While this may not be as good as an “effective” 48 MP, it means that you do not have to rely on software to ensure that the picture comes out properly.

To make things even better, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone is also able to record in 4K UHD at 30 fps, 2K HD at 60 fps, and 1080p HD at 120 fps. To make sure that you get the most stunning images possible, the Hasselblad camera can shoot in HDR for sharp contrast and offers a solid ISO range for low-light images.

DJI Mavic 2 Pro - Drone Quadcopter UAV with Hasselblad Camera 3-Axis Gimbal HDR 4K Video Adjustable Aperture 20MP 1' CMOS Sensor, up to 48mph, Gray

Features

  • Hums along at a quieter 70 to 75 dB
  • Flies for up to 31 minutes
  • Takes 20 MP captivating still images
  • Records in solid 4K UHD
  • Zips by at 48 mph

Verdict
While the DJI Mavic 2 Pro may not be the quietest drone on our list, it is still quieter than most we came across and only puts out between 70 to 75 dB of noise. Though it is by no means inexpensive, this drone still provides a solid range of specs.

Pros

  • Only makes 70 to 75 dB
  • Has a 31 min flytime
  • Records in 4K UHD
  • Takes 20 MP images
  • Comes with a controller
  • Has a 3-axis gimbal

Cons

  • Is more expensive
  • Requires FAA registration

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

DJI Mavic Mini - Drone FlyCam Quadcopter UAV with 2.7K Camera 3-Axis Gimbal GPS 30min Flight Time, less than 0.55lbs, Gray
  • The compact yet powerful Mavic Mini camera drone is the perfect creative companion, capturing your moments in a way that effortlessly...
  • Weighing less than 0.55lbs / 250 grams, Mavic Mini is almost as light as the average smartphone. In the United States and Canada, you can...
  • Mavic Mini supports 12MP aerial photos and 2.7K HD videos. A 3-axis motorized gimbal provides superior camera stability and ensures clear,...

Given the company’s reputation and the fact that it captured the top two spots on our list, it should come as little surprise that DJI sweeps the entire range of awards we dole out. However, as the name suggests, the DJI Mavic Mini drone fills a completely different niche than the prior two entries.

Much like the best selling option, the DJI Mavic Mini drone sneaks in as one of the quietest drones we encountered, generating only between 63 to 68 dB of noise. When you consider that this drone comes equipped with brushless motors that are significantly smaller than most of the competition, it is easy to see how it maintains such a low noise level.

It is worth noting that despite its name, you should not consider the DJI Mavic Mini drone a true beginner drone, though neither is it the most difficult to fly either. Still, there is no getting around the fact that this is the most compact drone on our list by a hair at 8” x 6 ⅓” x 2” and weighing in at 249 g with the battery meaning you do not have to register it with the FAA.

Of course, these dimensions make the DJI Mavic Mini drone especially great for flying indoors, but it can be a bit tricky to fly outside– especially when dealing with strong gusts of wind. Also, this DJI drone cannot help compensate for flyer error as much as some of the higher-priced models with obstacle sensors positioned only in front of and below the drone.

Regardless, the DJI Mavic Mini drone still offers some impressive flying specs like a maximum speed of 29 mph which is faster than some drones twice its size. On top of that, it seems as if DJI put in the work tuning their mini drone as this model can boast a flight time of 30 minutes which is on par with any advanced model we encountered.

In terms of its flying ranges, the DJI Mavic Mini drone can reach a maximum distance of around 2 ½ miles and a maximum height of up to 1 ⅘ mi– though the drone will likely be blown out of the sky well before that height due to strong winds. Thankfully, the drone suffers no such issues with lighter winds as the combination of GPS and GLONASS ensures it maintains a precise position.

As far as taking photos or shooting video goes, the DJI Mavic Mini drone once again trails behind its bigger brothers but still makes a respectable showing compared to other brands. For one, this drone comes with a 1/2.3” sensor attached to a 3-axis gimbal stabilizer to allow smooth capture from virtually any direction.

In terms of the image quality, the DJI Mavic Mini drone may only take stills at 12 MP, but that is third on our list and tied for second at its base. As if that were not enough, this drone also takes 2.7K HD video which is a specialized resolution used almost exclusively by DJI to give you enough pixels to crop out the propellers without losing the standard HD format.

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

Features

  • Hums along at the quietest 63 to 68 dB
  • Flies for up to 30 minutes
  • Takes 12 MP captivating still images
  • Records in solid 2.7K HD
  • Zips by at 29 mph

Verdict
More in line with the best-seller, the DJI Mavic Mini drone compares favorably with the best of the best in terms of noise generated and only puts out between 63 to 68 dB. This is especially important for this particular model as its smaller size makes it ideal for use indoors.

Pros

  • Only makes 63 to 68 dB
  • Has a 30 min flytime
  • Records in 2.7K HD
  • Takes 12 MP images
  • Is a compact drone
  • Is less expensive

Cons

  • Not the best in wind
  • Absent DJI features

Runner Up: Holy Stone HS720 Foldable GPS Drone with 4K UHD Camera for Adults, Quadcopter with Brushless Motor, Auto Return Home, Follow Me, 26 Minutes Flight Time, Long Control Range, Includes Carrying Bag

Sale
Holy Stone HS720 Foldable GPS Drone with 4K UHD Camera for Adults, Quadcopter with Brushless Motor, Auto Return Home, Follow Me, 26 Minutes Flight Time, Long Control Range, Includes Carrying Bag
  • 4K UHD Camera with Image Stabilization: The optimized full HD Camera built with Shock Absorption holder ensures shooting 3840 x 2160 high...
  • GPS Assisted Intelligent Flight: Never lose the drone. It returns automatically whenever battery is low, signal is lost or you press one key...
  • Configuration Upgrade: The intelligent battery works for 26 Mins for each charge; the long-life Brushless Motors have lower power...

Though not the oldest or most experienced company on our list, Holy Stone has been around for over half a decade and specializes exclusively in drone products. On top of that, Holy Stone also offers 3 different grades of drones with the Holy Stone HS720 drone being the company’s flagship model.

As it pertains to the primary concern of our review, the Holy Stone HS720 drone does not provide a specific volume rated in decibels. However, this drone employs brushless motors which are inherently quieter than brushed ones as well as more durable, though the propellers do not feature a quieter form.

Regardless, the Holy Stone HS720 drone could easily have slid into our best value spot with a low price that compares well in any budget-friendly category outside of beginner drones. That said, part of the reason this drone has such a low price is due to an absence of obstacle sensors, making you responsible for complete control of the drone.

Granted, the Holy Stone HS720 drone comes with a few of the more popular flying modes to reduce the amount of control you need to maintain, though these modes will require open spaces to prevent collisions. The Point of Interest mode allows the drone to track a specific target while the Follow Me mode maintains pace with the controller.

It is worth noting that while the Holy Stone HS720 drone may not come with obstacle sensors, it still employs both GPS and GLONASS to maintain an accurate position. On top of that, this drone also comes with an Optical Flow system that tracks changes in air pressure to maintain stability in windy conditions.

One thing that can be a bit deceptive about the Holy Stone HS720 drone is that it often advertises the ability to record in 4K UHD but only actually records in 2K HD. On top of that, this drone features the lowest quality still images on our list with a ⅓ CMOS sensor that shoots in 2.3 MP, though it can at least adjust 90-degrees along a vertical axis.

Like many other budget-friendly drones, the Holy Stone HS720 drone does not have the greatest range, though, at ⅔ mile, it is more than enough for most people. On top of that, this drone can fly up to 1 ⅘ mile high, but be careful that you do not do so at the maximum range or you will lose signal connection well before then.

While not comparable to some of the higher-end drones on our list, the Holy Stone HS720 drone still sports a flight time of 26 minutes which is excellent for its price tag. As far as speed goes, you likely will not be racing this drone anytime soon, but at 22 mph, it still has enough zip to buzz past in a hurry.

One of the more interesting aspects of this drone is that it is somewhat large at 14 ⅖” x 13 ½” x 2 ⅖” but incredibly lightweight for its dimensions at only 520 g with the battery. Finally, the Holy Stone HS720 drone comes with a controller that can fly headless or support both a smartphone or an FPV device.

Holy Stone HS720 Foldable GPS Drone with 4K UHD Camera for Adults, Quadcopter with Brushless Motor, Auto Return Home, Follow Me, 26 Minutes Flight Time, Long Control Range, Includes Carrying Bag

Features

  • Hums along quietly
  • Flies for up to 26 minutes
  • Takes 2.3 MP captivating still images
  • Records in solid 2K HD
  • Zips by at 22 mph

Verdict
The Holy Stone HS720 drone may not be anything truly special in the noise department, especially compared to better models, but it still comes with brushless motors. It is also worth noting that given its inexpensive price, it still provides a solid performance.

Pros

  • Has brushless motors
  • Has a 26 min flytime
  • Records in 2K HD
  • Comes with a controller
  • Has 90° lens adjustment
  • Is less expensive

Cons

  • More difficult to control
  • Requires FAA registration

Also Consider: Ryze Tech Tello – Mini Drone Quadcopter UAV for Kids Beginners 5MP Camera HD720 Video 13min Flight Time Education Scratch Programming Toy Selfies, powered by DJI, White

Ryze Tech Tello - Mini Drone Quadcopter UAV for Kids Beginners 5MP Camera HD720 Video 13min Flight Time Education Scratch Programming Toy Selfies, powered by DJI, White
  • Equipped with a high-quality image processor, the Tello drone shoots incredible photos and videos. Even if you don’t know how to fly, you...
  • Camera features 5MP (2592x1936) photos and HD720 videos at a maximum flight time of 13 minutes.
  • Tello has two antennas that make video transmission extra stable and a high-capacity battery that offers impressively long flight times.

Ryze Tech is easily the newest and least experienced company on our list, but they do focus exclusively on drone products and only have 2 different models to worry about. On top of that, Ryze Tech made the insightful choice to team up with the market-dominating DJI to ensure they get everything right from the beginning.

One thing to keep in mind regarding the Ryze Tech Tello drone is that while it may be quiet compared to some of the other drones on the market, it is the loudest on the list. Part of this comes from the fact that this drone uses brushed motors, though its incredibly compact size helps reduce some of the total noise generated.

To make things a bit trickier, the Ryze Tech Tello drone does not provide a volume rating in decibels nor have readings been taken by other users. That said, it seems that the more annoying aspect of this drone’s noise has less to do with its absolute volume and more to do with the high-pitched whine.

Regardless, you should understand that the Ryze Tech Tello drone is more of a beginner drone or even a toy drone, depending on your level of experience flying drones. Thankfully, Ryze Tech seems to understand this and positions the product specifically for this purpose with an extremely low price point given its capabilities.

Even better, as a beginner drone, the Ryze Tech Tello drone features dimensions that make it ideal for flying indoors with an unfolded size of 8” x 7 ⅔” x 2”. As if that were not enough, you do not have to worry about this drone damaging anything should it crash as it only weighs 80 g with the battery included, making this the lightest and one of the most compact drones on our list.

In terms of flying capabilities, the Ryze Tech Tello drone may not be able to compete with advanced and professional drones, but it still makes a solid showing for the beginner market. For starters, the 13 min flight time might seem short by comparison, but it is reasonably good given its incredibly lightweight design.

One of the more surprising qualities of the Ryze Tech Tello drone is that it can achieve speeds of up to 18 mph despite having some of the smallest motors we encountered. However, its flying capabilities are not all impressive as the maximum range and height that you can reliably fly at caps out at 100 m or roughly 328’.

It is worth noting that the Ryze Tech Tello drone does not have the worst camera on board and can take still images at 5 Mp, though the lens limits the conditions and quality of the image a bit. On top of that, this drone can record in 720p HD resolution, but it does not boast the best results at farther distances or while moving at any speed.

On the other hand, working with DJI serves the Ryze Tech Tello drone exceptionally well as the range finder and vision system helps stabilize its hovering and flying patterns. As if that were not enough, you get even more value from this drone thanks to the use of ABS plastic and propeller guards to help prevent serious damage.

Ryze Tech Tello - Mini Drone Quadcopter UAV for Kids Beginners 5MP Camera HD720 Video 13min Flight Time Education Scratch Programming Toy Selfies, powered by DJI, White

Features

  • Hums along quietly
  • Flies for up to 13 minutes
  • Takes 5 MP captivating still images
  • Records in solid 720p HD
  • Zips by at 18 mph

Verdict
The Ryze Tech Tello drone may be the loudest on our list, but it is still reasonably quiet– especially when you consider its price and age. As an extremely inexpensive model, this drone may not have the best specs, but it is a great starter drone suitable for indoors.

Pros

  • Connects to smart devices
  • Can use a controller
  • Has solid flight stabilization
  • Made of ABS plastic
  • Is a compact drone
  • Is less expensive

Cons

  • Uses brushed motors
  • Has limited compatibility

Best Silent Drone Buying Guide 2020

Volume

The volume of a drone is easily the most important factor for our review, but it may not necessarily weigh quite as high for all people. That said, the volume of a drone differs depending on a couple of factors that focus primarily on the motors and propellers used, though this tends to be somewhat minimal with a base model.

For instance, most drone the average consumer purchases are RTF or Ready to Fly and come with OEM manufacturer components. These drones are often limited in the number of changes you can make to their components, so if you want the quietest drone possible, you likely need to invest significantly more money on a DIY custom-made drone.

Motor

In terms of the drone’s general capabilities, the size and type of motor play a huge role in how well and quickly the drone flies, but it also impacts the amount of noise generated. While the specific types of motor impacts the noise generated most notably, the size and power of the motor play an important role as well. That said, many manufacturers do not release the engineering specs of their motors which can make gauging that quality a bit tricky.

  • Brushed – Brushed motors are the most common type of motors used for the overwhelming majority of electronic devices and find plenty of use in drones as well. That said, many manufacturers are moving away from brushed motors in favor of brushless motors. However, it is worth noting that brushed motors are generally less expensive and generate more torque than brushless motors.
  • Brushless – Brushless motors are quickly taking over the market of motorized electronics even though they are usually more expensive. One of the main reasons for this shift is that brushless motors have a longer lifespan than brushed models because you do not need to replace the brush. On top of that, the absence of brushes also allows brushless motors to function significantly quieter and make them ideal for our purposes. As if that were not enough, brushless motors also generate less heat than brushed motors, but that is usually not much of an issue for drones.

Propellers

After the motors, the most important component that determines the noise generated by a drone is the propellers, though this too can create a couple of different qualities. For instance, the speed to size ratio of the propellers impacts the amount and type of noise generated by the drone.

Thankfully, even most RTF drone manufacturers make replacement propellers specifically designed to reduce the amount of noise a drone generates. Another thing to look for is larger propellers that can still generate the necessary amount of lift while spinning at slower speeds, though this may also require purchasing special motors.

Range

Depending on the reason you fly drones, this can either be one of the most important qualities or a relatively negligible one. That said, most of the general uses for a drone do not determine whether or not the range is exceptionally important or not, with each niche having separate sub-niches.

For instance, if you want a drone for photography, you may well only need a drone to fly a modest range to get the overwhelming majority of shots, using the drone for particular angles. However, if you want the drone to be able to take sweeping landscape shots or perform visual surveys, you may require a longer range.

Regardless of the purpose that you fly a drone, the two primary ranges focus on horizontal and vertical distance from the receiver, of which they generally differ a fair amount. Outside of the physical limitations, total distance flown on a single charge is also a type of range, but this involves the flight time as well as the other flying factors.

Camera

Even if you do not intend to use a drone primarily for photography there is still often a reason that you want it to have a decent camera. For example, if you are a sporting drone pilot, the camera quality will directly impact how good of an image you see on the display or even how natural it feels to use FPV.

  • Photos – Much like with digital cameras, the cameras attached to a drone can be fairly impressive and offer a wide range of features that allow you to make breathtaking shots. While the most obvious spec to consider is the MP or megapixels of the camera, experienced photographers will want standard camera features as well. Looking for a drone whose camera offers a wide ISO range, variable f-stop, and adjustable aperture can improve the quality of your still images.
  • Recording – More and more, photographers use drones for their ability to record video as much, if not more, than to take still images. That said, the function of recording video does not necessarily incorporate as many minute factors for the average person. That does not mean you should ignore things like ISO, HDR, and white balance, but you may not have as much control over these aspects as you do for a still image.

Flytime

Almost universally, flight time is often one of the more meaningful aspects of a drone pilot’s experience, even if it does not necessarily impact their specific niche. For example, sporting pilots and photography pilots may only need the drone to fly for a few minutes at a time, but they likely enjoy longer flight times too.

One of the main things to look for with drone flight times is the size of the battery, but this is certainly not the end-all, be-all factor that determines a drone’s flight time. Arguably, the weight of a drone is just as important with lighter drones often boasting superior flight times, assuming they have a quality battery with plenty of mAh.

Another aspect to consider is that the flight time often hinges as much on how you fly the drone as any inherent quality to the drone’s build. If you fly a drone at its maximum speed for the entire flight, you will not enjoy nearly as long of a flight time as if you piloted it at its slowest speed– not to consider whether the drone had to fight against the wind to maintain stability.

FAQ

What About Pitch?

If you listen to experienced drone pilots, oftentimes they will not consider the volume of a drone to be the biggest issue. Granted, it may take a keen or sensitive ear to recognize the difference between 68 dB and 70 dB, but the difference between 63 dB and 75 dB is unmistakable.

Regardless, many veteran drone pilots still contend that the volume of a drone is not the issue, and what makes a drone’s noise annoying comes down to the pitch. The pitch of a drone’s noise comes from a combination of the sound of the motor combined with the sound of the propellers.

As far as the motor goes, smaller motors tend to produce a higher pitch than larger ones, though more powerful motors may also produce a higher-pitched noise. In terms of the propellers, there are too many factors to nail it down to just one, but the speed of the propellers makes the most impact with larger propellers generally making a higher-pitched noise at the same speed than smaller ones.

Can Drones Be Made Quieter?

If you get a quiet drone and find that it is not quiet enough for your liking, you may feel like you wasted money or should return it for a quieter model. While that is certainly possible, you may not be able to find a different model that also meets whatever other standards you have for the drone you want.

Thankfully, there are a couple of ways that you can often modify the drone you purchase to help decrease the amount of noise that it makes. A great place to start is by figuring out what kind of motors the drone uses and making sure to switch out any motors with a brushed design for brushless motors.

Unfortunately, many pre-packaged drones are what is known as RTF or ready-to-fly drones and may not be as easily modded or can only be modded with components made by the manufacturer. Thankfully, one way to help reduce the amount of noise made by virtually any drone is to purchase special aftermarket propellers which help reduce the amount and lower the pitch of noise generated.

What Else to Look For?

When it comes to factors that do not impact the amount of volume generated by a drone, you can generally break them down into the type of piloting you want to do. While there are numerous niches of drones on the market, you can generally classify their intended use as recreational, photographic, or sporting.

For recreational drones, easily the most important thing to consider is their flight time since you do not necessarily need to worry about competing or taking incredible shots. However, recreational fliers may not pilot the drone as often, so other features that can make controlling them easier are also good.

For photographic purposes, you need to make sure that the drone has a good camera sensor, but make sure it can take both excellent still shots and record in a clear resolution. Beyond the hardware, many high-end photography drones also come with plenty of software to further improve their performance.

Sporting drones are a bit trickier as they tend to require more precise flying, especially if you compete in timed trials through an aerial obstacle course. Regardless of the competition, you almost always want to make sure that the drone has a high top speed while also looking for excellent FPV features.

Conclusion

As we can see, the best silent drone can come in a couple of different sizes depending on what you want out of the drone. If getting the quietest drone is your primary concern, we recommend the DJI Mavic Air 2 drone as it only generates between 63 and 68 dB while still providing excellent photography options.

Likewise, another extremely quiet option is the DJI Mavic Mini drone which also only generates between 63 to 68 dB of noise but is easier to fly indoors. Of course, if flying capability sits a little bit higher on your wishlist, the DJI Mavic Pro 2 drone only generates between 70 and 75 dB while flying faster and stabler than any other entry on our list.

If you would like to get into drones but do not want to spend too much money, the Ryze Tech Tello drone is somewhat quiet but easily the most compact model we reviewed. Finally, the Holy Stone HS720 drone comes with brushless motors to keep the noise down and is large enough to fly in windy conditions.