Have you ever driven down the highway and thought that the noise you are experiencing is unbearable? And it's not just that it bothers you – more noise means more distraction, meaning it's worse for safety.
Moreover, all that loud roar makes long journeys much less comfortable, especially after you try to overcome the issue with loud music.
Look, I've been testing cars for over a decade now, and while they are getting quieter, there is still work to be done. This is especially true for the tires, which at highway speeds are the biggest contributors to noise.
Yup, the roar you are hearing comes mostly from the tires and wind – not the engine. For this reason, many EVs are equally noisy as their gas counterparts on the highway, and perhaps even more so.
But the great thing is that you can largely mitigate the issue by replacing your worn-down set with new quiet tires.
Another good thing is that most modern tires are quiet – rubber technology and design have come a long way since their inception. Still, not all tires are created equal – some are quieter than others.
In this article, I'll be focusing only on the quietest of the quiet tires available on the market. However, I won't be giving you some crappy cheap tires that are quiet yet perform badly in other areas.
This text is about the marriage between quietness and safety, as I believe that the latter should be the single most important factor when choosing new tires.
Oh, and just listing the quietest tires on the market is easy – just put the ten best-selling all-season touring tires, and you won't be far from the truth. However, those tires don't fit most vehicles, nor the needs of most people.
Thus, I created a list that contains various sub-types of tires and then chose the quietest in their respective category. That way, every vehicle owner can find a set that suits his/her driving style and the climate where they live.
Hey, but enough of this mumbo jumbo – let's get right to the topic and see what the best quiet tires for a refined ride are!
- In-Depth Reviews of the Best Quiet Tires for a Refined Ride Available in 2023
- 1. Bridgestone Turanza QuietTrack
- 2. Continental PureContact LS
- 3. Michelin CrossClimate 2
- 4. Michelin Premier LTX
- 5. Michelin Defender LTX M/S
- 6. Continental TerrainContact H/T
- 7. Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015
- 8. Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus
- 9. Vredestein Hypertrac All Season
- 10. Continental VikingContact 7
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
In-Depth Reviews of the Best Quiet Tires for a Refined Ride Available in 2023
1. Bridgestone Turanza QuietTrack
Best Touring All-Season Quiet Tires for Passenger Cars
The Turanza QuietTrack is one of my favorite grand-touring all-season tires currently available on the market, and for multiple reasons.
For starters, Bridgestone did a great job minimizing noise – the tread growl is minimal and never intrusive, even when you drive well over the speed limit.
With this tire on my Camry, I covered hundreds of miles without my ears hurting, and I can say that it deserves its name.
Oh, and it's also very smooth – the ride is taut but never unrefined – the Turanza QuietTrack glides over bumps with relative solidity.
The best thing about Bridgestone's grand-touring all-season tire is that it doesn't sacrifice performance. This is one of the best tires in its category when it comes to dry traction and grip, accompanied by balanced and surefooted handling.
Moreover, the rain traction is excellent, the handling is impeccable, and the tire is easy to control at the limit.
Now, if you go into nitpicking, I found that the winter performance isn't that impressive, particularly when compared to the Continental PureContact LS and Michelin CrossClimate 2.
However, the Turanza QuietTrack is still safe to drive on snow-covered roads – while testing, I could steer and brake without losing control of the vehicle, which is telling.
On a more positive note, Bridgestone provides the highest 80,000-mile treadwear warranty in the category, and owners report outstanding treadlife. The price is high, but you are getting what you're paying here and even more!
2. Continental PureContact LS
Best Touring All-Season Quiet Tires for Rain
The PureContact LS solves the slight snow-traction issues of the Turanza QuietTrack, and by a significant margin.
Continental's grand-touring all-season tire is one of the best in the category on snow-covered roads, with exceptional traction and very balanced handling.
Crucially, the tire provided very safe handling and was easy to control at the limit.
The same can be said for dry tarmac, where the PureContact LS continues to impress with its abilities, despite perhaps the steering, which didn't impress me with its overly reactive nature.
But is it quiet? You bet! Sure, Bridgestone's competitor is quieter, but the PureContact LS is still an impressively silent tire, even at highway speeds.
Sadly, I can't say the same for the ride, which can feel unrefined over sharp and repetitive impacts. Fortunately, it settles down on the highway.
Finally, the PureContact LS is one of the most durable grand-touring all-season tires on the market, with an excellent 70,000-mile warranty on all sizes.
3. Michelin CrossClimate 2
Best for All-weather
Michelin's all-season/all-weather tire is one of the few that comes with a Severe Snow rating, meaning it was tested for additional longitudinal traction on snow.
Indeed, this is the best snow tire in its category, with impressive traction and very balanced handling.
I was worried that the impressive snow performance would somehow make the CrossClimate 2 worse on dry and wet roads, but boy, I was wrong!
Again, Michelin's advanced all-season tire eats these surfaces for breakfast, providing exceptional traction and braking, accompanied by the surprisingly high lateral grip.
The rain traction was particularly impressive, as it's only rivaled by the PureContact LS.
But Michelin must have sacrificed comfort to achieve all those great things, right? Well, while the ride isn't as smooth as what the Turanza QuietTrack offers, it's good enough on the highway, and crucially, the tire is impressively quiet, even at highway speeds.
In my experience, I didn't have any issues covering hundreds of miles with a set of these tires.
The CrossClimate 2 isn't faultless, though – it comes with a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is lower than the premium competition, and the price is exorbitantly high.
Still, this is one of the few tires that combine excellent dry/wet/snow traction with solid comfort, and I think the price is completely justified.
4. Michelin Premier LTX
Best Touring All-Season Quiet Tires for Crossovers and SUVs
If you own a crossover or an SUV, you won't find a quieter tire than the Premier LTX. Michelin designed this model with ultimate refinement in mind, and that showed in my testing.
The ride is buttery smooth, even over rough patches, and the lack of noise is apparent. Overall, this is one of the smoothest tires available on the market right now!
Fortunately, Michelin used its know-how and combined the comfortable demeanor with some excellent dry and wet traction.
Like most tires from the French manufacturer, the handling is also very balanced, with predictable behavior at the limit.
Moreover, this tire provides usable snow traction, unlike some cheaper rivals, and is very easy to drive in the winter.
Finally, Michelin provides a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty, which isn't impressive but still very good for the category. Crucially, existing owners are very satisfied with the treadlife.
5. Michelin Defender LTX M/S
Best Highway All-Season Quiet Tires for Towing and Hauling
Despite being able to carry that much weight, the Defender LTX M/S is very smooth over bumps and reasonably quiet on the highway.
And much like every other Michelin tire, it doesn't sacrifice traction, regardless of the surface.
Notably, the wet handling is among the best in the category, accompanied by strong braking and good lateral grip.
The dry grip is also excellent – nothing negative to report here. But more impressively, the Defender LTX M/S provides enough snow traction so that you feel safe while driving.
Finally, according to many tests and owners, this tire is the most durable in the category. Michelin covers these claims with a 70,000-mile treadwear warranty!
6. Continental TerrainContact H/T
Best Highway All-Season Quiet Tires for Rain
The TerrainContact H/T is Defender's arch nemesis and a tire that improves upon its rivals in many areas. For instance, it's better on snow-covered roads – I found it was easier to drive, with higher acceleration traction and much better braking.
Furthermore, Continental's highway all-season tire is the new rain benchmark in its category, thanks to the outstanding braking, high lateral grip, and surefooted handling.
And on top of that, Continental managed to extract as much dry traction as is probably possible from a highway tire at the moment (though the vague steering is a slight annoyance).
But an even more impressive aspect of this tire is the comfort – noise levels are very low, and the ride remains smooth when you hit a sharp pothole.
Finally, Continental provides an excellent 70,000-mile treadwear warranty on Euro-metric and a 60,000-mile warranty on LT-metric sizes, both excellent for the category.
7. Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015
Want to purchase all-terrain tires for some added off-road traction, but you are afraid the noisy ride might bother you?
Not to worry, as the Geolandar A/T G015 is only mildly noisier than a highway all-season tire and quieter than any other all-terrain tire.
I had no issues hearing the music when testing this tire on the latest Wrangler, and Jeep's SUV isn't particularly quiet.
The ride is a mixed bag, though, but I guess you can't have everything!
But the G015 has so much more to offer – it's also very capable on dirt roads and works well on turf, gravel, and sand.
Furthermore, the on-road traction is spot on; regardless if it rains or not, this is a tire you can rely on – I found that it competes with the best all-terrain tires in terms of the driving experience.
And if that wasn't impressive enough, the snow traction is excellent, both on packed and unpacked snow.
8. Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus
Best All-Season Performance Tires for Overall
Who says that performance tires can't also be quiet and comfortable? Continental did a great job with the ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus, creating a tire that's both quiet at highway speeds and comfortable over bumps.
Now, the comfortable nature of the tire did eat into its responsiveness – I found the steering was a bit lifeless, particularly when compared to other ultra-high-performance all-season tires.
But the DWS 06 Plus is impressive in all other areas, with exceptional longitudinal traction and lateral grip in dry and wet conditions and a surprisingly good performance on snow-covered roads.
To top it all off, Continental provides a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is one of the best in the UHP all-season category.
9. Vredestein Hypertrac All Season
Best All-Season Performance Quiet Tires for Budget
The Hypertrac All Season might not be the first tire car enthusiasts to think when looking at UHP all-season models.
I was in the same ballpark until I tried it – Vredestein created a very good tire here, and it honestly impressed me.
Now, the impression after the first few miles wasn't that positive, as the steering was a bit vague, but when I felt the overall grip and traction on offer, I quickly forgot about that deficiency.
The tire also performs very well in rainy conditions and is one of the best on snow in its category.
Crucially, the Hypertrac All Season is both quiet and comfortable, even over rough patches, almost on the level of a touring all-season tire. The 50,000-mile treadwear warranty is another strong point, particularly for the price.
10. Continental VikingContact 7
Best Quiet Winter Tires
Continental's winter tire is among the best in its category in every metric. It blew me away with the amount of acceleration and braking traction on snow and then added another blow with its outstanding ice traction.
Moreover, this is a tire that works very well on dry and wet roads and also doesn't break a sweat on slush.
Crucially, this is one of the few winter tires that's actually quiet on the highway – to my ears, the VikingContact 7 was almost as silent as my summer tires. The ride is also smooth, though hitting a sharp imperfection produces a thrashy noise.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- What's the quietest tire type?
Generally, summer touring tires are the quietest of the bunch. They are designed with comfort in mind and don't have as many tread grooves as their all-season counterparts.
However, you can't really find summer touring tires in North America, with only a few models on sale and in very limited numbers.
If you live in Europe or Asia, most of the tires will be of the summer touring type, but if you live in North America, I recommend buying a set of all-season touring tires for the quietest driving experience.
Or, if you own a truck, you might want to have a look at highway all-season tires, which are noisier but still quiet enough for an enjoyable ride.
Meanwhile, performance tires will be noisier due to the stickier tread compound, which tends to produce more growl.
Winter tires will be even noisier than that, largely because of the deeper grooves and sipes into the tread blocks, both creating quite a bit of growl.
But all-terrain and off-road tires are the noisiest of all, so prepare your ears for some abuse on the highway.
Still, even between some modern all-terrain tires, you can find models that are reasonably quiet at highway speeds.
- Do tires get noisier as they wear down?
Although worn tires have shallower grooves, they tend to produce more noise. The reason is irregular wear, which can turn the quietest tire into a loud mess.
Moreover, as the rubber loses elasticity, it tends to become louder, which can also impact refinement.
However, most premium tires should remain quiet through the years, especially those with a very long treadlife and high-quality tread compound.
- Will rotating the tires keep them quiet in the long run?
Absolutely! Since the tires become noisier with irregular wear, rotating them can largely mitigate the issue.
Although in my eyes, safety is always the No1 priority when buying new tires, the general audience mostly cares about comfort, especially quietness.
And I get that – the noise tires produce is something that every person can notice, including the passengers, and hence it's important to people.
Fortunately, tire manufacturers have come a long way in creating quieter tires through the years without compromising on safety.
All of the models I included in my list are also very safe to drive in most conditions, which only shows that modern tires are becoming better than ever.
But just like with everything else, I recommend choosing a set of tires that suits your driving style and the weather in your area. I believe that we should all choose products that suit our individual needs, and it's the same with tires.
Hence, weigh down what you need from your new tires to find a type that suits you, and then read my detailed reviews before making the final decision. I'm confident you'll be happy with the purchase!