How to muffle the loud vibrational noise of an Xbox 360?
October 10, 2009 10:15 AM   Subscribe

My newish Xbox 360 is very loud during idle. I keep it horizontal on a shelf of my tv stand. It makes a loud vibrational noise that seems to oscillate. Resting it on a rubber pad (from an exercise equipment mat) helps a little bit. It's a relief when I finally turn the console off, though. I think it would be better if I could keep it in some kind of sound-absorbent box. What would work well to cover up the noise?
posted by irv4oh to Technology (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Your newish XBox should not be that loud; there's inevitable noise, but unless it's hot (and thus running all of the fans at full blast), it should be fairly quiet. During gameplay, the DVD drive is notoriously loud and -will- make a good deal of noise; installing games to the hard drive will help considerably.

My suspicion is that it's running hot, which is causing the noise, and that any kind of sound proof box is a short path to a red-ring-of-death. How well ventilated is the console? You say it's inside of a TV stand -- is the stand open on the back, or closed? Is the console situated with ~3" of clearance on all sides, or is it tightly slid into a shelf meant for a DVD player/VCR?
posted by ellF at 10:24 AM on October 10, 2009

The Xbox 360 (aka Xbox2, pet peeve) is LOUD. And when it reads discs it's REALLY LOUD. There's no way around it. Drives me nuts.

Putting in a box will almost certainly overheat it. Maybe check a friend's 360 and see if yours is much different; I guess there could be something wrong, but in my experience those bastards are the noisiest thing in the room. Dammit.
posted by Aquaman at 10:32 AM on October 10, 2009

Agreeing with what's already been said - the newer versions are ridiculously loud. Have you tried wearing headphones, to hear the game sounds and minimize the console sounds? Works for me. Please don't try any kind of cover-up, you'll only overheat the unit - it's already prone to overheating, and putting it in some kind of box, no matter how well-ventilated, is like a death sentence.
posted by iconomy at 11:22 AM on October 10, 2009

They are loud. My 360 is louder than anything else: PS3, any computer, anything. It's not just you.

A soundproof box is bad because it will increase heat, which means you'll have to add another fan, which will make noise, and so on.

If you have no warranty or don't mind voiding it, there are modifications you can make to quiet that thing. If you Bing "make XBox 360 quieter" you'll find many such schemes.
posted by rokusan at 12:30 PM on October 10, 2009

If you've got a warranty, I'd take it back, complain vociferously about how the noise is completely unacceptable, get a refund... and then I'd spend the money on something more worthwhile. PS3s are very quiet, if you'd consider getting one.
posted by schmichael at 4:10 PM on October 10, 2009

Install a hard drive, and copy the games to the hard drive.
posted by xotis at 4:38 PM on October 10, 2009

Also, goodness: the 360 can be noisy at times, but I've had 2 in the past 3 years, and actively develop games for them, and haven't ever been so upset about it. I wonder if yours is problematic?

Bear in mind that modifying your XBox is a poor idea in terms of warranty, and speaking as a PS3 owner, the game library is smaller than the 360's -- and there's no access to Netflix. Both are fine devices, but they aren't even replacements for one another.
posted by ellF at 7:32 PM on October 10, 2009

Response by poster: I was considering putting the console in another room and running long HDMI and ethernet cables. Looking at sound studio acoustic equipment seems even better. Instead of long cables, I think I'll surround the shelf with acoustic foam like this (it is a open-back TV stand; I believe the Xbox2 [happy, Aquaman? ;) ] will be plenty ventilated). Since the shelves are just relatively thin tempered glass, I'll just use large binder clips to clamp the foam to the stand. Perhaps more importantly, I'm going to adhere these "large" anti-vibration feet by Isonode to the underneath. I've just ordered these items, so I don't yet know how well they will work. I'm hopeful, though.
posted by irv4oh at 11:43 AM on October 12, 2009

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