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I couldn't find any official comparison for noise level (dB) in Airbus A380 versus the Boeing 777 300 ER. Does anyone have some info about it? Which one is better in terms of acoustic isolation?

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  • $\begingroup$ Are you asking for external noise or internal noise? $\endgroup$ – SMS von der Tann Jun 4 '16 at 19:02
  • $\begingroup$ @SMSvonderTann Internal Noise caused by external causes like engine, airflow, etc. $\endgroup$ – faf Jun 4 '16 at 19:50
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From a luxury round the world flight on several different models of aircraft on several different airlines, a traveler used the exact same sound meter at his seat in either business or first class to measure ambient noise level during cruise.

Here is a chart I made of his measurements, including carrier and age of aircraft. As you can see, long haul aircraft are quieter than short. Carrier and age of aircraft also seem to make a difference.

For this set of measurements, the b773 is 3db (or 25%) louder than the a380.

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Yay, actual data! The question needed that. One correction, 3dB is 41% louder objectively, about 30% subjectively (but depending on frequency). Perhaps the most important 777 vs A380 difference is in economy, though. $\endgroup$ – Therac Aug 30 '18 at 19:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Therac DB gets tricky. You are correct that 3db is 40% greater sound pressure, but it is only perceived as 25% louder and it contains twice as much energy. So you can say 25%, 40% or 100% and be correct in some way. I chose perception as that is the point of the question. $\endgroup$ – Pilothead Aug 30 '18 at 19:54
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As a passenger:

  • In the forward bulkhead section of economy class (lower deck) there is almost no engine noise in the A380. If you listen carefully, you can hear it. I was actually surprised at how quiet it was that I didn't need my noise cancelling headphones. In the upper deck, there is no engine noise to speak of.

  • In the forward section of the 777 (normally this is business class) the noise is a loud but muffled (think of a speaker under a pillow), but not as loud as in the entire economy class cabin. In economy class the noise is atrocious on the 777.

Note that both flights were on Emirates.

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  • $\begingroup$ The noise levels also depend on the speed the captain is flying, is he cruising normally or is he flying faster to make up time $\endgroup$ – Brilsmurfffje Jun 22 '16 at 11:56
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I can tell you that in economy, the 777 noise was, in my opinion, almost unbearable. The A380 was almost silent. I have been on both on long haul to the uk, and their is a world of difference in the noise levels. Will never fly 777 again.

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    $\begingroup$ Where were you in the A380? My wife and I were on the bottom deck just a couple of rows from the back on Qantas inaugural A-380 flight SYD to SFO and the noise was higher than any other aircraft I can remember. When we questioned a flight attendant about it, she said that the noise level varies greatly depending on whether you're on the top deck or the bottom deck and where you are from fore to aft, and that we were in the very worst part. $\endgroup$ – Terry Jun 5 '16 at 17:03
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    $\begingroup$ @Terry, interesting. I flew on A380 many times, but always on the upper deck (both business and economy, i.e. front and aft). And always found it incredibly quiet, a level of difference from any other airliner. Maybe on the lower deck things are not as stellar... $\endgroup$ – Zeus Jun 6 '16 at 3:34
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This is a very difficult question to answer, but lets assume that you're flying during cruise, eliminating as much airframe noise as possible (landing gear, flaps, slats and spoilers) then the position of you in the aircraft is of importance as well. The further you go to the front the more silent your flight will be. Since the A380 also has an upper deck this will be even more silent. Then during the flight it is important to know if the crew is doing some catching up so flying faster than normal, this will indeed be more noisy.

So with this I can give you only my opinion and then overall the A380 is a bit more silent on board, further more I found it harder to notice that we were in fact flying than in the 777. Every movement feels more dampened which contributes to the overall feel on board.

In business class the 777 is more quiet than the 787 in business class when the crew is making up for lost time by flying at a higher speed.

To conclude:

  • It greatly depends on your position in the aircraft, aft equals more noise
  • Cruising speed, higher speed than normal equals more noise
  • Engine type, airlines have for most the option to choose between 2 or 3 engine manufactures.
  • Personal perception, during the night you're maybe less tolerant to noise than during the day and during the night there is less noise from the cabin to muffle the engine noise.
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In my recent travels, I have been lucky to get a host of aircrafts.

777-300ER X 2 (9W)&(SIA), A330-300 X 2 (QANTAS), A350-900 X 1 (SIA), A380-800 X 2 (SIA) seated at various positions. I must say that the A380-800 is a class apart! take a bow Airbus! I had always been partial to the Boeing, but the A380 had taken my heart away. I was seated at the lower deck the 1st time I boarded an A380. Honestly, I had no clue when the aircraft was at rotate speed and through out my 6 hours in it, I could virtually feel no sound at all. Note that I was at the front aft of the economy section. I could enjoy a great view of the Changi airport while the A380 banked almost 360 during a summer sunset. I surprisingly found no difference between the noise levels of the 777-300ER & the A350-900 (shocked) I was rather hoping to find the same db levels on the A350-900 as the A380-800 since conceptually it was a newer aircraft but was bitterly disappointed.

On my way back I was at the upper deck and re-lived that experience of a virtually noise free cabin! Thank you Airbus and thank you Singapore Airlines.

My next would be an A380-800 on Qatar airways! Looking forward to it already.

-Nik

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I have just returned B/Class from the UK and both the 380 and the 777 were used. The 777 for 14 hrs and the 380 for 6hrs.

The difference between the two aircraft was amazing the 380 noise levels are only a quarter of the 777, in the 380 ear plugs were not needed however in the 777 you did plus the audio head phones further reduced the noise in the 777 was unbearable and sleep was not at all possible.

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Last years' experience flying from Brisbane to London was only spoiled by flying on a 777. The sound was disgusting. Earplugs could not stop it. I will never choose a 777 for a long haul again. Relief only came when we changed to an A380 to finish our last leg to London.

Be warned: these 777 aircraft are very noisy no matter how much money you pay. Fly on an A380 and save you ears. We came away from our flight with a headache and discomfort for 12/24 hours after.

I love flying with Emirates, they are the best airline I have ever flown with but next year we will be using their A380 all the way.

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  • $\begingroup$ This reads like a rant more than an answer. $\endgroup$ – 0xdd Jul 30 at 14:44

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