The new Cannon kicks butt (scientific definition of kicking butt), but it’s noisier than the Original DIY. How noisy is it? As is my habit, I wanted to answer this question scientifically.
So I bought a decibel meter:
And I tested the Cannon, Original DIY, Blue Air 203/270E, and IQ Health Pro Plus on their highest settings from 1.95 meters away. That’s the distance between my pillow and where I put the purifiers. Here are the results:
The cannon is noisier than I’d like, but it’s similar to the Blue Air on the high setting. To give you an idea of how loud that is, this decibel chart says that’s between “conversation at home” and “conversation in restaurant.”
It’s louder than I’d like, but fortunately I’ve found that the Cannon is still very effective on the lower settings:
So I recommend running the cannon on a lower setting if you find it noisy.
- Cannon-owners can use the lower settings without sacrificing much performance.
- For people who are particularly sensitive to noise, the Original may be a better choice.
- For people who are VERY sensitive to noise, the Philips AC4072 is expensive (2,700 RMB), but it’s quite quiet on the low setting.
As always, I’m posting the data and methods below for fellow nerds.
I’m posting the raw data here for the medium and low settings. The raw data for the tests on the high setting are here. All of the methods are identical to my previous tests and are described in (excruciating) detail there.
The Cannon and HEPA used in these tests are identical to the kits we are shipping from Smart Air.
Thomas is an Associate Professor of Behavior Science at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and the founder of, a social enterprise to help people in China breathe clean air without shelling out thousands of dollars for expensive purifiers.