Best Quietest Hard Drives 2021

There’s nothing as irritating as working with a noisy laptop or desktop, especially if you’re the kind who needs countless working hours to get the job done. 

While the device’s fan may generate at least 10% of this noise, the hard drive is usually the main culprit. 

To get a silent drive operation with reliable breakneck speeds, you’ll need to invest in a solid-state hard drive. 

We’re here to help you find the best quietest hard drive that will give you peace of mind while working. 

Check out our top 7 favorites!

Comparison Table

ImageProductDigital Storage CapacityHardware InterfaceCompatible Devices
Seagate BarraCuda 500 GBSATA 6.0 Gb/sLaptop, Desktop
Western Digital 10TB10000 GBSATA 6.0 Gb/sNetwork Attached Storage (NAS) devices
Toshiba N300 10TB10000 GBSATA 6.0 Gb/sDesktop
Seagate IronWolf Pro 10TB10000 GBSATA 6.0 Gb/sCameras and other surveillance security systems
WD Purple 6TB6000 GBSATA 6.0 Gb/sCameras and other surveillance security systems
Western Digital AV-GP WD10EURX 10000 GBSATA 6.0 Gb/sLaptop, Desktop
Seagate IronWolf Pro 4TB4000 GBSATA 6.0 Gb/sLaptop, Desktop

Top 7 Best Quietest Hard Drives

Seagate BarraCuda 500GB Internal Hard Drive HDD

Features

  • Uses a multi-tier caching technology
  • Compatible with nearly all computers and laptops
  • It boasts a superior storage capacity of 500 GB

For 20+ years, Seagate has proven to be a reliable brand in machining quiet hard drives. For this reason, you shouldn’t be surprised that BarraCuda ranked highest on this list! 

This hard drive can best be described in the following four words; quietest, dependable, fast, and versatile hard drive. If you’re considering upgrading your current hard drive with something powerful yet affordable, we’d advise you to go for Seagate BarraCuda!

Here’s the good news; this quiet drive lets you store more files on your laptop or computer. And versatility comes in since it acts as a powerhouse unit for any computer, be it office, gaming,  schooling, or performing basic tasks. 

Thanks to the multi-tier caching tech, you needn’t worry about experiencing delays when loading your files or applications. You can choose to store your data on any of its storage space options.  And this is because the massive data storage capacity gives you a limitless selection. 

And the busy users who are fond of using multiple applications, playing heavy games, or transferring many programs or files, Seagate BarraCuda still got you covered. This capability is because the hard drive lets you access information from your laptop or computer almost instantly.

And what’s better than knowing that you will not be planning to make any other hard drive replacement once you’ve upgraded your computer or laptop with BarraCuda? It comes ready to serve and will not fail in its operations!

Seagate BarraCuda’s dynamic versatility is undeniable. You’re investing in an affordable, quiet, but powerful hard drive without spending a fortune.

Enjoy a long-lasting peace of mind with the 2-year limited warranty that will cover any damages. 

Pros

  • Massive storage space
  • Fast and reliable operations
  • Perfect for any type of computers
  • Efficient power consumption

Cons

  • None from customers

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Western Digital 10TB WD Red NAS Internal Hard Drive

Features

  • It has a read speed of 210 Megabytes Per Second.
  • Three-year manufacturer’s limited warranty
  • Designed for use in NAS systems.
  • Supports up to 180 TB/yr workload rate

The WD Red 10TB NAS model is another silent hard drive in the market worth considering. Notably, WD Red doesn’t suit desktop computers but works best with the Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices. 

Generally, WD hard drives come in different storage capacities ranging from 1TB – 12 TB while handling a workload of up to 180 TB per annum. In particular, this unit has a 10 TB space and will store all your files and applications. 

The unit’s HelioSeal technology helps to maintain the super-high storage. This technology uses helium instead of air, thus increasing the drive’s speed. And if you need to improve your device’s speed, the manufacturer can add additional platters to the drive.

And though it handles large storage spaces, the drive still maintains its super-high speed. The drive comes with a spindle speed of 5400 RPM, making it quieter in operation. Consequently, the drive’s energy consumption is relatively low, which is why it remains less noisy.

The NAWSWare 3.0 firmware guarantees ease of installation in any NAS device. And you can also pair the hard disk with up to 8 bays. The 10TB storage capacity comes in handy for IT gurus who’d love an expanded ability to store large files.

With the 3-year warranty, you can expect reliability, high endurance, and top-rated data integrity. 

And since it has the  180TB-a-year workload rating, WD RED is an excellent choice for businesses that process lots of data. Everything considered this hard drive would best suit those looking for massive storage, less noisy, and high performing units. 

Pros

  • Quieter and reliable operation
  • High-end hard drive
  • Large storage capacity
  • Offers NASware technologies

Cons

  • Costlier

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Toshiba N300 10TB NAS 3.5-Inch Internal Hard Drive

Features

  • Up to 10 terabyte storage
  • Large cache size and private cloud storage
  • High performance 7200 RPM drive
  • Integrated RV sensors and heat prevention controls
  • Comes with a Toshiba 3 year limited warranty 

Are you still looking for a hard drive that performs 24 hours 7 days without compromising its capabilities? It’s time you met the Toshiba N300 10TB NAS 3.5-Inch Internal Hard Drive! At 5400rpm, you can rest assured of a quiet operation and 100% peace as you work.

N300 suits nearly all Network Attached Storage (NAS) systems and will deliver all your preferred speed requirements. You can use it either for business or home use applications. It won’t disappoint!

The hard drive comes with advanced reliability to support tons of workload of up to 180TB-a-year. Now, this feature is impressive for a dynamic workplace. You can transfer large files from or into the drive without experiencing delays or lags. 

The premium pick also features in-built heat prevention controls and rotational vibration sensors to prevent shocks that would adversely affect the drive’s performance. 

Another significant feature that you should know about NAS300 is its multi-RAID NAS environment that handles high data workloads at a time. With this, you’ll not end up thinking of having additional storage units besides the hard drive. 

All considered, N300 gives you the peace of mind that you’ve longed for, thanks to its ability to safeguard your data and still have top-notch performance.

Pros

  • Designed for 24/7 operations
  • Up to 3-year warranty
  • High performance and reliability
  • Great storage option
  • Guarantees data protection
  • A perfect pick for small businesses

Cons

  • It tends to develop bad sectors

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Seagate IronWolf Pro 10TB NAS Internal Hard Drive HDD 

Features

  • It has a read speed of 14 Megabytes Per Second

  • Provides ultra-high capacity 10TB and speeds up to 214MB/s

  • Long-term reliability with 1.2M hours MTBF

The IronWolf Pro 10TB NAS Internal Hard Drive HDD is another superior product from Seagate, offering a remarkable ten terabyte storage at 7200 RPM.

It’s a perfect multi-user hard drive that will adapt to any environment while handling all your storage requirements. You can use it in your office or at home, and you will not experience any downtime, delays, or lags. 

Like many other drives on our list, this internal hard disk drive is specially optimized for NAS systems. It’s always ready to serve your needs 24/7. But despite always being on, you needn’t worry about overheating or performance issues. The hard drive even allows multiple users simultaneously. 

And when it comes to durability, the powerhouse hard drive will withstand everything the environment throws at it. It fights off the regular wear and tear of daily use and will therefore give you a long-lasting service. 

And since it produces little to no vibrations, it ranks among the quietest picks in the current market. You’ll even forget that your device has a hard drive! 

Because the hard disk is optimized for business settings, the health monitoring feature will display the intervention, recovery, and prevention options to protect your data. Your clients’ and customers’ files will remain intact, free from viruses and any illegal hackers. 

In case you encounter any damages or data errors, the manufacturer backs up the unit with a 2-year data recovery service that will cover the inconveniences. 

Pros

  • Reasonable price
  • Perfect multi-user system that suits any environment
  • Powerhouse performance
  • Generous 5-year warranty
  • 2-year data recovery
  • Drive health monitoring system

Cons

  • It doesn’t have the “preventive wear leveling” feature that other WD drives have

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WD Purple 6TB Surveillance Hard Disk Drive

Features

  • All Frame technology
  • 5400 RPMCache Buffer
  • Compatible with Windows 8, Windows 7, and Mac
  • Prioritized write-operations

WD Purple 6TB Surveillance Hard Disk Drive is the right quietest hard drive for your device.  Like many WD units, this one also bears quality performance and comes ready to meet and exceed your needs. 

This drive is specially engineered for surveillance tasks. Its write-intensive, low bit rate, and high stream-count applications make the hard drive a perfect choice for surveillance applications.

It handles a high level of elevated heat fluctuations and equipment vibration within the surveillance area. It can run 24/7 in any harsh surveillance system, giving you reliable storage. 

WD Purple comes with the  AllFrame 4K frames and technologyMissed that facilitate the retrieval of lost video footage. The tech improves ATA streaming and reduces the chances of losing a surveillance recording. And since it functions well under harsh conditions, you can trust the quality of its playback videos. 

The 5400 RPMCache speed is compatible with Mac operating systems, Windows 10, Windows 7, and Windows 8, making it a versatile and multi-functional pick. It can also store and stream high-quality live videos.

It comes with a user guide and a package of cables – no screws. You’ll need to purchase mounting hardware and separately. 

Pros

  • Reduced pixelation and video interruption
  • Maximized surveillance performance
  • It runs cooler and has a quiet operation
  • Reduced video frame loss

Cons

  • Limits its operation to cameras only – not a desktop hard drive

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Western Digital AV-GP WD10EURX

Features

  • 1TB capacity and 64MB cache
  • Intellipower (5400RPM~7200RPM) rotation Speed
  • 3.5in Internal Hard Drive

Here’s another WD product that has also passed the quality tests – the Western Digital AV-GP WD10EURX

This renewed product has an Average Noise level of 28.2 dB(A) when idle and active. And you needn’t think about rising energy costs. This powerhouse hard drive is an energy saver that doesn’t overheat. Though it runs on lower power consumption, it’ll still handle any heavy-duty tasks thrown to it.

The product features a 1 TB storage capacity and an IntelliPower of between 5400 – 7200 RPM. Aof 64MB cache’s rotational speed is enough to give you a reliable performance when handling heavy-duty tasks.

To make matters better, the hard drive comes with multi-uses. It is tested, approved, and certified for surveillance, set up boxes, media servers, or media centers. It also has the Western Digital Diagnostic software, which makes it a reliable backup solution. 

With the hard drive, you can store your files, videos, photos, applications, and movies without the fear of ever losing them.

Pros

  • Suitable for heavy-duty tasks
  • Lower power consumption
  • Heavy-duty 24/7 applications
  • ZERO Bad sectors
  • Re-certified by State-of-the-Art software

Cons

  • It has a high pitched squeal on heavy write cycles
  • Not many users prefer buying refurbished hard drives

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Seagate IronWolf Pro 4TB NAS Internal Hard Drive

Features

  • 1.2M hours MTBF
  • Read speed of 214 Megabytes Per Second
  • Spin speeds of 5900 RPM in lower capacities
  • Spin speeds of 7200 RPM in higher capacities

Slight differences exist between this unit and the Seagate IronWolf Pro 10TB NAS Internal Hard Drive HDD. The main difference is that the latter offers 10TB while the former comes with 4TB.

The IronWolf 4TB is a calm and quiet internal hard drive that gives 26.1 decibels when idle and 34.6db when active. This unit is so quiet that you can hardly hear any vibrations or noise. 

Besides the quiet operation is its perfect ability to host maximum heavy-duty operation. It’s suitable for use in any NAS server environment that often demands the highest performance levels.

Providing speeds of up to 214MB/s, you can expect quick operations, and the 4TB gives more storage space for movies, storing files, videos, and photos. Therefore, this is a wise choice if you have a larger company where employees often share folders, applications, and files. 

More to this, the hard drive boosts data protection in case of power loss. You can therefore work comfortably knowing that all your stored files are intact. 

It is built explicitly for less wear and tear, no downtime or lags, increased file-sharing performance, and lower power consumption – a powerful combination of the ideal hard drive. 

The manufacturer will still cover the hard drive even after you’ve purchased it with a 5-year limited warranty and 2-year Rescue Data Recovery Services. 

Pros

  •  Offers support for S.M.A.R.T. drive
  • The ideal solution for up to 24-bay
  • Powerhouse performance
  • Suitable for multi-user NAS server environments
  • It comes with long-term reliability

Cons

  • Somehow noisy when spinning up

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Best Quietest Hard Drives Buying Guide

How to Choose the Best Quietest Hard Drive

It’s not a guarantee that you’ll get a quiet hard drive outright. So, we’ve included a detailed buyer’s guide to help you know the factors to keep in mind before purchasing the right hard drive. 

Storage

Storage ranges from 500 gigabytes – 20 terabytes. To know what size is right for you, you’ll need to pick something that is compatible with your device and doesn’t have storage limitations.

We’d highly recommend hard drives with more storage capacities, although they tend to be costlier. More storage means you won’t have to upgrade the hard drive every time it starts slowing down.

Transfer Speed

Transfer speed merely refers to the drive’s overall performance and the number of spins it makes in a minute. Hard drives are designed to have spin speeds ranging between 5400 – 7200 RPM.  7200 RPM offers a higher and facilitated quicker file transfer than the 5400 RPM.

That means the high-speed 7200 RPM is best for those looking to transfer big chunks of files often. But if you’re looking for an energy-efficient and long-lasting hard drive that doesn’t heat up quickly, you can go for the 5400 RPM speed, and it will get the job done.

Brand

Choosing a reliable brand is paramount to getting the best hard disk for your device.  You’re safe knowing that the unit has quality construction and performance. Additionally, most renowned brands will stick to their promises – if they advertised the product as “quiet,” that’s exactly what you’ll get. 

Noise Levels

The transfer speed of the hard drives plays a vital part in determining the noise levels. Fast-spinning hard drives tend to be noisier than slow-speeding drives. Faster spins mean that the unit will produce more humming sounds. And so, you can go for the ‘slow-spinners’ if you want a quiet and silent operation.

Warranty

Generally, hard drives are expensive. You wouldn’t want to invest your hard-earned money in one that doesn’t have a warranty or value for money. If your drive encounters damages or fails to meet your expectations, the warranty grants you the authority to return it for replacement. We’d recommend you o for a hard drive with an extended warranty period or a lifetime warranty. 

Our Top Pick

Based on our analysis above, we’d vote for the Seagate BarraCuda 500GB Internal Hard Drive HDD as the top pick. Though its contenders come with a higher storage capacity, this unit remains the great pick when you’re considering factors like affordability, quality, and performance. 

Its high capacity, overall low noise levels, and lower power consumption make it the absolute high capacity hard drive currently in the 2021’s market. Therefore, if you’re yet to make your decision, choose this premium option and enjoy the quiet performance that it will deliver. 

All the best in your purchase!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Why does my hard drive sound so loud?

A: Hard drives store chunks of data as it often scans the disk to access specific files. The extra scanning may cause more noise, especially if the unit is a ‘fast-spinner.’ But when the noise levels become terrible, you can consider defragmenting the hard drive. 

Q. Do hard drives vibrate?

A: You’ve probably noticed that the hard disk drive’s body is massive relative to the arm and head. Thus, the reaction force slightly moves the HDD, resulting in a slight vibration in the X-Y plane.

Q. Why does my computer get louder over time?

A: Not all the loud whirring comes from your hard drive. If you’re working with an older computer that seems to get louder than usual, it’s advisable to check out the fan’s state and clean it thoroughly. Accumulated dust may bring about excessive heating, which makes the fan spin harder with lots of noise. 

Q. How sensitive are hard drives to vibration?

A: Hard drives aren’t susceptible to vibrations. Instead, drives produce their vibrations meaning they’re somehow “beefed up.”

Q. Why is my CPU’s fan so loud?

A: A fan may get louder if your computer generates too much heat, causing the fan to leap into action and force the excess hot air out of the PC.  Louder fans are often caused by dust accumulation, which may adversely affect your computer’s overall performance. 

Q. How long do hard drives last?

A: The average time frame that a hard drive can last is 3-5 years, depending on the frequency of use, expected workload, and maintenance levels. Considering all these factors, the drives may last much longer or shorter. But taking care of it builds its potential to last longer.

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