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Hi friends! If you’re reading this, I’m betting that you’ve got an issue with noise. Or should I say, someone in your household or your neighbors have issues!
I clearly remember the days when my children were small. I was always so happy for that tiny afternoon break when they would settle down for a nap so I could clean or get in some exercise! I would have done anything to avoid waking them up! So is working out on a rowing machine possible if you have small children or if you live in an apartment? (read more)
Table of Contents
Our Top Silent Rowing Machines in a Quick Overview:
Looking for the best quiet rowing machines suited for your home exercise routines but don’t have time to read the whole article? Check out my top 3 recommendations:
I can’t help you with all the huffing and puffing you might do once you start working out, but at least I can let you in on my list of the best quiet rowing machines you can find. My friend, today’s article is for you.
Is a Rowing Machine Quiet Enough for an Apartment?
If you happen to live in an apartment, you wouldn’t dream of working out on an exercise equipment, unless you want your neighbors to read you the riot act! Fortunately, you don’t have to give up the convenience of working out from home because there are plenty of rowing machines that barely make a sound and quiet enough for use in small homes, such as an apartment.
First, let me say that “quiet” does not equal “silent”. Other than dropping marshmallows on the floor, nothing is truly 100 percent silent.
However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get the quietest rowing machine possible. In fact, when it comes to fitness equipment, I think rowing machines are some of the quietest pieces of equipment you can buy (learn more).
Are Magnetic Rowing Machines Quiet?
Most magnetic resistance rowers make almost no sound (btw these are an ideal quiet rowing machine for apartments), so yes, they make the quietest rowing machines. In comparison, water rowers make swooshing sounds, which many find soothing, not disrupting. So, we can say that water rowers are still relatively quiet.
Is a water rower too loud for an apartment?
Like I’ve said, a water rowing machine in itself is not noisy if you’re not bothered by the natural lapping sounds of water. As long as you don’t have a creaking floor or uninsulated wall partitions, then it shouldn’t be too loud for another person in another room.
Let’s be clear here. I don’t want you thinking that quiet means zero noise. If the rowing machine just sitting there not being used, then yes, that is zero noise. What you can do is compare the sound that any of the rowing machines in this article make to let’s say a treadmill, and you will understand the difference.
Are air rowers noisy?
Air rowers at low intensity will not disturb your neighbors. It’s when you row very hard or do high-intensity workouts in this type of rowing machine that you may start bothering people living or sleeping in an adjacent room.
All rowing machines, whether they are noisy or quiet, and whatever resistance mechanism they use, will all give you a terrific cardio workout and exercise all the major muscle groups in your body. With the quiet machines listed here, you’ll enjoy all these benefits without constantly getting into trouble with your neighbors or your family.
The Hydrow Rowing Machine
I think the Hydrow has to be on the top of any quiet rowing machine list.
The mechanics that make this machine so quiet include a belt drive and magnetic resistance. Magnetic resistance is the #1 quietest form of resistance. Have you ever heard magnets make any noise at all? Ever?
Not only that, the Hydrow takes things to a new level by using computerized magnetic resistance. This means that, depending on which program you choose, the computer will control the resistance levels for you. Pretty cool, huh?
I think the only thing quieter than the Hydrow would be those hydraulic piston rowing machines you may have seen ads for on social media sites. Personally, I wouldn’t call those pieces of equipment rowing machines. While it is true that hydraulic cylinder resistance (think of automatic door closing mechanisms, and you will get the idea) are pretty darn quiet, the workout motion only vaguely resembles rowing.
Anyway, Hydrow is about as quiet as you can get, hands down.
How Noisy Is Hydrow?
Aren’t the Hydrow workout programs noisy?
Well, yes and no.
OK, the instructors are upbeat and very positive and they do yell out their instructions sometimes, but if you find that those fantastic front-facing speakers are making too much noise for your liking, no problem! Simply pair up your Bluetooth-enabled headphones, and no one will hear those shout-outs other than you.
I love doing the scenic rows. When you see the waterways from around the world on that 22-inch HD touchscreen monitor, it will literally take your breath away.
Meanwhile, the scenic rows are very quiet because there are no instructors. It’s just you and the wild open waterway somewhere around the globe. Even then, you might hear birds in the trees or the sound of water lapping on the sides of the boat, but that would be the extent of the noise. If you worry that even that might be too much, grab those headphones!
- Hydrow Rower vs Concept 2? – See Who Won!
Hydrow is quiet but it is a premium rower
Perhaps the only drawback to the Hydrow is that it does come with a premium price tag. Let’s be honest, when speaking of exercise machines, isn’t that the way things are? You can’t get an incredible, quiet machine for peanuts.
You can save some money on the best quiet rowing machine ever made (in my opinion) by keeping your eye open for sales or promo coupons. There are always holiday sales, and if you sign up for Hydrow’s newsletters, you can find out when and where those sales are happening.
Once you try a couple of the workouts, I can guarantee that you will be hooked. Don’t be surprised to find yourself actually looking forward to the next workout!
Don’t forget that the subscription fee can be shared by everyone in your household. That way, it’s not such a burden on only one person. You can make as many profiles as you wish on the Hydrow monitor! Speaking from personal experience, if I could only use one piece of exercise equipment for the rest of my life, I would make it the Hydrow.
I can run on the streets, I can use my weights and resistance bands, but nothing comes close to what the Hydrow has to offer. Nothing.
The Teeter Power10 Elliptical Rower
As much as I love the Hydrow, I gotta say, the Teeter Power10 is unlike any other rowing machine/elliptical machine that you have ever tried.
The Power10 is like getting two machines in one, and it’s the handles that make all the difference, but more on them in a minute.
Since we are talking about noise levels, let me tell you that this rowing machine is one of the best quiet rowing machines you can buy. No, the workout programs aren’t equal to Hydrow, but as far as the noise aspect goes, this rowing machine is every bit as silent as the Hydrow.
The Teeter Power10 uses magnetic resistance, so you know it is as quiet as a mouse running across your carpeted bedroom floor.
Check out our review video of the Teeter Power 10
Let’s talk about those handlebars, shall we? The multi-grip handles make all the difference. Unlike other rowing machines that have you pull on what is essentially a stick or a bar, the square patterned, cushioned handlebars make you both push and pull on them, like an elliptical does.
Not only that, all you need to do is change the position of your hand (for example, put your hand on the top of the handlebar, rather than the outside edge), and you’ll start working a completely new set of muscles!
Its fully adjustable resistance is incredibly quiet, so if you’re looking for something a bit different than the usual rower, you should check out the Teeter Power10.
- BACK PAIN? SEE TEETER INVERSION TABLE REVIEWS!
What About the Workout Programs for the Power10?
While this magnetic rowing machine doesn’t have a large screen like the Hydrow, it does have a fairly large LCD monitor that is easy enough to see at a glance.
The monitor tracks your time, calories, distance, and strokes per minute during your workout.
Perhaps some of the best things about this elliptical rower are all the freebies that come with it. You can download the Teeter Move app to your tablet or phone and get hundreds of workout programs at no charge. That means one less payment you need to worry about every month, right?
I also like that the Teeter Power10 comeddds with a chest strap so the performance monitor can display your heart rate. No need to buy a third-party monitor, this comes with one, free of charge!
Of course, you can use your own wireless headphones, Bluetooth headphones, or other types of headphones on your cell phone or tablet so that no one else can hear the workout instructions except you!
Teeter Power10 vs Concept 2 – Which Is Better?
The Teeter Power10 is quiet but it’s a monster workout
While the Power10 doesn’t take up anywhere near as much space as you would think, I want to warn you that this machine is a workout and a half!
I thought I was in good shape, but when I tried the Power10, I was worn out after about 15 minutes! That doesn’t mean beginners can’t use this rowing machine, it’s got terrific workout programs for beginners, and this is an outstanding machine for improving your fitness levels fast!
If you want a quiet rowing machine that you will never “outgrow”, take a look at the Teeter Power10.
The Aviron Rowing Machine
Are you looking for a quiet rowing machine but not one with the usual row-row-row-your-boat workouts and features? You need to check out the Aviron Impact Series rower for home use.
First off, Aviron uses dual methods of resistance, combining an air rower with a magnetic rower. Now you may have heard that air rowers are noisy and in most cases this is true, but that’s not the case with Aviron. This nearly silent rowing machine has a maximum noise level of 60 decibels. That’s about the sound of an average conversation in a room. Your neighbors shouldn’t object to that, right?
This combination of air resistance and electromagnetic resistance makes the Aviron feel closer to a real rowing experience.
Second, most air rowers use a chain drive mechanism, which causes a significant part of the noise. This is where Aviron really changed things up! It uses a whisper-quiet nylon drive belt in place of a chain for super-quiet operation.
The media platform is nothing short of a show stopper. I like the Aviron because it’s got the variety that everyone wants and needs to stay motivated.
All workouts are designed to be short yet super-efficient because Aviron knows that you have other things you need to do besides exercise. Do you want to play games? Aviron’s got you covered. Do you want to do guided workouts on or off the rower? Or maybe you feel like rowing on scenic waterways around the world? You can do those too.
If you’re feeling competitive and want to race against others, Aviron’s got a great program called Joes and Pros, where you can match your skills against Olympians and professionals.
If you’re looking for the best rowing machine that is both entertaining but very, very quiet, you should check out the interactive rowing machine by Aviron.
Is There a Monthly Fee for Aviron Workout Programs?
Aviron charges $29 a month for access to the workout programs. This is a very reasonable price when you look at what other premium rowing machines charge per month. Heck, this is less than I used to pay for my gym membership!
You can save even more money on the membership fee by paying for a year in advance. The one-year price is $299, which is like getting two months for free!
That’s a real bargain, and you know how much I love a good bargain!
Aviron is a fantastic home rowing machine
There are 7 different workout programs to choose from. It offers everything, from guided training sessions created by professional trainers and experienced athletes to various gamified workout and data-driven programs designed to help you reach your fitness goals.
By the way, I want to mention that the Aviron has a maximum weight capacity of 397 pounds, which is pretty amazing.
If you want an interactive rowing machine that is very quiet and gives you the best selection of workout programs you can find anywhere, you need to check out the Aviron rowing machine.
- Will Rowing Tone Your Butt? – Read More!
The NordicTrack RW900 Rowing Machine
Who hasn’t heard of the NordicTrack name? It’s all over many homes and gyms, but you may not have realized that they also manufacture a rowing machine! (A darn good one at that!)
Like the Aviron, the NordicTrack uses both silent magnetic resistance and air resistance. I wasn’t able to find out how many decibels of noise this rowing machine creates, but I’ve used it and I would say that the noise levels between this rowing machine and Aviron were pretty much the same, so possibly also in the area of 60 decibels.
I like NordicTrack because it uses the iFit app. Yes, you still have to pay for it, but you get a lot with that app! When you use iFit, it will automatically adjust the resistance levels on the rowing machine depending on the program you have chosen.
You can also download the iFit app to your phone or tablet and use other machines or access one of the other workout programs. There are thousands of workouts, too, with everything from rowing workouts to assault bikes, weight lifting to yoga. It’s like renting workout videos from your local gym, only in a much seamless fashion!
The NordicTrack has a 22-inch touch screen monitor that is compatible with all Bluetooth-enabled headphones and heart rate monitors. That’s a good thing because while the rower itself isn’t noisy, I think that the beep and boop noises the screen makes are pretty loud. You will want to use headphones for that if nothing else!
While most of the rowing workout programs are pretty good, I was disappointed by the scenic rowing program. I suppose I’ve been spoiled by Hydrow! Instead of a scenic row where someone filmed themselves rowing down a river or lake, the scenic row on iFit is nothing more than a series of Google-map photos being rotated one after the other. That part was a bit of a letdown, but the other workout programs were very good.
How Much Does the iFit App Cost?
Depending on where you purchase your NordicTrack RW900 rowing machine, many places will give you one year for free.
Otherwise, for a single person, the app costs $15 per month or $180 for the year. The problem is that you can only download to a single phone or tablet for that price.
A family plan, which would include 5 profiles, costs $39 a month or $396 for one year. That’s a bit of a bargain since it’s almost like getting 2 months free, but compare that to Hydrow’s unlimited profiles for the same price.
If you plan on using the iFit app for other machines, you’ll do well by choosing the NordicTrack RW900 rower.
The NordicTrack is a quiet rowing machine
The NordicTrack isn’t quite the premium machine that Aviron or Hydrow are, but for a less expensive option, it has a lot going for it. FYI read more on the Hydrow vs Aviron
The rowing experience was smooth, nothing like Hydrow, but I thought it was fine. The machine is quiet, but you should be aware of some noises from the monitor that seem quite loud, although headphones can prevent this noise from bothering anyone.
The iFit program has so many choices, you can get lost just surfing through all the workouts and different options to choose from.
If you want a quiet rowing machine that won’t break the bank, check out the NordicTrack RW900. FYI: Read more about this rower in our hydrow rower vs nordictrack article!
The Ergatta Water Rowing Machine
This where the noise level meets your ears, so to speak.
Water rowing machines, such as the Ergatta, DO make some noise, but it’s not the usual crank, squeak, or fan noise type. The noise that water rowers make is soothing to many people and sounds similar to the sounds you would make in a bathtub (sighs not necessarily included).
Water rowers are a great cardio exercise, and nearly everyone loves the soft swooshing sound of water in the water tank. To me and many avid rowers, that sound is music to our ears and a relaxing balm to frayed nerves. However, not all people are the same, so if you consider lapping water sounds noisy, then knock water rowers like Ergatta off your list.
For everyone else, if you are interested in using a water resistance rower, I’m sure you’ll be interested in what Ergatta has to offer.
Ergatta uses water inside a tank and a fan that pushes against the water as a means of resistance. The only sounds you will hear come from the natural swooshing of water, which many people find meditative.
This water rower has a cherry wood frame, so it looks as beautiful as it sounds. The 17.3-inch touchscreen monitor is a bit smaller than other brands, but it looks awesome.
For those of you who don’t like the typical classroom setting or even instructors, the Ergatta is right up your alley. The workout programs are game and racing-based, and are definitely fun!
- IS ROWING GOOD FOR YOUR BACK? – CLICK HERE!
What Kind of Workouts Does Ergatta Offer?
Ergatta uses game-based workouts, interval and race programs, and the more relaxed open or unstructured row to help you reach your goals.
The software comes from a New York company that makes video games for computers and cell phones, so you know these are top-notch games, not little fishing games from the 1980s. Imagine rowing instead of using a video control for Mario Carts and you have some idea about the high-quality games we are talking about.
If you are the competitive type, you might like the racing features. You can access the Race of the Week (ROTW) to race against yourself and see if you can better your time, or race against real people who have competed or done the race earlier.
Like other connected rowers, Ergatta has a monthly membership fee of $29 per month or $348 per year. You can also create unlimited profiles.
Ergatta Rower vs Concept 2 – See Who Won!
The Ergatta is the quietest water rowing machine
If your living space won’t have issues with the sound of swooshing water, and if you want a rowing machine that is as beautiful as your dining room table, you should check out the Ergatta.
Witness our on video of the Ergatta Water Rower:
I always recommend Ergatta when someone says that they hate working out and/or that they hate instructors yelling out. Ergatta is the water rower that is more like playing a fun game than working out. I totally loved the racing features and hardly even realized how hard I was working until I was completely breathless.
Check out the Ergatta water rower for the smoothest full-body workout with a minimum of noise.
The LIT Strength Machine
While the name doesn’t say “rowing machine” the LIT strength machine is every inch a rowing machine. What makes this magnetic rower different?
Ok, so you already know that water rowers are fairly quiet and are peaceful ways to enjoy some aerobic fitness. However, do you not worry that you might get bored if a rowing machine is the only piece of equipment you have? Getting bored is virtually impossible with the LIT rower.
This rowing machine has no monitor. It also doesn’t need electricity or internet. Now, that caught your attention, I’m sure.
With the LIT, you use your phone or tablet to watch the LIT workout videos. You can even cast the workouts from your phone to your television if you want some really big-screen action!
The workouts are all HIIT programs designed to get you in shape fast but not let you get bored! You might find yourself starting off doing some water resistance rowing, but mid-way through you get off the rower and start using the resistance bands, then it’s onto the floor for some yoga or stretching before you jump back on the rowing machine!
You cannot possibly get bored with these types of workouts and the machine itself is virtually silent. The only sound comes from the moving water in the tank and your own heavy breathing!
This is perhaps the most versatile single-machine workout you will find anywhere!
The Best Feature on the LIT Strength Machine
If you keep a close eye on your pocketbook, you will probably love the LIT Strength Machine. Why? Because it has a lifetime warranty on the frame.
Read that again. LIT comes with a lifetime warranty on the entire frame, while the smaller parts get 5 years. If anything should ever break, you have a solid warranty to fall back on. This means that if you buy this machine, you may never buy another rowing machine again for the rest of your life!
That is an impressive piece of equipment with an equally impressive warranty, in my opinion.
If you want the best quiet rowing machine that will last -forever? Or at least for decades, check out the LIT Strength Machine today.
Sunny Health and Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine
Friends, I always try to include a budget-priced machine in my articles because I know that times are hard and money can be tight.
Budget-priced doesn’t mean a piece of junk, however! Sunny Health and Fitness have been making a name for themselves when it comes to lower-priced pieces of exercise equipment.
As you know, magnetic rowing machines are the quietest when it comes to workout equipment, and this one is no exception. Read some reviews on this compact rowing machine, and you will see that not only is this indoor rower super quiet, it also holds up fairly well.
Features of the Sunny Health SF-RW5515
Some of the features you will find on this less expensive magnetic resistance type of indoor rower are:
- Slide rail is a full 48 inches in length, which means that people with a 44-inch inseam can still use this rower comfortably
- Textured, non-slip foot pedals that fit all shoe sizes
- Has transportation wheels that make it easier to move
- 8 levels of resistance so you should always feel challenged
- Has an LCD monitor to track your total time, count, calories burned, total count, and scan mode
- Maximum user weight limit of 250 pounds
- Has a 90-day manufacturer warranty but you can obtain additional warranties
Magnetic rowers with adjustable resistance are very quiet and offer a fantastic workout. You can still enjoy all the benefits of an indoor rowing machine for less money if you decide to buy the Sunny Health Fitness Magnetic rowing machine.
The Final Takeaway: So Which Rower Is the Quietest?
When it comes to the quietest rowing machine, magnetic rowers are the way to go. If you can go with a bit more noise, then you can get away with a water rowing machine.
All of the machines I’ve mentioned above are very quiet and they offer lots of fun features.
So check out each of their features and consider giving one of them a try. Rowing machine noise should not be your major concern when you’re shopping for exercise equipment, but for those who have reasons to choose the quietest and best rowing machine, rest assured that all the above rowing machines would be a good choice.
Stay healthy and happy friends! Life is too short for anything else!
Written by Kathleen Langdon – TheHealthPot.com Founder
Certified Personal Trainer (CPT), Certified Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES)
Kathleen, a mother of two, struggled with ongoing weight and health issues. She created this website after she turned her life around. She built Thehealthpot.com to help inspire and motivate others with their fitness goals. Read more about Kathleen here.