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Microsoft sets new record for having the quietest place on Earth

Microsoft's Redmond, Washington campus is the home of what the Guinness World Record organization has named as the quietest room on Earth. The company has put the spotlight on that anechoic chamber in Building 87 in an interactive feature story and video.

The chamber contains wedges in the walls that are designed to absorb sound. The room has been recorded to have a sound as low as -20dB, For comparison's sake, that is just above what scientists consider to be the quietest anything can reach with Brownian motion, which is the sound that is made by the movement of particles in a gas or liquid at -23dB.

So what are these super-quiet chambers used for at Microsoft? Hardware like the Surface tablets are tested inside the room to make sure that sounds that are generated by things as simple as its display are as quiet as possible.

Source: Microsoft (opens in new tab)

86 Comments
  • I want this to be my room! :)  So cool.
  • Idk, with noise levels that low, the sound of your own heart beating and other internal organs is deafening. I've heard it can drive a person insane.
  • I could use it for a few hours at a time. Just to shut everything off. I couldn't hear well enough to hear my blood flowing anyway.
  • Lol the longest a person could stay at such a room was 45 minutes
  • It wouldn't be quiet if you are inside. You are going to make noise no matter what. But this is good for Yoga room.
  • It absorbs noise man, its -20db which is going to make human speech at 60db sound like a whisper, even in your own head... Most people can't last 15-20 minutes in this chamber. Your heart beat is heard internally more than your voice is heard externally... It freaks people out.
  • Not true though. It is weird, but it won't drive you crazy.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXVGIb3bzHI  
  • THANK YOU! People repeat this tired old lie all the time... There is absolutely no logical reason to believe it should cause mental health issues... Not only that I have personally BEEN in a totally sound proof and sound deadened chamber at a corporate hospital in a major automotive plant (not a whole room but I bet it's close to the same level of quietness)... While certainly a bit unsettling (to the point where i probably would not make a habit of sitting in there for any length of time) I did not feel anywhere near losing my marbles in the rough 5 minutes i stayed (I was working so i didn't waste too much time in there) and as far as i know i am still sane at least to the degree i was before going in there
  • I have been in one of these type rooms. It's unerving fairly quickly.  
  • might have heard that from Edgar Allen Poe  
  • I would like to experience this.
  • I recently went into a too like this as part of a university physics department tour. It was a very fascinating room. But yes, it became quite unnerving very quickly. I would not want to spend too much time in there.
  • http://youtu.be/mXVGIb3bzHI This might provide insight.
  • Thanks Captain!
  • You are welcome :)
  • I've been with a similar chamber (used by our company to test our devices) but you won't like to stay there for long. The quitness is deafening. It feels different. You seem to struggle talking. You can barely hear someone's talking. It feels like blood could come out from your ears staying there longer.
  • Warning gunners ganging arround
  • This is like a vacation for parents.lol Just 15 minutes a day. :D
  • Yes! ^^^THIS! I need a room like that in my house! Just 5 minutes could be helpful.
  • Sounds quieter
  • Seems Quieter....
  • Hears Quieter...
  • Is quietest...
  • Seems quieter...
  • I bet at apple...it would be much quieter
  • No they would just claim to reinvent the quiet room
  • Lol!
  • And call it innovation...
  • and charge 6 times the price for it
  • w10m dev room?
  • @BlueSky2112:
    To silence the snore of the Windows 10 Mobile team you would at least need -25 dB.
    So I would say: Not quite [pun intended]. I'll show myself out.
  • You were looking for quiet, but you weren't quite there.
  • will be great for silent therapy, or what it is called
  • I think you're looking for the term "sensory deprivation" :-)
  • A sensory deprivation chamber does much more than silence. It is a great way to relax and meditate, though, if you're the type of person who can handle it. A sensory deprivation chamber will actually work at zero dB and not negative dB levels, so as not to allow you to hear your own blood flowing or heart beat. It also submerses you in a liquid and denies you the sense of touch. Total darkness to deprive the sense of sight. I've actually spent several hours in one, but not all at once. The first time, for only 5 minutes. I was panicky and thought I'd go crazy. Then I learned how to use it to my benefit and used it to focus myself. I gradually worked my way up to being able to handle 2 hours. Came out so clearly focused. Haven't done anything like that in nearly 30 years, but I'll never forget the experience. I don't think it will be possible to forget. It was part of a study, and I only participated for one week, but it was crazy. It served me right for helping a Psychology student with a thesis. 
  • I think you're looking for the term "masturbation" :-)
  • You can hear your blood flowing. It's creepy.
  • Hmm. Seems to me as they forgot to test the fan as the one on my SP3 i7 screams at me with just some simple web surfing.
  • No, they know exactly how loud the fan is.  And that is why the next Surface will be quieter.
  • Chrome/FF use crazy amounts of resources. Use Edge.
  • Edge kills my Surface 3 quite a bit or locks up itself.
  • You don't know loud screaming fan noise until you've tried the Lenovo Thinkpad Helix Gen1 The "hushing" sound coming from the SP3 is quite pleasant comparatively.  Though mine is not on *that* much... quiet right now!
  • I need good quality noise proof ear plugs.... I can have quietest place inside a Theatre
  • Would be a nice place for a nap :)
  • Before you go insane of course.
  • Apparently the testers havent been in a Microsoft store lately......jk....jk....jk
  • took me a second to get that lol...ooooooooo =p
  • ...or at an Apple ideas conerence?
  • Shhh
  • One surely can't spend a whole day inside that room. It will be terrifying!
  • People can't spend 45 minutes in these rooms without hallucinating
  • What did you say?
  • I swear some people have the coolest jobs in the world.
  • Idk if anyone of you have been in one of these chambers; I have and it is nauseating being able to hear your blood flow through your vein and constant tinnitus! But I will say, hearing your clothes move on your skin is pretty cool!
  • One will be get mad in this room because of hearing your own heart beat and all body function clearly.
  • "the quietest place on earth" They've had that for years. Its the Windows Store isn't it?
  • It was.. But not anymore.. ;)
  • Man!!!!
  • Nice one. ;)
  • Apply aloe vera extract to the burnt area.
  • Amazing! It must be VERY unsettling to be in that room.
  • Wow
  • Wish they would test the Xbox One in there.
  • Step into the room and immediately get hit with a case of vertigo. Your brain struggles with the sudden absence of background noise. Plus the odor due to outgassing from the sound dampening foam is off-putting.
  • This room would probably drive me crazy. I spend my days at work in the server room with constant fan and server noise. Going to the exact opposite would drive me nuts.
  • That's awesome (said in my whisper voice).
  • Yeah, I've heard these places are quite bothersome to one's senses. I'd love to see what it's like in such a place.
  • If my granny fell in that room, would it make a sound?
  • Don't know. Is she in there or not? #SchrödingersGranny
    /s
  • Not true. It's much more quieter in W10M team quarters.
  • I've been there! It was...quiet. :P
  • They've obviously never been to the Emirates on a match day
  • Or a Nationals' game after the 7th inning...
  • Who cares about screen noise? My fan is always on...
  • Put that noise canceling tech in my headphones son! Lol
  • Your SBDs would just be D.
  • Wen in India?
  • Fuck you
  • So that's where all the R&D money for WP went to was wondering where that all went
  • In Microsoft, no one can hear you scream.
  • Microkia/Nokisoft represent!
  • Shhhhhusshh!
  • It might be a great torture room, what about adding an isolated 20 ton AC to freeze the subject
  • The quietest place on earth is the mobile phone section of your local Microsoft store.
  • Windows Phones marketing department at Redmond holds the title.
  • :) nice!