A projector’s humming noise can be soothing, but it can also become a nuisance if it overshadows whatever you’re watching. Have you ever reached a movie’s climactic moment only to not be able to hear what the characters are saying?
Don’t worry. We got you covered.
You can make any projector quieter in a few simple steps, so the only humming you’ll hear is your own hum of satisfaction.
How can you make your projector quieter?
Keep reading to find out!
- Keep Your Room Cool
- Clean the Projector Lens
- Clean the Filters
- Allow 50 centimeters of Free Space Around Your Unit
- Put Your Projector on Eco Mode
- Lower Your Laptop’s Refresh Rate
- Sit Farther Away from Your Projector
- Pad the Floors and Walls
- Put the Projector in a Hush Box
Keep Your Room Cool
Your projector’s noise is coming from its internal fans working overtime to keep your unit cool, so placing it in a hot room isn’t doing them any favors.
Try keeping your home theater cool. Ideally no hotter than 27 degrees Celsius (or 80 degrees Fahrenheit). Try opening the window to let a cool breeze in, or turning on a fan or air conditioning.
Make sure your projector isn’t placed next to a heater, which can cause it to overheat quickly.
Consider that projectors, especially some larger units, can emit a lot of heat. If your projector has been running in a closed room for a while, open a door or window and let out the hot air.
We all like feeling cozy, but projectors need the thrill of a chill to function properly.
Clean the Projector Lens
A dusty lens may be prohibiting your unit from projecting light as it normally would, causing it to overheat and make excessive noise. Additionally, a dirty lens will decrease your projector’s Lumen output, dimming the image.
When cleaning your projector lens, be sure to only use a soft microfiber cloth and a non-abrasive lens cleaner. Spray the cleaner onto the cloth, then clean your lens, always wiping in the same direction.
You can also use a can of compressed air to blow away the dust before wiping down the lens.
Make sure to exercise caution whenever using compressed air since it’s very flammable. Make sure your projector is turned off, unplugged, and cooled before using compressed air. Hold the can 18 centimeters (or seven inches) away from the lens and release short sprays of air.
Incorrectly cleaning your projector lens can create tiny micro abrasions on the glass, resulting in a lower Lumen output and a greater risk of overheating.
If you want to learn more about cleaning your projector lens, check out our article How To Clean A Projector Lens Properly? 7 Lens-Cleaning Tips.
You can also watch the video below demonstrating how to clean a projector lens, following the instructions above.
Clean the Filters
A projector’s filters function like its lungs, taking in air to cool the internal hardware. If your unit’s filters are dirty, your projector may not cool properly and begin making a humming noise.
Clean your projector’s filters by using a damp cloth to wipe away any dust. Do not stick anything inside of the filter units, or you risk damaging them.
Alternatively, you can use a vacuum cleaner nozzle to gently suck away any dust. Just make sure that the vacuum is on the lowest setting to avoid damaging your unit.
Some projector models have replaceable filter units, which is a great option if the filter’s filthy or sticky. Contact your projector brand’s customer service and consult your user manual to see if and how you can replace the filter unit at home.
Allow 50 centimeters of Free Space Around Your Unit
You may be a cuddly individual, but your projector likes its personal space.
Make sure your projector has at least 50 centimeters of free space on each side.
Ensure you do not place your projector on a crowded shelf or near furniture, as this will prohibit airflow, cause overheating, and make your projector noisier.
Also, make sure your projector is not covered by anything soft (i.e., blankets, tablecloths, etc.) and that it’s not placed on soft furniture.
If your unit is mounted to the ceiling, make sure there’s sufficient space above it to ensure adequate ventilation. And maybe give it a good dusting while you’re up there!
Put Your Projector on Eco Mode
Putting your projector on Eco mode will decrease the fan’s speed, resulting in a quieter unit. Consider that placing your projector in Eco mode may also dim the picture since your unit is trying to use less energy.
Eco mode can also extend battery life for projectors that can function cordlessly.
Although every projector brand will be different, you can usually change the mode in the settings.
However, Eco mode may not be an option if you find that your projector frequently overheats since it needs the fan to function normally to keep cool.
Lower Your Laptop’s Refresh Rate
A projector’s refresh rate is how quickly your unit displays a new image per second. Although you may need a high refresh rate if you’re gaming, you can lower it for casual viewing.
Your projector works hard to constantly display new images and quickly heats up, which as we know, makes noise.
So why not give it a break? Your projector and ears will both thank you.
When lowering the refresh rate, try setting it to 40Hz first before decreasing it even more.
You can lower the refresh rate on your laptop connected to the projector via an HDMI cable. Follow the instructions below to change the refresh rate on your Windows or MacBook Pro laptop.
How to Lower the Refresh Rate on Windows
Follow the steps below to lower the refresh rate on a Windows computer.
- Click the Start button
- Open the Settings
- Go to System
- Click Display
- Select Advanced Display
- Choose a lower refresh rate and save your changes
How to Lower the Refresh Rate on a MacBook Pro
Only 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pros have the option of changing the refresh rate.
See the steps below to change the refresh rate on a Macbook Pro.
- Click on the Apple icon in the top left corner of your screen
- Select System Preferences
- Open Displays
- Select a lower refresh rate from the drop-down list
Sit Farther Away from Your Projector
All projectors make some noise, even under the best circumstances. If you’re hearing a low humming noise, you may be sitting too close to your projector.
We all want to be close to those we love, but you may need to sit two meters away from your projector to not hear it.
If you’re worried about being unable to hear your projector’s built-in speakers, consider buying an external speaker and hooking it up via Bluetooth or an aux cable. You can also consider using Bluetooth headphones if you’re watching content alone.
Note that not all projectors support Bluetooth, so consult your unit’s user manual before considering the options above.
Bare surfaces reverberate more sound, so try covering your floors and walls, so you won’t hear your projector’s sound echoing.
You can place a few soundproofing panels on the wall to absorb any sound your projector emits. If you’re in the market for some soundproofing panels, check out the JBER 12 Pack Acoustic Foam Panels on Amazon.
If soundproofing panels don’t quite go with your aesthetic, don’t worry. There’s another, more stylish solution. Try using some rugs, curtains, or tapestries to insulate the room.
Not only will this make your home theater cozy, but it will also ensure you only hear your projector’s speakers, not its fan.
Put the Projector in a Hush Box
Hush boxes silence your projector’s noise by keeping it contained.
This is the last option because hush boxes are difficult to find online, but they also block airflow, which can cause your projector to overheat.
However, they may be a good solution if you’ve tried all the above suggestions and still cannot silence your projector.
When looking for a hush box, you’ll want to make sure it has a quiet internal fan unit to keep your projector cool.
If you’re crafty, you can build the hush box yourself using wood, soundproof paneling, and a fan.
ProjectsandThings on YouTube has a great video demonstrating how to make your own DIY hush box.
Yesenia Achlim is a technical copywriter and editor with a focus on AV equipment. She aims to break down complicated topics and make technology accessible, no matter your technical expertise. When she’s not teaching you how to replace a projector lamp, you can find her reading and baking.