Implotex 480W review: Whispering air compressor?

So this is something new to me. I was contacted by magnetportal. They have noticed I’ve bought a lot of magnets from them and wrote some interesting post with the magnets. As thanks, they would like to sponsor a post by sending me an air compressor for a test from one of their other websites and it’s considered air compressor reviews consumer reports, all who appreciate good about it.

Overview about Implotex 480W

At first, I didn’t like the idea. In my mind air compressors are boring. But I realized it wasn’t a noise discount model I could test. And interesting science is hiding even in the air. The model we are going to take a closer look at is called the Implotex 480W Silent-Compressor. It’s their smallest model but still priced at €370. It is clearly not built to be as cheap as possible. Instead, it seems to be built to be as quiet as possible.

That caught my attention because I have only used annoyingly loud air compressors. This one should be silent enough to have a conversation at a normal level with the compressor turned on. That would be a new and pleasant experience for me. Hard to believe. Here we have it. A nice compact design with a small 9 l tank. This one is not big enough to inflate an airship with helium but it’s suitable for the common household needs.

Like inflating a tire or football and dusting things with a blast of air. Implotex does have much larger but still quite quiet models if you need something of more industrial capacity. The compressor is almost ready to be used out-of-the-box. The only assembly needed is to fit this air filter and yes, it does come with this roll of thread seal tape. Being curious I had to open this air filter to see what’s inside. If you use the compressor in a dirty and dusty environment you may need to clean or even replace this air filter once in a while.

After wrapping the tape two times around the thread I installed the filter on the intake. This will not be under high pressure so you only need to tighten it by hand. That was easy. Let’s fire it up for the first time. Will it make less noise than my standard compressor? Here we go! I may have focused too much on setting up the camera and forgot a smaller detail. Or maybe I’m just an idiot – take two! That is silent.

I’m impressed. It may sound loud sitting right in front of the camera but you could easily hear me. Couldn’t you? Let me try to compare it with the noise of this standard compressor using a sound level meter and uncompressed sound recordings. First I measured the standard compressor. At 1 m distance, it hit around 87 dB. Then I turned up the microphone until the sound was just about to this post.

Recordings comparable

I used this exact setting on the microphone for recording both compressors making the sound level in the two recordings comparable. After recording the standard model I switched it out with the Implotex. No reaction on the 90 dB scale. None on the 80 dB scale. A little on the 70 dB. At the same distance, it only measured 64 dB. That’s a huge difference. Let’s listen to the Implotex recording first.

Here you can see the waveform of the recording in the program WavePad. The two spikes are the switch for turning the compressor on and an air vent at the end when it reaches 8 bar. So believe it or not: The on/off switch is the loudest part on this compressor. Let’s listen to it for a few seconds. Now let’s listen to my standard discount compressor. As you can tell by the waveform you may want to turn down the volume now.

Are you ready to hear the difference? I’m gonna play it now… You may not have heard the whole difference. Computers – especially laptops – can be set up to turn up low-level sounds to make them audible for you. In the next post, I will play the Implotex in the left blog and the standard in the right blog. This should really show you the difference in sound and noise level. Here it comes. This may seem wrong. After all the difference in dB-reading is only 36% but the blue devil appears to be several times louder?

Well, it is. The decibel scale is just tricky to understand and make calculations with. The decibel is a logarithmic unit and indicates the ratio of a measured value compared to a reference level. When decibel is used to measure a sound pressure level in the air the reference sound pressure is typically 20 micropascals. This is chosen because it’s considered the lowest sound pressure level a human can hear. 

If at the right frequency and you’re young and your fresh ears are not worn out by loud sounds. 20 micropascals is a really low pressure. For comparison, we can also hear a sound pressure of 20 pascals but it starts getting unpleasant maybe even painful at this level. This is a difference of 1:1 000 000. Such a scale is not practical. Especially when you realize the two readings from the compressors are down here.

This is where the decibel comes in handy because it is logarithmic to base 10 which fits much better to the way our hearing works. The conversion gives us a range from 0 to 120 dB which is easier to handle than 0.00002 to 20 pascals. It’s also a better visualization of how we hear changes in sound pressure levels. In general we humans experience an increase of 10 dB as twice as loud.

So the increase of 23 dB between the two compressors isn’t just 36% louder. It’s actually around 5 times as loud to us. To be fair the discount compressor delivers more than double as much air. But still, 5 times as loud is a lot! Let me show you another test. The vibration test. Here we have the Implotex standing on the table alongside 3 glasses filled with water. When I turn on the compressor it’s hardly visible in the glasses.

Let’s compare it with the other one.That’s worse than a T-rex approaching. Guess what compressor your neighbors would prefer you have? Especially if you live in an apartment.

This easy-going nature of the Implotex model makes it a pleasure to do experiments with compressed air. Here I balance a ball on a stream of air. This is possible due to the Bernoulli’s Principle. Bernoulli discovered that the faster air flows past something – the less the air pushes on it. In other words – and this is counterintuitive to me: The moving air stream from the nozzle has less air pressure than the static air around it.

So the ball is sucked in by the low pressure in the stream and pushed in by the higher pressure of the static air. At the same time, the moving air is hitting the ball pushing it upwards while gravity is pulling it downwards. All these forces combine and make the ball float in the air. Clearly, the balance point isn’t the same for all sizes. Back to the review. Let’s take a look at power consumption. The Implotex draws between 400 and 537 W – averaging around 480 W. The other one draws much more with an average around 1250 W. For the same air volume the power consumption is close but a little better on the Implotex. Alright, time for the conclusion. I really like how quiet this compressor is. 64 dB at 1 in a small, closed room with reflections is a great result.

If you want to know more about Implotex 480W, you can watch the video below to reference:

Outside or in a normal working distance from the compressor, the stated 48-55 dB should be realistic. So all in all: If you will pay for the luxury of a silent compressor and have no need for high-capacity I can highly recommend this one. Are… are you still watching? The post is kinda over. OK. I have one small detail left if you’re interested in chemistry. If we look carefully at the safety valve there appears to be a chemical formula written on it. But it isn’t. Instead, it shows that a leaded brass was used for the safety valve – which makes perfect sense. When lead is added to brass it makes the alloy easier to a machine but due to its lower melting point, it also seals shrinkage pores in cast brass. So lead gives brass better pressure tightness – which is convenient in an air compressor. Thanks for reading!

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