The World’s Quietest Place – Anechoic Soundless Room in Minnesota

The World’s Quietest Place

With most people after some peace these days there’s worse places you could find than the worlds most soundproof room. Orfield Laboratories in South Minneapolis have constructed such a room. With this anechoic (meaning no Echo) chamber absorbing 99.9% of all sounds, the Guinness World records have classed it as the quietest place on the planet.

Primarily this soundless room is used test audio equipment, however it’s also a test of nerve. The longest anyone has ever stayed inside is 45 minutes. Orfield Laboratories however, insist this is not a record anyone should try and break. A quiet bedroom at night registers at 30 decibels, however the soundless room registers at negative 9.4 decibels. While constructed from 3.3ft concrete, even the floor is a suspended mesh to stop any footsteps.

In this anechoic chamber there is literal silence. The only noise is that created from your own body. You can hear your heartbeat, your lungs breathing and your stomach digesting food. You must be accompanied to enter this soundless room. The complete lack of audio cues means the body can get very disorientated and lose balance. It even becomes hard to move if you spend any length of time in the room. There are no lights in the room (they make a noise), and the severe sensory deprivation is unnerving. The quieter the room, the more sensitive your ears become. Spend any amount of time in this soundless room and you can even hear your scalp moving over your skull. That’s unnerving!

Why Do we Need Such a Room?

The main use of the soundless room is to allow companies to test their products. Harley Davidson recently used this very room to test a new, quieter bike, which still has the same Harley Davidson tone. NASA astronauts have also used the room to prepare them for the silence in space.

Getting to Orfield Laboratories

If you want to experience the world’s most soundproof room, then you’ll need to book a tour. Orfield Labs can be contacted here. Tours cost $100 per person, and need a minimum of two people to go ahead.

Microsoft are currently building a room which is even more silent. Expected to be negative 20 decibels, Microsoft’s soundless room will make Orfield Labs sound like a pneumatic drill.

Getting to Orfield Laboratories is easy. Located about 2km outside Minneapolis city centre at Orfield Laboratories, 2709 East 25th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55406, USA

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