I can’t tell you how many times I’ve received the question, “How loud is the Concept2 noise level while rowing?”
I usually have to write a long-winded answer because it is very difficult to describe!
Finally, I have written an article that breaks down everything you need to know about the Concept2 noise.
You can watch a video of me rowing on my Concept2 Model D and also read my opinion on the noise levels heard while rowing in different rooms of a house.
I also list a few ways to reduce rowing machine noise levels and how the Concept2 Model D noise compares to other air rowing machines.
If you have any specific questions about rowing machine noise, please leave it in the comment section below. Someone else may be looking to have the same question answered!
Rowing Machine Noise
One major deciding factor when purchasing a rowing machine can be the noise level it produces.
Some people cannot have a lot of rowing machine noise because they live in small apartments or exercise while others are sleeping.
Certain resistance types are quieter than others. Magnetic and hydraulic-piston rowers make almost no sound, while air and water rowing machines produce a bit more noise.
The problem arises when someone wants an air rowing machine, like the Concept2 Model D or E, but isn’t sure if it will be too loud.
Below I will break down how loud a Concept2 Model D is at different intensity levels and in different room settings (Concept2 Model E will produce the same noise level).
Concept2 Noise Level
The Concept2 Model D and Model E are two of the best rowing machines on the market. They provide the most realistic resistance and have the best monitors.
Their one downside being the noise level produced by the fan flywheel can sometimes be too loud for certain settings.
Over the years Concept2 has greatly improved on making their newer models quieter and the Concept2 Model D and E make way less noise than the older Model C and B rowing machines.
However, people still worry that rowing will cause too much of a disturbance for sleeping family members or apartment neighbors.
I plan to put your mind at ease as I breakdown the Concept2 Rower noise levels in a few different scenarios. This will hopefully convince you that the Concept2 really isn’t noisy!
However, if you think it is too loud I can help you find another model that better fits your needs.
Concept2 Noise Level- Different Scenarios
I will film myself rowing at different intensities for 20 seconds each. During the video you will notice as the intensity increases so does the rowing machine noise level.
This is what makes describing the noise level difficult. People who row slowly will make almost zero noise. Other people who are very strong and row hard, will produce more noise.
For those of you who are curious, my intensity levels will be close to:
- Easy: about 2:30/500m, 20 spm, 100 watts
- Medium: about a 2:15/500m, 20 spm, and 145 watts
- Hard: about 2:00/500m, 20 spm, and 200 watts
- Very Hard: about 1:45/500m, 25 spm, and 300 watts
There are many people who actually row slower than the “easy” intensity level. At a rate slower than 2:30/500m there will be zero noise heard from outside the exercise room.
Due to noise levels on air rowing machine changing depending on how hard you row, it is difficult to say whether you will wake up a neighbor or your sleeping spouse. It also depends on other factors like how light the person sleeps and insulation quality of the house/apartment.
For people who row “lightly“, the noise should not penetrate a wall and be heard on the other side. However, if you are doing “sprints” and rowing intensely, it may.
At first I was going to have my brother stand and film in different rooms of the house while I was rowing in another room. I was hoping to capture the noise level of the rowing machine, but 90% of the videos you cannot hear anything due to the noise not reaching the other room.
Instead, my brother filmed me while rowing in my living room with and without the TV turned on. I then had him row in different rooms while I listened in other areas of the house and wrote what I could hear.
Concept2 Model D Noise Level Video
Below is a video of me rowing on my Concept2 Model D in my living room.
The first clip is rowing at the intensity levels listed above without the TV on. It is hard to tell exactly how loud the rowing machine is because my phone actually seemed to amplify the noise. The noise level also depends on what volume you play the video and the quality of your speakers.
To make a better Concept2 noise level comparison, I also decided to row with the TV on. I set the volume to 30 out of 100. I usually watch TV at level 20 when I’m not rowing. At lower intensity levels I could easily hear every word. When I started rowing “very hard” it was more difficult to hear, although I could still hear everything, but I would probably adjust the volume to level 35.
The video above has the Concept2 at a level 5 damper setting. This is an average setting that compares to most other air rowing machines that don’t have a damper.
The Concept2 at a damper setting of 5 has been compared to the Stamina Air Rower 1399, Stamina X Air Rower, Stamina ATS 1402 Air Rower, and Stamina 35-1405 ATS Air Rower. Basically other air rowing machines will be similar in noise level to the Concept2.
Concept2 Noise Scenarios
Below are the different Concept2 noise scenarios that we recorded:
- Neighboring Room: I stood in one room while my brother rowed on my Concept2 in the adjacent room. At low intensity you cannot hear anything. It is not until the “hard” and “very hard” levels that the noise is audible. Most people would be able to sleep through this noise and not be disturbed.
- Down Hallway: I stood in my living room with my brother rowing down the hallway with the door closed. It was very difficult to hear the rowing machine at any intensity level. As he increased the intensity level you could slightly hear the fan noise but when I turned on my TV I could no longer hear it.
- Room Above: My brother rowed on the Concept2 in a room upstairs and I stood in the room directly below. Again, the noise levels were very similar to the “neighboring room” scenario and I was only able to hear the machine at high intensity. I don’t think the sound would wake someone up if you were working out early in the AM, unless they are a light sleeper.
- In Basement: I setup this scenario because I know many people like to have their equipment in the basement. While my brother was in the basement rowing, I could not hear anything while I was upstairs in my kitchen. I believe the basement being larger than a normal room and having more insulation caused the noise to be suppressed.
Due to every house being built differently, it is difficult to say whether the noise is exactly the same.
I also can’t 100% say what the Concept2 noise level will be in an apartment. However, I’m sure the sound of the rowing machine in the “basement”, “room above”, or “neighboring room” will be similar to the Concept2 noise in an apartment setting.
An apartment usually has better noise insulation than a regular house so neighbors do not disturb one another. This would lead me to believe there would be even less noise heard while in an apartment setting.
Concept2 Noise Level Reduction Advice
There are a few things that can help reduce rowing machine noise and actually a few things that can enhance it! Hopefully these tips will drown out any noise and help put your mind at ease.
Protective Floor Mats/Carpet
If you are rowing on hardwood floors this can cause some vibration and actually enhance the amount of noise created.
Users rowing on hardwood floors should put down a foam protective floor mat to absorb sound and vibration. The thicker the better and I have heard many people have success with 1.0″ thick interlocking foam mats.
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If you have a room with carpet, it is best to place your Concept2 there, as it will absorb a lot of the noise created.
I have my Concept2 in a carpeted room with 1/2″ thick interlocking foam mats under each support. The mats definitely help reduce the noise and protect your carpet from receiving “dents” under the supports.
Sometimes having the TV on can drown out the rowing machine noise heard by others and just sound as if someone is watching TV.
However, if you are playing the music or TV loud enough so you can hear it over the rowing machine, it may be heard by neighboring apartments or other people in your house.
Distance and Empty Space
Try to place the rowing machine as far away from the area or person you are trying not to disturb. Noise will dissipate over distance quickly. Even placing the rowing machine on the opposite side of the room can help.
Also, an empty room will cause the sound to echo and become louder. Try rowing in a room with furniture or adding items to your workout room to adsorb the sound.
Acceptable Hours/ Scheduling
Try to exercise at acceptable hours or when you know people won’t be home. If you get home at 5:00 and you know your neighbor gets home around 6:30, then try to workout as soon as you get home!
If you can change your workout times, try scheduling your “loud/ high-intensity” workouts for acceptable hours and your “quiet/ low-intensity” workouts for early AM or late at night.
Rowing while other people are actively doing things around the house, like cooking dinner or cleaning, can help others not notice the noise.
Better Than a Treadmill :)
Following these few pieces of advice should avoid aggravating anyone to the point of complaining.
I have spoken to many people who have used Concept2 Rowers in apartments or early in the AM and have received no complaints. Many people use my Concept2 Model D at my house and it never once bothered me.
Plus, the sound is much more soothing and quieter than a treadmill! I used to have a treadmill and someone exercising at a light jog could be heard throughout the house!
Trying to decide whether a rowing machine will be too loud before using it is very difficult. The best you can do is watch a few videos and listen to people who own one themselves.
I personally don’t think a Concept2 Rower is loud and it has never once bothered me or any of my family members.
The Concept2 makes no more noise than a washer, dryer, or dishwasher (not talking about the fancy new ones) and it is definitely quieter than a treadmill!
Most users will be rowing at too light of an intensity for it to be heard in other areas of your house or apartment. It is only when you row as hard as you can that it will produce more noise.
Unless you need something that is virtually silent, I think any air rowing machine will be fine. Concept2 rowing machines are the most popular models and 1000s of people own them. Many of these owners live in apartments and workout early in the morning.
You can read my complete Concept2 Model D Indoor Rower review here for a full breakdown.
If you think you need something quieter, I recommend going to my Rowing Machine Concierge Page and filling out the form. I can then point you in the right direction.
I hope you enjoyed my article about Concept2 noise level and how to minimize it. If you have any questions or noise reduction tips please leave them in the comment section below!
Rowing Machine King Founder and Author.