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Respiratory Resource Center

What Are the Quietest Portable Oxygen Concentrators in 2020?

Oct 15, 2020 11:30:05 AM / by Daniel Seter

What Are the Quietest Portable Oxygen Concentrators in 2020?

If this is your first time looking for a portable oxygen concentrator, you probably have a lot of questions that you need answers to. Maybe you’re wondering if your new concentrator will meet your oxygen needs, how long the battery will last, or how reliable it will be. It’s important to learn about these things before purchasing an oxygen machine so that there aren’t any surprises once it arrives at your door.

 

Quite possibly the most common question we get here at LPT Medical is, “what is the quietest portable oxygen concentrator?” This is a perfectly valid question considering the fact that other oxygen therapy devices like compressed oxygen and liquid oxygen are virtually silent. Since oxygen concentrators work entirely differently than these two devices, many people don’t know what to expect when they purchase one for the first time.  

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In this post, we’ll be taking a closer look at the portable oxygen concentrators with the lowest sound output. Keep in mind that these are not necessarily the “best” portable oxygen concentrators and they may not be adequate for your specific oxygen needs. Be sure to call us at 1-(800) 946-1201 to speak with a respiratory specialist who can help you out.

 

Why is it Important to Have a Quiet Portable Oxygen Concentrator?

Portable oxygen concentrators work by taking in ambient air, removing gases like argon and nitrogen, then putting out medical grade oxygen. Because POCs don’t simply hold and release oxygen like oxygen tanks or liquid oxygen tanks, they have a lot more components, and thus, a higher potential to create noise. Below are just a few of the reasons you might want a quiet portable oxygen concentrator:

 

Reduced Anxiety

Noise anxiety is a very real thing for many people. Whether it’s a dog barking next door or a noisy construction project on your street, being exposed to persistent loud sounds can be a major distraction. The type of noise can also make a difference. For example, high pitched noises tend to cause more anxiety than low pitched noises. 

Anxiety

 

More Restful Sleep

If you have COPD, you will likely be prescribed 24/7 long-term oxygen therapy. In other words, you will need to use your portable oxygen concentrator all day and all night, even when you’re sleeping. If you’re a light sleeper, a noisy machine can make it really difficult to get to sleep and stay asleep. And, according to the Sleep Foundation, even if a noise doesn’t wake you up, it can still contribute to sleep restlessness and result in feelings of sleepiness and mood changes once you wake up.

 

Adult sleeping

Go More Places

Last but certainly not least, you’ll be able to go more places and do more things with a quiet portable oxygen concentrator. A noisy concentrator could easily cause a disturbance in a library or during a church service, and you may feel self-conscious about bringing a noisy concentrator to spend time with friends. Either way, a concentrator with a low sound output will allow you to have more freedom in how you go about your daily activities. 

Hiking through a forest

 

The Inogen One G5 (37 decibels)

Inogen, Inc. is a medical oxygen company that’s been around since 2001. They are one of the most respected and trusted brands in the industry and they are primarily known for producing powerful, lightweight pulse dose portable oxygen concentrators. What many people don’t realize, however, is that their latest POC, the Inogen One G5, is also the quietest portable oxygen concentrator ever produced. 

Inogen One G5

 

The Inogen One G5 was released in 2019, and still to this day, it offers the highest oxygen output of any pulse flow oxygen concentrator and it’s also one of the lightest, weighing in at only 4.7 pounds. Whether you’re someone who has a need for a high flow of oxygen or you just use oxygen intermittently throughout the day, the Inogen One G5 is a great choice for many oxygen patients. 

 

Inogen One G5 interface

 

On a flow setting of 2, the Inogen One G5 is only 37 dBA (decibels). This is comparable to a quiet conversation or a gentle stream meaning it won’t be hugely disruptive in your daily life. You’ll be able to go out to a movie, church service, or library without worrying about people getting annoyed by the sound, and if your treatment plan allows it, you can even drop down to a flow setting of 1 if you want it to be extra quiet. 

Inogen One G5 Specs

 Weight

4.7 Pounds

Dimensions

8.15" H x 7.19" L x 3.26" W

Flow Settings

Pulse Settings 1-6

Sound Level

37 dBA @ Setting 2

Expected Battery Life

Up to 13 Hours

 

Inogen One G5 Battery Life

Flow Setting Single Battery Double Battery
1 6 1/2 hours 13 hours
2 5 hours 10 hours
3 3 1/2 hours 7 hours
4 2 1/2 hours 5 hours
5 1 hr 51 mins 3 hr 48 mins
6 1 hr 26 mins 2 hr 58 mins

 

Inogen One G5 Oxygen Output

Flow Setting Oxygen Output (milliliters per minute)
1 210 ml/min
2 420 ml/min
3 630 ml/min
4 840 ml/min
5 1050 ml/min
6 1260 ml/min

 

The GCE Zen-O Lite (37 decibels)

GCE is a world-leader in medical oxygen device manufacturing. They have production facilities in China, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, and more. GCE Medical is a subsidiary of Gas Control Equipment Ltd, Europe’s leading gas equipment company. GCE is mainly known for its Zen-O continuous flow portable oxygen concentrator and its Zen-O Lite pulse dose portable oxygen concentrator, but they also offer two stationary oxygen concentrators: the M50 and OC-E80.

 

GCE Zen-O Lite

 

Much like the Inogen One G5, the GCE Zen-O Lite is perfect for those who want to live life without limits. Weighing in at only 5.5 pounds, you’ll be able to sling it over your shoulder without it causing pain or soreness. While this unit offers significantly less battery life than the G5, you’ll still have up to 8 hours of freedom on one battery charge if you’re on a setting of 2.

 

GCE Zen-O Lite controls

The sound output of the GCE Zen-O Lite is the same as the G5 at 37 dBA, so you will have no problems going to public areas and enjoying your day without worrying about the sound of your portable oxygen concentrator. The Zen-O Lite is also a great nighttime concentrator. If you need oxygen while you sleep, you can keep this concentrator next to your bed without disturbing your sleep. 

 

GCE Zen-O Lite Specs

Weight

5.5 Pounds

Dimensions

9.25” H x 9.8” W x 3.8” D

Flow Rate

Pulse Flow Settings 0.5-5

Battery Life

4 Hours on Pulse 2

Power

100-240 VAC, 50/60 Hz; 24 VDC

FAA Approved

Yes

Warranty

3-5 Years

 

GCE Zen-O Lite Oxygen Output

Flow Setting Oxygen Output (milliliters per minute)
1 220 ml/min
2 440 ml/min
3 660 ml/min
4 880 ml/min
5 1050 ml/min

 

GCE Zen-O Lite Battery Life

Flow Rate

Expected Battery Life

1

Up to 4.0 Hours

2

Up to 4.0 Hours

3

Up to 3.0 Hours

4

Up to 2.25 Hours

5

Up to 2.0 Hours

Used Units Starting at $999

The Inogen One G3 (39 decibels)

Despite being released in 2012, the Inogen One G3 is still a popular choice for oxygen patients who want a lightweight, reliable, and quiet portable oxygen concentrator. While the G3 is 2 dBA louder than the Inogen One G5 and the GCE Zen-O Lite, this difference is negligible and you likely wouldn’t even notice if you put it side-by-side with the other two devices.

 

Inogen One G3

The G3 is not too far behind the G5 as far as other specs are concerned. It weighs in at just 4.8 pounds with flow settings 1 through 5, and it has an expected battery life of 8 hours on a flow setting of 2. Since the G3 is a little bit older than the G5, you might find that it’s a little bit easier to get a good deal on it. 

G3 backpack

 

One of the biggest selling points of the G3 is its accessories. There are a wide range of carrying options for the G3 including the custom carrying case, G3 backpack, G3 rolling backpack, and GO2 Carryall, a stylish handbag that can match with just about any outfit. No matter what way you look at it, the G3 offers a lot more options for customization than other portable oxygen concentrators out there.

 

Inogen One G3 Specs

Weight

8-Cell: 4.8 Pounds; 16-Cell: 5.8 Pounds

Dimensions

7.25” Wide x 3” Deep x 8.75” High

Flow Rate

Pulse Flow Settings 1-5

Battery Life

8-Cell: Up to 4 Hours; 16-Cell: Up to 8.5 Hours

Power

100-240 VAC, 50/60 Hz; 11-16 VDC

FAA Approved

Yes

Warranty

3 Years

 

Inogen One G3 Battery Life

Flow Rate 8-Cell Battery 16-Cell Battery
1 Up to 4.5 Hours Up to 9.5 Hours
2 Up to 4.0 Hours Up to 8.5 Hours
3 Up to 3.0 Hours Up to 6.0 Hours
4 Up to 2.0 Hours Up to 4.0 Hours
5 Up to 1.7 Hours Up to 3.3 Hours

 

Inogen One G3 Oxygen Output

Flow Setting Oxygen Output (milliliters per minute)
1 210 ml/min
2 420 ml/min
3 630 ml/min
4 840 ml/min
5 1050 ml/min

 

The Invacare Platinum Mobile (40 decibels)

Invacare is a medical equipment company based out of the United States. They manufacture and sell a wide range of non-acute medical supplies including mobility scooters, wheelchairs, pressure care devices, and medical oxygen units. Some of their top-selling oxygen machines include the Invacare Platinum Mobile, the Invacare SOLO2, and the Invacare Perfecto2 stationary oxygen concentrator.

Invacare Platinum Mobile

One of the most unique things about the Invacare Platinum Mobile and something that sets it apart from all other portable oxygen concentrators is that it’s actually water-resistant. Due to drainage channels built into the carrying bag, downward-facing vents and charging port, and reinforced seals on the battery door, the Invacare Platinum Mobile meets IP22 water resistance standards for 10-minute exposure. Because of this, you’ll know that you have an extra layer of protection if you get caught out in the rain with your POC.

Invacare Platinum Mobile batteries

 

If that wasn’t enough, you’ll be happy to know that the Invacare Platinum Mobile is also very easy to use. Unlike many portable oxygen concentrators that require you to remove batteries from the bottom of the unit in order to replace them, the batteries on the Invacare Platinum Mobile are replaced via the top of the unit. This makes changing batteries easier and faster than ever before. What’s more, there are only 4 buttons on the unit: one to turn the device on and off; one to change the flow setting; one to activate the backlight; and one to mute the alarms.

 

Invacare Platinum Mobile Specs

Dimensions 9.45" H x 7.5" W x 3.88" D
Weight 4.98 lbs
Sound Level Less than or equal to 40 dB (A) (Setting 2)
Operating Altitude Up to 10,000 ft. above sea level
Warranty 3 Year Concentrator, 2 Year Compressor, 1 Year Sieve

 

Invacare Platinum Mobile Oxygen Output

Flow Setting Oxygen Output (milliliters per minute)
1 220 ml/min
2 440 ml/min
3 660 ml/min
4 880 ml/min
5 1000 ml/min

 

Invacare Platinum Mobile Battery Life

Flow Setting One Battery Two Batteries
1 5 hr 5 min 10 hr 10 min
2 3 hr 30 min 7 hr 0 min
3 2 hr 20 min 4 hr 40 min
 4 and 5 1 hr 45 min 3 hr 30 min

 

The Caire FreeStyle Comfort (43 decibels)

Caire Inc. is currently the leading manufacturer of portable oxygen concentrators. They’ve produced many popular medical oxygen devices over the years including stationary concentrators like the AirSep® VisionAire™ 5 and CAIRE® Companion 5™. They’ve also put out liquid oxygen systems like the CAIRE® HELiOS™ Portables, CAIRE® Hi-Flow Stroller®, and more. Their latest and most innovative product yet is a pulse dose portable oxygen concentrator called the Caire FreeStyle Comfort.

Caire FreeStyle Comfort with battery

 

With 1,050 ml/min of oxygen output and 5 pulse flow settings, the FreeStyle Comfort is one of the most powerful pulse dose units on the market. What this means is that it’s a great option for most oxygen users, even people who have high oxygen demands. This unit is also extremely durable, so much so that it’s the only portable oxygen concentrator currently in use by the armed forces. 

 

Caire FreeStyle Comfort

 

The Caire FreeStyle Comfort also excels in just about every other facet. It weighs only 5 pounds, it offers up to 16 hours of battery life on one charge, and it has an ergonomic design that’s made to mold to your body rather than move around while you go about your day. It also has a unique connectivity feature called CAIREview which tracks important information about your oxygen usage and records it in an easy-to-use portal that you can access via your phone, tablet, or computer.

 

Caire FreeStyle Comfort Specs

Weight
5 pounds
Flow Rate
Pulse 1-5
Warranty
3-year
Height
10 inches
Width
7.3 inches
Depth
3.1 inches
FAA Approved?
Yes
Battery Duration
Up to 16 hours

 

Caire FreeStyle Comfort Battery Life

Flow Setting 8-Cell Battery 16-Cell Battery
1 8 hours 16 hours
2 4 hours 8 hours
3 3 hours 6 hours
4 2.25 hours 4.5 hours
5 2 hours 4 hours

 

Caire FreeStyle Comfort Oxygen Output

Flow Setting
Oxygen Output (milliliters per minute)
1
210 ml/min
2
420 ml/min
3
630 ml/min
4
840 ml/min
 5
1050 ml/min

 

Buy One Portable Oxygen Concentrator and Get One for $500

 

What to do if Your Portable Oxygen Concentrator is Loud

If you already own a portable oxygen concentrator and it suddenly becomes loud, there are several things that you can do. First and foremost, you should consult your user manual. The user manual tells you everything that you need to know in order to keep your portable oxygen concentrator in its best working condition. Most POCs have a particle filter that needs to be washed or replaced in order to prevent the device from getting jammed with debris, but the most likely reason that your POC becomes loud suddenly is because of a problem with the cooling fans. Check the user manual to see if there is a technical support number that you can call for help if you believe this is the case.

 

Customer support

 

If you tried the above to no avail, please feel free to contact our respiratory specialists here at LPT Medical. We can either direct you to our technical support or you can trade your POC into us for a brand new one. As long as your old portable oxygen concentrator is in good working condition, we’ll be able to put that money towards a brand new unit of your choice. Our phone number is 1-(800) 946-1201 and our email is info@lptmedical.com.

 

Conclusion 

It’s not difficult to find a portable oxygen concentrator that’s both quiet and meets your oxygen needs. The quietest POCs also tend to be the lightest and most reliable. For example, the Inogen One G5 and Caire FreeStyle Comfort are both extremely quiet and they provide more than enough oxygen for most oxygen patients. They’re also light, small, and easy to carry on your shoulder.

 

If you want a quiet portable oxygen concentrator, be sure to avoid continuous flow portable oxygen concentrators. These oxygen machines are much louder, not to mention heavier and bulkier. If you have any trouble at all choosing an oxygen device, be sure to reach out to our respiratory specialists at 1-(800) 946-1201. We’ll walk you through all of your options, ensuring that both your oxygen needs and wants are met and that you get the best deal possible. 

Topics: Respiratory Resource Center, Portable Oxygen, portable oxygen concentrator, G5 oxygen concentrators, oxygen therapy, Inogen One G5, Inogen, Caire Freestyle Comfort, Inogen One G3

Daniel Seter

Written by Daniel Seter