We used to live next door to someone who worked odd hours, thus would often vacuum at the most unusual times of day or evening, the loud whir of his vacuum motor audible even a building over with windows closed. That's just part of apartment life and also most vacuums in general. We too have occasionally found ourselves in the predicament of wanting to vacuum in the morning or later in the evening, but also wanting to be respectful of the noise pollution vacuuming can cause (especially since we live upstairs ).
But maybe you're not even an apartment dweller…maybe you just live with someone who is particularly sensitive to loud noises (e.g. work the night shift, have a baby, live next door to elderly neighbors) and are looking for a vacuum that's less about sheer power and more about ample suction partnered with quiet performance. The Electrolux UltraSilencer Delux claims to be possibly the quietest vacuum out there.
Out the box, the Electrolux UltraSilencer Delux EL7066 offers a bevy of cleaning options and features that do well equally well on hard and carpeted surfaces. Testing it in our mixed surface apartment floors (hardwood, tile and FLOR carpet tiles of various pile), the DeepClean power head did well at removing both smaller and larger debris, whether it was pet hair or larger debris like spilled cereal (oops, we didn't have our coffee yet).
A simple step-on height adjustment for carpet heights gives control of how low you want to go, while five bright LED headlights made peeking under the couch and bed a more satisfying game of cat and mouse with dust balls. Easy one-hand operation is possible thanks to controls for on/off, suction increase/decrease alongside brush operation all available from the handle grip. The only negative we encountered were related to a slightly inflexible hose and the heavy weight of the canister housing.
The construction of the EL7066 is a satisfying mixture of heavier matte plastics and metal throughout, and we have to tip our hats to Electrolux for their modern, understated industrial design. In the looks department, if a Dyson is a tricked out Mustang, then the Electrolux is a handsome Saab coupe.
Nothing feels flimsy or shoddily constructed, which conversely leads to a heavier overall feel when wheeling it around, sometimes making maneuvering in smaller spaces difficult. Because of this, we think this model is better suited for larger apartments and homes than smaller spaces like our own. But a built-in handle let us carry the canister vacuum room to room easily enough, while the AeroPro 3-in1 multi-tool attachments proved useful for cleaning around the cat litterbox, inside crevices in the kitchen, and along the windowsill, especially with the range of suction settings. A sealed HEPA filtration system with washable HEPA filter alongside removable bags also make this a solid choice for allergy sufferers.
But as notable as all these features proved, they're not the reason you'd pick the Electrolux UltraSilencer Delux EL7066 over other premium vacuums from the premium likes of Miele, Sebo, Dyson or Panasonic. What makes the EL7066 stand out from the pack is its unusually quiet operation capabilities. How quiet? About the volume level of a medium speed house floor fan, the sound hushed by a double wall construction and some silencing material within (and thus, why it's heavier than we expected). In fact the vacuum was quiet enough our usually skittish pair of felines, who make haste whenever we turn on other vacuums, sat around curiously, if not a bit suspiciously, when the UltraSilencer was used in its quieter settings. It's a vacuum a librarian could love (and I live with a former librarian!).
The Electrolux registered about as loud as a floor fan set to medium-high. Another brand canister model registered about 15dB louder in comparison, while a popular hand vac was 20-25dB louder.
This does comes with the caveat the brush head needs to be turned off and only the suction motor is being operated to enjoy stealth cleaning mode. But this setting works especially well with hard floor situations where a brush motor isn't required. With the brush turned on, the EL7066 is similar to other vacuums, but the quiet mode of this model is impressive nonetheless.
Pros: Build quality is top notch with handsome understated industrial design, easy on/off via handle control, variable suction power and surface height adjustments, and extremely quiet compared to other vacuums.
Cons: A little bulky/heavy, hose is not as flexible as we prefer.
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.