DJI FPV quiet props [Best upgrades?]

Drones are loud. The DJI FPV is one of the loudest drones currently available. That is because the drone is not concerned with stealth; rather, it has been designed to be as fast and agile as possible.

Because of the amount of power produced by the motors, the drone is incredibly loud. Propellers can be used to minimise the sound, but the motors are responsible for the high scream.

You can minimise the sound of your DJI FPV by buying quieter propellers. Larger propellers will allow the motor to spin at a lower rpm, and adapters will be required to attach aftermarket propellers to your DJI FPV.

Here is what the FPV drone sounds like while it is taking off at maximum acceleration:

You can hear a high-pitched scream that can be heard from quite a high altitude. It is one of the most distinctive sounds of any of the DJI drones.

You cannot be discreet while flying the DJI FPV (especially in manual mode). However, you may be able to minimise the amount of noise produced by the propellers by using different versions and aftermarket options.

There are many varieties of quiet and stealth propellers for the DJI FPV, and here are a few options for you to consider.

Quiet props for the DJI FPV

Even though the motors are the main reason the drone is producing a high pitch scream under high acceleration, propellers can be used to minimise the buffeting and wash turbulence.

Here are our top picks of the best quiet props for the DJI FPV.

Our pick – Gemfan Hurricane 51433

This propeller is a very popular pick among FPV drone flyers and hobbyists.

That is because they offer some fantastic benefits to your drone flight while also being very inexpensive. They are approximately three US dollars for one set.

I have tried quite a few different propellers, and I think these work best for me. The drone is very responsive while also being smooth during directional changes.

The smoothness makes them perfect for cinematic flying and capturing the best videos possible.

I find that they sound better at high rpm, making the sound a little bit lower pitched so that I do not hear it cut through the background noise as much.

Specifications:

MaterialPolycarbonate
Weight3.8 g
Pitch3.5 inch
Prop diameter129.7 mm
Centre thickness6 mm
Colours availableClear, clear black, orange, purple, pink, yellow, galaxy
Included in the package2CW + 2CCW props

 

Other popular options

There are other popular options for aftermarket propellers for your DJI FPV.

These are the Azure vanover 5.1 and tmotor 5150.

Here are a few specifications that are important for you to compare should you consider these other options a viable choice for your FPV drone.

 Azure vanover 5.1  tmotor 5150  
Size5.1 inches5.1 inches
Pitch 5.0 inches
Blades Three
Weight4.05 g5.0 g
Mounting hole M5
Centre hub thickness5 mm7 mm
CostUS$3.29US$7.19

All of the sounds of the DJI FPV

The DJI FPV drone is very loud while flying. It also has a pretty unique start-up sound.

All of the different sounds can be heard in the audio files below.

Start up

Take off

Fly By

Landing

Comparisons to other drones

Here is what the Air 2S sounds like while hovering so you can get an idea of the difference in sound between the two drones.

Air 2S noise generated

What makes the FPV so loud?

FPV flight is very loud because the drones are being pushed to their limits. The motors of the FPV drones are typically driven and throttled far harder than a camera drone.

Although many people think that the best way to limit the sound is by using different propellers, the motors produce the majority of the noise.

Motors

The motors on the DJI FPV are much more powerful than other drones in the DJI ecosystem.

The motors are incredibly powerful and will scream in a high-pitched tone at high throttle. We saw examples of that in the audio files above.

The only way to lower the noise is to put on larger propellers, so the motors can spin at lower RPMs to generate the same amount of thrust.

The problem with the DJI FPV is there isn’t enough clearance for larger (longer) propellers.

The only real way to minimise the noise that the DJI FPV makes is to fly at lower speeds and find a remote location to fly your drone.

Propellers

Changing the propellers will help a little bit with the sound that the drone makes.

If you do not want to purchase aftermarket propellers for your drone you can try this DIY version of smoothing out your original propellers.

Ensure that the leading and trailing edges are as sharp as possible and remove any stamps or embossed logos that could generate turbulence while spinning through the air.

Sanding down the surface of the propellers

Frequently, when you purchase a drone from a manufacturer, the propeller surface will have the manufacturer’s emblem raised or stamped.

One user on the DJI forum claimed that sanding the surface smooth with sandpaper, erasing the DJI logos, and cleaning up all the other moulding marks significantly reduced the noise produced.

The leading edge of my propellers can occasionally be chipped from flying or mistakenly flying into the high grass.

If the irregularities are very small, I can sand them down to let the propeller’s leading-edge glide smoothly through the air. Otherwise, your only choice is to replace the propellers.

The trailing edge of the propeller is the one that needs to be as sharp as possible.

One of the greatest ways to fine-tune the design of your propeller is to use 800 or 600 sandpaper and fix the shape slowly by hand.

This grit leaves a slightly rough surface, but if you want to keep the shiny appearance, you may polish them with finer grain sandpaper.

If you are worried that it will affect balance, spend the same amount of time on each propeller and remove the same amount of material per propeller.

Wrapping up

In this article, we have discovered exactly why the DJI FPV makes noise and what you can do about it.

Even though most of the noise comes from the motors, buying aftermarket propellers to minimise the amount of buffeting and air turbulence will help remove some of the more annoying frequencies.

Ensuring that your propellers are larger and result in a lower frequency of motor spinning will be the best way you can minimise the sound generated by your FPV drone.

Because the propellers are so inexpensive it may be worth buying a couple of different types so that you can choose your favourite.

The Author

Dr Andrew Stapleton is a writer and YouTuber with a PhD in science. His drone footage has been featured on TV and he has written and/or produced videos for Science Alert, COSMOS magazine, and Australia's Science Channel among others. He has been a drone pilot for many years and has flown many types of drones. His favourite is still the DJI Mavic Air for the portability and functionality packed into a small and portable drone!