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The real reason some PS5s are louder than others

The PlayStation line of consoles has a troubled history with managing fan noise. The original PlayStation 4, for example, is infamous for containing fans that impersonate jet engines. The PlayStation 5 is designed to be quieter than the PS4 — and that gulf might widen with future firmware updates — but not every PS5 is equally quiet.

While many reviews (and a few comparison videos) praise the PS5's whisper-quiet fans, not everyone is in agreement. Some gamers have reported PS5 fans that are louder than advertised. The French site Les Numeriques (translation provided by Game Rant) dived into the inner workings of the PS5 to find the cause for the discrepancy and made a startling discovery: some PS5s sport different fan models.

Shortly after autopsying two different PS5s, the distinctions were immediately obvious. The quieter PS5 housed a fan with a higher number of angular blades, while the louder console sported a fan with fewer, rounded blades. Since reproducibility is key to the scientific method, the site cracked open several more consoles and discovered that, once again, the quieter copies featured fans with more blades than the louder consoles.

While Les Numeriques might have potentially found the secret behind some rogue noisy PS5 consoles, the site also warned that fans aren't the only auditory culprit. Les Numeriques believes some loud PS5s might suffer from "coil whine," which is a vibration that occurs when power runs through an electric cable. Usually, you can't hear coil whine, but that's because the vibrations are often beyond the range of human hearing, not because they don't exist. When coil whine vibrates at the right frequency, it is very noticeable, however. According to Les Numeriques, some loud PS5 noises are the result of coil whine.

While this difference in fan model and sound quality might annoy some gamers, it's unclear what can be done about the discrepancy. It might be a roll of the dice which consoles sport which fans, but at the end of the day, Sony isn't breaking any laws. Also, the difference isn't that noticeable. If your PS5 makes a loud buzzing noise instead of a whirring fan noise, though, that problem may be easily fixed by removing a sticker.