© veck design

This project was part of the course "Embodied Audio Design". Together with two other TU Delft students, our task was to improve the sound of the Bestron ABL900WTE vacuüm cleaner.


We started by analysing the current sound and trying to pinpoint the annoying parts of the sound. We used a airtight Studio and the program PRAAT to analyse our audio files. We then together stated a goal and crafted several concept sounds. These concept sounds were constructed from the original vacuum cleaner sound.


We then started to strip apart the vacuum cleaner, piece by piece. And every step we rerecorded the sound. Until we finally pinpointed the source of our problem. It was the diffuser inside the electric motor. This plastic piece which serves to cool the engine and lead the airflow around the engine, was a cheap and rough plastic. This lower quality diffuser was the cause of a lot of turbulence, and turbulence in itself causes these annoying high pitched sounds.

We then decided to create different versions of the diffuser, some with thicker walls, some with 3d curvers, more blades, less blades and much more. We recreated the original version in SolidWorks and changed it according to our wishes. After 3D printing the concepts we recorded the sounds per diffuser concept.

One of the diffusers was inspired by the Computer Industry. We looked at cooling fans for computers. These were very silent, but had to do a very good job at cooling. What we saw were a lot of ridges and crooked edges, so we decided to apply the same to our diffuser, with the following as a result.

You can hear the differences between the first and final sound below. As can be seen in the graphs, we heavily reduced the annoying peak at 5000 Hz and 16 kHz. We found out that the peak at 11kHz was due to vibrations of the embodiment.