Best Exhaust Resonators: Remove the Drone and Improve Performance

Tune your car’s exhaust with these top exhaust resonators

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If you want to tune your vehicle and reduce exhaust drone yet maintain maximum performance, consider purchasing a new resonator. An exhaust resonator reduces the noise produced by the engine yet still emits a deep, throaty sound. You can either replace the stock resonator on your car or truck or use one to build a custom exhaust system. Check out our buying guide for the best exhaust resonators on the market. 

  • Best Overall
    Vibrant 2.5" Ultra Quiet Resonator
    Summary
    Summary
    The Vibrant resonator is constructed of stainless steel, withstands high exhaust temperatures, and features a "true straight-through" perforated core. It comes with a five-year limited warranty.
    Pros
    Pros
    The welds are good, and the unit is very solid. This resonator facilitates undisrupted exhaust flow and removes nearly all the drones and overall volume that is common with an aftermarket exhaust.
    Cons
    Cons
    This resonator doesn't fit all vehicles. While it reduces the drone, it's not "ultra-quiet" as the product promises in the description. Also, your vehicle may still be loud when cold starting.
  • Best Value
    Vibrant Bottle Style Resonator
    Summary
    Summary
    This stainless steel resonator is 12 inches long, features a 2.5-inch inlet/outlet, and has a 4-inch body diameter. It withstands high exhaust temperatures and is designed to produce undisrupted exhaust flow.
    Pros
    Pros
    This resonator is a great, high-performance addition to replace OEM equipment. It produces little to no drone, cleans up the exhaust note, and takes the rasp out.
    Cons
    Cons
    It may not reduce overall sound as much as you want or even bring it down to noticeable levels. Also, the welds may start to deteriorate after a short period of time.
  • Honorable Mention
    SLP Loud Mouth Bullet Type Resonator
    Summary
    Summary
    This pair of resonators fit any 2.5-inch cat-back exhaust system. They are 18-3/6 inches long and feature a 2.5-inch inlet/outlet diameter and 4-inch body diameter.
    Pros
    Pros
    They sound good even if you weld them on to 20-year-old stock exhaust pipes and headers. They make a difference in responsiveness, are just loud enough, and aren't too raspy.
    Cons
    Cons
    These resonators may not make much of a difference unless you do a complete exhaust job on your vehicle. Also, you may still hear some exhaust drone when they’re installed.

Tips

  • An exhaust resonator is not the same as a muffler. It is installed before the muffler and is sometimes known as a pre-muffler. The exhaust resonator and muffler work together, but one can’t be substituted for the other.
  • A resonator exhaust tip produces more noise than a regular exhaust tip. If you don't want to draw too much attention to yourself, it's better to use a regular tip.
  • Some people use a pipe in place of an exhaust resonator; however, this can affect the backpressure, which can decrease efficiency and cause higher fuel consumption.

FAQs

Q: How long does an exhaust resonator last?

A: That depends on the product. Some are better quality and will last longer. Cheaper ones will break down more quickly and will discolor or rust over time. A good exhaust resonator should last for many years.

Q: What can affect the function of an exhaust resonator?

A: An exhaust resonator is attached to your car's engine, so it's exposed to a lot of vibration. It also endures a lot of heat and encounters dirt, mud, and other road debris on a regular basis.

Q: How do I install an exhaust resonator?

A: Some exhaust resonators have mounting points, making them easy to install. Others need to be welded to the vehicle, which may require professional assistance.

Final Thoughts

Our pick for the best exhaust resonator is the Vibrant 2.5" Ultra Quiet Resonator. It's well-made, removes nearly all of your exhaust drone, yet facilitates exhaust flow. 

For a more budget-friendly option, consider the Vibrant Bottle Style Resonator.

Tell us what you think about exhaust resonators in the comment section below.