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room acoustics(ARA) - In today's modern home, the kitchen has grown in importance as a major gathering place where families come together to converse and share a meal. But instead of having the added distraction of a noisy dishwasher running in the background to compete with, many consumers have increasingly sought out "quiet" appliances for their home.

In fact, a majority of consumers now feel that quietness should rank as high as the typical considerations of price, performance and energy efficiency as key product attributes. It is not surprising, therefore, that more and more people are starting to embrace this trend given the fact that many kitchens tend to feature an open design scheme.

"Everyone multitasks when they are at home, so no one wants to be distracted by a noisy appliance when they're watching a DVD or trying to help the kids with their homework at the dining room table," says interior designer Kenn Meyer of MK and Company Interior Design of Pasadena, Calif.

Currently, there are a wide variety of appliance categories that feature products with quiet operation. The list includes air conditioners, refrigerators, ventilation hoods, even air purifiers. Two of the most popular categories, however, appear to be laundry machines and dishwashers, since they are two of the most used appliances in the home.

One manufacturer that is leading the charge is Bosch. The company, which began selling dishwashers in North America in 1991, introduced a new laundry system called Nexxt earlier this year. At only 60 decibels, it is touted as the quietest washer on the market today.

"The traditional laundry room is changing. Families are moving their washers and dryers closer to the bedroom and kitchen, rather than relegating them to the basement or garage," says Mario Saverino of MK and Company Interior Design.

"People do not want to cart their massive loads of clothes all around the house each week, as much as they do not want to be disturbed by laundry room noise."

Bosch's Nexxt Washer achieves its low sound output through the placement of its motor on an independent suspension that eliminates vibration as it spins. It also has an advanced insulation system that diminishes noise from the machine.

In addition to having the quietest laundry system, Bosch manufactures the quietest dishwasher, called the Integra Vision. This model is so silent, it produces a sound output level of only 44 decibels -- equivalent to a quiet conversation between two people. The company discovered through testing, that it takes 16 Integra Vision units to produce a sound output equal to just one regular dishwasher, which operates at around 56 decibels.

And in case you think that a dishwasher could be too quiet for it's own good, the Integra Vision comes with an interesting convenience feature called INFOLIGHT, which beams a red light to the floor of the kitchen to let you know it is on.

Given the recent explosion in home renovation, it has become much easier for consumers to research, purchase and install quieter appliances for the home.

"Consumers know that renovating will add immediate value to their home and it can be accomplished in a short timeframe without draining their bank account," adds Meyer.

With the aid of a few quieter appliances, achieving a Zen-like environment can be an instant reality for any homeowner. The combination of technology meeting consumer demand has really made this possible. So, does this provide us with a glimpse at the true home of the future? Regardless of whether it is the present or the future, it seems that no one need to suffer in silence anymore since your conversations will no longer be drowned out by a noisy appliance.

For more information about Bosch appliances, log on to or call (800) 921-9622. MK and Company Interior Design can be reached at (626) 791-7653.

Courtesy of ARA Content

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