Best sounding tabletop water fountains

There are several factors involved in determining
which are the best sounding tabletop water fountains:



  • Subjective preferences (what you like may not be what someone else prefers)

  • Decibel levels (how loud).

  • Quality of water sounds (the sound of water falling into water or on to objects can vary considerably).

  • Placement of the water fountain (where the fountain is placed will affect not only how you hear the sounds but the actual sounds themselves).

Some people are really put off by the sound of water falling into water whereas others feel soothed by an easily audible stream. The following may seem off-topic but is important in the overall treatment of this subject of water sounds.

Tests have shown that water sounds can considerably reduce stress, particularly in those who are aware of having or believe themselves to have some physical problem which occupies their minds overmuch.

According to Wallace Nichols, author of the book Blue Mind “This deep biological connection [with water] has been shown to trigger an immediate response in our brains when we’re near water. In fact, the mere sight and sound of water can induce a flood of neurochemicals that promote wellness, increase blood flow to the brain and heart and induce relaxation.”  (For more information on the benefits of moving water try this post.

But how much water? More importantly, how much water sound do you like? Imagine being next to this stream to the right. Does it look like a volume of water you would enjoy? The sounds might be described as burbling and trickling.

best sounding tabletop water fountains

Consider the two tier waterfall with the bridge. A bit much if experienced for more than a few minutes. The one with narrower streams? Probably pleasant to most people. But again, for how long?

So the first stage in determing what are the best sounding tabletop water fountains is to determine how much water sound you enjoy. What is too much water sounds when it comes to indoor fountains? (Flow adjustability is a factor here which we address further on.)

There are uncountable designs of tabletop fountains and a great variety of loudness of sounds they make from silent to a low roar. (Think of some hotel lobbys). Most do produce a sound of water and that is one of the primary reasons for buying them. But as mentioned, one persons pleasure is another person’s pain and volume of water sound becomes a critical factor in whether or not you enjoy your fountain or come to regret it.

This is where decible levels (dB) comes in. You can download an ap to your phone that measures decible levels and it can be a really handy tool to help you come to understand what levels of sounds you enjoy. (We use such a device at indoor fountains and state the dB of every fountain we list. Because it matters to people.

Everyone who makes indoor fountains wants you to enjoy your purchase but nearly none can give you a measure or recording of their sound levels. (We are the only ones we know of and the reason we can measure the decibel levels of every fountain is because we don’t just sell them – we make them). So download that ap (there are several available) and use it when near something that will indicate to you what a pleasing level of sound is (dB) or what is too much. 

Coral Reef Fountain has about a 5 dB level

Frog Pond has nearly a 20 dB level

Notice that the indoor fountain on the left has a soft, trickling sort of water sounds which can be made softer. The dB level for this fountain is about 5dB. The fountain on the right has a more pronounced stream with a range of dB levels from nearly 0 to 20dB. Most everyone will prefer one over the other.

You really only hear this spray fountain when one of the streams lands in the water in the bowl and as such the decibel ranges from from about 3 to nearly 20dB. If turned up so that all streams land in the water it would be quite loud – about 30 to 40 dB.

The dedible level of this fountain is about 8dB – 10dB, produced by a single, slightly turbulent stream.

There are several factors that determine how loud a particular flow of water will be and the quality of sound it will make:

  • Total quantity of water
  • The distance the water falls
  • Onto or into what the water falls
  • the thicnkess or thinness and smoothness of the stream(s) 

The fountains on the left and right have the most water sounds, for different reasons. The one on the left has two streams similar but fuller than the four streams from the fountain on the far right and has a decibel level of about 20dB. It is more turbulent – less smooth. Compare it to the center fountain which has a full, smooth stream and is considerably more quiet with about a 10dB.

The thinner the stream the more noticible the water sound is. The four streams of the fountain on the right and the single stream of the fountain on the left are all relatively thin, especially compared to the center fountain. The fountain on the right also has more water falling – four streams so of course that contributes tot he overall volume of sound.

What Makes The Best Sounding Tabletop Water Fountains Is Partially Dependent On Placement

A fountain with a 40 dB on your desk is one thing, on the other side of the room another. Similarly, a fountain with a fairly loud water sound in a small room without other ambient sounds is going to be quite noticible. Add other background sounds and it will seem quieter.

If you are looking for a desktop fountain you probably want a dB of from 0 to 10. If you want a fountain for the kitchen, which normally hosts activities which generate sounds you can go louder. A bedroom wants probably less than 10dB for most people. For those who find water sounds a sleep aid, a decibel level of about 8 should do it. For those who do not, 0dB might be best.

Keep in mind too that what the floor and walls are made of will also make a difference. Stone will reflect the sound more dramatically than wood or sheetrock and give a slightly different quality of sound – sharper and more intense where as other materials, such as wood, will soften the sounds, absorbing some of the wavelengths. Also, a corner of a room will generate more feedback than the center of a room.