Muffler Vs Resonator (How Are They Different?)

Muffler vs Resonator

The muffler vs resonator, which of them does a more important job in an exhaust system? Well, every component added to a system plays a role; however, not all of them play an “important” role.

The exhaust system in a car can comprise many components, but the three major ones are the manifold, catalytic converter, and muffler.

Yes, the resonator is not a major component, but it does an important job on exhaust systems where it is included.

Without the resonator, the muffler may not function as effectively as expected. So, what are the functions of these exhaust system components? This muffler and resonator comparison explains all you need to know.

What is the Muffler?

What Is MufflerThe muffler is typically the last component in the exhaust system.  Its only task is to silence the sound transmitted from the engine as you start your car or while accelerating.

Different exhaust manufacturers design the muffler to appear in unique shapes and styles.

More so, some manufacturers tweak the muffler added to their exhaust design to achieve better performance and efficiency.

However, regardless of how the muffler is crafted, the function remains the same on every exhaust system. It is an important part of the exhaust system that should not be tampered with.

What is the Resonator?

What Is ResonatorUnlike the muffler, the resonator is not a compulsory part of a car’s exhaust system. However, some manufacturers may add this component to assist the muffler in doing its function.

The resonator is more like an “Echo Chamber” where sound waves from the engine gather, collide and cancel each other, before proceeding to the muffler where they are canceled.

Definitely, not everyone needs a resonator in their exhaust system. But then, it is an important addition for car owners who love driving noiseless cars.

How is Muffler Different from Resonator?

Muffler vs ResonatorThe difference between the muffler vs resonator isn’t a complicated one; the resonator “tunes down” the sound waves from the engine, while the muffler cancels the sound completely.

If a resonator is not included in your car’s exhaust system, it’s practically impossible for the muffler to completely cancel the sound waves from the engine.

However, it is important to note that the muffler can do a good job in keeping the exhaust note (nose) at a decent minimum level, but the resonator alone cannot effectively reduce the noise from your car engine.

Similarities Between Muffler and Resonator

These two components are pretty confusing because they appear to carry out the same function – reducing/canceling the sound from your engine as you drive.

However, in the real sense, they are not similar; instead, the resonate is usually included to complement the muffler.

Muffler Vs Resonator: Which is Better?

Truthfully, it is best to have both the muffler and the resonator included in your car’s exhaust system. They collectively ensure that your car does not make a loud noise as you drive.

But, if you have to choose between an exhaust system with a muffler and another with the resonator add-on, if the price difference isn’t much, the latter (with resonator add-on) would be better.

Can you Remove Any of These Components?

Can You Remove Muffler ResonatorPeople modify their car exhaust for different reasons. Remove either the muffler or the resonator would make your car sound in a particular way when you drive.

But, an exhaust without a muffler would be very loud and noisy.

Before removing the muffler from your vehicle, ensure to check your city rules; some regions/states/cities have a law that regulates exhaust volumes.

In contrast, removing the resonator may not significantly increase your car’s exhaust volume, but it’d definitely change the exhaust tune/note.

Why Do You Need a Muffler?

You need to replace the muffler in your exhaust system or get a new exhaust with a muffler if your car’s exhaust volume exceeds the recommended limit in your city.

Well, even if your exhaust’s volume doesn’t exceed the limit but your car makes a loud, uncomfortable noise as you drive, you need a muffler.

Why Do You Need a Resonator?

You need a resonator if you’re not comfortable with the tune of your exhaust note.

Also, if you want to further reduce the noise coming out from your exhaust (even when a muffler is present), a resonator is the best exhaust component to buy.

Muffler Vs. Resonator: The Final Comparison

Typically designed with fiberglass
Designed with different materials
Cancels all frequencies
Cancels certain frequencies as they bounce off the resonator wall
Higher back pressure than resonators
Helps to improve airflow to the engine