Originally Posted by slowbiscuit
While the Slim is not as quiet as my Tivos, it's really not noticeable at normal TV volume levels. Put it in a glass-door cabinet and I doubt you'd ever hear it. YMMV.
Putting it in an enclosure is not an option for me. I had a "Slim" for a few days, and there were three components to its noise signature, two of them variable in pitch. It was truly obnoxious, but in a different way than the "Jasper" I had for a few days, which sounded like a hairdryer. I returned both due to their noise levels. I never put a disc in their optical drives, either, or used them beyond the menu system and extender functionality. It was the fans while the units were not under load, starting the moment I turned them on and never abating. Both Xboxes were easily and distractingly audible while watching video at normal volume levels. And I'm not the only one; there are many Youtube videos documenting the "Slim" is not "whisper quiet" as Microsoft claims.
I'm sure there is some sample variation, but I just didn't want the things enough to play exchange roulette. Also, pressing in on the Slim's cheap plastic housing could change one component of its noise signature, and that was not a hopeful sign.