The Theory Behind Mufflers

Redback Muffler and Exhaust being fitted to 4wd

Brush up on your exhaust knowledge with this handy guide explaining the different types of mufflers, how they work and the best application for each.

The Basics:

Mufflers are used to reduce the amount of sound that exits the vehicle through the exhaust, this can be achieved by using any of the following methods:

  • Absorption: Absorb the sound pulse through the use of fibreglass packing
  • Restriction: Slow down and restrict the gas flow
  • Deflection: Turn the sound back on itself and deflect the pulse

Read on to see which types of mufflers use each method, and which is best for your preferred application.

Different Redback Muffler Types:

Megaflow Muffler

The Megaflow Muffler (also known as Mega Power) allows maximum flow as the name suggests, but due to the amount of densely packed fibrous material, it also absorbs the most amount of sound.

Megaflow Muffler Diagram

Absorption mufflers like the Redback Megaflow design are made for high-performance applications. The void inside the muffler is "glass-packed" (using a fiberglass material) which acts like a sponge to soak up most of the sound waves.  It has little impact on exhaust gas flow which is great for performance gains.

  • Method: Absorption
  • Application:¬†High-Performance Vehicles
  • Pros:¬†Best flow for the most power
  • Cons:¬†Not as loud as you think

Chambered Muffler

Chambered mufflers have a great design to maintain gas flow and increased sound level over a standard muffler by incorporating the deflection method.

Redback Chambered Muffler Diagram

The deflection method uses the theory that if a sound is deflected against itself, it will cancel itself out, kind of like your noise-reducing headphones.  These work by sending the sound waves on a collision course with each other, but also using less packing inside the muffler which allows for a bigger frequency and therefore a deeper exhaust note.

  • Method:¬†Deflection
  • Application:¬†Everyday Performance
  • Pros:¬†Great performance with a deeper note
  • Cons:¬†Can be prone to drone (depending on the vehicle and exhaust setup)

Tripleflow Muffler

Also called "Triflow" or "Turbo flow", this design is great at reducing the noise of the sound waves from the exhaust system, but they can be a little restrictive when it comes to exhaust gas flow.

Redback Triflow Muffler Diagram

If you're looking for a muffler to dramatically reduce noise, then it's the Tripleflow or turbo flow design that is best suited here. This design increases the distance the sound waves need to travel before they exit the muffler.  The longer a sound wave travels, the weaker it gets.

  • Method: Deflection and Absorption
  • Application:¬†Daily Drivers
  • Pros:¬†Keeps everything nice and quiet with good performance gains compared to a¬†Standard Muffler.
  • Cons:¬†Slightly more restrictive than a Chambered Muffler, slightly heavier.

Resonator Mufflers

A straight-through design that uses the absorption method, but can add additional sound control when placed in the right spot.

Redback Resonator Diagram

Often added to a performance system that is a little too loud, the resonator or "Hotdog" treats the sound waves that aren't captured by the main muffler.  As the name suggests, it removes resonance or drone out of a loud exhaust system.  A simple way to put it is that your muffler is like your volume control and the resonator is like the tone control.  You need both for an efficient system.

  • Method: Absorption
  • Application:¬†All Exhaust Applications
  • Pros:¬†Won't reduce much sound when used as a stand-alone muffler, Reduces Drone when paired with a muffler.
  • Cons:¬†Won't reduce much sound when used as a stand-alone muffler

Standard Replacement Mufflers

A muffler design that uses Absorption, Restriction and Deflection to create a very quiet exhaust. These mufflers can use a combination of baffles, perforation and packing to have the most impact.

Redback Standard Baffled Muffler Diagram

If¬†silence is a virtue when it comes to your car ‚Äď this is the option for you.

  • Method: Absorption, Restriction & Deflection
  • Application:¬†Daily Drivers
  • Pros:¬†Dramatically Reduces Volume
  • Cons:¬†Restrictive, Heavy, Expensive

Choosing Your Muffler:

Now that you know how each type of muffler works you can get an idea of which design best suits your needs. Ask yourself what is most important to you, performance, weight, volume or tone? Your answer should point you in the right direction.

If you are still unsure we recommend reaching out to your nearest Redback Dealer to give you a hand, or alternatively you can message us via our chat function.

Redback Resonator being fitted to 4wd

Ready to improve your system, explore our 4x4 Mufflers, or Universal Mufflers today.