I've owned this refrigerator for about a month and purchased it to replace an older GE that was too noisy. My only needs with a refrigerator was that it cooled properly and that it was quiet (and not necessarily in that order). I am extremely sensitive to noise invading the tranquility of my home, so I'm going to start with noise because that's the part I researched the most as I was searching for a new refrigerator...
This refrigerator is easily the quietest I've tried out. My old GE was always a bit loud, but it was just the sound of the fan. I had to turn up the TV in the living and even the bedroom sometimes when it turned on. I couldn't even hear the pool pump outside the kitchen window when this thing ran. I have an open floor plan with tile everywhere, so acoustics are a problem. The old refrigerator didn't bother me much until it started to make some vibrating noises and tones which couldn't be fixed or muted. Drove me crazy, so it was time to make a change which wasn't as easy as I thought. I started off trying two LG French door models. Both sounded like crickets in the house with the compressor. And they tended to make some high pitch whines sometimes. So I tried a Maytag top freezer. Same cricket sound and low hum. Lastly, some appliance experts told me that Kitchenaid made very good and quiet refrigerators. So I tried a French door model of that brand and had the same problem with the compressor sounding like crickets. This one also made very loud whistling sometimes, so loud that it awakened me from another room and I had to unplug it. When I say these compressors all sounded like crickets in the house, I mean I could hear it in most rooms. My wife, who didn't mind the old GE, was even bothered by the noise from these new compressors. I visited a friend who purchased the same LG model I sent back and it annoyed me the entire time I sat in his living room, but he couldn't hear it. I'm not sure of another way to describe the sound.
This Samsung refrigerator does make a similar sound from the compressor, but it isn't nearly as loud as others I've tried. I put acoustic padding on the wall behind it and on one side in the alcove where it sits and I cannot hear that crickets sound unless the house is perfectly quiet and I listen for it specifically. Even then, it's difficult.
No, it's not silent. No refrigerator is. There is a medium pitch tone just from the motor running. I can only hear it when it is very quiet in the house, and yeah, it bugs me a little bit, but it's really not loud and isn't a big deal. I cannot hear this refrigerator at all when the pool pump is running outside, or if just the central air is running, or even just a ceiling fan is running in the living room. And that includes not being able to hear the soft tone. Not being able to hear a refrigerator over fairly quiet ceiling fan is quiet enough for me. It also sometimes makes some gurgling and popping noises which I understand is just the refrigerant. It's not noticeable unless I'm standing next to it listening for it (which I had been doing for the first few days I owned it). Yeah, the ice maker makes noise when it fills and dumps and that can easily be heard over other stuff in the house. Don't care. It's not that often and only for a few seconds. And it can be turned off.
I know side by sides aren't an efficient use of space, but I still prefer them over top freezers and french doors. I don't like having to bend down to get to the refrigerator with top freezers. And I don't like french doors where I sometimes have to open the OTHER door to get to what I want. And pull out freezers where stuff is just dumped in are not great in my opinion. This one uses space better than most side by sides I've seen. With only two in our household, it's plenty of space and we haven't come close to using it all. Still more space than our old top freezer.
There are plenty of adjustable shelves in the refrigerator and freezer and in the doors. Two of the door bins can hold gallon jugs. Much more room than I'll ever need for gallons or 2 liter bottles. One of the shelves in the refrigerator can turn into a half shelf by pushing the front part back underneath to allow space for taller items on the lower shelf. I like that it doesn't use wire racks in the freezer, but rather tempered glass. Of course, it looks foggy when the door is opened sometimes, but no big deal. I didn't like the wine racks and pulled those out though. I didn't have a use for them and they just took up space for me. The refrigerator has 3 large drawers and the freezer has 2. None of them slide out all the way which is my only complaint with the design. But this really isn't an issue for me and they can be pulled out beyond the track to be removed. Larger items can fit in these bins if they are pulled beyond the limit of the track.
- The stainless steel looks nice in our kitchen and is easy to clean with Wymans wipes. The door handles are sleek looking.
- The lighting inside is fantastic. There are lights at the top in the front and all the way down the back (in both refrigerator and freezer) so that every shelf and bin is well lit. It's not theater lighting that I'm seeing in some new refrigerators, but who wants their cottage cheese lit up and displayed like an expensive art piece? The lighting in this model does the job.
- The front display in the door over the ice/water dispenser is a pleasing blue and the chimes when the buttons are pressed are nice. The door chime is also non-intrusive when the door is left open too long.
- The sides are a dark grey which I prefer over black.
- The doors are very easy to open and close.
- The ice maker on this fills up faster than my old GE. I don't know if it would be considered better than average or not, but it works fine.
- The ice dispenser will dispense cubed or crushed ice. The crushed isn't completely crushed, but rather more like chipped ice. I didn't think I'd ever use the crushed option, but I'm finding I like it better. The cubes are crescent shapes and a little smaller than the crescent ice in my old refrigerator.
- Sometimes when choosing cubed ice after using crushed, it will still sound like it's trying to crush more ice and will send out more crushed ice for a little while.
- The water dispenser works fantastic. On the first day, it was dripping quite a bit after dispensing, but it hasn't done it since. Water comes out a fast and doesn't spray. There might be one drip afterwards. And the water tastes great with the filter.
- The button that the cup presses against works well and can be pushed with a plastic/paper cup without crushing the cup.
- When I first plugged in this refrigerator, it cooled in about 2 hours. The power freeze option definitely worked. I could see the actual temps drop faster. I haven't used it since first plugging it in. Even stocking the refrigerator and freezer doesn't cause a temperature rise for me.
- The compressor sounds like it runs at different speeds. So sometimes it will make that very soft tone I mentioned and sometimes it won't. I've heard a lot of different noises from this refrigerator, but none of them loud or very bothersome.
- I can't say if the energy savings option using the button on the front really makes any difference. So I leave it on.
- The drip pan under the water dispenser is the same color as the stainless steel and doesn't hold a lot of water if you miss the cup.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this refrigerator. I'm giving it 4 stars only because I wish I couldn't hear that soft tone at all, but this one still wins easily over any other in the noise area. And the issue with the drawers not opening far enough is my only other complaint. Otherwise, I am pleased with everything else with this model.