After owning several inferior blenders, this one is simply the best blender I have ever owned. First, it is very powerful. It has a separate smoothie button that is fantastic: it varies the speed during the blending process and helps you create perfect smoothies, with no effort . The blender shuts off automatically after using the smoothie or other preset functions, and has a digital display that counts down and tells you how long it will take to finish blending. Perhaps most importantly, the curved blades and concave container are designed in such a way as to reduce or eliminate the amount of food that gets stuck in the bottom of the blender. In fact, after using it a few times, I was pleasantly surprised to find NO unblended pieces of food at the bottom of the blender. Everything was blended. Regarding noise, this is by far the quietest blender I have ever encountered. With such a powerful motor, I'm not sure how they did it. My earlier blenders frightened my granddaughter. Consumer's Reports recommended this Breville. The blender will leak if you do not screw the blades on tightly..