We all want our vehicle to sound great. Even more so if they happen to be performance vehicles or trucks. Pretty much the point where a potential exhaust system swap would start to cross your mind. But where do we start? What do we choose from?
Fret not, reader. We have you covered. And we have enlisted some of the top options for the best sounding exhaust for F150. We even included a handy guide when it comes to choosing an exhaust. Come and have a read.
Benefits of Sounding Exhaust Systems on a Ford F150
Of course, there are many benefits to switching out your factory exhaust system to an OEM or a custom one, with the obvious improvements to acoustics being one of them. So what are the other benefits of swapping out the exhaust system in your Ford F150? Let us guide you through.
- Increase in Performance
This is not just limited to the overall brake horsepower of your truck. You could also see an improvement in the torque delivery and throttle responsiveness. Some exhaust systems also help increase fuel economy by increasing the MPG. Does, it does often pay off to consider an exhaust system swap.
- Better Acoustics
Of course, we are in it for improvements in sounds. What are we looking at exactly? We could see an improvement in the undertones, get a truck that rumbles at idle—the reduction in cabin noise, or even elimination of that annoying droning noise altogether. Perhaps we want more of an open pipe flavor.
The possibilities can be seemingly endless.
- Improvements in Appearance
We will go out and say it. Stock tips look dreary at times. So an exhaust swap can be cosmetic as well. You could opt for chromed out tips, murdered out, or even have them custom painted to your truck.
7 Best Sounding Exhaust for F150
Guess we have managed to rope you into taking a look at our recommendations for the finest sounding exhaust for F150. Fret not, we have considered some of the very best in the market and strictly filtered them down to our top 7. Have a peek.
1. Roush 421711 F-150 Cat-Back Exhaust for 6.2L / 5.0L / 3.5L
Next up, we have a very aggressive sounding exhaust system. You have guessed it right, it is a Roush, the 421711 to be very specific. It is sure to turn heads as you prowl down the avenue, even at the lowest of RPMs, it is just that good. Let us take a deeper dive.
So the first thing that you notice as you unbox the system, the quality. The unboxing itself is a very generic affair. You start noticing the quality as you take out the twin-side exit exhaust tips. Roush’s quality is very hard to replicate. And the fitment after the installation? Absolutely sublime.
After installation, when you start up your truck, the first thing that you are likely to notice is the sound, obviously. Deep, guttural, and aggressive are the words we would use to describe the sound. Though, it is quite hard to explain all that through writing.
There is a certain change in the background noise. The Roush 421711 completely removes that annoying resonator sound that you would otherwise get from the factory stock exhaust unit.
- Suited for most climates
- Composed of 409 steel
- Roush logo on the tips for that added flex points
- May require trimming for compatibility with some models
2. Flowmaster 817707 Outlaw Extreme Kit
If a loud exhaust is all you need, the 817707 Outlaw Extreme from Flowmaster is all you will need. Stainless steel construction with a sleek, black colorway, the recommendations do not get much higher than the 817707 Outlaw if you plan on waking up your neighbors every morning.
First and foremost, we were not able to accurately verify if this exhaust unit gave any boosts in the performance or the fuel efficiency department. But what we can say is that it is loud.
We especially recommend pairing this to a 5.4-liter V8, as it accentuates the undertones and the mid-tones as you press down on the gas pedal. The noise gets down to bearable levels when using cruise control in the highways.
All of the above comes at a price, though. The drawback is not monetary. There is an increase in cabin noise levels. And that is pretty much it about the drawbacks. The installation process is on the simple side, and the instructions given are quite good too. You should be able to have it installed and running in about an hour.
- Very loud
- Accentuated undertones and mid-tones
- Stable noise when using cruise control
- Easy installation
- Gets loud in the passenger compartment
3. MBRP S5260BLK 3″ Cat Back, Single Side Dual Outlet in Front of Rear Wheel (Black Coated)
This review guide would not be complete without the inclusion of a competitively priced unit. And this time around, we will be taking a peek at the S5260BLK from MBRP, a bolt-on, great-sounding exhaust system that does not skimp out on any of the relevant features.
Let us start off by discussing the tips. They are constructed of T304 grade stainless steel, murdered out in a matte black coating that serves both for looks and added durability. The coating also adds a later of rust resistance.
And the installation process, as we have mentioned before, is a bolt-on one. It is very easy to swap your factory stock system with this one. The swap should not take more than 45 mins to an hour if you have all the right tools at hand.
Moreover, the tubing is 3 inches in diameter and is their trademarked Mandrel-bent. They include the OD tips on the package. In the style department, the S5260BLK scores a very commendable 8 points. And now to the sound, it is pretty good for something so competitively priced.
It beats most other competitors in higher price brackets.
- Bolt-on installation
- T304 grade steel tips
- Matte black coating for looks and rust resistance
- Sounds pretty good, emphasis on the deep lows
- Increased cabin sounds at low speeds
4. MBRP S5259AL 4″ Cat Back, Single Exhaust System (Aluminized Steel)
If you are in the market for straight pipe sounds but do not want to go through the trouble associated with the process of getting one, we highly recommend that you keep the S5259AL cat back from MBRP up for consideration.
The installation method for this unit is very, very simple. As with most of the units on this list, if you have the right tools, the installation process would be a breeze. It should not take you more than an hour.
Getting to the sound of the exhaust, the increase over the stock, the factory system is not what we would call substantial. It is accentuated, moderate even. Sounds like what you would get if you straight piped your truck, only at a more manageable level. Good all round as a started exhaust swap as well.
Moreover, the annoying droning noise is reduced drastically, although note quite entirely—the cabin noise level increases, but not to the point where it would be uncomfortable or annoying. Conversations can be carried out without shouting your head off.
- Simple, hassle-free installation
- Sounds like you did some straight piping
- Cabin noise levels are not annoying
- The droning noise is reduced
- Can be a little loud at highway speeds
5. Flowmaster 817522 Cat-Back Exhaust System for Ford F-150 4.6L/5.0L/5.4L V8 Engine
Looking for a very stock-looking exhaust but will give that extra loud sound? Increased throttle response with a slight increase in fuel efficiency? Then be sure to take a good peek at the 817522 Cat-Back Exhaust System from Flowmaster.
The sound is not the loudest, so the unit is perfect for those looking for something not quite as obnoxiously loud, but not quite a sedate affair either. Looks more like a replacement OEM unit rather than a performance, effectively looking to fill the sleeper mods market.
Do not get us wrong. The exhaust is by no means quite. People a good few blocks away will inadvertently hear you start up your truck. So, still quite loud. Another great feature of this unit is that you can install it with the factory catalytic converter system.
Flowmaster has basically established its pedigree in performance departments, and this 817522 Cat-Back Exhaust certainly does not skimp on that. The installation process is quite easy too. All the appropriate hangings and hardware are included in the package.
- Includes all the appropriate hangings and mountings for easy installation
- Better throttle response
- Slight increment in mileage
- Can be installed on the factory catalytic converter
- V6 engine may require some adjustment
6. Roush 421248 11-14 F-150 Exhaust Rear Exit
Next up, we have an exhaust system for all those looking to get that raspy tonality out of their trucks. Something with high versatility but will give an aggressive growl when push comes to shove. That is right, we will talk about another one of Roush’s products, more specifically, the 421248 11-14 F-150 Exhaust Rear Exit.
The build, as with the other Roush exhaust system we reviewed, this one too is formed out of 409-grade steel. No question at all about the build quality. The rear exit is single, and Y tipped, making it highly versatile.
And the design itself is a very free-flow one, so you can be sure you are using your engine to the fullest. There is a noteworthy increase in throttle response, power, and of course, torque. The engine lag is reduced too.
Also, the installation process is also one of its strong suits. With the right tools, it should not take you an hour to get this bad boy up and running.
- An affordable offering from Roush
- Raspy tones
- Very simple installation process
- Factory resonator noise eliminated
- Some vehicles may require readjustments
7. BORLA 140616BC Exhaust System
If you would consider stretching your budget a bit, or maybe you can spend a little extra, we would like to introduce you to an exhaust system from Borla. The 140616BC Exhaust System to be precise. This can quite easily take a top spot as some of the best sounding exhaust systems on this list. Let us take a peek.
The installation process is very straight forward, and the instructions easy enough to follow. If you have some basic hand tools lying around, it should not take you more than an hour to get this unit up and running. The fitment for the F150 is perfect. No dropping the spare or rerouting any wires.
Even the clamps are super well made. Adjusting the unit does not take up much time either. The included tips reek of quality and value, and we believe they make the rear end stand out from the stock tips. They even include some heat wraps for the brake line in the package.
Coming to the sound, we would describe it as being complete. This is basically what we expect a mean truck to sound like. The rumble idling is a treat. Granted, the noise is also dependent on your engine (a V8 will sound better than an Ecoboost, duh), but at least from the exhaust end (horrible pun, we know), everything is covered nicely.
- Easy install process
- Includes heat wraps
- Stellar acoustics
- Performance boost
- No gains in fuel economy
How to Choose a Good Sounding Exhaust for F150
So, in the off chance that you would want to look at exhausts other than the ones we have already presented in our list, we included in a handy little buyers guide to help you along.
Very obvious, we know. But this is pretty important. Just slapping on a new exhaust will not necessarily make your F150 suddenly sound better. For example, one of our editors prefers going full straight pipes on his V12 Aston. Sure, that sounds absolutely bonkers, but that is not necessarily to everyone’s tastes.
The same applies to the F150. There are a lot of options when it comes to custom exhaust. Some prefer a loud and aggressive sound. Others prefer a sedated, deeper rumble. So, know what you like and go for that only.
The next thing we must consider is the added performance benefit. We are already spending some dough on making our trucks sound better. While we are at it, we might as well as take the performance and the fuel efficiency up a notch. There is a certain tradeoff, though.
Some systems offer better sound at the expense of fuel efficiency and performance. Others take the performance up a notch with some dent to the exhaust sound department. So it all basically depends on which tradeoff is the best for your particular instances, and to what degree.
Ease of Installation
An exhaust swap can be easy, or it can be difficult. There is rarely an ‘in-between’ metric. And thus, the best sounding exhaust for Ford F150, or the one that you plan on picking up anyways, should be easy to swap with your factory exhaust unit. It should be equally as easy to uninstall.
Most of these units are easy to swap and install. But do make a note of the relevant mountings and supports, and compare them to the make, model and year of your vehicle. Make sure the manufacturer is selling the items to spec. OEM is always a bonus.
The Durability of the Exhaust System
In the case of durability, we reckon there are only two things that you should keep your eyes peeled for. One would be the quality and type of material that goes into making the exhaust system. The other would be the quality of the welding. We really recommend opting for fully welded exhaust systems as they will last you years.
And finally, we come to perhaps the most important bit of the equation, the price of the exhaust system. Better features always command a premium, as do the use of better materials. We recon, in the case of auto parts, they are usually worth it.
Remember, it is not just the price of the exhaust system that comes into action here. You ought to also consider the cost (if any) of hiring a mechanic to have the whole system installed. In case you do not know your way around the underpinnings of your truck, we highly recommend that you do not attempt a DIY spree.
This is no brainer at this point. New regulations and laws are passed all the time. Check your local laws for vehicle modifications and noise. Some states are wat more lenient than others, but it never hurts to check. We kind of do not want to get pulled over unnecessarily.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here we have the most commonly asked queries regarding the best sounding exhausts:
- How much power do exhaust swaps typically add?
There are no defined metrics, but as with most performance parts, the power is increased in stages. These power stages depend upon the manufacturer of the parts and, of course, the various metrics of the vehicle in question. In short, there is no general answer; it all depends on the manufacturer.
- Does the shape of the muffler affect the sound of the exhaust?
Yes, it does. The sound of your exhaust is dependent on two key things: the sound from your engine and the shape of your muffler. Rather, we would go so far as to say that the shape is the main determinant.
- Does opting for Borla exhausts void any manufacturer warranty?
No, it does not. Most of Borla’s lineup is legal across 50 states, and some even go about as OEM parts.
- How long does a stainless steel exhaust typically last?
A generic 409-grade steel exhaust (pipe and system both) should last at least 8 years, if not more. This is accounting for all manners of weather and climates.
- Do broken exhausts cause performance issues?
Yes, they do. Damaged exhausts can cause exhaust leaks, which can affect performance to a major degree. This can be termed as ‘loss of backpressure’ whereby the backpressure essentially is reduced to the point where you would see a decrease in acceleration, power, and even fuel efficiency.
And cut! We have reached the end of the road for our best sounding exhausts for F150 reviews. We tried to cover all that there is to them. Hope we managed to impart some of our knowledge to you. Feel free to refer back at any time. Good luck!