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Which whistle is best?

Whether you’re refereeing, lifeguarding, training your dog or just want a whistle in general for personal reasons, a clear whistle is important. Different whistles have different noise levels. If you’re looking for a whistle that has a sound loud enough to be heard in loud environments, the Fox 40 Classic CMG is the top choice.

What to know before you buy a whistle


Whistles aren’t just for athletic events; you also can use them for emergency purposes when you need to make noises to alert people. There are whistles lifeguards use to notify people that someone is in danger in the water or to deter people from going into deep water. There are designated whistles for personal protection as well as for sports situations.


Whistles are either plastic or metal. Plastic whistles may be less durable but they’re better in wet condition as metal whistles can rust when exposed to water. Plastic whistles can be cheaper and you’ll be able to buy bigger sets for less compared to metal models.

What to look for in a quality whistle


A keychain or lanyard for a whistle is a necessity if you want quick and easy access. Some whistles don’t have any accessory compatibility, limiting your options to putting the whistle in your pocket or holding it in your hand, which isn’t ideal if you need quick access or want more convenience. Keeping the whistle on a keychain or around your neck on a lanyard keeps your whistle secure and you’ll always know where the whistle is.

Mouth grip

There are some tasks and jobs that require you to essentially keep a whistle in your mouth as opposed to having it hang off your neck or on a keychain. Referees for certain sports need to be ready to blow a whistle immediately when necessary. The problem with many traditional whistles is that they can be slippery when trying to hold it in your mouth for extended periods. Mouth grips make holding the whistle in your mouth much easier and more comfortable. Some whistles even have detachable mouth grips, allowing you to wash the grips when needed. 


With a simple push of a button, electronic whistles can replicate the sound of a whistle, keeping your mouth away from possible germs left on a traditional whistle. Electronic models can be more versatile because they may have different sound levels. Electronic whistles tend to be the most expensive type of whistle. 

How much you can expect to spend on a whistle

Whistles are fairly cheap, costing $5-$20 depending on what features you want. In the $5-$10 range are whistles made of either plastic or metal that may come with mouth grips. In the $10-$20 range are electric whistles and bigger packs of whistles. 

Whistle FAQ

What is the little ball inside of the whistle?

A. The little ball inside whistles goes by various names, one of which is “pea.” The ball doesn’t have one sole purpose. Some whistles don’t even have a ball inside it. But the ball can help push water out of the whistle in moist conditions, help give the whistle a unique noise from others and it can help amplify the whistle’s sound in windier conditions. The ball isn’t a necessity, and its effectiveness depends on the model.

Should you carry a whistle?

A. If you feel that you’d be safer with a whistle, then go ahead. Whistles can be useful for situations that require you to make noise. If you’re in danger, you can blow a whistle and it may attract people nearby. Emergency whistles are great options for those who want to carry whistles around when traveling in remote areas, walking at night and other instances. If you’re someone who’s a referee or a lifeguard, then carrying one with you isn’t a bad idea either. 

What’s the best whistle to buy?

Top whistle

Fox 40 Classic CMG With Breakaway Lanyard 3-Pack

Fox 40 Classic CMG With Breakaway Lanyard 3-Pack

What you need to know: Used by professional sport referees, these whistles are designed to deliver loud noises in environments with crowded sounds.

What you’ll love: The whistle is offered in 10 colors and comes with a lanyard. The parts of the whistle are resistant to freezing, and the whistle clears out water quickly in wet conditions.

What you should consider: It is slightly expensive compared to other models.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top whistle for the money

MeiNvShe 2-Pack Emergency Survival Whistle

MeiNvShe 2-Pack Emergency Survival Whistle

What you need to know: Perfect for traveling, this whistle has built-in tools that can help you navigate in difficult situations.

What you’ll love: The metal whistle includes a compass and a thermometer, which are great features for a whistle so cheap. There is an included lanyard.

What you should consider: The little ball inside the whistle can freeze when exposed to cold temperatures.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

ZHT Electronic Whistle

ZHT Electronic Whistle

What you need to know: Featuring a modern design, this electric whistle can last for over four hours and is easily held.

What you’ll love: There are three noise levels you can choose from, allowing you to adjust to various environments. The whistle is rechargeable and includes a flashlight. 

What you should consider: It’s highest levels can be extremely loud.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Ade Hennis writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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