I use only Emperors, Aquaclears, and 1 Penguin on all my tanks, and I especially like the Emperors and Aquaclears. My Emperors and Penguin are much louder than my Aquaclears, which doesn't make any difference to me but it sounds like it does to you.
I use an Aquaclear 300 on my planted 29 gallon and it works great, I would recommend it. There are no cartridges to change like there are in the Penguins. I just rinse my sponge out in old tankwater about once a month during PWCs, you don't really have to change the sponge. It also comes with "Biomax", these little ceramic rings to help your bio filtration. HTH