This paper describes a method to quantify the subjective sound quality of vehicle windshield wiper systems (at both low and high speed) and to relate these subjective impressions to objective characteristics. The process starts with blind paired comparison evaluations of wiper preference for eight wiper systems followed by annoyance ratings of the individual wiper components (blade scrape, motor whine, and reversal thud). For each of the individual component ratings, objective measures were found which correlated with the subjective annoyance ratings. For the overall wiper sound quality, merit values, derived from the paired comparison results were well explained by a three variable regression equation containing the objective measures for blade scrape, motor whine and reversal thud. The results showed that motor whine dominated the sound quality impression at high speed while reversal thud was the major factor at low speed. These results will help designers and engineers produce wiper systems with good sound quality characteristics.