Recently I replaced a 30 year old Lennox belt drive furnace with a Carrier Infinity. The good news is that my gas bills are lower. The bad news is that while the Infinity on low speed is as quiet as my old Lennox, on high speed the infinity wakes me up out of a sound sleep. Fortunately it only goes to high speed when we have a very cold day with high wind.
So I suggest that the only way to achieve the same low noise as the best of 30 years ago is to get a quiet two-speed system and size the total heat loss to the low speed output of the furnace. Is this progress?