I have had experience with 3 basic filter types.
When I was 12 I had a tank that had an undergravel filter. The only plants I had were some anacharis I found at our local lake. At that time I had no knowledge of any other filter types, and wasn't too concerned with it making a meager $10 every week from allowance. But looking back fondly on those days I can recall some things I didn't really like about it. Mainly the fact that I went through several air pumps. The flappers in the air pumps always seemed to go out and then they would get noisy. In general though they were always noisy with the air bubbles and the air pump.
Fast forward 15 or so years and my first experience with hang on back filters occurs. These are a vast improvement on undergravel filters. There is less noise, and to date, no parts that have needed replacement on any that I have owned. Depending on the model though, there is some impeller noise, and if the water level even gets a little below the output of the filter, you get the water trickle sound. Also, because of their design, they move a lot of surface water which can dispell CO2.
A few years later, I have my first experience with a cannister filter. In my mind, these are the ultimate in affordable filtration. There is absolutely no noise. Totally silent. With independant intake and powerhead, you can position them however you like and minimize surface agitation. Additionally, many filter cannisters have very configurable media trays. You can run a variety of filter medias or "water conditioners" to suite your needs. Water conditioners being peat moss, crushed coral, phosphate absorbers, etc.
There are of course many other filter options but those are the most commonly used.
All views express above are soley the opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the forum.