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According to the in-game help on Sneaking:

Sound: Attacking or casting spells makes noise, which may alert enemies to your presence. Heavier weapons make more noise. Spells produce both sound and light.

By "heavier weapons", does this mean actual encumbrance weight (so daedric daggers make more noise than iron daggers), or only the size category (so two-handed weapons make more noise than one-handed, but all daggers are equally quiet)?

4

It's the category of the item that effects your sneak and not it's actual encumbrance weight. It's stated here that daggers are silent even though they do add to your total encumbrance - this would mean it can't be based on that.

Heavy armor and large weapons make more noise; daggers are silent, meaning that enemies are not alerted to your dagger swings, even missed ones.

Source: Eldar Scrolls Wiki

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  • bows are silent too (so you can move with them drawn silently when sneaking), but arrows aren't when you fire them and they hit something close by to the enemy. This is a good source for distraction.
    – thingyB0B
    Dec 22 '11 at 14:18

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