Right, here goes! Hope this helps
I have had experience with all 3 species you're interested in. Personally, out of the 3 you have chosen I would recommend the grey (but this does come with some BUTS that I will get on to in a moment)
Cockatoos. I love um. I've had experience with a few different species and my favourite has always hands down been the bare eyed cockatoo AKA little corella. I owned a lesser sulphur crested cockatoo and I can honestly say it is like having a toddler with a can opener on its face and a voice that could be so loud your ears felt like they were bleeding
I have stood next to screaming umbrella cockatoos and have had to walk away, they're that loud (and I LIKE loud bird noises!). At another time I was stood next to an aviary full of blue eyed, umbrella and salmon crested cockatoos and guess what they did? Flock call. Yup. My eyes nearly watered my ears hurt so bad hahaha! You tend to see them as cuddly, gorgeous and gentle babies but there is a HUGE dark side to owning an umbrella. Don't get me wrong, people can most definitely keep them, but they are definitely not a beginners bird. If you absolutely must have a cockatoo then a galah is probably the easiest to manage (and still very hard!) as they're rather like a large, chubby cockatiel. I do not recommend cockatoos. Especially if you don't want loud. Now you mentioned you were interested in cockatiels? If you want a bird that is highly unlikely to make much noise then a female cockatiel can make an absolutely awesome companion parrot. They're so often over looked because they're not as flashy as other parrots but honestly, they can be just as sweet and cuddly as anything else! They are far easier to manage than a 'too, a bite isn't going to hurt all that much and they're much easier to get on with! They're by far more predictable too. I have found that cockatoos can go from snuggling with you and being your best bud to taking a chunk out of your arm because they've had enough! Now I'm not saying all cockatoos are bad, not at all, but they are best left to people who won't be intimidated by them which is pretty hard not to be haha! So don't feel bad if you don't feel like you could handle one, most people aren't able to either
But yeah, a female cockatiel is typically a quiet bird but you've got to remember that all birds are unique and you've always got to expect some noise!
Indian ringnecks. I owned a wonderful IRN called Echo. She wasn't hand raised and I had her from a store where she had been quite neglected. What I have learnt about them is that even when hand raised, once they hit maturity they can be quite skittish and unpredictable. Although they aren't loud, they do have quite the high pitched call too. Youngsters go through a bluffing phase which can be quite scary if you don't know how to handle it but even once this is over they can still have a bit of attitude. It's very sad that a few cute ringnecks on YouTube, like Marnie or Bowie, have made them quite a popular companion parrot. Most of them are very hands off and don't care much for being on you or around you what so ever. They can also be extremely aggressive towards other birds. Echo began to enjoy my presence in the room and would occasionally waddle over to me, but that was as far as we would get. It never bothered me, I think it's just a species trait! A really, really awesome alternative, again another species I have kept, has got to be the Alexandrine parakeet. These guys get pretty big! They LOOK like ringnecks, just bigger! They have rather intimidating beaks but honestly, they are the SWEETEST companion parrots ever and I have no idea why people over look them for the IRN (no offence to the ringnecks, I love them very much!) because I find them to be the exact opposite! They're inquisitive, naturally friendly, very gentle for such a large bird, love to give you cheek kisses (and waggle their tongue at you haha) and even though they're quite large they don't have very loud vocalizations. If you're looking for a large companion parrot that doesn't come with too many issues then they're definitely a great choice!
I haven't owned any African greys, but I've worked with a few. I find them inquisitive, skittish, somewhat unpredictable and quite grumpy as adults in all honesty. They seem to go one way or another. They can either be super tame or very standoffish, which is a shame. The ones that I have worked with have been very, very willing to interact with you but when it comes to being physically on you and things they've panicked and backed off, usually poofing out feathers and growling at the same time! I find them to be very shy. I don't know, maybe it's just me? Maybe it's because I've never lived with one! But as I said, I've known a few that have got to know me (especially the one at the college I used to attend, Arnold) and that's how I have found them. There have been quite a few people on the forum with very cuddly and interactive CAGs, so it's not all of them! It's just again based on the individual bird. Unless you go meet one and get a feel for them before you buy them then you can't really predict what they're going to be like. I really like the Timneh African grey, which most people don't consider when buying a grey! They're a bit smaller, darker and easier to manage. I have found them to be very quiet compared to their CAG cousins! Like I said though, I've not lived with one, so maybe somebody else can help you there
You mentioned that you liked conures but didn't want one because of the noise? Sun conures, Jenday conures, blue crowned conures and so on so forth all belong to the Aratinga conure family and they can most certainly crank it up with their vocalizations. The green cheek conure, black capped conure, painted conure, pearly conure, maroon bellied conure yadda yadda all belong to the pyrrhura conure family and are considerably more quiet. Conures are typically a little bit nippy at times but they're usually very cuddly and sweet birds. I've had a few of them and I think they're great. Have a look in to the green cheek conure. A lot of us on here have had them or have them so you have plenty of people to ask questions to!
You also mentioned that your fella likes macaws? What about the Hahn's macaw? They're loud, I will say, but they're the smallest species of macaw and are the size of a medium sized conure
I can't think of anything else, I'm half asleep writing this so it's probably all a load of rubbish but hey, I tried