ASA vs Cherry Profile Keycaps | Which is better for you?

  • Keycaps 101
  • Posted by: amy-golden
  • Jun 4, 2024

Choosing between ASA vs Cherry profile keycaps can be challenging. ASA features a different height and curvature compared to Cherry, each offering a unique typing experience. This article will analyze the differences in shape, feel, and ergonomics to help you make the right choice. 

Overview of ASA Profile

The ASA profile is a type of keycap profile designed by Akko, inspired by the popular SA profile. Similar to SA, ASA keycaps feature spherical keycaps with a prominent height, offering a comfortable typing experience. However, ASA keycaps are slightly shorter than SA, making them easier to adjust to for users coming from standard keycap profiles.

Asa profile and its specification | source: akkogear
Asa profile and its specification | source: akkogear

Some key characteristics of ASA profile:

  • Spherical keycaps: Like SA profile, all rows in ASA profile feature spherical keycaps. This spherical shape helps cradle the user's fingertips, improving typing accuracy and comfort.
  • Sculpted keys: The F and J keys on ASA keycaps are typically sculpted for easier hand positioning during initial key placement. This sculpting helps users find the home row without looking, improving typing efficiency.
  • PBT and ABS material: ASA keycaps come in PBT or ABS. PBT is tougher, lasts longer, and sounds "clacky." It costs more. ABS is softer, gets shiny faster, and has a deeper "thock" sound, but it's cheaper. Choose PBT for durability and a clear sound, or ABS for a smoother feel and lower price.
  • Medium height: ASA profile keycaps are 2mm taller than OEM and 2mm shorter than SA.

Overall, the ASA profile is a great choice for users who prefer a comfortable typing experience, especially those already familiar with the SA profile.

Pros Cons
  • Comfortable typing experience
  • Distinctive aesthetics
  • Enhanced tactile feedback
  • Good quality
  • Adjustment period
  • Potential wrist strain
  • Limited availability

Overview of Cherry profile

Developed in the 1980s, Cherry profile keycaps are a mid-height design with a sculpted layout. This means the keys in each row have a slightly different height and angle to better conform to the natural curvature of your fingers. The tops of the keycaps are also slightly curved, or spherical, for a more comfortable typing experience.

Cherry profile looks attractive on keyboard | source: akkogear
Cherry profile looks attractive on keyboard | source: akkogear

Some key features of Cherry profile keycaps you should know:

  • Medium height: Compared to other profiles like SA or OEM, Cherry profile offers a happy medium, providing a comfortable typing experience without feeling too high or low.
  • Sculpted rows: The sculpted design with varying heights in each row encourages proper finger placement and reduces finger fatigue during extended typing sessions.
  • Spherical tops: The slightly curved tops of the keycaps provide a natural landing zone for your fingertips, promoting typing accuracy.
  • Wide compatibility: Cherry profile is one of the most common profiles found on pre-built mechanical keyboards and aftermarket keycap sets, making it a versatile choice.

Overall, Cherry profile offers a good balance between comfort, typing speed, and aesthetics. It’s a versatile choice for many typists. 

Pros Cons
  • Comfort typing experience
  • Fits most keyboards
  • Eye-catching options
  • Less sculpted
  • Wrist rest
  • They might feel a bit short for people used to taller keycaps

ASA vs Cherry Profile: Comprehensive Comparisons

Below is a detailed comparison table of some features between ASA vs Cherry profile. Let's see how different they are: 

Feature ASA Profile Cherry Profile
Height Taller with rounded tops (13.5mm) Short with cylindrical tops (9.4mm)
Materials Typically made of ABS or PBT plastic  PBT or ABS plastic, with PBT lasting longer for those who prioritize durability.
Availability Less common, limited options Finding them can be tricky, as they're sold in limited batches or online marketplaces.
Appearance Sculpted, spherical, large legends Subtle sculpt, slightly curved, standard legends
Comfort Generally comfortable with enhanced tactile feedback Comfortable with a familiar typing experience
Price $20 ~ $60+  $40 ~ $150+ 
Sound profile Slightly deeper, potential for thock Quieter, possibly higher-pitched
Compatibility Compatible with most MX-style mechanical switches Compatible with most mechanical keyboards
Game performance Good Good

Additionally, consulting with users on forums like the ASA vs Cherry profile reddit forum can provide a practical and detailed comparison of the two profiles. Let’s see how others feel.


Asa looks “taller” than cherry | source: akkogear
Asa looks “taller” than cherry | source: akkogear

According to discussions on Reddit, ASA can promote better finger placement and potentially reduce wrist strain during long typing sessions. However, Cherry's lower profile, as some users point out, facilitates faster keystrokes, potentially favoring speed over comfort for some typists.

It seems that ASA profile offers a mid-range to slightly higher keycap height compared to Cherry profile. ASA keycaps with row 1 (F1-F12): 17.5mm; row 2 (number row): 14.5mm; row 3 (QWERTY row): 11.5mm and row 4 (bottom row): 11mm, providing a uniform and slightly sculpted typing experience.

In contrast, Cherry profile keycaps boast a sculpted design with angled tops and a comfortable 9.4mm height, promoting a balance between typing ease and precision. This creates a more sculpted feel for Cherry compared to ASA's more uniform approach.


Abs and pbt plastic are common materials of asa and cherry | source: daskeyboard
Abs and pbt plastic are common materials of asa and cherry | source: daskeyboard

Both profiles are commonly available in ABS plastic (known for affordability but susceptible to shine) and PBT plastic (highly durable and textured). However, the lower production volume of ASA keycaps makes PBT less readily available for this profile.

Moreover, there are also some ASA keycap sets made from Polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is a strong, transparent plastic with good resistance to impact. Polycarbonate ASA keycap sets are often used to allow RGB lighting to shine through such as Akko clear keycap set ASA profile transparent 155-key.

Related Article: ABS and PBT keycaps: Which is better? 


ASA, while gaining popularity, offers a more limited selection, particularly for PBT keycaps. You can find this profile keycaps on Amazon, or some specific brands:  AKKO, Drop

Besides, Cherry, with its more established profile, enjoys a wider selection of colors and materials from various manufacturers. You can also find Cherry profile on Amazon, Mechanical Keyboards, Glorious, Ducky.


Appearance of asa vs cherry profile | source: geekhack
Appearance of asa vs cherry profile | source: geekhack


Curved ASA profile keycaps add a touch of modern minimalism to your keyboard. Their transparency lets vibrant RGB lighting radiate through, while the UV-printed legends ensure long-lasting durability.

Known for their timeless look, Cherry profile keycaps boast a unique sculpted design with a comfortable slant that promotes effortless typing. They maintain a compact profile compared to some, making them a popular choice. 


The ergonomic design of ASA promotes a more relaxed typing posture, potentially reducing wrist fatigue. Cherry profile keycaps, on the other hand, feature a shorter height (around 9.4mm) and angled top. The Cherry profile also offers a balanced combination of comfort and precision, making it a popular choice among typists and gamers alike.


ASA profile keycaps are known for being wallet-friendly. They're often the more affordable option, with basic sets starting around $20 and designer sets reaching around $60. This makes them a fantastic choice for budget-conscious enthusiasts or those new to the mechanical keyboard hobby.

Cherry profile keycaps are the industry standard, and their price reflects their widespread popularity. Basic Cherry profile sets typically start around $40, with premium sets reaching upwards of $150 or more. While generally more expensive than ASA, Cherry profile offers a vast selection of designs and materials to suit various preferences.

You can watch the video below about comparing the sound and feel of the Cherry vs ASA keycaps, as well as the packaging and overall quality, to make sure about their price difference:

Sound Profile 

ASA, known for their deeper, “thoccier" sound, benefit from a combination of factors. Their slightly sculpted profile creates a large air cavity for a bassier sound, while the thicker PBT plastic, with its slightly textured surface, adds a subtle “thump".

Otherwise, Cherry profile keycaps tend to produce a more noticeable “clack" sound. Their uniform, rounded shape leaves less space for air, resulting in a sharper click. Additionally, the wider variety of materials offered with these keycaps, including ABS plastic, can contribute to a higher-pitched, clickier sound.

On the reddit forum, some users also find that ASA profile keycaps produce a slightly deeper sound than Cherry profile keycaps. You can check out this video to listen to clear sound battling between ASA vs Cherry profile.


Mx-style stem compatibility | source: gloriousgaming
Mx-style stem compatibility | source: gloriousgaming

Cherry vs ASA profile are compatible with most MX-style mechanical keyboards and many other switch types. However, Cherry enjoys near-universal compatibility due to its widespread adoption.

Gaming Performance

Depending on gaming style to choose between asa vs cherry profile keycaps | source: avg
Depending on gaming style to choose between asa vs cherry profile keycaps | source: avg

ASA, known as the taller profile, may require slightly more finger travel, potentially affecting reaction times in fast-paced gaming scenarios. Cherry's lower profile allows for faster keystrokes and potentially quicker response times for competitive gaming.

From the ASA vs Cherry profile reddit forum, you can see the real experience of users. Someone found ASA keycaps to be comfortable for gaming. Others agreed that there was an adjustment period, but ASA keycaps were viable for gaming too.

Typing Experience

Cherry vs asa profile keycaps are both good for typing | source: daskeyboard
Cherry vs asa profile keycaps are both good for typing | source: daskeyboard

ASA's ergonomic design excels in extended typing sessions by promoting a relaxed posture that reduces wrist strain and fatigue. 

On the other hand, Cherry's lower profile allows for faster keystrokes with less finger movement, making it ideal for speed typing and potentially reducing hand fatigue as well. However, some users might find the Cherry profile less comfortable for long stretches of typing.

Generally, there's no single "better" keycap between Cherry vs ASA profile. The best choice depends on your individual needs and preferences.

  • Choose ASA if: You prioritize comfort for long typing sessions, prefer a quieter typing sound, and like a modern look.
  • Choose Cherry if: You prioritize typing speed, enjoy the traditional "clack" sound, need a wider selection of colors and materials, or prioritize broad compatibility.

Related Articles: 

In the comparison between ASA and Cherry profile keycaps, understanding your typing habits, comfort preferences, and desired aesthetics is crucial. Evaluate factors like typing experience, compatibility, and pricing to determine the ideal option for your mechanical keyboard setup. Remember, the best choice ultimately aligns with your unique needs and enhances your overall typing satisfaction.


Which profile offers better typing comfort?

Typing comfort varies depending on personal preference; some may find ASA’s taller profile more comfortable, while others prefer Cherry’s shorter profile.

Which profile produces a quieter typing sound, ASA or Cherry?

ASA profile keycaps tend to produce a quieter typing sound compared to Cherry profile keycaps due to their taller height and rounded tops.

Can I mix ASA and Cherry profile keycaps on my keyboard?

While it’s technically possible to mix ASA and Cherry profile keycaps on a keyboard, the difference in height and shape may result in an uneven typing experience and aesthetic



I work as a freelance blogger in Seattle, Washington. I've been freelancing full-time for 5 years. I'm interested in anime, resin art, and mechanical keyboards.


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