Annoying noise from typing or gaming with a loud keyboard is one of the most stressful things for anyone to cope with while using a computer. In a room with silence, a standard keyboard or a mechanical keyboard can be rather noisy and disturbing for you and the people around you. The solution now is […]
7 simple tips to make any mechanical keyboard quieter
Annoying noise from typing or gaming with a loud keyboard is one of the most stressful things for anyone to cope with while using a computer.
In a room with silence, a standard keyboard or a mechanical keyboard can be rather noisy and disturbing for you and the people around you.
The solution now is to fix it or get a replacement (if possible). There are a few methods of exploring solutions and determining if they make a difference.
And here are 7 simple tips to make any mechanical keyboard quieter for you!
Why mechanical keyboards are so noisy?
The model of switch you pick for your mechanical keyboards will affect how much noise it makes while typing. Various switches shut their circuits and register different keystrokes in different ways.
Technically, the noise made by your keyboard is from you pressing the keys all the way down, leading the keycap tip to strike the switch box and therefore producing the clicking sound.
Mechanical keyboard switches are classified into three types:
- Tactile: Tactile feedback (a bump) combined with a dampened click.
- Linear: Produce minimal to no sound and have a smooth button push with little tactile feedback.
- Clicky: These switches are the traditional gaming choices since they provide an audible click & clack sound as well as significant tactile feedback.
The most popular switches, such as Cherry switches, are also notorious for producing the greatest noise when in operation.
Generally, the type of switch chosen is the most key factor in determining the quantity of sound that a mechanical keyboard generates.
The level of sound generated by your keyboard is influenced by the plate that you mount on the keyboard switch. Low build quality will cause undesired noises to be made while you use your keyboard.
Type of working surface
Another factor is the type of working surface you are using. This is an external element that will impact the volume of sound from your typing session. Tables made of wood or glass generally increase the noise and vibration.
When you press a keycap, it makes a noise when it strikes the switch to enter the keystroke. If the contact between the switch and keycap is inadequate, the noise will result. Besides, the distance between the switches and keycaps is also a source of the noise.
Low Vibration Tolerance
The keyboard's link to its surroundings is also important for noise generation.
Once you press a key, it causes a vibration that can make an odd sound. There will be also some noise produced in case anything is carelessly stuck on the keyboard or improperly placing the keyboard at the table.
These reasons are rare, but they still exist. Therefore you need to check your keyboard and make sure it's in the right place at your desk, or use a desk mat.
Tips on how to make a mechanical keyboard quiet
Have you already grasped all reasons for the noise? So, let’s move to 7 tips on how to make mechanical keyboards quieter.
Place a Desk Mat under your keyboard
When the sound does not seem to be originating from the keyboard itself, it’s time for you to find out the reason and solution to make any mechanical keyboard quieter.
Therefore, what can you do if you want to minimize the noise your keyboard produces as you type? We recommend a desk mat for this case.
When you type on your keyboard, it vibrates your table surface, amplifying the noise. A desk pad placed beneath your keyboard dampens vibrations and silences everything!
This way, you don't need to tweak anything on your keyboard to get perfect quiet when typing.
Simply purchase a desk mat online and set it on the desk where you would usually keep your keyboard. A common desk mat is made of rubber with a cloth-like surface. It's also big enough to cover your table and provide room for your mouse and keyboard.
Overall, the soft top half of the mat will not only make any mechanical keyboard quieter but also improve the appearance of your work corner.
Install rubber O-rings as dampers
The O-ring is another excellent option for reducing overall noise generation levels when typing on your keyboard.
To minimize overtones, O-rings made of rubber/silicone are typically placed around the drumhead. Then, they reduce noise generated by key presses on keyboards.
Furthermore, the O-ring lowers the sound of the noise produced by minimizing the travel distance between key presses.
Overall, installing an O-ring is an easy way to silence your keyboards. However, there may not have much difference if your keyboard includes a clicky switch, such as the Cherry Blue MX. And if this is the case, you should consider going with a quieter switch!
Lubricate your switches
Now let's move to another great way to make any mechanical keyboard quieter - lubricate your switches.
Lubrication enhances the feel of each switch by eliminating scratchiness and spring ping. This is without a doubt the most effective way to better the feel and sound of your keyboard.
However, this way may take you about 2 hours depending on the number of switches and how skillful you are.
When you press a key, the spring and stem of each switch scrape against one other, causing significant friction. This friction causes vibration and loudness.
But the lubricant can help! It will minimize friction, making things more smooth and quiet.
Add foam inside the keyboard
Putting foam inside your keyboard is also a top tip to limit vibration, which reduces total volume.
This solution may need you to pull up your sleeves a little, but it's not the issue for you, right? All you'll need are a screwdriver and some foam to complete this project.
Here are several foam options to consider:
This foam is regarded as the best since it absorbs the greatest impact and stress. Yet, it's quite pricey.
Neoprene is also an ideal material that is less expensive than Sorbothane. This is the next best material for a dampened keyboard.
If you're on a budget, a shelf-liner might come in handy.
However, it may be a bit of a pain to do. This is due to the plate and PCB being bottom-mounted with a lot of screw holes, supports, and other details to cut into the liner.
Overall, this mod makes the sound significantly deeper and less "hollow," and the feel is smoother and more refined.
Having any kind of foam inside your case as a dampener is quite beneficial to lower noise and vibrations from typing.
To insert the foam, unscrew and disassemble your keyboard so that the foam can be placed between the PCB and the bottom casing.
This might be a simple or complex task for you because some keyboards are held together by plastic clips, you'll have to work your way around the edges to release everything.
Modify your key stabilizers: Band-Aid, Clip, and Lube
In this way, the changes have become a little more complex. These mods involve more time and effort, but they are well worth it.
The stabilizers are the parts that assist balance the bigger keys like the space bar and prevent them from shaking and rattling. Modding them is a great technique to gain a smoother and quieter sounding.
Modding the stabilizers consists of three steps: place band-aids, clip, and lube the stabilizers.
Placing a little band-aid to the point where the stabilizer contacts the PCB is ideal to reduce the noise level of the stabilizers. The band-aid effectively muffles the keystroke.
Clipping the stabilizer's bottom feet off creates a more smooth and firm surface. This increases the stability of the stabilizer and lowers the rattling noise produced by each keystroke. Less rattling means less noise.
This is a sure-fire method of reducing the sound level. When a stabilizer goes up and down, friction occurs, causing vibration and amplifying the sound output of your keyboard. The use of lubricant reduces friction and enhances acoustics.
Replace your switches
If you have a keyboard with noisy and clicky switches, purchasing quieter switches is the best choice now.
Clicky switches were designed to be audible (even extremely noisy). Now, the only solution is to replace them with quieter models.
For a silent keyboard, you can consider Cherry MX Silent switches, Gateron Silent switches, and Kailh Silent switches.
Silent switches include little rubber cushioning on the stem of the switch that reduces the sound produced when a keystroke is pressed. They are truly I deal for quiet typing.
However, only one minus point is that quiet switches have a rubbery feel to them, making them seem mushy and weird (just a little bit). Indeed, there is undoubtedly a trade-off to using quiet switches.
Wanna know other quiet switches? So, here is our list of the Best Quiet Switches for your Keyboard.
Buy silent mechanical keyboard keys
Although the keycaps on your keyboard cannot be completely silent, there are several types that are less loud than others. It's due to the type of material used to make the keycaps.
For example, PBT keycaps are noisier than ABS. In addition, rubber keycaps and brass keycaps are two more types of quieter keycaps.
Here are our top picks of the Quietest Mechanical Keyboards for the Office you may be interested if you want a silent mechanical keyboard.
Before adding new keycaps, you first need to remove your old keycaps from your keyboard with a removal tool.
Or if you don't get a tool like keycaps pullers, check out this post: How to remove keycaps without tool? Simple guide for beginners.
Then, you need to set the keycap puller over a keycap as long as it snags the bottom of the keycap and gently pulls it out.
Finally, you can place your new keycaps by aligning the switch and strongly pushing the keycap down until it locks into place.
Some keycaps, on the other hand, may not generate a clicking sound once installed. In this case, test tapping them a few times to ensure they are functional and not stuck anywhere is the easiest method to check whether they are properly put in.
Keeping a keyboard silent
After putting in all the effort to make your mechanical keyboard quieter, the next step is to keep it quiet for good.
Keyboards can easily retain dirt, dust, food crumbs, bacteria, and others. It is hard to maintain a keyboard; however, doing routine cleaning can greatly assist.
One piece of food trapped under a key is all it takes to make it much louder than before.
For fast cleanups, have some basic cleaning items on hand at all times. You can read this post: How to deep clean your keycaps and mechanical keyboard safely and easily? to know how to clean your keyboard properly.
Things won't go too terrible as long as a little maintenance is done throughout the week.
Dealing with a loud keyboard is irritating for everyone. Luckily, with these 7 tips to make any mechanical keyboard quieter, you can easily solve this problem.
Quiet keyboards can benefit not just people who use them, but also others who surround them. Put in your time and effort to find out a solution, and you'll spare yourself hours of frustration later.
Is it true that electrostatic capacitive key mechanisms are much quieter?
Some keyboard companies utilize electrostatic positive key mechanisms. It produces a much more subtle sound than the audible click. Additionally, it is also more of a "thonk" or "thud" sound, which is not only quieter but also more pleasant overall.
Can mechanical keyboards be quiet?
It can't be quiet by itself until you put some hacks to remove the noise from it (use a desk mat, place O-rings, add foam, etc)
Do mechanical keyboards get quieter over time?
This is uncertain because the keyboard is easily dirty due to external factors such as dirt, dust, food crumbs, bacteria, etc. All of these will make your keyboard even louder.
We recommend you should clean your keyboard regularly to keep it quiet over time.