In recent years, mechanical keyboard is a very “hot” phrase for believers who love technology. When mentioning mechanical keyboards, Cherry MX is definitely a name that has never cooled down with countless lines and models. Perhaps that is why you will feel confused when you do not know which product to choose. In this post, we will compare 2 lines of Cherry MX: Cherry MX Red and Brown to help you choose easily.

Cherry's MX switches | The Gaming Setup
Cherry’s MX switches | The Gaming Setup

Cherry MX Red vs Brown switches – Quick specs comparison table

Cherry MX RedCherry MX Brown

Type

LinearTactile

Actuation Force

45g45g
Actuation Point2 mm

2 mm

Total Travel Distance4 mm

4 mm

Rated Lifespan> 100 million actuations

> 100 million actuations

The difference you can see most clearly through the main parameter comparison table is Actuation Force and Type. This is the feature that distinguishes these two product lines of the firm. In particular, Cherry MX Red is extremely smooth. So its type is linear while Cherry MX Brown’s type is tactile. The main reason lies in the design. Because Cherry MX Brown was designed to bump in its travel.

Cherry MX Red: In-depth review

Officially launched in 2008, Cherry MX Red has quickly become a “hot” name for technology lovers. Especially for those who like to play games. The Cherry MX Red series mechanical typing gives users the best experience.

It is no coincidence that Cherry MX Red is popular with everyone. Because it not only has linear characteristics, but its actuation force is also 45g. This helps users feel a lot lighter and less tired than other models. 

Pros:

  • Cherry MX Red is a lightweight linear switch that makes almost no sound when tapped.
  • This is a key line that does not require a lot of force to press. You will not have to spend much effort typing on this keyboard.
  • The spring force of Cherry MX Red is enough for you to use the keyboard smoothly. So if it is used for gaming or needed speed, Red is a great choice.

Cons:

For those who do high-precision work such as programmers or gamers, it is not recommended because it will take time to get used to the fast speed of the keyline.

Cherry MX Red Switch (Source: M8 Computer)
Cherry MX Red Switch (Source: M8 Computer)

Cherry MX Brown: In-depth review

Officially launched earlier than Cherry MX Red, in 1994, the name Cherry MX Brown was announced by the firm to everyone. Brown is no stranger to technology lovers, and although it has been produced for a long time, Brown still retains its attraction.

Cherry MX Brown attracts users by the smooth feeling of typing and extremely good tactile feedback.

Pros:

  • With an actuation point of 2mm, Cherry MX Brown allows users to type quickly without having to press all of the 4mm keys. This is the basic difference with its “brother”, Cherry MX Red. Because of such a feedback function, the Brown series gives users a very pleasant tactile feeling.
  • No need to use too much force to type on the keyboard. Therefore, Cherry MX Brown helps users feel comfortable on their wrists and fingers.
  • The typing accuracy of Cherry MX Brown is very high.

Cons:

  • The sound emitted when typing is quite loud.
  • The speed of typing is not optimized.
Cherry MX Brown Switch (Source: Reichelt)
Cherry MX Brown Switch (Source: Reichelt)

If you are interested in other Cherry MX Switches, check out this article.

Which is the better keyboard switch for you?

As with many products, the main choice lies in the purpose of use, your profession, and your personal preferences. So, with 2 lines of Cherry MX Red and Brown, the following differences will help you make a reasonable decision.

Feel

The feeling when typing is a very important thing. Depending on each object with different purposes of using, the requirements for this feeling will also be different.

Cherry MX Red will bring a smooth, comfortable feeling when typing. Its users will work more productively and at speed. As for Cherry MX Brown, because of its good tactile feedback, you will type with greater accuracy. Users familiar with the Brown series will take a relatively long time to get used to the Red because it is so smooth, sensitive and light that it is difficult to control your hands. 

Sound 

In terms of sound, Cherry MX Red will be almost silent, different from the Brown line. But this is also a weak point when you need a keyboard with moderate sound to be more sensitive in control when using. If working in an office environment or quiet place, Cherry MX Brown is probably not a perfect choice.

  •  Cherry MX Red Sound Test:

YouTube video

  • Cherry MX Brown Sound Test:

YouTube video
Actuation Point and Force

A similarity between the Cherry MX Red and Brown switches is the actuation force (45 cN). This is, in fact, the smallest actuation force parameter in all Cherry MX switches. This means that your wrists and fingers will be more comfortable when typing than with Cherry switches with a higher actuation force.

Regarding the actuation point, the difference between the Red and Brown lines is that the Red will not give you the feeling of key feedback while the Brown’s keys have very good tactile contact. Both of these points have pros and cons. Cherry MX Brown will be suitable if you are a gamer or programmer who needs accuracy. And the Red line will be suitable for speed lovers.

Key travel

The key travel of the two lines of Cherry MX red and brown keys are the same – 2mm. This distance helps users not to get tired when typing. Each key press will not make you feel like your finger is missing.

Key travel of Cherry MX Red (Source: Redbubble)
Key travel of Cherry MX Red (Source: Redbubble)

Besides, the feeling of typing will be more comfortable because the shallowness is very low.

Key travel of Cherry MX Brown (Source: SteelSeries)
Key travel of Cherry MX Brown (Source: SteelSeries)

Longevity

Both the Cherry MX Red and Brown series have a lifespan of 100 million clicks. Compared to the common ground, 100 million clicks is a very significant number for mechanical keys. This allows you to comfortably use it to play games or study or work without worrying about breaking it. 

Which of the two switches is perfect for gaming?

The most suitable keyboard for gaming is the Cherry MX Brown. Because this line gives you high accuracy, moderate sound, clear key bounce. These integrate the senses and help the player to concentrate more. You will easily be in control of your hand. 

However, if those are games that require sensitivity, and do not require too much accuracy, then Cherry MX Red is not a bad choice.

Cherry MX Brown is the perfect choice for gamers (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Cherry MX Brown is the perfect choice for gamers (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Conclusion

Overall, the most obvious difference between the two lines of mechanical keys Cherry MX Red and Brown lies in the feel and sound when using them. Cherry MX Brown will have better haptic feedback, so it is suitable for playing games or doing tasks that require accuracy. And if you are a speed lover, Cherry MX Red was born for you.

Above is an article comparing the differences between the two lines of Cherry MX Red and Brown mechanical keys. Hopefully, this information will give you the most overview of the two famous mechanical key lines. For now, the choice is up to you.

FAQs

Are Cherry Red Switches quieter than Brown?

Cherry MX Red switches are quieter than Brown because they don’t make a sound and don’t have haptic feedback.

What switches are better for gaming: Cherry Red or Brown Switches?

Cherry Brown switches are better for gaming because it helps players integrate their senses and easily control their hands.

What switches are better for typing: Cherry Red or Brown Switches?

Cherry MX Red will be more suitable for typists because of its smoothness and quietness.

Are Cherry red switches good for gaming?

No, because when playing the game you will need to have good control of your hands. So having the keys respond to your fingers will make you more focused. You should use Cherry MX Brown.

Are Cherry MX Reds linear?

Yes, this is its pros.

Are Cherry Brown switches loud?

No, its sound is both pleasant.