Quiet mechanical switches are standard keyboard switches that don’t make a loud noise as part of their feedback. They’re often referred to as silent keyboard switches. However, this term is misleading since quiet switches are not entirely silent, but they make comparatively less noise than their clicky counterparts.
Mechanical keyboard switches are divided into three distinct categories: Linear, Tactile, and Clicky. The former two types are the best choice for gamers and typists who want quiet mechanical switches for their everyday activities. In today’s article, we will review some of the quietest keyboard switches and the best quiet keyboard models!
Gateron Silent Red/Black
While Gateron’s quiet switches only last for about 50 million keystrokes, they still give Cherry MX quiet switches a run for their money. Moreover, they’re some of the most budget-friendly options available. The heavy 60g actuation force also reduces the sound and contributes to smoother feedback.
Cherry MX Silent Switch
The Cherry MX Silent series has two popular variants, the red and black quiet switches. Cherry is the world’s gold standard for mechanical keyboard switches. They’ve done a decent job with these quiet mechanical switches.
The Cherry MX Black is a linear switch type, as the Silent Red, and is equipped with rubber dampers and thick housing to reduce the sound of plastic components touching each other. The black switch has a 60g actuation force, unlike Cherry MX Silent Red’s 45g.
ZealPC provides products with a steeper price point compared to Cherry MX and Gateron. However, if you’re looking for the quietest keyboard switches on the market, ZealPC is perfect for you. Their Healios model is a silent switch with an actuation force of 67g.
Moreover, it is equipped with a silencing bumper which significantly reduces the bottoming out sound and even the up-stroke sound, giving you a quiet typing experience. Considering the quality and sound performance, ZealPC’s linear silent switch is one of the best options for pro-gamers.
ZealPC Zilent is another silent switch series by the mechanical key switch manufacturer. The Zilent is a tactile switch and the crown jewel of quiet mechanical keyboard switches, unlike the previous entry.
The keys have an actuation force of 62grams and an actuation distance of 4mm. Even though tactile switches make a distinct typing and feedback sound, the large actuation force combined with the switch housing design produces one of the quietest keyboard switches in the global market.
Logitech is famous in the world of gaming for its range of products, such as keyboards, mechanical key switches, and headphones. Their Romer G switches are among the best options for regular gamers who frequently play hack and slash games or genres requiring button smashing. The Romer G switches are highly responsive and create little sound.
While the sound is louder than the GX quiet switches, as advertised, it’s still not on a level that feels annoying. Watch the video above to get a better understanding. The Romer G switches are viral for durability and generally last north of 70 million strokes.
If you’re looking to customize a quiet keyboard, the Romer G switches are one of the best options. They have a depth of 3mm, making them one of the most responsive keys ever to be manufactured!
The Cherry MX Speed offers quiet switches for people not satisfied with the heavy feel of the Silent MX Red and Black switches. Unlike them, the MX Speed is exceptionally lightweight and comes in a neutral color. Like all Cherry MX switches, they also come in an RGB option if you’re looking to upgrade your keyboard’s look.
The quiet switches have a depth of 4mm, offering a shorter actuation distance than the MX Reds. However, they do have a life cycle of 50 million strokes like their heavier counterparts. Additionally, the MX Speed has a shorter actuation point rating (1.2 mm) than the standard 2mm rating on the Cherry MX Red.
Kailh BOX Silent Pink
The Kailh BOX Silent Pink is a linear silent switch and a popular customization option for keyboard enthusiasts. The Kailh BOX series offers one of the quietest keyboard switches, courtesy of their unique design. Besides the thick switch housing and use of quality materials, the components of the BOX Silent Pink keys are coated with silencing rubber dampers that drastically reduce the sound.
The actuation force is a measly 45g, while the travel distance for the key switch is 3.6mm. This results in a highly responsive yet silent switch that can muffle any loud sounds!
Matias Quiet Linear
The Matias Quiet Linear series are decent quiet mechanical keyboard switches with a unique stem design. A unique stem design in the world of keyboards is any design not identical to Cherry MX switches.
Moreover, as the name suggests, the Quiet Linear silent switch is a linear design model. The actuation force for the keys is a staggering 40g, even lower than the BOX Silent Pink. What’s more surprising is that you only actually need 35 grams of force to operate the quiet switches.
Matias Quiet Click
Unlike the Quiet Linear, this range of keys is based on tactile design. The Matias Quiet Click series offers the quietest keyboard switches in the tactile category and are popular among custom keyboard enthusiasts. They require an actuation force of 65g and have a short travel distance of 3.5mm.
Consequently, the heavy feel and short distance produce a unique tactile hybrid that is highly responsive yet can muffle out loud typing sounds. The switch housing is also very thick and uses a premium plastic material to suppress sound. It should be noted that you can only use the silent switch with the Alps mount type keycaps and not other types.
Alps SKCM Cream and White
The ALPS SKCM series is another great contender for one of the best in the quiet switches category. The series features key switches in two colors, cream, and white. The actuation force is the main selling point for this option. The SKCM Cream and White switches have a 70g actuation force and a total actuation distance of 3.5mm.
Moreover, the silent switch provides a bumpy typing feedback yet produces a quiet typing sound. The switch housing design is thick and compact, creating one of the best quiet switches on the market!
Top 5 Quietest Mechanical Keyboards
Leopold FC980M PD (Cherry MX Silent Red)
The Leopold FC980M combines functionality and performance in a premium design that keeps all the arrow keys, number pad keys, and navigational keys. Even so, the size and width of this keyboard are identical to a tenkeyless version.
Moreover, it is an excellent quiet keyboard. The Leopold FC980M uses double-shot PBT keycaps that are adequately textured and oil-resistant. There’s even a layer of felt within the case to reduce sound echoing and reverb.
HHKB Pro 2 Type-S (Silenced Topre)
The HHKB Pro 2 Type S is an excellent quiet keyboard for professionals, such as programmers who spend long hours crunching code. However, it does have an expensive price tag and no number pad or arrow keys. This makes it a bad choice for gamers.
Additionally, the keyboard uses the quietest keyboard switches on the market, the silent Topre switches. These quiet switches are extraordinarily lightweight and actuate via electrostatic capacitive switches. The Happy Hacking Keyboard Pro 2 is compatible with both MAC and Windows, and it also comes in a wireless version!
DURGOD K320 Nebula RGB (Cherry MX Silent Red)
The K320 Nebula is much like the K310 except for a number pad. However, the K320 still has arrow keys, so it’s a good choice for gamers. Durgod is famous for the robust build quality of their keyboard, and they also use top-notch stabilizers to suppress typing sounds and reverb.
Moreover, the PBT keycaps come in a sleek multi-color design, and you also have the option to get the Cherry MX Silent Switches. You can get the Durgod K320 Nebula with Cherry MX Silent Red quiet switches for the best immersive gaming experience with minimal sound.
Corsair K68 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
The Corsair K68 is perhaps the best gaming keyboard in 2022. It uses Cherry MX quiet switches and gold-plated construction. The RGB backlighting is also highly customizable, with many presets already available for a smoother experience.
Moreover, the quiet keyboard boasts dust and spill-resistant design with IP-32 certification. The various control options, ease of typing, and robustness make the K68 one of the best gaming keyboards in the market.
SteelSeries Apex 7 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
The SteelSeries Apex 7 is an excellent gaming keyboard, and it is also perfect for office use. It is equipped with one of the quietest keyboard switches, the linear MX Silent Red silent switch, which is highly responsive and durable. The keyboard is very lightweight and uses aircraft-grade aluminum for added durability. The RGB illumination and lightning-fast actuation are also prime features of the Apex 7. You can read more about the quietest mechanical keyboard for the office in 2022 here.
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Quiet Mechanical Keyboard Switches?
Even some of the quietest keyboard switches have disadvantages because nothing is ever perfect. However, knowing your strengths and weaknesses can help you find better ways to do things, no? Here are some of the main advantages and disadvantages of quiet mechanical keyboard switches.
- Better customization: quiet mechanical switches have more customization options than dome-type keyboards and are the prime choice of keyboard enthusiasts.
- Longer lifespan: quiet switches rely on silent feedback and boast high-end construction, making them highly durable. The Cherry MX silent switch has a lifespan of 50 million keystrokes!
- No wear and tear: quiet mechanical keyboard switches can last more than ten years because of the superior build and material quality. The rubber dampeners and thick switch housing reduce sound, prevent components from hitting each other and help avoid wear and tear.
Perhaps the only main disadvantage of quiet mechanical switches is that their price tends to be steep. Quiet switches are more expensive, albeit more durable and customizable than other switches.
Loud Switches to Avoid
Sound is a crucial factor when you’re choosing a keyboard. You don’t want a keyboard that has loud switches. While some people prefer a significant amount of feedback, that doesn’t mean you should go and buy switches that will make your co-worker miserable.
Similarly, loud switches also add to the background noise and ruin an immersive gaming experience. You can also say goodbye to your gaming squad since noisy keys can create a stir on the microphone. If you want a peaceful life, you should steer clear of these loud switches:
- Cherry MX White, Blue, and Green
- Kailh BOX White, BOX Jade, and BOX Navy
Factors that Make a Silent Keyboard
Quiet switches are not the only factor that makes a silent keyboard. Many contributing factors combine to either suppress or elevate the typing sounds. The quality of silent keyboards heavily relies on stabilizers, switches, desk surfaces, and building material. Let’s look at the first three:
Switches have an essential role when it comes to making a silent keyboard. Loud switches like clicky types produce a lot of sounds. Similarly, switches that generate a high-pitched sound are more annoying to others around you as microphones can easily pick up the sound. The same holds true for quiet switches. Consider going for varieties that generate low-pitched sounds.
Stabilizers are placed under large keys, like the spacebar, to prevent them from swaying. Swaying or shaking keys generate more noise than keys that don’t. Consider buying a keyboard with suitable stabilizers as they will prevent the keys from rattling and result in a quieter typing experience.
The desk surface is an often-overlooked factor in silent keyboards. If you type faster and use force-heavy key switches, your working table will reflect more vibrations, which will increase the sound. Desks built with a material that can absorb sound rather than emit it are better for your silent keyboard.
Tips to Make Your Keyboard Even Quieter
You can easily pair up the keyboard and quiet switches of your choice from this list to build the perfect keyboard for yourself. However, some people might not be satisfied even with this level of sound suppression. Don’t worry; we have a solution for that too.
Quite switches have plenty of customizable options which can further reduce their sound. For instance, you can add extra dampeners to the Alps SKCM Cream quiet switches to lower the sound. Similarly, you can lube your switches, add a felt casing for your keyboard, or even install rubber O-rings. There are plenty of great options available to make your keyboard even quieter.
Q1. Which mechanical keyboard switch is the quietest?
The Cherry MX Brown is the quietest keyboard switch on the market. However, they don’t produce any sound upon actuation, which might be an issue for some people.
Q2. What is the quietest Razer keyboard?
Any Razer keyboard equipped with Razer’s Orange Mechanical Switch can be turned into a quiet keyboard. They’re Razer’s quietest keyboard switches, with no clicking and only tactile feedback.
Q3. What color switches are the quietest?
Different companies follow different color standards. However, companies that follow Cherry MX standards use blue switches for loud models and red/black/ brown for quiet switches.