Mechanical keyboards can be LOUD and QUIET all depending on the type of switch you choose when buying or building your mechanical keyboard. Mechanical keyboards with clicky switches are sure to produce loud typing sounds, but if you want a quiet mechanical keyboard, Linear or Tactile switches are more appropriate options.
Things You Should Pay Attention to If You Want a Quiet Mechanical Keyboard
If you want a quiet mechanical keyboard, here are a few things to consider when buying a mechanical keyboard:
1. Switch Selection (Avoid Clicky Switches)
Here are the three main types of mechanical keyboard switches if we focus on the typing experience:
- Linear Switch: Providing a typing experience without significant bounce, the characters lean towards a smooth typing feel.
- Tactile Switch: Provides a bouncing experience in typing that makes us realize that the keys have been pressed properly.
- Clicky Switch: In addition to providing a reflection like a tactile switch, it also gives a clicky sound that is quite loud compared to the two previous types of switches.
The selection of switches is the most influential thing with the typed sound produced by the mechanical keyboard. If you choose a mechanical keyboard with a clicky switch, it is certain that the mechanical keyboard will produce a loud typing sound.
Meanwhile, if you want a mechanical keyboard that can produce a sound that is not too loud and is quite quiet, a mechanical keyboard with tactile switches is a very appropriate option.
The best switch option for getting a quiet mechanical keyboard is to buy a mechanical keyboard that uses linear switches. Linear switches are the type of switches that produce the quietest sound compared to tactile and clicky switches.
If you feel that linear still produces a bit of an annoying sound, choosing the silent switch is the best option. Mechanical keyboards that use silent switches can produce very quiet typing sounds, almost like using a membrane keyboard. But the Silent switch might slightly reduce the enjoyment of your typing experience on a mechanical keyboard.
2. Use Switches that have been lubricated
Switches that have not been lubricated with switches that have been lubricated have a significant difference, especially in the smoothness and typing sound produced.
Lubricated mechanical keyboard switches can produce a quieter typing sound and can provide a smooth typing experience. While the mechanical keyboard switches that have not been lubricated still feel rough when used to type, and even the linear switches that have not been lubricated almost produce a typing sound like a tactile switch.
If you want a quiet typing sound on your mechanical keyboard, grease all the switches and you’ll feel the difference drastically. Linear switches and Tactile switches are highly recommended to be lubricated, while clicky switches are not recommended because they can eliminate the characteristic clicky.
3. Buying a Mechanical Keyboard with Silent Switches
The easiest way to get the quietest typing experience on a mechanical keyboard is to buy a mechanical keyboard that uses silent switches or replace your switches with silent switches.
Silent switch is basically a linear switch modified to produce a quieter typing sound. Currently several manufacturers of mechanical switches such as Cherry MX, Gateron, Kailh, and Outemu have their own silent switch products.
4. Buying a Low Profile Mechanical Keyboard
Low Profile mechanical keyboard has a design with the thinnest level of thickness among other mechanical keyboard products. In addition to being thinner and more ergonomic than standard mechanical keyboards, low profile mechanical keyboards have been proven to produce a quieter typing sound for the following reasons:
The low profile mechanical keyboard has a thin design, which means that the casing used is very thin so that the sound resonance space is minimal, which makes the low profile mechanical keyboard produce a quiet typing sound.
Low profile mechanical keyboard using low profile switches. Of course, low profile switches use low profile switches by default, low profile switches have a shorter design than standard switches. With a shorter design, low profile switches are faster and more responsive in response to sending input to the computer. Low profile switches can also produce a quieter typing sound compared to standard switches because the actuation distance is very short.
Mechanical Keyboard Modification Tips: More Comfortable and Quiet for Typing
The use of mechanical keyboards can be said to have increased rapidly along with the rise of work from home policies during this pandemic. If you are looking for mechanical keyboard modification tips, then this article is ready to help you.
First of all, it’s clear that mechanical keyboards that have switches in them are fundamentally different from regular keyboards. The comfort and durability of the mechanical keyboard itself cannot be doubted.
The problem is:
It is often heard from mechanical keyboard fans that there are complaints about the unsatisfactory default feel or typing sound. Some think the sound is too loud, some want the sound to be more muffled, some complain about the feel of typing, and various other aspects.
That is what causes the emergence of the phenomenon of modification or modding of the mechanical keyboard. Ultimately it’s all about individual user preferences, and this article will accommodate those preferences. Let’s get started.
Aspects Related to Mechanical Keyboard Modification
The objectives or outputs to be achieved in modding a mechanical keyboard are broadly two things:
1. Typing experience
Typing experience refers to how it feels when our fingers press the buttons on the mechanical keyboard.
In general, this typing experience is closely related to keycaps as the part that is always in direct contact with the fingers when typing and also the switches used.
2. Sound profile
The sound profile refers to the type of sound produced when typing on the mechanical keyboard.
Whether it’s a modification to produce a louder or more muffled sound, this sound profile has always been an interesting topic of discussion among mechanical keyboard enthusiasts. Once again, this mechanical keyboard modification is a matter of preference in the end.
Easy Ways to Modify Mechanical Keyboard
1. Switch to High Quality keycaps
The part that most often comes into direct contact with our fingers when typing on a mechanical keyboard is none other than the keycaps. In addition, keycaps also represent the aesthetic aspect as the part that is most often seen by the eye.
There is no better way to modify keycaps than by replacing the default keycaps with ones that are of higher quality and have colors/themes according to our preferences.
What do high-quality keycaps look like?
When looking for replacement keycaps, make sure the keycaps are made of PBT plastic, which is the opposite of the ABS plastic – it is durable and provides a better typing feel and sound. You can read more about the differences between ABS and PBT keycaps here.
For themes/colors/designs of keycaps, you can find lots of variations that suit your preferences in your favorite marketplace.
2. Customize Switch with Preference
Switches are the most basic differentiator between a mechanical keyboard and a regular keyboard. For those who are still new, the location of the switch is located just below the keycaps. So, to modify the switch, make sure to remove your keycaps first with a tool called a keycaps puller which you usually get when you buy a mechanical keyboard, and then remove your switches with a switch puller.
Here’s the interesting part:
The switch is an interesting part because it deals with two main aspects of the mechanical keyboard experience; the feel of typing and the resulting sound profile.
Therefore, it is important to know the types of mechanical keyboard switches and what characteristics they carry so that they can be adjusted according to our preferences.
For sound profiles, there are many more types of switches that are generally distinguished by color.
3. Lubricate the Switch
The process of lubing or applying lubricant to each switch from your mechanical keyboard does take quite a long time. Nevertheless, this process is the most popular among mechanical keyboard enthusiasts.
There are several reasons behind applying lubricant to mechanical keyboard switches, including:
- Improve the quality of the sound produced
- Reduce rattle or rattle
- Reduces excessive reflections
To lubricate the switch, again you have to remove your switch first by using a switch puller. You can read the complete steps for lubricating mechanical keyboard switches in this article.
4. Install Foam as Silencer
Unlike some people who want a louder sound profile, there are also some mechanical keyboard hobbyists who want a quieter and low-profile sound.
If changing switches is a hassle and costs money, installing foam in your mechanical keyboard can be an alternative option.
You can use various types of foam that you can find, the easiest is probably used foam or leftovers from new purchases of electronic goods.
For installation, in general, you have to remove all the mechanical keyboard components first, because the foam installation is done at the base of your mechanical keyboard casing. So don’t forget to prepare the tools to open your mechanical keyboard such as screwdrivers and others.
The main concept of this last mechanical keyboard modification tip is to reduce the sound reflection given when we type. Instead of being reflected by a casing which is actually made of plastic or the like, the foam becomes a cushion that dampens the reflection of the sound, so that the resulting sound profile is more ‘calm’.
Those are the various mechanical keyboard modification tips that you can easily do at home. Whether it’s a beginner in the mechanical keyboard field, or a hardcore mechanical keyboard fan, I hope this article can help!