The usual noisy mechanical keyboards at a typical office can sometimes be a bit too annoying. Especially if you’re gaming or waking late at night, the rattling sound of a keyboard can really pound upon your ears. Well, we have researched to look up the quietest keyboard switches on the market.
Arguably, Cherry MX Silver Silent switches are the quietest in town. They have got a real nice, damped downstroke and a soft upstroke. Apart from them, Topre’s Type-S linear switches are quiet and soft apart from the slightly loud space bar. Also, Matias Quiet Click switches can be light on the ears because of the great damping mechanisms employed in their design.
In this article, we’ll take you through a detailed analysis of the quietest switches in the market, and also, we’ll tell you a few things you have to know before you make a purchase.
Cherry MX Speed Silver switches are Cherry MX’s, probably, the quietest model. They also have a soft texture with an actuation force of 45 g and a travel distance of 3.4 mm. As a result, the downstroke makes an almost negligible sound. Since they’re the linear types, the key comes straight up after registering, keeping very quiet.
Cherry MX Speed Silver can be a great option if you are a gamer or late-night worker. They are fast and deafeningly quiet. But they might not be an excellent option for typing because the less actuation force and travel distance make you prone to typos.
The take-home is that they are the quietest keyboard switches we could find.
Type-S Topre wouldn’t have been any less than Cherry MX Speed Silver if it were not for the slightly rattling space bar. They have a minimal actuation force of 45 g and a less than average travel distance of 3.8 mm. Overall, the damping within the switch makes the stroke very quiet.
Type-S Topre can be an excellent option for typing as well as gaming. They are quiet but don’t distract you from a mechanical keyboard’s firm feeling. They might be costly, but their quality justifies the price tag. As already alluded to, one downside is the slightly noisy space bar. That’s some bad design there; it’s all nice and light to the ear.
Matias Quiet Click switches are the old-school stuff you get for offices. They take only 40 g of force to register and have a travel distance of 3.5 mm only. Although the damping isn’t that good, overall, it does a great job silencing the switches.
The switches are somewhat resistant at the start of the click but get easy with the downstroke. Compared to the other two, they are a little louder, but they are also the cheapest option. You can get the whole at about $0.50 per key.
In short, they are great if you are looking for keyboard switches at a relatively cheap rate to use in an office.
The silicon keyboard is made for you if you are looking for the quietest keyboard regardless of its texture, aesthetics, and feel. Although the press feels gross and the plastic surface is greasy, it is easily the quietest keyboard on the market.
Factors Affecting the Sound of a Keyboard Switch
Here, we discuss some important aspects of keyboard switches that make them loud or quiet. It would be best if you considered these before buying keyboard switches.
Actuation force is a fancy word to refer to the amount of pressure needed to press a key. Generally, it is measured in grams. The lesser the force, the lesser the impact of the click; consequently, it will be quieter. Usually, switches have an actuation force somewhere around 50 g.
For loud mechanical keyboards, the actuation force can be as high as 70 g. In quiet switches, it lies somewhere between 40-45 g. While buying quiet switches, you should try to get them in this lower range.
Broadly classified, there are three types of keyboard switches: linear, tactile, and clicky. Tactile and clicky switches, roughly speaking, are designed to mimic the ticky sound of the typewriters. They are a great option after the classical feel and sound.
But linear switches are the best if you’re looking for a quiet keyboard. They go straight down on pressing and come straight up, reducing noise.
Travel distance is the distance a key goes in when you press it. Generally, travel distance ranges from 4 mm to 3.4 mm. Tactile and clicky switches usually have a travel distance near 4 mm. Whereas linear switches tend to lean on the lesser distance side.
As you can guess, the lesser the distance a key travels, the lesser the sound it makes. So, if you’re looking for quiet switches, better choose switches with lesser travel distance.
In short, we can reasonably conclude that Cherry MX Speed Silver wins the day regarding quietness in keyboard switches. Topre’s Type-S switches are another great option. Their space bar, although, is a little noisy. And Matias Quiet Click is the best bang for your buck.
Lastly, don’t forget to look for the switch’s actuation force, switch type, and travel distance before buying.