Mechanical keyboards are known for being loud with mechanical switches that make an audible click clack noise when typing or gaming.
For many people, this makes typing on them very annoying.
But even then, so many people really enjoy the experience of using a mechanical keyboard and just want quieter switches.
There is such a wide range of keyboard switches available. Some are louder than others. But which ones are the quietest?
The quietest mechanical keyboard switch is the linear Cherry MX Speed Silver switches with 45 Gs of actuation force, and a travel distance of 3.5. In addition to the Cherry MX Silvers there are also switches from Gateron, Kailh, and Torpe that also make quiet linear mechanical keyboard switches– which makes all the difference for your typing/gaming experience.
Many people choose quiet mechanical keyboard switches because loud clicky switches can be annoying over time.
If you are working or gaming late at night, loud keyboard switches may cause disturbance to people in the other room, or it can even annoy the people you are working next to in the office, so switching to quiet key switches can be a really good idea.
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Which Mechanical Keyboard Switch is the Quietest?
Choosing a mechanical keyboard switch is a big decision. There are many factors to consider, such as performance, price, actuation force, feel – tactile vs linear; clicky sound or no clicky sound, material composition, durability, and more.
So how do you decide?
If you are new to the mechanical keyboard world, then it may come as a surprise that the type of switch available from one keyboard to another can be radically different.
It turns out that not all switches are created equal. In fact, some switches are louder than others. While rubber dome keyboards, membrane keyboards, and traditional keyboards, such as those that you’ll find on a laptop, are naturally more quiet devices naturally, the same is not the case for mechanical keyboards.
I’ve done the research for you and found the top five quietest mechanical keyboard switches.
5 Quietest Mechanical Keyboard Switches
If you are looking for the quietest mechanical keyboard switches for your mechanical keyboard, we have done the research– so you don’t have to.
But before we get into this, a word of caution.
Before you any of the options off this list, you might want to make sure that your mechanical keyboard is hot-swappable. A hot-swappable mechanical keyboard enables users to swap out not only the keycaps, but also the keyboard switches in a matter of minutes.
1. Cherry MX Speed Silver Switch
|Actuation Force||45 g|
|Travel Distance||3.4 mm|
The Cherry MX Speed Silver Switch might be the quietest option in the market, which makes it an excellent choice for gaming or working in the middle of the night without annoying the people you live or work with. However, shorter travel distance and lower actuation force may sacrifice feel and satisfaction, despite improving your performance when playing competitive games that require faster pounding on keys to win.
These keyboard switches are the fastest option that Cherry MX offers. The upper housing is a CAD high-precision component made with plastic polymer, making them lightweight and easy to press without sacrificing durability. It might be the fastest option, but it is still the same height as the Cherry MX Reds and Blacks. But if you are a gamer, every millisecond of reaction time makes all the difference for a successful gaming session.
- Fastest option in the market
- Ultra quiet
- Same height profile as other Cherry MX switches
- Not the best for typing
- The short travel distance may cause a lot of typos
2. Gateron Silent Black Switch
|Actuation Force||60 g|
|Travel Distance||4 mm|
The Gateron Silent Black Switch was designed to produce the lowest noise on any Gateron switch in the market. But aside from being quiet, many gamers and typists like these switches because of the smoothness it provides. For its budget-friendly price, the Gateron Silent Black Switch is a more than decent option for people looking for a silent switch with excellent response and just the right amount of feedback.
It might be slightly heavier than Cherry MX Silvers, and you will definitely feel the difference in terms of actuation force. But many people prefer to put in more pressure on the keys when gaming and typing. Although they are a little heavy, it remains to be quiet when typing, enabling you to enjoy gaming or pulling an all-nighter at work without disturbing the people next to you. Overall, these keyboard switches are satisfying and affordable.
- Value for the price
- Smooth feel
- Quiet sound
- A little heavier than other quiet mechanical keyboard switch options
3. Matias Quiet Click
|Actuation Force||65 g|
|Travel Distance||3.5 mm|
You are probably wondering how a tactile keyboard switch made this quietest mechanical keyboard switch list. Well, that is because some people still prefer the tactile feel. Although the Matias Quiet Click keyboard switches are tactile key switches, they are still quiet enough to make the list.
They are quite popular because of their very smooth and quiet despite being tactile keyboard switches. They require 65 grams of force, which is pretty heavy, but they make up for it in travel distance. The shorter travel makes them quieter than most tactile switch options.
If you are looking for keyboard switches that are quiet but do not sacrifice the feel of emulating a traditional typewriter, the Matias Quiet Click keyboard switches make an excellent choice for you, especially if you are a writer. For gamers, these switches might work, but they are not the best for gaming.
- Smooth with tactile feel
- Quiet for tactile switches
- Short travel
- Not the best for gaming
4. Matias Quiet Linear
|Actuation Force||40 g|
|Travel Distance||3.5 mm|
If you don’t like the Matias Quiet tactile option, these mechanical keyboard switches might fit your preference. They are similar to the Click variant, but lighter and linear. They are smooth but lighter, so you don’t need to put in a lot of force for them to actuate.
This option is not the most popular in the market, only because you can only use specific types of keycaps. However, it still deserves a spot on this list because they are very quiet and provide smooth typing feedback. The switches are compact but still have a thick design, which is excellent for typing.
If you cannot afford quiet switches like the Cherry MX Speed Silver, this option is the best alternative at a more affordable price.
- Very quiet
- Excellent for gaming and typing
- Not the most durable option
- Plastic feel can be a deal-breaker
5. Kailh Box Silent Pink
|Actuation Force||45 g|
|Travel Distance||3.6 mm|
Low pressure and short travel, these linear switches have all the specs that make an excellent quiet mechanical keyboard switch. Kailh BOX Silent Pinks are quite popular for gaming, typing, and custom keyboard enthusiasts because of its unique design.
They are some of the quietest keyboard switches available in the market. And it has a thick housing with durable components coated with rubber dampers to make them extra quiet and fast. If you like typing fast, these keyboard switches will provide an excellent medium to get more work done. As for gaming, they will definitely make you pound the keys faster to make you a more competent gamer.
Because of its excellent performance and affordable price, the Kailh BOX Pink Silent Switches have the best value for the money.
- Affordable without compromising performance
- Unique design
- Very quiet
- Not as durable as high-end options
If you are looking for hot-swappable mechanical keyboards to house these switches, there are many affordable option like the Keychron K6 Hot-Swappable Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard or other high-end options like the Ducky One 2 Mini V2, which is already equipped with sound dampeners and quiet key switches.
Quiet mechanical keyboard switches are all the rage for gamers and typists alike, but what are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using them?
Pros and Cons of Quiet Mechanical Keyboard Switches
Here are the pros and cons of using quiet mechanical keyboard switches:
- Fast response for gaming
- Won’t annoy people in the room or house
- Enables you to use it in the middle of the night
- Longer lifespan
- No wear and tear for at least 10 years
- Better customization
- Shorter throw or travel can cause more typos
- Less tactile feel for writers
Does The Color Of The Switch Affect The Sound?
Most mechanical switches are named using a color-coded system, and you are probably wondering if the colors have a significant meaning. Cherry MX is one of the pioneers in mechanical keyboards and switches, and most companies follow their color coding system. Here is what the colors mean for Cherry MX and other companies:
|Black||Linear switch with a strong actuation force of 60 g|
|Brown||Tactile switches with low noise or click and 45 g actuation force|
|Blue||Tactile switches with loud click or audio feedback that requires 50 g of actuation|
|Silver||Speed linear switches with short travel and low force needed|
|Red||Linear switches with no click that is popular for gamers|
|Green||Tactile switch with no click but very heavy actuation at 70 g|
|Clear||Tactile switch with no click and 65 g actuation required|
What Affects Mechanical Keyboard Switch Sound?
Before selecting the best and quietest mechanical keyboard switch for you, you are probably wondering what factors affect the sound of a mechanical keyboard switch. There are 3 factors that affect the loudness of a keyboard switch click; the keyboard switch type, actuation force, and the travel distance.
There are three main mechanical keyboard switch types; linear, tactile, and clicky. Linear types are the quietest option if you don’t want the tactile and clicky sound and feel.
However, some typists and writers prefer the clicky and tactile switch to emulate the sound of a traditional typewriter– but that is not always a good thing, depending on your work environment.
Linear switches go straight down when you press a key, which gives a quick response and registers the key you press down quickly without the loud click or tactile feedback. Gamers and some people who work on their computers prefer this kind of switch for faster reaction time. Plus, the quick reaction time and lower-profile of mechanical keyboard switches make you type faster with fewer mistakes.
Actuation force is the amount of pressure you need to press down on a key before it registers. It is usually measured in grams, and various mechanical keyboard switches require different amounts of force.
Quiet keyboards usually have an actuation force of 45 to 60 grams– meaning you don’t need to put a lot of pressure on the keys, making them quieter than heavier keys that require a more significant amount of force.
Sometimes referred to as “throw,” the travel distance describes how far the keys go down, which is commonly measured in millimeters. Quiet mechanical keyboard switches usually have shorter travel distances that range from 3.5 to 4.0 mm.
However, the travel distance may also affect the feel. The shorter the travel, the faster the key registers without making a sound. Modern laptops with built-in keyboards are usually the options with the lowest throw or travel distance. Some people still prefer a higher travel distance to avoid typos, but it is really just a matter of preference.
Are Quiet Mechanical Keyboard Switches Good For Typing?
Quiet mechanical keyboards are excellent for typing fast. If you have a ton of work you need to finish within a certain time period, having quiet mechanical keyboard switches that react and register fast can help. However, many writers prefer tactile and clicky feel. It is all a matter of preference and the work environment.
Are Quiet Mechanical Keyboard Switches Good For Gaming?
Using quiet mechanical keyboard switches for gaming makes a significant difference for your gaming sessions. Whether you are a competitive or casual gamer, smoother and quieter keys can improve your gaming experience, especially if the game you are playing requires fast key response.
Can You Make A Mechanical Keyboard Quieter?
It is possible to make mechanical keyboard switches even quieter. Aside from replacing the switches with one of the options mentioned above, you can also:
- You can lube your switches when they start to produce a scratchy sound. Adding lube can make your keys much smoother for better typing and gaming.
- Using a desk mat can also dampen the key presses and vibration on your desk.
- You can also add rubber o-rings that can further reduce and dampen the sound to a considerable extent.
The switch type you choose is probably the most important factor when choosing a mechanical keyboard.
For most typists, a good switch will provide a smooth typing experience while not being too loud or distracting.
On the other hand, many gamers love the loud experience that clicky switches generate.
It’s all a matter of what your personal preference is.
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