Tips for Finding a Quiet Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
Many competitive gamers and E-sports players use mechanical gaming keyboards because of their responsiveness and high-quality build. Although mechanical keyboards register keystrokes quickly, they tend to be loud. If you find this noise annoying or you think the people around you may find it annoying then you should rather find a quiet mechanical gaming keyboard.
To find a quiet mechanical gaming keyboard, search for one with linear switches that don’t have a bump before the actuation point and a low-profile keyboard with a short key travel distance for smooth and silent key presses.
In this article, we discuss the benefits of quiet gaming keyboards and what features to look for in a quiet mechanical gaming keyboard. You will also find a few useful tips to choose the best quiet mechanical keyboard and make your gaming experience more enjoyable.
Can Mechanical Keyboards Be Quieter Than Other Gaming Keyboards?
While mechanical keyboards feature different types of switches and some of them are pretty quiet, they are generally considered louder than membrane gaming keyboards. People associate mechanical keyboards with loud and clunky noises. The truth is that not every mechanical keyboard makes annoying sounds. In fact, many mechanical keyboards are designed to minimize the sound produced by typing.
Mechanical gaming keyboards are generally noisy and can be more irritating to use than other gaming keyboards. However, some mechanical keyboards are designed to be quieter than others, and there are several factors that can contribute to the overall noise level, such as the type of switches used, the presence of sound-dampening materials, and the design of the keys.
Not every mechanical keyboard is louder than membrane gaming keyboards. If keyboard features are selected with sound in mind, a mechanical gaming keyboard can be much quieter than other gaming keyboards. Our article comparing gaming keyboards vs. regular keyboards takes a look at their similarities and differences when it comes to keystrokes, durability, and responsive feedback when gaming, and will help you select the right keyboards for your gaming setup.
Reasons to Get a Quiet Gaming Keyboard
Many players enjoy the loud clicky sound that mechanical keyboards make when the keys are pressed.
A quiet gaming keyboard is good for shared office spaces. Gamers who play at night like quiet gaming keyboards because they don’t disturb others in the house. A silent gaming keyboard is also beneficial for those who easily get distracted or annoyed by clicky sounds while gaming.
Mechanical keyboards like this are not only recognized by the sound of their keys, but they are also more tactile than regular keyboards, and our article comparing mechanical keyboards and membrane keyboards discusses their pros and cons in depth. If the sound of your gaming keyboard annoys you or those around you, it’s probably time to get a quiet gaming keyboard.
Here are a few reasons to get a quiet gaming keyboard and say goodbye to those annoying clicky keys:
Using a Quiet Gaming Keyboard Preserves the Peace in a Shared Office Space
Gaming keyboards are not only used for gaming purposes but are generally great for typing too. Quiet gaming keyboards can be beneficial in a workspace because they can help to reduce distractions and increase productivity. Loud keyboard noises can be disruptive to others in the same space, and using a quiet keyboard can help to create a more peaceful and focused working environment. Additionally, quiet keyboards can be more comfortable to use for extended periods of time, as the lack of loud clicking noises can reduce strain on the ears. Finally, quiet keyboards may be preferred in certain work settings, such as open office plans, where noise levels need to be kept to a minimum. Getting a quiet gaming keyboard like this allows you to keep the peace in a shared office while still being able to play games after working hours. Be sure to take a look at our related article explaining how to find the best mechanical gaming keyboard that is best for typing too.
If You Play Late at Night, Using a Quiet Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Will Keep You From Bothering Your Family or Roommates
If you enjoy late-night gaming sessions but you live with your family or have roommates, then investing in a quiet keyboard like this might be the right choice. By using a quiet keyboard, you will no longer have to apologize for any inconvenience caused by late-night gaming sessions.
Our gaming keyboard recommendations will help you choose the right keyboard for your circumstances by explaining what features to look for in a gaming keyboard.
You may also be interested in learning more about flat key keyboards and how to disable the windows key on a gaming keyboard. If so, be sure to read our related article to find out more.
Using a Quiet Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Makes Gaming More Enjoyable
While some gamers get used to those clicky noises, others do find it annoying. If the sound keeps bothering you, you should get a quiet keyboard to make your gaming experience more enjoyable. Having a quiet keyboard like this will allow you to focus more on the games rather than on distracting sounds.
This article from IEEE Explore looks at stress detection in computer users based on their keyboard and mouse use.
Summary of Quiet Mechanical Keyboard Options
|Features That Are Common in Quiet Mechanical Gaming Keyboards||What Does the Feature Do?||Example Product||Price|
|Cherry MX Silent Reds||Reduces actuation noise.||Cherry Mx Board 3.0S Mechanical Keyboard with Mx Red Silent Switches||~$100|
|Silent Linear Switches||The keys are light to press and easy to actuate.||Corsair K70 Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with Opx Linear Switches||~$180|
|Pre-Lubed Stabilizers||Reduce friction between the moving parts of the keyboard.||Epomaker Akko Acr Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with Pre-Lubed Stabilizer||~$140|
|Foam Inside the Keyboard||Makes the keyboard more cushioned to muffle noise.||Honkid Sound-Dampening Foam for Mechanical Keyboard||~$15|
|Short Key Travel Distance||Minimizes the bottom-out sounds when pressing the keys.||Logitech G815 Lightsync Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with Low-Profile Keys||~$190|
|Rubber O-Rings||Decrease the travel time of your keypress to reduce noise.||Enhance Mechanical Keyboard O-Ring Switch Dampeners||~$15|
Features To Look For in a Quiet Mechanical Keyboard
While many brands advertise their keyboards as silent, not all of them are as quiet as you would like them to be. By looking for specific features you can easily make sure that you select the best quiet mechanical keyboard for gaming.
When shopping for a quiet mechanical gaming keyboard, there are several features to consider. Silent linear switches can help to minimize the clicking noise often associated with mechanical keyboards. Pre-lubed stabilizers that reduce the rattle can improve the overall smoothness of the keyboard. A foam coating inside the keyboard can help to dampen the sound. Keys with a short travel distance may also contribute to a quieter typing experience.
Our article that looks at the 10 best keyboard switches for mechanical keyboards will help you understand their design and the feel and noise they produce when pressed.
Here’s what you should pay attention to when searching for a quiet mechanical keyboard.
Feature 1. Silent or Extremely Quiet Switches
Oftentimes, mechanical keyboards are silent or extremely quiet because they have linear switches. Linear switches like these (usually labeled as red, yellow, or black) are generally light to press and easy to actuate, making keyboards with linear switches ideal for gaming. Linear switches have no bump before the actuation point resulting in no audible clicks and silent typing.
Feature 2. Pre-Lubed Stabilizers for Space Bar, Shift Key, and Other Special Keys
Lubed stabilizers have a thin layer of lubricant between the moving parts, which is crucial for reducing the friction that causes annoying clattering sounds. You can lubricate your rattling keyboard switch stabilizers with a lube kit like this one to make them more silent, however, it is more convenient to purchase pre-lubed stabilizers. If you choose to do it yourself then this video tutorial by BadSeed Tech can take you through the steps to quickly and easily lubricate your keyboard switches.
You might also find interest in learning how to disable the windows key on your gaming keyboard. If so, be sure to check out our related article for more information.
Feature 3. Foam Installed Within the Keyboard To Dampen Sound
A gaming keyboard with pre-installed foam inside like this one can be a good option for those who are sensitive to loud, clacky keys. The foam works to dampen the sound of the mechanical switches, making the keyboard quieter to use. This can be a helpful feature for those who want to minimize distractions. According to this article in Advances in Materials Science and Engineering, PU is a significant sound absorbing material that can be used to effectively reduce noise levels in various settings.
You can also install the foam on your keyboard yourself. This YouTube video tutorial by Killa Keyboards explains how to PE foam and tape mod your mechanical keyboard to make it sound better.
Feature 4. Short Key Travel Distance
Another key feature you should look for in a quiet gaming keyboard is short key travel distance which is explained in greater detail by PCWorld in this article. Keyboards like this with keys that have a short travel distance offer minor resistance when pressed, making gaming much quieter. Also, make sure you look for gaming keyboards that feature switches with activation points as they won’t require you to bottom out keys to actuate them. If you find that a key needs to be pressed extra hard for it to register a command then it might need to be repaired or replaced. Our article that explains what to do if your gaming keyboard is not working will walk you through troubleshooting methods and tips to fix your keyboard.
Feature 5. Gaming Keyboard With Rubber O-Rings
Another feature to consider when shopping for a quiet mechanical keyboard is the inclusion of rubber O-rings. These O-rings are placed on the keys of the keyboard and can help to reduce the travel distance of the keys, which in turn can help to make the keyboard quieter. They can also help to improve the feel of the keyboard, making it more comfortable to use for extended periods of time. Keep in mind that O-rings may not be suitable for all users, as they can change the way the keys feel and may take some time to get used to. This YouTube video by Switch and Click provides further information about O-ring sizing and the benefits of using them on a mechanical keyboard.
Did you know you can build your own gaming keyboard? Make sure to read our related article to find out how!
Types of Quiet Mechanical Keyboard Switches
There are three types of mechanical keyboard switches: linear, tactile, and clicky and they all feel and sound different.
The three types of mechanical switches are linear, tactile, and clicky. Linear switches offer a smooth and quiet typing experience, as they do not have any tactile feedback and do not produce a bump or click sound when pressed. Tactile switches, on the other hand, provide a noticeable bump or feedback when pressed, but do not make a clicking sound. Clicky switches are similar to tactile switches in that they provide a bump or feedback when pressed, but they also produce a loud clicking sound.
Our guide about different types of mechanical gaming keyboard switches discusses all the intricacies of the three main types of switches so that you can choose the right one for the typing sensation you are looking for.
While many gamers opt for linear keyboard switches to reduce key sounds, others prefer tactile and clicky switches. Here’s how you determine which type fits your needs.
Type 1. Linear Switches
Linear switches like these are the simplest and most straightforward mechanical switches. Unlike other types of switches, linear switches lack a bump, meaning they go straight to the actuation point when you press the keys. This makes them very quiet. This test conducted by RTINGS.com concluded that linear switches are the quietest mechanical keyboard switch type.
Type 2. Tactile Switches
If you enjoy feeling some feedback when pressing keys but also want to have a relatively quiet gaming keyboard, then you should opt for tactile switches. These switches have a tactile bump and produce a quiet but audible click. These switches are intended to be heard, but not so loud that they disturb other people. Of all mechanical switches, tactile switches provide the best feedback.
Type 3. Clicky Switches
Clicky switches like these are the noisiest type. While their bumps may feel exceptionally satisfying, clicky switches do not offer a quiet gaming experience. Unless you’re okay with having a loud and clicky keyboard, these switches are not for you. Some people, however, enjoy the loud click that lets them know the keys are properly pressed.
Tips To Find the Best Quiet Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
Gaming keyboards are typically more expensive than regular keyboards because of their higher build quality and durability.
To find the best quiet mechanical gaming keyboard, you can consider choosing a keyboard with either Cherry MX Silent Red switches or Logitech linear switches, which are known for their quiet operation. Another option is to use a keyboard with sound-dampening foam, which helps to reduce the amount of noise generated by the keyboard. Alternatively, you can use a gasket-mounted keyboard that has pieces of rubber placed between the case and the top frame of the keyboard to help absorb sound and reduce noise. These types of keyboards can be particularly effective at reducing the sound of the keys bottoming out (hitting the base of the keyboard).
If you want to learn more about additional functionalities that add to the production costs of gaming keyboards then you should read our article about why gaming keyboards are more expensive.
It is possible to find a gaming keyboard that isn’t noisy but has a mechanical keyboard feel and the following tips will help you to find such a mechanical gaming keyboard:
Tip 1. Choose a Keyboard with Cherry MX Silent Reds For Their Quiet Operation
While linear switches are quiet in general, Cherry MX Silent Reds are considered the quietest switches you can use. Cherry MX Silent Red switches preserve the typical linear actuation feel with significantly reduced noise. This YouTube video by Rhinofeed reviews and tests Cherry MX Silent Switches and compares them with other switches.
Tip 2. Choose a Keyboard with Logitech Linear Switches
Logitech gaming keyboard mechanical switches come in all three types. The quietest type of Logitech switches, according to this article from Logitech.com, are their linear switches. Linear switches offer smooth, seamless keystrokes. Because linear switches operate smoothly, they are excellent for double-tapping and quick successive keystrokes, which makes them perfect for MMO and action games.
Tip 3. Choose a Keyboard With Sound-Dampening Foam, or Add It Yourself
As mentioned earlier, gaming keyboards with added padding inside the keyboard sound quieter. While you can purchase a pre-padded gaming keyboard, you can also add sound-dampening foam to your keyboard and easily reduce unwanted noise. Here’s a video tutorial by Hipyo Tech that shows you a cheap and easy way to foam mod a gaming keyboard with keyboard foam like this to reduce noise and make the keyboard feel smoother.
Tip 4. Choose a Gasket-Mounted Mechanical Keyboard
A gasket-mounted mechanical keyboard is a type of keyboard in which rubber pieces are inserted between the top frame and the case of the keyboard. The idea is to get a more cushioned feel while reducing unwanted noise. As the gaskets are absorbing the impact of each keystroke, the keyboard produces a cleaner sound profile when compared to a top-mount design.
Summary of Quiet Mechanical Gaming Keyboards
|Example Product||Type Of Quiet Keyboard or Combo||Key Features||Price|
|Seenda Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Combo||Quiet wireless keyboard and mouse combo||Wireless, rechargeable, ergonomic design, adjustable DPI, almost silent||~$40|
|Redragon K552 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard||Cheap quiet mechanical keyboard||Linear switches, minimal resistance, tactile bump feel, ergonomic design||~$40|
|SteelSeries Apex 3 Gaming Keyboard||Affordable mechanical gaming keyboard with whisper-quiet gaming switches||Silent switches, tactile feedback, water resistant, ergonomic design with a premium magnetic wrist rest||~$40|
|Logitech Mx Mechanical Gaming Keyboard||Quiet wireless gaming keyboard with linear switches||Quiet keyboard, linear switches, multi-device compatibility||~$170|
|Rk Royal Kludge H81 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard||Gasket-mounted quiet mechanical gaming keyboard||Gasket material on the keyboard plate’s edges, added cushioning, enhanced stability, quieter and softer feel||~$80|