Mechanical keyboards are increasingly becoming popular in the computing world thanks to how great they feel when gaming or typing. But there is a catch; they are usually loud when in use.
Ok, maybe not as loud as most people make them out to be, but loud enough to cause a disturbance in a quiet office setting. This is especially true of keyboards that use Cherry MX blue switches.
While some people like the “click-clack" sound that comes from the keyboard, others just can’t stand it.
So, should you simply trash your keyboard just because it’s noisy? Absolutely not!
Below we’ll give you tips on how to make a mechanical keyboard quiet.
Some mechanical keyboards are noisier than others. The type of switch that you choose for your computer will determine the amount of noise that it will produce as you work. Various switches differ in the ways that they close their circuits and register different keystrokes.
Technically, the noise produced by your keyboard is as a result of pressing the key buttons all the way down (bottom-out), making the keycap tip hit the switch box and hence, the clicking sound.
Most tactile switches have noticeable actuation points that produce clicks when the key is pressed. If you choose to use linear switches, the keystrokes are smoother, which means that there is little noise produced when you work.
The most popular switches like Cherry switches are also known to provide the most noise when in use. Every type of switch is denoted by a color in the actuation force and also determines the audibility and hence the amounts of sound produced.
Overall, the type of switch used is the biggest factor determining the level of noise that a mechanical keyboard will produce.
Additionally, the choice of the plate that you mount on the keyboard switch determines the amount of noise that your keyboard will produce. Poor build quality will result in the production of unwanted sounds as you use your keyboard.
The O-ring rainbow works to ensure that the overall noise production levels are reduced when using your keyboard.
O-rings are thick rubber charms that you should slide underneath the keycap on its stem. They will work to catch the blow between the keycap stem and switch, which makes the clacking sound less audible.
Furthermore, the O-ring will reduce the audibility of the noise produced by shortening the travel distance when you press down your keyboard keys.
Since using O-rings on every key ends up being a tedious affair, you can opt for Keyboard pads (foam cloths).Foam cloths sit on the switch itself making it a convenient and easy way to make a mechanical keyboard less noisy.
The foam will catch the sound of the keycap stem and switch to ensure that its audibility levels are low. Furthermore, the travel distance of the noise is made shorter, of course depending on the thickness of the foam cloth.
When going for this method, you should be aware of the key switches your keyboard has. This is because foam pads are usually compatible with Cherry MX or switches which are similar to this.
The GMK switch clip can help in the reduction of the noise that a mechanical keyboard produces. These clips are used in a manner that is similar to the soft foams only that they have a bracket to help in absorbing the noise as you click on the switch.
You can easily clip them onto your keyboard keys, reducing noise and preventing dirt from accumulating around your keyboard keys.
Moreover, the type of working surface is an external factor that will influence the amount of sound that your typing work will produce. Wooden and glass tables tend to amplify the noise generated.
Therefore, using a mouse pad and placing an absorber under your mechanical keyboard will help in noise reduction.
A great example of a noise absorber is a keyboard mat. Rubber mats absorb the sound well, as do memory foam mats.
I know, I know, Topre switches are the most controversial keyboard switches in the computing world.
Nonetheless, they are one of the few mechanical keyboard switches that don't make much noise when in use. This is because they come with a cup rubber installed in the key stem which absorbs the sound.
However, be ready to pay a little extra for keyboards with topre switches!