Introduction

Quiet keyboards are an essential part of office culture. The less noise your keyboard makes, the more enjoyable your deskmates will find you to be. So when it comes to quiet keyboards, you must have to choose a keyboard that has entirely switched. This guide will tell you all about the most silent keyboard switches.

1. Cherry MX Black Switches

Cherry MX black switches are very similar to the red variant but have an actuation force of 60 grams and a tactile bump providing some feedback when your switch is activated. These switches are viral for typing on because they offer both audible and tactile feedback when pressed, allowing one to stop pushing their key before it’s fully pressed down. However, this also means that there will often be a short delay between pressing the key and activating whatever ability you need in-game. For this reason, these switches are not the best choice for gaming, even though they’re great for typing.

2. Cherry MX Blue Switches

Cherry MX Blue switches are tactile switches requiring a bit of force to press down and activate, requiring 50 grams. They have a “bump” or “click” halfway through the keypress, providing some feedback when you’ve pressed the key down enough to activate it. This can be a problem in gaming because there’s often an unnecessary delay between pressing the button and ability activation due to this feedback. And while these switches are still considered great for typing on by many mechanical keyboard enthusiasts, they’re notorious for causing hand fatigue with their increased actuation forces.

Cherry MX Black switches without keycaps in G80-3000 keyboard (c. 2005)

3. Cherry MX Brown Switches

Cherry MX brown switches are lighter versions of blue switches, with an actuation force of 45 grams and a tactile bump halfway through the keypress. However, browns are not tactile switches like blues are; they don’t make any noise when pressed. Instead, the bump provides feedback that your switch has been activated without adding unnecessary noises to clog up your audio experience. The lack of an audible click means that gamers often prefer these switches over blues due to their speed and smoothness. However, they have a longer travel distance than blue or red switches before the tactile bump activates.

4. Cherry MX Clear Switches

Cherry MX transparent switches are lighter versions of cherry MX browns with no tactile bump halfway through the keypress. This makes them ideal for typing on because you can press them quickly and smoothly without worrying about the spot slowing you down. However, this also means that there’s no feedback to tell you when your switch has been activated, so these switches are not ideal for gaming.

Cherry MX transparent switches have a lighter actuation force than browns but still provide great feedback without any noise.

5. Cherry MX Green Switches

Cherry MX green switches are heavier versions of blue switches that require 70 grams of actuation force before they’ll activate. This is far more than most mechanical keyboards can handle (and it’s also one of the reasons why playing games on click keyboards is somewhat impractical), so green switches are exclusively used in dedicated gaming boards with thicker key switches stronger springs to withstand the added strain.

These switches are very similar to blues in that they have a tactile bump halfway through the keypress and require much more force to press due to their increased weight. This makes them ideal for gaming because they have satisfying tactile feedback and fast activation speeds with enough resistance to stop you from accidentally pressing your keys too quickly.

6. Cherry MX Red Switches

Cherry MX red switches are a lighter variant of the Cherry MX black switch, with a linear design and an actuation force of 45 grams. Other than being smoother and quieter than their tactile counterparts, they also lack the “bump” or “notch” needed for one to know when their keypress has been completed. As such, gamers favor them for the speed with which one can press them and release them. Unfortunately, this also means that it is possible to press a cherry MX red switch before one needs to, resulting in a mistyped letter or signal.

Cherry MX Red switches lack the audible click of other mechanical buttons and do not have a tactile bump. This makes them great for gaming because there is no indicator that you’ve pressed down far enough to activate the critical switch (and thus your abilities) yet. There’s also no need to wait until the key is down (and no chance that it’ll get pressed accidentally).

Cherry MX Red switches are also great for typing because they don’t have that bump or click that might otherwise throw you off your game and cause unwanted typos. And with their low actuation force and shorter travel distance, you can type faster and less hand fatigue than on most other mechanical switches.

Conclusion

Cherry MX Red switches should be your go-to choice in quiet keyboards if you’re a gamer or a writer. They are comfortable pressuring fast to activate, saving time due to their short keystroke length, and having no audible feedback or tactile bump to hold up your train of thought.

FAQs

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