Mechanical Keyboard Noise Comparison

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

Mechanical Keyboard Key Noise Comparison with Scientific Instrument

Topre vs Cherry MX Brown vs Gateron Brown Sound Comparison

the conclusion is, all mechanical keyboard's noise is about the same, including Topre switch of Happy Hacking type-s keyboard. (the type-s is marketed as “silent”)

the only one that's slightly quieter is a cheap non-mechanical logitech keyboard.

Ranking of Key Switch Noise Levels

Start from most loud:

  1. • IBM buckling spring switch. Most loud. [see IBM Model M keyboard]
  2. • Cherry MX switch keyboards. Blue is loudest.
  3. • Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional type-s (s for silence)
  4. • Topre key switch. e.g. Happy Hacking Keyboard, Filco. [see List of Keyboards with Topre Switch]
  5. • Logitech romer-g switch. [see Logitech G810 Keyboard]
  6. • Rubber dom, cheap desktop keyboard. e.g. from Microsoft, Logitech, HP, etc.
  7. • Laptop keyboards. e.g. Apple Keyboards, ThinkPad keyboard.

[see Evolution of Laptop Keyboards, No More Page Up/Down Keys!]

[see Apple Keyboards ⌨]

Cherry MX Key Switch Sound Comparison

Here's a video that compare the noises they make.

Mx Brows vs Blues vs Reds

Note: the sound appear louder in videos. Because, microphone usually filter out ambient noise, and now you only hear the keys. And, the wooden desk amplify the sound.

Note: the only one that intentionally makes a sound, is the MX Blue, which makes a click sound.

All the others, do not make any noise if you press the key very slowly. (if you have wooden floor in a apartment, but walk very slowly, it'll make less noise.)

Where Does the Key Noise Came From

The key noise came from:

Reduce Key Noise by Rubber Ring

One way to reduce noise is to buy those rubber ring switch dampeners. You put them in each key yourself.

cherry rubber o ring switch dampeners
Rubber O Ring Switch Dampeners
Truly Ergonomic Keyboard (Cherry MX Brown), typing starts at 5:40

Key Switch Topic

  1. Computer Keyboard Design Flaws
  2. Guide to Keyboard Key Switch Mechanisms
  3. Mechanical Keyboard Noise Comparison
  4. What's NKRO, N-key Rollover?
  5. Blank Keycaps vs Labeled Keys
  6. Keyboard Keycaps: ABS, PBT
  7. Keyboard Key Label Tech
  8. List of Keyboards with Topre Switch
  9. XMIT Hall Effect Switch Keyboard
  10. Kailh Switch Keyboards
  11. Mechanical Keyboard and Repetitive Strain Injury
  12. List of Dvorak Keyboards
  13. Programable Keyboards with Onboard Memory
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