Are Mechanical Keyboards Too Loud?

In the realm of gaming gear, mechanical keyboards have carved out a reputation for themselves. They’re celebrated for their standout resilience, swift response times, and tactile feedback, making them a top pick for gamers and typists alike. However, there’s a question that frequently pops up – Do mechanical keyboards generate a lot of noise?

Let’s embark on an explorative journey to unravel the truth behind this popular query.

The Symphony of Mechanical Keyboard Switches

The heart (or should we say ears?) of the matter lies in the type of switches these keyboards use. These switches play a pivotal role in determining not just the feel but also the sound produced during typing.

Clicky switches are akin to a rock concert – high-energy and noisy. They produce an audible ‘click’ sound when you press them, giving an unmistakable confirmation that your keypress has been registered.

Contrarily, tactile switches offer a more acoustic-like experience. These still provide physical feedback but with less noise than their clicky counterparts. They’re like the brown switches which offer a best-of-both-worlds scenario – tactile yet less noisy.

Linear switches are like a silent orchestra – smooth and almost silent. They glide seamlessly without any bump or auditory feedback, making them the quietest amongst all.

Remember that blue switch keyboard you had that sounded like popcorn popping in a microwave? That’s because blue switches create a significant amount of sound that might not be everyone’s cup of tea in a serene work environment.

Mechanical Keyboards: The Art of Quiet

While mechanical keyboards inherently produce some noise due to their design, they’re not necessarily deafening. In fact, there are ways to tame this auditory beast!

One such method involves lubricating the keys or using sound dampers such as rubber rings. These can help to significantly decrease the clatter produced during fervent typing sessions or intense gaming marathons.

Another aspect influencing keyboard noise is your typing style itself. Forcibly mashing keys will naturally create more noise than if you were gently caressing each key at love sonnet speed!

For those who crave total control over their auditory experience, hot-swappable keyboards are your new best friend! These allow you to customize your keyboard with different types of switches based on your preference for sound levels and tactility.

To delve deeper into this topic and discover other tricks of making your mechanical keyboard quieter, check out this informative guide.

Why Choose Mechanical Over Membrane?

While membrane keyboards tend to be quieter due to their design, they lack the tactile feedback provided by mechanical ones. This could be a trade-off if you’re someone who appreciates physical confirmation with each keypress.

Although mechanical keyboards come with a slightly higher price tag compared to membranes, they offer an improved typing experience which many users find worth every penny spent. If you’re on budget constraints but still want to enjoy the benefits of mechanical keyboards, here’s our recommendation for some budget-friendly options.

Reducing Actuation Point: A Quieter Typing Experience

Choosing switches with reduced actuation points ensures quicker response times while making your typing experience lighter and quieter. This can be especially beneficial in office environments where maintaining tranquility is essential.

Understanding the Mechanics of Sound Production in Mechanical Keyboards

Each keystroke on a mechanical keyboard is a unique symphony, orchestrated by the intricate mechanics beneath those keys. When you press a key, the switch underneath it moves, causing a series of events that finally lead to the key registering on your screen. This series of mechanical movements is what creates the characteristic sound.
The sound that resonates from your keyboard is influenced by a myriad of factors – the caliber and kind of materials used in its construction, the design blueprint of the keyboard casing, and even its position on your desk. For instance, just imagine the unique notes produced by an aluminum-framed keyboard versus one crafted from plastic. The differences are subtle yet noticeable.

Creating A Peaceful Typing Environment: Keyboard Accessories for Noise Reduction

If you’re sharing your workspace with others or simply prefer a quieter typing experience, there are several noise-reduction accessories available in the market today.

Keyboard mats or pads can absorb some of the vibrations and reduce echo, making your mechanical keyboard quieter. Similarly, acoustical panels placed around your workspace can help minimize noise reflection.

Silicone or rubber O-rings placed on each keycap can also dampen the sound produced when you bottom out keys. They act as shock absorbers between the keycap and switch stem and help create a softer landing for each keystroke.

The Impact of Keycap Material on Sound

Believe it or not, even the humble keycap can influence the sound level of your mechanical keyboard! Take for instance PBT (Polybutylene Terephthalate) keycaps – they’re known to generate lower-pitched sounds that won’t echo around an office, unlike their ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) counterparts which are notorious for their higher-pitched clicks.
Moreover, thick keycaps have a knack for sponging up more sound compared to their thinner counterparts. Why? Well, they’ve got extra material to cushion those vibrations. So, if a tranquil typing session is what you’re after, it might be worth splurging on some robust PBT keycaps!

Choosing Your Switch Wisely: The Role of Switch Type in Noise Generation

Different switches have different actuation forces (the force required to register a keystroke), travel distances (the distance a switch must move before it registers), and feedback mechanisms. All these factors contribute to how much noise is produced during typing.

For example, switches with shorter travel distances tend to make less noise because there’s less distance for sound to travel through them. Similarly, switches requiring lower actuation forces result in quieter keyboards since they need less energy to press down.


Q1: Are all mechanical keyboards loud?
A: No. The loudness of mechanical keyboards varies depending on their switch type, build material, typing style, and use of any noise-damping accessories.

Q2: Why does my mechanical keyboard make so much noise?
A: Mechanical keyboards generate noise due to their design which involves physical switches moving up and down under each keycap. Some types of switches like blue ones are inherently louder than others like brown or red switches.

Q3: How can I make my mechanical keyboard quieter?
A: Various methods like using O-rings or foam pads beneath keys, lubricating switches, selecting quieter switch types for hot-swappable keyboards or simply adopting gentler typing habits can help reduce keyboard noise.

Q4: Which are some quiet mechanical keyboards for office use?
A: Mechanical keyboards employing brown or red switches are generally quieter than those with blue ones and hence better suited for office environments.

The Verdict: Are Mechanical Keyboards Loud?

The answer is not black and white; it’s more various shades of grey (or should we say various levels of decibels?). Yes, some mechanical keyboards can be loud depending on their switch type and how they’re used. But with proper knowledge and some tweaking, they can also be made relatively quiet while still offering excellent overall performance.

To sum it up – whether your mechanical keyboard sings an opera or whispers lullabies depends largely on you!

So go ahead! Dive into this vibrant universe where technology meets artistry – one keystroke at a time.