Are Red Switches Loud? [In-Depth Analysis]

In the world of mechanical keyboards, the debate around Cherry MX switches never ceases. Today, we’re going to explore a hot topic among keyboard enthusiasts – are Red switches loud? We’ll compare the sound of Reds against other Cherry MX switches, namely Blues, Browns, and Blacks, to give you the best sense of what your ears might be in for.

The testing process involved using two microphones: a ModMic in noise-canceling mode and an Audio Technica AT-2020 (XLR). The microphones were positioned at a typical typing distance, and we tested with and without O-ring dampeners.

So, Are Red Switches Loud?

Our tests found that no switches, including Reds, triggered Discord voice activation at -44dB (the default setting), nor at a more sensitive -55dB. This suggests that even without any noise reduction techniques, Reds and the other switches are unlikely to disturb your in-game communication.

However, adding an O-ring dampener showed a significant reduction in noise. For instance, the Brown switches plummeted from -36dB to a near-silent -56dB. This is less than a quarter of the initial noise, demonstrating that if silence is golden for you, O-rings might be your best friend.

The Cherry MX Red switches are known for being smoother, quieter, and requiring less pressure to register a keystroke compared to the other switches. They lack the tactile bump found in the Cherry MX Browns, which makes them particularly desirable for gaming, offering a seamless and consistent keystroke. On the flip side, Browns, with their tactile feedback, tend to be preferred for typing tasks.

Keep in mind, factors like keyboard design and keycap material can influence sound levels. In our tests, a budget gaming headset resulted in louder readings. So, it’s good to remember that your specific setup can affect the noise level.

Personalizing Your Keyboard Experience

Choosing the right switches often comes down to personal preference. Our tests and guides can provide helpful insights, but nothing beats firsthand experience. If you’re keen to explore more, consider investing in an inexpensive test block and a variety of Cherry MX switches. This will allow you to physically test different options on your own setup.

To dig deeper, have a look at our articles on blue switches, the loudest mechanical keyboard switches, the best linear switches, and the best silent switches. This knowledge will enable you to make the most informed decision and ultimately enhance your keyboarding experience.

Comparison of Sound Levels

When it comes to the noise produced by different Cherry MX switches, there are distinct differences that can impact your choice of switch. Let’s delve deeper into how Red switches compare to their Blue and Brown counterparts.

Cherry MX Red switches, which are often lauded for their gaming suitability, were found to be comparatively quiet in our tests. Due to their linear actuation, there’s no ‘bump’ or ‘click’ associated with them. This lends to a quieter operation and a consistent, smooth keystroke.

Blues, on the other hand, are quite the opposite. As ‘clicky’ switches, they produce a distinct audible sound each time the switch actuates. This ‘click’ is often satisfying for typists but may be disruptive in noise-sensitive environments. For gamers, the extra noise may also affect voice communications.

Cherry MX Browns sit somewhere in between. They feature a tactile bump, but without the audible ‘click’ of the Blues. During our tests, we found the Browns to be slightly louder than Reds due to this tactile bump, but much quieter than Blues. With O-ring dampeners, Browns dropped from -36dB to an impressively silent -56dB.

It’s crucial to note that other factors, such as keyboard design and the use of dampeners, can influence these sound levels. For instance, our tests showed that O-rings significantly reduced the noise from all the switches, including Reds. Additionally, your audio recording equipment might amplify or decrease the perceived noise.

For a complete guide on switches and to help you decide which suits your preference, we recommend our comprehensive article on the best keyboard switches.


Q: Are Red switches good for gaming? A: Yes, Red switches are generally preferred for gaming due to their smooth and consistent keystroke.

Q: Are Cherry MX Red switches loud? A: No, compared to Blue and Brown switches, Red switches are relatively quiet. They produce a smooth keystroke without a tactile ‘bump’ or ‘click’, resulting in less noise.

Q: What can I do to make my keyboard quieter? A: O-ring dampeners can do wonders. They can significantly reduce the noise produced by key presses.

Q: Which Cherry MX switch is best for typing? A: Brown switches are often preferred for typing due to their tactile bump, which helps limit mistakes and improve typing speed.

Q: Are all Cherry MX switches the same noise level? A: No, the noise level varies among different switch types. In our tests, we found Blue switches to be the loudest, while Red and Black switches were quieter. The noise level can also be influenced by factors such as keyboard design, use of dampeners, and recording equipment.

Final Words

In our tests, we found that Red switches aren’t inherently loud, especially when compared to the distinctive clicks of Blue switches or the tactile feedback of Browns.

Whether you’re an avid gamer requiring the swift responsiveness of Red switches, or a writer who relishes the tactile feedback of Browns, the world of keyboard customization awaits you. Remember, your keyboard is more than just a tool—it’s an extension of you. Make it count!