Are you tired of the loud sound your mechanical keyboard makes every time you type? Does the noise distract your colleagues or family members while you work or play games? If so, you’re not alone. Many people prefer the tactile feedback and responsiveness of mechanical keyboards but dislike the loud clicking sound they produce.
Why Are Mechanical Keyboards So Loud?
Before we discuss how to make your mechanical keyboard quieter, let’s understand why it’s loud in the first place. Mechanical keyboards use individual switches for each key, which means that each keystroke produces a distinct sound. The sound comes from the switch’s stem hitting the bottom of the switch housing or the spring inside the switch compressing and releasing.
Types of Switches
There are three main types of mechanical keyboard switches: linear, tactile, and clicky. Linear switches have a smooth keystroke with no tactile bump or click sound. Tactile switches have a tactile bump that provides feedback when the key is pressed. Clicky switches have a tactile bump and an audible click sound.
Factors Affecting Sound
The sound produced by a mechanical keyboard depends on various factors, including the type of switch, the keycap material, the keyboard case, and the surface it’s placed on. Some switches are naturally louder than others, and some keycap materials, such as ABS plastic, resonate more than others. The case and surface can also amplify or reduce the sound.
How to Reduce Keyboard Noise
Now that we know why mechanical keyboards are loud, let’s look at some ways to make them quieter:
1. Add O-rings
O-rings are small rubber rings that you can install on your keyboard switches to dampen the sound. They sit between the stem and the bottom of the switch housing and absorb some of the impact. This reduces the sound and also shortens the keystroke distance.
2. Change the Switches
If you have a clicky switch and want a quieter keyboard, you can replace the switches with tactile or linear switches. Tactile switches still provide feedback without the click sound, while linear switches are the quietest of the three types.
3. Use Dampening Foam
Dampening foam is a material that you can place inside your keyboard case to absorb sound and vibrations. It can reduce the sound of the switches and prevent sound from resonating inside the case.
4. Lubricate the Switches
Lubricating the switches can also reduce the sound they produce. You can add lubricant to the stem, spring, and housing to make the keystrokes smoother and quieter.
5. Change the Keycaps
As mentioned earlier, different keycap materials can affect the sound of your keyboard. If you have ABS plastic keycaps, you can switch to PBT or double-shot keycaps, which are thicker and less resonant.
6. Use a Soft Mat
If you’re using your keyboard on a hard surface, such as a desk, the sound can be amplified. Using a soft mat or a keyboard tray can reduce the sound and also make typing more comfortable.
Mechanical keyboards are a popular choice for many people, but the loud sound they produce can be a nuisance. By using some of the methods mentioned above, you can make your mechanical keyboard quieter and more pleasant to use. Whether you choose to add O-rings, change the switches, use dampening foam, lubricate the switches, change the keycaps, or use a soft mat, you can enjoy the tactile feedback of a mechanical keyboard without the noise.
1. Can I make my clicky switches quieter?
Yes, you can add O-rings, lubricate the switches, or replace them with tactile or linear switches.
2. Will changing the keycaps reduce the sound of my keyboard?
Yes, keycap materials can affect the sound of your keyboard. Switching to thicker and less resonant keycaps can reduce the sound.
3. Will using a soft mat or keyboard tray really make a difference?
Yes, using a soft mat or keyboard tray can reduce the sound and make typing more comfortable.
4. Do I need to lubricate my switches?
No, lubricating your switches is optional, but it can make them smoother and quieter.
5. Can I use multiple methods to make my keyboard quieter?
Yes, you can use a combination of methods to achieve the desired level of quietness for your mechanical keyboard.