Blue vs Brown Switches

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Updated June 27, 2022

If you are trying to learn about the various keyboards out there, you may look to compare blue vs brown switches. Some of the best keyboards, after all, include one design or the other. So what are blue and brown switches, how do they differ, and which setup is right for you? Keep reading to find out.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Mechanical keyboards are typically outfitted with blue, brown, or red switches, with each known as a mechanical switch.
  • Cherry MX brown linear switches are quieter during use than Cherry MX blue switches, though some prefer the clicking sound of blue switches.
  • This increased noise with blue switches does offer users a slightly increased tactile feedback.

Blue vs Brown Keyboard Switches

When you are discussing blue, brown, or even red keyboard switches, you are always talking about mechanical keyboards, just in case you are also comparing blue vs red switches. Optical, or membrane, keyboards offer reduced durability and performance when compared to mechanical keyboards, if you are comparing optical vs mechanical switches.

Insider Tip

If you are worried about the noise, try out a number of mechanical keyboards before making a purchase.

The primary difference between Cherry MX blue switches and Cherry MX brown switches is the sound they make during use if you are looking for the quietest mechanical keyboard, but that’s only the beginning of the variances between these two designs.

Sound

The tell-tale clickety-clack of a mechanical keyboard is off-putting to some and appealing to others. Blue switches make more noise than brown switches as you type. So if you are looking to be as quiet as possible, opt for a brown switch in your mechanical keyboard. However, some people actually prefer the clicking noise, as it offers a head-turning alternative when you are out and about and it adds a bit of flavor to the tactile appeal of mechanical keyboards.

Tactile Feel

Both of these switches offer the appealing tactile experience of using a mechanical keyboard, which is a boon to gamers and professionals alike. However, the additional noise that comes with using a blue switch-enabled keyboard offers a slightly elevated tactile experience when compared to brown switches. However, this is subject to change based on personal preference. Before choosing either type of keyboard, try them out first to check on the tactile feel.

Weight

Mechanical keyboards are heavier than optical keyboards, that much is certain. However, if you are looking to slim down your keyboard as much as possible, go for MX brown switches, as they are slightly lighter than MX blue switches. This makes MX brown switches slightly more portable than MX blue switches, though the difference may not be immediately noticeable by regular users. Over time, however, the differences build up.

F.A.Q.S

How do mechanical keyboards work?

Mechanical keyboards embed actual physical switches underneath the keys, which are not found under a membrane keyboard. These keyboards come with black switches, which is a popular switch, or you can choose other key switches, like a Cherry MX red switch.


How loud are mechanical keyboards?

They are louder than other types of keyboards, as tactile switches offer up some noise during use. These clicky switches are preferred by those who like a more tactile experience.


How much do mechanical keyboards cost?

Whether you choose Cherry MX browns or linear switches of another type, mechanical keyboards range in price from around $60 to $300 or more, depending on a number of factors.


STAT: Linear switches are a favorite of super fast-paced gamers due to their lack of bump or click. This allows for quick, twitchy reactions with minimal resistance. (source)

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