Table of Contents_
Those passionately searching for the best keyboard have likely staggered across the great switch debates. Keyboard switches are a hotly contested piece of equipment, and below, we’ll compare red vs brown switches. These are two common switch types, each with niche benefits, so stick with us to find out what makes them unique.
Another significant decision you may consider before looking at the various keyboard switch colors is the switch types. For this, we have an article comparing tactile vs clicky switches.
If you like the feel of the tactile bump but want to reduce the clicking sound, you can lube the switches to reduce noise.
Although every mechanical switch accomplishes the same thing — translate the force of a keystroke from your finger to the electronic sensor beneath — the experience is different between types. For example, red switches are linear, meaning they have a smooth stroke and make little noise.
On the other hand, brown switches have a built-in tactile bump. This bump provides a slight resistance known as tactile feedback, which means that users will feel a small resistance with every keystroke. Additionally, brown key switches produce a more audible click than linear switches.
So now that we’ve established the experiential differences, we’ll explain the advantages of either type. But for another guide on keyboard switches, you can check out our article on Razer vs Cherry green switches.
Most gamers prefer a linear over tactile switch for a few reasons. First, gamers require a higher audio awareness to listen to the in-game conversations and sound effects. The loud click of a brown switch can obstruct the audio experience.
Additionally, red switches type faster and are more sensitive because they lack a tactile bump. This sensitivity is desired for intense gaming, as many key combinations are repeated simultaneously.
Red switches are lighter by design, making them easy to press and cause typos without noticing.
While switches are always a matter of preference, the average typist prefers something with some form of resistance. Therefore, brown switches are recommended for those looking to type because the tactile bumps decrease the sensitivity. On the other hand, red switches are very smooth. They can have a lower actuation point, meaning it’s easier to press a key accidentally.
Both types of switches are incredibly durable. For example, if you get the official Cherry MX red or brown switches, they are said to last up to 50 million strokes.
STAT: Cherry MX offers a speed switch that responds 40% faster than the fastest linear switch. (source)