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Sorting through the options to find your perfect switch and make the best keyboard can be a pain. And one of the most significant points of concern when constructing a mechanical keyboard is how much noise it produces. To help you understand how switch types vary by noise, let’s explore which Cherry switches are the quietest.
Anyone in the beginning stages of understanding the world of mechanical switches should check out our article covering the three main types: tactile vs linear vs clicky.
Those working in an open office environment should consider purchasing silent switches for their mechanical keyboard.
Cherry MX is a German-based mechanical switch manufacturer that has set the standard for mechanical keyboard enthusiasts since the development of the MX switch in the 1980s. They strictly focus on mechanical keyboard switches, offering a large variety to satisfy all forms of keyboard use.
One spec that differs from switch to switch is the amount of audible feedback. For example, Cherry MX created clicky switches, which produce a crisp clicking noise whenever a key is pressed. However, Cherry MX has also made the linear switch specifically to diminish audible and tactile feedback.
For those figuring out how to choose a keyboard with the quietest switches possible, we’ll run through Cherry MXs least noisy options. Additionally, for those concerned more with typing experience over sound, we have a guide covering the best mechanical keyboards for typing.
As stated above, linear switches are the quietest. However, there are multiple key switch options to consider, each offering a slightly different experience. For example, Cherry MX offers two linear switches marketed as “Silent.” These are the Cherry MX Silent Reds/Blacks.
Both silent switches have a rubber pad built into the mechanism that dampens and virtually eliminates any noise. Either key switch type is noiseless; the only difference between them is in the actuation force it takes to register a command.
Black switches require an actuation force of 60cN, while Reds require 45cN. The lower switch force of Red switches means they are more sensitive, which is often better for gaming. On the other hand, typists prefer a higher resistance, making the Black switches a great option.
Cherry has two types of Red switches, the Cherry MX Red and Cherry MX Silent Red. Many believe they are the same, but the regular Red switches produce significantly more noise.
Lastly, you can check out our guide on the best hot swappable keyboards for those looking to learn more about mechanical key switches.
STAT: The rubber pad that Cherry MX puts in their silent switches is claimed to reduce noise by 78%. (source)