Mechanical keyboards are known for their tactile feedback and the satisfying clicking sound when the keys are pressed. However, not all mechanical keyboards are noisy yet still provide the same tactile sensation. Although no mechanical keyboard is completely quiet, these seven silent mechanical keyboards come fairly close.
FYI: there are also many great wireless mechanical keyboards for those who don’t want to deal with cables.
1. Yellow Ducky One 3
The Ducky One 3 keyboards come in a variety of switch options. However, if you’re serious about sound reduction, you’ll want to opt for the Cherry MX Silent switches. The operating noises of these “smooth and silent” switches are minimized by the company’s patented damping. Furthermore, this silent mechanical keyboard features stabilizers that prevent rattling and squeaking, plus high-grade silicon and EVA foam that helps reduce the keys’ sound when they bottom out.
- Foam between the PCB and case for sound dampening
- Four size options: full 104 keys, a tenkeyless, and two small iterations at 65% and 60% in size
- Limited key remapping
2. Corsair K70 RGB MK.2
Corsair is known for its gaming peripherals, and the K70 RGB MK. 2 is no different. This keyboard features several customizable lighting effects, making it look like a control panel. Furthermore, it has 8MB of onboard storage for saving macros and settings independently of your PC. It also features USB ports on the back of the aluminum frame. This allows users to connect other peripherals like a mouse without chewing up a USB port on the PC itself. Aside from the gaming perks, the K70 MK. 2 earns its spot on this list by employing Cherry MX Silent switches. These boast the feel of Cherry Red switches but with a 30% reduction in noise.
- Cherry MX Silent switches
- Customizable lighting effects and color options
- Onboard memory to store key macros and lighting settings
- Many features are geared toward gaming
Tip: you can spice up your mechanical keyboard with countless keycap options.
3. Durgod K320 Tenkeyless
Regardless of whether you are after a silent mechanical keyboard, the Durgod K320 Tenkeyless keyboard merits consideration. You can choose from a number of switch options, including the aforementioned Cherry MX Silent Red switches. Furthermore, the K320 employs stabilizers on the larger keys to dampen the noise. Although this model is tenkeyless, you can opt for the Durgod K310 if you need a number pad.
- Every key (except for Fn) can be programmed via Durgod’s Zeus software
- Multiple key switch options
- Adjustable feet for different angles
- No backlit keys
- Basic design
4. Cherry G80-3000
This keyboard isn’t going to catch anyone’s attention, and that’s the point. The Cherry G80-3000 is boring to a fault, meant to evoke the more utilitarian principles of technology. The manufacturer even boasts the best uses for this keyboard, including objectively boring places like banks, hospitals, and schools. It’s safe to say that its top priority is functionality and practicality. As a result, the Cherry G80-3000 keyboard utilizes Cherry MX Silent switches in conjunction with a patented 2-component stem system that helps noise reduction by minimizing noise at the top and bottom.
- Lack of distractions allows users to get straight to business
- PS/2 adapter included for those concerned about USB latency
- Boring design
- Noise reduction measures can make keystrokes feel “mushy”
FYI: if you spend your entire day typing, you may want to consider an ergonomic mechanical keyboard instead.
5. Razer BlackWidow Lite TKL
Unlike most of the other silent mechanical keyboards on this list, the Razer BlackWidow Lite TKL utilizes its own proprietary switches. In this case, Razer’s Orange switches are designed to provide familiar tactile feedback while remaining relatively quiet. In addition, Razer has preinstalled O-rings on the stem of each keycap, adding to the sound-dampening properties of the keyboard.
- Razer Orange switch provides a tactile feel with a quieter click
- Preinstalled O-rings further reduce noise
- One of the cheapest silent mechanical keyboards on this list
- White LED backlighting only
- Height of the keys from the board may cause fatigue in some users
6. Cherry MX Board 3.0 S
If you’re looking for a silent mechanical keyboard that will feel right at home in the office and your gaming rig, the Cherry MX Board 3.0 S is it. This keyboard features excellent build quality with an understated design aesthetic. Although this full-size keyboard offers no fancy buttons or dials, the unique lighting system runs from monochrome to complex RGB patterns. Switch it over to white backlighting if you want to use this keyboard at work without getting awkward glances from coworkers as your keyboard puts on a laser light show. Like most other options, the MX Board 3.0 S utilizes Cherry MX Silent switches, making it a versatile keyboard for different environments.
- Aluminum frame
- Multiple lighting options (monochrome & RGB)
- Lacks some of the extra features found in dedicated gaming boards
- No USB-C
Tip: if you aren’t happy with the mechanical keyboard switches on your board, you can always swap out the switches.
7. Happy Hacking Keyboard Hybrid Type-S
The Happy Hacking Keyboard Hybrid Type-S is not for everyone. The price tag alone is enough for many to walk away from it. However, the Topre switches make this one of the best silent mechanical keyboards available. These switches are electrostatic and capacitive, providing the benefits of mechanical switches with a rubber dome keyboard feel. This board is more tactile and less noisy but isn’t a mushy feeling when bottoming out the keys.
- Topre electrocapacitive switches
- Incredibly expensive
- Awkward layout takes getting used to
Alternative: Build Your Own Keyboard
If you’re not impressed by any of the keyboards listed here, you might want to consider creating your own silent mechanical keyboard. If you can find a keyboard that is “hot swappable,” you can change out the switches for silent ones yourself. Otherwise, you can follow our guide on building custom mechanical keyboards from scratch.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a tenkeyless keyboard?
Tenkeyless (TKL) refers to a type of mechanical keyboard that does not have a number pad on the righ side of the standard keyboard keys. TKL keyboards are smaller, making them more portable and better suited for small desks. Furthermore, TKL keyboards eliminate the function keys at the top of the board. Instead, the function keys are mapped to other keys and activated by a combination of key presses.
What are key stabilizers?
A stabilizer is a mechanism used in mechanical keyboards to stabilize the larger keys, such as the Spacebar, Enter, and Shift keys, as these keys can wobble or rattle when pressed resulting in unwanted noise. Furthermore, mechanical stabilizer keyboards benefit from a more consistent typing experience.
What does "hot swappable" mean?
Regarding mechanical keyboards, hot swapping refers to changing or replacing the switches under the keycaps without de-soldering and soldering. These keyboards employ a PCB board that enables users to pull switches out and push new ones in with minimal effort. This enables users to quickly try different switch types to determine which ones they prefer.
Image credit: Unsplash
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