Quiet Technology

Quiet Mechanical Keyboards 2019 – The Best On The Market – Reviews & Buying Guide

These days, technology is constantly getting smaller, thinner, and more compact. Modern computers take up only a fraction of the footprint they did a decade ago. While design innovations are great in terms of space and aesthetics, there’s one aspect of today’s computers that have become a point of contention among many users. That point would be the keyboard.

Most computers come with thin keyboards that utilize a rubber dome. Also referred to as membrane keyboards, these devices use pressure pads to pick up keystrokes. While they are lighter and thinner, the keys have much less travel. This can prove to be problematic if you’re a frequent typer or gamer.

More and more computer users are making the switch back to mechanical keyboards. On a mechanical keyboard, each key is connected to a spring and switch. They have that iconic click and tactile feedback that seasoned users want. Mechanical keyboards have many advantages over the alternatives. In addition to having a better feel, mechanical keyboards are known for their accuracy. They’re also solidly built. When a switch goes out on a mechanical keyboard, you can replace a single component instead of tossing the entire unit out.

While all mechanical options will produce some sound, advances in the industry have paved the way for quieter keys. These quiet mechanical keyboards cut out all the unwanted noise while still providing you with the psychoacoustic feedback you’re after.

The demand for classic mechanical keyboards has spawned many great products. They utilize the same technology as keyboards of yesterday, albeit, with a modern twist. Here is a selection of the best quiet mechanical keyboards that can transform the way you type.

 

Corsair Strafe RGB MK.2 Mechanical Keyboard

Customize your gaming setup with this quiet keyboard from Corsair. It has a lighting system that can be customized to match your style. The light shines through the key gaps and icons. It comes with innovative software that lets you synchronize the keyboard with other lighting gear as well. The keyboard is full-sized and includes numerous macro keys to speed up your typing. The switches utilize gold contacts for a quick response. Additionally, it has 8MB of built-in storage so that you can take your save data and gamer information on the go.

Pros:

  • RGB lighting system
  • Quiet operation
  • Pass-through USB ports
  • Removable hand rest
  • Full-sized
  • Uses Cherry MX switches

Cons:

  • Wired connection

 

 

Das Keyboard Professional Mechanical Keyboard

The keys on this option from Das Keyboard utilize Cherry MX switches. They feature slight padding to lighten the tactile feel and dampen sound. The full-sized keyboard is simple in design but features many convenient functions. It has a large volume knob as well as dedicated media playback buttons. The top panel is made of anodized aluminum while the bottom has a magnetic footboard that raises the keys up for a better typing position.

Pros:

  • Aluminum construction
  • Engineered for soft tactile experience
  • Two USB 3.0 ports
  • Magnetic footboard
  • Full-sized
  • Uses Cherry MX switches

Cons:

  • Wired connection
  • No backlighting

 

 

Logitech G413 Mechanical Keyboard

The Logitech G413 is built tough. The panel is made of an aluminum-magnesium alloy. It takes on a brushed look to complement any decor. The keys utilize Romer-G mechanical switches. They provide the click you’re familiar with but are slightly softer to reduce noise. Subtle backlighting is built into the keys. The soft glow provides enough illumination to see the keys at night but not enough to distract you. The keyboard includes dedicated media buttons, macro buttons, and a USB 2.0 port.

Pros:

  • Aluminum-magnesium alloy body
  • Engineered for soft tactile experience
  • USB ports
  • Full-sized
  • Soft backlighting
  • Soft Romer-G switches

Cons:

  • Wired connection
  • Can’t change backlight color

 

 

Corsair K55 RGB Mechanical Keyboard

Another great option from Corsair, the K55 mechanical keyboard is versatile and functional. It has a total of 110 keys. These include dedicated media playback buttons and macro keys. The keys are designed to be quieter. Rubberized rings prevent unnecessary noise while retaining the tactile feel. A dynamic lighting system is included. It has over 10 different settings, which can be customized in the included software. The keyboard can also be used with an XBOX and compatible games.

Pros:

  • Dynamic lighting
  • Quiet key design
  • USB ports
  • Full-sized
  • Removable hand rest
  • Can be used with XBOX system

Cons:

  • Wired connection

 

 

Redragon K552 Mechanical Keyboard

Designed with gamers in mind, the keys on the Redragon K552 are very responsive. They utilize custom switches that are engineered to produce the familiar clicking sound without additional noise. They offer moderate resistance thanks to the custom springs. The keyboard contains 87 keys in addition to 12 multimedia buttons. The lack of a numeric pad shrinks the footprint to a manageable size. It’s available in a couple of different backlight colors.

Pros:

  • Smaller size
  • Custom switches
  • USB ports
  • Splashproof
  • Colorful backlighting

Cons:

  • Wired connection
  • No USB ports

 

 

Biostar GK1 Pro Silent Mechanical Keyboard

This full-sized keyboard from Biostar utilized Cherry MX switches. It also has Linear Action technology. This improves response time while also keeping the keys quiet beyond the tactile click. In addition to a full numerical pad, the keyboard has four buttons that can be used to adjust sensitivity. Every key is backlit with a green light. The light can also be adjusted to four different levels for optimal comfort.

Pros:

  • Full size
  • Rugged construction
  • USB, microphone, and headphone ports
  • Adjustable lighting
  • Adjustable key sensitivity

Cons:

  • Wired connection
  • Can’t change color of lights

 

 

Code V3 Mechanical Keyboard

If you’re looking for simplicity, this keyboard may be for you. It has a very sleek design. The keys are arranged in a very traditional manner, making the keyboard fit right in with any office setting. Every key is backlit. The light can be adjusted to seven different settings for your convenience. The keyboard contains Cherry MX Blue switches. They’re responsive, relatively quiet, and have gold contacts for better performance.

Pros:

  • Full size
  • Simple design
  • Detachable USB cord
  • Can be configured for different outputs
  • Adjustable lighting
  • No branding

Cons:

  • Wired connection
  • Can’t change color of lights
  • No dedicated media buttons
  • No USB ports

 

 

Mechanical Keyboard Buying Guide

Newer mechanical keyboards are not the same ones that came with computers from decades past. Modern manufacturers understand what users are looking for, so they’re engineered to provide you with a great typing experience. In addition to that classic “click,” modern mechanical keyboards are equipped with the features and technology you need. Whether you’re a gamer, novelist, or someone who wants a nostalgic feel, there are a lot of things to consider before you make the investment.

Types of Switches

The switches are what makes a mechanical keyboard so unique, so it’s important that you choose the right ones. You would think that all keyboards that are advertised as “Mechanical” would have the same type of switch. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

If you’re after that iconic feel and sound, you should find a keyboard that uses Cherry MX switches. They have individual switches that are activated when you press down. Springs pop the key back up. Cherry MX switches are one of the most common you’ll find.

You may also encounter keyboards with a scissor mechanism. While these are technically mechanical keyboards, the sensation they provide under your fingertips is not the same. Instead of utilizing a spring to pop the key back up, the unique scissor mechanism does the job.

The types of switches you want to avoid are membranes. They’re also referred to as dome switches. These are the traditional types of keyboards that often come with modern computers. All of the keys are connected. When a key is pressed down a complete circuit is created. These types of keyboards have significantly less travel and often feel soft under your fingers. While they are noticeably quieter, they lack that distinct clicking sound.

Size of Keyboard

The size of the keyboard you’re using can affect your efficiency and the overall functionality of the device. There are many sizes available. They range from standard QWERTY boards up to full-sized boards with all the bells and whistles. When you’re shopping for a mechanical keyboard, you’ll notice that certain terms are used to describe size.

The smallest size is referred to as a “60%” keyboard. This means that the keyboard contains only the essential 60 or 61 keys. There is no function row or numeric keypad. Next up is “65%” or “70%.” In addition to the essential keys, these keyboards have arrow keys to bring the total number up to about 66.

“75%” keyboards have all of the previous keys in addition to a full function row. Finally, there’s the “TenKey.” These keyboards are one of the most common you’ll find on the keyboard. They have all of the function keys in addition to the numerical keypad. They contain all the keys you would need to perform quick functions. Some manufacturers also make a “TenKeyLess” design, which omits the numerical keypad.

Connectivity

In the past, your only option was to connect the keyboard to a proprietary input on the back of the modem. Today, there are a couple of different options to choose from. You can get a wired keyboard or a wireless model. Wired keyboards often utilize a USB outlet. However, if you have an older model, you may be able to find options with the old PS/2 interface.

Wireless keyboards connect to your computer via Bluetooth technology. You must pair the two devices before use. These products are great if you want to keep your desk clutter-free. However, these keyboards will need to be powered. Some utilize a built-in battery that can be recharged while others use AAA batteries.

Noise Level

To someone who has never used a mechanical keyboard before, noise may seem like a non-issue. However, the noise the keys produce is actually linked to your accuracy. When you hear that “click,” you know that the keystroke was registered.

When you’re shopping for a mechanical keyboard, you don’t want to get rid of the clicking sound altogether. Instead, you want to get rid of any accompanying noise. One type of sound you want to avoid is the sound of the key hitting the bottom of the board. To combat this sound, some manufacturers utilize rubber rings. The rings prevent the noise without affecting the click. Some products also have switches that prevent the key from going all the way down to the panel, thus, reducing the noise.

Design

You want your office or game room to look good, so why not pay some special attention to a keyboard’s design? Mechanical keyboards have gone a long way over the last decade. They’re no longer dull, gray, pieces of plastic. You can now get keyboards in a range of designs to suit your style.

One popular design choice is LED backlighting. Backlighting helps to illuminate the keys in the dark. While standard white lights do their job, you can also get colorful lights to spice up your gaming space. These keyboards feature multiple colors that light up the keys themselves and space in between.

You can also get uniquely colored keys. Many seasoned gamers utilize brighter colors to accentuate important keys in their favorite game. If you work with professional software, such as ProTools or PhotoShop, you can also get keys printed with icons to remind you about shortcuts.

Added Extras

In addition to cool signature lighting, many keyboards offer features that help you streamline certain tasks. Additional physical buttons are very common. You can find keyboards with volume knobs, media playback buttons, and so much more. Macro buttons are also a great option, as they let you register complex key commands with one button. Many manufacturers also include a few USB ports or an SD card reader so that you don’t have to reach over to your modem to access data.

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