Mechanical keyboards have turned into the defacto standard when it comes to a stellar typing experience. With that said though, they also come in various different shapes and sizes that have led to the rise of some misconceptions.
No, mechanical keyboards are not too loud for the office. In fact, a well-lubed linear switch is more silent than a membrane keyboard. Depending on the switch you buy, they can either be extremely silent or very loud.
For further clarification, we’re going to be talking about why a mechanical keyboard can be loud, how to reduce the noise of your own mechanical keyboard, and our favorite picks for the best mechanical keyboards to pick out for the office.
The Reason For Loud Mechanical Keyboards – Switches
Alright, so if you’ve gone into the notion of mechanical keyboards just being clickety clackety, you won’t be wrong. We’ve personally had a few keyboards that were way too loud come into the office.
But, we use mechanical keyboards and themselves. And, ours aren’t loud. In fact, they are almost silent. Why’s that? Well, the answer is simple, switches. You see, not every mechanical keyboard sounds the same. They’re meant for different use cases. And, there are switches that are meant precisely for environments that cannot tolerate a lot of noise.
When one reduces the actuation point (aka travel time) of a switch, you end up having a much lighter, linear experience. Moreover, there are a few switches that’ll always be a bit louder than the others.
Best Mechanical Switches For Offices – Silent Typing
While listing down every keyboard that offers these switches will be quite redundant, we’ve done something better. We’ll be listing down every switch that is silent, linear, and is great for the office.
Zilent V2 Switches (Silent Tactile)
If you were using MX Browns and thought they were good, wait until you get the Zilent V2’s. They’re crisp, quieter than almost any mechanical keyboard, and, you can rest your fingers on them without accidentally activating them.
We found the switches great for longer typing sessions, they didn’t bottom out at all and the entire experience cushioned our fingers while also not leading them to be insanely muddy. We were honestly quite surprised with the overall experience they provided at the price.
When you think of tactile switches, you think of clicks and clacks. Fairly annoying, right? Well, not the Boba U4. It is one of the only switches in the list that is both silent and tactile – a deadly combination.
Compatible with almost every PCB including Outemu hot swaps, you’ll be enjoying minimal mushiness with added oomph to them once you lube these puppies up. Besides that, while we did feel the stock switches were a bit squeaky, we did end up getting used to the bumpiness by the end.
All in all, these definitely are the best tactile switches among the list.
Gateron Silent Red
The Gateron Silent Reds are excellent switches. They are linear, budget-friendly, and feel quite smooth to type with. They have a lifespan of about 50 million keystrokes which means that they aren’t as durable as compared to their Cherry counterparts.
Generally, though, they’re a great pick for an inexpensive office mechanical keyboard.
Cherry MX Silent Red
The Cherry MX Silent Reds are the quietest switches on this list. In fact, they are so quiet that you’ll end up sacrificing a bit of smoothness for the insane noise reduction that follows. They also have rubber insulation to further reduce their noise profile.
From our personal experience, these switches work better when they are lubed. While that is true for almost any switch, it is especially true for the Cherry’s since they have a squeakier sound profile in some instances.
Is A Mechanical Keyboard In The Office Worth It?
Yes, a mechanical keyboard in the office is worth it because it reduces the strain on your fingers, increases your typing speed, and provides you with a more ergonomic typing experience.
While we may sound like massive mechanical keyboard fans (which we are, don’t get us wrong). That’s far from the tale. We’ve seen people not resort to mechanical keyboards just because they think they’re really loud. That’s far from it! As we’ve shown with the switches above, mechanical keyboards come in all shapes and sizes.
So, whether your office likes loud noises or not, there’s a mechanical keyboard with the perfect switches out there for you that’ll give you all the fun without any of the noise!
Can I Make My Loud Mechanical Keyboard Silent?
Yes, you can reduce the noise of your loud mechanical keyboard by modifying it. You can start off with your own stock switches and lube them. This helps in reducing the squeakiness that a keyboard may have to give you a fuller experience.
If you still aren’t satisfied and have a hot-swappable keyboard, then trying any of the switches from the list we mentioned above should rid you of all your woes.
How To Make Your Mechanical Keyboard Quieter?
Are All Mechanical Keyboards Hot-Swappable?
Does a Mechanical Keyboard Improve Typing Speed?
I work from home. To do the best possible job I need the right accessories - the right desk, the right chair, the right keyboard, the right monitor, etc. When I work I want to feel comfortable. I review everything that's related to home desk setup - focusing on Monitors & Keyboards.