Mechanical keyboards offer a range of benefits over their membrane counterparts, but they’re not known for being quiet. The clack of most mechanical keyboards is loud enough that you probably won’t want to use one in an office or work environment that has a lot of people coming and going all day long. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to make your mechanical keyboard as quiet as possible. These tweaks don’t eliminate noise completely, but they will go a long way toward making your mechanical keyboard quieter than it would be stock out of the box. Also, remember that noise levels will vary depending on the switch type and brand used in your particular board; some boards are louder than others. But with those caveats aside, here’s how you can reduce the irritating clacking sounds of your favorite mechanical board.
How to Make Your Mechanical Keyboard Quieter
Use a keyboard dampener
A keyboard dampener is a thick pad that’s designed to go behind your mechanical keyboard to reduce the sound. Keyboard dampeners come in a variety of materials ranging from soft felt to rubber to neoprene. They’re not permanent accessories for your keyboard — you can easily remove them when you’re done typing and throw them in the wash if they need cleaning.
One of the best things about keyboard dampeners is that they don’t interfere with your typing experience. The sound difference between using a dampener and not using one is very minor. And while they won’t eliminate all of the noise, they will significantly reduce it.
Some dampeners double as wrist rests, which makes them a great addition to your desk setup. They’ll help keep the sound level down while you type, and help reduce the risk of injury from repetitive stress. And while they do add a little bit of bulk to your setup, they’re not as intrusive as you might expect.
If you don’t want to spend money on a keyboard dampener, you can make your own foam dampening pads out of cheap EVA foam. EVA foam is a common office supply because it’s soft and spongy. You’ll often see it used for footing toddler shoes and for exercise mats.
First, you need to cut a few rectangles of EVA foam. Then, put them underneath your keyboard. Now you can enjoy the reduced noise of your mechanical keyboard without having to spend extra money. The upside to EVA foam is that it’s easy to find, inexpensive, and cut. However, it might not be as effective at noise reduction as a keyboard pad that’s specifically designed for the job.
Use silicone gel or rubber feet
Another option is to put silicone rubber feet or stick on rubber feet on the bottom of your mechanical keyboard. This will help reduce the sound as you type. While silicone doesn’t have the spongy padding effect that EVA foam does, it will still do a great job at reducing the noise. Silicone rubber is soft, but it’s also very dense. It’s also sticky to help it stay in place on your desk while you type.
The bonus of using silicone rubber feet on your keyboard is that they come in a range of colours, so you can customise your board. On the other hand, the main downside of using silicone rubber feet on your board is that they do add a little bit of bulk to your setup. This might not be ideal if you like to travel with your keyboard. But if you prefer to keep it at your desk, silicone rubber feet are a great, inexpensive way to reduce noise.
Change your key-caps
A less extreme way to reduce the noise of your mechanical board is to swap out the key caps for quieter ones. Keep in mind that there are different levels of quietness among keycaps, and some will be better at reducing noise than others. Keycaps are made out of different materials, and some materials are quieter than others. ABS, PBT, and POM are some of the quieter materials you can find in key caps. The materials are also what determines the texture and feel of your keycaps. If you want to go with quieter keycaps, you may have to buy a whole new set for your mechanical keyboard since you can’t easily change out individual caps. This is a little bit of an investment, but it will go a long way toward making your mechanical board quieter.
Buy a quieter mechanical switch
Mechanical keyboards with clicky, tactile switches — such as Cherry MX Blue, MX Green, and MX Red — are known for being fairly loud. While there are things you can do on your end to reduce the noise, the easiest (and cheapest) way is to buy a different switch. If you really want to reduce the amount of noise your mechanical keyboard makes, you can buy a quieter switch. This can be as easy as buying a keyboard that has a different switch type from what you’re currently using. You can also buy individual switches that you can install yourself. This option is a little bit more involved than buying a new keyboard, but it’s cheaper. You can find a wide range of quieter switches online, including MX Blue and MX Brown switches.
Mechanical keyboards are great for typing thanks to their tactile feel and durability. But they’re not known for being quiet. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to make your mechanical keyboard quieter than it would be stock out of the box. One of the easiest ways to reduce the noise of your keyboard is to buy a different switch. This can be as easy as buying a keyboard that has a different switch type. Alternatively, you can buy individual switches that you can install yourself.
So, ready to make your mechanical keyboard quieter? Before you do that, though, make sure you’ve cleaned your keyboard. Here are tips on how to clean your mechanical keyboard.