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Friday, October 4, 2019

4 Quiet Mechanical Keyboards that Won’t Make You Sound Like a Secretary from Mad Men

Ducky Shine 7
Ducky

Mechanical keyboards are loved by many for the typing experience they offer. However, there is a large group of people who could find the loud clicks and clacks of mechanical keyboards irritating. These keyboards aim to tackle that problem.

What to Look for in a Quiet Mechanical Keyboard

While any mechanical keyboard could be made quieter through the use of O-Ring dampeners and swapping out key switches, this article is solely focusing on the keyboards as they are out of the box.

  • Key switches: Switches are located under each keycap and largely determine what kind of noise the keys make (and how loud that noise is). Mechanical switches will always make some sound, but we sought out the ones that keep the noise down.
  • Size and layout: There is a wide range of keyboard sizes available today. Many of these alternative sizes require adjustment periods for users not used to them and should be carefully considered before purchasing.
  • Features: While they may not directly enhance the typing experience, RGB lighting, macros, and further customization options can be useful to have. As such any keyboard that has them will be noted.,

Best Overall: iKBC Table E412 (With Cherry MX Silent Red Switches)

iKBC Table E412
iKBC

iKBC’s E412 is a great keyboard; it sports a minimalist and classy design that could fit into any setup. The Cherry MX silent red switches it utilizes makes for a typing experience that has the mechanical feel many people love without that potentially irritating noise.

The simple design does hold some additional features. You’ll see a row of buttons on the top of the board that allows you to lock the keyboard and requires a custom password for it to be unlocked, disable the Windows key (or swap it out with the Function key), and reset the keyboard to factory settings. Three media keys are located above the Numpad, along with a large scroll wheel. White LED backlighting is also included.

Measuring in at 19.8 x 12.1 inches, the E412 is not a small keyboard. However, for those that don’t mind sacrificing the Numpad, a tenkeyless variant is available.

Best Premium: Ducky Shine 7 (With Cherry MX Silent Red Switches)

Ducky Shine 7
Ducky

If you’re looking for a high-end mechanical keyboard, the Shine 7 is for you. Ducky is a well-known and respected brand in the mechanical keyboard community, and the Shine 7 continues that reputation. The keyboard is available with different switches, including the Cherry MX silent reds, which, as previously stated, are great for those seeking a quieter keyboard.

The body of the keyboard is made out of a zinc alloy, giving it a durable and solid build. Following that theme of durability, the keycaps are made out of a double shot PBT plastic, which is more resilient than the standard ABT plastic you commonly see. RGB backlighting and macro functionality are built into the keyboard, both being controllable either by Ducky’s software or through a combination of button presses explained in the user manual.

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