The Best Silent Switches | Quiet Tactile and Linear Keyboard Switches

10 months ago

Do you love the feel of mechanical keyboards but hate the noise? If so, you’re not alone. Many people find that the loud clickety-clack of mechanical keyboards can be distracting or even annoying, especially in shared spaces like offices, study rooms, or libraries. The good news is that there are a number of silent switches available that can give you the same great feel and performance as traditional mechanical switches, without all the clack-clack-clacking.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best silent switches on the market, so you can find the perfect ones for your needs. We’ve reviewed thousands of switches from countless brands So whether you’re a gamer, a programmer, or just someone who wants to enjoy the typing experience without all the noise, read on to learn more about the best silent switches for your keyboard.

Product Comparison Table: Best Silent Switches

TitlePriceRating (Amazon)Best in classBuy
Cherry MX Silent Red$$$4 starsBest Linear Amazon
Kailh Box Silent Pink$$$4.5 starsBest Light Amazon
Cherry MX Silent Black$$$4 starsBest Heavy Amazon
DUROCK Silent T1 Tactile Switch$$$$4 starsBest Tactile Amazon
Akko CS Silent Ocean$$$4.5 starsBest Budget Amazon

Cherry MX Silent Red

The Cherry MX Silent Red switches are a great option for those who want the smooth, linear feel of a Cherry MX Red switch but with a quieter sound. These switches use a patented silencing mechanism that reduces the noise of both the upstroke and downstroke, resulting in a keyboard that is up to 30% quieter than a traditional mechanical keyboard. They are also very smooth and consistent, making them a good choice for both gamers and typists – no clunky transitions or missed hits here. Lastly, they have an actuation force of 45g, a 60g bottom-out, and a travel distance of 3.7mm, placing them in a good middle ground between light and heavy. The actuation is specifically shortened to make them quieter than usual, whilst still remaining satisfying to press.

Pros

  • Compatible with most keyboards
  • Lifespan of 50 million keystrokes
  • Linear design
  • Shortened actuation for quieter sound

Cons

  • Bottom out can feel limited

Verdict

The Cherry MX are our best silent switch for those who prefer a linear option. These switches are the quietest of the Cherry MX lineup, with a sound level of just 38 cN. As we’ve stated, they are also linear, which means that they have a smooth and consistent feel when typing. Sometimes, the shortened actuation may make the switch’s movement seem “blocked” on the bottom-out. But if you want a linear switch that still offers a silent experience, this is the perfect option for you.

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Kailh Box Silent Pink

Kailh Box Silent Pink switches are linear switches, just like the One of the things that makes Kailh Box Silent Pink switches so quiet is the use of a sound-dampening pad – the professional version of the felt or hot glue you might use as a DIY silencer. This pad is placed between the spring and the housing, and it helps to absorb the sound of the switch bottoming out.

The switches also have a shorter pre-travel distance (3.6mm), which means that they actuate sooner and make less noise. Another advantage of Kailh Box Silent Pink switches is that they are IP56 waterproof and dustproof. This means that they can withstand a lot of wear and tear, and they are not likely to be damaged by water or dust. Finally, Kailh Box Silent Pink switches are compatible with SMD LEDs. This means that they can be used in keyboards with backlighting.

Pros

  • Very light actuation (35g, 45g bottom-out)
  • Linear design
  • Dust-proof, waterproof, and transparent
  • Life of 50 million keystrokes

Cons

  • Bottom out can feel limited

Verdict
If you are looking for a light feel, the Kailh Box Silent Pink is the silent switch for you. They are smooth, responsive, and durable; the guarantee gives you peace of mind, and not many other silent switches can claim that they’re totally dustproof and waterproof. Being light, they produce a much quieter sound than traditional mechanical switches too – even if they’re not the quietest switch on this list!

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Cherry MX Silent Black

The Cherry MX Silent Black switches are characterized by a fast release, with a high actuation force of 60g. The total travel of 3.7mm ensures a reactive typing experience, silent but with a satisfying and deep press. They’re compatible with keyboards with a 5-pin or 3-pin connector, and the design is compatible with all keyboards that support Cherry MX switches too – without modifying the case. Like all Cherry switches they have a whopping estimated lifespan of 50 million keystrokes, and they’re dampened by Cherry’s own patented dampening technology.

Pros

  • Heavier 60cN operating force
  • Life of 50 million keystrokes
  • Compatible with most keyboards
  • Total travel distance of 3.7mm

Cons

  • Not as silent as others

Verdict 

These switches are similar to the Cherry MX Silent Red, but they have a heavier actuation force of 60 cN. This makes them a good choice for people who want a quiet switch with a bit more feedback. Cherry’s patented dampening technology does offer a significant level of noise reduction, but it isn’t enough to fight the inevitable reality: a heavier switch will always make more sound. However, if you like a slight “thock” with your heavy press, the sound shouldn’t be an issue.

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DUROCK Silent T1 Tactile Switch

The DUROCK Silent T1 is the silent version of DUROCK’s popular T1 switch, featuring a translucent turquoise housing and white stem. It uses patent silencing rings to mitigate sound to get that T1 tactility with a significant reduction in sound. The construction is strong and sturdy, too; they feature premium grade polymer nylon and PC blend housing, a soft and flexible POM stem, and gold-plated springs with metal leaf sourced from Korea and Japan. They have a 5-pin PCB mount style compatible with most keyboards, and support LED backlighting in both SMD and through-hole configurations. To top it all off, they have a bottom-out force of 67g, a 3.8mm total travel, and a 2mm operating distance.

Pros

  • Tactile design
  • Life of 60 million operations
  • 67g bottom-out, 3.8mm total travel
  • Durable premium construction

Cons

  • More expensive
  • Don’t come in packs of less than 70

Verdict

With the Silent T1 Tactile Switch, DUROCK have created the best tactile switch for silence-lovers. Although they’re a little more pricey than some others, they deliver the perfect level of feedback with very little noise. We found that the quiet helped us focus more on the feel of the switches too, so these are the perfect model for people who struggle with overstimulation, so they can enjoy typing silently without losing that subtle touch of feedback.

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Akko CS Silent Ocean

An improvement on the Akko V2, the Akko CS Silent Ocean is a small wonder of a silent switch. These are the best silent switches overall, with a satisfying typing experience worthy of a far higher price tag. Nice responsive feedback when bottoming-out plus a lab-confirmed 60 million keystroke lifespan equals a very long-lasting (and quiet) keyboard. Unlike AKKO V2 switches, CS switches feature a spiral spring design, which offers a smoother, quieter press. With 55g operating force, 0.5mm tactile position, and 3.5mm travel distance, the AKKO CS Ocean Blue switch offers a special tactile feeling different from any others on this list.

Pros

  • Great value low price
  • 3.5mm travel distance and 55g force
  • Life of 60 million operations
  • Tactile design

Cons

  • Poor pin quality

Verdict

The Akko CS Silent Ocean has a sound level of just 45 cN, but still boast a tactile bump that is similar to the famous Cherry MX Brown – without the Cherry price tag. But still, the Ocean Blue is somehow different in sensation. It can’t be to do with the relatively average actuation, force, and distance stats, so we assume it must be all in the springs! However, you do get what you pay for in some ways; the pins are poor quality, and often bend during installation. These bent switches are then unusable.

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