Keyboard switches, the small mechanical devices underneath your keycaps, initiate the key’s pressing. Unfortunately, traditional keyboards usually come with keyboard switches that are obnoxiously loud with every keystroke, but there is good news.
Best Silent Switches for Keyboards (Top Picks)
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There are a ton of silent switches out there that work to make your typing experience as noiseless as possible. The best on the market is the Kailh Box Silent Pink Switch. This switch holds the title for the most responsive, the lightest, and the easiest to type on overall.
In this article, I’ll cover some of the most popular and efficient silent switches you can purchase for your keyboard. That said, let’s get started!
1. Best Overall: Kailh Box Silent Pink
The Kailh Box Silent Pink has a fairly unique design in that its stem is shaped like a box. This stem design works with all the various rubber-coated components to make this one of the best silent switches for keyboards on the market.
Similar to the Cherry MX switch, the Kailh switch does have a bit of a mushy feel when pressing the key, at least at the point that the key bottoms out. Overall, however, the feel and responsiveness of this switch are significantly better.
The Kailh Box switch is a fantastic one for gaming, though some users have reported that it makes certain games difficult if you need to move your fingers rapidly across the keyboard.
One of the best things about this switch is that it is light. Unlike the Cherry MX or Gateron switches, this switch almost has the feel of some clicky switches in terms of how easy it is to press. One of the primary complaints about silent switches is that the keys are often harder to press than they are in regular keyboards, but the Kailh presses almost as easily as these other keyboards.
- Light and Responsive: Out of any of the silent switches we’ve discussed today, this switch is the lightest and most responsive. The keys are easy to press and respond immediately as soon as contact is made.
- Very Silent: Another benefit to the Kailh Box Switch is that it is one of the most silent on the market, comparable to the Cherry MX. There’s practically no sound that comes from this switch without taking away any of the responsiveness. This is in part due to the box design.
- Mushy Keys When Bottoming Out: The only real downside to this switch is that if you press the key too hard, you will notice a mushy or squishy feeling as the key bottoms out. You can avoid this by pressing the key lightly.
2. The Most Silent: Cherry MX Silent Switch
This switch is top-of-the-line, built to be almost completely silent. It’s one of the most common switches in mechanical keyboards that are built to be silent.
The Cherry MX Silent Switch is one of the best switches to use when it comes to gaming because of its superior actuation distance and force.
While you might need to use a little more force to get it started, almost the moment the key is pressed, it’s making the connection to type.
The bad news is that these switches sometimes are harder to push down due to the thickness of the plastic they’re made with, but that thicker plastic also makes for a quieter click.
These switches can feel almost too soft to push down if you’re accustomed to pushing on keys with a pretty firm pushback. However, they’re still very responsive.
This type of key switch is best for people who don’t need to type at enormously quick speeds. While the switches are responsive, they also feel heavier, requiring more effort to push them down. All this means is that you’re not going to be able to move your fingers as swiftly over the keyboard as you might with some others.
- Silent: You’ll hear practically nothing from this key switch while typing.
- Excellent Response Time: The actuation distance for this key switch is fantastic. When you put pressure on the key, it sends the signal to type.
- Heavy Keys: The keys for the Cherry MX are bulkier and, if fully installed, can make your entire keyboard feel heavier.
- Challenging to Move Across the Keyboard: These keys can feel a little difficult to push in the beginning, and it can make it somewhat challenging to move swiftly across the keyboard. This is one reason why this key switch is better suited for gaming.
3. Most Affordable: Gateron Silent Red/Black
The Gateron Silent Switch is the best bang for your buck when it comes to the quietest keyboard switches. They’re also one of the smoothest switches on the market, significantly smoother than the Cherry switches.
In fact, this smoothness is one of the primary reasons these switches are so popular, making the Gateron one of the best for typists. This doesn’t mean that they can’t be used for gaming.
These switches are made with clear casings and copper contact leaves and soft plastic stems. This is, in part, what gives this switch superiority over some others. The clear casings allow you to really see how the switch is operating. This also makes for an easier fix if you should end up having problems with one.
However, these switches aren’t quite as popular because they aren’t as durable for long-term use, only lasting about fifty million keystrokes. So while you’re paying less, you must replace them more frequently.
- Smooth: These switches are some of the smoothest operating silent switches out there. The smooth flow of this switch allows your fingers to flow quickly over the keyboard.
- Affordable: Gateron switches are cheaper than many of their counterparts. This makes it a great option if you’re just getting started with silent keyboard switches.
- Needs to Be Replaced More Frequently: This switch doesn’t have quite as long of a life as some of the other switches. You can expect it to last about ⅔ as long as some of the other switches.
4. Most Efficient for Typing: OUTEMU (Gateo) Keyboard Switch Red
These switches have outdone themselves in being some of the best for professional typists. The design is built in such a way as to give the user the ability to use minimal pressure with maximum effectiveness. This means the user can put minimal pressure on the key and expect the keyboard switch to respond quickly.
They are also budget-friendly, similar to the Gateron switches, but you may experience a little more rattle in them than in some others. These switches are more budget-friendly because they are cloned from Cherry MX switches. That said, they work almost exactly the same way.
These switches come in various options, including soft click tactile and click tactile mechanical touch. Many keyboard switches don’t come with multiple options, so this is a benefit to getting this switch instead.
- Budget-friendly: These switches are the most affordable option apart from the Gateron switches.
- Flows smoothly: The thing that makes this keyboard the best for many typists is its responsiveness and flow as you type. You won’t find any bumps in this switch as you run our fingers over the keys. Because the switches aren’t raised very high, it’s much easier to type quickly and efficiently.
- Rattling keys: The downside to the OUTEMU key switch is that you will experience some rattling. It’s not as smooth to type on as many of the others.
- Frequent replacements: You may also find that you need to replace this switch more often. They aren’t built to last as long as some others, but they’re a good starting point to switch to silent keyboards.
Deciding on the Best Silent Switches for Your Keyboard
You’ll want to consider a few factors when purchasing new keyboard switches.
First, consider your priorities. Is it more important for the key to press with minimal force so that you can type very quickly? Or is the priority that you can “feel” the press before bottoming out the keyboard? Is it to get the absolute quietest stroke?
You’ll also want to think about the primary use of the keyboard – gaming, normal typing, or professional typing. Different keyboard switches are built to work best in specific situations.
For example, the Cherry MX switches are typically built to game. Switches like these are used in gaming keyboards for a noiseless experience. You can learn more about these in my article about the best quiet gaming keyboards.
The next thing you’ll want to consider is the durability of the switch. If you tend to be a bit of a rough typist, then you might want something that’s built of stronger plastic. You’ll also want to think about how long the keyboard switch will last, which is, of course, dependent on how often you’re using it.
Silent keyboard switches are hugely useful in a ton of situations. They make all the difference in being professional and courteous to those around you.
All the keyboard switches I’ve gone over today have their pros and cons, and no silent keyboard switch will be perfect, but they’re sure to be better than the annoying click traditional keyboard.
So go ahead, make the switch to the future.