How to make gaming keyboard quieter?

How to make gaming keyboard quieter?

How to make gaming keyboard quieter?
Modern gaming keyboards often use "clicky" mechanical switches to create a crisp, responsive typing feel, but this also makes them noisier. How to make a gaming keyboard quieter has become an issue of concern for many gamers. The constant noise from a gaming keyboard can cause fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and annoy those around you. Join Enthkey to learn about options, ways to reduce noise and benefits of having a quiet gaming keyboard in the article below.

Introduction to noisy gaming keyboards

Problem: noisy clicky keyboard for gamers

Today's gaming keyboards often use "clicky" mechanical switches to create a clear typing experience and good feedback. However, this also brings a significant limitation-high noise during use. The constant "clicking" sounds from the keyboard can be quite loud, especially in quiet environments or when playing games at night.

Why a quiet keyboard is desirable

Although noise from a gaming keyboard can help increase excitement in some cases, it can also cause discomfort and disturb those around you. For those who play frequently or in environments that require quiet, using a quieter keyboard offers many benefits, including:
  • Reduce noise levels and discomfort for users and neighbors.
  • Create a more focused and relaxing gaming environment.
  • Avoid making noise that disturbs others, especially at night.
  • Reduce the risk of warnings or fines for excessive noise in certain environments such as dormitories, offices, etc.

Understanding keyboard noise

Types of keyboard switches (licky, linear, feeling)

The noise from the keyboard is largely determined by the type of switch used. There are three common types of switches:
  • Clicky Switch: Produces a clear "click" sound when a key is pressed. This is the noisiest type, with a noise level of about 50-60 dB.
  • Linear Switch: There is no clicking sound, only a "sudden" sound when pressing to the resistance point. Less noisy than the clicky type, about 35-45 dB.
  • Switch Feel: There is a clear pressing feeling but no clicking sound. The noise level is equivalent to the linear type.

Factors contributing to keyboard noise

In addition to switch type, there are several other factors that affect how loud a keyboard is:
  • Key material: Plastic or metal will make a louder noise than PBT (Polybutylene Terephthalate) keys.
  • Keyboard frame design: Aluminum or metal frames lead to louder noise than plastic.
  • Padding under the keys: Lack of padding will cause noise to increase significantly.
  • Key pressing force: The greater the pressing force, the higher the noise.

According to some studies, the average noise level of a gaming keyboard ranges from 50-70 dB, equivalent to the noise of a vacuum cleaner or photocopier. This noise level can be annoying and distracting to users as well as those around them.

Quiet gaming keyboard options

Low quiet keyboard

If you're looking for a new gaming keyboard that's completely quiet, there are a few options worth considering:
  • Membrane Gaming Keyboard
Membrane keyboards use a thin layer of rubber under each key instead of mechanical switches. This significantly reduces typing noise, only about 30-40 dB. However, the typing feeling may not be as good as a mechanical keyboard.
  • Low-Profile Gaming Keyboard
Low-end gaming keyboards use a lower key design and shorter travel, creating less noise when typing. Models like the Keychron K3, Obinslab Anne Pro 2, or Corsair K70 RGB Low Profile are all quieter options than traditional mechanical keyboards.
  • Scissor-Switch Gaming Keyboard
Gaming keyboards that use scissor-switch technology, like the Logitech G915, are also considered quieter than conventional mechanical keyboards. However, the typing feeling may not be as good as a mechanical keyboard.

Keyboard noise reduction mods

If you already have a mechanical gaming keyboard but want to reduce the noise, there are a few mods that can do the trick:
  • Replace the switch
Replacing clicky switches with linear or felt types will greatly reduce noise. Popular switches for mods include Cherry MX Red, Gateron Yellow, or Kailh Box Brown.
  • Install the o-ring or acoustic padding
Adding a rubber or silicone acoustic seal (called an o-ring) to the base of the key will limit the noise when the key hits the keyboard.
  • Spray lubricant
Spray a small amount of lubricant on the switch to reduce friction and typing noise.
  • Replace keycaps
Using keycaps made of PBT or non-reflective material will reduce noise compared to keycaps made of ABS.
  • Install under case padding

Adding an acoustic cushion under the keyboard case will absorb noise before it spreads outside. While these mods can help reduce noise, they can also affect the typing feel and response time of the keyboard. Therefore, careful consideration needs to be made between the level of quietness and the desired typing experience.

Existing keyboard noise reduction techniques

Keyboard noise reduction materials

If you don't want to replace the entire keyboard or do complicated mods, there are several materials that can help reduce noise from your existing keyboard:
  • O-Rings/Acoustic seals
This is the most common and simplest option. Rubber or silicone acoustic seals are placed between the keys and the keyboard case, limiting the noise emitted when the keys touch down on the case. They can reduce noise by up to 30%.
  • Acoustic underlayment
These are pads of foam rubber, sponge, or other sound-absorbing material placed under or around the keyboard case. They help absorb and insulate noise from the keyboard outward.
  • Acoustic fabric
Using specialized sound-absorbing fabrics such as woven or non-woven fabrics to wrap around the keyboard cover is also an effective noise reduction solution.

Sneaky gaming keyboard modifications

If you don't mind "dissecting" your existing keyboard, there are a few modifications that can be made to reduce noise:
  • Replace the switch
Similar to what was mentioned previously, replacing clicky switches with linear or sensed types will greatly reduce noise.
  • Add Audio Cushion to Case
By opening the keyboard case, you can add layers of acoustic cushioning inside the case to absorb and hinder noise propagation.
  • Spray Lubricant

Spraying a small amount of lubricant on the switch will reduce friction and noise when typing.

Soothe Your Clicky Gaming Keyboard

If you don't want to change too much but still want to reduce the noise from your clicky keyboard, there are some techniques to try:
  • Use Thicker Keycaps
Replacing existing keycaps with thicker keycaps, often made of PBT material, will help limit "click" noise when typing.
  • Press Lighter
Trying to press the keys with less force will reduce the noise coming from the switches.
  • Use a thick mouse pad
Placing the keyboard on a thick mouse pad or foam rubber cushion will absorb some of the noise before it spreads to the surrounding environment. While they may not completely eliminate noise, the above techniques will significantly reduce noise levels from your gaming keyboard, providing a quieter and more comfortable gaming experience.

Tips for Quiet Gaming Sessions

Quiet Keyboard Usage Habits for Game Players

Even if you've got a quiet keyboard, how you use it significantly affects how loud it is. Instead of hitting the key hard, press the key gently but still with enough force to activate. Learning how to type properly with the correct fingers will also help reduce unnecessary noise. Additionally, many games allow you to turn off or adjust the sound of keystrokes, helping to reduce noise while playing. Finally, using the mouse more for in-game control can also reduce the pressure on the keyboard.

Optimize Gaming Environment

The gaming environment also affects noise levels. Using high-quality headphones will isolate environmental noise and provide more realistic game sound, eliminating the need to turn up the volume too high. Placing the keyboard on a foam rubber pad or sound-absorbing material also helps minimize noise transmission. Additionally, adding soundproof panels, curtains or carpets on the walls and floors will absorb bounced sounds and improve the acoustics in the room. Finally, choose a suitable gaming location, avoiding noise-sensitive areas.

Best Quiet Mechanical Keyboard Recommendations

Top Quiet Gaming Keyboard Options

If you're looking for a new quiet mechanical gaming keyboard, here are some options worth considering:
  • Keychron K3 (Gateron Red Switch)
  • Obinslab Anne Pro 2 (Gateron Brown Switch)
  • Corsair K70 RGB Low Profile (Cherry MX Red Low Profile Switch)
  • Ducky One 2 SF (Cherry MX Silent Red Switch)
  • GMMK Pro (Hotswap, quiet switches can be installed)

Low Keyboard Options for Gamers

Low-profile keyboards are also a good choice for gamers who prefer quietness, thanks to their low key design and shorter key travel. Some suggestions:
  • Keychron K3 Low Profile (Gateron Low Profile Red Switch)
  • Obinslab Anne Pro 2 Low Profile (Gateron Low Profile Brown Switch)
  • Corsair K70 RGB Low Profile (Cherry MX Low Profile Speed Switch)
  • Ducky One 2 SF (Cherry MX Low Profile Red Switch)
  • GMMK Pro Low Profile (Hotswap, can install quiet low switches)
These keyboards combine a quiet design with gaming-friendly features, providing a comfortable gaming experience while still keeping your gaming environment quiet.

Benefits of a quiet gaming setup

Having a quiet gaming setup brings many significant benefits to your gaming experience:
  • Reduce fatigue and stress
Continuous noise from the keyboard over long periods of time can cause fatigue, headaches, and stress for players. A quiet gaming environment will help you avoid these problems, providing a more comfortable and pleasant feeling.
  • Increase concentration ability
Noise from the keyboard can also reduce a player's ability to concentrate, especially in stressful situations or requiring quick reflexes. When you are not distracted by noise, you will be able to focus better on the game and possibly improve your gaming performance.
  • Avoid disturbing others
If you live in a residential area or have a family with many members, the noise from the keyboard can cause discomfort to those around you, especially at night. A quiet gaming setup will help you avoid disturbing others and maintain good relationships with them.
  • Reduce the risk of penalties
In some environments such as dormitories, offices, or residential areas, making excessive noise may result in fines or administrative fines. A quiet gaming setup will help you avoid these risks.
  • More relaxing gaming experience
Finally, a quiet gaming environment will help you relax and enjoy the game more comfortably. You won't be bothered by noise and can focus entirely on the game, providing a great gaming experience. In short, investing in a quiet gaming setup will bring many health, performance, and quality of life benefits to players and those around them. Conclusion How to make a gaming keyboard quieter? This is an issue of concern to many game players. The constant noise from a gaming keyboard can cause fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and annoy those around you. To reduce the noise of your gaming keyboard, there are many options such as using a membrane keyboard, a low-profile keyboard, or a mechanical keyboard with quiet switches. You can also make mods, like changing the switches, adding sound padding, or using noise-absorbing materials. Combined with proper keyboard usage habits and optimizing the gaming environment, you will have a quiet, comfortable gaming experience that won't disturb those around you. Hopefully, through Enthkey's article it will help you better understand the problem you encounter.

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