Best Quiet Mechanical Keyboard Reviews and Buying Guide

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While many people do not even give a second thought to their computer’s peripherals, other people prefer highly specialized devices to achieve a particular result. While the mouse, headsets, and microphones might get all of the attention, the keyboard is every bit as vital as any of those devices.

However, keyboards also sit in an odd place where the user manipulates them, often dozens or hundreds of times a minute, which can generate a lot of racket. This effect is even more pronounced if that person also has a preference for high-end, mechanical keyboards which tend to perform better than other types.

That is why we put together a list of the 5 best quiet mechanical keyboard reviews, highlighting what each one does best. We also provide a thorough buyer’s guide, so you can figure out which features are the best for your mechanical keyboard needs and which are just nice extras.

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Best Seller
Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - 6x Programmable Macro Keys - USB Passthrough & Media Controls - Fastest Cherry MX Speed - RGB LED Backlit - Aluminum Finish
Top Pick
Razer BlackWidow Elite Mechanical Gaming Keyboard: Yellow Mechanical Switches - Linear & Silent - Chroma RGB Lighting - Magnetic Wrist Rest - Dedicated Media Keys & Dial - USB Passthrough
Best Value
SteelSeries Apex 3 RGB Gaming Keyboard – 10-Zone RGB Illumination – IP32 Water Resistant – Premium Magnetic Wrist Rest (Whisper Quiet Gaming Switch)
Redragon K582 SURARA RGB LED Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with104 Keys-Linear and Quiet-Red Switches
Durgod Taurus K320 TKL Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - 87 Keys - Double Shot PBT - NKRO - USB Type C (Cherry Speed Silver, Nebula (RGB Backlit))
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Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - 6x Programmable Macro Keys - USB Passthrough & Media Controls - Fastest Cherry MX Speed - RGB LED Backlit - Aluminum Finish
Razer BlackWidow Elite Mechanical Gaming Keyboard: Yellow Mechanical Switches - Linear & Silent - Chroma RGB Lighting - Magnetic Wrist Rest - Dedicated Media Keys & Dial - USB Passthrough
SteelSeries Apex 3 RGB Gaming Keyboard – 10-Zone RGB Illumination – IP32 Water Resistant – Premium Magnetic Wrist Rest (Whisper Quiet Gaming Switch)
Redragon K582 SURARA RGB LED Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with104 Keys-Linear and Quiet-Red Switches
Durgod Taurus K320 TKL Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - 87 Keys - Double Shot PBT - NKRO - USB Type C (Cherry Speed Silver, Nebula (RGB Backlit))
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Best Seller
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Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - 6x Programmable Macro Keys - USB Passthrough & Media Controls - Fastest Cherry MX Speed - RGB LED Backlit - Aluminum Finish
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Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - 6x Programmable Macro Keys - USB Passthrough & Media Controls - Fastest Cherry MX Speed - RGB LED Backlit - Aluminum Finish
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Top Pick
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Razer BlackWidow Elite Mechanical Gaming Keyboard: Yellow Mechanical Switches - Linear & Silent - Chroma RGB Lighting - Magnetic Wrist Rest - Dedicated Media Keys & Dial - USB Passthrough
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Razer BlackWidow Elite Mechanical Gaming Keyboard: Yellow Mechanical Switches - Linear & Silent - Chroma RGB Lighting - Magnetic Wrist Rest - Dedicated Media Keys & Dial - USB Passthrough
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SteelSeries Apex 3 RGB Gaming Keyboard – 10-Zone RGB Illumination – IP32 Water Resistant – Premium Magnetic Wrist Rest (Whisper Quiet Gaming Switch)
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SteelSeries Apex 3 RGB Gaming Keyboard – 10-Zone RGB Illumination – IP32 Water Resistant – Premium Magnetic Wrist Rest (Whisper Quiet Gaming Switch)
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Redragon K582 SURARA RGB LED Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with104 Keys-Linear and Quiet-Red Switches
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Redragon K582 SURARA RGB LED Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with104 Keys-Linear and Quiet-Red Switches
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Durgod Taurus K320 TKL Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - 87 Keys - Double Shot PBT - NKRO - USB Type C (Cherry Speed Silver, Nebula (RGB Backlit))
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Durgod Taurus K320 TKL Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - 87 Keys - Double Shot PBT - NKRO - USB Type C (Cherry Speed Silver, Nebula (RGB Backlit))
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Best Quiet Mechanical Keyboard Reviews

Best Seller: Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM Mechanical Gaming Keyboard – 6x Programmable Macro Keys – USB Passthrough & Media Controls – Fastest Cherry MX Speed – RGB LED Backlit – Aluminum Finish

Sale
Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - 6x Programmable Macro Keys - USB Passthrough & Media Controls - Fastest Cherry MX Speed - RGB LED Backlit - Aluminum Finish
  • Aircraft grade anodized brushed aluminum frame: Built to withstand a lifetime of gaming. Lightweight and rugged durability, necessary for a...
  • 8MB profile storage with hardware macro and lighting playback: Allow access up to three stored profiles on the go, independent of external...
  • Dynamic multicolor per key backlighting with Light Edge: Adjust each key's color and illumination level in addition to 19 zones on the top...

Corsair is easily one of the most prestigious brands of high-end PC peripherals on the market, though the company started by making high-end PC components. While this means that Corsair does not specialize in PC peripherals, they still make a point to produce high-end goods regardless of the niche.

The Corsair K95 Platinum mechanical keyboard mostly achieves this goal and positions itself squarely in the competitive gaming market while still making one of the quieter options we encountered. This mechanical keyboard effectively skirts this line by using Cherry MX Silver Speed switches.

In terms of the experience, the Cherry MX Silver Speed switches use a linear activation which prevents it from producing too much noise when pushed while also feeling smooth. However, the Silver Speed switches also have the bonus of an extremely short actuation point of only 1.2 mm which ties for the shortest on our list.

On top of that, these switches also have the shortest total travel time we reviewed at only 3.4 mm, though they are not in the lead by all that much. To ensure that these distances do not suffer from too much resistance, the Cherry MX Silver Speed switches also tie for second on our list, requiring only 45 cN of force to actuate.

Keeping in line with the gaming market, the Corsair K95 Platinum mechanical keyboard also makes it a point to respond quicker than most and again ties for first on our list with a 1000 Hz polling rate. It is worth noting that the Corsair Utility Engine or CUE software that runs the more advanced features can be a bit finicky.

However, this is still a top-end gaming keyboard thanks to the inclusion of 6 dedicated macro buttons and plenty of aesthetic features. As if that were not enough, the Corsair K95 Platinum mechanical keyboard is also extremely durable with a lightweight aluminum frame and switches with a lifespan of 50 million keystrokes.

Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - 6x Programmable Macro Keys - USB Passthrough & Media Controls - Fastest Cherry MX Speed - RGB LED Backlit - Aluminum Finish

Features

  • Comes with high-end Cherry MX Silver Speed switches
  • The switches are linear and silent
  • Easily push the keys with only 45 cN of force
  • Has an extremely short 1.2 mm actuation point
  • Can withstand a whopping 50 million keystrokes

Verdict
The Corsair K95 Platinum mechanical keyboard comes equipped with exceptionally quiet Cherry MX Silver Speed switches that neither make noise nor provide an audible tactile sound. While it may take a bit of time to get this keyboard set up properly, it boasts one of the fastest response times, making it great for gaming.

Pros

  • Has linear, silent switches
  • Has a 45 cN actuation force
  • Has a 1.2 mm actuation point
  • Can make 50 mil keystrokes
  • Has an aluminum frame

Cons

  • Is more expensive
  • Has poor software

Top Pick: Razer BlackWidow Elite Mechanical Gaming Keyboard: Yellow Mechanical Switches – Linear & Silent – Chroma RGB Lighting – Magnetic Wrist Rest – Dedicated Media Keys & Dial – USB Passthrough

Sale
Razer BlackWidow Elite Mechanical Gaming Keyboard: Yellow Mechanical Switches - Linear & Silent - Chroma RGB Lighting - Magnetic Wrist Rest - Dedicated Media Keys & Dial - USB Passthrough
  • The #1 Best-Selling Gaming Peripherals Manufacturer in the US: Source - The NPD Group, Inc., U.S. Retail Tracking Service, Gaming Designed:...
  • Quickest Mechanical Switch for Gaming: Razer Yellow switch technology beats competitor, legacy "speed" keys in actuation distance by up to...
  • Ultimate Personalization & Gaming Immersion with Razer Chroma: Fully syncs with popular games, Razer hardware, Philips Hue, and gear from...

Razer may not be the most experienced company on our list, but it has quickly become one of the more prestigious brands used for competitive esports. On top of that, Razer focuses exclusively on peripherals for PCs and laptops as well as a couple of additional accessories.

When it comes to mechanical keyboards, the Razer BlackWidow Elite might be the best gaming mechanical keyboard that we encountered. However, the use of proprietary Razer Yellow switches does not reach as quite a high standard for quietness as some of the other switches we encountered.

Part of this comes from the fact that Razer switches are technically Kailh switches simply rebranded for Razer products and are not the highest quality. However, this level of quality comes more down to personal preference as they are not quite as quiet but plenty capable.

A perfect example of this comes down to durability where the Razer Yellow switches are more durable than any other on our list with a lifespan of 80 million keystrokes. On top of that, these switches are every bit as good for competitive gaming purposes with a short actuation point of only 1.2 mm.

Much like other gaming keyboard switches, the Razer Yellow switches also combine that short actuation point with a low actuation force of just 45 cN. While they just extend a touch further than the top-ranked switches, these mechanical keyboard switches still bottom out at only 3.5 mm.

As if that were not enough, the Razer BlackWidow Elite mechanical keyboard does not suffer from the same software issues some of its competitors do. Even better, this mechanical keyboard boasts an extremely reliable 1000 Hz polling rate and is also made of military-grade aluminum.

The only potential issue is that, even with onboard profile storage, most of the adjustable features on this mechanical keyboard require the device to use the Razer Synapse software.

Razer BlackWidow Elite Mechanical Gaming Keyboard: Yellow Mechanical Switches - Linear & Silent - Chroma RGB Lighting - Magnetic Wrist Rest - Dedicated Media Keys & Dial - USB Passthrough

Features

  • Comes with high-end Razer Yellow switches
  • The switches are linear and silent
  • Easily push the keys with only 45 cN of force
  • Has an extremely short 1.2 mm actuation point
  • Can withstand a whopping 80 million keystrokes

Verdict
Corsair may have one of the better reputations, but the Razer BlackWidow Elite mechanical keyboard meets or exceeds most of the best-seller’s specs without much issue. On the other hand, Razer’s outsourcing of their “branded” key switches to Kailh and unknown manufacturers speaks volumes that make their comparative appearance.

Pros

  • Has linear, silent switches
  • Has a 45 cN actuation force
  • Has a 1.2 mm actuation point
  • Can make 80 mil keystrokes
  • Has a military-grade metal construction

Cons

  • Is more expensive
  • Many features require the software

Budget Value: SteelSeries Apex 3 RGB Gaming Keyboard – 10-Zone RGB Illumination – IP32 Water Resistant – Premium Magnetic Wrist Rest (Whisper Quiet Gaming Switch)

SteelSeries Apex 3 RGB Gaming Keyboard – 10-Zone RGB Illumination – IP32 Water Resistant – Premium Magnetic Wrist Rest (Whisper Quiet Gaming Switch)
  • Ip32 water resistant – Prevents accidental damage from liquid spills
  • 10-zone RGB illumination – Gorgeous color schemes and reactive effects
  • Whisper quiet gaming switches – Nearly silent use for 20 million low friction keypresses

While not the most experienced company we reviewed, SteelSeries is still one of the older brands that have been around long enough to know what works. On top of that, this is another company that specializes exclusively in PC and laptop peripherals and accessories with a range of different grades.

The SteelSeries Apex 3 mechanical keyboard may be an entry-level model, but it applies some uncommon approaches that make it perfect for our list. While this mechanical keyboard is surprisingly inexpensive, one of the more surprising aspects of the entry is its proprietary Whisper-Quiet switches.

While most of the other mechanical keyboards we reviewed provide traditional mechanical key switches, the Corsair K95 Platinum mechanical keyboard goes with a membrane model instead. However, unlike traditional membrane keyboard switches, the Whisper-Quiet switches include additional plastic to provide a tactile mechanical feel.

The results in a combination that offers similar resistance as a mechanical keyboard without producing anywhere near the same level of noise– even compared to extremely quiet mechanical switches. As if that were not enough, this mechanical keyboard also boasts the lightest actuation force on our list at only 30 cN.

On the other hand, that feather-touch actuation force loses some of its attraction as the SteelSeries Apex 3 mechanical keyboard also has the longest actuation point at a 2.6 mm. On top of that, this mechanical keyboard has the second-longest total travel distance at 3.9 mm and is just barely not tied for the longest.

While this may not be a truly competitive gaming mechanical keyboard, the SteelSeries Apex 3 mechanical keyboard is still great for casual use and is the only model on our list with an IP32 waterproof rating. The inclusion of a removable magnetic wrist rest is also nice, though be careful about the short switch reset which can result in ghosted double strokes.

SteelSeries Apex 3 RGB Gaming Keyboard – 10-Zone RGB Illumination – IP32 Water Resistant – Premium Magnetic Wrist Rest (Whisper Quiet Gaming Switch)

Features

  • Comes with high-end SteelSeries Whisper-Quiet switches
  • The switches are linear and silent
  • Has an extremely short 1.2 mm actuation point
  • Can withstand a whopping 20 million keystrokes
  • Can withstand water and dust up to IP32

Verdict
The SteelSeries Apex 3 mechanical keyboard offers one of the quietest options on our list thanks to the use of the brand’s Whisper-Quiet tactile rubber dome switches that use a membrane approach. However, despite being billed as a gaming keyboard the long actuation point combined with a conspicuously absent polling rate says otherwise.

Pros

  • Has linear, silent switches
  • Has a 30 cN actuation force
  • Is IP32 water-resistant
  • Has a magnetic wrist rest
  • Is less expensive

Cons

  • Has a long actuation point
  • Can ghost a double stroke

Runner Up: Redragon K582 SURARA RGB LED Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with104 Keys-Linear and Quiet-Red Switches

Sale
Redragon K582 SURARA RGB LED Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with104 Keys-Linear and Quiet-Red Switches
  • PROFESSIONAL RED SWITCHES. Redragon K582 gaming keyboard is equipped with pluggable OUTEMU red switches, which are linear, top-to-bottom...
  • N-KEY ROLLOVER: 100% anti-ghosting 104 keys ensure the most accurate simultaneous key presses. Fully programmable - Reassign any key or set...
  • DYNAMIC RGB BACKLIGHT: 6 backlight themes and 18 backlight models allow you to type in the dark. You can adjust its brightness with FN +...

Redragon is one of the least experienced companies on our list, though they at least focus exclusively on PC and laptop peripherals. That said, there is no getting around the fact that Redragon has a ways to go before they can properly compete with the giants of the industry– though they may not be trying to.

One of the best qualities of the Redragon K582 SURARA mechanical keyboard is that it is an extremely inexpensive option, though that budget-friendly approach shows up in other places. In terms of the quietness, this mechanical keyboard comes with Outemu Red switches which compare with the Cherry MX Red switches.

However, you should not consider the Outemu Red switches to be on the same level as Cherry MX or Gateron, feeling a bit loose in their holding. Granted, this does not necessarily increase their amount of noise they generate too much, but it tends to reduce their tactile feel and overall durability.

While the Redragon K582 SURARA mechanical keyboard may be advertised as a gaming device, it works a bit better for those with lead fingers. Part of the reason comes from the Outemu Red switch’s actuation force of 50 cN which is more than any other switch on our list.

As if that were not enough, the Redragon K582 SURARA mechanical keyboard also has the second farthest actuation point at 2.1 mm, almost twice the distance of our shortest actuation point. It also does not help that the total travel distance is also the longest at 4.0 mm, but these features work well for typists.

One nice feature of the Redragon K582 SURARA mechanical keyboard is that its software allows you to program any key with any command you want through its 100% keybind feature. Unfortunately, the budget-friendly price shows its head in the durability department as this mechanical keyboard fails quicker, more often, and for more reasons than most of the competition.

Redragon K582 SURARA RGB LED Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with104 Keys-Linear and Quiet-Red Switches

Features

  • Comes with high-end Outemu Red switches
  • The switches are linear and silent
  • Easily push the keys with only 50 cN of force
  • Can withstand a whopping 50 million keystrokes
  • Set the keyboard up how you want with 100% programmable keys

Verdict
The Redragon K582 SURARA mechanical keyboard is a solid option if you are looking for a quiet option that comes at a rock-bottom price. Given how inexpensive it is, you should not expect this mechanical keyboard to last as long as some of its competitors, but it at least offers 100% programmable keys.

Pros

  • Has linear, silent switches
  • Can make 50 mil keystrokes
  • Has anti-ghosting NKRO
  • Has 100% programmable keys
  • Is less expensive

Cons

  • Has a long actuation point
  • Not the most reliable

Also Consider: Durgod Taurus K320 TKL Mechanical Gaming Keyboard – 87 Keys – Double Shot PBT – NKRO – USB Type C (Cherry Speed Silver, Nebula (RGB Backlit))

Durgod Taurus K320 TKL Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - 87 Keys - Double Shot PBT - NKRO - USB Type C (Cherry Speed Silver, Nebula (RGB Backlit))
  • 87 Keys Double Shot PBT Keycaps ; Ansi US International Layout ; Cherry MX Switches
  • Durgod K320 Features a Sturdy case with adjustable feets so you can prop the keyboard up at an angle to relieve your wrists. (2 positions)
  • Supports DURGOD Zeus Engine software : ( Upgrade your keyboard firmware on the go and set up complex macros or rebind keys as you wish)

Durgod is easily the newest company on our list that still has a few bugs to work out of the system but shows solid promise with mechanical keyboards. In fact, this is the only company we reviewed that specializes exclusively in mechanical keyboards, even using Kickstarter to fund a retro-style mechanical keyboard not too long ago.

Though they may be new, Durgod understands that they need to use high-quality components to compete in the market and makes good on that with the use of Cherry MX Silver Speed switches. These may not be the quietest switches on the market, but they are some of the quietest and complement that with exceptional speed.

This mechanical keyboard can keep up with the best of them in the fastest games around, tying for the shortest actuation point at 1.2 mm. To further increase the speed you can type, the Durgod Taurus K320 TKL mechanical keyboard also has the second-lowest actuation force we reviewed at 45 cN.

To make sure that bottoming out the key does not cost you valuable time, this mechanical keyboard also ties for the second-shortest total travel time at only 3.4 mm. As if that were not enough, you do not have to worry about the Durgod Taurus K320 TKL mechanical keyboard losing keystrokes thanks to its 1000 Hz polling rate.

One thing that sets this mechanical keyboard apart from the rest of the entries on our list is its Tenkeyless or TKL form-factor that reduces its weight and size. Granted, this means that you do not get a number pad making it less useful for general purposes, but it is perfect for fast-paced gaming sessions.

An odd aspect of the Durgod Taurus K320 TKL mechanical keyboard is that, despite being a relative newcomer to the field, it is still an expensive option. This would not necessarily be so bad, but the software required to get the most out of this mechanical keyboard could use some work, though the switches are at least good for 50 million keystrokes.

Durgod Taurus K320 TKL Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - 87 Keys - Double Shot PBT - NKRO - USB Type C (Cherry Speed Silver, Nebula (RGB Backlit))

Features

  • Comes with high-end Cherry MX Silver Speed switches
  • The switches are linear and silent
  • Easily push the keys with only 45 cN of force
  • Has an extremely short 1.2 mm actuation point
  • Can withstand a whopping 50 million keystrokes

Verdict
If you are looking for a less expensive mechanical keyboard that comes equipped with the soft and silent Cherry MX Silver Speed switches, the Durgod Taurus K320 TKL mechanical keyboard is an excellent choice. The only potential issue is that the build quality does not seem to hold up quite as long as some of the more reputable brands.

Pros

  • Has linear, silent switches
  • Has a 45 cN actuation force
  • Has a 1.2 mm actuation point
  • Can make 50 mil keystrokes
  • Has anti-ghosting NKRO

Cons

  • Is more expensive
  • Not the most reliable

Buyer’s Guide

Switch Brand

  • Cherry MX – This is the top of the line brand for keyboard key switches with the most reliable specs and most rigorous testing. Whether you want something quiet, tactile, or clicky, Cherry MX has an option for you as well as a couple of models with uncommon qualities for specialists.
  • Outemu – Outemu is known as a budget brand in the mechanical key switch market and tends not to be quite as well-made as some of the other brands. This does not necessarily show up in their performance, but OUtemu switches feel looser than others and wear out quicker too.
  • Razer/Kailh – Razer and their outsourced maker Kailh sit in a weird position with some of their switches performing better than others. Razer rebrands the Kailh switches and uses a different color-coding system to distinguish themselves from other brands, but this tends to confuse people more than anything.
  • SteelSeries – SteelSeries is one of the few brands that genuinely make their own proprietary key switches with generally good results. That said, most of the proprietary switches SteelSeries makes are not technically mechanical switches and instead emulate the mechanical switch with membranes or magnetic fields.

Actuation Force

The actuation force of a key switch is how much force it takes to press the key down and is rated in centinewtons or cN. While it might seem like the less force required to press a key the better, this generally depends on what you prefer and what you use the keyboard for.

A perfect example of this is gaming keyboards which often require extremely fast key presses in rapid succession to provide a competitive edge. A mechanical keyboard with a lower actuation force will allow you to press the keys a bit quicker than one with a higher actuation force, albeit modestly so.

Higher actuation forces work better for people who want the highest accuracy of their keystrokes like typists.

Actuation Point

The actuation point is how far down you need to press a key before the keyboard registers the stroke and likewise depends as much on what you use the keyboard for as anything else. Once again, the shortest the distance before you reach a switch’s actuation point, the faster your keystroke will be registered.

This works exceptionally well for competitive gaming and tends to show up a bit more in practice than actuation force when it comes to producing results, though they are still modest. Likewise, the actuation point follows the actuation force when it comes to longer distances as this tends to produce more accurate keystrokes and is good for typists.

Reset

For the most part, people tend not to think about the reset point of a keyboard since it generally does not impact overall performance. However, if you have a reset point that sits below the actuation point, this can allow you to make quicker keystrokes than if the reset point sits above the actuation point.

This is great for gaming where you may need to produce a rapid-fire succession of keystrokes from the same key, but it can also lead to the key double-firing and producing ghost strokes when you do not want them. As such, typists should make sure their mechanical keys reset above the actuation point.

Polling Rate

Like many of the considerations when looking for the best quiet mechanical keyboard, the polling rate matters significantly more depending on what you use the keyboard for. The polling rate is how regularly the device checks the keyboard for signals and is measured in Hz, though even “slow” keyboards are polled multiple times a second.

However, if you are a gamer, the higher the polling rate the better since you are liable to press multiple keys at once, in quick succession, or rapid-fire. While a quick polling rate does not negatively impact the accuracy of keystrokes, it is not as important for typists, though many high-end mechanical keyboards allow you to adjust the polling rate for different tasks.

NKRO

N-Key Rollover or NKRO is a feature that allows the keyboard to properly recognize when multiple keys are pressed simultaneously and register each keystroke individually. Without NKRO, you are liable to see absent or ghost keystrokes with the stroke occurring in succession as opposed to simultaneously.

Once again, this feature finds more use for gamers who regularly need to press multiple keys at the same time and have the game recognize each keystroke individually. That said, some typists may need to press multiple keys simultaneously to trigger certain macros, and NKRO ensures that the macro triggers properly.

Durability

While not generally the most important factor to consider, the durability of a keyboard has meaningful impacts over a long period. A perfect example of this is the durability of key switches, though even budget key switches tend to provide millions of keystrokes before degradation.

Another durability consideration is the material the keyboard’s chassis uses with plastic being the lowest quality and lightweight aluminum being the highest quality. Finally, some keyboards understand that we live in the real world and even go the extra mile by making their keyboards modestly water-resistant to handle light splashes without issue.

Software

While many plug and play keyboards can use whatever base firmware exists on the device’s operating system, other keyboards include high-end features that allow them to personalize or fine-tune the keyboard’s performance. In response to this, many manufacturers make software specifically designed to control the custom commands and features on their keyboards.

A primary use for keyboard software is to control RGB lighted keyboards, allowing you to change the colors or even encode a color pattern. Other common functions of keyboard software include the ability to create macros (especially if the keyboard comes with specialized macro keys) as well as program the individual keys with keybinding.

One thing to consider if you want to customize your keyboard’s performance is most keyboards that use software require the software on the device to use the high-end functions. Even keyboards with onboard memory to save and carry your profiles still require the connecting device to have the software to make use of those features.

FAQ’s

What Are the Quietest Mechanical Switches?

This is a bit tricky considering that most brands use a color-coded system but some manufacturers use different color codings to distinguish themselves from one another. For someone who does not do their homework, this distinction can result in them getting a color from one company that is not coded for a linear movement.

Granted, the majority of switches made by dedicated companies follow a similar pattern, but those looking to make proprietary switches often change the color-coding. It is worth noting that the manufacturers who advertise a proprietary switch more often than not outsource their switch to a dedicated company and simply rebrand it.

In terms of the quietest mechanical switches, you generally should look to Cherry MX or Gateron with Cherry MX taking the top spot for most people. However, Gateron provides a smoother actuation, so if you are a precise and delicate typer, you may well get a quieter response from a Gateron switch.

What Are the Different Types of Cherry Switches?

Depending on the kind of sound and feel you prefer, Cherry MX switches come in a variety of different colors to suit your needs. For our list, the best options are the Cherry MX Silent Red, Cherry MX Silent Black, and Cherry MX Silver Speed, though the first two are quieter than the last.

The standard Cherry MX Red switch is also fairly quiet, but not anywhere near the quietest in the lineup. After that, you generally will deal with a little bit more noise, though it heavily depends on whether you consider the tactile bump to be too loud as it is a bit more psychosomatic than anything else.

If you like the traditional tactile feeling of a mechanical keyboard but do not want additional noise, the Cherry MX Brown is a popular option, though you can occasionally find Cherry MX Clear and Cherry MX Grey switches. Finally, the Cherry MX Blue and Cherry MX Green switches are both tactile and produce an audible clicking sound.

Which Cherry MX Switch Is the Quietest?

When it comes to Cherry MX switches, there are a couple of different models in the running for the quietest, and it may end up depending on how you type as much as how the switches are constructed. For example, the traditional Cherry MX quiet switch is the MX Red, though these have recently been updated.

That said, the main three types of Cherry MX switches that are primarily in the running for the quietest switch are the MX Silent Red, MX Silent Black, and the MX Speed Silver. Of these three, the MX Speed Silver is less likely to be the quietest switch for the most people due to how quickly and lightly you need to actuate the key to achieve a truly quiet effect.

Between the MX Silent Red and MX Silent Black, the difference comes down to how you type with the MX Silent Red requiring 15 cN less force than the MX Silent Black switches. This means that you can type harder on the MX Silent Black switch, and it will provide more resistance to buffer against the noise from bottoming out on the keyboard.

What Is a Whisper Quiet Gaming Switch?

A Whisper-Quiet switch is one of the proprietary types of switches mentioned earlier made by SteelSeries and is their second-quietest type of switch. To be fair, the quietest type of switch made by SteelSeries is the OmniPoint switch, but they only use that type of switch for their most expensive keyboards meant for professional gaming.

That said, the Whisper-Quiet switches from SteelSeries provide a slightly different experience as they stray a bit from the traditional mechanical switch approach. Whereas traditional mechanical keyboard switches rely on a spring to resist the keystroke and send a signal when two metal contact points meet, the Whisper-Quiet switches use a membrane instead.

While this might traditionally disqualify the Whisper-Quiet switches from being considered a mechanical switch, SteelSeries makes it a point to provide additional resistance to mimic the mechanical feel. While the Whisper-Quiet switch is not technically a hybrid switch, it still feels a bit like one and provides more resistance than some of the true mechanical switches out there.

Conclusion

In the end, there are plenty of options when looking for the best quiet mechanical keyboard depending on what you tend to do on the computer. For the quietest mechanical keyboard, we recommend the SteelSeries Apex 3, though many people looking for a mechanical model may be put off by the membrane feel.

On the other hand, if you want a high-end mechanical keyboard for gaming that will last longer than the others, the Razer BlackWidow Elite is the most reliable and durable. That said, the most competitive gamers may instead prefer the Corsair K95 Platinum as it registers keystrokes quicker.

For those highly competitive gamers that would like to save a little bit of money, the Durgod Taurus K320 TKL is more compact with the same speed. Finally, the Redragon K582 SURARA is the perfect keyboard for typists who want a little longer of an actuation point as well as NKRO.