1. 22
  1. 7

    This is a really interesting look at a casual keyboard user doing some sound dampening to their keyboard with “simple” modifications.

    I’m glad that they talked about switches, but was interested in the fact that they found silent tactile to produce a noticeable amount of noise. I would attribute this to them probably checking out the more common models from the major manufacturers (which is extremely reasonable given this wasn’t an enthusiast endeavor). I have found Kailh Purple Pro and Zealios to be extraordinarily quiet in my real world usage. If there had been a run of Zilents or Zealios I am sure they would have found them as quiet while still providing the tactile response (which helps prevent bottoming out). My personal recommendation (if they are available) is the Tacit. switch from Keebwerk. It provides a noticeable tactile bump while being very quiet, and as far as I am concerned it’s black magic.

    Also it’s interesting they mention wanting heavy linear switches, then showing Gateron Whites (also known as Clears) in their testing. While these are linear they are one of the lightest linear keys widely available with an actuation force of only 35g which is super light.

    For anyone thinking of doing this themselves, I highly recommend lubing your stabilizers. Stabilizers are often overlooked in these kinds of projects but can account for a lot of noise. The ErgoDox-EZ uses costar stabilizers which can be pretty noisy, but with a small amount of lube they get extra quiet. You can also lube the key switches themselves though this is way more effort compared to everything else mentioned.

    1. 4

      “casual” :)

      1. 6

        Agreed. Dude has a split keyboard without labels. I shudder to think what a real “hardcore” keyboard looks like.

        1. 6

          I assume it must look something like this!

          1. 4

            (Crocodile Dundee voice) Now, this is a keyboard!

          2. 2

            I mean, you can start getting into the compact ortholinear if you really want to start getting spooky hahaha, but I was referring to the user, not the keyboard. And for a few examples of that kind of hardcore keyboard builder: https://twitter.com/tinymakesthings , https://twitter.com/qlavier , https://www.instagram.com/koobaczech/

            1. 3

              hahahahah, yeah, I said casual (and forgot the hobbyist after) because they seem to be doing keyboard stuff as secondary (they need their keyboard to be quieter for video) and not for the sake of doing keyboard stuff. rereading that it sounds pretentious as hell >.<

            2. 2

              I agree. Lubing stabilizers will have a huge effect in sound and feel, though maybe it will be less on a split ergo keyboard since there isn’t going to be a big rattly spacebar. So far this is the best stabilizer lubing/tuning tutorial I’ve seen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usNx1_d0HbQ

            3. 3

              Wonderfully written.

              I love the table of results at the end, as well as the thorough description of the test setup and tradeoffs.

              1. 2

                Have you tried lubing your switches? I recently did some research in this area, and lubing switches seemed to make a difference. For example (though these switches are not “Gateron Silent Yellows”).

                1. 1

                  53 dBA still seems to be pretty average, if not above average sound level for a keyboard to me.

                  I wonder if there are really quiet keyboards available, as my keyboards are still too loud to type in the night when my spouse wants to sleep for example.

                  I have an oldish rubber bell Fujistu keyboard and a Dell latitude notebook, both seem to be pretty loud in the silent night.

                  1. 1

                    Just using a level meter app on my phone, with the phone resting right next to the keyboard:

                    Ambient noise: 31dBA

                    Typing on Macbook Pro 2015: up to 40 dBA

                    Typing on Cherry MX browns with o-rings, metal backplate, bamboo case: up to 50 dBA

                    Measurement obviously not professional, but I do type ‘quietly’ (not much finger movement and I just press to the activation point rather than bottoming out the keys)

                    1. 1

                      If someone is really interested in quiet keyboard, they should look at the Cherry MX Silent Red key switches. They have internal dampening that is very effective. Using them in a keyboard.io atreus.

                      Also, instead of lubing, I suggest a “less-nonsense” approach: Take a can of WD-40 or Ballistol and spray a bit inside the switch while it’s pressed down. It is cheap, easy to do and very effective.

                      I cannot quantify the silence of the keyboard, but I have video session a lot and never heard any complaints.

                      I tried a lot of switches in the past and also tried more switches after using the silent reds, and these are still my favorite ones.

                      1. 1

                        Wouldn’t the real solution for this be a good microphone that filters out noise not coming from approximately the area of your mouth? It seems like that would solve more sound issues including loud fans, loud chairs and all other environmental noise not even under your control.

                        Unfortunately, I don’t have any recommendations for such microphones. :(

                        1. 1

                          Sure, but that only works if you’re using a headset. If you’re using the mic in your webcam / laptop or whatever then it won’t help.

                          1. 1

                            Hushboard and equivalent macos app that mute your mic when a keypress is registerd is an option (unless you type when you speak),

                          2. 1

                            I got a Preonic V3 with alu casing and metal Plat combined with Boba U4 and SA PBT keycaps. It’s quiter than my thinkpad x270. At least I feel it like. Shout try to measure it.