The clickity-clacky keyboard noise may sound pleasing to some. But it can also be quite annoying.
If you are one of the people who think a mechanical keyboard shouldn’t make any sound or you own one in your office environment, this is the article for you.
We’ll share 6 ways on how to make a mechanical keyboard quieter!
Let’s get started.
How to Make Mechanical Keyboard Quieter: 6 Best Ways
1. Install Rubber O-Rings on Your Mechanical Keyboard
One simple way to prevent the “click-clack” sound of your mechanical keyboard is by installing o-rings.
Rubber o-rings are small, circular dampeners made out of soft silicone.
O-rings seal gaskets and are a quick and easy way to dampen the noise coming from your mechanical keyboard.
When installed, the o-ring acts like a foam dampener that prevents the keycap stem and the keys from colliding with each other.
Since the collision of the key stem and switches are what makes the most noise on a mechanical keyboard, taking this out will make a mechanical keyboard quieter.
How to Install Rubber O-Rings On Your Mechanical Keyboard
- Take out the keys on your keyboard switches using a keycap puller.
- Then, wrap the o rings around the exposed key stems.
- When everything is installed correctly, put back the parts you took out from your mechanical keyboard.
- Finally, use and type on your keyboard. Assess whether or not your mechanical keyboard is quieter.
This video can help you visualize what you need to do:
Beware, however, because an o-ring will have trouble quieting bigger key switches, like the space bar or enter key.
For Cherry MX blue switches, for example, you can use 70A hard O-rings to dampen the noise. This has been known to work for most people.
For bigger buttons or keys, you would have to also use some EXTRA lubrication on your key stems to smoothen up your keyboard.
As a side note, o-rings also reduce the travel distance when typing. This means they could actually help you type and move from one key to another faster.
2. Install GMK Switch Clips on Your Key Switches
Another way how to make mechanical keyboards quieter is by installing GMK switch clips on your key switches.
The GMK switch clips are like soft foam for your mechanical keyboard.
The only difference is that these products have brackets that act like jackets for your keyboard keys.
So how does it work?
- These clips lessen the noise coming from actuation switches by up to 10 decibels. You also would not have to worry about your gaming keyboard accumulating some dirt or debris.
- The brackets of these clips prevent a lot of dirt and debris from building up in your mechanical keyboards.
- These clips are also easy to install as you only have to install them in between your keys. Once installed, they’ll be good to go!
So whether you’re using your office or gaming keyboards, installing GMK switch clips will give you an extra foam layer for mechanical keyboards.
Don’t believe us?
Watch as noise and dirt will be much less as you try to type on your mechanical keyboard switches. Compared to an O-ring, GMK QMX clips perform better in reducing noisy mechanical keyboards.
So if you’re desperate to silence those cherry MX switches of yours just for a while, go and grab yourself a GMK QMX.
3. Use Topre Switches
Topre switches are non-contact electrostatic capacitive keyboards.
Designed by the Topre Corporation in Japan, the Topre switch is currently the most controversial keyboard switch in the market.
This is because of its unique design, which tends to divide people’s opinions.
The design of a Topre switch keyboard is based on the capacitance principle.
Whenever you use or press a key, the key is electronically sensed, not with a closed-circuit like most mechanical keyboards that use standard cherry switches.
The unique design of the Topre DAMPENS key bounce, which will make a mechanical keyboard quieter. This divides people’s opinions because some people think the price that the Topre offers is a scam.
On the other hand, others think that the Topre is one of the best options for looking for a quiet mechanical keyboard.
When used, the Topre does not make a “click-clack” sound that standard products produce. The Topre gives you a “thock” sound that feels good and smooth while typing.
The only downside is that Topre is one of the most expensive in the market right now. There are a lot of cheaper options for you out there if you are looking for a good-quality mechanical keyboard.
But if budget is not a problem, Topre switches would be perfect for someone like you.
Use the Topre with a high-quality screen and mouse to have one of the smoothest office or home computer setups.
4. Use Silicone Keyboard Covers
If you find the previously mentioned options too tedious, you can opt for a simpler solution.
You can use silicone keyboard covers or pads to lessen the sound that your mechanical keyboards make.
Silicone material is a good soundproofing option for any keyboard. Its softness absorbs sound waves, which in turn lessens the noise you experience when typing.
This is because of the shortened travel distance of the sound waves due to the silicone keyboard covers.
Besides soundproofing, here are benefits of using a silicon cover:
- Silicone is also waterproof material. So having a silicone cover on your mechanical keyboard will also give it protection from accidents, like spills.
- Dust and other debris will also find it hard to penetrate in between your mechanical keyboards because of the protection that silicone covers offer.
- Silicone covers are also compatible with cherry MX silent switches keyboards and most other keyboards. This makes it a good option for people looking for quieter cherry switches.
- Not to mention, it’s very easy to install as you only have to put them on your keyboard plate to use.
Using silicone covers is the most convenient way to solve your sound issues.
It is the quickest and best way to lessen some sound without taking your keyboards apart.
5. Put Soft Material Under Your Keyboard
One of the most clever options others have tried to lessen the amount of noise on their keyboard is to put soft material, like a desk mat, under it.
This is something you can easily do as you’re reading this article! Just grab any soft material and give it a shot!
Soft materials like towels, foam pads, a foam cloth, a mouse pad, or a large desk pad can dampen the noise from your keyboard typing.
Why? Because the soft material can act as sound absorbers.
They block some of the sound waves that make the annoying noise you are trying to avoid.
Now here’s a cool science tip:
Soft material is better at lessening sound than hard surfaces because hard surfaces only deflect sound waves. AND deflecting sound waves does not lead to less sound.
Therefore, hard surfaces DO NOT help in lessening your noise issue.
- For this option to work, you only have to put the SOFT material under your keyboard. Or you can opt to buy a desk mat!
- Make sure, however, that all sides of your keyboard are leveled because uneven levels can damage a keyboard when used.
- Once you set up the soft material under your mechanical keyboards, it will be good to go. It’s as simple as that. And you DON’T even have to spend a dime.
For extra silencing, you can mix sound deadening options together. For example, you can use silicone covers on your keyboard while also putting soft material under it.
Combining these methods will help make a mechanical keyboard silent.
6. Replace Your Current Keyboard
If all of the options above are not for you, you can simply replace your current board with a quieter keyboard.
Though quieter boards, like the Topre, are more expensive than standard boards, they will get the job done.
The only tricky part is understanding which board is the best for you and what factors matter to you.
For that, you will have to do A LOT of research by talking to other people and by searching online. Once you know what you want, you just have to find out where you can buy that product.
Again, a tip that you can use is to combine some of the quieting methods with each other.
This will help block out most of the noise coming from your mechanical keyboards, and you’ll finally be able to focus while typing!
Do Regular Maintenance to Keep Your Keyboards Silent
Once everything is set up and ready to go, you have to consistently take care of your keyboard to keep it quiet.
- You can opt to do monthly clean-ups to ensure dirt and debris do not affect your board’s silence and functionality.
- Having cleaning supplies near your computer setup will also help clean up any dirt or spills right away.
These small things will matter in the long run because consistency is key if you want to keep your keyboard quiet.
Where Does the Noise Come From?
Now that you understand keyboard noise issues and know how to make a mechanical keyboard more silent, you might want to learn more about where the problem is coming from.
Since the build quality of mechanical keyboards is different from each other, their sound levels are also different.
The loud noise that a mechanical keyboard produces actually comes from the switches on your keyboard.
When the keycap stem hits the switch box of a keyboard, it will produce a sound.
Keyboard keys have a certain actuation point, which is the amount of actuation force needed to press down the keycap on its stem.
When keyboard keys are pressed down using the appropriate amount of actuation force, the actuation switch hits the switch box, registers on your computer, and also makes a sound.
To understand further where the noise from your mechanical keyboard comes from, you must first understand the three types of mechanical switches:
- Clicky Switch: Clicky switches make a bump during the middle of the keypress. A sharp clicking sound is also heard after. These switches are the noisiest switches among the three switches.
- Tactile Switch: Like clicky switches, tactile switches make a bump during the middle of the keypress near the actuation point, but they don’t make a sharp clicking sound.
- Linear Switch: Linear switches offer a smoother and more consistent keystroke. This type of keyboard switch is the best type of switch if you want a quieter mechanical keyboard.
So, if you are looking to make a mechanical keyboard or any other kind of keyboard quieter, GET a keyboard with linear switches like the cherry MX.
Avoid using keyboard switches that are clicky and tactile, as they are the ones that produce a huge amount of sound.
Knowing how to make a mechanical keyboard quieter can do wonders for you whether you’re in a home or office environment.
A quiet keyboard will give you a chance to be MORE productive because of the silence and focus that it can bring.
So, you should do your research and figure out which method of quieting your keyboard is the best for you.
O-rings, GMK switch clips, Topre switches, and silicone covers are easy to buy online or in any computer store. The other two quieting methods are also easily doable as well!
Remember that you can also combine noise reduction methods to have the quietest typing experience possible!
FINAL TIP: If other annoying noises are bothersome in your setup, you might want to check out our guide on Different Computer Noises for causes and solutions.
July 12, 2021 – embedded 1 YouTube video, removed 2 external links, removed 1 affiliate link
June 28, 2021 – added changelog, fixed and updated article formatting and content