bit-tech.net

Why mechanical keyboards aren't for me

Posted on 22nd May 2014 at 09:36 by Antony Leather with 85 comments

I've been in somewhat of a dilemma recently. My aging Saitek Eclipse membrane keyboard has been slowly giving up the ghost (falling to pieces is more accurate, but then it is over five years old) and I've been doing some research into what to get next. Being a tech journalist, having a good keyboard is akin to a carpenter owning a good set of tools - as such, money isn't really an object (you'd struggle to find a typical gaming keyboard that costs much more than £100 anyway).

The main issue, though, is that despite countless keyboards having come through our lab, I haven't really used one that I like - Matt can attest to this as I've been tapping on every keyboard that I could find and walking away disappointed. This is mainly because we, like most other tech review sites, are primarily focused on looking at mechanical switch keyboards - blue, black, red, brown etc. Cherry MX switches are certainly all the rage, but like quite a few other people I've come across, I haven't taken to the craze at all.

Why mechanical keyboards aren't for me *Mechanical Gaming Keyboards Aren't For Me
One of the variants of the Saitek Eclipse - a pretty good, if basic, membrane keyboard - click to enlarge

This is mainly because of the noise they make, and I've tried all four main switch colours on various different keyboards. I do have a thing about this, though - noise is one of my pet hates when it comes to PCs and it's one reason my main PC has been fully water-cooled since about 2003. However, I've seen and heard of plenty of instances of office colleagues receiving complaints about their noisy keyboards too.

Why mechanical keyboards aren't for me *Mechanical Gaming Keyboards Aren't For Me
Out of all the Cherry switches, the black was my favourite but even it was quite loud - click to enlarge

Even during a weekend recently when I borrowed a black switch keyboard for the weekend, my better half noticed instantly when I switched from membrane to Cherry switches, and spent the rest of the weekend in the garden. Admittedly, it was very pleasant weather outside but she knew exactly when I was on the PC from the noise. The noise isn't just annoying to other people, though - I find it pretty intrusive to type on these keyboards too, however more tactile and responsive they are.

This leaves people like me in a bit of a desperate situation. I love some of the features that are being added to the latest keyboards - USB hubs and backlighting especially, but finding a decent membrane keyboard with these features is extremely difficult. Recently, though, I found a possible solution - Cherry switch dampeners - specifically rubber o-rings that you can insert under the keys that reduce the noise caused when the keys bottom out.

Why mechanical keyboards aren't for me *Mechanical Gaming Keyboards Aren't For Me
The o-rings sit under the key caps preventing them from bottoming out - click to enlarge

I purchased a pack from OcUK and spent half an hour or so adding them to a Mionix Zibal 60 keyboard with black switches. The difference in noise was certainly noticeable - the bottoming out tapping noise was nearly eliminated and the feel of the black switches wasn't altered too much either, although it was still much noisier than my old Saitek Eclipse.

Why mechanical keyboards aren't for me *Mechanical Gaming Keyboards Aren't For Me
It takes a while to fit the o-rings but it's easy to do and does reduce noise without completely ruining the tactile feel - click to enlarge

However, my ears were now focusing on the upwards tapping noise - when you release a Cherry switch key, there's quite a thwack as the key bounces back up to its rest position. Sadly, there's nothing I know of that you can do about this and it seems that, for now, I'll have to give up my quest of modding a mechanical keyboard to suit my needs. Thankfully, the Saitek Eclipse is still available, albeit in a slightly revised version in the form of the Cyborg V5, so I now have one sitting on my desk.

Why mechanical keyboards aren't for me *Mechanical Gaming Keyboards Aren't For Me
The Cyborg V5 is still readily available and it's membrane feel has been tweaked compared to the older models and is quieter and more tactile - click to enlarge

It's even quieter than the original Eclipse - in fact it's keys are practically silent compared to my dampened Mionix Zibal 60. Have you struggled to get on with mechanical keyboards? Have you modded yours or found a good membrane alternative? Let me know in the comments.

85 Comments

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Guinevere 22nd May 2014, 09:55 Quote
I suspect there may be many comments on this thread...

Well I've always love mechanicals and my Matias Tactile Pro Mac keyboard is one of (if not the) noisiest keyboards ever made. But it works great and the key action is perfect. Sure I'd love it to be a bit quieter at times but if you want an off the shelf UK layout Mac layout your choices are somewhat limited.

BTW That Saitek Cybork just screams GAMER GAMER GAMER at me. What's with those corner extensions? Is it at risk of tipping over like an overloaded crane?
Jester_612 22nd May 2014, 09:56 Quote
Topre - silenced topre ;)
Dave Lister 22nd May 2014, 10:00 Quote
Good article, its difficult to find anybody saying anything negative about mechanical keyboards. And I had no idea they were noisy to use, which would drive me mad. I think i'll stick to membrane keyboards until something better and quiet comes along, i'm currently using a cyborg v7 just now which apart from the size is fine for my needs.
GeorgeK 22nd May 2014, 10:07 Quote
I think it depends greatly on how heavy handed you are - for example I'm typing this on MX Browns and I have learnt to feel for the tactile bump and therefore don't bottom out that much. As you prefer blacks over the rest I'd suggest that you try MX Clears. They are a heavier weighted switch with a tactile bump and, if you learn to feel for the bump (which is much more pronounced on clears than browns), you'll find that you bottom out less and, thus, have a much quieter typing experience

/my 2p
MSHunter 22nd May 2014, 10:08 Quote
If you want something in between Mech and membrane try scissor switches. (like on a good laptop)
Combatus 22nd May 2014, 10:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
I suspect there may be many comments on this thread...

BTW That Saitek Cybork just screams GAMER GAMER GAMER at me. What's with those corner extensions? Is it at risk of tipping over like an overloaded crane?

Yeah it's not subtle in that department I agree but it's by far the quietest and most tactile membrane keyboard I've used too. Probably as close to mechanical as you can get.

[QUOTE=Dave ListerGood article, its difficult to find anybody saying anything negative about mechanical keyboards. And I had no idea they were noisy to use, which would drive me mad. I think i'll stick to membrane keyboards until something better and quiet comes along, i'm currently using a cyborg v7 just now which apart from the size is fine for my needs. [/QUOTE]

I have absolutely tries my hardest to get on with them, if only because in general they're much better made and more tactile and offer more features. Sadly the noise thing did get on my nerves. That was the only reason though and there are quite a few companies looking into different switch types so I do remain hopeful!
Corky42 22nd May 2014, 10:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
Well I've always love mechanicals and my Matias Tactile Pro Mac keyboard is one of (if not the) noisiest keyboards ever made. But it works great and the key action is perfect. Sure I'd love it to be a bit quieter at times but if you want an off the shelf UK layout Mac layout your choices are somewhat limited.

Matias also do what they claim is the world's quietest mechanical keyboard, it's always difficult to know how accurate manufactures claims are but they have recording comparing it to other switches/keyboards including your Tactile Pro.
Combatus 22nd May 2014, 10:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSHunter
If you want something in between Mech and membrane try scissor switches. (like on a good laptop)

That is a good point and I did consider it but I found they usually suffer lack of travel which was a little off-putting for lengthy typing sessions.
SchizoFrog 22nd May 2014, 10:13 Quote
I wish to add that I too appreciate an article that doesn't follow the mass trend of what everyone else seems to like and it is good to hear once in a while what some people actually don't like... but the most important thing is the why. So Thanks. :)

Personally I have never owned nor used (that I can remember) a mechanical keyboard. I was thinking of taking the risk of getting one to replace my current keyboard (Logitech Illuminated) which I have to admit isn't exactly silent as it makes a rather audible 'tappy, tappy' noise as I type. I am waiting for a specific keyboard to come out though, that being the upcoming Corsair MX RGB... I will wait to see a review (hopefully from Bit-Tech) at which point I hope the issue of noisy typing is addressed, then decide if I will go for the mechanical version or the membrane version.
SuicideNeil 22nd May 2014, 10:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
I suspect there may be many comments on this thread...

http://makeameme.org/media/created/brace-yourself-fan.jpg

Rocking a Microsoft sidewinder X4; membrane, but still loud and very tactile compared to some soft and mushy keyboards I've used and miles better than that awful Roccat thing I returned after a day( membrane with the stiffest most nasty feeling keys ever )....
Guinevere 22nd May 2014, 10:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
Matias also do what they claim is the world's quietest mechanical keyboard

And it's great, but not available in a Mac UK layout. I want a full height return key and exactly the same layout as on the laptop it plugs into. Anything else is too much agro.
suenstar 22nd May 2014, 10:33 Quote
A nicely done article, it's very rare to read an article against the norm.
I currently use a board with MX Red switches for my work, the noise does irritate me quite a bit but I endure the annoyance because I can type a fair bit faster with it.

The Topre Realforce 87U is a good silent keyboard that you might like to try out, although it is quite pricey.

If you need a replacement rubber-dome keyboard that is rather quiet, the Microsoft Sidewinder might be one that's worth a look. I used one of those for a few years now and still find it to be my favourite keyboard for everyday use.
GeorgeStorm 22nd May 2014, 10:35 Quote
You can definitely learn to not bottom out when it comes to mechanical keyboards, especially with the heavier switches, so it may be worth having a look at for you, although they will still probably be louder than a membrane, silenced topre are meant to be pretty quiet, although they're quite an investment if you've no idea if you'll like them.

For me the noise is one of the best things about mechanical boards, so I can't really relate :P

Always nice to read an honest opinion though.
jrs77 22nd May 2014, 10:40 Quote
Scissor-switches like on the Logitech Ultra-X are very silent and have a good response and travel. I've used them for a very long time and I've got even a totally new one lying around as back-up.

However Cherry Blacks are my preferred type of keys, especially with the dampeners. That's why I'm using a Steelseries 6Gv2 with O-rings. The upwards "thwack-noise" is pretty much non-existant imho, but then I'm basically never sitting on my PC without listening to music in the background.

If you're typing alot in a totally silent environment, then yeah, that can be quiet painful to type on mechanical keyboards, as they're all noisy to type at, but then, I've learned typing in school in the early 90's on an oldschool electric typewriter :p
CrapBag 22nd May 2014, 10:44 Quote
I've been looking at getting a Roccat Ryos MK Glow/Pro for some time now just because of the reviews.

I'm really not bothered about whether keys are mechanical or not but if the keys are really noisy I can see it annoying me.

The most disapointing thing is that I happened to stray into a (gulp) pc world a week ago (gimme a break it was either that or prom dress shopping with the females of the house) and they had a Ryos pro with blacks but not on display nor would they open the box so I could finally see what mechanicals were like. Really annoyed as there is basically no where to try these things out.
iggy 22nd May 2014, 10:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
Well I've always love mechanicals and my Matias Tactile Pro Mac keyboard is one of (if not the) noisiest keyboards ever made. But it works great and the key action is perfect. Sure I'd love it to be a bit quieter at times but if you want an off the shelf UK layout Mac layout your choices are somewhat limited.

Matias also do what they claim is the world's quietest mechanical keyboard, it's always difficult to know how accurate manufactures claims are but they have recording comparing it to other switches/keyboards including your Tactile Pro.

they seem to have thought of that. there is a sound comparison on the website, it sounds very similar to a rubberdome.

i couldnt go back, my last keyboard was a razer lycosa, and typing on that thing drove me crazy. hit a key slightly off centre and it felt like grinding rocks or something. worst purchase i ever made.

i bought a corsair k70 recently, and its a joy to type on. although i do wish id heard of massdrop before i bought it, some nice kit on there.
loftie 22nd May 2014, 10:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
BTW That Saitek Cybork just screams GAMER GAMER GAMER at me. What's with those corner extensions? Is it at risk of tipping over like an overloaded crane?

Naa the corner bits are so that you can get a better grip when swinging for the nearest zombie during the apocalypse. Or the nearest gamer at a LAN party who just beat the living crap out of you.

Whichever comes first. ;)
wolfticket 22nd May 2014, 11:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrapBag
I've been looking at getting a Roccat Ryos MK Glow/Pro for some time now just because of the reviews.

I'm really not bothered about whether keys are mechanical or not but if the keys are really noisy I can see it annoying me.

The most disapointing thing is that I happened to stray into a (gulp) pc world a week ago (gimme a break it was either that or prom dress shopping with the females of the house) and they had a Ryos pro with blacks but not on display nor would they open the box so I could finally see what mechanicals were like. Really annoyed as there is basically no where to try these things out.
My local Maplins stock 1 or 2 Razer mechanicals. While they're not out on display, the packaging does have a few exposed keys so you can demo the feel without removing it from the packaging.

Nice idea I suppose, but it occurred to me that I might not be quite as happy about it if I was buying said keyboard and it had been on the shelf for a while.
It basically means a portion of the keyboard is effectively ex-display/demo.
Hustler 22nd May 2014, 11:11 Quote
MK's are just another excuse for people to indulge in internet Epeen bragging rights, posting photo's of said devices lit up like Christmas trees.

This need for peer approval, "look at me, look at me!!!, I was dumb enough to spend this much on KB!!"

....personally anyone that spends £100+ on a keyboard, a KEYBOARD ffs, is borderline certifiable.

It wouldn't surprise me if these keyboards only make an appearance for the photo's, then get put to one side, and a regular, quiet keyboard is then used on a daily basis.

They are too DAMN LOUD...
SchizoFrog 22nd May 2014, 11:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrapBag
I've been looking at getting a Roccat Ryos MK Glow/Pro for some time now just because of the reviews.

I'm really not bothered about whether keys are mechanical or not but if the keys are really noisy I can see it annoying me.

The most disapointing thing is that I happened to stray into a (gulp) pc world a week ago (gimme a break it was either that or prom dress shopping with the females of the house) and they had a Ryos pro with blacks but not on display nor would they open the box so I could finally see what mechanicals were like. Really annoyed as there is basically no where to try these things out.

I've never had that issue with PCWorld to be honest, they have always been happy to open a box, but then I do try to go at the best time for them when there are not many customers. This was also the main reason I had nothing to do with the YoYoTech store on Tottenham Crt Rd before it closed. I think it is disgusting practice for a high street store not to open a box for a potential customer.
As long as the price isn't too much higher, I will most likely buy my next keyboard from Amazon, just so I can try it and return it for free for a full refund should I not like it.
Margo Baggins 22nd May 2014, 11:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hustler
MK's are just another excuse for people to indulge in internet Epeen bragging rights, posting photo's of said devices lit up like Christmas trees.

This need for peer approval, "look at me, look at me!!!, I was dumb enough to spend this much on KB!!"

....personally anyone that spends £100+ on a keyboard, a KEYBOARD ffs, is borderline certifiable.

It wouldn't surprise me if these keyboards only make an appearance for the photo's, then get put to one side, and a regular, quiet keyboard is then used on a daily basis.

They are too DAMN LOUD...

OR - conversely, people could enjoy collecting as a hobbie. Pretty innocent :) Believe, there is no e-peen to be had buying a manky old keyboard that you are just going to take to pieces.

I don't think I ever use a quiet keyboard, I'm at the moment using an alps board with offensively loud switches.

FWIW I've never spent over £100 on a keyboard - I try not to spend much money at all, buy old things, and trade services for stuff, or run groupbuys. But i've also built keyboards that are worth $500 for people. I have infact spent way more money on electronics/tools than I have on keyboards.

Another things is - keyboards, keycaps, keyboard paraphinalia - sold correctly and in the right circles doesn't really depreciate at all, some things gain value slowly - can't be said for that many things. I could right now sell all my collection for WAY more money than I have put in.
bagman 22nd May 2014, 11:33 Quote
I understand why you want a mechanical keyboard makes perfect sense I have one. Took a long time for one to come out which was backlit and had media keys.

What I don't understand is getting a keyboard without a numpad, no F keys and no windows key. I can't live without those keys.

I also don't understand the need to buy stupid looking keys which are horrible to type on but cost unworldly amounts of money. 70$ for 4 keys! WTF are you doing spending that much on something so s***.
Shirty 22nd May 2014, 11:36 Quote
I don't like mechanical keyboards, not one bit.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hustler
MK's are just another excuse for people to indulge in internet Epeen bragging rights, posting photo's of said devices lit up like Christmas trees.

This need for peer approval, "look at me, look at me!!!, I was dumb enough to spend this much on KB!!"

Mate you do realise you are on a PC modding site don't you? Replace "mechanical keyboards" with "PCs" and you've just insulted the majority of your peers on here in one fell swoop
Gareth Halfacree 22nd May 2014, 11:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hustler
MK's are just another excuse for people to indulge in internet Epeen bragging rights, posting photo's of said devices lit up like Christmas trees.
Not that you'd post a sweeping generalisation, of course.

I used to use an IBM Model F buckling-spring mechanical keyboard, with no backlighting. I currently use a Filco Majestouch 2, with no backlighting. I type thousands of words a day, and without a mechanical I can honestly say I wouldn't be able to do that. Before I started using the Model F as my daily-use keyboard, I used a high-end membrane - and started to get worrying RSI-like twinges in my knuckles and wrist. Given that I keep a roof over my head and food on my table entirely through my ability to put words into a document via the keyboard, it's something I take very seriously.

Incidentally, the Filco (which is fitted with Cherry MX Blue switches) is considerably quieter than the Model F.

But hey, sure, all mechanical keyboard owners do so to "indulge in internet Epeen bragging rights, posting photo's [sic] of said devices lit up like Christmas trees;" just like all membrane keyboard owners are pathetic wannabes who probably only type a dozen words a day owing to their limited vocabularies. Unless - shock, horror - such a massive generalisation would be in any way inaccurate!
LordPyrinc 22nd May 2014, 11:45 Quote
My Blackwidow is very noisy, even more so than the ancient NMB keyboard I was using. (When I say ancient, I mean it - circa 1996). I hate most modern basic keyboards I've tried as they tend to feel flimsy. My desk has a keyboard drawer that extends, so a flimsy keyboard on that really sucks. But I wanted a backlit keyboard with some heft to it so I love my Blackwidow despite the noise. That being said, it's all about comfort for me when it comes to a keyboard. Does it feel right? I can deal with the noise. My case is air-cooled and my fan profile is set to spin up a bit earlier than normal when gaming to keep the GFX cards cool. So I already deal with a lot of background noise. If I were using the BW keyboard in an office environment though, I could see some people getting annoyed by the sound.
Spreadie 22nd May 2014, 11:46 Quote
Wow.

Feel the Mech Board hate in the comments:

"Somebody likes something that I don't like, I am duty bound to slag it and them off!"

Yawn!

Antony, your venerable Eclipse is really on it's way out - it's starting to make spelling mistakes:
Quote:
One of the varients of the Saitek Eclipse - a pretty good, if basic, membrane keyboard

Shirty 22nd May 2014, 11:50 Quote
No Dave, they're well thought out comments on the subject

And I've decided to respond in an equally adult and reasoned way:

U MAD BRO?

http://i1136.photobucket.com/albums/n482/shirty101/IMAG0246.jpg
Grimloon 22nd May 2014, 11:51 Quote
Fair comment, noise is definitely a negative factor with many mech keyboards. I can't bear the noise from blue switches, I'd end up beating myself to death with my own keyboard if I had one in the office.

However, I'm heavy handed enough that I pretty much destroy membrane keyboards within a few months and switched to mech in frustration at the flimsiness and a fair bit of nostalgia for the much loved Model M. I haven't broken a mech keyboard (yet!) and have essentially spent less money than I would have done if I'd just kept buying new membrane ones.

bagman, I've become so sued to the 88 key layout that it feels wierd when there is a numeric keypad as the mouse is too far away. Each to their own I suppose.
Corky42 22nd May 2014, 12:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
And it's great, but not available in a Mac UK layout. I want a full height return key and exactly the same layout as on the laptop it plugs into. Anything else is too much agro.

They sell the Quiet Click switches in packs of 200 for $50, and another $20 for shipping to Europe, if anyone is into some DIY.
Guinevere 22nd May 2014, 12:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
They sell the Quiet Click switches in packs of 200 for $50, and another $20 for shipping to Europe, if anyone is into some DIY.

Again it comes down to one's definition of 'too much agro'.
Psytek 22nd May 2014, 12:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hustler
MK's are just another excuse for people to indulge in internet Epeen bragging rights, posting photo's of said devices lit up like Christmas trees.
Not that you'd post a sweeping generalisation, of course.

I used to use an IBM Model F buckling-spring mechanical keyboard, with no backlighting. I currently use a Filco Majestouch 2, with no backlighting. I type thousands of words a day, and without a mechanical I can honestly say I wouldn't be able to do that. Before I started using the Model F as my daily-use keyboard, I used a high-end membrane - and started to get worrying RSI-like twinges in my knuckles and wrist. Given that I keep a roof over my head and food on my table entirely through my ability to put words into a document via the keyboard, it's something I take very seriously.

Incidentally, the Filco (which is fitted with Cherry MX Blue switches) is considerably quieter than the Model F.

But hey, sure, all mechanical keyboard owners do so to "indulge in internet Epeen bragging rights, posting photo's [sic] of said devices lit up like Christmas trees;" just like all membrane keyboard owners are pathetic wannabes who probably only type a dozen words a day owing to their limited vocabularies. Unless - shock, horror - such a massive generalisation would be in any way inaccurate!

What is it about mechanical keyboards that prevents RSI? I'm not picking a fight, I'm genuinely curious because I type a lot too and my hands get sore.

For me I'm wary of mechanical keyboards because regardless of how good they are, I have a hard time believing that when a £5 keyboard works perfectly fine, that a mechanical one will be better *enough* to justify spending upwards of £60
GeorgeK 22nd May 2014, 13:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hustler
lit up like Christmas trees..

Funny - the only backlit keyboard I've owned was not mechanical...
Jester_612 22nd May 2014, 13:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Psytek
What is it about mechanical keyboards that prevents RSI? I'm not picking a fight, I'm genuinely curious because I type a lot too and my hands get sore.

For me I'm wary of mechanical keyboards because regardless of how good they are, I have a hard time believing that when a £5 keyboard works perfectly fine, that a mechanical one will be better *enough* to justify spending upwards of £60

Rubbers need fully depressing for key press assurance. Cherry MX Blues activate after 50cN of force and at about 2mm of travel and bottom out is at 4mm, not bottoming out saves undue strain.

edit- GK why not send Ant your type-S for review?
Gareth Halfacree 22nd May 2014, 13:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Psytek
What is it about mechanical keyboards that prevents RSI? I'm not picking a fight, I'm genuinely curious because I type a lot too and my hands get sore.
Nothing inherent necessarily, and I'm not saying that what works for me would work for everyone - it depends on your typing style. I, certainly, find that my hands get significantly more fatigued when using a membrane keyboard than using a good mechanical - but I could imagine someone else finding the opposite. In fact, one of the best keyboards for RSI/CTS sufferers is considered to be the laptop-like TypeMatrix, which I'm considering trying out to see how it feels.

One thing that may make more of a difference than switching keyboards is switching posture. Cornell says a negative slope tray is the best for reducing issues in the wrists, elbows and fingers. Sadly, a negative slope tray costs about £300(!), which is why I simulate the position by sitting my keyboard on my lap with a wrist-rest jammed under the front edge to elevate it and provide the slope. I can type for longer in that position than with it on my desk - enough so that I'm genuinely considering either building a keyboard tray of my own or splashing out and buying a pre-made model, despite the ridiculous cost.
Big Elf 22nd May 2014, 13:24 Quote
Have you tried an Enermax Aurora. It has a similar low action to an old IBM laptop keyboard and a scissor switch key action. They're not silent but are very quiet. I've been using them for close to 7 years and would find it difficult to adapt to any other.

Edit: Never mind, unless you can blag one from Enermax they're extremely hard/impossible to find.
Phil Rhodes 22nd May 2014, 13:27 Quote
I do a lot of writing and I like short-throw keys. The problem with mechanical types for me is that you have to push the damn thing down several hundred feet before it actually registers the keystroke, which really slows things down.

The keyboards I like best are on laptops.
Yslen 22nd May 2014, 14:09 Quote
The only rubber dome board I have around here is a "Logitech Ultra Flat Keyboard", and it's at least as loud as my MX reds. I guess it varies.
Redbeaver 22nd May 2014, 14:21 Quote
borrowed one from the office as i dont want to spend the money if indeed it was that noisy when i use it late night when my 2yr old is sleeping in the next room.

result? when typing, not so bad.

but i'm gamer.

and when i game, i mash those buttons. i mash them good.

2 yr old certainly noticed it. that's when my wife had something to say...


so yeah. no mechanical for me too.
schmidtbag 22nd May 2014, 14:32 Quote
As an owner of MX Brown keyboard, I can say that I think mechanical switches are extremely over-hyped. But also as others have mentioned, you can't complain about mechanical switch noise if you keep bottoming out. Half the appeal of getting a mech switch is being able to press a key half way and still actuate, which helps REDUCE noise, increase typing speed, and (depending on the switch type) increase accuracy.

To me, some membrane keyboards are a bit louder. The keys rattle more easily and you have to press harder to make them actuate. So you're hearing your finger slapping the key, the key itself slapping the bottom, and then the key rattling when you release.

Personally, I find my keyboard pretty loud, but only when releasing the keys. The springs push the keys back way too harshly and there's a bit of reverberation when it happens. I think if Cherry MX made switches with weaker springs that didn't kick back so fast, mechanical keyboards, when properly used, could be much quieter than membrane.
hyperion 22nd May 2014, 14:41 Quote
Ideally I would like a silent membrane keyboard with TKL layout, low profile keys, no lighting and no extra media buttons.

I've had my MK for 3 years and it has survived a coke spill, a coffee spill and also being dismantled by me so I guess I got my money's worth, but my friends on skype and TS still crack jokes about me pvping against my KB every time I start typing.
N17 dizzi 22nd May 2014, 14:54 Quote
I love my Qpad 3202 - back-lit on reds. I had a Zibal, K60 and a Saitek Eclipse beforehand.

Qpad all the way...
xaser04 22nd May 2014, 15:05 Quote
I love my (my wife's technically as it is her PC..) Vengeance K70 for gaming but I still haven't quite go used to it for typing quickly. I am mainly used to using my laptop though which is a polar opposite in typing feel.

Noise wise I couldn't care less as anything that helps drown out a 290X @ 60%+ fan speed is welcome :D
sotu1 22nd May 2014, 15:24 Quote
Hey you know my Black Widow is really noisy. Really, really noisy actually.


I love it ;)

Each to their own
megamale 22nd May 2014, 15:34 Quote
I also think mechanical keyboards are overhyped a bit. I have the K70 with brown switches which recently replaced a Filco (mainly to get backlight, I still can't touch type special characters).

That said I think this is going to be my last mechanical keyboard. The noise is not a huge issue, although it forced me to switch to push to talk on teamspeak. I often go to client sites and have to use whatever keyboard they have. I am forced to say that sometimes I find it easier to type on a standard keyboard, I still can't put my finger on why.
Shirty 22nd May 2014, 15:56 Quote
Megamale, your last sentence is actually a lot more common than many people would believe.

I find typing on a decent rubber dome very easy indeed, and some of the mechs I've typed on have been frankly horrible. However, this little FC660M I'm typing on at the moment is one of the easiest typing boards I've ever used, no question.
Spreadie 22nd May 2014, 16:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shirty
However, this little FC660M I'm typing on at the moment is one of the easiest typing boards I've ever used, no question.

G80-3000
Shirty 22nd May 2014, 16:19 Quote
One of my other faves. I keep my love for blues alive for typing
longweight 22nd May 2014, 17:46 Quote
Topre.
Spreadie 22nd May 2014, 17:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by longweight
Topre.

Meh, posh rubber domes...

/troll
Slizza 22nd May 2014, 17:54 Quote
I feel the same way about mech boards. Settled on the cyborg v5 myself as well.
Happy with the board until a better alternative than current clunky mech keyboards is available.
longweight 22nd May 2014, 17:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spreadie
Meh, posh rubber domes...

/troll

Rubberdomes done properly :)
Spreadie 22nd May 2014, 17:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by longweight
Rubberdomes done properly :)

Well said.
Sloth 22nd May 2014, 18:17 Quote
I'd thought reds were pretty quiet, but considering that's compared to my matching board with blues my perspective may be skewed. :)
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeK
Funny - the only backlit keyboard I've owned was not mechanical...
Same. The only flashy things on my mechs are red Esc keys.
Combatus 22nd May 2014, 18:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spreadie
Wow.

Antony, your venerable Eclipse is really on it's way out - it's starting to make spelling mistakes:

Ha ha! As always, I rely on you Spreadie to mop up on the proofing ;D
blackworx 22nd May 2014, 19:11 Quote
My main problem with mechanicals - including the Filco Majestouch I treated myself (and everyone within a fifty foot radius of me) to at work - is that none of the ones I've tried even come close to a Model M for typing feel.

As for home use - my Eclipse II is still going strong thank you very much. I had a scare about a year ago when my "better" half spilled a pint of vodka and apple juice all over my previous one and it died right there in front of me. To my amazement however, she'd managed to time her cackhandedness to coincide perfectly with the listing of a single new "old stock" Eclipse II by an Amazon marketplace seller somewhere in Germany. God bless the internet.

Needless to say the better half is forbidden from taking liquids anywhere near it.
Ficky Pucker 22nd May 2014, 19:17 Quote
its all about the "good feeling of oneness with cup rubber" ;)
jrs77 22nd May 2014, 19:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackworx
My main problem with mechanicals - including the Filco Majestouch I treated myself (and everyone within a fifty foot radius of me) to at work - is that none of the ones I've tried even come close to a Model M for typing feel.

daskeyboard Model S Professional is said to feel like it, but I can't comment on that myself.
David164v8 22nd May 2014, 20:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jester_612
Rubbers need fully depressing for key press assurance. Cherry MX Blues activate after 50cN of force and at about 2mm of travel and bottom out is at 4mm, not bottoming out saves undue strain.

edit- GK why not send Ant your type-S for review?

Wait, I'm not supposed to bottom out the keys? My K65 makes a satisfying smash every time I press a key.

I really don't want RSI, should I be tapping them more lightly?
Unicorn 22nd May 2014, 20:23 Quote
If you're going to use a membrane keyboard, the Saitek Eclipse (now marketed as the Cyborg V5) is one of the best money can buy and isn't even all that expensive. Despite my switch to mechanical boards for almost everything else, I still have several Eclipses and a V5 in the workshop which get used on a regular basis. Before that, one of them was my gaming keyboard for about 6 years and served me very well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hustler
This need for peer approval, "look at me, look at me!!!, I was dumb enough to spend this much on KB!!"

....personally anyone that spends £100+ on a keyboard, a KEYBOARD ffs, is borderline certifiable.

Whilst I agree with what you're saying to a certain extent, I think you've taken it a bit too far. £100 on a mechanical board is fine in my opinion. I've personally spent more than that several times over on some of my boards. £100 on a keycap is insane though, as is a lot less per keycap. Like everything though, it's a hobby and like many hobbies, it's an expensive one. Some people collect stamps, some collect expensive keyboards and some collect high end flashlights. If I told you that I personally own over £2000 worth of torches and related equipment, you'd call me borderline certifiable as well, but it's just another expensive hobby like RC, photography, cycling, scuba diving, rallying, track racing and even modding or building high end PCs.
mi1ez 22nd May 2014, 23:55 Quote
My WYSE temrinal kayboard at work is hands down my favourite keyboard in years! Nice tall keys, membrane, nice action. has a PS/2 port in it and everything...
Star*Dagger 23rd May 2014, 06:19 Quote
It is all irrelevant until they make a mechanical KB with an LCD like the G19.

There are literally thousands of gamers that I interact with personally that are the same way, you need the LCD for so many things. If I know that many there must be hundreds of thousands if not millions who are waiting for this.
SexyHyde 23rd May 2014, 08:50 Quote
Loved my Saitek Gamer keyboard and my Microsoft Ergo 4000, but the cherry reds in my CMStorm are divine and I find it's not too loud unless I am typing fast. Then it sounds like chatter teeth on speed, but I usually have headphones on when I am at the keyboard anyway.
Margo Baggins 23rd May 2014, 09:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mi1ez
My WYSE temrinal kayboard at work is hands down my favourite keyboard in years! Nice tall keys, membrane, nice action. has a PS/2 port in it and everything...

I have some WYSE caps off an old terminal board - but they don't have the rest of the keyboard attached to them :D they off a mech though not a membrane board.
Spreadie 23rd May 2014, 10:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Star*Dagger
It is all irrelevant until they make a mechanical KB with an LCD like the G19.

There are literally thousands of gamers that I interact with personally that are the same way, you need the LCD for so many things. If I know that many there must be hundreds of thousands if not millions who are waiting for this.

So, you literally know thousands of gamers who absolutely need a keyboard with an LCD?

:|
bawjaws 23rd May 2014, 11:25 Quote
The best thing to do with Star*Dagger's posts is just ignore them. Never forget that he's just an awful troll, and responding to his trolling is futile.

On the plus side, he tends to post infrequently :D
Shirty 23rd May 2014, 15:39 Quote
I suspect he rarely reads the replies either, he just posts his trolls to make himself feel marginally more adequate before moving on for a month.

So yes, responding is futile. But I still enjoy it.
Teelzebub 23rd May 2014, 16:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Star*Dagger
It is all irrelevant until they make a mechanical KB with an LCD like the G19.

There are literally thousands of gamers that I pretend to interact with personally ( truthfully I'm lonely and have no friends ) that are the same way, you need the LCD for so many things. If I know that many there must be hundreds of thousands if not millions who are waiting for this.

FTFY ;)
Spreadie 23rd May 2014, 16:10 Quote
As above, I don't really care about him - I do enjoy occasionally highlighting the absurdity of his claims though. Shine a light on idiocy until it has nowhere else to hide.
Shirty 23rd May 2014, 16:22 Quote
It's every post as well, do a search on his posts :)
Sloth 23rd May 2014, 17:58 Quote
I think you've all been decieved. The true Star*Dagger would have signed off with "Yours in G19 Plasma, Star*Dagger".
wafflesomd 23rd May 2014, 18:22 Quote
Tried a mechanical keyboard, didn't quite care for it. Didn't really feel all that different from my $10 logitech k120.

So I stick with cheap keyboards.
IvanIvanovich 23rd May 2014, 18:38 Quote
But there are mechs with LCD screens!
http://geekhack.org/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=55181.0;attach=55470;image
Even ones with LCD screen and a FLOPPY DRIVE!
http://lghttp.21022.nexcesscdn.net/809F09/reusetek/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/800x600/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/m/a/max_keyboard_1_of_5_.jpg

ALSO more useless keys to use as macros you never use than G19. And those were made well before logitech ever thought about it!


To be more serious, mechs can be great but there are some people that they simply are not right for. Though some things I think are more complaints that should be far less considered than reliable and comfortable typing/gaming all day long.
There are many keyboards to choose from, but if it hurts your hands in long sessions and does not react reliably it is a worthless input device.
Gareth Halfacree 23rd May 2014, 21:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by IvanIvanovich
But there are mechs with LCD screens!
Even ones with LCD screen and a FLOPPY DRIVE!
If somebody supplies me with one of those, I guarantee I'll have the macro keys and the LCD up and running on a modern computer. What a project!
IvanIvanovich 24th May 2014, 04:00 Quote
Those DEKO ones speak PS/2 though I don't think the drivers/programming utility works on anything newer than XP.
TheDarkSide 24th May 2014, 14:50 Quote
i thought the whole point of tactile feedback (eg: MX browns) was so that you know when a key is activated and you don't need to bottom out. That's how i use my browns anyways and they're no louder than a membrane keyboard. wouldn't bottoming out despite the feedback defeat the purpose?
energizer15 24th May 2014, 17:16 Quote
Ugh... mechanical keyboards, the bane of my existence!

I am a software developer. I love my job, I really do. However, I can honestly say that, by far, the worst thing about working as a programmer is how prevalent mechanical keyboards are in the field. At every office I have worked at, at least one fellow developer in my cube farm has owned one. I've endured the IBM Model M, the Das Model S, and a host of others. These things drive me absolutely crazy. All of them have been obnoxiously loud.

The worst about the loud mechanical keyboards is the type sound they produce. It is high-pitched and utterly piercing. This makes it almost impossible to block out. Noise-canceling headphones are only effective against low-frequency sounds. Even construction-grade, 30-dB-attenuating earmuffs can only dampen (not stop) the sound.

Virtually the only way to drown out the sound is to listen to music. That's usually fine, as I'm usually jamming away to music anyway. But sometimes, you just need peace and quiet to think and concentrate. The loud mechanical keyboards make this literally impossible. For the love of god, if you're going to use a mechanical keyboard in a shared office, get a "silent" one (like the Matias Quiet Pro).

Countless times online I've seen people ask, "is [mechnical keyboard X / a mechnical keyboard with {some color} switches] too loud for a shared office?" The reply 99.99999% is one of two things: a) a tongue-in-cheek, "LOL, WHO CARES IF ITS LOUD, THEY'LL BE IMPRESSED AT HOW FAST YOU CAN TYPE", or, b) "well, just try it, and if anyone complains, stop."

The thing is though, if you need to ask that question in the first place, it's ambiguous enough that you should err on the side of common courtesy. Some people are shy and won't feel comfortable asking you to use something else; some people will be annoyed by it but will just endure it. I personally have no problem bringing up an issue like this, but don't assume that everyone has the courage to do so. There internet is filled with an infinite number of ancedotes of wives literally forcing their husband to get rid of their mechnical keyboard because of how loud it is. The verdict is in: don't use these things if you're going to be around people. "I use one at work and on one has complained" is a far cry from "I use one at work and it doesn't bother anyone."

Mechanical keyboards are awesome. Every person I've met that has owned one has absolutely raved about it. But they do not belong in public environments. They are antisocially loud and outrageously disruptive. For some, the sound does not bother them. For those that are irked by the sound, it pure hell!

</newbie diatribe>
Farting Bob 26th May 2014, 21:04 Quote
Seen rocking the same Saiktek Eclipse 2 as the author for many years now and it's working as good as the day i got it. Easy to clean, full size keys without being massive body, good backlighting and useful media keys without overcomplicating things.

When it does die i'll be getting myself another membrane keyboard with red backlighting, mechanical keyboards are too loud for my taste and too expensive.
Spreadie 26th May 2014, 21:26 Quote
The MX Clears on my G80 are no louder than the Cherry MY board upstairs, the Saitek Eclipse II on the Kids' PC or the generic rubber domes my workmates use in the office.

Granted, I found clicky MX Blues distracting and the ease with which I bottom out MX Reds can make a little noise, but flat out claiming that all mech boards are loud is complete and utter bobbins.
atlas 27th May 2014, 09:01 Quote
I see one or two people have mentioned it but I definitely need to bring it up again. Get a Topre board! You might even name a child after me for this advice. Like you I spend a ludicrous amount of time in front of computers and I like to have a good set of tools, I also went through a few mechanical boards Filco (browns & blacks) had no interest in blues or anything loud. I do also prefer heavier switches so Reds were not an option. Despite Filcos being absolutely great quality boards the switches just didn't do it for me and I decided to take the leap into Topre. I now have hhkb type-s at work and a Realforce 55g 87u at home. If you looking for a more std larger board, I would highly recommend a Realforce board and if you do enjoy slightly heavier switches the 55g is the one to go for without question. Topre is quiet and absolutely amazing to type on.
Kovoet 27th May 2014, 09:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spreadie
The MX Clears on my G80 are no louder than the Cherry MY board upstairs, the Saitek Eclipse II on the Kids' PC or the generic rubber domes my workmates use in the office.

Granted, I found clicky MX Blues distracting and the ease with which I bottom out MX Reds can make a little noise, but flat out claiming that all mech boards are loud is complete and utter bobbins.

Totally agree with this statement. I had a saitek ii and it was just a loud as my k70. In saying that my old g15 i think was even louder
Digi 28th May 2014, 09:11 Quote
I had this exact problem myself lately. I was on my 3rd Eclipse with worn out WASD keys and needed an upgrade. I got a good deal on a Steelseries 6Gv2 and took the chance.
It took some getting used too but I enjoy the solid feel and the minimal force I need to get response out of the keys.
However, I don't have to type as much as you and I think it would annoy me if I did.
Ergath 28th May 2014, 17:05 Quote
I have a Logitech Illuminated and absolutely love it.

I'm sure you're all fascinated to know that.
iggy 28th May 2014, 20:19 Quote
positively ****ing thrilled.
Unicorn 29th May 2014, 22:09 Quote
You guys must be using inferior Eclipse boards. My original V1 one and the subsequent V1 boards all have thousands of hours gaming on them and no worn keys.
Xir 1st July 2014, 20:49 Quote
Is it just me or are the boards mentioned early in this thread, the Sidewinder X4 and Logitech Ultra-X not available anymore?
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