Das Keyboard goes silent with MX Red switch

Das Keyboard goes silent with MX Red switch

The Das Keyboard Model S Professional is now available in a Quiet edition, which uses Cherry MX Red keys for a more office-friendly typing experience.

Mechanical keyboard specialist Das Keyboard has announced the launch of the Model S Professional Quiet, which ditches the company's iconic clicky experience for a more office-friendly near-silent switch type.

Das Keyboard made a name for itself by being one of the first keyboard manufacturers to release a model which has completely blank keycaps - making typing an act of memorisation, and foiling hunt-and-peck types. Also available with more traditional printed keycaps, Das Keyboard's mechanicals use - what else - Cherry MX switches to provide that satisfying clicky feel that membrane-type keyboards simply cannot offer.

The finger-feel comes at a cost, however: noise. When Das Keyboard describes its primary product as 'the mechanical keyboard that clicks,' it isn't merely referring to how the keyboard feels during use but to the clattering noise that each switch makes as it is depressed and released. For a fast typist, a clicky keyboard can rapidly turn into a torrent of noise like hail on a tin roof - something that makes them ill-suited for use in an office environment.

Das Keyboard's answer, like so many other mechanical keyboard creators before it, is a switch of keys: while the previous Model S Professional uses either Cherry MX Blue - audible click, firm resistance - or Cherry MX Brown - somewhat less audible click, soft resistance - microswitches, the new Model S Professional Quiet opts for Cherry MX Red switches. Designed for near-silent use, the MX Red switches provide much of the finger-feel of their clicky equivalents but at a significantly reduced volume.

Aside from the microswitch swap-out, the Model S Professional Quiet retains the features of its noisier predecessors: use of the bundled PS/2 adapter provides full N-key rollover, dropping to six-key rollover via USB, while media controls and an integrated USB 2.0 hub provide a bit of extra convenience to the design.

Sadly for those who prefer the blank keycaps of the Model S Ultimate, Das Keyboard has yet to bring the Cherry MX Red switches across to its flagship device which remains available exclusively with Cherry MX Blue or MX Brown microswitches. Quite why that might be isn't clear: the physical design of the Model S Professional and Ultimate is identical, differing only in the presence or absence of laser-cut printing on the keycaps.

The switch to Cherry MX Red also comes at a literal cost: while the printed Model S Professional and blank Model S Ultimate both cost $139 when ordered direct from Das Keyboard, the Quiet model costs an extra $10 at $149.


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Yslen 15th May 2013, 12:43 Quote
Still comes with a dodgy font and greasetastic glossy finish. Plenty of better options out there, especially if you live in the UK as it's squarely in the Filco price bracket. Loads of cheaper keyboards that I'd say are better than this too.

Also, anyone who is expecting reds to be quiet when they get this thing is in for a surprise. Browns tend to be quieter as you have to bottom out on reds to type with any speed, because they're linear. Despite this, I notice the Das site is slathered with a generous helping of the word 'tactile' anyway. It's almost like they don't know anything about what they're selling. Fancy that.

EDIT: We do appreciate the article though, I personally would love Bit-tech to feature keyboards more often.
Shirty 15th May 2013, 12:56 Quote
I'll echo Yslen's sentiment that it's nice to hear about keyboards on Bit.... but if your MX Browns are clicking at all then they aren't MX Browns ;)

Reds are essentially identical to browns without the subtle tactile bump at the actuation point - there is no additional noise. Blues, greens and whites* are constructed differently with a secondary slider which pops down as you pass the actuation point, giving a click which sound a bit like a ping-pong ball bouncing on the table. Reds, blacks, browns, clears and greys do not feature this secondary slider, and as such all sound largely identical.

*Whites (which are rare in the wild) reportedly feature a slightly softer click than the traditional blue/green one.
Yslen 15th May 2013, 13:09 Quote
Originally Posted by Shirty
I'll echo Yslen's sentiment that it's nice to hear about keyboards on Bit.... but if your MX Browns are clicking at all then they aren't MX Browns ;)

Pressed gently, reds are definitely quieter due to the slight click from the brown switch.

My point was that when you're typing fast on reds you can't help but bottom out because there's no bump to let you know when to stop. This means browns end up being quieter, at least for me, because I'm not hammering the keys into the desk all the time. They encourage a gentle touch!

Having said that, do Das use dampening to reduce noise? If so the reds may well be quieter, though I'm not sure they'll feel very nice :/
Shirty 15th May 2013, 13:13 Quote
If you can hear a click from the tiny tactile bump on browns then you've got substantially better hearing than me (not beyond the realms of possibility). Like you I've owned most switches and blues/greens are the only ones which make any tangibly different sound - because they are designed to.

O-rings are the only think you can really use to help with the bottoming out sound, but it is almost impossible to cure the clunk of the keyswitch returning to its starting point.

One thing I will say about the sound of mechanical keyboards is that the sound varies hugely from typist to typist (bottoming out vs not), and the construction of the keyboard (PCB vs plate mounted switches, case material) and the keycaps (thin ABS vs thick PBT/doubleshot ABS) make a huge difference even when using identical switches.
Grimloon 15th May 2013, 18:00 Quote
Yslen, you must have some seriously good hearing as I actually get more noise from the keys returning to full spring extension than hitting the tactile point. I can only just hear it in the office with my ear to the keyboard as I press it! :o I definitely make more noise typing on reds, enough so that I'm putting a set of silicon o rings on the keyboard at home.
Yslen 15th May 2013, 21:42 Quote
Hmm, I feel some science coming on. My G80 (reds) is much much louder than my Ducky (browns).

I can definitely hear the tactile point as I pass it with the brown switches, which is a soft, low click. The 'reset' sound is also reasonably loud.

On the reds, the reset noise is slightly louder, I guess because I push them down further so the spring is compressed further and pushes back with more force? That or the keycaps are making the difference. The sound of bottoming out on the reds is much louder than anything I do with the browns. It's really, loud.

Could be the resonant properties of my desk, I suppose?

Still, Das are advertising their keyboard as whisper quiet. For the kinds of people they're marketing it to, it won't be, as they're coming from rubber domes.

I'd say browns are the quietest to type on because you can easily avoid bottoming out. It's possible with reds of course, which makes them really quiet, but personally my WPM drops to about 30 doing that as I struggle to pull off after the key actuates. I really have to concentrate to manage it!
longweight 15th May 2013, 21:44 Quote
Y'all need to get some silenced Topre goodness to truly understand quiet keyboards.
Shirty 15th May 2013, 21:51 Quote
I love keyboard science. I also have an illness. Sat afore me are three Cherry G80-3000 with reds, greens and blues, a Ducky Zero with blues and a Ducky G2 Pro with reds. I have only recently sold the Ducky Shine 2 with browns. I don't like MX blacks though, I'm not working on a till! No more now though, I'm bordering on bankruptcy. :)
longweight 15th May 2013, 21:53 Quote
Maybe we should have a Wilts / Hants meet up...
Shirty 15th May 2013, 22:37 Quote
I'm up for that :D

Have to get it in quick though, I've promised to sell off all but the G2 to raise some funds :(
longweight 15th May 2013, 22:43 Quote
What are you saving for?
Shirty 15th May 2013, 22:47 Quote
My OH is unemployed at the minute so we're trying not to go into (more) debt. So food and fuel basically :'(
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