After my old keyboard started randomly dropping characters as I typed them, I decided it was time to get a new one. Having used flat keyboards with scissor switches for over a decade, I was a bit fed up with crumbs getting caught in the mechanics and keys failing, so I decided it was time to upgrade to a mechanical keyboard. The Cherry MX switch series seems to be the most popular on this market, so my main difficulty was deciding on a color. Also, I found it slightly irritating that these keyboards are mainly marketed at gamers, even though they are great for typing too!
Cherry has three groups of MX switches: linear (Red, Black), tactile non-clicky (Brown, Clear), and tactile clicky (Blue). Since I always push my keys all the way through to the bottom, I don’t really need clickyness to get a sound. Also, I prefer my keyboard to be as silent as possible. I ended up ordering a Cherry MX Board 1.0 both with Brown switches and with Silent Red switches. The former are tactile, the latter are linear. So here is a list of those things I disliked on both keyboards.
MX Silent Red
- If you catch a key by the edge while trying to hit another, it may still activate. That’s slightly annoying at first, but teaches you to type more precisely. The MX Black would require slightly more force and thus be less prone to this, but it’s not available in a silent variant.
- When typing fast, the bottom metal plate has a faint high-pitched ring.
- Lack of tactile response feels a bit weird during the first few thousand keystrokes, but you get used to it very quickly.
- It is 6 dB louder than the Silent Red.
I ended up keeping the Silent Red because the difference in volume was just what crossed the line between bearable and annoying. I know you can put rubber O-rings between the key caps and the switches to silence them, but I just wanted something that I’m happy with out of the box. If Cherry decides to make a Silent Brown some day, I’m pretty sure I’ll buy it immediately though.