Are Mechanical Keyboards Loud?

Although there’s a perception that mechanical keyboards are noisy, many users actually enjoy the sound, while some models are designed to be quieter. This piece delves into the reasons behind the noise, compares decibel levels, and offers strategies to reduce mechanical keyboard sound. Are Mechanical Keyboards Loud? Solve your problem by discovering this article.

How Loud Are Mechanical Keyboards?

Typically, mechanical keyboards produce sound levels ranging from 50 to 60 decibels (dB) during typing, with some louder models reaching up to 78 dB on forceful keystrokes. In contrast, membrane keyboards average 40 to 50 dB but can peak at 72 dB. To provide context, regular conversations fall within the 60 to 70 dB range, while vacuum cleaners emit around 75 dB. This indicates that while mechanical keyboards are quieter than conversations on average, they can match the noise level of vacuum cleaners for intense typists.

For those who find mechanical keyboards too noisy, it’s important to note that the average office environment registers between 60 and 65 dB, making mechanical keyboards quieter than typical workplaces. Furthermore, many individuals use headphones and music to mask office noise while they work.



Average Decibels

Vacuum Cleaner
75 – 80 dB
Normal Conversation
60 – 75 dB
Office Environment
60 – 65 dB
Mechanical Keyboards
50 – 60 dB
Membrane Keyboards
40 – 50 dB

Why Mechanical Keyboards Are Louder Than Membrane Keyboards

So, what causes the loudness of mechanical keyboards? Various factors contribute to this, primarily the type of keyboard switches used. Unlike membrane keyboards, which rely on rubber domes, mechanical keyboards utilize mechanical switches renowned for their accuracy, durability, and longevity (some Cherry MX switches can withstand over 100 million keystrokes).

These switches come in three main types:

  1. Tactile: Providing tactile feedback (a bump) accompanied by a muted click.
  2. Linear: Delivering smooth, quieter keystrokes without a bump.
  3. Clicky: Offering tactile feedback along with an audible click.

At one extreme, linear switches like Cherry MX Silent Red produce minimal noise. At the other extreme, clicky switches like Cherry MX Blue are purposely loud. Tactile switches such as Cherry MX Brown fall in between, offering a balanced experience.




Average dB

Max dB

Cherry MX Blue
Clicky 64 dB 78 dB
Cherry MX Brown
Tactile 59 dB 74 dB
Cherry MX Silent Red
Linear 52 dB 64 dB

Additional factors affecting the sound levels of mechanical keyboards include:

  1. Keycaps: They produce a clacking noise when pressed all the way down.
  2. Case: Certain cases incorporate sound-dampening foam to reduce noise, while others do not.
  3. Work Surface: Hard surfaces like metal or wood desks tend to amplify keyboard sounds.

Below is a video showcasing the typical and peak decibel levels of keyboards featuring different switch types.


How to Make Mechanical Keyboards Quieter?

There’s a common notion that mechanical keyboards are too noisy for office environments or recording situations, but in reality, they can be made almost as quiet as membrane keyboards. Here are five methods to reduce the noise of mechanical keyboards.
  1. Replace Switches Swap out the existing switches with quieter mechanical ones compatible with the keyboard. Quieter tactile switches like Cherry MX Brown offer reduced noise compared to clicky switches. Linear switches such as Cherry MX Silent Red and Cherry MX Silent Black are particularly quiet options.
  2. Apply Lubrication to Switches and Stabilizers Reduce friction and rattling by lubricating the switches and stabilizers. Mechanical keyboard lubricants available on platforms like Amazon can help achieve smoother and quieter keystrokes.
  3. Install O-Rings on Keycap Stems Place rubber O-Rings around the keycap stems to mitigate sound when keys are bottomed out. Thinner O-rings retain keyboard feel while still dampening noise, whereas thicker ones provide more noise reduction but may affect the keystroke feel.
  4. Incorporate Sound-Dampening Foam into the Case Add sound-dampening foam between the plate and the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) if it’s not already included. This foam absorbs sound, resulting in quieter keystrokes.
  5. Utilize a Desk Mat Reduce noise reverberation on hard surfaces by placing a desk mat under the keyboard. This simple solution helps dampen and absorb typing noise.


A significant number of people favor the sound produced by mechanical keyboards.

While some users enjoy the audible feedback of mechanical keyboards, others find it disruptive. Quieting a loud mechanical keyboard can be achieved through silent switches, O-rings, sound-dampening foam, or a desk mat, ensuring a more pleasant environment for coworkers, roommates, or family members.




For more knowledge of mechanical keyboards, visit DURGOD.

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