Mechanical keyboards use physical switches to record a key press. Pressing a key will press on the physical switch located under the key. This gives any mechanical keyboard a loud and clicky sound. However, these clicky sounds can be loud for some people.
If you like the feeling of a mechanical keyboard when you type, but you don’t want to hear those loud clicks, there are ways you can make a mechanical keyboard quieter.
Cleaning the keyboard and using special oils should lessen the noise from the keyboard. However, we have also listed other solutions to make the keyboard quieter.
Why is My Keyboard So Loud?
A mechanical keyboard will make a lot of sounds compared to a membrane keyboard. Due to its physical switches, you will always hear some sound from a mechanical keyboard.
- A hollow area on the keyboard
- Friction in the switch
- Loud key switches
- Hard, reflecting surface under the keyboard
- Worn out switches
How to Make Keyboard Quieter?
Here are some solutions you can try to make the keyboard quieter.
You can use a lubricant or oils to reduce the noise level from the switches. However, you cannot use any lubricant on your keyboard switch. These oils reduce friction on the switches and help reduce the overall noise from the Keyboard. Make sure to use special greasing agents labeled safe to use for the keyboard.
These oils can be used on both switches and stabilizers.
Having a hot-swappable keyboard will definitely make your job a lot easier. Since a hot-swappable keyboard will have a removable switch, you can remove it, disassemble and use the oil inside the switch.
If your keyboard switches are not hot-swappable, you may not be able to completely oil the switches. This will work, but it will not be as effective as disassembling the switch.
Follow the steps mentioned below to remove the switch for the keyboard with a hot-swappable switch.
- Remove the key using a keycap puller
- Using the Keycap puller, remove the switch from the keyboard.
- Unclip the lock from both sides of the switch using a thin flat screwdriver.
Once you open the switch casing, you will find four components, bottom housing, top housing, spring, and a stem. The bottom housing sits on the surface of the keyboard. Top housing sits on top of bottom housing. The spring goes inside the top and bottom housing. And finally, the stem sits on top of the spring.
Oil all these parts and reassemble them. You can also lubricate the stabilizers on the longer keys, such as the spacebar or shift key.
Use Rubber O-Rings
Disassembling the entire switch, lubricating them, and reassembling them just to make it a little quieter does seem like a lot of work. This is where an O-rings comes in.
The rubber O-ring sits inside the keycap, reducing any noise from the keycap when you press on it. This is a pretty simple solution. However, it does not lessen the sound from the actual switch. So you may not hear much of a difference.
Follow these steps to use the rubber O-rings.
- Remove the keycaps from the keyboard using a keycap puller.
- Invert the keycap, place the rubber O-ring over the + sign, and press on it.
- Now, insert the keycap back on the keyboard.
- Repeat these steps for all the keys on your keyboard.
Use a Dampening Foam
Another reason your keyboard sounds noisier is due to the hollow space inside the keyboard. The gaps between the keyboard’s circuit board and the keyboard case and the gap between the keys will reflect sound waves. This will result in the keyboard making more sound when you press a button.
However, you can fix this using keyboard foam. A keyboard foam stays between the keyboard backplate and the circuit board.
Below we have mentioned the steps briefly.
- First, remove the keyboard backplate.
- Cut the foam in a shape so it fits under the keyboard circuit board.
- When you insert the foam, make sure you cut all the screw holes and USB port opening in the foam.
- Insert the foam under the keyboard circuit board and reassemble.
Note: If you have trouble taking the keyboard apart, please refer to the internet to disassemble and reassemble your keyboard.
Keyboard switches also play a vital role when it comes to keyboard sound. A premium keyboard will have better key switches and higher quality components inside the switch. This makes the keyboard sound silent without compromising the mechanical feel of a mechanical keyboard.
If your keyboard switches make a lot of noise, you can replace them with a silent one. However, you can only replace keyboard switches if they are hot-swappable. Hot-swappable keys are removable and replaceable.
If the switches are soldered onto the board, please refer to other methods to make the keyboard quieter.
Use a Desk Mat
A desk mat or a large mouse pad under your keyboard will restrict the sound from traveling to the desk. Without a desk mat, the noise from the keyboard will sound a lot louder as the desk will absorb that noise and amplify it by a certain amount.
Although the sound difference might seem insignificant, it will reduce the keyboard sound when you use a desk mat or a large mouse pad.