How to Reduce Mechanical Keyboard Noise and Make it Quieter

For various reasons, mechanical keyboards are very popular among normal and professional gamers and tech-savvy users.

These reasons include nice design, fast response, durability, great typing experience and efficiency. For that reason, their price is quite more expensive than the regular keyboards, but we can say that they are certainly worth every single penny.

However, when using it, some users may face a problem with their sound, which is too noisy in some cases. It is well-known that mechanical keyboards are louder than normal ones since the mechanical switches make noise when you press them. Especially when you use the clicky switches, they have the loudest sound compared to other switches.

Therefore, the sound could be very annoying with some keyboards, and it can drive people around you insane once you start pressing the keys.

But don’t worry, this problem can be resolved by making a few slight modifications to your mechanical keyboard. In this article, we will go through some solutions that can help you reduce the noise and make your mechanical keyboard quieter.

How to Make Mechanical Keyboard Sound Quieter

Place a Desk mat under your keyboard

If you are looking for an easy solution without making any physical modifications to your keyboard, you can place a desk mat under your keyboard.

When typing on a desk, you can see that a vibration or rattle happens when your fingers hit the keys. These vibrations tend to increase the vibrational noise, which amplifies the noise level. When you put down a desk mat, the vibrations will be absorbed and dampened, which will make your keyboard less noisy.

use desk mat to reduce keyboard noice
Use a desk mat can significantly reduce the keyboard sound. Pic by hongphong1709.

Desk mats can be ordered easily online or at office supply stores. It is made of rubber material, which has excellent sound-absorbing capabilities. It is wide enough to cover the desk, with enough space for both your keyboard and mouse.

Insert Foam into Your Keyboard

This method is quite more advanced since it requires you to make some physical modifications to your mechanical keyboard.

This is also called you are going to “mod your keyboard”.

Foam can help reduce the internal vibrational noise of your keyboard.

Just like a desk mat, it is also a cheap and easy way to reduce the noise. But there is one downside: it will take some of your time, since you need to open-up the keyboard with a screwdriver, and then place the foam under your PCB as well as right between the bottom plate and the PCB.

bottom case foam
Bottom case foam for reducing noise

There are several options when choosing the foam. It depends on your budget to decide the right one for you.

  • Neoprene: Its price is quite cheap. It can effectively absorb all vibrations.
  • Packing foam: It is another good low-cost option. It can easily fill the spaces inside your keyboard.
  • Shelf-liner: It is the best one if you have a tight budget. Although, it can be difficult to insert into the keyboard.
  • Sorbothane: It is the most expensive option here. This is certainly the best type of foam to silence your keyboard.

Rubber O-rings

O-Rings are small cushions made from thick rubber or silicone that can be put beneath your switches. They will instantly dampen vibrations while typing since they reduce the impact between the switch and the stem of the keycap when you press a key.

rubber o ring under the switch to reduce sound and noise

Installing rubber O-Rings is simple, but it will cost you sometime. You will have to remove all your keycaps and slide the O-Rings onto each one.

This method is a great choice for keyboards that don’t use clicky switches. If your keyboard has them, there may not be much difference. And if that is the case, you can change to a quieter type of switch.

Apply Lubricant to Keyboard Switches

One of the best ways to make your switch sound softer, as well as improve your typing feel, is to lubricate the switches.

If you have a keyboard with a hot-swappable switch function, then it is straightforward. However, if your keyboard does not have a hot-swappable function, the process is far more complicated as it involves using a desolder tool to remove the switches from the PCB.

lube switches
Things you need to lube your switches

You can easily take off your keyboard switches by using a switch puller if they are hot-swappable. Or to de-solder them out.

Next, you will have to open all switches with a switch opener and carefully lubricate each of them. Finally, you will need to put the switch back together again and return it to its spot on your keyboard.

Lubricating your keyboard’s switches is a very time-consuming and tedious process, but the comfortable feel and soft sound are well worth all the effort.

Read more: How to lube mechanical keyboard switches

Make Changes to Keyboard Stabilizers:

This is when things get more complicated. This method is considered the most difficult one in our list. However, it is still doable with enough preparation and effort.

mod stabilizer
Stab modding is always the most difficult step but brings your keyboard to the next level.

Stabilizers are parts of your keyboard that are in place to keep larger keys, like the space bar or enter, steady. It is what helps them not rattle or shake so loudly. Modifying your stabilizers makes the rattling sound even quieter. To achieve that, you will need the following tools:

  • Lubricant: You can apply the lube to the stabilizers to avoid friction. When the stabilizers move up and down, they cause friction, which creates a vibration. This vibration is very loud and amplifies the sound of your keyboard.
  • Band-aids: Applying the sticky part of a band-aid below the area where the key stabilizers stand will absorb the sounds and vibrations of your typing.
  • Clip: You can use a clip to cut down the bottom feet of the stabilizer, so the stabilizer is flat up against your PCB.

Those processes can take a couple of hours, so you should do this modification when you have lots of free time.

Change to a different type of switch:

This option is best for those who have a keyboard with loud and clicky switches.

There are three main types of switches, which are linear, tactile, and clicky:

  • Linear switches are the quietest and smoothest type of switch.
  • Tactile switches give a small tactile bump on each keystroke, and they make a slight noise.
  • Clicky switches are the loudest ones. It is certainly the worst option here.
mechanical keyboard switches
Different types of switches

Our best recommendation here is to choose linear switches since they hardly make any noise when typing. Adding some lubricant to them will further lower the noise and make them the most satisfying switches to use.

The difficulty of this option really depends on your keyboard. If it supports hot-swappable function, then there will not be much trouble replacing the switches. If not, you will need to de-solder the switches off the PCB board. It is not an easy process if you are not familiar with it.

Conclusion

By doing one of the above modifications, you will no longer need to deal with the noisiness of your keyboard any longer. Although a few of the options are not easy to execute, it is still worth it in the long run just by spending a few hours of doing research and getting these mods done.

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