Author Topic: Silent Switches - What's the point?  (Read 745 times)

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Offline TeacherGeek

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Silent Switches - What's the point?
« on: Mon, 15 April 2019, 03:06:33 »
I have a few silent switches for testing and while the most silent are the Cherry MX Pinks, none of them are truly silent.

They all make a click or a clack

I know that some people work in a shared environment so they don't want to make too much noise but does anyone actually want "silent" switches, why?

Just asking for thoughts.
« Last Edit: Mon, 15 April 2019, 03:21:23 by TeacherGeek »

Offline Gampela

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Re: Silent Switches - What's the point?
« Reply #1 on: Mon, 15 April 2019, 06:41:20 »
While they might not be truly silent they are still notably more silent than your avarage Mx switch.

Why I like them? Isn't it obvious? Because they make less noise. Also I prefer the less harsh bottoming out which ofc goes hand in hand with more muted noise levels.

Offline TeacherGeek

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Re: Silent Switches - What's the point?
« Reply #2 on: Mon, 15 April 2019, 06:42:50 »
While they might not be truly silent they are still notably more silent than your avarage Mx switch.

Why I like them? Isn't it obvious? Because they make less noise. Also I prefer the less harsh bottoming which ofc goes hand in hand with more muted noise levels.

Are membrane keyboards not more silent in that case?

Offline Gampela

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Re: Silent Switches - What's the point?
« Reply #3 on: Mon, 15 April 2019, 06:48:28 »
While they might not be truly silent they are still notably more silent than your avarage Mx switch.

Why I like them? Isn't it obvious? Because they make less noise. Also I prefer the less harsh bottoming which ofc goes hand in hand with more muted noise levels.

Are membrane keyboards not more silent in that case?

Sure, many of them would be. But I like the feeling of my Mx silent switch. Mx compatibility has its own perks too ofc. But I do also like my silenced HHKB (not a membrane keyboard tho, but rubber dome, mind you).

Offline Justin_aka_OsP_SSJ4

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Re: Silent Switches - What's the point?
« Reply #4 on: Mon, 15 April 2019, 08:05:02 »
While they might not be truly silent they are still notably more silent than your avarage Mx switch.

Why I like them? Isn't it obvious? Because they make less noise. Also I prefer the less harsh bottoming which ofc goes hand in hand with more muted noise levels.

Are membrane keyboards not more silent in that case?
Hmmm not really. Depends on the quality of the board. On average a mech is higher quality than a membrane one and are very noisey overall.

My board is the most silent in my office and its got lubed cherry switches in it. Not silent.

There is a clear difference between a silent and non silent switch. Everything adds up in the end and you can get boards that are extremely quiet.
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Offline Telstar

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Re: Silent Switches - What's the point?
« Reply #5 on: Mon, 15 April 2019, 08:32:22 »
There is still a better feel on keypresses than cheap membrane keebs.

Online algernon

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Re: Silent Switches - What's the point?
« Reply #6 on: Mon, 15 April 2019, 08:51:21 »
I have silent switches in my Atreus, it's quiteter than most membranes I had the misfortune to type on. The feel's better too. And the layout. Mechs have so many great layouts, layouts like the Atreus, ErgoDox, Keyboardio Model01, and so on. Membranes don't have nearly as much variety. Many mechs are also programmable, while very few (if any) membranes are.

That's a couple of reasons for using silent switches over membranes, off the top of my head.

Offline zslane

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Re: Silent Switches - What's the point?
« Reply #7 on: Mon, 15 April 2019, 11:53:24 »
"Silent" is a marketing word. Dampened is more accurate. And for the most part, dampened is good enough. In fact, as a Topre fan, I want to hear its lovely thock sound. I just don't want to hear any upstroke noise, so I install silencing rings on all my Topre-based boards. I also lube my stabilizers because stabilizer rattle is another horrible noise I don't want to hear.

When it comes to cheap membrane boards, I find that it is the stabilizer rattle that is the worse noise-generating element. The switches themselves don't generally make very much noise, which is nice. But with those keyboards you don't get the robust durability of a good mechanical board and you don't get MX keycap compatibility (which for my money is the real reason to get into mech keyboards in the first place).

Offline Findecanor

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Re: Silent Switches - What's the point?
« Reply #8 on: Mon, 15 April 2019, 12:32:19 »
I use (more) silent switches / sound dampening mods because:

Sound impair feel. When something sounds harder, it also feels harder. If something feels harder it feels. Something that sounds or feels hard can feel ... disconcerting, as if something could get broken.

Ideally, the only noticeable sound from a key should be the sound of actuation. Any other noise could provide confusing feedback to the user.

Are membrane keyboards not more silent in that case?
BTW. This is an example of a membrane keyboard.
You are confusing them with rubber dome keyboards -- which could be connected in a sheet/sheets or be individual domes, and are backed with membrane, use conductive rubber over a PCB or even with some kind of capacitive element.
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