Author Topic: Kailh BOX Silent Browns - First Impressions / Review  (Read 12283 times)

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Offline PHYLO

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Kailh BOX Silent Browns - First Impressions / Review
« on: Thu, 28 May 2020, 10:53:05 »
Just got a 10 pack of the BOX Silent Browns to test on my Melody96 (hotswap pcb) and simply put; WOW they are a really strong contender for silent switches.

  • Tactile bump; decently strong, starts right at the top like Zilents/Zeals, just a tad more prominent than Aliaz's bump, but not as wide of a bump as Zilents/Zeals. They land between the tactility of Aliaz 60g and Zilent V2 62g's, leaning towards Aliaz's tactility. Quite good!
  • Stability of BOX switches. Maybe not as stable as the traditional BOX switches where it's literally a box, but this is only distinguishable in a side-by-side comparison. Easily forgettable. They're very stable compared to non-BOX switches.
  • Quiet; basically the same sound as Aliaz 60g silent switches, which are slightly quieter than Zilents. I don't have a sound test but check out the video link (not mine) below for a Aliaz sound test that gives good idea of what the BOX Silent Browns sound like.
  • Smooooooth(ness); maybe not quite as smooth as Zilents/Zeals but they're almost indistinguishable. I can only tell a difference in a side-by-side comparison. This was a big surprise to me, given BOX switches have usually been scratchier than I'd like simply because of their construction. I believe the circle around the stem played a major roll in smoothing out the BOX switch.
  • IP56 rating; how can we complain about durability improvements in switches? Only a good thing, as long as it doesn't jack up prices (which it didn't)!
  • 3.6mm travel distance; I prefer this for gaming. Although 4mm from Zilents are doable for gaming too. Personal preference, really.
  • All for $6 per 10 pack...! What a freaking bargain.

For 50% the price of my Zilent v2's, I honestly don't know if my Zilent v2's are justified for their price anymore... I think my next tactile build will be entirely BOX Silent Browns.

Anyone else try out the new Kailh BOX Silent Pinks or Browns yet? If so, share your thoughts! Also feel free to ask any questions.

Switches I've tried; Zilent V2 (62g), Sakurios, Aliaz (60g), Hako True / Clear / Violet, Kailh BOX Royal / Pale Blue / Red / Brown / White / Black, Kailh Speed Bronze / Copper / Silver, Pro Purple, Gateron Black / Blue / Brown /Clear / Green / Red, and Cherry MX Brown / Red / Blue.

NOTE: It's worthy to mention that I've never tried a lubed switch. These comparisons are purely from non-lubed switches.

« Last Edit: Thu, 28 May 2020, 12:14:56 by PHYLO »

Offline HungerMechanic

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Re: Kailh BOX Silent Browns - First Impressions / Review
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 28 May 2020, 11:51:31 »
This review is accurate.

Offline PHYLO

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Re: Kailh BOX Silent Browns - First Impressions / Review
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 28 May 2020, 12:15:49 »
This review is accurate.

I take it you've had the chance to try the new BOX Silents as well? Have you tried the pinks? I'm curious to how the pinks stand up against Zeal Sakurios! Sakurios are the smoothest and quietest linear switch I've tried to date.

Offline HungerMechanic

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Re: Kailh BOX Silent Browns - First Impressions / Review
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 28 May 2020, 12:20:29 »
Yes, I've been trying out the BOX Silent Browns. I haven't bought any Silent Reds, but from what I know they should be a little quieter than the Silent Browns. Hope they are as smooth as the normal BOX Reds.

Sound-wise, the BOX Silent Browns are very competitive with Zilents. They may in fact be quieter. Zilents are more tactile, as you say, and definitely have a larger tactile bump. But the BOX Silent Browns are probably more tactile than Cherry Browns and Aliaz.

Offline PHYLO

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Re: Kailh BOX Silent Browns - First Impressions / Review
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 28 May 2020, 14:55:21 »
Yes, I've been trying out the BOX Silent Browns. I haven't bought any Silent Reds, but from what I know they should be a little quieter than the Silent Browns. Hope they are as smooth as the normal BOX Reds.

Sound-wise, the BOX Silent Browns are very competitive with Zilents. They may in fact be quieter. Zilents are more tactile, as you say, and definitely have a larger tactile bump. But the BOX Silent Browns are probably more tactile than Cherry Browns and Aliaz.

Gotcha. I might order a 10 pack of pinks just to have fun! lol

TaehaTypes is currently doing a build for someone with the BOX Silent Browns and the Twitch chat blew up saying "ewwww box switches". I find it really hard to believe most (if not all) of them have tried the new BOX silent switches, because they're much much better than the non silent options from Kailh imho. Hopefully more people try them out and realize they're actually quite nice! :D

Offline HungerMechanic

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Re: Kailh BOX Silent Browns - First Impressions / Review
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 28 May 2020, 15:21:37 »
Yeah, there's no reason to have prejudice coming in to these switches.

The new stems appear to no longer damage keycaps, the silencing on these switches is successful, and they feel smooth, sturdy, and consistent.

Sure, they're not POM 205g0-lubed Invyr super-Blueberry Pandas with 68 gr Slow Curve SPIRiT springs, but they would be fine in pre-builts, and custom silent builds.

Offline PHYLO

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Re: Kailh BOX Silent Browns - First Impressions / Review
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 28 May 2020, 20:54:05 »
Sure, they're not POM 205g0-lubed Invyr super-Blueberry Pandas with 68 gr Slow Curve SPIRiT springs, but they would be fine in pre-builts, and custom silent builds.

Gave me a good laugh, hah!

Offline Bamboo238

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Re: Kailh BOX Silent Browns - First Impressions / Review
« Reply #7 on: Tue, 07 July 2020, 04:47:47 »
Thanks for the write up! Honestly, seems like a potential contender for silent builds. I wonder if they feel less mushy than silent reds?

Offline HungerMechanic

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Re: Kailh BOX Silent Browns - First Impressions / Review
« Reply #8 on: Tue, 07 July 2020, 11:58:23 »
I just tried the BOX Silent Browns again, and I wouldn't call them "mushy."

They're a bit rubbery at the bottom because of the dampening materials. But I've used far mushier switches. I would say the BOX Silent Browns actually feel pretty solid, sturdy and consistent.

My problem with them is that I feel they bottom-out too quickly. Once you break through the tactility [higher than BOX Brown], you're in a rush towards the bottom. Some people think that the BOX Silent Browns have less than the advertised 3.6mm of travel. They feel as though they have less travel than regular BOX Browns.

Offline kwerty

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Re: Kailh BOX Silent Browns - First Impressions / Review
« Reply #9 on: Mon, 13 July 2020, 15:20:12 »
Hmm need to try more box switches on my boards

Offline jamster

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Re: Kailh BOX Silent Browns - First Impressions / Review
« Reply #10 on: Mon, 13 July 2020, 23:34:22 »
I'd agree with the initial post for most part, only differing with the point on stability. In this respect they felt the same as any other MX type switch I've compared them to. And perhaps I'm just not a good judge if this- most MX switches wobble similar amounts imo.

It's worth emphasising that the bump is quite short in terms of travel length compared to other switches, with a longer linear section after, when compared to Clears or Outemu Silent Sky/Forest. I've ended up settling on the latter because of the increased bump 'real estate', but this is personal preference and not all that noticeable.

On terms of sound, pretty much the same as Outemu Silent tactile, Aliaz.

This would be a totally acceptable switch if it came default with a board, or I didn't have easy access to other choices and have the time to be overly picky. If the GB board I want for my kid ever becomes available, I'll be building it with Kailh Box Silent Browns. 

This is all based on a bunch of samples whacked into a switch tester, not an entire board.
« Last Edit: Mon, 13 July 2020, 23:36:20 by jamster »

Offline HungerMechanic

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Re: Kailh BOX Silent Browns - First Impressions / Review
« Reply #11 on: Tue, 14 July 2020, 08:03:03 »
I agree, tho. I will probably go with Silent Skies instead of BOX Silent Brown because the former offers more 'real estate.'

I like the regular BOX Brown's 3.6mm of travel, but with a silent switch, that's where the 4.0mm becomes valuable to me.

Offline Riverman

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Re: Kailh BOX Silent Browns - First Impressions / Review
« Reply #12 on: Mon, 20 July 2020, 11:45:48 »
I agree that the travel seems a little short, even compared to Cherry's own silent switches.  I don't know if anyone else has noticed this, but it seems like a good number of the switches I have are slightly crooked.  I tried unsoldering a few just to see if I didn't solder them in straight, but the cutouts in the plate don't allow much rotation, if any.  It's only really noticeable on a few switches, but if I stare at the keyboard too hard, there are quite a few that seem to be that way.  Other than those two complaints, I really like the silent box brown switches, and it makes me wish that Cherry would make their own silent brown switch, just to have another option on the market. 

Offline rpiguy9907

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Re: Kailh BOX Silent Browns - First Impressions / Review
« Reply #13 on: Thu, 30 July 2020, 10:28:15 »
Huge marketing miss making these switches Brown, which has a stigma attached to it. Purple would have been a better choice.

Offline ideus

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Re: Kailh BOX Silent Browns - First Impressions / Review
« Reply #14 on: Thu, 30 July 2020, 10:53:57 »
Huge marketing miss making these switches Brown, which has a stigma attached to it. Purple would have been a better choice.


I agree with you. Browns make us feel some grinding under fingertips.

Offline zslane

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Re: Kailh BOX Silent Browns - First Impressions / Review
« Reply #15 on: Thu, 30 July 2020, 11:54:47 »
Since my Aliexpress order was cancelled by the seller, I can't find a reliable source of BOX silent browns. NovelKeys is out of stock. Anyone got suggestions? I'd like to avoid shipments from China right now since I don't want to wait for months not knowing if I'm ever going to see them.

Offline Kokaloo

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Re: Kailh BOX Silent Browns - First Impressions / Review
« Reply #16 on: Mon, 17 August 2020, 23:48:52 »
Since my Aliexpress order was cancelled by the seller, I can't find a reliable source of BOX silent browns. NovelKeys is out of stock. Anyone got suggestions? I'd like to avoid shipments from China right now since I don't want to wait for months not knowing if I'm ever going to see them.

If you're still looking, flashquark just got some in and they are US based. KBDfans also has them for sale right now too.

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Offline Error213

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Re: Kailh BOX Silent Browns - First Impressions / Review
« Reply #17 on: Tue, 18 August 2020, 14:39:15 »
Thanks for this, I’ve been interested in tactile switches and this is going to influence my decision

Offline Error213

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Re: Kailh BOX Silent Browns - First Impressions / Review
« Reply #18 on: Tue, 18 August 2020, 14:42:55 »
Sure, they're not POM 205g0-lubed Invyr super-Blueberry Pandas with 68 gr Slow Curve SPIRiT springs, but they would be fine in pre-builts, and custom silent builds.

Gave me a good laugh, hah!
same lmao

Offline HungerMechanic

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Re: Kailh BOX Silent Browns - First Impressions / Review
« Reply #19 on: Tue, 18 August 2020, 18:06:36 »
Here is a serious and sober review:


« Last Edit: Tue, 18 August 2020, 18:09:23 by HungerMechanic »

Offline Kokaloo

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Re: Kailh BOX Silent Browns - First Impressions / Review
« Reply #20 on: Wed, 19 August 2020, 14:01:18 »
Here is a serious and sober review:


Damn, really good video. Was just considering myself of using silent box browns in a 980m and this kinda sold me on it. I knew the tactility would be right up my alley.

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Offline ideus

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Re: Kailh BOX Silent Browns - First Impressions / Review
« Reply #21 on: Wed, 19 August 2020, 15:53:51 »
Is there a comparison between aliaz silent vs kailh box silent switches?

Offline HungerMechanic

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Re: Kailh BOX Silent Browns - First Impressions / Review
« Reply #22 on: Wed, 19 August 2020, 21:19:21 »
Is there a comparison between aliaz silent vs kailh box silent switches?

No, but I have both. They are very different.

Aliaz is a standard Cherry-like tactility, with the bump somewhere in the middle, following some pre-travel.

BOX Brown has the tactile resistance right up-front, at the top.

The difference in tactility is pretty significant. BOX Silent Brown is more tactile than BOX Brown, which is more tactile than Cherry Brown. Aliaz, on the other hand, is about as tactile as Gateron Brown [not much], and you may lose the tactile bump amidst the dampening material.

Aliaz is kind of "did I actuate the switch?" whereas you will know with BOX Silent Brown.

In testing, I found Aliaz to be good for gaming [especially in 60-65 gr weights], and BOX Brown / Silent Brown to be better for typing. But the tactility may be too much for some. Aliaz may be easier for some people to deal with, and is okay for typing in the 70 G weight.

Offline gleneston

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Re: Kailh BOX Silent Browns - First Impressions / Review
« Reply #23 on: Wed, 19 August 2020, 23:36:23 »
Well shoot. Now I’m regretting ordering 70g Aliaz


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Offline ideus

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Re: Kailh BOX Silent Browns - First Impressions / Review
« Reply #24 on: Thu, 20 August 2020, 08:01:00 »
Is there a comparison between aliaz silent vs kailh box silent switches?

No, but I have both. They are very different.

Aliaz is a standard Cherry-like tactility, with the bump somewhere in the middle, following some pre-travel.

BOX Brown has the tactile resistance right up-front, at the top.

The difference in tactility is pretty significant. BOX Silent Brown is more tactile than BOX Brown, which is more tactile than Cherry Brown. Aliaz, on the other hand, is about as tactile as Gateron Brown [not much], and you may lose the tactile bump amidst the dampening material.

Aliaz is kind of "did I actuate the switch?" whereas you will know with BOX Silent Brown.

In testing, I found Aliaz to be good for gaming [especially in 60-65 gr weights], and BOX Brown / Silent Brown to be better for typing. But the tactility may be too much for some. Aliaz may be easier for some people to deal with, and is okay for typing in the 70 G weight.




Nice explanation. Thank you very much.

Offline HungerMechanic

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Re: Kailh BOX Silent Browns - First Impressions / Review
« Reply #25 on: Thu, 20 August 2020, 11:32:34 »



Nice explanation. Thank you very much.

Glad I could help. Please keep in mind that nothing beats actual testing. You may wish to get a few Aliaz to mess around with some-day.


Well shoot. Now I’m regretting ordering 70g Aliaz


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It's not so clear-cut that BOX Silent Brown is better than Aliaz. For some people that will be true, for others not.

I ended up not using BOX Silent Brown in any build, even though I kind of enjoy BOX Brown.

The reason I didn't use BOX Silent Brown is that I find it bottoms-out too quickly. It feels as if the travel is even shorter than the advertised 3.6mm. You have to use more force to break through the tactile barrier than you do on regular BOX Brown. So you push harder, and then it just slams down to the bottom. I found that unpleasant, so I don't use the switches. Even though they have good characteristics in other respects. It seems as if other people don't find this to be as much of a problem, though.

[Because these switches would be perfect if I actually liked them.]

Aliaz is not very tactile at all. Among the least tactile of the silent tactiles. It's a pretty good gaming linear, though. And typing on the 70 g Aliaz is kind of like Gateron Yellow with a little tactility in there somewhere. For people who like more conventional Cherry designs like MX Brown and also Gateron Brown, Aliaz is fine. It's going to be subjective what people build, and I've seen preference for either Aliaz or BOX Silent Brown.

Offline ideus

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Re: Kailh BOX Silent Browns - First Impressions / Review
« Reply #26 on: Thu, 20 August 2020, 11:40:13 »
I have a full set of Aliaz for my upcoming build. Now, I should get some silents for th build after the next one.  :thumb:

Offline zslane

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Re: Kailh BOX Silent Browns - First Impressions / Review
« Reply #27 on: Mon, 21 September 2020, 11:52:12 »
I finally got a set of Kailh Box silent browns and then wouldn't you know, the hotswap board I put them in has gone into a bit of a failure mode. Ten random keys won't register anymore. Grrrr...

Offline HungerMechanic

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Re: Kailh BOX Silent Browns - First Impressions / Review
« Reply #28 on: Mon, 21 September 2020, 17:18:33 »
I don't know if that's the board, or the switches.

There have been some reports of QC issues with the new BOX Silent Browns. But they have been more about the switches spontaneously disassembling themselves, than failing to register in a board. But that's from memory.

What interests me about the new BOX Silent Browns is the housing design. There's a switch out there called the Art BOX, which is a variant of the original BOX switches. They come in Brown and Red and other basic colours.

The switch seems like an intermediate step, or some kind of half-way house between the classic BOX switches, and the new silents. Why do I say that? I have read that the upper housing of the Art BOX switches is shaped to reduce conflicts between North-facing switches, and keycaps, when using Cherry-profile keycaps. So they're more compatible with GMK and other Cherry-profile keycaps.

What some people are saying is that the new BOX Silent switches are like the Art BOX switches in terms of the upper housings. Not the stems, which on the Silent switches are the new round stems. But the upper housings are said to be similar. Has anyone noticed this? Are the BOX Silent upper housings more compatible with Cherry-profile?

I'll be receiving some Art BOX switches in a few weeks, so I'll have the ability to test this if I desire.

Offline zslane

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Re: Kailh BOX Silent Browns - First Impressions / Review
« Reply #29 on: Tue, 22 September 2020, 11:15:05 »
It's not the switches because I have twelve extras, and no matter which ones I put into the failing sockets, those ten keys refuse to register a keypress. Even if I put back the switches that were previously in those sockets, the keys fail to produce any output.

Offline zslane

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Re: Kailh BOX Silent Browns - First Impressions / Review
« Reply #30 on: Tue, 27 October 2020, 12:43:13 »
So I deployed my BOX silent Brown switches in a Drop CTRL keyboard. I've been typing on them for a couple of days now. The tactility is pretty sharp, which is a novel sensation. I love how quiet they are, and I don't really mind the slightly shorter key travel.

Offline cringenormie

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Re: Kailh BOX Silent Browns - First Impressions / Review
« Reply #31 on: Thu, 05 November 2020, 18:03:36 »
Thanks for the review! I really love silent switches and use them from time to time. I'll order some of these when I have some extra cash lying around

Offline HungerMechanic

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Re: Kailh BOX Silent Browns - First Impressions / Review
« Reply #32 on: Thu, 05 November 2020, 20:08:33 »
I agree that the tactility is fairly sharp.