Author Topic: Quietest Silent Switch  (Read 2367 times)

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Offline Diggidy

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  • Posts: 14
Quietest Silent Switch
« on: Thu, 18 June 2020, 21:20:36 »
Hey All,

1st post but long-time lurker.

Name says it all. I know this question gets asked fairly frequently, but I'm looking for a little more than just a general "quiet" switch.

I am looking for the quietest switch possible, and I don't really care what it takes. I am not interested in Topre, membranes, or scissors switches, as I don't like the feel. I know there will always be noise with a mech - I am just trying to get it as low as possible

I currently have a DROP Alt high-wall with 62g Zilent V2 and MT3 keycaps. This has been a nice board to get me more into mechs; however, it has made me realize that I need/want more. I play a decent amount of PC games (Overwatch primarily), and I usually like to use open-mic as opposed to push-to-talk. My keyboard will trigger my mic while playing, which is unacceptable during competitive play. Some of this is definitely the ALT itself and plate mounted stabs - even with aftermarket stabs there is a lot of noise, and it's the stablized keys that are the worst offenders.

I will likely upgrade to a custom board in the near future, and will be a day 1 buyer of the Satisfaction 75 when V2 comes out.

What I am looking for is the best possible switch, or frankenswitch, to accomplish silence. I assume a linear switch is going to be more silent than a tactile all else being equal. The best I've heard is filmed and lubed Silent Alpacas - I'm wondering if I should just go for those, or if there is anything else I should look at if I'm willing to put in the work of replacing stems, use films, lube, etc, to reach this goal.

Appreciate the help!

Offline turtlemine

  • Posts: 4
Re: Quietest Silent Switch
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 18 June 2020, 22:08:46 »
If you are looking for a silent tactile, try using the u4 stems that are in stock at daily clack.
I use the stems in Gateron creamy housings, and itís been really silent (even more than zilents/aliaz) while maintaining a very pleasant, rounded-out bump.

If you want a linear, I would go for either black ink silents or silent alpacas.

Offline RominRonin

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Re: Quietest Silent Switch
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 18 June 2020, 22:11:22 »
So the mic trigger is the main issue you want to solve?

Youíve already invested a fair amount in the zilents, you will not get much quieter, no matter how much more you spend - youíre already at the point of diminishing returns here.

Lube the zilents (if you havenít already), that will make a small but noticeable difference.


The most improvement to your mic issue will come from your mic and its position. Iím speaking as someone with lots of sound engineering experience here, this is not assumption or hearsay. What mic are you using and where is it pointed?

A headset mic will improve the issue of background noise, because it is pointed at your mouth. The rear end of the mic will reject any sound coming from that direction - you can look for a mic with better rear end rejection to improve this further.

You can also invest in a dynamic mic (NOT a condenser - they are generally more sensitive, and will pick up MORE sound) put it on a stand and point it close to your mouth. This should make a difference.

Offline 4sStylZ

  • Posts: 118
Re: Quietest Silent Switch
« Reply #3 on: Fri, 19 June 2020, 06:40:19 »
Hi there,

I have a very tactile but silenced keyboard with wood case and Jailhoused MX blue.
IMO when the sound of a keyboard is an issue, switchs are only 20% of the problem. You can buy the best linears, it will be good for the feel and also better for the sound but that will not correct the sound of your case / desk (The size of the table is important, the surface where the keyboard is also important).

We cannot always change that so maybe you can consider improving the dampening in some ways : Large pad under the keyboard is a very important improvement, way better than quit switchs IMO.
Big wood case dont make echo and are good to dampen the sound, comparing to metal or plastic ones.
Dampening switchs are cool on tactile. I don't know if this is possible on linear (at least mx compatibles ones, because some alps can be dampened)

Good luck finding your needs.
Bťpo user here : AEK64 White linear dampened, XD75 Cherry Blue Jailhoused, TypeMatrix2030 black skin, Lenovo 0B47200 w/ trackpoint, G13, G512. Kensington Expert Trackball & Orbit, Magic touchpad 2.

Offline Diggidy

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 14
Re: Quietest Silent Switch
« Reply #4 on: Fri, 19 June 2020, 18:51:38 »
If you are looking for a silent tactile, try using the u4 stems that are in stock at daily clack.
I use the stems in Gateron creamy housings, and itís been really silent (even more than zilents/aliaz) while maintaining a very pleasant, rounded-out bump.

If you want a linear, I would go for either black ink silents or silent alpacas.

Thanks for the tip! Have you use black ink silents or silent alpacas? I'm quite curious about the alpacas and what peoples' experience is with them.

So the mic trigger is the main issue you want to solve?

Youíve already invested a fair amount in the zilents, you will not get much quieter, no matter how much more you spend - youíre already at the point of diminishing returns here.

Lube the zilents (if you havenít already), that will make a small but noticeable difference.


The most improvement to your mic issue will come from your mic and its position. Iím speaking as someone with lots of sound engineering experience here, this is not assumption or hearsay. What mic are you using and where is it pointed?

A headset mic will improve the issue of background noise, because it is pointed at your mouth. The rear end of the mic will reject any sound coming from that direction - you can look for a mic with better rear end rejection to improve this further.

You can also invest in a dynamic mic (NOT a condenser - they are generally more sensitive, and will pick up MORE sound) put it on a stand and point it close to your mouth. This should make a difference.

Thanks for the advice. The Zilents are certainly quiet and I'm very happy with them for their typing experience, tactility, and lack of noise; however, it is clear from listening to others' on youtube that there are more silent switches.

For example, here's a recent Badseed video with direct comparison of lubed Zilent V2s vs lubed/filmed silent alpacas:


No doubt my mic and position is part of it. I use a yeti snowball ice mic which sits on my desktop about 1ft away from my keeb - pretty crappy as far as desktop mics go and not a great position. I am currently upgrading my DSLR mic to a Rode NTG Supercardioid, which will also allow me the additional functionality of mounting it on an arm and connecting it to my desktop through USB. I suspect the suspension of the arm and polar pattern of this mic will help in reducing background noise.

Hi there,

I have a very tactile but silenced keyboard with wood case and Jailhoused MX blue.
IMO when the sound of a keyboard is an issue, switchs are only 20% of the problem. You can buy the best linears, it will be good for the feel and also better for the sound but that will not correct the sound of your case / desk (The size of the table is important, the surface where the keyboard is also important).

We cannot always change that so maybe you can consider improving the dampening in some ways : Large pad under the keyboard is a very important improvement, way better than quit switchs IMO.
Big wood case dont make echo and are good to dampen the sound, comparing to metal or plastic ones.
Dampening switchs are cool on tactile. I don't know if this is possible on linear (at least mx compatibles ones, because some alps can be dampened)

Good luck finding your needs.

Thanks for the advice. I agree with you for sure. The ALT is a decent case I think - I've tried to dampen it down even more with some foam; however, it's certainly not in the same league as a nice aluminum, or in your case wood, case. I have an extralarge steelseires rubber gaming pad, and a solid wood desk.

Offline drfilco

  • Posts: 8
Re: Quietest Silent Switch
« Reply #5 on: Sun, 21 June 2020, 21:17:52 »
Ahoy! I haven't been active here in a while, but I'm somewhat of a silent switch nut, and I was on a very similar search not long ago. Now I just want to collect them all like pokemon or something... Anyway:

TL;DR: In my experience so far the *most quiet* switch I have used is a frankenswitch built around lubed Outemu silent linear stems.

I wasn't anywhere close to using the best possible housing and they were still loads more quiet than the Cherry and various Gateron-made iterations. I made a post* about it a while back on Keebtalk, and have tried a lot of silents since then (testing BOX Silent Browns as I type right now) - the Outemu still makes for the most quiet... if you lube them.

Their U4 tactile stems aren't as quiet, but if you want tactility they strike a great balance in the right housings. (Skies, Koalas, Pandas, and similar).

The trade-off the Outemu's make for their exceptional silence potential is sacrificing a crisp feel. The bottom-out is soft, and might even feel plain mushy to some. While the U4's are pretty refined and dialed-in at this point, earlier versions were pretty much floppy rubber dome simulators, and not really in a good way. Now they might be more akin to Topre than generic softouch.

Personally I prefer Gateron Silent Inks for their balance of silence and crisp, smooth feel. In a totally silent environment, they are noticeably louder than my silver-stemmed sky hybrid things - but at work nobody even notices it's there.

I haven't tried Alpacas yet myself, but from what I read, the Ink housings are themselves a little bit more smooth than the Alpaca ones. Anywho here's that thread if you're interested - it's got some close up images of the Outemu stem that show what's different about them:

*https://www.keebtalk.com/t/informal-silent-switch-comparison/7146

Offline jamster

  • Posts: 708
  • Location: Asia
Re: Quietest Silent Switch
« Reply #6 on: Mon, 22 June 2020, 02:35:39 »
Their U4 tactile stems aren't as quiet, but if you want tactility they strike a great balance in the right housings. (Skies, Koalas, Pandas, and similar).

The trade-off the Outemu's make for their exceptional silence potential is sacrificing a crisp feel. The bottom-out is soft, and might even feel plain mushy to some. While the U4's are pretty refined and dialed-in at this point, earlier versions were pretty much floppy rubber dome simulators, and not really in a good way. Now they might be more akin to Topre than generic softouch.

Is the U4 the stem the default in the "Outemu Silent Sky Tactile"? I've just ordered pretty much every silent tactile switch I have managed to read about, for an upcoming build.

Online bananasplit_00

  • Posts: 111
  • Location: Sweden
Re: Quietest Silent Switch
« Reply #7 on: Mon, 22 June 2020, 02:37:24 »
The Outemu Sky ones are very silent but also very mushy. The tactile ones feel really nice if only they had had a bit less rubber 😔

Offline drfilco

  • Posts: 8
Re: Quietest Silent Switch
« Reply #8 on: Mon, 22 June 2020, 07:21:58 »
Their U4 tactile stems aren't as quiet, but if you want tactility they strike a great balance in the right housings. (Skies, Koalas, Pandas, and similar).

The trade-off the Outemu's make for their exceptional silence potential is sacrificing a crisp feel. The bottom-out is soft, and might even feel plain mushy to some. While the U4's are pretty refined and dialed-in at this point, earlier versions were pretty much floppy rubber dome simulators, and not really in a good way. Now they might be more akin to Topre than generic softouch.

Is the U4 the stem the default in the "Outemu Silent Sky Tactile"? I've just ordered pretty much every silent tactile switch I have managed to read about, for an upcoming build.

I believe that is the case now, but I'm not certain.

Information on Outemu's products is a little more obscure; sometimes the complete switches are called Sky, other times Forest - from what I can tell those are the same. Then there's the "tao" housings, I think just before the Forest ones out now. I know the U4 stem is their latest tactile one, and it's the only one I've seen for sale recently - but there might be some V2s out there, which feel completely different. V2's are floppy in panda housings, while U4's have a nice big rounded bump.

Offline HungerMechanic

  • Posts: 467
Re: Quietest Silent Switch
« Reply #9 on: Mon, 22 June 2020, 07:46:50 »
The thing about OUTEMU Sky switches is that they aren't necessarily sold in the U.S. as complete switches.

It's better to think of them of modular components that can be assembled in various ways.

For example, there are the Silent Sky housings, which often were sold in conjunction with a Silent Sky stem. But now of course the U4 stem is being offered. You can talk to hbheroinbob on Reddit and he'll explain to you the various parts that are currently on offer. You'll be able to select your preferred stems, either U4 or the older Silent Sky stems.

Dr. Filco, can you clarify if the U4 stems are quiet in the Panda housings?

Offline drfilco

  • Posts: 8
Re: Quietest Silent Switch
« Reply #10 on: Mon, 22 June 2020, 17:34:05 »
Dr. Filco, can you clarify if the U4 stems are quiet in the Panda housings?

Sure can - they're about on-par with other silent tactiles in terms of sound volume. Safe For Work when dry, and will get more quiet with lube.

I have one next to a Gat silent brown in a tester and they have about the same loudness - but the Outemu makes a less "noisy" sound, if that makes sense.

Until recently, I hadn't seen Outemu's "boutique" switches and parts for sale anywhere outside of AliExpress and Gazzew himself - but the U4's I got from DailyClack, and did see complete sky switches somewhere else not too long ago.

I wish more companies would make individual components available... sure it might be less profitable for Drop to sell Halo stems themselves instead of packs of Halo switches, or any given thing in a Cream housing - but at least from my perspective, Outemu got a lot more interesting to me and got more of my business after I found out they work with someone from the community to iterate and innovate - and that if I just want the stems, that's all I have to buy.

Offline shadowku

  • Posts: 219
  • Location: Toronto, Canada
Re: Quietest Silent Switch
« Reply #11 on: Wed, 24 June 2020, 10:33:38 »
I know you're not interested in Topre, but the quietest keyboard I've used is my HHKB lubed with Hypersphere rings. Deskey rings #4/5 would probably work well too.
This keyboard is noticeably quieter than a Type-S and is way quieter than an Apple Chicklet keyboard that everyone used in my office.

You could probably acquire a similar level of quietness with a silenced and lubed RealForce.. but this is only if you enjoy Topre.

HHKB Pro2      FC660C

Offline Riverman

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  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Quietest Silent Switch
« Reply #12 on: Wed, 24 June 2020, 10:50:17 »
Silent Topres are definitely quieter than any silent MX switch I've used.  I really like Cherry silent blacks.  The stabilizers tend to be louder than the switches.  I recently tried out some Kailh silent box browns, and while they're much quieter than Cherry browns, they're not nearly as silent as Cherry silent blacks.

Offline HungerMechanic

  • Posts: 467
Re: Quietest Silent Switch
« Reply #13 on: Thu, 02 July 2020, 13:51:25 »
I just invested in a large amount of Silent Alpacas, because they are serious business.

You saw that video of them on the KBD75, and that was convincing. But I'm buying Alpacas because they are a legit great switch. Normal Alpacas are very smooth, but needing work. The Silent Alpacas are said to be the same. A very smooth silent linear, but it needs lubing and filming for sure.

The post on Keebtalk about the OUTEMU Silent Linear stem being the quietest in that frankenswitch is probably accurate. That might be your best bet if you want absolute quietest MX switch.

From watching a number of typing tests on Youtube, Silent Alpacas and both the OUTEMU stems, the Silent Sky and the U4 are very, very quiet. Not as quiet as the Silver Silent Sky Panda, but probably less hassle. I'm not even sure if the OUTEMU Silent Linear stems (the silver ones) are available RN.

The "Silent Sky" stem is kind of like an Ergo Clear in tactility, except it starts right at the top of the keypress, and there is no pretravel. The bottom out may be a bit rubber-dome like. The U4 stem is a huge, rounded bump, kind of like T1 switches but probably more rounded. These are both stems you can buy right now. The "Silent Sky" stem is like a letter 'P' in tactility, whereas the U4 is like a letter 'D.' If you're looking at roundness/linear.

Silent tactiles usually aren't as quiet as silent linears, which is why something like lubed/filmed Silent Alpacas or the Silver Silent Sky Linear Panda are probably better for you than the Silent Sky and U4 tactiles.

Offline Diggidy

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  • Posts: 14
Re: Quietest Silent Switch
« Reply #14 on: Fri, 03 July 2020, 11:26:29 »
Ended up buying 100 silent alpacas when they went up for sale. Will plan to film them, lube the stems with 205g0, and springs bag lubed with 107 oil. Interested to see how much of a difference there is between those and my stock Zilent V2s.

Offline HungerMechanic

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Re: Quietest Silent Switch
« Reply #15 on: Fri, 03 July 2020, 11:44:35 »
Sounds like a reliable plan. Properly-lubed/filmed Silent Alpacas and Silent Skies/Alpacas should be very quiet.

Offline JCraftCables

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Re: Quietest Silent Switch
« Reply #16 on: Sat, 04 July 2020, 05:01:57 »
I'm currently using healios and they are really silent! The only thing bad about it is the price...

Offline cheesy_jones

  • Posts: 22
Re: Quietest Silent Switch
« Reply #17 on: Sat, 04 July 2020, 12:09:16 »
I have a Matias Quiet Pro. Tactile and very quiet. If you're going to upgrade to a custom board, these probably aren't the switches for you, since they're Alps-based and wouldn't be compatible with PCBs using Cherry mounts, but if you want an off-the-shelf keyboard that is really good, I'd consider it.