Author Topic: Keyboard without any noise up to 20 kHz  (Read 4474 times)

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Offline Zathras1

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Keyboard without any noise up to 20 kHz
« on: Thu, 19 January 2023, 06:25:03 »
Hello,

I am looking for a gaming-keyboard, that does not emit any noise up to 20 kHz. Is there any?
The following keyboards do emit such (very unpleasant) noise:
- Steelseries Apex Pro
- Corsair K100 RGB
- Cherry MX 10.0 N RGB
- Logitech G513

The noise can be measured easily objectively by any modern smartphone.
Here for instance
"Galaxy XCover 6 Pro" and the app "Spectroid"
Just check the keyboard and you'lkl see, if you can't listen,

There are also computer mice, which emit highfrequency noise:
- Logitech G Pro
- Razer Naga Trinity
- Razer DeathAdder V2

And the following gaming monitors do emit high frequency noise:
- Corsair XENEON 32QHD240
- iiyama G-Master Golden Pheonix GB2790QSU-B1
- HP OMEN X 27 Gaming Monitor
- Viewsonic XG271QG
- Acer XV272UX

All those devices are in its own of very good quality, concerning either picture quality, haptic and ergonomic design, no question about this.
But because of the high frequency noise, they are just electro-acoustical trash.
I am actually quite disappointed because of the noise issue.
The noise issues should get far greater audience.


« Last Edit: Thu, 19 January 2023, 06:39:03 by Zathras1 »

Offline nevin

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Re: Keyboard without any noise up to 20 kHz
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 19 January 2023, 08:07:40 »
the noise is probably in the power system. transformers can be notoriously "squeaky". poor quality or dying power power supplies are usually the culprits.

- don't know that i've run into the issue with peripherals, but definitely, wall warts (120v > _(insert lower voltage)_v transformers) and monitors that were dying.
- 1st, verify that it truly is each device and not some ambient noise coming from another component on your desk.
- try some keyboards, mice without all the lights etc.... the boosting of the voltage to run the leds is probably part of the problem.
- if everything in your house is this way, check house/mains voltage/stability
- you may just be very sensitive to that range of high frequencies (and have very good hearing or are young)

with all the equipment in my office, computers, fans, hard drives, etc. it sounds like a symphony of crickets when it's quiet.
- try playing some background music on low volume, will be enough to focus on but should be enough that you can focus on the music instead of the electronic noises.
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Offline Zathras1

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Re: Keyboard without any noise up to 20 kHz
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 19 January 2023, 09:02:52 »
Thx for the quick reply.

To clarify on this matter:

1. Alle the devices, I mentioned, emit the noise directly! The noise dose NOT come from a seperate transformer or other external device.
2. The noise is (and can) always be measured *directly* in front of the device!
3. As written: It can be measured objectively with a professional microphone or - as of today - with any good smartphone with an FFT-analyzing software, i. e. "Spectroid" for instance.
4. And since I do have a muscial trained hearing, I hear the noise clearly and reproducable. Although I am 53 years old, I can still hear sounds up to 18 kHz with ease. During childhood it was up to 22 kHz.

So yes: I tested all the mentioned devices and they all emit nasty high frequency noise, known popular as "coil whine".

See frequency spectrum of an Acer monitor.

5. Several hardware manufactures admit, that their device "might emit high frequency noise under certain situations.... bla bla", but yes: they admit, that it does happen. Well, I am disappointed, because those devices are not usable for me, because of the noise.

So, the question remains: Are there devices (keyboards, mice, monitors), that have quality electric circuits, that are guaranteed silent up to 20 kHz? And yes: It IS possible to make such circuits. But they might be a bit more expansive - that's the point.

I am willing to pay up to 1.000 for a gaming-keyboard, 3.000 for a 27''-240-Hz gaming-monitor and 500 for a silent computer gaming-mouse.

Still: Have not found any!
« Last Edit: Thu, 19 January 2023, 09:08:04 by Zathras1 »

Offline Zathras1

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Re: Keyboard without any noise up to 20 kHz
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 19 January 2023, 09:19:11 »
Here, one can see the color dependence of the noise spectrum for the Cherry MX 10.0N RGB.
After talking with a technician from Cherry, he concurs with this in principle. The device does emit sound up to 20 kHz, because of the electric circuits to power the LED.

Sadly, for me this is simply not acceptable.

Why not just raise the pulse duration modulation into a higher frequency range above 30 kHz for instance?
« Last Edit: Thu, 19 January 2023, 09:22:34 by Zathras1 »

Offline nevin

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Re: Keyboard without any noise up to 20 kHz
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 19 January 2023, 12:40:53 »
it's the nature of the components. don't know that i've ever heard of a transformer being "tuned" to be silent.
the specs, requirements of the components are voltage, current draw, etc... not frequency emitted etc.

... how bout some noise-canceling headphones?
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Offline nevin

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Re: Keyboard without any noise up to 20 kHz
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 19 January 2023, 12:57:42 »
here's a recording of the ambient noise in my office. you'll probably have to amplify it to be able to hear it. no adjustment or manipulations were made to the file. (approx. 30 seconds)

yes, it's annoying but you tune it out or focus on something else.
* 20230119_134135.wav
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Offline Zathras1

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Re: Keyboard without any noise up to 20 kHz
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 19 January 2023, 12:58:30 »
Honestly? Are you kidding?
There are devices (monitors, mice, keyboards), that do NOT emit hearably noise.
Is it my fault, that I have good ears? No, I don't think so.

I am working as a softwaredeveloper, most of the time in homeoffice in a very quite environment. Therefore I can expect the modern devices to be silent, when there is no noise output expected. Right?
I am even willing to pay much more than the average consumer for it, I suppose.
Use a noise canceling headphone... *lol*
I love classical music and listening to a good headphone (the STAX SR-X9000 for instance) is standard. And you are telling me, I should use noise cancelling headphone.... man, do you understand the issue here?
We are talking about *unwanted* noise, caused by cheap circuitry design and/or poor quality components in consumer articles.

Offline nevin

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Re: Keyboard without any noise up to 20 kHz
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 19 January 2023, 13:03:59 »
i know exactly what you're talking about. don't think there's any way to get rid of it shy of using no "gamer" components at all.

Quote
We are talking about *unwanted* noise, caused by cheap circuitry design and/or poor quality components in consumer articles.

yes, and you will find this in 99.9% of all products.

...STAX SR-X9000... (a little jealous)
Keeb.io Viterbi, Apple m0110, Apple m0120, Apple m0110a, Apple 658-4081, Apple M1242, Apple AEK II, MK96, GH60/Pure, Cherry g84-4100, Adesso AKP-220B, Magicforce 68

Offline nevin

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Re: Keyboard without any noise up to 20 kHz
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 19 January 2023, 13:11:56 »
here's mine.
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Offline Zathras1

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Re: Keyboard without any noise up to 20 kHz
« Reply #9 on: Thu, 19 January 2023, 13:19:21 »
Yes, I am really annoyed by this. This noise issue issue on keyboard, monitors and mice is rather new. 60 hz monitors and kyeboards/mice without led-lights are often very silent.
Most of the time "pulse-width modulation" is the cause for the noise.
And it could be dealt with, if the manufactures would raise the frequencies to, let's say, over 30 kHz. But this would require a bit more thought and money. That's the problem here.
The people, who decide, what to buy (the consumers) and those who build(design the products (engineers and finally the financepeople) have in mote cases a rather dull hearing or are just blind deaf or dull.
And yes, this makes me kind of angry.

Sidekick, does anyone think of animals, like cats or dogs, who are very sensitive to noise? 20 to 22 kHz  is our human limit. But we should go far further.
Technical arguments like "noise cancelling headphone" etc... aaah, no! I am just not willing to accept this.

So, still no suggestions which devices are silent?

Offline nevin

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Re: Keyboard without any noise up to 20 kHz
« Reply #10 on: Thu, 19 January 2023, 13:36:31 »
the noise-canceling headphones was a joke..... tongue in cheek.... though there's probably little to nothing you can do about it.

NO leds, for one. "gamer" gear is mostly junk, even if it is expensive.
the monitor... take your phone/meter into to the store & do some measurements, pick a good one. but be warned, just because it's good now doesn't mean it's going to be the same in a year or a couple of years from now. things change in electronics as they age, especially in power supplies.

i have a fully programmable keyboard & fully programmable mouse and neither have any LEDs (the mouse actually does have a couple but none are running)
- even off, most LEDs still draw current, unless you use a specific circuit. this was really looked into with LEDs on DIY wireless keyboards to extend battery life. (here on the forum)
- LEDs are strobed above a frequency that the eye can see, that's how they run all those LEDs in your keyboard off of 5v and probably 500Mah. That, and the booster circuit in the keyboard (usually mosfets)

the majority of what i hear is hard drive and fan noises. like i said, when it's quiet, you can notice it. when i have music playing, not so much.
Keeb.io Viterbi, Apple m0110, Apple m0120, Apple m0110a, Apple 658-4081, Apple M1242, Apple AEK II, MK96, GH60/Pure, Cherry g84-4100, Adesso AKP-220B, Magicforce 68

Offline vvp

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Re: Keyboard without any noise up to 20 kHz
« Reply #11 on: Fri, 20 January 2023, 07:33:23 »
@nevin: I'm a occasional gamer with fully programmable keyboard (without backlight) and an old mouse on which I disconnected the backlight led (soldering iron did the thing nicely). No noise problems according to my phone app. And I'm likely too old and too deaf to hear it anyway  :))
And I agree with you. Gaming gear is mostly over-marketed junk :-)

@Zathras1: No need to be so smug. Most people do not hear as well as you. That also means that you will have hard time to find electronics with PWM frequencies above 25-30 kHz. The most easy solution is avoid backlight. That is a common source. Also engineers will not be too tempted to increase the frequency much since the higher the frequency the higher the losses (i.e. higher consumption).

The more complicated solution you can try (besides disconnecting backlight) and which will improve it but maybe not enough is this:
  • Buy a thermally conductive epoxy.
  • Take the device apart. Find the coils in power circuits. Replace them or burry them in the epoxy. Let it dry. (This is not likely an option for simple PWM LEDs. Coils are likely to be in a fully stabilized DC-DC converters).
  • If not good enough then find the power circuit capacitors and try to replace them. Maybe also burry in the epoxy as well.
  • Try to pad the device inside with some foam. This may lead to too high temperatures and failure. Depends on the power consumption.

You can do this and it would definitely help but it is a lot of work:
  • Reverse engineer the offending power circuit.
  • If it has HW oscillator then modify the components (e.g. a small capacitor or resistor in the oscillator) to increase frequency to about 30 kHz.
  • If it is controlled by PWM from MCU then hack the firmware to increase the PWM frequency. This is a more likely option but also more work.

Offline Zathras1

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Re: Keyboard without any noise up to 20 kHz
« Reply #12 on: Fri, 20 January 2023, 07:55:53 »
Thx for the reply, but I am not an engineer and do not have the necessary skills or equipment to do this.
I am a simple consumer with good ears.
Today I got an email as an answer to my question of a silent keyboard to a manufacturer of keyboards. He admits explicitly, that it is the electric circuit of LED, that are responsible for the noise. They do know it, but can't do much about it, because of the marketsituation. The keyboard would cost much more and according to their financial-analysts, it will not add up to produce such high quality keyboards, because the revenue would not be enough.
We also had a phone call on this. Jokingly said, pay 5k to 10k and you may get a keyboard, that fits your requirement, because of development and manufacturing cost individually.
The majority of people want trash, they get it.
So, that's it, simply as it is.

Year, we are just talking about unwanted noise of devices, that are not supposed to make any noise. A pure input device like a keyboard or a mouse and a pure optical device such as a monitor. They should not emit any noise! But most people are either plain deaf, dumb or ignorant about this. Just imagine how animals, like cats and dog may feel around such noisy devices. But hey, we don't care. We' re just dumb enough to ignore and become deaf, because we just love to have fun, right? What a stupid creation our species actually is... we can fly to mars, work on nuclear fusion, engineering nanometer CPUs, making high precision measurements up to fractions of the diameter of elementary particles detecting gravitational waves - but we still can not produce silent input devices... if this is not sad, what else is?
Honestly - we suck!

If I would be a millionaire or billioniare, I would go for it, just to see to make it happen.
No matter the cost! If it costs 10k, 100k or even 1.000k or more to make such a keyboard. I want to see those engineers and those financial analysts squiggle around. Yes! It is possible! Just do it!

« Last Edit: Fri, 20 January 2023, 08:10:25 by Zathras1 »

Offline vvp

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Re: Keyboard without any noise up to 20 kHz
« Reply #13 on: Fri, 20 January 2023, 08:23:15 »
It is only that profit is more important than high frequency noise. And since most people do not care about the noise they do not hear and lower frequency parts are a tiny bit cheaper ...

You likely can find a hardware engineer around you who will try to silence your existing keyboard for less than 5k.

Offline nevin

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Re: Keyboard without any noise up to 20 kHz
« Reply #14 on: Fri, 20 January 2023, 08:28:53 »
for keyboard & mouse, buy non-LED devices, or build your own.
for monitor, like i said, take your phone to the store and try to find a good "sounding" one.

there are lots of great small businesses that sell keyboard or mouse kits and you can build it however you like.
- my daily keyboard is a viterbi from keeb.io
- my daily mouse is the ploopy mouse from ploopy.co
i love them both and have used tons of devices over the years.

Quote
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.
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Offline Zathras1

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Re: Keyboard without any noise up to 20 kHz
« Reply #15 on: Fri, 20 January 2023, 09:23:41 »
Thx for the link. I'll try it there, now.

Offline nevin

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Re: Keyboard without any noise up to 20 kHz
« Reply #16 on: Fri, 20 January 2023, 09:49:52 »
...just to show you some of the other stuff that's out there. i wasn't saying these are totally silent.

- my keyboard has no LEDs except for the tiny ones built into the promicro controllers
- my mouse, does have LEDs on the pcb but i do not use them, shy of the one for the optical sensor in the mouse
Keeb.io Viterbi, Apple m0110, Apple m0120, Apple m0110a, Apple 658-4081, Apple M1242, Apple AEK II, MK96, GH60/Pure, Cherry g84-4100, Adesso AKP-220B, Magicforce 68

Offline Zathras1

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Re: Keyboard without any noise up to 20 kHz
« Reply #17 on: Fri, 20 January 2023, 09:54:13 »
That's what I asked them already. Looking for a silent keyboard up to 20 kHz.
The specification is simple:
1. Very high-quality gaming keyboard.
2. No unwanted noise emission up to 20 kHz.
No further discussion necessary!

« Last Edit: Fri, 20 January 2023, 09:57:17 by Zathras1 »

Offline imbattable

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Re: Keyboard without any noise up to 20 kHz
« Reply #18 on: Mon, 03 April 2023, 04:43:51 »
Why not just use... any keyboard without LED vomited all over it? It's not like you can't game without a rainbow below your fingers.