Support our educational content for free when you purchase through links on our site. Learn more
If you’re in the market for a new mechanical keyboard, you’ve probably come across terms like “linear” and “tactile” switches. But what do these terms actually mean, and more importantly, which switch is quieter? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive deep into the world of mechanical keyboard switches and help you determine which one is the quietest option for your typing needs.
Table of Contents
- Quick Answer
- Quick Tips and Facts
- Linear Switches: Smooth As Butter
- Tactile Switches: Bumpy and Satisfying
- Finding A Keyboard With Your Ideal Switch Type
- What Other Features to Look for in a Switch?
- What do all of the Switch Colors Mean?
- Why Get a Mechanical Keyboard?
- About Us
- Affiliate Disclosure
- Editor Picks
- Recommended Links
- Reference Links
When it comes to noise levels, linear switches are generally quieter than tactile switches. Linear switches provide a smooth keystroke without any tactile feedback or audible click. This makes them ideal for those who prefer a quiet typing experience. On the other hand, tactile switches have a small bump that provides tactile feedback, which can result in a slightly louder typing sound.
If you’re looking for a quiet mechanical keyboard, we recommend opting for a keyboard with linear switches. Some popular linear switch options include the Cherry MX Red and Gateron Silent Red switches.
Before we dive deeper into the world of linear and tactile switches, here are some quick tips and facts to keep in mind:
- Linear switches are generally quieter than tactile switches.
- Tactile switches provide a small bump or click to indicate a keystroke.
- The noise level of a switch can also depend on factors such as keycap material and keyboard construction.
- Some linear switches are specifically designed to be silent or have reduced noise levels.
- It’s important to consider your personal typing preferences and needs when choosing a switch type.
Mechanical keyboards have gained popularity in recent years due to their superior typing experience and durability. One of the key components of a mechanical keyboard is the switch, which determines how each keystroke feels and sounds.
There are several types of mechanical keyboard switches available, including linear, tactile, and clicky switches. Each switch type offers a unique typing experience, and the noise level can vary depending on the switch design.
Linear switches are known for their smooth keystrokes and lack of tactile feedback. When you press a key with a linear switch, it goes straight down without any resistance or feedback. This makes linear switches popular among gamers and typists who prefer a consistent and quiet typing experience.
One of the advantages of linear switches is their quiet operation. Since there is no tactile bump or audible click, linear switches produce minimal noise when typing. This makes them ideal for office environments or situations where noise is a concern.
Popular linear switch options include the Cherry MX Red, Gateron Red, and Kailh Red switches. These switches are known for their smooth keystrokes and quiet operation.
Tactile switches, as the name suggests, provide tactile feedback when you press a key. These switches have a small bump or click that you can feel when typing. The tactile feedback can be satisfying for some users and provides a sense of confirmation that the keypress has been registered.
While tactile switches offer a pleasant typing experience, they tend to be slightly louder than linear switches. The tactile bump or click can result in a more audible typing sound. However, it’s important to note that the noise level can vary depending on the specific switch design and other factors such as keycap material.
Some popular tactile switch options include the Cherry MX Brown, Gateron Brown, and Kailh Brown switches. These switches provide a balance between tactile feedback and noise level.
Now that you have a better understanding of linear and tactile switches, how do you find a keyboard with your ideal switch type? Here are a few tips to help you make the right choice:
Try before you buy: If possible, try out different switch types before making a purchase. Many electronics stores have display units where you can test different keyboards and switches.
Consider your typing preferences: Think about whether you prefer a smooth and quiet typing experience or if you enjoy the tactile feedback of a bump or click. This will help you narrow down your options.
Read user reviews: User reviews can provide valuable insights into the noise level and typing experience of different keyboards. Look for reviews from users who prioritize quiet operation.
Check the specifications: Pay attention to the switch type specified in the keyboard’s specifications. Look for keyboards that offer linear switches if you prefer a quieter typing experience.
While noise level is an important consideration when choosing a switch, there are other features to keep in mind as well. Here are a few factors to consider:
Durability: Look for switches that are known for their durability and longevity. Mechanical switches are designed to withstand millions of keystrokes, ensuring that your keyboard will last for years to come.
Actuation force: Actuation force refers to the amount of pressure required to register a keystroke. Some switches have a lighter actuation force, which can result in faster typing speeds. Consider your typing style and preferences when choosing a switch with the right actuation force for you.
Travel distance: Travel distance refers to the distance a key travels when pressed. Some switches have a shorter travel distance, which can result in quicker keystrokes. If speed is important to you, look for switches with a shorter travel distance.
If you’ve done any research on mechanical keyboards, you’ve probably come across different switch colors. These colors indicate the specific characteristics of each switch type. Here’s a quick breakdown of what each color represents:
- Red: Linear switch with no tactile feedback or audible click. Smooth keystrokes and quiet operation.
- Brown: Tactile switch with a small tactile bump. Provides tactile feedback without the loud click of a clicky switch.
- Blue: Clicky switch with a tactile bump and audible click. Offers the most tactile feedback but can be loud.
- Black: Linear switch similar to the red switch, but with a higher actuation force. Provides a heavier typing experience.
It’s important to note that switch colors can vary between different switch manufacturers. Always refer to the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure you’re getting the switch type you desire.
Now that you have a better understanding of linear and tactile switches, you might be wondering why you should invest in a mechanical keyboard in the first place. Here are a few reasons why mechanical keyboards are worth considering:
Superior typing experience: Mechanical keyboards offer a more satisfying and comfortable typing experience compared to standard membrane keyboards. The tactile feedback and smooth keystrokes of mechanical switches can enhance your productivity and enjoyment while typing.
Durability: Mechanical keyboards are built to last. The switches are designed to withstand millions of keystrokes, ensuring that your keyboard will remain functional for years to come.
Customization options: Many mechanical keyboards offer customization options, allowing you to personalize your typing experience. From switch swapping to keycap customization, you can create a keyboard that suits your preferences and style.
N-key rollover: Mechanical keyboards often feature n-key rollover, which means that each keypress is registered independently. This allows for faster and more accurate typing, especially during intense gaming sessions.
In conclusion, when it comes to noise levels, linear switches are generally quieter than tactile switches. Linear switches provide a smooth and consistent keystroke without any tactile feedback or audible click. This makes them ideal for those who prefer a quiet typing experience.
However, it’s important to consider your personal typing preferences and needs when choosing a switch type. If you enjoy the tactile feedback of a bump or click, a tactile switch might be the right choice for you, even if it’s slightly louder.
Ultimately, the quietest switch for you will depend on your individual preferences. We recommend trying out different switch types if possible and reading user reviews to find the perfect keyboard for your needs.
At Quietest™, we are a team of expert audio engineers and reviewers dedicated to helping you find the quietest products on the market. From headphones to keyboards, we provide unbiased reviews and expert advice to ensure you make the right choice for your noise-free lifestyle.
To support our work and keep our content free, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases made through the links on this page. However, we only recommend products that we have personally tested and believe in.
What sounds better linear or tactile?
When it comes to sound, linear switches are generally quieter than tactile switches. Linear switches provide a smooth keystroke without any tactile feedback or audible click, resulting in a quieter typing experience.
Which switches are quieter tactile or linear?
Linear switches are generally quieter than tactile switches. Linear switches provide a smooth keystroke without any tactile feedback or audible click, resulting in minimal noise when typing.
What switches are linear and quiet?
Some popular linear and quiet switches include the Cherry MX Red, Gateron Silent Red, and Kailh Silent Red switches. These switches are specifically designed to reduce noise levels while providing a smooth typing experience.
Do you type faster with linear or tactile switches?
The typing speed can vary depending on personal preference and typing style. Some users may find that they type faster with linear switches due to the smooth keystrokes and lack of tactile feedback. However, others may prefer the tactile feedback of tactile switches and find that it enhances their typing speed.
- Quietest Mechanical Keyboards
- Best Linear Switches
- Top Tactile Switches
- Quiet Electronics
- Noise Reduction Tips
- Noise-Free Transportation
- Low Noise Household Items