The debate over the best type of switch for mechanical keyboards has fueled interesting discussions among enthusiasts, gamers, writers, and programmers alike. Among the array of options, Cherry MX switches stand out as iconic representatives of the mechanical keyboard landscape. Two of the most well-known options---Cherry MX Red and Blue switches---offer distinct experiences that cater to diverse user preferences.
Choosing between Cherry MX Red and Blue switches can seem like a daunting decision. Each switch type brings its own set of characteristics, from tactile feedback to audible clicks, all of which significantly impact the typing or gaming experience. Understanding these switches can help you make an informed choice that aligns with your unique needs and preferences.
In this article, we explore the Cherry MX Red and Cherry MX Blue switches in detail, breaking down their characteristics, features, and use cases. We'll guide you through the intricacies of these two switches.
Dive into the world of Cherry MX Red and Blue switches, each with its own unique characteristics. We'll explore the smooth, consistent feel of Red switches compared to the snappy tactile feedback of Blue switches. Let's get started.
Cherry MX switches have left an indelible mark on the keyboard industry, influencing both the design of mechanical keyboards and the preferences of users. Even when other switch manufacturers have entered the scene, Cherry MX switches continue to be a benchmark for standards when it comes to mechanical keyboard key switch quality and performance.
Cherry MX switches are a line of mechanical keyboard switches manufactured by ZF Friedrichshafen AG, an engineering company based in Germany. The history of Cherry MX switches is intertwined with the evolution and popularity of mechanical keyboards.
1967 - The Beginning: Cherry, the keyboard division of ZF Friedrichshafen AG, introduced its first keyboard switch in 1967. These early switches were part of the Cherry M7 series and were based on a contact mechanism involving metal contacts and rubber domes. While not technically mechanical switches in the modern sense, they laid the foundation for Cherry's future innovations.
1980s - The Birth of Mechanical Keyboards: In the 1980s, mechanical keyboards gained market traction because of their durability and improved typing experience compared to membrane-based keyboards. Cherry capitalized on this trend by developing the Cherry MX series, the first true mechanical switches, to the market.
1983 - Introduction of Cherry MX: Cherry introduced its MX series switches in 1983, revolutionizing the mechanical keyboard industry. The MX switches featured individual mechanical components for each key including a spring, stem, and housing. This design allowed for improved tactile feedback and keypress consistency. The MX series initially included switches such as the MX Black, MX Brown, and MX Blue.
1990s - Expansion and Innovations: Cherry continued to refine its MX switches and introduced new variations to cater to different preferences. The company developed switches with varying actuation forces, tactile feedback levels, and noise profiles.
2000s - Industry Impact: Mechanical keyboards experienced a decline in popularity during the rise of laptop and membrane keyboards. However, a community of keyboard enthusiasts and gamers began to recognize the value of mechanical switches for their advantages. Cherry MX switches thus remained a staple choice for mechanical keyboard enthusiasts, despite the wider market shift.
2010s - Resurgence and Competition: The 2010s witnessed a significant resurgence in the popularity of new mechanical keyboards, driven by the gaming communities. Cherry MX switches became synonymous with high-quality gaming keyboards. However, this resurgence also led to increased competition from other switch manufacturers, spurring further innovation and diversification in the mechanical switch market.
Today - Legacy and Variants: Cherry MX switches continue to be a dominant force in the mechanical keyboard market. The original Cherry MX switches are available in various types, each catering to different preferences such as linear, tactile, and clicky feedback. Additionally, Cherry has expanded its offerings with newer switch designs, such as the Cherry MX Silent Red and Silent Black switches, which reduce noise levels while retaining the benefits of mechanical switches.
If you're after smooth and consistent keystrokes, then Cherry MX Red switches might be what you're looking for. Cherry MX Red switches are one of the most popular mechanical key switches. They are characterized as linear switches; they lack tactile feedback and audible click sounds during keypresses. The smooth and consistent keystrokes of Cherry MX Red mechanical switches make them particularly well-suited for certain applications.
Moreover, they're dependable and predictable on every key press. Their lightness might take some getting used to if you're switching from heavier keys. However, once you get accustomed to the feel of the Reds, their precision seems unbeatable.
Cherry MX Blue switches are renowned for their distinct tactile feedback and audible click sound, making them a favorite among enthusiasts who appreciate a more tactile and auditory typing experience. These switches are often associated with the classic mechanical keyboard feel.
It's not just the sounds though; it's the way blues make you feel nostalgic. Sure, they might take some getting used to if you're more familiar with linear switches like Reds. But once you get used to their "loud personality," you'll never want anything else under your fingers when typing.
You're about to delve into the differences between Cherry MX Red and Cherry MX Blue switches. We'll focus on key points such as switch type, actuation force, their suitability for a great typing or gaming experience, noise level, and overall experience.
Cherry MX Red Switches are smooth and quiet linear switches. They're perfect for fast typists and fast gamers. Let's check out some of their features and specifications
1. Actuation Force and Distance
Cherry MX Red switches have a relatively light actuation force, allowing for swift and effortless key presses. The low actuation distance further contributes to their suitability for rapid typing and gaming scenarios.
2. Key Travel and Feel: Cherry MX Red switches offer a consistent key travel with no tactile bump or auditory click. This means that the keypress is smooth from the initial press to bottoming out, providing a seamless experience for users who prefer linear switches.
3. Noise Level: Cherry MX Red switches are among the quieter mechanical switches due to their lack of tactile feedback and clicks. The primary noise produced is the sound of the key hitting the keyboard's base when bottoming out.
Here are the technical specifications of the Cherry MX Red
Whether you're a seasoned typist or an avid gamer, the Cherry MX Red Switch will suit your needs perfectly.
1. Gaming: Cherry MX Red switches are highly favored by gamers due to their low actuation force and smooth keystrokes. Gamers, especially those involved in fast-paced games, appreciate the rapid response and ease of double-tapping these switches offer.
2. Typing and Office Work: While Cherry MX Red switches lack the tactile bump desired by some typists, they can still be comfortable for general typing tasks and office work. Users who prioritize a consistent and uninterrupted typing experience may find these switches efficient for extended typing sessions.
Like all brands and types of mechanical switches, Cherry MX Red switches have their own benefits and disadvantages. Use this information to make a balanced decision when choosing switches for your mechanical keyboard.
Cherry MX Blue switches are favored by users who appreciate the tactile bump and auditory cues during keypresses.
1. Actuation Force and Distance
Cherry MX Blue switches have a moderate actuation force, providing a bit more resistance compared to other switches like Cherry MX Red. The tactile bump occurs at the point of actuation, and it is accompanied by a distinctive audible click.
2. Audible Click Sound and Tactile Feedback: One of the key features of Cherry MX Blue switches is the audible click sound they produce during actuation. This clicking sound, combined with the tactile bump, provides both auditory and tactile confirmation of a keypress. This feedback can enhance typing accuracy and rhythm for some users.
3. Key Travel and Feel: Similar to other Cherry MX switches, the key travel distance for Cherry MX Blue switches is around 2mm, with a total travel distance of 4mm. The tactile bump and click create a satisfying and engaging typing experience.
Here are the technical specifications of the Cherry Blue switches:
Cherry MX Blue switches are considered to be some of the best switches for typing and gaming.
1. Typing Enthusiasts: Cherry MX Blue switches are a popular choice among typing enthusiasts who enjoy tactile feedback and audible click. The feedback provides a sense of engagement and rhythm during typing sessions.
2. Writers and Programmers: Writers, programmers, and individuals who engage in extensive typing appreciate Cherry MX Blue switches for their tactile and auditory cues. The feedback can reduce typing fatigue and enhance overall accuracy, especially during prolonged writing or coding sessions.
Here's a balanced and unbiased view of Cherry MX Blue mechanical switches:
The Cherry MX Red and Blue switches are not just the two switches that ZF Friedrichshafen AG has in its product line. The company offers a variety of other MX switches, each with its own unique characteristics and features.
1. Cherry MX Brown Switches
2. Cherry MX Black Switches
3. Cherry MX Green Switches
4. Cherry MX Clear Switches
5. Cherry MX Silent Red and Silent Black Switches
6. Cherry MX White Switches
7. Cherry MX Gray Switches
These are just a few examples of the many Cherry MX switches available. Each switch type is designed to cater to different preferences, whether it's about tactile feedback, clickiness, actuation force, or noise level. The wide variety of options allows users to find the switch that best suits their typing or gaming style.
So, how do you choose the right one? Which wins in a battle of blue vs red? Whether you're a gamer seeking smooth keystrokes or a typist craving tactile feedback, the choice between Cherry MX Red and Blue switches is all about your personal needs and preferences.
Cherry MX Reds offer quiet, consistent performance for gaming. Cherry MX Blue Switches are clicky, tactile switches, providing that satisfying feel and click for typing.
Whatever your preference, both these options ensure a high-quality experience tailored to enhance your experience when using the keyboard.