Effective Sound Dampening Solutions for Loud Mechanical Keyboards

May 1, 2024

Mechanical keyboards are a joy to use, offering tactile satisfaction with every keystroke. However, the noise they produce can sometimes be a nuisance.

Don't worry, there are several practical soundproofing solutions to reduce this noise without compromising on the tactile feel you love.

Let's keep quiet and check out some proven techniques to keep your keyboard hushed.

Why Mechanical Keyboards Are Loud

The unmistakable sound of a mechanical keyboard is hard to miss. Mechanical keyboards are generally louder than other types of keyboards due to their construction and the mechanisms used to register key presses. 

  1. Switch Mechanisms: Mechanical keyboards use individual mechanical switches under each keycap. These switches consist of several components that constitute a mechanism that registers key presses. When a key is pressed, the switch mechanism actuates; this is the cause of the sound.
  2. Keycap Material: The keycaps on mechanical keyboards are made of durable materials like ABS plastic or PBT plastic. When the keycaps bottom out, they strike the keyboard's surface, producing a sound.
  3. Switch Type: Some switches like those with tactile or clicky feedback are intentionally designed to produce audible feedback when pressed. 
  4. Key Travel Distance: Mechanical keyboards often have a longer key travel distance compared to membrane keyboards. The increased distance the key travels can generate more noise, especially if the user types rapidly or with force.
  5. Build Quality: Higher-quality mechanical keyboards may have more solid construction, which can lead to a more pronounced sound when keys are pressed. 

Techniques in Dampening Noise Generated By a Mechanical Keyboard

Now that you have an understanding of the reasons behind the musical concert put of your mechanical keyboard, let's look into the various methods to soften the sound without sacrificing the quality of your typing experience.

  1. Use O-ring Dampeners: O-ring dampeners are small rubber rings that can be placed around the stem of each keycap. When a key is pressed, the O-ring absorbs some of the impact, reducing the noise produced by the key bottoming out against the keyboard frame. 
  2. Switch Lubrication: Lubricating the mechanical switches with a specialized lubricant can help reduce friction and dampen the sound of key presses. 
  3. Replace Keycaps: Switching to keycaps made of thicker or softer materials such as PBT or double-shot ABS can help soften the noise. Some keycap profiles such as SA or DSA may produce less noise than others.
  4. Desk Mat or Pad: A desk mat or pad under the keyboard can help absorb vibrations and reduce noise. Look for thick, dense mats made of materials like rubber or neoprene for the best noise-dampening effect.
  5. Soundproofing Materials: Add soundproofing materials inside the keyboard case to dampen internal vibrations and reduce noise. Materials like foam or sound-dampening mats can be cut to size and placed inside the case to absorb sound.
  6. Modifying Switches: Some modders modify their switches to reduce noise. For example, installing dampening clips or pads inside the switch housing can help cushion the impact of the keypress and minimize noise.
  7. Type More Quietly: Focus on pressing keys with less force and allowing them to return to their resting position more gently.

Silent Switches

Cherry MX Silent Red switch

Mechanical keyboards have revolutionized our typing and gaming experiences. One such innovation is the introduction of silent switches. These key switches are engineered to suppress the loud click sound while still giving you the tactile sensation you appreciate. Here are some examples of silent switches:

  1. Cherry MX Silent Red: Cherry MX Silent Red switches have a linear design with reduced travel distance and actuation force compared to standard Cherry MX Red switches. They include built-in dampening to minimize noise when the key bottoms out.
  2. Cherry MX Silent Black: Similar to Cherry MX Silent Red switches, Cherry MX Silent Black switches are linear switches with built-in dampening. They have a higher actuation force compared to Silent Red switches.
  3. Cherry MX Silent RGB Red: These switches are similar to Cherry MX Silent Red switches but include RGB lighting compatibility, allowing for customizable backlighting options.
  4. Cherry MX Silent RGB Black: Similar to Cherry MX Silent Black switches, these switches offer the same linear feel and built-in dampening but with RGB lighting compatibility.
  5. Gateron Silent Red: Gateron Silent Red switches are similar to Cherry MX Silent Red switches but are manufactured by Gateron. They offer a smooth linear feel with reduced noise due to built-in dampening.
  6. Gateron Silent Black: Gateron Silent Black switches are similar to Gateron Silent Red switches but require slightly more actuation force.
  7. ZealPC Healios: ZealPC Healios switches are ultra-smooth linear switches with built-in dampening, providing a quiet typing experience. 
  8. ZealPC Zilents: ZealPC Zilents switches are tactile switches with built-in dampening to reduce noise. They offer a quiet typing experience while still providing tactile feedback.

Silent switches incorporate several design features that reduce the overall noise level. Let's check out some of their general features.

  1. Dampening Mechanisms: Silent switches include built-in dampening mechanisms that absorb the impact and reduce the noise when the key is pressed and when it returns to its resting position. These dampeners can be rubber pads, silicone inserts, or other materials that cushion the movement of the switch components.
  2. Modified Stem Design: Silent switches have modified stem designs that reduce the amount of friction and contact between moving parts, resulting in quieter operation.
  3. Housing Design: Silent switches have specially designed housings with features such as internal dampening structures or sound-absorbing materials to minimize noise.
  4. Reduced Travel Distance: Some silent switches have short travel distances, which can result in less noise when the key is pressed and released. By reducing the distance the keycap travels, the switch produces less sound as it bottoms out.
  5. Smooth Actuation: Silent switches are engineered to provide smoother actuation with less friction between moving parts. This smoother operation makes the keypresses quieter.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Trying to Make Your Mechanical Keyboard Quieter

As you mod your keyboard for a quieter device, there are some pitfalls you might want to avoid. 

  1. Using Incorrect Lubricants: Using the wrong type of lubricant or applying it improperly can lead to issues such as stickiness or inconsistent typing feel. 
  2. Over-Tightening Screws: Disassembling the keyboard to install sound-dampening materials or perform modifications is common, but over-tightening screws when reassembling the keyboard can lead to structural issues or unwanted pressure on components. 
  3. Using Low-Quality Soundproofing Materials: Using cheap or ineffective soundproofing materials may provide minimal noise reduction or deteriorate quickly over time. Invest in high-quality materials for soundproofing applications such as dense foam or sound-dampening mats to achieve better results and long-lasting performance.
  4. Neglecting Switch Compatibility: Before making any changes to your keyboard, ensure that the chosen switches, keycaps, and sound-dampening materials are compatible and won't interfere with each other's functionality.
  5. Ignoring Keycap Material and Profile: Keycap material and profile can significantly impact typing sound and feel. Select keycaps that can reduce sound such as PBT plastic. Choose profiles that suit your preferences without increasing noise levels.


A clacky, noisy mechanical keyboard isn't for everybody, and it should not spoil your gaming or typing sessions. Noise reduction techniques such as installing O-rings, silent switches, and keyboard pads can significantly cut down the racket. Try out these noise-reducing solutions, and enjoy a more peaceful mechanical keyboard experience. 

Chris Greiner, a Mechanical Keyboard specialist, boasts a solid educational background with dual bachelor's degrees in Computer Science and Business Management from Lewis University. His additional certification in Mechanical Keyboard Design showcases his dedication to staying on the forefront of keyboard technology. Chris primarily writes for keyboard enthusiasts and has been featured on platforms like Jestik, solidifying his reputation as a thought leader in the mechanical keyboard community.
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