What if the already quiet linear switches become even more soundless and fast to provide an exceptional distraction-less focus? That's exactly why I have come up with a list of the best silent linear switches out there for gamers and typists alike.
Cherry MX Silent Reds are the best silent switches after considering all the factors. If you are a gamer, go for Kailh Box Pink because of its low actuation point, and opt for Cherry MX Silent Black for an amazing typing experience.
Durock Dolphin Silent and Gateron Silent Yellow are also two considerable options.
Below will be detailed reviews of 5 different silent linear switches which I consider to be the best in their domain. After that, there will be a review of two of the quietest keyboards that you can get.
So without further ado, let's dive right into it!
Best Silent Linear Switch Overall
Cherry is the pioneer when it comes to manufacturing excellent mechanical switches and it is not a surprise that their Cherry MX Silent Red linear switches are the finest if you're looking for something that checks all the boxes.
The Silent Red is available in both MX and MX RGB variants. It has a smooth linear actuation with an operating force of 45cN, a pre-travel distance of 1.9mm, and a total travel of 3.7mm.
This makes the switch fast and enhances the response time. Moreover, its lifespan is 80-100 million keystrokes which is extraordinary.
The special part about these is that they are almost 75% quieter than Cherry MX Red!
This decrease in noise is achieved through some additional dampening.
These switches have a very comfortable and minimal sound that is easy for those around you making it optimal for office use.
The overall gaming and typing experience is pretty much similar to Cherry MX Red except for lesser audio output.
Adapting to these switches from MX can be a bit uncomfortable initially, but once used to it, you won’t find the smoothness and comfort like them in any other switch.
However, there is one downside to these otherwise ideal silent switches and that is their hefty price tag! Cherry switches are comparatively more expensive than some of the other switches in this article.
Best Silent Linear Switch for Gaming
Traditional linear switches are good when it comes to speed but you can’t afford to get distracted by the click-clacks of the keystrokes while gaming.
That’s where Kailh Box Silent Pink switches come in! They are the optimal silent switches for gamers at all levels.
These modern-style switches have an actuation force of 35g and actuating distance of 1.8mm. This is what makes this switch blazingly fast! The bottoming-out distance and force are 3.6mm and 45g respectively.
Moreover, the switches are dustproof and water-resistant which highlights their excellent build quality. Overall, the switches have negligible sound at actuation and can be used for both competitive tournaments and casual gaming with intense focus.
These switches can also be used for typing but are more recommended for gamers due to having a shorter actuation point.
Lastly, they can be used in any hot-swappable keyboard having the MX style stem and have a long lifespan of 50+ million keystrokes.
Best Silent Linear Switch for Typing
Typists usually prefer tactile switches or clicky switches but there is one massive downside to them; they are just very loud. This makes them unsuitable for public use.
The perfect alternative for this is Cherry MX Silent Black linear switches. These switches are sleek, silent, and have a heavy actuation, making them exactly what a typist desires.
Now since these switches are heavier, you won't feel a world of difference shifting to them from any regular tactile switch.
The MX Silent Blacks have an actuation force of 60g and a pre-travel distance of 1.9mm. Meanwhile, the bottom-out distance is about 3.7mm which is almost twice the actuation point (1.7mm).
These switches use the same dampening mechanism as their Red counterparts for silencing. All in all this excellent switch matches the premium and exclusive feel of Cherry MX switches.
The heavier actuation on these linear switches enhances the typing experience and can prevent occasional typos and accidental keystrokes just like tactile switches.
The German-made switches are positively reviewed by customers for having excellent build quality and great user experience. Many have highly recommended these switches for office use as well.
The Cherry Blacks can easily last up to 80-100 million keystrokes.
Best Silent Linear Switch for Programming
Programmers need a comfortable feel and precise typing experience to avoid making errors in a hurry. This is why Gateron Silent Yellows are excellent for them!
These linear switches are smooth and make a negligible sound that won't distract from the focus mindset programming requires. Besides, their sublime typing feel is second to none.
They use muffler cushioning on both the top and bottom to dampen the extra noise. Even if someone is sitting just next to you, they won't be distracted one bit.
These switches have a moderate operating force of 50gf, an operating distance of 2.0mm, and a total travel distance of 4.0mm.
Moreover, they offer a clear vertical press and rebound with a smooth and buttery feel providing a distinct and enhanced typing experience which is perfect for programmers!
Silent Yellows are designed from transparent PC housing and high-quality POM stem making them exceedingly durable, with a rated lifespan of 50M keystrokes.
Additionally, these switches are readily compatible with a wide range of mechanical keyboards and easily available as well.
Best Cheap Silent Linear Switch
Akko is renowned for making excellent quality switches at a reasonable price, and Akko Silent Haze Pink is the optimal budget-friendly switch in the silent category.
These switches function linearly at a force of 43gf and a distance of 2.0mm. The bottom-out force is 58gf at a distance of 4.0mm. The use of state-of-the-art dampening makes these switches silent and excellent for office use.
Moreover, these switches are compatible with numerous amount of keyboards and almost all MX-styled keycaps, making them highly versatile.
They offer a relaxed and consistent typing experience and won't leave you before at least 50 million keystrokes.
All in all, Akko Silent Haze Pink switches are no less than perfect taking their reasonable price tag and great features into consideration.
Honorable Silent Linear Switch Mention
While mentioning the best silent linear switch for particular categories, I decided to include an additional switch that is great for all purposes.
The switch, as many would have guessed, is the Durock Dolphin Silent linear switch, regarded by many as the best option for a soundless typing experience.
Durock produces high-quality mechanical switches and has gained enormous popularity in recent times. Not many people rate a switch highly from an underrated brand but thousands of users are fans of their Silent Dolphin variant.
The switches have a POM Stem and housing made of sturdy Polymer Nylon, hence making the build quite durable.
Furthermore, they bottom out at a force of 62g and have a total travel distance of 3.8mm. They are rated to withstand 60 million actuations which is a big number.
Overall the typing and gaming experience with these switches is outstanding as they are smooth and make a very low sound. Besides, you won't feel any scratchiness or friction while using them.
Their reasonable pricing and PCB-mounted compatibility with a wide range of keyboards give them an edge over other Silent linear switches.
What are the quietest keyboards?
When it comes to the quietest keyboard, I find the Logitech MX keys and Microsoft Bluetooth keyboard to be the optimal choice.
Quiet keyboards are preferred by those who love silence when working or in public places such as cybercafes and shared offices.
Moreover, if you're someone who doesn't like noisy mechanical keyboards, then go for the ones I have mentioned.
Logitech MX Keys
Logitech products are special and they always deliver luxury and premium quality keyboards! Logitech MX Keys is an excellent keyboard with incredible typing and gaming experience with almost no sound.
It is a full-sized board with both wired and wireless connectivity options. Its typing noise is extremely damped and has an average decibel output of approximately only 40.2 dB, making it one of the quietest boards available.
Moreover, this keyboard is compatible with a wide range of operating systems, supports multi-connectivity, and has great ergonomics as well.
What are the quietest linear keyboard switches?
Gateron Silent Reds, Silent Yellows, Cherry MX Silent Reds, Silent Blacks, Kailh Box Pinks, ZealPC Healios, Durock Silent Dolphins, and some options are considered the quietest linear switches for mechanical keyboards.
Are linear switches quiet?
Compared to tactile and clicky switches, linear switches are already on the quiet side by a big distance. However, to further reduce their noise output, companies have rolled out a wide range of silent linear switches which are even more noiseless.
Which Cherry MX switches are the quietest?
The Silent Reds and Silent Blacks are the quietest Cherry MX switches that you can get. Thanks to their advanced dampening mechanism, these switches produce little to no sound. I have reviewed both of them in detail above.
Are red or brown switches quieter?
The red switches are much quieter than the brown ones since they are linear while the latter are tactile. You'll always hear a slight clicky noise while actuating a brown switch, which is not the case with the red ones.
Red switches actuate without any interruption since there's no tactile bump.
The click-clack sound of keyboards is sometimes satisfying but is not always desired. Shared spaces such as libraries and offices prefer quieter environments and are more inclined towards using silent linear switches.
There is a vast range of silent linear switches available and I handpicked the best of the lot. Now it's up to you to decide which one you'll be getting depending on your work.
And that's all there was! I review many different keyboards and switches here on TheTechSetup, so make sure you keep an eye out for the next update!