Got bored with the noisy and hard clicky keys and now looking for the softest mechanical switches? Well, you're on the right place!
Long story short, linear mechanical switches are the softest. They have a short pre-travel and require minimal force to actuate. They have no tactile bump in between and get bottomed out directly.
Switches like Cherry MX Silent Reds, Gateron Clears, and Matias Linears are some of the best soft switches out there.
Any switch with linear behavior and an actuation force of 45 g or less should be ideal as a soft switch. They are so smooth that you'd feel like you're typing on an angel's cheeks.
It's not like only linear switches are smooth. Many tactile and clicky switches are soft as well, and options like Cherry MX Browns and Kailh Box Pinks come to mind.
In case you don't like linear switches, I have some tactile and clicky switch suggestions for you as well!
Below, I'll mention the best softest sounding switches alongside the smoothest tactile ones. Moreover, there will be a section for the fastest smooth switches as well.
What Are The Softest Sounding Switches?
Silent mechanical linear switches are the softest-sounding ones. It gives pleasure while typing on such keyboards, and the user is basically gliding over the keys.
Indeed, many people might not prefer a clicky or tactile switch due to their high decibel levels. You can't use them in a place where others are working too, as they'll be distracted by the sound.
But no worries, you can always change the key switches on your keyboard. I have come up with a great suggestion for everyone who is looking for the softest sounding switches.
After checking the sound of numerous switches, I came to the conclusion that the Cherry MX Silent Reds are the best in this regard.
Cherry MX Silent Reds
The Cherry MX Silent Red requires an operating force of just 45 g, and its pre-travel distance is 1.9 mm. Moreover, it has linear characteristics, so you won't feel any tactile bump while pressing the key.
The sound is very low and feels good to hear. Bursting the bubble! Silent switches are not 100% silent. Nevertheless, they have the softest sound, which is really satisfying to hear.
Lastly, the Silent Reds come in both regular and RGB variants.
What Is The Smoothest Tactile Switch?
It's difficult to name one tactile switch that is the smoothest, as there are many out there. You have options like Glorius Pandas, Zealios V2, Boba U4T, Durock T1, Cherry MX Browns, and many more.
All of the above switches are as smooth as one can get. The actuation force of soft tactile switches is usually between 45 and 55 g, and the pre-travel is somewhere near 1.5 to 2 mm.
These switches have a slight tactile bump that is lower than that on clicky switches.
I have personally played video games on Cherry MX Browns, and they felt really good. The pleasing tactile feedback and quick actuation, combined with some shiny keycaps, will give you the best experience.
Cherry MX Browns will also last for 60-100 million keystrokes and be just as smooth. You don't have to worry about any of the keys being worn out.
What Are The Fastest Smooth Switches?
Mechanical linear speed switches are the fastest smooth switches. They mainly have an actuation force of less than 40 g, and the pre-travel is below 1.5 mm. These switches are mainly designed for gamers, and you can easily glide over them quickly.
In this category, you have a lot of good options like Cherry MX Speed Silver, Kailh Speed Silver, Gateron Lekker, Razer Optical Red, and others. Some linear switches are also really fast while being smooth as butter.
Now that you're using these rapid switches, you'd want to make sure that every keystroke is registered. Therefore, many gaming keyboards come with anti-ghosting technology, which ensures that even multiple key presses are actuated at the same time.
Being fast comes with cons too. For instance, you might make more mistakes while typing with speed linear switches.
Secondly, they are not the most ideal for programmers, as short actuation can result in more mistakes while coding.
Mostly, pro gamers use linear switches as they need to have quick reaction times in competitive gaming.
Psst! If you want to know more about the ins and outs of linear switches, then read: What are Linear Switches?
Do Linear Or Tactile Switches Feel Better?
Tactile switches feel better than linear switches for two main reasons. First, they have a tactile bump for the indication of the key press.
Second, they have a pleasant sound. However, the choice between linear and tactile switches is still a matter of personal preference.
As soon as you get the haptic feedback on tactile switches, the key actuates. They don't require pressing the keys to the very end. They are also swift, and that's why they are used in gaming keyboards.
Moreover, their sound is less than that of clicky switches but higher than that of linears. However, the noise isn't very loud, so no one will have any problems with you using the keyboard beside them.
On the other hand, those who prefer linear, like the uninterrupted actuation of those switches. The other reasons are that they are silent, very light, and extremely fast.
If you're a casual and normal keyboard user, then I suggest going for tactile.
You can also see a couple of YouTube videos where people compare linear and tactile switches. Afterward, make your decision about which one you want to get.
For an in-depth comparison between the two, go through my following article: Linear vs Tactile Switches.
Which Mechanical Keyboard Switch Is The Clickiest?
Kailh Box Jades are the clickiest switches currently. They have a very high decibel level and are absolutely gold for those who love loud clicky switches. They are heavy, scratchy, and crunchy!
Kailh has many fine clicky switches and has made a name for itself in the mechanical switch arena. It has variants like Kailh Box Whites, Box Pinks, Box Navy, and more. The best thing about the brand is that all the key switches are affordable.
Kailh Box Jades
As for Box Jades, they have an operating force of 50 g and a pre-travel of 1.8 mm, so they are not slow. Secondly, they are water and dust-resistant as well.
If you're in search of a switch that has a sharp clicky sound, then I don't think there are many options better than Kailh Box Jades.
They have a lifespan of 80 million keystrokes alongside being thick and heavy.
Be that as it may, typists who type for long hours might not like this switch. The high sound could eventually prove to be disturbing for them, and they might want to change the switch. But if that isn't an issue for you, then go for these!
So to conclude, silent mechanical linear switches are the softest ones available. They have a really low sound and fast actuation with no tactile bump.
If you're into soft switches and want to get one for yourself, then Cherry MX Silent Reds will prove to be immensely good.
For more content related to keyboards and switches, keep a check on TheTechSetup!
Until then, read Which Switch Is Best To Avoid RSI.