How to Make a Keyboard Quieter: 9 Effective Techniques

To quieten a keyboard, apply small rubber O-rings over the keycaps to dampen the sound when they bottom out. Alternatively, replace the keycaps with noise-dampening versions made from PBT plastic or foam. For a more extreme solution, swap out the mechanical switches with quieter linear or silent tactile switches. Remember to lubricate the switches and stabilisers to further reduce noise.

In this guide, we’ll explore various methods to effectively reduce keyboard noise, ensuring a quieter typing experience.

Identifying Noise Sources

The first step in quieting your keyboard is to identify the sources of noise. There are three main sources of noise in a keyboard:

  1. Keystrokes: The sound of your fingers hitting the keys is the most obvious source of noise.
  2. Keycaps: The keycaps themselves can also make noise when they hit the keyboard base.
  3. Switches: The switches under the keycaps are the most important factor in determining the noise level of a keyboard.

Once you’ve identified the sources of noise, you can start to take steps to reduce it.

Keyboard Dampening Materials

Keyboard dampening materials are a great way to reduce noise without sacrificing performance. There are a variety of different materials that can be used, including foam, rubber, and felt. Each material has its own unique properties, so it’s important to choose the right one for your needs.

Foam is a lightweight and inexpensive material that is easy to work with. It is also very effective at absorbing sound. However, foam can be compressed over time, which can reduce its effectiveness.

Rubber is a more durable material than foam, and it is also more resistant to compression. This makes it a good choice for keyboards that are used heavily. However, rubber can be more expensive than foam.

Felt is a natural material that is made from wool. It is very soft and absorbent, which makes it a good choice for keyboards that are used for long periods of time. However, felt can be more expensive than foam or rubber.

Once you’ve chosen a dampening material, you can apply it to the inside of your keyboard case. Be sure to cover all of the areas where sound could escape. You can also use dampening material to line the keycaps. This will help to reduce the noise of keystrokes.

Modifying Keycaps

Keycaps are the plastic covers that sit on top of the keyswitches. They can be made from a variety of materials, including ABS, PBT, and POM. The material of the keycaps can affect the sound of the keyboard. ABS keycaps are the most common and are known for being relatively loud. PBT keycaps are more durable and have a deeper, more muted sound. POM keycaps are the most expensive but also the quietest.

In addition to the material, the shape of the keycaps can also affect the sound of the keyboard. Keycaps with a concave shape are quieter than keycaps with a convex shape. This is because the concave shape helps to trap the sound waves.

If you are looking to reduce the noise of your keyboard, you can try replacing the keycaps with quieter ones. You can also try using O-rings, which are small rubber rings that fit around the keycaps and help to dampen the sound.

Lubricating Switches

Lubricating the switches is a more involved process, but it can significantly reduce noise. You’ll need to disassemble the keyboard to access the switches. Once you have the switches apart, apply a small amount of lubricant to the contact points. Be careful not to over-lubricate, as this can cause the switches to become sticky.

There are a variety of lubricants that can be used for this purpose. Some popular options include:

  • Krytox GPL 205g0
  • Tribosys 3204
  • Super Lube 51010

Once you’ve lubricated the switches, reassemble the keyboard and test it out. You should notice a significant reduction in noise.

Using O-Rings

O-rings are small, rubber rings that fit around the base of keycaps. When a key is pressed, the O-ring compresses and absorbs some of the impact, reducing the noise. O-rings are a relatively inexpensive and easy way to quieten a keyboard, and they can be installed without any special tools.

There are a few different types of O-rings available, so it’s important to choose the right ones for your keyboard. The most common type of O-ring is made from silicone, which is a soft and flexible material. Silicone O-rings are effective at reducing noise, but they can also make keys feel mushy. If you prefer a more tactile feel, you can try O-rings made from a harder material, such as polyurethane.

To install O-rings, simply place them around the base of the keycaps. Make sure that the O-rings are seated properly, and that they are not interfering with the key travel. Once the O-rings are installed, you should notice a significant reduction in noise.

O-rings are a great way to quieten a keyboard without sacrificing performance. They are inexpensive, easy to install, and they can make a big difference in the noise level of your keyboard.

Sound-Absorbing Case

If your keyboard has a hollow or resonant case, it can amplify the sound of keystrokes. To reduce this, you can add sound-absorbing material to the inside of the case. This can be done with foam, rubber, or even felt. Simply cut the material to size and place it inside the case, making sure to cover any areas where sound could escape.

In addition to adding sound-absorbing material, you can also try using a different type of case. Cases made from thicker or denser materials, such as metal or wood, can help to reduce noise. You can also find cases that are specifically designed to reduce noise, such as those with built-in sound dampening pads.

External Noise Reduction

If the noise from your keyboard is still bothering you, you can try reducing the noise from the outside environment. This can be done by using noise-canceling headphones or earplugs. You can also try placing your keyboard on a soft surface, such as a rubber mat or a piece of foam. This will help to absorb some of the noise.

Software Modifications

Software modifications can also be used to reduce keyboard noise. Some keyboards come with software that allows you to adjust the keypress volume or disable certain keys. You can also use third-party software to remap keys or create macros that reduce noise. For example, you can create a macro that assigns a quieter key to a frequently used key.

Keyboard Placement

The placement of your keyboard can also affect its noise level. If your keyboard is placed on a hard surface, such as a desk, the sound of your keystrokes will be amplified. To reduce noise, try placing your keyboard on a soft surface, such as a mouse pad or a piece of foam. You can also try placing your keyboard in a drawer or cabinet to further reduce noise.

Final Thoughts

To make a keyboard quieter, you can use O-rings, which are small rubber rings that fit around the base of each key. This dampens the sound of the key when it bottoms out. Another option is to use a keyboard mat, which is a thick pad that absorbs the sound of the keyboard. You can also try using a different type of keyboard, such as a membrane keyboard, which is quieter than a mechanical keyboard.

By implementing these strategies, you can effectively reduce the noise produced by your keyboard, creating a quieter and more comfortable typing experience. Remember to consider your specific needs and preferences when choosing the right solutions for you.

Key Takeaways

  • Identify the sources of noise in your keyboard.
  • Explore various dampening materials and techniques to reduce keystrokes and switch sounds.
  • Lubricate switches and use O-rings to minimize friction and noise.
  • Consider a sound-absorbing case or external noise reduction methods for overall noise reduction.
  • Make software modifications or adjust keyboard placement to further enhance quietness.

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