The Best Quiet Mechanical Keyboards of All Time [2020]


Looking for a mechanical keyboard that allows you work in office or around other people without producing too much noise?

To help you out, we put together list of the best quiet keyboards to make picking out the best option a breeze.

We’ll also go over a few ninja tips to make your keyboard even more stealthy.


Top 3 Picks

Ducky One 2 Mini

Durgod Taurus K320

Ducky MIYA Pro


Let’s break down why we chose these keyboards and look at a few other options out there.

1. Ducky One 2 Mini: Best Quiet Mechanical Keyboard for Gaming

  • Customizable PBT keycaps
  • Silent Cherry MX switch option
  • Strong Firmware
  • Compact
  • All plastic build
  • No software

Rating: 4 out of 5.

> See Full Review <

Beloved in the mechanical keyboard community, the Ducky One 2 Mini is a keyboard that, despite its age, continues to be high performing.

The lightweight and compact keyboard exudes quality with its aesthetic and notable typing experience.

The Ducky One 2 Mini has a two-tone design, and the compact 60% size enables you to free up some space on your desk. On its own, the black and white look is classy, but when you switch up the keycaps and get the RGB lights going the keyboard takes on a fun and lively demeanor.

The keycaps on the Ducky One 2 Mini are made of high quality PBT plastic which makes for an optimal typing experience. The doubleshot PBT plastic is great because it will retain its engravement and it won’t get shiny with wear.

There are a bunch of Cherry MX switch options (black, red, brown, blue, silver, and silent red) for the Ducky One 2 Mini as well as a few Kailh choices (speed copper, speed pro burgundy, and BOX white). The Cherry MX silent reds would be really great to create a quiet gaming keyboard.

The keyboard comes with a few extra keycaps that grant further customization. The keycaps include arrow keys, enter, backspace, and two logo keys. Interestingly the colors of these keycaps are random, adding to the unique configuration abilities of the Ducky One 2 Mini.

The detachable USB-C cable included has a reversible design, which means you can avoid the annoying process of flipping the cable to get it to insert correctly.

The One 2 Mini does show its age in lacking software, but it makes up for this caveat with its steadfast reliability.

This keyboard is enjoyable to use and a highly rated for gaming (and for the office, programming) with its exceptional quality and customization options.

2. Durgod K320: Best Quiet Mechanical Keyboard for the Office

  • Smooth stabilizers
  • No frills design
  • Excellent typing experience
  • Silent switch option
  • No RGB lighting
  • Strange power port location

Rating: 5 out of 5.

> See Full Review <

Coming in at #2 on our list is the Durgod K320, a tenkeyless keyboard that doesn’t mess around.

With a few different colorways and Cherry MX switch options, this keyboard would fit a variety of needs, anything from gaming to office use.

The Durgod K320 is compatible with both Mac and Windows, coming with two power cables to fit a variety of devices. This keyboard includes a USB Type-A to USB Type C cord and a USB Type-C to USB Type C cord in the box with the keyboard.

Made of PBT plastic, the keycaps on the Durgod K320 will be long-lasting and will retain their engravements with use.

A shining feature of this keyboard is the smooth typing experience, why we have deemed it so great for gaming. The stabilizers feel really smooth- its hard to come by keyboards with non-rattily stabilizers straight from the factory!

One complaint I have with the Durgod K320 is the interesting cable routing system. There is a USB-C port on the center back of the Durgod K320, with routing that worked against me rather than making cable management easier. I typically prefer to have the USB port simply off to the side to keep it simple.

The Durgod K320 has the Durgod Zues Engine software, so you can change the function of any key if desired. Having software is really helpful for making unique adjustments to your keyboard via a graphic interface on the screen.

While the model I have does not have RGB lighting, there is a version of the Durgod K320 that comes with RGB at a higher price point. There is also a version of the K320 with a white backlight available.

The smooth stabilizers on the Durgod K320 combined with one of the silent Cherry MX switches would create an awesome keyboard that is sure to keep noise to a minimum. If you aren’t looking for a frilly, colorful keyboard and prefer to keep a simple aesthetic, I highly recommend checking out the Durgod K320.

3. Ducky MIYA Pro: Best Silent 65% Keyboard

Photo by u/Lewfire
  • Unique keycap designs
  • Excellent layout
  • Silent switch option
  • No RGB lighting
  • Light on features

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

> See Full Review <

If you want to spice up your desk space with an interesting keyboard design, our #3 pick, the Ducky MIYA Pro, is a super cool and high-functioning option.

A collaboration between Ducky and Varmillo yielded one of the most unique keyboard models I’ve seen. This keyboard has a bunch of themes available from “Sea Melody” to “Forest Fairy” to “Koi”.

I recommend looking at all of the fun-colored variations just to see how creative they are, but if you aren’t into the designs there is also an all-white, “Mac White” colorway.

The single-color backlighting on the Ducky MIYA Pro serves to complement to designs, RGB lighting would add way too much to the aesthetic given the already vivid colors and designs of the keyboards (though I think there is a mostly white MIYA that has RGB).

There are different lighting options for each themed keyboard, for example the “Sakura Pink” model has pink LED backlighting.

I love the 65% layout of this keyboard, I think its an optimal size. The best part about this layout is that it leaves room for arrow keys while maintaining the compact feel.

With a detachable USB cord, the Ducky MIYA pro can be easily packed up and transported. I prefer keyboards with detachable cables for the obvious portability, but also because I can utilize my custom cord.

There are lots of Cherry MX switch options available, including the silent reds that are so great for gaming. If you are looking to have a smooth, silent gaming experience you should know by now that these switches are ideal.

Its worth noting the the Ducky MIYA Pro has dye-sublimated PBT keycaps- always a feature I look for in a keyboard because of the lasting quality.

The artsy designs of the Ducky MIYA Pro create a really unique aesthetic while being extremely high functioning. The arrow keys and the option to get this keyboard with Cherry MX silent reds makes it a no-fail gaming keyboard.

Definitely check out the different models to see all of the designs and intricate details on the Ducky MIYA Pros, you won’t be disappointed!

4. Realforce R2 TKL: Best Quiet Topre Keyboard

  • Electrocapacitive switch (silent)
  • Unique typing experience
  • Nice build quality
  • Non-detachable power cable
  • Very expensive pricing

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

> See Full Review <

If you haven’t tried Topre switches, you are missing out on a typing experience unlike any other. The Realforce R2 TKL is a pricer keyboard, but it delivers the quiet and enjoyable satisfaction of using Topre switches among other superb qualities.

The switches on the Realforce R2 TKL are electrocapacitive, which are similar to Cherry MX browns but with better feedback. The advantage of using Topre switches is that you get the good tactile feel while having less of the sound.

The old-school, classic all black design would make the Realforce R2 TKL a great office keyboard. There is no backlighting and minimal branding, so this keyboard looks very sleek and professional.

With dye-sublimated PBT keycaps, the Realforce R2 TKL will retain its nice matte feel and the legends won’t wear down with use. One thing to take into consideration though is the low contrast between the legend font and the keycaps. The Realforce R2 TKL might not be the best choice if you intend to use in dimly lit/dark rooms.

One complaint I have about the Realforce R2 TKL is the non-detachable cable, at this price point I would expect to have a detachable cable.

I would recommend the Realforce R2 TKL to someone who has tried out Topre switches before, because they aren’t for everyone and this keyboard is quite the investment! With the Realforce R2 TKL, you will get a very well-built keyboard that offers a satisfying, low-volume typing experience.

5. Keychron K6: An Excellent Quiet Keyboard for Mac

  • Hot-swappable
  • Windows/Mac compatible
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Aluminum frame (optional)
  • Thin ABS keycaps
  • Low contrast font
  • Power port on left side

Rating: 4 out of 5.

> See Full Review <

Next up we have the Keychron K6, a great 75% budget keyboard that works great with Mac/Windows alike, is hot-swappable, and even features Bluetooth.

The Keychron K6 is touted for its Mac compatibility- its not often that mechanical keyboards work as well with Mac functionality as they do Windows.

When ordering you have a variety of options, you can choose between a plastic or aluminum casing and RGB or white backlighting. These choices ensure that you get the exact feel and look you want.

Unfortunately the Keychron K6 has keycaps made from ABS plastic, but the price reflects this quality. ABS plastic is cheaper and less resistant to oils and grime than PBT plastic, and the keycaps on the Keychron K6 are especially thin. You could probably find an affordable set of PBT keycaps to replace them though if you want to up the quality.

While this keyboard is hot-swappable, meaning you can change switches and mod stabilizers easily, there are tons of switch options available to get on your Keychron K6. There are switch options (both mechanical and optical) available from LK and Gateron.

The Gateron red switches or the optical LK reds are both silent switches that would be excellent choices to keep the noise down.

The Keychron K6 also has bluetooth capabilities that allow you to connect a few devices to the keyboard.

If you are looking for an affordable, silent keyboard, definitely try out the Keychron K6. It would be a great keyboard to experiment with different switches to find what suits you best, and you really can’t beat the price.

6. iKBC CD87

  • Excellent typing experience
  • Good build quality
  • PBT keycaps
  • Affordable pricing
  • Non-detachable power cable
  • Boring aesthetic
  • Light on features

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

> See Full Review <

A full size option, the iKBC CD87 keyboard delivers a simple design with top-tier quality. On the affordable side, this keyboard will give you a great typing experience without frills or distractions.

The keyboard comes in only one black colorway, so if you want crazy colors or designs this is not for you. The design is clean and uncomplicated, and the iKBC CD87 does not include backlighting.

The keycaps on the iKBC CD87 are doubleshot and made from PBT plastic, so the legends will never wear and the keycaps will be more resistant to dust and grime.

Thankfully there are many Cherry MX switch options for the iKBC CD87, including silent reds which are quiet and super smooth.

Another feature of the iKBC CD87 is the adjustable kickstands, which gives you a few options to change the typing angle of the keyboard.

Unfortunately, the USB cable is connected to the keyboard, so towing it around to and from the office may not be the easiest feat.

The iKBC CD87 is not for you if you enjoy fun colors/lights it is a straightforward keyboard that is great for people looking for something reliable and steady.

7. Drop ALT/CTRL: Best High-End Quiet Mechanical Keyboard

  • All aluminum build
  • Hot-swappable
  • Multiple power ports
  • RGB lighting
  • Expensive price tag
  • Requires special power cable

Rating: 4 out of 5.

> See Full Review <

Coming it at a high price point, the Drop ALT and CTRL keyboards are built with only the highest quality materials and include the most desired features such as hotswappability, RGB, software, and dual USB ports.

For clarification, the Drop ALT has a 65% layout and the Drop CTRL is tenkeyless. Other than size, the keyboards have the same features.

Made of full aluminum, the Drop ALT/CTLR are weighty and sturdy, easing any concerns that the keyboard has flex to it. Both keyboards can be ordered in high or low profile (meaning the heights/angles of the keyboard are different).

There are two color options, black and space grey, both look great with the RGB lights. The keycaps are two-tone and made from PBT plastic, which is preferred over ABS keycaps due to their longevity and quality.

The vivid RGB lighting effects are extraordinary, with tons of cool effects. There is a band of light that goes all the way around the sides of the keyboard, and I think it adds personality to the keyboard. You can even program each light individually via the QMK software.

Also with the software, you can program the keys however you want, which is really helpful for gaming.

Another awesome thing about the Drop ALT/CTLR keyboards are the immense switch varieties available. There are options from Halo, Kaihua (speed silvers good for gaming), and Cherry MX.

You are sure to find a switch that is silent and works excellently for gaming among the options. It is really nice to have so many choices, and you can always change the switches since the Drop ALT/CTLR is hotswappable.

Though this keyboard is pricy, all of the features included justify the investment. The unique look of the Drop ALT/CTLR combined with the stellar performance truly make it an awesome choice for gaming.

Check out the article we have specifically about these keyboards for more information: Are the Drop ALT or Drop CTRL Worth It?

8. WASD Code V3: A Highly Customizable Quiet Keyboard

  • Super customizable
  • Great typing experience
  • Fun to use
  • Can get expensive
  • Design feels a little outdated

Rating: 4 out of 5.

> See Full Review <

Loved for its no-frills ordering process and aesthetic, the WASD Code V3 is a keyboard that will deliver a great typing experience .

The WASD Code V3 has countless methods of customization before you even purchase the product, allowing you to pick the keycap colors/design, case material, and switches.

You are able to have the keyboard arrive already suited to your taste and intended use.

With six Cherry MX switch options, you really have a lot of choices when purchasing the WASD Code V3. If you are this far in the article you know by know that Cherry MX reds are the way to go for gaming.

To reduce the noise generated, the WASD Code V3 gives you the option to have sound dampeners installed for an additional cost. If noise is always something that bothers you, this is surely a way to quiet your keyboard. I think its nice that two different O-ring options are available.

Additionally the WASD Code V3 is programmable, so you can change the functions of keys to optimize your gaming experience.

The detachable USB cord is nice because you can easily pack up and take the WASD Code V3 with you anywhere.

Though coming in at a higher price point, the WASD Code V3 will be worth it if you want to have full control over the features you put on your keyboard.

I recommend taking a look at the WASD Code V3 to see all of the options they have for coloring/materials, you will definitely be able to create exactly what you are looking for!

9. Hexgears Impulse: Best Quiet Keyboard with RGB Lighting

  • Hot-swappable
  • Lots of RGB lighting
  • Pudding PBT keycaps
  • Bulky design
  • Non-detachable power cable

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

> See Full Review <

The Hexgears Impulse is another unique keyboard that offers a full size layout and tons of lighting options.

The RGB lighting all the way around the Hexgears Impulse in addition to the RGB backlight draws your eye to this keyboard immediately. If you love lighting effects, the Hexgears Impulse is a dream!

The keycaps on the Hexgears Impulse are doubleshot PBT pudding keycaps, which have clear sides to heighten the effect of the RGB backlighting. The keycaps are floating, a design that often allows more sound to escape.

But since the stabilizers and switches are so easily modified on this keyboard, any noise problem can be fixed by changing up the switches or enhancing the stabilizers (see the list of easy mods at the end of this article!).

Though the Hexgears Impulse comes with Kailh BOX brown switches which aren’t ideal, we still have this keyboard on this list because it is hot-swappable. You would be able to easily replace the switches with your ideal gaming switches, Its super rare to be able to do this on a full-size layout.

The stabilizers on thee Hexgears Impulse are surprisingly nice, they are also yellow which I thought was cool. With little rattle, you might not need to make any adjustments to the stabilizers, but since the Hexgears Impulse is hotswappable any mods or lubing can be done effortlessly.

One thing I really like about this keyboard is how accessible the lower layers are, you can easily use the media keys and commands present there.

A downside to this full-size Hexgears Impulse is its difficulty to be transported. With all of the keys present, this keyboard is pretty bulky. In addition, the USB cord is non-detachable, so traveling with the Hegears Impulse may be tricky.

If you like full-size keyboards for gaming, don’t pass up on the Hexgears Impulse. It is very rare to have all the keys and the hotswappable feature, and don’t forget about all of the RGB lighting capabilities too.

10. Epomaker EP84: Best Quiet 75% Mechanical Keyboard

  • Hot-swappable
  • Compact 75% layout
  • Good build quality
  • Generic looking design
  • Low contrast font

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

> See Full Review <

Lastly, lets talk about the Epomaker EP84, one of the best 75% keyboards out there.

This 75% keyboard offers the greatest amount of keys without wasting any space- you will still have access to all of the function and arrow keys. The Epomaker EP 84 offers two colorways (white/grey and black/grey) and RGB backlighting, so you can match any desk aesthetic.

The quality of the dye-sublimated PBT keycaps on the Epomaker EP84 are top-notch, so you don’t have to worry about them developing a shine with use.

The Epomaker EP84 is hot-swappable, a highly valuable feature because you can change the switches on the keyboard super easily.

This is really nice if you want to change the typing feel, you won’t have to buy a whole new keyboard or complete the time consuming process of desoldering.

The EP84 has a variety of Gateron switch options to choose from, red and black being the best choices for gaming. But with the hot-swappability of the keyboard, you can easily replace the switches with your favorite gaming type.

The stabilizers, in general, feel nice on the Epomaker EP84 coming straight from the box, but the spacebar rattles a little when pressed. This is another problem that is an easy fix given that you can just pop the switches out on this keyboard, the stabilizers can be modified quickly.

With a detachable USB cord, the EP84 is highly portable. The cable is a standard black rubber cord, nothing too fancy.

The Epomaker EP84 does have a very recessed USB port, so it is unlikely you can use a cord other than the one included. The port is located on the bottom of the case with an accompanying cable management system.

With countless ways to make modifications and an all-inclusive layout on the Epomaker EP84, any user would be pleased with the quality found on this keyboard. The EP84 would be a great option for gamers trying to figure out their favorite switch, it is a solid keyboard with the extremely helpful feature of hotswappability.


The Different Factors that Affect Sound Levels

Have you ever wondered what makes mechanical keyboards so loud?

There are many aspects to a keyboard that contribute to the noise. Let’s go over some of the sources of the sound that will help you better assess where your noise is coming from.

Switches: Different switch varieties create a range of sounds. The sound a switch makes depends on the way it was built and the intended feel. This is why optical switches feel different than clicky mechanical switches, and why they subsequently have different sounds.

Stabilizers: Meant to reduce shaking of keys, the quality of your stabilizers can play a big role in the amount of sound that is created. The more movement of the keys the more volume produced.

Case build: The material used for the case of your keyboard also has to do with the sound emitted. Heavier cases made from aluminum or steel tend to mask the sounds of typing better than plastic cases. The flexible plastic material is more likely to let the sound travel rather than be dampened.

Desk surface: The surface you type on can also influence the sound. Similarly to how the material of the case can absorb or exacerbate the movements from typing, so can the material of your desk. I often find that typing on a thin glass tabletop is much louder than doing so on a sturdy wood desk. As we will discuss in the next section, a desk mat can absorb sound and make your keyboard sound much quieter.

Easy Mods to Make Your Keyboard Quieter

If you don’t want to go out of your way to buy a new keyboard to reduce the noise generated, there are a few adjustments you can make to have a quieter typing experience.

I have listed the 6 methods below, but we also have a whole article you can check out for more details: How to Silence Your Mechanical Keyboard.

  1. Use a Desk Mat: A lot of the sound created from typing actually has to do with the vibration of your desktop when keys are pressed. Placing a desk mat under your keyboard is super simple and doesn’t require any modifications to the keyboard itself. You can also get desk mats in really any color or design, so it is a way to add personality to your desk space.
  2. Add Foam Inside Keyboard: The noise from the vibration of the keyboard can also be reduced by adding foam in between the PCB and bottom case. You will need to take out a few screws or unclip the plastic around the edges, but it is definitely worth the effort! Some good foam options are: sorbothane, neoprene, shelf-liner, and packing foam.
  3. Install Rubber O-Rings: A main source of sound on keyboards comes from the switches, so rubber O-rings work to dampen the sound of the switch when pressed. These little rings are highly effective, but they might make your key feel mushy.
  4. Mod Your Stabilizers: A more advanced option to quiet your keyboard is to band-aid, clip, and lube the switches. Rattily stabilizers are a major complaint of mechanical keyboard users, so I recommend this process even if it is lengthy and more difficult. Check out our guide to learn more: How to Mod Your Stabilizer: Band-Aid, Clip, and Lube.
  5. Lube Your Switches: This method, in my opinion, the best way to make your keyboard quieter and feel smoother. Lubing your switches eases the friction created from the spring and stem touching, and less friction equals less noise. Be sure to check out our articles: Ultimate Guide: How to Lube Your Switches and How to Lube Your Switches Without Desoldering.
  6. Replace Your Switches: All switches are not created equally, some types are intended to be louder than others. Clicky or tactile switches are pretty much guaranteed to exude sound, so if you want to have a quiet keyboard I’d go with linear switches or silent variations. Without a hot-swappable keyboard replacing switches will require the labor intensive process of desoldering. Luckily we have a guide to desoldering to get you through the whole process if you want to make a switch change… check out: How to Desolder a Mechanical Keyboard Switch (And Tips to Make It Easy).

Conclusion

There are a wide variety of factors that can affect the sound level of your keyboard including the stabilizers, switches, keycaps, and more!

Picking a keyboard that addresses all of these possible noise generators can be quite difficult to pick from. I hope that now you are more equipped with the knowledge and confidence to mod your existing keyboard or try out something new.

The keyboards listed in this article are all different and serve different purposes, but no matter what your needs, you will be able to find a keyboard that will cut the noise down and ease your frustrations.

Good luck and happy typing!

Jake Harrington

Jake has been an avid mechanical keyboard user for the past six years. He has a background in Mechanical Engineering and wants to apply his expertise to break down how mechanical keyboards and other tech work to show the world all of the cool aspects of the hobby.

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