When I bought my first keyboard, my eyes opened to a new way of life. Up until just a few years ago, I was always using used and discarded keyboards my family left. I didn’t know what I was missing. Honestly, I planned to keep using the old keyboards until they broke down under my fingers.
When that finally happened, and I got my first wireless keyboard and mouse set, I saw how wrong I’d been.
Suddenly, the force of my fingers didn’t produce a clanging sound over old wobbly keys. My new keyboard wasn’t soundless, but the soft clicking noises it produced were decently quiet in comparison to my ancient, high-profile keyboard. I was in for another shock later when I got my first laptop and realized how a low-profile keyboard should sound like.
With all the silent keyboards on the market nowadays, there’s really no reason to keep using noisy keyboards. They’ll only irritate you and the people around you. So, allow me to show you a better alternative.
Why Would You Need a Quiet Keyboard?
There are many places where you may use your loud, beat-up keyboard. Namely, you can use it at home, or in some already-loud environments, if it really makes you that happy. But, I don’t think it actually does.
If nothing else, places that are supposed to be low-noise environments, like libraries and offices, ought to be equipped with silent keyboards. Even bedrooms and shared dorms could benefit from quiet keyboards. As I said, annoyingly loud typing noises can cause us to lose focus. That can be a real bother when you’re trying to work, study, or even when you’re just playing a game.
So, if you expect to spend a lot of time using your keyboard, I’d suggest you invest in a silent one. You should definitely get one if you need to get your work done in a shared space, or somewhere other people might want to sleep. But, how can you be sure a keyboard is silent?
How to Spot a Quiet Keyboard
If you’ve been researching silent keyboards for a while, you’ll have noticed that many of them claim to have some kind of technology that makes them quiet. Mechanical keyboards, or those whose keys are clickable, are almost always at least a little “clicky,” as PC enthusiasts would say.
But, no matter how silent a keyboard is, you’ll most likely want it to be clicky, or tactile. I for one would like to know if I’ve made contact with a key, and having it sink under my finger is still a great indicator of that.
Mechanical silent keyboards often have some type of padding that prevents the key from hitting the plastic under it. There are even some DIY ways to make your current keys more padded and prevent them from wobbling and making as much noise. For example, you could use dampening rings or some kind of lubricant.
Many keyboards also have special silent switches, which means that the mechanism under the key is designed to be quiet. Also, another surefire way to tell a silent keyboard from a loud one is by checking the height of the keys. Low-profile keyboards will often produce less noise than high-profile ones.
Nevertheless, if you still don’t think you’ll be able to discern a silent keyboard from an ordinary one, you can just check out the ones I’ll review in the second half of this article.
How Quiet Are Silent Keyboards Really?
Realistically, a mechanical keyboard can only be as silent as your fingers are gentle. So, no keyboard can be completely soundless.
Still, as I mentioned, products that are marketed as silent keyboards have some type of mechanism that redistributes the force you apply to the keys. These mechanisms can often make a keyboard noticeably quieter to your ears. Unfortunately, we don’t really have any scientific evidence that compares the various noise levels keyboards produce.
That pretty much leaves us to our own devices. So, when looking for your quiet keyboard, apart from reading this article, also look up for videos that show you exactly how quiet the keyboard can be.
Features to Look for When Shopping for Quiet Keyboards
There are several features that will affect the performance of your new quiet keyboard. Before I get to those, it’s good to mention that you should expect to spend anywhere between $20 to $30 on a budget-friendly silent keyboard. You can find mid-range keyboards for around $50, or you can spend upwards of $120 for excellent gaming keyboards. But for now, we can move on to the features you might want your keyboard to have.
Wired or Wireless
As I previously mentioned, the first keyboard I purchased was part of a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse combo, and I’ve never regretted buying it. I only need to switch out the batteries once or twice in a year. If you’d like to go wireless, but you’re worried about waste, you could also use rechargeable batteries or buy one of the rechargeable wireless keyboards from my reviews.
A wired keyboard is still great, and it’s a good way to avoid having to use batteries at all. This type of keyboard also has faster responses, which you’ll need for gaming. A wireless keyboard does tend to lose its responsiveness as the batteries are drained. Also, it can sometimes be disrupted if something comes in between your keyboard and the receiver in the computer.
However, if you don’t like having to deal with cables, or you just like to move your keyboard around, you’ll probably like having a wireless keyboard.
The Size of the Quiet Keyboard
When shopping for keyboards, you’re bound to come across various references to sizing. If you’re looking for a keyboard that you can take everywhere with you, you’ll need a smaller and thinner keyboard that can fit in your bag.
Typically, smaller keyboards don’t have the numeric pad at all, and they might even have more multi-function keys than usual.
You’ll definitely want to keep the size of your fingers in mind when shopping for a smaller keyboard. Testing out the product in a physical store might be a good idea, even if you end up shopping online. However, if you don’t need to carry the keyboard around, I’d recommend getting a full-sized one.
The keyboard profile refers to how much the mechanical keys are sticking out. Older keyboards had very high profiles, which means that their keys stuck out more than they do on newer models. Having a higher profile often means that your fingers will need to exert more force, which can produce more noise and cause serious strain to your fingers.
I’d say that my wireless keyboard has mid-height profile, which makes it quieter than the old keyboards I used to use. On the other hand, my laptop has a very low-profile keyboard that only produces soft clicking noises, which makes it even quieter than my wireless keyboard.
Keyboard and Mouse Combos
Many manufacturers offer keyboard and mouse combos, which means that you’re getting two products in one package. Even better, plenty of those combos allow you to connect both the keyboard and the mouse to your computer using only one USB receiver. So, that’s one less thing clogging up your USB ports.
Sometimes, these combos come with a wireless keyboard and a wired mouse. However, gamers often opt to buy their keyboards and mouse separately in order to personalize their experience as much as possible. That’s why you’ll want to skip combo packs if you need a gaming mouse. Or, you could just keep the extra mouse as a backup.
Keyboards with lighting effects often have LED lights right under the keys. The keys are often marked with transparent symbols, so the letters aren’t just printed on them. That way, the lights can be seen through and around the keys, thus illuminating them for ease of use.
Lighting effects can be monochrome or multi-colored. Many gaming keyboards have embraced rainbow lights in recent years. Some of them can even have various movement effects, like lights circling around, pulsing, or even lighting up under keys you press. Many serious gaming keyboards can even have the light under each individual key adjusted to a certain color.
Backlighting is something you’ll find useful if you work (or game) in darker environments. However, you might want to have it for aesthetic reasons as well.
If you’re looking for a new gaming keyboard, you can check out the ones with advanced keys. These are extra keys that are fully programmable for ease of use. I imagine these types of keys might also be helpful to artists, for example, if they want to program their Photoshop shortcuts onto them. Basically, if you find yourself frequently using the same functions on your computer, you might want to look into getting a quiet keyboard with advanced keys.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you’ll want to make sure that the keyboard you end up getting is actually compatible with your operating system. Some keyboards can only be used on Apple computers, while others will be Windows-compatible. Still, there are those that work for both.
The Best Silent & Quiet Keyboards for Typing and Gaming
And so, we can finally check out some of the best silent keyboards on the market. As we go along, I’ll point out the features I explained in the previous section of the article. Hopefully, one of these will catch your eye.
1. Jelly Comb Keyboard Mouse Combo Ultra Slim Full Size
The first two keyboards I’ll focus on are both Jelly Comb combo products. This first one is a full-size wireless keyboard and mouse combo, which goes for around $50. The keyboard is ultra slim, not even an inch wide at its thickest, and only 0.16 inches wide at its thinnest.
This Jelly Comb keyboard has an extremely low profile, which, paired with a scissor-switch technology, makes it especially silent. The manufacturer even included a “whisper-quiet” mouse. Like my own wireless combo, both products use one USB receiver to connect to your PC. What’s more, the USB receiver can slide into the mouse for safe-keeping if you’re traveling with it.
Although, when you think about it, a full-size keyboard might not be the best choice for travel. It should be ideal as a workplace keyboard, however. The keyboard is even made from a durable aluminum alloy, so you don’t need to worry about accidentally dropping it. I also love that it has a full set of hotkeys that grant you easy access to media controls, as well as access to various programs, right from the top of the keyboard.
The keyboard is rechargeable via micro USB on the right-hand side, and it has a charging LED indicator above the numeric pad. Near the charging indicator, there are also function keys, number and caps lock indicators, as well as a power switch so that you can avoid wasting charge. On the other hand, the mouse uses two AAA batteries, but you could also use rechargeable ones.
- Wireless low-profile keyboard and mouse combo
- 2.4 GHz connection, up to 30-foot reach
- 280 mAh rechargeable lithium battery
- Comes in many colors
- Only compatible with Windows systems
2. Jelly Comb Wireless Keyboard Mouse Combo Ultra Thin
If you’re looking for something you can toss in your bag and go, this wireless combo pack is the one for you. After all, this keyboard is less than 5 inches wide and 11 inches long. Because of its diminutive size, it had to lose the whole number pad. However, it managed to keep the hotkeys by adding them to the function keys.
It’s about $20 cheaper than the previous keyboard, too. However, like the previous keyboard, this one is part of Jelly Comb’s ultra-slim range, as it’s 0.7 inches wide at its thickest, and 0.15 inches at its thinnest. Also like the last keyboard, this one has a very low profile and the same scissor-switch technology.
Both the keyboard and mouse use two AAA batteries each. They’re connected to the computer using the same USB receiver, which can be stored near the batteries in the back of the keyboard. Also, both components can be turned off to preserve charge. However, they’ll also both automatically go into sleep mode after 8 or 10 minutes.
The keyboard also comes with a thin silicone keyboard cover that protects against spillage, dust, and regular wear. Moreover, like the previous keyboard I reviewed, this one has many color options, but it’s only compatible with Windows systems.
- Compact wireless low-profile keyboard and mouse combo
- 2.4 GHz connection
- Two AAA batteries per combo component
- Only Windows compatible
- Comes with a silicone cover
3. BFRIENDit Wired Keyboard
Now, if you’ve decided that you don’t need a wireless keyboard, this one connects to your computer with a USB cable. Remember – that means that nothing will come between your typing commands and the computer. So, good response time is pretty much guaranteed. What’s more, you won’t even need to worry about recharging it or replacing its batteries.
This keyboard is a bit thicker than the previous two, as it’s 0.66 inches at its thinnest. It also has movable stands in the back, a feature the previous two keyboards didn’t have. Furthermore, the keys are very low-profile and comfortable to use. They’re silent, thanks to a scissor key structure, but also tactile enough under your fingers.
The keyboard comes in many different color combinations, and it also comes with a keyboard cover. This product can be found for around $30 at online retail stores. Honestly, there’s not much else to say – it’s just a standard, all-around reliable silent keyboard.
Even though it was made with Windows systems in mind, you can also use it on Mac computers. However, Windows-specific shortcuts won’t work.
- Full-size low-profile keyboard
- Connects to the computer via a USB cable
- Comes in several interesting color combinations
- Made for Windows systems, but can work on Mac computers
- Free keyboard cover
4. Logitech K800 Wireless Silent Keyboard
Logitech is a brand that’s probably familiar to you if you’ve ever needed PC parts. So, since this brand is a trendsetter in the industry, it’s no wonder our first backlit keyboard on this list comes from them.
We’re starting with pretty standard lighting, but don’t worry – I’ll close these reviews with far more visually interesting lighting effects. Before we get there, know that this product is still perfectly acceptable. In fact, it’s even office-appropriate, since only the keys are backlit with simple white backlighting, which you can adjust to the brightness of your liking.
This product is a full-size wireless keyboard with a 2.4 GHz connection. It’s not part of a combo, but that doesn’t mean that its USB receiver is only compatible with the keyboard. Logitech makes Unifying USB receivers that are identifiable by their orange icon. These receivers connect all Logitech devices with the same icon to the computer simultaneously.
Like the first wireless keyboard I reviewed, this one is rechargeable via a micro USB cable, which should save you the hassle of figuring out how to dispose of the batteries, and you could also turn it off to preserve charge. Additionally, like the first product, this one is available in the $50 range, which actually makes it a bit pricier since it doesn’t come with a mouse.
This keyboard’s place on my list was guaranteed by its Perfect Stroke system, which evenly distributes the force of your strokes in order to produce the least amount of noise. Furthermore, the overall design of the keyboard is very sleek and rounded, and it allows for a smooth transition between keys.
- Wireless low-profile keyboard
- Connects via Logitech’s Unifying USB receiver
- 2.4 GHz connection, up to 30-foot reach
- Perfect Stroke keys evenly distribute the force
- Windows compatible
5. Arteck Wireless Keyboard
The design of this Arteck keyboard is fairly reminiscent of the full-sized Jelly Comb keyboard. It’s also an Ultra Slim full-size low-profile wireless keyboard, though it doesn’t come in a combo pack. However, I’d say it should be a bit more durable, as it’s made of stainless steel as opposed to aluminum alloy. This product is available for around $30.
The design similarities between this product and the first one I reviewed extend to all of their general dimensions and shapes. They also continue on to the very low-profile “X structure” keys – which is another name for the scissor-switch technology. However, this is by no means a bad thing. It just means that you should get about the same amount of noise (or silence) out of these two keyboards.
Also like the Jelly Comb, this keyboard has an off switch in the upper-right corner. To its left are the LED power indicator, caps, num and function locks, as well as the charging indicator. This keyboard is rechargeable via a micro USB port – one charge should last about 6 months.
What’s more, along the top row of this keyboard, sharing their space with function keys, are all the hotkeys a person could ever want.
- Ultra Slim low-profile wireless keyboard
- Stainless steel base
- X structure key switch
- 2.4 GHz connection
6. Pictek Wired Gaming Keyboard
I’ve reserved the last two spots on this list for silent gaming keyboards, so let’s look at the budget option first. This full-size Pictek keyboard also gets us the full rainbow backlighting of our dreams. It’s only around $25, too, which is a steal in comparison to the next keyboard. But, we’ll get to that in a moment.
First, let’s see the specs on this product. Like most gaming keyboards, this one is fairly bulky, and it connects to the computer via a USB cable. Naturally, gamers avoid wireless keyboard because they need the reaction times only a plugged-in product can provide.
Gaming keyboards are also relatively large, partly because they have a rougher, more attractive design, and partly for ease of use. The non-detachable wrist rest adds to the overall size of the product. It can also be adjusted to stand at a slant with two foldable stands.
These measures should prevent your hands from tiring, and the manufacturer even says that this product can be used in the office. However, I’d say the only way you could get away with having this in the office is if you work in a very relaxed environment.
The keys aren’t extremely low-profile, as gaming requires a more tactile keyboard. However, they’re still very silent. Although the keyboard is backlit in 6 rainbow colors, the keys themselves aren’t lit; only the space between them is.
There are 26 additional advanced keys and shortcuts, and you can even lock the Windows key to avoid accidentally taking yourself out of a game.
This keyboard is also very durable and even waterproof, which should make those of us who are prone to spilling their drinks pretty happy. And finally, this product is compatible with both Windows and Mac systems.
- Wired full-size keyboard
- 6 rainbow backlight colors
- 26 advanced gaming keys
- Compatible with Windows and Mac
7. Corsair Strafe RGB Gaming Keyboard
I’ve saved the last place for the priciest and flashiest of the keyboards on the list.
If you’re a gamer, you’ve undoubtedly heard that this Corsair keyboard is the best option for gamers. Once I’m done with this review, even non-gamers will be itching to buy this product. However, I should say that you should be very sure that you need this keyboard, as it goes for about $140 at online retailer sites.
This full-size keyboard is primarily known for the RGB lights under each key, and although I’m mostly impressed with its quiet performance, even I have to admit that the lights are a great feature. This keyboard has all of the best aspects of backlighting, including the individual adjustment of each key’s color, and several color movement options. The lights also shine through the symbols on the keys, unlike the ones in the previous product.
The Cherry MX Red switches under the keys are very famous in the gaming community, as well as among people who like silent typing experiences. In addition, the keys are very comfortable, and some of them are even textured, which can help with muscle memory. There are even media controls, and the keyboard comes with a detachable wrist rest.
This product even has 8 MB storage where it saves lighting effects and macros for gaming profile access. That should be extremely convenient if you want to game on other computers. And finally, the keyboard has a USB port on it, so you could even plug your mouse or headphones into it.
- Full-size wired keyboard
- Individually adjustable RGB backlighting
- Cherry MX Red switch makes keys quiet and responsive
- Storage for lighting effect software and gaming profiles
- USB port in the back of the keyboard
- Compatible with Windows
So, Treat Yourself to a Silent Keyboard!
After researching all of this, I have to say that I’m almost ready to abandon my own keyboard for one of these quieter products.
If you’re not as excited about buying new gadgets as I am, or you simply don’t want to part with your hard-earned cash – I understand. You’ll be pleased to know that you can also try to “soundproof” your own loud keyboard. You could add O-rings to pad your switches, or you could even install new switches under your keycaps if you like to fiddle with tech. In fact, some people even build their own silent keyboards.
But, if you just want to have a solid and silent keyboard delivered to your door, you should be able to pick out a great one by now. Whether you like the stylish look of the Jelly Comb keyboards, the practicality of the BFRIENDit wired keyboard, or the professional look of the Logitech K800, at least you’ve realized that you don’t need to put up with the loud keystrokes of your current keyboard. And, hey – no one said you couldn’t grab a gaming keyboard – even if you’re not a gamer.