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Need a silent keyboard. Any suggestions?

Last response: in Computer Peripherals
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October 12, 2012 4:29:40 PM

It amazes me that I am having such a hard time finding a silent keyboard. Seems like there should be an abundance of these in this day in age where people use their computer in many places where loud typing noise is not appreciated (like the bedroom). I bought the logitech K120, which was advertised as "Whisper Quite". I tested it out the day I got it and my wife who was in the other room doing aerobics to a netflix video could hear every keystroke. So I shot out another scathing product review and slammed Logitech for lying. I have looked and looked for a keyboard that is truly silent, but they do not seem to exist. It just blows my mind! Well, I guess I should add here that I am not willing to take out a mortgage on my house to buy a keyboard. I would say that I would spend up to $50, if I were certain I was getting what I wanted. Am I the only one who wants a silent keyboard?
October 15, 2012 3:13:18 PM

you do realize that the majority of the sound comes from your fingers slamming the keys and not the actual key mechanism right? rubber dome switches are rather quiet and in my experience the soft press keys logitech uses are even more quiet.

try typing slowly by putting each finger on the key and then pushing down instead of typing at maximum speed and see just how much a reduction in noise you can get. typing at full speed slamming your fingers on the keyboard can easily be 3x as loud.

unless the keyboard makes quite a bit of noise when you gently place your finger on the keyboard and press on a key then the noise is not the fault of the keyboard so a scathing review is not correct.

just some words of advice.
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October 16, 2012 2:21:18 AM

I have been using computers since the early days of windows 3.0. I think I know what is making the noise. It is the crappy logitech keyboard. I have used more keyboards then I can remember and although the K120 is not the loudest I have used, it is by far not the quietest. There were some really heavy keyboards that used to come with old windows 95 Compaq computers that were pretty quite. Anyways, my question was not, "Please try to prove me wrong about the Logitech loud whisper quite keyboard". I do not care to get into a debate with people that are brand fans. I simply asked for some suggestions on some truly quite keyboards. I only mentioned my experience with the K120 to clarify what I personally mean when I say quite keyboard; which is obviously different from your definition of what a quite keyboard is.
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October 16, 2012 11:30:42 AM

there is no debate here. although perhaps worded more harsh then intended my original post does hold merit. it is of course your choice whether to pass it off as brand fanaticism and ignore it or to at least read it and give it a second look.

remember that you wrote a negative review since the product was not "whisper quiet". remember also that this is your opinion. i am not trying to prove you wrong about noise levels only stating my own opinion on the matter. to get angry at this would make you a hippocryte. we all have our own opinions, the very least we can all do is at least listen to them and give them all a little thought before casting them off. i listened to yours, and i detailed mine.

while perhaps i have not used computers quite as long as you have, i still remember windows 95 and the keyboards old compaq computers used. i do remember them being quiet but not any more so then most of the soft touch rubber dome switch keyboards today. in fact, i would be unwilling to heavily rely on my memory of the product as the past is the past and often what we recall is not quite always accurate. the only way to accurately tell would be to place the two side by side.

the loudest sounds are typically the sound of a finger hitting the top of a key and the key bottoming out. especially when typing fast or aggressively. the actual rubber dome should not make any more than a very small amount of noise if pressed in the manner my other post described.

remember, rubber dome switches come in many different resitances. some like cheap dell keyboards require more resistance to press down and are very firm. some like many i have found on logitech keyboards tend to not require much force and are very soft.

perhaps you are suited to a different resistance rubber dome switch.

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October 16, 2012 3:05:25 PM

Right back at you. You need to read what I am writing as well, because if you would stop trying to push your "it's your fingers stupid" point, you might have read where I have used countless keyboards and have over 20 years of experience with using keyboards, and you might stop treating me like a child that has never used a computer before. It is quite insulting!

I did not ask for a typing lesson. I asked for suggestions for a truly quite keyboard. I asked this question only because I am not rich enough to buy all of the keyboards that claim to be quite on the market today to give them a try. My hope in posting this question was to get the opinion of other people who actually are using some of these available products and ask them a few questions. So if you would like to give me an opinion on some quite keyboards that you have used and which one you think was the best, that would be appreciated, but please stop with the hand holding attitude.
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October 26, 2012 12:31:29 AM

Guess there is no such thing a quite keyboard, seeing as my question has received not a single serious suggestions for any keyboards. Oh well.
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October 26, 2012 10:17:47 PM

what about one of those roll up rubber keyboards. never used one but they look like they might be fairly quiet. they're cheap too
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October 27, 2012 5:02:10 PM

@op

i could have named 20 keyboards which i thought were quiet however this is not what you actually needed to hear. i actually went above and beyond and asked you to figure out what was making the noise you so abhor.

in the end you seemed more willing to think i was insulting you then to actually test and see where the noise was coming from. you seemed unwilling to believe that you were any part of the equation. until you test, you can not say for sure. if you did test, you did not list any results.

i could easily have asked again for information or came up with a witty retort but it did not seem worth my time as you would have ignored it anyways.

if you are willing to put forth actual effort then perhaps we can still figure out what is making the noise and make suggestions based on what is discovered.

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@ smokeyjon

the rubber roll up keyboards are pretty much silent.
-the soft rubber eliminates finger on keyboard sounds
-you can not type fast on them which eliminates this sound also.
-rubber dome switches do not make much noise but the nature of this keyboard eliminates most of this as well.

the trouble is, typing on them is like trying to type on a keyboard made of marshmellows and jelly. while entirely possible, most find them rather cumbersome and only use them when traveling. if the op is worried about eliminating all sound then perhaps they are willing to give up typing on a good keyboard in order to eliminate noise.

i personally wouldnt, but it is their choice of course.
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October 27, 2012 5:28:48 PM

I suggest going to a local shop that has a keyboard display to test on. You might get a better idea on what is the loudest part of typing. With my current keyboard, and the way I type, the loudest part of typing comes from the rebound of the key, and occasionally my finger nail hitting the top of a key.

Sometimes people get some squeaky noises from larger keys, like the enter key and space bar. This is usually a result of a medal mechanism, that is used to keep the key level, rubbing against the plastic. This can be fixed with lubricant (I don't know what is best, someone else here might now).
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November 1, 2012 5:05:28 PM

honestly you might be as well served by google searching for quiet keyboard or looking at product reviews as you would be by asking users here for input. we all have our own opinion on what is loud and what is not. i mentioned that the quiet touch keyboards by logitech were the quietest i have used, but you differ in opinion.

i tried to get to the root of what the issue is so that we could come up with a solution which works for you, but alas you feel it is hand holding or degrading instead of humoring me.

there was a solution mentioned above by bystander, which fits your description perfectly although it is less then adequate for prolonged use.

i am done posting here unless of course you come down off your high horse..

good luck.
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November 16, 2012 4:38:43 PM

jungleexplorer,

i still cannot understand ur post here, keyboard sound is made at the time finger or nails touch the keyboard, then each key hit it spring/mechanism limit and then it bounce back

first situation can be stop with rubber or matte texture,
2nd if a motherboard manufacture able or want to put dampening base so the force from the key to the keyboard base is unheard
and 3rd, it mostly does not exist anymore this day

try clicking space bar from the edge of the key and at the centre, u will see the different,

SSDDX could have list ur some silent or good keyboard but u get distracted or mad with the finger issue,
the sound mostly come from the way u type it

u say u been using computer since window 3.0, i assume u a middle age man or else, but dont let that slamming key or whatever change the topic,
, at that age u should realize the fact that u does have the experience and thought that whatever u learn in 30 years of life time can be learn within day or weeks today,

i dont know if u have a son or not but they will learn the knowledge ur know at university or working situation in their school time,

it absolutely out of topic now but just dont take it serious for a simple matter.

i personally type using nails, it make a loud sound but after upgrading my keyboard it overcome my issue.

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January 25, 2013 11:25:33 AM

I don't know how long your finger nails are but my finger touches the keys. Also the fact that you guys are saying that most of the noise comes from your fingers alone are both false and true depending on keyboard keys and the way they are made. I can type the same way on ten different keyboards and will have ten different sound effect levels. Its not just your "fingers" or the "nails" on them that make the noise. Sorry for being off topic but I am also looking for a keyboard that makes little sound as possible and these kind of replies just throws me off topic.
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January 27, 2013 4:54:26 PM

I too have problems finding a new quiet keyboard. I just broke the "up" key on my Logitech UltraX Media desktop keyboard. It was a quiet, comfortable keyboard with the right layout and the right shape of the "Enter" key. It was a rubber dome keyboard, but still with good responsiveness and feel. I bought the K520 thinking it would be as good.. It is not.

Not only have i failed to find another keyboard as quiet as the UltraX, I also failed to find one with the same layout and look.

It's beyond annoying that manufacturers feel the need to rearrange keys and the location and shape of such keys as the "enter" key. I tried to find a new keyboard of the same model, but of course it is now obsolete..

If you do manage to find a keyboard that IS quiet, please follow up in this thread. :) 
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January 31, 2013 4:58:52 PM

Unfortunately ssddx is correct, most of the keyboard noise comes from your fingers and not the actual keyboard itself, the rubber keys do help this some. It doesn't matter if you have 20 years of experience and don't know what you're talking about. Try tapping your finger on a key without pressing down on the key at all (this makes loud noise) then place your key on the finger then press down (97% of keyboard this will make very very little noise if any at all). There is no such keyboard that will not produce sound with your fingers slamming down on the keys.
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February 2, 2013 1:15:11 AM

In my humble opinion I think jungle is right. Although I believe ssddx had good intentions, he did come off as a bit a wise guy by stating something obvious such as the fact that fast, hard typing is noisy. Hahahaaa

Anyway, most of us have used a variety of different keyboards (school, home, work, etc.) and can agree that some are quieter than others. From what I´ve experienced, the noisy keyboards are the ones with flimsy, light-to-the-touch keys which even rattle around in their place when you blow on them. The few silent keyboards that I have come across had each key firmly in place which wouldn´t budge easily from side to side and had more resistance when pressing down on them (as the rubber dome keys ssdx mentioned). The plastic in these keys was thicker and it also seemed as if their interior mechanism had some sort of rubberized component which soundproofed each keystroke.

I think that in order to find one of these keyboards with the nice, snugly fit keys we must, as "bystander" suggested, go to an electronics store and actually try them out.
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March 18, 2013 8:31:03 AM

I too have an issue when I am on conference calls most of the day and I have to take notes or reply to emails while on the phone... last thing I want to have my co-workers hear is the sound of my keyboard as I type away...
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March 19, 2013 12:58:22 PM

I just ordered the Logitech Wireless Illuminated Keyboard K800 - will see how it works with the setup I have for work.

On a side note, I just got the Gigabyte GK-OSMIUM Wired Gaming keyboard for the new machine I am building...that is one cool looking keyboard, seems to be built like a tank as well, but it is loud! Great tactical feel...
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April 15, 2013 8:53:03 PM

Try the TT eSPORT Challenger Ultimate its the quietest keyboard I have ever used, you can punch it with your fist and you still wont be able to hear it on the next room. Lol big exaggeration but it is really quiet I have a hard time hearing it myself when typing at full speed.
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May 30, 2013 12:08:49 AM

I am amazed there are no relevant suggestions here, I too want a silent one. Seriously, suggesting that someone should slow down their typing or key strokes, and defending it as intelligent answer is rather lame. It is strange keyboard makers haven't capitalized on this problem yet, same goes for mice. I would be keen to see if anyone has a link to a comparison table of relative volumes for keyboards and mice, opinions be damned I want numbers...
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May 30, 2013 1:17:36 PM

there are plenty of relevant suggestions listed here however quite simply there are no 100% silent keyboards made. there are products which are designed to be as quiet as possible however how you use them has a big influence on how well this holds true. the harder and faster you pound on the keys the louder the keyboard will be. bottoming out keys is also louder than touch typing. if you have good hearing keyboards in general will appear to be louder than someone with bad hearing. just because you dont agree with this information doesnt make it not true.

now there are "low noise" (note: not silent) keyboards available and generally they follow the advice listed in this post by me and the others.

here is a list of various products from most silent to most noisy. keep in mind that noise levels are relative and could shift depending on a few factors:

touch screen on-screen keyboard
sillicone roll up membrane keyboard
laser projected keyboard
scissor switch membrane keyboard
silent touch membrane keyboard
regular membrane keyboard
non-clicky cherry mx mechanical keyboard with o ring dampeners
non-clicky cherry mx mechanical keyboard
clicky cherry mx mechanical keyboard with o-ring dampeners
clicky cherry mx mechanical keyboard
clicky ibm buckling spring mechanical keyboard

if you want to hear sound comparisons between different keyboard switch types then there are plenty of sound clips out there on youtube or the internet if you search with google. the exact db rating will vary on several factors including how you use the keyboard. a company could develop a rig to press down keys with the same activation force and measure ratings however in general most keyboards are very similar in db across similar designs.

keyboard manufacturers have addressed the problem and there are plenty of solutions out there however nothing that is 100% silent.

as far as a silent mouse is concerned have you seen the nexus silent mouse? it uses a special silent switch without the clicking mechanism. having almost zero sound though could affect clicking performance but i suppose you could get used to it.

there is no master chart showing real world numbers for every single keyboard. i did manage to find a chart which has a few different products listed however realize that actual db output may change depending on who is using the keyboard.

KEYBOARD MODEL Switch type Peak sound level (dB)
Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Stealth Edition Brown 59.3
Rosewill RK-9000 Blue 57.7
Adesso MKB-135B Blue 57.3
Das Keyboard Model S Professional Blue 57.0
Diatec Filco Majestouch 2 Camouflage Blue 57.0
Diatec Filco Majestouch Ninja Black 55.6
Thermaltake Meka/Meka G1 Black 54.6
Logitech membrane keyboard n/a 54.2
SteelSeries 6Gv2/7G Black 54.1
Microsoft Digital Media 3000 membrane keyboard n/a 47.4

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if you arent happy with the facts or suggestions then you are more than welcome to do your own research and prove me wrong.
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July 3, 2013 4:57:53 PM

The standard Dell keyboard that is in university libraries is fairly quiet, much quieter than the keyboard I use at home. I smash the keys when I type, and I don't hear it like I normally do when I type there.

I think the Keyboard Model is SK-8115 L100 RT7D50. You can tell which one it is because the edge of the keyboard is sort of wrapped around the buttons. It's not a rectangle, but a shape that conforms to the keyboard configuration. Hope this helps.
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September 2, 2013 8:27:56 PM

Perfect analogy,

Does any person know which shoes are quiet when you walk? Ssddx says, "all shoes are noisy and no shoe is quiet. It depends on how you walk." Dumb ass..

I could wear high heels and be as quiet as a mouse, I just have to walk really really slow..

I know, let's get super technical.. Lets set up a robot with fingers on a keyboard and lets put the pressure on each key at say 1.43567 units of pressure. Now lets put 25 random keyboards to test on.. Ok the results.. Duh a 3 year old could tell you which one is "quieter" than the other.

There are people who are book smart, then there are those who have logical sense. Seriously!! I am with you jungleexplorer.
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September 3, 2013 6:57:18 AM

if you stomp your feet like a herd of elephants is walking through the room then no shoe is going to be quiet. some will be quieter than others however.

perhaps you missed the part where i gave actual suggestions. seeing as how the op thought that products advertised as quiet were not i wanted to figure out where the problem stemmed from. this is going above and beyond.

i could throw a list of recommendations out... and i do at times when its warranted but in this case i thought i could give a better suggestion with some input from the op. the op however was completely unreasonable. a list of products which i know from personal experience to be quiet may only have a low chance of being acceptable choices given the opinions he provided so providing a list again was not really going to be as much of a help.

you are correct. you could tell which keyboard is quieter in that manner. however lets bring in some logical sense as you say: not everyone presses at the same speed or force so results will vary. also our hearing is different so what is loud is variable on the person.

its easy to try and say i'm a dumbass or illogical but only if you dont actually try and understand what i'm saying. i'm amazed that this thread keeps getting dragged up and why people seem to be getting offended when it does not even concern them. the recommendations in this thread are for the op only.

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if someone else is looking for a quiet keyboard then they need to provide their own information on what they have tried and liked or disliked as well as some general information about their usage.
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September 3, 2013 12:11:45 PM

Stumbled here because I was looking for a quieter keyboard to use comfortably at night and not wake the natives.
There are so many logical fallacies here I wish I could bust out some latin.
Just because you've used a computer since windows 3.0 doesn't make you a computer maverick. Using a computer for that long, doesn't make you a mouse expert, keyboard expert, motherboard expert, ram expert, gpu expert, cpu expert or even an OS expert.
That's like saying I've driven to work for 10 years and now I'm a professional race car driver because of all those daily commutes.
So when you call yourself a 20 year old fisherman, keep in mind that Fisherman work in dangerous conditions and actually being a fisherman for that long actually says something. Using a computer for that long, driving to work for that long that doesn't actually say much in terms of competency.


Now I don't disagree with ssddx, because the way the OP phrased the first post elicited that sort of response. It might have been a little rude at first, but with the way this thread has been going I don't find that post to be unwarranted.
If you were actually as technically gifted as you alluded you would have asked a different question. You would not have phrased the question as you did and you would have no whined about the Logitech keyboard the way you did. If you had slammed the keyboard for being louder than you would have expected or no different than normal keyboard we would have understood but you're attacking that keyboard on the basis that it's not 100% silent. There's not such thing as a silent keyboard, so of course many people here would assume that you're lacking some basic knowledge on keyboard mechanics. If you knew the way keyboards worked - you wouldn't have asked the questioned the way you did. It's really that simple.
Anybody who has that knowledge would have asked your question like this - what kind of keyboard can i comfortable use at night without reasonably disturbing other people?

Now the guy who was talking about the shoes. That's a good analogy but your argument is actually counter-intuitive and logically flawed.
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