Here's What Cherry’s MX Silent Switches Sound Like

Perhaps it’s somewhat ludicrous to offer to let people hear what something “silent” sounds like, but here we are. Of course, Cherry’s MX Silent Red and Black switches aren't literally silent, but they are pretty quiet.

We had a chance to chat with Cherry representatives at CES 2017, and they explained how the bumper system works on the Cherry MX Silent switches to reduce noise at two points on the full switch travel.

After an exclusivity deal with Corsair expired, other keyboard makers are free to bring the Silent switches to their own devices. Cherry has one of its own--a version of its G80-3000 keyboard. Yes, it looks like something out of the 1980s, but it comes bearing brand new switches. 

You can hear a comparison between Cherry MX Red and Cherry MX Silent Red in the video, as well as one (in a more quiet setting than the CES show floor) showing the audible difference between MX Silent Black switches and standard MX Red switches.

Technically, this is an apples to oranges comparison, but in this case it’s apt. Red and Black are both linear switches and have essentially identical specs, save for the force required to actuate them. Therefore, they make roughly the same sound.

But you can judge for yourself when you check out the video.

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  • dstarr3
    I finally just made the jump to mechanical keyboards, as well. Went with Browns. And honestly, it's no louder than my previous membrane keyboard, once you train yourself to not bottom out on each keystroke. And that's the whole point of mechanical keyboards (with switches not designed specifically to make a noise). The actuation point is in the middle of the key travel, not at the bottom, so you shouldn't be bottoming out on your keypresses anymore. It takes some getting used to, but by the end of it, I'm typing as fast as ever but with much less effort, and no more noise.

    Except the space bar. The space bar on my keyboard sounds like God slamming his car door.
  • A_6___
    My biggest problem with the new switch is that it uses rubber. So far Cherry switches were really, really durable. A good mechanical keyboard lasted long years even with very heavy use. Now I guess this will change. Rubber ages.

    Though, a Blue switch keyboard will also get much "weaker". My original Blackwidow lasted me about 3 years before the keys became mushy. It used the original Blue Cherry switches.

    @DSTARR3: On Brown, most people don't bottom out, because the click helps you not to. But on the Red, you have no feedback. So most of the time you just bottom out. And this is why Red becomes so loud - sometimes even louder than Blue. Of course you can just "not bottom out" but it is very hard to do, and well, it's a pain.

    I tried O-Rings, but they changed the feel of keys totally. So my comfortable Red switches became totally membrane like. So I don't think they are a good solution.

    tl;dr: I am skeptic about these new Silent switches.
  • innocent bystander
    That's why I have a Logitech K800. May not be a mechanical keyboard but it does the job admirably and barely makes a whisper in the process.