Cherry MX Silent Switches Review
Hello everyone; welcome to Rhinofeed! Today I'm going to be taking a look at the new Cherry Silent switches! The Cherry MX Silent switches were first exclusively used on Corsair keyboards, but now they are available for any manufacturer to use. Cherry has given me their own G80-3000 keyboard with Cherry MX Black switches to demo today.
These switches are linear and mimic Cherry MX Black and Cherry MX Red switches. Both have the same actuation force as their non-silent versions, 45cN for MX Red and 60 cN for MX Black. The actuation point is also the same at 2mm.
To distinguish them, Cherry MX Silent Black switches are a dark gray color, and Cherry MX Silent Red switches are a light red or pink color. They are also available in RGB versions with clear housings.
What has Cherry done to make these switches quieter? Cherry MX Silent switches have a TPE dampener built right into the switch stem. This dampener reduces both top out noise and bottom out noise. Top out noise is the noise that occurs when the switch returns to its original unpressed state. Bottom out noise is when you press the switch to its furthest point.
Key travel is reduced from 4mm to 3.7mm on the Silent switches. This reduction in travel distance is much less than adding o-rings to your keyboard. O-rings generally start at 1.5mm and go up to 3mm, which often only work with taller OEM keycaps instead of lower profile Cherry style keycaps.
I've tried O-rings before, and I wouldn't recommend them. If you want to reduce bottom out noise on any Cherry style switch, I would recommend checking out EliteKeyboard's landing pads. O-rings and landing pads only reduce the noise when bottoming out, but there's also GMK QMX-Clip sound dampeners or Zealencio silencing clips that quiet both the upstroke and the downstroke when typing. Zealencios reduce travel by 0.9mm, and QMX-Clips only work on PCB mounted switches. I haven't tried either of them, so I can't say whether or not you'll like them.
I can certainly feel the dampener in the switch. It's not quite as tactile compared to the non-silent Cherry MX Red. However, if you really need a quieter keyboard this is a great option. These switches feel much better than adding an O-ring or landing pad to your keyboard.
Is this the quietest switch? They aren't silent like the name suggests, but they are much quieter. However, the plate, case, and keycaps of the keyboard you use can all change the sound of your keyboard dramatically. I've compared the switches using the same exact keyboard, the Corsair Strafe, to make sure you can hear the difference on the same keyboard. These switches may be quieter or louder in a different keyboard, however.
I've tested how loud each switch is using a decibel meter in this chart below: