Gaming keyboards are highly sought after for their extra features, but they come with a cost. Unfortunately, the loud click-clacking from the keys can become a major source of annoyance. If your gaming keyboard has become too noisy for your liking, there are several methods which you can use to make it quieter.
One of the most popular methods used to make a keyboard quieter is to install O-rings. These are small rubber rings which you fit around the stems of each key. The rings cushion each key, reducing the force required to press it down and the resulting noise.
To install O-rings, you’ll need to carefully remove each key from your keyboard. To do this, use a keycap puller tool which will allow you to lift the keycaps off the stems without causing any damage. Once the keycaps are removed, fit an O-ring on each stem.
Be sure to check the size of the O-rings you are buying as they come in different thickness levels. Choosing a thinner option will reduce the overall sound but may have a slight effect on the responsiveness of the keys.
Once the O-rings are fitted, you can reattach the keycaps and enjoy a much quieter gaming experience.
Lubing the Stems
Another way to reduce the noise made when typing is to lightly lube the upper side of the key stems. Using a silicone-based lubricant, apply a few drops of the lubricant to the top of the stem before replacing the keycaps.
This will help to reduce the stiffness of the key and make it quieter when pressed. Be sure to only use a few drops and ensure the lubricant does not seep even further down the stems.
This method is considered one of the best for reducing the noise of a gaming keyboard and can be combined with O-rings for more improved results.
Blocking Out the Noise
If you’re still struggling to make your keyboard quiet enough, it may be time to try blocking out the noise by using noise dampening material. This could be foam, plastic or rubber, which will work to absorb some of the sound which is usually released when typing.
Carefully line the inner cavity of the keyboard with the sound dampening material. Then simply attach the keycaps. This should help to block some of the sound, however, dampening material will only have a minimal effect and is often seen as a last resort.
Changing Your Keyboard
The methods outlined above work great for reducing the noise from gaming keyboards but cannot completely eliminate it. If you’re still struggling to find a way to make your gaming keyboard quieter, it may be time to invest in a quieter one altogether.
There are plenty of silent gaming keyboards on the market which offer quieter clicking options, as well as other features such as mechanical switches and RGB lighting.
Of course, investing in a new keyboard isn’t always cheap. But if the noise from your gaming keyboard is affecting your gaming experience it is highly recommended that you make the switch.
Replacing Your Keycaps
If you don’t want to invest in a new keyboard, but you’re still looking for a quieter gaming experience, you could consider replacing your keycaps with a quieter set. Keycaps come in lots of different materials and shapes, so you’re sure to find ones which offer significantly quieter typing.
Choose keycaps which are made of softer materials such as rubber, silicone or PBT plastic. These materials are not only quieter but also more durable than the traditional keycaps.
If you’re looking for a more stylized option, you could consider blank keycaps.Unlike traditional keycaps that feature characters on each key, blank keycaps lack any character markings. This means you’ll be able to type more quickly as you won’t need to look down to locate the characters.
It’s worth noting that changing keycaps is a relatively straightforward process, but can be time consuming. Be sure to set aside enough time to completely remove the keycaps, clean the area, fit the new keycaps and replace the existing ones.
If you do not want to remodify your keyboard, you can also opt for dampeners. These are basically o-rings that fit around the stem of the keys to reduce the noise and act as a cushioned pad.
Dampeners are relatively easy to install and consist of four small plastic rings stuck to the centre of the stem. This will reduce the noise produced by each keystroke, but they do not improve the keyboard’s tactile feedback.
Similarly to O-rings, buying the right size dampener is important. If the dampener is too small, it won’t make much of a difference, but if it’s too big it can interfere with your keystrokes and make typing difficult.
Noise Cancelling Techniques
Finally, if the techniques above don’t quite do the trick, you may be able to reduce the noise of your gaming keyboard using noise cancelling techniques. By applying soundproof materials to the walls and floor, you can absorb some of the sound that you hear when typing.
The type of materials used will depend on your budget. Foam is a great for soundproofing, but it can come with an expensive price tag. Other materials such as acoustic panels and mineral wool are more affordable and just as effective.
Keep in mind that soundproofing your room won’t completely silence your keyboard. But it will help to muffle the sounds and make them less distracting.