Mechanical keyboards tend to be noisy. A noise you probably find satisfying if you have a preference for blue switches. I’m in that category, which means I cannot use my blue switch DAS in the office and will have to make my mechanical keyboard quieter somehow. (I could use it in its original state, but that would infuriate everyone in the building, except me!).
I need the DAS keyboard as my daily driver so I decided to make some alterations to it that makes this possible.
Let there be silence
Making my mechanical keyboard quieter
Unfortunately, the DAS keyboard does not come with silent red switches, nor o-rings. Plus, it’s a strong solid build with a metal backplate, which only amplifies the noise even more. Making this mechanical keyboard quieter is going to take some extra steps!
Installing rubbing o-rings is straightforward and you can buy sets of o-rings for just a few bucks on Amazon. If you get transparent or white o-rings, they will not interfere with the colours if you have RGB keyboard. But, you can buy them in various colours. For most keyboards, a set of 135 o-rings will be sufficient. To use, simply remove the keycap, put the o-ring on the inside of the keycap, put the keycap back on the keyboard. Here is ‘ALittleDIMM‘ demonstrating the process with a Corsair keyboard:
The noise is reduced and the keys feel mushier, which may not be what you prefer.
If you don’t use blue switches, installation of these o-rings is probably sufficient (depending on the tolerance levels of your co-workers). Blue switches are fairly loud though, even with the o-rings, and a DAS keyboard with silent reds was not available, so I decided to have them replaced. This replacement process is not as straightforward as installing o-rings.
On a side note: some mechanical keyboards, like the ‘Dygma Raise’, come with hot-swappable switches. This means you can just take them out and put a new one in.
After removing all the keycaps, I ended up with this:
DAS keyboard switches are not hot-swappable, so the keyboard needs to be disassembled and soldering on the backplate is required. I sent my keyboard over to someone who had a spare set of pink switches and who had gone through this process before. This is the backplate after the soldering:
Here the pink switches are being installed:
I did remove the o-rings afterwards because the silent reds were quiet enough for comfortable use in a shared space and I didn’t like the mushy feel of the o-rings. It will take some patience and dedication to replace every single switch, but the end result is worth it if you want to have a silent DAS keyboard. Here’s “Sebi’s random tech” explaining how he replaced 3 broken switches that were not hot-swappable.
Keep in mind that most manufacturers of mechanical keyboards will give you a choice on what switches you would like to have. So only in rare cases would you have to go through the process of replacing every single switch.
If you plan to use the keyboard at the office and they sell them with ‘silent red’ switches, go for those. O-rings are then optional. If they don’t ship with silent reds, go for ‘brown’ or ‘clear’ or ‘red’ switches and install o-rings on them to make your mechanical keyboard quieter.
Then grab your fancy keyboard and head over to your office. Your co-workers won’t even know you are rocking a mechanical keyboard!
PS: If you are completely new to mechanical keyboards, make sure to read my introduction to mechanical keyboards to learn all about them.