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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 1:56 pm 
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So this is a massive thread and I didn't read all of it, but isn't the main problem with keyboards that the keys are in fact hollow and amplify the rattling and movement of the keys?

So wouldn't the solution for quiet keyboards to fill in the keys (with some sound dampening material) so they are no longer hollow?

I'll take tactile feedback over noise feedback anyday. If the noise dampening material isn't too heavy it shouldn't interfere with the spring mechanism.

Anyone think it is worth trying?

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 9:36 am 
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Soo... I'm going to revive this thread to contribute my findings. To start things off, I will say people are quite incorrect, there is indeed a growing demand for quieter keyboards, and keyboards are being made quieter and quieter.

Since 1998 or so, when I started getting into computers, I can't seem to use a standard keyboard anymore; I can only use ergonomic.

Well mostly use ergonomic keyboards. There are times when I use a laptop, and can't get around that unless I sacrifice portability, which takes away the reason for a laptop.. or when I'm at someone else's place, and they don't use an ergonomic keyboard (I haven't found anybody else who uses them). So far the quietest ergonomic keyboard I have found is the Microsoft Natural 4000 Ergonomic. Wish it could be quieter though, but due to the shape of an ergonomic keyboard, it can't use the same quieting technology as a standard keyboard. So the Microsoft Natural 4k is quite good. There are a couple of tests to try out when testing how quiet a keyboard is, that I know of.

The first test is how quiet the keyboard itself is, so what you do is you simply press the key. All keyboards nowadays, whether you use an ergonomic keyboard or a standard one, produces no sound by itself. The sound actually comes from hitting the keys very hard, which is confirmed when you do the type test, which is how loud it will actually be when you're typing many keys at once, and your finger isn't necessarily right on the keys.

For the Microsoft Natural 4k, the keyboard itself is very quiet, however while I type, since for some reason I dont' keep my fingers right on the keys, but have them hover over them by a few millimeters, my fingers strike down so hard that it produces sounds (at slightly above 100 wpm).

As for standard keyboards, I have found a keyboard that has almost no sound, and I would say I've got pretty good hearing. My last hearing test (2 years ago) showed I my range was lower than 18 Hz - over 24 kHz, I'm not sure what's the smallest decible I can hear, but I know it's pretty low. Since my hearing is better than average, when I say that this keyboard is almost inaudible, it really is almost quite inaudible.

The quietest keyboard I have ever come across is a keyboard from Sun Microsystems (not exactly sure of the model). Now unfortunately Sun keyboards are a bit different than most people are used to. It's actually best used with *nix OS's, especially if you're in the terminal a lot or use a mouseless window manager such as awesome or xmonad.

Not sure how quiet it is compared to the other keyboards mentioned. The only apple product I've used recently was the Macbook Pro, and that keyboard was much louder than the Sun Microsystems' keyboard.

As for a silent mouse, that's not an issue for me since I use a mouseless window manager in Linux - have both xmonad and awesome installed. The ony time I use the mouse is when I'm in Windows, which is when I game, which I then don't really pay attention to the sound of my clicks.

As for people mentioning the sound as of the keyboard providing feedback, I disagree. I don't pay attention to the sound of my clicks when I type. When I have headphones on and am listening to music, I can't hear my typing on the Microsoft Natural 4k, and I still type ~100 wpm just fine, without much error.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:03 am 
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Berticus wrote:
For the Microsoft Natural 4k, the keyboard itself is very quiet, however while I type, since for some reason I dont' keep my fingers right on the keys, but have them hover over them by a few millimeters, my fingers strike down so hard that it produces sounds (at slightly above 100 wpm).

Are you saying the keyboard is quiet if you don't type on it? I wouldn't call it quiet if it requires some special skills to actually, you know, be quiet.

My Apple Aluminum Keyboard makes very little sound when I slam the keys without looking (for example right now).

Berticus wrote:
As for people mentioning the sound as of the keyboard providing feedback, I disagree. I don't pay attention to the sound of my clicks when I type. When I have headphones on and am listening to music, I can't hear my typing on the Microsoft Natural 4k, and I still type ~100 wpm just fine, without much error.

For fast typing, I actually like the clicking sounds of laptop keyboards. It is reassuring to feel and hear that the key was pressed.

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Last edited by Modo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:06 am 
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anyone else have a 'page 14' of this thread with no posts on it?

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:39 am 
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Modo wrote:
Berticus wrote:
For the Microsoft Natural 4k, the keyboard itself is very quiet, however while I type, since for some reason I dont' keep my fingers right on the keys, but have them hover over them by a few millimeters, my fingers strike down so hard that it produces sounds (at slightly above 100 wpm).

Are you saying the keyboard is quiet if you don't type on it? I wouldn't call it quiet if it requires some special skills to actually, you know, be quiet.

My Apple Aluminum Keyboard makes very little sound when I slam the keys without looking (for example right now).


You have these two tests to test the two parts that affect how much noise a keyboard produces. The first test is for internal noise, the second test is more for a user to interface noise.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:54 am 
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I too have this weird page 14.

Berticus wrote:
You have these two tests to test the two parts that affect how much noise a keyboard produces. The first test is for internal noise, the second test is more for a user to interface noise.

I see that. What I don't understand is, how do you call a keyboard silent, if it makes noise while typing. This is the most important aspect IMO. Or is this noise so low compared to other keyboards you used (that wasn't clear in your previous post).

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:54 am 
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Modo wrote:
I too have this weird page 14.

Berticus wrote:
You have these two tests to test the two parts that affect how much noise a keyboard produces. The first test is for internal noise, the second test is more for a user to interface noise.

I see that. What I don't understand is, how do you call a keyboard silent, if it makes noise while typing. This is the most important aspect IMO. Or is this noise so low compared to other keyboards you used (that wasn't clear in your previous post).
Ah, I see what you mean now. Yeah, it's lower compared to other ergonomic keyboards I've used. As I stated before, ergonomic keyboards are harder to quiet than standard keyboards. The Sun Microsystems keyboard easily beats the Microsoft Natural 4k.

The only reason you have these two tests really is more for the engineering standpoint, to isolate what is the most contributing factor to noise.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 2:13 am 
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I just got Razer Lachesis now after fighting quite long ( 90 mins or so 9 I haven't still manage to get my Lachesis boot correctly with motherboards USB ports. I have same problems with Habu but firmware and driver updated helped in that.

I updated Lachesis firmware from 1.00 to 1.64 but it still hasn't cured the boot problem. However when I plugged it to Belkin USB 2.0 PCI expansion cards port it booted flawlessly everytime.

So there is still slight issues with lachesis and may not necessary work in all USB ports provided by motherboard. However some peoples have encountered same issue and when they plug it on USB port that comes from mobo headerr ( front panel or back panel expansion ) problem seems to go away.

So far MSI-K9AG Neo2-Digital's provided 4 USB ports can't work well with Lachesis. Maybe that is SB 600's problem since when I had crossfire in game rig, it had SB 600 southbridge and I had also booting issues with my Habu.

Its weird since Krait worked perfectly out of box.

Now that mouse is working it is amazingly fast in 4000 DPI. Ergonomics fit me and its pleasure to use. Buttons definately make sharp click but its not nearly as bad as some Microsoft mices. All buttons are sturdy and construction is solid. I just wish they would get software working. Now as I wait newer firmware and new drivers:

Lachesis is very good and customizeable mice. However its bit risky buying. DeathAdder maybe safer purchase but Lachesis shows great potential.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 7:07 am 
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Myth! wrote:
anyone else have a 'page 14' of this thread with no posts on it?


Happens all the time here. The topic index frequently claims one page more than there actually is. Seems to happen most when a topic's about to tick over onto a new page.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 12:54 pm 
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Completely silent keyboard. Obviously with touch sensors (or, to be precise, a touch-sensing camera) instead of normal keys. I was thinking about such a thing just the other day, but I guess I'm late to the market. I don't mind, actually. :)

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 4:33 am 
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Would you guys recommend a rubber/folding keyboard?

eg. http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?mai ... ts_id=2204


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 5:40 am 
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I've tested one of those: That thing is completely quiet, the one folded one I had, but the rubber feeling was weird. And it would get alwfully stickly during hot day when you have sweaty hands. But its quieter than any keyboard I've tried. Its indeed quiet. Getting use of it takes bit time. And if you don't need extra gizmo's and trinkets that might be good choice.

However if possible I suggest you test one before bying, albeit price is not bad.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 11:57 am 
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I must recommend the Logitec G9 mouse as most silent mouse ever, it has a special button to make your scrolling smooth and make NO sound at all!!!


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:55 pm 
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Hello & welcome to SPCR,

I just got a Logitech MX-620, and it also has the "Hyper-Fast" scrolling wheel -- on the bottom there is a switch to engage or disengage the "gear" (i.e. detents). Without the gear engaged, the wheel (which is metal to give it some mass) is virtually silent, and it has momentum, so you can roll it very quickly.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 12:45 am 
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DeMoB wrote:
So this is a massive thread and I didn't read all of it, but isn't the main problem with keyboards that the keys are in fact hollow and amplify the rattling and movement of the keys?

So wouldn't the solution for quiet keyboards to fill in the keys (with some sound dampening material) so they are no longer hollow?

Exactly. I'm quite astonished about the lack of serious attempts to mod a keyboard quieter. For one thing, most keyboard cases are made of relatively thin and rigid plastic, effectively making them amplify and radiate any impact noises. Same goes for the keycaps and the hollow tubes they are usually mounted on. Those plastic tubes also function as quarter wave resonators, sometimes making almost definite pitch when struck individually.

A naive solution would be to line all these plastic surfaces with a material of high acoustical impedance and low elastic modulus, like bitumen, (maybe hot glue?). The biggest problem with this is how to ensure the unobstructed movement of all keys. Also, you wouldnt want to cover anything (at least not the keycaps) on the outside.

The same principle goes for mouse buttons, but they should be a lot easier to dampen. Even just attaching some heavy tape on the underside of the buttons would reduce noise quite a bit.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 8:41 am 
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I was searching for some SPCR reviews of quiet keyboards but I found none. (and I think I didn't find them because they don't exist and btw it took me by surprise. If they exist then please correct me and provide some links but for the rest of this post I assume they don't exist)

Wouldn't it be nice if SPCR could make some comparisons ? I mean this thread is good starter, but it's nothing like having in depth and professional review of dozen or so keyboards (with recordings / measured dB levels or some other objective criteria to compare noise levels). I am also wondering why there is no recommended list of keyboards like we have recommended lists of almost every other noisy components ? (night-typing really is problem for me) Judging from this thread's size (14 pages) there could be some interest to do so (Or is it just me ?). All we have now is someone saying like "keyboard X is the quitest I've ever heard" and than someone else saying "keyboard Y is the quitest" or "keyboard Z is indeed very quiet" which can hardly be compared together (also those X, Y or Z though being quiet can be quite exotic keyboards hard to get or expensive therefore testing all of them is not an option for me). I am really missing set of some well known and reference keyboards with general consensus on their quietness, e.g. like when we speak about quiet fans everyone knows about Nexus or Scythe etc. List that I could pickup whatever keyboard is in there that I can easily get in local shops and know it is really one of the best.

I apologize if this was already mentioned before but I didn't read the whole thread (yet)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 12:58 am 
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Well hello everybody! I've used (and loved! :D ) SPCR for quite some time for recommendations to keep the noise levels down on my rig. But have just registered to join all of you wonderful people in your quest for silence!

I'm a night owl - and the only one in my house who is - and I've been forced to use my laptop to keep from waking the entire family at night. I'm also on a zen-like quest, to become one with the computer without the constant noises typically associated with it :wink:

Thanks to some reviews I've read on here, I ordered a couple parts that will (hopefully) take care of the majority of my noises - a Nexus 430W PSU (that had an amazing review done by Mike Chin), and after reading this thread, I checked out SilentMouse,com and found that they just released a Silent Wireless mouse!! I put my order through, and they start shipping them on Wednesday, so hopefully I'll receive mine soon. I'll be sure to check back here with you guys, and let you know what I think about it. I might even have to write a little review :)


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 9:59 pm 
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Just got the Silent Wireless mouse today from QuietMouse,com :D After reading some reviews of their other mice, I was excited to get it. It doesn't disappoint at all! This thing is quieter than tapping on the touchpad on my laptop! Great product, I'd definitely recommend this company to anyone looking for a truly silent mouse. I'm going to have to make a full write-up on it :)


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 1:16 am 
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I've read that the Cherry Evolution Stream keyboard is pretty quiet, like a modern notebook keyboard both in look and tactile response. I agree that the rubber keyboards are probably the most quiet, but not sure I could handle typing on them for long.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 1:23 pm 
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I just tried putting pads on the corners of my apple aluminum keyboard to quieten it down abit, it made a difference to the sound form the keyboard hitting the desk, but i can still hear the sound of my fingers hitting the keys, i was thinking of getting some thin foam to stand the keyboard on to see if that makes any difference.


any one tried anything similar?

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 Post subject: new "silent" mouse
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 9:28 am 
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Just saw this: http://www.engadget.com/2009/06/25/silent-mouse-ex-reduces-mouse-related-noise-pollution-by-22-5db/
Looks kind of interesting, although I don't know how useful it will be, 35.5db doesn't exactly sound quiet to me, but it might be interesting for somebody else out there.


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 Post subject: Re: new "silent" mouse
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:19 am 
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cordis wrote:
35.5db doesn't exactly sound quiet to me
When recording something with the microphone a few centimetres and then a single metre away, there's an enormous difference. Also, the value seems to be presented in SPL and not dB(A), which would explain a few other things as well. As usual however, Engadget's articles have funny titles, but that one stands out simply, because it is true. No one really cares about that ;) The wheel can necessarily get a simple treatment in under 5 minutes, the mouse is totally silent after that. Silencing the "clicks" could be challenging, but be honest; do you really want that? I used an Apple Mighty Mouse and God it was hard to tell whether I was clicking anything! A bit of feedback is necessary here, at least in my opinion :mrgreen:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:53 pm 
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InfyMcGirk wrote:
I've read that the Cherry Evolution Stream keyboard is pretty quiet, like a modern notebook keyboard both in look and tactile response.

It's not even close to a notebook keyboard... There is some kind of metallic sound when you even touch the keys.


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 Post subject: Re: new "silent" mouse
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 6:20 am 
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cordis wrote:
Just saw this: http://www.engadget.com/2009/06/25/silent-mouse-ex-reduces-mouse-related-noise-pollution-by-22-5db/
Looks kind of interesting, although I don't know how useful it will be, 35.5db doesn't exactly sound quiet to me, but it might be interesting for somebody else out there.


i have to agree that 35db doesnt sound very quiet. what db does a standard mouse put out?

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 6:08 am 
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Touch pads are good, but if you wish a bigger breadth for mousing around, again I would advance a cartoon tablet. I accept the wacom 4"x 5" intuos 2 and it's adequately silent. It comes with a pen and a mouse. If you don't use the mouse, you would alone apprehend babble from beat the quiet buttons on the pen or cartoon with the pen anon on the surface


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 5:29 am 
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I went to a computer shop couple of days ago and pounded on some Logitech Dinovo's they carried; the Mac version and the notebook version.

I was so surprised how quiet they were! It was little difficult to listen since the ambient noisy was little too high, but my initial impression is that the keyboard is as silent as a good notebook keyboard, like the IBM Thinkpad that I own.

Not everyone likes the notebook type keyboard feel, but for me this is just an extra bonus.
But, and there's a big but - I noticed the space bar is very clicky and noisy, just like any keyboard out there. Too bad since we use the space bar so frequently. Since both Dinovo's I tried had the same problem, the issue might be widespread.

I haven't had the opportunity to try the Logitech Illuminated keyboard yet (much cheaper and uses same PerfectStroke technology used on Dinovo's) but according to some Amazon.com reviews, basically all keys are very quiet except for the space bar.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 1:55 am 
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Logitech used to be my fav but they want you to tirelessly waste batteries in Keyboards by making the new standard wireless, I would suggest Microsoft cause they have more wired versions, but then again, you should get a cheap wireless combo by Logitech and toss the mouse, gonna eat the snot out of your batteries, chaning it like a babies diaper literally as many times as you can imagine that on a daily basis, keyboards dont send a whole lot of signals at once becuase a key press happens once, however dynamic mouse movement happens quite a whole bunch depending on pixel-tracing, so yeah get a wireless duo for like $20.00 by Logitech and toss the garbage mouse!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:43 am 
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I'm using the Logitech Illuminated right now and can testify that the keyboard is as silent as good ol Thinkpad.
Fortunately, the space bar isn't as noisy as I expected... 1-2 keys are somewhat noisier than others.

Phantom key blocking - Linux users; don't expect REISUB (magic sysrq) to work 100% ; I can only get REIS to work.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:37 am 
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new2spcr wrote:
I'm using the Logitech Illuminated right now and can testify that the keyboard is as silent as good ol Thinkpad.
Fortunately, the space bar isn't as noisy as I expected... 1-2 keys are somewhat noisier than others.

Phantom key blocking - Linux users; don't expect REISUB (magic sysrq) to work 100% ; I can only get REIS to work.



Some people report the Logitech Illuminated buzzes when light's lower than 100%.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:45 am 
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Apples Magic Mouse looks like the final solution for mouse noise. Wish I could get one for PC.

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