Ever since I first got a Sega Mega Drive from my parents, when I was 8, I have been hooked to gaming. I have wasted quarters on arcades, have owned multiple consoles, tried smartphone gaming, and even built a dedicated PC for gaming.
My first exposure to PC gaming was back in college. Counter-Strike had recently been launched and some geeky guys at the dorm were all raved up about it, including my roommate, Eddie. One night he coerced me into trying it. The very next moment I found myself to be a member of our dorms geek squad.
Anyway, during my years of gaming on PC, which by the way, is now my favorite gaming platform, I realized how much noise keyboards can make during playtime. While it never bothered me, since I am an immersive gamer, my girlfriend constantly whined about it (sorry Saige, please don’t make me sleep on the sofa tonight).
The List of Best Silent Keyboards For Gaming
Hence, began my search for the best silent gaming keyboard. After all, you can only push it with your girl so far before she really gets pissed off, right! So, I searched the internet and found 7 gaming keyboards to fit the bill. Fortunately, I own all of them and have used them interchangeably. Here are their features and their good and bad aspects from my time with them.
#1. Chroma – The Wireless Keyboard from KLIM
Specially designed to be silent, this keyboard works through a pressure pad hidden under the keys. It comes with a wireless plug and plays a USB receiver for connectivity. The response time of the keyboard is pretty fast with no noticeable lags. One of the most useful features of this wireless keyboard is the ‘Function Key’. Thanks to that you also get features like multimedia keys and other shortcuts similar to laptops.
While the colorful backlit design is directed toward gamers, I found the keyboard to be equally fun for typing. The travel distance between keys similar to any standard keyboard and does not take too much time getting used to, if you are switching from one.
I find the backlight to be essential for any keyboard but I am not a big fan of the chromatic light show this one delivers. Nonetheless, there are three different settings that you can use to grab some attention if you like this kind of thing.
It also comes with a USB cable for charging the battery built into the keyboard which, by the way, lasts quite a long time. It also takes a long time to fully charge the battery after it has been completely drained. The box says the keyboard is water-resistant. But frankly, I haven’t tested that.
#2. Corsair’s K55 Gaming Keyboard
The second entrant on this list also a rainbow-colored backlit keyboard, only this one comes with more than 10 lighting modes already preconfigured. It’s most attractive feature is macro recording. The keyboard has 6 dedicated macro keys that can be programmed for combos. Remapping these keys can turn the tide in any game in your favor and make your gaming experience more fun. Other than that the keyboard also has multimedia keys like volume and playback controls.
The keyboard works on a USB 2.0 port or above, giving it vast compatibility even with older machines. It is also height adjustable and works with all variants of Windows that support plug and play.
Corsair ships the K55 keyboard with a wrist rest. It makes the keyboard more comfortable to use and also helps in reducing any fatigue that you may feel on your wrists during long hours of gameplay. Oh! One more thing. This keyboard also has compatibility with Xbox One.
#3. Alloy Core – HyperX
HyperX’s spill-resistant membrane-based silent keyboard also has an RGB color enabled LED installed in the back that can put on quite a show. The Alloy Core comes a set of six predefined effects to match any gaming PC.
Since it’s also a membrane keyboard, its responses are silent and comfortable. The typing feels very tactile and is easy on the fingers. It has an anti-ghosting feature to make the keypresses more accurate.
The build material is plastic but the quality seems to be pretty decent. On the whole, the keyboard is lightweight to carry around. There’s also an LED bar above the function keys that indicates the backlight effect you have currently active. Although it doesn’t serve any purpose, it looks pretty cool. Other than that, there is also a standard set of multimedia keys to offer added functionality.
The keys are raised well enough to rest your fingers on them comfortably. The key travel is not different from any standard keyboard, so you can immediately start using it out of the box, without any learning curve.
#4. Strafe MK.2 Mechanical Keyboard by Corsair
Corsair is known for making some of the best mechanical keyboards. While mechanical keyboards are not known to be silent, their key presses are more fun and tactile than any membrane keyboard. And their Strafe MK.2 is no exception. Except that Corsair used Cherry MX switches in its manufacturing which make it completely silent.
The keyboard has 8MB of profile storage built on-board for portability. A fully customizable RGB LED panel gives you control of the backlighting for each key individually. An added pass-through USB port gives you the convenience of attaching a mouse without taking up an extra port on your PC.
Multiple keys can also be programmed for macros using the Corsair’s software, iCUE. The keyboard is anti-ghosting enabled and ships with a comfortable wrist rest.
#5. The Apex M750 from SteelSeries
Made with aerospace-grade aluminum, the M750 has matte finish and durability that can last you almost a lifetime. It’s not only functional but also looks stunning with any type of gaming setup. You can customize the backlight of every key individually to reflect and match your setup. But that’s not all. The RGB lights also work as in-game notifications for events like death, kills, low ammo, etc.
The mechanical M750 keyboard was manufactured using QX2 switches to keep the typing and button pressing experience linear, and its sound to a minimum. The SteelSeries own Engine software allows for a plethora of lighting customization options as well as defining macros.
It weighs under 2.5 lbs and has a standard QWERTY layout. Rubber legs under the top edges of the keyboard keep it raised from the surface for ergonomic user experience. The same also holds the keyboard firmly in place on the tabletop to ensure an unperturbed gaming session.
#6. Rainbow Backlit Gaming Keyboard and Mouse Combo – Havit
A mouse that complements your keyboard and overall gaming PC setup is always a welcome sight. And Havit delivers this with its wired rainbow backlit mouse and keyboard combo.
Both items are ergonomically designed to suit the natural placement of hands. Mouse and keyboard are plug and play, so you do not need any additional software to operate them. Havit understands the requirements of gamers and has placed 6 buttons on its mouse to offer full convenience and usability in every game.
The keyboard can easily withstand 19 keystrokes at a time without causing any conflicts. This keyboard also offers the most compatibility options with the legacy Windows operating system, going as far back as Windows 2000.
The design of the keyboard and mouse is also a highlight here. The keyboard, especially, looks stunning with its edgier spacecraft influenced design.
#7. E Element Z-88 Mechanical Keyboard
Just under fifty bucks, the Z-88 is available in multiple colors. It comes with a keycap puller, so you can keep the keyboard clean and free of any dust buildup. With 10 predefined backlight modes and an option to set the backlight color of each key without the need for any software, this keyboard takes the cake in lighting setups.
The key pushes are controlled by red switches that make this keyboard silent and accurate. The layout also includes a number pad so it can also be used in a work environment, eliminating a need for a separate keyboard. It also includes multiple Function Key shortcuts to access email, web browser, calculator, etc.
The metal base has a slip-proof design to keep the Z-88 in place. It’s also splash-proof and can withstand up to 50 million clicks on an independent key.
Buyer’s Guide – How to Choose the Right Quiet Gaming Keyboard
This is it for my list of 7 best silent gaming keyboards, however, even after reading and taking in all this information, many of you, especially noobs, might feel confused. So, I have written this guide to help you make the right purchase decision.
Mechanical vs. Membrane – Which One is Right for You
If you don’t know the difference between the two, the mechanical keyboard is more clicky and make a little noise, even the red ones. Membrane keyboards, on the other hand, are more like the keyboards you find on laptops. Button presses are soft and can sometimes be mushy. The biggest difference between the two is that with membrane keyboards, the anti-ghosting is limited to only a few keys at a time.
Both types of keyboard work great but the choice of button feedback has to be yours.
Function and Multimedia Keys
Having a Function or the Fn key on a keyboard adds more functionality to it. Keyboards with an Fn key either come with some predefined shortcuts or can be programmed using the manufacturer’s software.
Multimedia keys are not a part of a keyboard layout. Nonetheless, they are very convenient for gamers. Many manufacturers include multimedia keys as additional shortcuts of Fn key, but having dedicated keys is always a better option.
Gaming keyboards have an attention-grabbing appearance, thanks in part to the RGB LED backlighting. This makes them look rather aggressive, especially in a work environment. If your work and gaming setup is the same, it would be better to opt for a keyboard that looks like a standard keyboard. As far as it’s backlighting goes, almost every keyboard has an option to turn it off.
Price, for many, is the ultimate decision making factor. While gaming keyboards can be bought for as little as $20 and as much as $150, most of them offer the same functionality with only a few differences. Whether those little tweaks and functionalities make a difference for you is entirely your call.
I hope this buying guide and my list of best silent gaming keyboards help you in finding a gaming keyboard that suits your needs completely. If it doesn’t, you can always let me know what more information I should add in such articles to make them more useful.