How to Make Your Keyboard Sound Better
Mechanical keyboards come in a wide variety, and some are better than others. One thing that makes mechanical keyboards unique is that you can modify a mechanical keyboard in many ways, making them sound and feel better.
Keyswitches are the most important modifications one can make to a keyboard. Each keyswitch sounds and feels different, and replacing them can completely change a keyboard. There are three main categories of switches: linear switches, tactile switches, and clicky switches. Linear switches are quiet and smooth. Some examples include Cherry MX Reds (~$0.50 per switch), Gateron Yellows (~$0.25 per switch), NovelKeys Creams (~$1.50 per switch), and Gateron Ink Blacks (~$1 per switch). Tactile switches, on the other hand, are clicky and have a noticeable tactile bump. Tactile switches include Cherry MX Browns (~$0.5 per switch), Halo Clears (~$0.5 per switch), and Glorious Pandas (~$1 per switch). Clicky switches have a noticeable click sound when pressed. Some clicky switches are Cherry MX Blues (~$0.5 per switch) and Kalih Box Switches (~$1 per switch).
Lubricating agents can be beneficial in modding keyboards. It is not necessary but makes a huge difference in sound and typing experience. Lube makes switches smoother and sound better. You can also use lube on stabilizers. One of the most popular lubricants is Krytox 205 Grade 0. Lubing switches and stabilizers can take a few hours, but the result is worth it. Lubing clicky switches removes the point of having clicky switches, so we would not recommend using lube on switches like these.
Switch films are a great way to alter the sound and feel of your keyboard. We reccommend DiviniKey and Amazon as good places to find switch films. To film a switch, open the switch, put the film on top of the bottom housing, then close the switch.
Keycaps complete the look of a keyboard, as they are the main visual component. To enhance the look of your keyboard, get colors that fit in with your keyboard's theme. You can buy hundreds of different keycap sets in countless different colors and styles. They are available at Amazon, KBDFans, Banggood, and Novelkeys.
Artisan keycaps are a great addition and add a unique touch to any keyboard. These keycaps can go beyond the regular plastic ones you usually find and can range from custom engravings to clay pokemon designs. Etsy is an excellent place to start looking for artisan keycaps.
O-rings work as sound dampeners. If your keyboard is too loud, it dampens the sound of the switches without you having to spend more money and effort replacing the switches. O-rings are circular rubber bands that go inside your keycaps, stopping the plastic from hitting your keyboard and creating a loud "clack" sound, basically acting as a cushion.
Modifying a keyboard takes a lot of patience, and if you mess up something small, you could break a component that you spent a lot of money on. For example, if you put in a keyswitch wrong, you could bend the pins and would have to spend more time unbending the pins. If you ruin too many components, that could waste money very quickly, and you may not have the ability to replace the parts. Another risk is voiding the warranty for your keyboard. Changing your keyboard by yourself usually voids the warranty, so if you break your keyboard while modding, the warranty will be useless.
Hopefully, this article helped you out with choosing what keyboard modifications you may need to do. Make sure to be patient when applying modifications not to break any components, and have fun modding!
Keyboard build - https://bit.ly/3APTmSZ
Gateron Ink Black switches - https://bit.ly/3yPik4h
Lube and brushes - https://bit.ly/3jX74fN
Switch Films - https://bit.ly/3DE2eNi
Keycap set - https://bit.ly/3k19JFp
Artisan keycap - https://bit.ly/3yTsZLk