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What is a Silent Keyboard?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 16, 2024
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A silent keyboard is a keyboard which is designed to operate silently, or as quietly as possible, depending on how it is manufactured. There are a number of reasons to use a silent keyboard, ranging from a desire to be able to use a keyboard in sensitive situations without causing distractions, to a need to keep overall sound in a workplace low. Some people are simply irritated by the sound of typing, in which case a silent keyboard is an easy way to ease irritated nerves. Silent keyboards can also be useful in shared living or working situations where the sound of a keyboard can become grating for other people.

When the keys on a silent keyboard are activated, they depress silently, coming into contact with the electronics of the keyboard and causing characters to appear on the screen. Materials like rubber and silicone are often used to make silent keyboards, since they are soft, and they therefore do not click or clatter while in use. Silent keyboards made from padded hard plastics are also available, although they tend to be quiet, more than silent.

In strict point of fact, it is possible to make noise with a silent keyboard. For typists who really pound on the keyboard, a silicone or rubber keyboard will still make some noise, even if it is just muffled thumps as the vibration of the hands is transmitted to the surface that the keyboard is on. However, the noise will be greatly reduced when compared to a conventional keyboard, as the keys themselves should make no sound.

A number of styles of silent keyboard are available on the market, ranging from very simplistic silent keyboards which are also designed to be portable to full-function programmable keyboards which offer a range of configurations and options for users. As a general rule, the more features a keyboard has, the more expensive it will be, and wireless silent keyboards are also more expensive, since extra equipment is required for them.

Electronics stores are a good source for silent keyboards, as are specialty companies. Individuals who are very concerned about noise may want to arrange for a test of a silent keyboard, or peruse consumer reviews to get an idea of what people think of the keyboard in actual operation. Alternatively, astute observers could take note of particularly quiet or silent keyboards they encounter, and make inquiries about make and model.

EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a EasyTechJunkie researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By anon187670 — On Jun 18, 2011

So I'm not the only one who is annoyed by colleagues sitting at one meter distance and smashing his keyboard like it's a typewriter!

By anon127399 — On Nov 16, 2010

where? I am desperate. My laptop (a common Lenovo X301) is loud. I type in meeting, in the train, typically where a lot of other people need concentration and not a stream of clicks. Can one buy laptops with 0dB keyboards?

Thank you!

By Planch — On Oct 23, 2010

Can you give me some advice on buying a silent wireless keyboard? I'm desperate to replace my old Compaq keyboard that clicks and clacks like you wouldn't believe. A visitor actually heard me typing one time and thought that I was using a typewriter.

I've looked at the keyboard reviews for the Logitech silent keyboard, which looks pretty cool, but I prefer a split keyboard, and that one is a regular one.

Do you have any tips for me about buying a silent keyboard, or any specific brands that I should look for?

Thanks!

By yournamehere — On Oct 23, 2010

Do you know if there are any silent keyboards with silent touchpad as well? I would say that the loud click of the touchpad is more annoying to me than any kind of keyboard noise would be, especially when you have to repeatedly double-click things.

I had seen a silent mouse and keyboard set, where the mouse was made to not make clicking sounds, but I had never seen a silent keyboard with touchpad set.

Do such things even exist? I would totally invest in that, if only to spare myself the irritation.

By Charlie89 — On Oct 23, 2010

I actually kind of like it when my keyboard makes noise -- that way I feel more productive.

Although I can totally understand how the noise would irritate some people, especially in a work environment when you've got hundreds of those things clicking away all at once.

Luckily for me I work at home, so I can bang on the keyboard all I want without irritating anyone.

Although I am glad that I know this, so next time I buy a keyboard I can totally impress the IT guys with my knowledge of the silent computer keyboard world.

By manderson173 — On Aug 12, 2009

Thank you for the information. I was able to find a sillicone keyboard that also illuminates.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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