The 6 Best Sounding Switches in 2023

Written by Azzief Khaliq
Last updated Sep 14, 2023

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Best Sounding Switches

Typing feel may be the most important aspect of a keyboard switch, but it’s not the only one. The switches’ sound can be just as important as the feel; after all, there’s something incredibly satisfying about typing up a storm and hearing your keyboard clack away pleasingly. For that, you’ll want the best-sounding switches you can find.

Of course, sound quality is even more subjective than typing feel, so this list can never claim to be purely objective or definitive. Treat our picks as suggestions rather than orders, and feel free to explore independently. But enough of our preamble; let’s get started.

Short on Time? The Best Sounding Switches at a Glance
  • Best-Sounding Tactile Switches: Gazzew Boba U4Ts are excellent to type on and have a pleasing “thock” sound that’s hard to beat.
  • Best-Sounding Tactile Switches Alternative: Tecsee Purple Pandas belie their budget pricing by feeling and sounding excellent to type on.
  • Best-Sounding Linear Switches: Gateron Oil Kings are a heavy linear switch with smooth travel and a premium, muted sound signature.
  • Best-Sounding Linear Switches Alternative: Gateron Speed Silver Pros are short-travel gaming switches with a nicely balanced sound signature and ultra-smooth travel.
  • Best-Sounding Clicky Switches: Kailh Box Jades feel and sound crisp, sharp, and in your face; precisely what you want from a clicky switch.
  • Best-Sounding Clicky Switches Alternative: Kailh White Owls are a slightly more restrained take on the ultra-clicky Kailh Box style.

The Best Sounding Switches

1. Gazzew Boba U4T

Best-Sounding Tactile Switches

Bottom-Out Force62, 65, or 68 grams
Pre-travel Distance2.0 mm
Total Travel Distance4.0 mm

The Gazzew Boba U4T switches are some of the most highly-regarded tactile switches available, combining a satisfying typing feel with a pleasing “thocky” sound that is hard to beat. Sure, they’re pricey, but you get what you pay for.

The Boba U4Ts have an early and noticeable tactile bump similar to many enthusiast tactile switches. It comes in 62-, 65-, or 68-gram versions, although not all variants are easy to come by. Some retailers only carry the 65-gram version, while others will only sell the 62- and 68-gram variants.

The 65-gram version is a middle-ground that should work for most typists, although those new to tactiles may prefer the 62-gram version. But no matter the bottom-out force you opt for, you’ll still get the same signature sound that makes these so well-loved.

Gazzew Boba U4T

Source: MKzealots

The U4T is one of the first switches that overtly aimed to recreate Topre’s signature “thock,” and it does it remarkably well. It’s not identical, but the U4Ts have a thick, pleasing sound that gets most of the way there. They sound especially great when you start typing up a storm and are one of my favorite MX-style switch sounds.

It’s worth pointing out that the Boba U4Ts are quite loud in stock form, which may turn some people off. However, you can lube them to make them slightly quieter. That said, if you want quiet keyboard switches, you’re barking up the wrong tree here.

Mechanical keyboard switches come and go almost weekly, so we won’t claim that the Gazzew Boba U4Ts will forever be the undisputed best mechanical keyboard switch. But they’re undoubtedly excellent and continue to feature on lists of the best tactile switches despite all the challengers out there. They’re a great place to start, and you can’t really go wrong with them.

You can also opt for milky top housings if you don’t need transparency for RGB lighting. Pricing is the same for both versions, so it’s more a matter of aesthetic preference than value here.

2. Tecsee Purple Panda

Best-Sounding Tactile Switches Alternative

Actuation Force55 grams
Pre-travel Distance2.0 mm
Total Travel Distance3.0 mm

Tecsee has established a name for itself in the mechanical switch world by offering great-quality budget switches. The Purple Pandas are a great example, with a great tactile feel and excellent sound for significantly less than other “Panda” switches like the Glorious Panda.

The Purple Pandas are a modern tactile switch with the huge upfront tactility you expect from enthusiast tactiles. You’ll immediately feel the firm tactile bump, followed by a smooth linear after-travel. They do everything you want from an enthusiast tactile switch and punch well above their price point.

Tecsee Purple Panda

Source: Tecsee

The Purple Pandas stand out from similar tactiles because of their shorter total travel. Where most tactiles have 4.0 mm of total travel, the Purple Pandas have a 3.0-mm total travel distance. This makes the bottom out feel slightly strange but not unpleasant.

Sound-wise, the Purple Pandas have a pleasing muted thock and bottom-out. The bottom-out is loud but has more bass and mid-range than the high-frequency clicks and clacks you hear from many cheap switches.

Overall, the Tecsee Purple Pandas are a wonderful budget-friendly tactile switch. They feel great to type on and sound just as good (if not better). If you’re a fan of modern tactile switches, then you’ll love these.

3. Gateron Oil King

Best-Sounding Linear Switches

Actuation Force55 grams
Pre-travel Distance2.0 mm
Total Travel Distance4.0 mm

Gateron’s Oil King linear switches are one of the company’s best-loved offerings. While they’re far from the only great-feeling linear out there, the Oil Kings’ sound signature gives them the advantage over most of their mid-tier competitors.

The Gateron Oil Kings are medium-heavy linear switches with a 55-gram actuation force and 80-gram bottom-out weight. They have a lower actuation force than Cherry MX Black switches but a similar bottom-out weight, so they should feel familiar to those who’ve used the Blacks.

However, unlike the MX Blacks, the Oil Kings come factory-lubed. This makes for an impressively consistent and smooth switch that feels great to type on. The excellent lubrication also helps ensure that the extra weight doesn’t come with scratchiness or stickiness that would ruin the typing feel.

Gateron Oil King

Source: Gateron

The Oil Kings’ sound matches the typing feel: solid, with a muted bottom-out and no perceptible stem scratchiness. They’re thick and bassy, which is always welcome in a linear switch. If you find mechanical switches’ high-pitched bottom-out clack annoying, these are for you.

Gateron’s Oil Kings sound expensive, which isn’t always true with mid-tier switches. We think they feel and sound good enough to use stock, so these are perfect if you don’t want to mess around with switch mods.

Overall, the Gateron Oil Kings are some of the best linear switches money can buy, and they excel in both feel and sound. While there are switches that feel or sound better, we don’t think many manage to nail both aspects quite as well as the Oil Kings.

4. Gateron Speed Silver Pro

Best-Sounding Linear Switches Alternative

Actuation Force45 grams
Pre-travel Distance1.2 mm
Total Travel Distance3.4 mm

Short-travel gaming switches aren’t usually known for their typing feel or sound quality. But Gateron’s Speed Silver Pro mechanical switches are an impressive exception. They’re remarkably smooth, sound nigh-on perfect for a linear switch, and are surprisingly affordable to boot.

The Speed Silver Pros are lightweight linears with a 45-gram actuation force, which makes sense considering their gaming target market. Like Gateron’s Oil Kings, the Speed Silver Pros come lubed from the factory and have a consistent feel throughout, with no scratchiness present.

Gateron Speed Silver Pro

Source: Gateron

The shorter travel does lead to a slightly more jarring bottom-out than normal switches, but it shouldn’t be a huge deal for most. Some users may also find that the 1.2-mm pre-travel distance makes it harder to type cleanly on these, so that’s worth considering before buying these for a productivity-focused keyboard.

Gateron’s Speed Silver Pros don’t sound quite as deep as the Oil Kings, but neither are they as high-pitched as, say, stock Cherry MX Reds. They’re nicely balanced and don’t sound scratchy in the least, which is great considering their affordable price.

Gateron’s Speed Silver Pro is the rare gaming switch that we’d recommend even non-gamers consider, at least if you’re a fan of linears. They’re great to type on (as long as you can get used to the short travel) and sound surprisingly excellent, considering that you can get these for around $0.30/switch.

5. Kailh Box Jade

Best-Sounding Clicky Switches

Actuation Force50 grams
Pre-travel Distance1.8 mm
Total Travel Distance3.6 mm

If you want the best-sounding clicky switches, you’ll want one of Kailh’s click bar switches. The Box Jades sit at the top of the pile sound-wise, the sharp tactile feedback from the click bar perfectly matching the crisp clicks.

Kailh’s Box Jades are one of the first of the company’s Box switches to gain widespread popularity, and it’s not hard to see (and hear) why. They’re loud, sharp, and crisp, with a precision to the typing feel and sound you don’t get from click jacket-based Cherry MX switches like the venerable Cherry MX Blue.

The Box Jades are a medium-weight clicky switch whose weighting should be familiar to anyone who’s used a Cherry MX Blue before. But that’s where the similarities end: the Box Jades offer consistently strong tactile feedback courtesy of the click bar, with only a very slight feeling of scratchiness just before the click.

Kailh Box Jade

Source: Kailh

Box Jades sound how clicky switches should sound: loud, in-your-face, and consistent, with very defined clickiness on the down- and up-stroke. Yes, you read right: Kailh’s click bar switches click on the upstroke for double the fun (and aural enjoyment).

The only minor issue with the Box Jades is a slight pinging sound from the springs. It isn’t too noticeable when using individual switches but will be noticeable during fast-paced typing. I don’t mind ping, but those sensitive to it may want to try a handful of Box Jades out before committing.

The Kailh Box Jades are some of the best clicky switches available, perfect for those who find MX Blues unsatisfying. While you can get more “refined” clickiness from other Kailh switches, we think the overall package makes the Box Jades some of the best-sounding clicky switches money can buy.

6. Kailh White Owl

Best-Sounding Clicky Switches Alternative

Actuation Force46 grams
Pre-travel Distance1.8 mm
Total Travel Distance3.6 mm

If you’re familiar with Kailh’s click-bar switches, you’ll know what to expect from the White Owl. But unlike its ultra-clicky siblings like the Box Jades, the White Owls have a slightly less strident click that may make them easier to live with for some users.

The White Owls have that typical full, satisfying click that all of Kailh’s click bar switches have. However, these have a lighter actuation force of 46 grams, making them feel slightly crisper than the heavier Box switches.

Interestingly, the White Owls come with thicker-than-expected click bars, giving them more tactile feedback than their light actuation force might suggest. This gives them a more satisfying feeling and sound than other lightweight Box switches, such as the Box White.

Kailh White Owl

Source: Kailh

Kailh’s White Owls have a pleasing click that’s slightly less in-your-face than Box Jades. Don’t get us wrong; you’re still getting a seriously clicky switch that puts MX Blues to shame. However, the click isn’t as piercing. We also like that the White Owl switches don’t have as much ping or scratchiness as other clickies (including Kailh’s other Box switches).

The White Owls are, in some ways, a more restrained and refined version of the Box Jades. Some users will undoubtedly prefer the unapologetic click of the Box Jades, which are as clicky as they come. But if you’re seeking something slightly more relaxed, the White Owls may be a good option.

Overall, there’s a lot to like about the Kailh White Owls. They’re a nice middle-of-the-road option for clicky switches, offering a pleasing click and typing sensation without going to the extremes of weight or volume of switches like the Kailh Box Jade.

Closing Thoughts

Finding the best-sounding switches is challenging, and we don’t think an objective list will ever exist. Not only is sound quality even more subjective than typing feel, but there’s also the fact that your mechanical keyboard components (keycaps, plate, case) all affect a switch’s sound. So, a switch that sounds perfect in one keyboard may not be the same in another.

That said, we think many of you will enjoy the Gazzew Boba U4T switches, with their thick bottom-out and Topre-style sound signature. Similarly, clicky fans will undoubtedly love the Kailh Box Jades and their unapologetically clicky sound and typing feel.

Ready to spend money on switches? Check out our list of the best places to buy keyboard switches.

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