Many mechanical keyboard hobbyists look for ways to dampen their keyboards, reducing the volume for their own sake or those within earshot of their setups. So popular are low-noise keyboards that you’d be forgiven for thinking that loud mechanical keyboards don’t exist anymore. But you’d be wrong; our list of the loudest mechanical keyboards aims to prove just that.
Whether it’s the sharp click of Kailh Box switches, the thock of a good Topre keyboard, or the authoritative report of old-school buckling spring technology, our list of loud keyboards should have something for everyone. Let’s get started.
- Best Loud Mechanical Keyboard Overall: Drop ALT is an aluminum, floating-key 65% keyboard with the option of clicky Kailh Box Whites.
- Best Loud Mechanical Keyboard Alternative: Ducky One 2 Mini comes with Kailh Box Jades or Box Navies from the factory, perfect for clicky switch fans.
- Best Loud Wireless Mechanical Keyboard: FL Esports F12 is a good-value wireless keyboard offering Kailh Box Whites as standard.
- Best Loud Non-Clicky Mechanical Keyboard: Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional 2 combines an amazing thocky bottom-out sound with a nice upstroke clack, for good volume and sound quality without a sharp click.
- Best Premium Loud Mechanical Keyboard: Model F Labs F62 and F77 are buckling spring keyboards with amazing tactility and loud, physical “click.”
The Best Loud Mechanical Keyboards
1. Drop ALT
• Cherry MX Blue/Brown
• Halo Clear/True
• Kailh Speed Silver/Box White
|Keycap Material||Double-shot PBT|
|Dimensions (W x D x H)||12.67 x 4.41 x 1.26 inches|
Drop’s ALT was one of the first keyboards to make custom-style keyboards accessible to the mainstream. And while many of the keyboards that followed in its wake have improved on most of the ALT’s aspects, it still rules the roost in one area: noise.
Unlike many modern mechanical keyboards—custom or otherwise—the ALT doesn’t boast any sound-deadening material or fancy soft gasket mounts that serve to absorb the sound. Instead, it’s a simple aluminum frame with floating keys that hides nothing and likely amplifies your switches’ sound.
Another big appeal of the Drop ALT is that you can buy it with Kailh Box White switches. These switches click on the downstroke and upstroke, giving you twice the click for every key press. Fast typing kicks up a real storm on these switches, which is likely precisely what you want if you’re reading this list.
And since the ALT is a hot-swap keyboard, you can swap in clickies like the Kailh Box Jades if you really want to kick the noise levels up a notch. But even the stock Box Whites will be louder and clicker than Cherry MX Blue switches.
Of course, there’s a reason the Drop ALT isn’t talked about as much now as it used to be. For one, the stock stabilizers aren’t great and require some lube to feel comparable to those on modern custom keyboards. The construction also means it’ll feel stiff to type on, unlike the gasket-mount keyboards that are all the rage right now.
There’s also the issue of price: at around $200 before discounts, the ALT is hard to justify compared to more affordable, equally high-quality mechanical keyboards out there. That said, you can get the ALT for significant discounts on Drop if you’re lucky; we’ve seen it go for around $120, which is a great price for what you get. So pay attention to those discounts!
Overall, the Drop ALT mechanical keyboard is a keyboard for a specific user, the kind that wants clicky switches with nothing to impede or dampen the clickiness of the switches. If that’s what you want, then the Drop ALT offers it, and then some.
|Switch Type(s)||• Cherry MX Black/Brown/Blue/Clear/Red/Silver/Silent Red
• Kailh Box Brown/Jade/Navy/Pink/Red/White
|Keycap Material||Double-shot PBT|
|Programming||Macros and limited remapping|
|Dimensions (W x D x H)||11.89 x 4.25 x 1.57 inches|
Ducky’s One 2 keyboards may have been superseded by the excellent Ducky One 3s, but the older boards have one notable advantage: Kailh Box Jade and Box Navy switches. Yes, these pre-built keyboards come with two of the best, loudest mechanical keyboard switches out there, and they’re perfect if you’re after a loud, in-your-face keyboard.
Ducky still sells various versions of the One 2, although, at the time of writing, only the One 2 and One 2 SF 65% board are still readily available with the Kailh options. Both are solidly-built keyboards with great double-shot stock keycaps and sturdy build quality. Neither have the premium aluminum finish of our top pick, but they still feel excellent despite having plastic housings.
Unlike the newer One 3 Mini, the Ducky One 2 Mini doesn’t have any enthusiast-style silencing foam or modding. So you get the full force of the Box Jades or Box Navies clicking away on the downstroke and upstroke, alongside the bottom-out clack of your keycaps. Either of these will be much louder than Cherry MX Blue switches.
There really isn’t much wrong with the Ducky One 2 Mini, but it’s worth pointing out the keyboard’s limited customization options. You don’t get QMK, VIA, or even any proprietary software for remapping here: instead, you’re limited to moving the modifier keys (and Caps Lock) around.
Backlight configuration is also fully on-board, requiring you to refer to (or memorize) several key combos to change red, blue, and green levels or customize your lighting zones. So if you’re the type that likes to change your backlight schemes regularly, this might not be the keyboard for you.
Beyond those issues, however, the Ducky One 2 Mini is a great loud mechanical keyboard. Keyboards that come from the factory with Kailh Box Jades and Navies are few and far between, and we’re glad that Ducky made them an option with the One 2 Mini.
|Switch Type(s)||Hot-swappable Kailh Box Red/White/Brown|
|Keycap Material||Double-shot PBT|
|Programming||Macros and limited remapping|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth, 2.4 GHz wireless, USB Type-C|
|Dimensions (W x D x H)||11.89 x 3.94 x 2.56 inches|
FL Esports is one of the lesser-known Chinese mechanical keyboard manufacturers, but its F12 should prove interesting for those seeking a wireless, ultra-clicky experience. Add to that its budget-friendly sub-$100 price, and you have the makings of a popular keyboard perfect for clicky switch fanatics.
FL Esports ships the F12 with Kailh Box switches, and thankfully for our sake, that includes the clicky Box Whites. While these aren’t quite as clicky as the Box Jade or Box Navy, they still have the same crisp sound and double-clicking behavior of the two more well-known Kailh Box switches.
However, unlike the other keyboards on this list, FL Esports ships the F12 with a layer of sound-deadening foam in between the plate and PCB. While this is usually undesirable for loud keyboards, it does help clean up the sonics and ensure that all you’re hearing is the clicking of the switches.
If you’re the type that wants a clean, clicky keyboard, then the F12 will likely suit you better than the other options on our list. The foam helps tame any hollowness associated with plastic boards, pushing the clicky Box Whites front and center.
Beyond the switch choice, the FL Esports F12 looks a lot like other 65% keyboards from the Far East. Decent OEM-profile keycaps, proprietary software, and overall good value for the price. You also get a 2000 mAh battery on this RGB version, which should be good to keep the F12 going for a while in Bluetooth or 2.4 GHz modes.
With its Box White switches, triple-mode connectivity, and overall decent build quality, the F12 is a solid buy worth checking out. It seems to go on sale regularly, too, so it may be worth waiting to score it at an even better price than its $90 MSRP.
|Switch Types||45g Topre (standard or silenced)|
|Keycap Material||Dye-sublimated PBT|
|Dimensions (W x D x H)||11.57 x 4.33 x 1.57 inches|
Topre keyboards like the Happy Hacking Keyboard (HHKB) Professional 2 aren’t often hailed for their loudness, at least not compared to clicky Cherry MX-style mechanical switches. But while they may not be as sharp, they’re more muted—some might say tuneful—sound might be precisely what you’re looking for in a loud keyboard.
Unlike MX-switch keyboards, Topre keyboards like the HHKB Pro 2 have a more prominent upstroke clack, due to how the keyboard switches work. Topre switches have large plastic sliders set within individual housings. On the downstroke, these sliders compress a spring and rubber dome setup that actuates the keys. On the way up, the sliders contact the housing, generating an audible clack.
The magic, so to say, is in the combination of the deep, thocky bottoming out and the clacky upstroke. It’s a great sound that is the signature of the HHKB, although all Topre boards will share the same characteristics. Note that you’ll want the non-silenced version, as the silenced (Type-S) adds dampers to reduce the upstroke noise.
Like several other keyboards on our list, the price will be your biggest stumbling block here, with HHKB Pro 2s regularly selling for between $200 to $250 on online retailers. I think it’s worth every penny and then some, but it’s understandable if you feel differently.
Topre switches also mean you won’t be able to use MX keycap sets, limiting your customization options. While you can find some aftermarket Topre sets out there, you’ll most likely be sticking to the stock keycaps here. Don’t get me wrong: they’re great keycaps, but variety certainly isn’t the HHKB’s strong suit.
On the whole, though, the HHKB Pro 2 is an excellent keyboard that excels at both the sound and typing feel aspects. You’ll pay a pretty penny for the privilege, but those seeking the best would do well to start here.
The HHKB Pro 2 is available in charcoal and a two-tone white.
|Switch Type(s)||Capacitive buckling spring|
|Keycap Material||Dye-sub PBT|
|Connectivity||Fixed USB cable|
|Dimensions (W x D x H)||16.53 x 7.08 x 1.41 inches|
Model F Labs’ F62 and F77 keyboards are faithful recreations of IBM’s venerable Model F keyboards of the early 1980s. They’re loud, heavy, and pricey, but there’s genuinely nothing out there quite like these. Check these out if you want some of the loudest keyboards money can buy.
The F62 and F77 use capacitive buckling spring switches, which are radically different from the Cherry MX mechanical switches you’re probably used to. Without getting too technical, these switches have a spring that buckles when you press on the keycap, which in turn causes a flipper to strike the PCB. This flipper contacting the PCB completes the circuit and registers the keypress.
The upshot is extremely pleasing tactility and, yes, a lot of noise. There’s spring noise, spring ping, and the authoritative slap of the flipper contacting the PCB. It’s a unique sound that’s somewhat clicky but not MX-style clicky. It’s a love-it-or-hate-it sound, but those who like it really like it.
There’s nothing in the F62 or F77 to dampen or soften the sound, either. So you get a gloriously up-front, strident keyboard that feels great to type on and sounds even better. Even the spring pinging sounds better than on MX boards, likely due to the larger springs and drastically different mechanisms.
As much as I like the Model F Labs keyboards, they’re not perfect. For one, they require more maintenance and setup work than your average MX board. Getting the keyboard stabilizers just right will take some time, as will adjusting and replacing any rattling springs. Neither is necessarily hard, but it isn’t as plug-and-play as a Cherry MX-style keyboard.
And then there’s the price. These keyboards start at around $350, more than some people spend on big-ticket items like their CPU or monitor. Saying that these aren’t for everybody is a gross understatement. However, those who want one of the loudest mechanical keyboard experiences—from a modern, readily-available product—should start here.
What Makes a Loud Keyboard?
The most important part of a loud keyboard is the switches. You’ll ideally want clicky switches like the Cherry MX Blue or, better yet, Kailh Box White or Box Jade. Having clicky switches means that you’ll not only get the standard downstroke clack of a mechanical keyboard, but the high-pitched click of your switches activating.
This means you can easily turn a quiet keyboard into a loud one by swapping your current switches with a set of clicky switches. This is easiest with a hot-swap keyboard, as you can just pull your current switches out and pop new ones in easily.
Of course, going with heavy tactile switches like the Akko Lavender Purples can also make your keyboard louder, although in a different way than clicky switches. These will force you to push down harder to get past the bump, creating a louder bottom-out clack than with lighter or linear switches.
That said, you’ll only hear the extra volume if you bottom out your switches. If you’re the type that floats when typing, you likely won’t gain much sonic benefit from heavier tactiles.
Other factors will also play a part, such as case and plate material and the surface you type on. Aluminum boards without silencing material can sound louder than other keyboards, although thick aluminum frames can have the opposite effect. A floating-key aluminum board like the Drop ALT is ideal if you want volume.
Typing on a soft surface like a desk mat can also help to dampen your keyboard’s sound. While it likely won’t make your switches quieter, a desk mat can deaden other resonances and vibrations, reducing overall volume. So you may want to experiment with your typing surface to see how much it affects your keyboard’s loudness.
Having a loud mechanical keyboard may seem at odds with that many hobbyists want, with their sound-deadening foam and heavy-duty keyboard frames. But just because it’s not the “in” thing doesn’t mean it’s invalid; a loud keyboard is just as enjoyable as a quiet one, although anyone within earshot may disagree!
We think the Drop ALT is the best loud keyboard option for most users, especially with the stock Box White options. Or, slap a set of Kailh Box Jades in there and type up a storm. Of course, if you’re going down that route, you may also want to consider the Ducky One 2 Mini, which comes with the ultra-clicky Kailhs by default.
Decided you’d rather get a bunch of loud switches than an entire keyboard? Check out our list of the best places to buy keyboard switches for some pointers.