The Best Cherry MX Brown Keyboards of 2023
Cherry MX Browns are some of the most popular tactile switches on mechanical keyboards.
In this article, we go over the best mechanical keyboards that offer Cherry MX Brown switches as an option.
Best Cherry MX Brown Mechanical Keyboards – Our Top Picks
|Best No-Frills Mechanical Keyboard||Durgod K320 TKL||Cherry-profile keycaps|
|Best for the Workplace||Das Keyboard 4C TKL||USB Hub with 2 ports|
|Best Typing Experience||Varmilo VA87M||Amazing pre-lubed stabilizers|
|Best 60% Compact||Ducky One 2 Mini||Strong onboard firmware and RGB editing|
|Best RGB Lighting||Durgod Venus||Beautiful and vibrant colors|
|Best Keycap Designs||Mistel X-VIII||Comes with artisan keycaps and cool accessories|
|Best with USB Pass-through||Logitech G512||Simple design with function|
|Best Programmability||Corsair K95 Plat RGB XT||Great for work and gaming|
|Best Custom Options||WASD Code||Website lets you customize keycap legends and colors|
|Best Wireless||Durgod Fusion||Bluetooth and 2. 5G dongle connectivity options, Retro theme|
For more information on each individual mechanical keyboard, feel free to keep reading. We’ve also attached individual reviews of each board in more detail if you’re interested in learning more about any specific product listed here.
1. Durgod K320 TKL
- Simple design
- Cherry-profile keycaps
- USB-C cable
- Lubed stabilizers
- RGB options for higher cost
- All plastic case
The Durgod K320 TKL is a simple and no-frills mechanical keyboard. It has a clean design and is available in two-toned colors that make it perfect for any environment, whether it be the office or at home.
It is a TKL mechanical keyboard, which means it has no number pad on the right side. This is a more compact layout and allows you to have more room for your mouse arm.
This is also a better layout for gaming as well.
This keyboard is also available in a full-sized version as well, called the K310. There also is an RGB version, at an additional cost, if you want something a little bit more exciting.
The special aspects of this board include dye-sub PBT keycaps that don’t get oily or fade over time.
Alongside that, it has a detachable USB-C cable, so you can swap out the cable to any custom one if you want more color.
The Cherry-profile keycaps are slightly lower than the usual OEM-profile keycaps that come on most keyboards. These are much more comfortable and less straining on the wrists.
The keyboard also sits quite low to the ground as well, but there are two adjustable feet on the back with two angles each for more customizability of the typing angle.
For a keyboard that sits right under $100, this keyboard has some of the best stabilizers on the market. They are pre-lubed and have no rattle at all.
There are secondary legends on the function row that allow you to access the media keys to control volume and songs without having to change settings or windows.
It also comes with software that lets you remap keys and record macros for better productivity or for gaming. The software is very easy to use.
This keyboard is available in various Cherry MX switches, including browns.
2. Das Keyboard 4C TKL
- Thick aluminum top plate
- Built-in USB hub
- Cherry MX switches
- PBT keycaps
- Multi-purpose ruler
- Non-detachable power cable
- Low contrast keycaps
> See Full Review <
The Das Keyboard 4C TKL is made from high quality materials. The PBT keycaps are oil-resistant and will last a lifetime without the legends wearing down.
It is a TKL layout, which lacks the number pad on the right side. If you really need a number pad, consider the other Das Keyboard boards such as the Das Keyboard 4 or Model S.
The keycaps are grey with black legends. The whole look of the keyboard is quite dark, but clean. However, the jutting left edge of the board may be too much for some (it does serve a purpose though).
The board features a nice aluminum top plate that is thick and resists any flex or manual bending of any kind.
On the far left side, it features a USB hub that supports up to 2 additional USB devices. This is a rare feature in any mechanical keyboard and is great for the office or gaming when you need to plug in any additional accessories such as a headset/headphone, controller, USB drive, etc.
However, there are many limitations of this board as well. It is simple. However, the contrast of the legends are too low to see in dim lighting.
There is a magnetic ruler that also acts as a raiser to the typing angle. This is a unique feature as well, if you do find yourself needing to use a ruler regularly.
The overall typing experience on the Das Keyboard 4C TKL is a pleasant one. The stabilizers can be a bit rattly, but they’re not super noticeable.
The stabilizers are lubed from the factory, and the tactility of the Cherry MX Browns minimize typos during long typing sessions.
The power cable is nondetachable, but this is understandable because the USB hub is present. Most keyboards with USB-passthrough will have a nondetachable cable.
This keyboard is an ideal choice for students, engineers, or even programmers. The ruler is interesting, although I rarely see myself ever using one (or even owning one), and can be useful at times.
3. Varmilo VA87M
- Unique colorways available
- Ergonomic dye-sub PBT keycaps
- Pre-lubed and extremely stable stabilizers
- Low-contrast legends on some keys
- Price varies
- Detachable outdated mini-USB cable
> See Full Review <
The Varmilo VA87M is one of the highly regarded mechanical keyboards. It is the number one mechanical keyboard on The Wirecutter.
And it’s there for a reason. The Varmilo VA87M is an amazing board with high-quality build, great keycaps, a variety of switch options, typing experience, and great stabilizers with no rattle in sight.
The VA87M comes in very many unique colors, all of which can be found on Mechanicalkeyboards.com using the link below.
It is perfect for gamers, typists, programmers, editors, and more. It is not good for number entry, macros, or RGB gaming.
It is a TKL mechanical keyboard, with no number pad. Although there’s no RGB, the unique keycaps and colorways can stand out quite enough.
There are versions of this board (at a slightly higher price) that do feature RGB. There are versions with just white LEDs as well.
The keycaps are Cherry-profile, which are slightly lower than most mechanical keyboards with OEM-profile keycaps. This makes it much more comfortable to use and decreases wrist discomfort over long periods of use.
The switches are Cherry. However, they feel much smoother on this board than on other boards. There is very little spring ping, but it is noticeable if you put your ear up right to the board.
The typing experience on this board is optimal. There is no unsatisfying stabilizer rattle, minimal spring ping, and minimal echo within the board.
There is no software for remapping keys or recording macros. It’s simple and straightforward.
Although this keyboard is a bit more expensive than the other boards, it will last a lifetime and greatly improve the typing experience.
4. Ducky One 2 Mini
- Customizable keycaps
- Excellent firmware
- Zodiac spacebar
- Tons of switch options
- All plastic build
- No software
- Difficult to configure
> See Full Review <
The Ducky One 2 Mini is a classic keyboard, and it is well known in the mechanical keyboard enthusiast community.
This board has a recognizable two-toned design with a black top and white bottom and the cable port on the left side.
It is a 60% mechanical keyboard, which means there isn’t much to work with. However, with what it does have, it does it all really well.
60% boards are great for gaming because they give your mouse arm plenty of space to move while having full functionality with the use of different layers.
This keyboard has double-shot PBT keycaps that are shine-through and oil-resistant. These keycaps are durable and won’t wear out.
The board comes with a special spacebar in the year of the Zodiac (we got the rabbit?) as well as keycaps in another color that is completely random (chosen out of the colors of the rainbow).
There is no software, but the onboard firmware is very strong. The board lets you change the RGB lighting through key combinations alone as well as record macros via that same method.
It may be hard to do this at first, but the manual has all of the necessary information. There are also sub-legends on the keycaps, so you won’t have to memorize the manual.
Another special feature the board has is that there is mouse movement through the key combos as well.
The Ducky One 2 Mini works for Windows only and not at all on Mac. The board also only connects via wire through USB-C.
The One 2 Mini is perfect for gamers, typists, and casual keyboard users. It is not for programmers or number entry.
If a high-quality 60% board is what you are looking for, this board will not disappoint.
It is available in black or white with many different options for switch options, including Cherry MX Browns.
5. Durgod Venus
- Compact 60% layout
- Cherry profile PBT keycaps
- Perfect stabilizers
- Excellent aluminum build quality
- Cherry or Gateron switches
- Small forehead
- Recessed power port
- No kickstand adjustments
> See Full Review <
The Durgod Venus is another 60% compact board worth mentioning, as it is one of the best options out there.
For starters, it has a full aluminum case that is solid and sturdy. This is rare to see on a board of this price point.
The Durgod Venus can be purchased in white or black, and it comes with RGB lighting as well.
However, the bottom of the case has no height adjustments. Only rubber feet that will prevent sliding.
The case, though, does already have a slight angle that would satisfy most users.
The stabilizers are also near perfect with the factory lube. There is no rattle at all, and the board makes for a great typing experience.
Not only is it good for typing, but it is also a great board for gaming as well.
Due to the small size, there is plenty of room for your mouse arm to move around.
The keycaps are made of PBT plastic, which will last a long time and be oil-resistant. They are Cherry profile as well, which is very low and ergonomic to use. They’re also shine-through, and PBT, Cherry-profile, shine-through keycaps cannot be found anywhere else.
There is a small forehead that protrudes off the top off the board, that really serves little purpose other than to house the indicator lights.
The keyboard connects detachable wire a USB-C port, which happens to be slightly recessed. It’s difficult fitting any custom cables into this board. Most likely, you’ll have to connect the cable they provide.
Durgod has software that is easy to download and use to change the lighting effects, macros, and key remapping. The software is intuitive and easy to use.
Also, there are a variety of switches to pick from, including Cherry MX Browns.
6. Mistel X-VIII
- High quality custom keycaps
- Smooth stabilizers
- Cherry MX switches
- Cool add-ins
- DIP switches
- USB port difficult to use with custom cable
- Not many switch options
> See Full Review <
The Mistel X-VIII is a higher-end keyboard with custom keycaps that you won’t see on any other board.
The board comes with multiple different accessories that bring the whole theme of gloaming, which are the colors in the sky during twilight or dusk (with orange, whites, blacks, and olive green).
It has a grenade custom switch tester with a Cherry MX Blue switch on it. Also, there are artisan keycaps for the Escape key in the form of an airplane.
The keycap puller also has a special look to it, although it’s hard to distinguish whether it’s a deer or an airplane as well.
The board has a USB-C connector at the back of the board. However, it could be difficult getting custom cables to fit into the slot that they provide. But it does offer a detachable USB-C cable, which is nice for the longevity of this board.
It is compatible with Mac and Windows. If you need macros for programming or gaming, this keyboard lets you record macros on 3 storable layers.
The keycaps are double-shot PBT keycaps that are high-quality and oil-resistant that will stand the test of time. The keycaps are OEM-profile, which is probably what you’re used to because this is a common keycap profile on many keyboards.
The keyboard is extra sturdy and there is no flex at all. There are two kick-up feet on the back of the board that allow you to change the angle of the board to a higher angle if you would like to.
On the top right side of the board, there are dedicated media keys that let you change your volume and music settings on the fly without having to go into settings or press FN like on other boards.
The stabilizers on this board are buttery smooth with pre-lubed stabilizers. There is no rattle on any key and they do produce satisfying sounds when typing.
In addition, the keyboard offers a variety of Cherry MX switches, including Cherry MX Browns and Blues.
7. Logitech G512
- Full-size board
- Blue backlight
- Nondetachable cable
- Rattly spacebar
The Logitech G512 is a sleek full-sized mechanical keyboard. The keyboard is a clean black color with black keycaps as well. The top plate is a brushed black aluminum.
For a full-sized keyboard, it feels relatively compact with the case being just large enough to contain all of the keys. there is no extra forehead or bezels on the side.
The back of the keyboard has a nice ribbed design to it with six rubber feet and some kickstands for height variability.
The keyboard feels sturdy and is well built.
The G512 has a non-detachable power cable coming out of the right side of the keyboard. As we’ve mentioned before, this makes the keyboard difficult to unplug and take on the go.
It does have a USB passthrough, so you can plug your mouse or some other device into the keyboard as well. We would have liked to see a detachable USB-C cable though.
The switches are marketed as Logitech Browns, but after closer inspection the switches have Kailh printed on them.
The switches don’t feel bad by any means, you can’t go wrong with a Brown tactile switch, we we’re just excited to try out the “Logitech” switches only to realize they we’re just Kailh switches.
If you’re looking for a full-sized keyboard, you can’t really go wrong with this one.
It’s a pretty solid keyboard, we’re just not a fan of the non-detachable power cable and the stabilizers aren’t the best.
It is a simple keyboard with a floating keycap design. The keyboard also has RGB colors and uses Logitech’s G Hub software to edit the lighting.
At the top right of the board, there is the Logitech G logo as well as indicators for Caps and Scroll Lock. The legends on the keycaps are extremely clean and professional looking despite being a gaming keyboard.
This board is available in Logitech’s GX Brown switches as well as their GX Reds and GX blues as well.
8. Corsair K95 Platinum RGB XT
- High quality plush wrist rest
- PBT keycaps
- Textured keys
- Dedicated media keys
- USB Passthrough
- Scratchy switches
- Rattly stabilizers
- Takes up a TON of desk space
> See Full Review <
The Corsair K95 Platinum RGB XT is the previous flagship from Corsair, starting at right under $200.
The keyboard happens to be quite pricey, but it does have a lot of features to offer.
The keyboard itself is enormous and takes up a lot of space. It does come with a detachable wrist rest, a row of macro keys on the left side, and USB-passthrough.
The K95 Platinum RGB XT comes with Cherry MX switches that are rated up to 100 keypresses, which is a very long time.
Using Corsair’s iCue software, the RGB on the board can be edited for each key. Alongside this, you can edit the macros, lighting effects, key remappings, and more.
The macro keys on the left side can also work with Elgato’s software and be used to change screens or use effects during your stream.
Alongside this, the keyboard offers PBT keycaps that are double-shot and shine-through. This is much better than their previous ABS keycaps. PBT tends to be more durable and resistant to oil and fingerprints.
There are also dedicated media keys along with a scroll wheel that can be used to change the volume up and down without using FN or going into settings.
Quite convenient for changing volume while in-game. With the USB-passthrough, you can connect relevant accessories such as a controller, headset, mouse, and other accessories.
The main downside to this keyboard is that the stabilizers are not very well designed or mounted into the board. They are extremely rattly and loud. The stabilizers are very loose within the plate.
This can be fixed with a few modifications, but it won’t make the stabilizers suitable for use when in a public environment.
9. WASD Code
- Available in different sizes
- Custom colored keycaps
- Many switch options
- Detachable cable
- ABS keycaps
- No RGB
The WASD Code is another simple no-frills mechanical keyboard that will be pleasant to type or game on.
The Code features ABS keycaps that are doubleshot with legends that will last a lifetime.
The board comes with a steel backplate that is solid and sturdy. There is no flex on the board at all, and it weighs more than 2lbs. That’s a tank!
There is no RGB, however. There is only white backlight. Even in the dark, you’ll be able to see your keys and numbers. The backlight comes with 6 brightness levels.
The keyboard has NKRO and 100% anti-ghosting, which is great for typing quick or gaming. You won’t have to worry about your keyboard not registering all of the keys that you press.
The onboard memory of the board will save the brightness setting of your backlight, so you don’t have to change it every time you turn your computer on.
There are two kick-up feet on the back along with large rubber pads, so there’s no slipping at all.
It’s a simple board, and there is no branding that can be seen anywhere on the board. The legends on the keycaps are clean. However, they are a little bit small.
For programmers and gamers, this board is programmable with four different layers. You can program all kinds of macros directly on the board without any software needed.
The keycaps have sub-legends that will tell you where the secondary media keys are as well, which is on the navigational cluster. These things can be changed via the DIP switches though.
On the back, there are also different cable routing channels so you’ll have a clean and organized desk setup.
There are some downsides to this board, though. It’s definitely pricey, and some of their CODEs go over $200, depending on what switch you decide to go for.
It’s available in a variety of different Cherry MX switches, including MX Browns.
10. Durgod Fusion
- 2.4G dongle or Bluetooth or USB-C
- 65% compact layout
- Retro design
- Super nice stabilizers
- Might not work with your setup colors
- No secondary media functions, few options
- Recessed power port
> See Full Review <
The Durgod Fusion a definitely a board that you’d be interested in if you want to be a little nostalgic about the good ole’ days.
The different designs and colors are based off of the NES, Commodore, and more.
The board itself has a ton of great features such as three different ways to connect: 2.4G with a hidden dongle underneath the Durgod logo on the board, Bluetooth, and via USB-C cable.
The battery in the board is huge, and without RGB to burn through it, the board lasts up to 40 days. We made it through more than a month on a single charge with a lot of use. Pretty amazing.
The Durgod Fusion comes with several different Cherry MX switches including Black, Blue, Red, Brown, Speed Silver, Silent Black, and Silent Red.
The only downsides are the lack of secondary media keys and the fact that there isn’t much software support if you want to remap keys or create macros.
It’s also a bit difficult to use with a custom cable due to the recessed port. The keycaps are Cherry-profile and super comfortable, as they are lower to the board than most keycaps.
They’re also a unique color way and have sub legends for secondary functions that you may need.
Not only is the Durgod Fusion the ideal layout for compactness and functionality, the board is also really fun to type on with their pre-lubed stabilizers.
There is absolutely no rattle at all on any key. Overall, this board is amazing and looks great too (if you can make it work).
You can find the Durgod Fusion on Kickstarter.
Don’t Like The Options on This List? Go Hot-Swappable
Finding a mechanical keyboard with a specific switch, even if it’s a common option, can be quite difficult.
If you struggle to find a keyboard you like with Cherry MX Brown switches, we recommend checking out our list of the best hot-swappable keyboards.
With a hot-swappable keyboard, you’ll be able to install/remove the switches yourself with no soldering required.
This means you can choose almost any hot-swappable keyboard and swap out the switches for Cherry MX Brown. So instead of being stuck to the keyboard on this list, you now have another dozen options to look at.
Hot-swappable keyboards offer a lot of other cool benefits too, such as being able to improve the stabilizers and switches with relatively easy mods.
You can check out a few of our guides here:
- How to Lube Your Switches
- How to Mod Stabilizers
If you need a keyboard with a specific switch (such as Cherry MX Brown), it’s nice to know hot-swappable keyboards are an option.
The Benefits of Cherry MX Brown Switches
Cherry MX Browns are commonly recommend for people who do a lot of typing, especially for long periods of time.
It has a distinguished tactile bump that lets you feel when you can lift up your fingers again.
This improves typing accuracy without wasting too much energy on bottoming out.
In addition, there is relatively little noise when typing with MX Browns as opposed to clicky MX Blue switches.
There are a lot of great Cherry MX Brown keyboards out there. Many have different features.
We definitely recommend you check out the mechanical keyboards we listed out here, they do not disappoint. Finding the ideal keyboard with a Cherry MX Brown switch can definitely be difficult at times.
Our goal was to cut through the confusion and recommend nothing but the best options for you to choose from.
If none of the options on the list fit your needs, we recommend browsing the best hot-swappable keyboards and swapping the switches out for MX Browns yourself.
Good luck and happy typing!
Other Suggested Reading
- Ultimate Guide to Cherry MX Switches
- Guide to Brown Switches
- Linear vs Clicky vs Tactile Switches
The Ultimate Guide to Brown Switches
If you’re new to mechanical keyboards and are confused about what brown switches are and what they are used for, you are in the right place.
We’re going to talk all about brown switches and dive really deep into the subject.
Let’s get started.
What Are Brown Switches?
Brown switches are tactile. They have a slight bump on each keystroke which makes them excellent for typing and programming but they are not the best for gaming. Brown switches produce a moderate amount of noise.
Brown switches are named that way because the color of the stem is brown. The stem is the section of the switch that moves up and down on each keystroke.
Best Use For Brown Switches
Brown switches are the jack of all trades, but master of none.
The switch has a small tactile bump which makes it good for accurate typing and programming, although it may not be the best option for gaming.
There are other tactile switches that have a bigger bump if you need more tactile feedback, but if you’ve never used a mechanical switch before, brown is a good place to start.
The design of the brown switch makes it excellent for beginners, but people who have used brown switches for a while might find them a tad dull and boring.
Are Brown Switches Good For Gaming?
When gaming, you want a switch that is light and fast actuating. For that reason, linear switches, such as a red switch are preferred.
The tactile bump on the brown switch can be distracting if you are attempting to press as many keys as possible in a short period of time (AKA button-mashing). The brown switch can limit the accuracy of your keystrokes.
With that in mind, brown switches are not very good for gaming.
If you are playing a non-competitive game however, the type of switch you use won’t matter too much.
But when it comes to a game such as Fortnite, where you need to build walls extremely quickly with precision, a brown switch can start to slow you down.
For gaming, linear is the way to go.
Are Brown Switches Good For Typing?
Typing is where brown switches really start to excel.
The tactile bump on each keystroke gives you feedback and lets you know when each switch has actuated.
The bump also prevents you from bottoming-out, which happens when you press the key too hard and slam it down into the keyboard. Bottoming-out is common for those who are new to mechanical switches and choose a switch such as a red option.
With a brown switch you don’t need to worry as much about bottoming-out.
One common complaint about brown switches is that the tactile bump is too light. In which case, a heavier switch, such as a Cherry MX Clear can be a better option.
The heavier switch makes it less likely to make mistakes, but can also fatigue your fingers quicker.
Picking between a brown switch and a heavier option comes down to how hard you press the keys when typing.
Are Brown Switches Good For Programming?
Brown switches are excellent for programming. The tactile bump helps limit mistakes which can increase the speed at which you enter data.
Brown switches only produce a moderate amount of noise so they can be a good option for the office and you won’t have to worry too much about how loud the keyboard is.
That being said, if you work in a super quiet office, your keyboard may stand out a little bit. The brown switches are not most quiet option, unless you go for a Gateron Silent Brown. Otherwise, a linear switch is your best bet as they produce the least amount of noise.
The small bump of the tactile switch helps limit typos and can make programming a more streamlined experience.
Different Brown Switches
There are a ton of different brown switch options out there. Let’s take a look at the most popular ones and talk about the specifications and benefits of each switch.
Cherry MX Brown
Type: Tactile Actuation Force: 55g Total Travel Distance: 4 mm Actuation Distance: 2 mm Noise level: Moderate
Cherry MX Brown is the original brown switch. The design of this switch kicked off the creation of dozens of different clones and similar designs.
The Cherry MX Brown switch is considered extremely high quality. The switch has a lifespan of 100 million keystrokes, which means you can use this switch for years without worrying about it breaking down.
Many actually prefer to use a switch that has been broken in past the 100 million keystroke mark because the switch will feel less scratchy and better overall.
Cherry MX switches in general go through rigorous temperature and stress testing so you know they will last a long time.
The main downside to this switch type is the price is a bit steep. It’s not uncommon for Cherry MX Brown switches to sell in the $1 range for each. Compared to the cheaper options, it can be a tough sell.
They also tend to be scratchier than other brown switch options and produce a metallic tinging noise. It’s speculated that the switch feels and sounds this way due to the tight tolerancing of Cherry MX switches.
Cherry MX Browns are an excellent option if you can afford the price and want your keyboard to last forever.
Type: Tactile Actuation Force: 55g Total Travel Distance: 4 mm Actuation Distance: 2 mm Noise level: Moderate
Gateron Browns are probably your best bet if you want to save money but still have a high quality switch.
Gateron switches are a clone switch, but they are considered mid-tier. They aren’t the cheapest but are still a fraction of the price of Cherry MX.
Gateron is known for their super smooth linear switches, but their tactile Brown switches aren’t too bad either.
With a lifespan of 60 million keystrokes, you should get plenty of time out of these switches before they start to break down, but compared to Cherry MX, that’s not very impressive.
The feel of the Gateron Brown switches is similar to Cherry MX Browns but they just aren’t as durable.
Gateron Optical Brown
Type: Tactile Actuation Force: 45g Total Travel Distance: 4 mm Actuation Distance: 2 mm Noise level: Moderate
Gateron Optical Brown switches are interesting because they acutate via a combination of mechanical movement and light.
Instead of the typical mechanical switch where the electrical plates need to touch for the switch to actuate, instead one the stem moves past a certain point light will actuate the switch.
In theory, optical switches should be faster than mechanical.
This makes optical switches a really good option for gaming because the faster actuation can help boost your competitive level. Those extra milliseconds can make a difference in a game where you need to have a really fast reaction time.
Optical switches have a different feel than mechanical and for that reason they can feel strange to use. They tend to feel a bit hollow and fake.
On the upside, since there are less parts touching, they have a lifespan of 100 million keystrokes making them durable and long-lasting.
Kailh Box Brown
Type: Tactile Actuation Force: 50g Total Travel Distance: 4 mm Actuation Distance: 2 mm Noise level: Moderate
Kailh Box Brown switches are a cool option because the actual shape of the stem is a bit different.
This switch goes for a “box” design to the stem which makes it more stable and less wobbly when typing. Many people enjoy this design for typing. The design of the box switch is great, but there is a pretty big drawback. The switch is very scratchy, probably the scratchiest option out there.
The way the switch is held together is also a bit strange. Instead of four clips holding the upper and lower housing together, it has two large clips. This makes it difficult to open them up if you want to lubricate the switches or install switch film.
But if you want a stable switch with minimal wobble, this can be a great option.
Type: Tactile Actuation Force: 55g Total Travel Distance: 4 mm Actuation Distance: 2 mm Noise level: Moderate
Outemu Brown switches are one of the cheapest switches. If you are looking for a budget keyboard, they will usually have Outemu switches.
Outemu switches aren’t too bad for the price, they just tend to rattle a bit when typing. But if you’re trying to save money, you can’t complain too much about the performance of the switch.
They are definitely inferior to the other options on the list, but you get what you pay for.
Similar to Gateron switches, Outemu Brown switches last for 50 million keystrokes.
Best 3 Keyboards With Brown Switches
Durgod Taurus K320
The Durgod Taurus K320 is a great option if you need a keyboard with brown switches.
The keyboard has a supreme typing experience with an excellent case design, super smooth stabilizers, and PBT keycaps.
Not to mention it’s outfitted in a ton of different color options. You really can’t go wrong with the Durgod Taurus K320.
The Keychron K6 comes with an option in Gateron Brown switches. The keyboard is absolutely feature-packed and has a multitude of uses.
The keyboard has wireless/wired connectivity, Mac and Windows compatbility, and options for an aluminum case.
Did I mention this keyboard is hot-swappable? This means you can start with Gateron Brown switches and if you don’t like them you can move to a different switch type.
Pretty cool stuff.
The keyboard is really fun to use and the RGB really pops. I can’t recommend this keyboard enough to those who enjoy a compact 65% layout.
Ducky One 2 Mini
The Ducky One 2 Mini is a keyboard that needs no introduction. You can check the full review here.
When this keyboard was released a few years ago, it revolutionized the gaming keyboard world.
The keyboard set the bar with Cherry MX switches, customizable PBT keycaps, and is absolutely packed full of firmware.
You can go with Cherry MX Brown switches, which are durable and will last you for years.
The layout is 60%, which is quite small, but for those who like to game with the keyboard tilted, it’s perfect because the compact size keeps the keyboard from hanging off your desk.
The smaller size also makes the keyboard super portable and easy to take on the go.
Brown switches are an extremely versatile switch that can work in almost every situation. The only time that they may not be ideal is for gaming, but even then you can make them work.
They are not too loud which is great for working around other people and you won’t keep your family up if you’re gaming late at night.
Not to mention, you have dozens of different keyboards to choose from because of how common brown switches are. Almost every single keyboard comes with an option with brown switches.
Overall, you can’t go wrong with a brown switch whether it’s Cherry MX, Gateron, Kailh, or Outemu.
What is the difference between blue, red and brown keyboard switches? • Okie Doki
When it comes to mechanical keyboards, there are more choices than you might think. Most of them make do with a regular wired keyboard, but once you get into the world of mechanical keyboards, you’ll find that there are plenty of options you can make besides whether it’s RGB or not.
Switches are one such option. Choosing the right keyboard switches for a mechanical keyboard can greatly improve your typing or gaming experience. However, for beginners, the choice can be difficult.
Fortunately, we are here to guide you through this. So, what is the difference between red, blue and brown switches and which one is right for you?
What is the keyboard switch?
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What distinguishes a mechanical keyboard is the presence of separate key switches. On a membrane keyboard, you have a circuit board with connectors for each key, and above it is a membrane made from a flexible material such as rubber. Keyboard caps fit over small contact points on the membrane, and the membrane helps register each keystroke.
In contrast, in a mechanical keyboard, each key has its own mechanical switch. Pressing a key will physically activate this switch, and a keystroke will be registered when the activation threshold is reached.
You can read more about the differences between mechanical and membrane keyboards, but the bottom line is that mechanical keyboards are considered to be more reliable and complex, as well as more customizable.
Why do keyboard switches come in different colors?
The truth is that mechanical keyboards are not really for everyone.
If they were in the same design, membrane keyboards could become even more popular. Everyone has different typing preferences. And because of that, keyboard switch colors exist. They differ not only in the visual brand difference – different colors of switches can have different actuation points, be harder or softer when pressed, have tactile feedback, or even have different degrees of noise.
The most common keyboard switches are blue, red, and brown. Regardless of which brand of switches you use – whether it’s Cherry MX, Gateron, Kailh, or whatever – you should have a fairly similar experience with colors as they should all share the same basic functional principles.
How do the blue mechanical switches work?
Blue switches are also commonly known as tactile switches or “clicky” switches and are often considered the best switches for any job that involves a lot of typing, such as programming or writing. The way the blue switches work is that when you press a key after registering it, you will hear a click accompanied by a tactile impact. You will feel and hear the very moment when the key is registered on your computer. And the sound emitted by the keys is actually quite satisfactory too.
The main benefit of blue switches is that because you get both tactile and auditory feedback when you register a keystroke, you don’t have to press the keys all the way down, which reduces hand fatigue during long writing sessions. They are also great for touch typing, the practice of writing without looking at the keyboard.
How do red mechanical switches work?
On the other hand, red switches are generally preferred for gaming purposes, although they can also be used for typing. Unlike blue switches, red switches are what is known as a linear switch. They don’t have haptic or audible feedback, and when a keystroke is registered, you won’t hear or feel it. They are not are fully silent switches, but you won’t hear the signature “click” that the blue switch makes when you press the key.
However, what you get in return is a slightly lower actuation point requiring less finger force to register a keystroke. The fact that they’re more responsive and linear means they’re really easy to press and respond faster than clicky switches, making them preferred for gaming purposes where you’ll need to tap keyboard keys very quickly.
How do Brown mechanical switches work?
If you don’t want the noisy clicking action that the blue switch will give you, but don’t like the feel of the red switches, you can try a nice midpoint instead. This is exactly what the brown switches will give you.
Brown switches have a tactile feel like blue switches, but without the noisy click. Instead, it’s a quiet beat that can be felt but not heard. They also have blue switch resistance meaning it is actually a blue switch that is silent like a red one. This makes brown switches a great choice if you use your computer for gaming and typing as it combines the best of both worlds. It’s not noisy, but it’s still a pleasure to type with.
Red vs. blue vs. brown: Which mechanical keyboard switch is better?
It depends entirely on what you want to use your computer for and other personal preferences.
If you mainly play games, the red switches will probably suit you. They don’t have haptic feedback, so you’ll often hit them all the way. What you get in return, however, are switches that are lighter and easier to press, which is what you want if you’re playing a game that requires quicker responses.
If you mainly use your computer for typing, or if you will be combining typing with games, then the choice comes down to blue and brown switches. The decision will basically depend on whether you want clicky switches or not, because otherwise the blue/brown switches are identical. If you don’t mind noise or openly accept this noisy life, then by all means, choose a keyboard with blue switches. On the other hand, if you prefer something quieter, brown is the way to go.
Red for gaming, brown or blue for everyone else
Keyboard switch colors aren’t just a gimmick. There are differences between the two, and it’s a matter of informing yourself before pulling the trigger on a new mechanical keyboard. Do your homework and see which switch works best for you.
I hope this post has helped you decide a bit.
How to choose a mechanical keyboard
A bit of theory
Modern keyboards differ in the type of switches: membrane, plunger, scissor and mechanical. The first three are similar in many respects: they are based on textolite-based contacts. The differences lie in nuances, such as special tweaks to reduce the effect of key skew or lower its profile. But the “mechanics” stand out significantly constructively. Features of mechanical keyboards determine their advantages and disadvantages.
The “mechanics” characteristics depend on the switches. The products of the German company Cherry are considered classics: back in 1983, she showed the MX linear switches.
Switches – what they are and why they are important
Modern switches can be divided into linear, tactile and tactile-auditory.
Linear are sometimes referred to as even pressure switches, which gives an idea of how they work: the key travel is smooth, the resistance increases only towards the end, the response time is minimal.
Tactile gives a sense of an obstacle when pressed, after which the button works.
The tactile-auditory, or clicky, add that specific click sound that many associate with a mechanical keyboard.
If you are picking up your first “mechanics”, you need to know that such a keyboard is often much noisier than a “membrane”. Such a soundtrack can be annoying to others, especially when typing fast. There are also relatively quiet devices, so it’s better to look at the keyboard you are interested in live before buying.
Let’s get back to switches, because this is the basis for any mechanical keyboard. The main division is based on “color differentiation” from Cherry:
– Blue . The clicking sound is similar to the sound of a typewriter, but without the metallic rattle. This makes it possible to feel the actuation point of the switch. It is quite easy to press the keys: the stroke to pressing is 2 mm, to the stop – 4 mm. The most popular type of switches on the market.
– Red . Red switches are much quieter, pressing comes with a uniform effort. The pressing force here is less than that of the blue ones. Often it is on the basis of Cherry MX Red and their numerous clones that gaming keyboards are built.
– Black . The switch is reminiscent of red switches, with a firmer push to reduce accidental actuation. Especially loved by cyberathletes playing shooters.
– Brown . Brown switches are designed as a compromise between blue and red. The tactile force when pressing the button is uneven and decreases sharply after the contact is closed, which makes it clear to the user that it has been triggered. Keyboards with Cherry MX Brown are considered to be suitable for programming and working with a large amount of text.
– Silent Red . A kind of red switches, which the developers have made very quiet, even quieter than many “membrane”. This was achieved thanks to additional silicone gaskets.
– Silver . The key travel is significantly reduced: 1.2 mm before actuation and 2 mm against the body. Quiet, tactile response is practically absent – can be confused with a “membrane”. The advantages of such switches are a quick key return after pressing and better stabilization than other switches: in other words, the button does not wobble.
Now they produce models with optical switches – this is such a modernized version of the “mechanics”, where the metal contacts are replaced by a system of infrared LEDs and a photodetector. Manufacturers of such keyboards claim an increased resource (100 million keystrokes) and increased response speed. But models with optical switches are much more expensive.
There is a whole cult around “mechanics”: with the help of various kits, users improve factory devices or even assemble custom keyboards on their own.
The base level is the replacement of a keycap, a key cap. You can remove it on the “mechanics” with one touch, so anyone can handle it. Customization here is limited only by the user’s imagination: thanks to the standard switch socket, third-party keycap sets fit almost any mechanical keyboard. They differ in profile, height, material of manufacture and even the way symbols are applied to them. Recently, keycaps with inscriptions on the lower end, “blind” from the front, have been in fashion.
Factory customization example – Keychron Q1 QMK with Gateron G Pro Red switches
The next level of customization is switch replacement: the “mechanics” design allows you to disassemble the keyboard literally down to the last screw. Improved switches often combine the various advantages of basic ones, but the cost of such tuning can approach the price of a good new keyboard. Connoisseurs of the process also lubricate the design of each switch – for a smoother ride and getting rid of resonant noise.
We also include the installation of custom stabilizers for long keys so that they are pressed even more clearly. Finally, there is additional noise and vibration isolation: enthusiasts improve not only the switches, but also the keyboard case to get rid of the booming sound when typing.
The days when mechanical keyboards cost a lot of money are long gone. The market experienced several booms in the popularity of “mechanics”, the design of switches was copied by OEMs, filling stores with affordable keyboards on clones of red and blue switches. It got to the point that the budget “mechanics” competes in cost with the office “membrane”.
Interestingly, even the most affordable options for “mechanics” (1500-3000 ₽) can boast backlit keys. But manufacturers of such devices often make it clumsy, without the ability to adjust colors and brightness. And, of course, in the budget segment they save on everything – from the quality of the case plastic to assembly.
In the middle class (4000–8000 ₽), the variety is wider: in this budget you can find a gaming keyboard, a designer one with an unusual shape or outwardly strict “for a serious person”. Switches are very different, there are also optomechanical ones. More and more compact options – without an additional digital unit. Wireless connectivity is rare here.
In the class of expensive “mechanics” – from 10,000 ₽ – there are often devices addressed to gamers and other streamers. Here you can also find a wireless compact version designed for mobile use. There are models with wrist rests, and these platforms are detachable and cling to the case on magnets. In top keyboards, manufacturers use the most advanced switches, often releasing the same model with different switches so that each consumer can choose the option for himself.