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You’ve had your eyes on that specific model of mechanical keyboard for such a long time now so you’ve went ahead and bought it.
It’s currently sitting on your desk, looking as pretty as a new keyboard fresh out of the box would.
Everything’s perfect- the whole unit feels solid and the keys feel pleasantly “clicky.” Typing actually feels like a pleasure now. Everything fits your expectations, so far.
But here’s a major problem- one that you’ve noticed after spending a couple of hours typing: there’s a particularly annoying “pinging” sound that rings out whenever you press a key.
The sound is not that noticeable when you have headphones on, but you can clearly hear it when you’re in a quiet room and not listening to anything. It’s a very annoying and headache-inducing sound (similar to nails scratching on a blackboard), and you’re right when you think that it’s not supposed to happen especially with such a brand new keyboard.
Why Does My Mechanical Keyboard Make a Pinging Sound Whenever I Press a Key?
The “pings” refer to a distinct metallic ringing sound that you can hear whenever you “bottom out” a key (i.e. press on a key until it reaches the fullest depth of its normal travel).
Unfortunately, there are a lot of mechanical keyboards out there that make these pinging noises. For some brands and models, it might not be noticeable. But for some, it can be so audibly loud that it can instantly ruin anyone’s typing and gaming experiences.
These pings are usually the result of manufacturing defects and/or bad case design.
The biggest culprit here is usually the case. Most mechanical keyboard cases are made with a combination of aluminum and plastic pieces. Poor case design would usually mean that the aluminum plate inside your keyboard isn’t securely attached to the plastic case, which causes it to vibrate and cause the ringing or pinging sound.
The plastic case here also acts as an amplifier, which makes the annoying sound even louder.
Another cause would be the switches themselves.
The spring inside a faulty switch can get twisted or warped, thereby producing the pinging sound whenever it gets pressed.
How Can I Make My Mechanical Keyboard Quieter for Free?
Of course, the easiest fix here would be is to return your mechanical keyboard back to the store and hope that it can be replaced with a unit without the ping problem.
You could also opt to buy a new “silent” mechanical keyboard- i.e. a mechanical keyboard that is specifically produced and manufactured to be as silent as possible.
However, if you want to keep your keyboard as is and want to get rid of the pinging noise without spending much money, there are a few options you could try:
Try Laying Your Keyboard Flat
Sometimes, the easiest solutions can be the best ones.
This option doesn’t require you to spend on anything, and will also not make you void your keyboard’s warranty. It also doesn’t require any sort of fiddling and disassembly on your part.
All you have to do is to keep your keyboard’s feet down. When you have the feet up, it means that there is less of the keyboard that is touching the table.
This makes the keyboard less stable and more likely to vibrate, thus amplifying the ringing and pinging even more. Having the feet down means that your keyboard is as flat and stable as possible, thus reducing vibration.
If you have a desk mat at home, then by all means put it under your keyboard. You can even stack multiple ones while you’re at it.
It might not remove the pinging sound entirely, but you can be sure that the mats will dampen it.
Use Dampening Foam
Here’s an option that requires a bit more legwork on your part. Do take note that this also voids your keyboard’s warranty so think carefully if you really want to do this.
First, unplug your keyboard, then take a screwdriver and open up its case. The process for opening up a keyboard varies from model to model and brand to brand, so make sure that you take your time finding all the small screws during this step.
Once the case has been opened, take out the PCB (printed circuit board) and insert a piece of foam that is cut according to the size of your keyboard’s lower half.
The cheapest foam that you could use here is packing foam, but if you want to spend a bit, neoprene and Sorbothane foam. Once you’ve got the foam inserted, put your keyboard back together again by screwing in all the screws. Give your keyboard a few typing tests and you’ll see that the foam will have greatly dampened or eliminated the pings that you can hear.
Oil or Lube the Switches
If you find that pinging doesn’t come from the vibration of the case itself, then the switches might be the culprit. If you have a hot-swappable keyboard (i.e. your keyboard’s switches can be taken out without the need for soldering), then this option will be easy to do.
First take out the keycaps (which you can do with your fingers or a keycap puller), then pull out the switches using a switch puller.
From here you can apply lube directly to the switch itself, especially near the spring. Lubing your switches makes them easier to press, and gives you a smoother keystroke.
O-Rings are small pieces of rubber that are shaped like a ring that you put on your keyboard’s keys to prevent them from bottoming out.
As we’ve mentioned before, the ping usually results from whenever you “bottom out” your keys, so preventing them from doing so might do the trick. You usually buy O-rings in bulk, but they don’t cost that much.
The O-rings sit between the keycaps and the keyboard’s case, so that whenever you press the key, the keycap itself doesn’t make contact with the case, thus preventing the ping from ringing out.