Corsair hushes its Strafe RGB keyboard with MX Silent switches

Cherry mechanical key switches without tactile bumps aren't loud, exactly, but they still produce more noise than the average rubber-dome keyboard. Some enthusiasts solve this problem by adding rubber O-rings to their boards, but Cherry and Corsair may have a more elegant solution. The new MX Silent switch could make the mechanical keyboard more polite without the need for modification. This switch is getting an exclusive debut inside Corsair's Strafe RGB Silent gaming keyboard.

To quiet down its trademark clickers, Cherry says it's engineered a "patented fully-integrated noise reduction system" into each MX Silent switch. This system purportedly makes it harder to bottom out the switch, and it also reduces "spring-back" noise—presumably, sound from the key returning to the top of its range. 

Those improvements are claimed to reduce key noise by "up to 30%," though it's not clear what the baseline is. Even so, for those who want to use a mechanical board in an office or shared space, the reduced noise could be a blessing.

The Strafe RGB Silent itself is a full-sized board with per-key RGB LED backlighting, paired with a fully-programmable LED controller like we saw in the K70 RGB. Insane backlighting aside, the Strafe includes textured, contoured WASD key caps and a textured space bar for a surer touch while gaming. Corsair also builds in a USB pass-through port for a mouse, headset, or other USB devices. 104-key rollover ensures that every single key press gets registered, and a padded, contoured wrist rest provides a soft resting place for one's hands during furious typing.

The Strafe RGB Silent is a Best Buy exclusive, and it'll cost $160 at the big-box retailer and through Corsair's web store.

Comments closed
    • NeelyCam
    • 4 years ago

    Needs more [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuEz_HvBqZ0<]colors[/url<].

    • Anovoca
    • 4 years ago

    I’d be really interested to see the sales numbers on MX keyboards like this. I feel like the simple rosewill, monoprice, and Coolermasters are probably topping the market because of the quality to price ratio; meanwhile Corsair and Razer keeps trying to invent more elaborate and expensive boards that are pricing them out of the market.

    But like I said, this is my guess since I don’t have any numbers. Either way, it seems to me that trying to work on mass producing silent MX switches in a simpler and more inexpensive package that could retail towards non-gamers and office workers, who make up the overwhelming majority of the PC market, would be a vastly more profitable venture.

      • scpulp
      • 4 years ago

      I’m Dustin Sklavos, I’m actually a Corsair employee in the technical marketing department.

      I will tell you our mechanical keyboards sell more or less as fast as we can make them. If we’re pricing ourselves out of the market, I haven’t seen it.

    • Srsly_Bro
    • 4 years ago

    How else will people know I spent $130 on a keyboard if they can’t hear it? I thought that was the point of mechanical keyboards.

    • Krogoth
    • 4 years ago

    Pffft, it is Buckling Springs switches or bust.

    • RdVi
    • 4 years ago

    My 16 month old K70 MX Brown bricked itself the other day. My PC wouldn’t post, then I finally got it to but noticed the keyboard wouldn’t light up or work at all.

    Now I’ve just got to find that warranty card. Personally though, I’ll be avoiding Corsair products for a while.

      • scpulp
      • 4 years ago

      Get in touch with the Corsair customer service department and tell them what happened. They’ll very likely replace the keyboard for you.

    • Meadows
    • 4 years ago

    Ugh.

    • Ninjitsu
    • 4 years ago

    Which Cherry MX mechanism would be most similar to a conductive rubber domes with Cherry MX style mounts?

    We’ve had this [url=http://deskthority.net/wiki/BTC_51X9_series<]BTC Model 5140[/url<] for 17 years now, still works fine but I'm curious.

      • just brew it!
      • 4 years ago

      Probably MX reds plus o-ring mod.

      Edit: Or maybe these new switches, depending on what they feel like.

        • Ninjitsu
        • 4 years ago

        Ah, thanks. Will keep this handy!

    • just brew it!
    • 4 years ago

    So presumably these are linear (non-tactile)? Their web site doesn’t specify. It sounds like they have effectively integrated the functionality of o-rings, but within the switch body, and for the upstroke as well as the downstroke.

    I’m also not entirely sure what the use case is for quiet mechanical switches on a keyboard that is aimed squarely at the gaming market. Gamers in small apartments who want to stay up late without disturbing their SO?

      • UberGerbil
      • 4 years ago

      Dorm rooms, maybe? $160 is pretty rich for a college student, but given the retail exclusivity maybe this is all a way to get mom and dad to go to Best Buy for holiday shopping…

        • just brew it!
        • 4 years ago

        Even with a quiet(er) keyboard you’re probably going to keep your roomie awake if you’re gaming in close quarters like a dorm room.

      • halfline
      • 4 years ago

      I own this keyboard. The keys are linear, so it’s a similar feel to cherry reds. You don’t get the slight tactile feedback as in cherry browns. The keyboard sounds much quieter than cherry red/brown with o-rings tho. It still makes a sound (so silent switch is actually not silent), but the “click” sound is mostly absent on the upstroke.

      As for the purpose of this keyboard, gamers tend to play with other gamers on mumble/ts/vent/etc, and mechanical keyboards are very audible. It disturbs other people/SO nearby as well. This keyboard does help reduce that high pitch “clack” sound, but not a fan of cherry red feel.

    • Chrispy_
    • 4 years ago

    Awesome, I like silent MX switches.

    Now, is there any way to get this keyboard $60 cheaper without the pointless rainbow bling?

    • UberGerbil
    • 4 years ago

    I fully supported gay marriage but I don’t need my keyboard advertising that.

      • Meadows
      • 4 years ago

      Last time I had a comment along similar lines, and got thumbed down instead.

        • UberGerbil
        • 4 years ago

        Well, you get downthumbed a lot 😉

        Or maybe the scolds haven’t shown up yet. I don’t mean to take the front page into R&P territory, even for a completely flippant quip (there are always people who have get offended no matter how trivial the remark). But really, though: does that picture not look like anything so much as a rainbow flag?

          • Meadows
          • 4 years ago

          Votes never bothered me, but double standards do.

            • UberGerbil
            • 4 years ago

            Indeed. But unless we can confirm that the same people voted in both cases, we don’t really know.

      • Jeff Kampman
      • 4 years ago

      Thank heavens Corsair gives us 16.8 million colors per key to play with 😉

      I compose everything I write on the K70 RGB I reviewed a while back, and I have the backlight set to a low-eye-strain red these days. It doesn’t have to be any more flamboyant or reserved than you make it.

        • Meadows
        • 4 years ago

        Sure, but like I said last time, there has got to be a better way to advertise “RGB” capability than just splashing [i<]all the things[/i<] on the promo picture.

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