Look, I am not a keyboard person. I do not claim to be knowledgeable about keyboards and I have asked my very smart keyboard people friends ten million stupid questions. I’ve only had three different keyboards in the time I started building my own PCs in college years ago, but I do love a good mechanical keyboard and how it sounds. You know what I’m talking about too. Some of them go thunk thunk really hard like you’re furiously punching your desk while others sound like you’re tapping a nail frantically against a piece of metal.
To put it into scientific terms, I am talking about the thocc thocc noise versus the clickity click noise. Thock? Thunk? We’re going with thocc.
To the amusement or dismay of Keyboard Experts everywhere, I will explain my tastes and maybe we’ll connect on some emotional level. I started my journey as someone who immediately went for the highest-pitched clickity noise I could find and bought a Ducky Shine 2 with Cherry MX Blue Switches. If you’re not in the loop on basic keyboard lingo (don’t feel bad), those things sound like a gun range. I think this is the offender. It was super loud and I loved it.
I had two roommates at the time and was raiding in MMOs. I felt like a beautiful 1950s secretary on a fancy typewriter every time I played when I was really just a disgusting and rude gremlin making loud noises in the dark until 4am. They hated me.
Right now, I have this super cute Sakura Pink keyboard from Varmilo with Cherry MX Silver Switches and I adore it, but I know absolutely nothing else about it. My keyboard knowledge extends to switch types and “that’s a very cute single artisan keycap I will pay $40 for.”
I know there’s more to the process than that. I understand that so much goes into getting all of these different sounds like thickness/weight of keycaps and their shape, the case, the plate, all that good stuff. I already have my own bizarre niche building hobbies (peep my Gunpla collection), so I don’t really have additional time to get into the scene and understand all of the neat intricacies of keyboard building. That’s why I lean on you, dear smart keyboard people, to help me build one when I can only describe the noise it makes.
And that brings me to my current journey. I love this charming Varmilo board, but I kind of want a different sound and this will be the first time I upgrade for reasons other than spilling coffee into my board. It’s not really clicky and high-pitched like my old Ducky Shine, but it doesn’t really have the deep thocc thocc noise I’m looking for either. I love its punchy, light noises but I want something that sounds like your second-floor neighbors stomping on the ground above you. I don’t want high-pitched clicks, I want aggressive thuds. Understand?
Every keyboard journey for me has started with a Google search trying to spell out noises and combing through Reddit threads of people who also have no idea about what it is they need. Thankfully, there are plenty of lovely enthusiast folks who patiently explain that in order to get the really high clickity click you need xyz switch on some special material body and then you get your special noise.
Look, I know I’m not alone in just really digging the satisfying sound without the impressive expertise. There’s a whole corner of YouTube dedicated to keyboard ASMR which has been a fantastic resource in discovering what board I need to make my favorite sounds. So now I’m asking you, dear reader, do you like the keyboard that goes thocc thocc or clickity click?
Me? I’m a thocc thocc kinda lady, but I can appreciate a good hellishly loud round of relentless Cherry Blue Switches.
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Andrea Shearon is a news editor at TheGamer who loves RPGs and anything horror related. Find her on Twitter via @Maajora.
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