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Does your mechanical keyboard "ping" or "resonate" when typing?

Discussion in 'Overclocking & Hardware' started by -Sk3tChY-, Mar 1, 2018.

  1. -Sk3tChY-

    -Sk3tChY- Member

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    Bought myself a Corsair K70 LUX RGB with MX Silent switches today and ever since I started using it, all I keep noticing is a very annoying "ping" or "resonating" sound when I type.

    It's most noticeable when pressing the backspace and enter buttons near the centre of the keyboard; especially when I need to press them multiple times in quick succession, but it also just continually happens during normal typing with several other keys to varying degrees.

    This video shows exactly what's happening, although mine is most notable on enter and backspace.

    This video also shows it, although it's a little bit harder to hear and is much more noticeable in real life.

    The sound is due to the aluminium frame/plate and I can replicate it by by simply knocking on the aluminium with my knuckle. Even if I knock on the plastic underside or palmrest it can create the same sound. I can also just push on some of the keys firmly once so that they bottom out (without letting my finger off of them for them to go upwards again) and I can hear the same annoying resonating sound.

    Admittedly I do type a little aggressively, particularly when using the spacebar, delete, backspace and enter buttons - but I'm not exactly beating the crap out of my keyboard either. If I make an effort to type softly, I do find that the sound is almost unnoticeable, but this just feels unnatural and I feel I shouldn't really have to change my entire typing style on a $180 keyboard.

    The sound is really bothering me at the moment and as much as I love everything else about the keyboard, at this stage I'll be hoping to return it because the sound just annoys me too much - particularly right now when it's late at night and there's no other noise in the room.

    Just wondering if anyone else with a mechanical keyboard notices this? Particularly other K70/K95 or metal-plate keyboard owners. Presumably if I get a mechanical that's completely plastic I won't have this issue?

    Such a shame, I really love the volume rocker and palmrest on the K70. :(
     
  2. Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    The last time I used a mechanical keyboard regularly, apart from a quick test here and there, was an Adler Typewriter. I dispute that you shouldn't need to change your typing style to suit though. Every keyboard I have ever owned has needed some minor adjustments in typing style. Different stroke lengths, key heights, and even spacing apply to most keyboards. I currently use a cheapy $50 AZIO large letters illuminated membrane keyboard, I absolutely love it. They also make a retro style keyboard not unlike an old fashioned typewriter.. I thought it looked great but it was horrific to type on when testing. It looked and felt like a mech keyboard, but I don't actually know if it is or not. Had I given it a chance, I'm sure I could have adapted, but I liked the large letters on my current one so I went for that. I also hate the clatter from mech keyboards.

    The generally longer throw makes a difference too IMO, I type at 80wpm on my membrane keyboard with 100% accuracy, I believe I could manage 100wpm if I were willing to accept losing a couple of percent accuracy and just spend a little time editing later.
    For gaming, I think a mech keyboard might be better, for the more positive action and keystroke life, but if its typing speed you are after I don't believe a mech is the way to go, with my admittedly short attempts at trying one out. I could have course adapted, there is no doubt in my mind I'd get used to using one, just couldn't handle the noise.

    TL;DR I think it doesn't matter what keyboard you choose, your typing style needs to adapt to suit. I think your point about plastic vs aluminium is valid though... might be worth a try noise wise. It will still feel different though and your typing style will need to adapt to any new keyboard.
     
  3. Madengineer

    Madengineer Member

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    I have never noticed that noise on my k95, and it has the same aluminium frame. If it's bothering you, I'd suggest having some background noise (music/radio/audiobook whatever) while you're working.
     
  4. SSJ4

    SSJ4 Member

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    That is stabiliser rattle. On the bigger keys they still only have 1 switch but have stabiliser mechanism's to keep them level and so they go down straight no matter where you press it.

    The aluminium open face'd design doesnt help either. However all keyboards for the most part will have a metal back plate, so when you bottom out the key youre just smashing hallow keys into metal.

    Two things to quieten it down.

    1. Lube the stabilisers.

    2. Rubber/silicon O-rings. Ebay

    The lube will reduce the sound of the materials clashing, while also making the keys smoother. And the O rings will soften the bottom out of the keys and reduce sound. I have O-rings on my work and home boards and really like them, my ducky with browns and o rings is no louder than a membrane POS. Keyboards are very much like guitars where each material, layout, shape and quality of hardware effects the sound.

    Mechanical keyboards are gods gift. Unfortunately paying $180 for a corsair board doesnt really buy you quality. But a decent gateway drug into the rabbit hole.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/MechanicalKeyboards/
     
  5. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    Give yourself a chance to get used to it. Because it's new today, you are "taking in" everything. Give it some time without focusing on it, and you probably won't even notice. I just "tuned in" to the keyboard I'm using and it makes a creepy little noise. If I wanted to let it annoy me, I could, but I'll just go back to not noticing.
    (as for changing your typing style, getting yourself out of the habit of bashing the keys should help the longevity of your equipment, so it's something to consider even if you don't keep this keyboard).
     
  6. OP
    OP
    -Sk3tChY-

    -Sk3tChY- Member

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    Not even if you press quite firmly on the enter and backspace buttons a few times? Here's a recording of how noticeable mine is:

    https://clyp.it/s5bgmchk

    Also, if I just kind of 'flick' or 'tap' the keys so that they sort of shoot back upward - as they hit the top, the same resonating sound become very apparent:

    https://clyp.it/4rqg4fwo

    Perhaps my KB just hasn't had something mounted properly, which is causing this?

    It has absolutely nothing to do with the spacebar or any of the switches/caps. I have noticed however that the buttons with stabilizers tend to produce a louder ping/resonating sound, likely due to them have additional contacts to the metal plate. Again, even if I just knock on the aluminium or underside of the keyboard I can replicate the same sound. Even if I hold the space bar (or take it off completely), I get the same sound.

    Not sure if I've perhaps just picked up a KB where it's very noticeable for some reason, but this seems like very poor design if this is genuinely how all mechanical keyboards sound with a metal plate. I'm not exactly "bashing" the keys either, just typing normal. As mentioned earlier, the sound can also happen from a keycap returning upwards quickly too - it sounds like I have this little gong constantly going off on my desk, very irritating.

    What kind of noise does it make? I'm perfectly fine with every other noise the keyboard is making, I know the whole "mechanical keyboard" sound and this isn't bothering me at all. It's the constant little resonating sound that keeps ringing as I'm typing - it's just annoying. I potentially could learn to just live with it, but I'd personally much rather just grab a keyboard that doesn't have it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018
  7. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    just a squelchy laptopy keyboard noise. I was just saying that if you "tune in" to background noises, or noises from your "stuff" you can become aware of things you otherwise aren't aware of, and vice versa.
    I have a corsair k95 vengeance something, I just plugged that in to see what it's like, I can't hear any pinging on that. I'm not sure what switches mine has, maybe the "silent" switches on yours lets you hear this other noise? All I can hear on mine is the clickety clack typing noise of the keys.
    Bottom line, you're the one affected. If you really can't stand it, life's too short to put up with such an annoyance when you are using a keyboard daily. I would give it a decent go of trying to ignore it to see if it fades into your subconscious and stops annoying you, but it might not be the keyboard for you.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    -Sk3tChY-

    -Sk3tChY- Member

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    Yeah don't get me wrong, if I have any audible ambient noise I can't really hear it unless I give the keys a very firm press or two; unfortunately I spend a lot of time without any major ambient noises around me (hence the reason I went with the silent switches) and this is when it's particularly noticeable. Also the noise coming from the mechanical switches themselves is perfectly fine and acceptable - it's just the subsequent metallic ping/echo/ring that is annoying.

    K95 has either speed or brown switches. I too can hear the clickety-clack, it's just that I also hear the aluminium plate resonating shortly after some of my keystrokes - which doesn't seem to have anything to do with the switches.

    On your K95, if you put your ear near the keyboard and give the backspace or enter buttons a good firm double tap - do you notice any kind of metallic ring/ping/resonating sound shortly after the press?

    You should be able to hear what I'm talking about quite clearly in
    this recording I made with my K70.

    I'm just trying to determine whether or not it's something inherent with all metal-plated keyboards, or if I may just have one that hasn't had something mounted properly somewhere.

    Yeah I plan on sticking with it for another day or two, but at this stage I really don't think I'll be keeping the keyboard - it's most apparent on a lot of the keys I have to double tap frequently - enter, delete, backspace - so it's quite annoying.

    I wish they made the K70 with a plastic top, it would be perfect. The K68 is pretty much this, but doesn't come with the same volume roller or switch options - ugh.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018
  9. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    No, but I've got aircon and a fan going and my weiros decided to sing me a song while I was testing it out. I probably always have some ambient noise going on. It probably doesn't tell you much about yours because it's a different model, and it's older, so they could have changed something about their keyboards even if yours is similar to mine. I don't see how mine would make any 'ping' noises, it seems very solid/firm. And maybe you've just got superman hearing and I don't (you lose frequencies as you get old, don't you?)? Doesn't really matter if any of us can hear it, it really will only matter if the shop person hears it too if you decide to try to return it.
     
  10. schmoove

    schmoove Member

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    I couldn't really hear the issue on the YT vids you posted.
    On the actual clyp rec from your KB it is very noticeable.
    We have two mech KBs here.
    One does ping and one does not.

    Filco Zero Tenkeyless (alps?)
    https://deskthority.net/wiki/Filco_Zero
    Just tested it, makes that resonating sound slightly.
    Its user has never noticed it before, and neither have I.
    Edit: is fairly heavy so I assume has metal plate construction.

    Abko Hacker K680 (Kailh blue)
    http://www.abko.co.kr/shop/product_item.php?ItId=2586311440
    Doesn't resonate at all. Rock solid.
    My KB and I love it. Highly recommended (if you can live without the 25 odd keys it has missing).
    Edit: is very heavy for its size and certainly has metal plate construction.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018
  11. OP
    OP
    -Sk3tChY-

    -Sk3tChY- Member

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    It's very difficult to hear with any decent ambient noise - I've got the TV on at the moment and can barely hear the noise unless I really concentrate and try listening for it.

    In this situation the pinging/resonance doesn't really bother me at all - it's only when the room is quiet that I really start to notice it, which is quite often because I also work from here too and prefer working in silence.

    My K70 also feels very well built and solid. No flex, no rattling, the switches all feel pretty much the same
    with no obvious springy noises - it's literally just this pinging/resonance noise which is driving me insane.

    Are you able to hear the noise I'm talking about in my recordings? Can you hear something similar if you put your ear right up next to the keyboard and firmly double tap a few buttons? (Backspace, Enter)

    Obviously, this is a bit extreme - but I'm just trying to nut out whether or not mine may just have something wrong with it which is causing the ping/resonance to be significantly more than normal - because it varies with certain keys.

    They should definitely be able to hear it in the store. I just suspect they'll try saying to me it's not a fault with the keyboard and probably try saying I can't return it for that, or try charging me a "change of mind" or "restocking" fee.
     
  12. nibennett

    nibennett Member

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    minimal ambient noise here currently and I don't get that resonating sound from my Corsair K70 Lux RGB. I also have the silent switches so it's not related to that. The only noise I have is the clickity, clack that all mechanical keyboards make. (have had the keyboard for 3 months now and really happy with it.

    Even mashing any key on mine as hard as your hitting it, I don't get that noise. (And that's hard unless you've amplified it a fair bit).
     
  13. OP
    OP
    -Sk3tChY-

    -Sk3tChY- Member

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    Thanks for the reply mate. From what I've gathered this whole pinging/resonating issue is only applicable to keyboards with metal plate-mounted switches.

    In my scenario it may just be a terrible match, because it feels as if all of the keys I have a tendency to push firmest, frequently and/or in quick succession are the ones which seem to cause the most resonance/pinging.

    For example, if I double tap the "G" key firmly - sure, if it stick my head right up to the keyboard I can hear a very slight resonance, but it's acceptable; but then if I double tap say the backspace or enter buttons in exactly the same way - the pinging/resonance is significantly more.

    I've also started to notice that I occasionally slip my finger tip of some keys like the bottom left control and shift keys, which can also cause the resonance/pinging to become quite pronounced.

    Unfortunately all the K70 boards are sealed from factory, so I'm not really going to have an opportunity to pull out a few and test to see if it's just my board that's faulty - or it's just an inherent issue of the design.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018
  14. SSJ4

    SSJ4 Member

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    So the pinging resonance from the entire keyboard is the issue? well 1. O rings will solve that. All mechanical boards have a metal plate, but as I said the construction, switches and other materials all contribute to the sound. Because the corsair is basically a metal plate and nothing else its exaggerating it, my drevo keyboard which is cheap had the same issue. O-rings solved it.

    I wouldnt let the issue put you off mech keebs becuase despite having the plate its not a trait they all share. Unfortunately, corsairs are not amazing, all the logitech or coolmaster boards, or ducky's I have used havent had that issue. I suggest trying o rings then another board. Go to a shop and try some out.
     
  15. OP
    OP
    -Sk3tChY-

    -Sk3tChY- Member

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    Haven't amplified anything at all, that was just me holding my iPhone X right next to the keys as I pushed them firmly, here's another soundclip:

    https://vocaroo.com/i/s1ej5t9L0Jh8

    Obviously holding my iPhone right up next to the keyboard may make it sound a little louder than it acutally is, but it's still very noticeable whilst typing in a quiet room with the keyboard about half a metre or so away from my ears.

    Are you able to replicate this pinging/resonating sound in any way with your K70? For example if you put your ears a little closer to the keyboard and firmly double tap the enter, backspace, spacebar, shift and enter buttons - do you get any kind of ping/resonating similar to what's in my soundclip?

    Yeah, I've already read up on O-rings and would prefer not to use them as they affect the travel of the key and overall feel - these silent reds already feel soft/mushy enough.

    Do all mechanicals have a metal plate?

    Yeah, I would like to think not all mechanicals have this issue - because I could honestly see it ticking off a heck of a lot more people. I don't know if it's just me noticing the noise so much because I'm listening for it, but whenever I start typing all I keep hearing is this little gong going off on my desk.
     
  16. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    You could ring Corsair first. They might give you a return number (or whatever they call it) I've had that with a company before, they've told me to return something to the shop but it was all sorted beforehand. I've also anticipated I'd get "drama" about returning things, and didn't. You've got people telling you they can hear the noise in your recording (I can't, but it seems that the clip doesn't load on my computer). I wouldn't be able to put up with a ringing sound when trying to work, if I were in your position, I wouldn't hesitate to take it back. Lots of people might buy that keyboard for gaming or they always have music on and never ever notice it, but using it in a quiet room to work on isn't some abnormal use and that seems like a very abnormal noise to have to put up with. (tl:dr if I was the shop assistant, I wouldn't give you any grief about returning it, you aren't being precious or unreasonable to not want ringing noises)
     
  17. nibennett

    nibennett Member

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    Only way I can replicate it and only very quietly is if I have the keyboard with the key I press like 5cm or less from my ear and absolutely slam it as hard as I can on one of the bigger keys, even doing that on the normal letter keys there's no resonance / ping. Even a firm tap is no resonance/ping noise with the keyboard that close to my head, just the clicking, clacking. My iPhone 7+ doesn't even pick it up in a recording when it is only about 2-3cm from the key when I slam it.
    Certainly is not something you would hear from mine even with a basically silent room.
     
  18. schmoove

    schmoove Member

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    Interesting.
    I wonder if the thickness of the plate has anything to do with it.
    My Abko seems pretty thick, which would account for its surprising weight.
    [​IMG]
    It's also a very low profile body, so there's not much room for anything to resonate.

    The Filco on the other hand feels like it is probably a bit roomier inside, thus room for resonating?
    Just picked them both up for a weight feel, the Filco is clearly heavier than the Abko.
     
  19. OP
    OP
    -Sk3tChY-

    -Sk3tChY- Member

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    Well I've only had the KB two days now and I'll likely return it to the store within the next two - so hopefully won't have any major issues.

    I've created a thread on the Corsair forum and am just waiting to see if I get any more constructive feedback, but it seems there's no real definitive answer on this - some keyboards have it more than others and some people perceive/cause it more than others.

    Switched off the TV now as it's getting a bit late, so back typing with a quiet room again and when typing normally I don't really notice the sound at all when using the normal alphabet keys, even the spacebar is bearable when I don't tap it too hard - but it's still really noticeable when I'm having to tap on backspace a few times and when I tap either of the enter keys - sometimes del and end too.

    Thanks for the feedback, appreciate it - I've spent a lot time over the past couple of days reading up on this and my conclusion is that it's really just down to the specific keyboard and end-user.

    Some keyboards exhibit it more than others and some end-users perceive/cause it more than others.

    Personally, I'll just be returning the keyboard and probably go back to using one of the membrane Dell/MS keyboards I have lying around until another mechanical comes out with everything I want.

    I'm baffled as to why manufacturers would continue to use metal plates for mounting the switches when this can be an inherent issue. These are keyboards, not gym equipment - they don't really need the added strength. Or at the very least they could mount the switches with a small layer or rubber or something to stop the vibrations resonating through the metal plate and causing this.

    Yeah, I'm sure all of these variables would have something to do with the general 'acoustics' of an object - trying to understand this though would require a degree in science.

    Definitely things like the type of metal, thickness, shape, chassis, mounting, etc. Would all have something to do with how it sounds/resonates/pings when vibrated.

    You would think though that KB manufacturers would specifically target eliminating these noises when designing a KB.

    For reference - the thickness of the aluminum plate on the K70 is:

    435mm Wide x 165mm High x 2mm Thick

    What is most frustrating is they could have simply used plastic instead of alumium and the K70 would have been absolutely perfect - there would be no ping or metallic echo whatsoever.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
  20. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    What's the keyboard sitting on? Have you tried putting it on a bit of non-slip matting or something to see if that has any effect on the noise?

    If it's just backspace and enter and the wider keys, can you put o rings just on them?

    As for plastic over aluminium, part of it is aesthetics, isn't it?
     

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