Rosewill RK-9000 v2 Ear Aches and Heart Break

Mechanical keyboards are known for being loud and obnoxious devices. We love them for what they are. Depending on the patience of our environment, our mechanical keyboards might quickly become our only companion. If you are not alone where you will be using your keyboard, it may be wise to consider your neighbors — especially if you intend on leaving your keyboard unattended for about the time it takes for gelatin dessert to set.

Other reviews often make the mistake of measuring the decibel noise pressure caused by a keyboard and directly equating that to annoyance. While absolute volume is relevant, it is not sufficient to determine annoyance: even a faint whistle can send someone berserk. The only way to characterize the annoyance level is to literally drive people insane and have them quantify their aggression.

Challenge accepted.

Three surveyees were used for this experiment: two in person, and one over the phone. They were told to quantify how annoying each keyboard sounded to them on a one-to-nine scale ranging from “barely notice” to “kill it with fire!” The line between tolerance and intollerance is between 3 and 4, so about 3.5. It would have been more accurate to bother people during their daily business as would actually happen, but I did not. The reasoning for that should be obvious.

The Razer BlackWidow Ultimate was considered the worst by the in-person surveyees with both classifying it as barely intolerable (~3.5). Over the phone, it was classified as outright annoying (6).

The first generation Rosewill RK-9000 turned out to be slightly less annoying than the Razer BlackWidow during the two in-person surveys (~2.5, 3). Over the phone it was classified as very annoying (7). Despite seeming less annoying in person, it is possible that it was just a bit more tuned to the frequency of the setup being used for the phonecall.

The second generation RK-9000 with Cherry MX Blue switches was slightly less annoying for all who were surveyed, oddly enough. The two who were surveyed in person claimed it to be somewhere between noticeable and not too bad (2, 2.5). Over the phone the second generation RK-9000 was classified as irritating, but not annoying (5).

The second generation RK-9000 with Cherry MX Brown switches has a bit mixed responses. In person it was rated by one person as better than the Rosewill Cherry MX Blue switches (2) and worse by the other (3.5). Over the phone it was the quietest of all keyboards tested (4).

The second generation RK-9000 with Cherry MX Black switches is considered to be the quietest switch by both who were surveyed in person (2, 2.5). Over the phone it was annoying, however (6).

Lastly, the second generation RK-9000 with Cherry MX Red switches is considered to be slightly louder than the MX Black keyboard (2.5, 3) but still tolerable. Over the phone the Red switches were the most annoying, they could not stand listening to it (8).

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