QMX Switch Dampeners Review11 Dec 2015
The QMX Switch Dampeners or noise reducers are an effort by GMK to silence switches. I believe this is a product that is supposed to be the launching of their new Uniqey branch of custom keyboards. However, these were announced a long time ago and nothing has come of it yet. So what we currently have is the QMX clips.
What they are, are small plastic covers that go over the top of your switches and the sound is dampened by the keycap falling onto a foam pad that is on top.
I am very 50/50 on these. It is first worth pointing out the fundamental flaw which renders these semi useless. The fact they will not work on plate mounted keyboards. This is because they will simply not fit on keyboards with a plate. This is an incredible shame as I can confirm that they do work and do not completely destroy the feel of switches.
These are such a hit and a miss its incredible. To come so close and to completely miss what you are aiming for was perfectly done by GMK on this one. I can only hope the Uniqey keyboard is an incredible board that brings back PCB mounted keyboards and converts everyone. If that doesn't happen, then these have such a small use case.
To test these I had to borrow my friends ErgoDox which did not have a plate. I'm no webwit but I own a couple of keyboards, but none of them at the time were PCB mount only.
What's in the box?
I got two boxes. The first contained the GMK switch tester the second, the clips. I do very much like the switch tester. It is a clear demonstration of the QMX clips ability and is also nice to have a GMK product. It includes 10 switches Red, Black, Brown, Clear and Blue. Both with and without the QMX clips. It comes with 5 very nice GMK doubleshots which justify this product already.
The clips come in their own box in stacks of 5 and you get a total of 110 so you are covered for pretty much all the plate mounted keyboards you have. You also get a plastic keypuller that doubles as a tool to put the clips on.
Using the Clips
Putting on the clips is time consuming but not as much as dental banding a Topre board. The tool is actually helpful although you might not think it. They are surprisingly fiddly and can appear almost on but just not quite. For putting most of them on I did use the tool.
Sound comparison on a PCB mounted ErgoDox.
Bonus typing on zealio planck (no dampening).
Listening back to these recordings I couldn't tell much of a difference. But I will say they do sound better with your ears. In terms of sound these are better than o-rings.
Getting the clips off is a much harder affair. The tool is a one way deal. I'm not sure if you are just meant to keep them on forever, but I could not get the tool to aid at all in the removal process. Instead, I used my own DIY switch opener which is a bent fork. Removing the clips was not a fun experience.
How do they feel?
They feel really good. This is something I was surprised by but I do think these could be nice to type on fulltime. They do feel slightly different, It is hard to describe these as with any switch mod or variation. But you are typing on a small layer of foam. If you are bottoming out, which is a little easier to do with the reduced travel, it feels like a softer landing. At first I really was confused by the feel. It was a noticeable difference. Once I had adjusted, I found I had no problems. Despite the reasonable feel, it is not a feeling that I am left craving after using it.
If you are looking for a dampening solution I do think these are worth looking into. But they do themselves the biggest disfavour by not being compatible with a huge amount of keyboards.
It is hard to put into words, but this is this was a misfire so close to the mark but ultimately a little bit useless.
I will giveaway my QMX clips. I think I have 109 as I dropped the box and had a hard time finding them all again.
- You must however send me a time stamped photo of your pcb mounted board. Please tweet it to me.
I will pick someone next Friday. You may also subscribe to my youtube channel if you please.
Typed on SSK