SP-Star Ayara vs. Durock T1

An in-depth look at the SP-Star Ayara and the Durock T1 switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, two popular options that stand out are the SP-Star Ayara and the Durock T1. The Ayara is a linear switch, while the T1 is a tactile switch. Both switches have their own unique features and advantages, making them suitable for different typing preferences. The Ayara is best known for its medium heftness, providing a hearty typing experience. With a soft bottom-out feel and a perfectly clacky sound profile, it combines both comfort and satisfying audio feedback. On the other hand, the T1 is highly regarded for its exceptional comfort while typing. It offers a medium bump when pressing down and produces a sound reminiscent of rain falling on a window. These characteristics contribute to a pleasant and immersive typing experience. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so that you can make the best decision regarding the switch that suits your personal preferences.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

N/A

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

62g

Bottom-out force

67g

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Factory lubed

Yes

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Standard

Stem construction

Standard

Stem material

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Nylon

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Two-stage

Spring

Gold-plated

Housing materials

The housing materials of the SP-Star Ayara and the Durock T1 differ significantly. The Ayara utilizes a nylon top housing, which produces a deeper and fuller sound profile. This softer plastic absorbs more sound, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. In contrast, the T1 features a polycarbonate top housing that creates a sharper and crisper sound. The relatively stiffer plastic of polycarbonate leads to a more clear and resonant sound profile. Additionally, the polycarbonate top housing is advantageous for those who plan to use RGB lighting due to its translucency. While the Ayara's nylon bottom housing is similar to that of the T1, both materials elicit a deeper and fuller sound profile. This is because nylon's softer plastic absorbs more sound, creating a duller and rounder sound.

When comparing the housing materials, it becomes apparent that the top and bottom housings have a significant impact on the overall sound and feel of the switch. The Ayara's nylon top housing absorbs sound, resulting in a deeper and fuller sound when pressing down on the key. In contrast, the Durock T1's polycarbonate top housing creates a sharper and crisper sound when releasing the key. The bottom housing, whether nylon in the T1 or the Ayara, also plays a role in the sound profile, particularly the bottom-out sound and feel. However, the top housing tends to have a more noticeable impact when it comes to the sound experienced upon releasing a key.

While the materials of the top and bottom housings differ between the Ayara and the T1, it is important to note that both switches utilize nylon in their bottom housing. This suggests that when typing on either switch, users can expect a similar deep and full sound profile. The relatively softer nylon plastic in both switches effectively absorbs sound, creating a duller and rounder sound. Therefore, while there are differences in the top housing materials, the similarities in the bottom housing ensure that users will achieve similar results in terms of sound when typing on either the Ayara or the T1.

Weight

When comparing the SP-Star Ayara linear switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch, there are some notable differences in terms of their actuation force and bottom out force. Unfortunately, the actuation force for both switches is unavailable, making it difficult to directly compare. However, the Ayara has a bottom out force of 62 grams, which is considered medium, while the T1 has a bottom out force of 67 grams, making it slightly heavier at a medium-heavy level.

Considering weight, some individuals prefer lighter switches as they allow for longer periods of typing, making them suitable for work or extended gaming sessions. In this regard, both the Ayara and the T1 offer similar results as their actuation forces are unknown. However, for those seeking a more substantial typing experience, where a stronger push feel is desired, the T1 may be the preferable option given its heavier bottom out force.

In summary, the Ayara and T1 switches differ in their bottom out force, with the Ayara being lighter at 62 grams and the T1 being slightly heavier at 67 grams. While the actuation force remains unknown for both switches, users seeking a lighter typing experience may lean towards the Ayara, while those looking for a slightly more substantial feel may consider the T1.

Travel distance

When comparing the travel distance of the SP-Star Ayara linear switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch, it can be noted that both switches have an equal travel distance of 4 mm. This means that when pressing down on either switch, users will experience a similar distance from the top to the bottom. It is worth mentioning that the travel distance of a switch plays a crucial role in determining the typing experience and tactile feedback. In this case, users can expect consistent feedback and typing satisfaction from both the Ayara and T1 switches due to their identical travel distance.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The SP-Star Ayara has an MSRP of $5.80 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Ayara for $5.40.

The Durock T1 has an MSRP of $5.50 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the T1 for $4.90.

Here at Milktooth, we offer the best prices on switches (on average, 27% lower the competition). In addition, we offer free shipping on orders over $49.00. We also offer free returns and exchanges, so you can shop with guaranteed satisfaction.

That said, while price is an important piece of the puzzle, our opinion is that you should ultimately pick the option that most suits your unique preferences since you’ll be using these switches for years to come. In other words, finding something perfect for you is, in our view, the most important criteria.

Typing experience

When it comes to sound, the Ayara switch offers a neutral sound profile with a moderately crisp and clacky sound when pressed. This makes it suitable for various purposes, whether you are a beginner or an advanced user and whether you plan to use it at home or at work. On the other hand, the T1 switch provides a low-pitched sound profile that is more bass-heavy and mellow in tone. Its sound is reminiscent of rain falling on a window, providing a soothing and calming typing experience. While the Ayara switch focuses on a neutral sound, the T1 switch offers a more unique and atmospheric sound experience.

In terms of feel, the Ayara switch stands out with its polished finish, resulting in a smooth and refined typing experience. The reduced friction and smooth key travel provided by the polished switch contribute to a sleek feel while typing. On the other hand, the T1 switch offers a stepped feel, giving a tactile experience with two stages. Unlike hypertactile switches, which have a big bump throughout the keystroke, the T1 switch provides a milder tactility, allowing you to feel some pre-travel and/or post-travel. Additionally, the T1 switch is also described as accented, meaning it offers a medium amount of tactility that is neither overwhelming nor subtle. This combination of steps and accents creates a comfortable and satisfying typing feel.

Considering the available information, the Ayara switch offers a hearty typing experience with its medium heftness, soft bottom-out feel, and clacky sound profile. It provides a neutral switch option suitable for most intents and purposes. On the other hand, the T1 switch offers a more comfortable typing experience with its medium bump and rain-like sound. It provides a low-pitched switch option with some stepped and accented features. Both switches have their own unique qualities and are suitable for different preferences. If you are looking for a similar typing experience, you can expect comparable results with the Ayara switch offering a similar sound profile to the T1 switch's neutral sound and the Ayara switch's polished feel providing a smooth typing experience similar to the T1 switch. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and the specific qualities you prioritize in a mechanical keyboard switch.

Conclusion

To summarize, if you prefer a hearty typing experience with a soft bottom-out feel and a clacky sound profile, the SP-Star Ayara linear switch is the way to go. With a medium bottom-out force of 62 grams, these switches provide a satisfying typing experience. However, if you prioritize comfort and enjoy a medium bump when pressing down, along with a sound reminiscent of rain falling on a window, the Durock T1 tactile switch is your best bet. With a slightly heavier bottom-out force of 67 grams, the T1 offers a comfortable and tactile typing experience.

In terms of sound, the Ayara switch has a neutral sound profile, making it suitable for both beginners and advanced users, whether you plan to use it at home or work. On the other hand, the T1 switch produces a low-pitched sound, featuring a more bass-heavy and mellow tone. If you prefer a sharper and crisper sound, the Ayara's neutral high-pitched profile may be more to your liking.

When it comes to feel, the Ayara switch is polished, providing a smooth and refined finish for a sleek typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel. Meanwhile, the T1 switch can be described as stepped, offering a mild tactile feel with some pre-travel and/or post-travel. Additionally, the T1 is also accented, providing a medium amount of tactility that is not overwhelming or subtle. Both switches offer a polished feel, ensuring a pleasant typing experience.

Ultimately, the decision between the Ayara linear switch and the T1 tactile switch depends on your personal preferences. If you prioritize a hearty, clacky typing experience, go for the Ayara. If comfort and a tactile feel are more important to you, opt for the T1. Consider the sound and feel profiles mentioned above to make an informed choice and enjoy a fantastic typing experience tailored to your preferences.

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