TTC Flame Red vs. Outemu Phoenix

An in-depth look at the TTC Flame Red and the Outemu Phoenix switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, there are many options to choose from, each with their own unique features and characteristics. Two popular choices in the market are the TTC Flame Red and the Outemu Phoenix switches. Both switches offer distinct advantages, but they cater to different preferences. The Flame Red is widely regarded for its mesmerizing light diffuser, making it the perfect choice for those who appreciate a visually stunning keyboard setup. On the other hand, the Phoenix stands out with its under-skirt click mechanism, providing a one-of-a-kind clicky experience. The Flame Red offers a weighty smoothness and clacky sound profile, while the Phoenix delivers a crystalline and sparkling feel and sound. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can best decide on the perfect switch for your specific needs and preferences.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

45g

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

54g

Bottom-out force

62g

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Pre-travel

1.80 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Total travel

3.30 mm

Factory lubed

Yes

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Partial box

Stem construction

Standard

Stem material

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Nylon

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

Polycarbonate

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

24.5mm long spring

Spring

Stainless steel

Housing materials

The housing materials of the TTC Flame Red and the Outemu Phoenix switches, specifically the nylon top housing of the Flame Red and the polycarbonate top housing of the Phoenix, offer distinct differences in sound profile and aesthetic appeal. The Flame Red's nylon top housing creates a deeper and fuller sound due to its relatively softer plastic, which absorbs more sound and creates a duller, rounder sound. On the other hand, the Phoenix's polycarbonate top housing produces a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound, as polycarbonate is a stiffer plastic that allows for a more clear and resonant sound profile. Additionally, the polycarbonate top housing of the Phoenix is especially useful for those who plan to use RGB lighting, as its translucency enhances the visual impact of the lighting.

Moving on to the bottom housing, the Flame Red's nylon bottom housing shares similar qualities with its nylon top housing, offering a deeper and fuller sound profile due to its softer plastic and higher sound absorption. Comparatively, the polycarbonate bottom housing of the Phoenix again provides a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound, thanks to its stiffer plastic and enhanced resonance. Both housings serve to influence the sound and feel of the keypress in different ways, with the bottom housing having a greater impact on the bottom-out sound and feel, while the top housing affects the sound when releasing a key.

In conclusion, the housing materials of the TTC Flame Red and the Outemu Phoenix switches differ significantly in terms of sound profile and aesthetic appearance. The Flame Red's nylon housing creates a deeper, fuller, and duller sound, while the Phoenix's polycarbonate housing offers a sharper, crisper, and more resonant sound. The clear, translucent nature of the polycarbonate top housing also makes it a desirable choice for those intending to use RGB lighting. Nonetheless, both switches showcase the impact that these housing materials have on the overall typing experience, with the bottom housing influencing the bottom-out sound and feel, and the top housing affecting the sound upon key release.

Weight

When comparing the TTC Flame Red linear switch and the Outemu Phoenix clicky switch, the actuation force and bottom out force of the two switches present some notable differences. The TTC Flame Red linear switch has an actuation force of 45 grams, providing a medium-light feel. In contrast, the actuation force of the Outemu Phoenix clicky switch is unspecified, making it difficult to assess compared to the Flame Red. However, the Flame Red's bottom out force weighs in at 54 grams, while the Phoenix clicky switch requires 62 grams to bottom out, indicating a slightly heavier typing experience for the latter.

The weight of a switch is an important consideration for users for several reasons. Some individuals may prefer a lighter actuation force as it enables them to type for extended periods without fatigue, making it an ideal choice for those using the keyboard for work or engaging in long gaming sessions. On the other hand, there are those who desire a more substantial typing experience and prefer a stronger push feel. For these individuals, switches with heavier actuation forces are better suited to meet their preferences.

While the specific actuation force for the Outemu Phoenix clicky switch is unknown, it is clear that the Flame Red has a lighter actuation force of 45 grams compared to the Phoenix's unspecified force. However, both switches have medium bottom out forces, with the Flame Red requiring 54 grams and the Phoenix needing 62 grams to bottom out. Consequently, users looking for a slightly lighter actuation force and weightier bottom out force may find the TTC Flame Red switch more suitable, while those seeking a switch with potentially heavier actuation force, without specific details, might lean towards the Outemu Phoenix clicky switch for their typing experience.

Travel distance

The TTC Flame Red linear switch and the Outemu Phoenix clicky switch have different travel distances. The Flame Red has a travel distance of 4 mm, which is considered a more traditional travel distance. On the other hand, the Phoenix has a shorter travel distance of 3.3 mm. Gamers often prefer shorter travel distances for faster response times, as it allows them to press keys more quickly. In this case, the Phoenix would be the preferable choice. However, some people may find shorter travel distances too abrupt and prefer a switch with a longer travel distance. In this case, the Flame Red would be the better option. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches depends on personal preference and the desired feel when pressing down on the keys.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The TTC Flame Red has an MSRP of $7.29 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Flame Red for $4.38.

The Outemu Phoenix comes in at $4.15 per 10 switches.

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 TTC Flame Red switch has a moderate and neutral sound profile. This makes it suitable for most purposes, whether you are a beginner or an advanced user, and whether you plan to use the keyboard at home or work. On the other hand, the Outemu Phoenix switch is known for its crunchy sound. This type of sound is often associated with clicky switches and can be likened to stepping on piles of crisp and crunchy autumn leaves. It's important to note that the sound of a switch can also be influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps chosen.

In terms of feel, both the Flame Red and Phoenix switches are described as having a polished finish. This means that they offer a smooth and refined typing experience, resulting in reduced friction and smooth key travel. The Flame Red switch also provides a mild typing experience, offering a more gentle and approachable feel compared to switches with more pronounced characteristics. This mild feel, along with the polished finish, places the Flame Red switch in a safe and middle-ground zone. Similarly, the Phoenix switch's polished feel ensures a sleek typing experience.

Taking all the available information into account, it is clear that the TTC Flame Red and Outemu Phoenix switches have their own unique qualities. The Flame Red switch stands out with its weighty smoothness and clacky sound profile, making it a great choice for those who prefer a satisfying tactile experience. Additionally, its dazzling light diffuser makes it the ideal choice for backlit, RGB keyboards. On the other hand, the Phoenix switch is known for its under-skirt click mechanism, offering a crystalline and sparkling feel and sound profile that sets it apart from other clicky switches. Ultimately, both switches offer a refined and polished typing experience, ensuring reduced friction and smooth key travel. Whether you choose the Flame Red or Phoenix switches, you can expect high-quality performance and an enjoyable typing experience.

Conclusion

In conclusion, if you are looking for a switch that combines visual appeal, smoothness, and a clacky sound profile for your backlit, RGB keyboard, the TTC Flame Red linear switch is the way to go. It offers a medium-light bottom out force of 54 grams, providing a weighty smoothness when typing. Additionally, the Flame Red switch is described as having a mild and polished feel, ensuring a gentle and sleek typing experience. On the other hand, if you prefer a switch with a unique click mechanism and a crystalline, sparkling feel and sound profile, the Outemu Phoenix clicky switch is the perfect choice. With a medium bottom out force of 62 grams, the Phoenix switch delivers a crunchy sound similar to stepping on piles of autumn leaves. Furthermore, like the Flame Red, the Phoenix is also described as having a polished feel, resulting in reduced friction and smooth key travel. Ultimately, the decision between these two switches comes down to personal preference and the specific qualities you prioritize in your mechanical keyboard.

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