KTT Hyacinth vs. Gateron Ink Yellow

An in-depth look at the KTT Hyacinth and the Gateron Ink Yellow switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

The KTT Hyacinth and the Gateron Ink Yellow are two mechanical keyboard switches that both offer a linear typing experience. The Hyacinth stands out with its unique design choice of a 3.5mm travel distance, aimed at avoiding the common issue of hard bottoming-out. Its commitment to maintaining an ideal balance between tactile feedback, auditory experience, and user comfort is evident in this design decision. In contrast, the Ink Yellow provides a shorter travel distance, offering a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop keyboard and a standard mechanical keyboard. It is praised for its pleasant smoothness and clackiness. The Hyacinth is categorized as 'Neutral', 'Silky', and 'Subtle', while the Ink Yellow falls into the categories of 'Neutral', 'Clacky', 'Mild', and 'Polished'. Both switches have their merits and choosing the best one for you will require further exploration beyond these generalities.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

45g

Actuation force

60g

Bottom-out force

56g

Bottom-out force

67g

Pre-travel

1.90 mm

Pre-travel

1.50 mm

Total travel

3.50 mm

Total travel

3.50 mm

Factory lubed

Yes

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Standard

Stem construction

Partial box

Stem material

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Top housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

22mm spring

Spring

Gold-plated

Housing materials

The KTT Hyacinth and the Gateron Ink Yellow switches have different housing materials that contribute to their unique sound profiles. The Hyacinth features a polycarbonate top housing, which creates a sharper and higher-pitched sound. This material is known for its stiffness, resulting in a clear and resonant sound. Additionally, the translucent nature of polycarbonate makes it ideal for switches with RGB lighting. In contrast, the Ink Yellow utilizes Gateron's proprietary INK blend top housing, characterized by a pointed and relatively high-pitched sound. While not overly sharp, it delivers a satisfying clacky sound.

When it comes to the bottom housing, the Hyacinth employs a nylon material. Typing on switches with nylon housing produces a deeper and fuller sound due to the softer nature of the plastic. Nylon absorbs more sound than harder plastics, creating a duller and rounder sound. Conversely, the Ink Yellow utilizes Gateron's proprietary INK blend in its bottom housing. This material contributes to a pointed and high-pitched sound, adding to the switch's overall clacky profile.

While the top and bottom housings of the Hyacinth and Ink Yellow differ, they both aim to create distinctive sound profiles. The switch's bottom housing mainly influences the bottom-out sound and feel, determining the impact and depth of each keystroke. In contrast, the top housing has a more significant impact on the sound when releasing a key. Despite their material differences, both switches prioritize delivering a satisfying, noticeable sound experience to the user.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the KTT Hyacinth linear switch and the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch, there are noticeable differences in weight that affect the overall typing experience. The Hyacinth has a lighter actuation force of 45 grams, while the Ink Yellow requires a slightly heavier 60 grams. Similarly, the bottom out force of the Hyacinth is 56 grams, while the Ink Yellow is even heavier at 67 grams.

For those who prefer a lighter touch, the Hyacinth would be the better option as its actuation force allows for smoother and quicker keystrokes. The lighter bottom out force also results in a softer landing when pressing down fully. This can be beneficial for individuals who type for extended periods or engage in long gaming sessions, as it reduces fatigue and allows for longer usage without discomfort.

On the other hand, those who prefer a more substantial typing experience with a stronger push feel would find the Ink Yellow switch more suitable. The heavier actuation force of 60 grams provides a satisfying tactile feedback, making it ideal for users who enjoy a more pronounced keypress. Additionally, the increased bottom out force of 67 grams offers a firmer landing, giving a sense of solidity and stability during typing.

In conclusion, the KTT Hyacinth switch offers a lighter and more effortless typing experience with its medium-light actuation force and bottom out force. Meanwhile, the Gateron Ink Yellow switch delivers a medium-heavy typing experience with a stronger push feel due to its slightly heavier actuation and bottom out forces. Choosing between the two switches ultimately depends on individual preferences for typing feel and desired weight.

Travel distance

The travel distance of the KTT Hyacinth linear switch and the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch is equal, with both switches having a travel distance of 3.5 mm. This means that when you press down on a key equipped with either of these switches, you will experience the same amount of travel distance. The Hyacinth and Ink Yellow switches provide a consistent and comfortable typing experience due to their identical travel distances.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The KTT Hyacinth has an MSRP of $4.03 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Hyacinth for $3.75.

The Gateron Ink Yellow has an MSRP of $7.50 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Ink Yellow for $7.35.

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

The KTT Hyacinth linear switch is best known for its unique design choice of a 3.5mm travel distance. This decision was made to create a balance between tactile feedback, auditory experience, and user comfort, avoiding the harsh bottoming-out experience commonly found in switches with longer stems. The Hyacinth also stands out by using a single-stage elongated spring instead of the dual-stage elongated springs used by many switches, resulting in a more consistent force curve. In terms of sound, the Hyacinth is described as neutral, making it suitable for most intents and purposes.

On the other hand, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch offers a typing experience between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. It is characterized by a shorter travel distance, providing a pleasant smoothness and clackiness. In terms of sound, the Ink Yellow switch is also described as neutral, making it suitable for various uses. However, it is worth noting that the Ink Yellow switch has an additional descriptor of "clacky," producing a sharp and snappy sound when pressed, which can be described as crisp, bright, and percussive.

When comparing the feel of the Hyacinth and Ink Yellow switches, the Hyacinth is described as silky, offering an exceptionally smooth typing experience. It minimizes resistance when pressing and releasing keys and provides a subtle resistance that maintains a light typing feel. The sound signature of the Hyacinth is also described as not resonant, making it suitable for shared spaces. On the other hand, the Ink Yellow switch is described as mild, offering a gentle typing experience. It falls within a safe middle-ground zone, making the sound and feel approachable to most. Additionally, the Ink Yellow switch is described as polished, indicating a smooth and refined finish that results in a sleek typing experience.

In conclusion, both the KTT Hyacinth and Gateron Ink Yellow switches have their own unique qualities. The Hyacinth offers a 3.5mm travel distance and a single-stage elongated spring for a consistent force curve. It provides a neutral sound profile and a silky, subtle typing feel. On the other hand, the Ink Yellow switch has a shorter travel distance, producing a pleasant smoothness and clackiness. It also offers a neutral sound profile, but with a clacky variation. The Ink Yellow switch has a mild typing experience and a polished finish for reduced friction and smooth key travel. Depending on your preferences, either switch can provide a satisfying typing experience with their respective qualities.

Conclusion

In conclusion, if you are looking for a smoother typing experience with a lighter bottom out force, the KTT Hyacinth linear switch would be a great choice for you. Its 3.5mm travel distance and single-stage elongated spring provide a consistent force curve and help avoid the hard bottoming-out experience. The Hyacinth switch also offers a silky feel and a subtle sound profile, making it suitable for shared spaces. On the other hand, if you prefer a typing experience between a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch would be a better option. With its medium-heavy bottom out force of 67 grams and shorter travel, the Ink Yellow switch provides a pleasant smoothness and a clacky sound. It offers a mild feel and a polished finish, ensuring reduced friction and smooth key travel. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches depends on your preference for bottom out force, travel distance, typing experience, and sound profile.

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