Durock Mamba vs. Cherry MX Brown

An in-depth look at the Durock Mamba and the Cherry MX Brown switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

Introduction:

When it comes to choosing a mechanical keyboard switch, there are several factors to consider, including the typing experience and audio feedback. Two popular options that offer distinct qualities are the Durock Mamba, a linear switch, and the Cherry MX Brown, a tactile switch. The Mamba switches, named as a tribute to Kobe Bryant, excel in providing a smooth and gliding typing sensation, accompanied by a rich and creamy auditory experience. On the other hand, the Cherry MX Browns are best known for their subtlety, offering a relatively light typing experience with gentle tactility and subdued audio feedback. Both switches have their own merits, but let's dive in a bit deeper beyond generalities so you can best decide on the ideal switch for your keyboard setup.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

N/A

Actuation force

45g

Bottom-out force

60g

Bottom-out force

55g

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Total travel

3.50 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Factory lubed

Yes

Factory lubed

No

Stem construction

Standard

Stem construction

Standard

Stem material

Ly

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Polymer nylon and UHMWPE blend

Top housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

POM

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Extended long spring

Spring

Stainless steel

Housing materials

The housing materials of the Durock Mamba and the Cherry MX Brown have distinct characteristics that contribute to the overall sound profile and typing experience. The Mamba utilizes a unique Polymer nylon and UHMWPE blend for its top housing, resulting in a pleasant and slightly brighter sound profile. In contrast, the MX Brown features a classic nylon top housing that creates a deeper and fuller sound. While both materials offer different sound profiles, they provide similar results in terms of enhancing the overall typing experience.

In terms of the bottom housing, the Mamba incorporates a POM material that produces a pleasing and deep sound, resulting in a relatively more muted sound profile. Similarly, the MX Brown utilizes a nylon bottom housing, contributing to a deeper and fuller sound. Both materials absorb sound well due to their relatively softer composition, leading to a duller and rounder sound. Thus, the bottom housing of both switches plays a significant role in the bottom-out sound and feel when pressing down on the keys.

Although the top and bottom housings differ for the Mamba and MX Brown, they each contribute to the overall sound profile and typing experience in their own unique ways. While the top housing of the Mamba emphasizes the sound when releasing a key, the nylon top housing of the MX Brown enhances the overall typing experience with its deeper and fuller sound. Despite the variations, both switches deliver satisfying results, showcasing the impact that housing materials have on the sound and feel of mechanical keyboards.

In summary, the housing materials of the Durock Mamba and the Cherry MX Brown exhibit distinct characteristics that influence the sound profile and typing experience. The Mamba's Polymer nylon and UHMWPE blend top housing creates a pleasant and brighter sound, while the MX Brown's nylon top housing offers a deeper and fuller sound. Additionally, the Mamba's POM bottom housing produces a relatively more muted sound, while the MX Brown's nylon bottom housing contributes to a duller and rounder sound. Although the top and bottom housings have different effects, both switches deliver satisfying results, highlighting the significance of housing materials in mechanical keyboards.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Durock Mamba linear switch and the Cherry MX Brown tactile switch, there are notable differences. The Mamba's actuation force is unavailable in grams, while the MX Brown requires 45 grams of force to trigger a keystroke. This indicates that the MX Brown is lighter in terms of actuation force. However, both switches have a medium level of bottom out force, with the Mamba requiring 60 grams and the MX Brown requiring 55 grams. So, despite the difference in actuation force, users can expect a similar bottoming out experience with both switches. The weight of the switches is crucial for different preferences. If one prefers a lighter feel for prolonged typing or gaming sessions, the MX Brown would be a suitable choice. On the other hand, for those who prefer a stronger push and a more substantial typing experience, the Mamba with its unknown actuation force would be a better option.

Travel distance

When comparing the travel distance of the Durock Mamba linear switch and the Cherry MX Brown tactile switch, we can see that the Mamba has a shorter travel distance of 3.5 mm, while the MX Brown has a longer travel distance of 4 mm. 4.0mm is the most traditional travel distance, while 3.0mm is the most shallow. However, shorter travel distances have become more prevalent, particularly among gamers who prioritize faster response times. Choosing the Mamba with its shorter travel distance would be beneficial for those seeking a more responsive typing experience. On the other hand, individuals who prefer a deeper and more substantial feel when pressing down on a key may find the MX Brown's longer travel distance more suitable. Ultimately, the choice between these two switches depends on personal preference and the desired typing experience.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Durock Mamba has an MSRP of $6.50 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Mamba for $5.17.

The Cherry MX Brown comes in at $4.00 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

In terms of sound, the Durock Mamba linear switch offers a neutral sound profile with a moderate actuation force requirement. This makes it suitable for a variety of purposes, whether you are a beginner or advanced user, and whether you plan to use the switch at home or work. The Mamba switch also produces a deep and satisfying "thocky" sound when pressed, which adds to the auditory experience. On the other hand, the Cherry MX Brown tactile switch offers a bassy sound profile with a lower frequency range, resembling the depth and richness associated with bass tones. It also has a low-pitched and mellow tone compared to higher-pitched switches. However, please note that the sound produced by a switch can also be influenced by factors such as the choice of keyboard and keycaps.

Moving on to feel, the Durock Mamba linear switch provides a mild and gentle typing experience. It falls in a safe, middle-ground zone, making it approachable to most users. The switch also has a polished finish, resulting in a smooth and refined typing experience. This is achieved through the use of high-quality materials and/or factory lubing, which reduces friction and ensures smooth key travel. On the other hand, the Cherry MX Brown tactile switch is described as textured or scratchy. This means that it has noticeable friction when pressed, which might be preferred by some users who enjoy a subtle texture. However, others might prefer a smoother and friction-free typing experience.

Overall, the Durock Mamba linear switch and the Cherry MX Brown tactile switch offer different subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel. The Mamba switch provides a gliding typing sensation and a rich and creamy auditory experience, while the MX Brown switch offers a relatively light typing experience with gentle tactility and subdued audio feedback. It's important to note that personal preference plays a significant role in choosing the right switch for individuals. If you are looking for similar results to the Mamba switch, you can consider other linear switches with a neutral sound profile and a mild typing experience. Similarly, if you are seeking a comparable experience to the MX Brown switch, you can explore other tactile switches with a bassy sound profile and a textured feel. Ultimately, testing different switches hands-on is recommended to find the one that suits your specific preferences and typing style.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you are looking for a linear switch with a medium bottom out force and a gliding typing sensation, the Durock Mamba switches are a great choice. These switches offer a rich and creamy auditory experience, making your typing sessions enjoyable. They are suitable for both beginners and advanced users, whether you plan to use them at home or work. On the other hand, if you prefer a tactile switch with a slightly lighter bottom out force, the Cherry MX Brown switches are a good option. Known for their subtlety, these switches provide a gentle tactility and subdued audio feedback. If you appreciate a bassy and low-pitched sound profile during key presses, the MX Brown switches will satisfy your auditory preferences. Overall, the Durock Mamba switches provide a mild and polished typing experience, while the MX Brown switches offer a textured feel with their noticeable friction. Ultimately, the choice between these two switches depends on your personal preferences for typing sensation, sound, and feel.

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