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SP-Star Meteor Orangevs. Cherry MX Black

An in-depth look at the SP-Star Meteor Orange and the Cherry MX Black switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, the SP-Star Meteor Orange, a tactile switch, and the Cherry MX Black, a linear switch, are two options that stand out from the rest. The Meteor Orange switches are best known for their exquisitely gentle nature, offering a soft and seductive tactility that is hard to resist. With a neutral sound profile and a categorized feel of 'Neutral', 'Mild', 'Thocky', and 'Polished', these switches provide a delightful typing experience. On the other hand, Cherry has further perfected their iconic MX Black switches, incorporating their new Hyperglide tooling to provide a classic textured smoothness. Typing on these switches elicits a familiar deep sound profile, along with a feel categorized as 'Low-pitched', 'Textured', and 'Stiff'. Each switch offers its unique advantages, and depending on your preferences, one may suit you better than the other. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond generalities so you can best decide on the best switch for you.

By the numbers

Meteor Orange
MX Black
BrandSP-Star
CategoryTactile
BrandCherry
CategoryLinear

$5.50

$5.00 per 10 switches

$4.00 per 10 switches

Technical specifications

Actuation force

N/A

Actuation force

60g

Bottom-out force

57g

Bottom-out force

80g

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

No

Stem construction

Standard

Stem construction

Standard

Stem material

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Nylon

Top housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Stainless steel

Spring

Stainless steel

Housing materials

The housing materials of the SP-Star Meteor Orange and the Cherry MX Black switches both utilize nylon, making them similar in terms of material. The nylon top housings of both switches contribute to a deeper and fuller sound profile when typing. This is because nylon is a softer plastic that absorbs more sound, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. Both switches provide a satisfying auditory experience, thanks to the nylon top housing's ability to enhance the typing sound.

Similarly, the nylon bottom housings of the Meteor Orange and MX Black switches offer comparable characteristics. Nylon is known for its sound-absorbing properties, creating a deeper and fuller sound profile. The softer plastic of the nylon bottom housing absorbs more sound, resulting in a softer and more rounded sound when pressing down on the switch. Both switches benefit from this feature, contributing to an enjoyable typing experience.

In terms of the impact on sound and feel, the top and bottom housings play different roles. The bottom housing has more influence on the bottom-out sound and feel, while the top housing affects the sound when releasing a key. As both switches utilize nylon for both their top and bottom housings, the qualities brought by the housing material will be divided between the two parts. This means that users can expect similar results in terms of sound and feel when comparing the SP-Star Meteor Orange and the Cherry MX Black switches, as both switches incorporate nylon in both their top and bottom housings.

Weight

When comparing the SP-Star Meteor Orange tactile switch and the Cherry MX Black linear switch, there are notable differences in their actuation force and bottom out force. The Meteor Orange's actuation force is unknown, while the MX Black requires 60 grams of force to trigger a keystroke. In terms of bottom out force, the Meteor Orange requires 57 grams, which is considered medium-light, while the MX Black has a heavier bottom out force of 80 grams.

Considering weight, those who prefer a lighter typing experience may lean towards the Meteor Orange switch, as it allows for longer typing periods and is suitable for work or extended gaming sessions. On the other hand, individuals seeking a more substantial and forceful push while typing may find the MX Black to be a better option, as it requires a heavier actuation force.

Although the actuation force for the Meteor Orange is unavailable, it is likely that it falls in a similar range to the MX Black or even lighter, given its medium-light bottom out force. However, without concrete information on the actuation force of the Meteor Orange, it is difficult to make a direct comparison in terms of the required force to trigger a keystroke. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches will depend on an individual's preference for a lighter or heavier typing experience.

Travel distance

Both the SP-Star Meteor Orange tactile switch and the Cherry MX Black linear switch have the same travel distance of 4 mm. This means that when you press down on a key, you will experience a consistent travel distance of 4 mm for both switches. Therefore, in terms of travel distance, you can expect similar results from both switches.

Sound tests

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The SP-Star Meteor Orange has an MSRP of $5.50 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Meteor Orange for $5.00.

The Cherry MX Black 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.

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Typing experience

In terms of sound, the SP-Star Meteor Orange switch offers a neutral sound profile. This means that it has a moderate actuation force requirement and a moderate sound profile, making it suitable for most purposes. It does not have any specific sound characteristics such as being particularly deep or thocky. On the other hand, the Cherry MX Black switch has a low-pitched sound. This means that it produces a more bass-heavy and mellow tone compared to higher-pitched switches. Overall, the Meteor Orange will provide a neutral sound experience while the MX Black will offer a deeper and more bass-heavy sound.

When it comes to feel, the Meteor Orange switch provides a mild and polished typing experience. Being a mild switch, it offers a more gentle typing experience compared to switches with more pronounced characteristics. Its qualities are in a safe, middle-ground zone that most people would find approachable. Additionally, the switch has a polished finish, resulting in a sleek and smooth typing experience. This is due to either the materials used or factory lubing, which reduces friction and ensures smooth key travel. On the other hand, the MX Black switch is described as textured and stiff. Textured switches have noticeable friction when pressed, which can be preferred by some users. However, others may prefer a smoother, friction-free typing experience. Additionally, the MX Black switch requires a higher amount of force to actuate and/or bottom-out, meaning you'll need to apply more force when pressing the keys.

In conclusion, the SP-Star Meteor Orange and the Cherry MX Black switches offer different subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel. The Meteor Orange switch has a neutral sound profile and provides a mild and polished typing experience. On the other hand, the MX Black switch has a low-pitched sound and offers a textured and stiff typing experience. Based on this information, users can choose between a softer and more gentle typing experience with the Meteor Orange switch or a deeper and more bass-heavy sound with the MX Black switch. It's important to consider personal preferences and the specific needs of the user before making a decision. However, both switches provide quality options that can deliver satisfying typing experiences.

Try switches before you buy them

We understand that finding the perfect keyboard switches can be a challenging and time-consuming process. This led us to design Milktooth's try at-home program that allows you to sample and test different switches in the comfort of your own home, ensuring you make the right choice for your typing preferences.

You can try 10 switches at home for 5 days, and your switches come pre-installed on switch testers. Of course, you’re more than free to install them into your own board to try as well for the most representative typing experience.

Gone are the days of going through countless forums and reviews to find the ideal switches. Now, you can experience the tactile feedback, actuation points, and sound profiles firsthand, empowering you to make an informed decision without any pressure or time constraints.

We understand the importance of finding the perfect typing experience, and our try at-home program eliminates the risk of making a costly mistake. Experiment with different switch variants, test them in various typing scenarios, and fine-tune your keyboard to match your individual preferences.

The try at-home program costs only $10, which includes shipping both ways. By trying before you buy, you can make the most informed purchasing decision possible. Simply click the "try at home" button on any given switch webpage to get started.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you prioritize a soft and seductive tactile experience with a moderate sound profile, then the SP-Star Meteor Orange tactile switch would be the ideal choice for you. These switches have a bottom out force of 57 grams, which is medium-light, making them gentle and approachable for most typists. The Meteor Orange switches also offer a more polished typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel.

On the other hand, if you prefer a heavy and textured linear switch with a low-pitched sound profile, then the Cherry MX Black switch would be more suitable for you. With a bottom out force of 80 grams, the MX Black switches require a higher amount of force to actuate and bottom out. They provide a classic textured smoothness and a deep sound profile, offering a different typing experience compared to the Meteor Orange switches.

Ultimately, the choice between the SP-Star Meteor Orange and the Cherry MX Black switches depends on your personal preferences. Consider your desired tactile feel, sound profile, and force requirements to determine which switch will best enhance your typing experience.

Mentioned in this article

Meteor Orange

Meteor Orange

BrandSP-Star
CategoryTactile

$5.50

$5.00 per 10 switches

Try the Meteor Orange switches
MX Black

MX Black

BrandCherry
CategoryLinear

$4.00 per 10 switches

Try the MX Black switches