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Cherry MX Brownvs. Durock Piano

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

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, two popular options worth considering are the Cherry MX Brown and the Durock Piano. The Cherry MX Brown switches are known for their subtlety, providing a relatively light typing experience with gentle tactility and subdued audio feedback. On the other hand, the Durock Pianos stand out for their proprietary material blend, offering a gliding push feel and a deep, creamy sound signature. While the MX Browns are categorized as textured, bassy, and low-pitched, the Pianos are known for being bassy, frictionless, and silky. Both switches have their own unique advantages, making them suitable for different preferences and typing styles. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond generalities so you can best decide on the best switch for you.

By the numbers

MX Brown
Piano
BrandCherry
CategoryTactile
BrandDurock
CategoryLinear

$4.00 per 10 switches

$6.70

$5.57 per 10 switches

Technical specifications

Actuation force

45g

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

55g

Bottom-out force

63.5g

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Factory lubed

No

Factory lubed

No

Stem construction

Standard

Stem construction

Standard

Stem material

POM

Stem material

Mystery material

Top housing material

Nylon

Top housing material

Proprietary POM blend

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

Proprietary POM blend

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Stainless steel

Spring

Gold-plated

Housing materials

The housing materials of the Cherry MX Brown and the Durock Piano switches have distinct characteristics, but both offer satisfying sound profiles. The MX Brown features a nylon top housing, which is known for creating a deeper and fuller sound. This is because nylon is a softer plastic that absorbs more sound, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. On the other hand, the Piano switch utilizes a proprietary POM blend top housing that offers a uniquely satisfying and deep sound profile. While the exact details of the blend are unknown, it is evident that it enhances the overall sound experience.

Similarly, the MX Brown and the Durock Piano switches have nylon and POM blend bottom housings, respectively. Both materials contribute to a deeper and fuller sound profile during typing. Nylon, being a softer plastic, effectively absorbs sound, leading to a more muted and rounder sound. In contrast, the proprietary POM blend in the Piano switch is designed to provide a satisfying and deep sound. Although the exact composition of the POM blend is undisclosed, it is clear that it plays a significant role in enhancing the switch's overall audio experience.

It is worth noting that when a switch has different top and bottom housings, the qualities of each material are distributed accordingly. The bottom housing has a more pronounced impact on the bottom-out sound and feel when the switch is pressed. In contrast, the top housing influences the sound produced when a key is released. While the MX Brown and Durock Piano may differ in their housing materials, both switches are aimed at delivering a rich and immersive sound profile, giving users a delightful typing or gaming experience.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Cherry MX Brown tactile switch and the Durock Piano linear switch, it is evident that they have some notable differences. The MX Brown switch has an actuation force of 45 grams, providing a medium-light touch for users. In contrast, the actuation force for the Durock Piano switch is not specified, making it difficult to directly compare. However, the MX Brown's actuation force is relatively lighter compared to the Piano's bottom out force of 63.5 grams, which leans towards medium-heavy.

Considering weight is an important factor, especially for users who prefer prolonged typing or gaming sessions. With its lighter actuation force, the MX Brown switch enables users to type for longer durations without experiencing fatigue. This makes it a suitable choice for those who bring their keyboards to work or engage in extended gaming sessions. On the other hand, some individuals prefer a more substantial typing experience and enjoy a stronger push feel. For such users, the heavier bottom out force of the Durock Piano switch, while unknown in terms of actuation force, provides a satisfying and robust typing experience.

In summary, while the actuation force for the Cherry MX Brown switch is lighter, the Durock Piano switch offers a heavier bottom out force. Users looking for a lighter and more endurance-oriented typing experience may opt for the MX Brown switch, while those seeking a more substantial and forceful keystroke could find satisfaction with the Durock Piano switch.

Travel distance

The Cherry MX Brown tactile switch and the Durock Piano linear switch have the same travel distance of 4 mm. This means that when you press down on a key with either switch, you will feel the same distance traveled from the top to the bottom. Both switches offer a consistent and satisfying typing experience in terms of travel distance, ensuring that your keystrokes are registered accurately. Whether you choose the Cherry MX Brown or Durock Piano switch, you can expect a comfortable and responsive typing experience with a similar travel distance.

Sound tests

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Durock Piano has an MSRP of $6.70 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Piano for $5.57.

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.

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Typing experience

The Cherry MX Brown tactile switch is best known for its subtlety, offering a relatively light typing experience with gentle tactility and subdued audio feedback. It has a low-pitched sound profile, characterized by a deeper and richer tone associated with bass tones. The feel of the MX Brown is textured, providing noticeable friction when pressed.

On the other hand, the Durock Piano linear switch is known for its proprietary material blend, resulting in one of the most pleasant linear typing experiences. Users can expect a gliding push feel and a deep, creamy sound signature, which is also described as bassy. The Piano switch offers a frictionless and silky smooth typing experience, minimizing resistance and friction during key presses.

In conclusion, while the Cherry MX Brown and the Durock Piano switches differ in their tactile and linear characteristics, respectively, they both offer desirable qualities. The MX Brown provides a lighter typing experience with gentle tactility and a textured feel, producing a low-pitched sound profile. On the other hand, the Durock Piano offers a smooth and effortless typing experience with a deep, creamy sound signature and a frictionless, silky feel. Depending on personal preferences, one can choose between the tactile subtlety of the MX Brown or the smooth gliding feel of the Durock Piano.

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 $15, 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 are looking for a switch with a medium-light bottom out force, gentle tactility, and subdued audio feedback, the Cherry MX Brown tactile switch would be a great choice. These switches offer a light typing experience and the subtle tactile feedback that many users appreciate. In terms of sound, the MX Brown switches have a low-pitched and bassy sound profile, which can add depth and richness to your typing experience. However, if you prefer a linear switch that provides a gliding push feel, a deep and creamy sound signature, and a medium-heavy bottom out force, the Durock Piano linear switch would be an excellent option. These switches are known for their pleasant typing experience and proprietary material blend. They offer a frictionless or silky smooth typing feel, minimizing resistance and providing effortless keystrokes. Ultimately, the choice between these two switches depends on your personal preferences for tactility, sound, and typing feel. Whether you prioritize subtlety and gentle feedback or a smooth and effortless typing experience, both the Cherry MX Brown and Durock Piano switches offer excellent options for mechanical keyboard enthusiasts.

Mentioned in this article

MX Brown

MX Brown

BrandCherry
CategoryTactile

$4.00 per 10 switches

Try the MX Brown switches
Piano

Piano

BrandDurock
CategoryLinear

$6.70

$5.57 per 10 switches

Try the Piano switches