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Cherry MX Brownvs. Durock T1

An in-depth look at the Cherry MX Brown and the Durock T1 switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, the Cherry MX Brown and the Durock T1 both fall under the tactile category, offering a satisfying typing experience. The MX Brown switches are renowned for their subtlety, providing a light typing feel with gentle tactility and muffled audio feedback. On the other hand, the T1 switches offer a medium bump when pressed down, delivering a comfortable typing experience akin to the sound of rain falling on a window. While the MX Brown switches are categorized as textured, bassy, and low-pitched, the T1 switches are described as stepped, low-pitched, neutral, accented, and polished. So, if you prefer a more delicate and understated typing experience, the MX Brown switches might be your go-to choice. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond generalities so you can best decide on the perfect switch for your needs.

By the numbers

MX Brown
T1
BrandCherry
CategoryTactile
BrandDurock
CategoryTactile

$4.00 per 10 switches

$5.50

$4.90 per 10 switches

Technical specifications

Actuation force

45g

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

55g

Bottom-out force

67g

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

Yes

Stem construction

Standard

Stem construction

Standard

Stem material

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Nylon

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

Nylon

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 T1 switches exhibit a noticeable contrast in terms of sound profile. The MX Brown utilizes a nylon top housing, which contributes to a deeper and fuller sound. The nylon material is softer and absorbs more sound, resulting in a duller and rounder sound profile. On the other hand, the T1 employs a polycarbonate top housing, creating a sharper and crisper sound. Due to its stiffer nature, polycarbonate leads to a more clear and resonant sound. This difference in sound profile is especially relevant for those intending to use RGB lighting, as the translucent polycarbonate is ideal for illuminating the switch.

Moving on to the bottom housing, both the MX Brown and the T1 switches rely on nylon as the material of choice. This nylon bottom housing contributes to a deeper and fuller sound profile alike in both switches. Just like the nylon top housing, the nylon bottom housing absorbs more sound due to its softer composition, resulting in a duller and rounder sound experience. This similarity in housing material leads to an overall consistency in sound profile between the two switches.

When it comes to pressing down on the switch and the actuation sound, the materials used in the bottom housing play a more significant role. Thus, the qualities of the sound and feel during the bottom-out will be influenced by the bottom housing material. On the other hand, the release sound, when a key is let go, will be more influenced by the top housing material. Therefore, while the top and bottom housings may differ in each switch, the overall sound profile will partially depend on the specific housing material used for each component.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Cherry MX Brown tactile switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch, there are notable differences. The Cherry MX Brown has an actuation force of 45 grams, which is medium-light. In contrast, the actuation force of the Durock T1 is not available. However, the bottom out force of the MX Brown is 55 grams, while the T1 has a slightly heavier bottom out force of 67 grams, making it medium-heavy.

Considering weight can be advantageous in several ways. For those seeking a lighter typing experience, such as for extended periods of use at work or during long gaming sessions, the MX Brown switch would be a suitable choice. Its actuation and bottom out forces are relatively lighter compared to the T1. On the other hand, individuals looking for a more substantial and stronger push feel might prefer the T1 switch. Its heavier bottom out force provides a more tactile typing experience, satisfying those who appreciate a robust response.

Although the actuation force of the T1 switch is unspecified, it is safe to assume that it lies within the medium to medium-heavy range based on its heavier bottom out force. Both switches, despite their differences, offer a tactile feedback when actuated, providing a satisfying keystroke response. Thus, if one prefers a similar typing experience to the lighter MX Brown, the T1 would likely yield comparable results, assuming its actuation force is within a similar range. Ultimately, the choice between these switches depends on personal preference, either favoring a lighter or heavier typing feel.

Travel distance

The Cherry MX Brown tactile switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch have equal travel distances of 4 mm. Both switches provide a satisfying amount of feedback and a comfortable typing experience. When pressing down on a key, users will experience the same travel distance for both switches, ensuring consistent results. This aspect makes them suitable choices for individuals who prefer a medium travel distance when typing or gaming. Whether you choose the Cherry MX Brown or the Durock T1, you can expect a similar tactile feel and the same distance traveled by the switch when pressing a key.

Sound tests

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Durock T1 has an MSRP of $5.50 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the T1 for $4.90.

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 switch is known for offering a subtle typing experience with gentle tactility and subdued audio feedback. Its sound profile is often described as bassy, with lower frequency tones that offer a deeper and richer sound during key presses. The feel of the MX Brown switch is textured, meaning that it has noticeable friction when pressed.

On the other hand, the Durock T1 switch provides a super comfortable typing experience. It has a medium bump when pressing down, which offers a satisfying tactile feedback. The sound of the T1 switch is described as low-pitched and neutral, with a bass-heavy and mellow tone. The feel of the T1 switch is a combination of stepped, accented, and polished. It offers a moderate amount of tactility without being overwhelming or subtle. The switch has a smooth and refined finish, resulting in reduced friction and smooth key travel.

In terms of sound, both switches have a low-pitched profile, which means they offer a more bass-heavy and mellow tone compared to higher-pitched switches. However, the MX Brown switch is also described as bassy, offering a deeper and richer sound profile. While the T1 switch is described as neutral, indicating a moderate sound profile suitable for most purposes.

In terms of feel, the MX Brown switch is textured, offering noticeable friction when pressed. The T1 switch has a combination of stepped, accented, and polished feel. This means it provides a medium amount of tactility without being overwhelming or subtle, and it offers a smoother typing experience with reduced friction.

In conclusion, the Cherry MX Brown and Durock T1 switches have some similarities and differences in their subjective qualities. They both have a low-pitched sound profile, but the MX Brown switch is also bassy, offering a deeper and richer sound. The MX Brown switch has a textured feel with noticeable friction, while the T1 switch has a combination of stepped, accented, and polished feel, providing a more mild and smooth typing experience. Overall, both switches offer comfortable and satisfying typing experiences, but with slightly different sound and feel characteristics.

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 summarize, the decision between the Cherry MX Brown tactile switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch depends on your preferences for typing experience, sound, and feel. If you prefer a lighter typing experience with gentle tactility and subdued audio feedback, the MX Brown is a good choice. It has a medium-light bottom out force of 55 grams and offers a more subtle typing experience. On the other hand, if you enjoy a more comfortable typing experience with a medium bump and a sound resembling rain falling on the window, the Durock T1 is a great option. It has a medium-heavy bottom out force of 67 grams.

In terms of sound, the MX Brown offers a bassy and low-pitched profile, providing a deeper and richer sound during key presses compared to higher-pitched switches. The T1, on the other hand, has a low-pitched and neutral sound profile, with a more bass-heavy and mellow tone suitable for various purposes.

In terms of feel, the MX Brown is described as textured, offering noticeable friction when pressed. Some users prefer this subtle texture, while others may want a smoother, friction-free typing experience. The T1, on the other hand, has multiple descriptors. It is stepped, meaning it has two stages of tactile feedback, providing a mild bump. It is also accented, offering a prominent amount of tactility without being overwhelming. Additionally, the T1 can be polished, resulting in a smooth and refined finish for reduced friction and smooth key travel.

Ultimately, the choice between the Cherry MX Brown and the Durock T1 depends on your personal preferences for typing experience, sound, and feel. Consider your desired typing feel, level of tactility, sound profile, and bottom out force when making your decision.

Mentioned in this article

MX Brown

MX Brown

BrandCherry
CategoryTactile

$4.00 per 10 switches

Try the MX Brown switches
T1

T1

BrandDurock
CategoryTactile

$5.50

$4.90 per 10 switches

Try the T1 switches