KTT Phalaenopsis vs. SP-Star RedBlue

An in-depth look at the KTT Phalaenopsis and the SP-Star RedBlue switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, there are many options to choose from, each offering a unique typing experience. Two popular options are the KTT Phalaenopsis, a tactile switch, and the SP-Star RedBlue, a linear switch. The Phalaenopsis switch is known for its beautiful translucent design and light actuation force of 37g, making typing effortless and minimizing finger fatigue even during prolonged sessions. With a satisfying tactile bump of 50g, each keystroke becomes a delightful experience. On the other hand, the RedBlue linear switch is particularly suited for those who prefer a medium-light typing experience. Its sound profile is relatively higher-pitched, adding a distinct auditory element to your typing. While these general pointers may give you an idea of which switch might suit your preferences, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond generalities so you can best decide on the switch that is perfect for you.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

37g

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

50g

Bottom-out force

57g

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

Yes

Stem construction

Partial box

Stem construction

Standard

Stem material

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Polycarbonate

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

22mm gold-plated spring

Spring

Gold plated

Housing materials

The KTT Phalaenopsis and the SP-Star RedBlue both utilize polycarbonate as the material for their top and bottom housings. This choice of material brings several similar advantages to both switches. Polycarbonate is known for creating a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile in switches. This is due to its relatively stiffer nature, which allows for a more clear and resonant sound. Additionally, the translucency of polycarbonate makes it ideal for switches that incorporate RGB lighting, as it allows the light to shine through and create visually stunning effects. Therefore, regardless of whether it is the Phalaenopsis or the RedBlue, the presence of polycarbonate in the top and bottom housing ensures a consistent and desirable sound profile and enhances the visual appeal of the switch when used with RGB lighting.

However, one notable difference between the two switches lies in their top and bottom housings. While both switches feature polycarbonate housings, the qualities of each housing material are split between the top and bottom. When pressing down on a key, the qualities of the bottom housing become more apparent, influencing the bottom-out sound and feel. On the other hand, the top housing has a greater impact on the sound produced when releasing a key. This distinction allows for a subtle variation in sound and feel between the KTT Phalaenopsis and the SP-Star RedBlue, making them unique in their own ways while still benefiting from the advantages of polycarbonate.

In conclusion, the KTT Phalaenopsis and the SP-Star RedBlue share several similarities in terms of their housing materials. Both switches utilize polycarbonate for their top and bottom housings, resulting in a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. Additionally, the translucency of polycarbonate enhances the visual aesthetics of the switches, especially when paired with RGB lighting. However, the specific qualities of the housing materials are split between the top and bottom of the switch, influencing the sound profile and feel differently when pressing down and releasing keys. These distinct characteristics contribute to the individuality of each switch, despite their shared use of polycarbonate.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the KTT Phalaenopsis tactile switch and the SP-Star RedBlue linear switch, there are some notable differences. The Phalaenopsis has an actuation force of 37 grams, which is lighter compared to the RedBlue's unavailable grams force. Similarly, the Phalaenopsis has a bottom out force of 50 grams, while the RedBlue has a slightly heavier bottom out force of 57 grams.

The lighter actuation force of the Phalaenopsis makes it suitable for those who prefer a lighter touch while typing, allowing for longer periods of comfortable typing without straining the fingers. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals who use their keyboards for work or engage in extended gaming sessions. On the other hand, the RedBlue, with its medium-light bottom out force, provides a more substantial typing experience, offering a stronger push feel to the user. This can be appealing to those who enjoy a tactile feedback and prefer a more robust keystroke sensation.

Considering weight is important when choosing between these switches, as it affects the typing experience and endurance during extended usage. The lighter actuation force of the Phalaenopsis offers easier keystrokes, while the slightly heavier bottom out force of the RedBlue provides a more solid and pronounced typing feel. Both switches cater to different preferences, but ultimately, the decision should be based on personal preference and the desired typing experience.

Travel distance

The KTT Phalaenopsis tactile switch and the SP-Star RedBlue linear switch have the same travel distance of 4 mm. This means that both switches will provide a similar tactile feel and feedback when pressed. The travel distance refers to the distance the switch travels from the top to the bottom, which is the distance one feels when pressing down on a key. Therefore, whether using the KTT Phalaenopsis or the SP-Star RedBlue switch, users can expect the same level of travel distance and key press experience.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The KTT Phalaenopsis has an MSRP of $4.73 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Phalaenopsis for $4.15.

The SP-Star RedBlue has an MSRP of $5.80 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the RedBlue for $5.40.

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 KTT Phalaenopsis tactile switch is best described as "bassy" and "thocky." Bassy switches produce a deeper and richer sound profile, resembling the depth and richness associated with bass tones. A thocky switch produces a deep, rich, and satisfying sound when pressed, similar to a deep "thud" or a soft "knock." On the other hand, the SP-Star RedBlue linear switch is described as "low-pitched," "neutral," and "thocky." Low-pitched switches have a more bass-heavy and mellow tone compared to higher-pitched switches. Neutral switches have a moderate actuation force requirement and a moderate sound profile, suitable for various purposes. Both switches share the characteristic of being thocky, resulting in deep, rich, and satisfying sound during key presses.

When it comes to feel, the KTT Phalaenopsis tactile switch is described as "stepped." Stepped switches have a two-stage feel, with some pre-travel and/or post-travel. This means that the keystroke provides a mild tactile feedback rather than a pronounced bump. On the other hand, the SP-Star RedBlue linear switch is described as "mild" and "polished." Being mild means that these switches offer a more gentle typing experience without pronounced characteristics. They provide a safe and approachable middle-ground zone for both sound and feel. Additionally, the polished finish of the RedBlue switch ensures smooth and refined key travel, reducing friction for a sleek typing experience.

Taking into account the information provided, the KTT Phalaenopsis and SP-Star RedBlue switches have some differing subjective qualities. The Phalaenopsis offers a delightful typing experience with a discernible tactile bump and a rich, satisfying sound characterized by bass and thocky tones. It features a light actuation force of 37g, reducing finger fatigue during prolonged typing sessions. On the other hand, the RedBlue switch provides a medium-light typing experience with a low-pitched and neutral sound profile. It offers a mild and polished feel, ensuring a gentle and smooth typing experience. While they have distinct qualities, both switches are praised for their thocky sound and share the characteristic of delivering a satisfying typing experience. Whether you prefer the bassy and stepped feel of the Phalaenopsis or the low-pitched and polished feel of the RedBlue, you can expect similar results in terms of overall enjoyment and performance.

Conclusion

To wrap up, if you prioritize a light and effortless typing experience with minimal finger fatigue, the KTT Phalaenopsis tactile switch would be an excellent choice for you. With its light actuation force of 50 grams and discernible tactile bump, each keystroke becomes a delightful experience. Additionally, the Phalaenopsis offers a sound profile characterized by a deep and rich bassy or thocky sound, further enhancing the typing sensation.

On the other hand, if you prefer a medium-light typing experience and a relatively higher-pitched sound profile, the SP-Star RedBlue linear switch is the way to go. With a bottom out force of 57 grams, this switch provides a satisfying feel without being too heavy. The RedBlue switch also produces a low-pitched or neutral sound, and it too has a thocky characteristic, giving you a deep and satisfying typing sound.

Ultimately, your decision should be based on personal preferences for typing feel and sound profile. Whether you prefer a lighter and more effortless typing experience with a bassy sound or a slightly heavier feel with a medium-light typing experience and a low-pitched or neutral sound, both the KTT Phalaenopsis and the SP-Star RedBlue switches offer unique benefits for different typing preferences. Consider your ideal typing experience and choose the switch that aligns with your preferences.

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