KTT Phalaenopsis vs. KTT Semi Mute

An in-depth look at the KTT Phalaenopsis and the KTT Semi Mute 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 with their own unique features and advantages. Two popular options to consider are the KTT Phalaenopsis, a tactile switch, and the KTT Semi Mute, a linear switch. The Phalaenopsis switches are best known for their beautiful translucent design and light actuation force of 37g, making typing effortless and minimizing finger fatigue. With a satisfying tactile bump at 50g, each keystroke is guaranteed to provide a delightful experience. On the other hand, the Semi Mute switches are perfect for those who value a noise-free environment, as they operate silently. Despite their name, these switches offer a comfortable and gratifying typing feel with their linear actuation and advanced dampening technology. Categorized as bassy, stepped, thocky, the Phalaenopsis switches provide a unique typing experience, while the Semi Mute switches, categorized as buttery, mild, muted, neutral, prioritize a quiet and undisturbed typing experience. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond generalities so you can best decide on the best switch for you.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

37g

Actuation force

43g

Bottom-out force

50g

Bottom-out force

58g

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Pre-travel

1.60 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

Plate (3-pin)

Spring

22mm gold-plated spring

Spring

15mm spring

Housing materials

The housing materials of the KTT Phalaenopsis and the KTT Semi Mute, both featuring polycarbonate top and bottom housings, share several similarities. The use of polycarbonate in both switches leads to a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. This is due to polycarbonate being a relatively stiffer plastic, which enhances the clarity and resonance of the sound produced. Additionally, both switches are aesthetically pleasing, as the translucency of polycarbonate allows for a clear housing, which is especially useful if you plan on using RGB lighting.

However, one potential difference between the two switches lies in the distribution of the housing materials. In cases where the top and bottom housings are different, the qualities brought by each material will be divided between the top and bottom of the switch. When pressing down on the switch, you are likely to feel the impact and experience the sound of the bottom housing, as it plays a significant role in the bottom-out sound and feel. Conversely, the top housing will have a greater influence on the sound produced when releasing a key. It is important to consider this distinction when selecting a switch, as the distribution of materials can affect the overall typing experience.

Overall, while both the KTT Phalaenopsis and the KTT Semi Mute employ polycarbonate materials in their housing, resulting in similar characteristics, the division of housing materials between the top and bottom can cause variations in the typing experience. Factors such as the impact and sound when pressing down on the switch versus the sound when releasing a key may vary based on the distribution of materials. Thus, understanding the differences in housing materials and their effects on sound and feel is essential when choosing the ideal switch for your specific typing preferences.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the KTT Phalaenopsis tactile switch and the KTT Semi Mute linear switch, there are notable differences to consider. The Phalaenopsis has a relatively lighter actuation force of 37 grams and a bottom out force of 50 grams, providing a gentle and responsive typing experience. Alternatively, the Semi Mute has a slightly heavier actuation force of 43 grams and a bottom out force of 58 grams, offering a more substantial and tactile feel while typing. In terms of weight, the Phalaenopsis is lighter overall, making it ideal for those who prefer extended typing sessions or marathon gaming sessions. However, for individuals who enjoy a stronger push feel and desire a more robust typing experience, the Semi Mute would be the preferable choice due to its higher actuation and bottom out forces. Overall, the Phalaenopsis provides a lighter touch, while the Semi Mute offers a slightly heavier and more assertive keystroke.

Travel distance

The KTT Phalaenopsis tactile switch and the KTT Semi Mute linear switch have the same travel distance of 4 mm. This means that when you press down on a key equipped with either of these switches, you will feel the same distance of travel from the top to the bottom. Therefore, the results you will experience in terms of switch travel distance will be similar for both the Phalaenopsis and Semi Mute switches.

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 KTT Semi Mute has an MSRP of $3.97 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Semi Mute for $3.55.

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 offers a bassy and thocky sound profile. The bassy characteristics provide a deeper and richer sound during key presses, resembling the depth and richness associated with bass tones. Additionally, the thocky sound produced by these switches is a deep and satisfying sound, similar to a soft "knock" or a deep "thud" when the key is pressed and released. On the other hand, the KTT Semi Mute linear switch is described as offering a muted sound profile. These switches produce a softer and quieter sound compared to regular or clacky switches, minimizing the noise typically associated with mechanical keyboards. The Semi Mute switch also falls under the descriptor of being neutral, meaning it has a moderate actuation force requirement and a moderate sound profile, making it suitable for various preferences and purposes. It's important to note that the sound of a switch is also influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps chosen.

Moving on to feel, the KTT Phalaenopsis tactile switch provides a stepped feel. Stepped switches offer a two-stage tactile experience, where users can feel some pre-travel and/or post-travel. This means that the keystroke feels mild in comparison to hypertactile switches, which have a more pronounced and intense tactile bump throughout the entire keystroke. On the other hand, the KTT Semi Mute linear switch is described as offering a buttery and mild typing experience. The buttery switch characteristics imply a smooth and fluid keystroke, providing a seamless and effortless typing sensation. The mild nature of these switches offers a more gentle typing experience, falling in a safe middle-ground zone that will be approachable to most users.

In conclusion, the KTT Phalaenopsis tactile switch stands out with its bassy and thocky sound profile, along with the stepped feel it provides. These features make the Phalaenopsis switch an excellent choice for those seeking a delightful and tactile typing experience. On the other hand, the KTT Semi Mute linear switch prioritizes a noise-free environment with its muted sound profile. Additionally, its buttery and mild feel ensures a smooth and comfortable typing experience. Both switches cater to different preferences and usage scenarios. However, if you are looking for a similar experience in terms of sound and feel, the Semi Mute switch can offer a comparable result without the tactile bump and stepped feel of the Phalaenopsis switch. Ultimately, your choice should be based on your desired sound, feel, and overall typing experience.

Conclusion

In conclusion, if you prioritize a light and satisfying tactile experience with a discernible bump, as well as a deeper and richer sound profile resembling bass tones, then the KTT Phalaenopsis tactile switch is the ideal choice for you. This switch offers effortless typing and minimizes finger fatigue during prolonged typing sessions. On the other hand, if you value a noise-free environment and desire undisturbed typing, especially during late-night sessions, and prefer a smooth and fluid keystroke experience with a softer and quieter sound profile, then the KTT Semi Mute linear switch is the perfect fit. With its advanced dampening technology and linear actuation, the Semi Mute provides a comfortable and gratifying typing feel. Ultimately, the decision between the Phalaenopsis and Semi Mute switches depends on your preferences for tactile feedback, sound profile, and typing sensation. Consider your priorities and choose the switch that best aligns with your needs.

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