Outemu Phoenix vs. Durock T1

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

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, there are a plethora of options available to suit different preferences and typing styles. Two popular choices among enthusiasts are the Outemu Phoenix, a clicky switch, and the Durock T1, a tactile switch. The Phoenix stands out with its unique under-skirt click mechanism, providing a distinct and satisfying crunch with a polished feel. On the other hand, the T1 offers a superb typing experience with its medium bump and a sound reminiscent of rain falling on a window. Categorized as stepped, low-pitched, neutral, accented, and polished, the T1 promises a comfortable and quiet typing experience. However, let's delve deeper beyond these generalities to better assess which switch would be the best fit for you.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

N/A

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

62g

Bottom-out force

67g

Pre-travel

1.80 mm

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Total travel

3.30 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Factory lubed

Yes

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Standard

Stem construction

Standard

Stem material

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Polycarbonate

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 Outemu Phoenix and the Durock T1 share many similarities. Both switches utilize polycarbonate for their top housing, resulting in a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. This is due to the stiffness of polycarbonate, which enhances the clarity and resonance of the sound produced. From an aesthetic perspective, the translucency of polycarbonate is particularly advantageous for switches designed to incorporate RGB lighting. Therefore, users can expect similar results in terms of sound and visual effects when using either the Phoenix or the T1 with their polycarbonate top housing.

However, when it comes to the bottom housing, the Phoenix and the T1 differ. The Phoenix employs polycarbonate for its bottom housing, which means that the sharp sound profile of polycarbonate is also present when bottoming out the keys. Conversely, the T1 features a nylon bottom housing, resulting in a deeper and fuller sound profile. This is because nylon, being a softer plastic, absorbs more sound, creating a duller and rounder sound when typing. As a result, users can enjoy a distinct typing experience depending on their preference - a crisper sound with the Phoenix or a deeper sound with the T1.

It is important to note that the qualities brought by the bottom and top housings are divided between the two switches. When pressing down on either switch, the bottom housing's characteristics become evident, influencing the bottom-out sound and feel. The top housing, on the other hand, will have a greater impact on the sound produced when releasing a key. Therefore, while the top housing materials may be similar, the choice between the Phoenix and the T1 ultimately boils down to the buyer's desired typing experience and sound preferences during key press and release.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Outemu Phoenix clicky switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch, it is important to note that the available information for both switches' actuation forces is unknown. However, we do know that the bottom out force of the Phoenix is 62 grams, which is considered medium, while the bottom out force of the T1 is slightly heavier at 67 grams, making it medium-heavy.

Considering weight, some users prefer a lighter actuation force, as it allows them to type for longer periods without experiencing fatigue. This is especially beneficial for individuals using the keyboard for work or engaging in extended gaming sessions. On the other hand, some typists prefer a stronger push feel, providing a more substantial typing experience. For these users, opting for switches with heavier forces is typically preferred.

Although the exact actuation forces for the Phoenix and the T1 are unknown, we can assume that they fall within the range of medium or medium-heavy based on their bottom out forces. Thus, both switches are likely to provide similar results in terms of typing feedback and tactile response. Ultimately, the decision between the two switches will come down to personal preference and the desired typing experience - a slightly lighter feel with the Phoenix or a slightly heavier touch with the T1.

Travel distance

The Outemu Phoenix clicky switch has a travel distance of 3.3 mm, while the Durock T1 tactile switch has a travel distance of 4 mm. This means that the T1 has a slightly longer travel distance compared to the Phoenix. A travel distance of 4.0mm is considered the most traditional, while 3.0mm is the most shallow. However, there is a growing trend of shorter travel distances, especially among gamers who prefer faster response times. If you prioritize responsiveness, the Phoenix with its shorter travel distance would be a suitable choice. On the other hand, some people find short travel distances too abrupt and prefer a deeper feel. In that case, the T1 with its longer travel distance would be more satisfying. Overall, the choice between the two switches depends on personal preference and the desired typing experience.

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 Outemu Phoenix comes in at $4.15 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.

Typing experience

When it comes to sound, the Outemu Phoenix clicky switch offers a unique and distinctive experience. With its under-skirt click mechanism, the Phoenix produces a sound that can be described as crunchy. This sound is reminiscent of stepping on piles of crisp and crunchy autumn leaves. On the other hand, the Durock T1 tactile switch has a low-pitched sound profile, which can be compared to the sound of rain falling on a window. This sound is more bass-heavy and mellow. 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. Overall, if you prefer a crunchy and distinct click sound, the Phoenix would be the better option. If you are more inclined towards a lower-pitched and mellow sound, the T1 would be suitable.

In terms of feel, the Outemu Phoenix clicky switch offers a polished typing experience. This indicates that the switch has a smooth and refined finish, resulting in reduced friction and smooth key travel. The T1, on the other hand, is described as a stepped and accented switch. Stepped switches have two stages to their tactile feedback, providing a mild tactile feel with some pre-travel and/or post-travel. Accented switches, in the case of the T1, offer a medium level of tactility that is neither overwhelming nor subtle. Similar to sound, the feel of a switch is also influenced by factors such as material and factory lubing. Therefore, if you prefer a polished and smooth typing experience, the Phoenix would be a good choice. If you prefer a stepped and accented tactile feel, the T1 would be more suitable.

Considering the available information, it is clear that the Outemu Phoenix clicky switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch offer distinct qualities in terms of sound and feel. The Phoenix provides a crunchy click sound and a polished typing experience, while the T1 offers a low-pitched rain-like sound and a stepped and accented tactile feel. The ultimate choice between these two switches would depend on individual preferences. If you enjoy a unique clicky sound and polished feel, the Phoenix would be a great option. Alternatively, if you prefer a low-pitched sound and a stepped and accented tactile feel, the T1 would be a more suitable choice. It's important to consider other factors such as personal typing style and intended usage, as these can also impact the overall experience.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you are looking for a unique and satisfying clicky switch, the Outemu Phoenix would be a great choice. With its under-skirt click mechanism, it offers a crystalline and sparkling feel and sound profile that is truly distinct. Additionally, if you prefer a medium bottom out force, the Phoenix's 62 grams would suit your preferences well. However, if you prioritize comfort and a tactile typing experience, the Durock T1 would be more suitable for you. Its medium-heavy bottom out force of 67 grams provides a satisfying tactile feedback, reminiscent of rain falling on a window. Moreover, the T1 offers a more neutral sound profile, with a low-pitched and mellow tone that is less disruptive in quieter settings. In terms of feel, both switches offer a polished typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel. However, the T1 also offers an accented tactile feel, providing a prominent amount of tactility without being overwhelming. Ultimately, the choice between the Outemu Phoenix clicky switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch depends on your preference for clicky or tactile typing, as well as your desired level of bottom out force and sound profile.

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