SP-Star RedBlue vs. Gazzew U4

An in-depth look at the SP-Star RedBlue and the Gazzew U4 switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

The SP-Star RedBlue and Gazzew U4 are two popular mechanical keyboard switches with distinct characteristics. The RedBlue, a linear switch, is perfect for those who prefer a medium-light typing experience, offering a relatively higher-pitched sound profile. On the other hand, the U4, a tactile switch, provides a sharp and exhilarating tactile bump while typing, accompanied by an unexpectedly plush, felt-like sensation upon bottoming out. Additionally, the U4 boasts a whisper-quiet sound profile. These general pointers can assist in choosing the right switch for your needs. However, let's delve deeper beyond these generalities to fully determine the best switch for you.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

N/A

Actuation force

45g

Bottom-out force

57g

Bottom-out force

62g

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Pre-travel

N/A

Total travel

4.00 mm

Total travel

3.60 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

Proprietary Gazzew blend

Bottom housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Proprietary Gazzew blend

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Gold plated

Spring

Stainless steel 14mm Korean spring

Housing materials

The housing materials used in the SP-Star RedBlue and the Gazzew U4 switches have distinct differences that contribute to their respective sound profiles. The RedBlue's polycarbonate top housing offers a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound. This is due to polycarbonate's stiff nature, which creates a clear and resonant sound profile. Additionally, the translucency of polycarbonate makes it ideal for RGB lighting, adding an aesthetic appeal.

In contrast, the U4 utilizes a proprietary Gazzew blend top housing, also known as "boba plastic." This unique plastic blend creates a rich and deep sound profile for the U4 switch. The softer nature of the Gazzew blend contributes to a softer and more satisfying typing experience. While it may not provide the same sharpness as the RedBlue's polycarbonate, it offers its own unique characteristics.

Moving on to the bottom housings, the SP-Star RedBlue's polycarbonate bottom housing shares similar qualities with its top housing. It contributes to a sharp, higher-pitched, and crisper sound. Similarly, the Gazzew U4 features a proprietary Gazzew blend bottom housing that complements the top housing's characteristics. The softness of the Gazzew blend translates into a distinctive bottom-out sound and feel, enhancing the typing experience.

Overall, the choice of housing materials in these switches results in different sound profiles. The SP-Star RedBlue with its polycarbonate housing offers a sharper and crisper sound, while the Gazzew U4's proprietary Gazzew blend housing provides a richer and deeper sound. However, both switches prioritize the quality and resonance of the sound by utilizing their respective housing materials in both the top and bottom housings. So while the specific qualities may differ, both switches aim to deliver a satisfying and immersive typing experience.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the SP-Star RedBlue linear switch and the Gazzew U4 tactile switch, it's clear that they have distinct differences. The RedBlue's actuation force remains unavailable, making it difficult to accurately compare to the U4's actuation force of 43 grams. However, the RedBlue does have a bottom out force of 57 grams, which can be considered medium-light. In contrast, the U4 has a slightly lighter actuation force but a heavier bottom out force of 62 grams, also falling into the medium range.

Weight plays a significant role in the typing experience, with some users preferring lighter switches for prolonged typing sessions and gaming, while others favor a stronger push feel for a more substantial typing experience. Those seeking a lighter option may find the RedBlue to be suitable due to the medium-light bottom out force. Meanwhile, the U4 offers a slightly lighter actuation force and a heavier bottom out force, providing a medium typing experience with a more substantial feel. Despite the unavailability of the RedBlue's actuation force, based on the known information, it can be inferred that these switches will offer similar results, as they both fall into the medium range. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on personal preference and the desired typing experience.

Travel distance

The travel distance of a switch is the distance the switch travels from top to bottom when pressed down on a key. In the case of the SP-Star RedBlue linear switch, the travel distance is 4 mm, while the Gazzew U4 tactile switch has a slightly shorter travel distance of 3.6 mm. The RedBlue switch falls within the traditional range of 4.0 mm, while the U4 switch is on the shallower end at 3.6 mm. It is worth noting that shorter travel distances are becoming more popular, particularly among gamers who prioritize faster response times. Therefore, if you prefer a more responsive feel, the U4 switch with its shorter travel distance may be the better option for you. On the other hand, some individuals find shorter travel distances to feel too abrupt and prefer a switch with a longer travel distance for a more substantial feel. Thus, if you prefer a deeper key press, the RedBlue switch with its slightly longer travel distance would be the preferable choice.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

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.

The Gazzew U4 comes in at $6.50 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

The RedBlue linear switch is best known for providing a medium-light typing experience. When it comes to sound, these switches have a relatively higher-pitched tone. They produce a satisfying "thocky" sound when pressed, giving a deep and rich sound that is pleasing to the ear. The feel of the RedBlue switches can be described as mild and polished. They offer a gentle typing experience and have a smooth and refined finish, resulting in reduced friction and smooth key travel. Overall, the RedBlue switches provide a comfortable and satisfying typing experience with a moderate sound profile.

On the other hand, the Gazzew U4 tactile switch is popular for its sharp and exhilarating tactile bump. When typing on these switches, you will feel a distinct and intense feedback with each keypress. The U4 switches also provide an unexpectedly plush and felt-like bottom-out sensation, adding to the tactile experience. In terms of sound, the U4 switches have a muted and low-pitched tone. They produce a softer and quieter sound compared to regular or clacky switches. This makes them ideal for those who prefer a whisper-quiet typing experience.

In conclusion, the SP-Star RedBlue linear switches and the Gazzew U4 tactile switches offer different subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel. The RedBlue switches have a higher-pitched and thocky sound profile, with a mild and polished feel. On the other hand, the U4 switches have a muted and low-pitched sound, with a sharp and intense tactile feedback. Depending on your personal preferences, you can choose the RedBlue switches for a medium-light typing experience with a moderate sound profile, or the U4 switches for a sharp and exhilarating tactile feel with a whisper-quiet sound. It's important to consider other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps, as they can also impact the overall sound and feel of the switches. However, both switches provide a satisfying typing experience with their unique qualities.

Conclusion

In conclusion, if you're looking for a smooth and polished typing experience with a medium-light actuation force, the RedBlue linear switches would be a great choice. These switches provide a gentle and approachable feel, making them suitable for most users. Additionally, the RedBlue switches have a low-pitched and thocky sound profile, offering a deep and satisfying sound when pressed.

On the other hand, if you prefer a sharper tactile bump and a whisper-quiet typing experience, the Gazzew U4 tactile switches would be more suitable for you. These switches have a medium-bottom out force and provide a exhilarating tactile feedback with each keypress. They also have a muted and low-pitched sound profile, minimizing the noise typically associated with mechanical keyboards.

Ultimately, the choice between the RedBlue linear switches and the Gazzew U4 tactile switches depends on your personal preferences and typing style. Whether you prioritize a smooth and polished feel with a low-pitched sound or a sharp tactile feedback with a whisper-quiet sound, both switches offer unique qualities for an enjoyable typing experience.

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