Wireless keyboards (and wireless mice, too) use two primary technologies to connect to devices: Bluetooth, or a 2.4GHz radio-frequency (RF) connection. The latter connects to your device via a USB dongle; Bluetooth models assume your host computer supports Bluetooth, or you have your own Bluetooth dongle. Each connection type offers distinct advantages and disadvantages.
Without a PC-connected cable to power it, every wireless keyboard, of course, needs a battery to run. Most wireless keyboards these days rely on built-in lithium-ion batteries you can recharge, though you do occasionally run into some that rely on good old AA or AAA cells.
So, how long should a wireless keyboard battery last For an internal battery, most keyboards in the last two years get at least 20 hours of continuous use with its key backlighting on (if it has key backlighting, that is). Many manufacturers provide two battery-life estimates based on whether or not you use the backlighting, as it can reduce the time between charges by more than 50 percent. In our review testing, we find 25 to 30 hours often translates to somewhere between one to two weeks of heavy daily use.
EXTRA FEATURES. Generally speaking, wireless keyboards tend to come with some quality-of-life features, such as dedicated media and macro keys. A few, like Logitech's high-end keyboards, also come with the ability to connect to multiple devices and swap among them with a single button press. Gaming keyboards will come with the same suite of media and macro perks, and some include customizable RGB lighting and advanced configuration software.
OTHER SWITCH TYPES. Among wireless keyboards, you'll spot the occasional model using membrane or mechanical key switches. Membrane keyboards actuate, triggering the signal that goes to your computer, by pushing down a rubber dome at the base of the key. Mechanical keyboards do the same via a physical switch with a spring or other tactile actuator. Relative to scissor switches, both types of keyboards provide more key-press travel, which leads to a more comfortable typing experience. Many people prefer the low action and light touch of scissor switches, though, so this ultimately comes down to personal preference.
Like standard keyboards, mechanical keyboards generally offer a better typing feel and better build quality than membrane-switch keyboards, but they are also considerably more expensive. The two major benefits to a wireless mechanical keyboard are its more decisive feedback, and the longer travel, both of which allow for more confident typing. Also, if you like the clack a keyboard makes, mechanical keyboards make more noise and, according to some, a more appealing sound. At the moment, most, but not all, wireless mechanical keyboards are gaming-focused. (See our guide to mechanical keyboard switch types.)
If you've ever been to an office or a lecture hall, you know the sound of dozens of people typing on keyboards can be as loud as a herd of buffalo and just as distracting. Ever since the IBM Model M first clicked its way into offices, keyboards have been the main tool for just about anyone seated in front of a computer. Thankfully, innovations have been made to reduce the noise of keyboards, from the development of silent mechanical switches to the addition of sound-dampening foam inside keyboard cases.
We've tested over 185 keyboards, and below are our recommendations for the best quiet keyboards available. If you're looking for a keyboard to suit a more specific use, check out our articles for the best keyboards for typing, the best keyboards for programming, and the best gaming keyboards.
If you're looking for the best quiet keyboard for an open office, a shared workspace, or your home, the Logitech MX Keys is the best bet for most people. This stylish full-size board is pretty straightforward, making it nice and easy to use regardless of your tech knowledge. You can simply pop the USB receiver into your computer or pair it using Bluetooth with up to three devices simultaneously and start typing away. As a plus, the flat profile and solid plastic case are great for reducing the typing noise, as the case doesn't have a lot of hollow space to add resonance.
It's a wireless keyboard that connects to any device that supports Bluetooth. Though its major downside compared to the MX Keys above is that it only pairs with one device at a time, making it a poor choice if you're in a setup with a tablet, PC, or other mobile devices. Otherwise, it's stylish enough to use at the office, and you won't have to worry about annoying your coworkers as you work. Plus, it uses AAA batteries for power which can last up to a year before needing replacing.
This keyboard connects wirelessly either using the included USB receiver or via Bluetooth. You can pair the keyboard with one device per connection style and easily switch between them using a dedicated key in the function row. As an added plus, there's also a row of dedicated media keys to help you easily skip through playlists or adjust the volume of any media you're listening to while you work.
The Microsoft Bluetooth Keyboard is the cheapest keyboard on this list. Unlike the Logitech Signature K650, the Microsoft keyboard only connects using Bluetooth and only supports one connection at a time. While this means it isn't a good choice for multi-device setups, it's a great option if you need a low-cost, straightforward keyboard without bells and whistles for use with a single computer or mobile device. It features a similar thin design as our best mid-range pick, the Microsoft Surface Keyboard. However, instead of a solid metal top plate, the top of this keyboard has a soft-touch covering that adds a good amount of grip, which is great as the tile-like keycaps would get fairly slippery otherwise.
Gaming sessions can last well into the night, and the clacking sound of some gaming keyboards is bound to annoy roommates, parents, or anyone else you live with. For the best quiet gaming option, look no further than the Corsair K55 RGB PRO XT. It's a full-size keyboard designed with gaming in mind, so it's fully feature-loaded with RGB backlighting, dedicated macro keys, and a full suite of media controls. Its latency is extremely low and delivers a very responsive in-game experience.
If you're willing to buy your keyboard and mouse separately, some of our favorite keyboards and wireless mice are just as affordable and versatile as the combos on this list. But whatever your budget or application, you are sure to find something to love below.
The keyboard, on the other hand, is something of a letdown. Its keys and construction are behind many of the keyboards we tried for this roundup. Additionally, the wireless USB adapter is way bigger than average and can't be safely stowed in a laptop's USB port semi-permanently.
Logitech's middle-of-the-road wireless desktop set gets the job done, but it's not our favorite. The MK320 was comparable to our budget pick and it's less widely available to boot. In our tests, we found this keyboard provided an accurate typing experience at speeds of over 80 wpm.
I specifically made sure to see how they worked with commonly used apps like Chrome and the Microsoft Office suite. Lastly, because these are wireless products, I tested how far these products could be from their receivers, as well as how comfortable they are to use in non-traditional setups, like sitting at a kitchen table, or with the keyboard in your lap on the couch. We also checked out things like ergonomic design, Bluetooth connectivity, wireless connectivity, Windows compatibility, and more.
Whether you're trying to invest in a convenient mouse/keyboard combo to pair with a tower PC setup at home or looking to improve upon the keyboard/trackpad experience provided by your laptop, the goal is to secure an ergonomically sound wireless combo with good enough battery life and connectivity to keep up with your use pattern.
Knowing the pros and cons of a wired versus a wireless setup is a simple task, but it's one worth going over. Where mice/keyboard combos are concerned, wirelessness is achieved via a Bluetooth dongle that the products are pre-paired to. Wired hardware needs to be plugged into the laptop or PC directly, with one USB port dedicated to a wired mouse and keyboard.
With wired products, there's no risk of delayed or interrupted connectivity while typing or mousing through websites. And while a good wireless mouse/keyboard combo won't have any of these issues either, some of them do, and that's one area where testing is crucial.
Naturally, a wireless combo gives you inherent freedom of use, at the cost of worrying about battery life and potential interference. In a vacuum of an identical mouse/keyboard set where one is wired and one is wireless, the wireless variant will usually be more expensive, but that freedom is essentially what you're paying for.
To that end, a wireless combo makes a lot of sense if you want to minimize clutter, but it can also be a good choice if you need a keyboard/mouse set for multiple workstations: it's easy enough to pop the dongle into any laptop or PC you use.
While many headphones and tablet keyboards come in an OS-locked variant (Android or Apple, usually), the Bluetooth connection used by wireless mouse/keyboard combos is universal. This means the same mouse/keyboard combo should be compatible with Windows and other operating systems like iOS.
Only the best keyboards can truly deliver a comfortable and seamless typing experience. While dirt-cheap keyboards from Amazon can see you through your usual typing needs, they aren't going to be as fast and as responsive as top-notch keyboards. More importantly, they're not going to prioritize ergonomics.
Any mediocre keyboard can function properly as an input device. However, a high-quality option is more accurate, faster, and a lot more responsive, as well as more satisfying and more comfortable to type on. If it's a wireless keyboard, you'll find that the higher quality ones have better connectivity as well. In fact, we recommend getting one even if you don't spend all day typing away at your computer. 59ce067264