How much quieter are the new MacBook Pro keyboards? Hear for yourself

Specs? We’ll talk specs later. Right now we’re focused on something far more important: keyboard noise.

It’s been a common complaint among MacBook users since the company shifted to the butterfly switch. Some of that can no doubt be chalked up to the fact that people really hate change when it comes to something as fundamental as a keyboard.

Even so, there’s no mistaking the fact that, in the right hands, this thing can cause a ruckus. Turns out those right hands were here in front of our face all along.

You probably know Anthony Ha from such websites as TechCrunch.com and conferences such as TechCrunch Disrupt. I know him from sitting right next to me in TechCrunch’s New York City headquarters.

What you may not know, however, is that Anthony is a loud typist. Like ridiculously so. If the computer keyboard was an instrument, Anthony would be Glenn Gould. But, like, young Glenn Gould, not end-of-life, the weight of the world is on my shoulders Glenn Gould. He makes the computer keys sing.

Naturally, he was the first person myself and the rest of the TechCrunch staff thought of when we heard about the updated keyboard. “I’ll type on any keyboard you put under me.” Challenge accepted.

Here are the results:

Observations:

  1. Anthony is capable of making any keyboard loud. It’s like the least helpful mutant ability, but there you go.
  2. This isn’t scientific. Sadly TechCrunch’s multi-million dollar keyboard sound recording laboratory was not finished in time for this piece. Rather I held my podcasting mic close next to the keys while Anthony typed.
  3. The sentence being typed is “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” over and over again. It’s like a more adorable version of that one scene from The Shining.
  4. The difference is noticeable, but it’s not like night and day or anything. As the company noted, the underlying technology is still the same here. They won’t say precisely what’s been tweaked here, but it should be clear once the inevitable teardowns start popping up.
  5. There’s a distinct difference in sound quality here. The original has a more clacking typewriter sounds, while the new version is a bit more muffled — almost underwater. The different quality could account for the perceived difference between the two.
  6. It’s very nice outside today, but we’re in here recording keyboard sounds. Don’t say we never did anything for you.

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