11 Best Cherry MX Brown Keyboards: The Ultimate List

cherry mx brown keyboard

For master typists, there is no greater feeling of satisfaction than that of perfectly actuating a mechanical switch. And there is no better mechanical switch for word processors worldwide than the Cherry MX Brown. That’s why we rounded up the very best Cherry MX Brown keyboards for typing and PC gaming alike into one definitive list. Read on below to join the tactile typing team.

What Are the Best Cherry MX Brown Keyboards in 2020?

corsair cherry brown keyboard Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Custom RGB backlight
  • Double-shot PBT keycaps
  • Dedicated macro and multimedia keys
Price: $199.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
asus rog cherry brown keyboard Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Custom RGB backlight
  • USB pass-through port
  • Fully macro programmable
Price: $179.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
gskill cherry brown keyboard Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Custom RGB backlight
  • USB/aux/microphone pass-through
  • Detachable wrist rest
Price: $169.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
durgod cherry brown keyboard Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Double shot PBT keys
  • Compact and durable
  • Multimedia shortcuts
Price: $99.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
fnatic cherry brown keyboard Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Custom RGB backlighting
  • Detachable wrist rest
  • Compact and durable
Price: $108.47 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
das cherry mx brown keyboard
  • PBT keycaps
  • Two pass-through USB ports
  • Compact and durable
Price: $139.00 Shop now at daskeyboard.com Shop now Read our review
hyperx cherry brown keyboard
  • Custom RGB backlight
  • Detachable wrist rest
  • Dedicated multimedia controls
Price: $208.98 Shop now at newegg.com Shop now Read our review
coolermaster cherry brown keyboard Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Custom RGB backlight
  • Multimedia shortcuts
  • Fully macro programmable
Price: $179.50 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
filco cherry brown keyboard Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Great build quality
  • Simple and durable
  • Antighosting and n-key rollover
Price: $147.14 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
code v3 cherry brown keyboard Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Backlit keys
  • Fully macro programmable
  • Compact and durable
Price: $170.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
ikbc cherry brown keyboard
  • Low price tag
  • PBT keycaps
  • Simple and durable
Price: $79.99 Shop now at ikbckeyboard.com Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Corsair K95 Platinum XT Mechanical Keyboard

    Pros:
    • Custom RGB backlight
    • Double-shot PBT keycaps
    • Dedicated macro and multimedia keys
    Cons:
    • High price tag
    • Squeaky stabilizer keys
    • Takes up two USB ports

    If you are looking for the most feature-packed and high-performing mechanical keyboard out there, it just might be the Corsair K95 Platinum XT. This keyboard packs every feature you might want out of a keyboard along with top of the line switches and keycaps. But all of this doesn’t come cheap. In fact, the K95 Platinum XT is absurdly expensive.

    You get what you pay for, though, as the K95 Platinum XT comes with German-made Cherry MX Brown switches and thick, double-shot PBT keycaps. PBT keycaps are much thicker and more durable than standard ABS keycaps, making them the obvious choice when budget isn’t an option. And as for the Cherry MX Browns, they are my personal favorite switch type for their tactile bump and relatively quiet actuation. They are equally well-suited for typing and gaming, though the fully customizable RGB backlight on this keyboard is definitely striving for that gamer aesthetic.

    You can use the free Corsair iCue software to customize the color behind each key. Or you can just opt for one of the preset patterns and call it a day. The software is also useful for programming macros for the six dedicated macro keys on the lefthand side of the keyboard. There are many things you can do with this feature. The software is even compatible with the Elgato Stream Deck software to easily program these keys to control live streams.

    But that isn’t the only extra feature tacked onto the K95 Platinum XT. It also has dedicated media controls and a detachable wrist rest. You can add USB pass-through to the spec sheet as well, though you still have to plug two USB ports into your computer to make it work. And even with all of these features, the price tag still feels a little steep. But if you are looking for the best Cherry MX Brown keyboard anyway then there are still plenty of reasons to get excited for the K95 Platinum XT.

    VideoVideo related to corsair k95 platinum xt mechanical keyboard2020-05-26T19:11:31-04:00

  2. 2. Asus ROG Strix Flare Mechanical Keyboard

    Pros:
    • Custom RGB backlight
    • USB pass-through port
    • Fully macro programmable
    • Dedicated multimedia keys
    Cons:
    • Large desk footprint
    • Thin keycaps
    • Poor documentation

    The Strix Flare is the pride of Asus’ Republic of Gamers hardware line. It offers all of the premium features you would expect from a mechanical gaming keyboard plus a set of versatile Cherry MX Brown switches that are equally well-suited for word processing. And it is available for a fairly reasonable price.

    The telltale sign that this keyboard is marketed towards gamers is the custom RGB lighting. And while I believe that RGB is a passing fad, Asus has gone the extra mile to enhance this keyboard with Aura Sync compatibility and an underglow effect that makes your keyboard look like a space ship. But beneath the flashy lights are a tactile and (relatively) silent set of 107 Cherry MX Brown switches. They perform great and have anti-ghosting as well as n-key rollover. The ABS keycaps are just decent but these can be easily swapped out for some PBT keycaps if you find yourself wearing through them quickly.

    The board’s frame is nice and sturdy, although it takes up a considerable amount of desk space. The detachable wrist rest is a great option for increasing the ergonomic comfort of the keyboard when you are on a marathon gaming session. For added ergonomics, you can also life the adjustable feet on this keyboard for a more angled surface. The pass-through USB port completes the package, leaving almost nothing to be desired by PC power users.

  3. 3. G.SKILL Ripjaws KM780 Mechanical Keyboard

    Pros:
    • Custom RGB backlight
    • USB/aux/microphone pass-through
    • Detachable wrist rest
    Cons:
    • Glitchy software
    • Large desk footprint
    • Takes up two USB ports

    The G.SKILL Ripjaws KM780 is an absolute behemoth of a mechanical keyboard. It takes the high-quality typing experience you’d expect from a high-end keyboard then sweetens the pot with more extra features then I have ever seen on one keyboard. This is great if you consider yourself a power user that wants these different functions, but you definitely need a good amount of space to utilize them all.

    Between its mouse cable holder, detachable wrist rest, dedicated media keys, six dedicated macro keys, three macro profile keys, and its LED volume display, the KM780 will demolish your available desk real estate like no one’s business. And that doesn’t even consider the potential cables you might run through its built-in USB pass-through port, microphone jack, and headphone jack. The payoff, though, is a lot of added functionality.

    Most of the Ripjaws KM780’s features can be controlled using the free Ripjaws software. Unfortunately, the software is by far the least polished aspect of this product. It is so janky that it is almost unusable. I was able to set up basic macros and fully customize the RGB lighting but any time I tried to set up a more complicated macro the software would crash.

    How does typing feel on this keyboard? It’s fantastic. There isn’t much to say that hasn’t already been said about the tactile Cherry MX Brown switches. As with most mechanical keyboards in this price range, you can expect full n-key rollover and anti-ghosting as well. The ABS keycaps are only okay but that is standard for the price range. And while most mechanical keyboards typically include some alternate keycaps, the KM780 has the first alternate keycap set worth talking about. You can replace the most commonly used gaming keys with a textured, angled keycap, which prevents your fingers from slipping onto the nearby G macro keys. Curiously, they’ve added a detachable case for these extra keycaps, further adding to the visual clutter of this keyboard.

    So while the Ripjaws KM780 sets out to accomplish a lot of things, the execution feels sloppy on more than one of these features. Still, this keyboard is one of the best deals on a Cherry MX Brown mechanical keyboard and the switches themself perform fantastically, whether or not the bells and whistles get the job done.

    VideoVideo related to g.skill ripjaws km780 mechanical keyboard2020-05-26T18:06:16-04:00

  4. 4. Durgod Taurus K320 TKL Mechanical Keyboard

    Pros:
    • Double shot PBT keys
    • Compact and durable
    • Multimedia shortcuts
    Cons:
    • No LED backlight
    • No wrist rest
    • Spongy stabilizer keys

    The Durgod Taurus K320 is a simple, compact, and stylish mechanical keyboard that focuses on a seamless typing experience rather than silly gimmicks. Its main selling point is its double-shot PBT keycaps, which far exceed the quality of the ABS caps you find on other boards. They are laser-etched so they will never fade away, meaning you can potentially get some serious mileage out of this budget keyboard.

    The downside of this tenkeyless keyboard is that its keys aren’t backlit, which can make it hard to use at night if you haven’t already mastered touch typing. Otherwise, it isn’t a huge deal. The function row keys have alternate media commands printed on the side, which makes for a clean look as well as easy playback controls.

    As for the switches underneath, this version ships with Cherry MX Browns but the K320 is available with almost every Cherry switch on the market. The low actuation force of the MX Browns makes it easy to press down these heavier keycaps while providing that satisfying tactile bump. Unfortunately, the stabilizer keys like space and return feel a bit spongier. That is easy to overlook, though, as this is an all-around capable mech keyboard. It may not have the large accessory suite or customizable LED array of a high-end gaming keyboard, but it will last a lot longer than a fancier keyboard anyway.

  5. 5. Fnatic miniSTREAK Mechanical Keyboard

    Pros:
    • Custom RGB backlighting
    • Detachable wrist rest
    • Compact and durable
    Cons:
    • Wrist rest detaches easily
    • Glitchy software
    • Thin keycaps

    If the RGB backlighting doesn’t give it away, the Fnatic miniSTREAK Mechanical Keyboard is designed with gaming in mind. The 87-key miniSTREAK offers the same diverse functionality as the full 104-key Fnatic STREAK but in a compact, tenkeyless form factor. That said, all of the positive things I have to say about this keyboard can be echoed for the full-size version.

    Both keyboards have Cherry MX Brown switches, whose tactile bump in their stems makes it easy to register keystrokes without bottoming out. Brown switches have a fairly low actuation pressure too, making them plenty suitable for gaming as well. The miniSTREAK has multimedia functions bound to its function row, but curiously, these keys default to their multimedia function first. If you want to use the standard F1 through F12 functions, then you must press the function lock button first.

    These keyboards also have full RGB lighting, so you can customize the color behind each individual keycap or cycle between eight preset lighting modes. The brightness is adjustable and the light can be easily turned off when you just want to focus. Fnatic offers a free software to fully customize these features. You can also set up key bindings and user profiles.

    The Fnatic miniSTREAK comes with a detachable wrist rest made from padded PU leather. This is a great ergonomic inclusion as the wrist rest can sit at three different heights. This makes it easy to maximize your comfort while typing. The keyboard also comes with a detachable USB-C cable that is seated under the keyboard in a way that minimizes accidental detachment. It is these minor details that make the Fnatic miniSTREAK such a delight to type with.

  6. 6. Das 4C TKL Keyboard

    Pros:
    • PBT keycaps
    • Two pass-through USB ports
    • Compact and durable
    Cons:
    • No backlight
    • High price tag
    • Non-detachable USB cable

    The Das Keyboards 4C is a compact TKL mechanical keyboard that delivers a high-quality typing experience in a compact and refined package. The main draw of this keyboard is its combination of PBT keycaps and Cherry MX Brown switches. The PBT keycaps have a slight texture to them that enhances the tactile experience of typing on them while providing a little extra grip. The stabilizer keys come factory lubed for smooth actuation and the 4C supports full anti-ghosting and n-key rollover.

    But in line with its simpler 87-key layout, this keyboard is also adopts a minimalist philosophy with its features. There is no backlighting behind the charcoal-colored keys, which may give hunt-and-peck typists a hard time at night. The function row houses basic media shortcuts in order to save space. The 4C does spoil you with two pass-through USB 2.0 ports, though, which is nice considering it only needs one USB port. Another interesting design quirk is the magnetic footbar, which doubles as a ruler should you need to measure something on the fly.

    Some may be turned off by the simplicity of the Das 4C, but strangely enough, that same quality is what draws people like me to it. The price tag may be a little high for a keyboard this light in features but it still delivers a top-end typing experience.

  7. 7. HyperX Alloy Elite RGB Mechanical Keyboard

    Pros:
    • Custom RGB backlight
    • Detachable wrist rest
    • Dedicated multimedia controls
    Cons:
    • Large desk footprint
    • Takes up 2 USB ports
    • Collects fingerprints easily

    The HyperX Alloy Elite is a wildly popular mechanical keyboard that offers PC Master Race-worthy performance with all the most sought after extra features. This, of course, includes fully customizable RGB backlighting, which has become a staple for high-end mechanical keyboards.

    Using the free HyperX NGenuity software, you can customize your board’s appearance key by key. More realistically, you’ll probably just settle on one of the preset LED light patterns, which make for an attractive visual effect. The board has an LED bar at the top that further boosts the rainbow factor. The software can also be used to fully remap any key to a preset macro.

    As for the keys themselves, they feel great to type on. The Cherry MX Brown switches are much quieter than the Cherry MX Blues while providing a tactile bump that helps keep a feather-light touch while typing. The keycap faces have a nice ergonomic curve to them too. The only keys that don’t have customizable LEDs are the dedicated multimedia buttons, which do not have mechanical switches. They include playback controls, a volume wheel, a mute button, a brightness toggle button, a macro profile selector button, and a Win lock button.

    The metal frame beneath is incredibly sturdy but it does attract fingerprints more so than other boards I’ve used. Also keep in mind that the Alloy Elite takes up a lot of desk space, especially when you use the detachable wrist rest, but it makes up for this with a pass-through USB port. You will have to plug into two USB ports to use this feature, but it is very helpful if you have other USB desk accessories with short cables. All in all, this keyboard leaves little to be desired, making it a no-brainer upgrade over a standard membrane keyboard.

  8. 8. Cooler Master CK550 Mechanical Keyboard

    Pros:
    • Custom RGB backlight
    • Multimedia shortcuts
    • Fully macro programmable
    Cons:
    • Poor documentation
    • Shift functions are inverted on the key caps
    • Non-detachable USB cable

    Despite having the same flashy RGB backlighting setup as other mechanical gaming keyboards, the Cooler Master CK550 manages to appear a little more sophisticated. And that definitely works in its favor. The lack of overt branding and the brushed aluminum case helps the CK550 stand out against keyboards that were clearly designed by a 14-year-old (no offense, 14-year-olds). But how does it perform?

    The CK550 is a pleasure to type on thanks to its Cherry MX Brown switches and slightly curved keycap faces. The keys are well spaced and the navigation row also has multimedia shortcuts. There is one thing that drives me insane, though. Cooler Master printed the 1-9 keys with their shift character on the bottom, which is backward from almost every other keyboard out there. Get it together, guys.

    Each key has an individual RGB LED behind it that can be customized on the fly without the need for software. You can do the same with recording and binding macros. Of course, there is a software for when you want to access more advanced options but it is great to have the option to skip it if you like to keep things simple. There is no wrist rest or pass-through USB port, but if you don’t plan on using those anyway, then you can get the full, glorious RGB experience at a value price.

  9. 9. Filco Majestouch 2 Mechanical Keyboard

    Pros:
    • Great build quality
    • Simple and durable
    • Antighosting and n-key rollover
    Cons:
    • No backlight
    • No media hotkeys
    • Thin keycaps

    The Filco Majestouch 2 has been around since 2011 but this mechanical keyboard continues to be one of the most popular choices for typists and gamers alike. When a keyboard this old is still relevant, you can attribute a good chunk of its success to its build quality. The Majestouch 2 is built like a truck, with a steel base that won’t slide around your desk.

    The Cherry MX Brown switches underneath are equally as durable. Each one is rated to withstand over 50 million keystrokes, so they can withstand longterm daily use no problem. Unfortunately, the ABS keycaps on top of the switches don’t match the quality of the rest of the build. They aren’t terrible but they will certainly fade out well before this keyboard is ready to kick the bucket. Aside from this, the Majestouch 2 doesn’t offer much else by way of extra features.

    You won’t find any macro keys, multimedia shortcuts, or even backlighting on this keyboard. Ultimately, it can seem kind of plain. But that is a good thing for the aspiring minimalists out there. Sometimes, all you need to experience the magic of mechanical keyboards is a solid performance and no distractions.

  10. 10. Code V3 TKL Mechanical Keyboard

    Pros:
    • Backlit keys
    • Fully macro programmable
    • Compact and durable
    Cons:
    • May require a firmware update to work on Macs
    • Wobbly stabilizer keys
    • High price tag

    The Code V3 TKL is a simple 87-key mech keyboard that forgoes obnoxious branding and RGB lighting in favor of a more focused typing experience. If you are looking for a feature-rich keyboard that isn’t bogged down by distracting aesthetic choices then this is an easy pick.

    One of my favorite features of the Code V3 is that you can reprogram any key on the board and write macro commands over four customizable layers without having to install any software at all. This is a useful feature for coding and gaming, though the average user probably won’t find any obvious applications for this feature. They will, however, appreciate the media shortcuts bound to the navigation keys, which make it easy to control media playback on the fly. Before I move along, though, there is one important flaw to note. Some models of the Code V3 still have an older firmware model that produces incorrect symbols using the ~ key in Mac Mode. If you are a Mac user, be sure to update your V3’s firmware before taking it for a spin.

    When it comes to the actual typing experience, it should come as no surprise that the Cherry MX Brown switches steal the spotlight. They are surprisingly silent and just so much fun to type on. Both of these qualities are nice when you are coding at 50 lines per hour from sunup to sundown. And, of course, their tactile action makes them equally suitable for any PC task from gaming to emailing Grandma. The keys are backlit by white LEDs that can be adjusted across seven brightness settings (or turned off completely). The keycaps are decent but I would have preferred to see PBT keycaps considering the price point of this keyboard. It is also disappointing that the stabilizer keys feel loose at times.

    Aside from that, this keyboard feels solid and well-built. Its case is made of sturdy metal and won’t slide around your desk easily. The tenkeyless design also leaves you with plenty of desk real estate where it counts. The keyboard connects via a detachable USB-C cable with a multi-channel routing system. Despite falling short in a few categories, the Code V3 TKL will still impress those looking for a more sophisticated entry point into high-end PC peripherals.

  11. 11. iKBC CD108 Mechanical Keyboard

    Pros:
    • Low price tag
    • PBT keycaps
    • Simple and durable
    Cons:
    • No backlight
    • No media shortcuts
    • Non-detachable USB cable

    The iKBC CD108 might not look particularly eye-catching but its solid performance and value price make it a worthwhile purchase for Cherry MX Brown enthusiasts on a budget. This is easily one of the cheapest keyboards we’ve seen with legit Cherry switches and this gives it the edge against entry-level competitors that stock Kailh or Gateron switches.

    The typing experience is at the front and center of the CD108’s design. The combination of PBT keycaps and Cherry MX Brown switches is a sensory delight for your fingertips. Unfortunately, the plain design and lack of LED backlights makes it far less of a visual delight. There aren’t any media shortcuts either, other than the dedicated mute, volume up, and volume down buttons.

    The CD108’s base has a nice heft to it but it doesn’t feel quite as premium as other brands. Also, the USB cable is hardwired when pretty much every manufacturer should have moved onto detachable cables by now. But criticisms aside, the CD108 still delivers a satisfying typing experience at a price that is hard to beat. And for that reason, it is definitely one of the best Cherry MX Brown keyboards available.

What Are the Advantages of a Mechanical Keyboard?

Mechanical keyboards are one of the most universally loved PC peripherals out there but if you haven't used one before you might find yourself asking what makes them so great?

When you compare mechanical keyboards to inexpensive membrane keyboards, the answer becomes more clear. Mech keyboards use individual switches underneath each key to create a snappy and tactile typing experience. Membrane keyboards, conversely, use rubber domes that wear out sooner and stick more easily.

The more robust design of the mechanical keyboard means that your keys will last much longer than a membrane keyboard. Additionally, the tactile and auditory feedback that a mechanical keyboard delivers allows users to type more accurately as they receive instantaneous feedback that their keystroke has registered. However, mechanical keyboards aren't for everyone.

What Are the Disadvantages of a Mechanical Keyboard?

They do suffer from a few drawbacks, the most prominent of which being that they are quite loud. Clicky switches like Cherry MX Blues can be as loud as an electric typewriter. The Brown switches we reviewed in this article aren't nearly as loud but they can still keep roommates awake when you are having a late-night gaming session.

Additionally, mechanical keyboards are more expensive than membrane keyboards. That said, we find the difference in quality to be worth the price. If you spend a decent amount of time gaming or typing out text, then you probably will too.

Why Brown Keyboard Switches?

Of all the different switch types that Cherry manufactures, the Browns are generally considered the best for fast and accurate typing.

This is because Browns are a tactile switch type, which has a noticeable bump at the actuation point. This allows you to register keystrokes and move on to the next one without ever bottoming out.

Cherry MX Browns are also suitable for gaming, though some might prefer the smooth travel of the Cherry MX Reds, a linear switch that offers uniform resistance throughout a keypress. At the end of the day, though, this all comes down to personal preference.

If you want to learn more about the specific differences between switch types, then check out this mechanical switch guide from Dygma.

Are the Other Brands As Good As Cherry?

If you've done your own cursory research then you have likely come across a number of value-priced clone brands that use the same color-coded switch system as Cherry. So how do they compare?

Many competitor brands offer competitive performance and switch lifespan but they may never be able to outdo Cherry in the category of customer satisfaction. That's because Cherry MX switches have been around since the early 1980s and they are the original linear mechanical switch.

Their track record far exceeds the likes of Gateron, Otemu, Kailh, and Razer, even though I don't necessarily dislike these brands. In fact, I have tried the Cherry brown equivalent from all of these brands and I doubt that I could tell them apart in a blind test. They are all solid products.

That said, when you are talking about a peripheral as important as your keyboard, there is no shame in wanting to use the best of the best. After all, Cherry isn't just floating by on their reputation alone. The Cherry MX Browns are the most popular tactile switch because they feel great to use and are fairly ubiquitous.

See Also

11 Best Cherry MX Blue Keyboards: The Ultimate List

9 Best Cherry MX Red Keyboards: The Ultimate List

11 Best Cherry MX Keycaps: Your Buyer’s Guide

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