The Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional 2 has a unique status among keyboards. Its minimalist and symmetrical design, refined key feel, and Vim and Emacs-friendly layout have garnered it a dedicated following despite a $260 street price. But beyond those characteristics, there’s another reason it’s a legendary keyboard: its thock-facilitating case-mounted Topre switches. For many keyboardists, myself included, the unique sound of typing on the HHKB is reason enough to take interest in it.
This video explores the range of HHKB typing sounds. It includes typing tests from three different Happy Hacking Keyboards:
- Stock HHKB Pro 2
- Stock HHKB Pro 2 Type-S
- HHKB Pro 2 with dental bands installed
Stock HHKB: 0:09
HHKB Type-S: 1:00
Dental Banded HHKB: 1:33
Type-S Whistling Demonstration: 2:14
Note that the HHKB Type-S in this video exhibits a “whistling” problem on keys near the center of the board, a phenomenon that has been widely reported on newer Type-S boards. I have since discussed this issue at further length and posted a separate video.
To me, the dental banded version actually sounds the best — it has more thock than the Type-S, as well as less friction noise. Considering it also costs $100 less and carries no risk of whistling, I’d say that dental banding is a GREAT option for silencing an HHKB, especially until PFU works out the whistling problem.