Tuning the Keys: Creating the WhiteFox Eclipse’s Sound Profile

Tuning the Keys: Creating the WhiteFox Eclipse’s Sound Profile

Bringing the WhiteFox Eclipse to Life

Think of the tactile click of a well-made film camera’s shutter or the resonant purr of a Porsche’s idling engine. The sound of a well-made mechanical object isn’t just a side effect—it’s the proof that every facet of it has been considered, resulting in an experience that’s more than the sum of its parts.

The sound of a mechanical keyboard—whether thocky or creamy or like “boiling stones”--is a prime example of this. Sound gives the board its personality; it turns it from an inanimate object into something that resonates with you. 

In this post, we’ll explore all the factors that contribute to the WhiteFox Eclipse's signature sound. Our founding team members, who individually have over 15 years of experience in mech keys, aimed to create a signature sound that’s unique to the WhiteFox Eclipse. From material selection to assembly precision, every detail was chosen to achieve the auditory experience we envisioned. 

Designing for sound often felt like black magic. When you get right down to it, you can’t design the sound of a keyboard on a computer or by picking the right parts from a specs sheet. The process involves long hours, elbow grease, and trial and error. Magnet placement, PCB height—you name it, we experimented with it to avoid any sound that felt off. We were on a mission, tweaking, testing, and sometimes going back to the drawing board to get every detail right. 

Making the Case for Sound: Designing Cases

One of our primary goals was to create a keyboard that sounded great across all of its variants. Whether encased in plastic, low-profile machined aluminum, or high-profile machined aluminum, we wanted to ensure that each version of the keyboard would deliver a distinct yet equally satisfying sound profile. This commitment drove us to select materials and design elements that would harmonize perfectly. This included not just the choice of material but also the precise thickness of these materials, alongside the size and shape of the internal cavity. We scrutinized every detail—ensuring that each material’s acoustic properties were leveraged to the fullest.

Switch Hunt: Finding the Right Switch

Choosing the right switch was a saga in and of itself. After a whirlwind tour of brands and types—clicky, tactile, linear (you name it, we tried it)—Gateron Yellows stole our hearts with their smooth sound and feel. Their moderate actuation force struck the perfect balance between gaming and typing, providing a satisfyingly responsive experience without being fatiguing. Plus, the Pro 2.0 version offered reduced spring noise and stem wobbliness, making them a clear winner.

Some enthusiasts can spend up to ten hours modding a new keyboard—with most of that time dedicated to lubing. We wanted to take that work off your plate and give you a beautiful-sounding board on delivery. We lubricated each switch according to our high personal standards, giving them a delicious resonance that’s neither thin nor scratchy. Speaking of scratchiness, nobody likes a scratchy stabilizer, so we went to town with the lube there as well. By lubricating everything ourselves, we spared you the effort of modding and ensured that your keyboard is ready to be shown off the day it arrives. 

Designing Down to the Smallest Details

Our obsession with the details extended to the minutest aspects, such as magnet size, PCB slit placements, and the precision in screw tightness. Though seemingly minor, these elements were integral to fine-tuning the keyboard’s ultimate sound. The exact size of the magnets enhanced the keyboard’s resonance, while strategic PCB slits reduced internal vibrations during typing. This attention to details reflects our belief that the sum of each of these carefully considered components is a uniquely beautifully-sounding board. 

Mastering Gasket-Mounting

Initially, we used a gasket-mounted design with plastic spacers between the PCB and the board. While this fulfilled one of our customization goals, it didn't deliver the acoustic quality we wanted. The sound was off—lacking the depth and richness we envisioned. This realization led us down a path of experimentation with various types of foam, searching for the right material that could give us the deep and creamy sound we pictured. 

Our exploration took us through at least two dozen foam materials, each with its unique properties and impact on the keyboard's sound profile. After much testing and refinement, we landed on PORON foam—a material well-regarded within the community for its exceptional sound-absorbing qualities. PORON struck the perfect balance between hollowness and tightness for that resonance we were literally high-fiving over. 

Capping Off the Sound with Keycaps

Keycap thickness was another area where precision was key (pun intended). We landed on 1.5mm thick keycaps with only a 0.1mm deviation to hit that sweet spot. This provided the exact thocky resonance we had pictured from the beginning. Of course, you can swap out the keycaps and dial in your own custom sound. You might even find something you prefer. But our mission was to give you an out-of-the-box sound so good you’re not immediately ordering replacements. 

Making the WhiteFox Eclipse Sing

Gestalt is a German word meaning a harmonized whole. Like a flock of birds flying in synchronicity, a gestalt is a collection of things that acts like a single unified object. This concept was at the forefront of our minds as we designed the WhiteFox Eclipse. It's a labor of love, sweat, and a fair bit of science, all to give you a keyboard that's a joy to use and a pleasure to listen to. We hope when you get your hands on it, you'll feel all that effort with every keystroke. 

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