Get the Redragon K556 on Amazon
We’re taking a look at the Redragon K556 today, a full sized budget mechanical keyboard. This board comes with a full metal build featuring anodized aluminium. The K556 is available with brown or red switches, and as per usual we have the rebranded Outemus on here. This board features 18 backlighting modes as well as 9 single colours.
The K556 feels really robust with its full metal construction, and the board weighs 1.4kg so there’s some good heft to it. The aluminium surface is anodized, so it is protected against rust. Very little bend in the frame, and this board has an extremely durable design. The bottom features four rubber feet as well as rubber-tipped fold outs, and it sat firmly in place and didn’t slide around.
Another nice feature is that it’s hot swappable, but you’re going to be limited to Outemu switches, as these sockets do not support other kinds of switches. Outemus have thinner pins, so for example Gateron switches will not fit here, unless you file the pins of course. These Outemu switches are quite hard to remove, so be careful of damaging the switch housing when removing them. Try to wiggle rather than just pulling straight. With that said, these switches were a little easier to remove than some other Redragon boards I’ve used. So you also get 8 spare switches, and they included blacks, reds, browns and blues. That’s always nice as it gives you the chance to get a feel for the different switches. My favourite Outemu switch is the brown though, so I won’t be changing these.
I really enjoyed typing on this board, and the tactile feedback of the brown switches helps me type more accurately with less typos. My main keyboard has Gateron reds. While I type faster with these linear switches, I do tend to make more typos. With browns I am slightly slower but more accurate. I reached a top speed of 137 on the Aesop typing test, so the board is great for faster typing. The stabilisers are good. A tiny amount of rattle on some of the bigger keys, but they don’t feel cheap at all. The space bar feels very good. This board does suffer from some metal ping unfortunately, and I noticed this even when taking it out of the box. I tried some O-rings on here, but the metal ping persisted. I think some soft landing pads might help though. These brown switches are also great for gaming, and I didn’t feel slower in CSGO and Valorant. I just had to get used to the full-sized form factor, as I typically use 60% boards. Initially my mouse crashed into the side of the keyboard a few times.
As far as looks go, this is a stunning keyboard. The top surface is matte black with a Redragon logo, and a nice little silver accent runs around the frame. The LEDs are very potent making for some vibrant RGB, and the light shines through evenly. I also like this medium font that Redragon went for, as I’m not a big fan of their stylised fonts. The board features ABS keycaps with the glossy sides. The shiny sides actually work well with the aliminium case, and it’s easy on the eye. You’ll also find this keycap style on boards like the Dark Avenger and Draconic. Even though the keycaps are ABS, they have some good thickness to them at 1. 5mm.
This is a fairly typical Redragon Fn layer. Your RGB modes sit on the Nav cluster, and then you have your brightness control, single colour cycling and direction change on the arrow keys. You can also increase or reduce the speed via the dash and equal sign keys. The F-row features multimedia control and quick access to your default browser and email client, and also the calculator and search function. On a personal note, I would’ve preferred the volume control on the F9-12 segment, as it allows me to do volume control with one hand.
I’ve had some issues tracking down and installing Redragon software in the past, but getting a hold of the K556 software was easy and painless. The software has key remapping functionality, including single key, macro and media. You can save up to three profiles. Be sure to set the polling rate to 1000hz, as it defaults to 125. Then you have RGB control, so you can change modes and adjust things like the speed and direction.
The K556 is definitely one of the better full-sized budget mechs you will find. It offers a superb typing experience with good stabilisers, and features a very impressive metal build. Even though it’s the Outemu sockets, it’s always nice to have that hot swap feature. I also think this is a very good looking board, with some really vibrant RGB. The biggest letdown of this board was of course the metal ping, but it’s bearable for the most part. I think this board offers very good value at around $60.