The budget-friendly price and accessibility of Akko’s CS switches will make it a great option for beginners and hobbyists alike
Akko Ocean Blue on Amazon
Akko’s Custom Series switches has been making waves in the keyboard world, and it’s good to see more and more budget switches popping up. Going for only $10 per 45 pack, or $0.22 per switch, it certainly grabbed my attention and I was immediately interested in a review. There are quite a few offerings in the CS Series with linear, tactile and clicky options featuring different spring weights and colourways. I’ll be taking a look at the Ocean Blue today, which is a 3-pin tactile switch with a 55g bottom out force.
The first thing I noticed about the Ocean Blue is that the bump occurs at the very top of the keystroke. This is quite rare for a budget tactile switch, and your typical Brown switch like Cherry MX or Gateron have quite a bit of pretravel before the bump. I would also say the tactility is slightly better than the aforementioned switches, although not quite on the level of something like a Holy Panda or Boba. As the stem legs would suggest, the Ocean Blue offers a rounded bump.
The stock performance is surprisingly good and I only picked up some minor scratchiness and spring ping. These should be totally fine to use stock, but I am pretty sensitive to ping so decided to throw on some lube. For tactile switches I like to use my thinner Krytox mix, and I also leave the legs unlubed to preserve the tactility. Just note that you’re going to need a Kailh switch opener, as the Akko CS series makes use of the Kailh housing design. Interestingly the switches didn’t sound much different after lubing, although they felt marginally smoother and I was able to eliminate the ping noise.
The Ocean Blues felt fantastic to type on, and I really enjoyed the higher tactile bump. At 45g actuation and 55g bottom out they felt nice and light, and I was easily able to maintain my normal typing speeds on Monkeytype. They sounded pretty good on my GMMK Pro’s aluminium plate, and there was some appreciable bassiness and thock, although you should get better results on PC or FR4. All things considered, this is unprecedented value at only $0.22 per switch. The tactility, smoothness and acoustics are unmatched in its price class. On top of that, you’re getting a unique colourway as opposed to that boring Brown! The Ocean Blues are comfortably better than other budget Browns like Outemu, Gateron and Cherry MX.
One advantage of the Kailh housing is that it’s very tight, which contributes to the sound profile and you will definitely not need films here. No issues at all with stem wobble. As a matter of fact, it had less wobble than the NK Blueberry, a much more expensive switch. I didn’t have any stability issues either with this being a 3-pin switch, and there wasn’t a discernible difference when compared to 5-pin switches.
I honestly cannot think of anything bad to say about the Ocean Blues, and I’m very eager to try the Matcha Greens and see how they stack up against the Gateron Yellows. The budget-friendly price and accessibility of Akko’s CS switches will make it a great option for beginners and hobbyists alike.