In this article, I’m reviewing the Epomaker EK68 mechanical keyboard. The EK68 is a gasket-mount, hot-swappable 65% keyboard with RGB lighting and NKRO. It’s priced at $70.
You might be wondering why there’s a keyboard review on the site. As well as being an audiophile, I’m also an avid gamer and I also spend a lot of time typing for my reviews. So when Epomaker reached out to me about a review, I found the offer too hard to resist. Not only am I interested in keyboards but I’m also happy to work on something that’s not directly related to audio for a change – it’s very refreshing!
I’ve garnered extensive experience evaluating audio equipment, including earphones, headphones, and DACs, through my audio review website and YouTube channel. However, I’m delving into new territory with keyboard reviews. While my expertise lies in the realm of audio, I’m excited to expand my horizons and share my insights on mechanical keyboards. Previously, I’ve owned keyboards from brands like Razer, SteelSeries, and Ducky, but reviewing keyboards presents a fresh challenge. Your patience is appreciated as I navigate this exciting transition.
Disclaimer: This sample was provided by Epomaker for an honest review. All observations and opinions here are based on my experience with the product.
Epomaker EK68 Review
The Epomaker EK68 offers a fantastic typing experience at an affordable price.
The EK68 boasts a sleek 65% layout, sporting a compact design with 66 keys and a prominent volume knob. This layout omits the F keys and number pad, but fret not, as these functions can be accessed through secondary commands by holding down the Function button. At the upper right corner, a dedicated volume knob serves a dual purpose, allowing both volume adjustment and muting.
With three distinct colour options available, your choice also determines the switch variety, ranging up to five options. My personal preference led me to the Black Gold variant equipped with Epomaker Wisteria linear switches. These factory-lubed switches, particularly the Wisteria variant, offer a delightful typing experience. Through a gasket-mounted configuration, the switches introduce a softer and quieter touch to each keystroke.
The Wisteria switches grant the EK68 a thocky sound profile, characterized by its rich and deep tones, a stark contrast to the clicky or clacky counterparts. Notably, the EK68 stands as one of the quietest yet most gratifying mechanical keyboards I’ve encountered.
Enhancing the tactile experience, the EK68 showcases double-shot PBT keycaps that deliver a satisfying sensation under your fingertips. Built for endurance, these PBT keycaps resist oil build-up and maintain their vibrant colour over prolonged use.
Compact and visually appealing, the EK68 efficiently occupies minimal space on your desk. While the omission of a number pad doesn’t concern me, the lack of dedicated F keys does create a mild sense of longing. However, this aspect remains subjective, and the Epomaker lineup accommodates diverse layouts to cater to individual preferences.
Adjacent to the arrow keys, a luminous indicator serves to display the current connection status and battery level. This convenient feature offers a swift glance to ascertain if your keyboard is linked to the PC and whether the battery necessitates a recharge.
Structurally, the EK68 boasts a plastic case encompassing an internal steel plate, resulting in robustness and virtually no flex. Its underside features rubber feet to prevent slipping, complemented by two-stage tilt feet with a rubberized coating. On the rear, switches allow for toggling between Windows and Mac settings, along with connectivity options. Speaking of connectivity, the EK68 offers versatile options: USB, 2.4GHz wireless, and Bluetooth. The overall construction underscores exceptional build quality.
Epomaker EK68 RGB
The EK68 keyboard boasts a diverse selection of 19 distinct RGB lighting presets, all of which can be tailored to your preferences. You’re granted control over brightness, speed, and the direction of these captivating lighting effects. In addition, there are gaming presets for first-person shooters and League of Legends.
Epomaker EK68 Software
Epomaker provides surprisingly polished software to customize your EK68. Within the software, you can remap keys, set up custom RGB effects and even record macros. It’s not as complex as Corsair’s iCUE or Razer’s Synapse but it’s lightweight, responsive and intuitive.
When evaluating performance, the Epomaker EK68 easily exceeded my initial expectations. My admiration for the Epomaker Wisteria switches has grown significantly – their responsiveness and incredibly smooth typing experience have won me over. Despite its compact dimensions, typing on the EK68 replicates the familiarity of a standard keyboard. Any concerns I had about the slightly smaller right Shift key were quickly dispelled; in my day-to-day usage, I don’t even detect any distinction.
The gasket mount design deserves high praise – it imparts a subtly soft touch while maintaining the keys’ firm and responsive nature, striking an optimal balance without any hint of stiffness. Beyond the keyboard’s delightful typing sensation, the auditory experience it offers stands out as another highlight. This can be attributed to the harmonious blend of the sound-dampening foam and the linear Wisteria switches. Having experienced this keyboard, I don’t think I could go back to a clicky mechanical keyboard ever again.
In summation, the Epomaker EK68 keyboard has proven itself to be a stellar performer that goes above and beyond expectations. Its remarkable performance, characterized by the responsive Epomaker Wisteria switches and the finely-tuned gasket mount culminates in a typing experience that belies its budget price. The marriage of these elements creates a sound profile that’s truly compelling.
The EK68 not only delivers exceptional performance but also stands out for its excellent value for money. If you’re on the lookout for an affordable and compact keyboard, this one seriously deserves your attention.