The best wireless gaming keyboards mean more than just not having to plug your deck in. They can actually be really liberating. Instead of being chained to your desk, you can play from anywhere in your room, or take your favorite awesome mechanical keyboard with you wherever you go without having to awkwardly wrap it with a giant cable. And because of the advancements in wireless protocols and the broad improvements to wireless peripherals we've seen in the last few years, stuff like input lag and spotty connectivity are largely just specters of the past.
So if you do decide to become a cord cutter, what do you look for in the best wireless gaming keyboard? Many of the decisions will resemble the ones you'd make buying a traditional keyboard. Do you want membrane or mechanical? Are you looking for clicky, tactile, loud switches like Cherry Blues, or quiet, linear switches like Razer Yellows? Do you crave dedicated media controls, RGB lighting, or a plush leatherette wrist rest? Figuring out the answer to some of these questions before you start shopping around can save you a bunch of time in the long run.
1. Logitech G613
Best wireless gaming keyboard
Switch: Logitech Romer-G Tactile | Size: Full size | Macros: 6 | Backlights: No | Passthroughs: No | Media Controls: Dedicated | Wristrest: Fixed
The technology behind wireless peripherals have come a long way, and Logitech’s LIGHTSPEED wireless connectivity is a prime example. During our weeks of use, the G613 never once dropped a connection despite the plethora of wireless devices on our desks. It absolutely matches wired peripherals in terms of stability and responsiveness. It’s efficient as hell, too; a pair of AA batteries can push up to 18 months of continuous use.
Though it’s designed for practicality first, it’s anything but bland. A second glance reveals a row of dedicated macros, media controls, and a volume rocker. I also love the spacious, grippy wrist rest—although it isn’t removable. Understandably, backlights were omitted to conserve battery.
As with all high-end Logitech keyboards, the G613 comes with Logitech’s Romer-G switch. This proprietary switch features a travel distance of just 3mm and a subtle tactile bump. Its mild, quiet nature makes it suitable for both gaming and typing—even in quiet environments.
2. Corsair K63 Wireless
Best compact wireless keyboard
Switch: Cherry MX Red | Size: TKL | Macros: No | Backlights: Blue | Passthroughs: No | Media Controls: Dedicated | Wristrest: Detachable
The compact Corsair K63 Wireless comes packed with features. Cherry MX Red switches? Check. Media controls and wrist rest? Check. Blue backlights…check?
The reason for my hesitance on the last point is that the battery life of the K63 Wireless is already abysmal without it. Its integrated rechargeable battery lasts a measly 15 hours with the lights set to medium and 25 hours at the lowest brightness. Corsair quotes the battery life to be 75 hours with the backlights off, at which point the inclusion of the backlight seems like a redundant decision. Corsair recommends plugging it in for uninterrupted gameplay, but doesn’t that defeat the purpose of a wireless keyboard?
Battery issue aside, the K63 Wireless is actually a solid board. The keys are responsive, and all its handy features makes getting through your day a little easier. As it stands, there’s no better option if you need a compact, wireless mechanical keyboard. You can also seat the K63 wireless in the Corsair Lapboard for gaming in the living room. Neat.
3. Logitech K350
Best budget wireless keyboard
Switch: Rubber dome | Size: Full size | Macros: No | Backlights: No | Passthroughs: No | Media Controls: Dedicated | Wristrest: Fixed
Where it falls flat in looks, the K350 compensates for in function. The K350 has ergonomic design features that makes using it exceptionally comfortable. The typing area is curved and raised in the center to allow your wrists to rotate naturally as you type. Despite its unorthodox shape, I had no trouble adjusting to it for gaming. A comfy, breathable foam wrist rest provides ample support.
As a budget option, it should come as no surprise that the K350 uses membrane switches. Logitech chose to use square guides with additional troughs on the stem to ensure stable travel and less key wobble. The guide does an excellent job at helping keystrokes feel more stable, but it also makes keystrokes rather noisy.
The K350 uses two AA batteries. Because it doesn’t house any fancy features or backlighting, Logitech quotes its battery life to be three years. Although I can’t confirm that claim, I wasn’t able to drain its battery through my days of heavy use. Because of its insane battery life, the K350 does not come with the option to connect via a wire.
Bonus pick: wireless keyboard and mouse combo
High end wireless gaming mouse and keyboard that also works with console
Switch: Razer Green Tactile | Size: Full size | Macros: No | Backlights: No | Passthroughs: No | Media Controls: No | Wristrest: Fixed
If you want to solve a number of cord-related issues with a single blow, the Razer Turret has you covered. It's an excellent, sturdy mechanical keyboard (modeled after Razer's BlackWidow and packing clicky, tactile Green switches) with a built in, retractable mouse pad, paired with a top shelf wireless mouse (patterned after the Mamba Wireless) that works seamlessly with both PCs and Microsoft's latest family of consoles, the Xbox One.
Retailing at $249.99, the Turret is right around the price you'd pay for a really good wireless gaming mouse and keyboard independently, and you're getting quality products for your money. The Mamba-equivalent in the Turret performs as well as its separate counterpart, with a 16,000 CPI sensor and a robust IPS rating, and the keyboard is indistinguishable in terms of performance from the BlackWidow. It's a great way to clip two cords at once and built tough to endure your most violent tantrums.
How we test wireless Keyboards
The determining factor of a wireless keyboards starts at the stability of its connection. Regardless of the wireless connectivity technology used, the board must must be able to sustain a stable, responsive connection at all times. That’s the paramount characteristic we pay attention to throughout testing.
To gauge the performance of the board itself, we apply the same testing suite used for our best gaming keyboards. Each board is run through several matches of Starcraft, Battlefield 4, and a few combat sequence in the Witcher 3. We take keen notes on the performance of its switches. Are they responsive? Was there any key skips or Ghosting?
Due to inherent limitations of wireless connectivity, some features just aren’t possible for wireless keyboards. USB passthroughs are out of the question. Audio passthroughs, on the other hand, are definitely doable, but they’re often omitted. This is could be due to the subpar sound reproduction since audio signals are much more susceptible to noise. Backlights are a double-edged sword: they enhance the aesthetics, but are also taxing on the battery.
Then there’s battery life. If the keyboard constantly needs to be charged or eats a deck of AA batteries a week, then its wireless nature becomes a liability rather than a selling point. The type of battery also matters: integrated batteries saves you money, but can wear out over time. Removable batteries can be swapped out and instantly charged, but they tack onto the cost of the keyboard.