Akko has quietly been making some of the best budget mechanical keyboards for years and it’s back with its very own take on Hall Effect magnetic switches. The MOD007B-HE offers customizable actuation, quad-action keys, rapid trigger and more. Join us as we find out if it’s worth picking up in this review!
We would like to thank MechKeys for providing the sample for this review.
- Current Price: $249.99 (MechKeys)
- Key Features:
- Compact 75% Layout With 82-keys Arrangement.
- Customizable Yellow Magnetic Mechanical Switches.
- Adjustable Key Travel.
- Gasket-Mounted Structure Design.
- CNC-Machined Aluminum Alloy Chassis.
- OSA Profile PBT Material Keycaps.
- Independent Multimedia Knob.
- Convenient Three-Mode Connectivity.
- Dynamic RGB Backlight.
- High-Capacity 3600mAh Battery.
- Full-Key Hot-Swappable Sockets.
- Switch: Akko Cream Yellow Magnetic Switch
- Interface: Wireless/Bluetooth/USB Type C
- Macro: Akko Macro V1.0
- N-Key Rollover: Supported
- Disable Winlock: Supported
- Backlit: RGB backlit
- Hot-Swappable: Yes
- Dimensions: 333x141x33mm
- Weight: Approximately 2.0KG
- Material: Aluminum Case, Doubleshot PBT Keycaps
- Profile: OSA
Akko has been a company to watch for years but its evolution over the last two to three has been especially exciting. Its designs were always interesting and unique, but since COVID, we’ve seen the company really put its ear to the ground and listen to what the enthusiast community cares about. It’s adopted design choices that have not only made its keyboards better but has elevated them to be one of the very best choices for anyone looking for a great keyboard on a budget.
If it sounds like I’m overstating things, rest assured that I’m not. Also since COVID, I’ve been lucky enough to cover dozens and dozens of keyboards, ranging from budget and gaming-centric to high-end, limited-run custom kits that retail for hundreds of dollars. I’ve seen the gamut first-hand and Akko delivers the best bang for the buck and has been my go-to recommendation, alongside its sister-brand, Monsgeek, for quite a while.
So it’s with some excitement that I received the email asking if I’d like to take a look at its new Hall Effect magnetic switch keyboard, the MOD007B-HE. I reviewed a number of the original MOD keyboards (1, 2, 3) back in 2021 and enjoyed them; that was early days for this new generation of the brand and it’s only gotten better since. To see Akko take on the likes of Wooting, Razer, and Corsair? Well, that’s interesting.
Akko MOD007B-HE - What Is It?
But let’s slow down. What exactly is the MOD007B-HE. For starters, it’s a 75% custom mechanical keyboard that comes in with a full aluminum case. It’s hefty, weighing about four and half pounds fully built. The keyboard comes almost entirely built but my sample had the keycaps shipped separately, so you may need to press those into place. On the plus side, this also means getting a lot of extra keycaps, and they’re part of Akko’s doubleshot PBT OSA series (shorter, spherical keycaps that are easy to type on and don’t wear down over time due to the high-quality, textured plastic).
It retails for $249.99 from Mech Keys, so isn’t exactly cheap. But hold it in your hand and you’ll quickly realize that it’s built like a tank. It feels like a custom keyboard in a way the ROG Azoth, Corsair MAX, Razer Huntsman Pro, and Wooting don’t. It also has a bit of flair with black and white colorways with eye-catching centerpieces splitting both halves of the case. Flip it around to the back and you’ll also find a weight that matches this strip. It’s not brass but it looks nice and, honestly, the keyboard doesn’t need to be any heavier.
It uses a 75% layout, which means it has arrow keys and a function row. There’s also a dedicated column of navigation and editing buttons on the right. These can be re-assigned for in-game macros in the software, or to other standard keys, but are Home, Page Up, Page Down, and End by default. There’s also a dedicated volume wheel on the top, which is also made out of metal.
Internally, it uses layers of sound dampening foam to tune its acoustics. There’s plate foam to isolate the sound of the switches and reduce reverberations and case foam to remove any hollowness or pinging from the case. There’s also a layer of switch foam to add a bit of extra pop to the switches. Akko also includes an optional pre-cut tape in the box if you want to hone the sound further, but be aware that you’ll need to cut out squares for the two cables that connect to the PCB.
The keyboard also uses a gasket mount structure but don’t expect tons of flex. Instead of screwing into the bottom case, the plate the switches mount onto is lined with silicone gaskets that get sandwiched between both halves. These work to isolate its metal plate from the two metal halves of the case, softening the sound and feel of the keyboard. Flex can create issues with the Hall Effect sensors, however, so it’s a firm typing experience.
The MOD007B-HE uses a version of Akko’s Cream Yellow switches. While they look similar, they’re quite different in practice. I’m a big fan of Akko’s Cream Yellow Pro V3 switches (enough to buy about 400 of them for future builds… and another 400-500 each of Cream Blue Pro and Cream Black Pro V3s too… I build a lot of keyboards!) and they don’t quite sound the same. They still have a crisp bottom out sound but are rather unique in comparison. They’re also hot-swappable but you’ll need other magnetic switches, so be aware that you can’t swap in a normal mechanical switch and expect it to work (there are hotswap sockets but they’re not functional for standard switches).
This may be because the switches don’t actually socket into the PCB at all. In fact, there are no pins whatsoever on the bottom of these switches. Instead, centered in the bottom of the stem (the part that moves down when you press a key) is a tiny magnet. Sensors on the circuitboard detect this movement by changes in the magnetic field, allowing you to leverage some truly neat, game-enhancing features, like custom actuation points, multi-action keys, and rapid trigger technology.
The switches are pre-lubed and very smooth, however, as are the stabilizers. The stabs are screw-in style, so they fasten tightly to the PCB instead of snapping into the plate, and don’t rattle at all. Akko did a very nice job here.
The keyboard also supports per-key customizable RGB, which can be programmed using the Akko Cloud Driver software. While this is usually avoidable, here you’ll definitely want to download it as it’s necessary to take advantage of its most interesting, magnetic switch features.
Finally, the keyboard supports tri-mode wireless connectivity. This is more important than it sounds, as virtually every other Hall Effect keyboard on the market today requires a wired connection. Here, once your settings are programmed in, they’re saved to the keyboard and will follow it to any computer, so you can unplug and take full advantage of its features without being tethered by a wire. Battery life is only average at 3600mAh if you leave RGB enabled but if you’re willing to turn it off, you can game for more than a week without plugging in.
MOD007B-HE - Hall Effect Functionality and Gaming Impressions
The software is truly necessary here and unlocks a number of neat features. Using onboard controls, you can adjust the actuation point between 2mm and 0.5mm and an ultra sensitive mode, but inside the software, you have much more control and can set custom actuation points. For gaming, a lighter actuation is beneficial so you can fire off commands faster than your opponent. For typing, especially if you’re heavy-handed like me, setting a lower actuation point can be very helpful for avoiding typos.
This is also how you can program Rapid Trigger buttons. The term “Rapid Trigger” is becoming common throughout the gaming keyboard world and means that the actuation point and the reset point (when the switch turns back off and can be triggered again) exist at the same depth. Rather than having to release the key all the way, you can flutter it and send many more inputs much faster than with a traditional mechanical keyboard. This is a beloved feature in games like OSU but is also popular in competitive games where players demand top-tier responsiveness.
Things get really interesting when you begin to explore Dynamic Keystrokes. Since the keyboard is able to detect exactly how far the switch is being pressed (the “Start Simulation” button will show you this in real time), you can tie different commands to different points in the key stroke.
One example, which I’ve programmed in the example above, is setting the W key to automatically engage Sprint when it’s pressed most of the way down and to return to walking when it’s most of the way back up. You can get really creative here, tying macros, key strokes, and key combinations to different points in the sequence. Compare this to Corsair’s dual action keys. Akko has quad action keys. It’s impressive for such a small company.
The experience of gaming on the keyboard is top notch. The level of responsiveness is simply fantastic. What really sets it apart is how much it can cater to your preferences and play style. Since you can dial in individual actuation points for particular keys, you can set just your gaming keys to being a light touch and the others to something more fitting for typing. You can also map two different function layers, so you you can swap between gaming and typing keysets on the fly.
I’m not the type of gamer to tie multiple keystrokes to a single key, but I can definitely see the utility here, especially for MMORPGs where skills have two stages (like targeting and triggering, cursing and exploding the curse, etc) or for games where you might want basic movement at one stage and running or teleporting tied to a full press. For shooters, pulling a grenade and throwing it is another key example, or crouching with a gentle touch and going prone with a full press. There’s a lot of utility here.
Akko also plans to add gamepad emulation, giving it more parity with Razer and Wooting. This isn’t available yet but is expected in the coming weeks.
It also helps that this is just a very solid mechanical keyboard. The typing experience is smooth and satisfying. I do wish that it had a bit more flex but I understand why that’s not possible and the acoustics remain quite solid. The MOD007 was already a very good keyboard and the added functionality makes this even better.
The big question is whether it’s worth picking up the Hall Effect version over the mechanical version, which can be had without switches and keycaps for around $150. That depends entirely on whether you see yourself benefitting from magnetic switches. Customizable actuation is nice, so much so I find myself looking at the switch market and finding that there really aren’t any switches that hit my travel preferences quite as exactly as the MOD007B-HE does. At the same time, you can’t change switches are freely with it because it only accepts magnetic alternatives, of which there aren’t many.
With that in mind, this is still an excellent keyboard that I believe is worth considering. There is very little it can’t do, even when compared to major competitors like Razer and Corsair. And, in fact, it offers some features that they don’t, like wireless connectivity and four-stage dynamic key presses. Once gamepad support gets added, the missing feature it does have will be filled in — assuming it works well.
All in all, it won’t be for everyone at this price and certainly isn’t budget, but it’s already a great offering in this space and is only poised to get better with time. I count this as another win for Akko and another reason to keep a close eye on the brand for the foreseeable future.
The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.