What does DSA profile mean?

Low-profile bliss.

Photo by Jay Zhang

If you’re looking to customize your keyboard, and you’re aiming for a modification that captures both aesthetics and practicality, then changing out keycap profiles is a solid solution. One way of customizing your keyboard is modifying it with a DSA profile keycap set. Keycaps come in a variety of styles, otherwise known as keycap profiles.

A keycap profile is the shape of keycaps on any given keyboard. Profiles have the main goals of ergonomics, feel, and style in mind. DSA keycaps provide users with an alternative to standard OEM ones found on many keyboards.

What are DSA profile keycaps?

Image via Pimp My Keyboard

DSA stands for DIN standard height, spherical touch area, and the same keycap profile across all rows. DIN refers to DIN-compliant, which means the switch and keyboard designs originate from German workplace ergonomics standards. Introduced in the early 1980s, these standards typically required keyboards to feature a low profile.

The DSA keycap family is a medium-height spherical keycap featuring the same keycap uniformity across all rows. DSA keycaps showcase a low-profile design, especially compared to polar-opposite SA keycaps, which feature a tall, spherical design. DSA keycaps are approximately 7.39-millimeter tall, which is similar in height to standard OEM keycaps.

Many users gravitate to DSA keycaps because they prefer the consistent height and look between keycaps and rows. Also, DSA keycaps produce a low-pitch sound due to minimal room within the keycaps. Additionally, DSA keycaps present a quality-like textured feel.

Because of their low profile, DSA keycaps are ideal for gaming. However, for gamers, it’s a toss-up between sculpted and uniform keycaps. Some gamers argue that variation in row height aids in recognizing hand placement, while others prefer a more consistent feel.

From an aesthetics point of view, DSA keycaps are highly desired among keyboard enthusiasts. The uniform and low-profile design give the keyboard a clean, pleasing look, which is a look that’s very similar to laptop keyboards.

Some users argue that DSA keycaps aren’t the best for typing super-fast on because of the uniform, low-profile design. With this design, slipping can occur, ultimately hampering typing speed and accuracy.

Who makes DSA profile keycaps?

Signature Plastics is the core producer of DSA profile keycaps. This US-based keycap manufacturer is popular for its production of DSA, SA, and DCS keycaps. DSA keycaps were the second DIN-compliant keycap family after the unsuccessful DSS family. DSA keycaps were followed shortly afterward by DCS, which denotes DIN standard height, cylindrical touch area, and sculptured keycap profile.

Where can I buy DSA profile keycaps?

If you’re itching to see if DSA keycaps are suitable for you, it’s important to know where to keep an eye out for them.

Pimp My Keyboard is a solid recommendation to check out because they’re the original manufacturer’s website, Signature Plastics. Because they come straight from the manufacturer, the build quality is top of the line. There’s also a ton of selection along with customization options.

A second alternative to check out is YMDK. They offer a wide range of keyboard profile designs and not just DSA. However, buying directly from Signature plastics is the better recommendation since they are the original manufacturer of DSA profile keycaps.

Pros

  • Uniform profile
  • Availability and customizability
  • Low-profile ideal for gaming
  • Unmatched aesthetics

Cons

  • Fingers may slip when trying to type fast

DSA is the go-to uniform profile among keyboard enthusiasts. With DSA keycaps, you can expect nicely textured surfaces, uniform, low-profile keycaps. Many users agree that DSA keycaps offer an unmatched level of aesthetics, with many gravitating towards them for this reason alone. Also, many users enjoy keycaps that resemble a laptop keyboard, and DSA keycaps do just that. If you’re the type of user that desires the feel of uniform, low-profile keycaps, DSA keycaps are a must-try.