Mode New SixtyFive Review

keyboard by: Mode
Photos taken in House by alex

The New SixtyFive

Mode’s latest keyboard is seriously top-notch. Finally, we get a revamp of the OG SixtyFive, and let me tell you, it’s not just a run-of-the-mill refresh. They’ve taken everything they’ve learned from their past few keyboards and poured it into making the New SixtyFive shine in its own right. Now, they’ve got a couple other 65% layout releases, so you might be wondering—how does this stack up against the Envoy, Mode’s more budget-friendly option? Well, let’s dive into that, shall we?

Disclaimer: Mode is a sponsor of my channel but has no say and gives no direction to how my live streams go. The thoughts below are my own, and Mode did not influence this review.

Also there are a few affiliate links on this page, they give me a small kick back when you use them which helps fund reviews like these!

Corner shot of the Mode SixtyFive w/ Maple Accent

Initial Impressions

As mentioned, this is more than a refresh of the original SixtyFive. The New SixtyFive takes the best bits from its predecessor—think that magnetic accent on the rear and that sleek silhouette—and kicks it up a notch. Plus, Mode’s really outdone themselves with the lattice system this time around. And let’s talk options—there are more choices than ever, with fresh colors and snazzy wood accents like Maple and Walnut. It’s like they’re spoiling us with all these goodies!

Visual Changes

Let’s first chat about the new revised look of the unit. So, they’ve made a tweak to the back—a smaller accent that doesn’t run the full length vertically. Now, some people might miss the old setup, but Mode says it’s all about reducing potential noise from a wonky weight and making sure that accent sits just right. Personally, I’m cool with it. From your regular viewing angle when typing, you will never notice, but it does change the side profile aesthetic.  And let me tell you about those wooden accents—pure eye candy! That Maple finish? Gorgeous. Oh, and check out that fluted copper accent—it’s a perfect element of the board for anyone who likes to run their fingers along something textured. Nice touch, Mode, real nice.

Mode has also decided to offer a full polycarbonate (PC) version of the board, too. I’m all over this, seriously considering snagging one for myself. Lately I have been a sucker for polycarbonate boards. Plus, peeking through and seeing those keyboard parts? It’s like peeking into the heart of your setup. Also new to the SixtyFive is the Dawn accent and weight color, this reminds me more of a gold colour in case anyone is wondering. 

As usual, all the pieces in my review unit had A+ anodization and coatings. However, the stainless steel Silver Mirror finish was the only piece I was a bit thrown off by. The polished portion was fantastic! However, the rest of it is uncoated, and I immediately saw fingerprints from my handling that didn’t wipe off. For anyone not using the PC version, this won’t matter, but for those who do, you may see some patina. This is a love it or hate it type of thing.

Speaking of the weight, there’s another cool addition to the board—the weight system. It’s a two-piece setup that lets you customize the bottom of your board a bit. You’ve got a ring and a puck that goes in the center, and the puck matches the material of your bottom piece. Honestly, I was a bit skeptical at first, but seeing it up close, I’m all in. Although, I wouldn’t mind if Mode ditched their logo in the center. Maybe we’ll see some standalone pucks down the line in different colors and finishes with no branding. Now, I’ve heard some chatter in the community about this being unnecessary and hiking up the price, but personally, I think it adds a fun touch. Plus accents and weights in keyboards aren’t anything new.

The final little detail to mention here is about the feet. No adhesive feet? As always, that’s a win in my book. Honestly, these might just be my favorite feet on a Mode board yet. They’re so simple yet effective. The Loop has those grooves in their push in feet and were sort of a dust magnet, so I am happy we don’t have those. I wish more boards would follow suit with this. I tend to be a bit rough with my keyboards, and I’ve lost count of how many times those adhesive feet have just given up on me. Also, maybe it’s just me but I believe having grooves where feet slot in and stay there with no adhesives make the board feel more complete in a way, as if it’s more intentional to slot them in. Props to Mode for heading in this direction—no adhesives, all the way! 

Other than that the board is pretty much the same visually! The side profile (minus the accent change) is identical and the top frame is the same. 

Copper bottom and silver weight.

Magnetic accents.

Close up of the accent of the SixtyFive.

Internals and Build Process

Let me tell you about this lattice system—it’s awesome as always. Mode has really nailed and refined such a great internal system and even build process for this iteration of the SixtyFive. You’ve got options galore when it comes to mounting your PCB/plate—whether you’re into isolated top mount or those sweet gaskets via the lattice blocks. And let me tell you, the customization options are endless, with different styles of blocks to play around with. Just like on the Loop, these blocks also act as a force break for the keyboard which will help further separate the two piece construction of the case to remove any unwanted ping.

I’ve been tinkering with this thing for days, trying out every combo of mounting styles, and I gotta say, I’m loving those standard lattice system the most. My personally favourite actually being the half lattices. But honestly, every setup felt and sounded fantastic. In my book, this is Mode’s best feeling keyboard yet. And let’s talk about assembly—it’s easy. Pop off the magnetic accent, unscrew four screws, and boom, you’re in. The board uses a clam shell style lock like on the Sonnet and it’s very easy to put together and tinker with.

Now, I did run into a little hiccup during unboxing and build stream with the top mount config—the accent didn’t quite sit flush. After some serious tinkering, I pinpointed the issue to those top mount blocks pushing too far up and messing with the accent. But a little screw adjustment sorted it out for me. I did already communicate this with Mode and asked them to take a further look into this to avoid this being a problematic and finicky piece of the assembly. It is by no means a deal breaker here, more just a kink I think needs to be ironed out.

PCB wise you can opt for a hotswap or soldered build. There is plenty of options with the hotswap unit here, so people who prefer that will be very happy. I do wish Mode would make the standoffs on the hotswap PCB removable without having to use a soldering iron to push them out. Some users, including myself, prefer to not have them on for sound reasons on metal plates. Although, I know how helpful these stand offs can be to people who need help with alignment. Something to consider!

But How Does It Sound?

Alright, let’s get one thing straight: sound is subjective. So, take what I’m about to say with a grain of salt. Now, I’ve tinkered around with different setups, and let me tell you, with that copper bottom, it’s nice, bright, and full. But if you’re all about that in-your-face vibe, go for the top mount. It was noticeably louder and sounded more like a traditional top mount. And those gaskets? They give it a poppy feel, almost like typing on an o-ring style keyboard. It’s my personal favourite on this board.

I did notice some reviewers tried different bottoms and noticed some metallic resonance. Now, I haven’t used the aluminum bottoms but it’s something to note. Also, while I haven’t personally tried it yet, based on my experience I have a feeling the polycarbonate bottom will be the best purchase here for overall sound. PC tends to have a full sound while avoiding the metallic notes from aluminum. Overall, it’s preference!

Also, you should totally watch my VOD hyperlapse if you want to see how it sounded! My personal recommend switches for this build are going to be Gateron Milky Yellows if you want something more subtle and I would film and lube them, or go with Mode’s own Obscura switch if you want something bright and clacky. I tested both in the longer format of the stream.

How Does This Compare To Other Boards?

So, this question pops up a lot, and I have got to admit, I’m not the best at tackling it. Lemme try to break it down though. When it comes to custom keyboards, finding value kinda depends on what floats your boat. For example, if you’re all about snagging specific features—say, wireless or a fancy PCB with a high polling rate—that’s one thing. But for most folks I chat with, they’re eyeing keyboards with the same ol’ features. So, from a value standpoint, it depends?

At a starting price of $249 USD, it’s pretty great and also have some killer customer support (which, trust me, is a big deal). Can you find something that sounds and feels just as awesome for less? Totally! The Krush65 came in hot recently, delivering a premium product for way less cash, and QK and Wuque also have some amazing boards at lower prices. So those are something to consider. But hey, maybe you’re all about that keyboard aesthetics. Mode’s keyboards rock a gorgeous, premium look that’s timeless, you know? So maybe spending a bit more for that aesthetic is worth it to you!

Mode does have another 65% that you can grab right now for a few dollars less that you might have heard of. It’s called the Envoy. Let me tell you, this board is pretty darn fantastic. In fact, it’s one of the most-used keyboards in my whole collection—typing on it feels like a dream. Now, how does it stack up against the New SixtyFive? Well, they’ve got different vibes, for sure. The New SixtyFive sports a two-piece case, while the Envoy keeps it simple with a single piece of aluminum for it’s case design. Overall, the SixtyFive takes things up a notch with those upgraded lattice blocks and a more premium design. But hey, don’t sleep on the Envoy—it’s still a winner in my book. Sound wise, the Envoy definitely sports more of a prominent “poppy” signature vs the SixtyFive.

Pricing for this board can be a bit all over the place, which might freak some people out! It starts off at that $249 USD mark we mentioned earlier, but if you really go all out with the bells and whistles, dressing it up in copper features and whatnot, you’re looking at a hefty $614 USD. But let’s be real, most of us aren’t gonna drop that kind of cash on it. I’d say you’re more likely to land somewhere between $249 and $400 USD. That puts this keyboard in a pretty sweet spot as an entry into the premium market, which is awesome! Personally, I’d probably spice it up with some premium parts.

I also encourage readers to spend within their means. I know the fear of missing out is a very real thing, but interests come and go and something new will always come out that can spark something inside of you. 

Bottom Line.

Well here in my thoughts summed up, the New SixtyFive from Mode is not just an incremental change—it’s a major upgrade! They’ve stepped up their game with sleek visual changes, adding new wooden accents that really make it pop. Internally, they’ve nailed it with a versatile lattice system for mounting that’s a breeze to work with. Sound-wise, it’s bright and punchy, though it can vary depending on how you set it up. As for price, it’s a bit of a mixed bag, ranging from $249 to $614 USD, but considering the quality and customization options, it’s definitely holding its own in the market. If you were in need of a new SixtyFive this is a super solid board that I strongly recommend.