13 Best MIDI Keyboards – Review and Guide (2022)

A number of MIDI controller models have varied keybed sizes, ranging from a tiny 25 keys to a full piano-sized 88 keys, but other than the key count, the devices are fundamentally the same. They have good physical quality, smooth-feeling, pitch-bend, and mod wheel controls, as well as velocity and pressure sensitivity. All of the major DAWs support MIDI Learn, a standard software that is all about customization. To assign a parameter, simply click it and then adjust the relevant knob, fader, or button. The midi keyboard is simple to use and allows you to use MIDI controllers with any DAW.

13 Best MIDI Keyboards

#1. Akai Professional Controller Production – Best Selling

Making a Hit Song Starts with the MPK midi keyboard MK3. The MPK mini MK3 is the third version of the renowned, best-selling midi keyboard 25-key plug-and-play USB MIDI keyboard controller that revolutionized the way a generation of musicians create music. 

Here is everything a contemporary music producer could possibly need. An array of beat pads, an arpeggiator, MPC Note Repeat & Full Level, a 4-way joystick, and MIDI-assignable controls let you take complete control of every aspect of your production. 

The new Gen 2 enhanced dynamic keybed ensures that your performance is captured with every subtle inflection of your delivery. Its compact size makes it the perfect travel buddy. This MIDI keyboard may be considered the best midi keyboard.

Pros

  • It is a USB-powered MIDI controller keyboard with 25 tiny midi keyboard velocity-sensitive keys for beat-making and studio production.
  • You have complete control over your output, a built-in arpeggiator with a novel four-way thumbstick for dynamic pitch and modulation control, as well as modes, resolution, and range adjustments.
  • It has 8 illuminated, velocity-sensitive, MPC-style MIDI rhythm pads with Note Repeat & Full Level for programming drums, triggering samples, and managing the virtual synthesizer.
  • Take total control over your virtual instruments and effects with the 8 360-degree knobs that you may apply to each of your music studio plugins for adjusting synth parameters and mixing.
  • It has a complete Music Production Starter Kit with 1500+ Sounds and everything you need for Pro Production, 6 Virtual Instruments, and 2GB of Sound Content.

Cons

  • To utilize it, you need to install the software on a MAC, PC, or iPad.
  • It has very firm keys that are responsive yet rigid, making it challenging for someone who relies on muscle memory.
AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3
Editor Rating: 9.2/10
FeaturesRating
Performance and sounds9.4
Connectivity9.0
Build Quality9.3
Value for money9.3

#2. Nektar Impact GX61 Controller Keyboard – Simple Interface

The Impact GX61 midi keyboard controller is a powerful and expressive instrument made specifically to be used with your computer music system for writing and performance. They are an incredible way to enter the world of Nektar controllers since they work with any music program for Windows and Mac OS and have a simple interface

They have a foot switch socket, pitch-bend wheel, modulation wheel, and a keyboard with 61 notes (5 octaves). The keyboard range may be adjusted up or down by -3/+4 octaves using two multicolored octave buttons, with the LED colors changing to indicate the precise condition. 

The Impact GX series is therefore ideally suited to provide an excellent workflow. Using the specialized transpose buttons, you may adjust the keyboard range up to +/- 12 semitones.

Pros

  • A Midi keyboard with 61-keys and a high-performing midi controller featuring onboard pitch-bending and modulation wheels for presentations.
  • It has an integration of Nektar with the most widely used DAWs.
  • It has 14 MIDI buttons that can be delegated.
  • Only supports iOS, Mac, and PC.
  • The Bitwig 8-Track DAW is included in the device. 

Cons

  • The midi keyboard controller drivers are not functional.
  • The keys are really stiff to operate.
  • The key action is not very good.
Editor Rating: 9.2/10
FeaturesRating
Performance and sounds9.2
Connectivity9.0
Build Quality9.1
Value for money9.3

#3. Novation Impulse Midi Controller Keyboard – Best Overall

Impulse is a version of expert USB/MIDI controllers by Novation. The Automap 4 control software from Novation, which makes it quick and easy to interact with your DAW and plug-ins, powers their precision keyboards and complete control surfaces. 

Eight back-lit drum pads on Impulse are also capable of warping arpeggios, rolling rhythms, and launching clips in Ableton Live. With 25, 49, or 61 midi keys, Novation Impulse provides you immediate access to the mixing, transport, and plug-ins in your DAW.

Pros

  • It has an after-touch on a very responsive semi-weighted keyboard.
  • The control surface for plug-ins and DAWs features 8 knobs, 9 faders, and buttons.
  • Having instant hands-on control of your DAW and plug-ins is made possible with the Automap 4 control program.
  • Ableton Live’s multi-purpose drum pads allow you to warp arpeggios, roll rhythms, and launch clips.
  • Downloads for Novation’s Bass Station synth, XLN Audio Addictive Keys, and a Loopmasters Sample Pack are necessary. 
  • On this item as well as all other Novation goods, Novation now provides a 3-Year Warranty.
  • A total of 2GB of sound content and virtual instruments

Cons

  • It has a highly modern appearance.
  • The hit pads are brittle.
  • When playing broad chords, the white keys’ bottom side edges are sharp, which might scratch your fingers or thumbs.
Editor Rating: 9.4/10
FeaturesRating
Performance and sounds9.2
Connectivity9.0
Build Quality9.1
Value for money9.3

Also check: Yamaha Clavinova CLP-775 Review

#4. Alesis V61 Keyboard Controller Buttons – Editor’s Pick

Alesis V61 MIDI keyboard controllers give you complete control over your music software with a series of pads, knobs, and buttons on it. You can extend the keyboard to its full melodic range and play bass lines, chords, and melodies thanks to its 61 full-size velocity-sensitive keys and Octave Up/Down buttons. 

Four assignable knobs and buttons are also included in V61 for controlling effect plugins and virtual instruments. These controls may be used to open and close filters, change volume levels, activate effects, tune settings, and more. 

Pitch and modulation wheels increase the creative potential of your performance, while eight velocity-sensitive backlit pads enable you to unleash clips or finger drums with an amazing response.

Pros

  • Any virtual instruments may be played on a MIDI keyboard with 61 full-sized, velocity-sensitive square-front keys.
  • It has four assignable knobs and four assignable buttons connected to your music program. 
  • There are eight velocity- and pressure-sensitive illuminated pads for creating beats and launching clips. 
  • It has Lighted buttons and knobs that provide seamless visual feedback
  • The whole keyboard range is accessible using the Octave Up and Down keys and the modulation wheels provide artistic expressive control.
  • It has 2 virtual instrument programs, including 2GB of sound content plus MPC Beats Virtual Instruments and Air Music Tech.

Cons

  • It is challenging to master.
  • It takes longer for the program to launch.
  • The double-hit problem lies with the pads.
Alesis V61 - 61 Key USB MIDI Keyboard
Editor Rating: 9.3/10
FeaturesRating
Performance and sounds9.2
Connectivity9.0
Build Quality9.1
Value for money9.1

#5. Akai Professional MPK Performance Ready 8 Assignable – Lightweight

The MPK Mini MKII from Akai Professional is a super-compact midi keyboard controller made for desktop producers and touring musicians. The MPK Mini MKII enables you to record, write, and perform with virtual instruments, effect plugins, and DAWs.

Inspiration strikes anytime thanks to a cluster of production-centric in-demand hardware controls and a slim-line, ultra-portable footprint. Core Command the MPK Mini MKII comes with all the necessary instruments for fast recording and developing your musical concepts.

Pros

  • It easily fits into a backpack and studio production workstation, the little keyboard controller is 12.4″ long and it weighs 1.6 lbs.
  • There are free virtual instrument download packages that are powered by a USB connection to a computer.
  • It is loaded with all the tools you’ll need to play and modify musical compositions.
  • It has eight velocity-sensitive rubber drum pads with two banks, 25 synth-action mini-keys, and eight assignable control knobs.
  • Present on the midi keyboard is a total of 2GB of sound content and virtual instruments.

Cons

  • the keyboard and software are not so appealing.
  • It has absolutely no sense of touch or playability.
Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII
Editor Rating: 9.1/10
FeaturesRating
Performance and sounds9.2
Connectivity9.0
Build Quality9.1
Value for money9.1

#6. Donner Keyboard Controller Backlit control

Having a full-size, 25-note velocity-sensitive keyboard, the Donner Keyboard Controller Backlit-control is a fantastic keyboard. 

To accommodate diverse playing styles, including delicate and firm touch, the 4 velocity curves may be selected. It is adjusted for all musical genres and is highly expressive and dynamic.

Pros

  • It is a MIDI controller with 25 miniature velocity-sensitive keys for beat-making, studio production, and controlling virtual synthesizers that are powered by USB.
  • The 25 expressive synth-action keys on a MIDI controller are elegant.
  • Produce drum beats using the 8 Hyper-Sensitive illuminated pads. No additional power cord is required since the USB bus is powered.
  • It works with every piece of music-producing gear. Organize your projects: Cycle, Rewind, Forward, Stop, Play, and Record are all controlled via the 6 dedicated transport buttons, which are always within reach.

Cons

  • It might be a bit challenging to get the program and the hardware to communicate.
  • Strange pad sensitivity exists.
  • Multiple consecutive hits for drum rolls and fills are challenging to perform.
Donner MIDI Keyboard Controller
Editor Rating: 9.2/10
FeaturesRating
Performance and sounds9.2
Connectivity9.0
Build Quality9.2
Value for money9.1

Also check: Casio PX-860 Review: Should You Buy it?

#7. M-Audio Keystation Ultra Portable Keyboard Controller

With the Keystation Mini 32 MK3, a keyboard controller from M-Audio that replaces the venerable Keystation Mini 32 II, you may explore the realm of limitless computer-based music composition and performance. 

The Keystation Mini 32 MK3 is a straightforward, potent solution designed for music sequencing and playing virtual instruments on your Mac or PC, whether you’re a seasoned pro looking for just the right controller when you’re on the go or simply looking to get started with the right mini USB MIDI keyboard.

Pros

  • It is a USB MIDI keyboard controller for “Pro Music Production Wherever You Go” and has 32 tiny piano-style velocity-sensitive keys for a comfortable feel.
  • Get instant creativity with an easy plug-and-play setup on your Mac or PC, no additional software or power supply is needed.
  • Smooth control is provided by the volume knob, and expressive ability is added by the sustain button.
  • The MPC Production Experience – Includes 2GB of Sound Content and MPC Beats Software with all of the necessary production tools from Akai Professional Virtual Instruments.

Cons

  • It is not budget-friendly.
  • It is complicated for beginners.
M-Audio Keystation Mini 32 MK3
Editor Rating: 9.2/10
FeaturesRating
Performance and sounds9.2
Connectivity9.0
Build Quality9.1
Value for money9.2

#8. Akai Professional LPK25 Ultra Portable Controller

A USB-MIDI controller for musicians, producers, DJs, and other music creators is the LPK25 laptop performance keyboard. It weighs less than a pound, is less than 13 inches across, and is powered by a USB connection to your computer. 

This device is extremely portable and fits neatly into a laptop case, backpack, or messenger bag. The LPK25 enables keyboard players who wish to use the software on their computer the keys they need to express themselves wherever they are.

Pros

  • It has 25 Velocity-Sensitive Mini-Keyboard Keys for Playing Melodies, Bass Lines, Chords, and more. 
  • It offers 4 Programmable Memory Banks, 2GB of Sound Content, and Instant Recall Mappings for DAWs, Virtual Instruments, Effects, and More Virtual Instruments

Cons

  • The midi controller keyboard USB port is not durable. 
  • It operates with advanced cable.
  • The driver has a poor response rate.
AKAI Professional LPK25
Editor Rating: 9.0/10
FeaturesRating
Performance and sounds9.1
Connectivity9.0
Build Quality9.0
Value for money9.2

#9. Novation Launchkey Mini-25 Mini-Key Keyboard

The 25-mini-key Launchkey Mini is the tiniest and most portable MIDI keyboard controller model from Novation. It comes with everything you want to begin composing in Ableton Live, and it is small enough to put in your bag. 

With Launchkey Mini’s extensive, easy Ableton control, arpeggiator, fixed chord mode, MIDI out, and plenty of in-the-box sounds, you can create songs anywhere. With the simple yet effective arpeggiator in Launchkey Mini, you may create new melodies, rhythms, and sounds. Expand on concepts using a set chord form that you may modify and that follows you up the keyboard in fixed chord mode.

Pros

  • Deep and intuitive Ableton Live control gives you complete access to all the tools you need, including device macro control, track selection, recording, MIDI capture, clip and scene launch, stop/mute/solo, volume, pans, and sends.
  • With Arpeggiator, you can easily be creative. Launchkey Mini’s innovative arpeggiator is simple to use yet incredibly flexible, allowing you to alter the rhythm, beat, pattern, octave, gate, and more to add a wide variety of variations to your ideas and melodies.
  • One-finger chord playing with fixed chord mode, you can quickly lay down chords for your music.
  • A total of 2GB of sound content and virtual instruments.

Cons

  • It lacks “full integration” with other DAWs.
  • This product cannot be integrated elsewhere.
  • The music you create cannot be saved using the free version.
Novation Launchkey Mini [MK3]
Editor Rating: 9.3/10
FeaturesRating
Performance and sounds9.3
Connectivity9.0
Build Quality9.2
Value for money9.2

Also check: Korg B2 Review: Does it Plays Like a Real Piano?

#10. M-Audio Oxygen-49 MKV Arpeggiator

M-Audio Oxygen 49 is a powerful music production tool from a Professional Studio. (MKV) Professionals and amateurs alike utilize M-computer Audio’s recording MIDI controllers, so if you’re looking for studio equipment for recording music, MIDI keyboards & equipment for production, or the finest beat maker for novices, start with the Oxygen Series! 

Introducing the Oxygen 49 (MKV), a feature-rich 49-key MIDI controller keyboard and MIDI pad controller that is bursting at the seams with the most recent, indispensable developments in MIDI USB hardware control. Here you will find everything you require to revitalize your performance and produce cutting-edge music, whether live or in the studio.

Pros

  • It has a MIDI controller with 49 velocity-sensitive full-size piano-style keys that provide a natural response and maximizes the potential of the virtual sampler and synthesizer plugins.
  • The 2 banks of 8 illuminated velocity-sensitive drum pads with Note Repeat are useful for creating beats, launching clips, activating soundboards, and other things.
  • For tactile MIDI control of virtual synth settings, effect plugins, and DAW controls, there are 8 assignable knobs and 9 assignable faders.
  • Automatic mapping of DAW controllers and plugin settings without effort.
  • A USB MIDI connection is included in the midi piano.
  • Complete software development kit Included are MPC Beats, Ableton Live Lite, Hybrid 3 and Mini Grand, two virtual instruments from AIR Music Tech, and five Akai Professional MPC Expansion Packs.
  • A total of 2GB of sound content and virtual instruments.

Cons

  • It moves quite slowly.
  • To utilize this gadget, you must have your own midi controller keyboard software.
  • It is somewhat hefty.
M-Audio Oxygen 49 (MKV)
Editor Rating: 9.3/10
FeaturesRating
Performance and sounds9.3
Connectivity9.0
Build Quality9.2
Value for money9.2

#11. Akai Professional MPK261 Semi-Weighted Workstations

The Akai Professional MPK261 is a 61-key performance pad and keyboard controller that combines basic technology from the venerable line of MPC workstations with deep software integration to provide an all-in-one controller solution, unlike the midi keyboard with 49 keys. 

The MPK261 includes a complete set of professional production software together with a wide-ranging, adaptable user interface for interacting with DAWs, virtual instruments, effect plugins, and other software. 16 MPC-style pads with RGB feedback, 61 semi-weighted keys with aftertouch, 8 assignable knobs, faders, and switches, as well as onboard transport buttons, are all included in the MPK261.

Pros

  • It has 61 velocity-sensitive, semi-weighted full-size keys with a premium piano-style keybed for a natural feel and exceptional responsiveness.
  • The Akai Professional MPK261 has 16 RGB-illuminated MPC-style pads, each with four banks for a total of 64 pads. These pads are the ideal way to trigger melodies, loops, one-shots, samples, and more.
  • The 24 assignable Q-Link controllers with 8 control knobs, faders, and switches are designed for easy DAW  
  • They also include virtual instruments and 2GB of sound content.

Cons

  • It is not in the range of cheap midi keyboards.
  • Its included software is not very functional.
  • The new Apple M1 CPUs and processors are not currently compatible with it.
AKAI Professional MPK261
Editor Rating: 9.4/10
FeaturesRating
Performance and sounds9.3
Connectivity9.2
Build Quality9.2
Value for money9.4

#12. Asmuse Wireless Controller Bluetooth Professional

A brand-new wireless midi controller with Bluetooth connectivity that is simple to use is the Asmuse-Wireless-Controller-Bluetooth-Professional. 

The MIDI keyboard has a built-in battery and may operate wirelessly or with USB power. You may produce inspired work or performances at any moment because they are lightweight and portable.

Pros

  • The USB MIDI keyboard features 25 force-sensitive, natural-touch micro MIDI keys, 8 repeat note beat pads, 8 assignable 360° knobs, and 8 buttons for creating beats and creating music.
  • The wireless MIDI controllers exactly match the sound sources of the most popular sequencing software and are compatible with the most popular operating systems, including IOS, Windows, and Android.
  • To make your playing more professional, there are 192kb high precision conversion, non-physical touch bend and tremolo wheels, intelligent chord and scale modes, arpeggios, and other features.
  • For long-lasting usage, this MIDI keyboard is constructed from strong and resilient materials.
  • A total of 2GB of sound content and virtual instruments

Cons

  • The midi keyboard price is very high.
  • It is considered a luxury.
Asmuse Wireless MIDI keyboard
Editor Rating: 9.2/10
FeaturesRating
Performance and sounds9.1
Connectivity9.2
Build Quality9.2
Value for money9.1

Also check: Best Digital Pianos Under $2000

Final Words

We can see that there are some MIDI Keyboards that are just perfect. The ones listed here are the best in terms of features, durability, and beauty. The Akai Professional MPK261, M-Audio Oxygen 49, and MPK midi keyboard MK3, among others, are produced to fully satisfy the users and give them exactly what they want.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

What is the Purpose of a Midi Keyboard?

A keyboard is used to initiate sounds from an external source or device, to put it in simpler terms. To transfer MIDI data to a computer or other devices, use a MIDI controller keyboard. An additional piece of hardware or a virtual instrument in your DAW might serve as the external source. Therefore, a MIDI keyboard is highly effective for moving data to a compatible digital device.

What Distinguishes a Keyboard From a Midi Keyboard?

A MIDI keyboard’s primary advantage over a standard keyboard is its ability to control, transmit, and receive MIDI data. Most importantly to note, regular keyboards are independent instruments that don’t require a DAW, software, or computer to produce music, in contrast to MIDI keyboards. To use a Midi keyboard, a supporting device should be connected for easy flow of data.

Are Midi Keyboards Computer-required?

No, using a MIDI keyboard for performing and practicing does not require a personal computer. A computer is only required for backing up data on the MIDI keyboard.

Midi or USB, Which is Superior?

A single USB cable can support 16 virtual MIDI ports, each with 16 channels, for a total of 256 MIDI channels down one cable, whereas a DIN-MIDI connection can only support one physical port with 16 channels per cable. This is because USB connections have much higher bandwidth than DIN-MIDI connections.

Is a Piano Superior to a Midi Keyboard?

A digital piano is what you need if you are a pianist who isn’t aiming to make beats or compose music. A MIDI controller is the best choice if you are someone who is more interested in creating music than simply learning to play the piano. Therefore, a MIDI keyboard can serve both a piano player and a music producer.

Being in love with music, Larry started this website to help piano lovers get the most detailed and accurate information with his 5 Years of experience of working in a music store.

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