You are currently viewing Best MIDI Keyboards in 2021
  • Post last modified:07/23/2021
  • Reading time:11 mins read

Getting the best MIDI keyboard involves a careful examination of your personal needs before you jump over to the checkout. As a result, it’s important to first start by considering what is out there. Once you get a general idea of what features and types of MIDI keyboards there are, getting the best MIDI keyboard for your personal needs becomes a lot more streamlined and simple.

On this page, we will break down each of the best MIDI keyboard options so you can find the product which is best for your personal needs. One thing to keep in mind is that the products featured below are bigger designs than what you will find on our other MIDI-related articles. You can find plenty of micro options great for the traveling mobile DJ.

Before we break down the most relevant variables to consider behind getting the best MIDI keyboard, we will start by giving a snapshot of each of the best MIDI keyboard options. While looking through the following list, consider whether each product will meet your needs. Try to consider things that wouldn’t be ideal for each MIDI keyboard so you can think for yourself which would be best.

In the following list, you will find products designed to be used by somebody who authentically knows how to play the keyboard. Although you may find a couple of examples where the keyboards have a smaller number of keys, these products are geared towards individuals who can perform live. Playing the keys isn’t easy, and there are many potential styles to accommodate. As a result, we prepared a diverse list of products to consider.

Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII

Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII – 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller With 8 Drum Pads, 8 Assignable Q-Link Knobs and Pro Software Suite Included

With a 25-key design and extra pads and knobs for your creative use, this is one of the best MIDI keyboards because of its features and competitive price. Although this is a high-quality model, be aware of the fact that there are only 25 keys on this product. This means that live performers using this will need to focus on melody, harmony, or bass. However, doing more than one of these at the same time will take a special keyboardist to accomplish. If you are up for the challenge, this MIDI keyboard is a real steal. Click here to read our in-depth review of the Akai MPK Mini MK2.

Specifications:

  • 25-key design
  • 8 drum pads
  • 8 assignable knobs
  • Great for playing melody or harmony
  • Can also be used as a sampler

Last update on 2021-11-28 at 17:57 // More Information


midiplus AKM320 Keyboard Controller

MIDIPLUS AKM320 USB MIDI Keyboard Controller, Black, 32-key

With a slight upgrade on the number of the keys compared to the previous keyboard, this one instead contains a pitch wheel and octave buttons. It has the traditional look of a classic black keyboard and has a very affordable price. This is perhaps the best option for the keyboardist on a budget and needs a decent keyboard now. Although it could use an octave or so of more keys, it is still advanced considering the price.

Specifications:

  • 32-key design
  • Included pitch wheel
  • Included octave buttons
  • USB MIDI connection
  • Affordable price

Last update on 2021-11-28 at 07:08 // More Information


Alesis V49 MIDI Keyboard

Alesis V49 - 49 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with 8 Backlit Pads, 4 Assignable Knobs and Buttons, Plus a Professional Software Suite Included

With an impressive balance of features, price, and the number of keys, this keyboard should at least catch your consideration. Since it has backlit keys, it really looks great when you turn it on. It comes with 8 drum pads, four knobs, and four other buttons for your creative pleasure. It is ready for live use, including an input for a sustain pedal. Considering the price, this is a decent keyboard to consider.

Specifications:

  • 49-key design
  • 8 LED-backlit drum pads
  • 4 assignable knobs
  • 4 assignable buttons
  • Sustain pedal input

Last update on 2021-11-28 at 07:08 // More Information


M-Audio Keystation 49 II

M-Audio, 49-Key, 49 Keys (Keystation 49)

M-audio usually sticks out for their high-quality MIDI keyboards, among other things. Since this model can come in either 49 or 88 keys, it is considered by many to be the best MIDI keyboard. Although this one doesn’t have fancy drum pads, it comes with octave buttons, volume buttons, a pitch-bend and modulation wheel. As a result, it stands out as unique among the competition.

Specifications:

  • 49-key design
  • Pitch-bend wheel
  • Modulation wheel
  • Octave and volume buttons
  • Various extra MIDI buttons

Last update on 2021-11-28 at 07:08 // More Information


M-Audio Keystation 88 II

M-Audio Keystation 88 II - 88 Key USB/MIDI Keyboard Controller with Velocity-Sensitive Semi-Weighted Keys Including Production Software for Mac & PC

The slightly more advanced version of this M-audio keyboard really stands out as incredible. Outside of the fact that this keyboard comes with 88 keys, it also comes included with the pitch-bend and modulation wheels. A sustain pedal can easily be attached for a complete professional feel and look. This is great for the performer who needs a complete piano which is both completely advanced and reasonably portable.

Specifications:

  • 88-key full design
  • Pitch-bend wheel
  • Modulation wheel
  • Sustain pedal ready
  • Includes Pro Tools First

Last update on 2021-11-28 at 07:08 // More Information


Nektar Impact GX49 Controller Keyboard

Nektar, 49-Key Midi Controller (Impact GX49)

With 49 keys, this keyboard is big enough for many users. Additionally, it comes with 14 extra buttons which can be assigned to whatever function you prefer once you set it up. Since it can easily install and integrate with most DAWs, this is a great pick for a producer or studio professional. It can be used on Mac or PC and includes 8-Track, a great DAW software for beginners to start with.

Specifications:

  • 49-key design
  • Pitch-bend wheel
  • Modulation wheel
  • 14 extra MIDI buttons
  • Integrates easily with DAWs

Last update on 2021-11-28 at 07:08 // More Information


Novation Launchkey 49 USB Keyboard Controller

Novation Launchkey 49 USB Keyboard Controller for Ableton Live, 49-Note MK2 Version

This is perhaps the best option for the keyboardist who is also great with drum pads. Since it has 16 drum pads and comes with 4GB of Loopmasters samples, you could theoretically be both drummer and keyboardist while playing live. Of course, the amount of skill that would take for this sort of performance would be phenomenal. This is a great all-around keyboard for the person capable of many things.

Specifications:

  • 49-key design
  • 16 drum pads
  • LED display and backlit pads
  • Works well with Ableton Live
  • 4GB of Loopmasters samples

Last update on 2021-11-28 at 07:08 // More Information


Alesis Vortex Wireless 2

Alesis Vortex Wireless 2 | High-Performance USB / MIDI Wireless Keytar Controller with Professional Software Suite Including ProTools | First

This is perhaps best for the live performer who simply doesn’t like the typical feel of a keyboard on a stand. Instead, this is probably the best MIDI keyboard for the person who would rather use a keyboard like a guitar. Known as a keytar, this is a great option for many keyboardists. It has thumb control buttons, drum pads, and faders all at your disposal. This keytar also comes with a package of different software options.

Specifications:

  • Live handheld keytar with 37 keys
  • 8 included drum pads
  • 8 assignable faders
  • Thumb-control MIDI buttons
  • Included with a software package

Last update on 2021-11-28 at 07:08 // More Information


M-Audio Oxygen 61 MKIV

M-Audio Oxygen 61 IV | 61-Key USB/MIDI Keyboard With 8 Trigger Pads & A Full-Consignment of Production/Performance Ready Controls

This is a great option for people who like M-Audio but want to have pads faders and knobs. This keyboard comes with 8 drum pads, 8 different knobs, and even 8 faders for you to map and use. The impressive part is that the keyboard still includes 61 keys on top of these features. This is perhaps the best MIDI keyboard for people who need a high volume of keys and buttons.

Specifications:

  • 61-key design
  • 8 included drum pads
  • Comes with 8 assignable knobs
  • 8 assignable faders
  • Includes Pro Tools First

Last update on 2021-11-28 at 07:08 // More Information


M-Audio Hammer 88

M-Audio Hammer 88 | Premium 88-Key Hammer-Action USB/MIDI Keyboard Controller Including A Studio Grade Software Suite

Although this likely isn’t the type of keyboard you will want to move around, the M-Audio Hammer 88 is a wonderful keyboard to consider if you want a permanent one at a certain location. Although it weighs slightly less than 40 pounds, it can be a hassle to move around. However, it comes with 88 weighted keys, and are hammer-action. This means it has the professional look, feel, and sound at an amateur cost.

Specifications:

  • 88-key professional design
  • Fully weighted hammer-action keys
  • Pitch bend control
  • Modulation and volume control
  • MIDI and plugin ready

Last update on 2021-11-28 at 07:08 // More Information


Best MIDI Keyboard: Buyer’s Guide

Now that we have explored many of the best MIDI keyboards, in a nutshell, let’s take a broader view of the subject. Whether you are new to getting a MIDI keyboard, or it’s been a while, it is important to remain updated on the market. As a result, the remainder of the page will be dedicated to exploring the major features of MIDI keyboards as a whole, and finally, conclude by selecting our favorite MIDI keyboard. Keep in mind that these variables will be geared at keyboardists and studio professionals who use these either live or at home.

Enough Keys to Play Comfortably:

Many keyboardists prefer to play bass and melody at the same time. If this is you, you need to ensure that your keyboard has plenty of keys on the device. If there are only 25 keys, as an example, you won’t be able to play both bass and melody. This means you will need to consider options with more keys.

Usually, 88 keys are plenty. However, you might start with around 60. In the end, there isn’t a rule as to how many keys you need to have. This is where the knowledge of being an experienced keyboardist will really come into play.

Key Size and Design:

One common complaint about keyboards is the size and design of the keys themselves. For example, people with large fingers will inevitably have a hard time pressing individual keys down in a fast sequence if their finger can press multiple keys at a time.

For best results, ensure that the keys to your chosen product are large enough for big fingers if you estimate this to be a problem. Those with fingers that are smaller than average will not apply to this common issue. Those that have this issue, however, know how inconvenient it is.

Price:

As with any purchase, you need to start by being informed on how much you might spend. This usually means you should start by setting a price. Make this price as high as you are possibly willing to go. And stay there.

Don’t fall into the trap of paying for something you can’t afford. This can lead to debt and financial problems down the road. For best results, find the highest price you can afford, and make sure that the product you choose falls into this range.

Extra Included Features:

Many DJs won’t be content with simply having keys which can run with MIDI technology. In addition, these people like to have things like volume faders, drum pads, assignable knobs, extra MIDI buttons, and other personal needs. Those who want a little extra included features need to start by setting their expectations and price limit.

Normally, extra features mean a higher price. If you set your price at a reasonable limit, odds are high you might have to cut back on a feature or two to fit your budget. Those lucky enough to have a high budget won’t have any difficulty getting the features they desire.

Ease of Installation:

Any musician familiar with digital and computer-based aspects of music knows the struggle that can come with installing new equipment. In fact, getting something small like a controller may appear to be easily installed. However, careful research of your equipment is always necessary before you purchase it.

There are common compatibility issues, driver issues, mapping issues, and further technical problems common to run into. If you want to ensure that you will install your product quickly, start by researching the product and its compatibility with your equipment. More often than not, you can always find someone else in your shoes.

Best MIDI Keyboard: Summary

Getting the best MIDI keyboard requires you to start by considering what your needs are, setting a budget, researching the product, and then ensuring it fits your needs and budget. Typically, low budgets will force you to get a keyboard with a few things lacking.

Keeping the above things in mind, the best MIDI keyboard is perhaps the M-Audio Oxygen 61 MKIV since it has a healthy balance between price, features, and quality. However, those who need a lot of keys and a professional feel will love the M-Audio Hammer 88 since it is high-quality.