Looking for the best MIDI keyboard?
Look no further.
After trying and testing over 42 models, we created this best MIDI keyboard list to help you easily find the ones that are worth your time (and money).
MIDI keyboards have improved drastically over the years with manufacturers now adding pads to them to allow users to create beats – they keep getting better and better.
So without further ado, let’s get into it.
- 1 Best Midi Keyboard 2018 – Our Top Picks
- 1.1 1. – Akai Professional MPK MKII – Best MIDI Keyboard 2018
- 1.2 2. – Akai MPK49– Best Professional MIDI Keyboard
- 1.3 3. – M-Audio Oxygen 49 MKIV – Best USB Connectivity MIDI Keyboard
- 1.4 4. – CME Xkey Air 25-key Bluetooth MIDI Controller
- 1.5 5. – M-Audio Keystation 88 II – Best Compatible MIDI Keyboard
- 1.6 6. – Alesis V 49 MIDI Keyboard and Drum Pad Controller
- 1.7 7.- AKM 320 MIDI Keyboard
- 1.8 8. – Samson Carbon 61 USB MIDI Controller
- 1.9 9. – Behringer UMX610 – Best Battery Life MIDI Keyboard
- 1.10 10. – Novation Launchkey 25 – Best Budget MIDI Keyboard
- 1.11 Final words – Wrapping it up
Best Midi Keyboard 2018 – Our Top Picks
1. – Akai Professional MPK MKII – Best MIDI Keyboard 2018
The Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII is a MIDI keyboard of high quality. The keyboard controller is compact and can very easily fit into a backpack. It also comes with a studio production desk of a reasonable size.
The MIDI keyboard is characterized by all the features that are needed to play, as well as edit music as you desire. There are dedicated buttons on the device that have been set aside for octave up and down, note speed, and adjusting the full level of the keyboard sounds.
Composing virtual music becomes very easy when you own the MPK Mini MKII. It has a digital audio workstation and effect plug-ins that can help you to control the way you record as well as compose your music.
Plug-and-play connectivity is very easily supported by this MIDI keyboard. It is possible to download a number of virtual instruments for free with the help of this MIDI keyboard, and it is also characterized by professional production software that makes this MIDI keyboard very easy to use.
Performing along with other virtual instruments is also something that can be done in a smooth and hassle-free manner with the help of the MIDI keyboard. Recording, composing and performing with virtual instruments is made possible via numerous hardware controls that are installed on this keyboard.
No external power adapters or software drivers are needed for the operation of the MPK Mini MKII. Single USB connections can be powered up to computers using the USB MIDI feature that comes with this electronic keyboard.
A wonderful benefit that comes with the use of the MPK Mini MKII is the fact that it is compatible with all the latest operating systems. This is a keyboard that can work fairly well with computers that are serviced by Mac operating systems as well as those that work on the Windows 8.0 OS.
If music is what you love, then owning the MPK Mini MKII is an absolute must. With streamlined features, amazing control buttons and built-in features, and the latest software, it is by far one of the best MIDI keyboards out on the market for musicians to buy.
- Excellent battery life, with batteries lasting as long as 8-10 hours
- Compatible with all current operating systems
- Easy to install or set up
- Operates on standard USB A and USB B cables
- Does not require any wall power supply
- Comes with the latest software like Air Hybrid 3, Preset Editor Software etc
- Software may be difficult to understand and use at times
2. – Akai MPK49– Best Professional MIDI Keyboard
This MIDI keyboard comes with as many as 49 keys that may be used to produce the best quality in sound. There are USB connections that are available for connecting the keyboard to any PC or Mac.
Driver installations are not required when using the Akai Professional MPK 49. The keys are mostly semi-weighted and are capable of rendering an amazing performance no matter how hard or soft the touch over them is.
There are excellent plug-and-play features that have been built into this keyboard, and it is characterized by the Ableton software which is compatible with most mobile devices.
The Akai Professional MPK 49 is a MIDI keyboard that is a more expensive option, yet the benefits that you will experience are worth every penny.
The Akai Professional MPK 49 can be used for a long period of time—it will last for five to six years at a stretch without this showing any sign of wear and tear – Durability on this is top notch!.
A warranty can also be procured from the manufacturer at the time of purchase; this warranty will cover the costs of repair and additional charges that may be needed to carry out repair work needed to get it back to pitch-perfect condition.
Pitch and modulation wheels that come with the Akai Professional MPK 49 make it possible for users to adjust the sound levels very easily. It is important to keep the Akai Professionals MPK 49 completely free of dust for these pitch and modulation wheels to remain in optimal working condition.
The Akai Professional MPK 49 is a good product to purchase because of its numerous inbuilt features and excellent size. Indeed, this is a keyboard that is quite portable and will not look out of place, even a small room.
While the price of the keyboard may seem expensive, the fact that it comes with a long-term warranty and fantastic durability makes the money you pay for it completely worthwhile.
The Akai Professional MPK 49 is a MIDI keyboard that provides users with instant access to online virtual instruments. Composing and even performing with virtual musical instruments is likely to become very easy and convenient for you when you have an Akai Professional MPK 49.
- Comes with velocity-sensitive keys, high-quality modulation, pitch wheels and sustainable pedal inputs
- Easy to maintain
- Excellent warranty
- Instructions are given for convenient installation and use
- Compatible with Mac and Windows OS devices
- Software may be difficult to figure out and operate on the part of first-time users
3. – M-Audio Oxygen 49 MKIV – Best USB Connectivity MIDI Keyboard
The MD Audio Oxygen 49 boasts of easy USB connectivity and also has convenient octave up and down buttons with which to adjust the volume levels.
Trigger pads that are sensitive to velocity comprise one of the unique features of this MIDI keyboard. These trigger pads are ideal for clip launching and beat production. The keyboard also comes with as many as eight to nine assignable knobs that may be used for manipulating and mixing instruments and plug-ins. Assignable faders, about nine in number, also allow you to mix music rather easily.
The MD 49 comes with a versatile keyboard controller which is absolutely necessary in order to be able to compose virtual music in an easy and convenient fashion.
The Md 49 has a streamlined surface and is a keyboard which is quite easy to maintain.
The battery life of the M-Audio Oxygen 49 MIDI keyboard is very long, and the keyboard can operate for eight to twelve hours at a stretch without running out of charge.
There are easy instructions given along with the product at the time of purchase that may be useful for customers to follow when installing the device at home or in an office setup.
While the MK Audio Oxygen 49 is more expensive than many of the other MIDI keyboards on the market, it provides its owners with value for money. This MIDI keyboard can be used for a very long period of time, and the software is never likely to cause difficulties for those who use it, especially when using it on a regular basis.
- Easy to install and use
- Long battery life
- Has excellent inbuilt features for controlling sound
- Compatible with operating systems like MAC and Windows
- Has to be kept completely dust free for effective functioning
4. – CME Xkey Air 25-key Bluetooth MIDI Controller
The CM X Key 25 Key MIDI Portable Mobile Musical Keyboard, as the name suggests, is one that comes with as many as twenty-five musical keys to play. This keyboard is velocity sensitive and characterised by a polyphonic after touch. – bit of a mouthful I know!
The keyboard is MIDI compliant and has pressure sensitive modulation and pitch bend buttons. Continuous MDI control data is also one of the exciting features that come with the purchase of this MIDI keyboard.
Octave up and down buttons and a micro cable for connecting the device to a USB are some of the well-known features that the CM X Key 25 MIDI keyboard are characterized by. The micro cable connector is pretty easy to plug into just about any kind of USB device.
The micro cable connector is, in fact, one of the most well-known features of this keyboard that contributes to its durability and makes it one of its most convenient qualities. The micro cable connector has to be kept free from water or dust if it is to be used for a long period of time. The CM X Key 25 Key MIDI Portable Mobile Musical Keyboard with all its exciting features is one that can be procured for a moderate sum of money online.
A hugely convenient feature of the CM X Key 25 Key MIDI Portable Mobile Musical Keyboard is that this is a device compatible with a Mac OS. It can also be used in computers and mobile devices that operate on Windows OS, like Windows XP and Windows 8.0.
There is also a warranty that customers receive, should they make a purchase of the CM X Key 25 Key MIDI Portable Mobile Musical Keyboard. This warranty is provided by the manufacturers themselves and is usually valid for about two to three years. This warranty can always be renewed upon expiration for a longer period of time.
The CME X-Key 25 Key MIDI Portable Mobile Musical Keyboard is a good product to purchase as it offers great value for money.
- Velocity sensitive keyboard controller
- Polytechnic after touch features
- Free shipping
- Compatible with Windows and Mac OS
- Can take several hours to install
- USB cable may have to be changed frequently
5. – M-Audio Keystation 88 II – Best Compatible MIDI Keyboard
The M-Audio 88 comes with a MIDI keyboard controller which can be used for composing and performing music. There is a USB cable that can be connected to the computer in order to gain access to musical software, and there is absolutely no need for users to reach out to a mouse for this purpose.
There are transportation controls, octave range buttons and modulation and pitch wheels that may be used to adjust sound volumes in any particular way. A Soni-Vox 88 Ensemble, an Ableton Live Lite, and an excellent virtual piano are some of the other great features that come with the M-Audio 88.
The keys are velocity sensitive, and one sustain pedal input that is about a quarter of an inch in size is something that makes for a highly expressive performance. Care needs to be taken not to press the keys too hard in order to ensure that these remain in good condition.
There is an excellent warranty that purchasers receive with the M-Audio Key Station 88. The warranty for this is usually valid for two years and is subject to renewal; a small sum has to be paid at the time of getting this warranty renewed. The warranty is known to include not only the cost of repairing wear and tear but also the purchase of spare parts that might be required in order to carry out repair work.
The USB cable that comes with the M-Audio Key Station 88 is of excellent quality and will not have to be changed for at least three years. The battery life of this keyboard is also quite extensive, with batteries having to be replaced every four to six years.
The M-Audio Key Station 88 is compatible with Mac and Windows software and can be used in devices in which these operate. It is, of course, necessary to use an antivirus program when connecting the MIDI key station to the Internet, to prevent its components from being destroyed by malware.
While the M-Audio Key Station 88 is a more expensive keyboard to buy, its long life, extensive warranty and unique features, like its velocity-sensitive keys and the presence of modulation and pitch wheels, make it an exceptional product for composing music.
- Good battery life
- Easy to connect USB cable
- Velocity-sensitive keys
- Compatible with Windows 8.0, Windows XP and any Mac OS
- Delicate user interface makes the device prone to damage
- Keys may produce very loud sounds if handled in a rough manner
6. – Alesis V 49 MIDI Keyboard and Drum Pad Controller
This is an excellent MIDI keyboard available for musicians looking to control virtual instruments and plug-ins. It comes with pitch and modulation wheels, four assignable buttons, and four assignable knobs, all of which make this keyboard very convenient to use.
LED backlit trigger pads, which come with this device, respond very easily to pressure and velocity. A sustain pedal input powered by a USB is also one of the well-known features by which this MIDI keyboard is characterized.
Square front and full-sized keys, about 49 in number, are on the Alesis V 49 MIDI Keyboard and Drum Pad Controller. These keys can be adjusted with ease and are quite sturdy in quality as well.
The size of the MIDI Keyboard is highly convenient, as it is neither too large nor too small. It will not occupy too much space in the room in which it is kept. The Alesis V49, because of its size, is also portable and can be carried from one place to another without any difficulty.
The keyboard comes with a warranty which is valid for a period of one year, and which can also be renewed.
Caring for the keyboard can be done with ease. Water must never be applied over this keyboard and even cleaning it with a wet cloth will not do. – We found a dry cloth works best.
One of the best reasons to be using Alesis V 49 MIDI Keyboard in composing virtual music is the fact that this is compatible with a wide range of operating systems. This can be used quite easily with Mac and Windows OS.
It is reasonably priced and comes with great features such as modulation wheels, long battery life and sustain pedal inputs that make creating music an enjoyable experience.
- Portable size with long battery life
- Compatible with Mac and Windows OS
- Pitch and modulation wheels, velocity-sensitive keys and octave up and down buttons for creating amazing sound quality
- Keyboard prone to breakage if not handled carefully
- Highly sensitive to dust, and can get damaged if kept exposed to dirt particles
7.- AKM 320 MIDI Keyboard
Most of the inbuilt features of this keyboard are quite easy to figure out and use such as the octave up and down buttons, buttons for adjusting sound levels, and all the devices that can connect the keyboard very easily with any computer or mobile device. The standard USB B and USB A cables can be used for connecting the keyboard to a computer.
The AKM 320 has, what is termed as a master keyboard controller, characterized by modulation and pitch wheels. A few of the other exciting features that this amazing keyboard boasts of are sustain pedal input, transpose buttons, and a volume slider. The volume slider, in particular, is one that is quite easy to operate and can be handled very easily even by someone using the AKM 320 for the very first time.
There are many different operating systems that the AKM 320 is compatible with, the most well-known of these being Windows XP and the Mac OS X. It can work instantly with such software, rendering results for the music composer in a matter of minutes.
To have an AKM 320 MIDI Keyboard can definitely prove to be a wonderful experience if you wish to compose music virtually on a regular basis. This is a keyboard that allows you to control sound levels easily, and makes it possible for you to connect to all kinds of computer devices, in order to give the music that you perform and compose a truly unique quality.
- Powered by single USB cable
- Easy to operate and use
- Compatible with a wide range of operating systems like Mac and Windows
- Good built quality
- Battery must be charged every two to three hours
- A few users have found that the software is prone to Internet viruses
8. – Samson Carbon 61 USB MIDI Controller
This is a fairly well known MIDI keyboard from Samson, it comes with velocity-sensitive keys – 61 in total, all of which are semi-weighted.
USB connections and sustain pedal inputs are some of the other well-known features for which the Samson Carbon 61 USB MIDI Controller is known. It also has dedicated octave and transport buttons, modulation and pitch bend wheels, and an integrated slot for use with an iPad.
Assignable knobs and edit buttons also exist, so that various functions may be assigned to the music software.
The Samson Carbon 61 USB MIDI Controller is best used by people looking to compose music for the first time. All features associated with this keyboard are easy to use, and even the pitch and modulation wheels that come with this keyboard are easy to operate.
The velocity adjustments are very simple to execute, and users never have to worry about the sound of music becoming too loud or too soft.
Purchasing the Samson Carbon 61 USB MIDI Controller can definitely be a good idea as it is available for a price that is moderately low. It has an extensive life as well and is capable of lasting for years.
Instructions are given for engaging in the easy use of the various features and software by which this keyboard is characterized. The warranty facilities that come with this keyboard make it easy to get the keyboard repaired without incurring heavy costs.
- Easy to install as well as use
- Keys are velocity sensitive and semi-weighted for a convenient musical experience
- Pitch and modulation wheels ensure good quality of sound
- Portable keyboard can be easily carried around
- Long battery life
- Easy to connect USB cables
- Keyboard is sensitive to dust and can get damaged if exposed to dirt
9. – Behringer UMX610 – Best Battery Life MIDI Keyboard
This is a keyboard that gives you access to more than 100 virtual musical instruments. The keys are velocity sensitive, and there is the amazing Behringer Edition Music Production Software XT2.5 that can be used for creating high-quality sounds.
There are 61 semi-weighted and full control keys. It also features real-time playability and control, making this a very desirable product.
The Behringer U-Control UMX610 is a keyboard that is characterized by an excellent battery life. Indeed, the batteries in this keyboard can last for four to six years without having to be changed.
This is also a keyboard that comes with sturdy micro USB cables in order to connect this with a computer and mobile devices. There is a warranty that buyers receive at the time of purchase, which remains valid for a year and must be renewed after that.
The Behringer U-Control UMX610 is reasonably priced and easy to use. Its biggest feature is its battery life, we found it to have one of the best battery life out of all of the MIDI keyboards we tested. If you will be using this on go then this may be a great choice for you.
- High-quality batteries for use
- Easily portable
- Not difficult to maintain
- The software is compatible with Windows and Mac OS.
- Sound quality may deteriorate if pitch and modulation wheels are not successfully used
10. – Novation Launchkey 25 – Best Budget MIDI Keyboard
The Novation 25 is one of (if not) the smallest MIDI keyboard we tested, its price point also matches its size which is a win. It comes with a one-year warranty and easy maintenance instructions.
There are eight assignable knobs and velocity-sensitive keys. It features Ableton Live software and is compatible for use in both Mac and Windows computers.
USB cables are provided along with the product at the time of sale that enables users to connect this to a computer or a mobile device.
The fact that this is a keyboard which comes at a low price makes it very popular among music composers in every part of the world.
Check our the video below to see how it performs:
This keyboard is very popular because of its low price and portability. It can be carried from place to place without creating a burden on its user, and is thus ideal for musicians who have to be on the road for long periods of time.
- Extended battery life
- Long-term warranty options
- Easily changeable USB chords
- Velocity-sensitive keys
- Keyboard compatible with Mac and Windows OS
- Keyboard must be kept free from dust and water as it gets damaged easily when exposed
- Keyboard vulnerable to breakage rather easily
Final words – Wrapping it up
Be sure to gauge your needs to determine whether your creative method requires knobs, faders and buttons. With the correct MIDI keyboard, you’ll have control over the major elements of your hardware and software. Typically MIDI keyboards range from 25 keys all the way up to 88 keys, we’ve even come across ones that are smaller than the 25s!
With that in mind, it would be wise to consider a few things before running out and purchasing a MIDI controller such as “What are you going to be using it for?” If your job as a musician requires you to always be on the move meeting clients then lugging around a 50-pound machine may not be the best idea out there.
Space also comes into play as a lot of events these days are making the DJ space smaller and smaller so although you won’t mind carrying around a big midi keyboard will there even be space for it at your destination?
Type of a MIDI keyboard.
Other things you should consider when choosing a MIDI keyboard is the type. There are the piano type keyboards and there are the controller type keyboards. Typically the former have more keys and they have their own built-in sound card and speaker system. What that means is when you press the keys you will instantly hear a sound. Controllers, on the other hand, need to be connected to a computer with a sound card that will translate the electronic signals into sound.
Then there is the action of the keys. You can get them either weighted, semi-weighted or synth action. Weighted keys have the same feel as those of regular piano keys. This means that it requires a lot more pressure and doesn’t spring back fast. Synth-action keys are light and bounce back pretty quickly making for faster playing. In between are the semi-weighted keys. They are lighter than weighted keys but don’t bounce back as fast as the synth actions ones.
Keep all the above in mind when choosing the Best MIDI Keyboard in 2018.