If you are looking for the best MIDI keyboards under 100$ you came to the right place. In this article, I’m going to go over the top 3 MIDI keyboards in 2019. I’ll also be looking at some pros and cons of each.
Best 25 key MIDI Keyboards under $100
1. Akai MPK Mini
This is one of the most popular MIDI controllers for pros and novice alike, and for good reason. It’s got two octaves, 25 keys in total, and you can switch between octaves really easily. It’s got eight drum pads, some of the biggest at this price point, eight programmable knobs, a built-in arpeggiator and it even has a sustainment pedal port which is awesome for such a small device since not many controllers this small have one.
I really like the arcade-like thumb-stick instead of a pitch wheel. It gives it a sense of playfulness. The thumb-stick is used to control the pitch and modulation. If you move it up and down it control the but radon and left to right control the pitch. It’s a lot of fun and an interesting way to get a mod wheel like feature in such a tiny device. Finally, it includes some additional software to get you started making music right away.
- Tiny and super portable
- It’s pretty much all plastic
This is without a doubt the best travel option at this price point. It’s got tons of features in a compact package that you can carry anywhere. I say the Akai MPK Mini is definitely for anyone who is trying to be as mobile and lightweight as possible. Check out the current price on Amazon right here.
2. Nektar Impact LX25+
The Nektar Impact LX25 Plus is not what I would call travel-friendly, but it has a lot more features than the standard 25 key MIDI keyboard. One of the biggest draws to this device is its 25 full-sized keys. Yup, full-sized! They are really comfortable to play with, especially for someone like me who is used to a full-sized piano.
Another great thing about the Nektar Impact LX25 Plus is that you can do a lot of work without touching your computer. This device has tons of built-in controllers right on the device itself so you don’t need to go back to the mouse and keyboard as much. Very cool.
It has eight velocity-sensitive drum pads. Eight programmable endless turn knobs (they don’t stop when you move them all the way to the right or left) and one slider which is also programmable. It also has the standard Pitch and modulation wheel.
The light’s on this thing are really cool. The pad LED are programmable and can change color depending on what bank you are on and the LED display helps to show what mode or setting you are on. It can even display pressure pad sensitivity.
- LED Lights
- Endless turn knobs
- Bigger and heavier than most options
The Nektar Impact LX25 Plus has a lot of customization features and navigation options that will help you be more efficient and help you speed up your workflow. This is best for someone who has a dedicated studio and is a little more seasoned at mixing.
Check out the current price on Amazon right here. And if you are interested in checking out an unboxing, here is a video I found on youtube of a little unboxing and demo. Props to the content creator, make sure to check them out.
3. Aurora Minilab MK2
The attention to quality on the Minilab MK2 is amazing. It feels super thick and sturdy and frankly a little heavy. The knobs are long, rubberized and super smooth. And a ton of them too! Better to have them not need them right? It’s got eight drum pads. And instead of a classic wheel for pitch and modulation, you have a touch-sensitive pad. The keyboard is not full-sized but it still feels great.
A huge bonus is an amazing software that you get with the Minilab MK2. You get Ableton live light, a very powerful digital audio workstation for all kinds of music. And you get the analog lab software with some of the best software synths sounds out there.
The pads are a little smaller than most other controllers and are placed in a row. Not the standard 4×4 grid. This might require some getting used to.
- Comes with great software
- A small row of pads might not be ideal.
The Minilab MK2 is great for the intermediate who is comfortable with using all of the knobs the device offers but doesn’t need too many bells and whistles. If you are interested in reading our review of the previous model of the Minilab, you can check it out here. Check out the current price on Amazon right here.
If you are in a hurry, here is the TL;DR
|Akai MPK Mini||Nektar Impact|
|Pros||Tiny and super portable Under $100||Under $100 LED Lights Endless turn knobs||Under $100 Comes with great software|
|Cons||It’s pretty much all plastic and software included isn’t great||Bigger and heavier than other options||The row of pads might take some getting used to.|
You really can’t go wrong with any of these options. The important thing is to find something that fits your unique requirements. I truly hope you enjoyed this Best MIDI Keyboards Under 100$ post. If you did and want to see more like it check out our full blog here.