Best MIDI Keyboard Roundup

Here are the best MIDI keyboards available today, chosen for their responsive keys, quick DAW integration and impressive control/feature set.

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The humble MIDI keyboard has come a long way from when they were first made available, from providing a simple piano-like interface for MIDI devices to going beyond the piano and becoming a full featured "instrument" with incredible dynamics and articulation. All the units we have selected have successfully established themselves as reliable MIDI keyboards both in the studio and on the stage.

Arturia Analog Experience The Laboratory

Arturia Analog Experience The Laboratory

This sleek MIDI keyboard continues to make waves in the market, its visual appeal, multiple control options and great price point is simply too hard to resist.

To add to its already impressive value, this keyboard is bundled with the Analog Laboratory software that has over 3,500 presets. With the "Arturia Analog Experience - The Laboratory", you get more out of your hard earned money.

Although this keyboard is the most affordable in this list, it can easily hold its own in terms of feel and performance. It has 49 velocity sensitive keys with aftertouch, which can be quite rare in its price range. You will be impressed with the how the keys respond to the nuances of your playing. The faders, knobs and buttons also respond well to real-time adjustments, making it a very capable instrument for live performances. As an added bonus, it also comes with four user-assignable pads, which are ideal for triggering percussion and other samples. This stylish and reliable MIDI keyboard is heaven sent for those of us working within a budget. Get the latest Arturia Analog Experience The Laboratory price & reviews at Amazon.com | Read our full review here.


Novation Impulse 61

Novation Impulse 61

The Novation Impulse 61 is an impressive MIDI Keyboard that doubles as a powerful DAW controller. It comes with Novation's Automap 4 software that allows for quick integration with your favorite music production software. Its DAW controlling capabilities make the Impulse 61 ideal for keyboardists that incorporates plug-in effects and DAW features into their performances.

If you think that they sacrificed keyboard performance for DAW features, you will be surprised at how impressive its keyboard performance is. All the keys are semi-weighted and each one has assignable aftertouch parameters. The combination of quick DAW integration and keyboard precisioun by themselves are already quite a feat, but Novation did not stop there. They equipped this MIDI keyboard with 8 knobs, 9 faders, buttons and pads that give you full control over your plugins and DAW. In its price point, this keyboard/controller package is quite a catch, and we highly recommended it, especially for producers. Get the latest Novation Impulse 61 price & reviews at Amazon.com | Read our full review here.


M-Audio Axiom Air 61

M-Audio Axiom Air 61

The M-Audio Axiom Air 61 is another power house MIDI keyboard that comes with a host of DAW control features on top of impressive keyboard performance. It features M-Audio's TruTouch keyboard technology, 61 semi-weighted keys that follow a traditional piano shape. The size of the keys will be conveniently familiar, which reduces the effort and time spent on familiarizing with the key spacing.

Aside from realistic size, the keys captures both initial velocity and aftertouch, which allows for articulate and dynamic playing. Although the length of this keyboard can be quite limiting, the Octave/transpose buttons provide access to the entire note range, in any key. The twelve pads are also velocity and pressure sensitive, ideal for laying down percussive beats. A myriad of other DAW control features are also present, along with essential keyboard tools like the pitch bend and modulation. The keyboard comes bundled with the new A.I.R. music production software, which can be a breath of fresh air if you haven't tried other DAWs in a long time. Get the latest M-Audio Axiom Air 61 price & reviews at Amazon.com | Read our full review here.


Nektar Panorama P6

Nektar Panorama P6

The Panorama P6 is the MIDI keyboard of choice for Reason users, it is specifically designed around this DAW and features deep integration. Although it can work as a generic controller, it shows off its muscle when paired with Reason. With Reason, the Panorama P6 becomes a very efficient and powerful synth workstation live performance and for producing music. This is a stark contrast to conventional MIDI keyboards that work with as many software as possible, sacrificing integration to achieve flexibility.

As expected from Nektar, the unit feels sturdy and well built. The DAW controls are intuitively spread out across its wide front panel, which makes accessing deep plugin parameters quick and convenient. It comes with pads, channel strips, faders, transport controls and many more. The 61 semi-weighted velocity-sensitive keys are not so bad either, the piano-style keys respond very well, and feature aftertouch. If you are a Reason user, there's no reason for you to not get this MIDI Keyboard. Get the latest Nektar Panorama P6 price & reviews at Amazon.com | Read our full review here.


Studiologic SL-990 Pro

Studiologic SL-990 Pro

The Studiologic SL-990 Pro may not have the bells and whistles that the other controllers come with, but what it can do - it does really well. Considered by many as the most playable and responsive MIDI keyboard in the market, it is stripped down to basic to highlight the quality of its 88-key weighted keyboard.

All the keys are velocity sensitive and feature hammer-action, which gives it a convincing piano feel. Many pianists are impressed and feel at home with this unit, and some even comment that once you try the SL-990 Pro, other keyboards will feel like toys in comparison. It does a great job of translating your playing articulation and dynamics, which is essentially what a good MIDI Keyboard should be doing. Other features include 8 zone-specific velocity curve settings, pitch and mod wheels, program and bank change, transpose, MIDI channel change, and 100 user memory locations. This unit is quite bulky, and may require more effort to carry around for gigs. Get the latest Studiologic SL-990 Pro price & reviews at Amazon.com | Read our full review here.


Akai Pro MPK88

Akai Pro MPK88

The Akai Pro MPK88 is a remarkable MIDI keyboard that combines impressive keyboard functionality with practical DAW control features. Its main selling point is its responsive keyboard, many attests that it offers a very close approximation of how acoustic piano keys work. It can easily be compared with more expensive digital pianos in terms of response and playability.

The MPK88 doesn't stop with just having piano-like hammer action keys, it comes with a host of pads, sliders, knobs and buttons for controlling your preferred music production software. The 16 MPC pads deserve special mention because they are well built and feature velocity and pressure sensitivity. On the flipside, having hammer action and weighted keys however have a downside of being a heavy and bulky. Still the MPK88 is tank tough and will let you create inspiring music for a long time. Get the latest Akai Pro MPK88 price & reviews at Amazon.com | Read our full review here.


Roland A-88

Roland A-88

The Roland A-88 MIDI Keyboard is on a class of its own, having full-sized piano-like keys while retaining a slim form factor. The keys feature Roland's Ivory Feel-G, mimicking the behavior of acoustic pianos, as if there are hammers lifting off strings. This makes the keys feel feel authentic while the unit remains light and compact.

Although it doesn't have as many DAW control features, the A-88 has a trick up its sleeve in the form of Roland's D-Beam controller. If you're not familiar with Roland's D-Beam, it lets you control parameters by simply waving your hand over the infrared projector. Other essential keyboard features are present including multiple OS compatibility (including iOS) and it is compatible with Roland's popular SuperNatural sound module and synths. If you are looking for a powerful and portable 88-key piano-like interface, then you should get this one. Get the latest Roland A-88 price & reviews at Amazon.com | Read our full review here.

If you're looking for simpler MIDI Keyboards, then take a look at these cheaper options.

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