Best Budget MIDI Keyboards for Music Production

Updated on March 1, 2024

MIDI keyboards are essential tools for digital music creation, interacting with MIDI software to produce sounds. They’re versatile, used in genres from classical to electronic dance music. When on a budget, consider the number of keys, type of keys (weighted mimic real piano, unweighted better for electronic music), number of knobs and sliders, build quality, and software compatibility. We’ve researched and tested ten budget options to identify the best value for money, which we’ll review next.

Best Budget MIDI Keyboards

We understand that not everyone has the budget for a high-end MIDI keyboard. However, that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality and functionality. In this article, we’ve rounded up the best budget MIDI keyboards that won’t break the bank but still offer impressive features and performance. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional musician, these keyboards are perfect for anyone looking to create music on a budget. So, let’s dive in and explore our top picks for the best budget MIDI keyboards.

AKAI Professional LPK25 – USB MIDI Keyboard Controller

AKAI Professional LPK25 - USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with 25 Responsive Synth Keys for Mac and PC, Arpeggiator and Music Production Software,black

If you're looking for a budget-friendly MIDI keyboard controller, the AKAI Professional LPK25 is a great option.

Pros:
  • The LPK25 is incredibly portable, making it easy to take with you anywhere you go.
  • The Gen 2 Dynamic keybed offers a fantastic playing experience with careful attention to velocity response.
  • With 8 programmable preset slots, you can instantly recall your mappings for DAWs, virtual instruments, and more.
Cons:
  • The mini keys may not be ideal for those with larger hands or those who prefer full-sized keys.
  • Some users have reported issues with the USB connection becoming loose over time.
  • The LPK25 doesn't come with a sustain pedal, which may be a drawback for some users.
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As for our experience with the product, we found the LPK25 to be a great option for those who need a portable MIDI keyboard controller. The keys are responsive and offer a good amount of dynamic range, and the built-in arpeggiator and clock provide creative control of any software instruments or synthesizers. The LPK25 is also incredibly easy to set up, with plug-and-play compatibility for both Mac and PC.

Overall, if you’re in need of a portable MIDI keyboard controller for songwriting, beat-making, or DJ remixes, the AKAI Professional LPK25 is definitely worth considering.

AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3

AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 - 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller With 8 Backlit Drum Pads, 8 Knobs and Music Production Software Included

If you're looking for a budget-friendly MIDI keyboard, the AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 is a great option.

Pros:
  • The compact size of the keyboard makes it easy to carry around, making it a great travel companion.
  • With a built-in arpeggiator and MPC Note Repeat & Full Level, you can take complete command of every aspect of your production.
  • The 8 backlit velocity-sensitive MPC-Style MIDI beat pads with Note Repeat and Full Level are great for programming drums, triggering samples, and controlling virtual synthesizer/DAW controls.
Cons:
  • The keyboard can be a bit tricky to set up, but the instructions are clear and easy to follow.
  • The 4-way joystick can be a bit finicky at times, but it's not a dealbreaker.
  • The keys are a bit small, so if you have larger hands, you may find them a bit difficult to play.
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Overall, the AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 is a great budget-friendly MIDI keyboard that’s perfect for beginners and professionals alike. It’s compact, versatile, and comes with a complete music production starter kit that includes everything you need to create hit songs from the get-go. If you’re looking for a MIDI keyboard that’s easy to use, packed with features, and won’t break the bank, the AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 is definitely worth considering.

AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3

AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 - 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller With 8 Backlit Drum Pads, 8 Knobs and Music Production Software Included, Grey

If you're looking for a budget-friendly MIDI keyboard controller that doesn't skimp on features, the AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 is definitely worth considering.

Pros:
  • The 25 mini velocity-sensitive keys are perfect for studio production, virtual synthesizer control, and beat production.
  • The innovative 4-way thumbstick provides dynamic pitch and modulation control, while the built-in arpeggiator offers adjustable resolution, range, and modes.
  • The 8 backlit velocity-sensitive MPC-style MIDI beat pads with Note Repeat & Full Level are perfect for programming drums, triggering samples, and controlling virtual synthesizer/DAW controls.
Cons:
  • The keys may feel a bit small for those with larger fingers.
  • The keyboard may feel a bit stiff and the keys may feel a bit cheap.
  • The latency issue with the onboard drum pads may be a problem for some users.
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We found that the AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 is a solid option for music production and beat making. The 8 360-degree knobs assign to all your music studio plugins for mixing, tweaking synth controls, and more. The complete music production starter kit includes MPC Beats, 6 Virtual Instruments, and 2GB of sound content, which is perfect for beginners.

The keyboard controller is USB-powered, making it easy to use on the go. The 1500 plus sounds and everything you need for pro production make it a great value for the price. The keyboard controller is fully programmable (mapping) and has sturdy, durable construction.

Overall, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly MIDI keyboard controller that is packed with features and functionality, the AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 is definitely worth considering.

midiplus AKM320 Midi Keyboard Controller

midiplus AKM320 Midi Keyboard Controller

If you're looking for a budget-friendly MIDI keyboard, the midiplus AKM320 is worth considering.

Pros:
  • The AKM320 is compact and lightweight, making it easy to transport and store.
  • The pitch and modulation wheels, volume slider, and octave and transpose buttons provide a range of control options.
  • The AKM320 is plug-and-play, so there's no need to install drivers or software.
Cons:
  • The keys are not velocity-sensitive, which may be a drawback for some users.
  • The sustain pedal is not included and must be purchased separately.
  • The build quality feels somewhat flimsy, and the keys are not as responsive as those on higher-end models.
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We found the midiplus AKM320 to be a decent entry-level MIDI keyboard. While it lacks some of the features and build quality of more expensive models, it’s a good option for beginners or those on a tight budget.

The AKM320 is simple to set up and use, with no drivers or software required. The pitch and modulation wheels, volume slider, and octave and transpose buttons provide plenty of control options, and the compact size makes it easy to transport and store.

One potential drawback is that the keys are not velocity-sensitive, which means that the volume and tone of the notes played will be the same regardless of how hard or soft the keys are pressed. This may not be an issue for all users, but it’s worth considering if you’re looking for a more expressive playing experience.

Another downside is that the sustain pedal is not included with the keyboard and must be purchased separately. This may be an inconvenience for some users who want to use the sustain function.

Overall, we think the midiplus AKM320 is a good budget option for those who are just starting out with MIDI keyboards or who don’t need advanced features. While it may not be as robust or responsive as higher-end models, it gets the job done and won’t break the bank.

Donner Mini MIDI Keyboard, N-25

Donner Mini MIDI Keyboard, N-25 25 Key MIDI Controlle with Velocity-Sensitive Mini Keys&Light-up Rocker and Music Production Software Included, Small MIDI Keyboard with 40 Free Courses

If you're looking for an affordable MIDI keyboard, the Donner Mini MIDI Keyboard, N-25 is definitely worth considering.

Pros:
  • The compact design with 25 mini velocity-sensitive keys makes it easy to take on the go and perfect for creating melodies and riffs full of emotion.
  • The simple layout and user-friendly functions, including an arpeggiator, sustain, octave, and tap tempo, make it easy for novice users to learn.
  • It's compatible with various DAWs, such as Cubase, Live, Logic Pro, Protools, and Studio One, providing a complete music production experience.
Cons:
  • The 25 keys may be limiting for some users.
  • The keyboard may not be as durable as some more expensive options.
  • Some users have reported issues with the modulation joystick not working properly.
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We found the Donner Mini MIDI Keyboard, N-25 to be a great option for beginners or musicians on a budget. The 25 mini velocity-sensitive keys are surprisingly responsive and the light-up buttons add a fun visual display while playing. The pitch-bend wheel and arpeggiator functions are also a nice touch.

The keyboard is easy to set up and use, with no additional software driver installation required. We were able to easily connect it to our Mac and use it with our preferred DAW. We also appreciated the 40 free keyboard-teaching courses that are ideal for zero-based players who want to try arranging music.

Overall, if you’re looking for an affordable and portable MIDI keyboard with user-friendly functions and compatibility with various DAWs, the Donner Mini MIDI Keyboard, N-25 is definitely worth considering.

LEKATO Mini MIDI Keyboard

LEKATO Mini MIDI Keyboard, 25 Key MIDI Controller Bluetooth MIDI Keyboard with Velocity-Sensitive Mini Keys, 360 Knob and Music Production, Small MIDI Keyboard, Rechargeable

If you're looking for a budget-friendly MIDI keyboard that is compact and portable, the LEKATO Mini MIDI Keyboard is worth considering.

Pros:
  • The compact design makes it easy to take with you on the go.
  • The pitch bend function allows for expressive playing.
  • The buttons feature bright lights that make it easy to program in dimly lit environments.
Cons:
  • The keys may feel a bit small for some users.
  • The sustain input requires a special adapter cable.
  • The Bluetooth pairing process can be a bit finicky.
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We were impressed with how easy it was to connect the LEKATO Mini MIDI Keyboard to our devices via Bluetooth or USB-MIDI. The 25 velocity-sensitive keys felt responsive and allowed for expressive playing. The pitch bend function was a nice touch, and we appreciated the bright lights on the buttons, which made it easy to program in low-light settings.

The LEKATO Mini MIDI Keyboard also includes a variety of features that are useful for music production, such as an arpeggiator, scale, smart chord, sustain, and octave. The 360-degree knobs and parameter displays allow for precise control of every detail of the music arrangement, making it a versatile tool for both novice and professional musicians.

However, the keys may feel a bit small for some users, and the sustain input requires a special adapter cable. Additionally, we found that the Bluetooth pairing process can be a bit finicky, so it may take a few tries to get it connected to your device.

Overall, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly MIDI keyboard that is compact and portable, the LEKATO Mini MIDI Keyboard is a solid choice.

MIDIPLUS AKM320BT USB MIDI Keyboard Controller

MIDIPLUS AKM320BT USB MIDI Keyboard Controller, Black, Bluetooth

If you're looking for a budget MIDI keyboard that is portable and versatile, the MIDIPLUS AKM320BT might be a good option for you.

Pros:
  • The Bluetooth switch allows you to connect your iPhone or iPad wirelessly, making it easy to play and record music on the go.
  • The 32 velocity-sensitive mini keys are responsive and easy to play, making it a great option for beginners.
  • The USB interface and MIDI out allow you to connect the keyboard to a computer or other MIDI devices, giving you more flexibility in your setup.
Cons:
  • The keyboard doesn't come with a sustain pedal, so you'll need to purchase one separately if you want to use one.
  • Some users have reported issues with the power switch not working properly, which can be frustrating.
  • The keyboard may not be as durable as more expensive models, so you'll need to be careful when transporting it.
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Overall, we think the MIDIPLUS AKM320BT is a decent budget MIDI keyboard that offers a good balance of portability and functionality. While it may not have all the bells and whistles of more expensive models, it’s a solid option for beginners or anyone looking for a compact MIDI controller.

midiplus AKM322 mini size 32 keys USB MIDI Keyboard Controller Deluxe 32-Key

midiplus AKM322 mini size 32 keys USB MIDI Keyboard Controller

If you're looking for a budget-friendly MIDI keyboard with versatile features, the midiplus AKM322 is a great option to consider.

Pros:
  • The compact design and light weight make it easy to carry around.
  • The chord and scale modes are incredibly helpful for playing different combinations of keys and hitting the right tones.
  • The internal arpeggiator and transport controls provide flexible possibilities for creating music.
Cons:
  • The keys may feel a bit cheap and hard to push down compared to more expensive models.
  • The controller may not be ideal for live performances due to its limited number of keys.
  • The MIDI Editor software may require some technical knowledge to customize the controller to individual needs.
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We’ve had a chance to use this MIDI keyboard and found it to be a solid choice for beginners or those on a budget. The 32 velocity-sensitive keys are responsive enough for playing melodies and chords, and the endless encoder, rotary knobs, and function buttons provide a variety of intuitive possibilities for creating music.

One of the standout features of the AKM322 is the chord and scale modes. With the chord mode, you can easily play the most common chords in different combinations of keys, while the scale mode helps you hit the right key every time by playing the correct tones matched to the chosen scale. This is incredibly helpful for those who may not have a lot of music theory knowledge.

The internal arpeggiator is another great feature that allows you to build sequences with flexible possibilities. The transport controls (play, stop, rec, scene up/down, play/stop clips, overdub, set marker, marker left/right, cycle, tap, metronome) also come in handy for controlling your DAW and creating music.

While the keys may not feel as high-quality as more expensive models, they are still functional and get the job done. The MIDI Editor software may require some technical knowledge to customize the controller to your individual needs, but it’s not too difficult to figure out with some experimentation.

Overall, the midiplus AKM322 is a solid choice for those looking for a budget-friendly MIDI keyboard with versatile features. If you’re a beginner or on a tight budget, this is definitely worth considering.

M-WAVE Bluetooth Wireless 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller

M-WAVE 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller With 8 Backlit Drum Pads, Bluetooth Semi Weighted Professional dynamic keybed 8 Knobs and Music Production,Software Included (Pink)

If you're looking for an affordable MIDI keyboard that's also wireless, the M-WAVE Bluetooth Wireless 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller may be worth considering.

Pros:
  • The keyboard is compact and portable, making it easy to take with you on the go.
  • The wireless connectivity is convenient and allows for greater flexibility in positioning the keyboard.
  • The 25 velocity-sensitive keys, 8 RGB backlit velocity-sensitive pads, 8 assignable rotary encoders, and 2 capactive touch stripes make it a versatile tool for music production.
Cons:
  • The pink color may not be everyone's cup of tea.
  • The semi-weighted keybed may not be as responsive as some other MIDI keyboards.
  • Some users have reported difficulty with the Bluetooth connectivity.
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We’ve had a chance to try out the M-WAVE Bluetooth Wireless 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller, and overall, we think it’s a solid option for those looking for a budget-friendly wireless MIDI keyboard. The compact size and wireless connectivity make it easy to use on the go, and the 25 velocity-sensitive keys and other features provide a good amount of versatility for music production.

One potential downside is the pink color, which may not appeal to everyone. Additionally, the semi-weighted keybed may not feel as responsive as some other MIDI keyboards, which could be an issue for more experienced musicians. Finally, some users have reported difficulty with the Bluetooth connectivity, although we didn’t experience any issues during our testing.

In summary, if you’re in the market for a budget-friendly wireless MIDI keyboard and don’t mind the pink color, the M-WAVE Bluetooth Wireless 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller is definitely worth considering.

Vangoa MIDI Keyboard Controller 25 Keys, Worlde Panda MINI USB Midi Keyboard with Drum Pads, Beat Maker Machine Pad, Black 4 Knobs+4 Sliders, Gen II Black

Vangoa MIDI Keyboard Controller 25 Keys, Worlde Panda MINI USB Midi Keyboard with Drum Pads, Beat Maker Machine Pad, Black

If you're looking for a budget-friendly MIDI keyboard, the Vangoa MIDI Keyboard Controller is definitely worth considering.

Pros:
  • Portable and compact
  • Easy to use and set up
  • Visual feedback with assignable RGB colors
Cons:
  • Outdated MIDI software
  • Not very user-friendly for beginners
  • Some difficulty with setup
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We found the Vangoa MIDI Keyboard Controller to be a great option for those on a budget who still want a quality MIDI keyboard. Its compact size makes it ultra-portable, and it’s easy to use and set up with plug-and-play capability. The assignable RGB colors provide a nice visual feedback when playing, adding to the overall experience.

However, we did find that the MIDI software is outdated and not very user-friendly for beginners. Additionally, some users reported difficulty with setup, particularly in regards to hearing the output live while recording.

Overall, if you’re willing to work through some minor setup issues and are looking for an affordable MIDI keyboard with some great features, the Vangoa MIDI Keyboard Controller is definitely worth considering.

Buying Guide

When looking for a budget MIDI keyboard, there are several factors to consider to ensure you get the best product for your needs. In this buying guide, we will discuss the key features to look for when choosing a budget MIDI keyboard.

Key Count

One of the first things to consider is the number of keys on the keyboard. MIDI keyboards come in a variety of sizes, with the most common being 25, 49, and 61 keys. The key count you choose will depend on your specific needs and preferences. If you plan to use the keyboard to play complex pieces of music, you may want to opt for a larger keyboard with more keys. However, if you’re just starting out or plan to use the keyboard for simple compositions, a smaller keyboard may suffice.

Connectivity

Another important factor to consider is connectivity. Most budget MIDI keyboards connect to your computer via USB, but some models may also have MIDI inputs and outputs, allowing you to connect to other MIDI devices. Additionally, some keyboards may have Bluetooth connectivity, which can be useful if you want to connect to a mobile device or other Bluetooth-enabled device.

Features

When choosing a budget MIDI keyboard, it’s important to consider the features it offers. Some keyboards come with built-in drum pads, faders, and knobs, which can be useful for controlling other software or hardware. Additionally, some keyboards may have aftertouch or velocity sensitivity, which can add an extra level of expression to your playing.

Software

Finally, it’s important to consider the software that comes with the keyboard. Some budget MIDI keyboards come with software that allows you to create and edit music, while others may offer virtual instrument plugins or other useful tools. Make sure to check what software is included with the keyboard before making your purchase.

By considering these key factors, you can choose the best budget MIDI keyboard for your needs and take your music production to the next level.

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