Best Budget MIDI Keyboard Controllers – Pocket friendly Picks!

Best Budget MIDI Keyboard Controllers
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In this article, we will look at some of the best Budget MIDI Keyboard Controllers that do not completely empty your pockets and have a great set of features to them.

Nonetheless, these MIDI keyboard controllers are updated continuously to keep you posted about the latest budget-friendly MIDI keyboards.

Furthermore, before we continue looking at the seven best MIDI keyboard controllers, there is an equally important thing to discuss, which will only take a minute! And that focuses on what you should look for in a MIDI keyboard before buying one.

Our next section discusses important aspects of a MIDI keyboard and how to choose one!

MIDI keyboard Buying Guide – What to look for?

Here are top five things to look before you buy a MIDI keyboard controller.

1) Number of Keys

The basic aspect of any MIDI keyboard is the keys themselves. Deciding how many keys you need for music production or other music activity is the first thing you must do before buying a MIDI keyboard.

MIDI keyboards offer a wide variety of key choices, such as:

  • 25 Keys,
  • 49 keys,
  • 61 keys, and,
  • 88 keys.

Depending on the type of piano player, music producer and future goals, you can choose any of these options.

It is best for beginner piano players and music producers to go with lesser keys as it is quite compact, needs less space, and is comparatively easier to operate than a large keyboard.

2) Knobs, Faders and Pads

Additional controls such as knobs, faders and pads also become essential in making music. These features can make your workflow smoother and simple.

Whether you need these features depends on how you make music and if you are looking for an alternate approach.

What I love about these additional features is that you can assign your DAW and VST controls directly to the knobs, faders and pads. Therefore, they play a huge role in making your music production process faster.

For example, you can automate different track parameters like volume, EQ, pan and more by using faders available in the MIDI keyboard controller.

Remember, it is also possible to make beats and patterns straight from the drum pads on the keyboard.

3) After touch

After touch is a great feature that changes sound depth according to how hard you press a key once it is fully played.

So, if you press a note hard, the note volume will sound aggressive and vice versa.

Many producers and piano players prefer the after-touch feature on their MIDI keyboard as it helps them to make their music sound deep and natural.

If your MIDI keyboard lacks the after-touch feature, you can adjust the note velocity in the piano roll editor of the DAW.

4) Input/Output Ports

When buying MIDI keyboards, connectivity ports are often overlooked. But they play an important role in your music production or recording studio setup.

Proper connectivity input and output ports will help you connect your instruments and studio gear effortlessly. Therefore, it is important to have a look at the connection ports offered by the instrument.

Generally, MIDI keyboards come with either one or all of the below-mentioned connectivity features.

  • MIDI input & output,
  • USB ports,
  • Sustain ports,
  • Headphone port.

Look at your home studio and decide what ports you need to connect to the whole recording studio setup.

5) DAW Compatibility and Complimentary software

Most MIDI keyboards today are compatible with all major DAWs like Logic, Ableton, Cubase etc. So, you can be assured that a MIDI keyboard you like will work with the DAW you use for music production.

The MIDI keyboards also come with bundled softwares that include VST instruments and DAW.

Also Read: Do MIDI controllers & keyboards come with speakers or softwares?

Therefore, getting a MIDI keyboard will offer many great choices if you are a beginner and do not want to spend huge money on softwares.

Best Budget MIDI Keyboard Controllers

Last update on 2023-09-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

Here are top seven best budget MIDI keyboard controllers. Let’s go over them one by one.

1) M-Audio Oxygen Pro Mini – 32 Keys

M-Audio Oxygen Pro Mini – 32 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller With Beat Pads, MIDI assignable Knobs, Buttons & Faders and Software Suite Included,black
  • MIDI Keyboard Essentials – 32 velocity-sensitive, semi…
  • Beat Maker Mainstays – 8 RGB backlit MIDI assignable…
  • Total Command of Your Music Production – 4 assignable knobs,…

Last update on 2023-09-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

Product Features

> 32 velocity sensitive keys,
> Four Knobs,
> Four Faders,
> 8 RGB Backlit Pads,
> Arp mode,
> smart chord mode,
> Pitch / mod wheel knobs,
> Compatible with all major DAWs,
> Software bundle – included.

A Deeper Analysis

The M-Audio oxygen Pro Mini is one of the best MIDI keyboards and tops our list of the best affordable MIDI keyboards. It offers a huge set of features, bundles premium softwares, and packs a build quality that lasts.

What I love the most about this MIDI keyboard controller is that you can use it for music production, beat-making, learning piano, or jamming alone or with other artists. There are so many features to this MIDI keyboard, like the scale mode, chord mode, multiple arp settings, latch, and easily accessible transpose buttons.

Also Read: Best MIDI Keyboards for Beginners – Latest Edition!

The four faders and knobs can be assigned to use multiple VST features like cutoff, filters, envelopes, etc. Remember, the 8 RGB drum pads can also be mapped to sounds or the drum rack of your choice.

These features and tools come quite handy when you want to make music straight from the MIDI keyboard itself without going back to DAW time after time.

The M-Audio Oxygen Pro Mini is compact, making a portable MIDI keyboard that you can take on the road and journeys on tours. The build quality remains durable, making this MIDI keyboard a solid road companion.

Nonetheless, the M-Audio includes a free DAW and multiple VST instruments you can register and use immediately. Therefore, if you do not want to invest in a DAW, you can use the DAW bundled with this MIDI controller keyboard.


> Effortless DAW setup,
> Highly cost effective,
> Wide range of softwares included,
> Versatile connectivity options,
> Heavily Loaded with unique and useful features.


> After-touch effect is missing,
> Buttons make noise after hitting!

2) Arturia MiniLab 3 Keyboard Controller – 25 Keys

Arturia MiniLab 3 Mini Hybrid Keyboard Controller
  • GO WITH YOUR FLOW: MiniLab 3 is an easy keyboard controller…
  • PERFORMANCE-READY PORTABILITY: Portable yet robust, MiniLab…

Last update on 2023-09-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

Product Features

> 25 velocity sensitive keys,
> Eight Knobs,
> Four Faders,
> Eight Pads,
> Arp mode,
> smart chord mode,
> Pitch / mod wheel strips,
> Major DAW Compatibility,
> premium Software bundle including Arturia’s Analog lab.

A Deeper Analysis

The Arturia MiniLab 3 Keyboard Controller is a noteworthy upgrade to the Minilab MKII keyboard. The Minilab 3 offers an even lighter keyboard body, four newly added faders, a MIDI out, and a Mini display.

Arturia’s Minilab 3 comes with three endless encoders, four faders, eight pads, and a display which is quite a nice addition. As a music producer and beat maker, the Minilab 3 adds a lot of value to a production environment with seamless DAW integration and auto-mapping with Arturia’s VST instruments. It saves a lot of time you may spend assigning DAW parameters to the keyboard.

Also Read: Best MIDI Keyboards for Music Production – Top Picks for this Year!

In terms of build quality, the Minilab 3 is much lighter when compared to its previous generation, as it replaces a wooden base with a metal bottom piece. It makes the Minilab 3 a great option to carry wherever you travel. Additionally, for connectivity purposes, the keyboard offers a USB-C type port.

Not to forget, you also receive Arturia’s Premium plugin Analog Lab 5 as a part of your purchase. However, the software includes Ableton Live Lite, Piano VSTS, loop cloud subscription, and more!


> Solid build Quality,
> Easy setup,
> Much lighter than the MiniLab MKII,
> Pleasing MIDI keyboard aesthetics,
> Pad includes After touch.


> Thin compatibility with Arturia’s Previous Generation VST’S including V collection 7 and Analog lab 4.

3) AKAI Professional MPK Mini Play MK3 MIDI Keyboard Controller – 25 Keys

AKAI Professional MPK Mini Play MK3 – MIDI Keyboard Controller with Built in Speaker and Sounds Plus Dynamic Keybed, MPC Pads and Software Suite,Black
  • Compact yet powerful standalone mini keyboard with built-in…
  • 25-Key Gen 2 MPK Mini dynamic keybed, OLED Display, 8…
  • Over 100 internal drum and instrument sounds including…

Last update on 2023-09-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

Product Features

> 25 Velocity sensitive Keys,
> Four knobs,
> Build in Speaker,
> Eight Drum Pads,
> USB Connectivity,
> Includes sustain and headphone jack,
> Compatible with all Major DAWs.

A Deeper Analysis

Unlike most MIDI keyboard controllers, the AKAI Professional MPK Mini Play MK3 MIDI Keyboard Controller offers a unique set of features and a speaker unit right into the front panel of the keyboard.

The speaker unit makes this MIDI keyboard quite special which can come in handy in many situations for music producers and artists.

Another unique feature of the MPK Mini Play is its sound in the MIDI controller. You do not need to connect this keyboard to a DAW or studio monitor to listen to what you play. Since it has a speaker unit and in-built sounds, you can play it as a standalone instrument.

Using the display and knobs, choose the sound, and with the speaker’s help, you can listen to what you play without needing anything. It is quite a remarkable feature. You can also add reverb, attack, delay, and filter processing to the sound you are playing. No MIDI keyboard in this price range offers such unique and useful features.

Also, this MIDI keyboard offers a great option for anyone to learn piano and basic music theory. It comes with a speaker and multiple sounds built into the controller.

Now coming to the more generic stuff about this keyboard, it has a lot better quality than its successors. It includes improved pads, better-quality keys, and endless encoder knobs. Also, the pads on this thing feel much better for finger drumming and creating drum patterns.

Regarding connectivity ports, the AKAI Professional MPK Mini Play MK3 MIDI keyboard controller offers a sustain port, headphone jack, and USB connection.

This is one of the best budget MIDI keyboards you can buy this year for music production, learning piano, music theory, creating beats, or just for jamming purposes.


> Comes with build in speaker,
> Feels highly durable with solid build,
> Wide range of features and useful controls,
> Versatile software bundle, good for beginners.


> Lacks MIDI input and output,
> May lose assigned knobs or faders with certain DAWs once the session is closed.

4) Novation Launchkey Mini [MK3] Midi Keyboard – 25 Key

Novation Launchkey Mini [MK3] — Portable 25-Key, USB, MIDI Keyboard Controller with DAW Integration. Chord Mode, Scale Mode, and Arpeggiator — for Music Production
  • Get hands on with Ableton Live – Have a seamless music…
  • Get creative easily with arpeggiator – Easy to use but…
  • Play chords with one finger – Lay down chords for your track…

Last update on 2023-09-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

Product Features

> 25 keys,
> 8 Assignable knobs,
> 16 RGB drum pads,
> mod and pitch strips,
> smart chord mode,
> Includes MIDI output,
> Numerous arp patterns.

A Deeper Analysis

The Novation Launchkey Mini [MK3] Midi Keyboard is a great choice for beat makers and music producers, thanks to its sixteen drum pads.

This MIDI keyboard controller comes packed with everything you need for a smooth music production workflow. It offers pitch/mod strips, eight assignable knobs, a transpose button, record, play, Arp buttons, and other function controllers. Additionally, the arp features can also be changed or modified using the keys on the controller.

These features allow any music artist to make unlimited music without worrying about switching back and forth between DAW and external instruments. You can control important DAW features right from the controller itself.

Trust me when I say it is one of the smoothest MIDI keyboards I have used. The pads on this controller are right on point, and by holding shift, you can use the pads for multiple functions. You can assign drum sounds, instrument sounds, DAW controls, etc., to the controller pads. Using different banks, the sixteen pads can be assigned multiple times to different sounds or controls.

The back panel of the MIDI controller offers a sustain, USB, and MIDI out port which is quite nice because you do not know when you may need to use them. Having them in the controller gives you confidence that everything is controlled and ready.


> Great overall design and build,
> Highly portable,
> Comes with a MIDI out,


> There is no after touch,
> Lacks faders.

5) Nektar Impact LX25+ USB MIDI Controller Keyboard – 25 Keys

Nektar Impact LX25+ | USB MIDI Controller Keyboard with Nektar DAW Integration Dark Grey
  • Premium midi controller with 25 expressive synth-action…
  • 8 Hyper-Sensitive backlit pads
  • Mac, PC and iOS compatible

Last update on 2023-09-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

Product Features

> 25 Velocity-Sensitive Keys,
> 8 RGB Drumpads,
> 8 Assignable knobs,
> comes with Modulation and Pitch Bend Wheels
> Pre-mapped with DAW,
> Sustain pedal & USB connectivity.

A Deeper Analysis

The Nektar Impact LX25+ USB MIDI Controller Keyboard is a great fit for artists or producers looking for a portable MIDI controller. A great thing about this controller is that it has full-sized keys like that of a regular keyboard or piano.

The full-sized keys offer piano players a special surprise, as most MIDI keyboard controllers have small keys. But, with the Nektar Impact LX25+, you can play piano-like keys.

This MIDI controller packs 25 velocity-sensitive keys, eight knobs, pads, faders, and DAW controls. The Standard MIDI controls include transpose buttons and a mod/pitch wheel.

The Nektar Impact LX25+ USB MIDI Controller Keyboard is compatible with all major DAWs and bundles with Bitwig 8-track. The overall setup process of this best-budget MIDI keyboard is simple with mainstream DAWs. Also, the assignment of knobs and pads is smooth and incurs no real-time latency.

Also, the back panel of the MIDI keyboard houses a USB and sustain port which is quite handy across music environments.


> great cost efficiency,
> includes a display,
> Simple knob assignment,
> Loaded with unique and useful features,
> Compatible with all major DAWs.


> Lacks MIDI port,
> Feels heavy than other similar MIDI keyboards.

6) AKAI Professional APC Key 25 MK2 – 25 Keys

AKAI Professional APC Key 25 MK2 – 25-Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller for Clip Launching with Ableton Live Lite, 40 RGB Pads and 8 Rotary Knobs,Black
  • Total Control – Ableton Live USB MIDI Keyboard Controller…
  • Ableton Live Lite Included – An industry-leading DAW for PC…
  • Bright 5×8 RGB Pad Matrix – 40 RGB pads for launching clips…

Last update on 2023-09-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

Product Features

> 25 velocity sensitive keys,
> 8 assignable knobs,
> 40 pads,
> 4 directional arrow buttons,
> comes Pitch wheel and mod wheel,
> USB powered,
> Sustain input included.

A Deeper Analysis

The AKAI Professional APC Key 25 MK2 is one of the best budget Ableton Live MIDI controller keyboards. It is an intuitive keyboard where you can control every Abelton parameter, like track, volume, sends, pan, etc., straight from the controller keyboard itself.

Moreover, the build quality of the AKAI Professional MK2 has significantly improved. It now offers solid pads, endless encoders, and solid build material. The key-bed also feels much better when you play the keyboard. Overall, it is a nice and useful upgrade to the previous generation AKAI APC.

It offers forty pads, eight assignable encoders, and other conventional features. The main power of this MIDI keyboard lies with forty pads from where you can control every aspect of a DAW.

These pads can also be assigned with custom sounds and used in sets to make the production process even more flawless.

A drawback with APC MK2 is that it only offers a USB port to power up the MIDI controller. Also, instead of the sustain pedal, there is a sustain button on the front panel of the APC MK2. Nonetheless, I would have loved to see a MIDI output port on this upgrade of the AKAI APC.


> Abelton DAW integration,
> Whopping amount of Drum pads,
> 4 directional arrow buttons to control DAW controls,
> Light-weight and portable.


> Lacks MIDI out.

7) Alesis Q49 MKII MIDI Keyboard Controller – 49 Key

Alesis Q49 MKII – 49 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with Full Size Velocity Sensitive Synth Action Keys and Music Production Software Included
  • Music Production and Beat Maker Essential – USB powered…
  • Complete Control – Octave / Transpose buttons to access the…
  • Universal Compatibility – Complete compatibility with any…

Last update on 2023-09-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

Product Features

> 49 velocity sensitive keys,
> Comes with pitch bend and Mod Wheel,
> Assignable volume fader,
> USB Connectivity,
> Sustain pedal included.

A Deeper Analysis

The Alesis Q49 MKII MIDI Keyboard Controller is a great budget option MIDI keyboard under $100. This is one of the budget MIDI keyboards built to fulfill your studio’s basic instrument or keyboard needs.

The build quality of the Alesis MIDI Keyboard feels durable and lasting even though it includes only plastic material. Moreover, the semi-weighted keys feel decent and nice to play. For a price under $100, there is not much to complain about after all.

Also Read: Best MIDI Keyboard controllers under $100!

It incorporates features such as record, play, and stop buttons from recording music onto the DAW. The MIDI controller offers basic controls such as octave transpose buttons and pitch/mod wheels like a regular keyboard.

In terms of the software bundle, you can find MPC beats, Pro Tools, and music lessons from melodics, making it a beginner-friendly artist or music producer.

Lastly, the Alesis Q49 MKII MIDI Keyboard Controller offers a USB connection and a port to connect a sustain pedal.


> Highly cost effective,
> Simple setup and fairly easy to use,
> Plug and play concept!


> Lacks major features like assignable knobs, faders etc.


We are now in the ending section of this article. In this article, we saw some of the best budget MIDI keyboard controllers that offer a high value for their price and do not take away much from the pocket.

Lastly, do not forget to comment down below and mention some of your favourite MIDI keyboard controllers that this article may have missed.

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