Best MIDI Keyboard controllers under $100! – The 7 Top Picks!

MIDI Keyboard controller under $100
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In this article, we are looking at some of the best MIDI keyboard controllers under $100.

There are a lot of MIDI keyboards under $100, however, not all them are cost-effective. Also, some MIDI keyboards lack a solid build whereas others lack a number of useful features for music artists.

This article will guide you through some of the best selling and top rated MIDI keyboards that pack a number of useful features for music production, songwriting and to learn music theory or practice piano playing.

Best MIDI Keyboard controllers under $100

Here are some of the best MIDI Keyboard controllers under $100.

1) AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 USB MIDI Keyboard Controller

Product Features

> 25 velocity sensitive keys,
> 8 knobs,
> 8 RGB assignable pads,
> 4 way joystick,
> Includes sustain and USB ports,
> Arp, note repeat, and octave up/down buttons.

A Deeper Analysis

The AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 is the latest edition of the world’s most popular keyboard, costing less than $100. A lot of things have been improved with this edition. However, they could have included more features in this keyboard.

Also, the latest version of the MPK Mini offers endless encoders, an improved key-bed, and MPC-style pad units suitable for finger drumming. Next, the keyboard comes with 25 velocity-sensitive keys, eight pads, knobs, and a four-way joystick.

Also Read: Best MIDI Keyboards for Music Production!

Nonetheless, this keyboard is also an excellent choice for live performances. Several valuable features include Arp, arp pattern, octave buttons, sustain, and more. All in all, it is an excellent controller for recording studios as well as a live environment.

The AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 USB MIDI Keyboard Controller is compatible with all major DAWs such as Ableton, Logic, Cubase, etc. The software bundle includes some interesting instrument VST, making it one of the best MIDI keyboards under $100.

However, AKAI could have included a MIDI port in this latest edition.

Pros

> Significantly improved build quality than MK2,
> High quality key-bed and drum pad units,
> A wide range of features and software included.

Cons

> Lacks MIDI port.

2) Arturia MINILAB MKII USB MIDI Keyboard

Product Features

> 25 velocity sensitive keys,
> 16 encoders or knobs,
> 8 RGB pad units,
> Smart chord,
> Touch strip Pitch / Mod control,
> Includes sustain and USB ports.

A Deeper Analysis

Another outstanding MIDI keyboard you may not want to miss is the Arturia MINILAB MKII USB MIDI Keyboard. This MIDI keyboard looks aesthetically pleasing and has a solid build quality and finish.

Furthermore, the key-bed, pad units and knobs feel much better than the previous generation. The pad units are now much more suitable and adequate for finger drumming during a studio or live session.

The Arturia MINILAB MKII USB MIDI Keyboard packs 25 velocity-sensitive keys, sixteen encoders or knobs, eight pads, a touch strip to control mod/pitch and other intelligent features.

It also has other valuable features such as smart chord, arp modes and other basic controls for a great creative workflow to make the overall process much smoother and effortless.

Another thing worth mentioning is the keyboard’s size and how portable it is.

The Arturia MINILAB MKII USB MIDI Keyboard is more extensive than AKAI Mini play keyboards, making artists prefer one keyboard over the other. If you ask, looking at the keyboards in terms of all the aspects, picking Minilab MK2 is a much brighter option.

The rear panel of the Arturia MINILAB MKII USB MIDI Keyboard houses a sustain and USB port, making it a great studio and travel companion. However, the keyboard lacks a MIDI port.

Pros

> Aesthetic design,
> Solid build quality,
> Packs a good software bundle.

Cons

> No Faders units,
> Lacks MIDI port.

3) AKAI Professional MPK Mini MKII USB MIDI Keyboard Controller

Product Features

> 25 velocity sensitive keys,
> 8 knobs,
> 8 RGB assignable pads,
> 4 way joystick,
> Includes sustain and USB ports,
> Arp, note repeat, and octave up/down buttons.

A Deeper Analysis

The AKAI Professional MPK Mini MKII is one of the most popular MIDI keyboards among home producers and producers who are mostly traveling. Because it packs enormous features and controls, it has become a go-to MIDI keyboard controller for many worldwide producers.

AKAI’s Professional MPK Mini MKII packs 25 velocity-sensitive keys, eight knobs, pads, a four-way joystick, and other notable controls such as arp, tempo, transpose, etc. The pad units feel quite comfortable for finger drumming if you wish to do so.

The build quality has significantly improved from its previous generation and feels pretty firm. You can find better pads, keybed, and knob quality. The design has also been changed to look more aesthetically appealing.

Furthermore, the rear panel of the keyboard houses a USB and sustain port. These ports offer an excellent range of use cases in the studio and a live environment making this keyboard a bang for its price.

Pros

> Best selling MIDI keyboard under $100,
> includes a good set of softwares,
> Compatible with all major DAWs.

Cons

> Lacks MIDI port,
> pad quality feels sub-standard.

4) Nektar Impact LX25+ USB MIDI Controller Keyboard

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+ is the only mini MIDI keyboard in which you will get complete-sized piano keys. A great thing I love about this MIDI keyboard is that it is still highly portable even though there are full-sized keys and several other valuable controls.

Related: Best Budget MIDI Keyboard Controllers!

Most importantly, the feature that makes the Nektar Impact LX25+ stand out from other keyboards in the market is that it is pre-mapped with major DAWs like Logic, Cubase, Reasons and more. However, it lacks function mapping with Ableton Live.

There are 25 velocity-sensitive keys, eight assignable pads and knobs in the Nektar Impact LX25+ USB MIDI Controller Keyboard. These features extend their use in the studio as well as live settings or for jamming purposes.

The rear panel consists of sustain and a USB port for extended connectivity in a studio environment. However, Nektar Impact LX25+ USB MIDI Controller Keyboard lacks a MIDI OUT port which could have been incredible.

Pros

> Pre-mapped functions with major DAWs.
> Comes with full sized keys,
> Great build quality,

Cons

> Lacks MIDI port.

5) M-Audio Keystation 49 MK3 USB MIDI Keyboard Controller

Product Features

> 49 velocity sensitive keys,
> 4 directional buttons,
> Includes a pitch and mod wheel,
> Comes with Sustain and USB port.

A Deeper Analysis

The M-Audio Keystation 49 MK3 USB MIDI Keyboard Controller is a go-to MIDI keyboard for most music producers. I have seen this MIDI keyboard a lot in home recording studios due to the considerable number of keys it offers.

M-Audio’s Keystation MK3 comes with 49 velocity-sensitive keys, one fader, pitch/mod wheels and directional buttons. The only fader present can be assigned to control any one parameter of a DAW or VST instrument which is a massive downside of this controller since most keyboards include atleast four fader units.

However, the build quality of the M-Audio Keystation 49 is highly plastic-y, and the reviews about it, considering the build, are not good. It is below the build quality of any other MIDI keyboard mentioned in this article.

The main reason most producers and artists go for the -Audio Keystation is the number of keys(45) it offers in this price range of under $100. No other budget keyboard offers this many keys.

Since there are no assignable knobs and faders, it is not an excellent MIDI keyboard if you also want to make beats and control VST instrument parameters. For such use cases, I recommend checking other MIDI keyboards mentioned in this list.

Pros

> Offers more keys than any keyboard in this price segment,
> A good choice for newbie music producers,
> Cost effective MIDI keyboard.

Cons

> Plastic build quality,
> Lacks MIDI port.

6) AKAI Professional APC Key 25 MK2 USB MIDI Keyboard

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 is an exclusive Ableton Live MIDI controller based on the flagship model AKAI MPC 40. As said earlier, it is a great Ableton Live Controller, and you can map each DAW parameter to the pads on the controller.

It comes with 25 velocity-sensitive keys, eight assignable knobs, forty pad units, and four directional buttons to navigate controls in a DAW. You can see Ableton Live’s session view using the pad units, including launching and recording clips and track instances.

Also, with the help of the shift button, you can assign new parameters to the soft keys on the side of the pads, giving you even more control over each parameter of your DAW.

The pad quality feels nice on contact and great for finger drumming, especially in a live setting. The encoders also have a much more robust feel than the previous generation controller.

The back side of the controller houses a USB and a sustain port, making it a great studio companion. Since it is small, you can also carry it while travelling.

Lastly, AKAI Professional APC Key 25 MK2 USB MIDI Keyboard is a great Ableton Live controller. You can control every DAW parameter right from the controller, such as launching, recording, changing tracks, etc. However, if you use multiple DAWS, maybe one in a studio and other one in your home, I suggest skipping this MIDI keyboard controller.

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

Cons

> Lacks MIDI out.

7) Alesis Qmini USB MIDI Keyboard Controller

Product Features

> 32 velocity sensitive keys,
> Pitch / Mod button,
> Volume knob,
> sustain button,
> Transpose controls,
> USB Powered.

A Deeper Analysis

The Alesis Qmini USB MIDI Keyboard Controller offers a great portable option for artists looking for a MIDI keyboard primarily with keys and few functions. Nonetheless, it is an excellent choice for recording studios as it acts like any other MIDI keyboard.

This portable and budget-friendly keyboard contains 32 velocity-sensitive keys, a volume knob, and sustain, transpose and pitch bend buttons. These feature any music producer or artist a lot of flexibility to develop melodies, bass lines and even drum beats (by mapping a drum rack to keys).

The build quality of the MIDI keyboard controller feels highly durable. Also, the key-bed quality is good and on par with most other keyboards in this price range.

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

However, if you are someone looking for a feature-heavy MIDI keyboard with knobs, faders and pads, there are other MIDI keyboards that you can opt.

The rear panel of the keyboard houses a USB port to power up and connect it to a computer. However, the Alesis Qmini lacks a MIDI port which could have been quite a nice feature.

Pros

> Cost effective,
> Great option for artists beginning in music production,
> Comes with good software bundle.

Cons

> Lacks MIDI out,
> Not a suitable fit for intermediate to advanced producers and beat makers.

Conclusion

Mostly, the MIDI keyboard you choose depends on multiple factors. These include:

  • Use cases,
  • Current requirements,
  • Studio setup,
  • Future Goals,
  • Learning piano skills.

Consider these factors, and you will be another step closer to getting one of the Best MIDI Keyboard controllers under $100.

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