In our list, you’ll find something that will fit your needs whether you are looking for an instrument that sound and feel like a real piano, something friendly and portable to travel with or even one with pads and extra buttons.
Best Midi keyboard Under 500 – There are genuine reasons for buying every controller on this list. As always you should base your decision on which one suits your needs most.
Think about your budget, your workspace, and what style you play most. Do that till you eliminate any unsuitable keyboards then you should be left with a smaller list to choose from.
Hopefully, our small MIDI controller reviews can help you out, enjoy!
Be aware of all the different key counts available on the market and select the one which suits your needs. If you know the different types of key action and the purposes or the use for which they are designed for, you can choose the right MIDI keyboard with confidence.
Pros & Cons
- Nektar's most advanced MIDI Controller. 49 semi-weighted full-size velocity sensitive keys + aftertouch. Amazing number of controls available includes 100mm ALPS motorized touch-sensitive high resolution fader.
- Deep DAW integration for Cubase, Logic, Studio One, Bitwig Studio, Nuendo, Mainstage, Reason and Reaper.
- Comprehensive MIDI functionailty. Compatible with all MIDI music software applications
- Mac and PC compatible
- Includes PreSonus Studio One Artist DAW
Pros & Cons
- Provides you with 37 full-sized keys that you'll really enjoy playing (3 Octaves), Configurable via Xkey Plus free app for iOS, Mac OSX, and Windows
- 100% MIDI compliant : Use Xkey with your favorite music apps on your favorite devices. Works out of the box, Pressure sensitive Pitch bend and Modulation buttons, with continuous MIDI control data.
- Velocity sensitive : Play loud with one hand, soft with the other. There's 128 levels of sensitivity
- Aluminum Body : Robust; high quality construction. Looks great. Same finish as a MacBook / Body is only .62 inches tall. XCable is not included (Sold separately)
- Octave +/- push buttons / Sustain button / USB Powered (no external power supply needed).Firmware upgradable via USB / Activity indicator LED. X-Cable Sold Separately (With MIDI OUT, Expression & Sustain Pedals Inputs)
Pros & Cons
- Ultra-responsive semi weighted keyboard with aftertouch
- Full DAW/plug-in control surface with 8 knobs, 1 fader and button
- Automap 4 control software enables instant hands-on access to your DAW and plug-ins
- Multi-function drum pads enable you to warp arpeggios, roll beats and launch clips in Ableton Live
- Includes downloads for: Ableton Live Lite, Novation’s Bass Station synth, XLN Audio Addictive Keys, and a Loopmasters Sample Pack. Novation now offers a 3-Year Warranty on this and all other Novation products.
Pros & Cons
- 88 note Fatar TP/100LR keybed
- High quality, aftertouch, velocity sensitive, hammer-action, piano feel keyboard
- 16 RGB-backlit performance pads
- Control bank with 9 faders and 9 rotary knobs
- Please note: stand not included
Pros & Cons
- Class Compliant USB Audio/MIDI for true "plug and play" connectivity without installing any drivers
- Motif Sound Engine: layer, zone, switch, cycle, randomize and control up to 8 elements within a single voice
- Virtual Circuit Modeling re-creates the sound and behavior of vintage effects and signal processors
- 128 notes of polyphony ensures dropout-free performance playing live or with full 16-track sequences
- Record/playback stereo audio and 16 channels of MIDI data via a single USB cable without any external devices
Pros & Cons
- Music Production and Beat Maker Essential - USB powered MIDI controller with 25 mini MIDI keyboard velocity-sensitive keys for studio production, virtual synthesizer control and beat production
- Total Control of your Production - Innovative 4-way thumbstick for dynamic pitch and modulation control, plus a built-in arpeggiator with adjustable resolution, range and modes
- The MPC Experience - 8 backlit velocity-sensitive MPC-style MIDI beat pads with Note Repeat and Full Level for programming drums, triggering samples and controlling virtual synthesizer / DAW controls
- Complete Command of your Virtual Instruments and FX - 8 360-degree knobs assign to all your music studio plugins for mixing, tweaking synth controls and more
- 1500 plus Sounds and Everything You Need for Pro Production - Complete Music Production Starter Kit including MPC Beats, 6 Virtual Instruments and 2GB of sound content
Pros & Cons
- Perfect Feel, Ultimate Response - 88 fully-weighted, hammer-action velocity-sensitive keys deliver natural piano feel, faithfully replicating every subtle nuance of your performance
- Plug & Play - Driverless class compliant and USB powered specification provides seamless USB-MIDI connection for playing virtual instruments, controlling recording software and more
- Express Yourself - Conveniently located pitch bend, modulation, volume and octave controls for immersive, expressive performances
- All The Right Connections - Expanded control options for Inputs for Sustain, Expression and Soft pedals included
- Free Online Lessons - Includes FREE 3-month subscription to Skoove. The easiest way to learn piano with interactive piano lessons for beginners and advanced players
- Pro Software Suite Included – MPC Beats, Ableton Live Lite, Eighty Eight Ensemble, AIR Music Tech’s Velvet, Mini Grand, DB33, and Touch Loops
Pros & Cons
- Inspiring feel and response for serious players
- Velocity-sensitive 61 keys with channel after touch
- 45 assignable controls: knobs, sliders, buttons, transport and more
- USB Bus Powered - no AC adaptor required (AC adaptor is an optional)
- 8 Dynamic Pads for finger drumming and MIDI triggering
- Works with any DAW on Mac or PC (Supports Windows 7 and Mac OS X Snow Leopard)
- Durable Roland-quality manufacturing and craftsmanship
- Sure-grip Pitch Bend/Modulation Stick
- Expand playability with sustain and expression pedals (available separately)
Pros & Cons
- 88-key hammer action TP/100LR keyboard with After touch
- Compact, lightweight, extremely portable professional controller
- 3 default velocity curves and fixed curve with a programmable value; 6 editable user velocity curves
- Razor-sharp color graphic LCD-TFT display with 320 x 240 resolution; 3 XY stick controllers for real-time control; powerful new software editor
- Magnetic rail system works with Studio logic Magnetic Computer Plate and Magnetic Music Stand (each sold separately)
Pros & Cons
- BUNDLE INCLUDES: Korg nanoKEY Studio Bluetooth and USB MIDI Keyboard Controller, Knox Gear TX-100 Closed-Back Studio Monitor Headphones, and Knox Gear 3.0 4 Port USB Hub
- CONNECTS VIA USB OR WIRELESSLY: The nanoKEY Studio can connect not only via USB but also wirelessly. It’s easy to connect to an iPad/iPhone music app such as Korg Gadget or Apple GarageBand, or to your Mac/Windows music production software
- LIGHTWEIGHT AND COMPACT DESIGN: With a simple, refined, and stylish design, along with beautiful lighting with white LEDs, you won’t get tired of using it every day. With its modern design, the nanoKEY Studio is ideal for use with new devices such as your laptop, tablet, or smartphone
- EIGHT HIGH-SENSITIVITY TRIGGER PADS: The eight velocity-sensitive trigger pads will convey every dynamic nuance of your drum performance. You can also assign the pads to trigger audio clips. These pads are not limited by musical genre; they deliver all-purpose music production power. Touch pad inherited from the Kaoss series provides one-finger control of software synthesizers
Best Midi keyboard Under 500 – BUYER’S GUIDE
When choosing a MIDI keyboard, you’ll quickly discover that the prices can range from $80 to $500 and even more. So ask yourself how much are you looking to spend then be sure to stick to your budget.
The Key Count
This is completely down to personal preference. MIDI keyboards are available in many different key counts, and it’s good to know what their applications are. Key counts vary from 25, 32, 37, 49, 61 to 88. Some people may prefer the original or traditional piano and might opt for an 88 key MIDI keyboard since the traditional piano has the same number of keys. On the other hand, some people might do a lot of traveling, so a smaller keyboard with 25, 33 or 37 keys are better suited to their lifestyles.
There are three different types of key actions which all serve different purposes. The three different key action types of a MIDI keyboard are discussed below.
This is the most common key action found in most MIDI keyboards. The synth-action keys use a spring and are made up of plastic. There is no weight attached to the keys of a synth-action MIDI keyboard, but when you press or release a key, it returns to its original position with the help of a spring, making it pretty fast.
As the name suggests, the keys of a semi-weighted key action MIDI keyboard use a lightweight attached to the end of every key. In this case, the keys aren’t made of plastic. The semi-weighted key action keyboards are not as fast as the synth action, but give you a slightly more realistic feel that is somewhat close to a traditional piano.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to choose a MIDI Keyboard?
When shopping around for a product, there are some questions you have to ask yourself before purchasing it. The same is true of MIDI keyboards. Before buying a MIDI keyboard, be sure to do your homework. Figure out what features you need to avoid buying a MIDI keyboard that may have a high price tag attached to it but isn’t right for you.
A MIDI keyboard controller is an essential piece of music gear in today’s home studio.
A piano melody here, a beat there… Having both the physical touch of a keyboard and the editing freedom of MIDI is a blessing in music production.
Getting the best MIDI controller for your creative needs will take your DAW software to new heights. Playing a soft synth with a MIDI keyboard is pretty much like playing the real thing – for a fraction of the price.