May 2024

MIDI Controllers: MetaRanking

This page highlights the aggregate summary of MIDI controllers rankings posted by key online experts, as of May 2024.

Summary

On 3 May 2024, ReviewFinder team examined a total of 86 MIDI controller endorsements from 10 reputable publishers.

69 MIDI controllers were endorsed in total, only 13 made it into this month's ranking. (ReviewFinder requires a minimum of 2 endorsements to be included)

As of 3 May 2024, Akai MPK Mini MKII 25 takes the cake as the most critically-acclaimed MIDI controller with 4 expert endorsements. 3 experts out of 4 recommended it as the '#1 MIDI controller' this month.

Brand breakdown
Show all brands

Price breakdown
As can be seen in the chart below, lowest high-ranking MIDI controllers start at $38.90 (Korg NanoKey 2) and go up to $2499 (Kawai VPC1). Median MIDI controller costs $199.99 (Novation Impulse 25).
$38.90
$2499

At a glance - May Ranking

Scroll horizontally to browse this ranking table
Rank Change Price MIDI Controller
Consordini
Prime Sound
E-Home Recording Studio
Spy
The Guitar Junky
Music Critic
Keyboard Kraze
Gearank
Music Radar
Digital Piano Judge
1
- $92
Akai MPK Mini MKII 25
The Akai MPK Mini MKII 25 MIDI Controller is a compact and versatile option for musicians and producers looking for a portable and affordable MIDI controller for creating electronic music and controlling parameters in music production software.
1
1
-
-
1
7
-
-
-
-
2
- $349
Akai Pro MPK249
The Akai Pro MPK249 is a MIDI controller keyboard with 49 semi-weighted keys, a range of controls, and excellent build quality, making it a reliable choice for musicians and producers.
-
-
-
-
-
3
-
-
-
1
3
- $109
Arturia MiniLab MkII
The Arturia MiniLab MkII is a compact and portable MIDI keyboard controller with 25 mini-sized keys, 16 assignable knobs, and USB connectivity, making it a versatile option for musicians and producers on-the-go.
-
4
-
-
-
-
-
1
-
-
4
- $110
Novation Launchkey Mini 25-Note
-
2
-
-
5
8
-
-
-
-
5
- Check price
NI Komplete Kontrol S88 MkII
The NI Komplete Kontrol S88 MkII is a highly regarded MIDI controller that offers a realistic piano playing experience and precise control over parameters, making it a top choice for professional musicians and producers.
7
-
-
-
-
-
-
8
7
-
6
- Check price
Akai Professional MPD226
-
-
-
3
-
-
3
-
-
-
7
+1 $99
Akai MPK Mini MK3
The Akai MPK Mini MK3 is a highly regarded MIDI controller that offers a range of features and functionality, including 25 mini-sized keys, programmable knobs, and a compact and lightweight design, making it a reliable and versatile option for musicians and producers.
-
-
4
-
-
-
-
2
-
-
8
+1 Check price
Native Instruments Maschine Mk3
The Native Instruments Maschine Mk3 is a versatile and durable MIDI controller and audio interface designed for beat production and sequencing, with features such as large velocity-sensitive pads, dedicated keyboard and chord buttons, and multiple connectivity options.
-
-
-
2
-
-
4
-
-
-
9
-2 $499
M-Audio Hammer 88
The M-Audio Hammer 88 MIDI Controller is a highly praised and versatile MIDI controller that offers a realistic piano feel and the ability to control various parameters in music production software, making it a solid choice for professional musicians and serious enthusiasts.
2
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
4
10
- $120
Nektar Impact LX25 Plus
-
3
-
-
4
-
-
-
-
-
16
- $119
M-Audio Keystation 49 MK3
The M-Audio Keystation 49 MK3 is a versatile and portable MIDI controller with realistic keyboard action, customizable controls, and USB connectivity, making it a great option for musicians of all levels.
4
-
-
-
-
4
-
-
-
-
17
- $320
Nektar Impact LX88 Plus
-
-
-
-
-
-
11
-
5
-
18
- $999
Arturia Keylab 88 MKII
The Arturia Keylab 88 MKII is a highly praised MIDI controller keyboard that offers a realistic piano playing experience, versatile control options, and a wide range of connectivity, making it a valuable tool for musicians and producers in both studio and live performances.
-
-
-
-
-
-
9
7
-
-

; ; ;
#1 $92.22 Akai MPK Mini MKII 25
#7 $99 Akai MPK Mini MK3
#3 $109 Arturia MiniLab MkII
#4 $109.99 Novation Launchkey Mini 25-Note
#16 $119 M-Audio Keystation 49 MK3
#10 $119.99 Nektar Impact LX25 Plus
#6 $185 Akai Professional MPD226
#17 $319.99 Nektar Impact LX88 Plus
#2 $349 Akai Pro MPK249
#9 $499 M-Audio Hammer 88
#18 $999 Arturia Keylab 88 MKII

We ranked Akai MPK Mini MKII 25 #1 in May 2024 because:

  • 4 independent experts mentioned it in their “best MIDI controllers” rankings.
  • Out of those, 3 experts ranked Akai MPK Mini MKII 25 as #1.
Expert Consensus
(as of 30 Aug 2023)
The Akai MPK Mini MKII 25 MIDI Controller is a compact and versatile option for musicians and producers looking for a portable and affordable MIDI controller for creating electronic music and controlling parameters in music production software.
Critic endorsements:
Consordini

A Personal Favorite

Authentic MPC pads.
Intuitive thumbstick.
Arpeggiator.
Note repeat.
Fantastic software bundle.
8 assignable knobs.
Sustain pedal input.

Small keys take some practice.

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Prime Sound

Editor's Choice

Portable
Plenty of bundled software
Excellent value for money
Impressive pad quality

Comes with just eight pads
Knobs lack a satisfying click and feel lightweight

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The Guitar Junky

Editor's Choice

Has the learning curve to progress as you go
Fun to use and beginners won't have trouble understanding
Budget-friendly and with the sleek look

Software seems a bit intimidating at first
Some complaints of flimsy keys

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Music Critic

Can easily fit into backpacks and on a production desk.
8 rubber drum pads that are velocity sensitive.

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We ranked Akai Pro MPK249 #2 in May 2024 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best MIDI controllers” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Akai Pro MPK249 as #1.
Expert Consensus
(as of 30 Aug 2023)
The Akai Pro MPK249 is a MIDI controller keyboard with 49 semi-weighted keys, a range of controls, and excellent build quality, making it a reliable choice for musicians and producers.
Critic endorsements:
Music Critic

Best Value

Has an all-in-one controller with keyboard and trigger pads.
Comes with 8 control knobs, 8 faders, and 8 switches.
Semi-weighted action with 49 full-size keys that are pressure sensitive.

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Digital Piano Judge

Assignable knobs and faders give a full performance workspace.
Easy to set up.
Arpeggiator, note repeat and other inbuilt effects.
Lights up, so you can see what you are doing on stage.
Semi-weighted keys for a piano feel.

Expensive

Go to ranking

Methodology: combine opinions of key experts

Identify Experts

We identify key publishers and experts that consistently review and recommend MIDI controllers.

Capture Rankings

For each publisher we find a currently recommended "top 10" list of MIDI controllers, it must be updated in the last 9 months.

Aggregate Rankings

We put all those lists together and aggregate them. The more frequently a product is recommended, the higher it is in our ranking

Experts chosen for May 2024 ranking

We ranked Arturia MiniLab MkII #3 in May 2024 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best MIDI controllers” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Arturia MiniLab MkII as #1.
Expert Consensus
(as of 30 Aug 2023)
The Arturia MiniLab MkII is a compact and portable MIDI keyboard controller with 25 mini-sized keys, 16 assignable knobs, and USB connectivity, making it a versatile option for musicians and producers on-the-go.
Critic endorsements:
Prime Sound

Best Slim Keys Controller

Impressive portability
16 rotary controllers
Seamlessly integrates with Analog Lab Litem Ableton Live Lite, and other software

Some might not fancy the touch strip controllers

Go to ranking

Gearank

Best MIDI Keyboard Controllers Under $200

Great value for money
Lots of encoders and pads
Synth action keys feel great

Knobs feel cheap
Touch strips feel like a compromise
Pads a bit small

Go to ranking

We ranked Novation Launchkey Mini 25-Note #4 in May 2024 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best MIDI controllers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Prime Sound

Budget Pick

USB-Powered
Portable and compact design
Comes with Ableton Live Lite 9 software
25 synth-style mini keys

Lacks a thumb joystick

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The Guitar Junky

Many options and controls for more ways to create music
Small and compact
Easy to bring around
Solid build and looks like it's made to last

Keys may not be the most responsive
Takes a lot of time to set up and learn from

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Music Critic

Designed for Ableton Live.
Comes in equipped with 16 velocity sensitive multi-color pads.
8 knobs, control buttons, and dedicated navigation.

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We ranked NI Komplete Kontrol S88 MkII #5 in May 2024 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best MIDI controllers” rankings.
Expert Consensus
(as of 30 Aug 2023)
The NI Komplete Kontrol S88 MkII is a highly regarded MIDI controller that offers a realistic piano playing experience and precise control over parameters, making it a top choice for professional musicians and producers.
Critic endorsements:
Consordini

Best All-Rounder (Runner-Up)

Very good hammer-action keys.
Aftertouch.
Touch strip, pitch bend, and modulation wheel.
RGB color indicators.
Pre-mapped integration with all Complete instruments.
Two high-res colour screens.
Komplete Kontrol and Komplete 12 Select included.

No drum/sample pads.

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Gearank

Best MIDI Keyboard Controller Over $1000

Best for integration with NI Komplete Software
The Fater keybed strikes a good balance between piano-like hammer action and synth action feel
KOMPLETE SELECT is included free

Those who play hammond style organs will find its piano action isn't the best for organ slides

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Music Radar

The best smart MIDI controller for your plugins and DAW

Tight Komplete and DAW integration
Provides playing assistance
Spend less time with your mouse

No sliders

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We ranked Akai Professional MPD226 #6 in May 2024 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best MIDI controllers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Spy

Best Budget MIDI Controller

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Keyboard Kraze

Best Budget MIDI Drum Pad

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We ranked Akai MPK Mini MK3 #7 in May 2024 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best MIDI controllers” rankings.
Expert Consensus
(as of 30 Aug 2023)
The Akai MPK Mini MK3 is a highly regarded MIDI controller that offers a range of features and functionality, including 25 mini-sized keys, programmable knobs, and a compact and lightweight design, making it a reliable and versatile option for musicians and producers.
Critic endorsements:
E-Home Recording Studio

The Perfect Hybrid MIDI Controller for the Mobile Musician

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Gearank

Best MIDI Keyboard Controllers Under $200

Solid, durable build
The pads are nice and big
Great as a portable controller to use with a laptop

The small keys are a put-off if you're used to full-size keys

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We ranked Native Instruments Maschine Mk3 #8 in May 2024 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best MIDI controllers” rankings.
Expert Consensus
(as of 30 Aug 2023)
The Native Instruments Maschine Mk3 is a versatile and durable MIDI controller and audio interface designed for beat production and sequencing, with features such as large velocity-sensitive pads, dedicated keyboard and chord buttons, and multiple connectivity options.
Critic endorsements:
Spy

Runner Up

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Keyboard Kraze

Best Drum Pad Controller

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We ranked M-Audio Hammer 88 #9 in May 2024 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best MIDI controllers” rankings.
Expert Consensus
(as of 30 Aug 2023)
The M-Audio Hammer 88 MIDI Controller is a highly praised and versatile MIDI controller that offers a realistic piano feel and the ability to control various parameters in music production software, making it a solid choice for professional musicians and serious enthusiasts.
Critic endorsements:
Consordini

Best Weighted Keys

Incredibly realistic/responsive feel.
88-keys.
Pitch bend and modulation wheels.
Three pedal inputs.
Assignable fader and wheels.

Limited functionality.
No drum pads.

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Digital Piano Judge

Great for learning to play the piano.
Comes with software included.
Hammer action gives more expression and velocity sensitivity.

Big and bulky model.
The keys are not the best quality.
No pads or sliders.

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We ranked Nektar Impact LX25 Plus #10 in May 2024 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best MIDI controllers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Prime Sound

Best Value

Eight velocity-sensitive drum pads are excellent for tapping drum beats
Works seamlessly with most DAWS
Excellent value for price

Relatively bulky
No semi-weighted keys

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The Guitar Junky

Lightweight and can be brought around easily
Can control and map DAW effortlessly
Cool design that lights up when played

Keys create a dull thud sound when pressed
Not suitable for continued use as you progress

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We ranked M-Audio Keystation 49 MK3 #11 in May 2024 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best MIDI controllers” rankings.
Expert Consensus
(as of 30 Aug 2023)
The M-Audio Keystation 49 MK3 is a versatile and portable MIDI controller with realistic keyboard action, customizable controls, and USB connectivity, making it a great option for musicians of all levels.
Critic endorsements:
Consordini

Best Beginner Controller

Low price.
Lightweight.
Transport controls.

No pads.
Not the most versatile.

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Music Critic

49 full-size, semi-weighted velocity sensitive keys with 1/4-inch sustain pedal input.
Comes equipped with octave range buttons, transport controls, pitch bend and modulation wheels.
USB connection.

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We ranked Nektar Impact LX88 Plus #12 in May 2024 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best MIDI controllers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Keyboard Kraze

Best Budget 88 Key Controller

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Music Radar

The best piano-sized controller

A full-size keyboard
Solid but portable
Great value

Keys aren't hammer-action

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We ranked Arturia Keylab 88 MKII #13 in May 2024 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best MIDI controllers” rankings.
Expert Consensus
(as of 30 Aug 2023)
The Arturia Keylab 88 MKII is a highly praised MIDI controller keyboard that offers a realistic piano playing experience, versatile control options, and a wide range of connectivity, making it a valuable tool for musicians and producers in both studio and live performances.
Critic endorsements:
Keyboard Kraze

Best 88 Key MIDI Controller

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Gearank

Best MIDI Keyboard Controller Under $1000

The Fatar keybed is one of the best in this price range
CV/Gate lets you control old analog synth hardware
Has both 5-Pin and USB MIDI
Solid metal build

Keys feel slightly spongy compared to the more expensive Kawai VPC1

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