The best 10 keyboard controllers in comparison

Which are the best keyboard controllers of 2020?

Best keyboard controllers of 2020 (1 - 5)
keyboard controller comparison
Comparison winner
keyboard controller comparison
Comparison winner
Akai Professional MPK 49
Comparison winner
Novation Impulse 61
Comparison winner
Novation Impulse 49
Comparison winner
Akai Professional MPK 25
Comparison winner
Novation Impulse 25
Comparison winner
M-Audio Axiom Air 61
Comparison winner
Akai Professional Max 49
Comparison winner
Novation Launchkey 61
Comparison winner
Novation Launchkey 49
Comparison winner
Arturia KeyLab 61
Image
Akai Professional MPK 49
100points
Novation Impulse 61
99points
Novation Impulse 49
97points
Akai Professional MPK 25
94points
Novation Impulse 25
92points
M-Audio Axiom Air 61
92points
Akai Professional Max 49
87points
Novation Launchkey 61
84points
Novation Launchkey 49
84points
Arturia KeyLab 61
84points
Best price
Best price
Summary
Summary
  • Design (79)
  • Controls & Buttons (100)
  • Keys & Pads (78)
  • Ports (80)
  • Features (57)
  • Design (59)
  • Controls & Buttons (90)
  • Keys & Pads (62)
  • Ports (80)
  • Features (57)
  • Design (71)
  • Controls & Buttons (90)
  • Keys & Pads (59)
  • Ports (80)
  • Features (71)
  • Design (78)
  • Controls & Buttons (93)
  • Keys & Pads (72)
  • Ports (80)
  • Features (57)
  • Design (78)
  • Controls & Buttons (88)
  • Keys & Pads (53)
  • Ports (80)
  • Features (71)
  • Design (49)
  • Controls & Buttons (90)
  • Keys & Pads (81)
  • Ports (60)
  • Features (63)
  • Design (76)
  • Controls & Buttons (88)
  • Keys & Pads (63)
  • Ports (80)
  • Features (71)
  • Design (76)
  • Controls & Buttons (77)
  • Keys & Pads (51)
  • Ports (20)
  • Features (100)
  • Design (79)
  • Controls & Buttons (77)
  • Keys & Pads (51)
  • Ports (20)
  • Features (100)
  • Design (75)
  • Controls & Buttons (82)
  • Keys & Pads (100)
  • Ports (60)
  • Features (57)
Pros
Pros
  • Tap tempo control
  • Sound bank selector button
  • Tap tempo control
  • More keys
  • Tap tempo control
  • Tap tempo control
  • Sound bank selector button
  • Tap tempo control
  • Sound bank selector button
  • More keys
  • Sound bank selector button
  • Plug and play
  • Plug and play
  • Velocity sensitive keys
  • Sound bank selector button
  • More keys
Cons
Cons
  • Drum pads
  • Transpose button(s)
  • Drum pads
  • MIDI mapping
  • Drum pads
  • MIDI mapping
  • Total keys
  • Drum pads
  • Transpose button(s)
  • Drum pads
  • Total keys
  • MIDI mapping
  • Drum pads
  • Sustain pedal input/connector
  • Backlit LED buttons
  • Drum pads
  • Transpose button(s)
  • MIDI-Out port
  • Semi-weighted keys
  • Input/connector for the expression pedal
  • MIDI-In port
  • MIDI-Out port
  • Semi-weighted keys
  • Input/connector for the expression pedal
  • MIDI-In port
  • Sustain pedal input/connector
Design
Backlit LED buttonsButtons will light up when pressed, resulting in better visibility to users.
Backlit LED buttonsButtons will light up when pressed, resulting in better visibility to users.
Integrated displayThe device has an electronic display to present information to the user.
Integrated displayThe device has an electronic display to present information to the user.
Total score for "Design"
Total score for "Design"
Controls & Buttons
Sound bank selector buttonThe button is used to select independent banks of continuous controllers. Effectively, this allows you to control more independent parameters with the knobs, faders and buttons. The bank selector button is used to switch among the available banks.
Sound bank selector buttonThe button is used to select independent banks of continuous controllers. Effectively, this allows you to control more independent parameters with the knobs, faders and buttons. The bank selector button is used to switch among the available banks.
Octave buttonsThe octave buttons are used to shift the keyboard up or down in one octave increments. This extends the range of the keyboard in either direction, which lets you play notes that lie outside the number of keys available.
Octave buttonsThe octave buttons are used to shift the keyboard up or down in one octave increments. This extends the range of the keyboard in either direction, which lets you play notes that lie outside the number of keys available.
Tap tempo controlA feature on some MIDI devices that allows to adjust tempo in real time based on an external input or by “tapping” a button on the device itself. It is used to allow musicians the flexibility of playing at any desired tempo based on their musical input.
Tap tempo controlA feature on some MIDI devices that allows to adjust tempo in real time based on an external input or by “tapping” a button on the device itself. It is used to allow musicians the flexibility of playing at any desired tempo based on their musical input.
Transport control sectionThe transport controls are used to control playback, set the position of the playhead, start recording, activate the cycle region, or to move to the project start or end.
Transport control sectionThe transport controls are used to control playback, set the position of the playhead, start recording, activate the cycle region, or to move to the project start or end.
Transpose button(s)Transpose buttons are used for moving a collection of notes (pitches or pitch classes) up or down in pitch by a constant interval, usually in semitone increments.
Transpose button(s)Transpose buttons are used for moving a collection of notes (pitches or pitch classes) up or down in pitch by a constant interval, usually in semitone increments.
Total score for "Controls & Buttons"
Total score for "Controls & Buttons"
Keys & Pads
Semi-weighted keysSimilar to a weighted action keys, but with less resistance and a slightly springier release, semi-weighted keys are popular with many players. If you don’t need realistic piano response, but also don’t care for spring-loaded synth actions, a semi-weighted keyboard might be ideal for you.
Semi-weighted keysSimilar to a weighted action keys, but with less resistance and a slightly springier release, semi-weighted keys are popular with many players. If you don’t need realistic piano response, but also don’t care for spring-loaded synth actions, a semi-weighted keyboard might be ideal for you.
Velocity sensitive keysVelocity sensitive keys are just spring loaded keys that sound out louder the harder you hit them. If you "lightly" press a key, the sound will be quiet; the harder you press, the louder it gets.
Velocity sensitive keysVelocity sensitive keys are just spring loaded keys that sound out louder the harder you hit them. If you "lightly" press a key, the sound will be quiet; the harder you press, the louder it gets.
Drum padsThe pads section is ideal to trigger loops and samples, using your finger drum skills.
Drum padsThe pads section is ideal to trigger loops and samples, using your finger drum skills.12881281212161616
Total keysThe amount of keys the controller has on the keyboard.
Total keysThe amount of keys the controller has on the keyboard.49614925256149494961
Velocity sensitive pads
Velocity sensitive pads
Total score for "Keys & Pads"
Total score for "Keys & Pads"
Ports
Input/connector for the expression pedalDedicated expression pedals let you have a hands-free control over your keyboard's volume, vibrato, and more.
Input/connector for the expression pedalDedicated expression pedals let you have a hands-free control over your keyboard's volume, vibrato, and more.
MIDI-In portMIDI-In Port allows data to be received by a MIDI-compliant device. The “in” port enables the MIDI keyboard to be controlled by an external device or sequencer.
MIDI-In portMIDI-In Port allows data to be received by a MIDI-compliant device. The “in” port enables the MIDI keyboard to be controlled by an external device or sequencer.
MIDI-Out portThe MIDI-Out port is used for transmitting data.
MIDI-Out portThe MIDI-Out port is used for transmitting data.
MIDI Thru portThe "thru" port, emits a copy of everything received at the input port, allowing data to be forwarded to another instrument in a “daisy chain” arrangement. This allows the user to have more than two MIDI devices connected as a studio.
MIDI Thru portThe "thru" port, emits a copy of everything received at the input port, allowing data to be forwarded to another instrument in a “daisy chain” arrangement. This allows the user to have more than two MIDI devices connected as a studio.
Sustain pedal input/connectorWhen pressed, the sustain pedal allows all notes to sound and “vibrate” freely. All notes played will continue to sound until the pedal is released. This is perfect when you need a sturdy and responsive control over sustain.
Sustain pedal input/connectorWhen pressed, the sustain pedal allows all notes to sound and “vibrate” freely. All notes played will continue to sound until the pedal is released. This is perfect when you need a sturdy and responsive control over sustain.
Total score for "Ports"
Total score for "Ports"
Features
Compatible with WindowsIt is compatible with PCs and laptops running the Windows operating system.
Compatible with WindowsIt is compatible with PCs and laptops running the Windows operating system.
MIDI mappingUsers can map, set and regulate the entire midi controller giving different functionalities to all different buttons, knobs and faders. The device could be also set up with different softwares.
MIDI mappingUsers can map, set and regulate the entire midi controller giving different functionalities to all different buttons, knobs and faders. The device could be also set up with different softwares.
USB MIDI connectionDevices can communicate in both directions with each other without any additional MIDI interface. The biggest advantage is that the USB connection can be used for everything; power supply, MIDI-in and MIDI-out. This means you need less cables.
USB MIDI connectionDevices can communicate in both directions with each other without any additional MIDI interface. The biggest advantage is that the USB connection can be used for everything; power supply, MIDI-in and MIDI-out. This means you need less cables.
Memory locationsMore memory locations allow users to save their preset/setup and have them ready to use again and again.
Memory locationsMore memory locations allow users to save their preset/setup and have them ready to use again and again.N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.128N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.
Plug and playThe device is set up and ready to be used with the included software.
Plug and playThe device is set up and ready to be used with the included software.
Total score for "Features"
Total score for "Features"
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