Top for 2019

Best MIDI Keyboards For Beginners

Adam's Buyer's Guide

MPK Mini II MIDI Controller
Best price Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII Review

Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII Review

Adam's Take - "For a midi controller under $100 to be this good and this portable is ...

9.1
2 M-Audio Axiom 61 MIDI Keyboard Controller Review

M-Audio Axiom 61 MIDI Keyboard Controller Review

Adam's Take - "This is not the "best" midi controller on the market, but it sure is easy ...

8.8
Best value 3 M-Audio Oxygen 25 MK IV MIDI Controller Review

M-Audio Oxygen 25 MK IV MIDI Controller Review

Bottom Line - The M-Audio Oxygen MK IV is a solid MIDI controller that comes in 25 key, ...

8.8
4 Alesis VI25 Review

Alesis VI25 Review

Bottom Line - This is a solid MIDI controller with lots of control options for a ...

8.4

2019 MIDI Keyboard Buyer's Guide

Shopping Advice for MIDIs

When I bought my first MIDI keyboard it was a very exciting day.  The infinite possibilities that are provided by owning a MIDI keyboard unleashed creativity for me that I had dreamed of having for years.  

With a quality MIDI controller, you can essentially map the instrument to sound like just about any instrument ever made.  When it comes to song writing and music production there are few things that I can think of that are more valuable.  

While most high end keyboards have MIDI capabilities, there is no need to drop 4k on a new NORD if you just want to plug a MIDI keyboard up to your computer and start messing around.  

While there are decent MIDI keyboards under $100, if you have a budget that can get your MIDI keyboards under $500, you can pick from several high quality options.  

When determine the best MIDI keyboards for beginners we considered the cost, the durability and the function about all else.

How do we pick our Top Choices for Best MIDI Keyboard for Beginners?

The main factors we look at when determining which MIDI keyboards are best for beginners, include:

  • Build & Function
  • Value
  • Durability

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M-Audio Oxygen 25 MIDI Controller overhead viewWas this MIDI built to function well?

For the most part, MIDI controllers don’t have native sounds and so the quality of sound will be reflective of your DAW (Logic, GarageBand, Ableton, FL Studios, etc.) and your computer and interface.

With that in mind we contemplate the build and function of MIDI controllers based on how well they connect, how easy it is to map the MIDI controller with your music production program and the usability of the pads, knobs, buttons and wheels.

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Does this MIDI’s value meet its functionality?

For the musician that is just getting started in the world of MIDI keyboards we want you to have a high value instrument without breaking the bank.  In our evaluation of price, a keyboard doesn’t NOT get a high score for being cheap.  

We evaluate the cost of the instrument in relationship to the quality of the product.  If the cost is lower than the value of its design, the instrument will earn a higher grade for its price point.  

Determining the value in regards to price point is related to the build and function of an instrument.  For MIDI keyboards, the build and function mostly relates to how easy it is to use.

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Which MIDI Controllers are the most durable?

The beginner MIDI keyboard is also something that we tend to beat up a bit while we figure it out.  For that, we don’t want a MIDI controller that will fall apart. If a MIDI controller has a reputations of knobs breaking or keys falling off the keyboard it will be selected in the durability  section of our buyers guide.  

Typically we try to avoid putting the really crappy instruments on our website and focus our efforts on the quality instruments of every price point.  

I will admit that I bought a $75 MIDI Controller because it was small enough to fly with in my backpack, allowing me to write music on airplanes.  The particular MIDI keyboard had a reputation of having flimsy keys with knobs and wheels that could break easily.  

In my situation, I made the educated decision to buy an instrument with durability flaws because of the low price point and the build and function specs that were perfect for my travel needs.  For that reason we have some instruments on the site that are not perfect but were good enough in multiple areas of scrutiny to make the website.  

Best MIDI Keyboards for Beginners

Individual MIDI Reviews and Ratings

Akai MPK Mini MKII

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Set Alert for Product: Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII | 25-Key Ultra-Portable USB MIDI Drum Pad & Keyboard Controller with Joystick, VIP Software Download Included - $119.00
Price history
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Price history for Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII | 25-Key Ultra-Portable USB MIDI Drum Pad & Keyboard Controller with Joystick, VIP Software Download Included
Latest updates:
  • $119.00 - October 20, 2019
  • $117.00 - October 19, 2019
  • $119.00 - October 15, 2019
  • $98.00 - August 24, 2019
  • $99.00 - July 29, 2019
  • $99.99 - July 27, 2019
  • $98.92 - July 18, 2019
Since: July 18, 2019
  • Highest Price: $119.00 - October 15, 2019
  • Lowest Price: $98.00 - August 24, 2019
Last Amazon price update was: November 9, 2019 10:53 pm
× Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com (Amazon.in, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, etc) at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

The Akai MPK Mini MKII is a terrific portable MIDI controller that is both affordable and effective.

The small footprint and portability of this compact MIDI keyboard makes this an ideal MIDI controller for writing music on the go and the intuitive design makes it easy to use for beginners.

I bought this MIDI controller for myself after seeing it used for songwriting when I was backstage at a Knower concert.  I liked it so much that I also bought it for a friend that was just starting to write music with ableton and needed an affordable MIDI keyboard for beginners.  Since the Akai MPK Mini MKII is so affordable it made a great gift.

Average Score 9.1
Sound
9.7
Price
10
Durability
7.9
PROS:
  • - Extremely Portable
  • - Customizable
  • - Affordable
CONS:
  • - Smaller keys (kind of have to be though)
  • - Slightly fragile design
  • - Can't take a beating
  • - Slightly complicated driver install

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M-Audio Axiom 61

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Set Alert for Product: Axiom 61 Key MIDI Controller - $109.99
Last Amazon price update was: November 14, 2019 2:06 pm
× Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com (Amazon.in, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, etc) at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

The M-Audio Axiom 61 key MIDI controller was the first MIDI keyboard I ever owned.  I had just gotten Logic and Ableton for my Mac Book Pro.  At first I was just using the keyboard on my computer to create music, while understanding the limitations to that approach.

After a ton of research I decided to go with the M-Audio Axiom 61.  The smart mapping was a big feature that M-Audio offered that I really appreciated.  Being able to plug the MIDI controller in to my computer, fire up Ableton and have a basic knob and fader mapping in place allowed me to get right to work.

The value of the M-Audio Axiom 61 MIDI Controller is much greater than its price when deciding on the best MIDI Keyboards for Beginners.

Average Score 8.8
Function
8.5
Price
9.5
Durability
8.8

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M-Audio Oxygen 25 MK IV

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Set Alert for Product: M-Audio Oxygen 25 MK IV USB Pad/Keyboard MIDI Controller, VIP Software Download Included - $139.00
Price history
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Price history for M-Audio Oxygen 25 MK IV USB Pad/Keyboard MIDI Controller, VIP Software Download Included
Latest updates:
  • $139.00 - November 5, 2019
  • $119.99 - October 22, 2019
  • $139.00 - October 15, 2019
  • $119.99 - October 13, 2019
  • $92.00 - September 13, 2019
  • $119.00 - August 22, 2019
  • $92.00 - July 15, 2019
  • $104.56 - July 1, 2019
Since: July 1, 2019
  • Highest Price: $139.00 - October 15, 2019
  • Lowest Price: $92.00 - July 15, 2019
Last Amazon price update was: November 13, 2019 3:38 am
× Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com (Amazon.in, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, etc) at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

The M-Audio Oxygen 25 MK IV is another great MIDI keyboard for beginners and professional musicians on the go.

With it’s intutitive mapping that makes M-Audio products so user friendly, it’s no wonder that the Oxygen line from M-Audio is so popular.  The keyboard is available in different sizes, ranging from 25 keys to 61 keys and offers a similar value to the M-Audio Axiom 61.

Average Score 8.8
Build
8.1
Price
10
Durability
7.5
Functionality
8.1
PROS:
  • - Portable
  • - Affordable
  • - Great layout
CONS:
  • - Limited in programmable buttons
  • - Velocity is not as responsive as it could be
  • - Keys can occasionally stick

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Alesis V125

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Set Alert for Product: Alesis V25 | 25-Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with Backlit Pads, 4 Assignable Knobs and Buttons, Plus a Professional Software Suite with ProTools | First Included - $89.00
Price history
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Price history for Alesis V25 | 25-Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with Backlit Pads, 4 Assignable Knobs and Buttons, Plus a Professional Software Suite with ProTools | First Included
Latest updates:
  • $89.00 - September 12, 2019
  • $84.95 - August 20, 2019
Since: August 20, 2019
  • Highest Price: $89.00 - September 12, 2019
  • Lowest Price: $84.95 - August 20, 2019
Last Amazon price update was: November 14, 2019 2:15 pm
× Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com (Amazon.in, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, etc) at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

The Alesis V125 is one of the best MIDI keyboards for beginners.  The placement of the pads and fader and the semi weighted keys option helps the Alesis MIDI controller stand out.

For a beginner looking for a MIDI controller the value is weighed in price vs. growth potential.  The Alesis V125 gets checks in both categories.

With it’s portable size, the Alesis V125 is not only great for beginners but it is also a great MIDI keyboard for the professional musician that wants to program music on the go.

Average Score 8.4
Build
7.8
Price
9.9
Durability
7.0
PROS:
  • - Portable
  • - Customizable
  • - Affordable
  • - Semi Weighted Keys
CONS:
  • - Pads can be sticky
  • - Slightly fragile
  • - Keys are slightly cheap
  • - Wheels are too close to pads

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