What Is The Best Midi Keyboard Controller: UK Review Guide

Best Midi Keyboard Controller

Quick Summary

As a musician in today’s world, it is imperative to embrace technology and allow it to give you an edge over the competition. Technology is capable of enhancing your music, while allowing you to record it much easier.

Of course, there are numerous technological improvements, which can give you an edge. One of these is undoubtedly the MIDI keyboard controller.

If you wish to record those beautiful keyboard melodies, you will need one of these devices. Within this guide, you will learn all there is to know about this item, so you can make the right decision for your money!

What Is A MIDI Controller?

In basic terms, a MIDI controller is a type of hardware or software, which creates and transmits MIDI information to compatible devices. Of course, the modern controllers are much more versatile than that.

They’re capable of providing the musician with the necessary functions to control various parameters of their performance and music. The controller can be equipped with a handful of different knobs, buttons and sliders.

A piano-keyboard may also be provided, but this isn’t always the case. So, what is the best keyboard controller?

Further reading on choosing the right midi controller can be found here You will be able to find breakdowns for some of the best below!

In a hurry? Here are our top picks for the best midi keyboards controller

Editors Pick -Novation Impulse USB Midi Controller Keyboard

Best Budget - Korg microKEY-25 USB MIDI Controller

Best Midi Keyboards for USB - Akai APC40 MKII

Best USB 25 key Mic- Behringer UMX250 U-Control

Best Professional USB Mic - M-Audio Oxygen 49 IV

Best MIDI Keyboards For Logic

1. Novation Impulse 49

Novation Impulse 49

If you’re looking for an outstanding MIDI keyboards, which is perfect for Logic, you will want to check out the Novation Impulse 49. This is undoubtedly the best MIDI keyboard for Logic and is great for all different purposes.

At the same time, the affordable price tag should be enough to sway the majority of musicians to at least consider the investment. This device is equipped with a high precision keyboard, which will transmit each sound you produce.

Those that are used to traditional keyboard will feel right at home with this one, as it is designed to feel and operate like a real instrument.

The MIDI controller comes with the immensely helpful Automap control software. This gives you the ability to instantly map the buttons and faders, so you can get back to what really matters.

The keyboard comes with 49 keys. The necessary USB/power supply is included for added value. More specifications can be found below.


  • Very affordable and more than reasonable for all musicians
  • Keys feel realistic and help to ensure that the musician feels right at home
  • Includes more than enough buttons
  • Software can auto-map the keyboard to your existing DAW for added convenience
  • Very easy to setup
  • Solidly made and definitely built to last
  • Provides many professional control pad functions


  • A little bulky
  • May want to upgrade to USB 3.0

All in all, the Novation Impulse 49 is an outstanding MIDI controller, which will be sure to satisfy. The price is more than affordable, so it would be a terrible mistake not to consider making this purchase today!

Amazon Customer Reviews

"This worked well. The build-in arpeggiator is very addictive!" - By Synchrotones
"Fantastic Midi Keyboard controller. Very easy to setup." - By Michael J.

Best Budget Midi Keyboard

2. Korg microKEY-25 USB MIDI Controller

Korg MicroKey-25

If you are a veteran musician or just a newbie that is trying to perfect your skills, then you will need to invest in the best budget midi keyboard.

The Korg MicroKey-25 is very affordable and perfect for anyone that likes to create tunes on a keyboard. Its mini design is perfect for young inspiring musicians that like to travel, because they can toss it in their backpack and take off to their friend’s house.

The Korg is equipped with a USB port, so you can charge it right from your iPad. Do not be fooled by the low price tag, because it has a lot of features that replicate the more expensive brand.

This is a user-friendly device that is integrated with a joystick, which you would not expect from some an inexpensive keyboard.

You will need to download the Korg M1Le app to your iPad, so you can play playback samples. The great thing about the MicroKey-25 is that it offers versatility, since you can utilize with a large array of musical instruments.


  • Software has a very user-friendly interface
  • Equipped with a joystick for easy control
  • Very compact and portable design
  • Embedded with a USB port
  • Extremely affordable and will not break the bank


  • Some glitches in the associated software, which makes it sometimes difficult to load completely

Overall the Korg MicroKey-25 controller is very affordable and compact. It is very user-friendly and perfect for the newbie musician that wants to add some piano to their recordings.

Amazon Customer Reviews

"It would be worth the money just for the keyboard but it also comes with some great free plugins. Just so cool!" - By Amazon Customer
"Fabulous desktop input" - By Shifty Geezer


Q: Are the keys full size?

A: No, the keys are half or maybe third the size of regular keys. 

Best USB Midi Keyboard

3. Akai APC40 MKII


As a musician, you will need to stock your home studio with high-quality equipment including the best Midi keyboard for Ableton.

The Akai APC40 MKII is designed with a large variety of features that will come in handy, when you are trying to perfect your recordings.

This is a plug-and-play device, which is more suitable for musicians that find themselves transporting their instruments from place to place.

The AKAI APC40 is integrated with Ableton Live DAW software. The features are amazing and very user-friendly, but when plugged directly into the Ableton live, you will find it seamless.

This is a high-quality controller that is equipped with a mixing/revised knob layout for easy use and better performance.


  • Integrated with Ableton Live software
  • Equipped with 8 control knobs and 9 channel faders
  • A plug-and-play device
  • Compatible with Mac and PC
  • USB-powered controller


  • More suitable for the veteran musician, since it is integrated with so many features

Overall the AKAI APC40 MKII is a high-quality controller that has eye appeal. No installation required, just plug it in and begin your live performance.

Amazon Customer Reviews

"This controller has amazing features and so seamless when plugged into Ableton Live" - By Pedro Barros
"Chassis a bit cheap, but this is a quality bit if kit. Amazing for live performance." - By Ian Stanley

Best USB MIDI Keyboard

4. Acorn MasterKey 49

Acorn MasterKey 49

Over the years, USB technology has grown incredibly popular and is nearly everywhere. Musicians can benefit from the advancement, as well.

With the best USB MIDI keyboard, the musician will have no difficulty connecting their keyboard to their computer or workstation.

The MasterKey 49 is built for this particular convenience. Although it is immensely affordable, the keyboard is astounding in various areas!

The full-size keys will be sure to provide the musician with the ability to perform their favorite songs and feel comfortable throughout the duration.

It is possible to assign controls at any time, so you will always remain in full control of your music. For added value, this keyboard MIDI controller also includes the PreSonus Studio One Artist recording software.

The keyboard also comes with a 6ft USB cable, which ensures that you’ll be able to start recording your music, as soon as the item arrives at your door.

 No driver is needed, so the installation and setup are very easy. More benefits can be found below.


  • Entirely affordable
  • Comes with a USB port and cable for easier use and added value
  • Also includes the PreSonus Studio One Artist software
  • Equipped with an assignable fader and 4 knobs
  • Includes a single sustain foot switch input jack for more functionality
  • Offers a handful of real-time functions, including Transpose, Octave and Program Change
  • Overall excellent value


  • Keys could be much better
  • Can’t match the quality of more expensive models

Many musicians are looking for value. If you fall into this category, it would be a major mistake to ignore the MasterKey 49 MIDI Keyboard.

Although it is affordable, it comes equipped with many excellent features and functions, which will allow you to manipulate your music easily in real-time. For the price, the keyboard MIDI controller could very well be classified as a steal!

Amazon Customer Reviews

"This is a versatile Keyboard! Very pleased with it and would recommend for beginners of which I am one!" - By Chris Bache
"For the money this product is outstanding value." - By Peter I.

Best 49 Key MIDI Controller

5. Novation LaunchKey 49 MK2

Novation LaunchKey 49 MK2

As a musician, who wants to take full control over the piano or keyboard, it is essential to purchase the best 49 key MIDI keyboard. The majority of musicians will agree that the Novation LaunchKey 49 MK2 claims that title.

This 49-key MIDI controller is great in many areas and will not break the bank! If you’re a fan of the Ableton Live software, this keyboard is for you.

The combination will undoubtedly give you the ability to manipulate and alter your music, until it has reached a state of perfection.

The controller is equipped with full-colour RGB pads and gives you the ability to manufacture expressive beats. The keyboard is bus-powered with a USB cable and can be used with MAC and Windows computers.

It comes with 16 RGB pads, 8 knobs and control buttons. The keyboard’s keys feel very realistic and will help to ensure that the musician feels right at home. More pros can be found below.


  • An excellent value for a 49-key MIDI controller
  • USB powered for added convenience
  • Works perfectly with the Ableton Live software
  • Compatible with Mac and Windows computers
  • Controls are very responsive and can be reassigned at any time
  • Allows you to see your session, as you work


  • Plastic build could be better

Truthfully, the Novation LaunchKey 49 MK2 is a brilliant MIDI controller, which is more than capable of enhancing the musician’s music.

It is affordable, very versatile and effortless to setup and use. The combination of benefits makes this MIDI controller one of the best and it would be a mistake not to check it out in greater depth today!

Amazon Customer Reviews

"Good purchase. Nice keyboard feel (just like all other Novations)." - By J. Page
"It's good, it's very good. Build quality is pretty solid" - By J. Wilson

Best 25 Key Midi Controller

6. Behringer UMX250 U-Control

Behringer UMX250 U-Control

If you are searching for the best 25 key midi controllers that will not break the bank, then you should definitely consider the Behringer UMX250 U-Control.

It is compatible with Mac and PC, which is exactly what most musicians would expect from their midi keyboard. It offers 50 VST effects and innumerable sound creations, so you can unleash your creative side.

This keyboard is equipped with 25 notes, faders, and adjustable knobs that will help you perfect your music like no other. The Behringer UMX250 is a very user-friendly device that comes with its own software, so you can connect it to your Mac or PC. It is equipped with a USB port for charging.

The Behringer construction is solid and will endure the test of time. You can also utilize the midi controller to tweak your instruments and effects.

It is so lightweight that you can toss it into your backpack and forget that it is there. This is a great feature for those traveling musicians that are always performing live in various locations.


  • Very affordable
  • Semi weighted and portable
  • Compatible with Ableton Live software
  • Equipped with 25 notes and sturdy knobs
  • Plug-and-play device


  • Has yet to be tested on Windows 10 operating system

Overall the Behringer UMX250 U-Control is designed to offer easy control and a long service life.

Amazon Customer Reviews

"I gave this keyboard 5 stars because it delivers in all the areas I wanted it to. It plays good, the keys feel just right." - By S. Rabia
"Very smart MIDI keyboard. Worked straight out of the box. I like the full size keys." - By Ray M.

Best 61 Key MIDI Controller

7. M-Audio Keystation 61

M-Audio Keystation 61

Some musicians will want to obtain a more function keyboard. If you have a similar mindset, you will want to do your best to find and buy the best 61 key MIDI controller.

Once you’ve scoured the market for a lengthy period of time, you will find yourself returning to the M-Audio Keystation 61. This affordable MIDI controller is very versatile and incredibly affordable.

The velocity-sensitive keys help to produce a natural feel, which will satisfy pianists of all skill levels. The controller is equipped with a USB-MIDI port, which works perfectly for playing virtual instruments and controlling your favorite recording software.

The MIDI controller is equipped with transport and directional buttons, which give you the ability to control your DAW directly from the keyboard.

This controller comes with a variety of different functions, including pitch bend, octave controls and modulation. The keyboard is USB-powered and is plug-and-play compatible with computers and Macs.


  • Incredibly affordable and comes equipped with 61 natural keys
  • USB powered and can be connected instantly to Mac and PCs
  • Comes with a variety of different controls and functions
  • Allows you to control your DAW instantly from the keyboard
  • Includes a USB cable for added value
  • Can be connected to iOS devices with an additional purchase
  • Effortless setup and easily portable


  • Velocity curve could be improved
  • May not be plug-and-play for some computers

When it boils down to it, the M-Audio Keystation 61 is a great MIDI controller. If you feel the need to utilize 61 keys, you should not ignore this keyboard!

The affordable price tag makes it more than realistic and reasonable for the majority of musicians.

Amazon Customer Reviews

"Great product! Works fine. Simple to use, just plug-in the USB cord into your PC and works great." - By Enigmo
"Very good and well packed. . . can some real good beats with it. . . looks very nice and worth the money." - By Jim

8. Behringer U-Control UMA25S

Behringer U-Control UMA25S

There are many excellent MIDI controllers on the market and the Behringer UMA25S is undoubtedly right up there with the best of them. Behringer has been in the game for a lengthy period of time and the majority of their products have been well received.

This is definitely true with the U-Control UMA25S. The keyboard is affordable and built with 25 velocity-sensitive keys. With the built-in USB port, you will be able to instantly connect your instruments to your computer for playback and recording.

The controller comes equipped with the Audacity audio editor, which is surprisingly versatile and functional. The keyboard includes 21 assignable controllers.

This includes 8 knobs and 8 buttons. You will also be able to take full advantage of 2 wheels, a fader and 2 pedal ports. More pros and cons will be listed below for your convenience.


  • Affordable and realistic for the majority of musicians
  • Comes with 21 assignable controllers
  • 25 velocity-sensitive keys are great and feel good
  • Very portable
  • Plug-and-play setup with Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS X
  • Can be run via batteries, power adapter or USB bus


  • Keys could be a little better
  • Manual needs major work

At the end of the day, the Behringer UMA25S U-Control is a great MIDI keyboard controller, which is easily affordable. If you want a good controller, which won’t break the bank, this controller is well worth checking out right now!

Amazon Customer Reviews

"This is the only option on the market if you need a keyboard to accompany your laptop when travelling. It works flawlessly." - By DeeJay Al
"This is ideal for starting out or getting an idea down away from your main setup." - By Mr. M. Ellis

9. Alesis Q25 Keyboard Controller

Alesis Q25 Keyboard Controller

The Alesis Q25 keyboard is equipped with 25 keys and various knobs that are very easy to control. This is a plug-and-play device that just needs to be plugged into your computer or laptop.

It also has pedal input, but you will need to purchase the pedal separately, but most musicians already have one. The Q25 is compatible with Ableton live lite and air music tech software.

The on-the-go musician will definitely appreciate the Alesis’ compact design, because it offers portability like no other.

The Octabe buttons light up, so they can be located very easily in a dark environment. The large volume slider is suitable for those with large hands and makes it much easier to make adjustments.


  • Extremely affordable
  • Semi weighted, compact, and portable
  • Plug-and-play device
  • Includes Ableton Live Lite software
  • USB powered
  • Includes a USB charging cable


  • Octaves are a little difficult to adjust during a live performance

Overall the Alesis Q25 is a very affordable keyboard controller that is suitable for the beginner or on-the-go musician.

Amazon Customer Reviews

"This is a very good product. No "wall-wart" needed, as it is powered by the USB." - By Tough Chops
"Lovely little midi keyboard at a great price. I use it for my Volca Bass." - By Richard

10. M-Audio Oxygen 49 IV

M-Audio Oxygen 49 IV

If you’re looking for an affordable, well-rounded MIDI controller, you will want to do yourself a favor and check out the M-Audio Oxygen 49 IV.

As the name suggests, this keyboard comes equipped with 49 keys, which are velocity-sensitive. The user will also be able to take full advantage of 8 velocity-sensitive trigger pads, which allows the musician to produce their own beats and launch clips.

The controller also contains 8 assignable knobs and 9 assignable faders. The combination will provide the musician will enough control to manipulate their music, until it is just perfect.

The unit is also equipped with transport buttons. These give the musician the ability to seamlessly control their DAW, without needing to touch the computer’s mouse or trackpad.

The controller comes with the SONiVOX Twist and the Ableton Live Lite. With this combination and the included USB cable, you will be able to start using the keyboard, as soon as it arrives!


  • Very affordable and should be realistic for most musicians
  • Includes SONiVOX Twist and Ableton Live Lite
  • Comes with safety and warranty manual
  • Includes the necessary USB cable
  • Works with Mac and Windows computers
  • Comes with 8 trigger pads, 8 knobs and 9 faders
  • Transport buttons provide more control and added convenience


  • Drum pads are fairly unresponsive

Truthfully, the M-Audio Oxygen 49 IV is an excellent value and will be able to help you produce the songs that you’ve always dreamed of.

If you wish to enhance your music and take complete control of your DAW, you will definitely want to check out this MIDI controller right now!

Amazon Customer Reviews

"This is brilliant! Excellent final piece for my kit" - By Sanjv
"Excellent Midi keyboard that also comes with some nice software to use it with" - By Ben Johnston

Buyers Guide

How to Choose Your Midi Keyboard

These keyboards are great for any musician, whether you are an experienced pro, or you just want to start learning how to mix your sounds. There are quite a few extras and features that come with
them, though, which means you should be looking out for some key features.

You’ll find all of them below, but there is one thing you should remember. Your keyboard needs to be one that you feel
comfortable using. Playing, operating, fiddling with, all of it needs to be what you want; not what you’re expected to have.

Number of Keys

There are a number of different sizes for these keyboards, and the number of keys dictates the size. That’s why when you are deciding on the number of keys; you also need to consider both your
budget and the size of the space you have available. Usually, they come in the following key numbers:

  • 25
  • 37
  • 49

The less keys, the smaller the keyboard, and you also need to think about your experience. If you are just starting out, 25 keys are going to be perfect for the situation. If you are a professional, however,
you likely won’t be satisfied with anything less than 49 keys. However, if you are composing sequences, key numbers won’t really matter; it will be about the sliders, knobs, and additional


This is an important quality for any keyboard, as it is the manner in which it responds to playing. It’s about you feeling comfortable, enjoying the sound being created, and making the music you want.

Generally, the action you want is based on the way you are used to playing, and that is why you will likely be drawn more to one of the below options.

Weighted Hammer Action

This controller type has 88 notes and is able to replicate the mechanical actions of a classic piano. It’s a difficult thing to achieve because the keyboard is designed so differently to a piano, and so it uses a series of weights and springs in order to do so. The semi weighted hammer action is exceptionally good at recreating the sound and feel of a traditional piano.

Semi Weighted Action

This is very similar to the weighted hammer models, but there is a lot less resistance. The release has a little more spring to it, and the sound remains very pleasant. The piano sound is not as accurate,
but it is also a very popular option among those with Midi keyboards.

Synch Action

These are a lot like an electric organ in terms of sound and feel. It has spring-loaded keys that are incredibly light and can be moved with great speed. Additionally, they return to their resting place
much faster for more versatility while playing.

This is a huge advantage when you need to play quick sections of music, and it is also a great help to those who are not keyboard players naturally but perhaps play guitar as a main instrument.

Alesis Q25 Keyboard Controller


People often ask if this is something they need. I always say yes, because it makes playing a lot more versatile and lets you be more creative.

The aftertouch adds expression to your music, and it saves
you needing to use your spare hand to fiddle with various controls. You have to spend a little more, but it is so worth it. It’s something you don’t realise you need until you try it out for the first time.

Inputs and Outputs

As a standard, you will find that Midi keyboards have the standard USB setups. It’s the way they transmit MDI, and you generally don’t need to worry about anything else. However, there are some
models that include other types of jack. They can make your life easier and are as follows:

  • 5-pin MIDI DIN. This one lets you connect external Midi instruments, like hardware synths,
    so you can mix things up a little.
  • CV and Gate. These outputs will let you modulate vintage synth gear for a more diverse
    playing range.


This is all down to the way you like to play. If you are into traditional keys, this probably isn’t for you. The performance pads are comfortable, and sense velocity, and many keyboards can support at least eight of them.

You can use them to play drums and trigger loops, or even use them to sense an aftertouch. However, you should remember that a bank of pads will make your keyboard a lot heavier to carry and handle; despite the great additions.

Knobs, faders, and Buttons

It’s not just for playing tunes; there is a lot more you can do with a Midi keyboard. Knobs, faders, and various buttons can make the experience a more exciting one, as well as add flexibility to your
music creation.

The exciting thing is that you can actually buy separate control panels (as well as multiples) that connect to your keyboard; keeping things creative as well as customisable.

Auto Mapping and Integration

I quite like this feature, and it goes nicely with all of the knobs and faders. The way it works is that you set it up in such a way that it corresponds with your specific software applications. It saves you a
lot of work and time, so that you can focus more on being creative and letting the music flow as opposed to playing with all the settings.


These allow you to layer your sounds, which means you can mix things up and create more intense music that you want to listen to. You can define their channels, octaves, key ranges; the whole lot.

Many basic boards will have two zones, but four is a good number if you want to get really creative. For the professionals, there are even more available, and it can depend on the number of keys as well. They overlap with each other, and it just provides more flexibility, which many artists need.

Power Supply

These keyboards need a power supply. There are many keyboards that can be powered with a USB port, but the Midi is not one of them. You will need a separate mains power supply, which usually
comes with the keyboard so that you can get started right away.

This also means that you get more work and power out of it, so there is a greater range with a Midi keyboard than others on the


All in all, there are many musicians out there that would like to be able to enhance their music. Equipping yourself with the top MIDI keyboard controller is a necessity and will give you added control and convenience.

Of course, finding the best one is thoroughly complicated and traveling down this road alone is unrealistic.

This is why you will want to read the information above and allow it to guide you towards the best midi controller for your individualistic needs and desires!

About the author

Tim Rhodes

As well as being Chief editor here at Myaudiosound.co.uk - Dan is a freelance writer and blogger, as well as tech, loves a chilled weekend river fishing with his mates.