LifeStyleTop 5 MIDI Controller Of 2023: Reviews, Ratings and Recommendations

Top 5 MIDI Controller Of 2023: Reviews, Ratings and Recommendations

Crafting, writing, and generating music electronically has become tremendously widespread over the past few decades. Although numerous music equipment are used, a vital one for any studio configuration is a MIDI keyboard manager. MIDI controllers permit you to perform and adjust virtual tools and steer various settings in your digital audio work area (DAW).

Selecting the appropriate MIDI controller can be tricky with so many choices on the market. To simplify, this article highlights the top five MIDI keyboard controllers in 2023 based on value, features, and performance.

1. Lumi Keys Studio Edition

The Lumi Keys Studio Edition from ROLI brings a unique design worth considering if you want to inspire musical creativity. The innovative squishy keys provide new dimensions of expression and tactile control for your virtual instruments. It enables a more hands-on, dynamic, and creative experience that goes beyond what traditional MIDI keyboard controllers offer. 

Also, with the ROLI Lumi Keys acting as your keyboard controller MIDI , you gain richer and more intuitive sound design capabilities. This makes it easier to translate your musical ideas into your DAW. 

Whether you are a seasoned electronic musician looking to step up your production workflow or a keyboard novice intrigued by the squishy keybed’s potential for expressiveness, the ROLI Lumi Keys delivers an inspiring performance experience for your virtual instruments.

Overall Rating: 4/5 Stars

2 – Akai Professional MPK249 MIDI Controller

Next up is the Akai Professional MPK249—a feature-packed MIDI keyboard controller with 49 semi-weighted keys. Built with the producer in mind, the MPK249 gives you everything you need to sequence beats, play virtual instruments, and trigger samples.

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Additionally, the keyboard strikes a nice balance between synth-action and piano-like feel. Each key is velocity and pressure-sensitive, allowing for dynamic performance control. MPC-style MPC pads sit below the keys for finger drumming or launching clips. Their feedback is excellent—perfect for rapid drumming. 

Further, dedicating knobs, faders, and buttons gives you hands-on control of DAW and plugin parameters. These controls have RGB backlighting and are customizable using the included VIP software. Speaking of software, the MPK249 comes with Ableton Live Lite and several virtual instruments to get you started making music.

If you want deep DAW integration along with keys, pads, and controls, the Akai Professional MPK249 is an excellent choice. It provides flexibility for sequencing, sampling, and performing with virtual instruments.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 Stars  

3 – Novation Launchkey Mini MK3

Shifting to the portable side of things, we have the Novation Launchkey Mini MK3. This feature-packed controller condenses the popular Launchkey series into a compact 25-key form factor. Despite its small size, the Launchkey Mini MK3 is loaded with utilities for producing music on the move.  

Moreover, the MK3 improves on previous iterations with updated pads, knobs, and keyboard action. The 16 velocity/pressure-sensitive pads have RGB backlights and feel snappy. Dedicated device control knobs provide hands-on access to parameters. And the keys feature roadworthy mini synth action with aftertouch.  

If you’re looking for a highly portable MIDI keyboard and pad controller, the Launchkey Mini MK3 packs an impressive amount of functionality into a small footprint. It’s a great companion for making music with Ableton Live.

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4 – Arturia KeyLab Essential 49

Arturia consistently makes high-quality MIDI controllers with incredible software bundles. A prime example is the KeyLab Essential 49—an affordable MIDI keyboard with a premium keyboard and extensive features. It’s an excellent option for home studios on a budget.

Correspondingly, the 49-key keyboard uses Arturia’s Slimkey action, which feels fantastic. The velocity response is smooth, and each key has an aftertouch for added expressiveness. Pitch/mod touch strips also give you a different way to manipulate sound. The 16 backlit performance pads are perfect for triggering drums or samples. 

Also, the KeyLab Essential 49 provides extensive DAW control capabilities. 9 assignable sliders and knobs interface with mixer and instrument parameters. Transport, track select, and DAW command buttons allow hands-on control of core DAW functions. 

In terms of software, Arturia includes their Analog Lab V collection of classic keyboard emulations along with Ableton Live Lite and UVI Grand Piano Model D. This combination offers an array of vintage keys and production tools.

The KeyLab Essential 49 punches above its weight with great keys, pads, controls, and software. It’s the best MIDI controller you can get for under $200.

5 – Akai Professional LPK25

Finally, you have the Akai Professional LPK25—the best budget MIDI keyboard controller. At around $50, the LPK25 delivers core functionality in a compact, portable design. It’s a great entry-level choice for students, mobile producers, and anyone on a tight budget.

Indeed, the LPK25 has 25 mini synth-action velocity-sensitive keys. While the keyboard feels lightweight, it’s reliable for basic playing and sequencing. Below the keys are 8 MPC-style pads for triggering samples and drums. They have a decent response but lack advanced features like RGB backlights or aftertouch at this price.

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You won’t get fancy extras like LCD screens or proprietary software integration. However, the LPK25 nails the basics for using MIDI keyboards with DAWs and virtual instruments. It’s a great way to start learning MIDI music production for beginners on a strict budget.


And this concludes our top five best MIDI controllers for 2023. Every keyboard on this list has some special thing to add. Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S88 MK2 is the superior controller with excellent integration and controls. On the other hand, the Akai LPK25 tells you that you can afford basic MIDI functionality. 

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