Ultra-Compact MIDI Keyboards Under $50 (Ultimate Guide)

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Looking for the best ultra-compact MIDI keyboards under $50? Look no further! This ultimate guide covers everything you need to know, from features to consider to the top models to choose from. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, you’ll find the perfect keyboard for your needs and budget in this comprehensive guide.

 

1. Korg NANOKEY2BK

SOLID ENTRY-LEVEL

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2. Nektar SE25                         

COMPACT AND VERSATILE

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3. midiplus AKM322                 

ALL-ROUNDER PERFORMER

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4. Nektar Impact GX Mini

COMPACT AND FEATURE-PACKED

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5. MIDIPLUS AKM320           

EFFICIENT AND AFFORDABLE

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6. Miditech i2-mini 32 plus

VERSATILE PERFORMER

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1. Korg NANOKEY2BK

SOLID ENTRY-LEVEL

Small, lightweight, and portable.Velocity-sensitive keys!
Sustain button, modulation wheel.USB-powered for easy setup.
Picture by Korg

Picture by Alesis

PROS

  • Okay.. so, this one has a lot of things that I find really useful. First off, it’s ultra-compact and lightweight, making it super easy to carry around. It’s just over a pound and measures just over 15 inches long. Trust me, this keyboard is the definition of portability.

    It also features 25 velocity-sensitive keys. I mean, that’s really decent, despite its small size, this keyboard allows you to play with expression and dynamics. It’s like having a full-size keyboard in such a compact package.

    This keyboard includes a sustain button and a modulation wheel for added control. The sustain button lets you hold notes for longer periods, while the modulation wheel allows you to tweak and control various parameters. It’s like having a whole range of possibilities at your fingertips.

    And guess what? Setup is a breeze because it’s USB-powered. You don’t need to worry about finding an outlet, just connect it to your computer using the included USB cable and you’re good to go. It’s a game-changer for sure.

    The price of the Korg NANOKEY2BK surprised me. It’s one of the most affordable MIDI keyboards available, which makes it an excellent option for those on a budget. That’s truly outstanding, don’t you think?

    Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced musician, the Korg NANOKEY2BK is perfect for you. Its size and affordability are just too good to pass up.

CONS

  • You should also consider these before making a decision:

    1. No pitch bend or modulation wheel: The Korg NANOKEY2BK lacks a pitch bend or modulation wheel, limiting its expressive capabilities. Adding these controls gives musicians the ability to add dynamics and expression to their music, and without them, certain sounds can be challenging to produce.

    2. Mini keys may be too small for some users: The Korg NANOKEY2BK features mini keys, which can be difficult to play for users with larger hands. Additionally, playing complex passages on these mini keys can pose a challenge.

    Despite these minor drawbacks, the Korg NANOKEY2BK remains a fantastic value for its price. It is a compact and portable MIDI keyboard suitable for both beginners and experienced musicians.

2. Nektar SE25

COMPACT AND VERSATILE

Ultra-compact and lightweight design.Velocity-sensitive keys, dynamic performances.
8 assignable pads for versatility.Sustain pedal input included.
Picture by Nektar

PROS

    • Okay guys, next we have the Nektar SE25!

      First of all, the ultra-compact and lightweight design of the Nektar SE25 is impressive. It caught me off guard how such a small and lightweight keyboard can offer so much functionality. It weighs just over a pound, making it incredibly portable. You can easily toss it into your laptop bag or backpack and take it with you wherever you go.

      Now, here’s where it gets really remarkable. The Nektar SE25 may be small, but it packs a punch with its 25 velocity-sensitive keys. That’s right, these keys respond to the intensity of your touch, allowing for more expressive and dynamic performances. It’s mind-blowing how much emotion you can put into your music with a keyboard of this size.

      Also the Nektar SE25 also features 8 assignable pads. I find that so useful! You can use these pads to trigger drum samples, play melodies, or control various aspects of your DAW software. The pads are also velocity-sensitive, giving you even more control over the dynamics of your performances. It’s like having a full-sized MIDI keyboard in the palm of your hand.

      The Nektar SE25 even has a sustain pedal input. In my opinion, that’s pretty impressive for a keyboard in this price range. You can connect a sustain pedal and create those sustained notes that are essential for certain types of music, like piano and organ.

      To put it simply, the Nektar SE25 is a must-have for beginners and experienced musicians alike. It’s affordable, easy to use, and offers a wide range of features. In all seriousness, it’s a game-changer that left me speechless. Don’t underestimate the power of this compact keyboard.

CONS

  • Now let’s go over some drawbacks. The limited number of keys, only 25, can be quite restrictive. Really good if you’re just starting out, but if you want to play complex pieces, you’ll have to rely on octave shifting, which can be inconvenient. Plus, there’s no built-in display, so you have to memorize button functions. It surprised me that you can’t easily identify your DAW mode or MIDI channel.
  • However, it’s worth mentioning that for an ultra-compact and affordable MIDI keyboard, it’s still a good option. I find that the MIDI software instrument can save the day, transposing the notes up or down. It’s a game-changer!

3. midiplus AKM322

ALL-ROUNDER PERFORMER

32 velocity-sensitive keys.Dynamic keys.
Sustain pedal input.Affordable and feature-packed.
Picture by midiplus

PROS

  • To put it simply, the Midiplus AKM322 is an awesome ultra-compact MIDI keyboard under $50. I think that at such an affordable price, you get a portable and lightweight keyboard that is truly remarkable.

    So, what got me about the AKM322 were its velocity-sensitive keys. It caught me off guard. With 32 mini keys that respond to your touch, you can create expressive and dynamic music. It’s a game-changer for musicians who want to add depth and emotion to their performances.

    The AKM322 also offers a sustain pedal input. I find that so useful, especially for pianists or keyboard players. Connecting a sustain pedal allows you to sustain notes and create beautiful, legato lines.

    It comes with an ultra-compact design. It’s less than 13 inches long and weighs only 1.3 pounds. In my opinion, this makes it the perfect companion for musicians on the go. You can easily carry it around and transport it without any hassle.

    The Midiplus AKM322 is worth mentioning for its affordable price. Beginners or budget-minded musicians will find it to be an excellent choice. Plus, its build quality and the fact that it offers so many features at this price point is truly outstanding.

    So, if you’re looking for a portable and affordable MIDI keyboard that doesn’t sacrifice on quality, the Midiplus AKM322 is the one for you.

CONS

  • The midiplus AKM322 MIDI keyboard has two cons that are worth considering.
  • First off, the keys are not full-size, which can be a struggle for those with larger hands and can make playing chords and complex passages more difficult.
  • Secondly, the build quality is not top-notch. Made of plastic, it feels flimsy and cheap to some users. Keys may also stick or become unresponsive over time.
  • However, this budget-friendly keyboard is still popular due to its compact and lightweight design, along with features like a built-in arpeggiator, drum machine, and sustain pedal input. It’s ideal for beginners or those on a tight budget. Keep in mind these limitations before purchasing.
  • Some good tips for selecting a MIDI keyboard: consider size and weight for easy transport, think about the type of keys you prefer, look for desired features like arpeggiators and sustain pedal inputs, and read reviews to get a comprehensive understanding of the pros and cons. Trust me, these pointers will help you find the perfect MIDI keyboard.

4. Nektar Impact GX Mini

COMPACT AND FEATURE-PACKED

Portable!Affordable,
25 keys.Sustain pedal input.
Picture by Nektar

PROS

  • Like the others on the list, the Nektar Impact GX Mini is a powerfull and compact MIDI keyboard that is sure to help you on your musical journey. I mean, weighing in at just 1 pound and measuring a mere 13.8 inches wide and 2.8 inches thick. It’s like carrying a musical powerhouse in your backpack!

    But here’s the best part: this mini keyboard is around $50! It’s really affordable without compromising on features. In my opinion, the Nektar Impact GX Mini offers a comprehensive set of features that will blow your mind. With 25 velocity-sensitive synth-action keys, a sustain pedal input, and a transpose button, it’s a game-changer for music production.

    It’s simply plug-and-play, meaning you can start making music right away without any driver installations. Plus, it’s compatible with major music production software like Ableton Live and Logic Pro. That’s truly outstanding!

    To put it simply, the Nektar Impact GX Mini is a remarkable choice for beginners and experienced users alike. Its affordability, portability, and feature-rich design make it a must-have for any musician or producer. So, guys, if you’re looking for a mini keyboard that’s worth every penny, the Nektar Impact GX Mini is the way to go. Trust me, it won’t disappoint!

CONS

  • Now again the Nektar Impact GX Mini has a couple of drawbacks:
  • First off, the limited number of keys on this keyboard can be quite restrictive. With just 25 keys, playing songs with a wide range of notes may require you to play in multiple octaves. It can feel a bit limiting, especially if you’re used to a full-sized keyboard. Secondly, there have been durability concerns raised by some users. The keys might feel a bit flimsy and the plastic casing can crack easily. If you’re looking for something that can withstand heavy use, you might want to consider another model. In my opinion, it’s important to know these limitations before purchasing the Nektar Impact GX Mini.

    Now, let me tell you, there’s a useful tip for those worried about the limited number of keys. You can actually use the octave shift buttons to transpose the keyboard up or down. Pretty cool, right? This feature allows you to play a wider range of notes without needing to switch octaves.

  • So… Despite its limitations, the Nektar Impact GX Mini can be a game-changer for budget-minded musicians looking for a portable MIDI keyboard. It’s worth mentioning that there are a few concerns, but it is forsure still a pretty impressive option.

5. MIDIPLUS AKM320

EFFICIENT AND AFFORDABLE

Ultra-compact and lightweight.Good 32 keys, sensitive playing.
Headphone output.Pitch and Mod Wheel,
Picture by MIDIPLUS

PROS

  • Next let’s talk about The MIDIPLUS AKM320. This compact MIDI keyboard under $50 can do a bunch of things!

    Firstly, its ultra-compact and lightweight design is a game-changer. It weighs just over 1 pound, making it incredibly portable and easy to carry around. Whether you’re jamming with friends or playing a gig, this keyboard is so convenient to have by your side.

    As the others on the list, this one has 32 mini keys with good velocity sensitivity. Despite its small size, the AKM320 provides a comfortable playing experience with keys that respond to your playing dynamics. It’s truly outstanding how well-spaced and responsive these keys are.

    The headphone output is so useful. You can play and monitor your music without needing any additional equipment. This feature is perfect for beginners or musicians on the go, as it offers convenience and versatility.

    Finally, it has an incredible price. The AKM320 is one of the most affordable MIDI keyboards out there. It’s worth mentioning that this keyboard doesn’t compromise on quality or features. It offers a comfortable playing experience and a good set of features, all at an affordable price. That’s pretty impressive, to be honest.

    So folks… the MIDIPLUS AKM320 is a true gem for beginners and budget-minded musicians. Its ultra-compact size, good velocity sensitivity, built-in speaker, and affordability make it a game-changer in the MIDI keyboard market. I couldn’t agree more that this keyboard is a remarkable value for the price. So, if you’re looking for an ultra-compact MIDI keyboard, the AKM320 is definitely worth considering. To put it simply, it’s mind-blowing!

CONS

  • Now let’s talk cons. The MIDIPLUS AKM320 has two cons that I need to share with you:
  • First, the limited number of keys, only 32, can be quite restrictive for those playing complex music pieces, especially since most MIDI keyboards have 61 keys.
  • Additionally, there is no built-in display, making it challenging to navigate the settings without consulting the manual or using a computer.
  • However, the AKM320 is still a good value for its price. It’s worth mentioning that the limited keys make it portable and affordable, and if you’re comfortable with computer control, the lack of a display may not bother you.

6. Miditech i2-mini 32 plus

VERSATILE PERFORMER

32 keys.Velocity-sensitive.
Sustain pedal input.Pitch and Mod Wheels!
Picture by Miditech

PROS

  • Finally let’s talk about the Miditech i2-mini 32 plus!

    This guy is also really portable, but it’s not just the size that impressed me. The 32 velocity-sensitive keys are full-size and offer a natural and expressive playing experience. I find that so useful, especially when I want to add dynamics to my performances.

    The i2-mini also comes with a sustain pedal input. As always having the ability to sustain notes even after releasing the keys adds so much expression and depth to my playing. 

    And speaking of cost, the affordability of the Miditech i2-mini 32 plus is truly outstanding. It’s a budget-friendly option that doesn’t compromise on quality or features. In my opinion, it’s a game-changer for musicians who are on a tight budget but still want a reliable MIDI keyboard.

    In all seriousness, the Miditech i2-mini 32 plus is worth mentioning. Its performance and value for the price is simply mind-blowing. To put it simply, I was pleasantly surprised by this keyboard and I couldn’t agree more that it’s a must-have for musicians of all levels.

    So, if you’re looking for a small and lightweight MIDI keyboard that won’t break the bank, I highly recommend the Miditech i2-mini 32 plus. Trust me, it will leave you speechless.

CONS

  • And! there are a couple of cons to consider.
  • Firstly, with just 32 keys, it may feel restrictive for some users who need a wider range of notes or prefer two-handed voicings.
  • Secondly, the lack of a built-in display can make navigating the device’s settings a bit tricky. You’ll have to rely on your computer or mobile device to make adjustments, which can be slightly inconvenient if you’re not familiar with the software editor. Overall though, it’s still a pretty impressive ultra-compact MIDI keyboard.

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