Digital Piano Accessories

6 Best & Cheap Beginner MIDI Keyboards Under $100

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Finding the best MIDI keyboards for beginners in 2021 are often an enormous challenge, but not due to a scarcity of choice. There are many different models from a spread of brands, all with their own different features.

Some people need a MIDI keyboard that’s small and straightforward but does an efficient job. Others are within the marketplace for a MIDI keyboard with all the “bells and whistles” and a controller keyboard for beginners which will do much more than simply trigger some notes. Some keyboards feature pads, sliders, and knobs which will be assigned to try to to various things within your instrument and DAW.

Whatever your goal when it involves a MIDI keyboard, we’ve got options below to suit, all at the worth tag of under $100.

Must to Know

Here are the best & cheap (under $100) MIDI keyboards for beginners:

Midiplus X6 Mini

If you’re looking to urge a MIDI keyboard that will be quite just a little controller to play during a few notes, you’ll want something bigger than tons of the opposite options on the market. Finding 61-keys to play is rare, and though the Midiplus model has smaller keys than a typical keyboard or piano, it’s an excellent option on a budget.

As well as having a bigger number of keys than tons of the opposite options under $100, the keys are weighted to offer a reasonably realistic feel compared to playing the piano. If you’re looking to find out the way to play the piano with a MIDI keyboard this might be an honest choice.

The additional controls aren’t as abundant as a number of the opposite models on the list. it’s fair to call this a simplistic design, but it still has sensors to regulate the pitch and modulation and a few customizable knobs, you’ll use these to assign to different aspects of your instruments or DAW.

What we like (and don’t like) about the Midiplus X6 Mini:

  • 61 weighted keys for more expression.
  • No driver needed on Mac or PC.
  • Powered by USB.
  • Backlit LEDs and touch sensors.
  • Keys are small, and should be awkward for larger fingers.
  • Not as many assignable controls as some competitors.

Generally speaking, if you’re trying to find a product that’s a MIDI keyboard first and a MIDI controller second, this might be the proper option for your needs. it is suitable for learning to play the keys also as tapping in notes and melodies within your DAW. In our opinion, it’s the best MIDI keyboard under $100 for beginners.

Samson Carbon 49

A 49-key size is popular for those trying to find an entry-level MIDI keyboard. it is large enough to play some rock and pop songs two-handed, but also sufficiently small in order that you don’t need to worry an excessive amount of about storage and transport.

Under $100 the selection may be a little limited, but not regrettable, and therefore the Samson Carbon model comes out on top of those averagely sized keyboard controllers.

The keys themselves are semi-weighted to duplicate the sensation of a synthesizer or maybe a digital piano, though they’re not the highest-quality keys. There also are options to assign 14 different control parameters to vary the settings within a VST or other software.

This includes some good connectivity functions, too. it is a MIDI out and may hook up with USB and iPad. There’s even an integrated slot for your iPad. It’s totally USB powered, too.

What we like (and don’t like) about the Samson Carbon 49:

  • Comes with Native Instrument’s Komplete Elements.
  • Good value-for-money.
  • Decent touch sensitivity.
  • 14 assignable controls for VST parameters.
  • Works better with Apple iPad than other tablets.
  • Build-quality might be a touch better – definitely a budget model.

In general, if you do not mind a product that does not have the foremost rugged feel, but provides many controls for your software, the Samson Carbon 49 might be a very good selection. It is one among the best 49-key MIDI keyboards for beginners.

Ammoon Worlde Panda mini

Though this MIDI keyboard does not boast extremely rugged build-quality, there is an awful lot you’ll do with it! also as having 25-keys for enjoying in simple melodies, chords and basslines, it’s such a lot more that you simply can control from the relatively small and portable surface.

There are 8 backlit pads, these are designed within the sort of several the costlier Alesis MIDI keyboards. Ammoon proves that inexpensive MIDI keyboards can do an identical job. There are 4 “banks” of controls including assignable sliders, knobs, and, of course, the trigger pads. For such alittle and affordable MIDI keyboard, this will become the middle of a live performance.

Like a number of the opposite options on the list, setup is incredibly simple and it’s powered by USB. This makes it the right companion to your laptop and an honest , inexpensive buy for bedroom musicians.

What we like (and don’t like) about the Ammoon Worlde Panda mini:

  • Four banks of assignable controls.
  • Easily integrates with tons of various software.
  • USB powered.
  • Lightweight and portable.
  • Keys feel a touch flimsy and low-quality.
  • No software included.
  • Not as durable as a number of the opposite MIDI keyboards.

It might not last your whole music career, but if you would like to start out building a home studio with alittle and affordable MIDI controller at the middle of it, it might be your answer. Just don’t expect to be ready to play big, classical compositions with this keyboard because it are going to be too small. 25-keys is great for portability, but restricts the skills of pianists.

Midiplus Minicontrol

Depending on where you’re buying from, and at what time, this might be the most cost effective option on the list. We’ve included it because it represents pretty good value for those on a budget and comes in well under $100, plus, it’s some good features, too.

This is another MIDI keyboard model with mini keys, so if you’ve got large hands and fingers otherwise you are wont to the texture of a digital piano or acoustic piano it’ll take some adjustment.

The size is slightly unusual at 32-keys, but this provides a touch more range than most of the opposite mini and cheap options that always have 25-keys.

There are tons of controls including pitch and mod wheels, four rotary encoders that you simply can set to regulate what you wish , and even an arpeggiator. this is often not something you discover on many of a budget MIDI keyboards. There also are 8 velocity-sensitive pads for drum beats, but with an A/B mode this will be extended to regulate 16 sounds.

Further adding to the great value for money is that the incontrovertible fact that this comes with a basic version of DAW software, Cubase LE. This comes as an access code and if you don’t have already got a DAW it are often very useful.

What we like (and don’t like) about the Midiplus Minicontrol:

  • Lightweight and little .
  • 32-key range, an improvement on 25-key models.
  • Includes an arpeggiator.
  • Assignable knobs and pads included.
  • Hard to play for larger hands.
  • Controls are often confusing for beginners.

If you’re wondering how cheap to travel when buying a starter MIDI keyboard then the Minicontrol could be your answer. It’s a reasonable model that also does an efficient job, and as long as you’re confident you’ll affect smaller keys it’s fine for both studio use and portable use.

IK Multimedia iRig Keys 37

IK Multimedia may be a big player when it involves making audio equipment and one among the foremost impressive offerings in their range is that the iRig. Initially designed to be used with Apple mobile products, it’s extended this so it supports Android and is amazing to be used together with your phone or tablet.

A lot of MIDI keyboards really struggle to attach to mobile software, or need complex adapters so as to try to to so. The iRig finally makes it simple. Beginner musicians often enjoy having the ability to practice on-the-go and you don’t need a laptop to try to to so.

You get just over 3 octaves of range with the 37-key MIDI controller, but, of course, there’s the choice to vary the octave up and down while you play.

This model is out there during a size to suit. If you would like to, you’ll buy an additional upgrade and obtain a model with full-sized keys rather than the quality mini keys. this is often good for people that are wont to piano keys, as an example .

As you’d probably expect, it doesn’t have an equivalent level of assignable knobs and sliders, this is often largely to save lots of space. You can’t easily use it to program drums, for instance .

What we like (and don’t like) about the IK Multimedia iRig Keys 37:

  • Easy to attach to your mobile device.
  • Available with full-sized or mini keys.
  • Simple control interface.
  • No assignable pads, sliders or knobs.
  • Not all music apps on phones and tablets support the utilization of iRig.

For the mobile musician, this will be an excellent choice, but it’s also possible to use it with a laptop within the studio. Small, efficient, and with an excellent level of compatibility, the iRig is sure to be a well-liked choice with tech lovers.

Korg nanoKEY2

Some people will have portability right at the highest of their list of criteria for a MIDI keyboard, and for those people, the nanoKEY2 is potentially the proper model to settle on .

This is an unusual design and it’s not the best for beginners who want to find out the way to play a piano or keyboard because it will feel totally different to those other instruments. However, for those that just want to clock in some MIDI parts to songs, the nanoKEY2 may be a thanks to roll in the hay that’s both affordable and absolutely tiny. this may slot in most laptop bags discretely and can accompany you on your trips without being a nuisance.

The button-design that has replaced the keys may be a little odd, but they’re still velocity-sensitive, and you’ll even activate a sustain button to form it more just like the expression of a piano.

What we like (and don’t like) about the Korg nanoKEY2:

  • Tiny and portable.
  • Relatively affordable.
  • Button design takes some getting wont to .
  • Tough to play multiple keys directly .
  • Doesn’t have an equivalent feel or expression as other keyboard designs.
  • No assignable controls aside from the note buttons.

This will be exactly what some people are trying to find. While it doesn’t suit everyone’s needs, it’s an honest MIDI keyboard for people that want something to slide in their iPad or laptop case and remove and about with them. 

Consider the utilization

The design and features you ought to search for are dependants upon what you would like to realize . If you’re looking to find out to play serious music and take piano lessons, the proper keyboard could be different from if you would like to program in drum beats.

For example, those that decide to use the MIDI keyboard to find out some piano songs, you would possibly prioritize features like touch-sensitivity and full-size keys, as these will feel more sort of a digital piano or maybe an acoustic piano.

If you’re using it to regulate synths, or to perform live, a number of the opposite functions like assignable knobs and faders are often a lifesaver. they will stop you from having to travel back and forth to your computer or use extra equipment.

Number of keys

This is a choice for everybody to form . Some people are proud of alittle number of keys to be ready to play in simple melodies, chord progressions, and basslines. 25 keys is simply about enough for this. However, if you would like to find out the way to play things with two hands then 25-key models won’t do the work effectively.

The number of keys will tie on to the portability. Obviously, an 88-key model is harder to move than 25!

The highest number of keys on the list is 61, which is ok for many rock and pop songs, but still not as big as a typical digital piano or acoustic piano. Learning Beethoven won’t be possible on one among these models. 49 or 61 key models are perfectly fine for many beginners.

Assignable knobs, sliders, and pads

For some people, this may be the foremost exciting thing their MIDI keyboard offers. For others, it’ll just be added confusion.

Knobs, sliders, and pads are often set to regulate different aspects of your DAW or VST software. this suggests you’ll change filters or alter sounds while you play. Pads can even be set to trigger loops and drum beats.

If all of this sounds a touch confusing, don’t worry. they’re simply added extras and you are doing not need to use them once you are playing. If you only want to specialise in the keys, this is often fine. for a few producers, these pads and sliders will play a key role in writing and performing music.

It’s a matter of private preference, but it’s certainly nice to possess the choice to form alterations via knobs and sliders. However, if portability may be a consideration, confine mind that each one these extra controls increase the dimensions of your MIDI keyboard.

Compatibility and free software

It’s worth checking before you buy a MIDI controller if it’ll work together with your setup. It must be compatible together with your computer. Most will intuitively link to most DAWs whether you’re running Mac OS or Windows.

If you would like to specifically use the MIDI keyboard with a mobile device, check this compatibility and the way it works. The iRig is perhaps the best cheap MIDI keyboard for this.

Some of the keyboards include some free software. this is often another bonus for multiple reasons, not least because you recognize it will work with the hardware you are buying.


Finding the best budget MIDI keyboard is about finding the one that suits your needs. There are options for home studios, performances, and for bedroom producers listed, as we offer MIDI keyboard reviews for all types of musicians.

Luckily, we sleep in an age where there’s tons of affordable audio gear out there. You don’t have your options restricted by an excessive amount, albeit you’re trying to find a MIDI keyboard under $100.

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