Best MIDI keyboards for Mac 2020 Edition

This is the best MIDI keyboards for Mac and Logic Pro X 2020 Edition. With so many of us finding more time than usual this year to get creative and start new audio projects, not to mention that massive update Logic Pro X users saw a few months back, having a good controller by our sides might be more important, and useful than ever. If our MacBooks or iOS devices are the brains of our music production setups, than a dependable MIDI keyboard might just be the heart of the operation. What is a simple piece of plastic made to look like a piano to many, is an expressive tool for translating human emotion and creativity into an otherwise overly-efficient piece of cold steel with an Apple logo on it to the rest of us. Head below for a closer look the best MIDI keyboards to help unleash your creativity and to decide which option is best for your particular needs.  

Best budget MIDI keyboards for Mac:

This year we are starting off with some of the more budget-friendly options that will work nicely with both your portable MacBook setup and in the home studio. Top picks in the 2020 best budget MIDI keyboard category feature some mainstays as well as few additional entries. We have had a chance to try out some of the more affordable Nektar options earlier this year as well as the budget-friendly Alesis models, which now sit alongside our favorite mini MPK MKII (and its successor, the MKIII) from Akai. These keyboards typically favor portability over all of the bells and whistles, alongside tight 25-key setups. But you will find expanded control sets in exchange for portability, as well as plenty of bundled in content, with the Akai, Alesis, and Arturia MiniLab options. 

  • Akai MPK Mini MKII $99
  • Nektar SE25-Key MIDI keyboard $50
  • Nektar SE49-Key MIDI keyboard $80
  • iRig 25-Keys Mini $70
  • Arturia 25-Key Microlab $89
  • Arturia 25-Key MiniLab MkII $109
  • KORG Wireless microKEY Air from $115
  • Alesis 25-Key VMini $79

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Native Instruments:

Native Instruments still sits somewhere atop the list here. While the main highlight of Native Instruments hardware will always be the access to its massive collection of instruments and sound sources — the gigantic KOMPLETE 13 update just launched — as well as the personal value it holds for you, NI has certainly proven itself in the MIDI keyboard controller space nonetheless. While the higher-end S-series models can go for as much as $1,000+, the company also offers much more affordable hardware-based control over its wonderful lineup of software instruments via the Komplete Kontrol M32 — a keyboard priced low enough to have made our budget section above, but with just enough extra functionality to receive its own place on this list. 

The Komplete Kontrol M32 MIDI keyboard controller hit store shelves in the middle of last year. It put yet another portable mini-like MIDI keyboard on the market for musicians but with slightly more keys at 32 alongside NI’s OLED display and touch-sensitive knobs for real-time visual feedback and control over quite an extensive collection of included sounds. The bus-powered MIDI controller includes “intuitive control over Logic Pro X, GarageBand, and Ableton Live” with about 6100 included sounds spread across 10GB of content. It also works great as a companion to NI’s MASCHINE MIKRO drum pad-based controller if you’re looking to expand your input methods down the line (although it might be worth keeping in mind the new Novation Launchpad support if you’re a Logic Pro X 10.5+ user). This one is definitely worth a closer look for those wanting something portable with loads of software support, that also don’t mind the “compact” key design.

Here are some of the best options in the lineup and some of the notable features to keep an eye on when making a decision:

  • Komplete Kontrol M32 $139
    • 32 compact keys
    • Software package: synths, basses, drums, effects, Ableton Live 10 Lite
  • Komplete Kontrol A25 $169
    • Custom NI keybed with 25 semi-weighted keys
    • 6,700 sounds and 13 GB of content included
    • Full integration with MASCHINE, Logic Pro X, GarageBand, and Ableton Live
  • Komplete Kontrol A49$219
    • Custom NI keybed with 49 semi-weighted keys
    • 6,700 sounds and 13 GB of content included
    • Full integration with MASCHINE, Logic Pro X, GarageBand, and Ableton Live
  • Komplete Kontrol A61 $279
    • Custom NI keybed with 61 semi-weighted keys
    • 6,700 sounds and 13 GB of content included
    • Full integration with MASCHINE, Logic Pro X, GarageBand, and Ableton Live
  • Komplete Kontrol S49 MKII $669
    • 49 semi-weighted keys
    • Fatar keybeds with aftertouch
    • Pitch and mod wheels, plus touch strip
    • 7,000 studio-quality sounds and over 45 GB of content + more
  • Komplete Kontrol S61 MKII $779
    • 61 semi-weighted keys
    • Fatar keybeds with aftertouch
    • Pitch and mod wheels, plus touch strip
    • 7,000 studio-quality sounds and over 45 GB of content + more
  • Komplete Kontrol S88 MKII $1,049
    • 88-key hammer-action Fatar keybed
    • Two high-res color screens
    • 7,000 sounds and over 45 GB of content + more

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