We recently rounded up the best MIDI keyboards for Mac and Logic Pro X (2017 edition), and now it’s time to get portable. At this point in time, it’s hard for me to even believe that MIDI isn’t entirely wireless on every product that features it. But it is clear that some companies have been looking to the future for some time now, so we thought it would be good to run down the best wireless MIDI keyboards for Mac and iOS…
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Akai Professional LPK25 Bluetooth MIDI Keyboard
If you’re familiar with our previous music gear coverage or the Logic Pros series, you’ll know we are big fans of Akai’s keyboard controllers. They may not be the best option for piano purists, but they are built like a tank and have never let us down.
The company’s wireless LPK25 Bluetooth MIDI Keyboard offers up completely wireless connectivity for iPhone, iPad, and your Mac. Powered by three AA batteries, it provides up to 12 hours of jamming and includes your standard up/down octave controls, sustain pedal input, and a built-in arpeggiator. You can also just pull out a USB cable and use it that way when you’re at home or starting to run out of juice. This model is designed to integrate perfectly with the LPD8 Wireless Drum Pad/Controller too.
At just under $100, this is certainly one of our top picks for the best wireless MIDI keyboards for iOS and Mac.
- Akai Professional LPK25 Bluetooth MIDI Keyboard $99
- Non-Wireless version goes for around $57
Korg microKEY Air Bluetooth/USB MIDI Controller
Korg’s MicroKEY Air wireless keyboards come in 4 sizes, unlike the wireless Akai deck above. The 25, 37, 49, and 61-key options all feature Bluetooth for wireless connection to iOS and Mac devices, as well as a traditional USB connector (bus-powered when using USB).
It requires two AA batteries and will run for about 30-hours according to Korg, although that sounds like a bit of a high estimate to me. Nonetheless, this is a nice little portable MIDI keyboard with some larger sized models for those that may require them. Korg has also brought some extra value with free special editions of KORG Gadget, KORG Module and the KORG Legacy Collection plug-ins included in the package.
- Korg microKEY 25 Air Bluetooth/USB MIDI Controller $100
- Korg microKEY 37 Air Bluetooth/USB MIDI Controller $130
- Korg microKEY 49 Air Bluetooth/USB MIDI Controller $160
- Korg microKEY 61 Air Bluetooth/USB MIDI Controller $190
CME Xkey Air Mobile Music Keyboard
Specifically designed to match your MacBook, the Xkey Air offers two models with 25 and 37-key variants. Both of which feature low latency Bluetooth and full compatibility with iPhone, iPad, and Mac. These suckers have polyphonic aftertouch, velocity sensitive keys, octave buttons and are fully configurable via the Xkey Plus free app for iOS and Mac. Best of all, the Lithium battery is fully rechargeable.
- CME Xkey 25 Air Mobile Music Keyboard $199
- CME Xkey 37 Air Mobile Music Keyboard $299
For those of you unfamiliar with the puc, it is also a great way to add wireless MIDI transmission to your setup. The small aptly named puck-shaped adapter uses USB/5-pin MIDI din cables to add wireless MIDI to any existing keyboard or controller. It will run you $99.99 over at Amazon. You can learn more about the latest generation puc+ in our hands-on review.
Here are our top picks for the best MIDI keyboards in 2017 and for all things Mac and iOS music production, stay locked to our Logic Pros series.
See any interesting products/gear you would like us to review/cover? Let us know in the comments below.
The Logic Pros are: Justin Kahn and Jordan Kahn, who also front Toronto-based electronic/hip-hop group Makamachine.
Want more Logic Pros? Check out the archives here and stay tuned for a new installment each week in 2017.