Akai LPK25 Reviews: Best Budget MIDI Controller?

May 28, 2024
Justin Lumiere

Choosing the right portable music production keyboard within a tight budget requires weighing several factors, including portability, ease of use, and essential features. For anyone looking to compose music on the go, especially during business travels or when access to a regular piano is challenging, MIDI keyboard controllers like the Akai LPK25, Korg nanoKEY2, and M-Audio Keystation Mini offer compelling options under £40.

Akai LPK25

The Akai LPK25 stands out with its compact design and affordable price point of £39 on Amazon. Its small size makes it ideal for travel, fitting easily in a backpack or suitcase. Despite its portability, the LPK25 does not sacrifice functionality. It boasts features such as an arpeggiator, octave up/down buttons, and a sustain button that sends MIDI CC messages. However, it does lack pitch control, which can be a drawback for some users.

Akai LPK25
"Akai LPK25" by at8eqeq3 is licensed under CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/.

The LPK25 is made from durable plastic, ensuring it can withstand the rigors of travel. The keys are comfortable and sensitive, although they might be a bit challenging for individuals with larger hands. Another advantage is the included software package, which enhances its usability without additional costs. However, note that it doesn't have a MIDI out port, limiting its use to controlling computer-based instruments only.

Korg nanoKEY2

The Korg nanoKEY2 is another budget-friendly option, known for its ultra-slim design. This MIDI keyboard is even more portable than the LPK25, making it highly appealing for those who prioritize size and ease of transport. Like the LPK25, it is equipped with octave shift buttons, but it also includes pitch control, thus addressing one of the primary concerns noted with the LPK25.

Black and White Electric Piano

However, the nanoKEY2's key-style might not be suitable for everyone. The flat keys can sometimes be less intuitive for traditional piano players. On the other hand, its compatibility with Korg’s software ecosystem adds value, offering a seamless music production experience for users invested in Korg products.

Feedback and insights from other users can be invaluable when making the final decision. Each keyboard has its strengths and weaknesses, so understanding personal preferences and production needs will ultimately guide the best choice.

iPad and AKAI LPK25
"iPad and AKAI LPK25" by 池田隆一 is licensed under CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/.

M-Audio Keystation Mini

The M-Audio Keystation Mini represents a middle ground between the LPK25 and nanoKEY2 in terms of size and features. It includes full-sized keys despite its compact form, offering a more familiar feel for traditional piano players. The Keystation Mini also features octave up/down buttons and limited transport controls, making it a versatile choice for music production on the go.

A Person Sitting on the Couch while Holding a Tablet

However, it is slightly larger than the LPK25 and nanoKEY2, which might be a consideration if ultimate portability is a priority. Additionally, the Keystation Mini does not include an arpeggiator, which may be a drawback for users who rely heavily on this feature for creative inspiration.

The following comparison table provides an overview of the key features of the Akai LPK25, Korg nanoKEY2, and M-Audio Keystation Mini to help you decide:

FeatureAkai LPK25Korg nanoKEY2M-Audio Keystation Mini
Price£39Under £40Under £40
SizeCompact, fits in a backpackUltra-slim, highly portableCompact
Key TypeSensitive, comfortable plastic keysFlat keysFull-sized keys
Key Count252532
Octave Up/DownYesYesYes
Pitch ControlNoYesNo
DurabilityDurable plasticDurableDurable plastic
Included SoftwareYesCompatible with Korg softwareNone specified
MIDI Out PortNoNoNo

Choosing among these affordable MIDI keyboard options depends on your specific needs and preferences. Whether you prioritize portability, key feel, or specific features, there's a suitable option available within your budget to help you create and produce music while on the go.

Akai LPK25 Fingers
"Akai LPK25 Fingers" by qubodup is licensed under CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/.

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