Best 49 Keys Mini USB Controller Keyboard in 2023: Top Picks and Reviews

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A 49-key mini USB controller keyboard is an essential tool for musicians and producers who need a compact and portable keyboard for creating music on-the-go.

With so many options available on the market, it can be challenging to find the best one that suits your needs.

When looking for the best 49-key mini USB controller keyboard, there are several critical factors to consider.

One of the most important is the quality of the keys. The keys should be responsive and sensitive to touch, allowing you to play with precision and accuracy.

The size and weight of the keyboard are also essential, as you want something that is easy to carry around and won’t take up too much space in your bag.

Another critical factor to consider is the number of controls and features available on the keyboard.

Some keyboards come with additional knobs, faders, and buttons that allow you to control various aspects of your music production software.

These extra features can be incredibly useful, but they can also add to the cost of the keyboard.

After researching and testing various models, we have identified the best 49-key mini USB controller keyboards on the market.

In the following sections, we will provide an in-depth review of each keyboard, highlighting its features, pros, and cons.

Whether you are a beginner or a professional musician, we have something for everyone.

Best 49 Keys Mini USB Controller Keyboards

We have researched and tested a variety of 49 keys mini USB controller keyboards to bring you the best options available on the market.

These keyboards are perfect for musicians, producers, and anyone who needs a compact and portable keyboard for their music production needs.

Our roundup features keyboards with a range of features, including velocity-sensitive keys, customizable controls, and compatibility with popular music software.

Read on to find the perfect keyboard for your needs.

Alesis VI49 – 49 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller

Alesis VI49 - 49 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller

If you’re looking for a versatile MIDI keyboard controller that comes with a range of features and software, the Alesis VI49 is worth considering.

Pros

  • The semi-weighted keys with aftertouch feel great to play and provide a responsive playing experience.
  • The 16 RGB trigger pads provide excellent visual feedback and are perfect for launching clips or finger drumming.
  • The inclusion of Ableton Live Lite and Xpand!2 by AIR Music Tech provides a range of sounds and functionality to enhance your music production.

Cons

  • The keyboard can be quite bulky and heavy, which may not be ideal for those who need to transport it frequently.
  • Some users have reported issues with the pitch and modulation wheels feeling a bit flimsy.
  • The software can take some time to set up and configure properly, which may be frustrating for some users.

Overall, the Alesis VI49 is a solid choice for those looking for a MIDI keyboard controller with a range of features and software.

The semi-weighted keys and RGB trigger pads provide an excellent playing experience, while the included Ableton Live Lite and Xpand!2 by AIR Music Tech software offer a range of sounds and functionality to enhance your music production.

If you don’t mind the keyboard’s weight and size, it’s definitely worth considering.

AKAI Professional MPK249

AKAI Professional MPK249

If you’re looking for a complete workstation control solution, the AKAI Professional MPK249 is the perfect fit for you.

It’s a 49-key performance pad and keyboard controller that combines deep software integration, enhanced workflow, and core technologies from the iconic line of MPC workstations.

The MPK249 comes fully loaded with a professional production software package plus a comprehensive, customizable interface for manipulating virtual instruments, effect plugins, DAWs and more.

Pros

  • Pro Keyboard Performance – 49 semi-weighted, velocity-sensitive full-size keys and a premium piano-style keybed for unprecedented response and natural feel.
  • Beat Making Essentials – 16 RGB-illuminated MPC-style pads each with 4 banks for 64 pads – the perfect solution for triggering samples, loops, one-shots, melodics and more.
  • Assignable Control – 24 assignable Q-Link controllers comprising 8 control knobs, faders and switches engineered for hassle-free DAW / virtual instrument mapping.

Cons

  • No power adapter included.
  • The software is included on CD, which may be inconvenient for some users.
  • Some users may find the price point to be too high for their budget.

The AKAI Professional MPK249 is a great investment for those who are serious about music production. The keyboard is very responsive, and the keys feel great.

The pads are also very responsive and are perfect for triggering samples, loops, and other sounds.

The assignable controls are a great addition, and they make it easy to manipulate virtual instruments and effect plugins.

The only downside to the AKAI Professional MPK249 is that it doesn’t come with a power adapter, which means you’ll need to purchase one separately.

Additionally, the software is included on CD, which may be inconvenient for some users.

Lastly, the price point may be too high for some users, but it’s important to remember that you’re paying for a high-quality product that will last for years to come.

Overall, we highly recommend the AKAI Professional MPK249 to anyone who is serious about music production. It’s a great investment that will help take your music to the next level.

Arturia KeyLab Essential mk3 — 49 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with Analog Lab V Software Included White

Arturia KeyLab Essential mk3

We highly recommend the Arturia KeyLab Essential mk3 for anyone looking for a versatile and intuitive mini USB controller keyboard.

The new creative features, custom DAW integration, and expanded software package make it a great choice for both beginners and pros.

Pros

  • The Scale Mode, Chord Mode, and Arpeggiator features make songwriting, composition, and beat-making more intuitive than ever.
  • The RGB-backlit pads with velocity and pressure sensitivity, contextual button, and bright 2.5” LCD screen provide real-time feedback and easier controls.
  • The expanded software package includes Analog Lab V, 2 pianos, and subscriptions to Loopcloud and Melodics, making it a great value for the price.

Cons

  • The keyboard is a bit plasticky and may make clacking sounds when keys are depressed, which may not be ideal for some musicians.
  • The MIDI Control Center software may crash occasionally, which could be frustrating for some users.
  • Some users may have trouble pairing it with their MacBook Pro M2.

Overall, the Arturia KeyLab Essential mk3 is a great choice for anyone looking for a versatile and intuitive mini USB controller keyboard.

The new creative features, custom DAW integration, and expanded software package make it a great value for the price, and the RGB-backlit pads, contextual button, and bright LCD screen provide real-time feedback and easier controls.

While the keyboard may be a bit plasticky and the MIDI Control Center software may crash occasionally, these minor issues do not detract from the overall quality and value of the product.

M-Audio Oxygen 49 (MKV)

M-Audio Oxygen 49 (MKV)

If you’re looking for a MIDI controller keyboard that packs a punch, then the M-Audio Oxygen 49 (MKV) is definitely worth considering.

With its feature-packed design, you’ll have everything you need to create professional-quality music in no time.

Pros

  • The 49 full-sized keys are velocity-sensitive, delivering a natural response that gets the best out of virtual sampler and synthesizer plugins.
  • The 2 banks of 8 backlit velocity-sensitive drum pads with Note Repeat are perfect for beat production, clip launching, soundboard triggering, and more.
  • The 8 assignable knobs and 9 assignable faders are great for tactile MIDI control of virtual synth parameters, effect plugins, DAW controls, and more.

Cons

  • The keys may feel a bit plastic, which may not be ideal for some users.
  • Some users have reported compatibility issues with various DAWs.
  • The included software may not be suitable for all users.

We were impressed with the M-Audio Oxygen 49 (MKV), which is a powerful MIDI controller keyboard that’s perfect for beginners and professionals alike.

The auto-mapping feature makes it easy to configure the keyboard to your DAW, and the Smart Chord and Smart Scale modes are great for creating complex chord progressions.

The Oxygen 49 (MKV) is also packed with powerful features, including an Arpeggiator and Note Repeat, which are essential for creating and producing music in a digital environment.

The 8 assignable knobs and 9 assignable faders are great for tactile MIDI control of virtual synth parameters, effect plugins, DAW controls, and more.

Overall, the M-Audio Oxygen 49 (MKV) is a great choice for anyone looking for a MIDI controller keyboard that delivers professional-quality results.

With its powerful features, easy-to-use design, and high-quality construction, it’s definitely worth considering.

Alesis V49 MKII USB MIDI Keyboard Controller

Alesis V49 MKII USB MIDI Keyboard Controller

We highly recommend the Alesis V49 MKII USB MIDI Keyboard Controller for anyone looking for a versatile and feature-packed production tool.

Pros

  • The 49 full-size, velocity-sensitive, synth-action keys provide a realistic piano-like feel that is perfect for both beginners and professionals.
  • The 8 velocity-sensitive backlit beat pads with full-level and note-repeat controls allow for easy and intuitive beat production.
  • The 4 MIDI-assignable knobs for virtual instrument and DAW control, as well as octave and transpose buttons, provide full control customization and easy access to the full keyboard range.

Cons

  • The tap tempo light can be annoying and distracting, but this can be easily fixed with some aluminum foil or stickers.
  • The keyboard is not self-powered and relies on USB power from a computer, which may limit its portability.
  • The software setup can take some time and may require firmware updates.

The Alesis V49 MKII is an excellent choice for anyone looking to take their musical ideas from concept to final performance.

The pitch bend and modulation wheels, as well as the arpeggiator with 6 modes, allow for added expression and creativity.

The MPC Beats Software Suite and 60 piano lessons from Melodics provide a great starting point for beginners, while the easy point-and-click MIDI editor software enables full control customization for professionals.

In summary, the Alesis V49 MKII is a versatile and feature-packed USB powered MIDI controller that is ideal for home studio producers, piano beginners, and desktop DJs.

It works with iOS devices via Apple Lightning to USB Camera Adapter (sold separately) USB 2.0, to be used with Mac/PC software (Windows 7-10; MacOS High Sierra-Big Sur); 6.35mm Sustain pedal input. Click here to purchase the Alesis V49 MKII USB MIDI Keyboard Controller now.

Buying Guide

When it comes to buying a 49 keys mini USB controller keyboard, there are several important factors to consider. Here are some key features to look out for:

Keyboard Size and Layout

The size and layout of the keyboard is an important consideration.

A 49 keys mini USB controller keyboard should be compact and portable, but still have enough keys to provide a full range of notes.

Look for a keyboard that is easy to play and has a layout that makes sense to you.

Key Action and Sensitivity

The key action and sensitivity is another important factor to consider. The keys should have a good feel and response, with enough sensitivity to allow for expressive playing.

Look for a keyboard with adjustable touch sensitivity, so you can customize the feel to your liking.

Connectivity and Compatibility

Make sure the keyboard you choose is compatible with your computer or device. Look for a keyboard that connects via USB, and make sure it is compatible with your operating system.

Some keyboards may also offer Bluetooth connectivity, which can be useful if you want to use it with a mobile device.

Additional Features

Finally, consider any additional features that may be important to you.

Some keyboards may offer programmable buttons or knobs, which can be useful for controlling software instruments or effects.

Others may have built-in arpeggiators or sequencers, which can be a fun and creative tool for music production.

By considering these key features, you can choose a 49 keys mini USB controller keyboard that is perfect for your needs.

Conclusion

When selecting a 49-key mini USB controller keyboard, prioritize portable form factors with responsive, velocity-sensitive keys for expressive playing.

The Alesis VI49 provides semi-weighted keys and RGB trigger pads in a versatile package.

For serious producers, AKAI’s MPK249 grants enhanced DAW control via assignable knobs, faders, and buttons.

Those wanting intuitive melodic and harmonic creation can benefit from the Arturia KeyLab Essential’s creative feature set.

And the M-Audio Oxygen 49 MK5 balances performance with tactile software control.

While more compact than full-sized controllers, these 49-key options retain enough keys for melody and harmony creation while opening up fresh creative possibilities through pads, sequencers, and DAW integration.

Their slimline builds slip smoothly into backpacks and shoulder bags, providing portable music production power.

Whether you produce electronica, hip hop, pop, or synthwave, this new breed of controller keyboards fuels inspiration wherever it strikes.

So escape the barriers of a desktop workspace and craft music in motion.

Dominic

Dominic is the chief editor of the Burton Acoustix blog which writes about acoustics and soundproofing to help readers with their queries and questions they might have with regard to improving any sound or noise issues that they faced in their life.