Best 25-Key Midi Controllers 2017 (Xmas Gift Guide)

2017 is just around the corner, and a 25-key midi controller is the perfect Christmas or exam gift for any music producer that doesn’t already have one. Even if they have a bigger one, they will appreciate the mobility of the smaller one. I am an affiliate of Amazon and receive commissions on sales, and all pricing reflects USD amounts at the time of this posting.

1. Akai MKP Mini II


Newest Version?: Yes

I may be biased as this is the one I use most often, but it’s truly well made at this price. Akai makes great midi controllers right up the board.

2. M-Audio Oxygen 25 MKIV


Newest Version?: Yes

I personally stopped buying M-Audio keyboards as my old one broke due to a seemingly common problem, and they never answered my support calls or messages. Oh well. That being said, I was tempted to try out the MKIV, though due to the above reasons I went with the MPK Mini II instead. I had the original MPK Mini, and it never broke.

3. Novation Launchkey Mini MK2


Newest Version?: Yes

I have not tried this particular product, but I have several products from Novation and they are all high quality. Nothing has ever broke despite the abuse I have given some of the pads. I believe they are a company deserving of the praise they get. At $79.99 for a 25-key midi controller from a company like Novation, you really can’t go wrong.

4. Akai Advance 25


Newest Version?: Yes

Coming in at over $400 with tax, this offering from Akai is sure to be a beast. Unfortunately I have not had the opportunity to test it out, so no detailed review from me. To be honest, I really want the 61-key version instead, but can’t decide between that an NI’s new one! This product has 0 reviews on, so I don’t think it is very popular (at least on Amazon at that price point, and it’s the same price on

5. Akai Professional APC 25


Newest Version?: Yes

This differs from the MPK Mini because instead of drum pads, the APC 25 features a full Ableton controller alongside the 25-key midi keyboard. If you’re going for pure workflow in product, choose the MPK Mini II. If you’re going to be performing live, the APC 25 might suit you better (unless you will be using drum pads, in which case go back to the MPK Mini II). All of the 25-key midi controllers from Akai can be used in a live or studio setting.

6. Alesis V25

Alesis is always keeping up with the Jones when it comes to releases, and I’m sure do well due to the always lower price points. Their gear looks pretty good, but I have never tried this brand in any form.


Newest Version?: Yes

7. Arturia Minilab


Newest Version?: Yes

I almost bought this keyboard from Arturia just for the software bundled. It looks good, but I have never tried gear from Arturia. I have definitely tried lots of their VST plugins which are always on point.

8. Roland System-1


Newest Version?: Yes

You never really hear about Roland in these midi-keyboard roundups, but they do keep making them. Perhaps their higher price point keeps them from getting reviewed by the blogosphere, Youtubers, etc.

With this top 8 list of the best 25 key midi controllers for Christmas 2016 (and beyond), you have something at every price point. If the producer in your family or circle of friends is messing around with DAW’s and making music on the computer, but doesn’t have gear yet, this is where to start. As an added bonus, many of them come with bundled lite versions of digital audio workstations such as Ableton.

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Ace Healey

Producer & Songwriter
Producer & Songwriter from Toronto, Canada. Entrepreneur, and founder of

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