Best 49 Key Midi Controllers of 2021

Musicians and producers deal with all sorts of gadgets as they make new music. Technology has only enhanced the landscape for musicians out there and we are all grateful. And the midi controllers have been a crucial part, thus we will have a look at the best 49 key midi controllers for all the musicians and producers!

The 49 key midi controllers have made the lives of producers much easier. It maintains the perfect balance of portability as well as functionality. It is much better than a 25 key midi controller in terms of the size and features.

If you want to know the Best Midi Keyboards for Ableton, check out our guide to them 

Buying Guide for Midi Controllers

Before you go rush and buy a 49 key midi controller, know some of the things you should know before buying one.

The Number of Keys

It is one of the important factors before buying a midi controller. Since you are already here to see 49 key midi controllers, consider this as a sign if you want to reconsider to a bigger key. However, 49 key midi controls are definitely just as good. It is portable and can be played with both hands unlike the 25 key midi controllers.

49 key midi controllers are much lighter than the 61 key and 88 key midi controllers. So, make sure you have considered all the key differences between them and thoughtfully chose the 49 key one.

More information on number of keys click here

Check the Knobs and Pads

After you have carefully thought out about the number of keys, it is time to check what type of functions you need. Midi controllers come with all sorts of knobs, pads and faders that enhance the music production and make it easier for a producer. The producer can play around with different sounds and let the creativity through their music.

A pad is made of rubber which is sensitive to velocity which lets you have the creative control as it changes with the drum hits and patch change. Knobs are assigned for different functions that let you experiment more and a fader is there for you to gain equalizer control.


It is very important that you check the compatibility of the potential 49 key midi controller that you are buying. See if it aligns with the rest of your setup beforehand by checking the specifications. It is better to be careful than sorry.


The budget is essentially a primary factor before you make your setup. It will also determine what kind of quality you are going for. 49 key midi controllers come in all sorts of price ranges from $100 to above. So, carefully set a budget and then proceed to look for them.

Now, that we have covered all the factors that you should consider before a 49 key midi controller. Let’s dive into our list of the best 49 key midi controllers of 2021.





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best 49 key midi controllers

Alesis V49

Velocity sensitive front keys

8 pads

Premium software


best 49 midi controllers


Full size keys

16 RGB MPC style pads


best 49 midi controllers

Novation Launchkey (MK2)

16 RGB velocity sensitive pads

USB bus powered


M-Audio MK3

Total control of software

Velocity sensitive keys


Nektar Impact LX49+

Hyper sensitive backlit pads

5 user presets


Alesis VI49

Semi weighted keys

16 sensitive trigger pads


1. Alesis V49

best 49 key midi controllers

Alexis V49 bags the 1st position for the best 49 key midi controllers of 2021. It has 49 full sized velocity sensitive front keys that will be perfect if you have virtual instruments. This midi controller has 8 velocity and pressure backlit pads that are featured for enhanced beat production and clip launching. There are 4 assignable knobs and buttons which will interface with your own music software. 

This midi controller also has octave up and down buttons which will let you change around the pitch and keyboard range to bring more creativity.


  • Reasonable price
  • Premium software included in the package
  • Adjustable velocity curves of keys and pads


  • Average drum pads
  • Pads require double tap

2. AKAI MPK249

best 49 midi controllers

The AKAI MPK249 gets the 2nd position for the best 49 keys midi controller list. It has semi weighted full sized keys that are velocity sensitive. The key bed has a natural feel and will respond to unprecedented touch. It has 16 RGB illuminated MPC style pads and each of them 4 banks. The 64 pads in this midi controller are designed to be the perfect solution to play around with samples, loops and so much more.

It has 8 control knobs and also faders to switch around the engineering and virtual instrument mapping. It has 5 pin midi input and output so that you can make this the centerpiece of your studio. 

This AKAI midi controller definitely falls in the expensive range.


  • Different MPC tools
  • Production software package for both Mac and PC
  • Responsive Drum pads


  • Expensive
  • Keypad  should be better

3. Novation Launchkey (MK2)

best 49 midi controllers

The Novation Launchkey MK2 gets the 3rd position for the best 49 key midi controllers of 2021. It is a USB keyboard controller which can be used for Ableton Live, a digital audio workstation. It is powered with16 RGB pads that are velocity sensitive and 8 knobs for navigation and control buttons. 

It also has a 3 character LED display and comes with software for both Mac and PC. The drum pads are 16 full colors with RGB backlit velocity. You can even take free key and pad drumming lessons from Melodic. Just plug in the USB and start controlling everything!


  • 16 RGB full color
  • Learning opportunity with Melodics
  • Abletone Live Compatibility
  • Good controller


  • Expensive Price
  • Stiff drum pads

4. M-Audio MK3

The M Audio MK3 bags the 4th position for our list of best 49 key midi controllers. The 49 keys built into this controller is full size and will provide a natural feel under your fingers. You will get to have the total control with its volume fader, directional buttons and modulation wheels. You can octave up and down and also control the pedal input for creative performances.

 The M Audio MK3 has a compact design which will fit into any home desk, studio or even stage pretty perfectly. It offers a range of functions so that you can customize your controls for your recording software. The best thing is you can easily just plug in to your Mac or PC and start playing around the controller.


  • Reasonable price
  • Various Premium software included in the package
  • No external power supply required


  • No velocity sensitive keys
  • Keys get stuck sometimes

5. Nektar Impact LX49+

Nektar Impact LX49+ gets the 5th position and it certainly deserves it. This 49 key midi controller has velocity sensitive synth action keyboard. The key are full sized and has 4 velocity curves. The controller comes with software instruments that you can map to control. It is powered with 8 hyper sensitive backlit pads so that you get the freedom to be more creative. It is compatible with any computer music application which is definitely a win-win. 

This midi controller has 26 fully programmable realtime controls and 5 user presets. You can connect with a USB port to any operating system and it will work.


  • Full sized keys
  • 8 hyper sensitive pads
  • Reasonable price
  • 26 programmable user controls


  • Keys should be better in quality

6. Alesis VI49

The Alexis VI49 bags the last place for the best midi 49 key controllers. It has semi weighted keys with after touch. You can manipulate the plugins and also connect virtual instruments with hands on control. It gives you the flexibility to open and close filters on virtual synthesizers. You can add more effects and have the most creative control. There are 36 assignable buttons and 12 knobs which are provided so that you interface with the music software.

It also has a good number of production software compatibility such as Abletone Live Lite, Xpand!2 and much more. This midi controller is also USB powered and supports both Mac and PC.


  • Compatible with both Mac and PC
  • Premium software included
  • Reasonable price
  • 26 programmable user controls


  • Keys should be better in quality

That’s a wrap for the list of best 49 key midi controllers of 2021. We have curated 6 top products for you and we hope that you happen to choose one of them. They are all compatible with most operating software and audio software.

Carefully look at all of their features and then make a purchase decision. The features that your chosen 49 key midi controller offers will have to match your required ones. However, we will recommend the AKAI MPK249 for its great range of functions and responsive drum pads. Hope this article was helpful to you!

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