The 7 Best Wireless/Bluetooth MIDI Controllers (2021)

If you are fed up with having too many cables in your setup, here are some of the best wireless MIDI controllers in the world, from keyboards to drum pads with different features for different needs.

My top pick as the best wireless MIDI controller is the AKAI Professional LPK 25 Wireless controller. It’s a very popular, compact, and effective MIDI keyboard and the best for many with its high value-to-price ratio.

Another excellent option for those who want more keys on their controller but still want to keep things compact would be Korg 61-Key Midi Controller (MKEYAIR61), with its 61-key natural touch keyboard.

Note: Please check if the Bluetooth MIDI controller you’re getting is compatible with your operating system. Many Bluetooth MIDI controllers use Bluetooth LE, if you’re a Windows user, check if this is supported on your machine and check if the device is supported for Windows.

The 7 Best Wireless/Bluetooth MIDI Controllers (2021)

1. AKAI Professional LPK 25 Wireless
Editor's Choice - A compact and effective wireless MIDI keyboard
2. Korg, 61-Key Midi Controller (MKEYAIR61)
A compact 61-key MIDI controller with a great feel of the keys
4. Yamaha MD-BT01 Bluetooth Wireless MIDI Interface
Alternative Option - Bluetooth Adapter To Use Non-wireless MIDI Devices Wireless
5. Korg nanoKEY Studio Bluetooth/USB MIDI and Pad Controller
Most Versatile Wireless MIDI Controller - Portable, All-rounder MIDI and Pad Controller
6. IK Multimedia iRig BlueBoard Bluetooth MIDI Pedalboard
Best Wireless MIDI Pedalboard - Fully Customizable Wireless MIDI Pedalboard
7. CME Xkey Air 25-key Bluetooth MIDI Controller
Most Portable MIDI Controller - 25-Key Modern MIDI Keyboard With High Playability And Portability

Let’s compare them in more detail:

1. AKAI Professional LPK 25 Wireless

Top Pick as the Best Wireless MIDI Keyboard
A compact and effective wireless MIDI keyboard.
View Price at Amazon

AKAI Professional LPK 25 is one of the best wireless MIDI keyboards on the market. Featuring a 25-note mini key keyboard with velocity sensitivity, the AKAI LPK can be paired wirelessly with devices quite easily with the pair button. It can be powered with a USB cable or 3 AA batteries.

Pros

  • High-quality MIDI keyboard for an affordable price
  • Easy-to-use editing software for further customization
  • Extremely portable
  • Arpeggiator and octave, sustain buttons

Cons

  • No pitch or mod wheels
  • Wireless mode not compatible with Windows installations that don’t include Bluetooth LE

It is a highly portable MIDI controller that you can carry around anywhere. It features an octave and a sustain button along with a versatile arpeggiator. 

It works on Bluetooth LE, which consumes much less energy compared to previous Bluetooth technologies. Its range is reasonably large, and there are no connection problems reported by users. However, Windows users that don’t have Bluetooth LE supported on their OS can not use the wireless feature.

Number of keys25
Number of knobs0
Number of pads0
Wireless ProfileBluetooth Low Energy

2. Korg, 61-Key Midi Controller (MKEYAIR61)

A Quality 61-key Wireless MIDI Keyboard
A compact 61-key MIDI controller with a great feel of the keys.
View Price at SweetwaterView Price at Amazon

Korg microKEY AIR-61 is a great portable keyboard that uses Bluetooth to make you get rid of your unnecessary cables. It features 61 keys with amazing velocity sensitivity, recoil, and feel that users highly appreciate. 

It can either be used wirelessly with 2 AA batteries or as a regular MIDI keyboard with a USB connection. The battery life is quite long, with a lifetime of 30 hours on average.

Pros

  • Great deal for the money
  • Amazing velocity, recoil, and feel of the keys
  • Extremely portable
  • Arpeggiator and a sustain button

Cons

  • No pads or transport buttons
  • Mini keys may be too small for players with bigger hands
  • Connection problems reported with Windows devices

Users reported that the keyboard works smoothly with iOS devices, but there were some problems on Android and Windows with the connectivity and driver installation. Another letdown could be the mini-keys which may feel too small for some players.

If you are an on-the-go musician looking for a wide-range reliable MIDI keyboard with great key feels and no cables, you can go with Korg, 61-Key Midi Controller without hesitation.

Number of keys61
Number of knobs0
Number of pads0
Wireless ProfileBluetooth 4.0

3. Akai Professional LPD8 Wireless Drum MIDI Controller

Top Pick as the Best Wireless MIDI Drum Controller
Best Wireless Drum Pad Controller.
View Price at Amazon

Akai Professional LPD8 Wireless is the wireless version of the iconic LPD8, one of the favorite MIDI devices of the EDM and hip-hop world. It features 8 drum pads, 8 Q-link knobs, and 4 memory banks, and most important of it all, the Bluetooth connection.

Pros

  • Great deal for the price
  • 8 pads, 8 Q-link knobs, 4 memory banks
  • Highly portable compact design

Cons

  • Hard to grip cone-like knobs

LPD8 weighs around 0.75 lbs (0.34 kg), making it extremely lightweight and portable to carry around. You can use 3 AA batteries or the USB port of your computer as the power source. Another plus is the Bluetooth LE connection that saves plenty of energy.

When the price, the versatility, and the quality of LPD8 are taken into account, it is evident that this is one of the best wireless MIDI drum pads on the market.

Number of keys0
Number of knobs8
Number of pads8
Wireless ProfileBluetooth Low Energy

4. Yamaha MD-BT01 Bluetooth Wireless MIDI Interface

An Alternative, Practical Solution
Bluetooth Adapter To Use Non-wireless MIDI Devices Wirelessly.
View Price at SweetwaterView Price at Amazon

Yamaha is known for its innovative solutions, and MD-BT01 is a great example. This is a Bluetooth adapter that runs through the instrument’s MIDI IN/OUT terminals that allows the instrument to connect to your device wireless. 

It can be used with most of the MIDI instruments without a problem. Plus, the latency is surprisingly low and never becomes an issue. Furthermore, you can use up to 5 adapters simultaneously, connecting them to the same device.

Pros

  • Can be used with any MIDI device
  • Very low latency
  • Supports up to 5 adapters for different devices

Cons

  • Only officially supported for Mac and iOS devices

The biggest minus with this adapter is that it only works with iOS devices. Also, it can be said that the price tag is a bit high for an adapter. But hands down, MD-BT01 does the job that it promises successfully.

The adapter uses Bluetooth 4.0 connection, but it is not recognized by iOS devices naturally. So the users have to download the Yamaha interface to connect the device to iPhones or iPads.

Wireless ProfileBluetooth 4.0

5. Korg nanoKEY Studio Bluetooth/USB MIDI and Pad Controller

A Versatile Wireless MIDI Music Production Tool
Portable, All-rounder MIDI and Pad Controller.
View Price at SweetwaterView Price at Amazon

Loaded with many features along with a lightweight portable design, Korg nanoKEY Studio is pretty different than a typical MIDI keyboard. It is a portable music production tool with 25 low-profile keys, 8 velocity-sensitive pads, and 8 adjustment knobs, plus an X-Y pad called Kaoss Pad.

It is quite a versatile MIDI controller which can be integrated into many DAWs like Logic Pro and Ableton. Furthermore, it supports iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows devices. With Mac or iOS, you can also use Korg Gadget App to edit the keys, pads, and knobs.

Thanks to the Bluetooth LE technology, the latency is ultra-low. On the other hand, the device works with 2 AAA batteries. But, of course, you can always use it with a USB connection, too.

Pros

  • Great balance of handy features and high portability
  • The Chord pad, Arpeggiator, Kaos pad
  • Works well with most of the software

Cons

  • Slightly odd shape of the keys

In order to make the controller more portable, Korg used lightweight plastic that sacrifices the sturdy feeling. Another negative point is the feeling of the keys, which are not like typical piano or keyboard keys but like buttons to control samples.

If you are looking for a portable all-rounder music production tool, Korg nanoKEY Studio can be an ideal choice. It has a reasonably affordable price and comes with a $50 discount coupon for Ableton.

Number of keys25
Number of knobs8
Number of pads8
Wireless ProfileBluetooth LE

6. IK Multimedia iRig BlueBoard Bluetooth MIDI Pedalboard

Best Wireless MIDI Pedalboard
Fully Customizable Wireless MIDI Pedalboard.
View Price at SweetwaterView Price at Amazon

The iRig Blueboard is the first wireless MIDI pedalboard on the market for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. The pedalboard is quite sturdy yet highly lightweight and portable. 

The 4 footswitches are fully customizable through the iRig Blueboard app, which acts as the bridge between the DAW and the pedalboard, changing the signals to MIDI. You can use the buttons to turn on any effect or preset that you previously prepared on your software.

Pros

  • Extra MIDI inputs
  • Easy of use
  • Fully customizable buttons

Cons

  • Only for iOS and Mac devices

The iRig Blueboard is a good option for instrumentalists who use MIDI effects and setups. However, you can use the pedalboard only with the iKlip Stage app if you are an Android user.

Number Of Buttons4
Wireless ProfileBluetooth 4.0

7. CME Xkey Air 25-key Bluetooth MIDI Controller

Most Portable Wireless MIDI Controller
25-Key Modern MIDI Keyboard With High Playability And Portability.
View Price at SweetwaterView Price at Amazon

CME Xkey Air is a modern and elegant-looking wireless MIDI keyboard with 25 full-size keys and essential control buttons. With its thin profile, it is ultra-lightweight and highly portable, making it a great companion for on-the-go musicians.

The rechargeable battery that comes with the controller elevates the device’s practicality, and the Bluetooth 4.0 connection is highly convenient without losses of connection. It supports all the platforms, including Android, making this wireless MIDI controller stand out from the rest.

Pros

  • Great-looking slim design
  • High portability with rechargeable battery
  • Supports all platforms

Cons

  • Pitch bend and modulation controls with buttons instead of analog wheels
  • Need of an extra MIDI Bluetooth adapter to reduce latency

CME Xkey Air features octave change, pitch bend, modulation, and sustain control buttons on the side. However, many users complain as the pitch bend and modulation are better controlled with analog wheels instead of buttons. 

Even though it is not always the case, there are also some reports of Bluetooth connection problems. Some users bought the extra Bluetooth adapter to reduce the latency and reported that it was totally worth the price.

Number of keys25
Wireless ProfileBluetooth 4.0

How to connect a Bluetooth MIDI Controller to your phone or computer?

Windows

It is pretty easy to pair a Bluetooth device with your computer on Windows operating system. You simply go to settings, click on devices, turn on the Bluetooth of your PC and wireless MIDI controller and wait for it to be shown on the list of devices on your PC screen.

After you see it, you can pair them by clicking on the device and connect button. Now your controller is connected, but to use it as a MIDI device, you will have to install the necessary drivers that you can find on the official website of your device’s brand. And that’s it!

Mac

Most MIDI controllers are specially designed for Mac devices, so the connection process is pretty straightforward. After you turn on the Bluetooth of your MIDI controller, you navigate to the Applications folder on your Mac. 

Once there, you select the Utility folder and then the MIDI Audio Setup. From the window tab on the top, click on the Studio MIDI view. Select the Bluetooth option and wait for it to show your device on the list. When you see your device, just click on the connect button, and you are ready to go to your DAW to map your MIDI controller.

Android

As Android’s Bluetooth driver does not support the MIDI signal chain, it is harder to use a wireless MIDI controller with an Android device. You can use some apps or extra adapters to go around the issue, but you may experience some latency problems.

One of the solutions is the Bluetooth MIDI Connect app that allows some devices such as the Yamaha MD-BT01 Bluetooth Wireless MIDI Interface to work with Android. Simply download the app and turn on the Bluetooth on your MD-BT01. Shortly, you will see it on the list, and you can easily connect your devices.

Another option is to use a MIDI controller with a special adapter like CME Xkey Air. The USB Bluetooth adapter is sold separately, allowing Android and Windows devices to connect to the MIDI device.

Of course, you will need another adapter, USB to OTG, to connect the adapter to the Android device. After placing all of the adapters, just turn on the Bluetooth on the CME Xkey Air, and they will pair automatically.

iOS

If you are using an app that supports Bluetooth MIDI, like Garageband, turn on the Bluetooth of your MIDI device, open the Bluetooth MIDI settings in the app, and tap on the device you want to use. The connection will be realized automatically. 

If the app does not support Bluetooth MIDI, you will have to download the Bluetooth MIDI Connect app from the App Store. Turn on the Bluetooth on your MIDI controller, find and tap on your device in the app’s list. The connection will be established automatically.

The difference between Bluetooth VS Wired MIDI

There is not much of a difference between Bluetooth and Wired MIDI controllers. As the name suggests, Bluetooth devices work without cables which is a big plus in terms of comfort and ease of use. It makes the process quicker and easier, which motivates musicians to play more and more.

But of course, there are some letdowns. First of all, you may experience latency problems depending on the devices you are using. As signals travel much faster in solid states, like a cable, compared to air, the connection is much more stable with wires.

Summary

Wireless MIDI controllers are getting more and more popular every day, and the comfort they bring is undeniable. These are the 7 of the best MIDI controllers on the market, each one for different needs and different uses. 

If you want a simple wireless MIDI keyboard, I recommend you go with the AKAI LPK 25, but if you are a Windows user, Korg, 61-Key Midi Controller is a better option. If you want an all-rounder MIDI controller, Korg nanoKEY Studio can be the ideal choice.

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