The 8 Best Wireless Bluetooth MIDI Controllers (2023)
Wireless Bluetooth MIDI controllers can be a game-changer in the world of music tech. Here is a list of the 8 best wireless Bluetooth MIDI controllers available on the market.
My main recommended Bluetooth MIDI controller is the Artesia Xkey 37 Air. With Polyphonic aftertouch and realistic responsiveness, this compact MIDI controller is a widely compatible and highly popular option.
My second recommended Bluetooth MIDI controller is the Akai Professional LPK25, an extremely portable, affordable, and popular choice. It comes with 25 keys, an on-board arpeggiator, and 4 programmable memory banks.
I did extensive research and rated the controllers based on their key features, including the number and quality of pads, knobs, and faders, their battery life, compatibility with different software and platforms, and their design and build quality.
With a MIDI controller, you could seamlessly switch between different sounds and effects without having to physically move to another instrument. It also gives you the freedom to move around the stage and interact with the crowd while still playing. Overall, a Wireless Bluetooth MIDI Controller adds a new level of versatility and excitement to any performance.
The Best Wireless Bluetooth MIDI Controllers (2023)
Let’s move on to the full list:
1. Artesia Xkey 37 Air
The Artesia Xkey 37 Air MIDI gives you a top-notch playing experience with full-size piano keys for a familiar and comfy touch. It has excellent dynamics, including velocity sensitivity for skilled playing and more expression. Its polyphonic aftertouch is better than most keyboards, letting you explore music with a stylish and modern instrument that seasoned musicians appreciate.
- Full-size, portable keys
- Low latency and great responsiveness
- Bluetooth and USB connectivity
- Supports multiple devices: PC, iPad, Microsoft Surface Pro, Mac, Android
- Aluminum construction and sleek design
- Polyphonic aftertouch for expressiveness
- USB-MIDI cable not included
This highly-regarded portable keyboard is known for its incredible design and easy transportation. Weighing just under 2 lbs and only 0.6 inches thick, it’s great for musicians on the move. It’s useful in many situations – studio work, live performances, travel, and teaching – perfect for pros and hobbyists.
This sleek keyboard easily connects with various devices like iOS, Android, PC, Mac, and Linux, using Bluetooth or Micro-USB. The free Xkey Plus App offers customizable settings that work well on some platforms, like iOS devices, Mac OS X, and Windows. So, whether you’re a tech-savvy musician or new to the field, this keyboard has you covered.
- Number of Keys: 37 Full-Size Piano Keys
- Keyboard Type: Velocity Sensitive and Polyphonic Aftertouch
- Material: Aluminum Frame
- Compatible Devices: PC, iPad, Microsoft Surface Pro, Mac, Android
2. Akai Professional LPK25
This lightweight, 25-key USB MIDI keyboard is portable and simple to use, weighing only a pound and measuring 13 inches. You can easily carry it in your bag and make music on the go. Plus, it connects with USB, so it’s easy to use with computers and other devices.
- Great value for its price
- Easy to use and very portable
- Plug-and-play compatibility with USB
- 25 velocity-sensitive mini-keyboard keys
- Works well with various DAWs and MIDI software
- Suitable for beginners in music production
- The keys are not weighted
- Limited functionality compared to larger MIDI keyboards
The Akai Professional LPK25 lets you control your music with octave buttons, an arpeggiator, and touch-sensitive keys. It’s designed for electronic music and dynamic performances. The sustain feature lets you create beautiful compositions and sounds.
This MIDI controller has many features for digital music producers. It has four customizable memory banks, works with most DAWs, supports plugins, and comes with the MPC Beats software. This means you can integrate it smoothly into your setup and explore any genre or instrument.
- Connectivity: USB
- Number of Keys: 25
- Keyboard Type: Velocity-Sensitive Mini-Keyboard Keys
- Compatibility: Universal – Logic, Studio One, Cubase, Ableton Live, etc.
3. Korg microKEY air 37
The Korg microKEY air 37 easily connects wirelessly to your iPad, iPhone, or Mac, getting rid of messy cables in your workspace. Its thin design is convenient and portable. Plus, it suits different musicians with choices of 25, 49, and 61 keys.
- Compact design with 37 keys
- Seamless and easy Bluetooth connectivity
- Lightweight and portable
- Long battery life
- Compatible with various software
- Slight latency with Bluetooth
- Limited on-board controls
- Software installation and setup may be challenging for some
You have smooth and accurate key touch on this controller, making it fun to use. This controller’s battery lasts up to a month, and its USB 2.0 interface ensures fast data transfer and compatibility with various devices.
The free music software that comes with this MIDI controller is a great bonus, offering powerful options for both music production and DJing. It’s a popular choice that adds up to a well-rounded MIDI controller with a modest price tag.
- Wireless Connectivity: iPad, iPhone, or Mac
- Power Source: 2 AA batteries (included)
- USB Compatibility: USB 2.0
- Number of Keys: 37-key
4. Orba 2 by Artiphon
The Orba 2 by Artiphon is a small and lightweight instrument that is great for musicians on the go. Its size and classic black color give it a stylish look. I really like how easy it is to carry and use this device. It hits the sweet spot between portability and versatility.
- Portable and versatile instrument
- Built-in looper and onboard synthesizer
- Offers a wide range of sounds and customization
- Supports multiple gestures for expressive playing
- Compatible with popular music software
- Built-in speaker, headphone jack, and rechargeable battery
- Limited software support for Android devices
- App integration and instructions could be improved
- Lacking features like track muting and soloing
It has a built-in synthesizer with a large library of different genres and real instruments. The app lets you change the sounds and record your music. It also makes tuning and rhythm easy to work with. With guitar shreds, drums, and vocal patterns at your disposal, this little thing has lots of possibilities to play around with.
This instrument is designed for today’s musicians. It connects to popular music software with MIDI controller features. You can use the built-in speaker or headphones to listen to your music. Plus, the USB port and long-lasting battery make it easy to connect and play for a long time.
- Body Material: Bass Wood
- Connector Type: USB
- Battery Type: Lithium Polymer (included)
- Features: Built-in Looper and Synthesizer
5. Korg nanoKEY Studio
The Korg nanoKEY Studio brings a new level of sensitivity to digital music with its 25 responsive keys, giving you impressive control over your playing. Its portable design and compatibility with numerous devices and software let you express yourself through music in creative ways, making it perfect for pianists seeking depth or detailed control.
- Very versatile controller
- Lightweight and compact, easy to transport
- Can connect wirelessly via Bluetooth
- Comes with bundled music software
- Can be powered by USB or batteries
- A wide array of controllers for different uses
- Keys can feel fragile and cheap
- Clacky, loud keys might be distracting
- Settings customization requires desktop software
This little guy even has a step recording feature. This innovative tool allows you to easily assemble your musical ideas by playing notes in sequence, focusing more on creating rather than editing, giving you extra time to polish your tracks.
The backlit keys provide better visibility even in dark venues. The eye-catching guide scales help you maintain pitch under pressure, combining style and practicality for seamless expression. But it’s unfortunate that the Nanokey-ST feels a bit flimsy compared to other entries on this list which might detract from its otherwise promising features.
- Number of Keys: 25
- Keyboard type: Velocity-sensitive
- Connectivity: USB and wireless
- Power source: Battery powered (2 AAA batteries included)
6. IK Multimedia iRig Blueboard
Say goodbye to tangled cables and embrace wireless performances with the IK Multimedia iRig Blueboard Bluetooth MIDI pedalboard. Featuring a 10-meter range, this small and stylish device is great for clutter-free jams and engaging stage presence. Its Bluetooth technology effortlessly connects to a wide range of devices, giving you unrivaled flexibility.
- Wireless Bluetooth MIDI device
- Compatible with multiple devices and apps
- Two 1/4″ expression pedal inputs
- Portable and lightweight design
- Good battery life
- Plastic build
- The buttons are too close together
- Requires device registration
Brighten up your performances with the four backlit, customizable footswitches on this wireless pedalboard. Designed for both musicians and audiences, these glowing controls allow you to concentrate on the show without losing precision or ease of use.
The iRig Blueboard has dual expression pedal inputs, enabling real-time sound manipulation. Compatible with various expression pedals and switches, the opportunities for customizing your performance are limitless. Additionally, the exclusive Blueboard iOS app connects smoothly with IK apps on your iPhone or iPad for a versatile and powerful musical experience.
- Control Range: Up to 10m/32.8ft
- Switches: 4 assignable foot switches
- Device Compatibility: Bluetooth 4.0, iOS 6.1, Android 4.3, and Mac OS 10.7 or later
- Power Source: 4 AAA batteries required
7. CME Xkey Air 25
The CME Xkey Air 25 has wireless Bluetooth MIDI compatibility, allowing for easy connection with Mac, iPad, iPhone, and CME WIDI devices. Windows and Android users can use the WIDI Bud Pro for wireless fun too.
- Lightweight and portable
- Full-sized keys with polyphonic aftertouch
- Easy wireless connectivity via Bluetooth
- Compatible with various DAW software
- Sturdy aluminum build
- Ultra low-latency
- Sometimes disconnects when left idle
- Requires some time to get used to it
- Sensitive keys
Enhance your stage presence with 25 dynamic velocity-sensitive keys, providing an amazing variety of expression and control during live shows. The multi-note aftertouch feature also adds style to your performance while improving individual note control.
I really like the keyboard’s attractive design, lightweight build, and durability, due to the aluminum frame and sandblasted finish. The roomy 25-key layout offers plenty of playing range without losing portability. Needless to say, the portable design and full-size keys of this keyboard make it suitable for traveling musicians or live performers.
- Number of Keys: 25
- Keyboard Type: Velocity-Sensitive with Polyphonic Aftertouch
- Compatibility: Mac/PC/iOS
- Body Material: Aluminum
8. Akai Professional LPD8
The Akai Professional LPD8 has 8 RGB-backlit drum pads, making it easy for musicians to create beats and melodies. I really enjoy the playability, sensitivity, and reliability, as it offers tactile feedback for finding the perfect groove in any music genre. The lights also enhance live shows, making these pads popular among professionals and beginners.
- High-quality, responsive, velocity-sensitive RGB-backlit pads
- 8 assignable Q-Link knobs and 4 programmable preset slots
- Portable and lightweight design with a sturdy build
- Easy plug-and-play setup with USB connectivity
- Universal compatibility with popular DAW platforms
- Pad sensitivity may be insufficient for some users
- Clunky setup/editor software
Control your sound production using 8 adjustable Q-Link knobs. These let you fine-tune software instruments and plugin effects for an ideal sound. The knobs provide precise control over mixes, making this controller useful for both studios and live performances.
This compact, USB cable-powered controller is designed for portability, so you can easily transport it between home, studio, and gigs. Its lightweight design and plug-and-play functionality provide flexibility to work in any space and collaborate with other musicians. Additionally, it is compatible with popular DAWs like GarageBand, Logic, and Studio One.
- Pads: 8 velocity-sensitive, RGB-backlit MPC drum pads
- Knobs: 8 assignable Q-Link knobs
- Connectivity: USB bus-powered, plug-and-play
- Compatibility: GarageBand, Logic, ProTools, etc.
Key Features and Specs to Consider in a Wireless Bluetooth MIDI Controller
When choosing the right Wireless Bluetooth MIDI Controller, it’s important to keep an eye out for certain features and specs if you want the ideal device. Compatibility, Quality, Controls, and Portability, among other things, are crucial when selecting the right controller.
Compatibility with devices and software
When choosing a wireless Bluetooth MIDI controller, it’s essential to consider compatibility with devices and software. Make sure the controller works well with your preferred operating system, such as Mac, PC, or mobile devices like iPads, iPhones, or Android tablets.
For instance, the CME Xkey Air 37 keyboard is compatible with various devices, including PC, iPad, Microsoft Surface Pro, Mac, and Android. The Korg microKEY Air 37, for example, offers compatibility with USB and connects wirelessly to iPad, iPhone, or Mac, and comes bundled with powerful music software for additional creative options.
Quality and range of Bluetooth connection
When it comes to choosing the best wireless Bluetooth MIDI controller, the quality and range of the Bluetooth connection play a crucial role in ensuring seamless integration with your devices and smooth performance.
Different controllers like the Korg microKEY Air 37 and Artiphon’s Orba 2 provide varying levels of Bluetooth connectivity, but it’s essential to look for ones that use the latest Bluetooth standards (such as Bluetooth 4.0) for optimal latency and range. A reliable connection should offer a decent working range (around 10 meters or 32.8 feet) without any loss in signal quality or responsiveness.
Number of controls and features
When selecting a wireless Bluetooth MIDI controller, it’s important to consider the number of controls and features that each model offers. Different controllers cater to various musical needs, so it’s essential to find one tailored to your preferences.
For instance, the AKAI Professional LPK25 offers 25 velocity-sensitive keys, octave up/down buttons, an arpeggiator, and a sustain button – a good balance of features for portable music production. On the other hand, the Korg NANOKEY Studio provides a more comprehensive range of controllers, including 25 velocity-sensitive keys, assignable knobs, trigger pads, and a touchpad – making it suitable for both DAW control and DJ performance.
Portability and build quality
Portability and build quality are essential factors to consider when choosing a wireless Bluetooth MIDI controller. Lightweight, compact designs make it convenient for musicians on the go, but build quality should not be compromised.
For example, the AKAI Professional LPK25 is a lightweight, portable option with a solid build, making it suitable for producing music while traveling. The Korg microKEY Air 37 is another great example of a portable MIDI controller, offering a balance between size and build quality, ensuring durability without sacrificing the ease of transport.
Connecting Bluetooth MIDI Controllers to Devices
Bluetooth MIDI controllers can connect to a wide range of devices, such as phones, tablets, and computers. Compatibility varies depending on the operating systems like Windows, Macbooks, Android, and iOS. To connect your Bluetooth MIDI controller to a device, simply enable the Bluetooth option on both the controller and device, follow any prompted pairing instructions, and use appropriate software or apps to control the MIDI data.
Bluetooth vs. Wired MIDI Controllers
Bluetooth MIDI controllers offer increased flexibility and convenience by eliminating the need for cables. However, wired MIDI controllers tend to have less latency, making them more suitable for some live performance situations. Ultimately, the choice between Bluetooth and wired MIDI controllers depends on individual preferences and use cases.
Price Range and Budget Considerations
Wireless Bluetooth MIDI controllers are available in various price ranges, from entry-level options to high-end models. Be aware of your budget when deciding on a controller, considering factors such as desired features, controller quality, and software compatibility. Options like the Korg microKEY Air 37 provide a balance between affordability and functionality, while high-end controllers like the CME Xkey Air 25 offer premium features and design aspects for a higher price.
1. What are Wireless Bluetooth MIDI Controllers?
A wireless Bluetooth MIDI controller is a device that wirelessly transmits MIDI data from music software or hardware to a connected MIDI-enabled device, such as a keyboard or synthesizer. These controllers offer musicians and producers more flexibility and mobility when creating music.
2. Are all wireless Bluetooth MIDI controllers compatible with all devices and software?
No, not all controllers are universally compatible, so it’s important to check the manufacturer’s compatibility list to ensure it will work with your specific device and software.
3. What types of wireless Bluetooth MIDI controllers are available, and which one is right for me?
There are various types such as keyboards, drum pads, faders, and button controllers, each designed for different tasks. Choose the type that best suits your needs and budget.
4. What type of battery life can I expect from a wireless Bluetooth MIDI controller?
Battery life varies among controllers, but most devices are designed to last several hours with continuous use. The battery life will also depend on the type of batteries used and the frequency of use.
5. How is latency affected with a wireless Bluetooth MIDI controller, and is it a concern?
Wireless Bluetooth MIDI controllers can experience latency or a delay between the time you play a note and when it is heard, but the amount of latency will vary based on the device, software, and external factors such as distance and interference. Some controllers feature low-latency Bluetooth connections to reduce this issue, so it’s worth considering when making your purchase.
It’s time to cut the cord and embrace the world of wireless Bluetooth MIDI controllers! Wireless MIDI controllers open up a new world of possibility for musicians – and these 8 options are the cream of the crop.
My main recommended Bluetooth MIDI controller is the Artesia Xkey 37 Air. It features velocity-sensitive keys with Polyphonic aftertouch that allow for realistic responsiveness. Additionally, it’s widely compatible and adds up to a well-rounded and highly-popular choice.
My second recommended Bluetooth MIDI controller is the Akai Professional LPK25. This is an extremely portable and affordable entry. It comes with 25 keys, an on-board arpeggiator, and 4 programmable memory banks.