We run through ten of the best MIDI keyboards for dance music production.
Appearances can be deceptive. The Xkey is one of the smallest keyboards you’re ever likely to come across (and also the cheapest of our selections), but it’s a very capable little device. It’s a tiny, ultra-light keyboard but it features full-size keys – either 25 or 37 of them depending on which model you go for.
We love the minimal design, the MacBook-inspired aesthetics and above all the sheer portability. If you’re looking for a keyboard that can play a role in a minimal live setup as well as in the studio, this is a great starting point.
The MacBook is actually a pretty useful reference point for the Xkey. The aluminium finish is obviously inspired by Apple laptops, but the key action is also closer to a laptop keyboard than it is to a traditional piano action, which makes it feel quite different to most other controllers.
The Bluetooth-equipped Xkey Air is even more minimalist, dispensing with wires altogether, but you pay a premium both in terms of the price of the unit itself and the slightly higher latency that comes with wireless connectivity. On balance, we’d probably stick with the USB version.