Akai MPK Mini Mk3 vs Nektar Impact LX88+: A Comprehensive Performance Comparison

You're ready to make a big purchase, but you're having trouble deciding between these two powerhouses, the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 and the Nektar Impact LX88+.

Trust me, I know how difficult that decision is… especially if you have no plans on whipping out that dreaded return postage label!


I've got you covered.

I've broken down the good, the bad and the ugly of these babies, so providing you have a clear idea of exactly what you plan on doing with it, you will have a clear idea on which one is best for you, by the end of this article.


Let get into it…

Akai MPK Mini Mk3 vs Nektar Impact LX88+: A Comprehensive Performance Comparison

At A Glance:


Akai MPK Mini Mk3




Nektar Impact LX88+


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Key Differences Between The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 And The Nektar Impact LX88+

Akai MPK Mini Mk3 vs Nektar Impact LX88+

The main differences between Akai MPK Mini Mk3 and Nektar Impact LX88+ are primarily related to their design, functionality, and the number of keys they offer.

  • The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 is considered a great choice for beginners due to its portability, affordability, and ease of use. It is compact with a total of 25 keys, making it ideal for music production on the go.
  • This MIDI keyboard also offers versatile controls over your music production software, adding to its appeal for newbies in music production.

In contrast,

  • The Nektar Impact LX88+, known as one of the best USB MIDI controllers, features a significantly larger range with a total of 88 keys. This aspect provides more flexibility for keyboard players in creating music.
  • The Nektar model also stands out with additional features such as transpose buttons, a display feature, transportation control functionality along with fully programmable buttons that send any MIDI CC messages for profound control over the musical creation process.

Based on reviews,

  • It appears that the Akai MPK Mini MKII 25 may be more popular than the Nektar Impact LX25 Plus. However, both these keyboards have proved reliable choices among budding musicians looking for budget-friendly small-scale MIDI controllers.

Choosing between these two models would depend on your specific needs as a musician or producer. If you're starting out or prefer something portable yet versatile while on-the-move; then Akai's model could be your choice.

However, if you need a wider key range and deeper control over your music; then opting for Nektar's model would be beneficial.

SpecificationsAkai MPK Mini Mk3Nektar Impact LX88+
TypeMIDI ControllerMIDI Controller
Number of Keys2588
Key ActionSynth ActionSemi-weighted
USB PoweredYesYes
Software IncludedMPC Beats, 6 Virtual Instruments, 2GB of Sound ContentBitwig 8-Track
Dimensions12.5″ x 7.13″ x 1.75″50.25″ x 10.5″ x 3.5″
Weight1.65 lbs18 lbs

What You Need To Know About Akai MPK Mini Mk3

The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 is an excellent choice for any music producer or beat maker. This MIDI controller comes with 25 velocity-sensitive mini MIDI keys, which are perfect for studio production and controlling virtual synthesizers.

This compact and USB-powered device offers complete control of your music production with its innovative 4-way thumbstick for pitch and modulation control. It also has a built-in arpeggiator which lets you adjust resolution, range and modes to create dynamic melodies.

It's designed to give you the ultimate MPC experience with its 8 backlit, velocity-sensitive drum pads that take after the style of classic MPC units.

Whether you're programming drums, triggering samples or controlling virtual synth/DAW controls, these pads offer smooth performance.

The MPK Mini Mk3 also allows complete command of your virtual instruments and FX. With its 8 360-degree knobs that assign to all your music studio plugins, you can mix tracks easily or tweak synth controls like a pro.

What's more? The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 comes packed with over 1500 sounds to kick-start your music production journey. It includes a Music Production Starter Kit featuring MPC Beats software, 6 virtual instruments and 2GB of sound content.

If this sounds like something you need in your home studio or on-the-go setup, click here to learn more about the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 on Akai Professional's official product page! It’s an awesome tool that will help bring your musical ideas to life!

My 1 Month Review Of The Akai MPK Mini Mk3

My 1 Month Review Of The Akai MPK Mini Mk3


After a month of jamming on the Akai MPK Mini Mk3, I can honestly say I have been downright blown away. It’s a game changer for anyone who dabbles in music production.

The Design

I have to admit, as soon as I unboxed this beauty, its sleek and compact design stole my heart. This piece of gear is not just another black brick, it has a real aesthetic appeal to it and feels like something you'd want sitting on your desk all times.
The keys are mini-size but they feel sturdy and great under the fingers. They are velocity-sensitive too which makes playing feel much more dynamic and expressive.

Performance Features

The built-in performance features are fantastic and take this midi controller to another level:
– The new Gen 2 dynamic pads: These pads are quite responsive and perfect for finger drumming or triggering clips.
– The endless rotary knobs: These 8 knobs give you total control over your DAW’s parameters right from the controller.
– The arpeggiator: It's not just an add-on but really versatile with different modes and time divisions.

Ease of Use

One of the best things about this little beast is its ease of use. You don't need to be a tech geek to figure this out. Just plug it into your computer via USB, fire up your DAW, and you're good to go.
The included software bundle gives you plenty of sounds to start making beats straight away.

Limited Control Surface

If I had one gripe about the Akai MPK Mini Mk III, it would be that despite having all these amazing features packed into such a small package, there's not enough room for a full-sized control surface.


In summary, after one month with the Akai MPK Mini Mk III, I can confidently say that it has exceeded my expectations in every way. This little MIDI controller is perfect for anyone who wants an affordable yet power-packed piece of gear that’s portable enough to carry anywhere and versatile enough for any music production task.

There may be some limitations due to its compact size but what it lacks in size, it makes up in quality performance!

What You Need To Know About Nektar Impact LX88+

The Nektar Impact LX88+ is a fantastic MIDI controller keyboard, perfect for performers and producers. It's designed to give you hands-on control over your musical instruments. With its 88 semi-weighted keys that respond to how fast or slow you hit them, playing feels really intuitive.

It also features 8 back-lit drum pads that react to the slightest touch, making it easy to create beats and rhythms. For added control, there are 9 faders and 8 knobs. Plus, it has buttons for transport controls like play, stop and record.

You can even bend notes with the pitch bend wheel or add vibrato with the modulation wheel! Need to shift the range of notes you're playing? Use the octave and transpose buttons! And there's a socket for a sustain pedal.

One super cool thing about this keyboard is its Nektar DAW integration which works with many popular DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations). Whether you're mixing or playing an instrument, this function lets you control your software from your keyboard!

The Impact LX88+ works well with all MIDI music software applications. So it doesn't matter what music production software you use; this keyboard can probably hook up to it!

Whether you use a Mac or PC doesn't matter – this keyboard is compatible with both! And if you want to connect it to an iPad or iPhone, no problem – it's iOS compatible too!

To top everything off, when you buy this keyboard it comes along with Bitwig Studio 8-track DAW and some sound content. This means that right out of the box; you've got a digital studio ready for making music.

For more information about The Impact LX88+, visit the official page here.

My 1 Month Review Of The Nektar Impact LX88+

My 1 Month Review Of The Nektar Impact LX88+


After a month of use, I thought it was high time to share my experience with the Nektar Impact LX88+. I've been noodling away on this thing for hours on end and honestly, I'm ready to spill the beans.

The Feel

The keys have a semi-weighted action, and oh boy, do they feel good! It's like your fingers are gliding across a cloud. There's this perfect balance between resistance and responsiveness that makes playing feels so natural.
The full-size 88 keys offer an impressive range and if you're a pianist at heart like me, you'll appreciate the authenticity of the touch.

The Controls

Now let's talk about control. The layout is logical and user-friendly.
One feature that really stands out is the pitch bend and modulation wheels. The position might take some getting used to initially as they are positioned above the keys rather than beside them but once you get it, it's like riding a bicycle.


The Nektar Impact LX88+ truly shines when it comes to integration.
I hooked this bad boy up with my DAW (Logic Pro X), and wow – easy peasy lemon squeezy! It plays nice with all major DAWs too – think Ableton Live, Cubase or Reason – just plug in via USB and off you go.

Pads & Faders

This keyboard has 8 backlit velocity-sensitive pads,, which came through when I was programming drums or triggering samples.
And let's not forget about those 9 sliders! They feel solid and control seamlessly my virtual organ drawbars or mixer levels for instance.


  • Semi-weighted full-size 88 keys.
  • User-friendly controls including pitch bend & modulation wheels.
  • Excellent DAW integration
  • Nine solid faders (30mm) alongside eight knobs.


  • The initial placement of wheels could take some getting used to.

In conclusion,

I'd say that my journey with Nektar Impact LX88+ so far has been nothing short of exciting. Whether you're an aspiring musician looking for their first controller keyboard or a seasoned pro wanting an upgrade, Nektar Impact LX88+ really does hit all the right notes.

Who The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Nektar Impact LX88+

Who The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Nektar Impact LX88+

The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 is ideal for beginners and musicians constantly on the move. Its unique selling points include:
Portability: With a compact design featuring 25 keys, it's suitable for on-the-go music production.
Affordability: It's a cost-effective choice for those new to music production or working within a tight budget.
User-friendly: The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 is known for its ease of use, making it a great pick for novices in the field.
Versatile Controls: It offers effective control over your music production software.

On the contrary, if you're a keyboard player seeking more flexibility and depth in your music creation, consider the Nektar Impact LX88+. It has:
Larger Key Range: Unlike the Akai model, it boasts 88 keys providing wider scope to experiment with music.
In-depth Control Functionality: With transpose buttons, transportation control functionality and programmable buttons that send any MIDI CC messages, you can gain greater command over your compositions.

These key features indicate that whilst both models cater to budding musicians seeking reliable and affordable MIDI controllers; their preferences will ultimately dictate their decision.

Choose Akai's option if you require something portable and easy-to-use. Alternatively, select Nektar's device if wider key range and deeper control are at the top of your list.

Who The Nektar Impact LX88+ Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Akai MPK Mini Mk3

Who The Nektar Impact LX88+ Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Akai MPK Mini Mk3

The Nektar Impact LX88+ is ideally suited for musicians and producers who require a wider range of keys. It's also perfect for those who need deeper control over their music.

Here are a few reasons why someone might choose the Nektar Impact LX88+ over the Akai MPK Mini Mk3:

• With its full range of 88 keys, the Nektar Impact LX88+ allows musicians to experiment and create more diverse music.

• It features transpose buttons, a display feature, transportation control functionality, alongside many fully programmable buttons, making it an ideal choice for enhanced music control.

• While the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 is more popular among beginners due to its compact size and ease-of-use, the Nektar Impact LX88+'s comprehensive features make it a reliable choice among serious musicians looking for a MIDI controller that can offer more than just portability.

In short, if you prioritize key range and profound control in your music production, the Nektar Impact LX88+ could be just what you need.

If the products I've discussed in this post, Akai MPK Mini Mk3 and Nektar Impact LX88+, don't seem like the perfect fit for your needs, have no fear! I've done a boatload of comparisons on similar products that you can peruse at your leisure.

For instance, you may find the comparison exercise between Akai MPK Mini Mk3 and Akai Fire to be enlightening. Alternatively, my analysis of Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 versus M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro might pique your interest.

If those don't hit the spot, consider looking into Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 vs Akai MPC Studio or maybe even Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 vs Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2. There's plenty more content where these came from!


What makes the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 and the Nektar Impact LX88+ stand out in terms of control over music production software?

The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 and the Nektar Impact LX88+ both offer versatile controls over your music production software. The Akai model provides an easy-to-use interface with its 25 keys, making it suitable for beginners. The Nektar model, on the other hand, offers more advanced controls such as transpose buttons, a display feature, transportation control functionality and programmable buttons that can send any MIDI CC messages for more in-depth control.

In what ways do these MIDI controllers cater to different kinds of musicians or producers?

The two MIDI controllers cater to different types of musicians or producers based on their needs and preferences. For those just starting out or preferring something portable yet versatile for music production on-the-go, the Akai MPK Mini Mk3, with its portability and ease-of-use features would be suitable. On contrast, if a producer requires a greater key range and deeper control over their music; then they may opt for Nektar Impact LX88+, known for its wide range of keys (88) offering more flexibility in creating music.

How does user popularity based on reviews compare between the Akai MPK Mini MKII 25 presumably a previous version of MKIII and Nektar Impact LX25 Plus?

Based on reviews' comparison seems like previous version of AKAI's product – Akai MPK Mini MKII 25- appears to be more popular than Nektar's product – — Nektar Impact LX25 Plus. However it is important to note that both these keyboards have proven to be reliable choices among budding musicians looking for small-scale MIDI controllers within their budget.

Buyer's Guide: Important Things To Consider & Look Out For When Buying A Midi Keyboard

1. Determine Your Budget and Needs

When it comes to buying a MIDI keyboard online, it's important to have a clear idea of your music production gear budget and needs.

Remember, you don't necessarily have to break the bank; there are plenty of affordable options like the Akai MPK Mini Mk3, which are fantastic for beginners or those who need compact MIDI keyboards for on-the-go creation.

2. Consider The Keyboard Size

One of the principal things to consider is the size of the keyboard. For instance, if you desire a full-scale piano experience, 88-key keyboards like the Nektar Impact LX88+ would be perfect. These larger keyboards offer greater flexibility and control but also take up more space in your home studio equipment setup.

3. Understand The Difference Between MIDI Controllers And Keyboard Synthesizers

While both can be used in electronic music production, there's a difference between MIDI controllers and keyboard synthesizers which you should understand before making a purchase decision.

A keyboard synthesizer produces sounds on its own while MIDI controllers like the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 need to be hooked up to either software or other musical instruments that generate sound.

4. Choose The Right Controls For Your Music Style

MIDI keyboards often include additional controls such as knobs, pads, switches etc., that can dramatically enhance your music-making experience if they suit your style well; this is where USB MIDI controllers shine bright!

If creating beats and rhythms is integral to your music production process, select an option with drum pads like those on many compact MIDI keyboards.

5. Check Product Reviews And Ratings

There's no better way to ensure you're making a smart purchase than by checking out what other consumers have experienced with these products first-hand through their reviews online! Make sure you check both positive and negative reviews for potential issues or unique advantages each model might offer.

6. Pay Attention To Software Compatibility

When selecting any piece of home studio equipment including musical instruments such as a new MIDi keyboard or gear controller for your electronic music-production pursuits, always make sure it’s compatible with the software that you're already using or planning on using in future compositions.

7.Consider Portability If You Travel Frequently


If you're constantly traveling or prefer producing music in varied locations then portability should be high up on your checklist when choosing between different types of musical instruments including compact midi-keyboards like Akai MPK Mini MkIII .

In conclusion , finding perfect-fit gear for streamlining musical productions requires weighing options based on individual needs , budgets , preferences . Whether considering robust 88-key boards featuring comprehensive controls , versatile midi-controllers offering extensive compatibility features , compact variants fitting into travel bags ; selection spans wide variety suiting everyone from budding musicians seasoned pros alike!

About Author

Arielle P

Arielle P

Songwriter | Music Producer | Engineer.

With a background in music production and a strong passion for education, Arielle is dedicated to helping emerging artists navigate the music industry. She has worked with a diverse range of artists, from indie rock bands to well-known hip-hop and grime artists. Arielle's unique approach to teaching focuses on empowering artists to take control of their brand, ensuring they retain creative ownership throughout their journey. In her free time, she enjoys experimenting with new sounds in her home studio and sharing her insights through music production tutorials and workshops.

📧 Email Arielle