Nektar Impact LX88+ vs Akai Fire: An Intensive Comparison and Review

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

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…

Nektar Impact LX88+ vs Akai Fire: An Intensive Comparison and Review

At A Glance:

Nektar Impact LX88+


Akai Fire

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Key Differences Between Nektar Impact LX88+ And Akai Fire

Nektar Impact LX88+ vs Akai Fire

The main differences between Nektar Impact LX88+ and Akai Fire are primarily based on their unique features, specifications, design philosophies, and intended user groups.

Nektar Impact LX88+ is well-regarded for its semi-weighted 88-key setup that mimics a traditional piano feel. It offers various functionalities like split and layer functions, 9 faders, LED drum pads, and 5 user presets which can be modified using different controls.

The MIDI controller's build quality is praised for its robustness and suitability for both amateur or professional players handling master tracks or premixes. Another key feature of the Nektar Impact LX88+ is its full feature set with encoders and Nektar DAW Integration.

Contrastingly, the Akai Fire, while also reputed for its high-quality construction promising durability and longevity, focuses more on pad controls instead of traditional keys. It does not feature an 88-key keyboard like the Nektar Impact LX88+, but instead offers up to 64 pad controls along with 5 knobs for added control options.

The specific uses of these MIDI controllers can be summarised as follows:

  • The Nektar Impact LX88+ would be most suitable if you're looking for a robust MIDI controller with an 88-key keyboard experience offering a wide range of controls.
  • The Akai Fire would be more appropriate if you're an FL Studio user who prefers working with pad controls over traditional keys.

In conclusion, both controllers are top-ranking options within music production circles – your final choice would depend on your personal preference as a musician or producer.

SpecificationsNektar Impact LX88+Akai Fire
TypeMIDI ControllerPerformance Controller
Velocity SensitiveYesYes
Rotary Encoders94
Transport ControlsYesYes
CompatibilityMac, PCMac, PC
Software IncludedBitwig 8-TrackFL Studio Fruity Fire Edition

What You Need To Know About Nektar Impact LX88+

Nektar Impact LX88+ vs Akai Fire

The Nektar Impact LX88+ is a top-quality MIDI controller keyboard. It's perfect for musicians and music producers who want to feel like they're really playing an instrument. With 88 semi-weighted, full-size keys that react to how hard you play them, you can make your virtual instruments sound more real than ever!

This keyboard also has plenty of cool features. There are 8 super-sensitive drum pads that light up when you hit them, 9 slide controls (faders), and 8 knobs to tweak your sound just right. It even has special buttons for controlling playback and recording in your music software (DAW).

Plus, there's a pitch bend wheel for creating those awesome swooping sounds, switches for shifting the range of the keyboard up or down (octave/transpose), and a jack for plugging in a pedal that lets you hold notes out longer (sustain).

One thing that makes this product super handy is it works well with lots of popular DAWs – it comes with special setups (integrations) so you can control the mixer and instruments right from the keyboard!

Don't worry if you're not a computer whiz – this MIDI controller works with all MIDI-compatible music software programs. Whether you're using a Mac, PC, or even an iOS device like an iPad, this keyboard can handle it.

To help get you started making music straight away, it comes with Bigwig Studio 8-track DAW and some sounds to play around with.

For more details or if you want to buy one of these amazing keyboards yourself, check out the official Nektar Impact LX88+ page.

My 1 Month Review Of The Nektar Impact LX88+

Nektar Impact LX88+ vs Akai Fire

Initial Impressions

From the moment I unboxed the Nektar Impact LX88+, I felt a sense of excitement. The sleek design and compactness were impressive, and it was immediately clear that this keyboard controller was going to take my music production game to another level.

Keyboard Feel and Playability

The semi-weighted, velocity-sensitive keys were one thing that really stood out to me. They have a great feel to them—responsive but still giving you that tactile feedback which is so important when you're creating music. After a month of playing around with it, they've proved perfect for both recording MIDI parts and for live performances.

Control Options Galore!

The control options on the Nektar Impact LX88+ are just phenomenal! It comes with nine faders, eight knobs, and a bunch of pads. These controls can be easily mapped to any function in your DAW, giving you endless possibilities for creativity. Now I find myself exploring new sounds and techniques that I would never have thought of prior to using this controller.

Faders: These come in super handy when mixing tracks straight from the controller itself.
Knobs: They give me instant access to tweak synth parameters which has certainly sped up my workflow.
Pads: Very useful for drum programming or triggering samples—I've been having a ton more fun making beats lately!

The Software Integration

The software integration is just amazing! The fact that it automatically maps with virtually any DAW makes setting up an absolute breeze. Believe it or not, within minutes of plugging it in, I was controlling Logic Pro X without even going through any tedious setups.

Craftsmanship & Durability

After one month's usage, there's been minimal wear or tear apparent on my unit. It feels built-to-last with its sturdy construction—even if you're like me who tends to get rather animated during sessions!

The Verdict?

Stepping back after having used this keyboard controller extensively for over a month now, my experience has been nothing short of fantastic. The Nektar Impact LX88+ offers exceptional functionality at an affordable price point—all while being user-friendly enough even if you're relatively new at this.

Would totally recommend this gem to anyone looking forward to taking their music production journey up several notches!

What You Need To Know About Akai Fire

Nektar Impact LX88+ vs Akai Fire

The Akai Fire is an awesome gadget for anyone who loves making music on their computer. It's designed specially for a software called FL Studio, and just connects with a simple USB cable, right out of the box. The best part? It comes with 64 touch-sensitive pads that light up in different colors. You can use them to make beats, like on a drum machine, or play melodies and chords, like on a keyboard.

It also has 16 square-shaped buttons that resemble the classic MPC beat maker. These buttons are laid out in four groups or “banks”. Each bank can be programmed to control different things – mixing desk levels, channel controls or anything else you want.

Using the Akai Fire makes it easy to find your way around FL Studio. There are dedicated buttons for quick access to the channel rack, browser window and playlist. Plus you can search through your audio and project files without having to touch your mouse or keyboard.

The controller even has a small screen (OLED display) that shows clear information about what you're doing. This feature really helps when you're searching through files or adjusting settings.

When you buy the Akai Fire, it comes bundled with a special edition of FL Studio called Fruity Fire Edition (it's a download). This is an advanced music-making software that lets you create unlimited tracks with lots of built-in sounds and effects.

The device is made in China. For more details about the Akai Fire, check out the official product page.

My 1 Month Review Of The Akai Fire

Akai Fire 2

Initial Impressions

When I first got my hands on the Akai Fire, I was immediately taken by its sleek design and intuitive interface. It's rare to come across a piece of equipment that marries aesthetics with functionality so seamlessly. And, boy, did this device exceed my expectations!

Setup and Installation

The setup was a breeze. The hardware integrated perfectly with my existing setup, and the software installation was straightforward – even for someone like me who isn't exactly tech-savvy! It only took me about 30 minutes to get everything up and running.


Using the Akai Fire has been an absolute pleasure this past month. The pads are highly responsive, with virtually no latency at all.
I've also enjoyed creating beats and sequencing lights without having to constantly stare at my computer screen. This has freed up so much creative space in my workflow.

The standout feature for me would have to be the step sequencer.
The physical grid layout on the unit corresponds with what you see on FL Studio's step sequencer on-screen. It's incredibly intuitive, allowing you to produce beats faster than ever before.

– The velocity sensitivity is just right;
– The OLED display is bright and clear;
– And having four separate banks of 16 x 4 pads offers immense flexibility;

Potential Improvements

While it's mostly been smooth sailing, I do think there are a few areas where Akai could improve.
The first is that this unit does not come with a power adapter included.
You'd need to purchase one separately if you want to use it standalone without a computer.
Furthermore, while learning how to operate the unit wasn't overwhelmingly difficult, clearer instructions would definitely help newcomers navigate their way around more easily.

Final Thoughts

All in all? My experience over the past month using the Akai Fire has been largely positive.
This gadget is a gift for any music producer looking for an efficient and enjoyable way of interfacing with FL Studio.
If you're considering making music production your hobby or career path – or if you're looking for a more tactile approach – then this controller is definitely worth checking out!

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

Who is the Nektar Impact LX88+ for?
The Nektar Impact LX88+ is ideally designed for both amateur and professional musicians or producers who wish to have a traditional piano feel in their MIDI controller. This is because it boasts semi-weighted, 88 keys which mimic traditional pianos. In addition, those looking for a variety of control options would appreciate the LX88+, given its split and layer functions, 9 faders, LED drum pads and encoders.

Nektar DAW Integration
The unit offers dedicated Nektar DAW integration and comes with 5 user presets that can be modified using Octave or other controls making it suitable for users who want flexibility in managing their tracks.

Users who value build quality would also lean towards the Nektar Impact LX88+, as it's known for its robust construction without being overly expensive.

Why choose Nektar Impact LX88+ over Akai Fire?
Here are a few reasons why some might prefer the Nektar Impact LX88+ over the Akai Fire:

  • If you're looking for an 88-key keyboard experience akin to a conventional piano, then the semi-weighted keys of the LX88+ would be ideal.
  • The availability of split and layer functions along with multiple control features such as faders, encoders and LED drum pads give you extensive control over your music production.
  • The solid build quality of the LX88+, which offers durability without breaking the bank could be another deciding factor.
  • The ability to modify user presets through various controls lends more flexibility when handling master tracks or premixes.
  • Last but not least, if your preferred software is Logic Pro X or similar, then you might find that the Nektar Impact LX88+ integrates better than Akai Fire which is primarily designed for FL Studio users.

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

Who is Akai Fire for?
The Akai Fire is specifically designed for FL Studio users. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced producer, if you prefer working with pads over keys, the Akai Fire might be your perfect match.

• FL Studio Users: Given its exclusive design for FL Studio, it provides an integrated, seamless experience which other MIDI controllers may not be able to deliver.
• Pad Controllers: With up to 64 pad controls available, it's suited for those who value this kind of control over a traditional keyboard.

Why would someone choose Akai Fire over Nektar Impact LX88+?
Both the Akai Fire and the Nektar Impact LX88+ are top-notch MIDI controllers. Yet certain features make the Akai Fire more appealing to some:

Specifically designed for FL Studio: If you primarily use this software in your music production process, the integration that the Akai Fire offers could simplify your workflow considerably.
Focused on pad controls: Unlike the LX88+ which mimics a traditional piano with semi-weighted keys, users who prefer using pad controls will find an impressive amount of options here – up to 64 pads plus additional knobs.
Durability: The build quality of the Akai Fire ensures longevity, making it a worthwhile investment.

If the Nektar Impact LX88+ and Akai Fire don't quite meet your needs, take a look at some of my other posts where I compare similar products.

For example, you might consider checking out my post on the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 vs Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 or perhaps the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 vs M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro.

If you are particularly interested in Akai products, you might find my comparison of the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 vs Akai MPC Studio useful.

Alternatively, for those leaning towards Arturia units, take a look at the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 vs Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2.


How does the Nektar Impact LX88+ enhance a user's control over their music production process?

The Nektar Impact LX88+ is designed to provide an integrated and seamless experience for musicians and producers. Its semi-weighted keys offer a more tactile response, closely resembling that of a traditional piano, which can significantly enhance the expressivity of your performances. Furthermore, its variety of controls such as 9 faders, LED drum pads, encoders and split and layer functions allow for advanced manipulation of sound layers and nuanced adjustments to individual tracks.

What makes the Akai Fire particularly suitable for FL Studio users?

The Akai Fire has been specifically designed with FL Studio users in mind. It provides up to 64 pad controls which facilitate real-time beat creation, loop sequencing or clip triggering – core features in FL Studio's workflow. Additionally, it includes 5 knobs for enhanced control over parameters like volume or panning. This effective integration can streamline your music creation process within this DAW.

Can these MIDI controllers be used by both beginners and professionals equally well?

Absolutely! The versatility of both Nektar Impact LX88+ and Akai Professional Fire, as well as their intuitive design make them highly usable regardless of skill level. They come fully featured out-of-the-box but also allow for customization via user presets (in case of Nektar) or pad controls (Akai). This means they can cater not only to those who are just stepping into music production but also seasoned professionals seeking high-quality tools that offer robust control options.

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

1. Identify Your Needs and Preferences

Before you dive into buying a MIDI keyboard online, it’s paramount to identify your needs and preferences. Are you looking for a beginner-friendly device or something more complex? Will the MIDI keyboard controller be used predominantly for music production in a digital audio workstation (DAW) or are you planning live performances? For instance, the Nektar Impact LX88+ with its full-sized, tactile piano-style keys could be an excellent choice if you're looking for a true piano feel.

2. Choosing the Right Size

Picking out the right size is crucial when shopping for your MIDI keyboard. Most come in standard sizes from 25-key to 88-key versions. Again, this will largely depend on your specific needs as well as your space constraints. A portable setup might require smaller options whereas studio work can accommodate a larger controller such as the Nektar Impact LX88+.

3. Pay Attention to Key Action and Feel

When browsing online for the perfect MIDI keyboard, it's essential not to overlook key action and feel. Some musicians prefer semi-weighted keys that offer resistance similar to an acoustic piano while others prefer synth-action which are more spring-loaded and lighter in touch much like traditional synthesizers.

4. Extra Features: Drum Pads & Control Surface

Additional features can make all the difference in enhancing music production with your MIDI keyboard controller; some models come equipped with drum pads and control surfaces enabling greater creativity flow! For example, Akai Fire, famous among FL Studio users comes packed with excellent performance controls including sensitive drum pads that help provide rhythm patterns straightforwardly.

5. Easy-to-Navigate Interface

A top-notch intuitive interface on a MIDI keyboard is crucial – after all, what good is stellar functionality if it's too difficult to navigate? You want buttons that respond quickly without repeated pressing as well as knobs that turn smoothly. A clear display indicating settings is also beneficial.

6.Check Connectivity Options: USB Connectivity & More

Connectivity matters greatly when purchasing online – be sure there are enough ports available on your MIDI Keyboard controller too! USB connectivity is almost always necessary but having additional options such as MIDI In/Out connections, CV/Gate outputs or Sustain pedal input can expand its capabilities far beyond just being a DAW controller.

7.Look at User Reviews & Industry Opinions

Last but definitely not least – take time reading user reviews from multiple online sources before making final decisions about any product purchase particularly with something like a midi keyboard where user experience can vary widely based on personal preference and style of playing.
Also, respect industry opinions while knowing they might have different criteria than yours which means what works amazingly well for one person may not fit another quite so well!

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