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Author: topstuf
Date: June 6, 2020

Best Synthesizer - Top 5 Reviews and Buying Guide 2020

Today we had an impossible task. We had to find several, cheap yet functional synthesizers available on the market. This was a hard task simply because these devices are more expensive than you may believe. They are versatile products that come with countless, appealing features. This is the best cheap synthesizer list and now we can start.

Top 5 Cheap Synthesizers

Akai Professional MPK MINI Play

AKAI Professional MPK Mini Play – USB MIDI Keyboard Controller With a Built in Speaker, 25 mini...
  • Standalone Piano Style Keyboard - Portable mini keyboard and USB MIDI controller with 25...
  • Play Anywhere - Built in speaker, 1/8-inch headphone output and battery powered...
  • Beat Maker Essential - 2 banks of 8 ultra-responsive backlit MIDI drum pads with Note...
  • Tweak, Customize - 2 banks of 4 knobs (8 total) to tweak internal sounds or software...

Akai Professional MPK MINI Play is a cheap synthesizer that truly impressed us. The tested model comes with 10 drum pads, 128 built a sound and with 8 knobs for adjusting the music you are playing. There is an OLED display as well. The keys come in number 25 and they are velocity-sensitive. In general, using this model is a very desirable task and you will have great fun.

The synthesizer is made for beginners and those who want to learn how to play. USB port is available alongside the music software that runs on PC and Mac computers. Thanks to it you can customize and tweak all the sounds you like. In addition, this model has a built-in speaker so you can play while on the go.


  • 10 drum pads
  • Plenty of adjustabilities
  • Velocity-sensitive keys
  • Modern design


  • Poor software
  • The user manual is too complicated


Novation MiniNova Analog Modeling Synthesizer

Novation MiniNova Analog Modeling Synthesizer
  • Hugely powerful mini-synth with Nova sound engine
  • Vocoder with unique VocalTune, pitch correcting effect
  • Tweak and warp your sounds in real-time
  • 256 awesome onboard sounds; additional free soundpacks downloadable on registration,...

This affordable synthesizer is available in mini and full-size key versions. We tested both of them but due to the nature of this article, we had to select the mini key version. It is more affordable. An interesting fact is that this is the most expensive model here. At the same time, it is the most powerful and the most popular at the moment.

The unit has 256 sounds implemented to the interface. You will also appreciate the fact there are all kinds of tweaks supported and easy to use. The last but not least this model is paired with Giorgio Moroder patches. You get 30 of them. Don’t forget that it uses Nova engine which is one of the best in the class.


  • Giorgio Moroder patches
  • Two versions available
  • Powerful unit
  • 256 sounds


  • More expensive than other models from the list
  • Annoying and overcomplicated editing


Nektar Impact LX49+ Keyboard Controller

Nektar Impact LX49+ Keyboard Controller, MultiColored
  • 49 note (61 on LX61+) velocity-sensitive synth-action keyboard
  • 8 hyper-sensitive backlit pads
  • Mac, PC and iOS Compatible
  • Software instruments automatically Mapped to controls

In the sea of the affordable synthesizers, it is an honor being able to offer something different, something unique. This right here is one of the examples that these devices can actually be affordable and loaded with all kinds of features. The tested model is a cheap analogue synthesizer which offers superb quality and design. It looks more expensive than it actually is.

Here you will want to know that there are 49 keys. The owners will get the Bitwig 8-Track DAW which is included in the package. The drum pads come in number 8 and they have backlight and they are very comfortable to use. Don’t forget that the tested model is compatible with all computers including PC and Mac but also with iOS devices such as iPhone and iPad.


  • Modern and massive design
  • Drum pads are a nice addition
  • Bitwig 8-Track DAW is included
  • iOS compatible


  • Sensitive connection
  • Some parts are made from cheap plastics


Akai Professional MPK MINI MKII

Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII – 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller With 8 Drum Pads, 8...
  • Compact keyboard controller easily fits backpack and studio production desk (12.4" long,...
  • Powered by USB connection to computer, with free virtual-instrument download packages
  • Crammed full of all the features you need to play and edit musical ideas
  • 25-synth-action mini-keys, 8 velocity-sensitive rubber drum pads with two banks, and eight...

Akai Professional MPK MINI MKII is a cheap analog synth that comes with advanced features. Keep in mind that this isn’t the first model as the first unit on the list. They are similar, but not the same. However, the list of features is almost identical. Basically, you will get 25 keys which are velocity sensitive and which come with superb quality. They are not special but in this price range, they are very good.

The unit comes with 8 sensitive pads and with 8 knobs which can be programmed to do literally anything. You can use them for mixing and tuning the music you like. This can be the best synthesizer for a beginner due to all the features and decent quality. An interesting addition is a software. The overall value of the software and accessories is above $200.


  • Software and accessories included
  • Nice keys
  • Funky design
  • Built-in speaker


  • Isn’t suitable for professionals
  • Return policy


Korg Monotron Duo Dual Oscillator Analog Pocket Synthesizer

Korg, 0-Key Mixer Accessory (MONOTRONDUO)
  • Two analog Oscillators (vco) with individual tunings
  • Vcf with cutoff and peak control
  • Built-in speaker and battery power for go anywhere analog sound

Korg has been known as one of those manufacturers who occasionally makes something incredible. This right here is the best and latest example. The cheap synths are usually massive but this one is completely opposite. It is a pocket model that is made to be used on the go. It is still well-made and has a built-in speaker. It is surprisingly loud considering the overall size. Some advantages include the MS20 which is implemented as well and the X Mod which is borrowed from other, larger Korg models.

We were impressed with this model on our tests and honestly, we didn’t believe it will reach the list, even the last place. However, the unit is interesting to use and it actually has a purpose. You can use it while traveling, at the park or while at your friend’s house. As you would believe, it is battery powered. Tweaking the music is possible as well but you get basic features. The price on the other hand is more than just affordable so you may want to own this unit if you are looking for a new, interesting and rare gadget.


  • The small size makes it easy to use literally anywhere
  • Built-in speaker is louder than we expected
  • X Mod is available as well
  • Basic tweaking features


  • Lack of power
  • Lack of advanced features



Akai Professional MPK MINI Play is an advanced cheap synthesizer that has to be the best right here, right now. It gets 4.8 out of 5-star rating and we will explain why. First of all the unit looks modern and sophisticated. The keys are comfortable and appealing to use. The implemented samples and tweaking options are more sophisticated than you may believe. All of this means that the unit is a popular choice and a worthy consideration.

Also check out our Best Cheap Midi Keyboards article.

Last update on 2024-04-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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