Akai Professional MPK249 - 49-Key MIDI Controller Keyboard


91 out of 100. Incorporating 950+ ratings and reviews.

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Akai Professional MPK249

Gearank High Notes

Gearank Recommendation

The MPK249 first appeared on our recommended list for 49 Key MIDI Controller Keyboards when we published the first edition in February 2016 where it remained for two subsequent editions until it was removed in April 2020 when it was removed due to being out-ranked by other keyboards.

Then in May 2021 it had strong enough ratings to go back on the list for another edition, but was removed when it was out-ranked again in September 2022


Akai Professional are a stand-out leader in MIDI controller keyboards with the smaller MPK225 also retaining its place as one of our recommended MIDI controllers for the third year in a row.

The MPK249 lets you control DAWs with presets for most major software, virtual instruments, effects plugins and other external hardware.

Features include semi-weighted keys with aftertouch, 16 pads, 24 assignable knobs and faders, and backlit LCD screen to name a few.


  • Keys: 49 full size semi-weighted with aftertouch.
  • Pads: 16 which are velocity and pressure sensitive and they light up MPC style (with full RGB) - there are also 4 Pad banks giving you 64 inputs.
  • Octaves: 10 by using Octave Up and Octave Down controls.
  • Arpeggiator: Yes.
  • Motorized Controls: No.
  • Bundled Software: Ableton Live Lite DAW, MPC Essentials software sampler, and the Air Hybrid 3 and SONiVOX Twist virtual synths.
  • Power: USB powered and can use an optional power adapter (sold separately).
  • Connectivity: USB and 5-pin MIDI out and MIDI in, 2 x TRS inputs for expression pedal and sustain pedal or footswitch input.
  • Control Hardware Directly: Yes
  • Compatibility: Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later + Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP, also iOS compatible via CCK.
  • Dimensions: 29" x 12.25" x 3.38"
  • Weight 12.6 lbs
Since we originally recommended the MPK249, more highly rated options have become available, which you'll find in our guide to The Best 49 Key MIDI Controller Keyboards.


Here's a fairly reasonable in-depth review of the MPK249:


I'll give you a good comment

I'll give you a good comment based on this machine. I really like it. It's sturdy, the keys are great, the pads are fantastic...but there's just one thing.
It's a brick on my desktop.
Because while it can work under Mac OS 10.4 and up....that upwards mobility stops at Mac OS 11.
For nearly a year now they have been telling everyone that they have been working on a solution. And I'm sure, to one degree or another they have...but that's not helpful to me.
Just saying. Maybe change that it's not operable on the current OS which is now OS 11.5.1 with a beta version of Mac OS 12 released on July.