Roland A-49 49 Key MIDI Keyboard Controller


86 out of 100. Incorporating 250+ ratings and reviews.

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Roland A-49 49 Key MIDI Keyboard Controller

The Roland A-49 has achieved high enough ratings to continue to be recommended by us for a third year in a row.

If you want a 49 key MIDI controller for your iPad then the Roland A-49 is a good choice because it shouldn't need additional USB power to work with the iPad because it only draws 98 mA.

Its unique feature is the D-BEAM controller which lets you wave your hand above it to send control data.

Key features:

  • Keys: 49 with velocity sensitivity.
  • Pads: No.
  • Arpeggiator: No.
  • Motorized Controls: No.
  • Octaves: Up and Down buttons.
  • Bundled Software: Cakewalk SONAR LE - only for Windows.
  • Power: USB powered.
  • Connectivity: USB, 5-Pin MIDI, and 2 x TRS input for an expression and a sustain pedal.
  • Control Hardware Directly: Yes.
  • Compatibility: Mac OS X and Windows. Also iOS via CCK.
  • Dimensions: 32.91" x 7.17" x 3.31"
  • Weight 5.56 lbs


Although it only has 2 knobs and 2 switches in addition to the D-BEAM controller, this actually came up as a positive in reviews by those who want a simple, straight forward, keyboard controller without a lot of confusing functions. In general it received positive reviews from people who appreciate Roland's build quality - particularly with the keys.


Some people weren't happy with the small sized keys and some beginners found it difficult to set up.


This will suit you if you primarily want a simple yet effective MIDI input device, rather than a full featured DAW controller.

Since we originally recommended the Roland A-49, more highly rated options have become available, which you'll find in our guide to The Best 49 Key MIDI Controller Keyboards.