Korg is a brand that needs no special introduction when we are discussing anything keyboard related. After all, they are one of the biggest names in the business – a reputation their affordable microKEY Air 37 upholds. There’s no surprise that it features in our chart of the best MIDI keyboard controllers on the market, so let’s see what all the fuss is about.
The Korg microKEY Air 37 is all about the basics. One quick glance at this puppy is all it takes to figure out what it is designed to do. Speaking of design, it is definitely one of the simpler units on the market. Korg knows how to pull off a minimalist theme without sacrificing aesthetics or functionality.
Compared to other controllers in this price range, you could say that the microKEY Air 37 is compact – with 37 keys, a length of 22.24” and depth of 5.47”, it is an excellent size for taking with you on the go. When we dig into features, this point will become even more apparent. In terms of build-quality it is what we would expect from Korg – it’s thin and lightweight, but a well-made and reliable product that won’t let you down.
View the Korg microKEY Air 37 as a mobile tool and you won’t be disappointed by the lack of any features, such as touchpads. Yet there are still some hands-on controls, such as the 37 velocity-sensitive synthstyle keys and the standard pitch/mod wheels, while there are two USB ports for connecting Korg's nanoPAD (sold separately) and other external devices.
However, here is where things get interesting. The microKEY Air 37 can be connected to your device either by using the USB port or Bluetooth. That’s right – it can go fully wireless if necessary, meaning that you can even hook it up to your iPhone and get work done on the fly.
One of the most important questions is what kind of battery life it offers. For such a portable machine, you’ll be pleased to know that it takes months for one set of batteries to be drained. In terms of compatibility, microKEY Air 37 is fully compatible with both Windows and Mac machines, while it is plug and play (no need to install a driver). Additionally, Korg ships this controller with a pretty decent software suite, including several classic Korg plugins.
Thanks to its inherent simplicity, the performance of the microKEY Air 37 can only be described as flawless. It is a compact piece of kit that offers core functionality in an extremely versatile format. This controller really shines when you are either traveling or working in an environment that just won’t suite bulky equipment. Essentially, all you really need is a surface for your laptop and you are good to go – hook up the microKEY Air 37 via Bluetooth and you can have a fairly comfortable work session just about anywhere.
Korg’s microKEY Air 37 is a fairly niche controller, but one that does its job perfectly. Compact, capable and fully compatible with all platforms, this thing can be a powerful tool in the right hands. It is definitely not the best choice for a studio rig, but if you are looking for something that will be a good partner on the road, this controller is absolutely worth checking out.