Nektar is a brand that doesn’t enjoy too much time in the spotlight, yet they produce some of the most interesting MIDI keyboard controllers on the market at the moment. The Nektar IMPACT LX25+ is one of these, with a compact and versatile build, all while being very affordable. Let’s take a closer look…
The very first thing that most users notice about Nektar IMPACT LX25+ is its design. There’s something very retro about it, with a simple black chassis and vibrant backlit pads. Aside from that it isn’t going to blow anyone away, but it is very clean and intuitive. There is something reassuring about a clean, compact MIDI controller that isn’t trying to win you over with obscure design or colors.
As for buttons and features, everything feels well laid out and sensible. On a practical note, the build quality is great and – at 18.75” wide and 10.5” deep – fairly compact for smaller studios or music making on the go. Even at this low price, you can expect reliability and consistency no matter what kind of application you have in mind.
In terms of features, Nektar stuck to the basics for the most part. We have 25 velocity-sensitive synth keys which are good quality for the price and have a smooth action. Just above this you will find the main control cluster, with eight backlit trigger pads on the righthand side. These very responsive pads are easy to assign and makes it much easier to handle various DAWs. To the left of these is a set of eight knobs, as well as transport controls and pitch/mod jog wheels.
Overall, there is nothing extraordinary about what Nektar IMPACT LX25+ has to offer in terms of features, but this is no bad thing – for the affordable price, it is exactly what you would expect. Couple this with the inclusion of Bitwig 8-Track DAW software and you are getting a decent haul for under $100.
When the time comes to actually put this bad boy to use, you will find yourself pleasantly surprised by the butter-smooth performance that keeps the workflow going. Even though the IMPACT LX25+ doesn’t come with a mainstream DAW, it is 100% compatible with every one of them, which means it is ready to go straight from the box.
Despite its small build, Nektar went with full-sized keys – a decision that pays off for pianists and more traditional keyboard players, while allowing beginners to become familiar with this format. Ultimately, it is a great choice for anyone who wants something affordable, rock solid and completely utilitarian. This doesn’t mean that Nektar IMPACT LX25+ is strictly limited to beginners – it can be a real asset in the right hands.
Nektar’s IMPACT LX25+ has proven to be a great alternative to some of the flashy models that populate its market segment. The whole no-nonsense approach has an appeal of its own. It is well-built, gives you the features you need with a sensible layout, and has an excellent performance for such a small price. A solid purchase for anyone.