IK Multimedia iRig KEYS PRO Review
IK Multimedia continues to expand its mobile product lineup with iRig KEYS PRO, which improves upon the functionality and playability of its predecessor. iRig KEYS PRO is a full-sized 37-key velocity-sensitive keyboard that can be plugged into iOS devices for music creation on the go, or plugged into a PC or Mac via the included USB cable for use in a home studio.
iRig KEYS PRO comes with three cables: 30-pin, micro USB, and Lightning. That third one is important, as the previous model did not feature Lightning compatibility, which detracted a bit from its value for those with newer devices. This improved model is compatible with all iOS devices, from the iPod touch to the latest iPads and iPhones, as well as Mac and PC. The inclusion of these cables is appreciated, as other similar MIDI controllers require an additional purchase for such connections.
iRig KEYS PRO is bus-powered – it draws power from the connected device rather than requiring an external adapter, which is a definite plus. Another upside is that iRig KEYS PRO is Core MIDI compatible, so it’s completely plug-and-play on both iOS devices and Mac/ PC without the installation of drivers or additional software. It works right out of the box with apps like SampleTank, iGrand Piano, and Garageband, not to mention the vast array of sample libraries available on Mac and PC. I should note that iRig KEYS PRO comes bundled with SampleTank FREE and iGrand Piano FREE for iOS, as well as SampleTank 2L for Mac and PC. All of these offer a wide variety of great sounds to play around with.
One of the most notable improvements of iRig KEYS PRO over its little brother is its 37-key, 3-octave full-sized keyboard, allowing proficient pianists and keyboardists to play two-handed parts. While the previous model sacrificed full-sized keys in the name of portability, iRig KEYS PRO manages to incorporate a much more comfortable design while keeping a relatively compact form factor. It’s also still pretty light while feeling durable. The velocity-sensitive keys feel more responsive than those of iRig KEYS, allowing users to easily capture dynamic recordings.
iRig KEYS PRO sports a volume adjustment knob on top as well as buttons for switching between the three octaves and two program buttons. Edit Mode can be activated to mess around with settings like velocity sensitivity, which is great as everyone has a different playing style. All settings can be restored to the factory default settings at any time. The keyboard uses power from whatever device it’s hooked up to, but it smartly turns itself off whenever it’s not in use.
Overall, iRig KEYS PRO strikes a great balance between professional features and portability. With an improved velocity-sensitive 37-key keyboard, full-size keys, and the inclusion of a Lightning cable, this lightweight, portable device is easy to recommend for both studio and mobile use.
- + Portable and lightweight
- + Full-sized keys
- + Lightning compatibility