Line 6 Mobile Keys

Not one, but two keyboards from a company best known for its superb guitar gear.

The 25 and 49 models of Mobile Keys are identical (save for size) and serve a dual purpose, being quality (but rather pricey) MIDI USB keyboards for your Mac or PC, or iOS keyboard designed to plug directly into your iPod, iPhone or iPad.

It's this second use that's particularly attractive as this marks the first time that real, full-size keys work without external power on your iOS device. Yes, jack in the keyboard into your dock connector (via the 30 pin to proprietary mini 30 pin lead that comes in the box) and you're up and running in no time.

The first thing our test 'Pads did was invite us to download Line 6's own simple Mobile MIDI recorder app, but even this isn't necessary for both keyboards to instantly be recognised by the likes of GarageBand, Korg iMS-20 or Fairlight Pro. There's pitch bend and mod wheels, volume and pan and even more complex features for setting MIDI channel output and so on.

The only feature missing - and it's a big ask - is the ability to run both USB and iOS connections at once, allowing you to use the keyboard as an interface for your DAW to drive your iPad etc, but that's certainly no dealbreaker.

MusicRadar Rating

4 / 5 stars
Pros

Power-free connection; feature set.

Cons

Can't run USB and iOS connections simultaneously.

Verdict

Quite simply, superb.

Review Policy
All MusicRadar's reviews are by independent product specialists, who are not aligned to any gear manufacturer or retailer. Our experts also write for renowned magazines such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Computer Music, Future Music and Rhythm. All are part of Future PLC, the biggest publisher of music making magazines in the world.