M-audio Oxygen 61 vs Nektar Impact lx61+- Which 61-Key keyboard controller rocks?

Looking for an in-depth analysis of what popular 61-key controllers from M-Audio Oxygen and Nektar Impact have to offer? Then take a look at the M-audio Oxygen 61 vs. Nektar Impact lx61+ for more.

A 61- key Keyboard controller is a special thing to have especially when you find the right one. This article zeros in two popular keyboard controllers: both of which are good choices for anyone looking at least. M-audio Oxygen 61 vs. Nektar Impact lx61+, attempt to objectively look at 2 industry favorites, what they have to offer and what makes them worthwhile controllers to possibly invest in.

M-audio Oxygen 61 vs. Nektar Impact lx61+

M-audio Oxygen 61
Nektar Impact lx61+
USB Bus drive powered MIDI controller
USB Bus drive powered MIDI controller

With 1/4″ TS Footswitch Input

Windows and Mac-10 OS compatible
Linux, Mac 10.7/later, Windows Vista, Windows 7/later compatible
synth-action keybed with pressure and velocity sensitive keys
synth-action keybed with velocity sensitive keys with medium tension
Transport controls
Transport controls
User friendly with intuitive format
Intelligent and expressive control

M-audio Oxygen 61 Mk IV

The M-audio Oxygen 61 is a USB MIDI controller with a 61 key set up, and additional surfaces for customized control. It is part M-Audios Oxygen series of keyboard controllers which are pioneers in innovative technologies with included intuitive features.

Starting us off is the modular control on this is controller which is a sizable variety of pads, faders and assignable knobs for total software and hardware control. With this, workflow becomes quite easy. An LCD screen conveniently placed on this controller allows instant access to feedback.

It is compatible with a variety of DAWs, making it very easy to use for your favorite platform. Patented technology: Direct Link, on this model allows users to automatically map to specific parameters and different virtual instruments ensure you have tactile control over popular DAW’s. With the transport buttons in play, you no longer have to reach for a mouse for modular control while on the M-audio Oxygen 61 Mk IV.

This MIDI controller is compatible with PC and Mac devices, allowing you to enjoy the experience regardless of your set up.

Specifically the control surface constitutes: pitch bend and modulation wheels, 8 pads which are velocity and trigger sensitive and good for clip launching, beat production etc, 8 assignable knobs, 9 sliders and 9 assignable faders. The synth-action keybed features pressure and velocity sensitive keys, guarantee complete performance control: all of which are wonderful for melodies and bass lines. You can also access the full note range thanks to the octave up and down buttons on the M-audio Oxygen 61. Its conveniently located tools will facilitate core production control, with the variety of assignable controls offering value in this aspect.

With a compact and simple build using this instrument becomes quite convenient in studio or even during touring and gigs. The set up features a premium software suite which offers ProTools, Eleven Lite and a few other quality tools for dynamic and customized output.

If you are looking for a highly portable controller for expressive performances, the M-audio Oxygen 61 could be what you need.


  • Great low profile build and design
  • Works well with different DAWs
  • Class compliant MIDI controller works on PC and Mac devices
  • Very easy to set up and use


  • Fader and knob positioning can be difficult to figure out at first


View price on Amazon


Nektar Impact lx61+

The Nektar Impact lx61+ offers an impressive range of features for a customized performance. This lightweight MIDI controller, weighing in at 9lbs, is a portable step up from the GX61 still from Nektar Impact.

It is a great choice for studio and live performances, thanks to its range of controls. This controller features 8 potentiometers, 9 faders, 9 assignable buttons and 6 dedicated transport buttons on the MIDI controller surface front. Additionally, it features 61 velocity sensitive keys, and works with different MIDI music applications.

The cover on the keys ensures they will endure exposure to dust or dirt that come with different workspaces. The streamlined body on the keyboard controller with other integrations: hardware ensures that you can maximize your work time with minimal interruptions or detractions. Included transport buttons are well within reach and offer a hassle free experience when navigating through projects. Other features like programmable controls and presets, as well as its intuitive build, the Nektar Impact lx61+ is easy to use for different needs.

The keyboard controller will connect to Linux, Windows, OSX and iOS devices due to its highly compatible set up. It offers mixer and instrument control, with support for different virtual instruments. The Nektar Impact lx61+ combines the transpose and octave buttons as well as modulation wheels and pitch bend in an intuitive build for increased ease of use. Moreover, users can make changes to your work at anytime during the creative process.

If you are looking for a versatile and customizable MIDI controller packed with intelligent controls for an expressive diverse performance, the 61 key Nektar Impact lx61+ could be a great fit.


  • Great value for money
  • Very easy to set up and use
  • Works well with different DAWs
  • Impressive design and build


  • Key action can be light for new users


View price on Amazon


Exterior design and keybed

There are many similarities between the Oxygen 61 and Impact61+ with respect to the overall look and exterior both. They have slight differences in their control centers with various inclusions and deletions on either control panels. Other slight changes include in the weight and price. Different convenience and durability features such as the extra coated keys on the Nektar make up for this, a convenience feature absent on M-Audio’s Oxygen 61.

Software inclusions

The software with which a controller is bundled is an important “feature” all users must asses. This is in fact one of the major differences between the M-audio Oxygen 61 and Nektar Impact lx61+. While the former is bundle with a great assortment of production software the later isn’t so capable. However, the controller has multiple DAW integration software which ensures the instrument will automatically hook up to your DAW.

Which is our choice, and why

There are many good things to say about the Nektar Impact 61+ controller, however, the M-Audio 61-Key controller does a better job equipping their easy to use yet highly functional controller.

Final word

When it comes to choosing between different 61-key keyboard controllers, you must pay attention to the differences in not just features and capabilities, but also built quality, control capacity among other factors.

Considering these things, both M-Audio and Nektar have done great jobs in developing reliable controllers with extensive functionalities. While eerily similar in the design and most capabilities, these controllers feature various differences in not just hardware design and inclusions, but also software bundles and overall performance.

Peter Smith

Welcome to MusicGearAdvisor! 4 years ago I rediscovered my passion for making music and began building my own home studio. As I have gone through my journey I realized that I am just as passionate about the equipment as I am about the music. I started MusicGearAdvisor as a way for me to share my learnings with others so you can get started making music that you dream of.

Leave a Comment