Friday, April 19, 2013

iRig Keys Universal Electric Keyboard iPad iPhone Mac PC Review Kids Adults Love Music


Classical Chopin, Ragtime, Jazz, Rock and Roll with The Beatles and Sir Elton John, and even the Pop Songs of Barry Manilow. No matter how it's played, these composers, artists and music styles -- among many others -- are what has made piano great and one of the most popular of all musical instruments for centuries. Now, with the recent introduction of iRig KEYS from IK Multimedia there is something new and exciting that piano hobbyists like me and some of the other members in my family can play and enjoy -- a universal portable keyboard controller that runs with the entire suite of desktop computer and mobile Apple iOS products: iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Mac. In addition it works with PC Windows.

Modern: iRig Keys Universal Electronic Keyboard connected to my iPad 2
Antique: This piano in the National Music Museum collection is extraordinary
The piano as we know it today indeed has a long and rich history. According to Wikipedia, the invention of the modern piano around the year 1700 is based on earlier string instruments from the Middle Ages and is credited to Italian Bartolomeo Cristofori. Many beautiful and technically amazing pianos have been built ever since including the beautiful upright piano pictured above with stained glass insets that we saw at the National Music Museum at University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD on one of our many family road trips.

In the 1920s the first electric piano was introduced, more than 200 years after the first classical piano was invented. But it wasn't until the 1950s when great modern pianists Duke Ellington (1955) and Ray Charles (1959) performed on them that electronic keyboards skyrocketed into popularity.

Yesterday: Me & my brand new Wurlitzer Studio Upright in 1973
Today: My 40+ year-old piano and the brand new iRig KEYS 
Fast forward to the present. Technology has penetrated nearly every aspect of our lives for good, including music -- improving both the playing experience for amateur musicians and the listening pleasure of every day kids and adults who just love hearing great tunes. With the iRig KEYS, we now have the first ultra-slim and highly portable universal MIDI controller keyboard for those Apple devices that connects directly to the dock connector of the iOS device as well as to the USB port on both the Mac and the PC.

iRig KEYS shown with everything that comes in the box
The current model is compatible with
  • iPod touch Gen 3 and 4
  • iPhone 4S, iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS
  • iPad, iPad 2, and iPad 3
  • Mac OS X 10.5 or later
  • PC Windows XP (SP3) Windows Vista (SP1) and Windows 7 or later
iRig KEYS hooked up to an iPhone 3GS
Note: To connect with the iPhone 5 you will need to separately purchase a Lightning to 30-pin Adapter.

Watch this short video to see how iRig KEYS works

As you can see from the YouTube demo this offers so much and you will get many hours of enjoyment from it. Not only does the keyboard offer a full range of three octaves plus one note, it is so compact at just 20" x 4" and about 1-1/2 pounds to easily pop into your backpack or carry on to bring with you wherever you go. This would be perfect to take along on vacation so your child can practice piano every day while you're traveling. It is also a fun device to have on hand at parties so kids can gather round and sing karaoke style. It's a blast for adults who love playing piano, too. So why not bring it to the office and share with your coworkers during the lunch hour?

What's more is that the instrument comes complete with three free professional quality virtual instrument apps: iGrand Piano Free Version and Sample Tank for mobile devices and Sample Tank 2L for desktops. These free apps can be immediately downloaded making the iRig KEYS truly plug and play straight out of the box. There are also additional iRig KEYS apps you can buy like the ones I uploaded to my iPad 2 while preparing this review including iGrand Piano and iLectric Piano -- each app is priced at $9.99 for the Full Version. This connected keyboard runs with other apps, too, including the uber popular app GarageBand and others. Full product specifications and details are available on

Image from ikmultimedia
The iRig KEYS carries a suggested retail price of $99.99 USD and is available from musical instrument and consumer electronics retailers worldwide both in-store and online. In addition this unique keyboard may be purchased direct from

FTC Disclosure: This is a compensated post and I received the iRig KEYS and the iGrand Piano and iLectric Piano apps to facilitate this review. However, thoughts in this blogpost are my own. See complete FTC Disclosure information that appears at the bottom of MommyBlogExpert's main page and at the bottom of every individual post on this blog, including this one.

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