Cheapest Synthesizer: Budget-Friendly Models for Musicians

We have researched 13 synthesizers for you.

For the musically inclined looking to create their own melodies without breaking the bank, affordable gear is key. No longer is the search for sonic versatility and quality limited to high-end price tags. Today's market offers a wide array of options that merge professional features with wallet-friendly prices.

Whether you're a beginner laying down your first track or a seasoned composer seeking new inspiration, the current selection of budget-friendly synthesizers is designed to cater to your creative needs. Explore our curated list that proves musical innovation need not be an expensive endeavor.
To simplify the price comparison, we determine the prices for the individual articles on Amazon, Ebay and other shops and link the offers via partner links where applicable. This means that we receive a commission if you buy something that we recommend - the price does not change for you.

What to Look for in Cheapest Synthesizers

Important criteria

  • Price-to-performance ratio
  • Sound quality
  • Build quality
  • Range of sounds or presets
  • Polyphony
  • Intuitive interface

1.) Sound Quality

The most important aspect to consider when buying the cheapest synthesizer is the sound quality. Despite a lower price point, you don't want to sacrifice the essential tones and sound capabilities that you require for your music. Listen to demonstrations or try out the synthesizer yourself to ensure it has the warmth, clarity, and range you need. Pay attention to the filters, waveforms, and modulations offered to see if they meet your expectations. It's also important to consider the polyphony; how many notes it can play simultaneously.

2.) Build Quality and Durability

Even budget synthesizers should have a good build quality to withstand regular use. The materials used in construction can affect both the durability and the feel of the instrument. Check the sturdiness of the knobs, sliders, and keys. Consider if the synth is constructed with a robust chassis that can handle being transported, if necessary. The longevity of a synthesizer is crucial, so verify that customer and expert reviews do not frequently mention breakdowns or technical issues.

3.) Features and Expandability

Assess the features included with the synthesizer, as they can vary widely across different models. Determine if it has the necessary connections, like MIDI or USB, for integration with your current setup. Also, explore whether the synth has enough onboard features for your needs, including types of effects, sequencers, and the ability to save presets. If you plan to expand your setup in the future, it's beneficial to choose a synthesizer that can grow with you, which might mean having expandable voices or being able to connect to modular equipment.

4.) User Interface

The user interface of a synthesizer can greatly affect your ability to use it. A clear and intuitive layout is vital, especially for beginners. Even at a lower price point, look for a synthesizer with logically arranged controls that facilitate easy sound shaping and programming. If the cheapest option has an overly complex or cumbersome interface, it may not be worth the savings. Check if the synthesizer includes a display for visual feedback which can be particularly helpful during performances or in-depth sound design.

The Cheapest Synthesizers of our Choice

Our Pick
Otamatone Japanese Electronic Musical Instrument Portable
Otamatone Japanese Electronic Musical Instrument Portable
Type/Color: Black
  • Japan’s popular musical instrument toy
  • Easy to play with touch and slide
  • Unleash creativity by creating own sounds
  • Suitable for all ages
  • Quick setup with AAA batteries
$ 39.92 *
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on Amazon
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on Ebay
2
Electro-Harmonix Mono Synth Guitar Synthesizer Pedal
Electro-Harmonix Mono Synth Guitar Synthesizer Pedal
Type/Color: Gray
  • Easy controls for quick sound adjustments
  • EXP pedal for real-time foot control
  • 11 user presets for each synth sound
  • Power adapter included
$ 121.20 *
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3
Elektron Digitone 8-Voice Polyphonic Digital Synthesizer
Elektron Digitone 8-Voice Polyphonic Digital Synthesizer
Model: 113020 Type/Color: Stainless Steel Size: Digitone
  • FM sound generation with subtractive synthesis flow
  • Multiple FM algorithms with selected parameters
  • Packed with high-quality factory content
  • 128 x 64 pixel OLED screen
  • Stainless steel casing
$ 799.00 *
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4
Donner Analog Bass Synthesizer and Sequencer
Donner Analog Bass Synthesizer and Sequencer
Size: Donner Essential B1
  • 128 presets for storing music ideas
  • Factory contents for new users
  • Song Mode for chaining patterns
  • Innovative silicon haptic pads with dynamic backlights
  • Perform synth basslines on the fly
  • Onboard 8-mode arpeggiator for jamming ideas
  • Intuitive step sequencer
  • Simplifies programming music ideas
  • Live performance features for playability
  • Straightforward synthesis engine
  • Analog built-in saturation and delay effects
  • Warm and fancy sound
  • Versatile connectivity with USB Type-C
  • MIDI controller for DAW integration
  • Full-size MIDI I/O and Sync I/O
  • Three guide documents for installation, use, and troubleshooting
$ 129.99 *
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on Amazon
5
Behringer Odyssey Analog Synthesizer
Behringer Odyssey Analog Synthesizer
Model: ODYSSEY Type/Color: Black
  • 37-key Duophonic Analog Synthesizer with Dual VCOs
  • 3-way Multi-Mode VCF
  • 32-Step Sequencer
  • Klark Teknik FX
  • Arpeggiat
$ 599.00 *
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6
Korg Synthesizer, 25 Key (MONOLOGUEBK)
Korg Synthesizer, 25 Key (MONOLOGUEBK)
Type/Color: Black Size: 25 Key
  • VCF changed to 2-pole with more bite
  • DRIVE added for rich bass and cutting leads
  • LFO capabilities expanded with higher rates and deeper modulation
  • 16 step buttons for faster real-time step edits
  • Push button + turn knob for parameter lock style motion sequencing
$ 335.95 *
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on Ebay
7
Stylophone Gen X-1 Portable Analogue Electronic
Stylophone Gen X-1 Portable Analogue Electronic
Type/Color: Black
  • Two ways to make sounds with the stylus.
  • Use keyboard for distinct notes, sound strip to slide.
  • Portable with battery operation and built-in speaker.
  • Connect headphones or external speaker via audio line out.
  • Use as an effects unit with audio input.
  • New features: LFO, Low pass filter, Envelope.
  • Analog delay feature for adding space to sound.
  • Adjust delay time, feedback, and level.
  • Enrich sound with sub octaves -1 & -2 switch.
  • Create chorus effect with Pulse Width Modulation button.
$ 74.95 *
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8
Korg Monotron Delay Analog Ribbon Synthesizer
Korg Monotron Delay Analog Ribbon Synthesizer
Type/Color: standart Size: standart
  • VCO (Sawtooth) with Pitch control
  • VCF with Cutoff and Peak controls
  • Space Delay with Time and Feedback controls
  • LFO with Waveshape, Rate, and Intensity controls
  • Ribbon Keyboard with extra-wide four-octave range
  • Original MS-20 Filter with aux input
  • Built-in speaker, battery power
  • Graphics that glow under black-light
$ 43.98 *
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9
Otamatone Japanese Electronic Musical Instrument Portable
Otamatone Japanese Electronic Musical Instrument Portable
  • Lovely Sweets Edition in three sweet-inspired colors
  • Easy-to-play with sliding fingers and squeezing cheeks
  • Create your own sound in different pitches
  • Suitable for all ages, beginners to expert musicians
  • Powered by 3 AAA batteries (not included)
$ 109.99 *
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on Amazon
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on Ebay
10
Behringer TD-3-AM Analog Bass Line Synthesizer with VCO
Behringer TD-3-AM Analog Bass Line Synthesizer with VCO
Model: TD-3-AM Type/Color: Acid Yellow
  • Bass Line synthesizer with analog circuitry
  • Authentic reproduction of original circuitry
  • Pure analog signal path based on classic designs
  • Sawtooth and square waveform VCO with wave-shaping circuitry
  • 4-pole low-pass resonant filter with control options
$ 129.00 *
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on Ebay
11
Behringer Pro-800 8-Voice Polyphonic Analog Synthesizer
Behringer Pro-800 8-Voice Polyphonic Analog Synthesizer
Model: PRO-800 Type/Color: Black
$ 399.00 *
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on Amazon
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12
Otamatone Regular Black and Black Case
Otamatone Regular Black and Black Case
$ 54.48 *
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on Amazon
13
Stylophone The Original Pocket Electronic Synthesizer
Stylophone The Original Pocket Electronic Synthesizer
Model: DU05151 Type/Color: Silver Size: H6, W12, D22 cm
  • Miniature stylus operated synthesizer
  • Recreation of the 1967 classic
  • 3 Octaves
  • Optional vibrato effect
  • Tuning knob for pitch-bend effects
  • Built-in speaker with volume control
  • Optional headphone jack
  • Line Out (3.5mm)
$ 34.95 *
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on Amazon
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on Ebay
* All prices incl. VAT, plus shipping if applicable. Prices, delivery times and costs may change in the meantime. The selection of products was made independently of the manufacturer and without any claim to completeness. All links to products are external partner links through which we may receive compensation. All information without guarantee.

Find Your Perfect Budget Synth: Top Affordable Choices

Beginner Enthusiasts
Starting your synth journey doesn't have to break the bank. Look for options that balance cost with functionality to get you started on the right note. Entry-level synthesizers will provide you with the essential features needed for learning and growth.
Bedroom Producers
Creating music in your personal space requires a synth that offers versatility without overwhelming your room. Compact and affordable synthesizers are ideal for producing high-quality sounds in a smaller setup.
Live Performers
When taking to the stage, portability and reliability are key. Seek out synthesizers that promise ease of transport and consistent performance, even when you're on the move, without compromising on your budget.
Budget-Conscious Experts
Even seasoned synthesists appreciate a great deal. Look for instruments that offer advanced features at a fraction of the cost, allowing you to expand your sound arsenal without emptying your wallet.

Questions You Might Ask

There are several types of synthesizers, including analog, digital, virtual analog, modular, and software synthesizers. Analog synthesizers use analog circuits and signal paths, digital synthesizers use digital signal processing, virtual analog tries to replicate the sound of analog synths using digital technology, modular synthesizers are made up of separate components that can be connected in different ways, and software synthesizers are digital but run on computers or mobile devices as applications.
Monophonic synthesizers can play one note at a time, making them suited for lead lines, basslines, or solo sounds. Polyphonic synthesizers can play multiple notes simultaneously, which is ideal for chords and layered textures. Your choice should be based on the type of music you want to create; if you need complex harmonies, go for a polyphonic synthesizer. If you primarily want to create single-note melodies or bass lines, a monophonic synthesizer might be sufficient.
Look for a user interface that aligns with your workflow. Knobs, sliders, and buttons offer tactile control and are conducive to hands-on sound shaping. Some synthesizers also have touchscreens. Beginners may appreciate a more straightforward interface with fewer controls, while experienced users may prefer the flexibility of more complex control setups.
Yes, the size and portability are important factors if you plan to travel with your synthesizer or have limited space in your studio. Larger synthesizers offer a more extensive interface and potentially a full-sized keyboard, but smaller, more portable models are easier to carry to gigs or use in compact spaces.
Having presets and memory storage is valuable for quickly accessing a wide range of sounds without needing to manually set parameters every time. It's particularly useful for live performance and for those who wish to recall specific sounds they've created or curated.

Currently Active Poll

How to Choose an Affordable Synthesizer

Embarking on your sonic adventure doesn't have to break the bank. Picking the right affordable synthesizer can ignite your musical creativity while keeping your budget in check. This guide is your personal roadmap to finding a synthesizer that hits the sweet spot between cost and quality. Let's dive into what makes a synthesizer a worthy addition to your setup without costing a fortune.

Understanding Synthesizer Basics

Before you snag a bargain, grasp the fundamentals of what a synthesizer does. Synthesizers generate sounds electronically, which you can shape and modulate to create music. They come in various types, from analog to digital, and each has its unique flavor. Analog synths are known for their warm, classic tones, while digital ones offer versatility and complex soundscapes.
It's also crucial to consider the architecture of a synth. Do you want a monophonic synth for one-note melodies or a polyphonic one for chords? Additionally, think about whether you need a keyboard integrated or if a module controlled by an external MIDI device will suffice. Knowing these basics will help you filter through options without paying for features you won't use.

Features to Look For

Now that you know the types of synthesizers, focus on features that matter to you. A good starter synth should have a user-friendly interface with intuitive controls. Look for models with a decent number of oscillators, filters, and envelope controls to shape your sounds. Even on a budget, you can find synths with arpeggiators and sequencers, which are great for creating patterns and sequences.
Connectivity is another key component. Ensure the synthesizer can integrate with your existing equipment. Check for MIDI compatibility, USB connections, and audio outputs. Some affordable synths might also offer software integration, allowing for deeper editing on your computer. Balanced features paired with proper connectivity make for a smart purchase.

Best Value for Money

Not all cheap synthesizers offer the same value. Do your research and read reviews to find models praised for their build quality and sound. A slightly higher initial investment might yield a more durable and inspiring instrument. Brands like Korg, Behringer, and Arturia often have products that punch above their price range in terms of quality.
Don't overlook the second-hand market either. You can find high-quality used synthesizers at a fraction of their original cost. Always ensure they're in good working condition and consider potential additional costs for repairs or missing accessories.

The Learning Curve

When choosing an affordable synthesizer, consider the learning resources available. A complex synth might be cheaper but could also be overwhelming for beginners. Look for a model with a robust community, online tutorials, and clear documentation. This support can be invaluable as you learn and grow with your instrument.
Be mindful that some inexpensive synthesizers may have limitations that can be educational. They might force you to be more creative with fewer resources, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Embrace the challenge, and let it expand your musical horizons.

Hands-on Reviews and Recommendations from Discussion-Boards

In the pursuit of the most affordable synthesizers, we have meticulously gathered and curated a comprehensive set of resources. This includes high-quality test reports and credible advice from expert forums. Our selections embody what we believe to be the most valuable links about budget-friendly synthesizers, conveniently organized into four distinct categories: expert reviews, forum discussions, Reddit threads, and informative videos.
Dec 7, 2023 — The Anker Soundcore 3 is the best cheap Bluetooth speaker we've tested. For a wallet-friendly price, this speaker offers a great sound...
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Dec 15, 2018 — The Kinter K2020A+ stereo integrated amplifier defies all logic, how can something this cheap, tiny and lightweight sound this good?
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Mar 30, 2018 — The cheaper Dayton Audio MK402 is a better buy. The Bottom Line. The Dayton Audio T652-AIR minitower speakers give good performance for very...
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Dec 8, 2017 — The affordable Q Acoustics 3020s bring a dynamic and detailed performance to your favorite tunes. Construction is excellent, and there are four...
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Any new cheap of free synths that sound great. VST, AU, AAX, CLAP, etc. Plugin Virtual Instruments Discussion. Moderator: KVR Moderators (Main).
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Some favorites are: Helm, Synth1, TAL NoiseMaker, u-he Tyrell N6, Dexed, Oatmeal, PG-8X, Obxd, SQ8L, Crystal, Superwave P8.
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Meeblip Geode. True hardware analogue synth for under $200.
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Behringer has a couple of cheap, brand new synths you might want to look at… JT-4000 Micro ($49) and Pro VS Mini ($99). Both are 4 voice ...
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The best " budget synth " for ambient is probably Choreographs. I have not heard anything in hardware on that level without dropping serious coin.
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DENN DEK37 Review. - YouTube
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synthesizer #demo #presets Introducing the DENN DEK37 mini duophonic keyboard, the world's cheapest sound extraction device.

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