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Written By Angela Fentor

Updated Jun 12, 2023 7:47 PM

Why you shouldn’t run without running shoes?

You may be thinking, “Why do I even need to buy a special pair of comfortable running shoes? Can’t I just pop on my old pair of sneakers and get going?” Sure you can, but you will almost certainly regret it. Arch and ankle support are crucial to avoiding serious running injuries—most walking or casual sneakers just aren’t up to snuff when it comes to giving runners support. Added cushions, heel support, and breathable materials will make your runs more enjoyable while ensuring you stay safe. For the competitor in you, here’s how to pick the best running shoes for women.

Things to consider when picking out the best running shoes for women

When choosing the best running shoes for women, there are a few things to consider. For starters, are you looking to do short bursts or long marathon style runs? Do you want a good running shoe that can double up for other types of training, or are you simply looking for one just dedicated to running? Are your feet particularly wide or narrow, or do you have a high or low arch? 

Use our guide to help you narrow down the options and get the best running shoes for you. You’ll be able to hit the ground running and be well on your way to the finish line.

Best for road-running: New Balance Women’s Fresh Foam Roav V1 Sneaker

The chunkier foam heel on these New Balance sneakers makes them ideal for pounding the pavements. Regular road runners need maximum support against a flat, hard surface to protect their knees, and these are well-designed for that. New Balances are definitely one of the more stylish and versatile shoes, and you wouldn’t be out of place wearing these to brunch. We love the black version with the striking raspberry pink heel and lime green base.

These cross country shoes are especially ideal for those looking to run in tough terrain. With a rubber sole and 3-D printed overlays, they are some of the lightest cross-country running shoes for women we’ve tried. For boosted performance, you can add spikes for running cross country. Reviewers noted that they were running some of their fastest times thanks to these high-performance shoes.

People who do cross training know that it’s really important to get stable and comfortable running shoes. PUMA’s Tazon shoes are a solid two-in-one—these pink and black beauties (also available in white and blue) feature in the top 10 best cross training shoes for women on Amazon. Their specially designed heel absorbs impact well. Made from synthetic leather, they are ideal for vegans.

ASICS are known for producing some of the best all round sneakers for both running and general workouts. These gel running sneakers are fan favorites because of their high performance, comfort factor, and durability. These ASICS running shoes are perfect for runners who need that extra level for support or who are recovering from an injury. Their versatility means they would work at the gym, on the road, or on the trails. 

Best budget: Flysocks Slip On Sneakers for Women

You don’t need to sacrifice on function just because you pick up a pair of cheap running shoes. These Flysocks slip-ons have a lightweight and breathable design, and the soft insole keeps you comfortable. The anti-skid grooves on the soles help protect you from twisted ankles, slipping, and impact injuries. At this price, you can own them in almost every color of the rainbow.

FAQs Q: What is the best shoe for running?

The best running shoe for you won’t be the same as your best friend’s. First, start by asking yourself what you need from a running shoe. Are you a regular flat road runner, or are you someone who hits the trails? Do you need extra cushioning, or are you looking for a sleeker shoe? Once you identify this, you’ll be able to get the right pair of sneakers for your needs.

Q: What is the most cushioned women’s running shoe?

Everyone’s feet are shaped differently, so some shoes may feel more comfortable than others depending on whether you’re wide- or narrow-footed. In general, though, look out for running shoes that have added features like heel support, gels, mesh, and foam.

Q: What shoe do podiatrists recommend?

Foot doctors will usually recommend the shoe with the most additional support. Gel-supported shoes or extra foam can make your running experience so much more enjoyable. You’ll prevent nasty injuries and be able to run for a good year with regular use. For even better protection, you can rotate pairs of running sneakers to give them time to bounce back to regular shape. This will ensure you get the longest life out of them.

The final word on the best running shoes for women

Running is one of the best exercises you can do for long-term health. The best thing is that comfortable running shoes are really the only piece of gear you need to invest in. With that said, you’ll want to make sure that you have the proper shoes to run properly. Unsupportive shoes will make running more painful and less enjoyable. Get a pair of the best running shoes for women, and you will be able to reach high levels of performance and fitness.

You're reading The Best Running Shoes For Women Of 2023

The Best Smartwatches For Women: Apple, Samsung, And More (June 2023)

It isn’t easy to maintain exercise goals, stay on top of notifications, and keep up with daily tasks, but for many women, wearing a smartwatch helps. For everything from connectivity to tracking workouts, we’ve compiled the best smartwatches for women you can buy right now.

Purchasing a new smartwatch is about finding a suitable device for your needs. Consider the factors below when choosing the right fit.

Smartwatch features: If you’re hoping for an extension of your smartphone, a smartwatch with solid notification support and a large display is vital. The Apple Watch Series 8 has the best app support and tons of smart features. For non-Apple users, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is the best Wear OS smartwatch on the market.

Fitness tracking: From steps and calories to training and recovery tools, there are also a host of fitness tracking features to consider. For runners and cyclists, GPS is especially important. Some devices feature built-in GPS, plus track dozens of sports and activities.

Health monitoring: Smartwatches can also play a role in your health and wellness. Sensors, features, and dedicated health apps broaden a device’s potential impact. Choose a smartwatch with the tools you need, be it a reliable sleep tracker or an SpO2 monitor.

Device size: How about fitting all these features on your wrist? Many of the devices below come in multiple sizes. For women looking for something more petite, the Fitbit Charge 5 packs tons of fitness features into minimal real estate. Likewise, the Xiaomi Mi Band 7 offers a similar aesthetic but at a budget price.

Software: Finally, look, feel, comfort, and functionality are all top priorities but don’t forget to look for timely software updates. Some brands are better than others at keeping devices fresh.

The best smartwatches for women

Apple Watch Series 8: The best smartwatch for women is the Apple Watch Series 8. You do need an iPhone to use it, so if you’re an Android user, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 series: The Galaxy Watch 5 is the best alternative to the Apple Watch and the best Wear OS smartwatch for women. It can pair with most Android phones, though the best results are had with a Samsung phone.

Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5: Another solid Wear OS pick is the TicWatch Pro 5. Boasting Google’s latest software, the device packs powerful internals and great features.

Fitbit Versa 3: The Versa 3 is the best value pick from Fitbit. Though technically not as feature-packed as the Sense lineup, the Versa 3 drops a few sensors in favor of a lower price tag.

Garmin Venu 2 Plus: The best Garmin smartwatch for women is the Venu 2 Plus. It’s one of the best multisport tracking watches available right now and Garmin’s best smartwatch yet.

Fitbit Charge 5: The Fitbit Charge 5 is the best fitness tracker for women. It offers a full fitness tracking feature set and compact design.

Xiaomi Mi Band 7: The best affordable fitness tracker for women is the Xiaomi Mi Band 7. Though the company has since launched a Mi Band 8, it is not yet globally available. Meanwhile, the previous generation is incredibly cheap and punches well above what its weight (and price tag) would suggest.

Excellent Retina display

Premium design and build

Advanced health-tracking sensors

Crash detection

Improved sleep tracking

Plenty of watchOS 9 upgrades

Cons

Battery life still hasn’t improved

No third-party watch faces

Tougher build

Comfortable on the wrist

Better battery life on 44mm model

Faster charging

Reliable fitness tracking

Good value for money

Cons

Very similar to its predecessor

Skin temperature sensor not ready at launch

Small models still have short battery life

Awkward touch bezel

Some features exclusive to Samsung ecosystem

Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5

Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5

Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 is snappy and efficient • Digital crown • Dual display

MSRP: $349.99

The latest Wear OS meets Qualcomm’s top chipset on this powerful device

Running Wear OS 3.5 out of the box, Mobvoi’s durable TicWatch Pro 5 elevates the brand’s lineup to the ranks of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 series or Google Pixel Watch. The device also features a powerful processing chip for a smooth and seamless user experience, plus plenty of health and fitness tools. While Mobvoi’s unique power-saving dual display makes a welcome return, the company also adopts a digital crow for easier navigation of the watch has to offer.

See price at Amazon

Pros

Runs on the latest Wear OS

Snapdragon W5 Plus Gen 1 is snappy and efficient

Digital crown streamlines navigation

Dual display adds even more functionality

Cons

Pricier than its predecessor

Inconsistent sleep tracking

Band design is cheap and attracts dust

No wireless charging

Fitbit Versa 3

Fitbit Versa 3

Decent battery life • Accurate health tracking • Built-in GPS

MSRP: $229.95

The best value Fitbit smartwatch

The Fitbit Versa 3 carries all the smart features you could want on a mid-range smartwatch, including Google Assistant support, voice replies, and reliable health tracking. It’s effectively a Fitbit Sense without the pricier specialized sensors.

See price at Amazon

Save

$59.95

See price at Best Buy

Save

$30.00

Pros

Decent battery life

Pretty accurate health tracking

Built-in GPS

Google Assistant and Alexa support

Speaker with phone call support

Good price

Cons

Tiny app library

Onboard music limited to two services

The capacitive button isn’t ideal

Proprietary charging cable

Excellent design and build quality

Rapid charging helps make up for battery woes

Clear call quality on the wrist

Slow, but useful voice assistant support

Accurate fitness and health tracking

Cons

High price tag

Battery life is shorter than Garmin’s claims

Heart rate sensor still has issues

Bright, full-color AMOLED display

Sleek, slim design

EDA, SpO2, and skin temperature tracking

Sleep tracking is top tier

Accurate GPS and heart rate sensors

Cons

No altimeter

Battery life could be better

Expensive

Xiaomi Mi Band 7

Xiaomi Mi Band 7

Bigger, brighter display • Accurate resting heart rate • Continuous SpO2 monitoring

MSRP: $46.30

A budget band that delivers more than it’s price tag might suggest

A long battery life, bright always-on display, and impressive health and activity tracking smarts make this affordable tracker a great pick for anyone on a budget. Xiaomi’s Mi Band 7 delivers more than 100 sport modes, plus continuous SpO2 monitoring. You can even personalize your device with tons of animated watch faces.

See price at Amazon

Save

$0.30

Pros

Bigger, brighter display

Accurate resting heart rate

Continuous SpO2 monitoring

Comically huge number of sport modes

Fun new band colors

Slightly more expensive, but still has amazing value

Cons

No built-in GPS

No NFC or voice assistant on global model

Inconsistent sleep tracking

Confusing app situation

There is no straightforward answer to this, but users who are new to wearables should consider ease of use. Smartwatches that are only compatible with specific smartphones will likely have similar operating systems to those phones, which may help with faster learning.

On smartwatches, GPS allows users to accurately track distances as well as map runs and other workouts. Some devices offer connected GPS which tethers your device to your smartphone. Other devices offer built-in GPS, which means a GPS sensor is inside the watch itself, and you do not need to carry your smartphone during workouts.

Smartwatches track steps most precisely using three sensors, a 3-Axis accelerometer, an altimeter for measuring elevation, and a gyroscope for measuring orientation. However, not all devices feature all three of these sensors. Those that do will be the most accurate.

Not a whole lot anymore. Here at Android Authority, we refer to devices with big displays prioritizing apps and notifications as smartwatches. Devices with small displays that look more like a traditional fitness band, we refer to as fitness trackers.

If you are an iOS user, the Apple Watch is hands down the best smartwatch available. However, Fitbit’s ecosystem has plenty to offer anyone new to activity tracking, including a user-friendly companion app and one of the best sleep-tracking platforms in the business. To find out more, read our Fitbit vs Apple comparison guide.

Best Iphone Xs Max Cases For Women In 2023

The other day, I came across some gorgeous cases while making a roundup of professional covers. Exhibiting soft and sleek design, they looked pretty nice on the iPhone Xs Max. Impressed with their elegance, I decided to list out some charming iPhone Xs Max cases for women. The following collection features not just some eye-grabbing designer cases but also protective yet adorable suits. Plus, some incredibly thin covers make your phablet reveal its look but without putting protection on the backburner.

1. Case-Mate WATERFALL

Case-Mate has come up some of the gorgeous cases for girls. And WATERFALL is one of them. The case features a stunning globe effect that is adorned by tumbling glitter and cascading sparkle.

The designer cover has a pretty compact look and can fight out drops of up to 10 feet. Due to the trusted drop protection, your Xs Max will remain secure.

WATERFALL also plays nicely with wireless charging so that you don’t have to remove the case before charging the iPhone. What’s more, this beautiful cover comes in four color options and has the support for a lifetime warranty.

2. Sonix

Sonix’s wide range of cases for iPhone Xs Max look fascinating and make a great match with the phablet. They boast an attractive pattern and fit the smartphone snuggly like a comfy glove.

However, the best thing about these covers is that they have got enough strength to survive bumps. With the sturdy casing and shock-absorbent sides, these cases provide certified military-grade protection.

Plus, Sonix cases feature anti-scratch UV coating that ensures the covers can retain their glowing charm for long. Just like Caste-Mate, this accessory maker also offers a reliable lifetime warranty.

3. Speck Presidio Inked

I find Speck’s “Presidio Inked” a very desirable case for women. Sporting eye-catching design, it’s an attention grabber.

But if you think that this charming case would be too delicate or fragile, you need to get your assessment right. It can survive the drops of up to 10 feet thanks to the reinforced structure.

The mix of rugged PC shell and shock-absorbing rubber, Presidio Inked has got enough cushion to endure bumps. Aside from reliable protection, this case comes in a couple of patterns topped by a lifetime warranty.

4. GVIEWIN

If the captivating flower pattern lights up your eyes, chances are GVIEWIN’s offerings will win you over in the very first glance.

The soft TPU material makes it very flexible, while the transparent look allows the smartphone to glow. And with the smooth-touch, it ensures your palm has the needed comfort while holding the phablet.

Courtesy the beveled edged, both the dual camera and OLED display can keep off scuffs. With the rubberized frame, the case should absorb low-volume impact. Lastly, you get to choose from as many as eight nice-looking flower patterns.

5. ProCase

Do you want to go for an elegant wallet case that can take care of most of your needs? If yes, ProCase should be a nice pick.

This PU leather cover has an impressive design and comes with two card slots. Plus, there is a big side pocket wherein your dollar bills can stay safely.

With the useful strap, you will be able to carry your smartphone comfortably. The durable inner shell enables it to thwart impact, while strong flap securely fastens the cover to keep your valuables inside.

ProCase also features a built-in mirror so that you can take a glance at your makeup. And the five dark hues let you choose a charming companion for your smartphone!

6. COCASES

Yet another wallet case that showcases adorable design. COCASES’ offering is crafted out of PU leather and feature soft-textured finish.

With multiple card holders, the case can work as your full-fledged wallet. The RFID blocking technology safeguards the information of your cards.

Powered by the solid inner shell, it should resist impact with ease. You can use the wrist strap to carry your smartphone more conveniently. You will also detach the folio to flaunt your device in style. Moreover, this fashionable wallet case comes in more than 40 color options.

7. Ruky

If it’s time to make the smartphone match your enchanting look, Ruky would be a great pick. The case has glitter liquid pattern that gives it a unique look. And with the pretty soft material, the cover feels remarkably comfy in the palm.

The rubberized bumper enables this designer case to withstand bumps. Both the dual camera and the large 6.5-inch screen stay protected due to the raised lip.

As for color variants, Ruky offers this case in seven different patterns like aqua, gradient teal, gradient pink and more.

8. totallee

Touted as the thinnest (0.02 inches) case in the world, this offering from “totallee” is designed to steal the heart. It’s not just pretty thin but also incredibly form-fitting.

The higher quality polypropylene material can resist scuffs and also offers more convenient hold. Being semi-transparent, it allows your beast to show its look in style.

It has a unique ring on the back that’s designed to shield the protruding camera. Better still, totallee offers this sleek iPhone Xs Max case in nine color options and the one that appears appealing are red, jet black, and the cool frosted black.

9. ICONFLANG

Love watching videos hands-free? Why not go for a good-looking ring holder case to enhance your movie time.

The case has got a sturdy structure thanks to the combination of rugged PC and shock-absorbent TPU. With the super handy ring at your disposal, you will prop-up your device to relish both vertical and horizontal viewing angles.

ICONFLANG case features metal plate on the back so that you will be able to use your device with magnetic car mounts. If you take the help of navigation apps like Google Maps, Waze on the drive, this feature could be very helpful to you.

10. TORRAS

It is readied with top-quality German TPU material that is fully capable of fighting out even brutal scratches. It doesn’t get yellow either, thereby keeping the HD clarity alive for long.

TORRAS clear case also features smooth microdot that prevents smudges and grime. And with the secure lip, it gives the desired safeguard to the delicate screen and the dual camera.

That’s pretty much it!

Did you find the most charming cover for your iPhone Xs Max? If yes, do not forget to spill some beans about your adorable pick.

Stay Tuned With Us to Explore More Accessory Roundups…

We have ensured the collection contains a variety of cases. But if you think that something is missing, tell us about that. Plus, you can also offer up the names of your favorite cases that could be worth including in the above lineup.

You’d want to have a quick look at:

Author Profile

Dhvanesh

The founder of iGeeksBlog, Dhvanesh, is an Apple aficionado, who cannot stand even a slight innuendo about Apple products. He dons the cap of editor-in-chief to make sure that articles match the quality standard before they are published.

Best Ai Hairstyle Online Free Apps For Men And Women In 2023

Have you ever wondered how you would look with a different hairstyle? Maybe you want to try a new look for a special occasion, or just spice up your everyday appearance. Whatever your reason, changing your hairstyle can be a fun and exciting way to express yourself. But how do you know which hairstyle suits you best?

This is where AI hairstyle online free apps come in handy. These are mobile or web applications that use artificial intelligence (AI) to simulate different hairstyles on your photos. You can simply snap a selfie or upload an existing picture, and then browse through various options of haircuts, colors and styles. You can see how each one looks on you and compare them side by side.

To help you find the best AI hairstyle app for you, we have compiled a list of the best AI hairstyle free apps for men and women in 2023. These are some of the most popular, reliable, and innovative apps that use AI to create stunning virtual hairstyles. Let’s take a look at each one in detail.

YouCam Makeup

YouCam Makeup is a versatile AI hairstyle online free beauty tool that offers more than 15 virtual hairstyles to experiment with. Whether you want a short crop, a bob, or a pixie cut, YouCam Makeup lets you dabble with diverse styles and visualize how they would enhance your facial features.

YouCam Makeup uses sophisticated AI to render realistic previews of potential haircuts. It also allows you to adjust the hair color, style, and accessories to suit your preferences. You can even mix and match different hair parts, such as bangs, sides, and back, to create your own unique look.

YouCam Makeup is not only an AI hairstyle app, but also a virtual makeover app. You can also try on different makeup products, such as lipstick, eyeshadow, blush, and mascara. You can also apply filters, stickers, and frames to your photos to make them more fun and attractive.

Hairstyle Changer by AILab Tools guarantees realistic and natural-looking results. It uses a smart face detection technology that adapts the hair to your face shape and facial features. It also preserves the original hair texture and quality, making the results more believable.

Hairstyle Changer by AILab Tools is easy to use and fun to play with. You can simply select a photo from your gallery or take a new one with your camera. Then you can choose a hairstyle from the app’s library or upload your own. You can also adjust the hair position, size, angle and brightness to fit your photo.

Perfect Corp Hairstyle AI

Perfect Corp Virtual Hairstyles is a leading AI hairstyle online free hairstyle simulator that lets you experiment with a variety of cuts and styles. It caters to both B2B businesses and individual consumers, offering a web demo for companies and a tool for people to dabble with varied hairstyles.

Perfect Corp Hairstyle AI analyze your face shape, hair texture, and personal style. It then suggests the best hairstyles for you based on these factors. You can also browse through different categories of hairstyles, such as trendy, classic, celebrity, or occasion.

Perfect Corp Hairstyle AI produces high-quality and realistic results that let you see how each hairstyle would look on you in real life. You can also customize the hair color, style, and accessories to suit your taste. You can also compare different hairstyles side by side or switch between them with a swipe.

Choosing the Right AI Hairstyle Online Free App

Discover new hairstyles that match your face shape, hair texture, and personal style.

Save time and money by avoiding trial-and-error experiments with your hair.

Boost your confidence and self-esteem by finding your perfect look.

Get inspired and creative with your appearance.

But not all AI hairstyle online free apps are created equal. Some are more realistic, accurate, and easy to use than others. Some offer more features, such as hair accessories, makeup, filters, and editing tools. And some are more suitable for men or women, depending on the type and range of hairstyles they offer.

Key Features of an AI Hairstyle Online Free App

A large and diverse collection of hairstyles, including different lengths, textures, colors, and styles.

A user-friendly interface that allows you to adjust the hair position, size, angle, and brightness.

A high-quality image processing that produces realistic and natural-looking results.

A social media integration that lets you share your results with your friends and family.

A free or affordable price that fits your budget.

Frequently Asked Questions What is the difference between AI hairstyle online free apps and virtual makeover apps?

AI hairstyle online free apps are applications that use artificial intelligence (AI) to simulate different hairstyles on your photos. They let you see how different haircuts, colors, and styles would look on you before making any changes to your hair.

How accurate are AI hairstyle online free apps?

AI hairstyle apps vary in their accuracy depending on the quality of their image processing technology, their collection of hairstyles, their user interface design, etc. Some AI hairstyle apps produce more realistic and natural-looking results than others.

Are AI hairstyle online free apps safe to use?

Before using an AI hairstyle app, you should take some steps to protect your privacy and security. First, read the app’s privacy policy and terms of service carefully to understand how it collects, uses, and shares your data. Second, only give the app the permissions it needs to function, such as accessing your camera or photos. Third, do not upload or share any information that is personal or sensitive, such as your identity, location, or financial details.

Where can I download the best AI hairstyle free apps?

You can download the best AI hairstyle free apps from the official app stores of your device, such as Google Play Store for Android devices or Apple App Store for iOS devices. You can also access some of them on their websites or web demos.

Conclusion

AI hairstyle apps are a great way to discover new hairstyles that suit you best. They can help you save time and money by avoiding bad hair decisions. They can also boost your confidence and self-esteem by finding your perfect look. But not all AI hairstyle apps are the same. Some are more realistic, accurate, and easy to use than others.

That’s why we have compiled a list of the best AI hairstyle free apps for men and women in 2023. These are some of the most popular, reliable, and innovative apps that use AI to create stunning virtual hairstyles. We hope this article has helped you find the best AI hairstyle app for your needs. Now it’s time to try them out for yourself and see how they can transform your appearance.

The Best Shop Vacs Of 2023

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Written By Amanda Reed

Updated May 2, 2023 8:06 AM

More powerful than the average Hoover, more versatile than the typical Dyson, and tougher than your pet Roomba, a shop vacuum is a must-have for any household. These cleaning tools can suck up almost anything. But shop vacuums aren’t just for cleaning big construction messes. Even the average homeowner should include one in their armory of cleaning supplies. They can take on even the most hard-to-clean areas, like a fireplace or barbecue pit. A cordless shop vacuum is easily transported out to the car to vacuum impossible corners and crevices between the seats and is powerful enough to pick up the dirt, leaves, and even matted-down pet hair littering the floor of your car. Once equipped with the best shop vac, you can attack any mess thrown at you, whether it’s sawdust in the workshop, a mosaic of Goldfish crumbs under the kid’s car seat, or even the two inches of water flooding the basement.

How we chose the best shop vacs

In short, the best shop vac can do just about anything. Sometimes referred to as bucket vacuums, these machines resemble little R2D2s. Used most often in construction, shop vacuums are durable enough to suck up dust, dirt, and most other debris found at a worksite. We looked at reviews, recommendations, conducted user testing, and performed heavy research while on the hunt for the best shop vacuum. We’ve also written plenty about the shop vac’s cousins, like upright vacuums, so we applied some of that knowledge here.

The best shop vacs: Reviews & Recommendations

Bear in mind that durability may come with unwieldiness. You might want to go all out with the most powerful shop vacuum you can find, but if a lightweight, portable shop vac is enough to handle the job, you’ll have an easier time maneuvering—not to mention, storing it when it’s not in use. Bigger might not be better, so tailor your choice to your needs. We chose five of the best shop vacs to crank up your cleaning game and have your space spotless in no time.

Best overall: Bissell MultiClean Wet Dry Vac

Why it made the cut: This vacuum can power through wet or dry messes on multiple surfaces—you can even detail your car with it.

Specs

Capacity: 6 gallons

Weight: 16.1 lbs.

Hose length: 6.5 ft.

Power source: Corded electric

Pros

Two-stage filtration

Blower function

Easy to move

Cons

Loud

If you want a wet-dry shop vacuum that handles anything, the Bissell MultiClean vac covers all the bases. This versatile cleaning tool comes with a variety of features and functions, including a blowing function for clearing leaves or blowing up inflatables, a wet suction tool, and a toolkit of different brushes for vacuuming various surfaces and crevices. The tank is on wheels for easy movement while vacuuming, and its balanced body keeps it from tipping over when it’s pulled. This machine is sleek and easy to use for both small at-home messes and bigger shop cleanups.

Best powerful: Ridgid WD1450 Wet Dry Vac

Why it made the cut: A six-horsepower motor and 14 gallons of storage let you vacuum your entire garage … and then some.

Specs

Capacity: 14 gallons

Weight: 25 lbs.

Hose length: 6.8 ft.

Power source: Corded electric

Pros

Six horsepower motor

Lots of storage capacity

Easy to maneuver

Cons

Expensive

This Ridgid shop vac’s 6-horsepower motor and top-notch dust filters make it one of the most powerful shop vacs on the market. Its 14-gallon tank makes it one of the larger models available, which is great if you have a big job and want to avoid frequent stops to empty the tank. Despite its size, this large shop vacuum is easy to maneuver thanks to its handled tank and a Tug-A-Long hose that stays locked in during use. Another perk? The powerful motor is made with noise-reducing technology, offering a quieter performance than other brands.

Why it made the cut: This little shop vac packs a powerful punch—good things sometimes come in small sizes.

Specs

Capacity: 2.5 gallons

Weight: 5.6 lbs.

Hose length: 4 ft.

Power source: Corded electric

Pros

Wall mountable for storage

Portable

Easy to carry and transport

Cons

Hose length shorter than others on our list

Why it made the cut: No cord or plug? That’s not a problem with this sturdy, compact shop vac.

Specs

Capacity: 2 gallons

Weight: 10.1 lbs

Hose length: 6 ft.

Power source: Battery-powered, cordless

Pros

Washable HEPA filter

Sturdy design

Easy to carry

Cons

Full charge only lasts 20 minutes

This highly rated, battery-powered shop vac is great for car detailing and ideal for travel or minor clean-ups. The design of this vac is different from the typical cylindrical tank—this one is rectangular and looks almost like a toolbox. The body is sturdy and doesn’t tip easily, and the box has a handle for easy carry. It yields a strong suction, and you can expect about 20 minutes of continuous use on one battery before needing to recharge.

Why it made the cut: This powerful, budget-friendly shop vac rivals its pricier counterparts.

Specs

Capacity: 3 gallons

Weight: 8 lbs.

Hose length: 4 ft.

Power source: Corded electric

Pros

Washable and reusable filter

Lots of included accessories

Easy to carry

Cons

No casters to move vacuum around

This Stanley shop vac has a 3-gallon tank and a 3-horsepower motor. With more capacity than mini shop vacs, this vac is performance on a budget. While it may not complete a job as quickly as one of the more expensive models with higher horsepower and a larger tank, this lower-priced option has what it takes to clean up any wet or dry mess.

What to consider when buying the best shop vacs

Shop vacs come in a variety of sizes and efficacy, so the biggest thing to consider is what kind of performance and capacity you’re looking for. Also, consider shop vacuum attachments: different nozzles may be available for cleaning small crevices or for sucking up that flooded basement, or you may need to buy adapters to use the inflation feature (no more manually blowing up giant pool floats!). You can get pretty creative using your shop vac. Here’s what else we recommend when shopping for a shop vac:

Wet dry shop vacs

What really sets shop vacs apart from regular vacuum cleaners is the wet vac feature. Many, if not most, shop vacuums can clear dry and wet messes, which is clutch in some of homeownership’s most difficult-to-handle situations. A wet-dry vac can clean up the jar of applesauce your toddler dropped in the middle of the living room. It can be shoved down the drain in your kitchen sink to retrieve a missing earring. And it can suck up all the water if—shudder—your basement is flooding. A wet-dry shop vac can remove unwanted water from your home, clean out a fish tank, unclog a drain—the list goes on. On top of this feature, many shop vacuums have a blowing function for added versatility—your leaf blower wishes it had that versatility.

Power

Shop vacuums come in a variety of sizes and levels of power, so the biggest thing to consider is what kind of performance and capacity you’re looking for. If you’re purchasing a vac for a construction business, you might want to consider at least a 12-gallon shop vacuum with the capacity to clean up larger, heavier debris.

Wall-mounted shop vacuums are powerful and offer excellent filtration and capacity, although their immobility can hold you back without an extra-long hose and fixtures to stretch your reach. When overall suction strength is your biggest concern, look for a machine with high horsepower.

Size

Shop vacuums aren’t just for big industrial messes. A small shop vac can be a lifesaver for smaller jobs, like crumbs and pet hair. These lightweight micromachines come as small as 1.5 gallons.

The one caveat to mini shop vacs is that the size and weight may come at the expense of suction, as the small body doesn’t allow for a more powerful motor. We looked for a model that brings the most power in relation to its small size.

Battery-powered vs. electric

While most shop vacuums are electric, battery-powered vacs are also available. The electric shop vacs will provide more power for a longer duration of time. Still, a battery-powered vac has the upside of being portable and usable even when you don’t have access to a reliable power source.

On the downside, the batteries don’t last very long, and you’ll be stopping to recharge frequently. Electric shop vacuums will be better for long jobs, like clearing out a flooded basement, but a battery-powered vac is perfect for a quick and easy pickup. Some users recommend them for cleaning up during a long road trip.

Budget

Shop vacuums are by nature powerful and versatile, so even a less expensive model will complete a job better than a regular vacuum. The mini vacs are the least expensive models, but you can get a more mid-sized shop vac with a larger tank and more powerful motor at a reasonable price.

A mid-sized shop vacuum, even a cheaper model, ensures you’re ready for whatever small disaster hits your home. For minor floods, clogs, home workshop messes, spills, or pet cleanup (have you ever wished for an easier way to clean the kids’ hamster cage?), a simple budget shop vac will have your home spotless.

FAQs Q: How much does a shop vac cost?

The best shop vacs can start at around $30 and reach all the way into the $200 range, depending on their features and capabilities.

Q: What’s the difference between a shop vac and a regular vacuum?

It’s safe to say you don’t want to suck up scraps of wood, nails, screws, pieces of metal, or water with a regular vacuum. Not only does a regular vacuum lack the power to suck up big pieces adequately, but it’s also likely too small and delicate for heavy debris. The shop vac’s powerful motor and its larger, tougher hose are made to handle those nuts and bolts, and its tank can take in water. On the other hand, the regular vacuum is only made for reasonable amounts of dirt, dust, and crumbs in the home.

Q: Can you use a shop vac as a regular vacuum?

You can use a shop vac as a regular vacuum, and accessories and attachments are available to make that easier. However, a regular upright vacuum is easier to move across floors and rugs to clean up day-to-day dust and dirt. While you can substitute the regular vacuum for a shop vacuum in a pinch, they’re best left for the bigger messes that a regular vacuum can’t handle.

Q: Which shop vacuum has the strongest suction?

The suction on a shop vac relies on the strength of its motor. The strongest shop vacs have roughly 5-6.5 peak horsepower. Factoring in some other features, like the quality of the air filters and the size of the tank, sets these vacs apart from each other. The aforementioned Ridgid WD1450 and the Craftsman 12007 are notably among the shop vacs with the strongest suction at 6.5 HP and boast 14-16 gallon tanks, making them the strongest shop vacuums for big jobs.

Final thoughts on the best shop vacs

A shop vacuum is a versatile piece of equipment—the cleaning equipment you never knew you needed. They provide a quick and easy way to clean up the messes you once thought were impossible. Make a list of the features that are most important to you—Do you want them to be portable? Is power the biggest factor? Do you need a shop vac for a car?—and determine which is the best shop vac for you. It’s hard to go wrong, and many affordable options are available. This is a purchase you won’t regret. Happy cleaning!

Why trust us

Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.

Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.

The Best Midi Keyboards Of 2023

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Written By Adam Douglas

Updated Jan 28, 2023 8:59 AM

Paired with a decent computer, an audio interface, and maybe a set of studio monitors or mixing headphones, a MIDI keyboard can mean you’re in (show?) business. The right keyboard lets you input all those notes and chords that are going to set the world on fire. Don’t start popping corks yet, though, as you still need to choose the kind of MIDI keyboard that’s best for you. It’s a little more complicated than just getting any old thing with piano keys and plugging it into your computer. The world of MIDI controller keyboards is a broad one, with more variables than a badly planned high school science fair project. How many keys do you need? What kind of connectivity is best for you? How much money do you have to spend? You’ll need to consider all of these (and more) before you can start collecting royalty checks from all your future hits. Don’t worry, however, because we break it all down for you. Here are our picks for the best MIDI keyboards.

How we picked the best MIDI keyboard

There is a bewildering number of MIDI keyboards on the market, with options that range in key number, size, and weight to ones offering more esoteric extras, like CV/gate connectivity for interfacing with modular synthesizers. Some are for general use while others have been designed to work best with specific digital audio workstations (DAWs) and music production software. What all of them offer, however, is compatibility with MIDI, or Musical Instrument Digital Interface—an industry-standard connection/communications protocol that converts interactions with the keyboard into instructions for compatible computers, musical instruments, and other outboard processors/sound modules.

We looked at all of these options when hammering out our list of the best MIDI keyboards. To narrow down our top controllers for each category, we made use of our own experience as experts in the field—specifically, I’ve spent three decades as both a professional musician and writer for top music technology publications, including Attack Magazine, Computer Music, MusicTech, chúng tôi chúng tôi and more. In addition, we drew on the opinions of our peers and factored in critical consensus, user impressions, as well as the use cases of famous music producers and composers.

The best MIDI keyboards: Reviews & Recommendations

Because MIDI keyboards don’t make any sound themselves it can be tempting to scrimp on one and put that money toward something else in the studio (maybe you’re eyeing a fine new monitor to make your session look as sweet as it sounds). But when you consider that your MIDI keyboard will likely be the center of your studio or live rig, that you’re going to be putting your hands on it more than any other piece of gear you own, you start to see why investment is worth it. So, as the price often will determine not only quality but the number of options, it can be helpful to start with a budget and then work from there, with any additional necessities like knobs and sliders following suit. No matter your budget, though, you can be confident that all of the keyboards on this list are worthy of your hard-earned cash.

Best overall: Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S88

Why it made the cut: A full keybed plus smart DAW and computer integration means you’ll finally take your eyes away from the computer and focus on the music.

Specs

Keys: 88 full-size weighted keys

Connectivity: USB 2.0, MIDI in/out, 2 pedal controller inputs

Compatibility: Mac/PC

Pros

Fully weighted hammer-action keys

Two high-res color displays

DAW integration

Cons

Modern music production is all about the DAW, or the digital audio workstation. Because of this, we tend to keep our eyes trained on the computer monitor, for better or for worse. German company Native Instruments thinks this is for the worse and so has designed a series of MIDI keyboards that encourage you to look away from the computer and interact more with the keyboard itself. Called Komplete Kontrol, they range from the small to the large, with our pick for best overall MIDI keyboard, the S88, at the top of the line.

Komplete Kontrol S88 is not cheap but as a fully featured MIDI controller with a piano-like keybed, it’s just begging to be the centerpiece of your home studio. For musicians who like the functionality but don’t need all the keys, look to the Komplete Kontrol S49 or Kontrol S61 for the same extras without the extra octaves.

Best modular: Joué Music Instruments Joué Play

Why it made the cut: This controller marries good looks and build quality with a creatively inspiring approach to MIDI control.

Specs

Keys: Varies depending on module

Connectivity: USB-C

Compatibility: Mac/PC/iPad

Pros

Swappable controller modules

Gorgeous build and design

Creatively inspiring

Cons

Bundled app has limited editing

MPE requires Pro (paid) firmware upgrade

Modern music creation is more than just playing notes on a keyboard—drums, effects, and unique articulation are all part of the experience. With that in mind, wouldn’t it be nice if there was a controller that you could adjust to fit the situation? Joué Play, a MIDI keyboard controller by French boutique company Joué Music Instruments, fits this bill perfectly. 

Best for beginners: Akai Pro MPK mini mk3

Specs

Keys: 25 mini keys

Connectivity: USB 2.0, sustain pedal input

Compatibility: Mac/PC

Pros

Cons

Mini keys could be better

For those not in the know, Akai Pro is the company behind the MPC line of hardware samplers, a series of grooveboxes that laid down the blueprint for hip-hop and other genres of music. What does this have to do with a MIDI keyboard? The MPK mini mk3 (the best-selling MIDI keyboard in the world, according to Akai Pro) borrows some of that MPC hardware magic and pairs it with MPC Beats, the DAW version of the music-making operating system inside the machines. For around $100, you’re making music with the best of them.

While the action on the keys could be better, for this price you’re getting a lot of controller for not much money. It’s hard to not recommend it more strongly for many, not just as the best beginner MIDI keyboard.

Best weighted keyboard: M-Audio Hammer 88

Why it made the cut: Grand piano action for around $500.

Specs

Keys: 88 full-size weighted keys

Connectivity: USB 2.0, MIDI out, 3 pedal ports

Compatibility: Mac/PC

Pros

Gorgeous weighted piano feel

Affordable price

Music rest

Cons

Lacks additional controls

There are music producers and then there are musicians. While those in the former category want all manner of control with their MIDI keyboard, the latter really care about just one thing: the keys. If you’re primarily a keyboardist and your means of expression is your instrument, you want a MIDI keyboard that will provide a piano-like experience. You want M-Audio’s Hammer 88.

A well-made keyboard with a minimal aesthetic, Hammer 88 offers seven octaves of velocity-sensitive and weighted keys. They have a substantial, almost acoustic feel to them and piano players will take to them instantly. Part of the piano experience is using the pedals, so Hammer 88 provides three pedal ports: one each for sustain, soft, and expression. There’s even a music rest included.

While M-Audio’s keyboard doesn’t offer a lot in terms of hands-on control—no arrays of encoders or sliders here—it does make concessions to modern synth players, with pitch and modulation wheels, as well as two basic selection buttons. A bundled application allows users to set up splits and other configurations.

Best small keyboard: Arturia KeyStep Pro

Why it made the cut: A plethora of control options elevate this Swiss army knife of a MIDI keyboard.

Specs

Keys: 37 slim keys

Connectivity: 4 x CV/gate/modulation output sets, 8 drum gate outputs, 1 MIDI in, 2 MIDI outs, USB, clock synchronization in/out, metronome line out, sustain port

Compatibility: Mac/PC

Pros

4 sequencer lanes

Analog and digital drum triggering

DAW control mode

Cons

White color may turn some off

Most of the MIDI keyboards on this list are designed to work in tandem with computers. Yet there’s a growing movement of musicians breaking away from the screen and going DAWless. This includes modular synthesizer users, for whom experimentation, free from the rigid structure of a computer-based sequencer, is key. If this sounds like you, you need Arturia’s Keystep Pro.

A 37-key controller, the Keystep Pro combines sequencing and MIDI note triggering into one device. It has four sequencer lanes with one doubling as a drum programmer. Sequencing here goes beyond just note on/off, but also includes gate length, note offset, velocity, and more. Think of it as a box of tools to experiment with notes and patterns. The Keysetp Pro can transmit control information via MIDI over USB or five-pin DIN MIDI cable, or through control voltages—the language of modular and vintage synths. Of course, Arturia’s MIDI keyboard can also work with a DAW, with a customizable controller mode for mapping to soft synths and other applications.

Because it does so much, the Keystep Pro is a little pricey for a MIDI keyboard with mini keys. Should you want something similarly unconventional but with a friendlier price tag, Roli’s Lumi Keys and Keith McMillen’s QuNexus Red are inspiring alternatives.

Best for Ableton: Novation Launchkey MK III 61

Why it made the cut: It’s the most, well, able-bodied controller for everything the Ableton power user needs.

Specs

Keys: 61 full-size keys

Connectivity: USB, MIDI out, sustain pedal port

Compatibility: Mac/PC

Pros

Effortless Ableton integration

Plenty of knobs, sliders, and buttons

Excellent price

Cons

Non-Ableton users may feel left out

Despite what some may argue, all DAWs are not the same. Sure, they’ll all get you to the same place—a (hopefully) finished song—but the way they transport you there can often be very different. A case in point is Ableton Live. With its two views and focus on clips and live performance, it does things very differently than, say, ProTools. Wouldn’t it make sense to have a MIDI keyboard that was made just for Ableton?

Novation has been making Ableton-focused MIDI keyboards and controllers for almost a decade now and the Launchkey MK III series is the culmination of this experience, with 25-, 37-, 49-, and 61-key models available. The flagship model, the MK III 61, is our pick for the best MIDI keyboard for Ableton.

As you’d expect, the Launchkey MK III 61 integrates fluidly with Live, so much so that using the controller becomes second nature. Clip launching, view changing, recording, even mixing can all be handled right from the keyboard, with the plethora of knobs and sliders making this easy to do. It has a host of additional, non-DAW functionality as well, with scale and chord modes and a deep arpeggiator to aid in your creativity. The full-size keys feel nice as well, particularly for the price point, which is shockingly low for a device like this.

Best budget: Nektar SE25

Why it made the cut: It’s lightweight, eminently usable, and so cheap it’s practically an impulse purchase.

Specs

Keys: 25 mini keys

Connectivity: Mini USB

Compatibility: Mac/PC/iOS

Pros

Very cheap

Extremely lightweight

Useful functionality

Cons

No knobs or sliders

Not everyone needs an all-singing, all-dancing MIDI keyboard. Sometimes, a small budget keyboard fits the bill perfectly. Whether that’s because you’re working with limited studio space or you want to take your music production on the road, tiny is sometimes just fine. Tiny and cheap is even better, and tiny, cheap, and quality is the budget musician’s trifecta.

MIDI controller company Nektar offers a range of controllers but we’re particularly smitten with the SE25, a two-octave MIDI keyboard that manages to be just about everything you need in not a lot of space—and for an attractive price. At only 33.5cm x 10cm x 2.1cm, it’s not much bigger than the 25-key MIDI controller itself. This makes it perfect for plopping down on a desk with a laptop and getting to work. It’s also astonishingly lightweight, with its 400 grams and bus power making it a no-brainer for on-the-go production.

While it doesn’t have any knobs or sliders (there’s no room!), it does have six buttons that, when pressed in certain combinations, give you access to a surprisingly large amount of control, from MIDI channel changes and note harmonizations to basic DAW integration.

This all adds up to a budget MIDI keyboard that is worth a look—and a play.

Things to consider when shopping for the best MIDI keyboards

Because of the wide variety of models on the market, all with different feature sets, it’s best to first decide how you plan to use your MIDI keyboard. This will largely depend on your playing style, as well as possibly genre. A lo-fi hip-hop producer will have very different needs than a concert pianist, for example. 

First, consider the keys. How many do you need? A full piano keyboard has 88 keys (key count can also be expressed in the number of octaves). Keys come in different sizes too, from full-size down to mini. There’s also key weight. Weighted keys will give you more of a piano feel—necessary for a jazz pianist, not so much for an EDM producer. 

Is portability important? A MIDI keyboard that can function on the go will have a different feature set than one meant to hold down the studio fort. Finally, your budget will determine how far from basic you can get. An 88-key keyboard with knobs, sliders and plenty of connectivity could cost as much as a new synthesizer—or more!

What is a MIDI keyboard?

It can be helpful to define just what a MIDI keyboard is. Think of a MIDI keyboard as a silent synthesizer. It has piano-type keys and possibly other controls but it doesn’t produce sound on its own. It interfaces with a computer, device, or another electronic instrument via MIDI and allows the user to play the destination instrument’s sounds remotely. Additional controls like knobs or sliders send control information to the instrument at the other end. This is useful for changing the timbre of a sound, such as opening and closing a low-pass filter, or for adjusting the volume on a virtual mixer. Additional controls can include transport buttons for starting and stopping playback on a DAW, sequencers for generating musical passages independent of a DAW, and buttons for triggering drums or other samples. MIDI keyboards can be as complex and full-featured as you need them to be, or, conversely, as simple.

Do I really need a MIDI keyboard?

While a MIDI keyboard can certainly aid in music composition, it isn’t strictly necessary. Most DAWs will allow you to trigger notes via a QWERTY keyboard. You can also draw them directly into the MIDI sequencer section of your DAW, which might even be the preferred method of note input for some producers. But for many—and especially for pianists playing classical or jazz music—this is nothing but cumbersome and frustrating. The piano keyboard hasn’t changed much in function in hundreds of years and there’s a reason for that. It’s an effective way to get musical ideas from your head, through your fingers, and out into the world. You might be able to get by without a MIDI keyboard but it’s certainly a whole lot more fun with one.

FAQs Q: How many keys should a MIDI keyboard have?

The number of keys a MIDI keyboard should have depends entirely on how you plan to use it. A full-size piano has 88 keys, or seven octaves and an additional three keys below bottom C. If you are a piano player or want a MIDI keyboard to learn to play piano, this is what you should be aiming for. Most synthesizers have 61 keys or five octaves, making this something of a standard MIDI keyboard size for electronic musicians and producers. Small and portable MIDI keyboards can go down to as low as 25 keys or two octaves. While this is fine for a portable device, it could be restrictive for day-to-day use, especially if you like to play two-handed chords.

Q: Can you use a MIDI keyboard without a computer?

The majority of MIDI keyboards are made to interface with a computer via USB. These may even draw power through USB, meaning it may not work as a standalone controller. There are some, however, that will play nicely with other instruments or even iOS devices. These provide their own power and have different connectivity options, such as five-pin DIN MIDI ports for connecting to synthesizers and drum machines and CV/gate for interfacing with modular gear and older electronic instruments. For iOS devices, you’ll need a MIDI keyboard that doesn’t draw too much current as well as a lightning adapter. A powered USB hub could be an option for working with higher-draw MIDI keyboards.

Q: Can I use a synthesizer as a MIDI keyboard?

If you already have a synthesizer or two, you could probably use one as a MIDI keyboard. Provided it has MIDI, it will at the very least trigger notes and transmit basic performance data, like pitch bends. For example, we use a vintage Roland Alpha Juno-2 as a keyboard controller as we like the action on the keys. However, it doesn’t have any knobs or sliders, so is not a perfect solution. Synthesizer manufacturers recognize that musicians may want to use their instruments for this purpose and so may include control modes in their synths. This is not ubiquitous, however. Synthesizer technology has changed a lot over the five decades they’ve been around, so older models may not offer full compatibility with modern DAWs. MIDI keyboards are designed with modern control and functionality in mind and so are still the best bet.

Final word on selecting the best MIDI keyboards

While we’ve focused on things like budget, performance, and options in this list, any instrument or device in your studio should contribute to the ultimate goal of making music. So, beyond everything else, you should go with the MIDI keyboard that is most creatively inspiring to you. Whether that means flashy colors, a minimal aesthetic, or one that has every bell and whistle imaginable depends entirely on your circumstances. Your MIDI keyboard will be the musical conduit that connects your imagination to reality. Make sure that it fulfills that function, too.

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