10 Best Synthesizers of 2024

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Are you creative and want to make a big name in the music world but don't know which type of synthesizer to get your hands on?

I feel you. After all, not all synths on the market suit your style. But whether you're a newbie or a pro, an analog enthusiast, or a digital sound designer, there's a perfect synth for you.

In this article, we've put together a list of the top 10 synthesizers on the market. From analog synths to digital synthesizers, classic synths to cutting-edge sound engines, you'll find the perfect fit for your music needs right here.

We'll also fill you in on the important things you should know before buying a synth.

Our #1 pick, the Sub 37 Analog Moog Synth, is a versatile and polyphonic synth that comes with a built-in sequencer.

Even the other synths on the list are exceptional. They'll enhance your creativity. So let's dive in and start exploring these incredible instruments.

Quick Summary of the Best Synthesizers

  1. Sub 37 Analog Synthesizer (Best Moog Synthesizer)
  2. Korg Volca FM (Best Budget-Friendly Synthesizer)
  3. Behringer Neutron (Best Semi-Modular Synth Under $400)
  4. Arturia MicroFreak (Best Hybrid Synth for Exploring Sonic Territories)
  5. Behringer DeepMind 12 (Best Versatile Synth)
  6. Moog Grandmother (Best Synth for Studio Recording)
  7. Roland System 8 (Best Synthesizer for Live Performance)
  8. IK Multimedia Uno Synth Pro (Best Portable Monophonic Analog Synthesizer)
  9. Korg Minilogue XD (Best for Creating Complex Sound)
  10. Elektron Digitone (Best for Performing Classical Music)

Best Synthesizers

1. Best Moog Synthesizer – Sub 37 Analog Synthesizer

Sub 37 Analog Synthesizer

SPECS

  • Type of Keys: Semi-weighted
  • Polyphony: Monophonic, 2 Note Paraphonic
  • Oscillators: 2 Oscillators
  • Velocity Sensitive: Yes

This Moog synth is a sick piece of music gear. It's powerful and versatile, and it's easy to use. Even if you're a beginner, you can craft unique Moog sound with it, and it's great for improving your timing and rhythm.

What most musicians love about this Synth is it lets you play two different sounds at the same time. This is a great way to come up with new music ideas.

Now, music ideas need to be practiced, and you can do that on it at a high volume without disturbing anyone, as it features a high-powered headphone amplifier.

Another cool feature of this synth is that it automatically plays a series of notes in a sequence. This is great for creating heart-touching melodies and harmonies.

Now it is all up to you whether you want to use it as a standalone instrument or integrate it with other gears for even more sonic possibilities.

2. Best Budget-Friendly Synthesizer – Korg Volca FM

Korg Volca FM

SPECS

  • Type of Keys: No keys, Onboard ribbon controller
  • Polyphony: Monophonic
  • Oscillators: 3 analog oscillators
  • Velocity Sensitive: No

Get hold of this compact and affordable digital synth if you want to dive into the world of FM (frequency modulation) synthesis.

It's compact, affordable, and battery-powered, so you can take it wherever you go.

No matter how complex a pattern you've thought to create with various sounds, the synthesizer's 32 algorithms won't disappoint you. From a basic lead to a more evolving sound, you get everything you need with Korg synths.

It can even load patches from classic Yamaha DX7 synths, giving you access to a wealth of iconic sounds.

3. Best Semi-Modular Synth Under $400 – Behringer Neutron

Behringer Neutron

SPECS

  • Type of Keys: No keys
  • Polyphony: Monophonic, Paraphonic Mode
  • Oscillators: 2 x 3340 Analog Oscillators
  • Velocity Sensitive: No

Here you have one of the best semi-modular analog synths that won't weigh heavy on your pocket.

It's got all the features you need to create some seriously gnarly sounds. You can create two waveforms, then apply vibrato, chorus, or a bunch of other filters to shape the sound however you like.

It also comes with the ability to connect different modules, which empowers you to create sounds that would not be possible with a traditional synthesizer. This opens up a world of possibilities for sound exploration.

You can integrate it with your existing setup using a USB cable. So it is super easy to operate even if you're working with other synths, a computer, or a modular system.

4. Best Hybrid Synth for Exploring Sonic Territories – Arturia MicroFreak

Arturia MicroFreak

SPECS

  • Type of Keys: 25-key semi-weighted
  • Polyphony: 4 voices
  • Oscillators: 1 x Digital Oscillator
  • Velocity Sensitive: Yes

This Synth is super unique when it comes to creating sound. It's a digital-analog hybrid synth, so it produces these amazing sounds that you can totally add analog filters to make subtle changes or go for those dramatic effects.

And its design is really edgy and cool. It's just perfect for exploring all these Sonic terrain possibilities. Seriously, no doubt about it, this can produce anything from those classic analog tones to those cutting-edge digital textures.

Plus, you can easily mess around with the pitch, volume, and filter settings of the sounds you make. Just use its smooth touch plate, and you're good to go.

5. Best Versatile Synth – Behringer DeepMind 12

Behringer DeepMind 12

SPECS

  • Type of Keys: Semi-weighted
  • Polyphony: 12 voices
  • Oscillators: 2 x DCO per voice
  • Velocity Sensitive: Yes

This polyphonic analog synthesizer is one of the most versatile synths in the market.

It's no surprise that it can play 12 notes at the same time. So, if you want to jam out some sick chords and melodies simultaneously, this has your back.

The sound you get from it is just pure magic. It's organic and warm. You can take it even further and make it even crisper with its built-in effects section. That means you can add depth and dimension to your sound without needing any fancy external effects processors.

But you always have the choice to connect it with different modules using patch cables and create awesome music that reflects your personality.

6. Best Synth for Studio Recording – Moog Grandmother

Moog Grandmother

SPECS

  • Type of Keys: 32 semi-weighted
  • Polyphony: Monophonic
  • Oscillators: 2 analog oscillators
  • Velocity Sensitive: Yes

You totally get those classic Moog design vibes with this one of the best Moog synthesizers. But here's the deal, this Moog Synth isn't lacking in modern features and functionality.

Since it generates sound using analog circuitry, it's super responsive and even gives you that sweet, subtle harmonic distortion that just tickles your ears.

Its vintage-style oscillators capture that groovy sound from the old analog synths of the 70s and 80s. And, of course, you get its iconic Moog ladder filter that lets you create those killer basslines, leads, and pads

One of the features that really wows musicians is its reverberation effect, which skillfully adds depth and space to a synth sound.

Now, you can play around with its 32-note Fatar keybed and effortlessly play fast passages or intricate melodies.

7. Best Synthesizer for Live Performance – Roland System 8

Roland System 8

SPECS

  • Type of Keys: 49 Semi-weighted
  • Polyphony: 8 voices
  • Oscillators: 3 analog oscillators
  • Velocity Sensitive: Yes

The Roland System 8 is an incredible virtual analog synthesizer. It has got this insane ability to mimic the sound of a legit analog synth.

Be more creative with its three oscillators and create a sawtooth, pulse, and triangle wave. Then combine all these waveforms, and you'll be able to create a sound that is similar to a violin.

Musicians often say that this Synth sounds so freaking real. You can't even tell if it's coming from some acoustic instrument or if it's all digitally produced.

Additionally, it lets you sequence your music by entering notes one by one. As a result, you can create music that would be almost impossible to play live.

8. Best Portable Monophonic Analog Synthesizer – IK Multimedia Uno Synth Pro

IK Multimedia Uno Synth Pro

SPECS

  • Type of Keys: No keys
  • Polyphony: Paraphonic
  • Oscillators: 3 analog oscillators
  • Velocity Sensitive: No

It is perfect for you if you want a synth to work on while you are on the go. Its compact size and battery-powered operation give you the freedom to create music, even if you get stuck in the middle of the Sahara Desert.

It's definitely a great tool to create a lead or bass line and then play around with its sound. In the process, its multimode filter will be super handy for you.

It's loaded with 256 presets, so just load a preset and start playing. You don't have to program sounds from scratch. Just think about how much time you'll save when you're on a music tour and performing live.

9. Best for Creating Complex Sound – Korg Minilogue XD

Korg Minilogue XD

SPECS

  • Type of Keys: 37 semi-weighted
  • Polyphony: 4 voices
  • Oscillators: 2 analog VCOs, 1 digital VCO
  • Velocity Sensitive: Yes

It's one of the best hybrid polyphony synths that can play four notes simultaneously, making it ideal for musicians who love experimenting with sounds and want to create unique and rich tones.

Considering its versatility, you will find its price quite cheap. The sound it generates has warmth and precision as well, so you get the best of both analog Synth and digital synthesizer.

You can even customize the velocity curve to match your personal preference. If you're into playing with lots of dynamics, you can make the curve more expressive. But if you prefer a consistent sound, simply make the curve more linear. That way, all the notes will sound the same.

10. Best for Performing Classical Music – Elektron Digitone

Elektron Digitone

SPECS

  • Type of Keys: No keys
  • Polyphony: 8 voices
  • Oscillators: 4
  • Velocity Sensitive: No

Now, this is, without a doubt, one of the best classic synths. It's specifically designed for FM synthesis lovers.

When you play it, it feels like you're actually playing an acoustic piano. The sounds of guitars and brass instruments feel so authentic. So, if you're a sound designer, this synth is absolutely perfect for you.

Those flickering neon signs on its well-organized surface look really cool. You can set the time for when a note or drum sound should be triggered on the synthesizer. This adds a sense of randomness and brings more melody to the sound.

Play multiple notes simultaneously and create melodies, broken chords, and a variety of other musical effects that are extremely popular in classical music. However, you can also use them in jazz and rock.

Best Synthesizers Buyer's Guide

Buying the best synthesizer is definitely a challenging process. With so many options available, each with its own alluring, useful, and sometimes overwhelming features, it can be tough to know where to start.

But don't worry; this ultimate synthesizer buying guide is here to help you navigate the vast world of synthesizers and make the right choice for your needs and preferences.

Identify What You Need

When choosing a synth, you'll most likely pick either an analog synthesizer, a digital one, or a hybrid one. Each type has its advantages for musicians but serves different purposes.

If you're into electronic music and you're aiming for a warm and organic sound, we'd recommend going for an analog synth. These synthesizers give your sound a rich texture, but it's worth noting that they often require more maintenance than digital synths.

On the other hand, digital synths are a great choice if you want a wide range of sonic possibilities. They can produce realistic sounds and are also well-suited for electronic music, but they may not provide the same warmth as analog synthesizers.

But if you want the best of both worlds, hybrid synths like Arturia MicroFreak, are the way to go. They offer the warm and organic sound of analog synthesizers while also providing the versatility and sonic possibilities of digital synthesizers.

Sound Engine

Make sure you always check out the sound engine that Synth uses. It's important because it tells you what kind of tone and texture you can expect from the instrument.

There are a few common types of sound engines to look out for, like analog, digital, virtual analog, and wavetable synthesis. So, take the time to find out which sound resonates with your musical preferences and style.

Hardware and Build Quality

Before you shell out your hard-earned money on hardware synths, it's crucial to check the build quality of its hardware components. We all should do this to ensure we're making a wise investment.

A hardware synth that is well-built not only promises durability and reliability but can also greatly influence the overall sound design and quality of the instrument.

To ensure you're getting a synth built to last, keep an eye out for models made by reputable manufacturers. Plus, pay attention to the materials used in the construction.

Look for synths with a solid metal chassis, sturdy knobs that can withstand frequent tweaking, and robust and responsive keys. You can get IK Multimedia Uno. It's robust and offers numberless features.

Versatility and Polyphony

Make sure you also check out the synth's versatility in creating a wide range of sounds and its ability to adapt to different musical styles.

The ideal synth for you is the one that offers enough variety in its sound engine, modulation options, and effects to cater to your creative needs, just like Behringer DeepMind 12 does.

You can go for a polyphonic synthesizer because it can play multiple notes simultaneously. This makes it more versatile and better suited to complex arrangements.

Monophonic synths are also good, but they can only play one note at a time and are typically better for basslines and lead sounds. So, check your needs and pick the right synth for you.

MIDI Compatibility

Get yourself a synthesizer that is MIDI-compatible. This way, you can connect and control your synth with various other devices, like computers, drum machines, and other synthesizers. Make sure the synth you choose has both MIDI in and out ports and USB connectivity.

Get the One That Suits Your Style

Figure out what kind of music you want to create. That's super important because different synthesizers are designed to excel in different genres and styles. So, you must choose an instrument that aligns with your musical goals and vibes.

For example, if you're into electronic dance music, you might want a synthesizer with a powerful bass sound and built-in effects like Roland System 8 has. If you're more into ambient or experimental music, you might prefer a synthesizer with a wide range of textures and modulation options.

Gauge Your Skill Level and Learning Curve

Get your hands on a synthesizer that matches your skill level and offers room for growth. If you're starting out as a beginner, aim for synthesizers with intuitive interfaces and controls that are easy to wrap your head around.

If you're an experienced synthesist, you might want a more advanced synthesizer with deeper sound design capabilities.

Also, pay attention to how easy it is to operate, learn, and master that synthesizer. Some synthesizers can be quite complex in design, and you won't want one that is too difficult to use.

Check if It Allows You to Upgrade It

Over time, you may want to expand your setup with additional gear, such as drum machines, sequencers, or effects processors.

Keep this in mind as you shop, and consider how your chosen synth will integrate with other equipment over time.

Consider Software Synths

You can also consider the option of getting a software synthesizer. They can be a solid choice if they meet your needs.

One major perk is that they're often less expensive than any hardware synth. Plus, software synths are super easy to maintain, and you can use them on multiple devices with just a single purchase.

However, keep in mind that they might lack the tactile experience of working with physical knobs and sliders that many musicians enjoy, and you may need to compromise on sound quality.

Try Before Buying

If possible, try out a few different synthesizers before making a decision. Visit local music stores or borrow synthesizers from friends to get a feel for different models and find the one that best suits your needs and preferences.

Stay Within Your Budget

It is always important to balance your budget, sound quality, and versatility. We get it; those high-end synths can be very tempting, but hold your horses! And remember that affordable options can still pack a punch and deliver excellent sound and functionality. Just look at this Korg Volca FM.

Consider the Option of Buying a Used One

If you're a beginner with a very tight budget, you might consider buying a used synthesizer. However, there is a high risk that you could end up with a malfunctioning one.

New synthesizers come with warranties and are guaranteed to be in perfect working order. Who knows what repairs and maintenance a used synth might need?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are synthesizers and keyboards the same thing?

No, synthesizers and keyboards aren't the same. A keyboard is like a musical instrument with keys that make different sounds when you play them. But a synthesizer is a fancy electronic device that creates and changes sounds in all kinds of cool ways.

Some keyboards do have synthesizer functions built-in, though. So, they can kind of do both jobs.

Can I upgrade my synthesizer?

Yes, you can upgrade your synthesizer if it has those options. It all depends on what your synth can do.

Some models let you add new sounds, like cool presets or samples. Others might have software updates available so that you can get the latest improvements and fixes. Some synths even let you add extra hardware parts to improve them.

Which is better, an analog or digital synthesizer?

Honestly, it all depends on your preferences. Analog synthesizers make these warm and natural sounds that resemble acoustic instruments. They've got this organic vibe to them. And digital synthesizers offer more versatility and precision.

Ultimately, the choice of which type of synthesizer is better for you depends on the sound and features you prefer

What is the difference between monophonic and polyphonic synthesizers?

Monophonic synth plays one note at a time, and polyphonic synthesizers let you play multiple notes simultaneously.

They are better for chords and complex melodies, but that doesn't mean monophonic synthesizers are useless. Monophonic synthesizers are great for creating basslines and leads.

Are keyboard synths portable?

Yes, keyboard synths can be portable, but it all comes down to your model. Some of them are smaller and lighter. So you can just grab them and take them wherever the music takes you.

Can I use a synth in a live performance?

Yes, you can use a synth in a live performance. In fact, many musicians love using synths to spice up their music and add all kinds of cool sounds to their concerts and shows.

How many sounds can I produce with synth?

A synth can produce a wide variety of sounds. But how many? That depends on the specific model and its features. Some synths can create hundreds or even thousands of different sounds and give you many options for making music.

Verdict

Now that you have learned all about the synth world and have the necessary details about which synthesizer to buy, it will be easier to pick the best. However, if you want our final recommendation, get the Moog Analog Synthesizer Sub 37. You won't regret it.

If your budget is low, go for the Korg Volca FM. But whether you choose a modern or classic synthesizer, make sure it has an awesome sound, is versatile, is MIDI compatible, and suits your genre.

Pick any one from the above list, and have a great time creating music.

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