|Pianos on Amazon||Keys||Polyphony||Dimensions||Weight|
|Yamaha DGX660||88, Weighted||128||58.9 x 21.5 x 12.8 inches||83.6 pounds|
|Yamaha P115||88, Medium Weighted||128||58.2 x 16.1 x 11.8 inches||36.4 pounds|
|Williams Rhapsody 2||88||32||50 x 11 x 3.5 inches||19 pounds|
|Casio PX760 BK Privia||88||128||52 x 5 x 11 inches||24.7 pounds|
|Kawai CE220||88, Medium Weighted||128||40 x 10 x 20 inches||20 pounds|
|Yamaha Arius YDP||88, Weighted||128||40 x 10 x 20 inches||20 pounds|
WHAT IS A DIGITAL PIANO? DIGITAL KEYBOARD VS DIGITAL PIANO
Already, we’ve covered a few of the more crucial differences between a digital keyboard and a digital piano, but comparing and contrasting the two is something that deserves a closer look. So let’s take a look at the top digital pianos.
Despite all of the features of a digital piano, one of the primary goals of the instrument is to retain the feel and sound of an acoustic piano.
The touch resistance, sound, and capabilities of a good digital piano should be extremely comparable to those of an acoustic piano.
With digital keyboards, this isn’t necessarily the case. Keyboards are often made to be cheaper, more portable, and more focused on the ability to produce sounds than to perform the function of a high quality instrument.
That’s not to say that there aren’t some great digital keyboards out there too, and they certainly serve their purpose well, but if you’re wanting to purchase an instrument to learn how to actually play the piano on, or if you’re already used to an acoustic piano and are wanting a smooth transition into the benefits that going digital offers, the digital piano is by far the better choice.
WHY CHOOSE A DIGITAL PIANO VS. ACOUSTIC PIANO?
The advantages of a digital piano over an acoustic one are hard to overlook. For one, digital pianos can be incredibly more portable and easier to fit into a cramped space.
Sure, there’s digital pianos out there as large as any acoustic piano, but there’s also much smaller ones. The fact that digital pianos aren’t forced to house eighty-eight strings and hammers ensures that they can be made much smaller and lighter than is possible with an acoustic piano.
The second advantage is the versatility and variety of features that a digital piano offers. If you’re a person that enjoys all the bells and whistles, then the digital piano is for you.
Features such as a wide variety of sounds, the ability to connect to amps and computers, external speakers, memory cards, headphone jacks, and a host of others, depending on the instrument, makes the digital piano capable of far more applications than an acoustic piano is.
Lastly, digital pianos generally cost less, making them great for someone who isn’t yet dedicated enough to drop several thousand dollars on an instrument.
All said, these advantages have led many people, experienced musicians and beginners alike, to choose a digital piano over an acoustic one. So much so, in fact, that over the years, the digital piano has quickly become the more popular of the two.
TYPES OF DIGITAL PIANOS AND KEYBOARDS AVAILABLE
Besides just the electronic keyboard and electronic piano, there are several other important subclasses that need to be considered. Deciding which of these subclasses would best fit your needs is a great place to start in deciding which instrument would work best for you.
UPRIGHT DIGITAL PIANO
This instrument is the one that is closest in design, function, and appearance to a traditional, acoustic piano. It has eighty-eight keys and includes a cabinet and some form of support. Its appearance is what most likely comes to mind when you think of a piano, and it is the most popular digital piano design.
DIGITAL PIANO CONSOLE
Very similar to the upright digital piano, the primary distinguishing characteristic of the digital piano console is that it is smaller and may not have the same, classic shape. Regarding function, however, a console is equally as capable as an upright piano, making it a great choice for someone who is lacking the space for a full-sized piano.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Stage pianos are capable of being hooked up to amps, and external speakers, and a variety of other electronic accessories that are geared towards a live performance. If you’re putting on a show, and you want to make it a spectacle, a stage piano is the best choice.
DIGITAL GRAND PIANO
No other piano is more beautiful than the grand piano. Likewise, no other type of piano plays quite the same, and owning a concert grand piano is the dream of almost every serious pianists. Unfortunately, these gorgeous instruments cost a small fortune to purchase, pushing them out of the price range of most pianists.
This instrument is the most portable and generally least expensive of the types. While the fact that most keyboards have less than eighty-eight keys (ranging from sixty-one to the traditional eighty-eight depending on the model) may keep you from playing some songs, the ability to carry the instrument under your arm and pay for it without taking out a loan are certainly attractive features of the digital keyboard.
This instrument falls under the class of a keyboard and is used primarily for music production. Synthesizers are capable of producing a large variety of sounds and are made to connect to a computer. If you’re looking to mix and produce songs rather than playing them, then a synthesizer is a great choice.
Our Synthesizer Picks
Korg microKorg 37-Key Analog Modeling Synthesizer with Vo… $399.99$422.05 (106) Arturia MicroBrute Analog Synthesizer $299.00 (92) Korg Monotron Duo Dual Oscillator Analog Pocket S… $48.00 (232) Novation Ultranova Nova Series Analog-Modeling Synthesizer $599.99$600.05 (74)
MIDI CONTROLLER KEYBOARD
Like a synthesizer, a controller keyboard is intended for music production. The primary difference between the two is that a controller keyboard is not capable of producing sound unless it is hooked up to a computer, and it usually has less sound options to choose from. However, MIDI controller keyboards are also less expensive than synthesizers.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT SIZES OF DIGITAL PIANOS?
When talking about sizes, we refer to the number of keys available. There are 3 main sizes that you will see with digital keyboards – ones with 61 keys, 76 keys, or 88 keys. An 88 key digital piano will most closely resemble a traditional acoustic piano, as the standard size is 88 keys. To understand the differences between all three before making a decision, read our guide to digital piano sizes. How to choose your digital piano:
Things to Consider
- Your budget – There’s a pretty broad range in cost when it comes to shopping for your own model. The higher in price you go, the more advanced features are included and most importantly, the nicer the overall piano is (in terms of build, key-make, and the like). How much cash you’re willing to spend will determine this.
- What key count? Digital pianos come in various key counts, as in how many keys attached to the piano itself. When deciding, just keep in mind that the standard piano key count is 88. You can also go a bit lower with 76 or 61 keys if you want a small piano or perhaps don’t need the full 88. However, we don’t recommend going any lower if you’re planning on investing in a digital piano (also keep in mind, some classical pieces can only be played with 88 keys!). Especially if you’re starting to learn, we insist you start with the legitimate amount of keys. We actually mostly recommend 88-key models in here with a few exceptions.
- Key make – The traditional acoustic piano keys are weighted, but there are numerous other makes out there including semi-weighted and synth-action. Aside from these weighted-types, you have some fancy tech words companies use to make the keys sound as realistic as possible. Touch sensors,
- Portability? Some of these are technically portable, being that they’re just the piano itself and the stand be folded and what not. However, others are strictly made for traveling. Will you be on-the-go a lot? This may be important for you.
- Extra accessories you’ll need – We’re talking piano stands, headphones, speaker systems (most have one built-in, albeit not too high of quality), sheet holder, etc.
The best digital pianos
Below is our list of the top 10 best digital pianos on the planet. We summarize the features and what’s been said about the particular piano, as well as provide some sample sounds for you to hear what you’ll be getting if you choose it. Let us know in the comments which model you’ve decided to buy!
Yamaha P Series P115
The Yamaha P115 is one of our all-time favorites in the digital piano world. This 88-Key model by Yamaha Music is exceptional in terms of overall quality and sound. The reviews have been so high it was quite easy to list this one first. In terms of highlights, you’re getting sounds sampled from the famous CFIII concert grand Yamaha piano. There’s also a built-in duet partner which is great for learning or opening up to different types of playing styles (states ten available). Also noted are the drum patterns you can use to play as opposed to a traditional metronome if you want a different spin on your jamming. The keys are very realistic and completely weighted with “GHS action”.
In terms of other tech included, there’s a USB port to hook it up straight to your computer. There’s also an AUX plug-in for attaching it to other consoles and what not, perfect if you’re a recording artist. If not, there’s still the beloved headphone output (something I absolutely love) in case you need to keep it quiet or want some privacy.
The only kicker is that you’ll have to spend a few more bucks on the bundle that includes a stand; however, we still feel its worth it in that sense. If not, you can still fit it on a desk or whatever you currently have set up. You can choose between a black or white version, as well. Here’s a video demo.
Check prices\reviews of the Yamaha P105B: US | UK
Nord Stage 3
Here’s a beastly high-end digital piano to check out, and the Nord Stage 3 definitely overpowers a lot of the models in here if you have a higher budget than most. With a reputation for only beauty when it comes to pianos, their entire Nord Stage series is worth checking out. With this particular model, we have an 88-note “Triple Sensor” keybed, some grand weighted action for a sleek feel, OLED-display to help navigate, a huge 1GB of “Nord Piano Library” sounds, and some layer and split-functionality for extras.
Aside from the sound and feel, you’re also getting some effects (all stereo) to tweak the notes as you feel: vibe, tube overdrive sim, pan, tremolo, wah-wah and ring-mod (from the control pedal). Your piano section has 3 dynamic curves, a versatile string resonance and delicate soft release. We recommend grabbing this if you’re serious about your digital piano playing — we had a lot of requests to add this one in our list from the comments so we listened. It’s worth looking at if you have the cash, even if you’re a beginner or intermediate player looking to elevate your piano playing as well as plan for the future.
Check reviews\pricing of the Stage 3: US | UK
Williams Legato 88
The Williams Legato 88 is our pick for best budget-friendly digital piano by far. If you go this route you’re going to save a lot of money, although it does not come with a stand or any other accessories that you may also be looking for. It’s one of the highest rated digital pianos on popular websites and for good reason. The only kicker is that the keys are semi-weighted, not fully weighted like real pianos.
However, not that semi-weighted is necessarily bad (nearly all MIDI keyboards are this). You’re still getting 88 keys, five sound options (piano, electric piano, organ, bass, and synth) and built-in speakers. There’s also a feature called ‘Split Mode’ where you can divide the keyboard into two sections allowing two types of sounds to be played on each side. Pretty nifty feature, although not necessarily revolutionary its still something that’s fun to mess around with. Lastly, you’re getting some effects, too — reverb and chorus can be applied to each sound and retrained, perfect for customizing your sounds for a more natural feel.
You can hook up a sustain pedal and it also has USB MIDI connections which to me is huge because you can always use a VST to replace the sounds with numerous possibilities. Lastly, it’s battery operated although you can use an AC power adapter, but that lets us know that you can travel with it (although pretty big since it has 88 keys). Here’s a demo video showing the sounds of the Williams Legato to give you a better feel.
Check pricing\reviews of the Legato 88: US | UK
Casio CAS PX150
Another huge player in the keyboard game is Casio, and I remember having my first CAS keyboard when I started to walk. The Casio CAS PX150 has 88 keys that are weighted with hammer action technology. The keys feel pretty much the same as a regular piano with the full weight.
They also call the key tech “Tri-sensor scaled”, which is stated to emulate the ivory keys with three sensors for better speed and accuracy when you play. ‘Damper Resonance Simulator’ is also stated to help with the feel. Regardless of their fancy terms, what’s also great is the 18 sounds built-in (compared to the Legato’s 5). It’s USB MIDI compliant however, so you can also use it as a controller if you’re into that. You get some strings, organs, electric piano and bass. You can also use the same split mode tech as the Legato to have different sounds for each hand. Also note you can hook up a pedal to the PX150, too.
Recommended if you’re trying to save a few bucks as opposed to grabbing the P105. It’s below that price point and can be see as in the middle. It doesn’t have an LED screen, ins or outs and or other capabilities as a few competitors, but the key bed technology isn’t just fancy wording — it feels extremely real and isn’t plastic whatsoever. Grab it if you want some high quality keys and a solid build for a digital piano. Here’s a video of the PX150 to hear it out.
Check reviews\pricing of the PX150: US | UK
The Korg SV-1 is a breathtaking piece of machinery. It’s yet another one of the best digital pianos if you have the money at hand. Giving us a nice elegant feel and sound, this one is great not only for the home but stage as well. First and foremost, the SV-1’s sounds include a pretty wide range. You also get electric and acoustic pianos, organs, synths, and strings. You’re also getting some clavs (four variations of tonal settings), choir, and other fat synths many would only associate with lead-based synthesizers.
Additionally, the FX chain and amp modeling really sets this one apart from a standard, budget-friendly digital piano. I suppose that is why it only appeals to some, in other words those who will actually use FX chains with their digital piano. An equalizer, pre fx with compression, u-vibe, boost and more, modulation fx (chorus, phaser, flanger, etc.) top it off. Don’t forget your reverb and delay to help us with those minor keys. To top it all off, we have some advanced connection, giving us pedals, MIDI, and a few ins and outs.
View price\reviews of the SV-1: US | UK
Williams Allegro 88
Here’s another Williams model, and this particular piano as compared to the Legato is a bit cheaper but still very nicely made. The Williams Allegro 88 has a very realistic feel to it. The keys are weighted and come with the full 88 (hammer-action). Also, the keys are velocity-sensitive to give you a natural feel depending on how hard you hit the keys. We’ve heard some people nit-pick about the volume and how hard you hit the keys. However, you have to remember that this is a lot cheaper in price than other digital pianos out there, too. It’s still a super affordable piano if you’re not looking to spend a whopping amount.
Note that it also comes with MIDI, so to us that is always a huge plus. The stereo\mono line inputs are great for hooking up to a separate speaker system (studio monitor for example), and you can also use a sustain pedal for an even more realistic sound and feel. A solid piano with a lot of positive reviews, so you’re able to trust that others have approved. Here’s a video of the Allegro 88.
Check reviews\price of the Allegro: US | UK
Another heavy-hitter in the high-end digital piano category, Roland’s V-Piano brings us stunning sound and feel. We have a multitude of sounds to start off, ranging from grand-pianos to some futuristic almost synth-like hybrid tones. The 88 keys have a lovely ivory feel having a feature called “Escapement”. That is their term for the subtle click we get as we press the hammer key down. The control panel is quite user-friendly as well. This makes this one great for home as well as stage. It gives us quick and easy access to sound and FX without much fuss and extra clicks and scrolls.
In regards to ins and outs, you have an XLR and 1/4″ analog, a digital (coaxial) output, and USB memory paired up with MIDI I/O (pretty standard for a type of digital piano like this). This is one of the most natural-sounding digital pianos in the game. So we scratch our head why it’s considered “digital” aside from the build and size. Roland has a classic here.
See price\reviews of the V-Piano: US | UK
Privia It’s a bit up there in price. However, if you want one of the best digital pianos out there in terms of overall build, sound quality and more, this is the model to grab. The Casio PX850 Privia is a monster, jam-packed full of features. The keys feel like ebony and ivory, some of the best quality we’ve seen (makes sense with the price). They’re scaled and weighted for an even more realistic feel (hammer-action), and sound source. Although fancy sounding, this is called ‘Multi-Dimensinal Morphing AiR”. Aka, a new technology by Casio for better tonal variations and lingering reverberations.
266 notes of polyphony, and a few alternatives to sounds with organs, strings, electric pianos and bass. Duet mode for splitting the keyboard in half for different sounds, USB MIDI, and a “Lid Simulator”. What doesn’t this have? Nothing, really, aside from affordability or portability. I mean, take a look at it: it looks like a real piano, pedals, body and all.
This is the big Bertha of them all. If you have the money and are looking to invest in a serious piece of equipment, grab it. You can’t go wrong with it of course. This thing is professional, and their Privia line is one of the best in the world.
Check prices\reviews of the PX850: US | UK
Since their invention, digital pianos have revolutionized an already wonderful instrument. They turn it into something even more capable and brilliant than it has always been. As such, digital pianos are the passion of this site, and hopefully this passion will be contagious.
Take a look around. Think of this website like your favorite instrument store. Hopefully you’ll leave it having gained helpful knowledge on a variety of digital pianos. And a deeper appreciation for the instrument as well. And as always, play on!