If you’re in the market for the best digital piano, doing your homework ahead of time will help to ensure that you pick the right one. Knowing what to look for, what brands are best, and what features different models have, will allow you to make the best decisions.
When your purchases are made from an informed position, you tend to be happier with your choice, even years down the line. This buying guide, our detailed digital piano reviews, and our ultimate comparison chart, will help you choose the best digital piano for your needs and budget.
What Are The Best Digital Piano Picks?
|#1 Pick - Yamaha DGX-650|
|The Yamaha DGX650 is the epitome of 'bang-for-the-buck'. At the upper-end of the mid-range tier of pianos, the 650 provides an excellent overall selection of features. With a great 128 notes of polyphony, along with a full set of 88 weighted touch response keys, this Yamaha piano is a great choice for beginners and enthusiasts alike.|
The 650 comes with the full Yamaha Education Suite and 100 built-in songs, making it a perfect choice for beginners. A top-notch 6-track sequencer allows players to save and arrange their compositions. It also includes 147 total voices, providing an almost inexhaustible selection of instrument sounds to incorporate into a person's play.
|#2 Pick - Casio PX-150|
|A great mid-tier choice is Casio's PX-150. A nice overall piano that does everything well, it has 128 polyphony notes, a full set of weighted keys with touch sensitivity, and is very portable, weighing just 25 pounds. Like some other pianos we reviewed, it also includes a 2-track recorder, which can be used with layering and reverb functions to bring life to your music.|
18 total panel voices allow pianists to play other instruments using the keyboard. 2 headphone jacks allow both a teacher and student to listen at the same time without disturbing others, and the duet mode allows simultaneous play by two different people. Great value piano by Casio.
|#3 Pick - Yamaha YPG-235|
|Our final pick is for the budget-conscious. The YPG-235 is an entry-level keyboard, but still packs a bit of a punch in terms of features of higher-priced pianos. A 6-track recorder comes standard on this piano, as well as 116 panel voices, both of which allow the player's artistic imagination to run wild. At just 19 pounds, the YPG-235 is a very portable keyboard, allowing it to be taken anywhere easily.|
Though on the inexpensive side, this piano still comes with a respectable 32 notes of polyphony. It's LCD screen, four speakers, reverb, and layering features are welcome surprises for a piano in this price range. A great, affordable choice if price is paramount.
How Do They Compare?
|Casio PX-150||Yamaha DGX 650||Yamaha YPG-235|
|Rating||Rated 4.5 stars||Rated 4.5 stars||Rated 4 stars|
What Are The Advantages Of A Digital Piano?
For starters, you have to know whether you need an acoustic piano or a digital piano. There are many reasons that people choose a digital piano over an acoustic piano. Here are the major advantages that digital pianos enjoy over their acoustic counterparts:
Many digital pianos are small and light enough to be taken anywhere, which is why touring musicians use them. Acoustic pianos are not portable at all.
More Sound Options And Functions
With acoustic pianos, you only get one sound: the piano. With digital keyboards, you get hundreds of unique sounds, instruments, and voicings, making them more versatile than acoustic pianos. Most digital pianos can manipulate these sounds with features such as reverb or chorus, and can layer multiple sounds together, in essence giving you a full orchestra mix right at your fingertips.
Unless you can find a great deal on an acoustic piano, almost every digital piano out there on the market is going to be more affordable, especially when you need a lot of sounds.
Recording Your Music Is Easy
Digital pianos, like the Yamaha PSRE343, save files and hook up to computers and speakers. This makes them an ideal choice for recording sessions and live performances since they just plug right in. Acoustic pianos are loud, but they still need microphones and amplification systems to record or play in large places.
Digital Pianos Are Great For Learning
While you might think it’s better to learn on an acoustic piano, digital pianos like the Yamaha P105 can be split into equal sections so that the teacher and student can play simultaneously at the same pitch. Plus since digital pianos are more affordable, they are smarter investments for parents who don’t want to make huge purchases that their kids might not follow through on. Further, digital pianos can be played silently thanks to headphone jacks, something else parents of a learning pianist can appreciate by the time they hear “Three Blind Mice” for the 80th time!
Whatever piano you choose to learn on though, whether it be a traditional acoustic or a digital one, you might be surprised to discover that there have been studies showing that learning piano can be beneficial for both young and old. One study showed increased IQ’s for young children who took piano lessions, while the other proposes a direct connection between piano playing and a more enriched life as you grow older. To your health!
Much Smaller Size
Not only are digital pianos portable, they also take up less space in your home. Models, such as the Yamaha P35, can be stored in the closet or under the bed when not in use—acoustic pianos take up tons of space and cannot be stored discretely.
Tuning Is Never Required
While nothing would beat the legendary Steinway Piano in the East Room of the White House, one drawback is that it must be constantly tuned. Digital pianos don’t have this problem. Right out of the box and forever after, they will always sound top-notch and will never go out of tune, since they possess no strings. All the tones are, as the name suggests, ‘digital’.
Which Companies Are Renowned For Their Digital Pianos?
There are three main manufacturers that constantly provide quality digital pianos. You know that you are getting the best digital pianos when you see any of these names on the instrument:
Yamaha’s digital pianos give you hundreds of unique voices and sounds, all sampled with advanced synthesis technology. Portable and reliable, Yamaha is a brand name that people all the world over recognize. Yamaha digital pianos are great for beginners and professionals alike, especially if you want a keyboard that will last you for years to come.
Casio has been a premiere name in electronics for decades now. Casio keyboards like the PX750 have crystal clear quality and superior sampling techniques which make their digital pianos stand head and shoulders above the competition. Casio makes great digital pianos for learning, but that doesn’t mean they are restrictive—many professional musicians use Casio digital pianos in their recording studios.
Korg digital pianos are made for musicians, by musicians. One of the most popular brands of digital pianos for touring musicians, the Korg is rugged, reliable, durable and most of all, versatile. When you need a quality keyboard, Korg is your best bet. While the average person might not recognize the name as easily as Yamaha and Casio, any true musician knows that Korgs are superior to other digital pianos. When it comes to making professional keyboards, Korg is the real deal.
7 Questions To Ask Yourself When Choosing A Digital Piano
Choosing a digital piano really isn’t that difficult. As long as you stick with a name brand company such as those above, you pretty much have most of the bases covered already. Still, choosing the model that best suits your needs and budget can be tricky. Here are some tips for buying a digital piano and some questions to ask yourself before you buy:
How Much Is Your Budget?
Make sure you are staying within your budget. This will help you get the right keyboard for your needs. If you really want a digital grand piano that you can’t afford, be sure to make sure that you really need it before making a big purchase.
What Sound Options Do You Need?
Make sure that the digital keyboard has the sounds that you are looking for. If you just want piano sounds, don’t buy a digital piano with a ton of extra bells and whistle that you don’t need—it only serves to drive up the costs.
How Much Room Do You Have For The Piano?
Size of the digital piano can be broken down into two categories. First, there are the size restrictions put in place by your available room. While a digital piano will never take up the same amount of space as an acoustic, they do still come in different shapes and sizes. If you can’t fit it in your home or tour bus, it’s just not going to work for you. Second, choose the size by the amount of keys that the unit has. Do you need all 88? If so, opt for a full-sized music keyboard.
Will It Be Loud Enough For Your Needs?
When buying a piano, always make sure that it is at the proper volume for your needs. If it needs to be louder, as might be the case if you are going to use it to perform, make sure that amplification systems are available and not out of your price range.
Does The Piano Come With Any Extra Accessories?
Different digital pianos come with different sustain pedals. Some have only one, some have up to four. Make sure that the pedals you want are included in the model you choose. Check for touch responsiveness and how much pressure they can handle.
Other items such as a keyboard stand, a piano bench, or a set of headphones may or may not ship with the piano. There are often bundle packages though for digital pianos which include all of these extra items, and the packages are usually priced much lower than if you bought all of the items separately. If you require any of this additional gear, you can save time and money by going for a bundle option.
What Advanced Features Does It Have?
A lot of musicians will be looking for extra advanced options in a digital piano. Options such as weighted keys, an LCD screen, a recording option, or USB or MIDI ports aren’t always standard, so make sure that the model you are choosing has these or any other extra features you might want.
What Type Of Warranty Does It Have?
Even though digital pianos are cheaper than acoustic pianos, you still don’t want to get stuck with a lemon and eat the loss. Make sure that the warranty is good, especially if you are giving the keyboard as a present for a child. You may also want to consider purchasing an extended warranty if possible.