Korg SP170 Review – Is The SP 170 A Good Choice?

The portable Korg SP170 has 88 weighted keys and a classic, simple design

  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 4 stars
$489.99
  • 80%

  • Korg SP170
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: September 2, 2016
  • Polyphony
    Editor: 80%
  • Keys
    Editor: 100%
  • Features
    Editor: 25%
  • Speakers
    Editor: 72%
  • Jacks/Ports
    Editor: 70%
  • Weight/Size
    Editor: 90%
  • Price
    Editor: 86%


Pros

  • Good polyphony
  • Portable
  • Excellent, realistic sound
  • Simple design; easy to use


Cons

  • No Layering function
  • No recorder
  • No metronome
  • No USB port


If you’re looking for a digital piano that is stylish in a minimalistic way and even easier to use, the Korg SP170 might be just the thing you’re looking for.  The Korg brand name is well known and respected by working musicians and professional keyboard players everywhere—their name means quality, reliability and pragmatic design.

The Korg SP 170 is no exception.  By eliminating some of the flashier components on similarly priced digital pianos, Korg is able to pack more performance and functionality into theirs.  The Korg SP170s is truly a digital piano that was designed by and for true pianists everywhere.

Korg SP170s Review – What Sounds Does It Offer?

The Korg SP170 has two concert grand piano sounds, both of which bring separate and distinct layers to the forefront.  Each concert grand piano was sampled with painstaking care (similar to the sampling done for the Yamaha P105), ensuring that you get the most realistic sound replication around.  In order to capture the true dynamics of a grand concert piano, the engineers over at Korg had to layer a number of velocities, allowing them to grab each delicate nuance and sound.

But even as piano-centric as the SP170 is, it still has additional sounds for you to play with including electric pianos, organs and harpsichord.  If you’re looking for more sounds, you might want to look elsewhere though as the Korg SP 170 sticks pretty close to its piano roots, offering only 10 sounds in total.

This is because Korg decided to really focus on replicating each pitch, note and nuance of the concert grand piano.  And they really focused on making the keyboard super-comfortable for you to play.

The Following Video Shows Off The Korg SP170:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVPrWlUUF0M

What Are The Main Highlights Of The SP170?

By toning down the overall look of the digital piano, Korg ensured that these two elements (sound and comfort) are at the forefront.  The clean, simple yet elegant design makes the SP 170 easy to play and adjust.  The controls are easy to reach since the power switch is mounted in the back.  The volume knob is on the front, along with two new buttons from Korg.

Available in a white or black finish

Design

The keys feel absolutely realistic beneath your fingers thanks to Korg’s Natural Weighted Hammer Action.  Called the NH Keyboard, the keys on the SP 170 are heavy in the lower ranges and lighter in the upper scales, matching the touch, feel and sound of a real grand concert piano.

You can also use the Key Touch Control to scroll through three levels of touch, making it perfect for whatever your playing style might be. This, along with the reverb and chorus effects, perfectly melds the actual sound and feel of a grand piano with the digital functionality that working pianists need in today’s diverse music world.

One thing that is missing from this piano is a USB port.  Most of the other pianos we’ve reviewed, like the Casio PX-850, come standard with this.

Sound System

The Sound button gives you a quick way to scroll through the 10 sounds offered on the SP 170.  The Piano Play button lets you quickly switch back to the first piano sound—the brilliantly recorded concert grand.

Plus, the enhanced speaker system on the Korg SP170s gives you elegant, booming sound coming from the 10cm by 5 cm two oval speakers.  The quality of these speakers are amazing and their placement inside of the system has been perfected thanks to a redesign by the sound engineers at Korg.  The new design takes a harder look at the tone and resonance that the speakers create in relation to the body shape, meaning that this is the most technologically advanced sound systems that Korg has ever put out.

The SP170 includes 2 headphone jacks and a MIDI port

For students and teachers, there are dual headphone outputs (just like on the Yamaha P255), making it a great learning digital piano.  You can also practice without bothering anybody while still allowing another person to listen in with you as you play.  Play duets with your friends and family or learn a private lesson with your teacher without disturbing anyone around you.  Then, when you need the power for everyone to hear, you can simply connect these outputs to an external amplifier, or if you’re recording, a digital recorder.

How Does The Korg SP170 Compare With Other Keyboards?

Casio PX-150Yamaha P105Korg SP170Yamaha YPG-535
RatingRated 4.5 starsRated 4 starsRated 4 starsRated 4 stars
Price$489.99$489.99$499.99
Criteria
  • Polyphony
    Editor: 85%
  • Keys
    Editor: 100%
  • Features
    Editor: 73%
  • Speakers
    Editor: 70%
  • Jacks/Ports
    Editor: 80%
  • Weight/Size
    Editor: 90%
  • Price
    Editor: 86%
  • Polyphony
    Editor: 85%
  • Keys
    Editor: 100%
  • Features
    Editor: 65%
  • Speakers
    Editor: 84%
  • Jacks/Ports
    Editor: 90%
  • Weight/Size
    Editor: 90%
  • Price
    Editor: 82%
  • Polyphony
    Editor: 80%
  • Keys
    Editor: 100%
  • Features
    Editor: 25%
  • Speakers
    Editor: 72%
  • Jacks/Ports
    Editor: 70%
  • Weight/Size
    Editor: 90%
  • Price
    Editor: 86%
  • Polyphony
    Editor: 65%
  • Keys
    Editor: 90%
  • Features
    Editor: 77%
  • Speakers
    Editor: 80%
  • Jacks/Ports
    Editor: 90%
  • Weight/Size
    Editor: 75%
  • Price
    Editor: 86%

What Do SP170 Owners Have To Say?

“I bought this as a gift and everyone who has played it loves it.”
Source: T (Amazon.com review)

“There are 10 different instruments, but the piano mode and feel is what sold me. My daughter loves it.”
– Source: Michael J. Ryan (Amazon.com review)

“Great sound, great touch, lightweight”
– Source: Loren (Amazon.com review)

“Great piano sound and the keys feel just like you are playing a real piano. This is a great starter instrument for any piano student.
– Source: Jennifer (Amazon.com review)

Popular Accessories For The Korg SP170

Yamaha FC4 Piano Style Sustain Pedal
$34.99
Rated 4.5 stars

Ebony Adjustable Artist Piano Bench
$112.99
Rated 5 stars

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones
$164.59
Rated 4.5 stars

Alfred's Basic Adult All-In-One Course Level 2: Lesson-Theory-Solo
$12.35
Rated 4.5 stars

Interpro Dust Cover for 88 Keys Keyboard
$39.99
Rated 4.5 stars

PC-to-Music-Keyboard USB MIDI Cable Converter
$6.07
Rated 3.5 stars

Gator 88 Note Keyboard Gig Bag; Slim Design (GKB-88 SLIM)
$104.99
Rated 4.5 stars

Korg SPST-1W Wooden Stand for SP-170 Piano - Black
$99.95
Rated 4.5 stars

Specs
Keys88
Weighted Keys
Touch Response
Polyphony120
SpeakersTwo 9-watt
Recorder
Voices10
LCD Screen
Stand Included
Weight (lbs)27
Dimensions52 x 13 x 5
Preset Songs10
Phone/Out Jacks2
USB Ports
MIDI PortsMIDI Out
AUX Jacks
Damper Pedals1
Auto Power-Off
Layering
Reverb
Split Mode
Transpose
Tempo Adjust
Metronome
Panel Sustain
Scale Types
Sound Boost
Duet
Damper Resonance
Chorus
Brilliance

Conclusion – Korg SP170

Summary:

The Korg SP170 is an amazing digital piano in terms of sound, simple design, ease of use, and functionality. It doesn’t have a whole lot of frills, but it certainly has substance, and is a super portable way to bring the huge grand piano sound with you anywhere you need to go.

To get the lowest price and free shipping on the Korg SP170, click the button below:

$489.99
Rating
Rated 4 stars

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Mike May 27, 2015, 12:38 am

    I am currently shopping around and I have narrowed my search down to the Korg SP170 and Casio PX150. On this website it’s mentioned the PX150 has loud/clicky keys, but to be fair I have read on many other forums (and seen youtube videos) that the SP170 (NH Keyboard) suffers from the same problem. So it really comes down to; polyphony, sound realism, keyboard features (weighted, sensitivity etc) and reliability.

    • Rick Stallworth May 27, 2015, 3:20 am

      They’re both the same price at this time. With the Casio though, you’ll get a lot more features not available on the Korg (recording ability, a bit more polyphony, more voices, USB connectivity, layering, a metronome, and a bunch of other extras).

  • ricky December 5, 2015, 2:39 pm

    i have a korg sp170 and a korg sp250 and the 250 is a million times better sound,feel etc i play live and i wanted the lightest keyboard with weighted keys ,and for weight the 170 is the lightest ,well was when i bought it but i dont like the small jack inputs the sound acoustic is average but live i dont like it in fact im goin to look at the yamaha p115 as an alternative also the ac adaptor input is not standard and ive
    had to have it replaced, if you are not going to move it much get the the korg 250 as its a bit weighty

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