You’re most likely here because you’re looking for a digital piano. You want to find good, detailed, and informative digital piano reviews. Well, you’ve come to the right place. I promise you that no other site even comes close to explaining and detailing each digital piano as I do.
Listing the pros and cons are a great way of getting a basic idea so I start things off with that. I will also help you understand any terminology used in the digital piano community (in case you don’t know). I will help you understand some of the best digital pianos which one is absolutely perfect for you.
I have broken down each digital pianos by price and experience. That way, you don’t have to read through dozens and dozens of reviews. All you need to do is choose depending on how much you are willing to spend and/or how well you play.
Top 5 Best Digital Pianos
1. Korg SP250 Portable 88 Key Digital Piano
It’s amazing how many people only talk about Yamaha and Casio. They do dominate this market, especially the entry-level market, but so many people don’t know about the other brands like Korg and Williams. Either that or they simply don’t talk about them. I think it’s a good thing to have variety and I want to help others know about these other brands.
I know I gave a pretty bad review on the Williams Williams Overture, but the Korg SP-250 is an entirely different case. Despite using 8-year-old technology, you’ll be amazed by how it plays. It’s not expensive, and yet, it has great quality.
The Korg SP-250 is for:
- All piano players in the beginner and intermediate level
- People in the music industry who are looking for a digital piano
- People who like to play the piano as a hobby
- People who do not have space for an acoustic piano and are looking for an alternative
- People who live with friends or family (more on this later)
- Uses Korg’s BEST hammer action to create a realistic simulation of a real piano
- Great sound with two sampling layers
- Two headphone outputs – great teacher/student feature
- Supports half-damper effect
- A bit ugly…if you care about how it looks
- Not very portable
Feel of the Keys and Sound of the Music
I’ve mentioned before that the feel of the piano is generally the #1 priority for piano players. It has to feel real before you consider anything else. If the feel of the piano is bothering you, then it’ll keep nagging at you every time you play.
The Korg SP-250 uses the RH3 graded hammer action (real-weighted hammer action 3). That is Korg’s BEST hammer action at such a reasonable price. With the 88 keys that is on this digital piano, it feels very real. You’ll rarely hear complaints and generally hear praises about these keys.
Although the Korg SP-250 only has 2 sampling layers, which doesn’t sound like much, the piano plays and sounds amazing. For example, the Yamaha P95 only uses 1 sampling layer and still sounds great, although it is also cheaper. Note: 2 sample layers means that the keys can sound in 2 different ways depending on how hard you hit it.
In a real piano, the sound changes depending on how hard you hit the note. There are people who complain about the sounds, but that’s because they don’t use headphones or external speakers.
The Korg SP-250 does not have good built-in speakers so if you use their default speakers, your performance won’t sound great. Nevertheless, if you listen to the piano with headphones or an amp, this digital piano just sounds beautiful.
Portability and Durability
Unless you’re some bodybuilder, this digital piano is probably not portable for you. It weighs 42 pounds. That’s pretty heavy. On the other hand, this can be reassuring. Sometimes, I just feel that my digital pianos are “safer” when they’re heavier. It’s sturdier. It’s more durable.
I already touched on the subject of speakers. The Korg SP-250 does not have great speakers. You need to get headphones or external speakers to do this piano justice. If you don’t have one, get one.
Trust me. It sounds much better. In addition to that, there are two headphone outputs. This is great for people who live with several other people. For example, if you’re a beginner, you might have your teacher to come over to teach you how to play the piano.
What’s great about having two headphone outputs is that you and the teacher can both wear headphones to listen to music. You don’t have to disturb your family or anyone else in the house. The teacher can teach you without any hindrances. In addition, if you’re working with a friend on a song, you can do the same.
Maybe you two are working on the song late at night and your roommates are sleeping. Just plug in the headphones and you two can continue to work without disturbing anybody else. Great, right? The Korg also includes 30 other sounds, but personally, I don’t think they are that great when compared to the piano.
2. Casio PX-130 Privia Digital Piano – White
The Casio PX-130 is for:
- People who are in the music industry
- People who play the piano in multiple locations because of its portability
- Teachers who wish to teach students and vice versa (more on this later)
- Great sound quality and performance for such a portable digital piano
- It weighs less than 25 pounds and uses new technology to capture the feel of a real piano
- The 128-note polyphony allows you to play complex compositions
- A great piano for beginners because of its relatively cheap price and because of its ability to split the piano in two (more on this later)
- For the advanced piano purists, the “feel” might not be there because it is made of plastic
What Factors go Into Deciding Whether or not to Purchase this?
Remember that I can guide you on which piano to buy, but ultimately you need to decide for yourself based on certain aspects:
(Note: Don’t worry if you don’t understand everything right now since I will explain everything you need to know)
- Number of notes on keyboards (most are 88-note keyboards like a real piano)
- “Weighted” keys, pedal boards, and others to simulate a real piano
- Number of tones
- Do you have a home studio?
- Weight/Portability of the digital piano for convenience
- And more!
Don’t worry if you’re a bit lost as I will cover all these aspects soon.
In addition, this digital piano gives off the feel of a real piano because each key “weighs” the same as a real piano. As you go lower, the keys feel heavier. As you go higher, the keys feel lighter. Its realism is simply great.
This is wonderful for traditionalist and for people who grew up learning from an acoustic piano (like me!). Unfortunately, the Casio PX-130 does not feel quite as “realistic” as some of the more expensive pianos so if this will bother you, then you should look at other options. Beginners won’t tend to notice though.
What About the Tones? How does the Casio Privia PX-130 Sound?
Tones are just Casio’s way of saying “instruments”. This particular model has 16 tones, which is not an amazing number but still provides you with a decent variety of instruments. Lets talk about one specific tone though – the grand piano.
For its price, the grand piano sound alone makes this a great deal. All other tones are just an added bonus. The amazing thing about this piano is that for its weight and its price, it does an amazing job of capturing the nuances of a piano. Because it is a digital piano, it also requires no tuning, unlike acoustic pianos.
This digital piano also manages to capture the acoustic resonance in pianos. When you play the piano, it has the sustain pedal (aka damper pedal), which is typically the rightmost pedal. When pressed, all notes played will continue to sound until released. To further duplicate realism, the Casio PX-130 has added acoustic resonance.
In addition, you can actually split the instrument to play two different sounds. If you are a beginner, this feature is great because you can have an instructor teach you on one half while you learn on the other half. Therefore, I believe that the PX-130 is a great entry-level piano.
What are Some of Its Other Features?
- 128-note Polyphony: The Casio PX-130 also has 128-note polyphony, which typically means that you can play 128 notes simultaneously. For example, if a piano has a 16-note polyphony and you exceed the maximum number, the notes that were played first disappears.
- Four Chorus Types: Chorus is an effect that helps create a “thicker” sound. For example, when you have a whole band of flutes playing at the same time, it creates that “group” sound. That is what the Chorus effect does. It’s generally used for electric pianos and guitars.
3. YAMAHA P155 Digital Piano with Mahogany
Lets use an analogy to help explain this piano. Hopefully, you are an NBA fan. Michael Jordan is widely considered to be the best basketball player of all-time. Meanwhile, Kobe Bryant is considered to be one of the best players of all-time but not the best.
Actually, he’s almost unanimously considered to be the second-best shooting guard of all-time (behind Michael Jordan). Despite many people considering Michael Jordan to be better than Kobe Bryant, most will not say that he’s better by a wide margin. He’s better, but it’s close.
With that said, remember how I praised the Yamaha P95, Korg SP-250, and other digital pianos? Yes, they are great. They sound amazing, and the feel of the pianos are good. However, the Yamaha P155 sounds even better. It feels even better. Overall, it’s just better.
- Implements the GH action keyboard to give you beautiful action
- Arguably the best portable key simulation of an acoustic piano
- 128-note polyphony, allowing you to play complex compositions
- The P155 comes with the FC4 pedal and not the FC3, that means the packaged pedal does not support the half-damper effect so you would need to purchase a new pedal to take advantage of the half-damper effect
Yamaha P155: Feel and Sound
The Yamaha P155 has the full 88 keyboards, which is the number of keys on an acoustic piano. It also supports the graded hammer action keyboard. This is one of Yamaha’s best action keyboards.
To clarify, it feels even more realistic than the GHS (Graded Hammer Standard) on the Yamaha P85 or P95. If you liked the GHS keys, you will love the GH keys. Most mid-to-high end-stage pianos use the GH keys. It’s heavier, which helps simulate an acoustic piano more accurately.
Trust me when I say that you will be very happy with the GH action keyboard. If you can afford it, I will at least go for a GH keyboard. The GHS keyboard is not bad, but it’s more for beginners or people who want a lighter, more portable keyboard.
The Yamaha P155 also sounds amazing. I try many pianos whenever I stop by the shop, but the sound quality on this one is probably the best for its price. You need to be using headphones to do it some justice. Of course, it sounds nice with the built-in speakers, but in order to truly get the quality you want for any digital pianos, I recommend getting some good headphones.
Anyway, the sound comes with 4 sampling layers. To put it simply, this means that the notes sound different depending on how hard it is struck. Different velocity equals different sound.
Yamaha P155: Portability and Durability
Unlike all previous Yamaha models that I have reviewed so far, this one is not really portable. It weighs 41 pounds so if you’re a tiny, petite woman, you might struggle to lug this around.
This makes sense because the Yamaha P155 uses the GH action keyboard. It’s heavier and closer to the feel of the acoustic piano. Generally, the more higher-end models are heavier.
Durability is not an issue. Yamaha pianos are known for their durability. I know some people that still use 12-year-old digital pianos made by Yamaha.
Yamaha P155: Other Features
The speakers of the Yamaha P155 are definitely better than the older Yamaha P95. Still, like for any digital piano, having headphones or external speakers is much better. It allows you to truly enjoy and experience the music.
The sound power and sound quality are truly superb for its price. With 4 levels of sampling, you are given more freedom in your musical compositions. Since it supports the half-damper effect, that only adds to the amount of musical freedom you are given. With 128-note polyphony, you can compose any masterpiece without fear of dropping a single sound.
There are 17 voices, which might not sound like a lot, but it’s worth it for the piano alone.
This little baby sounds better than even most acoustic pianos while relatively inexpensive. You’re probably thinking, “Hey wait a minute! How can a copy sound better than the original?” Well, most acoustic pianos are out of tune. It rarely stays in that perfect condition while the Yamaha P155 emulates an acoustic piano at its BEST.
4. Casio PX-3
On March 30th, 2010, Casio officially announced the release of the Casio PX-3 to celebrate its 30th year producing digital pianos. That’s impressive. You already know that this is a big deal then. Casio literally designed the Privia PX-3 to be the best portable digital piano.
To clarify, most of the stunning digital piano tend to be pretty heavy because of all the weighted keys, features, etc. The Casio PX-3, on the other hand, only weighs an amazing 23.81 pounds. Yea, I know. Awesome.
So what did I think after trying it out?
- Light and portable
- Ivory matte touch keys for a realistic simulation of the acoustic piano
- 250 different sounds (aka tones/voices)
- Great grand piano sound for its price
- Sample decay, length, and loops are short so that fast compositions sound great while slow ones are just decent
Casio PX-3: Feel and Sound
Some Casio models have a bad reputation. The keys might loosen up and wobble from side to side. It can end up “latching” onto the other keys. Other times, the gaps between the keys aren’t uniformly divided. Some gaps are wider than others. Sounds bad, right?
These were a thing of the past. Casio has taken the necessary measures to work on these issues. The Casio PX-3 especially should not have this problem. Simply put, it uses the Ivory Touch Matte keys. What does that mean? Well, lets just say that no other model has ever used ivory keys at such a low price.
They do not wobble. The keys do not latch onto other keys. They’re just better overall. They feel more authentic and less plastic. The Casio PX-3 manages to capture a realistic simulation of the acoustic piano without somehow sacrificing weight and portability.
The sound of the pianos aren’t different from the cheaper Casio PX-330 model. Why should you bother with the PX-3 then? Well, there are numerous advantages (like the ivory touch keys). The Casio PX-3 comes with 4 sampling layers, which allows the player to have more control over his/her music.
It has built-in sound editing functions so you can somewhat alter the piano
It has built-in sound editing functions so you can somewhat alter the piano sounds to your preference. This feature is generally only seen in more expensive models. To put it simply, the piano sound is “good” for its price but it also comes with a few editing features. That’s nice, but it may not sound that impressive to some.
Well, the truly impressive part of this piano comes from the sound quality of some of the other voices. If you’re looking for something more than just the piano, you will find amazing organs, strings, electric pianos, etc. which you can also edit. The Casio PX-3 does have a good piano, but it has a much more stunning library of other sounds.
Casio PX-3: Portability and Durability
There’s not much to say except that the Casio PX-3 manages to achieve all these cool features (like the ivory touch keys, impressive 250 sounds, etc.) while also making it portable (23.81 pounds).
Durability might have been an issue for some older Casio models. I’ve personally spoken with the marketing director of Casio, who said that they have fixed these problems.
Other Features of Casio PX-3
The Casio PX-3 shines when it comes to its versatility. This digital piano comes with 16 acoustic piano sounds (classical, jazz, etc.). If you don’t like the default grand piano, you can always change it to one of the other pianos.
This tends to happen a lot for any digital piano so I always suggest trying the other ones out. In this instance, you have 15 other choices!
I also mentioned that it has 250 sounds, which include the organs, chorus, electric piano to name a few. You basically have control of an entire array of instruments with just one digital piano. In other words, you can be your own band…if you wanted.
One problem is that it does not have built-in speakers. They were sacrificed for portability. Well, it’s not a problem for people that have headphones or external speakers (like me).
Actually, I prefer not to use the built-in speakers, but it can be a problem for some. At the same time though, a lot of stage instruments don’t have built-in speakers and this is a stage piano.
If your parents want a quiet house but you want to learn to play the piano, you and the teacher can always use separate headphones to listen to music.
As you can see from my personal review and other people’s reviews, the Casio PX-3 is a great choice. It’s an especially great choice for those at an intermediate level. Beautiful feel. Beautiful sound. Great features. It just has all the tools and features necessary to make a great digital piano.
5. Yamaha DGX-640 Review
The Yamaha DGX-640 is for:
- People who want a digital piano that plays like an acoustic piano but also wants a huge variety of other instrumental choices
- People who like to play the piano as a hobby
- Beginners to intermediate level players
- Good action, good quality
- Giving you the ability to play any instrument with over an incredible 530 voices
- Includes the amazing Yamaha Education Suite
- Ability to speed up or slow down any recorded performances
- Supports all three pedals, including the half-damper effect
- Similar quality to some cheaper models but with way more features
Yamaha DGX-640: Feel and Sound
The Yamaha DGX640 uses the GHS (Graded Hammer Standard) weighted-action keyboard. Like most people, you’re probably thinking, “What in the world is that?” The GHS technology simulates a real piano in that the lower notes feel slightly heavier than the higher notes.
A few people feel that the GHS is “too light”. However, most people, especially beginners, won’t notice a difference. The “feel” of the keys is perfectly acceptable for beginners.
In addition, Yamaha always does a superb job when it comes to sound. As a result, we can expect that this digital piano sounds great. It has a 3-layer piano sound.
This means that depending on how hard you hit a note, there can be up to 3 different variations of sound, which allows the player to have more expressiveness and nuances in his or her performance.
Overall, the feel and sound of this digital piano is great. The question arises though… How much better is it than the other cheaper models? It is similar to many other Yamaha models. However, where this model excels is in its features.
Ok. You Keep Talking About the Features. What about them?
- As I already said before, it has 535 voices. If you ever get tired of the piano (not possible), just switch to the violin, guitar, harp, or any of the 535 other voices. It will seriously change the mood and feeling. It will bring a whole new perspective onto your music.
- The DGX640 supports all 3 pedals. It allows you to bring other dynamics and subtleties into your performance. Beginners probably won’t use all 3 pedals, but if you plan on having this for a long time, it’s a good investment.
- You can layer and split sounds. Having the ability to layer sounds on top of each other is awesome.
- Finally, it also includes the Yamaha Education Suite (possibly the best feature of all). It’s essentially a built-in teacher.
This particular feature allows you to learn select songs step-by-step. You can do the exercises. You can get progress reports. Ultimately, it just teaches you how to become a better piano player.
That Sounds Amazing. Are there no Flaws?
That depends. It weighs about 45 pounds so it’s definitely not portable. You can see this as a negative or as a positive. Some people like to have a portable keyboard to take with them. Others like it when their keyboard is heavier. It might not feel as wobbly when they play. It just gives off the impression of being more stable.
However, the speakers may be a little underpowered. The volume might not go as high as some people would like, although I’m sure many people don’t feel the need to blast their pianos.
In the end, this piano is perfect for those that want a lot of voices other than just a piano so that they can express themselves in more ways than can be described.
Why Should You Get a Digital Piano?
Digital pianos outsell acoustic pianos by more than 2:1. That means that for every acoustic piano that is sold, more than 2 digital pianos are sold. This is not surprising since digital pianos are typically more convenient, cheaper, and lighter. They’ve come a long way, and their quality has improved so much that more people are starting to buy the best digital pianos.
- Many higher-end digital pianos actually sound very similar to the grand piano. They feel the same, and they sound the same. People with a budget will generally choose to buy a digital piano.
- Digital pianos are smaller and lighter. They don’t have all the strings, hammers, and other materials used in acoustic pianos. They aren’t these huge 7-feet gargantuan objects that act as furniture in your living room. Digital pianos are compact. You don’t need much space to use them, and they are much more portable.
- Digital pianos are convenient. They don’t need to be tuned. Digital pianos stay “in tune” forever while the acoustic pianos need to be tuned every 6 months or so (I won’t get into a debate on that).
You can see why digital piano is more convenient. In addition to its size, it doesn’t need as much “care”. Also, digital pianos allow you to use headphones to listen to music.
Whereas the acoustic piano will always be loud in volume, the digital piano allows you to zone out into your own piano-playing by using headphones. You won’t distract anybody else. Great!
It’s not hard to see some of the advantages of a digital piano. That’s why I present the most honest and accurate digital piano reviews. You will learn the pros and cons of each digital piano.
What to Look for in Best Digital Pianos
I emphasize the importance of the feel of the piano. I’m assuming that one of the reasons you want a digital piano is so for the piano. In that case, the feel of the keys is very important.
I will break down which keys feel closest to a grand piano. I’ll cover some of the complaints or praises others have said about each digital piano. I’ll explain if one feels heavier or lighter so that you can gain a better understanding.
I’ll also tell you if the keys just suck. They might not be uniformly aligned. They might feel too light. They might wobble. You’ll see them all.
Naturally, how the piano sounds are extremely important. One way of measuring accuracy is through the sampling layers. Having 4 sampling layers is generally better than having 1. Having 4 sampling layers simply means that there are 4 different ways the key will sound, depending on how you hit it.
This gives added expression into your music. Of course, there’s also the actual sound of the piano. Some might sound nothing like a piano while others will mimic the grand piano perfectly.
This is self-explanatory. You can skip this section if you don’t care about the portability of the digital piano. However, since this is one of the added advantages of getting the digital piano rather than the acoustic, I will talk about certain specs.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Where Can I Use the Casio PX-130?
It can be used almost anywhere. It’s light and portable. You can play it in your living room, take it to church, or play it in the garage with your band. It’s perfect for home studios as it’s very easy to connect to your computer. After connecting a USB cable, you can instantly use the keyboard with any of producing programs.
It is made of plastic though so you might want to get a case for it. It’s sort of a double-edged sword. The plastic is what makes it so light and portable. However, at the same time, it makes it a bit fragile.
What Type of Keys does my Digital Piano Need?
The type of keys your piano has can drastically change your experience. Clearly, a digital piano is not an acoustic piano. They strive to feel like an acoustic piano, but many times, they feel drastically different. Technology has progressed, though, to help simulate a real piano.
The Casio PX-130 uses a tri-sensor 88-note scaled hammer-action keyboard. Now some of you may be asking, “What in the world is that?” The number 88 stands for the number of keys that this digital piano has and as you may know, 88 is also the number of keys on an acoustic piano.
There are so many different features for each digital piano that I can’t cover them all now. You might see me mention the Yamaha Education Suite (Y.E.S), which is essentially an awesome build-in teacher. You’ll definitely see me mention the different sounds (aka instruments) in each digital piano.