Thinking of buying a digital piano? Well, there are a lot of digital pianos to choose from. We've boiled down everything you need to know about digital pianos to help you pick up the best one for your needs.
There are quite a few factors to bear in mind: length, size, number of keys, the number of different sounds, brand, portable or fixed and weight, all play a large part when choosing the right model for you. It could be that you don't need a digital piano, but may prefer an upright piano.
Top of our list is this affordable, portable model from Casio. It’s an ideal choice for budding pianists thanks to its low price and easy usability.
Despite the budget price, it is loaded with lots of excellent features. Perhaps the standout component of this product is the AiX sound source. It delivers ample power, as well as excellent sound quality.
Experimenting with this digital piano is easy too. It includes 600 tones and 195 rhythms, which is far more than other products in the same price range. The broad choice also allows you to have a lot of fun with the instrument, which can keep you motivated to practice if you are a beginner.
Another great feature for beginners, in our opinion, is the in-built learning system. There are more than 100 songs to choose from that you can use to improve your skills too.
The bright, easily visible display is another big plus that aids usability.
Why We Liked It -This Casio piano is perfect for beginners, due to its low price, user-friendly functions, and exceptional sound quality.
Portability - When considering a digital piano it's important to take portability into consideration. If you plan on performing anywhere with your digital piano, you'll want to make sure that it's lightweight enough to take from one venue to another. In which case, you'll also want to factor a high quality case and stand into your budget.
The next product on our list is another great choice for beginners. It’s made by a highly reliable brand – Alesis – that is well-known for producing top-quality, digital musical instruments for musicians of all levels.
As this product is targeted at newbie pianists, it comes with a very affordable price tag. It is also loaded with lots of quality features. First, it includes 61 keys that have been weighted so that they feel just like an acoustic piano. Next, it has 10 voices that all sound realistic, which allows you room to experiment.
Another feature that beginners will benefit from is the educational modes it includes. Not only does it include in-built lessons, but it also comes with a three-month membership to one of the best online learning resources, which is Skoove.
This digital piano can be powered by an electricity main or through 6D batteries, so you have the option to play it wherever you want.
If you're looking for a piano with excellent playability that sounds and feels like an acoustic piano, this digital piano is for you. If portability is a concern, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better sounding quality digital piano you can take with you on the go.
Pros: + Equipped with a new, intuitive sampling function, a power supply. and built-in microphone.
+ Comes with 400 AHL keyboard voices for more versatility.
+ Has a voice percussion function and 110 built-in songs, so that you can enhance your learning.
Why We Liked It - With so many features, such a little price tag the Casio CTK2400 61- Key Portable Keyboard is almost impossible to pass up.
MIDI Mapping - If you're interested in music production, it's worth seeing whether or not your digital piano has an embedded MIDI output. This way, you can use your keyboard as a controller within your DAW. It's also helpful if your digital piano has an aux output so that you can easily export any embedded sounds you like.
4. Yamaha P71 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano
The Yamaha P71 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano produces a realistic sound like no other. This full-size weighted-action key digital piano offers great quality sound and loads of features which we've highlighted for you below.
Pros: + Fully-weighted 88 key digital piano for a realistic sound and feel.
+ Good for beginners.
+ Dual mode which has the ability to combine two voices together.
Why We Liked It - The P71 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano by Yamaha is a versatile product available to you at a low price.
5. Yamaha P115B 88-Key Graded Hammer Standard Digital Piano
This is an excellent choice if you're just starting out. The RockJam 61-Key Electronic Keyboard SuperKit is easy to play and is a great option for beginner piano players looking to get their feet wet.
Pros: + Comes equipped with 61 full-size keys.
+ The size of this digital keyboard is pretty compact making it a very portable digital piano.
+ 100 keyboard sounds, 100 rhythms, and 50 demo songs will help along your learning experience.
+ LCD screen.
Why We Liked It - With the ease of the playability and the amazing learning experience it offers, the RockJam 61-Key Electronic Keyboard SuperKit is a must have for beginners. It's also easy on your bank balance, making it a real winner for us.
Korg is known for producing some of the very best digital pianos you will ever come across. The company has a history of manufacturing great pianos and with the Korg B1SP 88 Weighted-Key Digital Piano it continues to live up to its expectations.
Pros: + 88 keys with weighted hammer action for a realistic feel.
+ The sound is close to an acoustic piano thanks to the MFB (Motional Feedback) servo technology.
+ It comes with three pedals as well as damper, sostenuto and soft.
Why We Liked It - The Korg B1SP 88 Weighted-Key Digital Piano has no equal and this is why it's preferred by musicians the world over.
8. Casio Privia PX-160 Digital Piano Bundle with CS67 Stand
The Casio Privia PX-160 Digital Piano Bundle with CS67 Stand is a digital piano that will satisfy all your playing needs regardless of your skill level. It's an all-around great instrument made by one of the best in the business.
Pros: + Not just a digital piano but a complete bundle to satisfy your playing needs.
+ Elegant look with an improved quality of sound given by its redesigned speaker system.
Why We Liked It - Whether you're a beginner, intermediate or even at the professional level, the Casio Privia PX-160 Digital Piano Bundle with CS67 Stand has everything you could ever want in a digital piano.
The Alesis Melody 61 Beginner Bundle 61-Key Portable Keyboard is easy to play, compact, has a great sound, and is perfect for beginners.
Pros: + Has 61 keys that are compact and lightweight, which makes it an ideal beginner digital piano.
+ This digital piano also comes with 200 built-in sounds for more versatility.
+ Has a microphone so you can play and sing at the same time.
Why We Liked It - Although you won't get storing space with this digital piano, the features and the easy to play nature of the Alesis Melody 61 Beginner Bundle 61-Key Portable Keyboard will definitely put a smile on your face.
Digital Piano Buyers' Guide
There was a time when the only form of a piano was an acoustic piano. Acoustic pianos are large and it's difficult to easily keep such a big instrument in a house.
There was a need for a piano that was both portable and didn't take up loads of space. This led to the invention of the digital piano, a compact instrument that solved these problems for the consumer and also came with additional features that aren't available with traditional pianos.
It's hard to say whether one is better than the other; it's a matter of personal preference and the application. Some people might like the acoustic piano over a digital one because they are used to playing in big auditoriums and aren't concerned with portability. On the other hand, you'll also find people who will opt for a digital piano over an acoustic one because of their features and the portability.
There are some very important things that you should consider before purchasing a digital piano which we've outlined below.
Sound Quality of the Digital Piano
The job of a digital piano is to emit sounds as close as possible to that of an acoustic piano. Therefore, it's important for a digital piano to reproduce a realistic acoustic piano sound. A key factor to look for is digital memory. The greater the digital memory of the piano, the more realistic the sound it will produce. Some of the very best models are equipped with a larger digital memory and offer better quality sound.
Another factor that has an impact on the sound of a digital piano is the quality of its built-in speakers and amplifiers. The better the quality of the speakers and amplifiers, the better the sound quality of the digital piano.
Polyphony refers to the capability of the piano to produce a number of individual tones or notes at once. The minimum you should be looking at is a 32-note polyphony. If you're a beginner you should go with the 32-note polyphony to keep it as simple. The 32-note polyphony is easy to learn. There is a 62-note polyphony that comes in with digital pianos as well, which is for producing complex sounds and better for intermediate players. There are some extremely high-quality pianos available with the capability of delivering up to 124-note polyphony or even 264-note polyphony. These are pro pianos.
Tools for Learning
Most digital pianos come with lessons that are helpful for beginners. A digital piano that comes equipped with a built-in metronome will help you to stay in rhythm. Some are also equipped with displays that show which key is being played so you always press the right key. A digital piano with all these learning tools is considered to be a pretty good one for a beginner.
Another important factor is your budget. Digital pianos have different features and specs, which will be reflected in the price. A digital piano can cost you as little as under $500 and may go up to thousands of dollars. Figure out what you want from your digital piano then set a price limit. Beginners should go for basic models that will help them to learn how to play rather than buying a digital piano with loads of features that will take them a long time to master and cost more money.
We have already discussed earlier that one of the main reasons that the digital pianos were invented was because of the issue of portability. If you do a lot of traveling, you should opt for a lighter, compact model. If travel isn't a concern, you can invest in a larger digital piano with more features.
The Casio Privia PX160BK is another great digital piano by Casio. This piano comes with 88 keys which is a must for a digital piano in order to replicate the acoustic piano. It comes with a technology known as PX-160, which enables it to generate multi-dimensional air sound quite easily. It also has a lot of other features. To top all this off, this piano also comes in with a three-year warranty.
One of the greatest digital pianos ever produced is the Yamaha YDP143R Arius Series Console Digital Piano. The sound quality of this piano is amazing. It comes with a pure CF sound engine for reproducing authentic acoustic piano sound.
Its GHS weighted-action keys are lighter in the low keys and heavier in the high ones, for an authentic acoustic piano feel. It also comes equipped with a 2-track song recorder so that you can practice and record at the same time.
Although a bit more expensive, when you look at all the features and specs it has, it's a worthwhile investment.
If you are a beginner you won't find a better digital piano than this one. The Casio CTK2400 61- Key Portable Keyboard has everything you need as a beginner. It has a step-up learning system to help you learn to play. It also has 400 AHL Keyboard voices to give you versatility in addition to a voice percussion system. The Casio CTK2400 61- Key Portable Keyboard is perfect for beginners and is available at an unbelievably low price.
What is Digital Piano?
A digital piano is an electronic musical instrument that replicates the sound of a traditional acoustic piano. It was developed out of the need for more portable, compact, and less expensive options to the acoustic piano and offers beginner piano players an affordable option to learn the instrument. Many also come with a variety of features to enhance the playing experience.
How to Choose a Digital Piano?
There are some key considerations that should be kept in mind before you step into purchasing a digital piano for yourself or even for your child. We've outlined the things to bear in mind for you below.
Whenever you are going for any product in the world you have a certain budget in your mind and the same goes for the digital pianos as well. You first need to decide on a budget then select the best possible option available in that particular budget. If you're a beginner who's purchasing a digital keyboard for the very first time, go for a less expensive model.
Digital pianos are available in different price ranges starting from as low as under $200 and going up to thousands of dollars. Do your research to figure out what digital piano offers you the best value for money based on your needs.
The Sound Quality
As we already have discussed earlier that the primary objective of a digital piano is to reproduce sound as realistic as that of an acoustic piano.
The sound quality of the acoustic piano comes from its components. Digital pianos' sound quality comes from the samples used to create sounds which are dependent upon the digital memory of the piano. The more digital memory, the better the sound quality. Look closely into digital memory size before taking the plunge and buying a digital piano.
Number of Keys
When you look at acoustic pianos you will find that they have 88 keys. This is not the case with the digital pianos. Unless you're a digital artist or DJ, the best choice for you is a piano with 88 keys. If you're a DJ and are looking for turntables (click here for our full guide). If you're a beginner you should go for digital pianos that have 88 keys for a complete learning experience.
Keyboard Action and Touch Response
It is not only important for a digital piano to sound like an acoustic piano, but also feel like the real thing. This is down to the type of keyboard action on your digital piano.
Keyboard action types on digital pianos include semi-weighted, fully-weighted, and hammer action. The semi-weighted and the fully-weighted are good at imitating the feel of the real acoustic piano but the hammer action is the closest you'll get to the feel of an acoustic piano. Thoroughly consider what type of keyboard action comes with the digital piano that you are going to purchase.
Touch response is another key factor. The better touch response your digital piano has, the closer it's going to feel like the real thing.
Number of Sound and Tones
Most digital pianos come equipped with hundreds of sounds and tones from different instruments. For a beginner, it's important to stick to the basic sounds while you're learning. The hundreds of sounds that your digital piano is equipped with might be of no use at all for you. On the other hand, intermediate players and pros might prefer a wide variety of sounds and tones to play around with.
Most modern-day digital pianos are equipped with built-in speakers and amplifiers and they are an absolute must for digital pianos. If you're playing at home, you want your digital piano to produce sound without having to connect it to external speakers or amplifiers.
Now if you look at a wider application for digital pianos or keyboards, you'll realize these built-in speakers and amplifiers aren't sufficient for live performances, so you'd want a digital piano with output options so you can connect external loudspeakers and amplifiers to it.
What is Touch Response?
Touch response relates to the keys of the piano. As we all know by now, digital pianos are electronic instruments and don't work the same way as a traditional acoustic piano. The keys of most digital pianos are velocity-sensitive keys and they can determine the sound by the force with which they are pressed. This is known to be the touch response of a digital piano.
The Best Digital Piano for Beginners
When you have so much to choose from, picking the right digital piano for you can be a challenge. As a beginner, you want to keep things simple because it will take you time to learn the instrument and improve your playing level. Don't buy an expensive model when you're starting off. You can always upgrade down the line as your skills improve.
Some of the best digital piano brands for beginners include:
We hope this guide has simplified digital pianos for you and will help you choose the best one for your needs.
Bundle Benefits - Keyboard bundles are perfect for getting your setup up and running without too much downtime. However, if you're looking for a compact digital keyboard or primarily a keyboard to use as a MIDI controller, a stand or added lesson book may be less relevant to your needs.
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