Learning piano can be a challenging yet extremely rewarding experience in life. Regardless of whether you are a beginner just getting started or an advanced player looking for a portable digital piano, we want to make sure you find the best keyboard piano. There are a lot of best digital pianos and keyboard pianos on the market so we want to make sure that you have an easier time finding the best piano for your home or studio. Below we’ve listed the best digital piano keyboards along with what the pros and cons are for each one.
Some of the key topics we’ll cover are:
- What Is the Best Keyboard Piano for Beginners?
- What to Look for in the Best Keyboard Pianos and Best Digital Pianos?
- Best Digital Pianos for Under $500
We’ll also answer some common questions:
Overall Best Digital Piano
The keys on this Yamaha feel great and the sound is stage-quality and makes a great digital piano.
• 88 Natural Wood keys
• Seamless sound switching
• Included sustain pedal
Best Keyboard Piano for Beginners
The Yamaha YPT-260 is an amazing beginner keyboard that is perfect for anyone just getting started.
• 61 keys
• Less than $150
• Over 400 voices
Best Weighted Piano Keyboard
The Yamaha P71 is an Amazon exclusive that accurately replicates the sound of an acoustic piano.
• 88 weighted keys
• 10 voices
• Included sustain pedal
Overall Best Digital Piano for Gigs
This 88 key digital piano is affordable and extremely portable which makes it a great gig piano.
• Over 700 voices
• Bluetooth and USB connectivity
Best Keyboard for Recording
The Yamaha DGX-660 is a great workstation digital piano for recording studios.
• 6-track sequencer
• Pure CF sound engine
• 150 voices and 16 drum kits
What to Look for in the Best Keyboard Pianos and Best Digital Pianos
The key to finding the ideal piano keyboard is by identifying and understanding the different features that these instruments have. Hence, you should take time to learn some of the features that should be present in piano keyboards and make sure that you evaluate these digital pianos on these features.
Number of keys
Different models of piano keyboards have a different number of keys. Sometimes, the number of keys would depend on the level of the piano player. Beginners usually start off with piano keyboards with a lesser number of keys. More professional piano players should choose piano keyboards with more octaves and the standard number of keys is 88. Many beginner pianos will have 61 keys.
The response of the keys
Another feature that you should look into is the response of the keys, specifically the keybed. Such responses offer a different feel to the player. Weighted and semi-weighted keys have a response that is similar to an acoustic piano. Hammer keys, on the other hand, enhance the response. A synth set of keys feels like an organ.
These are just some of the features that should be noted when looking for the best piano keyboards. It is worth noting that awareness of the vital features will make your job of choosing the most appropriate instrument easier.
What Keyboard Accessories Should You Get?
Some of the keyboards on this list come with everything you need to start playing, but some don’t come with all of the accessories that you need and there are always some cool accessories you can add on later.
If you plan to sit for hours in front of your keyboard jamming out, a piano bench is a must. There are many options and most are adjustable, but be sure to find one that fits you well and feels comfortable to you.
Standard pianos have three pedals: the soft pedal (to make the piano quieter), the sostenuto pedal (to sustain certain notes), and the sustaining pedal (to make the notes linger). While most piano keyboards don’t come with pedals, you can buy pedals that plug into the back of the keyboard to add these effects. The most common add-on pedal is the sustain pedal since keyboards already have the ability to change the volume to mimic the soft pedal.
Most of the keyboards on this list come with a stand on which to place your keyboard, but if not, you will need to get one. Keyboard stands are adjustable so you will be able to change the height to a comfortable level.
Beginner keyboards usually come with music stands to prop your music up with, but many advanced keyboards require you to have your own. You can do a simple Amazon search to find some great ones.
If you plan to play your piano keyboard in low light, a piano lamp is a must.
Tips for Learning Piano
If you’re trying to learn piano, we recommend looking into these additional tools as well.
Piano Books for Beginners
A great piano book, paired with a great piano teacher, will help any student quickly start playing piano. See our recommended guide to great beginner piano books.
Piano stickers will help any student start learning the notes on the piano. They clearly indicate the notes on the various keyboard keys. See our favorite piano stickers.
Best Keyboard Pianos and Best Digital Pianos
Yamaha CP88 – Best Digital Piano Keyboard
This piano is great for home, studio, and stage. An all-around great digital keyboard, the Yamaha CP88 comes with a full 88 keys, and can great sounds ranging from a grand piano to an electric piano. The CP88 weighs just 41 pounds so it can be carried from home to stage and back. The weighted keys feel great while playing and allow you to be very expressive, just like on a full grand piano.
Yamaha P71 – Best Weighted Keyboard
The Yamaha P71 Weighted Action Digital Piano consists of 88 fully weighted piano-style keys that stimulate the feel of an acoustic piano, providing users with a quality playing experience. It contains ten different voices including digitally sampled tones from real Yamaha acoustic grand pianos.
Its dual mode lets users combine two voices together, like strings and piano, for an inspiring new playing experience. Its slim and stylish design with a depth of fewer than 12 inches. The package includes a power adapter and a sustain pedal.
Yamaha YDP184R – Best for Home
The Yamaha YDP184R is a great at-home piano and has the look and feel of an elegant upright piano. The virtual resonance modeling gives this piano the sound of concert grand piano and the three pedals make it feel like one, too. This digital piano comes with a padded bench, power supply, and sheet music. A great piano if you have the room at home and ok with a more permanent digital keyboard.
Roland RD -200 Premium 88-key Stage Piano
The Roland Premium digital keyboard is a great recording piano and one of our favorite on our list. It comes with two independent sound engines, including a SuperNATURAL-based sound engine with 128-voice polyphony, and modern controller features that give you full control over the sound. The knobs and sliders feature LEDs that make it very easy to adjust the sound while on stage. This piano can sound like anything from a full grand piano to an orchestra and everything in between. The keys are a hybrid wood and molded construction that feel amazing and are very durable.
This is a great piano keyboard for professionals looking to perform live on stage or record. The zero-latency processor and two sound engines make this keyboard extremely responsive. However, the price point means this isn’t likely to be a common piano keyboard in anyone’s living room.
Casio Privia PX-S3000 Digital Piano
The slimmest digital piano on this list, the Casio Privia also packs a very expressive sound. It comes with over 700 voices and 200 smart styles to accompany your playing. Depsite having a slimline design, the PX-S3000 has advanced hammer action keys that make it simulate the feel of real piano keys.
Yamaha DGX-660 – Best Recording Keyboard
The Yamaha DGX-660 is a great workstation digital piano for recording studios. It comes with a 6-track sequencer that can get you started with music production and arrangement. It has a very nice Pure CF sound engine that gives it an iconic sound. It comes with over 150 voices and 16 drum kits which gives you a lot of variety for recording.
Best Piano Keyboards for Beginners
Learning piano is one of those life-long skills that you will never regret picking up. You’ll be able to literally go anywhere with a piano, sit down, and start impressing people with your skills. However, you will need to learn to play the piano first which means you’ll need a great piano. We recommend starting with a piano keyboard since they are much more affordable than upright or grand pianos. Whether you are looking for a beginner keyboard for yourself or your child, we wanted to share with you the best piano keyboards for beginners.
Yamaha YPT-260: Best Beginner Keyboard
The Yamaha YPT 260 is the best beginner keyboard and is designed to get you up and playing quickly. It has 61 keys with 32 max polyphony notes. Via a dedicated app, you can get interactive lessons and tutorials. It has USB connectivity so you can connect to compatible devices and jam with the built-in speakers. You can even split the keyboard to teach side-by-side lessons.
In addition to the great teaching capabilities, the YPT-260 comes with 384 voices including orchestra, grand piano, and organ, and over 100 rhythms. For more, check out our full YPT-260 review.
Donner DEP-10 – Great Full-Size Keyboard for Beginners
A great option for beginner piano players since it is affordable (<$200) and comes with many features that help beginners. The half-weighted keys are more sensitive than standard full-weighted keys which are easier to play for beginners. Beginners can use the built-in metronome to keep time and a recording mode so you can playback your initial recordings to know how to improve. It even comes with a sustain pedal.
Alesis Recital | 88 Key Beginner Digital Piano
The Alesis Recital Beginner Digital Piano consists of 88 full-sized and semi-weighted keys with built-in speakers and a 128-note maximum note polyphony. This piano keyboard features five realistic built-in voices: acoustic piano, electric piano, organ, bass, and synth.
Users have the ability to customize the voices by combining any two at once in Layer Mode for a fuller and more vibrant tone. Additionally, this keyboard could be connected to the computer using its USB-MIDI output for use with educational software or virtual instrument plugins.
Yamaha PSR-EW300 Portable Grand Piano
The Yamaha PSR-EW300 Portable Grand Piano consists of 76 piano-style keys with Graded Soft Touch (GST) action. It comprises of a backlit LCD, panel lights, a pitch bend wheel, and a six-track sequencer that would allow users to record their own music. It features the Yamaha Education Suite (Y.E.S.) allows you to practice using the preset songs and the Touch Tutor lesson mode tracks the velocity or strength the keys are played at in order to teach dynamics.
The Yamaha EZ-220 Lighted Key Portable Keyboard consists of 61 touch-sensitive and lighted keys, giving beginners the ideal instrument to learn the instrument easily. It is equipped with a total of 392 high-quality instrument voices and 100 accompaniment styles, offering users a chance to play outside of the box. It comes in a premium bundle which also consists of closed-back stereo headphones, a power supply, and a keyboard stand.
Casio SA76 Keyboard – Best Piano Keyboard for Children
The Casio SA76 Keyboard is a small piano keyboard with 44 mini-sized keys and five percussion pads, making it an ideal instrument for beginners or young students. It contains 100 sounds and 50 rhythm patterns, providing users with the convenience of choosing the appropriate sound they want to produce. This piano keyboard has a simple tone selection with piano and organ tone button and melody on/off lesson function. Additionally, it is equipped with an easy-to-read LCD display.
Alesis Melody Beginner Bundle Portable Keyboard
The Alesis Melody Beginner Bundle Portable Keyboard is composed of 61 compact and light-weighted keys and built-in speakers. It also consists of 200 built-in sounds with layer and split modes. Additionally, it has 128 accompaniment rhythms, giving you the option to choose the appropriate mode for your music.
This beginner keyboard comes in a bundle that includes a set of headphones for private practice, a stand that is easy to assemble, an adjustable bench, and a microphone.
Roland is one of our favorite digital piano brands and their GO:PIANO model is a great beginner keyboard that comes with premium sound for an affordable price. This 61-note keyboard features full-sized keys and 128-voice polyphony that plays Roland’s acclaimed piano sounds. It includes Bluetooth and MIDI audio to connect with your smartphone or tablet.
The package includes an educational bundle with the Faber Piano Adventures Lesson Book so you can get up and playing quickly.
Casio Inc. CTK2400 PPK Premium Portable Keyboard
The Casio Inc. CTK2400 PPK Premium Portable Keyboard consists of 61 keys and 400 AHL keyboard voices. It is equipped with a voice percussion function wherein samples are integrated into the rhythm. Additionally, it consists of improves sampling effects wherein its sampling function has a maximum sampling time of two seconds (in the long sampling mode), one second (in the long sampling mode), or five seconds (in the short sampling mode). Users have the option to choose from six various styles depending on their desire.
RockJam Electronic Keyboard
The RockJam Electronic Keyboard is a compact digital keyboard with 61 full-size keys, an LCD screen, a record and playback functionality, 100 keyboard sounds, 100 rhythms, and 50 demo songs. The keyboard comes with sturdy and adjustable sound, making it easy to move it throughout the home or studio. Additionally, it comes with a thick padded and adjustable stool, a set of headphones, and thirty free songs on the Piano Maestro app.
GreenPro Portable Electronic Piano Keyboard
The GreenPro Portable Electronic Piano Keyboard is an electronic keyboard with 61 full-sized keys and a LED display screen with lots of sounds and features. It features three teaching modes, 60 demo songs, 300 rhythms, 300 timbres, and full record and playback options. It could connect to a microphone, a headphone, and a power line.
This beginner piano comes in a set that includes an adjustable stand which is made of heavy-duty steel construction and a music note rest.
Best Digital Pianos for Under $500
Jump starting a music career while on a budget could be difficult, especially since you need to look for a product that screams quality while being affordable. Of course, you don’t just grab the first piano that you see on the market just because it is within your budget. You have to make sure that it has everything you are looking for from a digital piano. In this article, we summarize the best digital pianos for less than $500 so that you can be sure you’re buying a quality piano without breaking the bank.
Best Keyboard for Less than $500
Yamaha YPT-260 – $129.99
The Yamaha YPT-260 is an affordable and amazing keyboard that is perfect for anyone just getting started.
• 61 keys
• Less than $150
• Over 400 voices
|1. Yamaha YPT260 Digital Piano||$129.99|
|2. Yamaha P71 Weighted Keyboard||$479.99|
|3. Donner DEP-20 Digital Piano||$378.99|
|4. Alesis Recital Pro||$389.00|
|5. Casio CTK-2550 Portable Keyboard||Price not available|
|6. Roland GO:PIANO Digital Piano (GO-88P)||$359.99|
|7. Alesis Recital Digital Piano Keyboard||$229.99|
1. Yamaha YPT 260 Piano Keyboard
The Yamaha YPT 260 is our favorite beginner keyboard. It makes it very easy to start playing and the price is amazing. It has 61 keys with 32 max polyphony notes. The keyboard comes with interactive tutorials and lessons. The USB connectivity lets you connect to compatible devices and jam with the built-in speakers. The keyboard can also be split so that students and teachers can sit side-by-side for lessons.
In addition to the great teaching capabilities, the YPT-260 comes with 384 voices including orchestra, grand piano, and organ, and over 100 rhythms.
2. Yamaha P71 Weighted Keyboard
The Yamaha P71 comes with 88 fully weighted keys that feel like genuine piano keys. It’s offered at a great price of $479.99 which is amazing for a fully weighted keyboard.
The keyboard comes with 10 different voices, including sampled tones from real Yamaha acoustic grand pianos so you can get the sound of the real deal from this keyboard. The dual-mode allows you to play with two voices at once so you can simulate for example playing piano and strings. It comes with a sustain pedal and power cord for playing.
3. Donner DEP-20 Digital Piano
The Donner DEP-20 Digital Piano consists of 88 full-sized hammer-action keys with adjustable touch response. It allows you to adjust the finger strengths and suit your desired playing style. This is loaded with 324 types of tone, vividly presenting the voices of different instruments. With 128-note max polyphony, you can easily and clearly distinguish tones in chorus and reverb under multiple occasions.
4. Alesis Recital Pro
The Alesis Recital Pro has a lot to offer for the price. The hammer action keys come with adjustable touch responses and are of great quality for the price. The keyboard has 128 note polyphony and 12 onboard voices including pianos, electric pianos, strings, and organs. The 20W speakers stand out amount its rivals.
The keyboard comes with a built-in metronome and recording feature that lets you record and playback your progress. Alesis is known for making great MIDI controllers, so the Recital Pro will work well with your DAW or VST.
5. Casio CTK-2550 Portable Keyboard
The next product on this list is the Casio CTK-2550 Portable Keyboard. This product comprises 61 keys that you can play with. It also consists of a dance music mode where you can play 50 built-in dance music rhythms. It also includes 48-note polyphony, 400 tones, and 100 rhythms. With its features, you can easily practice playing.
6. Roland GO:PIANO Digital Piano (GO-88P)
The Roland GO:PIANO Digital Piano (GO-88P) offers premium piano performance in a compact and affordable instrument. It consists of 88 full-size keys with standard pacing. It also consists of 128-voice polyphony. Lightweight and portable, you can play and store this piano anywhere.
7. Alesis Recital Digital Piano Keyboard
Completing our list is the Alesis Recital Digital Piano Keyboard. This product features 88 premium full-sized semi-weighted keys with an adjustable touch response that would suit your preferred playing style. It features five voices and built-in FX, giving you the opportunity to change your musical style. Thanks to its power adapter, you can play the keyboard anywhere.
How Much Does a Piano Keyboard Cost?
There are several costs that you should consider when buying a piano keyboard. A piano keyboard is in total a much cheaper alternative to an upright or grand piano.
Cost to Purchase Digital Piano
Piano keyboards typically cost between $100 and a few thousand dollars which makes them great alternatives to upright pianos or grand pianos. Well-known brands such as Yamaha and Roland, which make high-quality piano keyboards, will typically sell their keyboards for at least $500 with prices often ranging from $1,000 to $3,000. This is the range of most of the keyboards on this page.
Money Saved When Moving
You’ll also save a ton of money by not having to pay a moving company to move your piano keyboard. Moving a piano can be tough work. Upright pianos along can weigh 200-1000 lbs while professional grand pianos are guaranteed to weigh at least 700 lbs. That said, it probably makes sense to hire professional movers so that you don’t break your back trying. Estimates vary by location, but in general, moving an upright piano can range from about $200-300 and moving a baby grand piano can by $250-400 according to Thumbtack. Piano keyboards are very portable and don’t require a piano dolly to transport them. You can easily fold up a piano keyboard, pack it in your car, and drive to your next gig.
Cost of Piano Tuning
Tuning a piano can be a very time-consuming process. Not only do you need specialized tools, but pianos can sometimes have over 200 strings that need to be tuned. While it’s certainly possible to tune your own piano, we recommend hiring a professional. They have the tools already, they will be a lot more efficient at it, and you can do better things with your time! Piano tuners usually cost between $100-$200 depending on your area according to Thumbtack. A professional piano tuner can tune your piano in 1-1.5 hours. Digital pianos are always in tune so you never have to hire a piano tuner!
How Much Does an Upright Piano Cost?
Upright pianos cost anywhere between $50 and $30,000 or more, depending on where you buy it, what condition it’s in, and what level of quality you are looking for. This is why digital pianos and piano keyboards make great, affordable options that don’t take up as much room.
You can easily find used upright pianos for sale on Craigslist and other sites for $100 dollars or less, but you won’t really know what condition they are in until you see them in person. Be prepared to do a lot of digging on these sites if you are looking for a particular brand, because the used instrument market is unpredictable with no guarantee that you will find what you are looking for when you need it. On rare occasions, you can find really good one-time deals. Go this route if you are a casual shopper, amateur pianist, or if you are on a strict budget.
If you prefer to purchase an upright piano directly from a well-known brand name like Yamaha or Steinway & Sons, be prepared to pay more than when buying a piano second-hand. Average prices range from $3000 to $30,000 for new, brand-name upright pianos. This might be the range to look for if you are a passionate pianist and have a larger budget to spend.
The most expensive upright pianos cost tens of thousands of dollars, so you only need to spend this much if you are a professional pianist or have a large budget. If you want to find a brand-name upright piano without paying the full sticker price, keep your eyes peeled online for used upright pianos from reputable sellers. You will probably not find these at a regular garage sale, so scour the internet as often as you can and eventually, you will find the perfect match. Make sure you check in with your local music store to see if they have any upright pianos in stock.
How Much Does a Grand Piano Cost?
Grand pianos come in a range of sizes and weights, abilities and sounds, so their prices vary accordingly. Of course, the manufacturer also has costs for producing these instruments, so that can also make a difference in the price you pay.
Concert Grand Pianos
The concert grand piano is the largest of the grand piano range and has an estimated size range between 7 to 10 feet. Due to the volume of the concert grand piano, it is highly sought after by philharmonic groups and professional musicians. And, as the name suggests, it is better suited to large concert halls or similar environments. The estimated cost of a concert grand piano ranges between $120,000 to $200,000.
Baby Grand Piano
The baby grand piano came into being because concert and parlor grand pianos took up far too much room to be housed in a domestic dwelling and so in the 19th century, Hugo Sohmer downsized the grand to 5-6 feet so others could enjoy the sounds and entertainment in their own homes. Baby grand pianos have a starting price of $34,000 and go all the way up to $150,000.
Parlor Grand Piano
Parlor grand pianos are the most common of the grand range and are simply referred to as “grand(s)”. They are in the middle size range between a baby grand piano and a concert grand piano, averaging between 6 to 7 feet. What makes the parlor more popular than the concert grand is an easier ability to command and play the instrument. The cost of a parlor grand piano typically starts around $39,000 and goes up to $142,000.
These prices are estimated price ranges but the prices vary according to the actual size and the price margin set by the manufacturer. If a new grand is too expensive, considering consulting the manufacturer for pre-owned pieces.
What Are the Best Digital Piano and Keyboard Brands Available?
Yamaha is our favorite digital piano and keyboard brand for beginners as well as professional piano players. They are a well-known musical instrument maker (among other things) and their keyboards are no exception.
Yamaha can be considered an industry leader in piano keyboards and digital pianos as they offer a wide range of acoustic and digital pianos from absolute beginner keyboards to concert grand pianos.
Roland is our next favorite digital piano and piano keyboard brand. They mostly make higher-end keyboards which is why we don’t feature them on this list.
Roland keyboards are some of the most-loved keyboards and have made some of the most popular keyboards around including the Roland Juno, Fantom, and RD range.
Casio is a widely regarded manufacturer of beginner and intermediate keyboards. While they do make some higher-end keyboards as well, they are masters of the entry-level digital pianos.
How Much Should You Spend on Your First Keyboard / Piano?
This is a very subjective question that depends a lot on your budget and dedication to playing the piano. If you’re not sure whether you or your student will stick with playing keyboard for a long time, then we recommend spending between $100 and $500 for a beginner keyboard. If you have a little bit more money, you could opt for a beginner digital piano which takes up more space and is less portable but has more features and better sound quality. A beginner digital piano will cost between $300 to $900.
Once you’ve decided that piano is the right long-term choice, you could upgrade to an upright or baby grand piano.
What’s the difference between a keyboard and a digital piano?
Understanding the difference between a keyboard and a digital piano can be hard for beginners. In general, a digital piano has 88 keys (a full keyboard) and the keys are generally fully weighted to feel like a real piano while a piano keyboard can have anywhere from 25 to 88 keys, with most beginner keyboards having 61 keys. Piano keyboards tend to be used by beginners while digital pianos tend to be used by intermediate to advanced piano players.
Additionally, keyboards tend to have a lot of sounds and voices compared to a digital piano. These can be fun for beginners to play with or for recording sessions and/or gigs. On the other hand, digital pianos try to focus purely on replicating the sound of a real piano.
Since keyboards generally have fewer keys, they tend to be more portable than digital pianos so if you plan to move your piano around a lot, we recommended getting a keyboard.
What Other Types of Piano Keyboards are There?
Besides just digital pianos vs keyboards, there are several other types of piano keyboards.
Digital Workstation: Musicians who prefer compositions and recording will want a digital workstation keyboard. These keyboards provide advanced control over the notes so musicians can meticulously change or manipulate each note.
Synthesizer: Favored by recording artists and on-stage musicians, synthesizers allow you to create artificial and digital sounds. Synthesizers can make exotic sounds that standard keyboards cannot produce, using analog or digital signal processing. The voices on beginner keyboards try to replicate some of what synthesizers provide.
Organ: Famed for being used in churches, the organ is another type of piano keyboard that tends to be much more sophisticated. Traditional organs produce music through metal pipes, but now digital organs can replicate the sounds as well without the aid of pipes.
We hope that this list will help you find a digital piano that will work for your situation. All of the piano keyboards on this list are great options, but you should evaluate all of the keyboards to see which ones will work for your budget, space, and use case.