10 Best Digital Pianos | March 2017

We spent 33 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Today's electric pianos and keyboards offer an incredibly authentic digital sound in a package small enough for the tiniest apartment or dorm room, so you can practice anytime. They also come with a host of features, including lessons, recording capabilities, Bluetooth compatibility and headphone sockets, so you won't disturb your neighbors. Skip to the best digital piano on Amazon.
10 Best Digital Pianos | March 2017


Overall Rank: 5
Best Mid-Range
★★★
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
★★★★★
Overall Rank: 9
Best Inexpensive
★★★
10
The KORG SP-280 is a great value set that includes a stand, headphones, and a sustain pedal. Its keyboard faithfully reproduces the tactile feel of a real piano, but the treble volume sounds capped. Overall, its a good piano for beginners, but not for advanced players.
9
The Yamaha YPG-535 comes with well-built integrated stand and is available in either an 88 or 76 key model. In addition, there are built-in interactive lessons that provide a definable tempo, so you can learn at your own pace.
8
The Casio PX-860 Privia has adjustable touch response with three sensitivity levels so you can customize it to your personal playing style. It features a Multi-Dimensional Morphing AiR Sound Source that provides a concert like sound in any room.
7
The Korg B1 has a built-in stereo sound system with MFB Servo technology that outperforms many higher priced digital pianos. Its Partner mode, which splits the keyboard into two 44 key pianos, is perfect for lessons, making it a great beginners' model.
  • onboard reverb and chorus effects
  • clean and simple design
  • stand must be purchased separately
Brand Korg
Model B1-BK
Weight 32 pounds
6
The popular Casio Privia PX-160 boasts an elegant look at a great price. It has an incredible feel, thanks to simulated ebony and ivory textured keys, and includes a padded bench to ensure you have a comfortable place to sit that fits the keyboard height.
  • tri-sensor for speed and accuracy
  • two headphone outputs on the front
  • speaker sound quality is just so-so
Brand Casio
Model PX160BK
Weight 90 pounds
5
The Kawai KDP90 sets a high standard, with all 88 keys individually sampled from a full-size grand piano. It features a dual mode, where two sounds can be played at the same time, and a four hands mode that splits the keyboard into two identical 44 note pianos.
  • wooden-key actions
  • interactive rhythm training feature
  • sliding key cover
Brand Kawai
Model KDP90
Weight 112 pounds
4
The Yamaha YDP-181 Arius is ideal for beginning and experienced players alike, with a graded hammer keyboard that provides a true piano sound and feel. It also has a USB device port for storing songs recorded on the instrument.
  • damper pedal gives you great control
  • built-in 16 cm stereo speakers
  • pre-loaded with a variety of songs
Brand Yamaha
Model ARIUS YDP-181
Weight 160 pounds
3
The state-of-the-art Roland RD-300NX is loaded with features to get you noticed. It boasts an advanced SuperNatural Piano sound engine and sound focus technology that makes sure even your quiet parts are heard in the mix. Plus, you can edit your tone and layers visually.
  • ivory feeling keyboard
  • onboard rhythm patterns
  • rich and accurate sound
Brand Roland
Model RD-300NX
Weight 50.4 pounds
2
The Kawai ES100 is the ideal model for those who want a true piano sound but cannot afford to spend over $1,000. It features harmonic imaging sound technology and advanced hammer keys that deliver a real acoustic piano feel.
  • dual and split modes
  • onboard alfred piano lessons
  • built-in stereo speaker system
Brand Kawai
Model ES100
Weight 46.5 pounds
1
The Suzuki MDG-300 is a stunning combination of performance and appearance. It boasts a 128 note polyphony with a 24 Mb grand piano voice, for an incredible, full bodied sound, and can comfortably fit in any size of room because it measures only 2 feet, 4 inches deep.
  • full color lcd control screen
  • bluetooth compatibility
  • on-board 3 track music sequencer
Brand Suzuki
Model MDG-300 bl
Weight 312.3 pounds

There's More To Playing Piano Than "Piano Man"

Even if you never played in school orchestra or jazz band, it's very likely that you've sat down at a piano at some point in your life.

Maybe you had a piano at home, and your parents insisted on putting you in piano lessons, or your friend was a decent pianist and tried to help you learn a tune or two. But what you might not realize is that your attempts at a moving rendition of Chopsticks actually put you at the end of a long line of a Western European middle class tradition, that starts sometime around Jane Austen, meaning you're basically starring in your very own version of Pride and Prejudice.

Don't believe me? Imagine a time before the Internet (scary, I know). Imagine a time before phones, before TV and radio, before the invention of the gramophone or even recorded sound. Now let's say you're in London, maybe, or Paris - what is there to do for fun? The answer: play the piano.

For women in particular, playing the piano was not only a socially approved form of entertainment, it was something that might land you a husband, the only real "prospect" most women had at the time. As the social mores of England and France made their way to the United States and Japan, the good citizens of these countries took on the whims of their European counterparts, and a piano revolution was born.

By 1900, pianos were all the rage, especially in the United States. In the first part of the century, roughly 250,000 pianos were made every year. But pianos weren't immune to market forces, and the Great Depression hit this market particularly hard. To make matters worse, the advent of the record player and radio meant that live performance wasn't the only way the middle class could access great music. The market crashed and never fully recovered to its previous levels.

While that might have been the nail in the coffin, advents in electronic music brought the piano back into the limelight with its brand-new cousin, the digital piano. Cheaper, smaller, and lighter than its analog model, it contributed to the declining sale of acoustic pianos but helped bring the keyboard back to the forefront.

They're such a big deal that you, dear reader, has decided to buy one too! Excellent choice. But how do you choose a digital piano from the hundreds out there?

How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall?

You're never going to practice unless you actually have something to practice ON, and you want it to be a fun experience.

That means choosing a digital piano that you'll actually want to play, but the number of options are overwhelming. Here's where we come in. Behold!

Concert Grand Piano Sound - when piano companies create the sounds for their piano, they pick the best sounding piano they can find. Audio engineers place microphones all around the piano and use the resulting audio files to calibrate the sound of the digital piano. Most often, they'll use a 9-foot concert piano.

3 pedal attachment - "analog" pianos (you know, the real thing) almost always have three pedals: the soft pedal (which moves the hammers so that the resulting sound is softer), the sostenuto (which sustains the note you've just played until you release the pedal), and the damper pedal (which will hold all the notes you play after you press it until it's released). Many digital pianos will come with only the damper pedal, and some require you to purchase this piece separately.

Stand - Some digital pianos are shaped like a regular upright piano, meaning it is self-contained and does not require any additional parts. Others are sold as just the keyboard itself, meaning that you'll need a stand. Look for an adjustable yet sturdy model.

Fully Weighted Keyboard (aka "Progressive Action" or "Graded Action" Keyboard): Acoustic pianos have a hammer action that gives a feeling of weight or heft to each key as its played. Many digital pianos attempt to replicate this action so that it feels closer to the real thing. Cheaper digital pianos will tend to avoid this feature, but it's well worth it if you plan to play more than once a year.

Note Polyphony - this sounds more complicated than it needs to be. This refers to the number of notes that can be sounding at any given time. At a minimum, most digital pianos will create 32-note polyphony, but some of the models on our list go up to 128-note polyphony (more notes than there are keys on the keyboard!). There's a great discussion over at Time about how this affects your ability to play repertoire.

Learning Tools - each company treats this differently, but this can include all sorts of fun toys like lighted keys to show you which one to push, metronomes, and a display that shows you the chords as you go. Because sheet music just isn't good enough for you.

No Really: Practice, Practice, Practice.

Here's the thing about the piano: they're ubiquitous, so almost everyone has, at some point, sat down and tried to play one.

Most people who have had this experience have walked away with one conclusion: playing the piano is HARD.

Sure, you can pluck out an easy tune here and there, but getting your hands to play two different rhythms, notes, and in syncopated time is a crazy hard thing to do.

So what's the secret? You gotta woodshed (practice) with the best of them. Make it fun! Try learning pieces you really love. Pick out songs from the radio if you can. Find duets to play with your friend (or maybe that cute classmate in your English class).

Mix it up, and make sure that you choose a digital piano that will make you love playing. If you can do that, the work won't feel like work and you'll be playing Herbie Hancock and George Gershwin with the best of them.



Wiki Statistics and Editorial Log
0
Paid Placements
4
Editors
33
Hours
123,284
Users
46
Revisions

Revision History

Thanks for reading the fine print. About the Wiki: We don't accept sponsorships, free goods, samples, promotional products, or other benefits from any of the product brands featured on this page. For our full ranking methodology, please read 'about this wiki', linked below. The Wiki is a participant in associate programs from Amazon, Walmart, Ebay, Target, and others, and may earn advertising fees when you use our links to these websites. These fees will not increase your purchase price, which will be the same as any direct visitor to the merchant’s website. If you believe that your product should be included in this review, you may contact us, but we cannot guarantee a response, even if you send us flowers.

Last updated: 03/22/2017 | Authorship Information

advertisement