There is something incredibly therapeutic about sitting down at your piano after a long day at work and creating something beautiful after a 8 or more hours of noise and chaos in your head.
Unfortunately, if you’re like me, you may not have the space in your home to have a baby grand piano set up in the living room. In addition to a lack of space, my wife isn’t exactly thrilled at the prospect of being in the front row for a piano concert, no matter how great I think I sound.
What’s the best alternative? Some would say playing a quieter instrument (but they aren’t writing this article). Maybe the key to indulging into some piano based musical therapy in an attempt to unwind without taking up 3/4 of your available floor space is a digital piano.
What one should you get? I’m so glad you asked.
As is the case with any higher end purchase, your personal budget will probably be the driving force in your digital piano decision. How much can you afford to spend?
How much do you want to spend? Are you going to need to pawn a body organ off on the black market to cover the expense? (In no way do I condone that last option, but some people REALLY love their musical instruments.)
The second thing to take into consideration when trying to pick your digital piano is your intent for the instrument. Is it just for leisure or will you be setting up at some local venues to play some shows?
Are you a worship leader in your church and need something other than that 200 year old upright piano that hasn’t been in turn since sweet Sister Beatrice played it in 1978? The answer to those questions will dictate what you need your digital piano to do.
By no means is this list exhaustive, but here’s the top 10 best digital pianos that may get you going in the right direction in 2018.
Table of Contents
- 10. Yamaha YPG-235 76-Key Portable Grand Piano
- 9. Yamaha P45 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano
- 8. Yamaha P115 88 Weighted Key Digital Piano
- 7. Korg B1SP 88 Weighted Key Digital Piano
- 6. RockJam 61-Key Electronic Keyboard
- 5. Casio Privia PX-160 Digital Piano
- 4. Yamaha YDP103R Arius Series Digital Console Piano
- 3. Alesis Recital 88-Key Beginner Digital Piano
- 2. Casio CTK2400 61- Key Portable Keyboard
- 1. Yamaha P71 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano
- Which Digital Piano Should You Buy?
10. Yamaha YPG-235 76-Key Portable Grand Piano
If you’re a beginner, or even someone who is just looking for a solid set of keys to mess around with at home, this is a solid choice. This 76 key piano comes with 30 songs built in, plus 70 more on an additional CD-ROM that includes a lesson system. It also offers USB capabilities to make your potential of adding new songs endless.
- Relatively cheap (249 on amazon.com)
- 361 different voices built in to the piano
- Full sized piano keys
- Can be difficult to press keys
- Limited volume capabilities
9. Yamaha P45 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano
The P45 is weighted at the low end and light at the high end to make it feel just like a standard acoustic piano. You can also layer multiple voices on this piano to give your music a deeper, fuller sound (i.e.: piano keys and strings).
The price is still within reason, but the increase in quality gives the P45 more versatility as far as being at home, recreational piano or an instrument for public use.
- 88 keys make it even more like a standard acoustic piano
- The weighted low-end keys with the light high-end keys increase the “authentic” feel
- Capable of being hooked up to your computer to allow to upload original compositions
- Several reports of keys not working after a few months of use
- Sustain pedal included is very flimsy.
8. Yamaha P115 88 Weighted Key Digital Piano
The P-115 is Yamaha’s follow up to the industry best seller, P-105 model. With the P-115 Yamaha did an incredibly job of really building on the success of the P-105.
The 115 offers an upgrade in the speaker system, eliminating the need for an outside amp if you’re playing in any normal sized room. In addition to the improved speakers, Yamaha also included a built-in metronome which makes home practice even easier.
- Incredibly close in sound to an acoustic piano
- Ability to layer multiple voices to create different sounds
- Built in metronome ideal for home practice sessions
- Digital app not available for Android users
- Action on keys could be considered too light
7. Korg B1SP 88 Weighted Key Digital Piano
Korg is often considered the standard in the digital piano world, and the B1SP is no exception. This digital piano provides an incredible sound and an authentic piano look and feel, down to the triple pedals that allow you to control everything you can control on an acoustic piano. The 88 keys add to the standard piano feel.
- Incredible price for the high quality ($599.99 on amazon.com)
- Looks and feels like an acoustic piano in every way imaginable
- Incredibly loud speaker system
- Can’t really be used for playing various places, as it’s very difficult to move around.
- No MIDI or USB capabilities
6. RockJam 61-Key Electronic Keyboard
The Rockjam 61 is an incredible pickup for a beginning piano player, or for somebody who just wants an extra toy to have some fun with in their free time.
The price is hard to beat, especially when you consider adding in the bench and the headphones; when you combine the quantity of items you can bundle for under $130 with the fact that the piano can also be linked to your iPhone or iPad, helping piano players improve their ability to sight read their music, you realize that this smaller (61 keys) digital piano packs a lot of power in a little punch.
- Incredible price, especially for the capabilities that this package comes with (129.99 on amazon.com)
- Can be linked to iPhone or iPad to help with learning more techniques
- 100 sounds, 100 preset rhythms, and 50 songs available on piano.
- Only 61 keys
- Subpar speaker quality
5. Casio Privia PX-160 Digital Piano
The Casio Privia line has long been considered a standard in the digital piano market, and the PX-160 is certainly no different. The 88 weighted keys help this unit look and sound like an acoustic piano while taking up a fraction of the space in your home.
The three-pedal system, the standard on any acoustic piano, not only allows you to control every facet of the sound you want to get out of your piano. As usual, Casio provided a top of the line speaker system, providing an excellent package that won’t put a huge dent in your wallet.
- Has the general look and sound of an acoustic piano
- Weighted keys give it a “real piano” feel and sound
- Packages available with “furniture style” stand or adjustable stand, opening up the possibility of traveling with this unit.
- Incredible value for the price
- A lot of assembly required
- No matter what stand setting you pick, this piano is pretty heavy making it a chore to move around once it’s set up.
4. Yamaha YDP103R Arius Series Digital Console Piano
With multiple looks and finishes available (prices do vary based on what style you pick), this piano is built to look and feel even more like an acoustic piano than several other on this list. Starting with the weighted keys (heavy on the low end, heavy on the high end).
The keys on the YDP103R are also designed to absorb moisture so they keep remain tactile instead of becoming slippery like several other types of digital piano keys do. Yamaha has also developed an iOS app that introduces an incredible user interface, allowing for increased user configuration.
- Moisture absorbing keys that prevent your keys from getting slippery over time
- Dual voice system allows you to layer multiple sounds to further customize your sound
- Great acoustic piano simulation for a fraction of the cost (prices start at 579.99 on amazon.com)
- Multiple finishes and styles available making sure you get the look that you’re searching for
- Weighs well over 100 pounds, so this is not a very good “gig” piano
- Digital app only available for Apple devices
3. Alesis Recital 88-Key Beginner Digital Piano
The Alesis Recital Digital Piano set out to be the ideal beginner digital piano, and it does not disappoint. With a price point well below $300, Alesis produced a full 88 key unit that is perfect for anybody who is looking to learn the basics of playing piano.
The price isn’t the only feature that should draw aspiring piano players to look at this unit; Alesis also offers a free 3-month subscription to Skoove to provide interactive piano lessons, as well as offering Windows capabilities, allowing you to connect your piano to your computer.
- Priced well below $300, making it a low-priced option for beginners or hobbyists
- Split mode allows you to have your left hand produce one voice while your right hand plays another one
- Can run on power adapter or D batteries, allowing you to go mobile
- Keys are only semi-weighted which reduces the realistic feel
- Speakers leave something to be desired
2. Casio CTK2400 61- Key Portable Keyboard
The CTK2400 is Casio’s venture into cheaper, beginner pianos. With the emphasis on teaching aspiring piano players, Casio included a full built in learning system into this model.
While the 61 keys are obviously less than the often desired 88, it does automatically make the piano less intimidating and easier to manage, especially for younger players.
Casio certainly didn’t skip out on offering customization options even though they lowered the price; the CTK2400 has 400 voices built in to it, allowing you produce nearly any sound that you could imagine from the start.
- For under $100 ($99.95 on amazon.com), it’s hard to beat Casio quality, especially for a beginner’s piano.
- USB/Midi capabilities
- 110 built in songs to help you learn to play along
- Keys are not weighted or touch sensitive
- No ability to combine multiple voices
- Speakers are definitely lacking
1. Yamaha P71 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano
The Yamaha P71 offers a good chunk of what other Yamaha digital pianos offer, but for an even lower price than expected. The 88 fully weighted keys simulate the feel and sound of an acoustic piano, while offering players a lightweight, smaller option.
The P71 takes up minimal space (less than 12 inches deep) and is incredibly easy to move around (only weighs 25 pounds). Yamaha included 10 pre-set voices in this model, and allows you to layer them as you go, giving you the capability to create essentially any sound you could desire.
- USB port which allows connection to a computer
- Quality keyboard for great price ($399.99 on amazon.com)
- Dual mode allows you to combine multiple voices
- Lightweight, easy to move
- No MIDI capabilities
- Speaker quality is lacking, especially compared to slightly more expensive Yamaha models
- Keys produce the same sound no matter how hard you hit them
Which Digital Piano Should You Buy?
So, there you have it; by no means is my list here all inclusive, but this is a good starting point for you. At the end of the day picking a piano is a lot like picking out a new pair of shoes; you have to pick what’s best for you.
I’m admittedly bias towards the Yamaha P115, as that’s what is sitting in my living room right now. After 15 years of playing, it does what I need it to do no matter where I’m playing. If you’re looking for more of a permanent fixture piano, the Yamaha YDP103R is hard to beat.
If you’re just getting started, the Alesis Recital may be exactly what you need. It’s all about you! Head on down to your local music store, check out what they’ve got to offer and pick the piano that fits you.
Before long, you’ll know the joy of coming home from a long day at work and making something beautiful.