The Best Digital Keyboard Pianos (Review & Comparison)
Of 2020 – Our Top Picks Reviewed
Whether you’re a maestro on the keys or are just getting started, a keyboard piano is a fantastic investment. But what should you be looking for from the best keyboard piano? With plenty of choice out there, it’s time to start narrowing down your options.
Our experts have compiled a list of The Best Keyboard Pianos currently on the market, providing great information, ratings and complete buying guides.
The Products We Reviewed – Click to go
3 DJ Keyboard pianos You Must See – Our Winning Picks
The Best DJ Keyboard pianos
1. Alesis Recital
Size: 3.6 x 11.5 x 50.5 inches – Weight: 15.65 lbs – Keys: 88 – Built in 20W speakers
This 88-key piano is perfect for beginners, particularly as it has built-in lessons. However, seasoned pianists might get a kick out of the various effects on-board, with chorus and reverb being fairly easy to toggle. This is a semi-weighted piano, which means it offers a midpoint between a full piano key imitation and a simpler touch to play mode.
There are five voices to choose from here, which might not appeal to all players, however, those looking for quality in audio will likely enjoy the clarity of playback. It’s reasonably slim, and as the name suggests, it’s generally a good shout for those learning to play. You will generally find this model at a reasonable price for the beginner.
2. RockJam RJ761-SK
Dimensions: 35.6 x 12.6 x 4.3 inches – Weight: 12 lbs – Keys: 61 – touch display panel
RockJam is a brand that you will likely come across a lot while shopping for entry-level keyboards. That’s not to say they are worth ignoring! The RJ761-SK is likely to be affordable for most people’s budget, with 61 keys on board and a stand included. This keyboard lets you record and play back your melodies, which might appeal to people who are just getting started.
For musicians who like a diverse number of voices and tones, there are around 200 to choose from here, which should be more than enough to satisfy plenty of needs. Jobbing musicians might also appreciate the portability of the unit, too, as it’s fairly compact despite pretty impressive speakers built into the design. A touchscreen which is a functional part of the keyboard might also help new players get to grips.
3. Casio CGP-700BK
Dimensions: 58.9 x 15.1 x 15.8 inches – Weight: 56.7 lbs – 5.3in Color Touch Interface display
Casio is another name which comes up a lot when you look at digital pianos and keyboards. However, it’s probably a bit of a misnomer to think that they only deal with children’s models. The Casio CGP-700BK generally retails at the higher end. However, it is a professional-standard keyboard which offers piano-ready hammer keys, numbering a solid 88. It’s a digital piano which will likely appeal to anyone making the leap from a traditional grand or baby piano over to a digital standard.
There are a handful of digital effects and features on-board. Anyone looking for a simplified keyboard experience could find this model appealing. You might also enjoy the USB functionality if you want to get your music up and running via PC or Mac. Those learning the piano might benefit from interactive lessons, and the spring-loaded keys will help to emulate a traditional instrument.
4. Yamaha P-125
Dimensions: 9.1 x 9.1 x 9.1 inches – Weight: 59 lbs – Keys: 88
Yamaha is a name that most piano players and keyboard enthusiasts are going to recognise. They’ve been in the game for a very long time. The P-125 could be a good pick for anyone who needs a decent-length digital piano which is easy to move around and take from gig to gig. A selection of around 24 voices will probably appeal to most people, particularly as this really doesn’t go too overboard.
It’s a weighted keyboard, which might not appeal to everyone, but which will likely appeal to those looking for a piano-esque experience. There are bass and drum beats built-in, meaning that if you are looking for an all-in-one sound machine, the P-125 might be a good choice.
5. Yamaha NP32
Dimensions: 54.9 x 14.6 x 7.9 inches – Weight: 19 lbs – Keys: 76
Heading back to Yamaha, the NP32 is a digital piano which retails at around $300. It’s much cheaper than its cousin listed above, which could appeal to players who are only just looking to get invested in keyboards and their various faculties. You get 76 keys here, which most players might find to be more than enough to cover a good range. 64 notes are polyphonic, which might appeal to those players looking to really refine their sound.
If you have struggled to combine a digital keyboard with a PC app in the past, you might find the NP32 a worthwhile purchase. It’s pretty flexible across the board, with a plug-and-play service that will likely appeal to anyone itching to get started. It also emulates the sound of a grand piano, which could be a plus point for anyone looking to avoid hundreds of voice banks.
6. Casio WK7600
Dimensions: 49 x 18.3 x 7.2 inches – Weight: 18.93 lbs – Keys: 76
Casio, thankfully, offers something of a more budget-friendly option in the form of the WK-7600. Those working to meagre budgets could find this 76-key piano a little more affordable. If you are looking for a huge array of tones and voices, take advantage of over 800 in one unit – this might appeal to the average composer who really wants to diversify their creations.
What makes the WK-7600 stand out a little bit more is the rhythm editing feature. While many keyboards and digital pianos have rhythm and bass built-in for accompaniment, few let you edit and mix the beats on the go. This, in addition to the ability to record up to 17 tracks on-board, might appeal to players looking to get a little more creative. It’s a ‘piano style’ keyboard weighing 18 lbs, so it might not be the most portable, however, you do get more than enough quality audio and control over your play to off-set this.
7. SDP-2 Stage Piano
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Dimensions: 127 cm X 29 cm X 8 cm – Weight: 49 Kg – Keys: 88
Gear4Music’s SDP-2 is a good contender when it comes to setting up a digital piano in style. Most musicians might find the price tag appealing, and the fact that it’s a snazzy white colour won’t go unnoticed by casual players. You get 88 piano keys here, which might appeal to the aficionados willing to step down to a lower price point.
There aren’t too many voices on board, but that tends to be a good selling point. Eight different tones and voices might be enough for the average piano player to get to grips with. You’ll also get access to a pedal for sustain as well as speakers and headphone accessories for flexible playback. It’s advertised as a ‘starter pack’, which means it might appeal to those players who are looking for their first big foray into digital keyboard composition.
8. Mylek 61-Key
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Package Dimensions: 89.2 x 39.6 x 22 cm – Weight: 7.9Kg – Keys: 61
Our last choice keeps things relatively simple. Mylek’s 61-key digital piano might be a good choice for beginners, particularly as it offers much of what they need to get started right out of the box. You not only get a stand, a mic and headphones, but up to 300 different rhythm voices. At less than $100, it could appeal to anyone looking to play digital piano on a budget.
Anyone keen to mix up the FX might enjoy the on board sustain and vibrato functions, while creators and maestros will also be able to record and store a limited number of performances on board. It’s flexible via USB, and what might appeal to some players is the fact that it is fully portable, with battery mode offered as standard. However, at 8kg, it’s not always going to be the easiest instrument to carry around with you
How We Chose The DJ Keyboards In Our List
There’s a bit of a misnomer out there that suggests the best digital keyboards have the most voices or the most functions. This isn’t always the case. We found pianos and keyboards which offer genuine clarity in sound, portability and flexibility for creating and playing music live. We didn’t focus on budgets the whole way as, on the whole, the market can be very diverse in terms of value.
All things considered, we found pianos we feel most beginners, as well as seasoned players, would be proud to put in their music rooms. It’s corny, but it’s true.
Keyboard Pianos Buying Guide
When it comes to choosing the right keyboard piano there’s a couple of things to look for. That’s why we have mage this buying guide to help you with your decision.
Why Buy a Keyboard Piano?
Keyboard and digital pianos have never been more popular, and that’s mainly thanks to the convenience. Rather than having to set up at a full grand, it’s easy to switch on a digital unit and to start playing around. For many people, a digital piano or keyboard is going to be the first exposure they get to the black and white keys.
It’s also a very affordable way to get started. Many people who start learning to play piano won’t have the money to invest in a full-size instrument. Keyboards of this nature will retail a the low end of a budget, though of course, there’s a lot of flexibility in the price when you consider the features you get in return.
Keyboard pianos and digital pianos are also amazingly versatile. Think about how many voices and tones the average keyboard has. Some models have hundreds of emulated instruments to pick from. What’s more, many keyboards can easily connect via PC and Mac. It’s therefore a good choice for anyone keen to play directly to their production suites. In many cases, people will buy MIDI controllers outright for this kind of connectivity.
When it comes to learning how to play the piano, many systems also have built-in tutorials. All things considered, a digital piano is a superb choice for anyone who is just getting started. However, there’s lots that can entice seasoned musicians, too.
Things to Look Out For
Not all keyboard pianos do the same thing, so let’s consider a few of the variables, and what you’re going to need to compare between while shopping around.
Weight and Size
Not all keyboards and digital pianos weigh in the same, and they can vary in size depending on the number of keys available to play. You can’t always get digital pianos at full length, so make sure you shop around for a unit that’s gone to give you the range you expect.
On-board recording for a digital piano isn’t a necessity, however, it is a nice perk which is well worth looking into. Keyboards which record you playing can be useful during production and live performance, for example.
Voices and Instruments
One of the big draws of some of the more expensive keyboards is the number of voices that come included. Voices are, of course, the instruments that a keyboard will emulate as well as basic piano sounds. For example, a keyboard might let you play a digital violin sound, or a tone that’s akin to a trombone. You can also buy digital keyboards which have built-in metronomes and drum machines.
Most entry-level keyboards will have keys which respond instantly when you press them, and generate a sound. Others, meanwhile, will mimic the hammer of a traditional piano. This means that the harder you press the keys, the louder and longer the tone will be. Press softly, and you’ll get a quieter, softer tone. Simple!
The quality of sound supported by a digital piano isn’t something that is always easy to come by. However, you should be able to compare it across most top-end models and units. The more you pay, the more you may expect to get out of sound quality. However, this doesn’t always follow. A good way to gauge sound quality yourself is, of course to try before you buy. Otherwise, seasoned musicians should point you in the right direction.
Home and Studio Models
Some digital keyboards are built for studio use, which means they are generally more advanced, and offer more customisation. Home models, however, tend to be more user-friendly, and are easier to move around. It’s worth looking into which type of system suits your needs the best.
Many modern digital pianos have built-in tutoring. This means that you only have to press a few buttons, and you’ll be able to start playing along to a built-in guide. The piano isn’t the easiest of instruments to learn off the bat, so this is naturally going to be a welcome feature for many people.
Not all digital keyboards are easy to store, or to pick up and move around. Some have stands and will need to be carefully folded down. Others can be very bulky depending on built-in speakers and the like. Therefore, make sure to check all the dimensions and to check whether or not a prospective keyboard is going to be easy to carry around or put away when not in use. Weight, as explored above, is obviously going to be a big deal-breaker for a lot of people, too.
Digital pianos and keyboards have come a long way over the years, but there’s still plenty of confusion over what works best. It all depends on what each player is looking for. You are going to need to hunt down a reputable brand, but above all, look for portability, and solid sound quality. You aren’t always going to need hundreds of voices!
How Many Voices Does a Keyboard Need?
Providing it’s a high-quality voice, you may only ever need the one. There can be a trade-off between having too many voices, and too few which are actually of any decent quality. Tread carefully in this regard.
How Much Do Keyboards and Digital Pianos Cost?
The market has never been broader, but you could pay as little as $100 for a decent model. You will be looking at over $400 for the most professional systems, but rest assured, these will generally offer the best sound, build quality and manufacturing.
Do All Keyboards Connect to PC and Mac?
No. There are still plenty of old-school Yamahas out there which have yet to move over to the digital age. If connecting via USB matters to you, you might also want to consider investing in a MIDI controller. It won’t play music outright, but it’ll let you play and create tunes and sounds on-screen.
Why is a Piano’s ‘Hammer’ Important?
Hammer keys are important if you want to play a digital piano that apes the feel and performance of a traditional piano. If you are moving from normal pianos over to keyboards, for example, this functionality might help things go a little smoother. Less hammer might appeal to beginners, however.
What Are the Best Brands?
We don’t always think you should be looking at brands when it comes to buying musical instruments. However, digital pianos are slightly different. There is so much focus on sound quality that going for a name you’ve never heard of might be a risk. Consider big names such as Yamaha, Roland or even KORG – however, only Yamaha’s digital piano tech, out of the three, was good enough to make our shortlist.
Can Digital Pianos Help Me Learn How to Play?
Many digital pianos have built-in tutorials and guides. The internet is your friend, of course, which means you don’t have to invest in an all-singing, all-dancing teacher model when you have stacks of YouTube videos at your disposal.