Digital pianos have come a long way in the past few years. They now rival the sound quality and feel of acoustic pianos. They also offer added advantages that you can’t get with an acoustic piano, such as:
– They are cheaper
– You can play them with headphones and not disturb others
– They are portable
– You can record songs on them
– They never go out of tune
– They have multiple instrument sounds
Buying a digital piano vs. an acoustic piano can be a good decision if you know what you are looking for. However, it gets confusing when looking for a digital piano, because there are so many different brands.
Things to consider when looking for a digital piano:
- One, the electronics – these are all electronic instruments, they have recordings of real instruments in them as well as recordings of lots of other things.
- Two — the keyboards.
To find the best digital piano, you need determine what features are important to you. You don’t want to pay for features you won’t use. But sometimes it can be difficult to determine what features are important. For example, do you need 32-note or 128-note polyphony? You may not know right now, but a few simple questions about your piano playing needs could uncover the answer to that question.
The cheapest digital piano will go for around 700-900 dollars – these will be usually be a spring-loaded plastic key-bed with not many levels of sensitivity, poor recordings, a poor instrument.
What you get as you spend more money is better electronics and better keyboards. The keyboards change, first of all, in how mechanically they work. The cheapest ones are just plastic keyboards with springs, sometimes they hot-glue-gun a chunk of metal underneath it to make it heavy, but the better ones have escapements, pieces in them to move independently of the key to make it feel like a piano action.
The very best of them have full piano actions on them, and then there’s an intermediate level, have they have things like this holds up an internal mechanism, a wooden piano key like out of a wooden piano. This is nice because piano’s are percussive instrument, you pound on them. If you pound on cheap plastic keyboard and pound on it, that will break them. With a wooden keyboard, you can take an old piano and pound on it day in and day out for a long time, and it takes it, it’s designed to handle the energy.
You want a digital piano to do the same thing. If you get excited and you pound the keyboard, you don’t want it to break or wear out. The wooden keys last longer, if you want it to last years, more than 10, a wooden keyboard is a smart move.
Beyond the key-beds are the electronics. You can go to Walmart and for 200 bucks buy a portable keyboard that has hundreds of sounds in it and a hundred different rhythms in it.
Obviously, electronics doesn’t cost that much. What you’re paying for as you get into more expensive digital pianos is better computers, better memory, better speakers and amplifiers, and more effects.
There’s a basic digital piano that has between 5 and 10 voices on it, and then there is something they call an ensemble, with many more voices, several hundred sometimes, drum machines and automatic accompaniments.
Check out the 10 Best Digital Pianos on the market right now:
1. Yamaha CP1 Premium Stage Piano with Natural Wood Keys and 3-Pedal Unit
The development of the new CP series started with the no-compromise CP1. This is a premium instrument with a commitment to both tradition and innovation. The core sound technology inside the new CP Series was completely re-designed from the ground up. A unique new Spectral Component Modeling tone generation system recreates the sound of acoustic and vintage electronic pianos more faithfully than anything else has ever done. This new technology responds to the player’s touch allowing more creative expression than ever before possible. Yamaha even developed a special NW-STAGE wooden key action specifically to meet the demands of top pros. Simply put, this combination of touch and tone make the CP1 the most expressive stage piano that has ever been created.
2. Yamaha Arius YDP-V240 Traditional Console Digital Piano With Bench
New to the ARIUS line, YDP-V240 is an entry-level ensemble digital piano with 88-note Graded Hammer Standard keyboard. The Graded Hammer Standard keyboard makes it a true joy to play, both in practice and in performance. The 3-level AWM Dynamic Stereo Sampling Voices deliver remarkably authentic and dynamic sounds for hours of interactive music enjoyment.
3. Kawai ES8 Digital Home Piano
Given Kawai’s deep experience in producing acoustic pianos, it is no surprise that the Kawai action is among the most highly prized in the digital piano marketplace. The feel, sound and features of the Kawai ES8 make it one of the most desirable digital pianos in its price range today.Kawai ES8 – Wherever the venue… Whatever the occasionRegardless of whether you’e playing on stage, practicing for a recital, accompanying the church choir or studying in the classroom, the new Kawai ES8 is portable piano perfection. Versatile and powerful, the ES8 is a compact, elegant and highly portable digital piano, one for truly every musical occasion anytime, anywhere.
4. Korg SV188BK – 88 – Key Digital Piano with Vintage Sounds
Two phenomenal grand piano sounds – 1 European, 1 Japanese. Korg’s finest 88-key piano keyboard with Graded Hammer Action. Intuitive “LIVE” front panel with single-function knobs. 8 Easy-to-set car-radio style Favorites buttons. 36 of the most in-demand and coveted vintage keyboard sounds, recreated with exacting detail. 3-band EQ; 6 Pre-FX, 6 Amp Models, 6 Modulation FX, 6 Reverb/Delays; Real tube 12AX7 Valve Reactor. Coupled with retro-style controls and smooth black finish, the SV-1BK oozes desirability – and playability! An optional collapsible black stand is available, along with a gig-ready rolling soft case.
5. Yamaha YDP163R Arius Series Console Digital Piano with Bench, Rosewood
The best digital piano is one that can grow with a musician as they progress. On the YDP-163, Graded Hammer Standard 3 (GH3) action combines with Pure CF sampling and a powerful 20W x 2 amplifier system to deliver authentic piano touch and tone. The optional iOS app, Digital Piano Controller, makes navigation and configuration easier than ever.
6. The ONE Smart Piano 88-Key Home Digital Piano Grand Graded Action Upright Piano
The ONE Smart Piano teaches you to play your first song in minutes! The ONE brings the world’s first and only upright, Apple MFI-certified digital piano integrated with technology that facilitates self-instruction. Combined with a free mobile apps for iOS and Android, The ONE seeks to make playing the piano more fun and less structured. Beginner musician can learn with light-up keys, integrated video lessons, and piano games. Seasoned musicians can have equal fun by choosing from thousands of free sheet music to play.
7. Casio Privia PX-850 Digital Piano Bundle with Bench
Everything you need to start playing straight out of the box! The flagship of the Privia line, the PX-850 has the advanced AiR sound set providing an additional level of realism including grand piano lid simulation and sympathetic resonance. The PX-850 has a dual 20w speaker system and a cabinet that opens providing a rich concert sound. The new PX-850 represents a significant step in the continuing evolution of the Privia digital piano line. A combination of a new keyboard action and a powerful new sound engine provide a new level of detail, nuance and expression for a superior grand piano experience in the lightweight and stylish design that Privia is known for. The PX-850 has 18 Instrument tones (5 are Piano), and 256 note polyphony. The PX-850 keys feature Damper Resonance, Hammer response and Sympathetic Resonance. A very special other feature is the Lid Simulation. You can choose (separate from what the actual PX-850 cabinet will do) whether you ant the lid on the Grand Piano open, closed, half or removed. The PX-350 has 1/4″ audio outputs and USB-to-Device output so you can easily connect the PX-850 to recording and sound reinforcement equipment.
8. Yamaha P255 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano with Sustain Pedal
The Yamaha P-255 contemporary digital piano is for all musicians looking for an instrument suitable for both serious practice and live performance. Thanks to its portable design and built-in speaker system, the P-255 can be played in any place or setting you desire, with or without external amplification. And with the first-of-its-kind Controller App for iOS, you can customize your piano sound or quickly adjust your favorite settings with touch-screen ease-of-use.
9. Roland RD-300NX Digital Piano
You don’t have to be a big-time touring musician to take big-time piano sound and feel onstage. Nope. All you need is Roland’s killer RD-300NX digital stage piano! It’s all right at your fingertips: super-cool pianos, electric pianos, and other instruments. You even get a bunch of great onboard effects, including reverb, EQ, chorus, and compression. AND, the RD-300NX’s Sound Focus feature makes sure that even your quiet parts are heard; now, you won’t have to pound your way through that song to get noticed. Want onboard rhythm patterns? How about 200 of them? Done. Easy access to pianos and electric pianos? That’s what the One Touch Piano feature is for. Great piano feel? Thanks to the Ivory Feel-g keyboard with Escapement, you’ll feel like you’re playing the real deal. This piano rocks, and you’ll love the price too!
10. Casio Privia PX-860 Digital Piano Bundle
18 high-quality tones including stereo-sampled grand piano tones. Lesson feature using 60 Music Library songs plus 10 user loaded songs. Audio Recording up to approximately 25 min. per song (44.1kHz WAV Format). Two GRAND PIANO buttons and an ELEC PIANO button for instant access. Bundle includes Gearlux furniture-style bench, headphones, Hal Leonard instructional book, two Gearlux 1/4″ instrument cables, Austin Bazaar instructional DVD, and polishing cloth.