There are numerous online reviews, so finding the best digital piano can be quite overwhelming. Check the digital pianos we have selected based on product quality, sound quality, touch sensitivity, price and customer feedback that are most suitable for beginners.
Alesis Recital 88-Key Digital PianoThe first product we are going to look at is the Alesis Recital 88-Key Digital Piano. The first thing I loved about this piano was how light it is. This makes it ideal if you do not want to be restricted to practicing and playing in the same room all the time. Its portability means you can use it wherever you please, which is particularly useful when someone in your household wants to watch their favorite TV program in the room you are currently playing your piano in. You can even take it outdoors should you wish as you can unplug it from the electrical socket and power it via 6 D cell batteries albeit these are not included.
The keyboard is an 88 key configuration and the controls to operate the keyboard could not be easier. They are clearly marked, simple to use and each has an indicator LED to identify which playing mode or voice you are currently using. The sound output is very clear thanks to built-in 20-watt speakers.
There are a number of playing modes that can be selected namely; Lesson, Standard, Layer, and Split. Lesson made is ideal if you are learning to play, especially if you have a tutor or piano teacher. In this mode, the keyboard is split into left and right sections. By doing so your tutor can play for you to then follow or you can play the notes simultaneously. This method speeds up your learning time enormously.
The question you might be asking is ‘What if don’t have a piano teacher?’ Well, Alesis have thought of that and have provided a complimentary 3-month subscription to ‘Skoove’ which is worth $60. Skoove is one of the most popular online courses for learning to play piano and should you wish to continue learning with them after 3 months the cost works out to less than $10 per month.
As you progress with your piano playing there are a number of other features that the Alesis Recital 88-Key Digital Piano has to offer. You can play using different piano ‘voices’ from the following: piano, organ, electric piano and synth. This is done using layer mode and allows you to create your own unique sounds whilst playing.
Should you wish to make what you are playing to be for your ears only then there is a stereo headphone socket. Also if you want to add enhancements such as a sustain pedal then there is a socket for that also. When you get even more advanced and want to connect mixers, amplifiers or additional speaker then the connectivity for these is also there. Another feature is the ability to connect via USB which can enable you to connect to your PC or laptop and thus learn from piano tutor software for example.
The Alesis Recital 88-Key Digital Piano is the perfect piano for beginners and has everything you might need to start learning to play. It is simple to use, has some great features and is very light and portable. Its price is also at the low end of the ones I tested so it ticks virtually every box.
- Lightweight and Portable
- Free subscription to ‘Skoove’
- Easy to operate
- Low price
- No stand
Williams Legato 88-Key Digital PianoOur next product review is the Williams Legano 88-Key Digital Piano. I immediately noticed the simple layout and design of the control buttons which is always welcome. Having tested several products there is nothing I like more than a manufacturer who appreciates their customers in terms of how easy they make it to actually switch it on and operate it. Williams have achieved that with a straightforward button layout that anyone can understand.
The keyboard weighs in at less than 24 lbs. which definitely makes it very portable and ideal for moving it from room to room. This means it can obviously be powered by batteries (not supplied) and it can also be powered by plugging it into the wall socket. However, I was disappointed that as with the batteries, the Williams Legano, doesn’t actually come with the power supply unit included either. The power supply unit has to be purchased separately, as part of their ‘essentials pack’ and although it is relatively inexpensive, plus it includes headphones and a sustain pedal, I do feel this should be included as standard.
The piano has a number of ‘voices’ which include standard piano, electric piano, synth, organ, and bass. There is also a built-in metronome so you can keep to the perfect timing for each tune you are learning. You can select two voices to be played at once or split them to be played with either left or right hands.
The split function is perfect for learning with a tutor as you can play along at the same time as them whilst learning. The split function can be adjusted depending on which highest note you require for each section as well as having the volume set at different levels too. Other enhancements include a reverb and chorus functions to improve the tonality of the sounds you are playing.
The keys in the keyboard are semi-weighted and velocity sensitive allowing you to influence the volume ranges depending on the force with which your fingers play each note or chord as they would on a normal acoustic piano. The sound quality from the two 10w built-in speakers is good, considering this is an entry-level digital piano.
For connecting your digital piano to external sources such as your laptop or other speakers there are MIDI and USB connections which can be utilized. There is also a headphone socket for private listening and a connection for a sustain pedal. Last but not least there is a convenient holder for music sheets or piano lesson notes.
The Williams Legano 88-Key Digital Piano is undoubtedly designed for beginners looking for a low-budget entry piano. It has all the basic functions you would want albeit I do think the lack of a power supply as standard is disappointing. That aside it has everything any beginner would want and with a price point less than $200 it is definitely is a value for money option.
- Split function
- Music sheet holder
- Low price
- Power supply unit not included
Yamaha P71 Amazon-Exclusive Digital PianoAnother candidate for beginners and indeed more experienced players to consider is the Yamaha P71 Amazon-Exclusive Digital Piano. You’ll note that this model is only available for sale on Amazon, but this allows us to look at many of the reviews customers have given this product and to be fair it scores very highly indeed. The fact that it is also amongst the best sellers augers well for its performance and popularity.
The first look at the product certainly gives the impression that it seems a more substantial product than some of the budget offerings we have looked at. However, I was delighted to discover that it weighs in at only 25lbs so it is every bit as portable as other digital pianos.
The keyboard is a full-size 88-key configuration and as with many digital pianos, you have the option to ‘split’ the keyboard. This allows both teacher and pupil to play together and also enables the player to split left and right-hand voice options. One thing that I like is that the keyboard felt very much like a normal piano when I played. This might not be a game changer but I know many people prefer their digital piano to feel and sound as much like a real acoustic piano as possible.
This brings us to the sound quality and once again the Yamaha P71 didn’t disappoint. I am not exaggerating when I say that if you didn’t know this was a digital piano, with your eyes closed you’d swear it was. This realistic sound makes learning and playing feel so much more authentic and I truly believe it will help anyone to learn quicker.
The functions available on the P71 are plentiful, and the operation of many of them requires the use of the keyboard to act as selection keys when setting up whatever mode you wish to play in. Here again, the authenticity of the sound is tremendous. It has 10 different voices which include samples of genuine acoustic pianos, which also add to your learning experience. There is also a dual mode for more advanced play where you can combine piano and strings for example.
On a practical level, the Yamaha P71 comes with a power supply unit, and a sustain pedal plus it also incorporates a music sheet stand. There are connections for headphones and a midi connector for external speakers, but sadly there is no USB port for connections to PCs or laptops.
The Yamaha P71 Amazon-Exclusive Digital Piano is an excellent piano for anyone who not only wants to learn to play piano but wants the most authentic sounds possible. It has enhanced functions so as your playing skills and experience improve and expand, you are able to create many varied sounds and effects. It is certainly not a ‘budget’ price but it is most definitely worth the investment for the sounds it creates.
- Authentic and quality sounds
- Power supply and sustain pedal supplied
- Split mode
- Choice of 10 voice modes
- No USB connectivity
Casio Privia PX160 Digital PianoNo consideration of digital pianos would be complete without reviewing at least one offering from Casio, who are one of the leading manufacturers of these products. The specific model I tested was the Casio Priva PX160 Digital Piano.
This is a full-size 88-key piano which has a very sleek look to it and I got the impression that before I even started playing, it was going to be something special. I should point out that the PX160 can be purchased either in black or as an alternative a gold color. The one I tested was black, but I got the chance to see a gold one in one of our local music store, and I have to say it looked stunning. Not quite diamond studded like the ones the great Liberace might have played, but believe me it is something special to look at. One other point to note is that the PX160 weighs only 25 pounds so it is portable enough for you to use it in different rooms should you wish to do so.
So would its performance live up to its looks? Well in just about every aspect it did. Casio have utilized some of their own bespoke systems in this model and they are impressive. Firstly, they have a ‘Tri Sensor’ scaled keyboard which in effect replicates the experience of playing a real piano as closely as it is possible to do so. This system takes into account the different speeds and sizes that the keys in an acoustic piano have and literally recreates them in the PX160. Even the material that the keys are made from are textured to feel like real ebony and ivory.
The sounds that the PX160 creates are also exceptional. Casio’s technology replicates real piano sounds to the extent it is almost impossible to differentiate. They have used recordings from concert grand pianos for example so when playing you can be imagining yourself in London’s Royal Albert Hall, or Carnegie Hall in New York. This is enhanced by the PX160’s 8w x 8w stereo speaker system. The P160 also allows you to ‘play’ other musical sounds such as the harpsichord, bass, and strings. There are in fact 18 sounds that can be recreated, which is more than most digital pianos offer.
If you are still learning to play, the keyboard can be split so that you and your tutor can play the keyboard simultaneously. There is also the ability to record and then listen to what you have played, by using the piano’s two track recorder. Other features include a damper pedal, audio out connections, and a USB connection to link your piano to a laptop or computer.
The Casio Priva PX160 Digital Piano is an exceptional product, which does everything you would want a digital piano to do. Its sound quality is a joy to behold and when playing, it is easy to forget you are playing a digital machine instead of a full-size acoustic piano. Definitely, a first class product, and whilst it has a higher price of nearly $500, it is worth every cent.
- Authentic keys
- Realistic acoustic piano sound
- Multiple sound modes
- High-quality speaker output
- Supplied pedal is very small
Alesis Coda Pro 88-Key Digital PianoThe next product we are going to review is the Alesis Coda Pro 88-Key Digital Piano. Alesis have a great reputation for producing quality digital music products such as drum machines, mixers, headphones and of course keyboards so I was eager to test out the Coda Pro to see if they could live up to their reputation.
A first look at the keyboard tells you straight away that it has a lot more functionality than your basic keyboard. There are a number of buttons and LEDs across the control section and my initial concern was it might be a bit complicated to understand or use. My fears were soon extinguished as I started using the keyboard and the fact that it has more controls does not mean it is hard to get to grips with how to select them or set the keyboard up. A bit of time and patience invested will allow most people to understand its operation.
Another factor I always check is how portable the keyboard is and again I had the misconception that as the keyboard had lots of functions it was bound to weigh a lot more. Once again I was proved wrong as the Alesis Coda Pro only weighs 28 lbs. so it can be easily carried to another room should you wish to do so.
The keyboard is the full size 88 key configuration, as you’d expect, and the weighted keys plus the hammer action do a good job of trying to replicate the feel of an acoustic piano. The keyboard can be split so that you can either play along with a tutor or even a friend, plus you can play a different ‘voice’ simultaneously on each of the two sections.
The Coda Pro has 20 different voices that can be played including multiple organ, electric and grand piano options. There is also harpsichord, vibraphone, bass and strings, electric guitar and even harmonica that can be selected. With the split/layer functions, you could, for example, play guitar with your right hand, accompanied by piano using your left hand or indeed any combination of two of the voices.
There are also 50 accompaniment options that can be selected to play in the background whilst you play the main tune. The accompaniment options include jazz, waltz, and rock. This digital piano also has 60 preset songs that you can play along with, which is a great way to learn plus add to your repertoire. To make sure you keep time there is a built in metronome.
The Alesis Coda Pro comes complete with a power supply unit plus a sustain pedal. The connections available include Midi audio output, headphone outputs plus a USB output for connection to a laptop or computer. If you are an advanced player and want to connect external equipment such as an amplifier there are the appropriate output and input connections for that too.
If you are serious about learning to play piano and have the ambition to become an advanced player, or if you are lucky enough to already be an advanced player then the Alesis Coda Pro is the ideal digital piano for you. It has literally every function you could wish for, apart from a little man to turn the music sheet for you. This is a serious piece of equipment and certainly justifies its price of around $500.
- Multiple voice options
- Sustain pedal included
- Pre-programmed songs
- Full connectivity for external equipment
- Needs a bit of time to understand controls
Yamaha P45 88-Key Digital PianoOur final look at digital pianos is a second offering from Yamaha, who are one of the leading manufacturers of digital musical equipment and in particular digital pianos. The model I looked and tested was the Yamaha P45 88-Key Digital Piano.
The first thing to note is how simple and uncomplicated the control panel layout is. There are literally only three basic control buttons or switches which at first might suggest this product has no functions at all. This is not the case as many of the functions are selected using the piano’s keyboard. If you prefer easy to understand controls or struggle with technology, then this will suit you perfectly.
The weight of the P45 is 25 lbs. so it is easily portable if you prefer not to play in the same room all the time. It is powered by the power supply unit that Yamaha include and I like the fact that Yamaha also includes a sustain pedal and a music sheet stand with this product as well.
The keyboard incorporates Yamaha’s ‘Graded Hammer System’ which adds a fantastic level of authenticity when playing. The keys are weighted and graded to correspond to how they would feel when playing a real acoustic piano. You can set the sensitivity of the keys to correspond with how hard or soft you play the keys and the black keys even have a matte finish to reduce the chances of your fingers slipping whilst playing.
The P45 has 10 voices to choose from in terms what instrument sound you want the piano to reproduce. The options are vibraphone, harpsichord (x2), strings, organ (x2), electric piano (x2), and grand piano (x2). In addition, there also ten settings for the tempo, two beat options and volume controls just in case the neighbors don’t appreciate your music talents as much as you do.
As you would expect there is the ability to split the keyboard, so that two people can play the same tune, which is particularly applicable when learning with a teacher. This can also be used to play two different voices; one with either hand. There are also a number of preset songs that you can play along to or use to assist with your learning how to play.
The sound produced by the P45’s two 6w speakers is good, and if you wish to listen privately whilst you play there is a socket for headphones. Other connectivity includes a USB connection which allows you to connect to your laptop or PC. This is really useful if you plan to use piano teaching software or an online piano learning course.
The Yamaha P45 is not a product with a lot of fancy gimmicks or complicated functions. It is what I call a ‘does what it says on the label’, product. In other words, it is a simple digital keyboard that anyone can use and it is particularly one which beginners can quickly learn to play piano.
- USB connection
- Pedal included
- Easy to use
- No midi connection
When finally deciding which digital piano keyboard to buy there are a few initial things you might care to consider such as ‘Is this for you or a gift for someone else?’, ‘What age is the player?’, ‘Are they a beginner or more experienced player?’.
If it is for yourself then you need to determine, your commitment to learning and/or playing piano and are you likely to see this as a long-term pastime? If the piano is for someone else then considerations such as their age, and their playing level should be factored in.
At the end of the day, you might choose to ignore all of these points and simply buy the one that fits one of these two factors:
- Budget/ value for money
- Most features and functions
With this in mind, I have chosen two of the above pianos I’ve tested that fit each of these two criteria.
For value for money or where there is a budget to be considered, I strongly recommend the Alesis Recital 88-Key Digital Piano. It is a great entry level digital piano for beginners but will also satisfy those who wish to become, or already are, a bit more experienced.
It has all the functions you could want when learning including split keyboard, layering, choice of voices, headphones socket, and USB socket to name but a few. I also love that they have included a 3-month subscription to a ‘Skoove’. This is a piano tutoring program and is a great way to get your learning off to the best possible start.
When you consider that the price to buy the Alesis Recital 88-Key Digital Piano is just a little over $200 there is no doubt that value for money is more than achieved with this offering.
If on the other hand, you want the product that has every possible function, whilst at the same time is still suitable to learn on, then I can look no further than the Casio Priva PX160 Digital Piano. Casio’s reputation for supplying quality digital instruments is well known but with this product they have exceeded even that.
The Priva PX 60 is an exceptional digital piano with functions and sound quality that is simply unsurpassed. The keyboard feels as real to playing an acoustic piano as it gets. The voice options give you so much versatility in how you can play. There is the option to record and play back what you have played and without doubt, the sound quality and reproduction are a joy to listen to.
Add to all this the added extras such as a pedal and every connectivity option you could want then the Casio Priva PX160 Digital has it all. Yes, this digital piano is priced at almost $500 so it is not a pocket money purchase. However, I think this price is actually as good value for money purchase as any others I tested given everything it does to make your piano playing the best experience it possibly can be.
I trust you have gained some knowledge and insights from our look at digital piano keyboards, and whether you are a complete beginner or on your way to becoming a maestro, I hope you enjoy playing piano for years to come.