There are three basic type of piano keyboard instruments available on the market today. The first is a traditional acoustic piano. This is what most classically trained musicians learned on, and it is a type of keyboard instrument that has been around for centuries. It is the largest keyboard instrument, and it is also the most expensive.
The second, less expensive, type of keyboard instrument is the digital piano. Aficionados and music snobs will likely tell you that anything but the good old fashioned acoustic wooden and steel-corded instrument of the player piano is inferior in many ways. However modern technologies and sound enhancements make digital pianos a budget-friendly good choice for beginning musicians and casual players.
The third category of piano keyboard instrument is one that exists to the consternation of piano purists around the globe. The electronic keyboard is the least expensive of them all. It is portable so you can take it with you to lessons, and many models are small enough to sit in your lap. Electronic keyboards have often had the stigmas of tinny sound, off-key notes, and obviously digitized sounds, but modern technologies and advancements from sound equipment manufacturers have put the electronic piano keyboard back on the map.
Comparison Table of the Best Piano Keyboards
How to Find the Best Piano Keyboards
While it may be impossible to fully replace acoustic player pianos (and we don’t think anyone is really trying to do that here, it may not also be feasible to have a full-sized piano around because of issues regarding space and/or cost.
In lieu of an actual acoustic piano, it is hard to do better than a Yamaha Arius YDP-143, which will run you about $1000 and comes with a black walnut playing bench. Designed to sound and feel as much like an acoustic player piano as possible, any time you’ll find that the keys have been weighted in order to provide a more old-fashioned resistance to touch, and a speed and pressure similar to their wooden counterparts.
And, in fact, our friends at the Hoffman Academy had tallied some interesting comparison numbers:
The reason we mention all of this here is because, if you imagine all of the sound technology that goes into making a great digital piano playing experience mimic a grand acoustic playing experience- accurate sounding notes, authentic feeling keys, proper keyboard layout, and more - and apply that to a mobile piano keyboard, than you can easily infer what it might take to qualify for the list of 10 best piano keyboard.
Top 10 Best Piano Keyboards List
The goal, at least in part, is to accurately relay the joy of playing a grand acoustic player piano is a smaller form and easy to maintain tool. They are always perfectly in tune and less expensive than their tradition progenitors.
Moreover, digital pianos have come a long way as far as sound quality, and many even offer a variety of features that traditional pianos do not. Microphones, recording options, amplifiers and even headphone inputs make piano keyboards a great option for students, beginners, and home players.
We have tallied the lists, checked reviews, considered cost, and researched manufacturer info to bring to you our list of the top 10 best piano keyboards.
- The Yamaha Portable Grand YPG-535 has an easy to use panel, 88 Keys, Graded Soft Touch (GST) action with different...
- USB connectivity brings music directly to your keyboard with 2 ports on the back, USB TO HOST and USB TO DEVICE. Plus...
- Display the score to a song with lyric, chord and notation display. Performance Assistant Technology features Melody...
This portable grand piano features 76-keys with “Graded Soft Touch” technology that brings playing the keys closer to the real thing than you could have imagined. Plus, with 12-watts of power, you’ll never hear a flat sounding note or witness the YPG underperform.
Moreover, the digital interface is intuitive and easy-to-use, and it comes with 30 built-in music tracks plus 70 more on the included DVD. And once you have exhausted all of those options, simply connect your computer via USB and play any internet song that you have previously downloaded.
In addition, Yamaha had included an education suite full of lessons and tips and tricks, and the software will actually grade you as you wade through the lessons. You can expect to pay about $550 for this digital music machine, and it has an almost perfect customer rating on Amazon.
This budget-friendly digital piano is lightweight and easily portable, and it comes with 88 semi-weighted keys and built-in speakers. The keyboard also offers digital playout options such as piano, organ, electric piano, synth, and bass sounds will add variety to your playing and sounds can be layered to produce more than one at a time.
“Split Mode” will divide the keyboard into two sections so that two players can easily play simultaneously on the right and left-hand sides. Moreover, you find chorus and reverb effects and settings can be saved even if the unit is powered down.
Another neat feature is that the piano keyboard features stereo/mono line out jacks as well as USB MIDI connections. This 88-key electric piano weighs under 25 pounds and costs about $200.
- GHS weighted 88-key action is heavier in the low end and lighter in the high end, just like an acoustic piano
- Amplifiers 7 W x 2.The Pure CF Sound Engine faithfully reproduces the tone of a meticulously sampled Yamaha's acclaimed...
- Pianist Styles turn your simple chords into exciting accompaniment. Play a chord and the Pianist Style gives you a full...
Yamaha again makes this list, this time using GHS technology in their 88-key digital piano that features keys that are weighted heavier in the low end and get lighter the higher the note. Meant to mimic the feel of an acoustic piano, the patented Pure CF Sound Engine features the rich, dynamic sound of a grand piano. Track one down online for about 640 bucks.
What’s more, you can control this tech-heavy electronic keyboard with your iPhone or iPad by downloading the Yamaha app. Plus you find a built-in drum machine and a variety so sound profiles like rock, blues, and swing. Moreover, the AUX out jacks allows for the connection to an amplifier or high-powered speaker to broadcast your mad musical genius all over the house (something you family or housemate will no doubt thank you for later).
- GHS weighted action is heavier in the low end and lighter in the high end, just like an acoustic pia
- 1/4" microphone input allows you to connect a microphone so you can sing along while you play
- Wireless audio & MIDI features utilize Wi-Fi to stream audio and MIDI to/from your iOS device
This digital grand piano is the Caddilac of digital pianos. It comes with 88 keys and a microphone so that you can channel your inner Billy Joel, and you can also record your most memorable hits for playback later.
The Piano Room feature also lets you choose from an array of different pianos playout sounds, such as acoustic, organ, electric, and base. And you can also apply a variety of digital effects to your voice, too. Plus, the LCD display can show both the musical score or song lyrics from any prepackages song.
It will even show scores from songs that you have composed. Moreover, using the SmartChord feature will have you sounding like a pro in no time, because it learns your playing style and suggests addition chords to make whatever your playing sound like heaven. This Amazon’s Choice Award piano will run you about 800 dollars.
- The AiR engine provides highly-accurate grand piano sounds with seamless dynamics for a remarkably expressive and...
- The Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action II keyboard has an incredible feel and captures the dynamics of a performance with...
- Features a chassis designed for an elegant look and to house a 8w x 8w speaker system that delivers the PX-160's...
The PX-160 digital piano bundle includes a furniture stand, the triple-pedal digital piano system, a player’s bench, Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD, Hal Leonard instructional book, polishing cloth, and more. With an embedded speaker system and two headphone output jacks, the keyboard comes with two playout tones, string ensemble, and electric piano.
Plus, other features include a 128-note polyphony, Casio's patented Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action II 88-key keyboard, 16 tones and ebony and ivory-textured keys. Amazon's got it for about $650.
If the Yamaha DGX-660 is the Caddilac of keybords than the Roland V-PIANOC is the Rolls Royce. Roland is known for their high-end musical equipment, and this professional-grade piano keyboard is no exception at around 7,000 smackeroos.
Still, it does produce a warm, full sound and exquisite feel, and, more than a piano, it is, rather a sound machine, capable of producing sound in the grand-piano to more futuristic synth-heavy tones. Plus, the 88-key keyboard manages to convey the real feeling of ivory using a technology the company has dubbed “Escapement.”
As much feel as it is the function, though, the term also refers to weight and subtle click you hear when pressing keys on a grand piano. The LCD display, also, is quite intuitive and lends to quick and easy access to sound effects without having to search too much.
Moreover, you will also find inputs and output galore, including XLR, coaxial, USB, MIDI, and more. One of the best sounding digital pianos on the market, it is also the costliest but is also sure fun to image playing on.
- 73 keys; Korg's best RH3 Graded Hammer Action; stunning piano sounds - two grands and an upright!
- 36 of the most in-demand and coveted vintage keyboard sounds, recreated with exacting detail
- Retro-inspired performance styling; single-function knobs and switches offer fast, simple operation
The Korg SV-1 is what many consider to one of the best digital pianos for the price point, which is about 1,750. An elegant feel and sound, no doubt, adds to its appeal, and the keyboard is capable of producing electric sounds as well as playing like an acoustic piano, an organ, or as a stringed instrument. Plus, you will find synths and other overlays that will keep you entertained for hours.
A synthesizer posing as a piano, you’ll find a bevy of special effects and amp modeling that can be layered one on top of another to create really unique sounds. You also find you can use the keyboard as an equalizer and for modulation, and you will get foot pedals, MIDI ports, options to save and record, and more.
The price on this combo organ for this Roland model is a little more palatable than the one previously listed, although not at the cost of an array of rich features. Play electric and acoustic pianos, as well as grand pianos and organs with this 88-note stereo keyboard with multi-sampling abilities. With an extensive list of classic sounds, synths, and effects.
With no less than seven effects, you will find them all by utilizing the digital display, and you can even control this electronic keyboard remotely by downloading a free app for your iPad. Plus you’ll find various playout modes, including rocks, blues, funk, and ska. Moreover, drawbars and rotary simulation round out the list of features for this $900 model.
- FLAWLESS, AUTHENTIC RANGE OF SOUND: Built-in speakers offer tremendous sound, complete with 255 Timbres, 255 rhythms, 61...
- INTEGRATED LEARNING SYSTEM: Designed for beginner to intermediate-level use, this multi-function keyboard piano features...
- DELUXE EFFECTS & FEATURES: Ideally suited to master finger control, this portable piano keyboard allows for play of...
This Amazon’s Choice boasts clean sound and a 61-key keyboard tagged for teaching. Featuring a dual-learning mode, you can record and playback music as you run through the program. Plus, 8 percussion keys, 100 rhythms, 12 included songs, and 100 timbres, means you’ll have enough content for hours of fun.
What is more, you’ll find tempo control features an intro, ending, synth, rhythm, vibrato, and transpose buttons, and the piano comes with two beefy built-in speakers that will provide a very round sound and perfect resonance. Get it for around $110.
- Stage 3 Compact Stage Keyboard: 73-key Digital Stage Piano with Synth, Organ, and Piano Sound Generators and 2GB Memory...
- KSP100 Keyboard Sustain Pedal: Piano-style Keyboard/Digital Piano Sustain Pedal with Powder-coated Metal Chassis,...
- Soft Case for 73-key Keyboards: Lightweight Soft Case for Nord Stage 73 and Electro 73
This beastly high-end digital piano packs both power and loads of technology to go. The Nord Stage 3 will run you about $3000 but, if you can hack it, using a machine with this much power and grace is totally worth it. Feature include an 88-note “Triple Sensor” weighted keyboard, OLED-display to, a vast 1GB sound library, split-functionality, and layered special effects.
In addition to a pure, warm sound, you will also get modulation add-ins like vibe, sim, pan, tremolo, wah-wah and more. Plus, this piano offers a versatile string resonance and delicate soft release that can elevate your playing and support your music habit for years to come.
Headphones for Mixing Wrap-up
No matter what your playing level, electronic piano keyboards are an affordable feature-rich alternative to grand acoustic pianos, and most of them won’t put all that much of a dent in your pocketbook. From high-end options to budget friendly buys, we have listed them all here for you.
We hoped you have enjoyed our 10 best piano keyboards list, and that, maybe, you have learned something as well. At the very least, maybe, you’ll look at electronic keyboards the next time you feel the need to light those keys on fire.