To a musical family or individual for that matter, there are very few sound, long-term investments that can compare to buying a high -quality digital grand piano. These amazing musical instrument will be part of your household for years to come, ensuring that your musical genius is not only natured but also refined with time. When planning to buy any one of the available pianos in the market, it often takes much more than just trying to find the ‘best pianos’ in the market. It is about finding the best piano for you and your musical needs. With that in mind, we are going to look at 5 of the most popular and investment -worthy pianos as well as various things you need to do in order to choose wisely.
Yamaha DGX650B Digital Piano
Labeled as a portable instrument, the Yamaha DGX 650B is a wonderful instrument that will not only improve the pianist’s skills but also deliver amazing sound and dynamics with every single performance.
What’s so special about it?
Yamaha has made great use of the Pure CF Sound Technology to deliver realistic sound sampling from their legendary CFIIIS concert grand piano. As such, the DGX 650B delivers a wide range of classic piano sounds from pianissimo to fortissimo. Compared to digital grand pianos of similar size and price, the sound delivered by the DGX 650B is simply unmatched.
This model also comes with access to the ever growing XG Song Files catalog. Not only does this allow you to play along with the best artists in the industry, but it also permits you to use the most popular preset voices found in the music recording realm or industry.
What features can you expect?
– 128 polyphonic notes- 100 preset songs
– 147 preset voices- 36 reverb channels
– Five master EQ’s
– 15 drum and sound effects kit
– 44 choruses
– 381 G-lite present voices
– 237 DSPs
– Yamaha Education Suite
At just under $800 ($769.99) this is a digital grand piano that is great for learners and professional players as well. It has a Scale Graded Hammer action that goes with every single one its 88 weighted keys. This goes a long way in giving you the kind of resonance you would get from an acoustic piano. Its inbuilt Smart Chord technology makes it possible for you to play various chords by just pressing one key. Based on that key, the Smart Chord technology fills in the rest of the chords thus making you sound better and like a professional.
With enough internal memory for a moderately sized song, the DGX 650B lets you record up to 5 separate 30,000 note songs. It also has a USB port just in case you need to save more songs.
Yamaha YPG-535 88 -Key Portable Grand Piano
This 88 -Key Portable Grand Piano Keyboard gives you amazing graded soft -touch action with a sturdy built-in stand. It also comes with Performance Assistance Technology that goes a long way in ensuring that you give error -free performances when you play. The Yamaha YPG-535 has an easy to use onboard song recorder as well as the adjustable sound that comes with five different types of Master EQ. Apart from being equipped with easy USB connectivity, the Yamaha YPG-535 also comes with a stand, sustain pedal, and an adapter.
What features can you expect?
– Piano Centric Features including 88 Graded Soft Touch piano -style keys
– USB Connectivity
– High resolution Lyric, chord and notation display
– Yamaha Education Suite- 6 -track recorder
– Full Keyboard Mode- Great
30 preset songs- 9 types of digital effects reverb- 10 drum and sound effects kit- 32 polyphonic notes
At just under $500 ($489.99) this beautiful digital grand piano comes with an impressive survival kit that allows you to get started immediately. The kit includes energy saving power adapter; a two year extended the warranty, stereo headphones, footswitch and much more.
This is the perfect piano for players of all skill levels. Beginners will absolutely love it for how easy it is to use while intermediate players will get a lot of value from the Yamaha Education Suite. Professional composers and players will fall in love with the 6 -track recorder that allows you to record your musical pieces right into the piano. Every player will appreciate the energy saving power adapter that comes with this piano. This adapter cuts your electricity use by about half. Additionally, the lyrics, chord and notation display ensures that you never have to turn any more music sheets ever again.
Easy to use, energy saving and an incredible sound to boot, the Yamaha YPG-535 is a wonderful piece of musical equipment that is both affordable and actually outstanding within its own class.
Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII
At just 12.4″ long, 1.6 lbs. in weight, the MPK Mini is an exceptionally compact keyboard controller that was designed with the traveling musician as well as a desktop producer in mind. This impressive keyboard controller allows you to compose, record and even perform with virtual instruments whenever and wherever inspiration strikes. Featuring a 4 -way thumbstick that allows for dynamic modulation and pitch manipulation, 8 Q –link knobs (assignable), 8 velocity sensitive pads(all backlit), 25 synth -action keys (velocity sensitive) and a host of other wonderful features, the MPK Mini lets you explore your creativity to the maximum.
What features can you expect?
– The enhanced designs have up to 5 years of incorporated user feedback
– An arpeggiator that features
adjustable range, resolution, and modes
– 4 -way thumbstick that allows for dynamic modulation and pitch
– Eight backlit velocity -sensitive pads that come with Full Level and Note Repeat
– 25 mini keys featuring synth –action
– It is USB-powered which means you do not need a power adapter
– 8 Q -Link knobs that allow you to do some mixing as well as tweaking plug -ins, and so much more- Dedicated Octave Up/ down buttons
– It comes with comprehensive production software
The fact that the MPK Mini is small enough to fit in your backpack makes it the ultimate digital keyboard piano for those who get musically inspired on the go. With its plug and play capabilities as well as the inbuilt Sustain pedal, you can now go right ahead and carry on with your expressive playing as well as recording on the go. Furthermore, the onboard arpeggiator makes it very easy for composers to create intricate melodic lines with almost no effort at all. At only $99, it is by far one of the most compact, easy to use and transport keyboard controllers in its price range.
Casio Privia PX160BK 88 -Key Full -Size Digital Piano
One thing that you will notice about the Casio Privia PX160 is that it has many features that can only be found on high -end digital pianos. Weighing only 25Ibs, the Casio Privia PX160 is by far one of the very lightest pianos within its price range and class. Fully loaded with Casio’s legendary AiR technology, this digital keyboard allows you to produce crystal clear sounds even when played at high volume. Although this version has improved speakers that point out towards the audience, it still allows for external speakers connectivity through a line out connection. It also has USB connection capabilities that allow for MIDI communication.
What features can you expect?
– A full-size keyboard that comes with 88 keys
– Comes with 18 inbuilt tones
– A Scaled Hammer Action II Keyboard that comes with inbuilt tri-sensor
– The keys are Ivory and Ebony textured – Line out audio-Inbuilt 8w stereo speakers
– 128 polyphony
– Comes fully loaded with Casio’s impressive AiR technology
– It has a Damper pedal
– USB connection capabilities
– Two -track recorder
For an entry level piano, the Casio Privia PX160 is so close to ‘grand piano’ standards that if you close your eyes when playing, the perfectly weighted keys will lead you to think that you were playing an actual grand piano. The Scaled Hammer Action II Keyboard that comes with inbuilt tri-sensor which almost mimics an acoustic piano exactly. Furthermore, the keys are graded in weight just as they are on the real thing. Couple that with the Ivory and Ebony texture, these keys could very well be on a grand piano.
At just $499, the Casio Privia PX160 is very much punching way above its weight class. From the sound quality to the plethora of excellent features and portability, this is a digital piano that is perfect for musicians of all skill levels.
The Williams Allegro 2 is a highly versatile digital piano that offers amazing chorus and reverb effects as well as special Modulation/FX control. At just under 30 lbs., this portable digital piano can be comfortably and deservedly counted among the best and lightest in its class. Thanks to the aforementioned special Modulation/FX control, users now have even more expressive command over the piano’s internal sounds. No other digital piano in this class gives you as much control in this sector. Furthermore, the Williams Allegro 2 has controls that are extremely easy to use, split/layer function, built-in speakers and a high-resolution graphic LCD that makes it a joy to use.
What features can you expect?
– 64 polyphonic notes
– Ten preset songs- Line output
– 16 -channel MIDI connectivity
– Ten preset voices- 2 –track recorder and playback functionality for those who want to compose and save without using a USB
At just under $300 (it sells for $299.99), this is an excellent piano for beginners and intermediate players. Not only is it affordable, but it is also quite easy to use and extremely portable. Even though the keys are not graded, they are weighted and as such, offer quite a bit of a realistic feel (the key bed also has great hammer action).
Another thing worth mentioning is that you will need to buy the sustain pedal and power supply separately. That, however, should not concern you greatly because by simply buying the ESS1 pack, you will be able to add all the necessary accessories at the reasonable price of just $29.
The Williams Allegro 2 comes with better sound quality than its predecessor, and at these kinds of prices, it is by far an excellent example of the best pianos for entry level and intermediate students. It is easy to use, highly portable and you have the option of either using 6 D -cell type batteries when traveling or you can simply buy the ESS1 pack that comes with a functional power supply.
Choosing the Best Piano for You and Your Family
Several considerations must go into choosing the best digital piano for yourself. The very first thing that you should take into consideration is the level at which you play. Are you a beginner, an intermediate or a professional player? Even though there are wonderful digital pianos like the Yamaha DGX650B Digital Piano mentioned above that cater for players of any skill level, it might be best for you to choose something less expensive if you are just starting out.
The choice, of course, depends on what you are looking for and how committed you are to your music. That being said, there are still some digital piano features that you simply must be well conversant with to be able to choose the best piano for yourself. With that in mind, here are some things that you need to look at when you start shopping around for the most convenient piano.
Types of Keyboards
Granted, understanding each and every type of keyboard and piano available in the market is a daunting task, even for the experts. That, however, does not mean that you should throw in the towel and simply just guess your way through the buying process. Gaining a little basic knowledge on this subject will be key to your making the right choice and eventual purchase. Here are some of the most basic, yet integral features of a keyboard that you must understand. To make things easier, we are going to take a look at the terms and features that are common in almost every category of digital pianos and keyboards.
The number of Keys (mostly 88 but could go as low as 25)
Most of the keyboards reviewed above, except the MPK Mini, all have 88 keys. This is in emulation of an actual acoustic grand piano. Small MIDI controllers tend to have 25 keys. The factors that should go into helping you decide whether or not you need a keyboard that has 88 keys or 25 keys include the type of music you intend to play and just how much space you have for the piano itself in your residence or wherever you intend to play and keep the piano.
Keybed action or response
When shopping for the right keyboard, you will come across several terms that are related to the response and action of the keybed. Such terms include:
– Weighted and semi -weighted: This means that the keys have a response that is almost similar or is similar to a traditional grand piano.
– Hammer action: This is when there are actual mechanical hammers added to the keyboard’s keybed to enhance the response even further.
– Synth-action: This means that the keys can be played rather quickly with no resistance.
If you are looking for a keyboard that will give you the closest feel to a real piano, then you want to choose one that has weighted or semi -weighted keys. A synth -action keybed is for those players who intend to play music that has a lot of fast lead passages.
Again, this depends on how exactly you intend to use your keyboard. If synths are going to be necessary, then you will need controllers that have pitch and modulation capabilities. If you intend to work with MIDI, then you want a keyboard that has sliders and knobs. Today, most keyboards offer high definition visual displays that have touch capabilities. This gives you, even more, control on what you can do with the keyboard as well as ease of use.
Velocity or touch sensitivity
This is the ability of an instrument to automatically sense the speed or force with which the keys are pressed and to send that MIDI message or create a sound that corresponds to that action. The best keyboards are highly touch -sensitive and consistently so.
MIDI compatibility and Computer connectivity
MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. This is a digital communication protocol that allows your keyboard to send and receive messages to and from a computer. There is specific software created for this very function, and the best keyboards have extensive MIDI capabilities. If you are going to buy a digital piano, you want to buy one that has great computer connectivity capabilities. Most of the above –mentioned keyboards either offer USB or MIDI for easy computer connectivity.
An arpeggiator is a system that electronically creates and plays an arpeggio when you play a single note on your keyboard (an arpeggio is a musical chord whose notes are played in smooth succession as opposed to all at once). Keyboards that have arpeggiators allow the player to play and appear more accomplished than they actually are in reality. It is a good tool for beginners, intermediates, and even professional players.
Sequencer and sampler
Most digital keyboards come fully loaded with sequencers and samplers now. A sequencer is a piece of software or hardware that allows the player to record MIDI performance data and then plays it back as sequenced by the user. A sampler on the hand, allows you to ‘sample various sounds and play them back in very many different ways. If you are going to be incorporating external audio clips into your performance or music, then you definitely want your keyboard to have these two features.
This simply refers to the number of different sounds that the keyboard can create and generate at the same time. The best digital pianos can generate a lot of polyphonic sounds. Keyboards that have extensive polyphonic capabilities can actually mimic an entire orchestra. Keyboards such as the ‘Casio Privia PX160BK’ and the ‘Yamaha DGX650B Digital Piano that have 128 polyphonic notes and 147 instrument voices and the most capable of mimicking fully fledged orchestras and giving your performance an air of authenticity and professionalism that could otherwise only be experienced through an actual grand piano and an actual orchestra performance.
Audio inputs and outputs
If you are going to be playing in front of an audience or at the very least, intend to use your digital piano as an audio workstation then you need it to have audio inputs and outputs otherwise you will have to buy an entirely separate device to bridge that missing interface. These outputs are also necessary for those who intend to connect other media such as mixers, amplifiers, and mixers to their keyboards.
How to choose between the best pianos in the market
Now that you already know what the most basic, yet important, keyboard features and terminologies stand for, you are faced with yet another important component of your decision making; how do you choose between the many available digital pianos in the market?
Yes, it can rather daunting trying to decide between a myriad of digital pianos that all have almost the same capabilities and features. When it comes down to it, the ultimate choice really depends on two fundamental factors: what you intend to do with the piano and how much you have to spend.
These two factors go hand in hand. On one hand, there are digital pianos in the market that go for as little as $99. One such piano is the MPK Mini featured in this list. On the other hand, there are some that go for well over $500 but offer a great range of features that the MPK Mini just doesn’t. But if the MPK Mini can meet all your needs, then why would you want to spend an extra $400 buying a piano that is superfluous, to say the least?
So, before you take out your wallet and pay for any one of these excellent or best pianos in the market today, ask yourself some of these pertinent questions:
What does it sound like?
Even though digital pianos are a bit of a far cry from the original acoustic pianos of days past, the whole idea is to try and find one that sounds almost as good as one or at the very least, comes very close to sounding as good as a grand piano. Thanks to different types of weighted and semi -weighted keys on digital pianos, now many of them sound almost as good as acoustic pianos do. Look at the type of keys it has; look at what type of hammer action it has and above all else, try it and hear what it sounds like. Does it come anywhere close to sounding like an acoustic piano? Do the different notes resonate in a realistic manner when you play them?
When you change the pressure applied to the keys/note, do they respond in a corresponding manner?
What does the keyboard feel like?
The feel of the keyboard has a profound effect on the quality of music you will be making. As such, this is an incredibly crucial piece of the puzzle. The best pianos, the ones that have real high quality, all have weighted keyboards. This means that the keys will feel distinctly lighter as you move towards the treble end of the keyboard and particularly heavier as you move towards the bass end of things. One the best ways to test if the piano is right for you is to play it for a little while. Try and gauge what your hands feel like afterward. If you find that your hands are particularly tired, then it might be an indication that the keyboard action on that particular model is too heavy for you.
How easy is it to use?
It doesn’t really matter how accomplished you are at playing the piano; nobody likes having to deal with an instrument that is almost impossible to use. Considering the fact that digital pianos are getting more and more advanced by the day, choosing one that is easy to operate despite all the bells and whistles that come attached to it should be a top priority. Take a look at the user’s manual, how easy is it to read? Try and use the piano before you leave the store. Can you easily figure out what goes where and what does what? The easier and more straight forward it is to use the better and faster you will get accomplished at producing and making music using the piano. Take you time to find one that is designed with the use in mind.
How much is it going to cost you?
The best thing about digital pianos is that, unlike the good old grand pianos, they do not need tuning. So you can at least say that buying one will save you hundreds of dollars each year as far as tuning is concerned. Still, however, the price has to be a factor unless you have an unlimited supply of cash, in which case, shop away. But if you are like 99% of the world’s population, then you are probably on a budget and all you want to get great value for your money. In the above list, we have named the best pianos money can buy as per their features. We have pianos that cost as little as $99 and some that cost just under $800. Every single one of these pianos has different features and capabilities and would be appreciated by students of different skill levels.
Depending on your skill level and how committed you are to the course, you are advised to save a little money and buy a high -end digital piano. At least this will give you a wide array of capabilities and storage space while still costing you far less than a grand piano typically would.
Take an honest look at your financial capabilities then weigh that against just how committed you are to your music and decide if it is worth the sacrifice. If on the other hand, your piano is going to be used on money making ventures, then spring for the ‘Yamaha DGX650B Digital Piano’. It is a little pricey but it gives you the best possible features and benefits as far as digital pianos go. Plus it has many features that most high -end pianos have at a fraction of the price. Look at the reviews and user comments
In this list, we have given you a comprehensive review of five of the best pianos in the market.
Based on this information, you can now easily decide which one among these five is best suited to your particular needs. Seeing as there are hundreds and hundreds of different brands and makes of digital pianos in the market today, trying to take a keen look at each and every single one of them separately is not only a waste of time, but also an exercise that has the potential to cause great confusion and maybe even deplete your morale for music making.
Among the most reliable of ways to go about sieving through these great numbers is to use this website to view honest reviews of the best pianos in the market and then decide based on the features and your intentions for the instrument. Another way to go about it is to find honest user reviews and comments. These will let you know what kind of potential problems to expect when using the instrument as well as just how well the piano has worked for other users just like you.
The fact that you are looking at the features of the best pianos in the market means that you have either recognized the potential musical genius that lies within you or that you have already discovered that genius and are now in the process of bringing them out. Either way, to set yourself up with the best chance of success you need to choose the right digital keyboard of piano for you.
One that is best suited to meet your particular needs and musical intentions. Any one of the above-reviewed instruments is a masterpiece in its own class and price range. All that remains now is for you to go through the reviews above in a practical manner, look at all the wonderful features and decide based on your needs which one is the best one for you then buy it. Ultimately, the choice is yours. But as things stand now, you have all the necessary information you need to make a wise and excellent choice. Remember, the best pianos in the market are portable, easy to use and even easier to fall in love with when trying to find the right one.
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