48 Comments

  1. Chris

    Hi there, I wondering if you could help me with a query I have with digital pianos…

    I’m currently on the market for a digital piano but I would like one that is completely MIDI friendly out of the box. I’m not looking for a MIDI controller here – I’m looking for a full range digital piano. 

    Do all the pianos you have listed here have the global MIDI function? I’m looking to set one up and record my sessions in Ableton Live if possible?

    • Wei

      Hi Chris,

      Thanks for dropping by. All the models I list here are full range digital piano with 88 keys. Almost all of them have the capability to be connected to a computer and being used as a controller. 

  2. Adrian Holland

    This article is not really within my area of experience. But I was impressed by the detail with which the article covered keyboards and made allowance for those trying to learn the piano, no matter what their level of progression. The parameters are clearly set out with a very logical set of minimal requirements that all the models rated had to meet. This takes out a lot of the guess work when trying to pick a model as the reader knows that all the comparisons drawn are like versus like.

    • Wei

      Hi Adrian, thanks for dropping by. I do consider myself a logical person. And the information out there in this industry is a bit messy. That’s why I created this article. I try to share everything I know about digital pianos with a logical arrangement that’s easy to read and to understand. I’m glad you found it helpful.

  3. Vanna Denham

    Wai you have educated me today about the differences in the digital and acoustic pianos.  I leaned to read notes and play from the piano lesson books.  But I never learned anything about the instrument itself.  I didn’t know about the weighted hammer and that the weight is needed to express emotions during play.  Now I know also that each key is weighted differently.  The base weighted heavier and lighter toward the treble.   

    Thank you for the technical information.  So I now have some understanding of the differences between acoustic sound and the electronic sound.   Of course all you have to do is listen to know there is a difference in the sound but I didn’t know why.  I love the acoustic piano and the organ. I like the keyboard and all it can do but it wouldn’t be my first preference. 

    You provided a good resource full of comprehensive information and description. .I have pinned the post as a future resource.  

    Thank You,V. Pearl

    • Wei

      Hi Vanna, welcome and thank you for your kind remarks. As you can imagine, when looking for a digital piano, these technical stuff can be difficult to figure out. Certainly took me a while.

  4. DerrAd

    This is the most comprehensive and detailed article that’s I’ve ever come across about digital pianos. I’ve had interest in learning how to play the piano but each time I take a serious leap, I drop it along the line due to my schedules. Do you have any advice for me on how to discipline myself in the learning process? I will go for the portable piano when I’m ready to get one and I must say that you certainly didn’t leave out what I have to know about pianos.

    • Wei

      Hi there, I was afraid of the same issue. We all have busy schedules and there is a good chance that I couldn’t persist. That’s why I bought the Yamaha P45 because it is a great beginner’s piano and the price is really low. 

      As for motivation and discipline, you need to start thinking about learning piano like starting a business. Have a clear goal and good planning would help you practice consistently.

  5. Shane Black

    Hi Wei, 

    Thanks so much for sharing this very informative and detailed list of the best digital pianos in 2018.

    I’ve been thinking about buying a piano for my house for a while now. I haven’t played in years but it is something I’d love to practise, as well as for my children to learn. I particularly like the digital vs acoustic section as this has been something I’ve been thinking about. Truth is, until I read your article I wasn’t sure which direction I would go. 

    Thanks again Wei. 

    Cheers, 

    Shane

    • Wei

      Hi Shane, welcome and thanks for your comment. If you are thinking about picking up piano again, don’t hesitate. There are many benefits you and your children will enjoy from learning to play the piano. 

      I’m glad my comparison between digital vs. acoustic is helpful to you. Have you decided which one is best for your needs?

  6. Ronald

    Pianos are and will be an attraction to many people. Digital sound, finding your selection or choice. 

    Okay, I will try to stay focused. I play keyboard and love music. I feel the creation of digital pianos are excellent for so many reasons. Your topic is great because there are so many different pianos that if you didn’t know sound quality you can be fooled.  

    The best on this page is you selected a variety of pianos and the sound that each on has. You explain the market of 2018 and the various places to purchase. I enjoyed the visit to your page. Another comment is cost, vs. quality.  so depending your use like beginners, go for the low cost. 

    Great webpage 

    • Wei

      Hi Ronald, thanks for dropping by. Digital pianos would be great for you if you like to play around different sounds and compose your own piece using their multi track recording capabilities. 

      And yes, it’s so confusing and could take a long time to figure out the industry when shopping for a digital piano. I know I did. The aim of this list is to narrow it down and save my readers some time.

  7. Noke

    Wei,

    Great information. It’s a one stop shop of knowledge, availability and choice selection. 

    My wife plays piano and was thinking of going digital to save space and have some portability. Her full size piano was to big for our place so it’s still at her parents. But she loves to play.

    Does it take long to adjust from playing a regular piano to digital, or is the migration fairly smooth? 

    Do you prefer using a digital over a regular? I play guitar and I remember making some adjustments from acoustic to electric. Is it similar, softer keys on digital vs. more pressure on a traditional piano, none or just a state of mind?

    Your information is so thorough, her and I will have to go over all of it together. It’s wonderful, everything we need is all in one place, you covered pros and cons, types, maintenance, differences, comparisons and accessories. It will streamline decision making.

    One of the most informative and useful buyers guides I’ve seen in a long time. You are a credit to your industry.

    Thanks for the information,

    Noke

    • Wei

      Hi Noke, welcome and thank you for your kind comment. It pleases me to know that what I wrote is helpful to others. I will keep up the good work. 🙂

      Digital piano is quite different from electric guitar. Digital pianos try their best to sound and feel like the regular ones. 

      Your wife shouldn’t have any trouble adjust to a digital one. Of course, the more expensive models usually have better key actions that feel more closely to an acoustic. And for someone who’s experienced in piano play, the cheaper ones might feel wrong to her. So in a way, it also depends on your budget. 

  8. Nicole Stiles

    I did not know that digital pianos were getting so advanced. I’m sure some mourn the idea that they will most likely replace acoustic pianos, but I think it’s great. It’s a major space saver. Their designs also fit well with modern homes. Older pianos don’t always look good in a modern look.

    • Wei

      Hi Nicole, I agree with you 100 percent. While acoustic upright pianos look classic on their own, they just don’t fit the modern decor styles. Most modern homes are sleek and somewhat minimalist. This can be the key advantage for many to prefer a digital piano over an acoustic one.

  9. Hello Wei, I don’t think you left anything out. The portable keyboards got bigger and more expensive. When I was a teenager I used to go into the electronic section of the store and mess around with keyboards. They have all kinds of buttons for whatever kind of music you like. My favorite one was always rock and roll because I always like the beats and stuff. I used to have fun putting those beats on the keyboards. I never play around with the keys because I never knew how to play the piano. It’s neat how you can hook your phone, tablet or laptop to the piano. It sounds like if I did play the piano, I rather do with digital piano than the acoustic.

    • Hi Roger, keyboards are indeed fun to play with. But they are actually different from digital pianos. Maybe later I will include a section about the difference. The main one is on the keys. Electric keyboards do not have weighted key action. And that is the main reason why they are smaller and lightweight. If you like rock and roll and experiment with different genre, I would recommend to you the Yamaha DGX-660. It has all the great features and hundreds of voices from different instruments. You can also play with the multi tracking recording function to mix it up and create your own piece of music.

  10. Thank you for bring this up about digital piano this is another wide range for music industrial Casio is a good product that will last for a period of time

    • Hi Wilson, Welcome and thanks for your comment.

      I think you make a good point. I also believe that through technology advancement, someday, digital pianos will become totally different instruments than the acoustic pianos. They will serve different purposes and are no longer interchangeable. Casio is doing something great and I think they are on the right direction. They offer very solid instruments with much lower price. The fact that they don’t produce acoustic pianos could be a disadvantage but I think it also gives them more freedom and the ability to look at digital pianos from new angles.

  11. pmbaluka2016

    I’m a pianist and for sometimes I’ve not been playing due to the nature of my job. I travelled to a foreign country and my work setup doesn’t allow any time for playing my long friend instrument.

    However, my plan is to purchase a classic and fancy piano because when I get back home I want to start a personal music studio because this is one of my passions. 

    I’ve gone through the list of the pianos and preferably I wanted a hybrid piano. When I looked at Yamaha N3X, it looks so bulky and so this pushes me off already. I wonder if you can assist me get a Yamaha hybrid piano which is lighter and portable?

    • Wei

      Hi there, thanks for dropping by. If hybrid digital piano is what you are looking for, then don’t expect it to be light and portable. Since the key action is almost identical to the key action on an acoustic grand, they will always be heavy. There are other Yamaha hydrid models, but they are also big and heavy. Another reason I didn’t include those is because they are quite a few years old. 

      What’s your plan for your personal music studio? If you want to compose your own music, then maybe one of the stage digital piano is more suited for your need. 

  12. Julia Kossowska

    Hi Wei,

    This is an amazing amount of information.

    I knew keyboards could replicate different instruments. 

    What I hadn’t realised was how closely a keyboard could replicate the piano-playing experience, with keys that are weighted, graded and touch-sensitive!

    It seems that particularly at the lower end of the market you get better quality by going for a digital option.  This surprised me.

    Have you any videos of you playing the piano?  

    All the best!

    • Wei

      Hi Julia, thanks for dropping by.

      Digital pianos now a days come pretty close to acoustic pianos. Especially on the premium side of the industry. Lower priced ones are great for beginners.

      On the lower priced part of the market, an acoustic piano is simply not possible. You might find one cheap in a second hand shop but the restoration, tuning, moving, etc. are going to mount up quickly.

      I’m anxious to start a YouTube channel about digital pianos and learning piano for beginners. But since I know nothing about making videos, it’s going to be a project for the future.

  13. Wei,
    This is the most comprehensive review that I have ever seen on Digital Pianos. You could name it the Encyclopedia of Digital Pianos. I have been playing the piano nearly all my life, and until about 4 years ago, You couldn’t have convinced me that a digital piano was comparable to what I labeled a “real Piano.”
    In 2015, I bought a Kawai Concert Artist CA67. It’s been the best piano I ever owned.
    You have spent an enormous amount of time researching this review and you have presented it in exceptional detail. Your illustrations enhanced your excellent report.

    • Hi Barbara,

      Thanks for dropping by. You are too kind for calling it the Encyclopedia of Digital Pianos. There are so many great and knowledgeable reviewers out there and I have learn a lot from them.

      Congrats on your purchase of the CA67. It is an amazing instrument and almost everyone who bought it are happy with it. The only reason I didn’t include the CA67 in my best digital piano list is because it has been replaced by a newer model the CA97. I wish you all the best and tons of joy on your CA67.

  14. Emmanuel Buysse

    Great post and this will help my best friend.

    He always had a piano, but he wants to be more modern, so he was looking for a digital one for quite a time.

    One question, for people who always played on a real one, will it not feel strange?

    Thanks for sharing it, I will show him!

    • Wei

      Hi Emmanuel, welcome and thanks for your comment.

      If your friend has been playing piano for a long time, he will need a good digital piano to not feel strange. A cheap one will not be good enough. I would suggest the Kawai CA97. Of course that depends on his budget. Also, he must have developed his own preference for key action. Thus it’s better for your friend to go to a store and try them out. He might find one key action better than others.

  15. Nkhosingiphile

    I am really really inspired, i used to see people playing musical instruments at church and also on TV… Music is a mind stimulant, it really pick and lift me to places i have never been to so watching music on TV with nice piano sound really lifts me. I began by loving to see the people operators playing the piano and i felt like it was me then it was a passion to me but without the skills of how to play good quality music.

    Now that you you have just outlined the realistic key action and everything it increases my knowledge and get me to budget to have one of my own.

    • Wei

      Hi there, thanks for dropping by. I was just like you. Every time I see someone play the piano on TV, I would be inspired and day dream if it were me who’s producing all those beautiful melodies. That is the reason why I finally decided to give piano a try. I started with a solid but cheap digital piano, the Yamaha P45. If you ever want to give your inspiration a go, the P45 is a great choice. It’s a good enough instrument for beginners and it’s really affordable. 

  16. Lauren Kinghorn

    Wow Wei, what a comprehensive review!  I didn’t know about the criteria used to judge digital pianos, your info on the weighting and grading of keys was very interesting.  Thank You.  

    We have an antique wooden upright piano with ivory keys. Is that called an acoustic piano? My son just turned 5 and he’s been playing around the piano since he was about 2 years-old.  I haven’t started teaching him piano yet, but I’d like to, especially as I’ve noticed his sensitivity and handling of the keys is improving and he’s starting to try work out how to play his favourite tunes.  Do you think it would be easier teaching him on a digital piano?  I have the feeling he will be more motivated to use a digital piano because of all the additional funky sounds digital pianos can recreate. 

    Would you still recommend the Kawai ES110 in this instance? Maybe we’re looking for maximum bells and whistles for a child?

    • Wei

      Hi Lauren, welcome and thank you for your comment. I’m pretty sure that wooden upright piano you have is an acoustic piano. The sound is produced by a series of strings in the cabinet. 

      What kind of musical preference has your son developed? What kind of music does he like to listen to? If it’s more classical style, I think you are set with the acoustic piano you have. Only thing you need to worry about is the maintenance of the instrument. 

      On the other hand, if your son prefers a more pop or rock and roll style of music, then I would suggest a digital piano that has different instrument voices and built in rhythms. The Kawai ES110 is a great choice. Not only because it’s a sold digital piano, but also the built in Bluetooth means you can connect it with a smart device and utilize all kinds of fun apps to keep your son hooked. 

      An alternative would be the Yamaha DGX-660. The DGX-660 has hundreds of instrument voices and it’s really fun to play around. This could be the ideal choice to keep your son interested and motivated. 

  17. j52powell

    What a great resource on digital pianos!  I really never considered all the technical details of the piano before, but you lay them out clearly.  I play the trumpet and as a kid it was always considered a bother to my family and neighbors when I practiced, and a trumpet is so limiting compared to a piano.  Piano music is welcome by all.  I would like to get my kids started on keyboards for enjoyment and to get a broader musical understanding than playing a trumpet requires.  It will take a bit to digest your information.  When I have I hope to pick up a modestly priced piano and go from there.  I’ll use your site here as my guiding light.

    Best regards,

    Joe

    • Wei

      Hi Joe, welcome and thank you for your comment. Piano is indeed a great intrument to learn and there are many benefits of it. 

      For your kids, it depends on if you plan for them to persist along the journey or if you just want them to give it a try. For the long run, a better piano would make sense since you don’t need to upgrade very soon. Like the Kawai CA48, Casio PX870 or the Yamaha YDP-184 are all great choices. If you only want them to give it a try, the Yamaha P45 is the one I’d recommend. 

      All the best to you and your family.

  18. Holly Brace

    Wow, I definitely feel like I know way more about digital pianos now! You probably know more about your field than most people online, and you’re post is super informative. 

    I haven’t played piano since I was 18 (I’m now 25) so it’s safe to say im extremely rusty, and these are definitely different than using my piano teachers piano in her back room. Tell me, is the digital recording easy to do? Or is it to complicated for this novice? 

    • Wei

      Hi Brace, I’m glad you find my post helpful. I did put in a lot time and effort into it. I can’t say I know more than most people online, because there are some awesome reviewers out there. But I do try to share everything I know about digital pianos.

      If you haven’t been playing for a while, I urge you to give digital piano a try. You would be surprised how good they are now a days.

      Recording being one of the core advantages of digital piano’s, it is made really easy for users. Just click a button and that’s it. Many also allow multi track recording where you can record on top of an existing recording and the instrument will combine them.

  19. Liz

    I am an ex pro muso (flute player) and I own a Yamaha P85. When I bought it I was not looking for anything fancy and it was some time ago now. But, for the purposes that I use piano, it is all I really need! It is quite amazing what technology has done over the last 10-15 years and it does make a lot more sense to buy a digital piano over an acoustic for the purposes of portability and versatility. However, I know that the professional piano players are always going to prefer a full blown acoustic grand (I mean who wouldn’t) but, in most cases it does not make sense economically or even space wise. In terms of the most expensive digital pianos, they still don’t come near the price of a steinway, and yet, they are not too far off when it comes to realistic sound…It will be interesting to see where the future of acoustic instruments go. Great review and very helpful!

    • Wei

      Hi Liz,

      Thanks for your comment. You are right, the acoustic ones are still better for performance. However, most professional pianists have access to acoustic grand either at school or work. When they need one secondary piano to practice at home, digital ones will be more suited. Just like you, I am also really excited to see where the industry will go in the future. I think we are going to see some amazing technologies and instruments that not only come close to the acoustic counterparts but in many ways better. 

      For example, they now use optical sensor on those high end hybrid digital pianos. I wait to see when this technology will be adopted more widely. It would significantly boost the realistic feel of the key actions. 

  20. Laura

    I would love to learn how to play the piano, but I don’t want to spend a crazy amount of money for a big clunky piano. As I live in an appartement I need a relative light and small piano.

    I think for me the Yamaha P-45 would be a great choice. Not too expensive, but still a good piano. One thing though. Can I connect a headphone? That’s an important feature for me, as I don’t want any troubles with my neighbours.

    • Wei

      Hi Laura,

      If you are looking for a digital piano to learn the instrument, you have landed on the right place. There are many benefits of learning to play the piano. And I’m sure you will enjoy it.

      I was exactly like you, wanted to give it a try but don’t want to invest too much in the beginning. The Yamaha P-45 is actually the first digital piano I bought. It help me learn the basics and together, I progress further with my learning. Of course, you will need to upgrade some time in the future because once your skill level increases, you will find the P-45 lacking for your need. But I highly recommend it as a first digital piano for beginners. And yes, all digital pianos have headphone jacks for you to practice without driving your neighbors crazy.

  21. MelaniLukito

    Wow, this is a very comprehensive article about the digital piano. I am surprised that there is the digital grand piano too. I have a cousin who are expert in playing piano. He has a digital piano already, the Yamaha one. His dream is to buy a grand piano in the future. He practices his piano playing skill every day. I will pass this info to him. Thank you very much.

    • Wei

      Hi Melani, welcome and thank you for your comment. If your cousin is an expert and have been practicing for a long time, I think one of the hybrid digital pianos would be a great fit. The actions on those are really close the an acoustic grand piano and they sound amazing. They are pricey but not as expensive as an acoustic one.

  22. Daniel

    Great article Wei! My brother is pianist and he is using acoustic piano but I must say that digital pianos are better for me. I will buy one for sure because when there is some celebration like birthdays and weddings, this pianos are perfect. I will forward this article to my cousin who have his own band, he will be interested in digital pianos.

    • Wei

      Hi Daniel, thanks for dropping by. There are certain many advantages of a digital piano and they are getting better and better over the years. I expect great things to happen in the industry. For your cousin, if he needs to move around gigs with his band, something portable is a must. I would say a Kawai ES8 should be great for that. If on budget, then the Kawai ES110 is a strong option.

  23. Cheri

    Wei, this is one of the most detailed and informative reviews I have ever seen online. You share an amazing amount of expertise and insight to help anyone make the best decision about what digital piano will work best for them. My son is a musician and would just love one of the hybrids, but it’s nice to know there are a lot of great options that are easier on the budget. You have everything covered for players from novice to pro. Amazing!

    • Wei

      Hi Cheri,

      Thanks for your comment. It took me weeks to put everything together on this post. I really want to share everything I know and help people. 

      Hybrid digital pianos now a days are just amazing. Your son will not be disappointed by any of them. If you are on a budget, check the Casio GP400. There are also several models from Yamaha’s Avant Grand line. They are a bit old but could still be strong options if your son loves the key action.

  24. Holly

    I’m so glad you did your due diligence in your research! I also agree that 88 keys are a must if you are serious about actually being able to learn on and play your keyboard. I personally have something very similar to the Kawai, though it is a Casio, and I’m excited for my son to start lessons soon. 

    Your recommendations are solid and you clearly know your stuff!

    • Wei

      Hi Holly, welcome. I’m glad that this article has helped you. Casio is very good for its price. If you have the PX-870, your son would be very happy and I think it will stay with him while he grows on skill level. 

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