Digital Piano Roundup

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Having an acoustic piano in your home is a real pleasure. However, beginning and advanced musicians both really benefit from being able to practice and compose privately on headphones, at any hour, day or night. When you need to plug in a pair of headphones and dance across the keys without being heard, the best type of instrument to use is a digital piano. The realistic feel and sound was designed to let you scratch that piano itch without being heard. But there’s a lot more to these instruments outside of their headphone jacks.

It’d be misleading to say that all digital pianos are jam-packed with useful features. Some of them are, but many of them go to great lengths to be minimalist. There are many similarities in the feature sets of these digital pianos: high quality built-in speakers, metronomes, additional instrument sounds (organs, electric pianos, harpsichords and strings), reverb and chorus effects and digital connectivity (USB ports, MIDI and memory card slots). But not every model has all of these features, and many are intentionally simplified.

This roundup was created to help you reach a better understanding of the various digital pianos that are available at B&H. Nothing beats walking into our SuperStore in Manhattan and test driving the bevy of digital pianos on display in the Pro Audio Department. Think of this article as a written approximation of that experience. The goal is that you’ll come away from this article with an impression of each instrument, rather than just plowing through a mish-mash of specifications. Besides, if you just know the bullet points, many of these keyboards seem nearly identical.

Each group of digital pianos is categorized by manufacturer and presented in alphabetical order. Charts are provided throughout so you can quickly compare the different options. If you’re looking to gain a better understanding of what digital pianos are, how they differ from other kinds of keyboards, and what you can do with the various features, be sure to check out the B&H InDepth buying guide, Home Keyboards.

Adagio

The Adagio KDP-88 is an affordable 88-key, velocity sensitive digital piano with a relatively straightforward interface. Everything is kept pretty simple. There are eight different instruments, and you select each one with a dedicated button. If you want to get crafty, you can push two instrument buttons at the same time, which will layer the two sounds on the keyboard. The KDP-88 features reverb and chorus effects, a metronome and four adjustable levels of touch sensitivity (how hard you need to strike the keys to trigger the note). It has a two-track recording feature, MIDI in and out and a line-level output. A nice touch here is that a sustain pedal, an integrated wooden stand and a padded bench are all included. The keyboard is AC powered.

Keys

Built-in Speakers

Number of Sounds

Polyphony

Recording

USB Port

Headphone Jack Type

Adagio KDP-88 Portable Stage Piano

88 hammer action

Yes

8

64

One song, two tracks

No

Two 1/4"

Casio

The Casio Privia PX-130 is an attractively priced 88-key, velocity sensitive digital piano with a set of hammer action keys that have a nice feel. It features 128-voice polyphony, which makes for a smoother and more natural transition between notes, when many keys are being struck simultaneously. There are three levels of touch sensitivity (plus off), effects and an internal two-track recorder. Two 1/8-inch headphone outputs enable two people to listen, and there are some fun instruments such as bass keys that fire off a jazzy sounding drum and cymbal sounds when struck. The CS-67 custom wooden stand is available separately and enables you to install the optional SP-32 triple-pedal controller. Two B&H kits exist for the PX-130, the Essentials Bundle and the more elaborate Home Bundle (which includes the CS-67 and SP-32 and more). The keyboard ships with a power adapter.

The Casio Privia PX-330 is a more full-featured version of the PX-130. The PX-330 offers the same sound architecture and 88-key, scaled hammer action keyboard design, but includes split and layering modes, a pitch wheel, a robust 16 watts of internal amplification, a 16+1 track internal sequencer, USB and MIDI ports and an SD card slot for data storage. The PX-330 is also available in a B&H Kit that includes the CS-67 wooden stand, the SP-32 triple pedal controller, a deluxe keyboard bench, headphones and a keyboard cover. The keyboard ships with a power adapter.

The Casio PX-3 is an 88-key digital piano that’s designed to appeal more to professional and gigging musicians. It manages to be lightweight, offer full-sized hammer action keys, rich piano sounds and a reasonable price tag. Its controller features allow you to control two upper and two lower zones. Each zone can be one of the PX-3’s sounds, control an external MIDI device or both simultaneously. Since it’s more of a stage instrument, it doesn’t have built-in speakers and recording features. You won’t miss having built-in speakers if you pick up this B&H Kit which includes a Roland KC-150 keyboard amplifier, a Boss DB-30 metronome, a double-braced keyboard stand, a deluxe keyboard bench, headphones and a dust cover. The keyboard ships with a power adapter.

The Casio PX-830 features a more elaborate, console-like cabinet design, with a folding keyboard cover. To add to the piano-like feel, damper, soft and sostenuto pedals are included. The sounds are made more realistic by layering several samples atop one another, and by recreating the sound of open strings resonating when the damper is raised. We offer a B&H Kit for the PX-830 that includes a Roland KC-150 keyboard amplifier, a Boss DB-30 metronome, a double-braced keyboard stand, a padded keyboard bench, headphones and a dust cover. The PX-830 is also available with a classic polished black finish. The keyboard ships with a power adapter.


  Keys Built-in Speakers Number of Sounds Polyphony Recording USB Port Headphone Jack Type
Casio Privia PX-130 88-Key Portable Digital Piano 88 hammer action Yes 16 128 One song, two tracks Yes Two mini
Casio Privia PX-330 88-Key Digital Piano 88 hammer action Yes 250 128 Five songs, seventeen tracks Yes Two mini
Casio Privia PX-3 88-Key Digital Stage Piano 88 touch response No 250 (with layer and split) 128 No Yes Two mini
Casio Privia PX-830 88-Key Digital Piano 88 weighted Yes 16 128 One song, two tracks Yes Two 1/4"

Korg

As the name implies, the Korg microPIANO is a small digital piano with 61 mini keys. It looks like a cute baby grand. An AC power adapter is included, but it can also run on six AA batteries. The microPIANO features built-in speakers and a lid that opens and gives you access to the controls. There are 61 built-in instruments and 40 songs. The idea is that it can act as both an instrument and a music player. Set it up in your living room and play when inspiration strikes. When you want a little background music, the microPIANO will cycle through all of its songs automatically. A sustain pedal input is included. It’s also available in red.

The Korg SP-170s is an 88-key digital piano that is very simple to operate. There are only four controls: the Power button, a Volume knob, a Piano Button and a Sound button. The SP-170S has ten great-sounding instruments. You navigate through them by pressing the Sound button. If you get lost while exploring the sounds, pressing the dedicated Piano button resets the keyboard to the main instrument sound. The SP-170s is available in black and white. B&H Kits are available for both the black and white models as well. A solid wooden stand is also available in black and white. The keyboard ships with a power adapter.

The Korg SP-250 is an attractive looking and luscious sounding 88-key digital piano that achieves a vintage/modern style with its wood-grain panel. One of the ways it provides a more realistic playing experience is with longer note samples. When you strike and hold a key on an acoustic piano, the main body of the note dies out after a few seconds, but if you listen closely, a soft yet audible ghost of the note still sounds. This model provides you with a more expressive playing experience and a 1960s-style stand and a damper pedal. The SP-250 is available in black and white, and B&H Kits are available for the black and white models too. The keyboard ships with a power adapter.

It’s clear that the designers at Korg appreciate the industrial design of vintage instruments, because there’s an unmistakable old-school flavor to their SV-1 Stage Vintage Pianos (both a 73-key and 88-key versions are available). The range of acoustic and electric pianos, organs, strings, clavs and synths are warmed up by an adjustable 12AX7 tube-driven circuit. Electro-mechanical noises like damper let-off are part of the sound as well. Direct XLR outputs enable you to connect to a sound system without the need for direct boxes, and there are dual built-in effects, some of which (like Wah and Volume) can be controlled with external pedals. Rolling padded cases (one for the 73 key and another for the 88 key) are available, as well as the handsome-looking Vintage-Style Keyboard Stand (which is compatible with both models). A power cable is included.

Keys

Built-in Speakers

Number of Sounds

Polyphony

Recording

USB Port

Headphone Jack Type

Korg microPIANO Digital Piano

61 mini keys

Yes

61

120 mono 60 stereo

No

No

One mini

Korg SP-170s 88-Key Digital Piano

88 natural weighted hammer

Yes

10

120 mono

60 stereo

No

No

Two mini

Korg SP-250 88-Key Portable Digital Piano

88 weighted hammer action

Yes

30

60

No

No

Two 1/4"

Korg SV-1 Stage Vintage Piano

73 or 88 weighted piano action

No

36

80

No

Yes

One 1/4"

M-Audio

The ProKeys 88 is a good digital piano for anyone who’s familiar with the layout and operation of M-Audio’s popular USB keyboard controllers. The physical interface has a similar, technically deep MIDI controller-like layout, but with live performance in mind, the control interface is simplified, with all of the main features accessible via a single button press. In addition to its 14 built-in instrument sounds, the ProKeys 88 has the ability to act as a MIDI hub and control surface for DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) software on Mac and Windows computers. Reverb and chorus effects are also included, and Treble and Bass EQ knobs let you further tweak the sound. Pitch and modulation wheels enable more expressive playing. The keyboard ships with a power adapter.

Keys

Built-in Speakers

Number of Sounds

Polyphony

Recording

USB Port

Headphone Jack Type

M-Audio PRO 88-Key Digital Stage Piano

88 hammer action

No

14

126 Note

No

Yes

One 1/4"

Roland

The Roland F-110 is a refined looking, console-style digital piano that comes in a satin-black finish. A folding lid hides the keys when not in use and acts as a music stand when in use. Another plus is that the F-110 is only 12 inches deep, so it fits into tight spaces and small rooms. Sonically, it recreates the fine details of a piano sound, right down to the impact of the hammers striking the keys. The keys themselves are heavier on the lower end of the keyboard, and lighter at the higher end like a real piano (a feature which is often referred to as “graded”), and the sensitive touch responsiveness is extended to its three foot pedals, which respond to the depth at which they’re pressed. It’s loaded with over 300 instrument sounds, an easy recording feature and other goodies to keep things interesting. The keyboard ships with a power adapter.

The Roland FP-4F (which is available in black or white, or with a sturdy KSC-44 stand in black and white as well) manages to be compact, yet still capable of recreating the experience and feel of playing a piano with great accuracy. A big part of the accuracy comes from its SuperNATURAL sound engine, which borrows technology from Roland’s V-Piano systems and combines it with multiple piano samples. Its “Ivory Feel” keyboard is graded for a more natural response, and the keys even have the texture of a true piano. A USB port on the back enables you to save your recorded performances and play music files so you can practice. A DP-10 damper pedal is included with the FP-4F, but you can really harness control of the instrument with the addition of the separately available RPU-3 Pedal Unit, which features individual soft, sustain and sostenuto pedals. The keyboard ships with a power adapter.

The Roland FP-7F shares the SuperNATURAL sound engine and “Ivory Feel” keyboard found in the FP-4F, and takes matters to another level for performance by adding a microphone input with elaborate built-in vocal harmonizing effects. The control buttons are backlit and easy to see, and it has a really intuitive looping feature that lets you easily layer sounds. When you stop the loops, the FP-7F adds in a musical drum fill. This model is available in black or white, and it’s bundled with the sturdy KSC-4 stand in black and white as well. There are also multiple B&H Kits available for the FP-7F: the Road kits (in black and white) which come with a folding stand and bench, and the Studio kits (also available in black and white) which come with the KSC-44 stand and a padded wooden bench. The keyboard ships with a power adapter.

The Roland RD-700NX is more expensive than many of the products listed in this article, but you’re getting something special. This isn’t the equivalent to paying more for a car that has an extra cup holder and an electric sunroof. Digital pianos are musical instruments, and the exquisite instrument sounds and feel of the keys on the RD-700NX put it in a higher class. It’s simply more enjoyable and inspiring to play. There is a plethora of sounds to explore here (the Choir/Scat instrument is always enjoyable), and great-sounding tools to shape the sounds to your liking, such as a lush reverb effect and an easy-to-use compressor (which fattens up the tone). A DP-10 damper pedal is included, and this model is also sold as a B&H Kit bundled with the triple RPU-3 pedal. A power cable is included.

The Roland V-Piano takes a different approach to creating piano sounds. Instead of triggering multiple samples, it creates the piano tones through a process called “modeling.” Operating the V-Piano is intentionally simple. There are very few controls on the instrument. However, for those who like to dig in and create custom tones, the power here is formidable. You can customize the individual sound of each of its 88 keys. This feature is huge, but the default instruments are nothing to shake a stick at. Life is too short to miss out on its “All Triple” and “All Silver” instrument sounds. They’re pianos with three copper and silver-wrapped strings for every key. Pianos like this don’t exist in reality. They can only be played (and tweaked) in the virtual world of the V-Piano. The KS-V8 stand is included, as well as a power cable.

Keys

Built-in Speakers

Number of Sounds

Polyphony

Recording

USB Port

Headphone Jack Type

Roland F-110  Digital Piano

88 graded hammer action

Yes

306

128

One song, three tracks

No

Two 1/4"

Roland FP-4F Digital Piano

88 ivory-feel, graded

Yes

345

128

One song

Yes

Two 1/4"

Roland FP-7F Digital Piano

88 ivory-feel, graded

Yes

351

128

One song

Yes

Two 1/4"

Roland RD-700NX Digital Piano

88 ivory-feel, graded

No

965

128

Yes

Yes

One 1/4"

Roland V-Piano Digital Piano

88 ivory-feel, graded

No

24 preset, 100 user

128

One track

Yes

One 1/4"

Yamaha

The Yamaha NP11 is a very inexpensive and compact 61-key instrument. It’s the entry-level model in Yamaha’s “Piaggero” series. Every keyboard in this series is as slim, lightweight, and compact as possible. They’re also more affordable than other options in this article. Don’t assume that a strikingly inexpensive instrument will compete with the sound and feel of more robust options. There are ten instrument sounds in the NP-11, and you can layer two sounds together by pressing two instrument buttons at the same time. A reverb effect and a metronome are also present. The NP-11 runs on six AA batteries, or a separately available PA130 AC power adapter. A B&H Kit is available, which comes with a stand, a case, an AC adapter and batteries.

The Yamaha NP31 is the next model up in the Piaggero line, and while it shares nearly all of the features and specs as the entry-level NP-11, it has the substantial advantage of sporting 76 graded keys. The built-in speakers and amplifier on the NP31 have a little more volume than the NP11. The NP31 runs on six AA batteries, or the separately available PA150 AC power adapter. You can get an AC power adapter, a keyboard stand, a backpack-style carrying case and batteries all in one fell swoop by picking up the B&H NP31 Value Bundle.

The Yamaha NP-V60 is a 76-key digital piano in the Piaggero series, and while it employs similar tones found on the NP-11 and NP-31, there are literally hundreds of additional instrument sounds to explore. In addition to more sounds, it has a “styles” functionality, which adds musical accompaniment that can change key on command and enable you to lead an entire band with your fingertips. The additional library of sounds and expanded functionality do make for an instrument that’s a little more involved, operationally. The NP-V60 can run on six AA batteries or the included AC adapter. A B&H Kit is available for the NP-V80, which includes a stand, a case, headphones and a two-year extended warranty.

The Yamaha NP-V80 is the top-of-the-line model of the Piaggero series. It shares all of the functionality of the NP-V60, with 11 more instrument sounds and five more styles. One of the exclusive features found only on the NP-V80 (in the Piaggero) line is the ability to select and play MIDI songs which are stored on external USB flash memory. Another nice exclusive is its “smart” arpeggiator, which automatically adjusts the arpeggio (a sequence of notes for every key that’s pressed) to match the character of the instrument you currently have selected, and the tempo of the keyboard. The NP-V80 can run on six AA batteries or the included AC adapter. A B&H Kit is available for the NP-V80, which includes a stand, a padded bench, a case, headphones and a two-year extended warranty.

The Yamaha P-95 is an 88-key digital piano of the “less is more” variety. There are ten lush instrument sounds, a good-sounding set of built-in speakers and a pair of headphone jacks. Yamaha is a manufacturer of world-class acoustic pianos, and the graded-hammer keyboard on the P-95 is at a quality level that will remind you of that fact. There are 50 built-in songs that are both pleasant to listen to and useful for students and accomplished players to use as a reference. The P-95 is available in black or silver and there are B&H Performance Value Kits in black or silver as well (the kits include a folding stand, bench, damper pedal, case and headphones). The sturdy and clean-looking L85 matching stand is also separately available in black or silver, which can accommodate the separately available, three-pedal LP5A accessory. The keyboard ships with a power adapter.

The Yamaha DGX-640 is an instrument that has a sizable library of instrument sounds, advanced and customizable accompaniment tools (check out its Easy Song Arranger and Music Database features), and educational/training components (the Yamaha Educational Suite and Performance Assistant Technology). This model is a nice option for someone who desires a wealth of features (such as being able to add MIDI songs from its USB ports), coupled with a nice 88 key graded-hammer keyboard, built-in speakers and a sturdy included stand. There are cherry and walnut versions of the DGX-640 available, B&H Kits in both cherry and walnut (which include a deluxe padded bench, Shure headphones, a two-year extended warranty and the LP-7A triple pedal accessory). The keyboard ships with a power adapter.

The Yamaha YDP-S31 Arius is an excellent option for someone who wants an easy-to-use instrument that mimics the sound, playability and operation of an acoustic piano. It comes with an integrated, piano-like stand that has a folding keyboard cover that doubles as a music stand when open. There are only six instrument sounds to choose from, dedicating most of the instrument’s resources to reproducing lush piano sounds. It also features atmospheric reverb effects. Three pedals are built in (soft, sostenuto and damper); a nice complement to its excellent 88 key graded-hammer keyboard. The keyboard ships with a power adapter.

The Yamaha P-155 is a realistic sounding 88-key digital piano that comes in two attractive color combinations: black/mahogany and silver/cherry. It has 17 instrument sounds, one of which is a four-layer sampled grand piano with adjustable damper resonance. The Strings and Human Choir instruments are also standouts. A host of built-in effects are included (including a phaser), and the quality and feel of the keys are above par. The user interface of the P-155 is intuitive and easy to navigate. An FC4 sustain pedal is included. Multiple B&H Kits are available for this model. The Home Value Bundle is available in both black/mahogany and silver/cherry and includes the L-140 stand, a keyboard bench, headphones and a dust cover. The Performance Value Bundle is also available in both black/mahogany and silver/cherry and includes a folding stand, a padded bench, headphones and a case. The keyboard ships with a power adapter.

The Yamaha YDP-135R Arius is an 88-key instrument that offers an ultra-simple design with a dark rosewood finish, mimicking the appearance of an acoustic piano. Its sturdy, integrated stand, triple pedal controls (soft, sostenuto and damper), folding music rest and sliding keyboard cover all reinforce the sense of a traditional piano-playing experience. The rich tones of its two grand piano instruments and the natural feel of its 88-key graded hammer keyboard complete the package. There are 50 piano songs saved internally, and a total of six different instruments to play. An AC adapter and power cable are included.

The Yamaha YDP-141 Arius has a very refined and piano-like appearance, and the sound quality of its instruments and the feel of its 88 graded keys are sure to please even the most discriminating pianists. All three pedals are built-in (soft, sostenuto and damper), and the damper pedal offers a realistic “half-pedal” function, which recreates the effect of pressing the damper down partially on an acoustic piano. Elaborate samples are used to create the sounds of its voices, making it possible to produce dynamic nuances. A two track recording feature enables you to capture your performances. An AC adapter and power cable are included.

The Yamaha YDP-161 Arius is similar in many ways to the YDP-141, but features a more powerful amplifier for its speakers (for higher volume), four additional instrument sounds, and 128-note polyphony. It also has a Damper Resonance feature that simulates the sustain sound of a grand piano. This instrument contains a recreation of the CFIIIS, Yamaha’s full concert grand piano. The YDP-161 is available in dark rosewood and black walnut. An AC adapter and power cable are included.

The Yamaha YDP-V240 Arius is a full-featured 88-key digital piano. A large library of instrument sounds is provided, in addition to elaborate features like its Easy Song Arranger, Performance Assistant Technology and the Music Database. There are 300 built-in songs in its Music Database, and you can expand by downloading additional songs via its USB port. When you select a song from the Music Database, the YDP-V240 loads the most suitable style, the correct tempo, and the proper melody voice for the chosen song. You’ll really enjoy playing the rich instrument tones through its powerful speakers and dual headphone outputs. An AC adapter and power cable are included.

Keys

Built-in Speakers

Number of Sounds

Polyphony

Recording

USB Port

Headphone Jack Type

Yamaha NP11 Piaggero 61 Key Piano-Style Keyboard

61

Yes

10

32

No

No

One 1/4"

Yamaha NP31 Piaggero 76 Key Piano-Style Keyboard

76, graded

Yes

10

32

No

No

One 1/4"

Yamaha Piaggero NP-V60 Lightweight Digital Piano

76, graded

Yes

489

32

Five songs, six tracks

Yes

One 1/4"

Yamaha Piaggero NP-V80 Lightweight Digital Piano

76, graded

Yes

500

32

Five songs, six tracks

Yes

One 1/4"

Yamaha P-95 Digital Stage Piano

88, graded hammer

Yes

10

64

One song, one track

No

Two 1/4"

Yamaha DGX-640 Portable Grand Piano Keyboard

88, graded hammer

Yes

535

64

Five songs, six tracks

Yes

One 1/4"

Yamaha YDP-S31 Arius 88-Key Digital Piano

88, graded hammer

Yes

6

64

One song, one track

No

Two 1/4"

Yamaha P-155 88-Key Digital Piano

88, graded hammer

Yes

17

128

Three songs, two tracks

Yes

Two 1/4"

Yamaha Arius YDP-135R Digital Piano

88, graded hammer

Yes

6

64

One song, one track

No

Two 1/4"

Yamaha YDP-141 Arius Home Digital Piano

88, graded hammer

Yes

6

64

One song, two tracks

No

Two 1/4"

Yamaha YDP-161 Arius Digital Piano

88, graded hammer

Yes

10

128

One song, two tracks

No

Two 1/4"

Yamaha YDP-V240 Arius Digital Piano

88, graded hammer

Yes

504

64

Five songs, six tracks

Yes

Two 1/4"

Thanks for checking out this B&H InDepth article. If you have any questions about digital pianos, we encourage you to ask them in the Comments section below.

Add new comment

It sounds like not all these can run off battery. I would like to find an 88 key one with battery and AC power options that doesn't break the bank? I also don't see why someone would want less than 88 keys. Shouldn't you learn on a full size piano??? Why would I want less keys? Thanks for any replies. 

Hi Dakir -

None of the full size digital pianos will operate on battery power.  For a portable with battery power please consider:

The YPG-535 Essentials Bundle is a B&H Kit that features the Yamaha YPG-535 88-note, weighted-action keyboard. It includes a matching wooden keyboard stand, a padded keyboard bench, a closed-back headphones and a sustain pedal.This Kit Includes:

For portability's sake shorter keyboards are very popular with experienced musicians, but not often recommended for beginners who need to learn the fundamentals.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com