In this article, I’m going to help you discover the 2019 best digital pianos under $1,000 that I think are some of the top instruments on today’s market.
And to better help you make this important decision, please use our interactive guide below, which showcases some of the top instruments on the market.
|Yamaha YDP-144||GHS action, CFX Grand Piano Voice|
|Yamaha YDP-145||GHS Weighted, Graded Hammer Action|
|Yamaha YDP-165||GH3 Weighted, Graded Hammer Action|
|Casio PX-870||Redesigned Cabinet, Speaker System|
|Roland RP-102||Works w/Roland Piano Partner 2 app|
|Casio AP-470||256 Note Polyphony|
|Yamaha YDP-184||Graded Hammer 3 Action (GH3)|
Figuring Out the Right Piano for My Needs
Most people, when they consider buying any kind of a piano for the first time, balk at the price ranges involved in both digital and acoustic pianos. They learn that they can buy a dinky little 42-note keyboard with plastic keys and virtually no sound anywhere near resembling a “real” piano for less than $40. On the opposite end, a 9-foot concert Bosendorfer grand will set them back more than $150,000, if purchased new and un-restored.
Yikes! If your name isn’t Daniel Barenboim or some of the other world-famous concert pianists, that’s probably a little more than you want to spend. So let’s look at some digital pianos that are considerably less expensive, some portable, that a piano teacher would recommend a person purchase for their first piano experience. Almost all of these pianos are 88-key digital pianos; the exception is noted.
Here is my list of 13 digital piano deals that are easy on the pocketbook—less than $1,000—and still offer good value and sound for the money:
- Casio AP270 (Celviano)
- Roland FP 30X
- Kawai ES 110
- Yamaha YDP 144
- Roland RP 102
- Yamaha P 125
- Korg LP-380
- Yamaha P45
- Yamaha DGX-670
- Casio Privia PX-160
- Alesis Recital
- Casio Privia PX-770
- RockJam 61-Key Keyboard
The Casio pianos probably surprised me the most. I’ve always pictured Casio keyboards as those funny little 18-key keyboards that my in-laws bought for my kids when they were toddlers. Not today’s Casio! Take, for instance, the Casio AP 270, in the Celviano family. This digital piano displays a remarkable sound for such a small piano.
Because of the technology now available, this piano even has the overtones present on an ‘acoustic’ piano without the strings! I was impressed with all of the Celviano family of Casio digital pianos, but this little dynamo can be found online for less than $1000. With a two-speaker system that projects rich, full sound to the 192-voice polyphony that allows a smorgasbord of sounds for recording and overdubbing your own musical performances, this mighty little digital is worth every penny.
- You can read our Casio AP270 review here!
The Roland FP 30X was the most portable 88-key digital piano I found on my search. Even if you live in a motorhome or RV, you can probably find room in your domicile for this handy little piano with the big sound.
In fact, the Roland FP-30X (along with the Roland FP-60X and Roland FP-90X) are designed to be slimmer and sleeker, so if you have a tight nook or cranny that you typically place your digital piano in inside your home, rest assured that the FP-30X will fit in that spot really well.
The keys are quiet, and with a good set of headphones this digital piano could be played all through the night without disturbing neighbors or even anyone with whom you live.
You can leave it on a table top, or you can purchase the optional stands and 3-pedal attachment that allows the buyer to set this piano up permanently. I found it at a local keyboard retailer for less than $1000. I almost brought it home!
- You can read our Roland FP-30 review here!
I’ve long been a fan of Kawai acoustic pianos, especially the grands. The Kawai digital pianos surprised me with their sound and their quality. The ES 110 did so, as well. It also offers built-in Alfred piano lessons. (Alfred is my favorite method book publisher, so that endeared this piano to me.)
I love the weighted keys on this instrument; it felt like I was playing a Kawai grand. The music store in which I played this instrument includes the stand and pedals with purchase for less than $1000, but some retailers may not.
- You can read our Kawaii ES110 vs Yamaha P-125 comparison review here!
As I mentioned before, I love Yamaha’s digital pianos. They’ve come a long way since 1992! The Yamaha YDP-144 is a delightful little digital piano. A member of the Arius family of digital pianos in the Yamaha production, it is small enough to fit in the smallest apartment.
The touch and tone are reminiscent of the Yamaha acoustic pianos. It’s Graded Hammer Standard mimics the feel of an acoustic Yamaha, so beginners can develop the correct hand posture and touch to enable them to play acoustic pianos.
- You can read our Yamaha YDP-144 review here!
This digital piano requires relatively little space but has a sound worthy of an acoustic upright piano. The keys are weighted action which gives them an acoustic ‘feel,’ and the three pedals are integrated into the cabinetry, rather than a single plug-in pedal. One of the best things about digital pianos is the ability to utilize modern technology with them.
This sweet Roland piano provides Bluetooth options, including plugging into a computer or tablet for access to digital sheet music available on an optional app.
It plays quite a bit like an acoustic piano, which is a significant accomplishment for a digital piano made by a company renowned for their electronic synthesizers that changed the world of performance music in the late 60’s and early 70’s. This piano only weighs 84 pounds—true portability for an 88-key digital piano.
- You can read our Roland RP-102 vs Roland FP-30 review here!
This piano is an upgrade from the discontinued P 115 model. As with all Yamaha digital pianos, it has a full 88-key keyboard with weighted action and good, rich tone. The ‘P’ stands for portable, and this Yamaha digital piano is one of the better portables. It also has the Graded Hammer Standard and 192-note polyphony.
This piano features adjustable touch sensitivity; if you prefer soft (easy) touch to the stiffest touch, you have 4 touch options to choose from on this instrument. It does not come with an instrument stand or 3-pedal option, although you can purchase the stand separately.
- You can read our article on Yamaha P-125 bundles here!
Korg makes great synthesizer products. I suppose their digital pianos are pretty decent as well, although not my favorites. The Korg LP 380 is a fairly decent digital piano at a decent price. However, I was not impressed by the lack of dynamic differential—no matter how lightly I touched the keys, this instrument played loudly.
It has a big sound, though, so if touch isn’t important to you, this instrument is a good value. It compares favorably to the Korg C1 Air without the big price tag of the Air. It looks good and has 3 pedals like a grand. This piano is my favorite of the Korg pianos, but not my favorite digital.
- You can read our Korg LP-380 review here!
The Yamaha P45 is the most portable of the Yamaha digital piano family. It is a tabletop model, although a stand is an option for separate purchase. This instrument comes with a sustain pedal; as far as I can tell, there is no 3-pedal option. The harpsichord sound is one of the most authentic.
I’ve heard on a digital piano, as is typical with the Yamaha digital piano family. I’m not so crazy about the string effect, but most digital string effects sound weird to my ear. The piano sound is rich and full and authentically piano. This instrument weighs only 25 pounds, which makes it very easy to take with the aspiring musician to a lesson or to a gig.
- You can read our Yamaha P-45 review here!
I think it’s pretty easy to tell that I still love Yamaha digital pianos. This instrument allows the player to connect a microphone so he or she can sing along to the music they make on this digital piano. It also provides a USB port so that the musician can record the songs or pieces that they play and share with family and friends and fellow musicians.
It offers the Graded Hammer Standard and samples the sounds of Yamaha’s beloved, flagship 9-foot concert grand piano–the CFX. One thing I also really enjoy about the Yamaha DGX-670 is that is comes with an LCD screen. I know it’s a small thing, but I love a digital piano that provides a visual ability to see confirmation of any settings I select on the instrument. Many portable pianos don’t come with a screen, and it’s nice to see that the LCD screen was carried over from the DGX-660 to the DGX-670.
- You can read our Yamaha DGX-660 review here!
This portable piano offers 3 touch sensitivity options and a full, rich ‘grand piano’ sound, as do most of these digital pianos. Designed as a possible tabletop piano, you can purchase the optional stand and 3-pedal attachment.
With the stand and attachment, the piano only weighs 46 pounds; without the stand, it weighs 25 pounds.
- You can read our Casio PX-160 review here!
This is a tabletop digital piano with full-size and semi-weighted keys. A sustain pedal is available but not included. The most interesting thing about this instrument is that it comes with 3 months of free piano lessons (on an app called Skoove Premium). Skoove offers the option of continuing the lessons after the 3-month period for a fee. I haven’t used the service, but anything that is offered for free is certainly worth what you pay for it!
Skoove may be a good way to find out if learning to play the piano is something that you or someone in your family might enjoy. If not, you haven’t invested a great deal of money in the keyboard. If learning to play the piano is something you or someone you love might embrace, however, this keyboard and piano lesson combo might be worth every penny.
- You can read our Alesis Recital review here!
The primary difference between this model Casio and the PX 160 above is that the 770 piano comes with a integrated cabinet and stand and 3 integrated pedals.
This piano also has a maximum 128-note polyphony. And while it’s strangely not as high as its predecessor, the Casio PX-760 (which strangely had 256 note polyphony), there’s a very good chance that you’ll find 128 notes of polyphony enough to fit your needs.
I will say, if you desire 256 notes of polyphony (and you’re willing to spend a little bit more money), you should consider upgrading to the Casio PX-870, which is a great digital piano (and actually can be found for roughly $999).
- You can read our review of the Casio PX-770 here.
Okay, I confess: this “piano” was just for fun. If no one in your house is interested in serious music study but you’d like to have some music in the house (besides pre-recorded), this instrument might just be what you’re looking for. Especially if you have kids, because this little keyboard is sturdy and offers recording capability, more than 100 sounds and 100 rhythms, and it comes with an X-stand, a padded seat, and headphones!
The keys are full-size keys, even though there are only 61 keys on this instrument. For having fun and making good sounds and exploring the world of composition, 61 keys may just be more than enough!
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