Wading through pages and pages of keyboard information online or wandering through a music store alone can be scary, but you are definitely taking a step in the right direction by reading this article.
In this article, I will give you an in-depth look at eleven of the best beginner digital piano models. I’ll take you through these pianos’ helpful features, explain their specs, and ultimately declare one of these digital pianos the best of the best. And to better help you, please take a look at our interactive guide below:
|Casio PX-S1100||192-note polyphony; 18 built-in tones|
|Alesis Prestige Artist||30 voices, 256 polyphony|
|Casio CDP-S350||700 built-in tones|
|Yamaha P-515||40 Voices, 18 Drum/FX Kits, 480 XG Voices|
|Casio PX-870||Redesigned Cabinet, Speaker System|
|Korg LP-180||Natural Weighted Hammer Action|
|Casio PX-770||128 Note Polyphony|
|Yamaha P-45||64 Note Polyphony|
The Casio Privia PX-770 is currently available for $699, which is quite affordable for a digital piano. Still, although this Casio 88 key digital piano is extremely budget-friendly, it comes packed with features that will help you to advance in piano-playing skill quickly.
This digital piano comes with 19 onboard sounds. All 19 sounds were created with Casio’s Multi-Dimensional Morphing AiR Sound Source. The piano sounds were created by recording acoustic pianos at four levels of dynamic sampling; so, these sounds are really realistic and lend themselves well to dynamic expression. Learn more about the AiR Sound Source here.
The Casio Privia PX-770’s hammer action keyboard is built with Casio’s Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action Keyboard II, so it can detect really soft touches. Thus, this keyboard allows you to play loudly as well as really softly.
The Casio Privia PX-760 offers 128-note polyphony, which is nice for its price. With this amount of polyphony, you should be able to play anything you want while experimenting with the Casio Privia PX-760’s effects.
Speaking of effects, this digital piano comes with 4 reverb settings, 4 chorus settings, and 3 brilliance settings. Reverb lets you make your playing sound like its coming from closer or farther away; you choose a setting like concert hall or sound stage to make it sound as if you are playing inside that type of room. Chorus makes it sound as if a chorus of the same type of instrument is playing whatever you are playing. Finally, brilliance adds a shimmery quality to your playing.
The Casio Privia PX-770 is definitely a great first digital piano. It has enough onboard sounds to spark your creativity, a great hammer action keyboard, and an impressive amount of polyphony. This digital piano is sure to help you on your piano-playing journey, and you can expect to be able to stick with this Casio model for a number of years.
- Check out our Casio PX-770 review here!
And below, please take a look at some of the best selling digital pianos currently on sale online (and see how they compare to the pianos we discuss in this article):
|1) Casio PX-770|
|2) Yamaha YDP-144|
|3) Roland RP-102|
|4) Yamaha YDP-164|
|5) Casio PX-870|
This Yamaha digital piano is currently available for $2,199.99, so it is considerably pricier than the Casio Privia PX-770.
The Yamaha Arius YDP-184 offers 256-note polyphony, split mode, layer mode, a hammer action keyboard, and synthetic ebony and ivory keys. Thus, you can expect this keyboard to feel just as good as the Casio Privia PX-770’s keyboard.
The Yamaha YDP-184 comes with 24 onboard sounds, which is a bit of a step up from the Casio Privia PX-770’s 19 onboard sounds. Having five additional sounds gives you a bit more sounds to play around with, but they’re not exactly a game changer.
This Yamaha digital piano also includes a Stereophonic Optimizer, which improves the experience of playing with headphones on. The Stereophonic Optimizer makes it sound as if the sounds you are hearing inside your headphones are coming from within the digital piano itself instead of from inside the headphones; as such, the sound quality is less tinny and is closer to the quality of the sound of the digital piano when it is played without headphones. This feature alone is worth the price jump from the Casio Privia PX-770.
Overall, the features of the Yamaha YDP-184 are similar to those of more budget-friendly digital pianos. Its Stereophonic Optimizer, however, cannot be found at a lower price point. If you know that you will have to practice with headphones on rather frequently, it may be well worth investing in the Yamaha Arius YDP-184.
Check out this review of the Yamaha Arius YDP-184 for more info about this Yamaha digital piano.
- Check out our Yamaha YDP-184 review here!
The Korg B1SP is currently available for $599.99 and is explicitly marketed as an entry-level piano, so it is perfect for beginners.
The Korg B1SP has 120-note polyphony, which is enough to support beginner-level playing. At some point, however, you might find yourself itching for an instrument with more polyphony. This Korg digital piano model is perfect for those of you who are buying a child’s first digital piano, however; your kid will be able to stick with this digital piano for a while, but if they abandon their piano lessons altogether you won’t be losing thousands of dollars.
This Korg model has 8 onboard sounds. This sound offering is pretty low compared to some of the other digital pianos included in this article, but this is definitely a decent number of sounds for the price.
- Check out our Korg B1SP review here.
Nord Piano 4
The Nord Piano 4 currently costs $2,999, so it is not as budget-friendly as some of the other digital pianos included in this article. However, the Nord brand is recognized for its excellence and many of today’s most famous musicians use these iconic red keyboards onstage.
The Nord Piano 4 is perfect for those who are looking for a digital piano that they can grow with and play for many years to come. Most digital pianos that are marketed as beginner or entry-level digital pianos are made with the assumption that their players will eventually move on to a higher-end digital piano or an acoustic piano. The Nord Piano 4 is generally marketed
toward people with some piano-playing experience, so it is meant to be an instrument that you can stick with for quite a while.
This digital piano boasts an astounding 400 preset sounds, and you can add sounds to your library or even replace the factory sounds with sounds from the Nord online libraries for free. Thus, this digital piano’s sound library is highly customizable. All of the sounds housed in the Nord Piano 4 and in the brand’s libraries were created by expert sound engineers, so you can expect to hear a high-quality sound every time you press down one of the Nord Piano 4’s keys.
The Nord Piano 4’s sounds are arranged into a piano section and synth section. The sounds in the piano section have 120-note polyphony and those in the synth section have 34-note polyphony (you generally don’t need as much polyphony for synth-based performances as you do for piano-based performances). So, you should be able to play pretty much anything you want without worrying about note dropout.
Like I mentioned earlier, the Nord Piano 4 is played by many recognizable keyboardists. While you’re in the beginning stages of your piano-playing journey, performing may seem very far off; however, you might eventually find yourself looking to take your skills to the stage. This digital piano comes with plenty of effects that’ll help you to make your piano or synth performances memorable.
The Nord Piano 4’s effects include:
Again, the Nord Piano 4 isn’t necessarily a beginner digital piano, but it is one that you can stick with as you gain skill. Most beginner digital pianos come with an acoustic piano sound and a few non-piano sounds. The Nord Piano 4 comes with an abundance of sounds. While its sound offering may seem unimportant–especially if you are just looking for something to practice the piano on–being able to play around with a variety of sounds sparks creativity and makes learning how to play the piano even more fun, which will help you to stick with your practice routine even when things get frustrating. Even just playing the songs you are practicing in a different voice makes rehearsal time seem to go by more quickly!
- Check out our Nord Piano 4 review here.
This digital piano can be purchased for $699. The Kawai ES110 comes with 19 onboard sounds, so it is comparable to the first digital piano we discussed, the Casio Privia PX-770, in regard to sound offering.
The Kawai ES110 has 192-note polyphony, so it is capable of handling splitting and layering sounds without risking note dropout.
The Kawai ES110’s most helpful feature is its built-in Alfred piano lessons. Many a piano player (myself included) has used an Alfred songbook in the beginning stages of their piano-playing journey. The Kawai ES110 has songs from the Alfred songbooks built into its system, and you can follow along with them as you learn how to play the piano.
Additionally, you can adjust the tempo of these songs and practice the right and left hand parts separately, which will help you to finetune each song until you can play it perfectly. This will help you to identify the areas you are struggling with and isolate them so that you can perfect them before moving on.
The Kawai ES110’s built-in lessons are definitely a beneficial tool that can help you to gain skill quickly. These built-in lessons will be especially helpful to those of you who are teaching yourselves and not taking piano lessons.
- Check out our Kawai ES110 review here.
Korg C1 Air
This Korg digital piano costs $1,399.99. Like its cheaper relative the Korg B1SP, the Korg C1 Air has 120-note polyphony.
It might seem ridiculous to spend over a thousand dollars on a digital piano that has the same amount of polyphony as a six hundred dollar digital piano. The Korg C1 Air has features that are not available at a lower price point, however.
This Korg model can connect to computers and mobile devices via Bluetooth, and it can play audio from those devices through its speakers. This feature is definitely very helpful when trying to learn new pieces. I, like many other piano players before me, sometimes practice along with recordings of songs that I am learning.
When I play the song from my laptop or phone, I sometimes drown out the audio with the sound of my own playing–even when the audio is playing at full volume. By controlling the external audio through the digital piano, this problem is eliminated and players can hear absolutely everything that they need to hear.
- Check out our Korg C1 Air review here.
Korg G1 Air
This Korg digital piano is just a teeny bit more expensive than the Korg C1 Air at $1,599.99. Like the Korg C1 Air, the Korg G1 Air can connect to smart devices via Bluetooth. The G1 Air boasts 32 onboard sounds whereas the C1 Air has 30 onboard sounds, so they are pretty comparable in regard to their sound offerings.
Both the C1 Air and the G1 Air come with 40 built-in songs that you can practice along with, which is super helpful for those of you who are trying to learn on your own. Just like on the Kawai ES110, you can adjust the tempo of these songs and practice each hand’s part separately.
- Check out our Korg G1 Air review here.
The Casio PX-870 costs $999.
The Casio PX-870 comes with nineteen onboard sounds, just like the Casio PX-770. Its sounds were also created with the AiR Sound Source, so you can expect the same level of quality. Of course, keep in mind that you save three hundred bucks by going with the Casio PX-770 and get the same amount of onboard sounds.
One advantage that the Casio PX-870 has over the Casio PX-770 is that this particular Casio digital piano has 256-note polyphony, so you can play to your heart’s content without worrying about note dropout.
- Check out our Casio PX-870 review here.
The Best Digital Piano to Learn How to Play?
Here’s how I rank these eight digital pianos:
1.Yamaha Arius YDP-184
2.Casio Privia PX-770
3. Casio PX-870
4. Nord Piano 4
5. Korg C1 Air
6. Korg G1 Air
7. Kawai ES110
8. Korg B1SP
As you can see, the Yamaha Arius YDP-184 is the best option for beginner pianists. To recap, this digital piano has 256-note polyphony and 24 onboard sounds. If you are looking for an instrument that you can use as you grow in piano-playing skill, it is important to get your hands on as much polyphony as possible as early as you possibly can.
While 24 sounds does not sound like all that much, it is important to consider the quality of the sounds. There are certainly digital pianos out there that cost about as much as the Yamaha Arius YDP-184 and offer more sounds, but you are sure to hear a high-quality sound every time you press this Yamaha model’s keys.
Also, this digital piano’s split and layer modes make it possible for you to create unique sound combinations, which means that you can get much further with 24 sounds than you might think. Splits and layers allow you to be extremely creative with your sound and playing style, so this is definitely a great feature.
The Casio Privia PX-770 came in second, but it is a rather close second. This Casio digital piano comes with nineteen sounds, which isn’t that far off from the Yamaha Arius YDP-184’s twenty-four sounds. The Yamaha Arius YDP-184’s Stereophonic Optimizer pushes it pretty far ahead of the Casio Privia PX-770, however. Still, if you are looking for a less pricey digital piano, the Casio Privia PX-770 is the way to go.
Although the Yamaha Arius YDP-184 is the winner here, these are the best of the best digital pianos on the market, so you are sure to love your digital piano no matter which of these digital pianos you choose!
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