Buying a digital piano, especially for the first time, can be really intimidating. You might feel as if you have to spend more than you’re comfortable with in order to get a decent keyboard, but that isn’t true. You can get an excellent digital piano for under $500.
In this article, I’m going to fill you in on important details about the 7 absolute best digital pianos that you can get for less than five hundred bucks. Then, we’ll rank the digital pianos and choose 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 Yamaha P-45 costs $449, which is extremely affordable.
This Yamaha 88 key digital piano comes with ten onboard sounds, so its sound offering is pretty decent given the price.
The Yamaha P-45’s onboard sounds include:
- two acoustic piano sounds
- two electric piano sounds
- two organ sounds
- two harpsichord sounds
- one strings sound
- one vibraphone sound
While this isn’t an extraordinarily vast sound offering, this Yamaha model does offer enough sounds to spark your creativity and to allow you to experiment with various sounds a bit.
The Yamaha P-45 has 64-note polyphony. Polyphony basically refers to an instrument’s ability to sound more than one note at a time. Some onboard sounds use more polyphony than others because they are stereo sounds, so they technically sound two notes while you press one key. Also, effects use up some polyphony as well. (Read up on polyphony here.)
This amount of polyphony is enough to support beginner players and most intermediate players. At some point, however, you might find yourself itching for more polyphony.
The Yamaha P-45’s only effect is reverb. Reverb basically makes it sound as if you are playing in a different-sized space. For example, you can make it sound like you are playing in a large concert hall while playing in a small apartment.
- Check out our Yamaha P-45 review here.
And below, please take a look at some of the best selling digital pianos currently online (and see how they compare to the pianos we discuss in this article):
|1) Casio PX-S3000|
|2) Casio PX-870|
|3) Roland RP-102|
|4) Alesis Prestige Artist|
|5) Korg D1|
The Korg B1SP is currently available for $499.99 and is marketed as an entry-level piano, so it is perfect for beginners. It comes in just under our budget though, so it might not be the best option for those of you on a really tight budget.
This digital piano comes with 8 onboard sounds, so its sound offering is just a little less than that of the Yamaha P-45. This will only be a problem for those who want a variety of sounds at their disposal; still, the Korg B1SP offers more sounds than you need to learn how to play the piano.
The Korg B1SP has 120-note polyphony, which is nearly double that of the Yamaha P-45. Considering this Korg model only costs $499.99, this is an impressive amount of polyphony.
This Korg digital piano comes with a stand, three-pedal unit, and a music rest. Thus, you get everything you need to start playing when you buy this instrument. The three-pedal unit is definitely a huge plus. Most acoustic pianos have three pedals, so this will get you used to working with all three before you transition into playing an acoustic piano.
The Yamaha P-45 only comes with a music rest and a sustain pedal, so you would have to shell out more money for the other two pedals and the keyboard stand if you wanted to have them.
The Korg B1SP also has a chorus effect, which makes it sound like more than one of the same instrument is playing whatever you are playing. When combined, with this digital piano’s reverb effect, chorus can make for a really powerful performance.
- Check out our Korg B1SP review here.
The Casio PX-160 costs $499. Like the Korg B1SP, this might not be the best bet for tight budgets because it comes in at just under $500.
This digital piano has 18 onboard voices, so it offers a good bit more variety than the Yamaha P-145 and the Korg B1SP.
This Casio digital piano has 128-note polyphony, just a wee bit more than the Korg B1SP. This amount of polyphony is definitely enough to prevent note dropout as you use any of this digital piano’s eighteen onboard voices and its reverb and chorus effects.
- Check out our Casio PX-160 review here.
This Alesis model costs $349, so it is incredibly affordable.
The Alesis Recital Pro has a weighted keyboard with adjustable touch sensitivity. The touch sensitivity can be set to soft, medium, hard, or off, which results in a fixed velocity.
This digital piano has 12 built-in voices, including organs, synths, and bass. Split mode allows players to assign one voice to the lower half of the keyboard and another voice to the upper half. Layer mode lets musicians put one sound over another, like a piano sound over strings.
With 128-note polyphony, this digital piano can support the average player’s experimentation with intricate chords and the keyboard’s effects, like chorus, reverb, and modulation. This amount of polyphony is on par with the Casio PX-160,so the Alesis Recital Pro is just as powerful in that regard.
This digital piano makes it easy for new players to get started on their new instrument by including a 3-month subscription to Skoove Premium, an online piano lesson service.
- Check out our Alesis Recital review here.
This Amazon exclusive costs $399.99.
There are no functional differences between this digital piano and the Yamaha P-45 (read more about their similarities here). This instrument does not come with a music rest, however.
Still, with the little bit of money you save (especially if you get free shipping with Amazon Prime), you can buy a music rest later and rest assured that your digital piano has the same quality as the Yamaha P-45.
- Check out our Yamaha P-71 review here.
The Artesia PA-88W currently goes for $279.99.
This digital piano has a Weighted Spring Action keyboard, which is perfect for players who don’t want to press the keys as heavily as they would have to on a hammer-action keyboard. Players also have the option to change the key sensitivity to suit a softer or harder touch.
The Artesia PA-88W’s Grand Piano sound is created by a three-layered sample, and this voice is as rich and authentic as can be expected at such a low price. This digital piano also included eleven additional built-in voices and reverb and chorus effects.
The Artesia PA-88W has 32-note polyphony. This amount of polyphony will not appeal to more experienced and advanced players, but it is enough polyphony for beginners. Please keep in mind, however, that you will likely have to upgrade to an instrument with higher polyphony later on in your piano-playing journey.
This digital piano is great for people who want to perfect their piano skills without blowing their budget. At $279.99, it would be hard to find a cheaper, quality digital piano. The Artesia PA-88W would work well as a child’s first keyboard, too. Because it’s under $300, parents won’t be too upset if their child gives up on learning how to play piano soon after taking up the instrument.
- Check out our Artesia PA-88W review here.
This Artesia model costs $401 and offers double the polyphony (64-note polyphony) of its slightly cheaper cousin, the Artesia PA-88W.
It’s keyboard is more realistic than the Artesia PA-88W’s,too. This model has a hammer action keyboard, so it feels more like an acoustic piano’s keyboard than the Artesia PA-88W’s Weighted Spring Action keyboard.
The Artesia PA-88H offers sixteen onboard sounds, which is quite decent for its price.
Williams Rhapsody 2
The Williams Rhapsody 2 costs $399.99.
This digital piano has a fully weighted keyboard, so it is about as close to the feel of an acoustic piano’s keyboard as you can get at this price point.
The Williams Rhapsody 2 also comes with 12 onboard sounds and 12 demo songs that you can play along with.
This Williams model has 64-note polyphony, so it is suitable for beginners and most intermediate players.
- Check out our Williams Rhapsody 2 review here.
Honorable Mention Pianos
If none of the above digital pianos interest you, consider these two popular portable digital pianos from Williams:
Which of These Keyboards Is the Best Value?
I rank these keyboards as follows:
- Korg B1SP
- Yamaha P-71
- Yamaha P-45
- Artesia PA-88H
- Williams Rhapsody 2
- Alesis Recital Pro
- Artesia PA-88W
The Korg B1SP is the winner here and the Yamaha P-71 is a close second. The Korg B1SP is just one hundred dollars more than the Yamaha P-71 and offers double the polyphony.
The only downside that the Korg B1SP has compared to the Yamaha P-71 is that it comes with eight onboard sounds instead of ten onboard sounds. Still, this only gives the Yamaha P-71 a slight advantage because it’s only a difference of two sounds.
The Korg B1SP also comes with a stand, music rest, and three-pedal unit, so it gives you everything that you need to get started. Trust me, it’s best to get everything you need at one time if you can.
The Yamaha P-45 is exactly the same as the Yamaha P-71, but it is a bit pricier so the Yamaha P-71 beats it out for the number two spot.
The Artesia PA-88H is in fourth place because it has a nice hammer action keyboard and offers sixteen onboard sounds. Considering it only costs $401, this is a very nice sound offering, so the Artesia PA-88H definitely racks up a good bit of points here.
The Williams Rhapsody 2 comes in fifth. This digital piano offers twelve sounds, which is more than the Korg B1SP, the Yamaha P-45, and the Yamaha P-71. However, Korg and Yamaha are known for their great sounds, so they take the top spots despite offering only eight and ten sounds, respectively.
The Alesis Recital Pro takes the sixth place spot. Its most helpful feature is the 3-month subscription to Skoove Premium. Obviously, this is only helpful for three months, so the Alesis Recital Pro does not gain that many points here.
However, the Alesis Recital Pro offers a rather impressive amount of polyphony.
The Artesia PA-88W rounds out our list in seventh place. This digital piano does not have a hammer action keyboard, so it loses points for that. However, its price is really hard to beat. You won’t get as close of a replication of an acoustic piano’s keyboard with this Artesia model, but you can still have an awesome playing experience on the Artesia PA-88W.
Plus, with a price of $279.99, Artesia likely expects that you will upgrade to another digital piano someday. When you upgrade, you should have already gained a good bit of piano knowledge, so you will be ready to use your new digital piano to its fullest advantage.
All of these digital pianos are extremely great values for the money that they cost. Each of these instruments helps to prove that there are awesome digital pianos out there that won’t completely blow your budget.
When you prepare to make your final decision about your digital piano purchase, be sure to refer back to this article for help and make sure that you try out as many of these digital pianos as you can before buying one.
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