This article examines the five of the most well rated digital pianos available at major online retail websites. We’ll not only list the top pianos that most people are purchasing currently, but we’ll look at the many features of each 88-key digital piano, discuss who their audience is, and finally, I’ll pick the top-rated instrument that I like the best and tell you why I feel that way.
So, if you are a beginning to intermediate pianist looking for information on some of the better and more popular digital pianos available on the marketplace today, then this article is ideal for you.
Please take a quick look at our interactive table below, as we have provided a handful of great digital pianos that you can compare against each:
Breaking Down the Top Rated Pianos
The first piano we’ll look at is the Korg SP170s digital piano. This light, sleek piano has many appealing features that make it one of the most popular keyboards on the market right now.
It is an 88-key digital keyboard featuring Korg’s new “Natural Weighted Hammer Action”, or NH, which weighs the lower keys heavier than the higher keys for the authentic feel of an acoustic piano. The sound of the SP170s is sampled from two concert grand pianos to ensure an accurate representation of the acoustic piano sound.
With ten different voices ranging from grand and electric piano to harpsichord and strings, the SP170s offers options for the pianist who’d like to experiment with different voices. The piano also features a Key Touch Control that has three different sensitivity levels that respond to the player’s touch.
With the new and improved speaker system, the SP170s has an awesome, realistic-sounding tone, something customers have come to expect from Korg.
Below, please take a look at some of the best rated digital pianos currently available online:
|1) Casio PX-770
|2) Yamaha YDP-145
|3) Roland RP-701
|4) Yamaha YDP-165
|5) Casio PX-870
Lastly, let’s take a look at some other key features of the SP170s:
- Three level touch control
- 120-note polyphony
- 10 demo songs
- MIDI connectivity
- Headphone jack
- Comes with a music stand and pedal.
Casio’s Privia series is a top-rated, award-winning piano series for a reason. And one of its best-sellers is the 88-key Tri-Sensor scaled hammer action keyboard, the PX-160.
Complete with a new action and sound engine, the PX-160 improves upon the older versions of the Privia line. Using the Acoustic and intelligence Resonator (AiR) sound source as well as over three times the memory of older generations, this in-built sound improves upon the already award-winning piano tone.
One cool feature of the PX-160 is a Damper Resonance simulator, which recreates the sound of the strings when a player uses the sustain pedal. The PX-160 also has simulated ebony and ivory keys with a matte finish for an authentic key feel. No, you’ll never play the PX-160 and mistake it for an expensive acoustic piano, but for an instrument that costs under $1,000, it does as good of a job as can be reasonably expected at simulating the feel of a real piano.
Some other notable specs include:
- 128-key polyphony
- 18 voices
- Duet/Layer and Split mode
- 4 levels of reverb and chorus
- 3 pedals, music stand, score book, and adaptor included.
- USB connectivity and possible use as a controller for the Apple iPad using Apple’s Camera Connection Kit.
Now, the sound on this piano is awesome – a rich, resonant sound – and that is undoubtedly one of the reasons that the Privia PX-160 is a top-rated instrument both on and offline.
Do note that the Casio PX-160 has replaced the once popular Casio PX-150. If you’re interested in the PX-150, you may be able to get a great deal on it, especially if it’s a used digital piano.
- NOTE: You can now read our review for the newer Casio PX-160 here.
Now, let’s move onto our next piano that made our list–the Yamaha P-45.
The pianos from Yamaha’s legendary P (Portable) series are known in the industry as some of the highest quality digital pianos on the market, with many of their pianos becoming best-sellers. And the Yamaha P45 is makes a worthy addition to this lineup, as one would expect.
It is an entry-level piano of this series, a best-seller, and great for a beginning pianist. The piano uses AWM (Advanced Wave Memory) sampling to simulate a realistic sound and playing experience. The P45 also has Graded Hammer technology, which weighs the lower keys heavier than the higher ones. The P45 also comes with ten different voices and 20 preset songs.
The maximum polyphony is 64, which is pretty good for a portable and very affordable digital piano.
Other features of the P45 include:
- Hard, Medium, Soft, and Fixed sensitivity
- 4 types of reverb
- Built-in metronome
- Dual and duo mode
- Pedal and music stand included
The Yamaha P45 has recently replaced the Yamaha P35.
The compact, portable Yamaha P-125 is another best-selling digital piano from the Yamaha P series. The full 88-key keyboard has fully-weighted keys and a pure CF sound engine, making the keyboard’s realistic acoustic piano tone come alive with sounds sampled from Yamaha’s acclaimed CFIII concert grand piano.
It features cool additions like Pianist styles, where you create chords and the keyboard turns them into one of ten different accompaniment styles, leaving you to focus on the melody. It also features built-in drum patterns to add some rhythm to your compositions.
Other features include:
- 192-note polyphony
- Dual/Split function
- Reverb effects
- Record function
- Transpose function
- Headphone and USB ports
- Music stand and sustain pedal included
This piano not only has a great sound, but comes with lots of features to play around and experiment with. No doubt this is the reason why it is such a popular digital piano from Yamaha.
- Yamaha DGX650
The Yamaha DGX650 is another very popular digital pianos out today, appearing on numerous blogs and retailer websites as a top-rated instrument. Its numerous features that focus on interactive learning make it a popular item for all levels of pianists.
The DGX650 is an 88-key digital piano with Yamaha’s Graded Hammer Standard, and like the other Yamaha instruments, the DGX650 uses Pure CF sampling to reproduce the sound of Yamaha’s CFIII grand piano.
It also features Damper Resonance (DSP), allowing the keys to sound as if the sustain pedal is being used without physically using the pedal. The DGX650 has a USB recorder that allows you to record your musical ideas and/or progress, and to copy them to your computer to make CDs which can be shared with others online or through an mp3 player.
Here are some other features of the Yamaha DGX650:
- 128-note polyphony
- You Are the Artist song book, which allows you to play songs from great artists like Sir Elton John and the wonderfully talented Adele.
- Playback files stored on USB flash drive
- The Smart Chord function allows you to create chords by using one finger on the left hand and having the keyboard do the rest.
- Accompaniment styles feature creates a band to accompany you.
- Style Recommender feature creates recommendations of styles for you, using your playing as its data.
- AUX line input
The Yamaha DGX650 is a top-of-the-line product with many features that will interest all pianists, from the beginner to the professional. This is, in fact, my top pick amongst these five pianos, namely because the 650 has a wide range of features and solid piano sound.
Also, the interactive features on this piano are impressive, from learning to play popular music on XG files, to uploading CD-quality music to a computer where you can put it online or listen to it on an mp3 player. These are excellent resources for all levels of musicians, especially if you’re tech savvy.
The digital pianos on this list are all of high quality and craftsmanship. They are suited for all levels of players, though the Yamaha P45 and P115 are more aimed toward the beginning musician and the DGX650 is aimed more at intermediate-to-advanced players.
In terms of sound quality, I really like the Privia, Korg, and Yamaha DGX650 because they each present a strong, resonant, and realistic piano tone. And though some are aimed at different playing levels, all of these top-rated keyboards can be used without need for an upgrade as the pianist matures. This means that you’re buying a quality instrument that won’t need to be replaced after just one year after you’ve got a lot of practice under your belt.
- Please take a look at our recent comparison of the Yamaha DGX-660 vs Yamaha P-115.
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