Are you looking for the perfect keyboard piano for you? You've come to the right place.
In this article, we'll take a comprehensive look at the top keyboard pianos on the market, discuss what factors to consider when making your purchase, and ultimately name the highest sound models out there.
What Is the Difference Between an Electronic Piano and an Acoustic Piano?
Acoustic and electric pianos both belong to the same musical instrument type, but they have some key differences.
- Acoustic pianos use strings and hammers to create sound, while digital pianos use electronic sounds. Acoustic pianos are larger and heavier than digital pianos, and they usually cost more.
- Digital pianos can be played with headphones so that you don't disturb others, and they often come with a variety of features such as MIDI ports, built-in speakers, and recording capabilities which makes them a more versatile tool than a real acoustic piano.
When choosing a keyboard piano, there are several factors to consider.
Notes On A Keyboard Piano: The Cornerstones
First and foremost, what is your budget? Keyboard pianos can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. If you're a beginner, starting with a less expensive model is probably best. Once you've decided on your budget, take a look at the features offered by each keyboard piano.
Some piano keyboard features to consider include:
The number of keys is important if you plan on playing a lot of music that requires a lot of notes. If you're a beginner, you may not need as many keys.
The type of keys is also important. There are two main types of keys: weighted and unweighted. Weighted keys are heavier and have a more realistic feel. Unweighted keys are lighter and easier to play. If you're a beginner just starting to create electric piano sounds, unweighted keys may be best.
The weight of the keys is also something to consider. If you're a beginner, you may want to choose a keyboard with lighter keys. The sensitivity of the keys is another important factor to consider. If you want your keyboard to respond to your playing style, you'll want to choose a model with sensitive keys.
Polyphony is also an important factor to consider. Polyphony is the number of notes that a keyboard can play at the same time. If you plan on playing complex pieces of music, you'll need a keyboard with high polyphony.
Once you've considered all of these factors, you're ready to choose the ultimate keyboard piano for your needs.
What are the Most Popular Piano Brands?
In this review, we will focus on the featured products of the following brands:
Yamaha is a Japanese multinational corporation and manufacturer of musical instruments, electronics, and other products. It was founded in 1887 and has its headquarters in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. Yamaha Corporation is the world's largest piano manufacturer.
Casio is a Japanese electronics company that manufactures calculators, mobile phones, digital cameras, musical instruments, and watches. It was founded in 1946 and has its headquarters in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan.
Alesis is an American electronics company that manufactures musical instruments, including electronic drums and portable keyboards. It was founded in 1984 and has its headquarters in Cumberland, Rhode Island, United States.
M-Audio is an American company that manufactures electronic musical instruments, digital audio and MIDI interfaces, software, and portable speakers. It was founded in 1998 and has its headquarters in Cumberland, Rhode Island, United States.
Beginner's Choice: Yamaha Keyboard Piano NP-32
The Yamaha NP-32 electric piano is perfect for beginner musicians. It has 76 keys and very efficient sound engines, which is a good number for beginners who are still learning the ropes. Additionally, the keys are weighted, which gives them a more realistic feel. The polyphony on this keyboard is 64 notes, which is more than enough for beginners.
This keyboard also has a feature called the Graded Hammer Standard action. This means that the keys are weighted in such a way that they get progressively heavier as you move up the keyboard. This is a great feature for beginners because it gives them a sense of how hard they need to press the keys.
In terms of price, the Yamaha NP-32 electric piano is very affordable. It typically retails for around $330, which makes it a great option for beginner musicians.
- A free controller App for iOS devices. This App allows you to control all the features of the keyboard from your phone or tablet, for example, to use a special mode to create a grand piano sound.
- The graphic user interface on this keyboard is easy to use and makes it simple to adjust the settings.
- The USB to Host port on this keyboard lets you connect it to a computer or other device for added versatility, and use the built-in speakers to record and play the music.
- The song recorder function on this keyboard lets you record your performances so you can listen to them later.
- This keyboard has an extended battery life, which means you can play for hours without needing to recharge.
- First, the Yamaha NP-32 electric piano is heavier than some other models (like this MINI version of the Cassio 76 keys board). This may not be a problem for more experienced musicians, but beginners may find it difficult to carry around to use as stage pianos.
- Second, the keys on this keyboard are smaller than in some other pianos. This can make it difficult for beginners to play certain chords and notes.
- Third, the hardware on this keyboard can add extra weight to the instrument.
- Fourth, the USB to Host port on this keyboard can only be used with certain devices.
Overall, the Yamaha digital piano is a great choice for beginner musicians, but it does have some drawbacks.
An Ultimate Bundle: Casio Keyboard Piano CT-X3000
If you're a professional musician, it's important to have a full bundle of portable piano with a stand, a chair, and some additional hardware. This will allow you to perform at your best while on the go.
The Casio CT-X3000 61-key keyboard bundle is a great option for beginner to intermediate musicians. It includes an adjustable stand and a comfortable bench, and the set includes a sustain pedal. It also comes with online lessons and an instructional DVD by Austin Bazaar.
The polyphony on this keyboard is 800 Tones, together with 235 adjustable rhythms, enhanced by extended sound engines that make it one of the best digital pianos in the medium price segment.
In terms of price, the Casio CT-X3000 61-key keyboard bundle is moderately affordable, although more expensive than Yamaha. It typically retails for around $400, which makes it a great option for those who are looking for a bundle to use as a stage piano.
- The Casio CT-X3000 61-key keyboard bundle is equipped with full-size keys which are greatly touch-responsive.
- The Austin Bazaar instructional DVD included with this keyboard teaches you how to play popular songs on the piano.
- The sustain pedal allows you to hold notes for longer periods of time, which can create richer-sounding melodies.
- The CT-X3000 has a wide span of DSP effects that can be applied to the tones, which include reverb, chorus, and delay.
- This keyboard has a 17-track sequencer together with an arpeggiator that can create some interesting sounding patterns.
- The stool is not the most comfortable option you can get.
- The keyboard doesn’t come with a power cord to connect to the audio outputs, which means you’ll have to buy one separately.
Overall, the Casio CT-X3000 61-key Keyboard Bundle is a fantastic digital piano and a great value pack option for beginners and professional musicians.
For a budget version of a 61-key bundle, check on Mustar 61 Key Piano Keyboard.
On a Budget: Alesis Recital 88 Key Keyboard
Alesis Recital is one of the most affordable 88-key keyboards on the market today. It costs as much as Yamaha digital piano: $230 for a full-size keyboard.
- The keys are semi-weighted, which makes them closer to the feel of an acoustic piano. This makes it one of the best professional digital pianos on the market.
- There are 5 voices to choose from, including Grand Piano, Electric Piano, Organ, and Strings.
- This keyboard splits the keyboard into two areas with different voices or sounds assigned to each half.
- This keyboard layers two sounds together, such as a piano and strings, for a richer sound when you learn how to play the piano.
- In this mode, the keyboard will give you feedback on your playing so you can improve your skills faster.
- Adds depth and dimension to your sound with reverb and chorus effects, which can be used to create organ sounds and grand piano voices.
- Weighing only 16 pounds, this keyboard is very easy to transport from place to place.
- Some users complain about the imperfect sound on the top octave
- The replicated sound of Alesis Recital piano is not as full as some other electric keyboards for sale.
Overall, this is a good keyboard for people who want to learn to play the piano on a budget. It has many of the features of more expensive keyboards, but it doesn't cost as much. If you're looking for an affordable way to get started with the piano, this is a good option.
By the way, we have found an even more budget 88-key keyboard for you - and it’s foldable, too!
Great for Home and Stage: M-Audio Oxygen 49 Digital Pianos
The M-Audio Oxygen 49 Key Keyboard is a great choice for both home usage and performing. This keyboard has many features that make it stand out from the crowd.
- 49 Keys: The M-Audio Oxygen 49 has 49 keys, which is perfect for a beginner musician to use as a stage piano.
- Beat Pads: This keyboard also has 16 beat pads, which are great for creating rhythms and beats.
- Smart Chord & Scale Modes: The M-Audio Oxygen 49 can show you the chords and scales of any key, so you can easily learn how to play them and record with the built-in speakers.
- Arpeggiator: This keyboard has an arpeggiator that will create cool rhythms for you to play along with and make the most of its sound engines.
- Software Suite: The M-Audio Oxygen 49 comes with a software suite that includes Ableton Live Lite, AIR Music Tech Xpand!2, and more.
- Adjustable DAW Controls & Plugin Parameters: This keyboard lets you adjust the DAW controls and plugin parameters so you can get the most out of your music software.
- Price: The M-Audio Oxygen 49 costs only $139.00, making it a great value for the price.
- The setup manual is not as good as it could be.
- The software can be tricky to connect.
- The feel of the keys is not as pleasant as the more expensive models, like the PRO version of this same model.
Overall, if you are looking for an entry-level keyboard with good sound quality with size and features perfect for both home and stage use, this is a great option.
Editor's Choice for a Mini Keyboard Piano: AKAI Professional MK3
The AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 is a great choice for a small and budget-friendly device. This keyboard has 25 keys, which is a good size for a beginner or someone who wants to save space.
- 25 Keys: The AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 has 25 keys, which is a good size for a beginner or someone who wants to save space.
- 8 Backlit Drum Pads: This keyboard also has 8 backlit drum pads, which are great for creating rhythms and beats.
- 4 Control Knobs: The AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 has 4 control knobs, which let you adjust the sound of your music.
- Mac & PC Compatible: The AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 is compatible with Mac and PC.
- Price: The AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 costs around $110, making it a great value for the price.
- The keys are not full-size.
- The pads are not velocity sensitive.
Overall, the AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 is an excellent compact instrument. If you are looking for an even more budget option, you should check on M-Audio Oxygen 25 IV.
Best Electric Keyboard Instruments On the Market: Our Conclusion
Based on our testing, careful studying, and going through the keyboard pianos reviews, we have made a list of our top picks.
For beginner musicians: The Yamaha NP-32 electric piano has many features which make it easy to adjust to different playing styles. It is also affordable, making it a great option for those just starting out. However, it is heavier than some other models and the keys may be smaller than in other pianos.
Most affordable full-size: Alesis Recital 88 Key Keyboard is a good option as a stage piano bundle with a great piano sound.
Middle-sized option on a budget: In terms of price, the Casio CT-X3000 61-key keyboard bundle is very affordable and efficient.
Home and stage efficient: The M-Audio Oxygen 49 Key Keyboard is a great choice for a beginner musician. This keyboard has many features that make it stand out from the crowd. It is very affordable and perfect for someone just starting out and who want to get a decent sound quality.
Mini size, maxi value: The AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 is a very compact and affordable option that you can use wherever you go and get a really professional sound.
Good luck in your musical journey, courageous piano pro!