As seen in:
Yamaha
ARIUS Traditional Console w/Bench
Williams
Allegro 88-Key Digital
Korg
88-Key Digital
Casio
Privia 88-Key Digital
Roland
F-120-WH Digital Piano
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Good

Action and touch sensitivity surpass that of the other models. Ideal for all skill levels and comes from a reputable company with a long history of customer satisfaction.

A very affordable piano, offering 88 keys and 32-voice polyphony.

The action and sensitivity of the Korgs are dependable, and the keyboard simulates the sound and feel of an acoustic grand piano.

Recreates the sound of a grand piano with its Tri-sensor scaled hammer action keyboard. Comes with three built-in pedals – damper, soft, and sostenuto.

The keys offer five levels of touch sensitivity for a greater-than-average degree of musical expression and have a more authentic feel than those of most other models.

Bad

One of the more expensive keyboard available, but its high production quality and feature set make it well worth the cost.

The eight different tone choices are a smaller offering than most other models. Does not come with a stand.

Comes with a damper pedal but no soft or sostenuto pedal.

Its menu of 18 different tone choices is sufficient for most amateurs, although a recording composer might wish for more choices.

Features 128-voice polyphony, a high level but not the maximum available in a commercial digital piano.

Bottom Line

The best keyboard on the market. Offers excellent sound rendering that truly separates it from the rest of the pack.

A decent choice for beginner students and others who aren't picky about tone quality and expression.

If you're looking for a lower-priced instrument that's suitable for both beginner and intermediate pianists, this is the right choice.

A sufficient mid-quality product that encourages expressivity in beginners, intermediates, and professionals alike.

A solid keyboard, but we recommend the Yamaha instead.

How we decide
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Products received from manufacturers
59
Models Considered
48
Hours Spent
2
Experts Interviewed
211
Consumers Consulted

Best Digital Keyboards

The best digital pianos on the market deliver high-quality sound with weighted keys that simulate the expressivity of a real piano. Many manufacturers claim their product replicates the sound of an upright or grand, but some models are truer to their acoustic predecessors than others. The top digital pianos include the following contenders:

Products we Considered

Yamaha
ARIUS Traditional Console w/Bench
Williams
Allegro 88-Key Digital
Korg
88-Key Digital
Casio
Privia 88-Key Digital
Roland
F-120-WH Digital Piano

Considerations

Action

A digital piano doesn't have hammers, so it relies on internal technology to simulate the action of an acoustic instrument. Poor action can cause a player to use heavy finger force just to get a sound out. Good action feels and sounds like an acoustic instrument without excessive finger force.

Touch Sensitivity

Touch sensitivity takes the concept of “action” one step further. A touch-sensitive keyboard allows the player to convey the emotion of the music by depressing keys with varying amounts of pressure and velocity.

Polyphony

A keyboard's polyphonic capacity reflects the number of pitches that can be held and/or sustained at the same time. Once a keyboard reaches its polyphonic maximum, the pitches begin to cancel each other out. In general, the higher the polyphony, the better.

Price

Digital pianos range in price from hundreds to thousands dollars. Higher-priced models claim to have better action and touch sensitivity and are targeted at serious and professional musicians.

Considerations

Action

Williams Allegro 88-Key Digital Piano

The Williams Allegro has weighted keys that attempt to simulate the sound of an upright, rather than a grand, piano. The price is low, but the action lacks somewhat because of it; some players find it necessary to hit the keys harder than they would a real upright. If you're not looking to wow audiences with trills and faster musical passages, this could be a sufficient choice for you.

Korg SP170s 88-Key Digital Piano, Black

The Korg SP170s offers Natural Weighted Hammer Action (NH) that simulates the sound and feel of an acoustic grand piano. Chorus and reverb effects add spaciousness and warmth to the sound. Customers consistently report satisfaction with the Korg's weighted keys and sound output. If you're looking for a lower-priced instrument that's suitable for both beginner and intermediate pianists, this is the right choice.

Casio PX850 Privia 88-Key Digital Piano, Brown

The Casio PX859 recreates the sound of a grand with its Tri-sensor scaled hammer action keyboard. Adding to its authenticity is the fact that you can actually lift the lid of the Casio, further simulating the grand sound. Users are generally satisfied with the sound quality, but some report a distracting key-clacking sound that appears after several weeks of use.

Roland F-120-WH Digital Piano

The Roland F-120-WH features a patented SuperNATURAL Piano Engine that delivers a wide range of realistic sounds. The action of this model was intended to be an improvement over Roland's FP4F and RD300NX, but it ends up being about the same as the previous models. Nevertheless, Roland does a good job recreating the sound of a grand for slightly over $1,000. Some owners have noted that the keys make a distracting clacking sound after a few weeks of use, but we didn’t find this to be an issue with the vast majority of owners.

Yamaha ARIUS YDP-181 Electronic Piano with Bench

Yamaha's ARIUS YDP-181 features a graded hammer keyboard with realistic action that allows for the articulation of trills and other fast musical passages. The action is weighted and sometimes actually feels stiffer than a real piano, a pleasant surprise to those who have become accustomed to mushy plastic keys. This keyboard is not easily portable, but its sophisticated musical action would be suitable for both amateur and professional performances.

If you're looking for a lower-priced instrument that's suitable for both beginner and intermediate pianists, the Korg SP170s is the right choice for you.
Considerations

Touch Sensitivity

Williams Allegro 88-Key Digital Piano

From key to key, the touch of the Williams Allegro satisfies basic musical requirements but is somewhat inconsistent. Players can still create music with expression, but they might find themselves focusing on finger pressure more than they would with other models. The organ and string voices are less affected by this inconsistency, making it a fair choice for those who want to play around with non-piano sounds. The instrument comes with a basic sustain pedal, but no soft or sostenuto pedals, which probably wouldn't be a problem for most amateurs.

Korg SP170s 88-Key Digital Piano, Black

The Korg SP170s offers three levels of touch sensitivity which the player can select and change at any time. It comes with a damper pedal but no soft or sostenuto pedal. This might be an inconvenience for professional musicians but it won't affect everyday players much. Some customers who were less than thrilled with the Korg pedal have replaced it with their own inexpensive add-on with good results, but we didn't find this to be necessary for the everyday user.

The Casio PX859 Privia offers three levels of touch sensitivity. The advanced AiR sound system (Acoustic and intelligent Resonator) does a good job creating longer natural decays for greater expression. The keys are meant to feel similar under the fingers to the ebony and ivory of a real grand, but some users disagree with this claim. The instrument comes with three built-in pedals – damper, soft, and sostenuto – which is an advantage over keyboards with only one pedal and contributes to the instrument's artistry. Overall, this piano is a sufficient mid-quality product that encourages expressivity in beginners, intermediates, and professionals alike.

The keys of the Roland F-120 offers five levels of touch sensitivity for a greater-than-average degree of musical expression. The keys of this piano have a more authentic feel than some of its competitors. The Roland's SuperNATURAL engine successfully delivers a wide range of tone colors and timbres depending on the velocity at which each key is struck. This model includes three pedals – damper, soft, and sostenuto – which add to the player's vocabulary of expressivity. In general, customers are satisfied with this keyboard and most others in the Roland line.

The Yamaha ARIUS YDP-181's designated TOUCH button allows users to choose between hard, medium, and soft settings. TOUCH can also be turned off for organ playing and other stylings. The keyboard comes with three traditional pedal functions – damper, sostenuto, and soft – for added freedom of expression and also includes a half-pedal capability that simulates the action of a real human foot. This instrument yields a degree of artistic expression that is suitable for beginners and professionals alike.

The Yamaha keyboard comes with three traditional pedal functions – damper, sostenuto, and soft – for added freedom of expression.
Missy
Expert Consultant
Missy
Music Teacher, Musician

Missy holds degrees in music education and psychology. She is a certified K-12 music teacher with 18 years of experience in Michigan public schools. She teaches private piano and voice lessons and has performed leading roles in numerous theater productions, including My Fair Lady and The Pirates of Penzance. In her spare time, Missy performs with an eclectic mid-Michigan band called The Honeybadgers.

Considerations

Polyphony

Williams Allegro 88-Key Digital Piano

The Williams Allegro offers 32-voice polyphony, the lowest level available. This lower level, combined with the presence of only a damper pedal, limits the expressivity of the instrument somewhat. The Williams also offers a menu of eight different tone choices – a smaller offering than some models but still fun for kids and amateur composers who want to play around with sound. With many positive customer reviews under its belt, this budget instrument is a good choice for those who seek a basic, functioning piano.

Korg SP170s 88-Key Digital Piano, Black

The Korg SP170s offers 60-voice polyphony, a middle-of-the-road feature that yields some expression but not as much as other brands. The fact that only a damper pedal is included somewhat limits expressivity. The Korg also offers 10 pre-programmed tone choices, making it a very solid choice for those who want a pleasurable playing experience at an affordable price.

Casio PX850 Privia 88-Key Digital Piano, Brown

The Casio PX859 Privia offers excellent 256-voice polyphony. This high number of sustainable voices allows for great expressivity and is especially gratifying for intermediate students who wish to focus on honing their artistic expression. Its menu of 18 different tone choices is sufficient for most amateurs, although a recording composer might wish for more choices.

Roland F-120-WH Digital Piano

Roland's F-120 features 128-voice polyphony, a high level but not the maximum available in a commercial digital piano. This satisfying polyphony allows for good expression and a robust sound, especially when the sustain pedal is applied. Its menu of 30 different tone choices includes a fun array of timbres with which amateurs and curious students can experiment.

Yamaha ARIUS YDP-181 Electronic Piano with Bench

The Yamaha ARIUS YDP-181 offers 128-voice polyphony, allowing for a satisfying level of expression in sustained and legato passages. It offers a menu of 14 different tone choices. These features, combined with the stiffer and more realistic touch of the keys, make the Yamaha one of the most gratifying instruments to play in terms of artistic expression and performance quality.

The Yamaha ARIUS YDP-181 offers 128-voice polyphony, allowing for a satisfying level of expression in sustained and legato passages.
Considerations

Price

Williams Allegro 88-Key Digital Piano

The Williams Allegro is our cheapest model. Considering that you get 88 keys for $399, this piano is a decent choice for beginner students and others who aren't picky about tone quality and expression. It does not come with a stand; buyers must purchase one separately or use a desk or table at home. In the long run, serious students may find they wish to replace the Williams with something that captures the musical nuances that come with advanced piano study, but it's a sufficient workhorse for a beginner.

Korg SP170s 88-Key Digital Piano, Black

At $499, the Korg SP170s offers a simple and clean product with few add-on features. The action and sensitivity are dependable, and the keyboard, though on the inexpensive side, does not sound or look cheap. Beginners and amateurs alike find this to be a sufficient tool for learning and at-home performance in spite of the lower 60-voice polyphony. The Korg doesn't come with a stand; musicians are best off purchasing one separately for ease of use.

Casio PX850 Privia 88-Key Digital Piano, Brown

At a cost of $949, the Casio PX859 Privia's greatest strength is its 256-voice polyphony. Tone quality approaches that of a grand and offers a unique lid-lifting capability not seen in most models at this price point. This keyboard is heavy and comes in a cabinet made of average materials that would fit in with the décor of most homes.

Roland F-120-WH Digital Piano

At a cost of $1799, the Roland F-120-WH Digital Piano is neither the cheapest nor the most expensive model out there. Although Roland's F-120 model makes no great strides over its previous models, the product is a solid one with an excellent capacity for musical expression. If you don't mind a heavier keyboard (94 lbs) and the sleek, contemporary cabinet in which it is housed, this could be the right choice for you.

Yamaha ARIUS YDP-181 Electronic Piano with Bench

At $1699, the Yamaha ARIUS YDP-181 is the most expensive of the top models, but it is no doubt worth the investment. For the price, you get a sturdy cabinet keyboard from a reputable company with a tradition of excellence, as well as a matching bench. The Yamaha's action and touch sensitivity surpass that of the other models, delivering a satisfying, grand-like experience for all who play it. 128-voice polyphony and a smaller library of tone choices could be a slight negative for some, but overall the instrument is extremely dependable one, offering excellent sound rendering and the capacity for a joyful, realistic performance experience.

The Yamaha's action and touch sensitivity surpass that of the other models, delivering a satisfying, grand-like experience for all who play it.

Best of the Best

The Yamaha Arius stands out as the clear winner of our Best of the Best award. The instrument's weighted keys are a delight to play, and the sensitivity settings and half-pedal option set the stage for true artistry. The instrument does not produce the annoying “clacking” sound of some of our other models, and the cabinet is by far the sturdiest and most aesthetically pleasing for the home. This instrument is ideal for all skill levels and comes from a reputable company with a long history of customer satisfaction. This instrument earns our highest recommendation as the best digital keyboard on the market.
Best of the Best
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The sensitivity settings and half-pedal option of the Yamaha set the stage for true artistry.

Best Bang for your Buck

Retailing for $499, the Korg SP170s has earned a steady stream of positive customer reviews for its action and sound quality. The 60-voice polyphony and damper pedal are sufficient for those who need a piano for at-home practicing or merely for personal enjoyment. Aesthetically speaking, the Korg's clean, simple design blends in well with most home décor and is very pleasant on the eyes. This instrument is perfect for those who want a good grand sound at a lower price point - if you are looking for a great keyboard at a reasonable price, this is the choice for you.
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The team that worked on this review
  • Amy
    Amy
    Writer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Editor
  • Jasmin
    Jasmin
    Operations
  • Jimi
    Jimi
    Product Analyst
  • Kriti
    Kriti
    Data Scientist