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Did you know you can get true piano-sounding quality digitally? Join us as we look at some of the best digital pianos by some of the top manufacturers. We were stunned by what we heard come out of these mighty machines.
These models are capable of pumping out some truly amazing sounds, but today we’re going to focus on their piano emulation. We selected what we feel are the 10 best models. The best part about these digital counterparts is the money you can save.
Anyone in the market for a real piano can attest to their high cost. By going digital, you’ll pay a fraction of that. To get more information that will help in finding the right digital piano, be sure to check out our buyer’s guide immediately following the reviews.
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For the most authentic piano sounds, you can’t do much better than Roland’s RD-2000. It is loaded with features, has an acceptable price, and is highly-portable.
If you’re wanting a digital piano that more closely mimics a full-sized setup, Yamaha’s YDP-184 is your best bet. This piano sports the traditional look and feel and has some of the best sound imaginable. It comes with everything from the bench to the music rack for a complete package.
Now that you’ve seen some of the best, let’s have a look at the remaining eight. We’re sure you’ll find a digital piano that delivers everything you’re looking for.
Roland’s RD-2000 is truly the pinnacle of great sound. By incorporating the V-Piano and SuperNATURAL sound engines, Roland is able to achieve some incredible tunes. We had trouble telling the difference between the RD-2000 and a real piano.
As one of the best digital pianos produced, the Roland RD-2000 is equally viable for beginners and professionals alike. Learning its many functions will take some dedication and practice, but you’re guaranteed years of use. It features perfectly weighted keys that mimic the real deal. So if you’re just starting out, the inviting design will make it an easy transition.
Professional musicians will appreciate the onboard knobs and sliders. You’ll have full control of all the preloaded effects and sounds that the RD-2000 has to offer. The sound engines have to be heard to be fully appreciated, as they feature a 128-voice polyphony. There are even more sounds available that are compatible with Roland’s RD-800 sets.
We liked that Roland included their past electric pianos like the MKS-20 and RD-1000. Besides just pianos, there are over 1,100 other sounds included, as well. You get true-to-life sounds from brass, wind, strings, organs, etc.
We also enjoyed being able to upload more sounds. Roland included two slots for further wave expansion. There are plenty of LED lights and indicators on deck to keep you apprised of choices and selections.
At around 47 pounds, the RD-2000 is a solid and sturdy instrument. Its keys are remarkable in their feel and weight. For sustaining sounds, Roland includes a pedal. It’s important to note that the RD-2000 does not have built-in speakers. You will need a set of your own to hear anything.
This one is certainly best suited for those with experience. But for the beginner who sticks with it, you will greatly benefit from its many uses.
If you’re looking for a digital piano that looks like the real deal, you have to check out Yamaha’s YDP-184. This beautiful piece of work closely resembles everything that makes a piano so special.
It perfectly emulates everything down to vibrations in the strings. Yamaha even lets you adjust these sounds for razor-sharp fine-tuning. This is made possible by the use of Visual Resonance Modeling. The sound is truly something to behold.
Most people won’t be able to tell the difference thanks to detail that Yamaha put into the YDP-184. As one of the most advanced pianos in Yamaha’s Arius series, you are treated to the absolute best.
You get a 256-note polyphony with 24 voices. You can record your own tunes and save them to the built-in computer. There is a handy pad to the left of the keys that allow you to make selections and perform operations.
Directly below this are ports like USB, auxiliary, and headphones. Yamaha even includes a padded bench to complete the true look. Three foot pedals are positioned at the base of the piano, as well. A music rack directly above the keys lets you rest sheet music.
For those wondering how the keys feel, let us just say that we couldn’t tell any difference between this digital piano and a real one.
Keep in mind that this unit is not made for portability. It weighs close to 200 pounds and is meant to compliment your home like any other piece of furniture.
You will have no problem sitting down and playing right away. If you’re at all familiar with a piano, you will feel right at home with the YDP-184. It is a little lacking in its features. But if you’re looking for an authentic experience in the comfort of your own home, this is definitely it.
The Yamaha CP88 is absolutely loaded. Whether you’re a novice or veteran, you’ll have plenty to work with here. This model is pretty lightweight compared to most others, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in ability.
In fact, this is one of the best options for professionals, as it is very easy to transport from job to job. The CP88 has tons of ports, knobs, and sliders for the ultimate in versatility. You can save, upload, or download with ease.
Yamaha has made the CP88 accessible to its users with an intuitive system and smart design. While we aren’t musicians by any stretch, we found it quite easy to navigate its controls and functions.
In terms of sound quality, we were blown away by how incredible the pianos played. Yamaha included the CFX grand, Bösendorfer Imperial 290, and S700. Each sounds flawless in its delivery and perfectly emulates its namesake. For upright pianos, Yamaha even included their U1 and SU7.
You’ll have access to electric pianos, strings, synths, and more. The electric pianos included are the CP70 and 80. These sound identical to their real-life counterparts. The CP88 is loaded with so many voices that you’re guaranteed an enjoyable experience.
It doesn’t matter if you’re new to playing, because the CP88 is just so easy to use. It’s loaded with knobs and sliders, with each one labeled for fast learning.
While it’s a bit lacking in total voices available, the Kawai MP11SE features some amazing samples and recordings. The keys are equally impressive in that they closely match a real piano’s precision.
Kawai has included some of their best pianos in their samplings. These are the EX Concert Grand, Shigeru SK-EX, and SK-5. If you’re looking for true classical sounds, Kawai’s MP11SE is your best bet.
To add to the authenticity, Kawai put extensive work into the keys. They feel virtually identical to that of the Shigeru SK-EX grand concert piano. This was accomplished by extending the key’s pivot point.
While the included electric pianos sound nice and all, the real kicker is the grand pianos. Their quality is quite stunning. By using the built-in Virtual Technician, you can adjust the MP11SE to deliver sound just the way you like it.
Now, it’s true that Kawai’s piano isn’t the most versatile of entries. But you simply can’t beat its classical piano samplings. They will blow you away with how true to life they are.
We really enjoyed the interface on this one. The button and slider layout is easy to access and make use of. Even if you aren’t a professional, we think you’ll find the MP11SE to be quite welcoming.
If you’re on a budget yet need good playback and sound quality, you ought to check out Casio’s CGP-700. You’re getting tons of sounds to work with here. We were quite impressed with such a large number of voices on deck for such a budget-friendly instrument.
We’re talking 550 unique voices to play with. If you like to write songs, you’ll have a lot of versatility at your fingertips; literally. There are also 200 preset rhythms at your disposal. With what little experience we have playing music, we were able to come up with some rather nice music. At least by our low standards.
In terms of accessibility, we found it to be quite user-friendly, as well. A large 5.3-inch color touchscreen lets you control the action. It has a straightforward presentation to help guide you along the way. And if you want to record music, easy-access USB and auxiliary let you do so.
We really liked the stand that you get with the CGP-700. It has built-in 40-watt speakers that sound crystal clear. A music rack is also included for resting sheet music. And to make piano playing easy, there’s a dedicated button that switches you right over to grand piano.
There aren’t many buttons on deck, as most everything is done via the touchscreen. If you’re used to knobs and sliders, this can take some getting used to. But it works well once you do. For us, it actually made things a lot easier.
We aren’t the most musically-inclined and we had an easy time operating this model. Sure, the sound isn’t up as high-quality as other brands. But for the price, who can complain?
Get ready to shell out some major bucks for this one. Nord’s Stage 3 is an expensive piece of equipment, to be sure. But it is loaded with features and has some amazing sound quality. For professionals, this is the way to go.
It emulates pianos, organs, and synths wonderfully. The Stage 3 is customizable to the hilt, allowing you to adjust sounds just the way you want them. It has a much greater capacity for memory, now boasting 2 gigabytes. This is what allows Nord to get such great samples loaded onto their digital piano.
The piano section features a wide range of options. These include grands, electric pianos, uprights, harpsichord, and clavinet. These all come from Nord’s extensive piano library. Each has its own unique characteristics, giving you vast theater of sounds.
Every nuance of sound has been captured to deliver some truly breathtaking samples. Pedal noise is even emulated here. The quality has to be heard to be appreciated.
The controls, knobs, and sliders are packed in close together. There are so many to work with, and indicator LEDs light up all across the board. The Stage 3 sports two rich OLED screens that let you see selections and functions in real-time.
Now, we have to discuss the price of this thing. Yes, it’s high. Some might argue that you could buy a real piano for what this costs. But you have to consider what you’re getting. With multiple pianos at your service that sound so true to the real thing, you’re actually saving money in a sense.
You certainly couldn’t buy all the pianos built into the Stage 3 for what it costs. Just some food for thought if you’re on the fence.
At only 41 pounds, the Stage 3 is a great musical companion for professionals. The interface, while innovative, can be a bit troublesome for beginners. This is really geared toward veteran musicians. But if you’re in need of true piano playback, this is definitely a good investment.
Loaded with seven excellent sound engines, Korg’s Grandstage is built for playability. Its interface is a pleasure to use, with intuitive controls that help you to better shape your music to your liking.
You can quickly and easily access your most frequently-used sounds thanks to a built-in ‘Favorites’ section. You have access to 500 voices for better control over your musical creations. It should be noted, however, that many of the voice samples are very similar.
You get a three-band equalizer to finely-tune your tunes. A digital display makes it easy to see what you’re doing at all times. There are plenty of LED lights that let you keep an eye on your selections.
If you’re just getting your foot in the door to the world of digital pianos, the Grandstage isn’t a bad start. Its button placement is very minimal, and evenly spread out across the board.
Korg went with their acoustic SGX-2 piano for the sound engine. And let us tell you, it sounds great. It’s not on the same level of greatness as some other models, but it sure gets the job done in fine fashion. You can choose between Korg’s upright and grand concert pianos.
The Grandstage is an excellent digital piano for beginners. It is so easy to use and has a very inviting setup. Anyone will feel comfortable playing or learning on it. If you’re serious about getting good, the price is more than acceptable. It makes a great investment and will give you a great return if you are diligent in your learning.
With the digital piano, you get a stand, music rack, and foot pedal. The only things missing are you and a seat.
With its beautiful user interface, Korg’s Grandstage is a breeze to operate. By simply turning knobs, you can quickly get the sound you’re looking for. And with seven high-quality sound engines, playback is crisp and clear.
We should note that the Grandstage requires a bit heavier action than other models in our guide. It may not be a deal-breaker, but there’s certainly a difference.
Looking for an inexpensive home digital piano? Roland’s RP501R may be right up your alley. It’s got everything you need to deliver an effective home piano entertainment setup at a great price.
Roland once again makes great use of the SuperNATURAL engine. This provides you with excellent acoustic sounds. You get over 300 unique voices to play with, serving to broaden your musical creativity.
The RP501R is a pretty versatile digital piano. And if you’re just learning to play, Roland offers some incredibly handy playing information. Just download their app to better your chances of learning.
You get USB access that lets you easily record your music to an external device. Conversely, you can store it to the piano’s onboard memory.
While this is a full-sized piano, it weighs only 70 pounds. If you ever need to move it, you won’t need to hire a team to help. You get a Roland bench to complete the package.
You get headphone inputs for private listening. There’s also built-in Bluetooth capabilities. This lets you sync up your smart device for even more versatility.
Just sit down and play. It’s really that simple. This is an authentic piano experience, with minimal controls and a straightforward interface. You still have access to plenty of samples, but with much less going on.
Casio’s Privia is one of the most compact digital pianos you’ll come across. Yet it still features 88-keys and offers plenty of features to play with. There are a total of 192 polyphony notes. You also have access to a whopping 700 unique sounds and 200 rhythms.
The keys feel great thanks to the smart scaled hammer action. Casio really did a tremendous job at replicating a real piano’s keys. They are perfectly weighted for excellent balance and feedback. You can even adjust these to better fit your liking.
The sound quality is equally impressive in a digital piano of such small stature. Casio’s piano engine delivers high-quality tones that sound rich and balanced.
You can save your favorite music to the piano’s onboard memory. There’s even Bluetooth capabilities that allow you to play music from your smart device through the piano’s built-in speakers.
At roughly 25 pounds, you’ll have no troubles transporting this digital piano with you wherever you go. It has a highly-affordable price, making it a great choice for beginners and the budget-conscious.
Because of its compact design, the PX-S3000 is lacking a lot of features. But for the beginner, this makes it extremely easy to use. It’s highly-affordable and sounds great for the price.
One of the most unique digital pianos among our rankings, the Yamaha DGX-660 is loaded with features that rival high-end keyboards. It boasts a six-track sequencer, allowing you to work on arrangements. If you’re interested in the production side of music, this is definitely worthy of your attention.
Yamaha went with their Pure CF engine for piano sounds. And while it may not deliver the goods as well as one of their grand concert pianos, it’s certainly nothing to sneeze at. It has great range and offers plenty of samplings to work with.
You get over 150 voices built-in for versatile composition, with 16 drum kits to boot. If you’re interested in growing your skillset, Yamaha made the DGX-660 compatible with their educational suite. This will help you become a more seasoned piano player thanks to their in-depth learning material.
This 88-key digital piano features true weighted keys. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, you will feel right at home when you sit down to play.
We liked the easy-to-use interface of the DGX-660. It felt great to operate its controls, and the digital display is a nice addition. There are plenty of ports for greater versatility, too. You can connect the piano to Wi-Fi, sync up wirelessly, connect via USB, and use headphones.
We appreciated the included stand, but you’ll have to provide your own seating. You can connect a foot pedal, too, if you have one.
You don’t need to be a seasoned musician to use the DGX-660. But it has plenty of complex functions that are better suited for the professionals. If you aren’t interested in such things, it still makes a great learning instrument.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re new to playing piano or you can play Stravinsky’s Trois mouvements de Petrouchka blindfolded. It is important that you consider a few aspects going in. In this section, we will cover the most crucial details.
This will ensure that you have all your bases covered. We want you to be able to make a well-informed purchase. By knowing what to look for in a digital piano, you won’t get blindsided or confused while shopping.
As you are by now well-aware, digital pianos can easily cost anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars. You likely will not want to break the bank on your very first piano if you’re a newcomer to the game.
Depending on your skill level, it may be more beneficial to go with a digital piano or keyboard that is geared toward beginners. This will effectively save you money while helping you to learn the ropes as you grow.
Many have built-in features that will help you become more comfortable with 88 keys. Speaking of which, let’s touch on that for a moment.
The keyboard layout on a full-sized piano features 88 keys. While we didn’t touch on it, a few of the entries in our guide are also available with 73-key layouts. If you’re wanting to learn the proper way to play, it is recommended that you go with an 88-key piano.
The pianos you see with 73-keys are best suited for professional musicians. They’re a good option for those who need a more compact and lighter digital piano in their travels. They are still capable of a wide variety of play styles, but they may confuse a beginner.
It’s also important that the keys feel right to you. Many high-end digital piano manufacturers try to emulate the weight, balance, and feel of real piano keys as closely as possible. If you go with a low-end digital piano, you will definitely notice a difference in the keys.
This can negatively affect your play style. Or, if you’re new, you’re learning ability. To ensure that your potential investment has quality keys, check that it has graded hammer action. This is what gives digital pianos that true-to-life feedback you’re wanting.
Some companies take it a step further and use synthetic ivories. This more closely mimics the real thing, thereby giving you a more authentic learning experience.
Maybe the most important aspect of all, you want to know that your potential new piano sounds like the real deal, too. For this, you want to look for how many notes are included with the piano. The higher the number, the better it will sound.
These amounts of notes are called ‘polyphony’. If your digital piano has a greater number of notes, it has a better chance of producing sounds most people don’t think about. Sounds like string vibrations or foot pedals in action.
Something else you want to pay attention to is the number of voices the piano is capable of producing. This number also should be higher if you’re wanting high-quality emulation. The more voices, the more types of pianos the digital counterpart can play.