The Best Digital Pianos - All Prices Up To $1000

The Highest Rated Digital Pianos

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Digital pianos offer piano-like playability and sound without the bulk and cost of acoustic pianos. They also provide the benefit of amplification, volume control, multiple voicings, computer connectivity and more - without going overboard with features like portable keyboards. Digital pianos provide the best of both worlds so to speak, hence their popularity with teachers and students alike.

Here we feature the best digital piano keyboards in the sub $1000 price range, updated for 2022. The sub $500 ones are ideal for beginner to intermediate players who want an affordable instrument to learn on. While the ones above the $500 mark have enough features to satisfy experienced pianists.

To get the playing feel right, digital pianos mostly come with full-size keys, some of which are modified to mimic the hammer action and weight of acoustic piano keys. Sound wise, better reproduction of acoustic piano voices and improved dynamic response to playing are prioritized. When done right, these key elements make digital pianos viable for pianists who want to play an electronic instrument with minimal technique adjustments.

The Best Digital Pianos - All Prices Up To $1000

Author & Contributors

Alexander BrionesAlexander Briones

I've written about and researched music gear for many years, while also serving as a music director at my local church, in addition to teaching guitar, bass and mentoring young musicians.

Under $200

Casio Casiotone CT-S200 61 Keys

94
GEARANK

94 out of 100. Incorporating 1600+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$139
Casio Casiotone CT-S200 61-Key Portable Digital Keyboard
At publication time this was the Highest Rated Digital Piano Under $200.

Cons

  • No touch sensitivity
  • Not for fast learners with good ears

Pros

  • Sleek and portable profile
  • Good build quality for the price
  • Decent sounds and easy playability
  • Can double as a MIDI controller

Normally, digital pianos have streamlined voicing features, but Casio doesn't really conform to the norm. Rather, they packed the CT-S200 with a lot of sounds and functions, making it more like a hybrid budget instrument that combines aspects of a portable keyboard, arranger and digital piano.

Together with its ability to run on 6 x AA batteries, the CT-S200 is more akin to a portable keyboard, the main difference being its full-size keys and fewer buttons. But even with limited controls, Casio was still able to pack this unit with 400 tones and 77 rhythms, way more than what's usually expected from a digital piano.

It also comes with other bells and whistles, including built-in lessons and effects, and there's even a dance music mode for more rhythms. All these features make this a good starter instrument, opening up kids to music in general, while having standard finger spacing so there will be fewer technique adjustments should they upgrade to something better.

Sound quality is decent for the price, special mention goes to its electric piano voice. However, fast learners with good ears, will soon outgrow the sound quality and feel of this unit.

For the price, overall build quality is OK. The plastic chassis feels solid without being heavy, and it even has a nifty handle that makes it easy to carry around. The plastic keys are also not noisy and have a decent feel. The downside though is its lack of touch sensitivity, which makes this more of a "test the waters" type of instrument - and not ideal for serious students.

One nifty feature of the CT-S200 is its USB MIDI compatibility, which expands the use of the unit as a MIDI keyboard controller. It also helps that the CT-S200 looks sleek and stylish.

If you're looking for a budget friendly beginner digital piano that's unabashedly versatile, then check out the Casiotone CT-S200.

Specifications

  • Keys: 61 Standard Size Keys
  • Touch Sensitivity: None
  • Speaker System: 2 x 5.1", 4W amp
  • Pedal: 1/4" Input for Sustain Pedal
  • Presets: 400 tones, 77 rhythms
  • Effects: 10 Reverb Types
  • Polyphony: 48 Notes
  • Functions: Dance Mode, MIDI compatibility, Lesson Function
  • Audio Output: 1 x 1/8" (headphones/line out)
  • MIDI I/O: USB Micro B
  • Power: AC adapter (included) or 6 x AA batteries
  • Stand: Not included
  • Color: Black, Red, White
  • Dimensions: 2.9" x 36.6" x 10.1"
  • Weight: 7.3 lbs

Rating Source Highlights

Website Source *Rating Value
YouTube Gearfacts 90/100
YouTube Jeremy See 88/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Under $300

Yamaha Piaggero NP-12 61-Keys

93
GEARANK

93 out of 100. Incorporating 1000+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$220
Yamaha Piaggero NP-12 61-Key Digital Piano w/ Speakers
At publication time this was the Highest Rated Digital Piano from $200 to $300.

Cons

  • Keys are not weighted
  • Limited control options

Pros

  • Compact and portable
  • Can run on batteries
  • Good sounding traditional voices
  • Good touch sensitivity

The Yamaha Piaggero NP-12 is a digital piano that focuses on portability. It gives you the simplicity and traditional sound quality of a digital piano, while having a slim and lightweight profile. It can even run for up to 5 hours on six AA batteries.

Part of having a portable profile is stripping down the keybed to basics, so it does not come with full-size weighted keys. This means that while the keys have the traditional block shape, they don't have the usual heavier feel expected from digital pianos. They are still a bit heavier than synth keys, but not heavy enough to appease acoustic piano players.

The NP-12 has touch sensitivity that gives it good playing feel even without weighted keys. It has soft, medium, hard and fixed touch response settings. This touch sensitivity works nicely with Yamaha's Advanced Wave Memory stereo sampling technology, resulting in a more lively and responsive sound.

Speaking of sound, it only has a total of 10, which includes two variations of Piano, E. Piano, Organ, Strings and Harpsichord. While few in number, the included sounds cover the usual voices needed for traditional piano playing. More importantly, most of them sound quite good considering the unit's price and portability. The piano sound in particular sounds rich and full, which is quite surprising given the unit's small profile. The organ sound is also quite good.

The control interface is also streamlined, with just a few buttons that allow for voice selection and layering, along with a Demo and Metronome button. It also has a nifty record and play button. Other features like reverb depth, reverb type, transpose and octave are accessible via complex button + piano key presses. This can be problematic, because you'll need to either memorize the combinations, or have the manual in front of you.

For a portable keyboard, the NP-12 does feel solid, but it does need proper handling care to prevent any unwanted damage. Also note that the speaker system is not very loud, and is not meant to be driven too hard.

All in all, the Piaggero NP-12 is a great entry starter piano keyboard to have, and can be a good portable 66-key instrument that you can bring with you to more places.

Specifications

  • Keys: 61 Piano Style Keys
  • Touch Sensitivity: Soft, Medium, Hard, Fixed
  • Speaker System: 2 x 4.72", 5W amp
  • Pedal: 1/4" Input for Sustain Pedal
  • Presets: 10 tones
  • Effects: 4 Reverb Types
  • Polyphony: 64 Notes
  • Functions: Dual, MIDI, Metronome, Tempo, Transpose
  • Audio Output: 1 x 1/4" (Headphones / Out)
  • MIDI I/O: USB Type B
  • Power: 12V DC adapter (not included) or 6 x AA batteries
  • Stand: Not included
  • Color: Black, White
  • Dimensions: 4.12" x 40.81" x 10.18"
  • Weight: 9.94 lbs

Rating Source Highlights

Website Source *Rating Value
YouTube John Coupland 92/100
MusicRadar Daryl Robertson 90/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Under $500

Yamaha P-71 88 Keys

96
GEARANK

96 out of 100. Incorporating 5200+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$500
Yamaha P71 Digital Piano
At publication time this was the Highest Rated Digital Piano Under $500.

Cons

  • Limited to 10 Voicings
  • No rhythm and learning features
  • Dated technology and connectivity

Pros

  • 88 full-size keys
  • Graded Hammer Standard action
  • Great sounding piano and e.piano
  • Streamlined design and interface

The P-71 is an Amazon exclusive portable digital piano from Yamaha, with 88-keys and features similar to the P-45. It is essentially the same unit but with a cheaper price tag, and available in different bundles. Speaking of exclusive, the P-71 is not as widely available as the P-45, and stock maybe limited at times.

At its core is an 88-key full size keybed with Yamaha's GHS (Graded Hammer Standard) weighted action, which mimics the different weight feel of actual acoustic piano keys, heavier on the low notes and gradually getting lighter as you go up. This is its main advantage over other similarly priced digital pianos.

Matching its life-like playing feel, the P-71 comes with Yamaha's AWM (Advanced Wave Memory) digital sampling technology. This technology utilizes different samples per key with varying levels of volume and timbre, resulting in improved realism. The piano and electric piano sound full and organic, and both respond really well to dynamic changes. The sound is close to, if not equal to, the sound quality of more expensive P-series units.

The downside is that there are fewer voicings available, a total of 10, which is very limited compared to what others offer. But this can also be a blessing in disguise since there aren't many things to distract you from practicing.

If you're looking for a quality 88-key Yamaha digital piano at a more reasonable price point, then this is for you.

Specifications

  • Keys: 88 Fully Weighted Hammer Action Keys
  • Touch Sensitivity: Hard/Medium/Soft/Fixed
  • Speaker System: 2 x 6W Amplifier and 2 x 4.5" Speakers
  • Pedal: Bundled Sustain Pedal, 1/4" Pedal input
  • Presets: 10 x Demo, 10 x Piano
  • Effects: 4 Types of Reverb
  • Polyphony: 64 Notes
  • Functions: Metronome, Transpose, Layer, Split
  • Audio Output: 1 x TRS (Headphones)
  • MIDI I/O: USB
  • Power: DC IN 12V
  • Stand: Optional
  • Color: Black, White
  • Dimensions: 6" x 52.25" x 11.5"
  • Weight: 25.35 lbs

Rating Source Highlights

Website Source *Rating Value
YouTube JordanAndrew 94/100
YouTube Jeremy See 92/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Under $750

Yamaha P-125 88-Keys

96
GEARANK

96 out of 100. Incorporating 1750+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$700
Yamaha P-125 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano
At publication time this was the Highest Rated Digital Piano from $500 to $750.

Cons

  • Bulky and heavy
  • Limited physical controls

Pros

  • 88 full-size keys
  • Superb graded weight action
  • Great sounding piano and e. piano
  • Versatile features via Smart Piano App

The best trait of the Yamaha P-125 is the quality and feel of its 88 weighted action keys. While the keys are still made of plastic, they feature Yamaha's Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) action, which gives them weight and bounce similar to acoustic pianos - low keys are heavier, and the high keys are lighter. The keys are full size, and are meticulously arranged to provide traditional finger spacing. The downside to weighted keys is that they require more effort to press. My fingers were aching within the first few hours of use, but I eventually got used to it. My son had the same experience, but also got over it after a few days.

There are four touch sensitivity settings available: Soft, Medium, Hard and Fixed. I'm currently happy with the default medium setting. There is an option to personalize the touch sensitivity curve, but this can only be done via the Yamaha Smart Pianist app

The P-125 has a total of 24 voicings, grouped in to 6 main types which include Piano, Electric Piano, Organ, Clavinova/Vibraphone, Strings and Bass. The piano sounds are all top notch, they sound and respond like the real thing. I especially love the warm voicing of "Ballad Grand" piano, it sounds fuller, and is very responsive to how hard or how soft I play. My son prefers the default "Grand Piano" voice, which has a balanced voicing. He uses this setting to play classical pieces and to practice his lessons. My dad on the other hand is more into electric piano sounds, especially the DX E. Piano, which he uses to emulate the sound of songs from the '70s and 80s.

Yamaha P-125 Digital Piano
Yamaha P-125 Digital Piano

Yamaha designed the P-125 with a very minimalist control interface - no LCD screen, no knobs, very few buttons, just one fader. This gives the keyboard a streamlined look and allows for a slimmer profile. On the flipside, this makes useful features hard to access, requiring complex combinations of button and piano key presses. Thankfully, there's a way to better access all the features via the Smart Pianist app for iOS and Android. Once you have the cables and adapters setup, this app makes it easier to access all the features, including voices, layers, effects, rhythms and more. It also enables preset management and recording of audio or MIDI.

What makes this app truly "Smart" is its "Song" feature - which analyzes the chord structure of songs, and produces a handy chord chat that runs along with the track. It even allows for tempo changes (slow down or speed up), and key transpositions. This is definitely handy when studying and practicing songs. It also displays MIDI files in proper notation format, so you get a visual of the notes as the song is played back. This is also where you get to access the tutorial features of the keyboard, it has various lessons and piano pieces for you to study. Given all these advantages - this app is a must have to make the most out of the P-125.

There's a lot of good feedback from other musicians regarding the P-125's build quality, and based on our year long experience with the unit, they seem to be right. While it is made mostly of plastic, everything about it feels solid. There's also no question about its reliability, having survived hours upon hours of use from my dad, my son and myself. Note that while it has a slim profile, it is still a heavy and long instrument. I actually had a difficult time fitting it inside my car, and carrying it up some stairs is quite the chore. I'd definitely think twice before bringing this unit elsewhere.

The Yamaha P-125 was a bigger investment compared to our other keyboards, but it sure is worth it. It has been with us for almost a year, yet it still looks, sounds and plays like new. It is currently my son's main instrument for his piano lessons. It has exceeded most of my expectations, and it truly is instrumental in developing my son's playing and love for music - definitely worth getting.

Specifications

  • Keys: 88 Full-Size Graded Hammer Standard Action Keys
  • Touch Sensitivity: Soft, Medium, Hard, Fixed, Custom
  • Speaker System: 2 x 4.7" Woofer, 2 x 1.5" Tweeter, 14W amp
  • Pedal: 1/4" Sustain (Pedal Included)
  • Presets: 24 voices, 20 Rhythms, 21 demo songs, 50 piano songs
  • Effects: Reverb, Intelligent Acoustic Control, Damper Resonance, Sound Boost
  • Polyphony: 192 Notes
  • Functions: Split Mode, Duo Mode, Stereophonic Optimizer, Damper Resonance, String Resonance, Sound Boost, MIDI compatibility, Smart Accompaniment with Chord Chart and Notation (via App)
  • Audio Output: 2 x 1/4" (headphones/line out)
  • MIDI I/O: USB Type B
  • Power: 12V DC adapter (included)
  • Stand: Not included
  • Color: Black, White
  • Dimensions: 6.56" x 52.18" x 11.62"
  • Weight: 26 lbs

Rating Source Highlights

Website Source *Rating Value
Gearank Alexander Briones 96/100
YouTube ThePianoforever 90/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Below is a quick hands-on demo of the P-125, all the audio parts are recorded via the Smart Pianist App.

Under $1000

Roland FP-30X 88 Keys

93
GEARANK

93 out of 100. Incorporating 150+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$900
Roland FP-30X Digital Piano w/ Speakers
At publication time this was the Highest Rated Digital Piano from $750 to $1000.

Cons

  • Hard to control without the app
  • Downward facing speakers

Pros

  • Latest sound processing technology
  • Expanded voice options
  • Great sounding voices
  • Good acoustic piano like feel

The Roland FP-30X has the advantage of being a more recent release compared to its competition, and as such it benefits from the latest technology related to sound quality.

Giving it its voice is Roland's SuperNATURAL sound engine, with expanded polyphony of up to 256. This technology allows for more realistic interaction between notes, resulting in more authentic sounding voices.

The updated tech also allows for more voices on the unit. For a digital piano, the Roland FP-30X has more voices to choose from including 12 pianos, 20 electric pianos and 24 other tones which include strings, pads and more. This versatility is unprecedented, especially when considering that sound quality is not compromised. Instead of just the usual 2 to 4 piano voices, this one has some distinct piano tones that include ragtime and various flavors of upright piano sounds. As expected it does a good job of reproducing the sound of a concert piano. The same high sound quality applies to all the other voices, and this is the main advantage of the FP-30X over the competition.

The downside to these extra voices is that they are more complex to setup and access. Especially when considering the limited physical controls on the unit. Thankfully, the FP-30X has a partner controller app called Piano Designer, which makes accessing all the voices and other features of the unit easier.

Speaking of apps, another benefit of being a recent release is the inclusion of newer connectivity features. So in addition to USB connectivity, the FB-30X can wirelessly connect to your device via Bluetooth. This is an expected convenience in this era where almost everything is now wireless. As expected, cable connection is still the more stable option. Without this app, controlling the FP-30X becomes quite the chore, so this app is definitely a must have.

I'm not too keen on the FP-30X's downward facing speakers. Roland probably did this to keep the front fascia looking elegant and clean, but the sound loses some of the brightness and detail that would've been there if the speakers were better positioned. The unit is made mostly of plastic but it feels solid, as good as what you'd expect in its price range. Unfortunately, it is on the heavy side, not easy to carry around.

The keybed has a textured feel which is quite nice. But more importantly it has Roland's "Progressive Hammer Action and Escapement" that gives it the weight and response that's close to an acoustic piano. This works together with its adjustable touch sensitivity, that allows for personalized setup resulting in expressive and dynamic playing.

The FP-30X brings with it Roland's latest technology, so it will last longer than the older models that their competition is offering. If you're looking for a digital piano with the most current tech, then this is for you.

Specifications

  • Keys: 88 Full-Size Progressive Hammer Action
  • Touch Sensitivity: Super Light, Light, Medium, Heavy, Super Heavy, Fixed
  • Speaker System: 2 x 4.7" Woofer, 22W amp
  • Pedal: 1/4" Sustain (Pedal Included)
  • Presets: 12 piano, 20 electric piano, 24 other tones, 30 songs
  • Effects: 3-Band EQ, Ambience, Rotary Speaker, Modulation
  • Polyphony: 256 Notes
  • Functions: Split, Dual, Duo, Custom Tuning via Piano Designer App, Metronome
  • Audio Output: 2 x 1/4" (L/Mono, R), 2 x Headphones (1/8" & 1/4")
  • MIDI I/O: USB Type B and USB Type A
  • Power: AC adapter (included)
  • Stand: Not included
  • Color: Black, White
  • Dimensions: 6" x 51.11" x 11.1"
  • Weight: 32.7 lbs

Rating Source Highlights

Website Source *Rating Value
YouTube ThePianoforever 90/100
Piano Dreamers Shao Ren 87/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Things to Consider When Buying a Budget Digital Piano

Key Action and Weighting

To be labeled as a digital piano, the main requirement is to have keys that replicate the size, feel and action of an acoustic piano. Manufacturers have their own designs and call them different names, but they all attempt to make the keys heavier and feel like the real thing. Many digital pianos even replicate the different weights of each key, making the lower notes heavier, and gradually reducing the weight as you get higher up the keyboard, much like an acoustic piano - this type of action is highly recommend if you're looking for authenticity. Some manufacturers go so far as to change the skin of the keys to make them "feel" like real ivory and ebony. Note that some lower priced units come with semi-weighted keys, some even synth style keys which don't replicate a piano feel.

Sound Quantity and Quality

Unlike portable keyboards which can have hundreds of sound presets, digital pianos are usually limited to just a few, with the aim of focusing all processing power and memory into better replicating the acoustic piano sound. The most important sound is the acoustic piano and its variants like the Grand Piano, Baby Grand, Closed Lid, Open Lid, Upright and more. The Electric Piano sound is also important, mainly because it continues to be widely used in pop, rock and other styles of music. Other sounds that are sometimes included are organ, strings, synths, guitar and many more. If you're looking to diversify your sound, you'll want those with more presets. But if you're just into the piano sound then the number of presets take the back seat in your consideration. Still, this does not stop some manufacturers to pack their digital pianos to the brim with hundreds of voices.

All these digital pianos do a good job of emulating the tone of pianos and judging which sounds 'best' is a highly subjective topic, but ratings and reviews from multiple users can help quantify them into numbers. Layering and split mode are also important features to look for if you're looking for more sonic versatility. We've included video demos for each model so you can hear and decide for yourself.

Speaker Volume and Quality

Ideally, the higher the amplifier power rating, and the bigger the speaker, the more headroom you have to go louder without sacrificing clarity. In particular the bass notes will tend to sound fuller with larger speakers. This is the reason why we've listed this specification where available. While there are other factors to consider like component quality, these specifications can be a practical guide in case you are looking for something that can play louder or softer. If you think you might need a bigger sound than the inbuilt speakers can provide (such as for performing on stage) then look out for units that feature an auxiliary output so you can connect to a dedicated Keyboard Amplifier.

Piano Pedals

Most digital pianos come with just one sustain pedal, and this pedal is used to sustain all the notes of your keyboard. Others allow for two or more pedal connections, but you'll often have to buy the extra pedals separately. There are also furniture stands that come with built-in piano-like pedals, allowing for traditional 3-pedal operation that include the Una Corda (Soft) pedal, Sostenuto Pedal (Half-Damper), and Sustain (Damper). The names of the two extra pedals are somewhat self explanatory, the Una Corda being a pedal used for soft notes and phrases, while the Sostenuto pedal is used to sustain specific notes that you're playing, instead of sustaining everything. Click Here for a more detailed explanation on what acoustic piano pedals do.

Form Factor and Stand

Most digital pianos come in the same shape and form as portable keyboards, with some important differences, the most obvious of which is the lack of extra controls and buttons. The most common color is black, but there are keyboards offered in white and other colors. There are manufacturers who make digital pianos that look like acoustic pianos, complete with wood-like finish and furniture style stands although good examples are usually priced well above $500. While not as important as sound and playability, you want a digital piano that will inspire you to play when you look at it. Speaking of stands, some digital pianos come bundled with a metal stand, but most require you to pay extra for them, so this is an important budget consideration. Others offer furniture stands as an option, which look better but lack portability, and tend to be more expensive. We have a separate guide to metal Keyboard Stands

Connectivity

Digital Pianos are meant to be stand alone units that can produce sound on their own, which explains their streamlined connection options and built-in speakers. Still, it is a nice plus to have extras like a Line Out port for plugging into an external amplifier or a PA system. If the keyboard is used for learning or teaching, having two headphone outs will let both the teacher and student listen in without disturbing others. Other connectivity options that you want to look at include MIDI for connecting to computers.

Other Functions

While not as feature packed as portable keyboards, some digital pianos come with nifty functions that help in practice, songwriting and performances. Those with built-in rhythm and metronome will help keep your timing in tiptop shape. Ironically, there are some who don't want rhythm features because they are the first thing to distract students and non-piano players. Built-in effects let you add color and texture to your sound, which can spice up practice and performances. Another feature to watch out for is recording, sometimes you don't want to miss out a song idea just because you have to setup separate recording gear. It is also useful for self evaluation, to make adjustments to your playing and correct mistakes where necessary.

Best Digital Piano Selection Methodology

This guide was first published in 2017 and the latest edition was published on August 22, 2022.

For this August 2022 edition, we expanded the scope of the guide to include highly rated piano keyboards up to $1000 instead of the $500 limit we had in the previous edition. As we often do, we limited our search to those that can be easily bought from retailers based in the USA.

This time, we ended up with a longer list of 46 candidates along with over 23,300 ratings, reviews and forum discussions about them. These data were then fed into the Gearank Algorithm, resulting in rating scores out of 100 that allowed us to numerically rank each instrument and feature the best of them here in this guide. For more information about our methods see How Gearank Works.

About the Author and Contributors

Here are the key people and sources involved in this guide's production - click on linked names for information about their music industry backgrounds.

Lead Author & Researcher

Alexander BrionesAlexander Briones

I've written about and researched music gear for many years, while also serving as a music director at my local church, in addition to teaching guitar, bass and mentoring young musicians.

From my dad's old Casio PT-30, to the Yamaha P-125 that my son is currently using, piano keyboards continue to be a big part of my musical experience. Digital pianos in particular are more to my liking because I find them to be more tactile and expressive than portable keyboards.

Contributors

Jason Horton: Editing and Illustrating.

Media

Main/Top Image: Compiled using photographs of the Roland FP-30X and Casio Casiotone CT-S200.

The individual product images were sourced from websites, promotional materials or supporting documentation provided by their respective manufacturers, except for the additional Yamaha P-125 photo which was taken by the author.

Comments

We've removed the following

We've removed the following keyboard from the recommended list above due to being disconnected, but you can still read our analysis of it: Yamaha P-115.

As a result of our March 2018

As a result of our March 2018 update the following digital piano was removed from our recommended list but you can still read our analysis of it: Roland FP-30.

It is a major flaw for any

It is a major flaw for any keyboard in these price ranges to not include a USB connection for MIDI data.