Top Picks for the Best Portable Keyboard Piano 2023

The Highest Rated Portable Keyboards Under $500

Get expert advice on how to pick the best portable keyboard piano for less than $500. Choose from the top rated battery powered portable piano keyboards, and learn what makes each one special.


We recommend all products independently of 3rd parties including advertisers. We earn advertising fees from:
• • • • •
• • • • •


As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
• • • • •

What started out as electronic pianos are now staple instruments that can reproduce virtually any sound.

Thanks to batteries and built-in speakers, these keyboards are portable and convenient to use. So much so that they have become the go-to instrument for beginners. While still being viable for pros who want an instrument that's easy to carry around.

Portable keyboards won't have the complexity and articulation of premium keyboards. But they have sufficient versatility and features to make for a fun and inspiring instrument. They are ideal for practice and on-the-go performances.

Here are the highest-rated portable keyboards in the sub $500 price range, covering beginner to intermediate level.

The Best Portable Piano Keyboard Under $500 - June 2023

Author & Contributors

Alexander BrionesAlexander Briones

I have been writing about and researching music gear for many years, all while serving as a music director at my local church. I engage in guitar playing and singer-songwriter stints, in addition to mentoring young musicians and teaching guitar and bass.

Best Portable Piano Keyboard - Arranger Keyboard Under $500

Arranger keyboards have built-in auto-accompaniment functions. Some even include backing tracks to play along with. They are the best keyboard pianos for one-man band performances and music productions.

Yamaha PSR-E373 Portable Keyboard Piano


96 out of 100. Incorporating 2100+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

Yamaha PSRE373 61-Key Portable Keyboard
Note: You can also get this keyboard bundled with a keyboard stand, headphones, and other accessories from Amazon.


  • Buttons have a soft rubbery feel
  • Requires multiple button presses to cycle through settings
  • No modulation and pitch controls
  • Some instrument sounds are dated


  • Great piano and organ sounds
  • Easy to play synth-action keys
  • Four Touch Sensitivity settings
  • Versatile voicing and style (rhythm) options
  • Built-in student-friendly lessons and features
  • USB direct recording

After fiddling with his grandpa's old Yamaha PSR-E323, my then ten year old son ended up learning to play the main theme of Fur Elise. And he did so with just the built-in tutorial features, without help from anyone else.

His curiosity soon developed into a passion for playing and learning, and as such, he needed a beginner-friendly keyboard. So after much research, I ended up getting him the current generation model of his grandpa's keyboard, the Yamaha PSR-E373.

The PSR-E373 is part of Yamaha's long-running PSR line of portable keyboards. It has 61 synth style keys with touch sensitivity, packed with over 600 voices, along with multiple rhythms and effects.

What sets it apart from its predecessors is its improved sound processing and the use of better sound samples. Some of the sounds are taken from Yamaha's more expensive digital piano keyboards.

It also comes with built-in lessons that teach students how to play a wide variety of songs, from kid-friendly tunes to classical pieces.


The keybed doesn't stray from standard piano size, so there's no need to adjust finger positioning when playing on stage-ready keyboards or an actual piano. But there is a big difference in playing feel because this one has a lighter "synth style" action. The keys have uniform weight and are easy to press, making for a more relaxed playing experience. Most young musicians, including my son, prefer this softer feel over the weighted keys feel of an acoustic piano.

Touch sensitivity adjusts the volume of the note you're playing in relation to how hard you press the keys. This results in more control over dynamics. There are four different Touch sensitivity settings available, Soft, Medium, Hard, and Fixed. My son and I are content with the default medium setting. We can really hear the dynamic differences as we lighten our key presses and as we pound on the keys.

Those who want the keys to respond to lighter playing will appreciate the Soft setting. Hard setting is meant for those who are used to playing acoustic pianos and weighted keys. Fixed setting disables touch sensitivity altogether, much like how old synths behave. For the price, the Yamaha PSR-E373 has good touch sensitivity, comparable to more expensive keyboards that I've tried.

The main advantage of the PSR-E373 over its predecessors is the use of premium voices and samples. These sound samples are taken directly from their former flagship Tyros line. And because of that, there was a lot of hype about its sound quality being better than more expensive keyboards from other brands.

Thankfully, the hype turned out to be real - the main voicings sound really great. Especially the grand piano sound, which is sampled from a very expensive Yamaha CFX concert grand piano.

Since my son is into classical piano pieces and is taking piano lessons, having a good piano sound is really our primary concern. And the PSR-E373 did not disappoint.

This portable keyboard comes with built-in lessons. It has breakdowns of popular piano standards, classical pieces, nursery rhymes, pop songs, and more. My son used this to learn Fur Elise on his own.

It has controls for phrase repeat and for adjusting tempo, which helped my son focus on sections that he is having a hard time with. There's even a lesson that teaches dynamic playing. Other lessons include chord study and chord progression.

Note that while these built-in lessons are helpful, there's still no substitute for a good tutor. And speaking of tutors, this keyboard is tutor and student-friendly, with its tap tempo metronome and a built-in chord dictionary. This portable keyboard piano also has a headphones out for quiet practice. Unfortunately, it doesn't have twin headphone outputs which would be great for tutors to also listen in.

The Yamaha PSR-E373 has exceeded most of my expectations. It truly is instrumental in developing my son's playing and love for music - definitely worth getting.


  • 61 Synth Style Velocity-Sensitive Keys
  • 48-note Polyphony
  • 622 Voices,
  • 12 Reverb and 5 Chorus Effects
  • 2 x 4.7" Speakers, 2.5W Amp per side
  • Optional Sustain Pedal
  • 12V DC Power Supply (Sold Separately) / 6 x AA batteries
  • Weight: 10.1 lbs.

Rating Source Highlights

Website Source *Rating Value
Gearank Alexander Briones 96/100
YouTube Jeremy See 95/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.


Best Portable Piano Keyboards Under $500

All of these have MIDI to let you record on, or play sounds from your computer or tablet.

Casio Casiotone CT-S200 Portable Piano Keyboard


94 out of 100. Incorporating 3450+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

Casio Casiotone CT-S200 61-Key Portable Digital Keyboard
At publication time, this was the Equal Highest Rated Portable Keyboard Under $500, along with the Casio Casiotone CT-S300.


  • Sound is based on old technology
  • No Touch Sensitivity
  • Limited control options


  • All-in-one compact keyboard and MIDI controller
  • Easy-to-play keys
  • Very light and portable
  • Versatile voice and rhythm options
  • Slim and sleek profile

The Casiotone CT-S200 is as portable as it gets while still retaining a 61-key piano-style keybed. It can serve as a compact digital piano but with expanded sound options: 400 voices and 77 rhythms. That's a lot of sound options for its size.

And its small profile, and lightweight design, make it even harder to beat in terms of features per pound. Especially when considering that it can also serve as a good MIDI controller.

Other features that add to its portability include being able to run on 6 x AA batteries and having a carry handle.

To improve the resulting sound, it comes with different digital reverb effects. It also has a dance music mode that expands rhythm options that matches what's being used in modern music.

Students will appreciate its built-in lesson function that can assist in learning popular Piano pieces. It also helps that it has a sleek modern profile that makes it stand out from among the best piano keyboards listed here.

If you're looking for a super affordable portable keyboard with good quality, then definitely check this one out.


  • 61 Piano Style Keys (Not Weighted)
  • 48-note Polyphony
  • 400 Tones, 77 Rhythms
  • 10 Reverb Effects
  • 2 x 5.1" Speakers
  • Optional Sustain Pedal
  • AC Adapter (Included) / 6 x AA batteries
  • Weight: 7.3 lbs.

Rating Source Highlight

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


Casio Casiotone CT-S300 Portable Keyboard Piano


94 out of 100. Incorporating 2000+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

Casio Casiotone CT-S300 61-Key Digital Piano
At publication time, this was the Equal Highest Rated Portable Keyboard Under $500, along with the Casio Casiotone CT-S200.


  • Some of the voicings sound dated
  • Limited control options


  • Portable ergonomics with handle
  • Easy-to-play keys with touch sensitivity
  • Has pitch bend control
  • Versatile voice and rhythm options
  • Good overall value

The Casiotone CT-S300 combines digital piano playability with expanded voicings and rhythm options. It packs all these features in a compact and portable profile.

It offers the same functionality and features as the CT-S200. But its main distinction is the addition of touch sensitivity and a Pitch Bend wheel for more expressive playing.

Some portable digital pianos go for mini-keys to make room for buttons and other controls. But this portable keyboard houses a piano style 61-key touch response keybed that takes most of the space.

Still, it doesn't mean that features are compromised, because even with its streamlined interface, it has 400 tones and 77 rhythms.

This Casio portable keyboard comes with built-in lesson and MIDI connectivity. It also has a carry handle to make it easy to carry around.

The Casiotone CT-S300 is a great way to test the waters of piano playing. It can also be a good portable alternative to bulky digital pianos and keyboards.


  • 61 Piano Style Keys with Touch Response and Pitch Bend Wheel
  • 48-note Polyphony
  • 400 Tones, 77 Rhythms
  • 10 Reverb Effects
  • 2 x 5.1" Speakers
  • Optional Sustain Pedal
  • AC Adapter (Included) / 6 x AA batteries
  • Weight: 7.3 lbs.

Rating Source Highlight

Website Source *Rating Value
Piano Tone Editor 90/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.


Yamaha Piaggero NP-12 Portable Piano Keyboard


93 out of 100. Incorporating 1300+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

Yamaha Piaggero NP-12 61-Key Digital Piano w/ Speakers


  • Power supply not included
  • Limited voicing options
  • No built-in rhythm, accompaniment, or lessons


  • Slim and lightweight
  • Great sounding piano sounds
  • Streamlined plug-and-play functionality
  • Easy to play synth action touch-sensitive keys

The Piaggero NP-12 is a portable digital piano keyboard with 61 full-size touch-sensitive keys. It doesn't bombard you with hundreds of voices. Rather it focuses on quality emulations of piano, organ, and related instruments.

It features Yamaha's Advanced Wave Memory Stereo Sampling. This gives this compact keyboard quality voicings based on expensive pianos. The downside is its limited number of voicings.

An upside of having fewer voices is that you won't have to get lost in a long list of voices and complex menus. You get good plug-and-play functionality that doesn't distract from actual practice and playing.

The NP-12 comes with record and play functionality, along with the all-important metronome.

You can play this keyboard anywhere for up to 5 hours on just six AA batteries, and even longer with alkaline batteries. Portability is really the main strength of the NP-12. It sounds close to digital pianos but with less bulk and weight.

The need to buy a power supply separately is a bummer, so be sure to get one alongside the NP-12.

Those who are looking to play with different instrument voicings will have to look at other portable keyboard pianos. Sound options are limited with this one.

If you're looking for an affordable, good-sounding, and portable piano keyboard, then this is for you.


  • 61 Piano Style Touch Sensitive Keys
  • 64-note Polyphony
  • 10 Voices, 10 Demo Songs, 10 Piano Preset Songs
  • 4 Reverb Effects
  • 2 x 4.72" Speakers, 2.5W Amp per side
  • Sustain Pedal (Sold Separately)
  • AC Adaptor Supply (Sold Separately) / 6 x AA batteries
  • Weight: 9.9375 lbs.

Rating Source Highlight

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


Roland GO:KEYS Portable Keyboard Piano


91 out of 100. Incorporating 750+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

Roland GO:KEYS


  • Plastic exterior doesn't feel as solid as expected
  • Complex features may be distracting to beginners


  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Built-in looper functionality
  • Easy to play synth action keys
  • Good-sounding modern rhythm and accompaniment
  • Assignable pads

The Roland GO:KEYS is a true modern portable keyboard. It has built-in loop/sequencer functionality, and wireless Bluetooth connectivity.

The Loop Mix function lets you record and trigger phrases intuitively. This makes it a viable instrument for songwriting and learning music production.

It also has the convenience of wireless streaming. You can wirelessly play along with tracks and control your favorite software instruments via MIDI.

It has over 500 sounds. While there are some bad apples, the essential voices sound good, including piano, e-piano, synth pads, and the like.

This portable keyboard piano sports an easy to play non-weighted synth action keybed. And it is up to snuff compared to other portable piano keyboards.

For a portable keyboard, this one comes with pads. They can be assigned to do different things, like applying pitchbend and effects.

What makes all these features even more special is how all of them are packed in a compact portable unit. Just be careful not to bump or drop it because it is made mostly of lightweight plastic.

If you're looking for a 61 key travel keyboard piano with modern functionality, the Roland GO:KEYS is a great pick. It is easily one of the best portable keyboards, and is considered the best travel keyboard by many, including pros and teachers.


  • USB & Bluetooth MIDI
  • 61 Synth Style Full Size Keys
  • 128-note Polyphony
  • Built-in Microphone
  • 99 Songs (MIDI), 500+ Voices
  • 2-way Stereo Speakers
  • Bluetooth Connectivity, USB MIDI
  • Optional Sustain Pedal
  • Runs on 6 x AA batteries
  • Power adapter Included
  • Weight: 8.625 lbs.

Rating Source Highlights

Website Source *Rating Value
YouTube jammstudiosmusic 90/100
Piano Dreamers Lucas Welter 76/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.


Things to Consider When Buying a Portable Keyboard Piano


While there's no replacing the feel and sound of acoustic pianos, pianos are too heavy and aren't meant to be carried around. Portable keyboards are born out of necessity in this era where mobility and space saving are of high importance.

It would be wise for beginners to start with something portable. Even experienced musicians can benefit.

Portable keyboards come with built-in speakers, amplifiers, and the ability to run on batteries. This allows them to be used virtually anywhere. They also come in compact profiles to limit size and weight to more manageable levels.

Note that keyboard speakers impact volume and sound quality. Don't expect the small speakers that come with keyboards to be loud and have deep sound. To make the most out of the sound of your piano keyboard, you will want to plug it into a keyboard amp or a PA system.

Student Friendly Features

Many of the keyboards sold in this price range are aimed at students. So expect them to have features that help hasten learning and more importantly, make playing fun and enjoyable. Student friendly features to look for include a metronome, auto accompaniment, headphone jack, and built-in virtual "lessons". They are valuable for someone who wants to play piano pieces and hone their playing skills.

Difference between an Arranger Keyboard and Regular Keyboard

Arranger keyboards are those that let you arrange notes and rhythms to create music. They usually have auto-accompaniment or backing tracks that you can personalize and play with.

Most modern keyboards already have some accompaniment features. But arranger keyboards give you more control over the accompaniment, and some even allow you to edit or create yourself.

Key Size, Action, and Sensitivity

Most portable keyboards come with synth action or semi-weighted keys that balance dynamics and playability. If you prefer the feel of an acoustic piano, then having a full-size, weighted keyboard is ideal for spacing and finger tension consistency.

But be warned that hammer action keybed is heavy, so you won't find one in a travel keyboard piano. Also, they are usually more expensive. They are not priced under $500.
Most of the keyboards in this price range have softer synth style keys. The advantage that they bring is that they are easier on the hands.

Touch response and sensitivity are features that separate toys from real instruments. They should be considered when looking for small keyboards piano. Sensitivity lets you control the volume of each note depending on how hard you press the keys. It lets you better express your music, much like an acoustic piano would.

Number of Keys

Most portable keyboards come with 61 keys. This allows for two-handed piano-style chords and arpeggios, with a length that's still easy to carry around. Those with more keys allow for even more notes to play with, but expect them to be heavier, bulkier and not to mention more expensive.

On the flipside, there are those with fewer keys, making them cheaper and easier to carry, at the expense of having limited notes to play with.

The 61-Key configuration sits nicely in between big 88 key keyboards, and small 44 key keyboards. It has good access to notes while keeping the instrument reasonably portable.

Voice, Style and Rhythm

Portable keyboards usually come with as many voices and sound effects that the manufacturer can put on them. And they try to do so without jacking up the price too much. As such, some of the voices or styles may not sound great to professionals, but they can be useful and fun to play with for beginners. Some even come with effects so you can personalize the sound better, or mimic the sounds used on your favorite songs.

Many also come with drum and percussion sounds. Others have pre-made rhythms that can be used to accompany you as you play. These are fun features to use, and more importantly, for training to improve your timing.

Note that there are keyboards in this price range that go the digital piano route. They focus more on sound quality and playability, with more streamlined features. These often have good sounding grand pianos, electric piano, upright piano, and other piano sounds. If you're interested in finding out what the the Best Digital Pianos are, we have a dedicated guide for these keyboards that play like an actual piano.

Recording and MIDI

Some of the latest models allow for quick recording, either direct to the keyboard itself via a memory card, or on to a computer via MIDI. While not necessary, recording can be a useful tool for practice and for songwriting. MIDI connectivity will let you use the keyboard as a controller for your MIDI device or virtual instrument software. The most common MIDI connection these days uses a USB cable. This allows for quick connection to a computer or tablet. And this is why a portable piano keyboard can also be called a USB piano keyboard. There are very few that still have 5-Pin MIDI sockets for directly plugging into hardware sound modules or Synthesizers.

Mod Wheels and Other Controls

The more control options there are, the more use and variation you can get out of the instrument. However, the drawback to having more control for a beginner is that you may end up wasting time tweaking than instead of actually practicing or making music. Most students will usually just need to play traditional piano parts on the keys. But if you are into modern electronic music, you'll want mod wheels and other extras which are uncommon in this price range.

Best Portable Keyboard Selection Methodology

The first edition was published in 2016. The current edition was published on June 26, 2023.

To be eligible for this guide and to meet the portability requirement, each keyboard had to have the option of running on batteries and have built-in speakers so you don't have to use them with an amplifier. Like we normally do, we limited our scope to keyboards that are widely available from US retailers, to make sure that you can readily get the keyboards that we recommend.

We ended up with a short list of 17 keyboards, which entailed the analysis of over 32,00 relevant ratings and reviews. All these data were analyzed and fed into the Gearank Algorithm, which gave us rating scores out of 100 that represent what the market actually feels about each instrument in real life. We then used the scores to narrow down the list further to the highest rated options. Finally, we divided our list to two sets, first of which feature the best arranger keyboards and the second one showcases the best regular portable keyboards . 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 have been writing about and researching music gear for many years, all while serving as a music director at my local church. I engage in guitar playing and singer-songwriter stints, in addition to mentoring young musicians and teaching guitar and bass.

Keyboards are central to church music, so I literally grew up watching keyboardists play. My dad also loves keyboards as well, so through the years I’ve played on many different keyboards from Casio, Yamaha, Kawai, Roland and more. Now as a music director, I am still surrounded by keyboards, although this time around I’m the one guiding the players.


Jason Horton: Editing and Illustrating.


Main/Top Image: Produced by using photographs of the Yamaha Piaggero NP-12, Roland GO:KEYS and Casio Casiotone CT-S200.

The videos above have been embedded in accordance with YouTube's Terms of Service.

The individual product images were sourced from websites, promotional materials or supporting documentation provided by their respective manufacturers, except for the additional image of the Yamaha PSR-E373 which was supplied by the Author.


We have removed the Korg EK

We have removed the Korg EK-50 from the recommended list above due to a price increase that put it over the $500 price limit for this guide.

I am looking to connect two

I am looking to connect two key boards together for organ practising performances. Would these make a good combinations through midi connections?

The keyboards listed in this

The keyboards listed in this guide have the wrong kind of MIDI for connecting directly to other keyboards.

What you need is a MIDI Controller Keyboard that has 5-Pin MIDI connectors - you'll find those in the following guides:

Love the roland Go Keys but

Love the roland Go Keys but looking for something with 88 keys and better weighting. Any recommendations?

Have you ever considered the

Have you ever considered the new CT X-3000 from Casio and the EK-50 from Korg? Those are very promissing keyboards within the price range too.

Both of those are on our

Both of those are on our short-list to be considered for recommendation when we next update this guide.

Good point. They are

Good point. They are considered portable when compared to upright digital pianos like this. Also, because they have their own speakers, you don't need to carry around an amplifier to play or practice.