What exactly should you look for in an electronic piano? From the beginning of this article, I can tell you straight ahead that you will need a keyboard that sounds great, durable, with genuine piano feel, and USB connectivity, all at an affordable price. Should you continue reading this guide, you will find that there is a lot more to look for so can have the best purchase.
What to Look for in an Electronic Piano: Best Features and Best Benefits
Here are some of the best features you should be looking for so you can best benefit from your purchase. With these essential functions present in your keyboard, I assure you that you will never regret buying one.
Also known as velocity sensitivity, this is the piano’s ability to sense the speed or force at which the player presses the keys. This helps you to practice the amount of energy you should be exerting for a particular song or piano piece.
As much as possible, choose a digital piano that has weighted keys for a more realistic weighted hammer action. The best benefit you will get from this feature is that it allows you to develop dynamics and speed.
Number of Keys
Although a digital piano with 88 weighted keys is ideal, it still depends on who’s playing. Beginners may find it hard to press weighted keys, and they may find it more intimidating to start with 88 keys. So you can start with 61-keys or 76-keys, and when you are confident about your skills, you can always upgrade to 88-keys.
Number of Polyphonies
The higher the polyphony, the better. This feature refers to the number of sounds the digital piano can produce at one time. This enables you to achieve that sound versatility you are looking for.
Pick a keyboard with MIDI functions, so you will be able to record your tracks. The best benefit you will get? Maximum fun and helps you develop as a pianist by recording all your practice sessions and evaluating them so you can apply the most efficient piano playing techniques in the future.
Ensure that the electronic piano you will buy is USB capable so you can connect it to a computer or tablet. This will help you transfer your recorded tracks to your computer and even connect your mp3 player so you can play along with your favorite songs.
My Top 5 Best Electronic Piano of 2017
Here is a list of my top digital piano picks available in the market today. Each is highly recommended because of meeting the best features I have listed above.
5. Casio PX860 BK Privia
This digital piano is capable of mimicking the sound of a real acoustic piano with its Acoustic Intelligent Resonator (AiR) feature. The PX860 also boasts its Tri-Sensory system which measures the velocity and weight of your pressing action. It is packed with a lot more features but its claim to have 256 notes of polyphony makes it too good to be true.
- The texture of the keys is like that of ebony and ivory.
- Split layer function so you can play two different voices – one on the lower octaves and another on the higher octaves.
- AiR System.
- Tru-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action.
- Weighted Keys.
- More expensive than its predecessors.
4. Yamaha P45
One of the lightest electronic pianos in the market today, the Yamaha P45 is only 25 pounds, and it is packed with multi features and functions. It boasts its Graded Hammer Standard, which is pretty close to a real acoustic grand feel. If you are looking for authenticity, ease of operation, and versatility, this is for you.
- Comes with Advanced Wave Memory (AWM)
- With single button operation for ease of control – very user-friendly, especially for beginners.
- 64-note polyphony.
- USB connectivity.
- Cheaper than other Yamaha models such as the P115.
- Not compatible with MIDI.
- With limited voice options.
3. Yamaha P115
Built for the purpose of an authentic feel, the Yamaha P115 has 88 weighted keys that feel so right you would think you are playing a real acoustic grand at a concert hall. It also has velocity sensitivity so it allows you practice how much force you should be exerting for a particular song. It also helps you to practice with your pedals so you can achieve the sustain of the notes required in a song.
- With CF Sound Engine.
- Graded Hammer Standard for a realistic acoustic piano feel.
- USB connectivity.
- With a variety of rhythms and tone options to choose from such as swing, rock, jazz, etc.
- Not MIDI capable.
- Sustain pedal that comes with it is not sturdy.
2. Yamaha DGX-660
This is one of the cheapest Yamaha digital piano models you will ever get. But at this price point, you will still get the main features that you will need as a keyboardist. Yamaha DGX-660 is quite attractive because it already comes with a furniture style bench, a sustain pedal, an instructional video, instruction book, and sustain pedal.
- Very affordable considering the brand.
- With preset songs for practicing.
- Comes with alternative tones and voices
- With Pure CF Sampling Sound Engine.
- 88 weighted notes.
- Some quality issues, in particular with the add-ons.
- The learning guide is a bit difficult to understand for a beginning keyboardist.
1. Casio Privia PX360
My top pick is the Casio Privia PX360, which is probably the best in the market if you are looking for value. With 88 weighted keys, a friendly control interface, and amazing sound quality, I think this is the best in the Privia series.
- 550 preset tones.
- AiR sound source.
- Realistic hammer action.
- 200 built-in rhythms.
- Comes with an auto harmonizer
- 128-note polyphony.
- Quality issues with the add-ons such as the sustain pedal.
Whatever your level is, you need a digital piano like the Casio Privia PX360. I can vouch that this electronic keyboard will give you all everything you’ll need to improve your skills. It is not only perfect for practicing but also ideal for both live and studio performances. I forgot to mention that this electronic piano is also MIDI capable. That doubles the value of the PX350.
If you have any suggestions or corrections, you are welcome to post it. See you in the comments section!