Finding the right digital piano can be a game-changer, whether you're just starting your musical journey or you're a seasoned player looking to upgrade. We'll guide you through the best digital pianos available, covering our top choices for beginners and advanced players alike, with options priced under $1000 and under $2000. Plus, we'll reveal our top pick for the best overall digital piano that combines exceptional quality and value.

What is a Digital Piano?

A digital piano is a modern, electronic version of the traditional acoustic piano, designed to replicate its sound and feel as closely as possible. Using advanced sampling technology, digital pianos produce high-quality sound that mimics the rich tones of a grand piano. They often come with weighted keys that simulate the touch and response of acoustic piano hammers, providing a realistic playing experience. Additionally, digital pianos offer a range of features such as built-in metronomes, recording capabilities, and various instrumental voices, making them versatile tools for practice and performance.

Digital vs Acoustic Pianos: Which is right for me?

Digital pianos are better for beginners because they require no tuning and allow for silent practice through headphones, making them more convenient and versatile for different living situations. They also often include built-in learning tools, recording capabilities, and connectivity options that enhance the learning experience, making it easier for beginners to practise and improve. Acoustic pianos are a commitment due to their size, cost and requirement for tuning. An upright piano would be the next step above a digital piano given it's size, and following that would be a grand piano. Both of these options require careful consideration about room size and acoustics.

Roland FP-30X Portable Digital Piano in a studioRoland FP-30X Portable Digital Piano in a studio
Roland FP-30X Portable Digital Piano

What to Look for in a Digital Piano

When choosing a digital piano, there are several key factors to consider:

  • Key action and feel: The keys should feel similar to those of an acoustic piano to help develop proper technique.
  • Sound quality: Look for high-quality samples from renowned pianos.
  • Portability: If space or mobility is a concern, consider a compact and lightweight model.
  • Additional features: Metronomes, recording capabilities, and connectivity options can enhance your practice sessions.

Top Recommendations

Best Overall Digital Piano for Quality and Affordability: Roland FP-10 Portable Digital Piano

Key Features and Specifications

If you're after a digital piano that packs performance, portability, and affordability into one sleek package, the Roland FP-10 is an exceptional choice. This compact instrument offers authentic piano touch and tone, featuring Roland's acclaimed SuperNATURAL sound engine and a PHA-4 Standard keyboard with 88 ivory feel keys for a realistic playing experience.

The built-in speakers deliver rich, room-filling sound, and with Bluetooth MIDI, you can connect wirelessly to your favourite music apps. Weighing just 12.3 kg, the FP-10 is ideal for home use or taking on the go. Plus, it includes a variety of sounds beyond piano, such as electric pianos, organs, and strings, allowing for a versatile playing experience. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned player, the Roland FP-10 is designed to inspire your musical journey.

Dimensions: 128cm (W) x 14cm (H) x 26cm (D); Weight: 12.3kg.

Warranty: 5 years

Reasons to Choose

High quality sound: The piano sounds, including resonances and tones, are well-received

Durability: The build quality is solid and reliable.

Additional features: Built-in metronome, ability to split the keyboard, and more sounds via the app.

Portability: Slim and relatively lightweight, making it easy to transport.

Good for beginners and advanced players: Suitable for players of all skill levels.

Potential Drawbacks

Limited pedal compatibility: The FP10 is not compatible with a triple pedal unit and is limited to a sustain pedal only.

Best Digital Piano for Advanced Players: Kawai CA901

Key Features and Specifications

The Kawai CA901 is a digital piano that truly stands out for advanced players seeking the best in both performance and features. This exceptional instrument boasts a Grand Feel III wooden-key keyboard action, which provides an incredibly realistic touch and response. The CA901's SK-EX Rendering piano sound engine, featuring multi-channel sampling and resonance modelling, delivers a rich, nuanced tone that closely replicates the sound of an acoustic grand piano.

Additionally, the integrated 6-speaker audio system ensures immersive sound projection, perfect for both practice and performance. The CA901 also includes Bluetooth MIDI and audio connectivity, allowing seamless integration with apps and other devices for an enhanced playing experience.

Dimensions: 145cm (W) x 101cm (H) x 47cm (D); Weight: 82.5kg.

Warranty: 5 years

Reasons to Choose

Authentic Key Action: The CA901's key action closely mimics that of an acoustic piano, offering a realistic playing experience.

Wooden Keys: The CA901 features wooden keys designed to replicate the mechanism of an acoustic piano, providing a more authentic touch.

Soundboard Speaker System: The innovative soundboard system spreads the sound evenly, enhancing the semi-acoustic feel.

Potential Drawbacks

Weight and Size: Like many digital pianos designed to mimic the feel and sound of an acoustic piano, the Kawai CA901 is heavy and large. This could make it difficult to move or fit into smaller spaces.

Best Digital Piano Under $1000: Kawai ES120

Key Features and Specifications

If you're looking for a digital piano that excels in both performance and affordability, the Kawai ES120 is a standout choice. This portable piano features the Responsive Hammer Compact keyboard action, delivering an authentic touch and feel. With its Harmonic Imaging sound technology, you’ll experience rich, detailed tones that bring your music to life. The ES120 also offers Bluetooth MIDI and audio connectivity, making it perfect for modern musicians. Ideal for home practice or stage performance, the Kawai ES120 provides exceptional quality at a price that won’t break the bank.

Dimensions: 130cm (W) x 15cm (H) x 28cm (D); Weight: 12kg.

Warranty: 5 years

Reasons to Choose

✔ Excellent Keyboard Action: The keyboard action is smooth, responsive, and realistic, providing an authentic playing experience.

Superior Sound Quality: The sound produced by the internal speakers is rich and detailed, closely mimicking that of an acoustic piano.

Multiple Sound Options: The piano offers a variety of high-quality sound emulations, especially praised for the SK-EX concert grand tone.

 Affordable for Quality: Users find it offers great value for the price, making it accessible without compromising on quality.

Potential Drawbacks

 Lack of LCD Screen: The absence of an LCD screen for easier navigation and control might be a drawback for some players.

Best Digital Piano Under $2000: Yamaha CK88

Key Features and Specifications

If you're looking for a digital piano that excels in both performance and versatility, the Yamaha CK88 is your ideal choice. This powerhouse features a graded hammer standard keyboard, delivering an authentic piano feel. Its advanced sound engine offers an array of voices from grand pianos to electric pianos, ensuring you have the perfect tone for any genre. With a comprehensive set of connectivity options, including MIDI, USB, and Bluetooth, the CK88 seamlessly integrates into any studio setup or live performance rig. Additionally, its lightweight design and built-in speakers make it perfect for musicians on the go.

Dimensions: 133cm (W) x 14.8cm (H) x 35cm (D); Weight: 13.1kg.

Warranty: 5 years

Reasons to Choose

Versatile and Easy to Use: Extremely versatile and easy to use on the fly, making it ideal for gigging musicians.

Epic Sound Quality: Great quality sounds, genuinely comparable to higher-end models priced at $3-4k.

Lightweight and Portable: Full-size keyboard that is much lighter and narrower, making it easy to transport.

Good Key Action: The Yamaha key action is highly appreciated for its quality and responsiveness.

Convenient Layout: The layout is user-friendly, allowing for quick recall of presets without navigating complex menus.

Potential Drawbacks

Limited Internal Speakers: The internal speakers are not powerful enough for certain uses.

Best Digital Piano With The Most Realistic Weighted Keys: Kawai Novus NV5S

Key Features and Specifications

The Kawai Novus NV5S digital piano offers an unparalleled playing experience with its authentic Grand Feel Pedal System and Millennium III Hybrid action. It features a 5-inch touchscreen display for intuitive control, 88 keys with real wooden surfaces for an authentic touch, and a powerful 100W sound system.

The advanced SK-EX Rendering piano sound engine delivers an impressive range of expressive tones, while Bluetooth and USB connectivity ensure seamless integration with modern devices. Ideal for both professionals and enthusiasts, the NV5S brings the feel of a grand piano into a versatile, compact design.

Dimensions: 149cm (W) x 110cm (H) x 46cm (D); Weight: 113kg. 

Warranty: 12 years on acoustic components, 5 years on electronic components.

Reasons to Choose

Authentic Playing Feel: Thanks to the hybrid technology with a genuine hammer mechanism, the playing feel is very realistic.

High-Quality Sound: The sound is beautiful, realistic, and the sound system is very impressive.

Excellent Keyboard Response: The keyboard and response are as close to acoustic as possible.

Versatile Listening Options: Offers a variety of listening options, including seamless playback from phones.

Potential Drawbacks

High Price: The price is a significant investment, although many players feel it is worth the cost for the quality of instrument and sound.

Buying Guide for Beginners

How to Choose the Right Digital Piano

Matching Your Skill Level

Choose a digital piano that matches your current skill level while also allowing room for growth. Beginners might start with basic models, but investing in a slightly advanced piano can be beneficial in the long run.

Considering Your Budget

Digital pianos range from budget-friendly to high-end models. Determine your budget and find a piano that offers the best features within that range.

Evaluating Your Space Needs

Consider the space where you plan to place the piano. Upright models are ideal for larger rooms, while portable options are perfect for smaller spaces or those who need to move the piano frequently.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is it worth buying a digital piano for beginners?

Yes, digital pianos are an excellent choice for beginners due to their affordability, low maintenance, and additional features that aid in learning.

What are the benefits of digital pianos over acoustic pianos?

Digital pianos are more affordable, portable, and require no tuning. They often come with features like headphone jacks for silent practice, recording capabilities, and a variety of sounds.

Do digital pianos come with built-in metronomes?

Many digital pianos include built-in metronomes, which help players keep time and improve their rhythm.

Can I use headphones with a digital piano?

Yes, most digital pianos have headphone jacks, allowing for silent practice without disturbing others.

How do I maintain a digital piano?

Digital pianos require minimal maintenance. Keep them clean and dust-free, avoid exposing them to extreme temperatures, and ensure they're placed on a stable surface.

What are the best brands for digital pianos?

Popular brands for digital pianos include Roland, Casio, Yamaha, and Korg. These brands offer reliable models with good sound quality and realistic key action.

How important is the action and key weighting for digital pianos?

Key action and weighting are important as they help develop proper finger strength and technique, making the transition to acoustic pianos smoother.

What additional accessories should I consider for my digital piano?

Consider accessories like a sturdy piano stand, a comfortable piano bench, a sustain pedal, headphones, and a dust cover to enhance your playing experience.

Final Thoughts on Choosing a Digital Piano

Choosing the right digital piano can set the foundation for a rewarding musical journey. Focus on key features that match your needs and budget, and don't hesitate to seek advice from experienced players or music store staff.

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