There are many advantages of owning a digital piano, but which one is best?
This post breaks down the 10 best digital pianos, starting from entry level ones and ending with more advanced ones, that still sit under a £1000.
There are more expensive digital pianos out there than the most expensive one on our list, but someone looking for a digital piano in this price range is more likely to have an idea in mind what they are looking for and will have played on numerous models already.
This ‘best digital piano’ post is written as a helpful and informative guide to people who are likely to be buying their first digital piano, or who are making the transition from a keyboard or synthesiser to a digital piano to have a more realistic piano playing experience, without spending thousands on a strung piano.
We will start with the most budget friendly digital piano (number 1) and finish with the most expensive and most advanced digital piano (number 10) in this review.
1. Yamaha NP12 Digital Piano
The Yamaha NP12 is the budget entry of our top 10 and is ideal if you want something bigger and more piano like than a keyboard but aren’t fussed about weighted keys or recreating the feeling of playing a piano.
This digital piano is classed as a mini piano with 66 keys. It is easy to transport, it it only 4.5kg, and so set up you just plug in and are ready to play. (You can also use batteries to play if you have no mains electric.)
Piano Keys – the keys on this digital piano are non weighted, so they would feel like pressing the keys of a keyboard. An ideal transition from keyboard to piano playing.
2. Alesis Recital 88 Key Beginner Digital Piano
The Alesis Recital 88 key is an exclusive to Amazon, so you won’t have seen it in any music shops. For a digital piano that is not made by the ‘go to’ makes Yamaha or Casio, it offers a lot of value for a very low price.
This digital piano has 88 keys, so it is a full sized piano. We really like the fact that the keys are semi weighted and also have adjustable touch response to suit the players preferred playing style.
This digital piano by Alesis is perfect for beginners, who are buying on a budget, but who want to mimic the feel and playing style of a real piano right from the start.
This digital piano also comes with a 3 month Skoove membership, to help you with learning how to play the piano quickly.
3. Casio CDP-130BKC5 Digital Piano
The Casio CDP is a fantastic all rounder and the best quality for the least amount of money in a digital piano.
Digital piano keys are the key this that define the quality and playing experience. The goal is to make the playing feel like a real piano, the Casio succeeds because the keys are spring-less and have a hammer system built in, so the pressing of the keys feel very natural, like you are playing a grand piano.
This Casio is perfect for piano students and will support anyone from beginner level up to the level of being a music student, who is serious about piano playing. It has 88 keys and has 10 different sound tones.
As with more basic digital pianos, the usual functions such as metronome, and the ability to layer two sounds at once.
Two really nice things about this digital piano is that the sustain pedal is included in the price and the weight of the keys can be altered – so you can set the keys to be light to touch for beginners and children, or have the weight set at a higher level for adults.
4. Yamaha P-45 Digital Piano
The Yamaha P45 is a really nice digital piano, it has the beautiful sound of a real grand piano and sounds true to life, without the ‘digitalised effect’ on the sound that many pianos have.
The keys are graded hammer keys, which makes it feel more like a real piano to play, they are touch sensitive too, so the harder you press, the louder the sound is.
A foot switch is included, to control the sustain and damper effects. This Yamaha piano can be used a stand alone digital piano like all of the previous ones in this list, or, it can be used with the ‘L-85 stand’ which looks fantastic and makes the piano playing experience feel much more professional and real.
One final thing about this digital piano is that it can be split into duo and dual modes, you so can split the keys into two identical halves for duets or practice sessions.
5. Alesis Recital Pro Digital Piano
The Alesis Recital Pro is a good all rounder, it provides a full sized piano with 12 voices to choose from. The stand and accessories are not included, but they can easily be bought and added onto the digital piano.
The Alesis has a higher note polyphony of 128, (higher than other digital pianos of a similar price.)
It also comes with a 3 month Skoove subscription included for free, this is perfect for beginners to learn the basics.
The keys on the digital piano are hammer action, so they feel like pressing the keys of a real piano. The keys cam al some adjusted too, to suit your playing style.
This beginners digital piano comes with lessons built in too, it offers a lot of value for an excellent price, coupled with a great sound.
6. Yamaha P115 Digital Piano
The Yamaha P115 is good enough to play on stage as well as at home or in a recording studio. This digital piano is fully portable and robust enough to withstand travelling if you’re in a band.
A full sized 88 key piano with responsive touch keys – the keys are adjustable to make them more stiff to press or lighter to press depending on your preferred style.
This Yamaha piano produces a beautiful sound that is taken from the sound of a concert grand piano, also made my Yamaha. The weighted, hammer keys and authentic sound make this digital piano feel like you are playing a real acoustic on.
The polyphony is higher at 192, (the standard is 64 for digital pianos.) This guarantees that you can comfortably play any piece of music with ease, without running out of notes.
If you are learning to play the piano, the split feature and the record feature will come in useful. The iOS compatibility is a unique features, which integrates mobile technology into the set up and control of the key functions of the digital piano.
A sustain pedal in included, but there is also the option to use this digital piano with all three pedals that you would find on an acoustic piano. (The three pedals come built into the stand which can be bought separately.)
This digital piano does not have triple sensors, it has double. This would only be noticeable for a more advanced player, and might mean that this piano is not responsive enough for them. However, for a beginner to intermediate level piano player, you may not even be able to feel this.
This digital piano can be bought as a free standing piano, or as part of a bundle for less than £150 more, the bundle is an excellent deal, as you get not only the digital piano but also the professional stand, the piano stool and a pair of headphones which are great for playing the piano in the middle of the night! Here is everything is included in the bundle below:
7. Korg LP-180 Digital Piano
The Korg LP 180 sounds really beautiful and is a great all round digital piano. Suitable for anyone from beginner to higher level players, the keys are weighted and are designed to be heavier to press at the lower end of the keyboard and lighter to press at the higher end.
If you struggle with pressing the keys, this digital piano has three levels of touch control so you can set the resistance of the keys to suit your style.
Ten voices are built in, with the addition of a reverb effect and chorus effect which gives the sound a spacious feel, almost like you are filling a hall with the sound of a grand piano.
One thing I really like about this digital piano is the the stand is included and the whole thing comes in white or black. Three pedal are also included and help to add to the overall feel of playing a real acoustic piano.
The stand has to be built and so does the stool that is included, but is it very simple to build. The overall set up is quite heavy – heavier than most digital pianos which is a good thing as it makes the digital piano more robust and suitable for sitting in a busy household.
8. Yamaha YDP-143 Digital Piano
The Yamaha YDP is an excellent digital piano. The sound quality is fantastic and taken from a real concert grand piano made by Yamaha.
The 88 keys are graded hammer weighted keys, so they get progressively lighter to touch the higher you go. The level of weight resistance in the keys can also be set to suit the players needs.
I really like the connectivity of this digital piano, it can be used alongside iOS devices or via bluetooth. The iPad or tablet can be used as a controller for the digital piano settings and makes it easy to record music and to play it back.
There is no LCD display on this digital piano, which would be a downside for some people, but I actually really like there fact there is no inbuilt screen – it gives a more realistic feeling that you are playing a real acoustic piano when you do not have a distracting blue digital screen in the corner of your eye.
The use of headphones with this digital piano is much more pleasant experience that with some other digital pianos. The piano has an internal stereophonic optimiser which adjusts the spacing of the sound that your hear through the headphones. The reult being that the sound you hear through headphones, sounds like it is coming from the body of the piano and not through the earphones. This gives a much more enjoyable and comfortable way of playing privately.
9. Yamaha Arius YDP-S52 Digital Piano
The Yamaha Arius YDP is a beautiful digital piano, it sounds incredible and feels fantastic to play.
There aren’t many differences between the Yamaha YDP 143 and the S52. The main differences are that the S52 has synthetic ivory key tops, which make the playing experience feel even more like playing a real acoustic piano.
The stand on the Arius YDP is included in the price and features a nice soft close lid feature – only something small but it adds to the luxury and special feeling of owning this piano.
Much like the YDP 143, this Arius features two track recording, 10 voices and 192 note polyphony.
The keys are of course graded hammer keys and the set of 88 keys can be split to allow two people to play from an identical set of keys. This is especially useful when having piano lessons.
The body of this digital piano is more substantial than other models and this gives the Arius a stature that better resembles an acoustic piano.
Built in pedals allow you to play with sustain, sostenuto or soft effects. 10 built in tracks help beginners to learn and more experienced players to be inspired.
Playing with headphones in more pleasurable with this Yamaha Arius because of the stereophonic optimiser. The result of this feature is a spacious sound that will inspire you to play for hours without getting fed up of listening through headphones.
10. GDP-100 Digital Grand Piano in Gloss Black
This is the only digital grand piano in this post and it does stand out as memorable.
It is obviously far more compact than a proper grand piano, it isn’t very deep at all, but when playing, you have the illusion of it being a full grand piano – especially with the lid up, it really looks the part.
This digital grand piano is not made by the iconic Yamaha or Casio, but by ‘Gear 4 Music‘ – don’t be put off by the name, gear for music is the largest online music retailer of instruments and have been hugely popular and successful for many years now.
For a digital grand piano, the price is very reasonable, the frame work is very easy to assemble – with two people.
Unlike some of the cheaper digital pianos, this one actually sounds like a real grand piano, Gear4Music have done a really good job of capturing the best sound possible for a digital piano.
This package contains a piano stool too, and the digital piano itself has advanced functionality with 55 play along songs inbuilt.
This digital grand piano is perfect for a serious beginner or someone of a moderate level of piano playing experience. A professional player may want to stick to a brand that they can go to the shop to test out first, as they will have a better ability to hear tiny differences between the sound quality of digital pianos.
Which is the best budget digital piano?
The Yamaha P-45 is a fantastic budget digital piano, with an excellent sound quality and modes to support and help people when learning to play the piano.
The Yamaha P-45 has 88 graded hammer keys, which is excellent, as this is regarded as a more premium feature to have graded keys (where the lower keys are harder to press and the higher keys are easier to press to replicate a real piano.)
This digital piano has 10 sounds and a 64 note polyphony. It offers a great sound and playing experience and won’t break the bank. If you get serious about playing your digital piano, this one by Yamaha can also be fitted onto a stand, to complete the look and the experience.
Best Luxury Digital Piano Suitable for Anyone – Beginner to Professional
The Yamaha Arius YDP-143 or the YDP-S52 would get my vote. I know that picking two is technically cheating, but both of these digital pianos are actually very similar in what they offer. They sound very similar too.
The main difference that you are paying a premium for with the Arius S52 is the synthetic ivory topped keys and the more robust stand. If you want an amazing digital piano but are not fussed about the extra details like the tops of the keys, save yourself a couple of hundred pounds and go for the YDP 143 model instead.
Key Features of Both the Yamaha Arius YDP 143 and S52:
- An authentic piano sound taken from a real concert grand piano made by yamaha
- 192 note poloyphony
- 10 music voices
- Acoustic optimiser
- 2 track recording and split piano features
- 88 adjustable graded hammer keys
- Three built in pedals
- Advanced headphone technology
- App and iPad control, for a more visual way to control the digital piano settings