Getting a piano is a really big investment as it’s a decision that stays with you for years. Even for seasoned players, deciding on one piano can be a chore.
So many manufacturers are everywhere offering so many promises; some fake, some real. But there’s just one you to make the decision.
Today, all that changes. We’ve put together comprehensive reviews of the best cheap keyboard pianos in the market.
You’re about to find out that “cheap” doesn’t always have to be synonymous with “low quality”. And money’s the last thing that should stop you from doing what you love.
So let’s get started…
Best Digital Piano Under $1,000
1 Yamaha P-115B 88-Key Graded Hammer Standard Digital Piano
Yamaha is not a new name in the world of pianos. The piano-making experts have graced the world with their state-of-the-art instruments, and the P-115B is not an exception.
Surely, no one is saying this is Ray Charles’ standard piano, but for the price, it’s excellent.
First off, it’s a digital piano, which is what everyone on a budget is using these days. Plus, being digital, the piano is definitely going to be very easy to interact with. The screen controller is a touch screen which makes interaction even easier.
As for the sound, we couldn’t be more impressed. Yamaha sure overdid itself for a piano at this price.
This particular piece, of course, comes with Yamaha’s CF sound engine. You’d appreciate this more when you know that most other pianos with great tones use Yamaha’s CF sound technology. Also, with a polyphony of 192, there is no limit to chord possibilities with this piano.
The keys are weighted and complete. If you didn’t know, the fact that the keys are weighted also contributes to the beautiful sound you’ll be getting. Weighted keys give responses closest to those from an acoustic piano.
Also, the weighted keys are excellent for beginner players. Why? It helps to build proper fingering technique for when s/he begins to play on an acoustic piano.
Thankfully, the keys are matte-finished, so they aren’t so slippery. This also means that you can play for longer.
Lastly, with this keyboard, you also get a power adapter, music stand, sustain pedal, bench, headphones, a dust-wrap, a double-x stand and even an instructional DVD. Basically all you need to play right out of the box!
Our Rating: (4.4 / 5)
2 Yamaha DGX-660 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Grand Piano Premium
At our number 2 spot, Yamaha does us one better with the DGX-660. This is even more impressive (and, expectedly, more expensive) than the last one. Have a look.
There’s the legendary Yamaha CF sound engine to expect, of course. This engine gives the piano a lovely tone just like the Yamaha concert grand piano. Add that to the excellent graded hammer action, and it takes the play to a whole new level. Closely resembling an acoustic piano, this piano plays heavy on the lower registers, and lighter on the higher notes.
The piano also doesn’t cramp your style and allows you play your piano just the way you like it. There’s the piano room from where you can create a personalized piano environment. You can choose from a variety of acoustic, as well as digital piano settings as it suits you per time.
Also, with the 6-track recorder, you can now record your performances as well as song ideas. Simply hook up a good microphone to your piano and record yourself sing. And with the inbuilt speakers on the piano, you can playback your recording too.
You can even learn to play your favorite songs by following the notation on the Score Display. The Score Display comes in crystal-clear LCD, so it’s easy to read. Depending on what you want, you can switch from a score display to a lyric display.
It will even display the score for your own composed songs. Excellent!
Our Rating: (4.6 / 5)
3 Casio PX350 BK 88-Key Privia Digital Piano
So, here’s the Casio PX350 BK, really affordable but really exceptional quality too.
Casio put its foot in this one to come up with a piano that sounds natural and realistic. Its patented sound source, AiR (Acoustic and intelligent Resonation) gives the paino a touch of detail and realism. Plus, with the fantastic sound engine, the piano delivers a powerful performance every time.
And still about the sound, the sustain pedal is amazing. Coming with a new Damper Resonance Stimulator, it easily gives a full, rich sound when used.
Now to the keys…
They are complete, 88 in total. Plus, each key comes with three sensors that help to capture every nuance and dynamic while you play. Add this to the excellent hammer action and you have a great sounding instrument.
But let’s stay on the hammers for a bit more, shall we?…
Closely mimicking an acoustic piano, the Casio PX350 BK uses the same dynamics as an acoustic piano to enhance your piano experience. So, the way different sized hammers move around in an acoustic piano at different speeds depending on the velocity of the keys being played, is similar to the way this piano works.
And if you didn’t really understand all that, just know that the bottom line is that it makes your piano sound more fantastic.
It would have helped to have a conventional 1/8 headphones jack but this needs a converter before you can do that. However, just try to hook it up. Once you do that and listen to yourself play, it would be worth all the stress.
Our Rating: (4.1 / 5)
4 Kawai ES100 88-Key Digital Piano
Here is a superb choice if you’re looking to purchase a piano for gigs. Because of its light weight (33 pounds), the Kawai ES100-88 is easy to lug around, making it an ideal gig buddy.
But all that wouldn’t matter if the sound is terrible. So, let’s get down to how this dude does on sound…
Alright so, Kawai went in for the overkill on this one. Several factors work together to give this piano a heavenly sound. For instance…
Its hammer action, referred to as the Advanced Hammer Action IV-F, gives you the feel and sound of an acoustic piano. And you want that, of course. But that’s not all. We said it was an overkill.
Have you played on a grand piano before? Well, it doesn’t matter anymore as playing on this baby will give you that feel. Thanks to its Harmonic Imaging, the piano sounds like a grand piano. Impressive!
And did we mention that this “little piano” boasts a whooping 192-note polyphony? Yes, it does.
As for the keys, of course, it’s worth mentioning that they are 88 in number, and weighted. Plus, they come with fantastic action. They are relatively quiet, and even customers seem to agree on that fact. And like we already mentioned, they give an acoustic piano feel.
Finally, here’s a “little thing” that we are happy with Kawai about…
The audio jacks are actually in the front as opposed to the rear. Finally, one manufacturer that sees how more commonsensical it is to just plug in front then bend over backwards just to fit a headphone into a piano!
Our Rating: (4.2 / 5)
5 Alesis Coda Pro 88-Key Digital Piano
Here’s another standard keyboard that’s easy to lug around too: the Alesis Coda Pro 88-Key Digital Piano.
Already doing well on portability, let’s see how it does with sound…
Alesis got it right with the keys on this dude as they are weighted and complete. The hammer action is great. In fact, the keys give such good action that they feel similar to a grand piano (emphasis on “similar”). We wish it would be different across the highs and lows, though.
However, we couldn’t get past a few features…
One, it comes with a 64-note polyphony. Maybe for the price though, you could say it is manageable. But generally, the polyphony could have been much better, at least, twice what it is now for starters. It’s not so bad in itself, but it does get limiting.
This is probably the biggest issue with the piano, though.
Two, it only comes with 20 built-in instrument voices. Again, this could have been much, much better but it is manageable. For a beginner…
But hey, the Coda Piano still gets it right on other scores….
Its stand comes in a wood finish which is durable and elegant.
Also, the keyboard comes with a power source which you don’t find with many keyboards in the market today. Plus, a sustain pedal is also included.
And lest we forget, the speakers… They are actually pretty good, quality stuff. You’d love to hear yourself play.
If you’re looking to get something just for personal, not-so-intense practice, then this is one way to go.
Our Rating: (4.3 / 5)
Best Digital Piano Under $500
6 Casio Privia PX160BK 88-Key Full Size Digital Piano
You probably aren’t expecting much from pianos priced at under $500, but not so fast. You might actually get surprised as we did. Casio sure gives other piano makers a run for their money with the Privia PX160BK.
We love the fact that, despite being a relatively inexpensive piano, attention was still paid to details.
Let’s start with the keys…
The keys are 88 in total, and that’s excellent. But even more excellent is their weight. We love the fact that the keys are properly weighted, giving the appeal of a more expensive model when played. The hammer action is also right.
Aside that, Casio puts its proprietary AiR sound generation technology on this model too. So, there goes another assurance of quality sound. Kudos for that.
Of course, we won’t fail to mention the speakers. Casio sure made efforts to install quality speakers in this unit. And even more, the piano comes with a line-out slot so you can easily connect to external speakers.
In case you’re asking, it also comes with two outputs for headphones for those times you need a quieter playing environment.
So, are we pleased with the sound? Yep.
That said, there’s something else we want to share with you about the Privia PX160BK before we move on…
It comes with what Casio calls “class compliant” USB connectivity. Bottom line, you can use your keyboard with either your Windows computer or your Mac. And no, you don’t need to download any driver.
Our Rating: (4.2 / 5)
7 Yamaha P45 88-Key Digital Piano
Yamaha hardly disappoints when it comes to piano making, and here’s another proof of that. The Yamaha P45, although an inexpensive model, is still very impressive.
Let’s have a look, shall we?…
They say first impression matters and for a keyboard that would lie heavily on the keys. All 88 keys are given Yamaha’s proprietary Graded Hammer Standard action. This gives them an authentic feel when played.
In characteristic Yamaha fashion, the keys are matte-finished so they are less slippery. This is great as it allows for longer playing time.
With the Advance Memory sampling feature, the piano sounds good, kinda like an acoustic piano. Of course the CF sound technology is a lot better but for the price, we can’t complain.
Plus, the hammer action more than makes up for this by being heavier on the low registers and lighter on the higher registers.
However, we still don’t understand why a Yamaha piano will come with a 64-note polyphony. But it’s okay…
The fact that the makers also thought to make this instrument easy to operate is quite splendid. Unlike many keyboards where you need to learn algorithms to operate, this is a lot simpler. With a single button, you can do most of your settings quite easily.
Finally, when you get this piano, you also get a sustain pedal and a power supply along with it as well. However, if you were looking to record yourself play, this is not the one, sweetheart.
Our Rating: (4.5 / 5)
Best Cheap Keyboard Piano Under $300
8 Yamaha PSREW300SA 76-Key Portable Keyboard Bundle
Okay, first of all, we will say that we love the weight of this piano, because we do. It weighs about 14 pounds which makes it a fantastic piano to carry around. If you need to go to your tutor’s to get lessons, you’d appreciate this lightweight piano even more.
It doesn’t come with a complicated set up, basically a plug ‘n’ play. All you need do is plug to the wall, press the power button and viola!
In fact, if you do not have access to electricity at any time, “t”, there is the option of batteries. Yes, you can also operate this piano using 6 AA batteries.
Now to the keys…
You probably do not have your hopes up which is a smart thing, but things actually aren’t so bad.
Well, it comes with 76 keys instead of the standard 88. And although they are pretty touch-sensitive, they aren’t weighted. Like, at all. But hey, check the price you’re paying again.
Plus, “76 keys” is even saying a lot for most other pianos this price. So, you’re actually getting a pretty great deal with this model.
Again, you shouldn’t expect this piano to sound like an acoustic. This is not to say, though, that it is terrible-sounding. Not at all.
The keyboard comes with USB connectivity. So, if you have some MIDI files you wish to download or upload, you’re a go with this dude.
Also, the piano allows for headphones, including connection to an external speaker, and that’s a good thing.
It doesn’t come with a sustain pedal though. But, altogether, Yamaha sure did a decent job making a great piano at this price.
Our Rating: (3.8 / 5)
9 Alesis Recital 88-Key Beginner Digital Piano
The Alesis Recital Beginner Digital Piano comes with 88 keys. That alone is already enough to be thoroughly impressed. Big up to Alesis!
But there’s more, hang on…
Of course, you can’t find weighted keys at this price range, but Alesis sure is the master of compromise. The manufacturers made the keys of this piano semi-weighted. So, while it won’t feel like a million-dollar piano, it won’t feel like a cheap toy either.
And to make things even more interesting, it comes with 128-note polyphony. The promise of wonderful sound from this piano is already enticing.
But let’s dig in deeper…
Just like most portable pianos, this can operate with two power sources. It comes with a power adapter for connection to a wall socket. Plus, it also comes with the options of operating with batteries. (You’ll need to get 6 D cell batteries as they aren’t included)
Furthermore, the speakers are of high quality.
But here’s the thing…
The keys are said to come with an adjustable touch response.
What is that supposed to mean?
Well, it’s supposed to mean that you decide the level of sensitivity you want from your keys at all times. But what it actually means is that these keys aren’t so sensitive. And depending on the player, they could even be said to not be sensitive at all.
Anyway, moving on…
It features 5 built-in voices, a stereo output for headphones, another for an external sound system, and a sustain pedal.
And finally, the piano comes with USB connectivity to upload your MIDI or use any virtual instrument plugin with.
Our Rating: (4 / 5)
Now you have seen that there is a world of quality and affordable pianos out there. But since you asked, we will tell you which piano, in our opinion, steals the prize.
And that piano is the Kawai ES100 88-Key Digital Piano. For a cheap piano keyboard, this model comes in almost perfect.
One feature that really did it for us with this piano is the action of its keys. It’s hard to find a piano that’s quiet at this price. But somehow, this piano is.
Add that to the 192-note polyphony and fantastic hammer action, and you got you a super piano!