Casio’s line of portable and affordable keyboards is sold in the Privia series. And the Casio PX 160 is one of the best ones in that series.
The Casio PX 160 is the immediate successor to the Casio PX f150. So, a lot of things have been worked to give the ultimate upgrade. Of course, it still retains a number of the old features found on the Casio PX 150, though.
Some of the features the PX 160 model retains include the Multi-Dimensional AiR Sound Source as well as the Tri-sensor Scaled Hammer Action II.
But then, like we said, so many things have been upgraded as well. The speakers, for instance, have been improved to give a much better sound. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s get into the nitty gritty of the details of this piano.
Highlights Of The Casio PX 160 Features And Specs
- 88 keys, fully weighted.
- Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action II.
- 128 count polyphony.
- 18 instrument sounds (5 of which are piano).
- Multi Dimensional Morphing AiR Sound Source.
- Modes: Split, Dual, and Duo.
- Connectivity: USB, 2 headphone jacks, sustain jack, line out.
- Dimensions: 52 x 11.5 x 5.5 inches.
- Weight: 24.5 pounds.
- 3 types of touch sensitivity.
This is a really portable keyboard. And it comes at the ideal weight and size to make placement and porting super convenient.
It sports a width of 52.0 inches which means that it comes at a size that is standard for a regular sized, full range keyboard. It is also pretty lightweight – just a tad over 25 pounds.
This keyboard is pretty slim since it only measures about 11.5 inches in depth. So, it is really convenient to place in any space at all. You can even choose to use this on a table, if you don’t have a stand on hand.
Now, considering all that we have discussed about the dimensions, you can see that this keyboard is really portable. So, if you’re looking for something that you can move around with you, maybe for a gig or for practice, consider this model.
Well, this is a keyboard with a pretty decent build quality. But for something that is designed to be carried around, this feels pretty fragile.
The entire keyboard is made of plastic. And while this feels pretty good to touch, we still do not think that you want to be carrying this around carelessly. You’d have to be super careful.
In fact, it is our most candid advice that you get yourself a well padded gig bag to carry your piano in. if you don’t, you risk ruining your keyboard in transit.
Casio keeps things pretty simple on the controls of the PX 160. You’d find it very easy to navigate the buttons as they are pretty intuitive. All the main settings and functions come with their own dedicated buttons each.
So, yeah, the volume, metronome, record, and piano sounds have their own controls. This makes things a whole lot easier for the user.
But that’s just for the main functions… As for the other functions, you’d learn with time, and by that we mean, after studying the user manual for a while.
It involves a lot of key combos which can be super inconvenient, not to mention annoying too. If, for instance, you’re on stage, and you absolutely need to change something at the speed of light, then what?
Sorry, Casio scores low on that one point. But maybe there’s a reason Casio chooses to do things this way. For one, it does keep the piano layout simple and clutter-free.
We would have appreciated it if this keyboard came with a display but oh well it doesn’t. And oh well, at this price, we sure can’t complain.
The keys on the Casio PX 160 are super impressive. In fact, they are more impressive than some of the Yamaha models we have come across. They are probably the most impressive aspect of the PX 160.
Alright, what’s the story here?
Now, to the action and response…
Yamaha has its Graded Hammer Standard action, Casio has its Tri-Sensor Hammer Action II. Which is better? More on that later…
But for now, we can assure you that both actions give a pretty realistic response. Since we are talking Casio today, though…
The Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action II is a huge part of the reasons the PX 160’s keys feel so realistic. And thanks to this action too, the response from this keyboard comes in a very wide, dynamic range.
The player on the PX 160 will find enough to keep him satisfied from a soft pianissimo to a booming fortissimo.
Like all fully weighted keys, manufacturers use actual hammers to create a feel that’s very akin to what you’d find in an acoustic piano.
Moving on, have we mentioned that the keys feel absolutely great to the touch? Well, they do.
They are made of plastic, as expected. But the manufacturers also tried to simulate an ivory and ebony feel too. So, when you play, the keys give a super grip so your fingers don’t begin to slip off if they get moist.
This keyboard is quite sensitive. It’s just like what you have in an acoustic piano. The intensity with which the hammers strike determines how loud or how soft your sound will be.
The triple sensor system Casio uses also works similarly. It can detect the velocity with which you press your keys, and consequently respond by delivering either one kind of sound/timbre or another.
So, yeah, if you play hard, your sound will consequently end up loud.
If you don’t like the default sensitivity of the keyboard or perhaps you need something different for a particular piece, there are options. This keyboard comes with three of them already preset. There’s also the option of turning off the entire thing totally.
If you turn off the sensitivity, then it would no longer matter how you strike the keys, they will deliver the same sound. Pretty similar to what you’d call the “fixed setting” in Yamaha pianos.
Finally, this keyboard features a graded action. And this means that resistance decreases from the low end notes to the high end ones.
But back to that question we said we’d answer later…
We would totally pick Casio’s Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer action over Yamaha’s Graded Hammer Standard action. Why? Come on, 3-sensor is better than 2.
Plus, Yamaha’s keys still feel somewhat plasticky unlike Casio’s with its ebony/ivory feel.
Another area of improvement over the Casio PX 150 is in the sound. First of all, the technology used is the Multi-Dimensional Morphing AiR Sound Source.
But what’s the big deal about this very high sounding technology?
First off, with this technology your keyboard will be able to reproduce sound without any form of distortion. It does this by using lossless audio compression.
Secondly, the piano sounds are pretty great. There are about 18 instrument sounds in all, but we thought we’d concentrate on the piano sounds since they are the most important ones for us here.
There are 5 piano sounds and each of them are high quality, “sourced” from an actual grand piano. Of course each has its own unique timbre, so feel free to choose whichever works for you per time.
Nonetheless, in our opinion, the concert grand tone remains the closest to natural of all the five.
There are quite a number of effects available to you on the Casio PX 160.
You have reverb for when you need a more resonating sound. Reverb features 4 variations which include: stadium, small and large hall, and room.
The chorus effect gives a fuller and richer sound… Pretty much like there were many sounds playing harmoniously together at once. Variations of this effect include the deep, light medium, as well as the flanger which delivers the whooshing effect.
You can also adjust the brilliance of your sound to make it slightly harder, softer, mellower, or brighter.
The polyphony of the PX 160 is a 128 count. This works sufficiently even if you have to play along to a 2-track recording.
The speakers deliver quite well for their capacity (8Watts + 8Watts). You can hear the clarity and details of what you’re playing.
Although, we’ll probably still advise you to get headphones if you want something super nice.
For a live performance though, think of getting external speakers for this thing except you don’t want a powerful sound.
Other things you need to know are that you can record and play back. However, you can only record one song. If you don’t transfer that recording to an external device, the previous recording will get deleted once you begin the new one.
This also comes with a transpose feature. With this, you can alter the pitch of your keyboard by semitones.
- Tri-sensor Hammer Action II and ivory feel make the keys feel very realistic.
- Compact, lightweight and portable.
- 128 note polyphony.
- Piano lessons included.
- Decent quality speakers.
- Sustain pedal looks and feels flimsy.
- Key action can be a bit noisy.
- Does not come with display.
For us, the highest point of the Casio PX 160 is the realism it offers. The keys feel so very real which gives just the right challenge for the beginning musician.
As a beginning pianist looking for something affordable and compact, the Casio PX 160 makes a fantastic choice to begin mastering stellar fingering techniques!