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Casio PX 160 Review – Top Rated Piano For The Money

Casio’s line of portable and affordable keyboards is sold in the Privia series. And the Casio PX 160 is one of the best.

It’s the immediate successor to the Casio PX 150. And a lot of things have been re-worked to make this an excellent upgrade. Of course, it still retains a number of the old features found on the Casio PX 150.

Some of the features that the model retains include the Multi-Dimensional AiR Sound Source as well as the Tri-sensor Scaled Hammer Action II.

But then, so many things have been upgraded – 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 fine details of this piano…


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Our rating:4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

The Casio PX 160 – Features And Specs

  • 88 keys, fully weighted.
  • Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action II.
  • 128 count polyphony.
  • 18 instrument sounds (5 pianos).
  • 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.

Casio PX 160 Review

Portability

This is a really portable keyboard. Its weight, at just a tad over 25 pounds and size, making it easy to take it with you, anywhere you fancy going. It’s also pretty slim, measuring about 11.5 inches in depth.

So, if you’re looking for something that you can move around with you, maybe to take to gigs or practice rooms, then its worth considering this model.

Build Quality

Well, the build quality isn’t bad, but for something that is designed to be carried around, it feels a little fragile.

The entire keyboard is made of plastic. And while it feels pretty good to play, we do think that you want to be careful while carrying it around. And you’ll definitely need a hard or padded case for longer journeys.

Controls

Casio keeps things pretty simple with the controls of the PX 160. You’d find it very easy to navigate the buttons as they are quite intuitive. All the main settings and functions come with their own dedicated buttons.

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 them with time, and by that, we mean, after studying the user manual for quite a while.

Accessing many of the functions involves a lot of key pressing combinations which can be inconvenient, not to mention annoying. If, for instance, you’re on stage, and you absolutely need to change something at the speed of light, then you’ve got a bit of a problem

But maybe there’s a reason behind Casio’s choice. For one, it does keep the piano’s basic layout, simple and clutter-free.

We would have appreciated it if this keyboard came with a display, but oh well it doesn’t, and at this price, we can’t really complain.


Keys

Casio Privia PX160BK 88-Key Full Size Digital Piano

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.

So, what’s the story?

This piano comes with 88 fully weighted keys. This means that although this is an affordable and portable keyboard, it still comes with the same number of keys as a regular digital piano.

Now, to the action and response…

Yamaha has its Graded Hammer Standard action, Casio has its Tri-Sensor Hammer Action II. Which is better?

You’ll have to wait till later to find out…

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, the response from this keyboard is very wide and dynamic.

The player on the PX 160 will find more than enough to keep themselves 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 have done their best to simulate an ivory and ebony feel. So, when you play, the keys give a super grip so your fingers don’t begin to slip off if they get moist.

Read more review: Casio CTK-2550 Review

Key Sensitivity

This keyboard is quite sensitive. It’s similar to what you have on, 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. There’s also the option of turning off the triple sensor system totally.

If you turn off the sensitivity, then it doesn’t matter how hard you strike a key, it will deliver the same sound. Similar to the “fixed setting” on Yamaha pianos.

Finally, this keyboard features a graded action. This means that resistance decreases from the low-end to the high-end.

But back to that question, we said we’d answer…

We would totally pick Casio’s Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer action over Yamaha’s Graded Hammer Standard action.

Why? Come on, 3-sensor has to be better than 2.

Plus, Yamaha’s keys still feel somewhat plasticky unlike Casio’s, with their more ebony/ivory feel.


Sound

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 technology?

Well, with it. your keyboard will be able to reproduce sounds without any form of distortion. It does this by using lossless audio compression.

Secondly, the piano sounds it produces are really good. There are 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 five high-quality piano sounds and each of them is, “sourced” from an actual grand piano. Of course, each has its own unique timbre, so feel free to choose whichever works for you for a particular piece or song.

Nonetheless, in our opinion, the concert grand tone remains the closest to natural of all the five piano options.

Sound Effects

There are a number of effects available on the Casio PX 160.

You have reverb, for when you need a more resonating sound. It comes in four variations: stadium, small and large hall, and room.

The chorus effect gives a fuller and richer sound as if many sounds were playing harmoniously together, at the same time. Variations of this effect include deep, light-medium, as well as a flanger which delivers the characteristic whooshing effect.

You can also adjust the brilliance of your sound to make it slightly harder, softer, mellower, or brighter.

Polyphony Count

The polyphony count of the PX 160 is a 128.

Speakers

The speakers deliver well for their capacity of 8 watts each. More than enough to really hear the clarity and details of you’re playing.

Although, we’d still advise you to get headphones if you want something super nice.

For a live performance though, you’ll need to get a dedicated keyboard amp or run through the PA.

Other Features

It allows you can record and playback. 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.


Pros

  • Tri-sensor Hammer Action II and ivory feel make the keys very realistic.
  • Compact, lightweight and portable.
  • 128 note polyphony.
  • Piano lessons included.
  • Good quality speakers.

Cons

  • Sustain pedal looks and feels flimsy.
  • Key action can be a bit noisy.
  • Does not come with a display.

Conclusion

For us, the high point of the Casio PX 160 is the realism it offers. The keys feel very realistic, which is great for the beginning pianist.

If you’re just starting out and looking for something affordable and compact, the Casio PX 160 makes a fantastic choice, to begin mastering stellar fingering techniques!

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