Our review today is on the Casio PX-350, another interesting model from Casio.
We know the Casio Privia PX series as Casio’s line of portable digital pianos. And so, expectedly the PX350 comes compact and portable. But it also comes with quite a number of features that make this piano stand out in its class.
And now for a bit about the brand, Casio…
For a long time now, Casio has been known to mimic elite brands by creating similar models although at much lower prices. It’s probably one of the reasons the brand is known by some as a manufacturer of toy instruments.
While we will not be proving or disproving that notion, we hope our in depth review on the Casio PX-350 will help you make your own decision on that.
Of course, we won’t be able to touch all bases. But we sure will touch on the major ones. And so without further ado, we head into our review on the Casio PX-350. But first, the bottom line section for those who can’t spare the time to read through.
Bottom Line For Those In A Hurry
We don’t really know whom to recommend the Casio PX-350 to. But at least we know that it’s supposed to be something of a stage piano and a synth. And we also know that it might be better off as a second keyboard rather than a first keyboard.
The keyboard is really enjoyable though and looks quite good too. So, pianists with their own gigging keyboard who need something else they can play on just for fun will love this keyboard. However, there’s no pianist with any level of skills that would find this keyboard very usable as a regular instrument.
Number one, it’s a bit too expensive for a beginner. And also it doesn’t come with any learning program which could help the beginner learn to play the piano.
There aren’t so many features which could help a player customize and beautify their sound. So, the expression from this keyboard is quite limited. Hence, you might not really enjoy using this as a stage piano.
But then again, like we said, this is a fun instrument and it comes with a really great response and feel. Just ensure that you make this your second keyboard rather than first.
And now, to the full review…
Features Of The Casio PX-350
Design – Simplistic And Stylish
The Casio PX-350 comes with a very simplistic design that’s also quite stylish. On the keyboard, the keybed takes up the greater space. And so this gives the control interface a slim lined layout. On this interface, you’ll find all kinds of buttons which help you access the different categories of features on the keyboard.
And like we said, this is a really stylish instrument and it looks really good. There are different color options to pick from. Actually, there are two different options you can pick from. There’s the matte black finish and the white finish. And, of course, each comes with its own appeal.
The matte black finish looks really sleek and the keys are textured with ebony/ivory keytops. This makes the keyboard quite pleasurable to the feel. And the white finish gives the keyboard a really daring appeal.
Also, you can decide to get the optional stand built for the piano which comes in both white and black finishes. And besides the stand, you can also get the 3-pedal unit which also comes in the same two finishes as well.
So, depending on the finish of the piano you go for, you can choose to get any of these accessories to add to the overall look and functionality of the piano.
But without these accessories, this weighs in at 25 pounds which makes the keyboard really portable. So, the size and weight of the instrument are just right for the traveling musician. And then again, for all the features of this keyboard, the weight is more than just okay. So, it works for us, portability wise.
And besides the portability, the dimensions of the keyboard are great which means that the keyboard is very compact and easy to use just about anywhere.
Built-In Tones – Varied And Awesome
The total number of tones on the Casio PX-350 adds up to 250. This is quite staggering as you can see. So, there’s more than enough inspiration for you to create new sounds and make good music.
Now, the tones are grouped into different categories/song banks so that it’s a lot easier to access the sound you want per time.
Of all the sounds though, the award for most impressive sound would have to go to the grand pianos. They sound truly amazing and you’ll love the realism you hear when you play any of them. And to make the sound even more real, all you need to do is to hook up some quality speakers and connections and you’re set.
As for the electronic pianos, they are quite impressive too. And you’ll find quite a number of traditional options like the Wurlitzer and Rhodes. Each of these tones do well to deliver on some of the unique feels that each of these instruments create when played.
Even more, there are a plethora of other tones which are really useable and for which we have to commend Casio. Making 250 tones with an A+ grade for quality and usability isn’t easy. We’ve seen many pianos with fewer built-in tones, and yet nearly half are unrealistic and useless.
But that’s not the story with the PX-350. And so we hand it to Casio on that count…
Of course, there are also enough sound effects available to make your sounds even more beautiful and unique.
Sound – Absolutely Delightful
The sound engine on the Casio PX-350 is the Acoustic and Intelligent Resonator (AiR) which is, of course, Casio’s world class sound engine. The engine produces high quality tones on the PX-350 as well as other Casio pianos with the sound engine.
So, based on your rhythm and touch, the AiR sound engine reproduces the corresponding piano sample to a very accurate degree.
Furthermore, working together with the Damper Resonance simulator (another innovation from Casio), the resonator replicates a damper pedal effect. And this damper pedal effect reaches all the 88 piano strings. Pretty impressive…
Touch – Excellent And Authentic
Casio did a marvelous job delivering on a keyboard with an authentic feel on the PX-350 and that much is easy to see especially in the touch department. This keyboard feels good, guys!
The keys come with a graded hammer action. And if you decide to go for the optional three pedal accessory, then you get even more since you’ll also be getting the half-pedal function as well.
We’ve always loved what Casio does with the feel of its keys. Ivory/ebony keytops? Always a fab idea. You can hardly find any other keyboard within this price range in the entire industry that even feels half as good as the PX-350. We say this without any hint of doubt or uncertainty.
Moreover, the keys are also touch sensitive which is pretty great. There are three sensitivity levels or four if you include the “off” option. Each of this touch response levels give you different responses to suit your preferred style of play.
So, altogether, when it comes to feel, we can confidently say that the Casio PX-350 over-delivers.
Accompaniments And Sound Effects
The Casio PX-350 comes with a very wide range of accompaniment as well as complex rhythm styles. And with a very wide range available, this keyboard will easily satisfy all kinds of players of different skill levels.
Now, considering the fact that the sound on this keyboard is already great as is, you can only imagine what you can do with this keyboard. The accompaniments sound richer and drum rhythms are even more real.
And after creating your beautiful pieces, you have the option of recording them and playing them back when you want. You can record up to 17 tracks in all!
And that’s not all that this keyboard offers. There’s a lot more to get your creative juices running in the sound effects Casio makes available on this unit.
You’ll find all kinds of sound effects which will help you adjust and modify your tones to taste. Some of them include the Chorus, Reverb, Pitch Bend, Brilliance and more.
And let’s not forget the different modes as well viz the Split and Layer. So, you see there are many ways to get creative on this delightful instrument.
Plus you can always count on the quality onboard speakers which only serve to add to the already impressive sound that the Casio PX-350 produces.
Pros Of Casio PX-350
- May be marketed by Casio as an entry-level keyboard but it comes with more features than the average beginner keyboard.
- Compact, lightweight and portable.
- Fully weighted keys with ivory/ebony keytops give a superb feel.
- Optional 3-pedal unit comes with the full functionality like that of a grand piano plus half-pedaling function as well.
- A wide range of accompaniment styles.
- A staggering number of impressive, complex, and rich tones supported by Casio’s world-class AiR sound technology.
- Piano sounds warm, resonant and quite authentic.
- Delightful keyboard with a lot of sounds to inspire users to get creative.
Cons Of Casio PX-350
- Might be a bit out of reach for the beginner.
- No learning program on the piano for the beginner.
- Not enough elements for sound adjustment like knobs or sliders and so expression is quite limited.
- Does not really work as a stage piano as the sounds are not really easy to customize and modify. Live performers would not find this lack of versatility very appealing for a stage performance.
And now for those who need more detail, here are specs for the Casio PX-350.
Casio PX-350 Specs
- 88 keys with Tri-sensor Scaled Hammer Action Keyboard II.
- Keys comes with ivory/ebony keytops.
- 3-level touch sensitivity.
- Sound generation technology: Acoustic and intelligent Resonator (AiR).
- Max Polyphony: 128 notes.
- 250 built-in tones.
- Modes: Layer, Split, Octave Shift, and Duet.
- Sound Effects: 4 Reverb types, 4 Chorus types, Brilliance, Damper Resonance, Auto Harmonize, Pitch Bend Wheel.
- Other Functions: Transpose, Fine-tuning, Metronome.
- 6 Demo songs.
- 300 preset music – chord progressions included.
- 17-track recorder.
- Pedals: SP-3 included, and optional SP-33 (comes with half-damper pedal function).
- Display: Backlit LCD.
- Connectivity: USB types A and B, MIDI IN/OUT, Line In, Line Out, 2 Phone Outputs.
- 2 Speakers: 5.1 x 2.4 inches, 8W + 8W.
- Dimensions: 52 x 11.3 x 30 inches.
- Weight: 25.4 pounds.
The Casio PX-350 is somewhat like a stage piano and a synth. And although it shares similar features with many entry-level keyboards, is still quite more expensive than your average entry-level keyboard.
Be that as it may, it is a delightful instrument, no doubt. However, it lacks the expressiveness and advanced sound modifying options that a stage piano or a synth is supposed to offer.
We like this keyboard but not enough to recommend it as a keyboard of first choice. Maybe as a second keyboard though if you’ve got the spare cash and a high quality regular keyboard.