Super low-cost, portable, entry-level digital piano – these are the words that best describe the Yamaha PSR-E253.
It belongs to the Yamaha PSR series and there are two other keyboards in this series as well – the PSR-E453, and the PSR-E353.
Although the Yamaha PSR series comprise Yamaha’s cheapest keyboards, it doesn’t mean that they are poorly made. They are actually well made.
However, if you’re expecting amazing sounds and stunning looks, then you’d better lower your expectations. This is just an entry-level keyboard made for an amateur or a child. And you’ll see that in its every feature.
Now, those features are the things we will be looking into, so, get ready to find out just what this keyboard can do…
Yamaha PSR-E253 Specs And Features
- 61 soft touch keys.
- AWM stereo sampling.
- 385 voices.
- 32 note polyphony.
- 2 speakers (2.5W + 2.5W).
- Recording (1 track).
- Connectivity: Headphone jack, AUX line,
- Lesson mode: Yamaha Educational Suite (Y.E.S).
- Split mode for duets.
- Dimensions: 4 x 12.8 x 37.5 inches.
- Weight: 9 pounds.
Features Of The Yamaha PSR-E253
This is a very light keyboard. In fact, it’s a whole lot lighter than Yamaha’s P series which comprises Yamaha’s portable keyboards. Keyboards in this series usually clock in at around 23 to 26 pounds.
But at 9 pounds, you have to admit that this is a very lightweight keyboard indeed.
The dimensions also make this keyboard a really compact instrument. So, it’s not just lightweight, it’s also really convenient to carry around and set up.
You’ll find that you can easily place this keyboard on just about any surface and it will fit in just fine.
So, if your kid is developing an interest in playing the piano and you’re thinking of getting them something, that they can take care of themselves. As well as easily put away when not in use, this is a great choice.
They should be able to take care of this baby just fine on their own. This is not to say that this is strictly for kids, though. An amateur keyboardist will also find this an okay and fun keyboard to use.
Interface And Layout
This is a pretty interesting keyboard for a beginner. There’s a lot to explore but Yamaha made it a point to still keep things simple for the beginner.
Alright, so what will you find on the interface of this keyboard?
First, there’s an LCD display on the surface of the keyboard which is great for the beginner. Why? It helps to make the keyboard more interactive for those new to pianos which makes learning faster.
So, what exactly does this screen display?
Well, on the left side, the LCD screen displays sheet music. This shows you what note you’re playing for each of the clefs – that is, both treble and bass. This also helps in teaching you, what notes to play at what time.
The screen will also display the sound you’ve selected or your current song choice or style.
Now to the speakers. There are two of them, 12 centimeters wide, with an output of 2.5 watts each.
Let’s move to the back panel for a bit.
The back panel of the PSR-E253 sports 3 ports.
- The AUX-IN port which you can use with a standard stereo jack to connect sound from an external source. For example, an MP3 player.
- There’s a headphone jack as well which will work with any standard pair of headphones.
- Finally, there’s a port for the sustain pedal, which you can use to connect any sustain pedal of your choice.
Controls And Functions
On the right side of the screen, there are all kinds of buttons for all kinds of functions. From voice, to style, to song, plus a patch search function keypad. Below this keypad are a number of other functions which we’re going to check out right now…
The Portable Grand Button
First and foremost, we’ll check out the portable grand button. This single button will be your North Star throughout your interaction with this piano.
Here’s what we mean. Sometimes, in the middle of exploring your instrument, you will get lost in all of the functions and menus. When that happens, and you don’t know how to get out of the mess your in, the portable grand button will be your savior.
A simple tap on the button will take you back to the default settings, so you can start all over again. Pretty convenient, right?
Alright, next is the stereo widener. And what does this do? It helps to produce a much fuller sound. Plus, it can also grant you access to other pretty interesting features as well.
Now, let’s talk about that little list you’ll find just above the LCD display. There are three different lists. And the lists are for – voice, songs, and style.
Over to the left side of the display now. That’s where you’ll find the recording and learning tools. Since you already know what recording involves, let’s talk a bit about the learning button. And there are three styles.
There’s listen and learn, waiting, and timing.
If you’re going to be a great pianist, these are three vital lessons you will have to learn. And it’s superb that Yamaha has included this in their lesson suite.
Apart from these, there are 4 other buttons which help to control playback. With these buttons, you can select playing different parts, select an accompaniment, or choose to play or pause as you want.
Finally, in the controls department, you’ll find a button for demo, metronome, phrase recorder and tempo tap.
The Sound of The Yamaha PSR E-253
The sounds on this keyboard add up to 385 in total. You’ll find all kinds of instrument sounds from electric pianos, bass and guitars, accordions, strings, organs, pianos, drums, and loads of effects.
Now, what’s our honest take on these sounds? Well, some of them are really beautiful like the organs, synths, strings, and pianos. The others? Well, they are not so good. The saxophone and guitar, for instance, sound nothing like the real instruments.
Kids will, however, adore them. There are so many interesting and exciting sounds, that kids will instantly fall in love with.
Now, let’s move over to the accompaniment. These help to track your chord and follow your play with a rhythm. The rhythms include drums, piano, guitars, and bass.
And these accompaniments are really great because they follow you as you play in real time. The response is good and you’ll feel like you’re jamming with other players.
And if you don’t want the accompaniment, you can also play along with songs of your choice through your mp3 player. We already mentioned that there is a port on the back panel to easily connect it.
Alright, part of the reason the PSR-E253 is so lightweight is because its keys are soft touch. So, you’ll find that all 61 keys play far more easily than weighted keys.
Although this makes it a little easier for you to play, it might not be the best idea for learning proper techniques. You might learn faster but the best keyboards come with weighted keys.
And it’s best to play on weighted key as early as is possible.
Pros Of Yamaha PSR-E253
- Lots of rhythms and voices to mess around with.
- It is super compact and portable.
- Full sized keys which feel pretty sturdy.
- You can control the reverb depending on what voice you’re using.
- Excellent battery life.
- Comes with a simple to follow lesson mode.
Cons Of Yamaha PSR-E253
- This keyboard does not come with a power cord.
- Feels a bit fragile thanks to its lightweight and plastic body.
- The notes could be clearer, it sounds a bit muddy to us.
- Many of the instrument voices are not great.
In conclusion, this is an alright keyboard with an average performance. But, kids will absolutely love this keyboard. It’s much more fun than other more serious pianos.
And so, if you’re looking for a keyboard that will be fun for the kids to learn on, especially if you are on a budget, we would highly recommend the Yamaha PSR-E253.