Are you looking for a new keyed instrument? Are you torn between going with an electronic keyboard or a fancy and elegant grand acoustic piano? Luckily, there’s a little-known middle ground between the two – the digital piano.
If you want a beautiful instrument that has the aesthetic and physical feel of an acoustic piano, but you also want the versatility that only comes with an electronic instrument like a keyboard, then a digital piano is exactly what you’re looking for. These amazing instruments feel just like acoustic pianos but have much more flexibility. If you’re looking for a new digital piano for your living room, then you’ll have to read our list of the best digital pianos to help you find the perfect centerpiece for your musical endeavors.
Carry on reading to see our full list of the best digital pianos, followed by a recap breaking down what makes each product on our list stand out. Or jump straight to our number #1 pick here.
- What’s the Difference between a Keyboard and a Digital Piano?
- What Should You Look For in a Digital Piano?
- What are Weighted Keys?
- Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Digital Piano
- #1: Casio PX-770 BK Privia Digital Home Piano (Best Value – All-Purpose)
- #2: Yamaha YDP103 Arius Series Piano (Best Upgrade)
- #3: Donner DDP-300 Digital Piano 88 Key Weighted Keyboard (Most Ergonomic)
- #4: Lagrima 88 Full Weighted Hammer Heavy Action Key Digital Piano (Best Low Cost)
- #5: Casio Privia PX-870 Digital Piano (Best Luxury Item)
- Verdict: Your Best Digital Piano
What’s the Difference between a Keyboard and a Digital Piano?
I don’t think I need to spend too much time explaining what a keyboard is. You’ve all seen the little electronic keyed instruments that can fit on a cheap plastic stand or your lap relatively comfortably. Now, a digital piano, which may sound like the same thing, is much bigger and closely resembles an actual grand acoustic piano in general shape for the most part. It’ll also usually have the foot pedals that acoustic pianos have but keyboards lack. Finally, digital pianos are much more likely to have weighted keys (more on that later) than their portable counterparts are.
Basically, if you want an instrument that gives you all of the benefits of a portable keyboard while still feeling like a traditional acoustic piano, what you’re looking for is a digital piano. As a nice bonus, digital pianos are still usually cheaper than acoustic pianos, which have started to double as a form of decorative furniture at this point.
What Should You Look For in a Digital Piano?
If you already play acoustic piano, you’re in luck. Assessing a digital piano will be pretty simple if you know what you’d like in an acoustic piano, since, at the end of the day, a piano is a piano. That being said, there are of course some differences, and there are things you’ll need to be on the lookout for that you wouldn’t need to worry about if this was a list of the best acoustic pianos.
Criteria #1: Keys – I don’t think I need to explain why the keys on a piano, digital or otherwise, are pretty important. What I should explain, is what to look for in the keys. Mainly, you’ll want to check if, and how, the keys are weighted. The main reason digital pianos feel more like acoustic pianos than keyboards do is that they usually have keys that are weighted similarly to those of acoustic pianos.
The two main types of weighted keys for digital pianos are semi-weighted and fully-weighted, with fully-weighted also coming in the hammer-action variety. Again, we’ll explain what those terms mean in more detail later, but for now, all you need to know is that the ideal keys will be fully-weighted graded hammer-action keys.
Unrelated to the weighting of the keys, we’ll also check how many keys each digital piano on our list has, though that’s honestly mostly a formality because almost all digital pianos come with the standard 88 keys.
Criteria #2: Extra Features – Without any extra features making use of the electronic aspect, a digital piano doesn’t really offer much over an acoustic piano. We want all of the features you’d expect in an electronic keyboard so that you can get the best of both worlds from your digital piano. That means getting features like the ability to connect to a computer for MIDI functioning, full volume control, all the input ports we can ever need, Bluetooth capability, and the full spectrum of different piano sounds, from organs to keyboards to harpsichords. If we don’t have at least some of those extra features, you’re better off buying a cheap keyboard instead of a digital piano.
Criteria #3: Price – We’re not here to make you spend a ton of money for no reason. Meeting this criterion is less about being cheap and more about justifying your price. We’d rather buy an expensive product that’s cheaper than it should be than waste money on a cheaper product that isn’t worth the money and that will just break on you or not perform well.
What are Weighted Keys?
Finally, after mentioning them more than once already, we’re going to explain what weighted keys are. Well, if you’ve ever played both an acoustic piano and a keyboard, you may have noticed that the keyboard keys are much lighter. A lot of the more serious piano players don’t like this, largely because they’re used to the heavy keys of an acoustic piano, and for more specific technical reasons that will become clear as you learn to play the piano.
Now, what about all of those different types of weighted keys? Well, semi-weighted keys are exactly what they sound like. They’re not completely weighted, and while you’ll feel some resistance while playing, they may be slow to rise back up, which can obviously be a huge issue if you need to play the same note in quick succession.
Then we have fully-weighted keys, which will give you the full spring action and be ready to go in rapid succession. Hammer action keys are weighted keys that use a mechanism that actually simulates the action which goes on inside an acoustic piano – that of a hammer striking a string to cause a note to ring out.
Finally, we have graded hammer action keys. Graded hammer action keys are all weighted differently, which again is to simulate acoustic pianos. Just like on a real acoustic piano, the bass-note keys on the left-hand side of the piano are the heaviest, while the keys of the high-pitched notes on the right-hand side are much lighter, and will give you less resistance. Because the goal is to be as genuine as possible, fully-weighted graded hammer-action keys are more or less universally considered to be the superior type of keys.
Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Digital Piano
We measured the specs of the top products on the market against our listed criteria to see how they held up and if they’re worth buying. We then checked customer reviews, blog posts, and “best digital piano” articles to see if the products on our list performed as advertised. We’ll also made sure to keep our list varied and diverse so that, if your needs are a bit more niche, you can still be sure you’ll find the perfect digital piano for you.
And without further ado, here is our list – tailored to your specific needs – of the best digital pianos.
#1: Casio PX-770 BK Privia Digital Home Piano (Best Value – All-Purpose)
Starting off our list is our number-one-ranked Casio PX-770 BK Privia Digital Home Piano, and it’ll be obvious pretty quickly why we picked this Casio digital piano as the best digital piano. This graded hammer-action digital piano comes with the “AiR engine” for its grand piano sound and realistic dynamics. That means it’ll look, sound, and feel like you’re playing on an acoustic piano. You’re also getting a strong sound system that’s sure to give you loud and clear feedback. This is the industry standard as far as playability goes.
And now we have the extra features. Our Casio digital piano comes with the incredible duet mode that allows you to split the piano down the middle into two smaller pianos on the same octave, making this easy-to-use digital piano one of the best digital pianos when it comes to teaching or learning the piano.
You also have concert mode which lets you play over ten famous orchestral pieces, so you can practice playing with a full orchestra all by yourself, and you can prepare for your big upcoming performance. This digital piano also has a USB port that lets it connect to your computer and function as a MIDI keyboard, or you can plug in your smartphone and use the free Chordana Play app to learn all of your favorite songs and pieces.
A nice little bonus with this digital piano is that it comes in three different colors – a sleek and fancy black, a pristine white, and a warm and homey brown. As I mentioned earlier, pianos really are a piece of furniture, and with this Casio digital piano, you can make sure you’re getting furniture that will perfectly match the aesthetic of your living room. Our top-ranked piano also has a slim design that will help you save some space so your piano doesn’t have to take up the whole living room.
We’re not exactly starting a trend or blowing a big secret on this digital piano. This popular high-end digital piano is featured on several blog posts and lists of the best digital pianos, and the customers on Amazon had only positive things to say. On top of the sound, the crowd really loved the look of this piano, so you can rest easy knowing you won’t be stuck with an eyesore in your living room. Customers also praised the compact design and all of the extra features like duet mode and concert mode that keep beginners in mind.
And on top of everything, this high-quality digital piano is one of the cheaper digital pianos out there. So if you’re looking for a digital piano that looks and sounds great, is perfect for beginners and experts alike, and doesn’t even cost a lot, you’ll have to buy the Casio PX-770 BK Privia Digital Home Piano. It’s our number one pick for a reason.
#2: Yamaha YDP103 Arius Series Piano (Best Upgrade)
The first digital piano on our list is our best entry-level option and the best value for your dollar, but if you’re willing to pay more for the premium option, then you’ll definitely want to keep reading. The second digital piano on our list, the Yamaha YDP103 Arius Series Piano, is perfect for anyone who isn’t just looking for a standard digital piano but is looking for an upgrade to really bring your playing to the next level. The Yamaha YDP103 Arius Series Piano is a bit more expensive than our number one ranked digital piano, but it’s worth it. Here are some of the big selling points that might just convince you that it’s worth it to shell out for this beautiful acoustic piano.
Reason #1 to Choose This Product: Beautiful Design
Digital pianos come with a lot of perks compares to their acoustic counterparts, but aesthetics is usually just not one of them. There’s something so majestic about a beautiful grand piano that a digital piano, with all of its buttons and dials, just can’t compete with. That is, except for the Yamaha YDP103 Arius Series Piano.
Because it uses smartphone integration to control all of the settings (a huge plus in its own right, depending on your relationship with technology) the body of this digital piano is pristine and spotless save for a small control panel on the right-hand side of the keys, and one lone button on the left-hand side of the keys. This gave Yamaha more room to forego the controls of the physical piano, and the result is that, from afar, this digital piano will have a solid, pure build, and it’ll look almost exactly like a real piano, giving you the aesthetic you want in your living room. Fair warning – the app is only compatible with iOS devices and as of this writing does not work with Android devices.
Reason #2 to Choose This Product: Durable Keys
Even if you go with one of the cheaper options out there, the bottom line is that any digital piano is going to cost you some money, and the price range on these high-end musical instruments has a certain lower limit. That means that when you’re buying a digital piano, you’d better hope that the instrument you bring home is going to last, because you’re not going to want to replace it any time soon. And that’s where the Yamaha YDP103 Arius Series Piano gets the job done.
Yamaha boasts that their special “matte black key tops are designed to absorb moisture and remain tactile after extended use without becoming slippery”, so you can guarantee that your piano will be as fresh after a few years as it was the day you bought it, and you won’t have to worry about an old digital piano messing up your playing.
On top of the beautiful frame and durable keys, the Yamaha YDP103 Arius Series Piano has all of the standard features we’d want from a high-end digital piano, including the full 88 keys, a classic grand piano sound, two headphone jacks to help you practice duets, and the full set of foot pedals. It also has high-quality graded weighted hammer action, so every single key will feel exactly like it’s supposed to, and you’ll get the authentic acoustic piano sound and playing experience.
This digital piano also has a dual mode which is similar to the duet mode of our Casio Privia PX, but where duet mode separates the piano into two identical halves, dual mode lets you turn one half of the piano into a completely different instrument, so you can become your own one-person band and freely experiment with the entire orchestra in your living room.
The Yamaha YDP103 Arius Series Piano is probably better for intermediate players than for beginners considering its price, but if you want one of the best digital pianos out there that looks and sounds exactly like an acoustic piano and has some keys that will last a lifetime, you need to splurge for the Yamaha YDP103 Arius Series Piano.
#3: Donner DDP-300 Digital Piano 88 Key Weighted Keyboard (Most Ergonomic)
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Donner is one of the biggest names in the musical instrument industry, so it’s honestly a little overdue that they make an appearance on our list, but here they are with our third-to-best digital piano.
Especially if you’re more used to acoustic pianos than digital pianos, you may not be interested in all of the extra features that electric pianos give you that “real” pianos can’t offer. You certainly probably aren’t interested in learning your way around a complicated control panel. You probably just want great sound quality and some of the more basic perks of home digital pianos. If that’s the case, the Donner DDP-300 Digital Piano 88 Key Weighted Keyboard is perfect for you.
There’s not a simpler digital piano out there. The reason this Donner digital stage piano is so simple and easy to use is that you actually control most of the settings with the keys of the piano instead of fidgeting around on a control panel. There is a manual that quickly explained how to do this, but it’s pretty simple. There’s a function button that you use in tandem with the piano keys to make all of the changes you need. A side benefit of this is, similar to our Yamaha piano, that it frees up a lot of space on the dashboard of the piano, and you’re left with a more classical aesthetic that’s not cluttered with buttons and dials. It’s not as sleek as the Yamaha keyboard though, and there are some settings and options that you control through buttons on the actual piano.
On top of this unique input method, the Donner DDP-300 Digital Piano 88 Key Weighted Keyboard has our ideal graded hammer weight action in its keys, and it has the double keyboard setting that’s so great for teaching and learning.
This digital piano also comes with 10 different sounds to choose from, including grand piano, electric piano, rock organ, strings, bass, and more. You can get the real piano sound you want or write and experiment with other instruments that you may not have on hand. Additionally, the Donner DDP-300 Digital Piano 88 Key Weighted Keyboard comes with high-quality built-in speakers that boast three-dimensional surround sound, heavy bass, and a warm tone. And on top of all that, it’s Bluetooth compatible, so if you do decide to use it as a MIDI keyboard, you won’t need to go out and buy any new wires.
This piano is also very affordable, and customers were very impressed by its value and its sound quality. So if you’re looking for a digital piano that will give you a completely streamlined playing experience, whether you’re using it as a real piano or a MIDI keyboard, the Donner DDP-300 Digital Piano 88 Key Weighted Keyboard is exactly what you’re looking for.
#4: Lagrima 88 Full Weighted Hammer Heavy Action Key Digital Piano (Best Low Cost)
If you’re more familiar with digital pianos, you know that they can get pretty expensive. Honestly, just reading our list so far has probably taught you that the hard way. Digital pianos are definitely closer to acoustic pianos than electronic keyboards when it comes to price. But there is at least one cheap option out there, so you don’t need to feel like you’re out of luck if you’re trying to stay within a budget while buying a digital piano. The Lagrima 88 Full Weighted Hammer Heavy Action Key Digital Piano gives you all of your standard features, sound quality, and weighted keys without charging you an arm and a leg.
This incredibly cheap digital piano has a hammer-action weighted key bed, a USB MIDI terminal, and several useful writing features like a playback mode, a built-in metronome, and more. Our budget digital piano also comes with two headphone jacks, but since they’re 3.5mm, you’ll probably need to find an adapter to use them, unless you already have one or have compatible headphones.
The MIDI function is compatible with Mac, PC, iOS, and Android with no extra software needed, so you’ll be ready to record and edit as soon as your piano is set up.
This piano is also reviewed very well, though there were some complaints about the quality of the dynamics. But if you’re looking for a high-quality digital piano that won’t cost a fortune, the Lagrima 88 Full Weighted Hammer Heavy Action Key Digital Piano is calling your name. It’s perfect for beginners or anyone who doesn’t want to break the bank on a piano, though I would say it’s not exactly a stage piano and more intended for home use.
#5: Casio Privia PX-870 Digital Piano (Best Luxury Item)
Our last piano is also our most expensive one, and if you’ve been paying attention, you may notice that it’s the successor to our number one piano, the Privia PX-770. Yes, Casio managed to bookend our list, and if the Privia PX-770 really caught your eye but you thought, “I just need a little more,” then the Privia PX-870 is exactly what you need to emulate the sound and feel of a real piano.
This luxurious stage piano comes in sleek black and pristine white, and it boasts an upgraded 4-speaker sound stem for the absolute best sound quality money can buy. It also comes with the same features as its predecessor, such as duet mode and the same AiR sound engine which features realistic damper resonance.
Just like its younger brother, the Privia PX-870 comes with the incredible adjustable touch sensitivity and hammer response keys that will let you tailor this piano to your exact playing style and finger strength. On top of that, this digital piano has a headphones mode that’s specifically designed to give you the best sound quality while using headphones, so you can practice without disturbing any of your roommates or loved ones and make sure that you’re still hearing all of your piano sounds exactly as they’ll sound during a live performance. It’s pretty rare to find a piano that will let you use headphones and still sound exactly like an acoustic piano.
The Privia PX-870 Digital Piano was a crowd favorite on Amazon and featured on lists just as often as the PX-770. Reviewers praised the PX-870 for its compact design, the headphone jacks, the sound quality, and most importantly, being worth every penny. This expensive piano is definitely only really meant for intermediate players or even seasoned experts, but if you want the best and you’re willing to pay for it, then the AiR sound engine powered PX-870 digital piano is the premium piano for you.
Verdict: Your Best Digital Piano
That rounds out our list of the best digital pianos. We’ve tried to include something for everyone, and we made sure to include affordable options and more niche options for those with specific tastes regarding sound and feel.
If you’re still not sure which is the best piano for you, no need to worry. We’re going to recap our list and highlight the being selling points to drive home what makes each piano stand out. We hope that by the end of this recap it’ll be crystal clear which piano is most suited to your tastes.
If you want the best value for money, pick the Casio PX-770 BK Privia Digital Home Piano.
Our top pick is one of the best digital pianos available regardless of price, and when you take the value-for-money ratio into account, it just can’t be beaten. You’re getting all of the hot features like duet mode for learning, concert mode for practicing over the accompaniment, and a USB port to connect any of your devices.
This keyboard is also powered by the AiR sound system, and it boasts the absolute best in weighted key action with its graded hammer action that feels just like an acoustic piano. Grand pianos are expensive, and while they’re pretty, you don’t get the modern benefits of a keyboard. This digital piano gives you the best of both worlds, and it doesn’t even cost that much.
If you need durable keys, pick the Yamaha YDP103 Arius Series Piano.
If you’re the kind of pianist that likes to really hammer away at the keys ala Franz Schubert’s Erlkonig, then you’re going to need a digital piano that can handle the beating you’re going to give it. And if that’s the case, the Yamaha YDP103 Arius Series Piano is the best option for you to go at it with reckless abandon.
This piano features special keytops that are “designed to absorb moisture and remain tactile after extended use without becoming slippery”, so they’ll last through all your intense piano sessions without losing any of their grip. If you want a piano that will last you through the ages, your best choice is the Yamaha YDP103 Arius Series Piano.
If you want to keep the spending cheap, pick the Lagrima 88 Full Weighted Hammer Heavy Action Key Digital Piano.
The price of this piano alone is enough to convince most customers. There are just so few options even close to this cheap, so when you find one, it’s best to jump at it. You’re not being ripped off either, and you don’t need to worry that this digital piano is too good to be true. You’re still getting great sound quality, all of the standard features, and of course great weight under the key bed to give you that natural feel and sound that you expect from digital pianos.
It also comes with a playback mode, a built-in metronome, and two headphone jacks for a full duet without disturbing the rest of the house or the neighbors. This Lagrima piano is the best option for anyone who wants to save some money and still get a great digital piano.
And that finally brings us to the end of our list. If the highlighted digital pianos above weren’t what you’re looking for, you may prefer the streamlined and effective Donner DDP-300 Digital Piano, or the luxurious and state-of-the-art PX-870 from Casio.
Remember, when you’re buying a digital piano, it’s always a good idea to have your important features written down somewhere. This will really speed things up as you’ll quickly see that only a few options really make your cut, and even some of the popular choices just won’t have what you’re looking for.
That’s all for now. We hope you find the perfect piano, and we hope you enjoy making some beautiful music!