Electronic keyboards are a great, cheap, and convenient alternative to classical pianos, but sometimes they just don’t quite get the job done. The feel is just a little off, and you don’t get the same effect on your dynamics with a keyboard that you do with a grand piano. If you want a keyboard that will more properly simulate the feel and sound of a real-life acoustic piano, what you’re looking for is a weighted keyboard.
As the name implies, weighted keyboards have weighted keys so that pressing down on them feels more natural and resembles the actual weighted resistance you’d feel when playing a traditional piano. This also helps you play more fluidly and naturally, and it makes dynamics much more intuitive. Plus, you get the cheaper cost and similar electronic effects that you’d get from a standard keyboard. If this sounds like the kind of instrument you need, then you’ll have to read our list of the best weighted keyboards to find the perfect weighted keyboard to save you from spending all that money on a massive grand piano.
Carry on reading to see our full list of the best weighted keyboards, followed by a recap breaking down what makes each product on our list stand out. Or jump straight to our number #1 pick here.
- Should I Buy a Weighted Keyboard?
- What Should You Look For in a Weighted Keyboard?
- Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Weighted Keyboard
- #1: Korg B2SP 88-Key Digital Piano Bundle (Best Value – All-Purpose)
- #2: ONE Smart Piano (Best Splurge)
- #3: Studiologic SL73 Studio Midi Controller (Best Weighted MIDI Keyboard)
- #4: Lagrima LAG-620 Full Size Weighted Key Portable Digital Piano (Best Low Cost)
- #5: Nord Stage 3 88-Key Digital Piano (Best for Home Studios)
- Verdict: Your Best Weighted Keyboard
Should I Buy a Weighted Keyboard?
Weighted keyboards are certainly preferred by serious pianists, but they’re more expensive than most standard non-weighted keyboards, so it’s worth thinking about whether or not buying a weighted keyboard is the right purchase for you. If you’re really serious about your piano playing, and you want a keyboard that will only encourage proper technique and good habits while playing, then a weighted keyboard is perfect for helping you stay used to acoustic pianos while you practice and experiment at home.
But if all you want from your keyboard is something to record or supplement your main instrument or vocals while you write and get the creative juices flowing, you’re better off foregoing the weighted keys so you can buy something cheaper. If you fell into the first category, then you should definitely keep reading so that we can help you find the best weighted keyboard for your musical style, needs, and budget.
What Should You Look For in a Weighted Keyboard?
Now, we’ve gone over what a weighted keyboard is, but how do we tell the good ones from the bad ones? If you already play the piano or an electronic keyboard, you’re off to a pretty good start, as there’s a lot of overlap there. But there are some traits specific to weighted keyboards that we’ll want to focus on when making our purchase, and we want to save you some time on your research. We’ve made a full list of the criteria we used to evaluate our keyboards so you can understand our thought process. This will also help you if you decide to do your own further research after you finish our list.
Criteria #1: Weight – Obviously, our weighted keyboards need to be, well, weighted. Perhaps not surprisingly, “weighted keyboard” is in itself a very broad category, and there are a few different types of weighted keyboards. From “low-end” to “high-end,” the main types of weighted keyboards are semi-weighted keyboards, and hammer-action keyboards, which can either be graded or ungraded. We’ll go over these in more detail as we go on, but for now, all you need to know is that the reason hammer action is held in such high regard is that it most accurately emulates the feel of a real acoustic piano. Conversely, semi-weighted keys feel the least authentic, so we’ll be aiming for graded hammer-action keyboards on our list. Most of our keyboards do use the graded hammer feature, but for our other picks, we had to make certain sacrifices, which depending on your taste will be worth it considering the other features of these weighted keyboards.
Criteria #2: Extra Features – The extra features are really what separate an electronic keyboard from a piano. Any keyboard that doesn’t have a little something extra to earn your money is really just a fake piano. We’re looking for weighted keyboards that have all of those bells and whistles that help you keep things fresh. We want to give you special audio effects and different tones so that your weighted keyboard can effectively act as several different types of pianos at once. Maybe you want the sound of a classical grand piano, or maybe you need the tone of a harpsichord. No matter what, we want your keyboard to be able to produce that sound perfectly.
We’ll also be looking for features like Bluetooth capability and even emulating completely different instruments to help you write a complete orchestral masterpiece. Some of our keyboards even come as part of a bundle that includes other pieces of equipment and extensions like apps and other software, which for all intents and purposes we treated as an extra feature.
Criteria #3: Size – This honestly shouldn’t vary too much from one keyboard to another since pianos have pretty much become standardized and almost all contain 88 keys. Some cheaper keyboards will have less than that, which isn’t necessarily a problem depending on what you want, but it’s worth remembering.
Besides, some of our products are just keyboards with a foldable stand, while others have a full body that almost resembles an acoustic piano, and depending on your living space or other factors, this will be an important distinction for you. Of course, the actual weight of the keyboards themselves (not just the keys) will vary, and if you want to travel with your keyboard this could be very important to you. Weight won’t affect our ranking too much since it’s so person-to-person whether or not it’s important, but we will mention it to help you make the best and most educated decision.
Criteria #4: 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.
Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Weighted Keyboard
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 weighted keyboard” articles to see if the products on our list performed as advertised. We also made sure to include diverse options so that our list doesn’t become redundant and so that everyone can find a product that suits their needs.
And without further ado, here is our list – tailored to your specific needs – of the best weighted keyboards. We’ve made sure to include the right variety of keyboards so that we can be certain everyone will find what they’re looking for.
#1: Korg B2SP 88-Key Digital Piano Bundle (Best Value – All-Purpose)
And now that we’re ready to start our actual list and begin talking about our pianos, Korg gets us started with their Korg B2SP 88-Key Digital Piano Bundle. We always want the first pick on any list to be something that’s a good value, broadly appealing to all customers, and what has more value than a full starter-kit bundle? When you buy this Korg weighted digital piano, you’ll also receive a copy of “Focus on Piano – A Concise Approach to Learning and Playing”, a DVD to help you get started if you’re new to the piano, and a Knox Gear Furniture Style Flip-Top Piano Bench. You’ll have a full, proper setup for your new keyboard with fully-weighted keys, and you’ll have some lessons to help you get your foot in the door.
As for the actual keyboard, the Korg B2SP 88-Key Digital Piano has the full range of 88 keys, a beautiful, matching stand, and foot pedals on the stand to even further emulate an authentic acoustic piano. Our number one keyboard with weighted keys also featured an input jack that lets you use this keyboard with a variety of software and music hardware to get the exact sound in your head to come out of the keyboard. While the body of this 88-key weighted keyboard is pretty bare, you should have no problem finding the right software to get any effect you want, whether it’s just a backing track or something that changes the actual piano sound entirely.
There’s honestly not much to say about this weighted keyboard, not because it’s unremarkable, but because it has all the standard features any pianist would expect. It’s perfectly weighted to replicate an acoustic piano, with hammer action that gives you intuitive command over the dynamics.
Hammer action is when a keyboard has an actual mechanical mechanism that replicates the process an acoustic piano initiates of a hammer striking a string inside the piano to make a note. This is as opposed to most digital pianos and keyboards that simply create the note electronically, which might affect the rhythm, feel, and comfort of the pianist.
Perhaps best of all, the crowd absolutely loves this hammer-action keyboard, so you’ll have some confidence that you’re getting a good deal. In addition to being on multiple lists of the best weighted keyboards, this digital piano with weighted keys has glowing reviews on its Amazon page. Customers praised the Korg B2SP 88-Key Digital Piano Bundle for being easy to set up, for having an amazing sound, and for being a great value.
At 21.1 pounds, it’s not even so heavy considering how much material there is, though you may want a friend’s help getting it up the stairs. So if you want to do all of your shopping for your weighted-keys keyboard in one place and have a beautiful professional-looking setup with foot pedals and software compatibility, all at a great price, the Korg B2SP 88-Key Digital Piano Bundle is one of the best hammer-action weighted keyboards for you.
#2: ONE Smart Piano (Best Splurge)
The Korg B2SP 88-Key Digital Piano Bundle is the perfect fully-weighted keyboard and bundle for beginners and pros alike that just want the best value and the standard features, but if you’re looking for a little more, we’ve got you covered there too. The ONE Smart Piano is a bit more expensive than our best weighted keyboard, but it has some extra features that may earn your hard-earned cash. If you’re the type of customer that’s willing to splurge for the best, here are some reasons you might forego the Korg digital piano and splurge for the ONE Smart Piano.
Reason #1 to Choose This Product: Smartphone and Tablet Compatibility
The fully-weighted Korg digital piano may be compatible with all kinds of software and hardware extensions, but the ONE Smart Piano comes with an app compatible with your smartphone or tablet whether you have an Android or Apple device. This will streamline that side of things and gives you a much more convenient input method than you presumably already have. The app comes with more than 4,000 pages of sheet music, more than 100 videos, and games to help you improve your playing.
There’s even a charging port on the back of the piano so you won’t have to worry about your battery dying while you’re playing. Who knew that sheet music would become obsolete so quickly? Instead of constantly turning pages, you can just place your phone or tablet on the stand and have it auto-scroll through your favorite pieces or the newest symphony you’re tackling.
Reason #2 to Choose This Product: LED Keys for Beginners
Again, the ONE Smart Piano one-ups our top-rated Korg B2SP 88-Key Digital, this time by being even more accessible for beginners. On top of all of the lessons and videos that come with the ONE app, this digital piano with weighted keys has LED lights that show you exactly which notes to play so you can quickly and easily learn any song or scale. You’ll feel like you’re playing Guitar Hero in real life with this keyboard and learning will never be easier. The best part is that the LEDs are prominent enough to help the learning process, but not too out-there to be gaudy and obnoxious.
In addition to its useful app integration and learning features like the LED keys, this digital piano features graded hammer action keys, which means that each key is weighted to be as similar to a real acoustic piano as possible. Plus, the ONE Smart Piano also has 3 foot-pedals, a sleek design that makes it feel like a grand piano, and a built-in metronome.
The features geared toward beginners first starting to learn the piano feel a bit out of place for a more expensive weighted-keys piano, but if you have one person at home who’s already an established pianist, the ONE Smart piano could be a great investment that keeps the pros happy and helps the beginners get their feet wet. So if you’re a dedicated music lover trying to help someone close to you pick up the piano, this could be an amazing piano to bond over. If you want a weighted keyboard that makes learning the piano as easy as possible, the ONE Smart Piano is your only option.
#3: Studiologic SL73 Studio Midi Controller (Best Weighted MIDI Keyboard)
For anyone who’s going to be performing a more modern set list for a live audience, you’ll need a good MIDI keyboard. If you’re used to the authentic feel of weighted keys, your options are pretty slim. There aren’t so many weighted MIDI keyboards to choose from, and that’s what makes the Studiologic SL73 Studio Midi Controller such a gem.
This MIDI keyboard features fully-weighted keys, and incredibly enough, you can use the software to adjust the weight of each key to create the perfect keyboard tailored to your preferences and your preferences only.
The Studiologic SL73 Studio Midi Controller keyboard has 73 keys and comes equipped with a bright color display and a six-way knob for quick control of the settings. The user interface is compact and simple, and the back of the keyboard has all of the input ports you’ll need.
At 26 pounds, the keyboard is even pretty light considering its size and the extra hardware rattling inside a MIDI keyboard that a standard keyboard doesn’t have to deal with. It comes with Studiologic’s signature software to help you get your whole virtual studio set up as quickly as possible.
This MIDI keyboard has been featured on blog posts and is well-reviewed on Amazon, particularly for being compact and easy to use. A MIDI with weighted keys is definitely a bit niche, but if that’s what you want, this one of the best options available. The only real flaw in this weighted MIDI keyboard is that it only has 73 keys, but there is a model that comes with the standard 88 keys, though, of course, it’s a bit more expensive. So if you’re looking for a MIDI keyboard that will feel just like the grand piano you learned to play on, then the Studiologic SL73 Studio Midi Controller is just what you’re looking for.
#4: Lagrima LAG-620 Full Size Weighted Key Portable Digital Piano (Best Low Cost)
Replace Image below with Amazon SiteTools Image
If you asked me to find a super-cheap keyboard, I’d say, “No problem. Give me five minutes.” But finding a cheap keyboard with fully-weighted keys is all of a sudden much harder. And that’s why the Lagrima LAG-620 Full Size Weighted Key Portable Digital Piano is one of the deals of the century.
This affordable keyboard features fully-weighted hammer action keys, and you really won’t find any keyboards with weighted keys that are any cheaper. It also has the full scale of 88 keys, 3 foot pedals, and a convenient control panel on the left-hand side.
This keyboard also comes equipped with 800 tones, 600 rhythms, and 80 demos to help you spice things up or give you a backdrop to jam or write music over. And it’s even Bluetooth compatible.
The Korg B2SP 88-Key Digital Piano and the ONE Smart Piano both feature built-in bodies that make for nice furniture in your living room, and even somewhat resemble an actual acoustic piano, but they’re not going anywhere. The Lagrima LAG-620 Full Size Weighted Key Portable Digital Piano gives you that acoustic piano sound and feel without any of the cumbersome weight of one, and this keyboard is completely portable. You’ll have no problem fitting this digital piano in the back of your car so you can practice over your weekend trip.
I honestly keep looking for a “catch” and just can’t really find one. If you want a fully-weighted digital piano without spending a fortune, buy the Lagrima LAG-620 Full Size Weighted Key Portable Digital Piano.
#5: Nord Stage 3 88-Key Digital Piano (Best for Home Studios)
I’m going to warn you right off the bat that our last keyboard is a bit of a doozie. This baby is expensive. It’s featured very high up on a few different lists of the best digital pianos with weighted keys, but because of the price, I felt compelled to rank it lower than most other reviewers did. That being said, the Nord Stage 3 88-Key Digital Piano gives you everything but – or more accurately, including – the kitchen sink.
This digitally piano with 88 fully-weighted keys and hammer action contains an entire home studio on its body. It has two different customizable effects wheels, reverb, compressor, and delay. It also has two beautiful OLED screens to help you keep track of everything going on while you’re writing or recording, and it has a full array of simulated piano sound options, including the award-winning C2D Organ simulations. The synth section also comes powered by the award-winning Nord Lead A1 Synth Engine combined with Sample Playback. You also have the Master Clock feature that lets you lock the effect rate to a range of specific note values so you can have everything lined up in your perfect tempo, and you have the “Extern” section that’s perfectly designed to let you control every output device as seamlessly and effortlessly as possible.
There’s a lot shoved into this hammer-action, weighted-key, digital piano, and unfortunately that results in the Nord Stage 3 88-Key Digital Piano weighing a whopping 40 pounds. So even though it’s compact enough to travel with, you probably will want to try and keep it in one place.
While it’s pretty much impossible to get this MIDI keyboard with weighted keys for cheap, you can cut a huge chunk off the cost off of it by opting for the 76-key hammer action key bed option, or the even cheaper 73-key semi-weighted option. No matter which option you go with, you’re getting one of the best keyboards with weighted keys out there, and you’ll be on your way to writing your next masterpiece.
So if you’re willing to pay top dollar for one of the premier digital pianos on the market with all of the best piano sounds, incredible sound quality, and a top-of-the-line sound engine, you’ll have to break the bank for the Nord Stage 3 88-Key Digital Piano. You won’t regret it.
Verdict: Your Best Weighted Keyboard
We’re almost coming up on the end of our list. We’ve provided you with the best 88-key weighted digital pianos out there, some with graded hammer action, some with a fully-weighted bed, and some with simpler semi-weighted keys. All of the digital pianos, keyboards, and MIDI keyboards on our list will make you feel like you’re playing on an authentic acoustic piano.
If you’re still having trouble deciding which of our digital pianos is best for you, not to worry. We’re going to quickly recap our list and highlight the standout features of all of our digital pianos so that you can hone in on the best keyboard for you to replace your acoustic piano.
If you want the best value for money, pick the Korg B2SP 88-Key Digital Piano Bundle.
There’s no better value than a bundle that includes everything you need to get started. The Korg B2SP 88-Key Digital Piano features fully-weighted keys, and it even has a beautiful frame that includes all of the foot pedals you’re used to, so you’ll really feel like you’re playing on an acoustic piano. The bundle also includes a copy of “Focus on Piano – A Concise Approach to Learning and Playing” to help you get started learning or teach a loved one or student how to play. You’re also getting all of the input ports you need, and this digital piano is compatible with a whole slew of software and hardware to help you get the perfect piano sound you’re looking for. This is all coming in at a great affordable price, and it’s that top value that made the Korg B2SP 88-Key Digital Piano Bundle the clear choice to be our number one pick.
If you need something perfect for beginners, pick the ONE Smart Piano.
Just like the Korg B2SP 88-Key Digital Piano Bundle, the ONE Smart Piano has the full frame to really emulate an acoustic piano, and it has fully-weighted graded hammer action keys, but where it shines is in helping new learners. It comes packaged with an app that includes hours and hours of sheet music, tutorials, and learning games, and it has an amazing feature that uses LEDs to show your budding musician exactly which keys to play. It’s a bit expensive to be someone’s first piano, but if you already play and want to help someone else discover the piano, or if you’re a teacher looking for the centerpiece to your home piano school, the ONE Smart Piano is the perfect choice for you.
If you want to keep the spending cheap, pick Lagrima LAG-620 Full Size Weighted Key Portable Digital Piano.
I really can’t get over how cheap this 88-key weighted piano is. Most digital pianos with fully-weighted keys push at least twice what this Lagrima product costs, so I can’t stress enough what a steal it is. With the full digital piano body and foot pedals, and a convenient and simple control panel on the side, this keyboard has all of the piano sounds to help you get exactly what you’re looking for, and its incredible price makes it an amazing gift for a beginner. If you don’t want to break the bank on your weighted keyboard, the best and only choice is the Lagrima LAG-620 Full Size Weighted Key Portable Digital Piano.
And with that, we are finally at the end of our list of the best weighted keyboards and digital pianos that will give you that realistic piano feel and keep your finger strength up to par. If the highlighted digital pianos listed above aren’t exactly what you’re looking for, you may be interested in the more modern Studiologic SL73 Studio Midi Controller for live performances, or you may want to shell out for the incredible omni-tool that is the Nord Stage 3 88-Key Digital Piano.
Remember, you’re more than welcome to do your own further research. There are plenty of other lists like ours out there. When making your purchase, it’s a good idea to think about – and write down- the one or two features that are most important to you. This will help you have everything organized going into your research, and you’ll quickly realize that a lot of the most popular graded hammer action keyboards might just not have the features that are important to you.
And that’s all for now. We hope our list helped you find the weighted keyboard you’re looking for, and we hope you enjoy your musical journey!