A digital piano is a mix between an acoustic piano and an electronic keyboard. Digital pianos allow sound modification, giving it a wider variety of sounds. It uses either an electronic synthesized emulation of the piano sound or a sampled piano sound, amplified by its built-in speakers, which gives it a better sound quality.
They also tend to have weighted or semi-weighted keys which makes them feel like an acoustic piano when played.
How to choose a Digital Piano
Key considerations in choosing a digital piano:
- Skill Level. For beginners, a low-cost model with some built-in learning tools may be enough to start with. For experienced pianists, a more advanced digital piano with more features may be suitable.
- Size and dimensions. It is important that the digital piano you have in mind will fit the space you have available. Also, depending on who will use it, adult or child, check for adjustability just in case you need it.
- Portability. If you are planning to move around or move places a lot, choose a digital piano that can be easily stored, is not too heavy and durable enough to withstand constant traveling.
What to look for in a Digital Piano
- Keyboard action. Typically, acoustic piano keys have resistance due to the mechanical components including the wooden hammers that strike the strings inside. The degree to which a digital piano simulates an acoustic piano’s action creates a big difference in its playability.
- Touch response. A good quality digital piano is capable of sensing slight variations in velocity that concludes the attack and volume of each note.
- Sound quality. In judging sound quality, pay attention to the sustain and decay of the notes as well as the overall realism of the sounds produced. Sounds produced by a good-quality digital piano should also emulate the sound of acoustic instruments as closely as possible.
- Polyphony. This is the number of notes a digital piano can produce at one time. A 32-note maximum polyphony is the bare minimum, a 64-note is acceptable and 128-note is the best.
- Amplification and speakers. Look for a digital piano that is adequate for your needs. If you need it for home use, look for one with a built-in speaker that produces a pleasing sound. For outdoor use, be sure that it has output options readily available for external speakers etc.
- Other features. Some digital pianos also come with features that assist the pianist, such as a built-in metronome for improving rhythmic ability, displays that show chords used, etc.
Yamaha DGX650B Digital Piano
The Yamaha DGX650B digital piano, although a bit heavy, is considered a portable digital piano. It is a quality instrument with interactive features that makes learning and playing music for pianists of all skill levels easy. It also features an acoustic piano feel and sound sampling from the Yamaha CFIIIS full concert grand piano.
Features of the Yamaha DGX650B Digital Piano:
The weighted keyboard action mimics the hammers inside an acoustic piano. Like the keyboard of an acoustic piano, the Yamaha DGX650B digital piano has keys with a heavier touch on the low end of the keyboard and a lighter touch required in the high end.
- Damper Resonance DSP. Also known as string resonance. This is an important feature to consider when buying a digital piano. This mimics the sound produced, wherein the combination of all the sounds of the notes pressed are heard, making it sound full and vibrant, just like an acoustic piano. For the same range of expressive effects produced by a real piano, an option to connect a three-foot pedal can be bought separately.
- Grand piano sound sampling. This digital piano boasts of undergoing a meticulous process of sampling the Yamaha CFIIIS full concert grand piano, thus producing realistic sound sampling with a wide range of classical piano sounds.
- Auto Accompaniment. The Smart Chord technology automatically detects the right chord you intend to play. By playing one key or the base note on your left hand, this feature will automatically fill in the remaining chords for you, which is actually a good way to help beginners learn.
- Has over 500 pre-installed songs. The Yamaha DGX650B Digital Piano has various songs installed in its song bank. You can learn to play these songs with the Yamaha Education Suite (Y.E.S) which will help you learn and practice at your own pace.
- A high quality sampling from the Yamaha CFIIIS full concert grand piano ensures a realistic sound, much like an acoustic piano.
- The weighted keys will give you an acoustic piano-like experience while playing.
- The Smart Chord feature is ideal for beginners during practice as they are still learning the chords and this will help them get familiarized with how the song should sound when played.
- Although advertised as portable, some users who reviewed this product found it slightly too heavy for a portable digital piano.
- No access for MIDI.
For the price range this digital piano is at, the features it offers are all functional with additional learning tools that may be useful for both beginners and skilled pianists.
Yamaha DGX650WH Digital Piano Review
The Yamaha DGX650WH Digital Piano features a wide range of interactive features for learning, playing and sharing music. This digital piano boasts of a Graded Hammer Standard action and PureCF sampling, which includes recordings of a Yamaha concert grand piano.
Features of the Yamaha DGX650WH Digital Piano:
- 88-note, weighted Graded Hammer Standard action. Mimicking the hammers inside an acoustic piano, it offers a weighted action with a heavier touch in the low end and a lighter touch in the high end. This helps the pianist in transitioning smoothly from a digital piano to an acoustic piano if needed.
- PureCF-sampled piano. This features a carefully-recorded sampling of Yamaha’s well known CFIIIS 9 foot concert grand piano. Accurately tuned under a strictly-controlled environment, it generates the true resonance and tone of the CFIIIS grand piano with remarkable mimicry.
- 128-Note Polyphony. Provides enough horsepower to ensure no notes are dropped off even while layering two voices and playing two-handed sustained chords accompanied by heavy pedaling.
- USB Audio (WAV) Recording and Playback. Record performances or MIDI songs as uncompressed, CD-quality audio to a USB flash drive.
- AUX Line Input. Any device with an audio output can be connected to the Yamaha DGX650WH and heard through its built-in speakers, making it a great speaker system for any sound source.
- Smart Chord. Ideal for beginners, the Smart Chord automatically detects the correct chord based on the notes pressed by the left hand, providing a perfect-sounding accompaniment.
- Auto accompaniment. This is ideal for beginners still learning musical chords.
- Acoustic piano-like keyboard. Its Graded Hammer Standard keyboard not only produces an acoustic piano-like sound, the weighted keys enables pianists to transition between digital and acoustic pianos smoothly.
- Reliable speaker system. The speakers of the Yamaha DGX650WH digital piano are contained in a large enclosure and consist of separate tweeters and woofers that deliver a powerful bass sound and a pure treble with a dynamic control.
- Some people who reviewed this product found it quite heavy as opposed to it being advertised as a portable digital piano.
- There is no MIDI port.
- Some people also found the pedals to be stiff, which does not allow for adjustment.
A sound investment for people who are in the music industry who needs their music to be as good-sounding as possible. However, its price tag may be too expensive for beginners.
Casio PX860 BK Privia Digital Home Piano
The sound of a grand piano meticulously replicated in a compact digital piano, the Casio PX860 BK Privia Digital Home Piano boasts of its AiR sound technology known in Privia models but with new and improved features for a better digital piano experience.
Features of the Casio PX860 BK Privia Digital Home Piano:
To replicate the sound of the finest acoustic grand pianos, the AiR processor uses grand piano samples recorded at four dynamics sampling to produce grand piano sounds with long natural decays and expression.
- Acoustic and Intelligence Resonator (AiR) Sound Source. The sound quality of this digital piano is very much like that of an old grand piano giving you an authentic piano playing experience. With the hall simulation feature, the pianist can simulate the echoing sound one can get when playing in spacious areas like concert halls or stadiums.
- Three Keyboard Sensitivity Levels. The 88-note keyboard features three sensitivity levels to capture the dynamics in a performance with speed and accuracy. This also allows the user to feel even the slight strength changes in responsiveness. The keys are also weighted enough to give a piano-like feeling.
- Built-in music library. This digital piano features 10 classical tracks recorded live which you can play along with according to the speed you want it played.
- It also has a USB port that you can use for music sharing or storage. A Class Compliant USB MIDI is also available to connect with computers without any need of a driver.
- Other functions.
- Lesson function. Demo songs are available to play with assisted left and right hand lessons to practice each hand first before playing both hands simultaneously.
- Split mode. This allows the pianist to play two different instrument sounds on each hand within a keyboard to give the effect of different instruments being played simultaneously at once.
- Layer mode. This allows the pianist to be able to play two different sounds simultaneously on one key.
- Duet mode. With this mode, you can divide the keyboard into two separate keyboards with the same octave which is useful for piano lessons.
- Connecting with this digital piano is easy since it has a USB port available and also MIDI.
- Designed to be compact without compromising the sound quality.
- Since the keys are weighted, pianists will not have any difficulty transitioning in between an acoustic piano and a digital piano.
- The unit can be a little too heavy to assemble by yourself.
With all the features and instrument quality considered, the Casio PX860 BK Privia Digital Home Piano is guaranteed to be worth the money spent. This is a digital piano that will satisfy all your piano needs and also give you that old grand piano feel when playing it.
Casio Privia PX-160 Digital Piano Bundle
The Casio Privia PX-160 is the new and improved version of the Privia PX-150. Significantly enhanced compared to its predecessor, the Privia PX-160 boasts of improved speakers, weighted keys, MIDI recording and other useful features.
Features of the Casio Privia PX-160 Digital Piano Bundle:
Included in the bundle is the SP-33 three-pedal unit which provides a sustain pedal, a soft pedal and a sostenuto pedal. It also features an extended-damper function that simulates a pedal being pressed down halfway.
- 128-note polyphony. Polyphony is the number of notes that can be played together simultaneously. A 128-note polyphony will give you the ability to play more complex compositions with as many as 128 notes possible to be sounded together simultaneously.
- Multi-dimensional AiR Sound Source. The Acoustic and Intelligent Resonator (AiR) technology features natural-sounding digital mimicking of a grand piano’s sound and properties.
- Sequencer (2 tracks x 1 song). This feature allows you to record your own compositions onto the instrument (MIDI).
- Scaled Hammer Action II with Tri-Sensor Keyboard. An improved keyboard weighted with small hammers for a realistic touch sensitivity like that of a grand piano. The weight of the keys are designed to be heavy on the low keys, decreasing in weight as the keys go higher. The Tri-Sensor keyboard is designed to detect the intensity with which the key is struck.
- USB Interface for PC. A port for a USB cable is available to connect the digital piano with a PC for data sharing purposes or MIDI.
- Compared to other digital pianos in this price range, this model offers a wider and more expressive sound with hammer response, damper noise and damper resonance included which adds to the authenticity of its sound.
- The synthetic ivory and ebony material help absorb sweat which prevents fingers from slipping.
- It comes in a bundle that is affordably-priced.
- The three-pedal board included cannot be used apart from attaching it to the furniture stand.
The Casio Privia PX-160 Digital Piano Bundle is recommended for users who want a simple digital piano with useful features. Also, the inclusions are worth the money, especially for beginners who are on a budget.
Casio PX760 BK Privia Digital Home Piano
The Casio Privia PX760 is a part of Privia’s line of digital upright pianos. It has a built-in three-pedal unit which is an important component in an upright piano.
Features of the PX760 BK Privia Digital Home Piano, Black:
The Casio Privia PX760 is an improved version of the PX750 model with all of its features still present, plus a few notable ones added.
- Acoustic and Intelligence Resonator (AiR) Sound Source. To replicate the sound of the finest acoustic grand pianos, the AiR processor uses grand piano samples recorded at four dynamics sampling to produce grand piano sounds with long natural decays and expression. With three times the memory of previous Privia versions, the Air processor simulates the sound of the open strings when the dampers are raised by the pedal.
- Responsive Keyboard. Three sensors are provided for each key that detects the intensity with which the key is struck to replicate how a grand piano responds. The Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer action has keys designed to replicate an acoustic piano’s where the keys are heavier at the lower end of the keyboard and getting lighter on the way up to the higher keys. Like a real piano, it also features ivory and ebony keys designed to keep fingers from slipping when in use.
- 128-note polyphony. This is the number of tones or voices that an instrument can generate at the same time. This capability is significant when playing on an advanced level or using pedals or timbres at the same time.
- Built-in three-pedal unit. Classic pedal unit similar to most upright or grand pianos: 1x damper pedal, 1x sostenuto pedal and 1x soft pedal.
- Concert play is an added feature which includes a music library that features 10 classical songs you can play along with. However, this added feature requires the user to be able to read music to be able to play along.
- Other functions include: split mode, layer mode and duet mode.
- Because of the connectivity that the USB port offers, user experience is enhanced.
- The Split Mode feature enables the user to play different instruments on both hands within the same keyboard.With the duet mode feature, the user is allowed to split the keyboard into two separate keyboards on the same chromatic scale. Layer mode allows 2 different sounds to be simultaneously played on one key.
- According to some users who reviewed this product, it is quite heavy and may require additional help during assembly.
It is pretty much the same as its predecessor, the Casio Privia PX750, which is also a good-quality digital piano. This digital piano is recommended for people looking for an entry-level piano with mostly basic features offered.