Each of the digital piano reviews you read promotes the product as the best value for your money. The truth is that top-notch products are praised for the high-quality sound they produce and the exclusive features replicating the expressivity of the old-known grand pianos. It goes without saying that the technological evolution enabled manufacturers to release products that outperform their predecessors. There are a few important factors you should look out for when you choose your piano. The digital piano reviews below outline the most profound products based on the following criteria.
If you have played on a grand piano, you must know that the harder you push the keys, the louder the produced sound is. However, you are not going to come across portable piano keyboard reviews that encourage you to use heavy finger force on the keys. The reason is the contemporary pianos do not have hammers. They replicate the sound of an acoustic instrument via internal technology. If you have a limited budget, discard the piano keyboard reviews and opt for a random, inexpensive model, don’t be surprised if you need to push the keys harder to produce the desired sound. On the other hand, upper-class digital pianos make the use of excessive force unnecessary.
It is not a coincidence that the comprehensive digital piano reviews put an emphasis on the touch sensitivity. Beginners might not be able to fully appreciate the benefits of a touch sensitive keyboard, though. However, once you polish your skills and start performing more comprehensive pieces of music, you will understand why the products with high touch sensitivity are put first in the piano keyboard ratings. After all, playing the piano conveys the emotions of the pianist. The performer would not be able to create the desired atmosphere for the audience unless the digital piano allows depressing keys with different velocity and amounts of pressure.
The topic about the digital pianos polyphony is quite an extensive one, but it can be narrowed down to the following. The polyphonic capacity of the piano keyboard determines the number of pitches that can be held at once. When the polyphonic maximum is reached, the pitches cancel each other out. So, don’t be surprised if you keep stumbling upon piano keyboards reviews where the polyphony feature is discussed in detail and some less important factors are neglected.
All too often, customers let the price be one of the main factors why they settle for a particular model. Low price does not necessarily mean poor quality and vice versa. A digital piano can be expensive because it is made of durable, lightweight materials, for example. That is why it is essential to check the polyphony, touch sensitivity, action, portability and versatility and read a bunch of keyboard piano reviews before you even take a look at the price tag. The more expensive models are known for having enhanced touch sensitivity, which makes them suitable for advanced pianists and professional musicians.
Digital Piano Reviews
Below, you will find piano reviews based on the aforementioned criteria – action, touch sensitivity, and price, respectively.
The Williams Allegro 88-Key digital piano is a budget-friendly option for beginners. Whenever you stumble upon portable piano keyboard reviews, exploring this model, you will find out that users define it as a middle-of-the-road product. It has weighted keys tailored to replicate the sound of an upright piano.
The Williams Allegro has a long way to go to simulate the sound of a grand piano, but it is a decent choice if you are a beginner. When you gain the skills and the confidence to perform in front of larger audiences, you can get back to the piano reviews and switch to a more upgraded model. In the beginning, it might not be a bother for you to hit the keys harder, but at a later stage, you will find that a bit irritating, especially if you want to play faster passages.
The Williams Allegro piano keyboard review would be incomplete unless the touch sensitivity is taken into account. The piano enables users to create expressive passages, but the trouble is that the finger pressure they need to use to get the desired sounds distracts some of them. Advanced pianists are likely to find the touch sensitivity inconsistent, but it is a decent solution for beginners. Another setback you are likely to read about in digital piano reviews is that the instrument does not have sostenuto or soft pedals, but only a sustain pedal.
The piano features a 32-voice polyphony. If you are looking for a basic, budget piano, you should be content with this polyphony level. However, you should take into consideration the fact that the combination of a damper pedal and a low-level polyphony does not leave much room for expressivity. If you are not picky about the polyphony, go ahead and make a purchase. After all, you are not going to find a plethora of digital piano reviews outlining decent 88 keys products in this price category.
The Korg SP170s still falls under the category of the budget-friendly digital piano models, but it is one step ahead of the model above. It has a Natural Weighted Hammer Action, designed to replicate the sound produced by grand pianos. The warmth of the sound is further enhanced by the Chorus and Reverb effects. According to a number of portable piano keyboard reviews, the sound input and the weighted keys of the SP170s model are satisfactory. The instrument is suitable not only for beginners, but also for intermediate pianists who make their first steps in performing passages that are more comprehensive.
As for the touch sensitivity, users have three different levels at their disposal and can switch between them at any time. The piano does not have a soft or sostenuto pedal. That might be a bit inconvenient if you practice several hours a day, but you can always replace the pedal with an inexpensive add-on of your choice.
The Korg SP170s comes with a 60-voice polyphony. The majority of digital piano reviews define the expressivity it creates as run-of-the-mill. That’s probably attributed to the fact that the piano has only a damper pedal. Surprising or not, the Korg SP170s offers 10 pre-programmed tone choices, which is a rarity in this price range.
If you have limited your search to “digital pianos under $500”, the Korg is an option to consider. Piano keyboard reviewers might not speak too favorably about the 60-voice polyphony and the limited action and touch sensitivity but nevertheless, the Korg is a sufficient tool for home practice for beginners and intermediate pianists.
Casio PX850 Privia
The Casio PX859 is frequently included in digital piano reviews about portable keyboard due to the Tri-sensor scaled hammer action keyboard that represents the sound of a grand piano. The authentic grand sound is enhanced by the lid-lifting capability. A vast number of digital piano reviewers define the Casio PX850 as a satisfactory product in the price category of digital pianos under $1000. The sound quality is also decent although some users report an irritating key-clacking sound that appears a few weeks after the purchase.
The three levels of touch sensitivity the Casio PX850 Privia features makes it a model worthy of being included in the top piano keyboard ratings. It is praised for the acoustic and intelligent resonator sound system. Users do not meet difficulties in creating long natural decays and achieving the desired expression. The model has a damper, soft and sostenuto pedals. That feature is highly appreciated by advanced and professional users, and it is frequently mentioned in every comprehensive digital piano review.
This instrument offers a 256-voice polyphony, which is yet another reason why it is a suitable option for advanced learners and professionals. If you are currently working on polishing your artistic expression, Casio PX850 is the right choice for you. You also have a total of 18 tone choices at your disposal.
To sum up, the majority of digital piano reviews outline the 256-polyohony as the greatest advantage of this model.
The Roland F-120-WH model ensures realistic sounds due to the SuperNATURAL Piano Engine it features. Although it was intended to outperform its predecessors, users do not point any significant difference between the F-120-WH model and the FP4F and RD300NX ones in terms of performance. Still, the Roland F-120-WH is a decent instrument given its features and the fact that you can find for less than $2000.
Most digital piano reviewers speak well of its five-level touch sensitivity. As compared to the above-mentioned models, Roland F-120-WH allows greater musical expression. The instrument has a damper, soft and sostenuto pedals. Users can produce a wide range of tone colors due to the integrated SuperNATURAL engine. Overall, this Roland model ranks best in the piano keyboard ratings.
The piano comes with a 128-voice polyphony. It is a way better than a 32-voice polyphony, but advanced and professional pianists might find it unsatisfactory. The question about the Roland’s F-120-WH polyphony is a commonly discussed topic in many digital piano reviews, and the general impression is that the product performs well. The availability of a sustain pedal as well as the 30 tone choices give room for experiments and successful practice.
Roland F-120-WH is not the most budget-friendly option. It is not defined as superior to the previous models either. Yet, it offers a great capacity for musical expression, and the cabinet has a sleek contemporary design, but beware that the keyboard is a bit heavier as compared to the similar models included in piano keyboards reviews.
Yamaha ARIUS YDP-181 Electronic Piano with Bench
Even if your knowledge about digital pianos is limited to the information included in a few digital piano reviews you have read, you must have heard of the Yamaha brand. It is a household name in the industry and offers an extensive range of models suitable for beginners, intermediate pianists, and advanced learners. Let’s outline the advantages and disadvantages of the ARIUS YDP-181 model.
All keyboard piano reviews you will ever read appreciate the graded hammer keyboard that allows greater expressivity and enables the pianist to perform fast passages. If you are used to playing the piano with plastic keys, you will be pleasantly surprised by the weighted action this model offers. However, none of the portable piano keyboard reviews you will come across would define the keyboard as easily portable simply because it is not. Some users think this is the greatest disadvantage of the model. Others say the sophisticated musical action compensates for that inconvenience and makes Yamaha ARIUS YDP-181 model suitable for both beginners and professional pianists.
As far as the touch sensitivity is concerned, Yamaha ARIUS YDP-181 allows you to choose between hard, medium and soft settings. If you want to play the organ or any other styling, you can also turn off the touch feature. Just like most models in this price range, ARIUS YDP-181 comes with a damper, soft and sostenuto pedals. The half-pedal capability is an added bonus and allows greater artistic expression. If you have never come across a digital piano review that outlines the advantages the half-pedal feature brings, you would be delighted to know that it stimulates the real human foot action.
The model features a 128-voice polyphony and 14 tone options. You should not encounter difficulties in achieving the desired expression in legato and sustained passages. The enhanced key-touch sensitivity further improves the quality of your performance.
Fans of Yamaha brand unanimously state that the ARIUS YDP-181 model surpasses many models in terms of action and touch sensitivity. You might find some keyboard piano reviews that claim the 128-voice polyphony and the narrow choice of tone options do not correspond to the price. (Keep in mind that you can purchase the piano for less than $2000 and it also comes with a matching bench.) The general impression is that the model is a dependable one and enables the user to deliver realistic, joyful performance to the audience.