If you are a beginner who is just diving into the fascinating musical world, you must be looking for the best digital piano under 500 USD. You do not need to spend a small fortune as the budget-friendly models usually have all features necessary for a flying start in your piano career. No matter if you are willing to turn your passion for music into a profession or you are simply looking for a hobby to help you shake off stress, you will find plenty of affordable digital piano options on the market.
Of course, it would be ridiculous to browse through different models or visit a specialized store without being aware of the main characteristics of the best budget digital pianos. Apart from the portable design, the other important factor is piano’s capability of producing a sound as close to the sound produced by grand pianos as possible. In case you have a limited budget, but you still want to soothe your musical itches and have fun with performing in front of friends and family, you should commit some time to doing a research and narrow down your options to several models. The less time-consuming alternative, however, is to keep reading as we have done the tough research task on your behalf.
The Best Digital Piano Under $500 Buying Guide
Below, you will find a list of the best cheap digital pianos that can be competitive rivals of their more expensive counterparts. Before you get to the list of the best cheap digital pianos, you should get familiar with the main features you should take into account in order to make an educated choice. Let’s get started and take a look at the most important factors that should determine whether a certain model is worth your money or not.
The Feel of the Instrument
Regardless of your level of expertise, you can tell the difference between playing a grand piano and playing a digital one. That difference comes from the action of the keys. In acoustic pianos the key controls the hammer, digital pianos do not work on the same principle. Hitting a key on a digital piano plays a pre-recorded pitch. Although the best digital piano under 500 USD has weighted keys, the lack of controlling hammers makes digital piano keys a way lighter as compared to the acoustic ones.
The weight of the keys does have an impact on your overall performance, but if you are more concerned about the advanced features rather than the feel, you will be able to find a model that meets your preferences. Keep in mind that even the best keyboard under $500 does not have an option for adjusting the weight of the keys.
Speaking of weight, we cannot skip the responsiveness factor. Acoustic pianos allow you to create different sounds due to the instrument’s responsiveness to different kinds of touch. However, even the best digital piano under 500 USD cannot achieve the responsiveness of their acoustic counterparts unless they are built with that feature in mind.
Polyphony is the next important factor you should take into account. The least expensive digital pianos offer a 32-voice polyphony, which seems insufficient even for a beginner. The good news is that the best budget digital pianos offer a 64- or 128-voice polyphony.
The majority of cheap digital pianos come with a sustain pedal, but users are usually enabled to buy a better one separately. The most important thing is to check whether the pedal has a progressive dampening action. In other words, you need to make sure the pedal dampens at different levels, determined by the pressure you use. Unfortunately, you cannot expect an affordable digital piano to come with a super quality pedals, but you can make your own “alterations”.
No matter if you are looking for the best digital piano under 500 USD or you are willing to invest a greater amount into a musical instrument, the sound quality is a feature you should not compromise with. If you are visiting a land-based store, the best thing you can do is to plug in headphones and check whether the sound quality is satisfactory. If you are searching for a bargain price online, here are the guidelines you should follow.
It is essential to figure out where the sound comes from or to be more precise, you have to make sure the direction of the sound can be manually adjusted. Although purchasing the best keyboard under $500 might not be such a considerable investment, you should not put up with poor quality. In this respect, take your time to check the warranty and return policy the instrument comes with.
Do you know what makes the best digital piano under 500 USD more entertaining than the expensive grand pianos? The different gadgets that help the user combine the pleasant with the useful. Even if your search is limited to “the best affordable digital piano”, you may rest assured you will find some pretty cool features such as key split and layering. In brief, the key split allows you to split the piano in two and have one voice on top and another one on the bottom. Some models also enable you to play two voices at once. For example, you can produce piano and violin sounds at the same time.
Weight and Portability
Finally yet importantly consider the portability of your instrument of choice. Are you looking for the best budget digital piano to practice at home or you want to take it to different events? Can you fit your piano in your vehicle and is it lightweight enough to carry it around? In general, digital pianos weight around 50 pounds, but if you opt for a model featuring fewer than the standard 88 keys, you can come across super portable models weighing less than 10 pounds.
The Best Digital Piano Under 500 USD
Now, when you are familiar with the most important factors that make a digital piano worthy of purchasing, it is time to take a look at the models in the targeted price range.
The first pick in the list of the best digital piano under 500 USD is Yamaha P-35 model. Basically, it is pretty much the same as the P-45 model in terms of design. Still, there are some essential differences outlined below. The P-35 model deserves to be included in the list of the best keyboard under $500 as it comes with an 88-key weighted action keyboard and adjustable key touch sensitivity. The Advanced Wave Memory, the Metronome and Transpose functions make it a product worthy of your attention. And that is not all. The P-35 model features a 32-note polyphony and 10 pre-set tone choices. That is considered to be sufficient for making your first digital piano playing attempts. There is also a port for direct connection to MIDI as well as four Reverb effects.
Currently, Yamaha P-45 is one of the most affordable digital piano options on the market. What makes it different from the previous P-35 model is the availability of a USB connector as well as the 64-voice polyphony. The USB port allows you to use the instrument as a MIDI controller, store and transfer music files in a minute. The enhanced polyphony allows greater musical expression, richer sound and eliminates the note-slipping issue. It comes with an 88-key weighted action keyboard. The Graded Hammer Standard keyboard, available exclusively for Yamaha models, best represents the responsiveness found with an acoustic piano. The P-45 model provides lighter touch for the higher notes and heavier touch for the lower ones. The other features worthy of mentioning are the Duo and Dual modes. The Duo mode allows two people to play side by side, while the Dual mode allows to voices to be layered over each other on the keyboard.
Alesis Coda Pro
Alesis Coda Pro might fall under the category of the affordable digital pianos, but you will be delighted to find out that the features it has are usually found with products three times more expensive. Alesis Coda Pro is a vivid example that low price does not always mean poor quality. On the contrary – this is yet another top product in the best budget digital piano category.
The 88-key keyboard is packed with weighted hammer action that greatly improves playability. The 20 preset voices can be played in Dual, Split or Layer mode. The EQ, Chorus and Reverb effects add an extra dimension, while the USB connectivity allows you to transfer music files in the blink of an eye.
Casio Privia PX160
What makes Casio Privia PX160 the best digital piano under 500 USD is the fantastic versatility and the advanced technologies that can be found especially with Casio models. Casio Privia PX160 has the best keyboard under $500. What makes it superior to the other models is the Tri-sensor scaled hammer action. The keytops are textured with ebony and ivory, which prevents slippage. Despite being a budget-friendly digital piano, Casio provides realistic sound due to the Acoustic and intelligent Resonator and the Damper Resonance effects. It is also packed with 18 preset tones to choose from and offers a 128-note polyphony. Apart from the Dual and Split modes typical for the majority of digital pianos under $500, Casio also offers a Duet mode that enables you to play simultaneously with a friend or a tutor. The USB port allows easy transfer of records and the best of all is that this model comes with a two-track recording option. In other words, you can record performances of up to 5000 notes.
Casio PX150PKG 88 Key Touch Privia
Let’s discuss the advantages of yet another Casio model namely Casio PX150PKG 88 Key Touch Privia. As you can expect from a company with a solid reputation on the market, Casio offers its users an incredible variety of products and prices. Casio is a widely recognized manufacturer of the best digital piano under 500 USD, and every released model outshines the previous ones. As for the PX150PKG model, it is a cool bundle of fantastic features. The piano comes with a stand that attributes to the impression of a sleek design. Plus, the keyboard has a set of AHL keyboard voices as well as a beginner mode. The latter can be found predominantly in Casio-branded pianos.
Casio WK 7500 Workstation Keyboard
Casio WK 7500 Workstation keyboard debut was a major step towards company’s goal to provide users with top-notch quality products at a reasonable price. Bearing in mind the incredible features of this product, it sounds almost unrealistic that it is among the best cheap digital pianos out there. The greatest advantage of this model is the drawbar organ option. Well, you should not expect an authentic drawbar experience, but the fact itself that you can create drawbars with three preset options should convince you that the model is worth the purchase. As for the drawbacks, you might be a bit disappointed to know that it is made of 76 keys. The lack of a full keyboard, as well as the lack of an AC adapter or any other handy accessory, somehow justifies the lower price.
When it comes to reputable digital piano brands, the first thing that comes up to your mind is probably Yamaha. Well, the good news is that it is not the only game in town. Korg is yet another well-established brand, and the SP-170s model has features that only the best digital piano under 500 USD can offer. It is equipped with an 88-key keyboard that boasts about the different levels of touch sensitivity.
The Natural Weighted Hammer Action replicates the touch of a grand piano. The piano offers a 120-note polyphony as well as 10 preset voices. You can select a preset voice by pressing the sound button. The tone spaciousness and the warmth you can achieve by using this model is attributed to the Reverb and Chorus effects. Apart from the irreplaceable MIDI jack, you also have two headphone jacks at your disposal.
William Allegro 2 88-Key Hammer Action
This model is arguably one of the best budget digital pianos on the market. It is defined as a “killer” regarding the sound it produces and the additional features it has. It does not matter if you are a seasoned musician or you simply want to fuel your passion for playing piano, you will be pleasantly surprised by its capabilities. The device comes with a full 88-keyboard and a 64-notes polyphony. There are 10 preset voices to choose from. As for the accessories, William Allegro 2 utilizes a USB connectivity as well as an AUX, headphone and sustain pedal outputs.
Fans of Yamaha and Korg would hurry up to clarify that Allergo 2 has a long way to go to reach the sound quality of Korg and Yamaha products. Nevertheless, it does offer a good value. Purchasing the Allegro 2 means you can discard the saying that the cheap always come out expensive.