Looking for a solid digital piano without paying a grand? It’s still a significant investment so you want to make sure that you do your research. Today we review the best digital pianos under $1000. For those on a tighter budget, our top picks start at a couple of hundred dollars.
Let’s dive right in!
Having spent two weeks playing and evaluating each model, I found that the best digital piano under $1000 is the Casio PX-870.
The keys are extremely playable with an ultra-realistic feel. In addition, every tone carries beautiful details such as damper resonance, string resonance, and on/off action noise.
Last but not least – The PX-870 is jam-packed with advanced features and functionality for both practicing and performing.
Keep reading for our full review, along with other quality models worth considering!
At a Glance: Best Digital Pianos Under $1000
- Best Overall: Casio PX-870
- Runner-up: Roland RP-102
- Best Console Digital Piano: Kawai KDP75
- Best Compact Console Digital Piano: Casio Privia PX-770
- Best Value: Korg LP-180
- Best Budget: Kawai ES110
- Best For Beginners: Yamaha Arius YDP-103
- Best Portable: Casio Privia PX-S3100
- Best Basic Piano: Yamaha P45 88-Key
- Best Controls: Korg LP-380
There is a lot to consider when looking for a digital piano. We boiled it down to 5 core aspects. The grading is based on the following criteria:
- Key Action
Casio PX-870 – Best Overall
Quick Specs – Key weighting type: Tri-sensor Scaled Hammer Action Keyboard | Number of keys: 88 | Weight: 74.1 lbs
If you’re looking for a digital piano under $1000 with all the features of more expensive models, the Casio PX-870 is your best option.
It’s a flagship model with 88 graded hammer action keys that makes it feel like you’re playing a real piano. In addition, the touch-sensitive keys allow you to easily add dynamics and expression to your playing.
The heart of the PX-870 is the multi-dimensional Morphing AiR Sound Source, made of a 4-layer piano tone that creates the high-quality sound of a 9-foot grand piano.
When you strike a key you’ll hear a rich and smooth tone, plus important details such as damper resonance, string resonance, and key on/off action noise.
Casio PX-870 doesn’t let us down on features either. The metronome and transpose functions are especially useful, and the dual duo modes and 60 songs provide plenty of options for practicing and performing.
The recording capabilities are convenient incorporation, allowing you to record your performances or practice sessions.
Overall, the PX-870 is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a high-quality digital piano under $1000.
- New improved piano tone
- Hammer action keys with ivory & ebony feel
- Slim design
- Bass can only be played with the left hand during Split-Mode
- Noisy keys compared to the competition
Roland RP-102 – Runner-up
Quick Specs – Key weighting type: Graded Hammer Action (PHA-4 keyboard) | Number of keys: 88 | Weight: 84.3 lbs
The Roland RP-102 digital keyboard has a traditional-style cabinet that looks great in any room.
The keyboard action is very realistic and enjoyable to play. Additionally, the 88 keys are fully weighted and graded, meaning that they get progressively harder to press as you go down the keyboard, just like a real piano. This makes it a great choice for both beginners and experienced players alike.
Roland’s sound modeling technology SuperNATURAL creates an authentic piano sound,
containing thousands of important elements of an acoustic piano including sympathetic string resonance.
The RP-102 is fairly stripped-down. There are no recording possibilities, rhythms, or lesson functions.
However, if you want more features you can download Roland’s companion app Piano Partner 2. It’s available for both iOS and Android devices and it allows users to connect their Roland keyboard wirelessly via Bluetooth.
Furthermore, the app allows you to record in MIDI, which is particularly useful for the RP-102 as it doesn’t have a built-in MIDI recorder.
- Solid build
- Authentic sound modeling technology
- Realistic key action
- Over 200 preset songs
- Lacks learning function
- No built-in MIDI recorder
- Piano Partner 2 is required for more functionality
- Built-in speakers are not that powerful
Kawai KDP75 – Best Console Digital Piano
Quick Specs – Key weighting type: Graded Hammer Action | Number of keys: 88 | Weight: 79.5 lbs
The KDP75 is one of Kawai’s latest creations in their award-winning lineup. It’s a great entry-level model for those looking for an authentic piano experience.
The console-style design is sleek and modern, and the keys are gradually weighted to provide a realistic feel. The three-pedal unit is surprisingly solid and a nice addition if you want even more expressive possibilities while performing.
So how does it sound? I like the bottom end which gives you a real feeling of weight, whereas other digital pianos sound a little too thin to emulate those heavier hammers. The same can be said for the high range, which is lovely and bright without sounding harsh.
The Kawai KDP75 offers 15 voices in total. It shines with its emulation of the Shigeru Kawai SK-EX concert grand. The other acoustic piano voices don’t sound bad, but they’re the same as on the more budget-friendly model ES110.
Overall, the Kawai KDP75 is not very well-rounded. Nevertheless, it’s an excellent choice if you’re looking for a console-style digital keyboard that acts as a pure piano.
- Authentic piano experience
- Great at reproducing low-end frequencies
- The Shigeru Kawai SK-EX concert grand preset
- Not a very solid build
- Not well-rounded
Casio Privia PX-770 – Best Compact Console Digital Piano
Quick Specs – Key weighting type: Tri-sensor Scaled Hammer Action Keyboard | Number of keys: 88 | Weight: 69.4 lbs
Weighing in at only 69.4 pounds, the Casio Privia PX-770 is an ideal console-style digital piano for those who are looking for a portable yet full-sized instrument.
The integrated stand and triple pedal feel solid. The pedals simulate the functionality of sustain, soft, and sostenuto on an acoustic piano. This allows the user to change the instrument’s sound in various ways.
The keys have a realistic feel and are velocity-sensitive, meaning that the harder you press, the louder the note will sound. They have an ivory and ebony finish, making them effective at absorbing moisture while adding aid control.
The sound quality is excellent across all 19 different voices. Casio keyboards utilize lossless audio compression for digital sound, which aids in reproducing the tonal qualities of an acoustic piano without quality loss.
Even so, the Casio Privia PX-770 has some drawbacks. First and foremost, there is no audio recorder, and there are few options for sound customization.
Additionally, there is no Line-Out jack and digital display for navigation and other settings.
- Realistic keys with an ivory and ebony finish
- No driver downloads required
- Lossless audio reproduction
- Comes with 3 pedals
- No audio recorder
- Few options for sound customization
- Noisy key action
Korg LP-180 – Best Value
Quick Specs – Key weighting type: Graded Hammer Action | Number of keys: 88 | Weight: 51 lbs
The Korg LP-180 is a great digital piano for anyone looking for a reasonably priced option. It has a sleek design with touch response controls.
The three different settings for the keys (Light, Normal, Heavy) are great because it allows you to adjust the sensitivity of the keys to your liking.
The Korg’s Stereo Piano System tone generation creates a rich, full sound that is as realistic as you can get at this price point. This keyboard shines with its classical-sounding acoustic piano voices.
However, with just 10 voices, it’s not the most comprehensive selection of sounds. Additionally, some voices are less impressive, lacking depths and low-end found on the Casio PX-870.
Even if the LP-180 features graded hammer action keys, they’re not quite as responsive as other digital pianos on this list. On the other hand, the LP-180 is one of the most affordable options reviewed and it beats other similarly priced digital pianos.
Overall, the Korg LP-180 offers outstanding value. It might not deliver on all aspects but beginners to intermediate players will find it ideal for practicing and learning.
- Outstanding value
- Realistic piano voices
- Great built-in speakers at this price range
- No accompanying rhythms housed on board
- Keys are not as responsive as other Korg keyboards
Kawai ES110 – Best Budget
Quick Specs – Key weighting type: Graded Hammer Action (Responsive Hammer Compact) | Number of keys: 88 | Weight: 27.5 lbs
The Kawai ES110 is a great choice if you’re looking for a portable budget-friendly digital piano.
The 88 graded hammer-action keys give the player a realistic feel, and the piano can be attached to the Kawai HML-1 furniture stand (not included) for a more permanent setup.
Due to the Harmonic Imaging technology, the Kawai ES110 delivers realistic, responsive, and articulate piano sounds that can’t be found on other similarly priced options. Each key is individually sampled to preserve its unique tonal characteristics.
Another selling point is that the ES110 features 192-note polyphony, and Yamaha is the only competitor that offers the same at this price range.
So what about the downsides? Unfortunately, the built-in recorder is not capable of multi-track recording, and the keyboard lacks USB ports.
Instead, the keyboard incorporates BlueTooth connectivity, allowing users to connect it with the app PianoRemote for additional functionality. However, it took me some time to get a stable Bluetooth connection on my iOS device.
- Incredible value
- Piano sounds are surprisingly realistic
- Superb at capturing dynamics
- No display
- The body feels a bit plasticky
- PianoRemote is unstable
Yamaha Arius YDP-103 – Best For Beginners
Quick Specs – Key weighting type: Graded Hammer Action | Number of keys: 88 | Weight: 82 lbs
If you’re looking for an affordable digital piano that doesn’t skimp on quality, the Yamaha Arius YDP-103 is a great option.
It’s housed in a cabinet for a more traditional look and features Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) action for a realistic feel. Even if it’s low-priced, the build feels solid.
The YDP-103 incorporates AWM Stereo Sampling technology, meaning it uses recordings of actual grand pianos to create its sound.
Still, AWM is one of Yamaha’s most basic tone generators, meaning if you want the bells and whistles of more advanced technology, you’ll have to buy a more premium digital piano.
The GHS action has been around for a while and it doesn’t offer the same authentic feel as Roland’s PHA-4 Standard provides.
Additionally, the speakers on the Yamaha Arius YDP-103 are not as powerful as some other digital keyboards on the market. Still, they’re loud enough for practicing at home, but you’ll need external amplification if you’re rehearsing with a loud band or performing live on stage.
- Sturdy build
- USB to Host connectivity
- Low max polyphony of 64 notes
- Lack of color options
- No Lesson or Split mode
Casio Privia PX-S3100 – Best Portable
Quick Specs – Key weighting type: Graded Hammer Action (Smart Scaled) | Number of keys: 88 | Weight: 25.1 lbs
If you’re looking for a portable keyboard that doesn’t sacrifice sound quality, the Casio Privia PX-S3100 is a great option.
The slim and light design is easily transportable, and the upgraded dual 8W amplifiers provide a fuller, richer sound than its predecessor.
In general, Casio’s Tri-Sensor Hammer Action keys power their digital pianos. Because of being extremely slim, the PX-S3100 features Casio’s newly developed Smart Scaled Hammer Action.
The result is decent. Additionally, the keys are a bit lighter than other similarly priced models. This is something that can be a dealbreaker for experienced piano players.
Impressively enough, the PX-S3100 features 700 onboard sounds, which is a lot considering the affordable pricing. The pick of the bunch is without a doubt the 24 piano voices. They have depth and richness that competes with more high-end models.
Other notable features include BlueTooth connectivity which allows users to connect the PX-S3100 wirelessly to compatible apps for increased functionality. It also features 60 onboard library songs, built-in effects, a MIDI recorder, Duet mode, and Split/Layer mode.
- Ultra-slim design
- Great internal speakers
- Excellent piano voices
- Black keys are slightly lighter than the white keys
- The key action is not as authentic due to the slim design
Yamaha P45 88-Key – Best Basic Piano
Quick Specs – Key weighting type: Graded Hammer Action | Number of keys: 88 | Weight: 25 lbs
The Yamaha P45 is a compact and lightweight entry-level keyboard for on-the-go musicians. It’s straightforward to use, with no frills or complicated features.
It features four presets of touch-sensitivity (Fixed, Soft, Medium, and Hard). Additionally, I found the keys to be surprisingly responsive for a digital piano in this price range.
The heart of the P45 is Yamaha’s AWM dynamic sampling technology. By using a special sampling process, Yamaha can capture the unique waveforms of acoustic instruments and reproduce them with amazing realism.
Yamaha P45 only houses 10 instrument sounds. Even if it’s a basic set, it should be able to satisfy most piano players. The samples are ultra-realistic as you would expect from a Yamaha keyboard, providing users with a rich piano tone across all frequencies.
As mentioned above, the functionality is basic. The lack of a Split Mode and built-in recording possibilities is a bummer. Additionally, advanced and experienced players will feel limited by the low polyphony count of 64 notes.
Still, it’s an affordable option if you’re looking for a movable substitute for your acoustic piano.
- Robust build
- Lightweight and portable
- Including sustain pedal feels jerry-built
- Too basic functionality for experienced players
- Built-in speakers are not very loud
- No Split Mode
Korg LP-380 – Best Controls
Quick Specs – Key weighting type: Graded Hammer Action (Real Weighted Hammer Action 3) | Number of keys: 88 | Weight: 81.57 lbs
The Korg LP-380 is a great digital piano for intermediate-level players. It’s a welcoming upgrade from the LP350 and includes a myriad of new features.
It has 88 full-sized keys with graded hammer action, meaning it’s heavier in the bass and lighter in the treble as with a real piano.
Other digital pianos on this list feature keys with ebony and ivory keytops. The LP-380 has full-on plastic keys. This can be an adjustment if you’re used to practicing on keys with a more matte finish, as plastic keys are more glossy.
So how does it sound? The piano sound is rich and full, without being too bright. There are five different piano sounds to choose from, including Grand Piano.
Sadly, The Grand Piano doesn’t include some of the more advanced details, like damper and sympathetic resonance found on the Roland RP-102.
One of the key advantages of the LP-380 is undoubtedly the onboard control system. Other models within this price range only feature two to three buttons. However, the Korg LP-380 has buttons for everything.
All features are easily accessible via the control system, and the voice selection process is effective.
- Best-in-class controls
- Slim and sleek design
- The piano sound is rich and full
- Plastic keys can get slippery with sweaty palms
- The pedalboard isn’t built-in with the overall aesthetic
- The grand piano lacks damper and sympathetic resonance
Console vs. Portable Digital Pianos
When it comes to choosing a digital piano, there are two main types to consider: console-style designs or portable designs.
Both have their own unique set of benefits that can make them the right choice for different players.
Here’s a look at the key differences between these two types of digital pianos to help you decide which one is right for you.
Console-style digital pianos are the closest you can get to an acoustic piano without actually purchasing one. The design is a furniture-style cabinet, similar to an acoustic piano.
They’re great for people who want the most accurate acoustic-like experience, but don’t want to spend the money on an actual acoustic piano.
Additionally, many of them weigh around 70-150 lbs. They’re full-fledged instruments that include a stand and pedals. Furthermore, they’re typically more expensive than portable models.
- Uncompromising playing experience
- Often provides a better internal speaker system
- Comes with a full set of 3 piano pedals
- You don’t need to buy a stand separately
- Bulky size and heavy weight
- More expensive
Portable digital pianos are by far the most popular type of digital piano. They have a smaller design than console-style digital pianos and can be placed on a desk or mounted on a separate stand.
The handy design makes them easier to travel with, and they also tend to be easier to set up, since there are no parts to assemble.
- Easier to travel with
- Doesn’t take up much space
- The most affordable option
- Not all models include a stand
- You’ll have to buy a separate pedalboard
MIDI Keyboard vs. Digital Piano
A digital piano is an electronic musical instrument that is designed to emulate the sound of an acoustic piano, whereas A MIDI keyboard’s main purpose is to send MIDI data to an external device.
Both digital pianos and MIDI keyboards have their own unique set of features and capabilities.
The main difference is that digital pianos have internal sounds while MIDI keyboards do not. This means that you can play a digital piano without having to connect it to a computer or other external sound source.
MIDI keyboards need to be connected to a computer to generate sound.
Lastly, most digital pianos have weighted keys while beginner to intermediate level MIDI keyboards use synth-action or semi-weighting.
Still, if you’re looking for MIDI keyboards with authentic key-action, make sure to check our reviews of the best MIDI keyboards with weighted keys.
You’ve probably noticed the term “polyphony” when reading the reviews. So what does that mean?
You see, when it comes to digital pianos, one of the most important factors that set them apart from acoustic pianos is polyphony. Polyphony refers to the number of notes a digital piano can produce simultaneously.
The higher the polyphony, the more realistic and expressive a digital piano can be. Most digital pianos reviewed in this post have a polyphony of 192 notes. Some common polyphony numbers that you will encounter on digital pianos include:
64 notes played simultaneously might seem enough. Even so, many features on your keyboard piano take up a lot of polyphony. The Yamaha P45 and YDP-103 have a limited set of features, making a polyphony of 64 notes enough.
As an example, if you’re playing a five-note chord with a simple piano sound, that’s five-note polyphony. If you activate the Layer mode and add an additional voice, you have ten-note polyphony.
Plus, the more features you’re using on your digital piano, the more polyphony is required.
For instance, polyphony is consumed if you’re jamming with a drum backing track or using the metronome. You’d be surprised how fast you can reach the polyphony limit.
Believe me, it’s frustrating beyond imagination when you progress beyond a certain level and your notes keep getting cut off due to low polyphony.
It’s important to set yourself up for learning as best you can – you want your digital piano to last you as long as possible.
Weighted keys are a feature of digital pianos, designed to replicate the key resistance found on traditional acoustic pianos.
They require more pressure from the fingers to produce a note. This feature enables the player to feel how hard they are pressing the keys and are becoming more popular, as they provide an extra layer of realism.
Semi-weighted keys and fully-weighted keys are different kinds of weighting that provide distinct levels of key resistance.
Semi-weighted keys are available on some entry-level digital pianos. This type of weighting provides a compromise between fully-weighted and unweighted options. Instead of actual hammers, semi-weighting utilizes a spring-action mechanism to provide resistance.
Hammer action keys are fully-weighted and use a physical lever system for resistance. This is ideal for piano players who want a realistic experience, indistinguishable from acoustic pianos.
Graded Hammer Action
Most professional digital pianos utilize Graded Hammer Action Keys in which the keys have a graded or scaled resistance. This means that the bass notes require more force to produce than the treble notes. The result is a more realistic piano feel when using a digital piano.
Buying a digital keyboard around the $1000 mark is still a significant investment, and you’d want to make sure that your new instrument matches your skill and development curve for as long as possible.
You can get a cheap digital keyboard piano for as little as $200, but then you will start tampering with quality and feel.
The first step is to decide if you want a console-style piano like the Kawai KDP75 or a portable option like the Casio Privia PX-S3100. Subsequently, you can start thinking about features and functionality.
The winner in this review is the Casio PX-870. It delivers in both functionality and sound quality, making it the best option if you’re looking for an authentic feel that provides plenty of options for practicing and performing.
And there you have it! If you think another product should have made it into this list, feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll try to get my hands on it.