Casio Privia PX-160 Review (2021): High-end Piano Sound Without the High-end Price


Casio Privia PX-160 Digital Piano - Black Bundle with CS-67 Stand, SP-33 Pedal, Furniture Bench, Instructional Book, Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD, and Polishing Cloth

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The Piano is a fairly recent invent...
The Piano is a fairly recent invention!

For years, conventional wisdom has been that if you are looking for an authentic grand piano sound and feel in a digital keyboard, you needed to choose a Yamaha. However, the Casio Privia PX-160 Digital Piano Black Bundle has exceptional sound and playing feel, a great range of features, and some surprising design enhancements that make it strong competition for mid-level Yamahas, at a surprisingly affordable cost. Let’s take a closer look at the impressive Casio Privia PX-160 Digital Piano….

Overview of the Casio Privia PX-160

Casio Privia PX-160 Digital Piano - Black Bundle with CS-67 Stand, SP-33 Pedal, Furniture Bench, Instructional Book, Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD, and Polishing Cloth

The Casio Privia PX-160 Digital Piano Black Bundle has something for everyone. The key action provides excellent response to touch, weight, and velocity while playing, with a simulated ebony and ivory touch that feel like a high-quality acoustic piano. Sound advances in both the tone sampling and onboard speaker system provide full, rich sounds. Players who are accustomed to playing analogue pianos will be pleasantly surprised by the sound and experience of the Casio Privia PX-160.

For beginners, it has built-in songs with lesson functions, a metronome, and a dual keyboard function that makes learning the piano easy and intuitive, in person, or online.

For composers, the instrument tones, digital effects, onboard recording functions, and line out make this keyboard a great choice for creating, sharing, and even performing your own music.

 The great sound and feel of this digital piano, as part of this comprehensive Amazon bundle, gives beginners and experts alike everything they need to create and enjoy music in their own home, at their own pace.

Casio Privia PX-160 Digital Piano’s Video Overview

Casio Privia PX-160 FAQs

Casio Privia PX-160 Digital Piano’s Specs

Specification

Description

Keys

full-size keys

Weight

Weighs just over 24 pounds

Reverb and Chorus

  • 4 types of reverb
  • 4 types of chorus

Songs

60 song onboard music library

Polyphony

128 levels of max polyphony

Instruments

18 built-in instrument tones, including:

  • Grand piano (concert, modern, classic, mellow, bright)
  • Electric piano 1 and 2
  • Strings 1 and 2
  • Pipe organ
  • Jazz organ
  • Electric organ 1 and 2
  • Bass

Jacks & Ports

  • Pedal inputs
  • Headphone jack
  • USB to HOST port

Function

  • Layer keyboard function
  • Split keyboard function
  • Lesson function
  • Transpose function

Accessories Included

  • Amazon bundle includes x-style keyboard stand
  • Amazon bundle includes x-style keyboard bench
  • Amazon bundle includes instructional materials and online lessons

Who the Casio Privia PX-160 Piano Most Suitable For?

source

The Casio Privia PX-160 Digital Piano Black Bundle is a great choice for a serious beginner or piano student. The full-size keyboard, synthetic ebony and ivory keys, realistic touch response and weight, and pedal inputs, mean that a piano student can practice techniques and fingering skills on the Casio Privia PX-160 that will easily transfer to analogue pianos.

For students who play a traditional piano at school or during lessons, and then practice at home, this keyboard is a great choice for consistency of sound and feel for solid skill-building.

 It’s also a great choice for intermediate and even advanced piano players who want a more compact, easy-to-play digital piano at home. The rich audio of the redesigned speakers, new and fuller string sounds, and impressive key response offer the experience of a much more expensive keyboard.

What’s Included With the Casio Privia PX-160 Bundle?

Casio PX-160 Privia Touch Sensitive 88 Key Tri Sensor Scaled Hammer Action Keyboard Digital Piano with 18 Built-In Tones Package with Bench, Piano Stand and Zorro Sounds Piano Polishing Cloth

An X-style keyboard stand

Casio PX-160 Privia Touch Sensitive 88 Key Tri Sensor Scaled Hammer Action Keyboard Digital Piano with 18 Built-In Tones Package with Bench, Piano Stand and Zorro Sounds Piano Polishing Cloth

An adjustable X-style piano bench

Yamaha FC3A Piano Style Sustain Foot Pedal with Half-Pedaling

A sustain pedal

Casio PX-160 Privia Touch Sensitive 88 Key Tri Sensor Scaled Hammer Action Keyboard Digital Piano with 18 Built-In Tones Package with Bench, Piano Stand and Zorro Sounds Piano Polishing Cloth

A polishing cloth

  • An instruction book
  • An instructional DVD
  • Two months of online piano lessons

The Casio Privia PX-160 Digital Piano Black Bundle comes with a lot of attractive extras, including:

Casio Privia PX-160 Digital Piano Features

The Casio Privia PX-160 has several important advancements over other Casio models.

FEATURE

DESCRIPTION

Design

The 88 full-size keys have simulated ebony and ivory surfaces. Not only do the keys feel more natural when playing, an improvement over standard smooth plastic keys, but the keys resist becoming slippery over prolonged playing or practice sessions.

Sound

Another important advancement in the Casio Privia PX-160 is the sound engine. The AiR Sound Source technology uses longer samples to avoid auditory looping during prolonged notes. The sound is richer, more nuanced, more expressive, and more detailed, with a resonance that sounds like piano strings.

Tri-sensor scaled hammer

The Tri-sensor function is a much more advanced system of touch response, responding not just to how hard the keys are pressed, but how swiftly they are attacked, and the motion of the fingers, for a sophisticated touch response that allows nuance, sensitivity, and expression when playing. Unlike some digital keyboards, the Tri-sensor system holds up well to same-key rapid repetition.While it is a full-size keyboard, the Casio Privia PX-160 remains portable, at less than 25 pounds. This makes it a great option for rehearsals, gigs, travel, and anywhere else you want to take your keyboard.

Powerful Speakers

Another important sound feature on a digital piano is the speakers. The Casio Privia PX-160 has a redesigned speaker system, with more powerful speakers that deliver a louder, richer, higher quality sound. Speakers are placed at the back of the keyboard, so that sound can travel outward over an audience during performance or bounce back into a room when placed against a wall.It’s a better design than speakers facing upward or downward. There are also two tiny speakers over the keys, aimed at the player, to improve their sound experience and improve accuracy when you play.

Connectivity

In the digital age, USB connections are essential, and yet many pianos in this price range do not offer it. Connecting your keyboard to a computer allows for a wide range of recording, mixing, playback, and sharing capabilities, and also allows you to access piano learning apps and tools.

Reverb

Reverb, chorus, and brilliance functions, along with transpose and tuning controls, allow you to fully control and customize your sound, and are excellent features when playing with other musicians.

Functions

A good range of piano instrument voices come with this keyboard, and keyboard layer and split functions allow you to play two instruments at once, or a different instrument voice with each hand.

Polyphony

128 levels of polyphony isn’t the highest capacity in digital pianos, but is excellent within this price range, and most players are not likely to need more.

Pros & Cons of the Casio Privia PX-160

PROS

  • 88 full-size keys are sensitive to the motion, nuance, and intention of the player, allowing for a greater capacity for individual style and expression
  • Key weighting system is very good, with the feel of an analogue piano, so players get the necessary strength and techniques they will need to play acoustic pianos
  • Simulated ebony and ivory key surfaces feel good to the touch, and resist getting slick over time
  • Portable, and can quickly be set up anywhere
  • AiR Sound Source provides high-quality, rich, grand piano sound when playing
  • Advancements in speaker design and technology give a more powerful, richer, dimensional sound to this keyboard
  • Built in songs, metronome, and lesson modes allow beginners to practice and improve their playing. Duet keyboard function allows two players to share the keyboard at once, which is great for lessons as well as for shared performances
  • The ability to choose a wide range of piano voices, and then customize reverb, octaves, chorus, tuning, and other audio features gives players a lot of room for experimentation and exploration, along with the ability to create the exact soundscape they are looking for
  • Pedal inputs are another way to add expression when playing, but it’s also an important skill for beginners to learn, particularly if they want to graduate to an acoustic piano
  • USB to HOST and line out ports provide greater possibilities for enhancing, sharing, and even performing with this keyboard, since it can be connected to an external speaker or other devices

cons

  • Included accessories in this bundle are a bit flimsy, and not worth the cost
  • Some keys can have a little bit of lateral movement when playing

Casio Privia PX-160 Manual

If you’d like to check out the nitty-gritty of the Casio Privia PX-160, here’s a link to the model’s manual:

CLICK TO DOWNLOAD CASIO PRIVIA PX-160 MANUAL

Casio Privia PX-160 Tutorial

CLICK TO READ CASIO PX-160 TUTORIAL

An Alternative Product to Consider

Some may point out that the onboard voices and features are fairly limited in number on the Casio Privia PX-160 compared to other keyboards, but that criticism isn’t merited considering the price point of this keyboard. The feature list is more than fair for the purchase price.

Yamaha P71 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano with Sustain Pedal and Power Supply (Amazon-Exclusive)

 The most direct competitor of the Casio Privia PX-160 is the Yamaha P-45, and it’s the comparison most frequently made. Amazon shoppers can get this keyboard at a special, Amazon exclusive price, listed on Amazon as the Yamaha P71. The P71 is available in a very comparable bundle to this one:

Both keyboards offer

  • 88 full-size, fully weighted, touch sensitive keys
  • Bundled with stand, bench, and sustain pedal
  • Excellent instrument sampling and sound engines
  • Very similar size and weight of the keyboard itself

However, the Casio Privia PX-160 offers several advantages over the Yamaha P71

  • More instrument voices
  • Chorus, brilliance, octave shift functions
  • Built-in song library with memory for user added songs
  • More than double the polyphony
  • Ability to record a song
  • USB to HOST connection
  • Ability to connect to a 3-pedal unit
  • Aux out port
  • Onboard learning tools and bundled with education tools

Importantly, speaker placement on the Casio Privia PX-160 is much more intelligent. Most of the sound is directed out of the back of the keyboard, for better audio when performing for an audience, or when placed against a wall.

There are also small speakers directed at the player, for more robust sound when you are playing. The Yamaha’s speakers are directed upward, and many digital pianos have sound directed downward. The Casio’s 8 watt speakers simply sound better, because they have better placement and more power, than the Yamaha’s 6 watt speakers.

For many people, the Yamaha sound engine is richer, and the Yamaha keys have slightly less unwanted motion, but those differences are minor, and largely a question of individual preference. In terms of sheer features and capabilities, the Casio Privia PX-160 is the better choice, and only slightly more expensive.

The weak point of this Casio Privia PX-160, for intermediate or more advanced players, is this particular Amazon bundle. The accessories are poorly made, and many negative reviews are focused on the accessories, not the keyboard itself. A comparable bundle that is slightly more expensive, but is higher quality and more useful for players who don’t want the lesson book, is this one:

It includes:

  • Behringer HPS3000 Studio Headphones
  • On Stage Classic Single-X Keyboard Stand
  • World Tour Deluxe Padded Keyboard Bench
  • Casio SP-3 Sustain Pedal
  • On Stage Keyboard Dust Cover

The addition of well-made, high-quality, professional accessories will make all the difference in your experience of this keyboard, and eliminate some unnecessary frustration.

Kraft Music Demo on Casio Privia PX-160

Conclusion

Casio Privia PX-160 Digital Piano - Black Bundle with CS-67 Stand, SP-33 Pedal, Furniture Bench, Instructional Book, Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD, and Polishing Cloth

Casio Privia PX-160 (click image for more info)

The Casio Privia PX-160 is an exceptional digital keyboard in its class, with great sound and a great piano experience while playing. It isn’t perfect, but it plays like a keyboard that is worth double what it actually costs.

Maurice

I am intrigued by how music affects the brain. I created this site to share my fascination with music in general and piano keyboards in particular.

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