If there is a perfect beginner's keyboard, the Yamaha PSR-E263 might just be it. It is lightweight and portable, has excellent sound and a great Yamaha sound engine, and is both easy and fun to play. For beginners and young people who want to actually enjoy piano practice, and experience the fun and accomplishment that encourages them to continue with music, you simply can't go wrong with this keyboard.
Quick Overview of the Yamaha PSR-E263
The 61-key Yamaha PSR-E263 is an affordable keyboard designed for beginners and young players. It's a fantastic way to learn a digital keyboard, because it has all the features one would expect in a more advanced keyboard, including instrument voices, accompaniment styles, polyphony, recording capabilities and more.
However, these capabilities are more limited in number and simpler to execute, so that beginners can learn both analogue and digital musical styles, playing and experimenting, before upgrading to a more complex instrument.
Because it is lightweight and can be powered by AC or batteries, it can easily be taken anywhere and played indoors or out. And all this is available at a surprisingly reasonable price
Yamaha PSR-E263 Video Overview
Yamaha PSR-E263 Specs
61 full-size keys
Weighs just over 8 pounds without batteries
112 song music database includes 12 Chord Study songs
9 levels of reverb
32 max levels of polyphony
130 built in styles with style control including auto fill
26 types of harmony
Voice & Effects
400 total instrument voices, with 384 panel voices and 16 drum and sound effects.
Jacks & Ports
Record and Playback
Record and playback 1 song with onboard memory
AC or DC powered with 6 AA batteries
Yamaha PSR-E263 Features
The Yamaha PSR-E263 Portable Keyboard has a lot of attractive features to help beginners and young people get the most out of their instrument.
It is a compact keyboard with 61 full-size keys. It weighs just over 8 pounds without batteries, and has an LCD screen and buttons for menu navigation and the most commonly used features. It also has a built-in music rest.
The Yamaha PSR-2363 is driven by the Yamaha AWM stereo sampling sound engine. While AWM isn't Yamaha's premiere sound engine, it is extremely good for digital keyboards in this price range. It also has two 2.5 watt amplifiers, and two 12 cm onboard speakers, for surprisingly powerful sound and Ultra-Wide Stereo from a small device.
With duo keyboard, you can split the keyboard for two players, which is perfect for music lessons or duets. A built-in metronome also helps beginners keep time.
Yamaha Education Suite
The Yamaha Education System provides simple, effective music lessons within the keyboard, with practice and exercises for one hand or both hands, so you can learn the piano at your own pace.
The Aux-in port allows you to plug in a portable music device, and play songs through the keyboard's speakers. This is great for playing along with your favorite songs. It also has a 1/4” headphone jack that can be used for headphones or to connect external speakers.
One-touch setting allows you to choose from a variety of sound and instrument presets, or customize and save your own and restore them quickly.
Who the Yamaha PSR-E263 is Most Suitable For
The Yamaha PSR-E263 is designed for beginners, and is particularly suitable for young beginners. The duo keyboard function is perfect for lessons or accompaniment, while the Yamaha Education system, built-in song library, and aux-in function give lots of opportunities to play and practice beginning to advanced songs.
For children, piano practice can be boring and repetitive, but the option to play the same pieces with a wide range of different instrument voices makes practice more fun and engaging. It has all the features you would expect in a digital keyboard, like transpose, EQ, instrument voices, and reverb, without having so many complex options and settings that might confuse new players.
It has real, robust Yamaha sound, so that it doesn't sound like a cheap, disappointing keyboard, but is still affordable enough that a parent doesn't have to worry about investing in an instrument that a child may not stick with.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the Yamaha PSR-E263 is also very popular with piano teachers, who often take a keyboard to different classrooms and lesson locations. They appreciate having a portable keyboard that sounds great and has built-in lessons, keyboard duo functionality, and a metronome. They like the fact that it's affordable, reliable, produces great sound, and that kids really enjoy interacting with the instrument.
What's Included With the Yamaha PSR-E263?
Unfortunately, the keyboard-only model of the Yamaha PSR-E263 comes with the keyboard and nothing else. At the very least, you will need to also purchase a power supply.
Additional Accessories for the Yamaha PSR-E263
You should always use the manufacturer's power supply with the Yamaha PSR-E263. If you want to purchase it separately, it is available as a bundle with the keyboard, or as a stand-alone item on Amazon.
Yamaha PSR-E263 Bundles
If you want to have an affordable seat and music stand for the Yamaha PSR-E263, you could get the Yamaha PSR-E263 bundle, that includes a seat, stand, and power supply in one convenient package, that is priced equivalently to purchasing the items individually.
There's no denying that piano practice can be annoying for neighbors and family members, and perhaps beginners don't want others hearing their early missteps. Headphones are an essential accessory for this keyboard, and the OneOdio Adapter-Free Closed Back headphones are a great choice. The over ear closed back design improves sound quality and isolation, to give players privacy and avoid disturbing others.
While a foot pedal isn't necessary when a player is just beginning to learn, it's a great idea to introduce it as soon as possible. The Yamaha FC4A is a reliable, affordable foot pedal that is designed to complement the PSR-E263, and allows you to learn and take advantage of a wider range of the keyboard's capabilities.
Pros & Cons of the Yamaha PSR E363
Yamaha PSR-E263 Tutorial Videos
Yamaha has made an entire series of quick tutorial videos for specific functions and features of the PSR-E263. You can see them here:
Yamaha PSR-E263 Owner's Manual
At the Yamaha website, you can download the Owner's Manual and a text version of the song book. Find them here:
Yamaha PSR-E263 vs. Yamaha PSR-E363
The Yamaha PSR-E263 is the Yamaha PSR-E363's smaller sibling. The two models are extremely similar, but the E363 has some more advanced capabilities that may make it appealing to a beginner who wants more room to grow. Since the two models are so alike, here's an overview of their differences:
SIZE AND WEIGHT
The E363 is a couple inches bigger, and almost two pounds heavier than the E263.
Both have 61 keys, but the E363 has touch responsive keys.
Both have LCD displays, but the E363 has a backlight.
Both have Yamaha AWM sound engines and the same size and wattage of speakers and amplifiers.
The E263 has 32; the E363 has 48.
The E263 has 400; the E363 has 574, and is compatible with GM/XGlite.
Both have 5 chorus effects and 6 Master EQ effects. The E263 has 9 types of reverb, while the E363 has 12 types of reverb and an additional 26 types of harmony effects.
Both models have duo keyboard, but the E363 also has dual and split keyboard functions.
The E363 has it; the E263 does not.
The E263 has 130 style presets; the E363 has 165.
The E263 has 112 songs; the E363 has 158.
The E363 has more capacity than the E263, able to record 5 songs with 2 tracks each; the E263 can only record 1 song with 1 track.
The E363 has one; the E263 does not.
The E363 has more advanced lessons than the E263
In such a head-to-head comparison, the Yamaha PSR-E363 is clearly the better keyboard, and touch responsive keys are a great feature. It's a more robust instrument, and it's not much more expensive than the E263.
However, the E363 is not compatible with a piano app. This means that controlling all these functions and settings must be done with the LCD screen, which can mean spending a lot of time looking at the manual and pressing buttons.
Many early learners will not truly appreciate the differences of having 174 more voices, 35 more style presets, or 3 additional types of reverb, particularly if they are cumbersome to access and control. This makes the Yamaha PSR-E363 a better choice for adults, who will make better use of the wider range of features, and who have more need of USB connectivity and melody suppression in their keyboard, even if they are just beginning to learn the piano.
In other words, both keyboards are great choices for beginners. The Yamaha PSR-E263 is a better choice for young beginners and children, while the Yamaha PSR-E363 is a slightly better choice for older children, adult beginners, and more advanced learners.
The Yamaha PSR-E263 is an exceptional keyboard for a young learner or even an adult beginner. The sound is full and rich, so that adults won't feel like they are playing with a toy. It has a great library of effects and instrument voices, providing lots of opportunity for learning and experimenting.
And it's lightweight, compact, and can be battery-powered, for easy portability anywhere you want to take it, with onboard lessons that mean there is no reason to skip practice.
There's a reason that the Yamaha PSR-E263 enjoys such fantastic ratings and reviews, from learners and pros alike. It's a fantastic beginner keyboard for the price, with reliable Yamaha quality built into every note