Yamaha has the best-selling line of portable keyboards and in 2017 introduced two popular models that we compare in this review: the Yamaha PSR E263 vs E363. Both are among the top-selling portable keyboards – and for good reasons. And if you’re a little confused about what makes them different, this article will provide you with the necessary insight.
Let’s look at the two keyboards in terms of their features, pros, and cons, and who they’re most suitable for, to help you make an informed buying decision!
Yamaha PSR E263 VS E363 Specifications Compared
Yamaha PSR E263
Yamaha PSR E363
61 full-size keys
61 touch-sensitive keys
Stereo mini jack and standard stereo phone jack
Stereo mini jack and standard stereo phone jack
112 (including chord study:12)
154(including touch tutor: 10, chord study 12, chord progression: 30)
Reverb & chorus Settings
9 types & 5 types
12 types & 5 types
384 voices + 16 drum/SFX kits
574 197 Panel Voices + 18 Drums/SFX kits + 20 Arpeggio + 339 XGlite Voices)
Major Similarities Between Yamaha PSR E263 VS Yamaha PSR E363
One of the biggest similarities between Yamaha PSR E263 VS 263 are they both portable keyboards. You can carry them around wherever you want without any hindrance. Since they are compact and manageable, you can play them anywhere you like – at home or in the classroom. They are also go-to instruments for beginning players. They are designed with features that cater to the specific needs of complete beginners that are just starting out their musical journey. Both the PSR E263 and E363 feature a variety of sounds and functions that are ideal for novice players. Individuals that have little to no music background will find these pianos befitting to their needs and ideal to step up their musical skills.
Some other similarities between the two keyboards include the fact that they both work with batteries and weight about the same, more or less. There’s also no extraordinary difference in the power of their speakers. Both of them have speakers with low power. This makes them useful for low-key rehearsals at home. Both of them also feature IN audio input that helps recording and editing music if you want to.
Major Differences Between Yamaha PSR E263 VS Yamaha PSR E363
There are quite a few differences between Yamaha PSR E263 and PSR E363. The PSR E263 lacks MIDI, while the 363 model has it. This lack of features makes Yamaha PSR E263 limited in its use. You can’t directly connect it to your computer, which can deprive you of options such as composing music, record MIDI tracks, writing scores, etc.
While both the keyboards offer multitudes of features, they vary in terms of their quantity. For instance, PSR E263 has 32 polyphonies, while PSR E363 has 48 in total number. Also, PSR E363 has 154 integrated songs, while PSR E263 features only 112 songs. In this way, the two models differ in their characteristics. All in all, Yamaha PSR E363 offers a wide array of functions than E363.
The lesson/guide offered by PSR E363 differs from that provided by PSR E362. The former follows lessons 1-3 (Timing, Listening, Waiting), A-B Repeat, Phrase Repeat, Chord Dictionary, Chord Study, Touch Tutor, and Chord Progression. On the other hand, Yamaha PSR E263 has the lesson/guide plan as Listen & Learn, Timing, Waiting, A-B Repeat, and Chord Dictionary. The PSR E363 also features the ability to make arpeggios – notes played in a rising or descending order.
Another feature that the PSR 3263 has but lacks in PSR 263 is the sustain pedal. This is quite an important feature in any musical instrument, especially the piano. When pressed, the sustain pedal endures all the damped strings on the piano by keeping all the dampers from the strings and letting them vibrate easily. The notes will continue to sound until the pedal is released.
The PSR E363 is also sensitive to touch, while the PSR 263 has no sensitivity. This means that you can regulate the sound and create dynamic music with the former.
Last but not least, Yamaha PSR E363 is only 50 euros (60 USD) higher than E263. That’s only because the former comes with more voices, sounds, recordings, polyphony, and accompaniment styles.
Yamaha PSR E263 Summary
Simple and Sleek Design
The overall design of Yamaha PSR E263 is fair and decent. It comes in only one classic color – black with black and white keys, of course. The keyboard is also quite lightweight, weighing up to only 4 kg. You can easily carry it without any assistance.
When it comes to the function buttons, they are featured on the front side with an LCD perched in the center. The easy-to-use LCD helps to operate, identify, and access all the integrated features.
The keyboard has full-size 61 keys that have a good feel to them. However, they are neither weighted nor touch-sensitive.
Superb Sound Quality
The PSR E263’s sound quality is terrific. It has stereo sound that offers good sound quality – thanks to the Yamaha’s AWM Stereo Sampling – a force behind all the models of this series. This is the same technology used in the iconic Yamaha Concert Grand Pianos and other grand digital Yamaha pianos. Considering this, sound samples of the PSR E263 are absolutely reliable. They are fun to play as well.
Yamaha Education Suite (YES)
One of the things that ensure that the Yamaha PSR E263 is ideal for beginners is its Lesson Mode (that’s built in), which is also known as the Yamaha Education Suite. It is a teaching tool that is easy-to-follow and makes your piano learning experience quick and fun. This teaching tool plays a key role in ensuring that learners develop a solid foundation, educating them on timings, finger placements, posture positioning, understanding chords and tempo, etc.
While there are incredible features in Y.E.S., the best of all is the one that breaks full-length songs into several pieces. The lesson mode shows you how to play each part – what finger placement to use, how to recognize the correct note, etc. In this way, you can learn to play complete songs in no time.
Yamaha PSR E263 is a duo-mode piano that gives you the ability to play along with your partner. You can split the keyboard into two identical pieces and play with a friend or teacher – whatever floats your boat.
That said, the duo-mode feature is best used when learning the piano from a teacher. You can play alongside your music teacher, which will really help you learn as you will be able to watch them and copy what they do, thus improving your muscle memory when it comes to playing the piano.
Another great mode in Yamaha PSR E263 is the one that lets you record and review your performance. You can play a song on the piano and record it at the same time. Once you’re done playing and recording simultaneously, you can examine your performance later. Or, you can ask your teacher to analyze your performance and provide you with honest feedback so that you can improve your skills and become a better musician.
Pros and Cons of Yamaha PSR E263
The Bottom Line
Yamaha PSR E263 is a good choice for beginners. It is portable and lightweight, allowing you to take the instrument wherever you like. If you’re taking piano classes, you can take the instrument easily with you. Since it can be powered by batteries, you can set up and play anywhere you like without having to plug it in.
The piano model has onboard lessons that can help you become good piano players. You can record your songs and listen to your performances for improvements. While playing the piano, you will be constantly notified if you’re going about right. Play a wrong note, and it will display on the LCD. The song won’t continue to play until you play the right note and tempo.
Yamaha PSR E363
This is the main feature that sets this model apart from Yamaha PSR 263. The keyboard has 61 touch-sensitive keys that feel like a classic piano. The touch-sensitive feature works best for beginners. That’s because it helps them learn dynamics and velocity. While these two factors are not as important to experts as they are for new beginners.
On this piano, when the keys are pressed hard, the instrument produces a loud sound while it creates a quiet sound when pressed with less power. This is another great feature found mostly in touch-sensitive keys.
An Extensive Library of Instrument Voices
Yamaha PSR E363 has a massive song library with about 574 instrument voices in total. The library of instrument voices is ideal for beginners. The songs are selected specifically for new learners to offer them a fulfilled learning experience. The in-built songs are exciting and modern – perfect for keeping beginners interested in their piano playing sessions.
Yamaha PSR E363 includes 339 XGlite voices, 197-panel voices, 20 arpeggio voices, and 18 rum effect kits. This gives you a chance to play, re-create, explore all sorts of music.
Yamaha PSR E363 enables USB connectivity, audio, and MIDI transfers. You can easily load new songs from an external storage device and play as many songs as you like. You won’t have to rely on internal or external memory for that matter. All you will need is a simple connecting cable. Nothing more.
Using an auxiliary cable, you can also aux-in music from your PC or phone and practice and record your performance. This will help you keep track of your daily performance. Plus, you can learn areas where you need more improvement.
Yamaha PSR E363 is known for its education suite that is ideal for piano players just starting to play the piano. This piano model has an effective learning package that contains lessons for beginners. The package has all the lessons necessary for a beginner to master, such as finger placement, playing with one hand, playing with both hands, and lots more.
The Education Suite can be downloaded from Yamaha’s official website. Print it out or view it on your personal digital device for daily viewing.
Pros and Cons of Yamaha PSR E363
The Bottom Line
Yamaha PSR E363 is ideal for beginners that want to learn to play a digital piano. However, if you want to be a professional pianist, you will need to find a more advanced piano. The outstanding aspect of the piano is its educational suite.
It is a wholesome package that teaches you music theory and other fundamentals of piano playing.