Best Keyboard with Weighted Keys (2021): We Rank the Top 17 Models


 Keyboard with Weighted Keys

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

After evaluating 17 different models, we recommend the Casio Privia PX160 as the best keyboard with weighted keys at a competitive price.

The Casio Privia PX160 has an excellent speaker system, and its Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action II keyboard makes it feel like a real acoustic piano. To top it off, this model has the best combination of features and price that we’ve seen.    

In this comprehensive buyer’s guide, we explain how weighted keys work, what to look for in this type of keyboard, and we look at 17 of our favorite keyboards with weighted keys, including our other two top models:

All of our favorites have a full keyboard so you can enjoy the entire octave range, and play any song that you want without having to worry about not having enough notes to work with!

Our Picks:

Best Keyboard with Weighted Keys (Overall)

Casio Privia PX160

Casio Privia PX160BK 88-Key Full Size Digital Piano

If you plan on playing a lot of piano-centric music, you need a keyboard that can really deliver on true piano sound quality. The Casio Privia PC160 has 18 realistic piano tones that sound amazing, as well as other authentic instrument sounds, and a new speaker system for the ultimate in hearing pleasure when you are playing at home.

There is a line-out slot so you can connect this keyboard to external speakers and use it on stage. This is an attractive keyboard that is available in both black and champagne-gold colored finishes.

Best Weighted Keyboard Under 300

Alesis Recital

Alesis Recital 88-Key Beginner Digital Piano with Full-Size Semi-Weighted Keys and Power Supply, Stand, Bench, and Sustain Pedal

The Alesis Recital is an 88-key beginner digital piano that has full-size, semi-weighted keys. It comes in a bundle package that includes a power supply, a keyboard stand, a piano bench, and a sustain pedal, so you have everything you need to start playing as soon as you take it out of the box.

There is a 128-note polyphony, so you will never miss a note, even if you are playing complicated pieces. The sound quality is great, with 20-watt speakers that have plenty of volume.

Beginners will love the free, three-month premium subscription to Skoove, with interactive online piano lessons.

Best Weighted Keyboard for Beginners

Yamaha P71

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

The Yamaha P71 is an Amazon exclusive model that comes with a power adapter and a sustain pedal.

It has 88 fully weighted, piano-style keys that feel like those of a real acoustic piano. You will enjoy the 10 different instrument voices that include digitally sampled tones from Yamaha acoustic grand pianos.

The Dual Mode lets you combine two voices, such as piano and strings, so you can get really creative with your sounds. This is a slim, compact, and lightweight keyboard that is easy to take anywhere.

Best Keyboard with Weighted Keys: Summary Table

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Best Keyboard with Weighted Keys: Reviews

Best Keyboard With Weighted Keys (Overall): Casio PX-160BK 

Casio Privia PX160BK 88-Key Full Size Digital Piano

The Casio Privia PX-160BK is a luxurious full-size keyboard. The 88 full-size keys have simulated ebony and ivory surfaces that feel authentic to the touch, and resist slipping when the fingers are moist. It has Casio’s Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action II, where three different sensors capture the speed and dynamic properties at which keys are pressed, and then reproduces the speed of hammer action inside an acoustic grand piano, for unmatched key-to-sound timing nuance.

The Casio Privia PX-160BK is powered by Casio’s AiR sound engine, which captures and reproduces the sound of a 9 foot concert grand piano, with four dynamic levels. AiR also simulates damper resonance for additional realism when using a damper pedal. The powerful speaker system projects sounds from the front, but also from the back of the keyboard, allowing it to project rich sound when placed against a wall.

It has 18 built-in piano voices, including newly developed string ensemble sounds. It has reverb, chorus, and brilliance effects, with 128 levels of polyphony. It has a 60 song music library, and onboard recording, playback, and storage for your own songs. It has two front headphone jacks, as well as pedal ports, line out, and a USB port with MIDI capability.

PROS

  • Simulated ebony and ivory keys feel rich and prevent slipping
  • Realistic keyboard weight and Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action II touch response
  • High quality instrument voices
  • Powerful, bi-directional onboard speaker system
  • thumbs-upHas advanced features and effects, including a built-in recording and playback
  • thumbs-upGood connectivity to external devices

cons

  • May be difficult to get warranty repairs  

Summary

The Casio Privia PX-160BK is a full-size, fully-weighted keyboard with luxurious keys and the sensor action for dynamic, nuanced, expressive play. The high-quality sound, keyboard feel, and dual-directional speakers make this an excellent keyboard with rich, grand piano tones that is versatile enough to use in a home, school, or concert environment.

Best Weighted Keyboard Under 300 Dollars: Alesis Recital 88-Key Beginner Digital Piano 

Alesis Recital 88-Key Beginner Digital Piano with Full-Size Semi-Weighted Keys and Power Supply, Stand, Bench, and Sustain Pedal

The Alesis Recital | 88-Key Beginner Digital Piano is a full size 88 key keyboard with semi-weighted keys and adjustable touch response. Semi-weighted keys combine the spring-loaded response of a synthesizer keyboard with moderate resistance of light weights, for a feel that is more organ-like than piano-like.

The combination of full-size, piano-style keys with light resistance helps make this a suitable keyboard for beginners to learn proper finger technique.

The Alesis Recital 88-Key Beginner Digital Piano has 5 high quality instrument voices, reverb and chorus effects, and 128 levels of polyphony. The onboard 20W speakers deliver clear sound, or use the RCA outputs on the back to connect external speakers.

It has keyboard split and layer functions, along with a metronome and lesson modes, and comes with 3 months of premium online music lessons. It has jacks for headphones and an optional foot pedal, along with a USB port, and can be battery powered.   

PROS

  • 88 full size semi-weighted keys with adjustable touch response
  • High quality instrument tones
  • Function and demo modes
  • USB, pedal, headphone, and RCA ports
  • thumbs-upCan be AC or DC powered for portability

cons

  • No built-in demo songs

Summary

The Alesis Recital 88-Key Beginner Digital Piano is a full-size piano keyboard designed for beginners. With semi-weighted keys and adjustable touch response, new players have more realistic playing and practice. It has good sound for a keyboard in this price range, with a few options in voices, effects, and keyboard functions.

It comes with built-in lesson features, along with 3 months of premium online piano lessons, so you can learn from an expert in your own time.

Best Weighted Keyboard for Beginners: Yamaha P71 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano

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

The Yamaha P71 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano has 88 full size, piano style keys with Yamaha’s Graded Hammer Standard for realistic weighting and good playing technique. It is a portable keyboard capable of battery power, but with a streamlined design and authentic piano playing feel that makes it great for learning and practice.

The Yamaha P71 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano has the Yamaha AMW Stereo sound engine for rich, nuanced grand piano sound. It comes with 10 instrument voices, 64 levels of polyphony, reverb, and other effects.

The keyboard can be layered or split for playing multiple voices at once, or for sharing with another player during lessons or duets. It also has a USB port for connectivity to other devices.

PROS

  • Slim and portable design, weighing less than 25 pounds
  • Realistic GHS key weight and resistance
  • High quality instrument voices
  • Simple operation with minimal buttons

cons

  • No onboard lesson functions
  • Only 64 levels of polyphony

Summary

The Yamaha P71 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano has a great feel and rich sound in a compact footprint that can be played indoors or outdoors. For those who love pure piano sound, and want to feel like they are playing a real piano, with minimal settings, buttons, and options, this piano is a pleasure to play.

Runners-Up

Casio PX350

Casio PX350 88 Key Digital Stage Piano Packages

The Casio PX350 has 88 full size, fully weighted keys with simulated ebony and ivory keytops that feel rich and pleasing to the touch. With the Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action, every key has three sensors that capture the nuances of how every key is pressed, for a dynamic and expressive performance.

Hammer response and damper resonance simulators reproduce subtle nuances in hammer timing, for realism and detail.

The Casio PX350 has Casio’s AiR sound engine for more multi-dimensional sound and sophisticated grand piano voices. It has 250 built in tones, 128 max polyphony, 180 rhythms, multiple reverb, chorus, transpose, and other effects. It comes with 6 demo songs, and storage for 10 user songs, 10 user rhythms, and a variety of custom pre-sets.

It also has a pitch bend wheel. There are a large number of ports and connectivity options for this keyboard, including USB terminals, pedal ports, MIDI port, headphones, and line in/out ports, so it’s ready to go from the studio to the stage.

PROS

  • Realistic key feel with simulated ebony and ivory
  • Tri-sensor scaled hammer action responds to expressive play
  • Sound engine simulates rich piano sounds, including hammer and damper resonance
  • Large library of built-in tones, rhythms, and effects
  • thumbs-upPitch bend wheel
  • thumbs-upGreat range of ports and connections for devices and accessories

cons

  • Keys may sometimes be noisy

Summary

The Casio PX350 has an excellent grand piano feel and sound, thanks to the key sensors and hammer resonance reproduction. The sound engine provides high quality instrument voices and all the subtlety of your performance. It has a big library of voices and rhythms, along with a rhythm editor, onboard storage for custom songs, sounds, and rhythms, and a pitch bend wheel for dynamic performances and expression.

The USB and MIDI connectivity allow this keyboard to connect to the whole world of devices and apps, making it perfect for composing in the studio or taking on stage.

RockJam 88-Key Beginner Digital Piano 

RockJam 88-Key Beginner Digital Piano with Full-Size Semi-Weighted Keys, Power Supply, Simply Piano App Content & Key Note Stickers

The RockJam 88-Key Beginner Digital Piano is a full size 88 key keyboard designed for beginners. It has semi-weighted keys with adjustable velocity sensitivity, so you can customize them for your playing style and preferences. It has a streamlined and sleek design, and is a well-connected keyboard, compatible with various piano enhancement apps. It comes with a free download of the popular Simply Piano app, which offers fun, game-style piano lessons and practice, and allows you to learn to play a huge range of songs, from the classics to today’s hits.

The RockJam 88-Key Beginner Digital Piano comes with 10 different instrument voices, 10 tones, 10 metronome settings, and 10 demo songs. The keyboard can be split for multi-instrument play or for duets or lessons. It has powerful built-in speakers for clear, rich sound, and can be battery powered.

It also has ample ports to connect to optional pedals, microphone, or headphones, along with USB connectivity. It is compatible with a number of iOS and Android apps to expand the song library, enhance learning, and share your progress.

PROS

  • Slim and portable
  • Can be AC or DC powered
  • Powerful 24 watt speakers
  • Compatible with a variety of educational apps
  • thumbs-upUSB and accessory ports

cons

  • Instrument sounds aren’t very high quality

Summary

The RockJam 88-Key Beginner Digital Piano is designed to help beginners learn, practice, and share their music. Key weighting and velocity sensitivity helps to create a more realistic, piano feeling when you play, and gives more dynamic performances.

The range of ports for accessories allow this keyboard to grow along with your skills, and connect with an ever-growing range of apps and enhancements.

Alesis Recital Pro | Digital Piano / Keyboard with 88 Hammer Action Keys

Alesis Recital Pro |  Digital Piano / Keyboard with 88 Hammer Action Keys, 12 Premium Voices, 20W Built in Speakers, Headphone Output & Powerful Educational Features

The Alesis Recital Pro is a slightly more advanced version of the Alesis Recital. The weighted action of the 88 full-size keys more closely replicates a piano keyboard, with more resistance in the lower notes and less resistance in the higher. Adjustable touch response allows you to customize the feel of the touch response to suit your playing style.

The Alesis Recital Pro has 12 instrument voices, with chorus, reverb, and modulation effects, and 128 note polyphony. The keyboard has layer and split functions so you can combine and play different instrument voices at once, or share with another player, and onboard recording and playback for easier learning and sharing. It has built-in lesson modes, but also comes with 2 months of premium online piano lessons to help you learn your favorite songs. It has USB connectivity, along with ports for a sustain pedal, headphones, and stereo outputs to amplifiers and audio equipment

PROS

  • Full size, hammer action keys with adjustable touch response
  • Onboard lesson functions
  • USB and connections for accessories
  • Comes with premium online piano lessons
  • thumbs-upCan be battery powered

cons

  • Not a very durable keyboard

Summary

The Alesis Recital Pro has more sophisticated, realistic keyboard weighting than the Alesis Recital, along with more instrument voices, polyphony, and built-in recording capability. It’s still a beginner-friendly keyboard, with built-in and online lessons included, but it is a more advanced keyboard with richer sound and more realistic play.

Yamaha P125 88 Weighted Key Digital Piano Bundle 

Yamaha P125 88 Weighted Key Digital Piano Bundle with Knox Double X Stand, Knox Large Bench and Sustain Pedal

The Yamaha P125 88 Weighted Key Digital Piano Bundle has the Yamaha Graded Hammer System for realistic key weighing that replicate the feel of a grand piano. It’s driven Yamaha’s Pure CF sound engine for incredible concert grand piano voices.

The two-way speaker system with Sound Boost and Intelligent Acoustic Control creates rich stereo sound from the small keyboard. The realistic weight, high-quality audio, and excellent piano voices all combine to create the sound and feel of a grand piano in a portable keyboard.

The Yamaha P125 88 Weighted Key Digital Piano Bundle has 24 instrument voices, 20 rhythms, and reverb and other audio effects. It comes with 21 demo songs, 50 piano songs, and 192 levels of polyphony. The keyboard has dual and split functions for sharing or lessons. It also has onboard recording and playback capability, and comes with a sustain pedal.

USB connectivity allows you to export and share your songs, and it’s compatible with the Smart Pianist app for improved control of the keyboard and advanced functions.

PROS

  • Most affordable Yamaha that has the Pure CF sound engine
  • Excellent audio quality from advanced speaker technology
  • GHS weighted keyboard has realistic feel and touch response
  • High polyphony for complex compositions, long sustains, and continuous quality with no clipping
  • thumbs-upCompatible with the Smart Pianist app
  • Huge 192 max levels of polyphony

cons

  • No onboard lessons

Summary

The Yamaha P125 88 Weighted Key Digital Piano Bundle is a full-size keyboard with realistic weight thanks to the GHS system. It has the famous Pure CF sound engine, and speaker technologies that give loud, rich, complex grand piano sound from a smaller digital keyboard. The compatible Smart Pianist app lets you choose, adjust, and save your keyboard settings, minimizing button pushing and keeping you playing for longer. It’s a great portable keyboard with all the features people love in a Yamaha.

LAGRIMA 88 Weighted Key Digital Piano 

LAGRIMA 88 Weighted Key Digital Piano, USB/MIDI/Headphone/Mic/Audio Output Feature, with Power Supply, 3 Pedals, Instruction Book, Suit for Kids, Teen, Adult, Beginner or Training Institution

The LAGRIMA 88 Weighted Key Digital Piano is a full-size 88 key keyboard with piano-style keys and the Graded Hammer Standard key weighting and 16-levels of touch response for the playing feel of a classic piano.

It also comes with a furniture-style console, complete with 3 pedals, a flip style keyboard cover, and an attractive music rest. It has the presence and appeal of a classic upright piano, with easy maintenance and advanced digital features you can’t get in an analogue piano.

The LAGRIMA 88 Weighted Key Digital Piano has high quality DSP2000 audio samples for vivid piano voices, and built-in stereo speakers for clear, loud sound. It has 960 instrument tones, 200 rhythms, 128 levels of polyphony, 80 demo songs, and chord, fill, and transpose features. The pedals function just like an acoustic piano with half-pedal functions, and it has built-in recording and playback capability.

Additional details like dual headphone jacks and split keyboard functions make perfect keyboard sharing for lessons and duets. It has USB and MIDI terminals for audio sharing.

PROS

  • Attractive furniture style console
  • Classic piano weighting and sound samples
  • Realistic keys and pedal action
  • Big library of tones, rhythms, songs, and effects
  • thumbs-upDual headphone jacks
  • USB and MIDI compatible

cons

  • Assembly instructions can be a bit hard to follow

Summary

The LAGRIMA 88 Weighted Key Digital Piano is an attractive, affordable full size digital piano with the style and presence of a classic upright, for learning and practice that easily transition to an acoustic piano. It has all the advanced features and functions that invite people to play, share, and learn music with each other.

Yamaha YDP184R Arius Series Console Digital Piano 

Yamaha YDP184R Arius Series Console Digital Piano with Bench, Dark Rosewood

The Yamaha YDP184R Arius Series Console Digital Piano is the flagship of Yamaha’s popular Arius series of console pianos. The Arius line focuses on classic look and style, capturing the essence of an acoustic piano in a digital piano.

The Yamaha YDP184R has 88 full-size keys, weighted with the Graded Hammer 3 system, an updated system that not only produces realistic graded resistance that is heavier in lower keys and lighter in higher notes, but also has three sensors in every key that sense and interpret the motion of the player, for quick response and expressive playing.

It also has synthetic ivory keytops that absorb moisture and prevent slipping. It comes with a gorgeous furniture-style console with a sliding key cover, three-pedal board, and padded bench, available in three different finishes.  

The Yamaha YDP184R Arius Series Console Digital Piano is powered by the Yamaha CFX sound engine, and VRM modeling that replicates the resonance of the body of a concert grand piano. It has 24 piano voices, 20 built-in rhythms, 50 preset songs, 256 levels of polyphony, and a clear full dot LCD screen for easy navigation of keyboard settings.

The three realistic pedals with half-pedal functions give realism when you play. Stereophonic Optimizer creates special enhanced sound specifically for playing with headphones. It is has a USB port, along with two headphone jacks, and MIDI and AUX ports.

It is also compatible with many of Yamaha’s popular piano apps that expand your song library, offer simple lessons, and enhance your sound and performance.

PROS

  • Classic piano console style
  • Realistic key weights and response, pedal action, and synthetic ivory keytops feel just like an acoustic piano
  • CFX sound engine for superior grand piano sound
  • Excellent audio quality through onboard speakers or with headphones
  • thumbs-upSimple controls and navigation on the keyboard or with the app
  • USB connectivity, along with MIDI and AUX ports

cons

  • Heavy and expensive for a digital piano

Summary

The Yamaha YDP184R Arius Series Console Digital Piano is an incredible piano for those who want the sensation of playing some of the most prestigious grand pianos in the world.

From the rich speaker sound, with realistic key weights and pedal action, to the CFX sound engine with Virtual Resonance Modeling and high-quality piano voices, it allows you to have the feel and sound of a concert grand piano in your own home.

Yamaha YDP143B Arius Series Console Digital Piano 

Yamaha YDP143B Arius Series Console Digital Piano with Bench, Black Walnut

The Yamaha YDP143B Arius Series Console Digital Piano is a more affordable entry in the Arius series than the YDP184R. It has the same classic piano style, that comes with the furniture-style console, padded bench, sliding key cover, and three-pedal board.

The full-size 88 keys are weighted with the Graded Hammer Standard weighting action, which is still realistic and expressive, but has less sophisticated touch response than the GH3 system. Matte black key tops add a luxurious touch.

The Yamaha YDP143B Arius Series Console Digital Piano is driven by Yamaha’s Pure CF sound engine, with realistic pedal Damper Resonance for the depth and complexity of an acoustic piano. It has 10 instrument voices, 50 demo songs, and 192 levels of polyphony. The 3 pedals have authentic feeling half-pedal functions, and it has built-in recording and playback capability.

It has a USB port, as well as two headphone jacks. It is compatible with the Yamaha Controller app that lets you quickly and easily set and restore settings and functions, simplifying operation of the keyboard.

PROS

  • Attractive furniture-style console
  • Pure CF sound engine and Damper Resonance for grand piano tones
  • Intelligent Acoustic Control improves sound quality at any volume level
  • Realistic GHS key weights with matte black key tops
  • thumbs-upUSB connectivity
  • Compatible with the Digital Piano Controller app

cons

  • Can be difficult to assemble

Summary

The Yamaha YDP143B Arius Series Console Digital Piano is an Arius console piano that has the great style and sound that is typical of the product line, at a more affordable price point than the YDP184. It has the excellent GHS key weighting system, a robust array of digital features with a convenient app that simplifies navigation, and Intelligent Acoustic Control for great sound. Available in two furniture finishes, it’s a piano sure to please a crowd.  

Yamaha DGX-660 Digital Piano 

Yamaha DGX-660 Digital Piano - Black Bundle with Furniture Bench, Sustain Pedal, Dust Cover, Instructional Book, Online Lessons, Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD, and Polishing Cloth

The Yamaha DGX-660 Digital Piano has an 88 note piano style keyboard with the Graded Hammer System of weights. It’s a fully featured digital piano that is compatible with a wide range of Yamaha piano apps that let you expand your song library, access lessons, and use other advanced features available in the app store. You can connect to apps and devices wirelessly, or with the USB port.

The Yamaha DGX-660 Digital Piano has Yamaha’s Pure CF sound engine for rich, powerful grand piano tones. It has 151 voices and 388 XGlite voices, 15 drums and effects, and over 40 reverb and chorus settings, along with 237 types of DSP, 205 accompaniment styles, and more. Intelligent Acoustic Control provides excellent sound quality at any volume level, and use the pitch bend wheel for even more musical expressions.  

It has a 305 song database, along with onboard recording capabilities, or export MIDI or WAV files to other devices with flash memory. Smart Chord creates complex chords at a touch, and the easy-to-read display will even show the score for your own compositions.

Add a microphone and use the one-touch settings to enhance your vocal performance, or create and store your own microphone settings

PROS

  • Pure CF sound engine for big grand piano voices
  • Huge range of songs, voices, effects, accompaniment styles, and more
  • Pitch bend wheel
  • Excellent sound from onboard speakers, or with headphones
  • thumbs-upExport audio to other devices
  • Create and store microphone and vocal performance settings

cons

  • Keys are plastic and don’t have acoustic texture

Summary

The Yamaha DGX-660 Digital Piano has sound and experience of playing a portable grand piano, with a huge range of digital features and options that no grand piano could offer. With features that will help beginners’ practice and learn, to capabilities that will help professionals craft their sound, and a world of wireless app connectivity, it’s a great mix of acoustic piano sound with digital piano capabilities.

Yamaha P515 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano 

Yamaha P515 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano, Black

The Yamaha P515 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano has an extraordinary key feel for a portable keyboard. The Yamaha NWX system has white keys that are all cut from the same piece of wood, for the natural feel and texture of an acoustic grand piano. The keys are weighted with the GH3 weight system, but with the feel and playability of wood, and have 6 levels of touch sensitivity.

The Yamaha P515 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano has a lot of incredible features. Different piano voices are captured with the Yamaha CFX, CFX Binaural sampling, and even the  Bösendorfer Imperial sampling, for piano voices that are captured directly from the best concert grand pianos in the world.

It also has Virtual Resonance Modeling and key-off samples for nuanced sound and performances. It has over 500 instrument voices, 256 levels of polyphony, with advanced technologies and powerful speakers for rich, immersive audio. It has ports for headphones, pedals, MIDI, AUX, USB, and is Bluetooth capable.

PROS

  • NWX keyboard is luxurious
  • CFX binaural and Bösendorfer Imperial sampling
  • Powerful, immersive sound with great speakers and audio technologies
  • Compatible with Yamaha apps
  • thumbs-upBluetooth capable

cons

  • While classified as portable, it weighs over 70 pounds

Summary

The Yamaha P515 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano is Yamaha’s premiere portable keyboard, with the most luxurious feel, most expressive play, and most advanced technology Yamaha offers in its class. It’s their most affordable keyboard with the Bösendorfer voice, and the most authentic grand piano sound in a keyboard this size anywhere.

Yamaha P45 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano

Yamaha P45, 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano (P45B)

The Yamaha P45 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano is a full size 88 piano-style keyboard with sophisticated GHS weighting and touch sensitivity for dynamic, expressive play.

Yamaha P45 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano has AMW stereo sampling for quality piano voices. It has 64 levels of polyphony and 4 types of reverb, as well as transpose and tuning functions. It has headphone, pedal, and a USB port for digital connectivity.

PROS

  • Full size, fully weighted touch sensitive keyboard
  • High quality instrument voices and onboard speakers
  • Reverb, transpose, and tuning functions
  • Dual, duo, and layered keyboard functions
  • thumbs-upHalf pedal capability

cons

  • Only 10 instrument voices

Summary

The Yamaha P45 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano is a great piano for beginners to practice and learn techniques they will need as their skills develop. If you are interested in buying this keyboard from Amazon, it is identical to the Yamaha P71. The Yamaha P71 is the P45 keyboard with special pricing only available from Amazon.

Korg B1SP 88 Weighted Key Digital Piano

Korg B1SP 88 Weighted Key Digital Piano with Stand Three Pedal Board and Knox Bench

The Korg B1SP 88 Weighted Key Digital Piano has Korg’s Natural Weighted Hammer system for realistic, nuanced play in a digital piano. It has three levels of touch sensitivity with full-size, piano-style keys so you can customize your touch response to your playing style. It comes with a sturdy stand with 3 pedalboards, and a padded Knox bench for impressive style and presence in a room.

The Korg B1SP 88 Weighted Key Digital Piano has a great sound system, with powerful speakers, MFB speaker technology, and a passive sound radiator that creates the depth, power, and complexity in sound of a grand piano.

The Stereo PCM sound engine delivers 8 piano voices with nuance and power, and it has 120 levels of polyphony that allows overlapping chords and sustains with no clipping. It also has transpose, reverb, and chorus effects to maximize your sound.

PROS

  • Exceptional speaker system for powerful sound
  • Quality piano voices
  • Natural keyboard weight and touch response
  • Comes with a furniture-style keyboard stand, Knox bench, pedal panel, and a learning guide

cons

  • Headphone jack is inconveniently behind the piano
  • No ports for audio file exports

Summary

The Korg B1SP 88 Weighted Key Digital Piano is a digital piano with the feel and sound of an upright piano. The incredible speaker system and sound engine give rich, powerful piano sound, and the realistic keys and pedals give players the full range of expression and dynamism in performance. It’s a beginner-friendly piano that will satisfy even advanced players.  

Roland Lightweight 88-note Weighted-action Keyboard 

Roland Lightweight, 88-note Weighted-action Keyboard with Pro Sounds (JUNO-DS88)

The Roland Lightweight 88-note Weighted-action Keyboard has Roland’s iconic synthesizer sound, with a full-size 88 key keyboard. The Ivory Feel-G keyboard is fully weighted, with progressive hammer action. The synthetic ivory tops for a high-end feel, without sacrificing portability.

The Roland Lightweight 88-note Weighted-action Keyboard with Pro Sounds has 128 max levels of polyphony, over 1200 built-in preset patches, 30 preset drum kits, and 64 preset performances. It also has robust memory for storing your own samples, kits, and performances, and you can use the wave expansion slots to download new sounds and voices from the huge Axial sound library.

It has pitch bend and modulation with 4 knobs, 4 sliders, and 8 pads for your own music. It has terminals for connectivity to pedals, microphones, aux devices, MIDI, and USB; it’s a keyboard that can take you from the studio to the stage.

PROS

  • High end Ivory Feel-G keyboard
  • Customizable sounds, inputs, effects, and voices
  • Can be AC or DC powered
  • Onboard and flash memory
  • USB and ports support WAV, AIFF, and MP3 files
  • Pitch bend and controllers

cons

  • Sounds like a Roland synthesizer, when some people want a keyboard that sounds like a piano

Summary

The Roland Lightweight 88-note Weighted-action Keyboard with Pro Sounds is a gig-ready keyboard that feels great to play. With onboard sampling, editing, and performance capabilities, as well as robust memory and compatibility with external software, it’s everything a professional digital musician needs to hit the studio or the road.

Yamaha YPG535 Portable Grand Piano

Yamaha YPG535 Portable Grand Piano

The Yamaha YPG535 Portable Grand Piano has 88 piano-style keys with Graded Soft Touch weighting, and intuitive and expressive touch response. It comes with a sturdy keyboard stand, sustain pedal, and AC adapter, so you can enjoy this portable grand piano anywhere. 

The Yamaha YPG535 Portable Grand Piano has the AWM Stereo Sound engine for rich, resonant piano sound. It has 488 instrument voices, 12 drums and effects, 32 max levels of polyphony, and reverb and chorus effects. It also has 160 auto accompaniment styles with style control, easy song arranger, Performance Assistant Technology, a 300 song music database, and built-in recording and playback capability.

It comes with the Yamaha Education Suite, and the keyboard can be split or layered for lessons or duets. It even has a pitch bend controller, and the LCD display shows both the score and lyrics. It has a USB port and comes with a CD-ROM with more songs for the song library.

PROS

  • Graded Soft Touch weighting and touch response
  • Big library of voices, rhythms, and effects
  • Big music database with display of score, lyrics, and Performance Assistant
  • Onboard lesson functions
  • Pitch bend wheel
  • USB connectivity

cons

  • Keys feel light and plastic to the touch
  • Only 32 levels of polyphony

Summary

The Yamaha YPG535 Portable Grand Piano is a portable piano with the famous Yamaha grand piano sound, and the included stand makes it fast and easy to set up anywhere. With onboard lessons, metronome, and duo keyboard functions, it has everything a beginner needs to learn. But the graded soft touch keys, rich array of voices, and USB compatibility will please even a professional musician.

What are Weighted Keys

What are Weighted Keys?

In order to be able to have that true piano feel, you need to have weighted keys. Some people recommend that beginners use a keyboard with weighted keys right from the beginning, while others say that it is not overly important. If you are just learning how to play, and you are using a keyboard, it would be a good idea to have one with weighted keys, so it won’t feel too different when you try to play a traditional acoustic piano.

There are many different types of weighted keyboards, including digital pianos, acoustic pianos, organs, and electronic keyboards. You will hear a few different terms when it comes to weighted keys: non-weighted; semi-weighted; hammer action; and graded hammer action. You will also hear about touch sensitivity, which we will discuss more later on in this article.

> Non-Weighted Keys

Most cheap keyboards, as well as electronic organs, have non-weighted keys. These are usually entry-level instruments, and if you can spend a few extra bucks, you would likely be better off with one of the three types of weighted keys.

> Semi-Weighted Keys

If you are looking at budget keyboards with weighted keys, many will have semi-weighted keys. These are spring-action keys that have a bit more resistance than non-weighted keys.

> Hammer Action Keys

Many digital pianos have hammer action keys. This means that the keys mechanism are working in a similar manner as those of an acoustic piano. There is a small hammer that is attached to a lever system close to the key. This, instead of a spring, provides resistance.

> Graded Hammer Weighting

Acoustic pianos and higher-end keyboards and digital pianos have graded hammer weighting or progressive hammer-action. This means that you will need to play heavier on the low notes and lighter on the high notes.

yamaha-p-125-digital-piano-683589

Commonly Asked Questions

Why do I need a keyboard with weighted keys?

When the keys on a keyboard are “weighted”, they give some resistance when you press them down – and spring back up when you take your finger off them.

Piano teachers around the world – like those at Lets Play Music, The Hoffman Academy and Sage Music – stress the importance of having a keyboard with weighted keys. 

The main reason for this is so that your playing experience is as similar as possible to a `traditional` piano. This means that it will be easier for you to move from one keyboard (or piano) to another.Another reason that a weighted keyboard in important – especially to learners – is that it will help to build finger strength, dexterity, and develop the right technique. 

What’s the difference between weighted keys and touch-sensitive keys?

On a traditional piano, the keys are both weighted and touch-sensitive. This can be recreated on a digital piano or keyboard, but these models are often more expensive.

Weighted keys mean that there is a resistance and spring back when a key is pressed, whereas touch sensitive keys mean that how hard or soft you press a key determines how loud or soft the sound will be.

Martha Beth – expert in music teaching – states that the lack of touch sensitive keys is the main reason why people move from less-expensive electric keyboards to higher-end models.

What’s the difference between a 61 key, 76 key, and 88 key weighted keyboard?

The number refers to the number of keys on your keyboard, with an 88 key keyboard having the same number of weighted keys as a traditional piano. While 88 is optimal – because it best reflects a traditional piano – 76 keys is fine for beginners, or 61 keys, if your budget is very limited.

What’s the difference between a 61 key, 76 key, and 88 key weighted keyboard?

When you’re looking for a keyboard, whether it has weighted or semi-weighted keys should be on your priority list. Having weighted keys – along with a good number of full-size keys – should be among the most important features on your keyboard.

 Keyboard with Weighted Keys

Choosing a Keyboard for Beginners

If you’re looking for the best piano keyboard for beginners (either yourself or someone else), there are several things that you’ll need to keep in mind while you’re looking at various models. There are features that really should be there, and a lot of features that you don’t really need.

One of the first things you need to think about is the style of music you will be playing. If you need a true piano sound, you will want to find a keyboard that offers specific piano features, including weighted key mechanism so it feels like a real piano. Other features to look for include:

> Number of Keys

If possible, it is best to get a keyboard with 88 keys, which is just over seven octaves. In the beginning, you will likely only be playing between one and three octaves, but it won’t be long before you will want the entire range.

> Pedals

You should have at least one pedal for your keyboard, which is a sustain or damper pedal. This going to help to sustain notes. If you get a bundle deal, there may be a pedal included. Otherwise, you will have to purchase it separately.

> Sounds

In addition to piano sounds, it is a good idea to get a keyboard that has a variety of other sounds to play around with, no matter what type of music you intend to play. It can be a lot of fun to play around with various instruments, and it keeps things fresh so beginners don’t get bored.

> Metronome

While you are learning how to play, you will need to have a tool that will help you to keep a steady rhythm going. Many keyboards have a built-in metronome for this purpose. At one time, this was a separate piece of gear that sat on top of the piano. Set it for the tempo and speed, and it will keep time for you.

> Drum Rhythms

Another tool that can help you with learning how to keep time is drum rhythms. Many keyboards offer dozens, and some even hundreds, of rhythms that can help the beginner learn how to keep time and have loads of fun doing it.

> Learning Aids

Whether you plan on taking lessons, or you are going to try and learn on your own, it always comes in handy to have learning aids. Many keyboards have built-in piano lessons for beginners, or can connect to music apps through smartphones and tablets with MIDI.

> Recording

In the beginning, it is nice to be able to record what you are playing, so you can listen to it and figure out the things that you may be doing wrong. Later, it is great to have a record and playback feature so you can make and record your own music.

> Accompaniment Features

Once you have learned to play a few tunes, it is fun to have a backup band. You don’t have to run out and look for other musicians when your keyboard has accompaniment features. It’s like having your very own, built-in backup band.

Weighted vs Unweighted Keys

Conclusion

Whether you’re just learning how to play the piano, or you’ve been playing for several years, it’s always best to have a keyboard that has a full 88 keys. After all, there are probably loads of songs that you want to play, and many will require you to use the full-octave range. 

Any of the keyboards reviewed in this guide will fit the bill nicely, and they all have great features for musicians of all levels – even beginners!

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