Yamaha YDP-184 Review (2021): A Top of the Line Model in Yamaha’s Classic Arius Series

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

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The Yamaha YDP-184 is the top of the line in the company’s popular Arius series, andeven borrows some features from their prestigious Clavinova line of instruments. With a gorgeous rosewood case, the Yamaha YDP-184 has the look and style of a classic piano, and advanced features make it play and sound like one as well.

Yamaha YDP-184 Quick Overview

The Yamaha YDP-184 is a handsome piano, with a classic look and style that makes a statement in any room. It has all the presence of a traditional piano, with a smaller size, lighter weight, and lower maintenance.

With big, 16 cm speakers and 30 watts of amplification in each, the Yamaha YDP-184 produces more than enough sound to fill a mid-size performance space, even when not connected to an external amplifier. The discrete control unit sits to the side, so nothing distracts from the look and style of a traditional upright piano. 

For those people who want to capture the sound and experience of playing an exceptional traditional piano, but with more digital control and easier use, the Yamaha YDP-184 is a fantastic choice. It’s also a great option for schools, clubs, churches, or other venues where style and sound should go beautifully together.

Video Overview of Yamaha YDP-184

Yamaha YDP-184 Specs




Measures 57.5 x 36.5 x 18 inches and weighs 123 pounds


88 full size keys with synthetic ivory and ebony keytops


Keyboard weighted with Yamaha’s GH3 standard, and has 6 levels of touch sensitivity


Keyboard dual, split, and duo functions


3 pedals with half-pedal functions


Pedal functions include sustain, sostenuto, soft, expression, pitch bend, rotary speed, song play/pause


Full dots LCD display


256 levels of polyphony

Style Control

165 built in styles with style control


26 types of harmony

Voice & Effects

3 chorus effects7 brilliance effects11 master effects


6 reverb effects

Jacks & Ports

  • Connect to external USB drive

  • 2 standard stereo headphone jacks 

  • MIDI in, out, and through functions

  • AUX in and out ports

  • USB to device and USB to host ports

Record and Playback

Record and playback up to 5 songs with 2 tracks each with onboard memory


  • Intelligent acoustic control

  • Stereophonic optimizer

  • 14 preset demo songs + 50 classics

  • Record up to 250 songs with up to 16 tracks

  • 1.5 MB onboard recording memory

  • One-touch piano room


  • Transpose and tuning functions with 7 scale types

  • 20 built-in rhythms


  • Yamaha CFX sound sampling

  • Tone generation includes key off, smooth release, and virtual resonance modeling for piano, strings, and damper


AC or DC powered with 6 AA batteries




2 16cm speakers with 30W amplifiers


Compatible with a wide range of Yamaha apps, including Smart Pianist, MusicSoft Manager, Piano Diary, My Music Recorder, and Visual Performer


  • Sliding key cover
  • Built-in music rest
  • Auto power off


Yamaha YDP-184 Features

The Yamaha YDP-184 is loaded with all the features of a classic piano, with advanced digital functionality.









The Yamaha YDP-184 comes in a gorgeous rosewood console with a sliding keyboard cover and attached music stand. Thoughtful details like red felt lining the keys and pedals improves the touch and sound of the keys, while imparting a refined, classic piano look to the keyboard.The fully weighted keys are heavier in the lower register and lighter in the high notes, just like an acoustic piano. GH3 key action uses actual hammers to provide a more tactile, responsive feel to the keys, with triple sensor technology that provides excellent touch response.Synthetic ebony and ivory on the keys improve grip and absorb moisture while you play. With six levels of touch sensitivity, the keys can be adjusted to match your preferred style and sound.The digital controls are tucked to the left and right of the keyboard, to allow easy access to all the settings you want without interfering with the classical style of the piano, or distracting you while you play.









The Yamaha YDP-184 uses Yamaha’s latest CFX grand piano sound, and is the same sound engine you find on new, top-of-the-line Yamaha pianos. Sound is sampled from Yamaha’s 9-foot CFX concert grand piano, and then emulated with Virtual Resonance Modeling to create a rich, detailed, dynamic sound that isn’t available in other Arius models.Large onboard speakers and powerful amplifiers allow this piano to generate nearly as much volume as an upright acoustic piano, but with mellow, natural sound. External speakers are automatically silenced when headphones are connected. Dual headphone jacks, one on each side of the console, allow two people to share, practice, or play without disturbing others.It has 256 levels of polyphony, enough to take full advantage of complex, overlapping compositions and the full range of pedal, accompaniment, and reverb effects.









The Yamaha PSR-E363 61-Key Touch Sensitive Portable Keyboard comes with a music rest, and has the Yamaha Education System built in.It’s worth noting that the default bundle does NOT come with a power adapter, which you will need. It’s better to upgrade to the bundle that includes the power adapter, unless you already have a 120V power supply at home.


Connectivity and Apps


Connectivity and Apps


Connectivity and Apps


Connectivity and Apps

The Yamaha YDP-184 has USB to host and USB to device ports, as well as MIDI in/out and AUX in/out ports for versatile connections. It is compatible with a wide range of Yamaha digital apps, including:

Smart Pianist

Smart Pianist is necessary for optimal use of the Yamaha YDP-184, because it makes accessing and changing the wide range of piano settings easy and visual. You can easily store and restore your favorite settings, and navigate intuitively with less button-pressing. It also allows for an expanded library of songs with visual chord charting and more. 


MusicSoft Manager

This app lets you purchase, store, and restore songs for your instrument, updating your onboard library and simplifying practicing and playing your favorite songs. 


Piano Diary

Piano Diary allows you to quickly and easily record, archive, and share your piano performances.


Visual Performer

Visual Performer creates real-time graphic animations that visualize and respond to your instrument, giving a new dimension to your self-expression.

Who is the Yamaha YDP-184 Most Suitable For?


The Yamaha YDP-184 is a full-size, handsome instrument, with the visual and audio impact of an upright piano. It’s a fantastic instrument for someone who wants the feel and sound of playing the world’s best grand piano in the comfort of their own home. For people who are accustomed to the weight, feel, expression, and sound of an acoustic piano, it’s an excellent choice. 

Because it is so substantial, and has such powerful sound, it is also a great choice for small performance venues, places of worship, schools and classrooms, and other public spaces where big, rich, traditional piano sound is needed, with easier care than an acoustic piano. 

With no onboard lessons, and with weighted keys that are on the heavy side, it’s not a great choice for beginners or those who are looking for a more advanced digital instrument. The Yamaha YDP-184 is designed to mimic an acoustic piano in everything but size and price.

What’s Included With the Yamaha YDP-184?

The Yamaha YDP-184 comes with a matching padded bench, a power supply, a music stand, and a book of sheet music. The Yamaha Smart Pianist and other compatible apps are available for free download.

Additional Accessories

Wireless Adapter

The Yamaha YDP-184 is so classic and stylish, you don’t want to ruin that streamlined look by using conspicuous cables to connect your devices. The Yamaha UD-WL01 adapter allows the YDP-184 to connect wirelessly to the Smart Pianist and other apps, as well as to external MIDI devices.

Yamaha YDP-184 Pros and Cons


  • The CFX sound engine is Yamaha’s latest and best sound engine
  • Fully weighted keys with wide range of touch sensitivity for intuitive and expressive play
  • Attractive piano console with key cover, music rest, and discrete buttons that looks like an analogue instrument
  • Wide range of instrument voices and environment settings that let you craft the sound you want
  • GH3 keyboard with synthetic ivory and ebony for excellent response and expression
  • Realistic pedal functions and feel
  • Good onboard recording and external connectivity for recording, playing, sharing, and mixing of MIDI audio
  • Excellent resonant volume and natural sound to fill a room or venue
  • Wide range of apps and compatible digital functions


  • Key weighting is on the heavy side
  • Only comes in dark rosewood finish
  • Doesn’t have the Bösendorfer piano voice

Yamaha YDP-184 Tutorial Videos

Kraft Music has created an excellent overview and demonstration of the Yamaha YDP-184 on their YouTube channel.

Yamaha YDP-184 Owner’s Manual

The Yamaha YDP-184 Owner’s manual, MIDI reference guide, and smart device connection manual can all be found here:


Yamaha YDP-184 vs. Yamaha YDP-163

If you are looking at various Yamaha Arius models and trying to choose which is right for you, the YDP-163 is an excellent alternative to the YDP-184. Yamaha has recently made minor improvements to the popular YDP-163 and released the YDP-164 model. This means that in many cases the YDP-163 is even more affordable, making it a great bargain. 

Broadly speaking, the YDP-184 is a more faithful re-creation of an upright piano, both in terms of playing experience and in terms of sound creation. But the YDP-163 is still an excellent piano, and can cost almost half the price. Here is a quick comparison of the two models: 


Both are Arius models that come in an attractive console with 3 pedals, a music rest, sliding key cover, and a bench

Both are 88-key fully weighted keyboards with good touch response and a realistic feel

Both have simulated ebony and ivory key tops

Both have onboard MIDI recording capability

Both have realistic pedal feel and function

Both are compatible with apps that control functions and settings

Both have Intelligent Acoustic Control that provides deep, rich, complex sound at any volume level, with no loss of bass at low volume and no added noise at high volume

Both have Stereophonic Optimization for excellent spatial audio when wearing headphones

Despite these similarities, the YDP-184 has several significant improvements, including: 

The CFX sound engine instead of the Pure CF sound engine

More pedal functions

More levels of touch response

More pedal functions

More polyphony (256 instead of 192)

Bigger and louder speakers (30 watts instead of 20)

More piano voices (24 instead of 10)

More types of reverb and other effects

More onboard memory

More external connectivity (2 USB ports, 2 headphone jacks, a MIDI port, and AUX ports, while the YDP-163 has a single USB port and 2 headphone jacks)

The YDP-184 also has the VRM physical modeling, a technology that reproduces the way that sound reverberates through the body of a piano. It’s one of the reasons that professionals love the YDP-184 so much. 

The YDP-163 is a great instrument, and produces excellent sound in an affordable package. It has been an extremely popular model ever since it was introduced, and you may be able to get it for a very reasonable price. 

However, if you are looking at the YDP-163, unless you get a great price on it, it’s worth it to spend a bit more and get the YDP-164. The two models are priced very similarly, and have virtually the same features, but the YDP-164 is a newer model that has been upgraded with the CFX sound engine. 

If you want an attractive console piano with great sound and great features, the YDP-163 or 164 are both great options, and may be slightly more friendly for beginners. 

If you want an attractive console piano that gives you the realistic experience of playing a high-quality acoustic piano, with lush, resonant sound and the full dimension of dynamic expression, you may want to step up to the YDP-184. If you are looking for a piano that can fill a room or venue, the YDP-184 is clearly the better choice, because it is a more advanced instrument, and because the onboard speakers and amplifiers are so good.

Yamaha YDP-184 – All Playing, No Talking!


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Yamaha YDP-184 (click image for more info)

The Yamaha YDP-184 is a fantastic piano, with rich, resonant sound and a style that stands out in any room. It gives you the sound and feeling of playing a high-quality upright piano, with convenient digital features and easier care. It’s everything you want in an upright piano, and more.


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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