The humble piano may be the most versatile instrument in the world. Whether you’re playing to accompany your own voice, performing a beautiful classical concerto, or setting the mood with smooth jazz, the piano can do it all. It’s no surprise then that the instrument has captured the hearts of many musicians and was once the centre point of every living room. Today, things have moved on somewhat, and with the practical considerations of a traditional acoustic piano, more and more people are turning to the convenience of the digital piano. It can be difficult to know where to start when looking for the best digital piano but don’t worry, we have you covered.
In this comprehensive guide, we will break down the best digital pianos on the market right now, from high-end instruments that will take centre place in any room to small discrete pianos that won’t take up too much space. If you're new to the world of digital pianos, we have also included expert buying advice to help guide you through the process of buying one. Our smart price widgets have also found the best prices from around the internet, ensuring you always get the best deal.
Best digital pianos: Our top picks
When recommending any piece of musical equipment - or motorbikes, for that matter - it’s very difficult not to recommend Yamaha. If we could only choose one digital piano from the Japanese instrument giant, then it would have to be the Yamaha CLP-775. This digital piano looks, feels and sounds exactly like the real thing while also benefiting from Yamaha’s world-famous build quality.
On the other end of the price spectrum, we would have to go for the Casio AP-270. This entry-level digital piano punches well above its weight and offers outstanding sounds at a wallet-friendly price.
Best digital pianos: Product guide
The Clavinova range made its debut way back in 1983, and it’s fair to say that the technology has progressed significantly since then! While the original Clavinova digital pianos looked somewhat piano-like and sounded great for the time, the new 700 series is in a completely different league.
The groundbreaking 700 series features the latest technology developed by Yamaha to perfectly recreate the feel and sound of an acoustic piano. The GrandTouch key action with Linear Graded Hammer emulation offers a truly authentic touch that will easily convert anyone sceptical of digital pianos.
As you’d expect, digital pianos offer a wealth of features that simply aren’t possible with a traditional acoustic piano. For example, the CLP-775 offers you the ability to connect your device via Bluetooth and play along with your favourite songs - or turn your piano into the best Bluetooth speaker in the house. You can also plug in a set of headphones, meaning the rest of your family doesn’t need to hear you attempt Für Elise one more time.
Okay, so Casio might not be your first thought for a high-end digital piano, but the Celviano GP-310 may just be the most authentic option on this list. This beautiful piano utilises a real hammer action, which is built in conjunction with one of the most prestigious names in pianos, C. Bechstein - and even uses the same Austrian spruce.
The feeling of the hammers moving inside the body of the piano while you play gives you the tactile feedback you’ve come to expect from an acoustic piano, leading to a more satisfying playing experience.
While this may not have as many sounds as others on this list, the included sounds are sublime. The three main piano voices - Berlin, Vienna and Hamburg - offer a trio of classic piano sounds perfect for almost any situation. So if you’re in the market for a digital piano with a truly authentic action, then do not overlook the Casio Celviano GP-310 Grand Hybrid.
New for 2021, the Kawai KDP range gets an upgrade in the form of the KDP120. This sleek slimline digital piano is perfect for those looking to learn the piano but have limited space. The impressively small stature of the KDP120 still manages to deliver a rich, warm tone, mimicking the sound of the Shigeru Kawai SK-EX concert grand, while its 40W speakers - 20W per side - are more than enough for home practice.
Even though this digital piano may come with one of Kawai’s basic key actions - Responsive Hammer Compact II, to be exact - it still feels very responsive and enjoyable to play. This is the same action found on a few of Kawai’s portable options, so if you are familiar with those products, you’ll feel at home on this one.
While the KDP may fall into the bracket of “affordable digital piano”, it still comes loaded with the convenient features you’d expect from a digital piano. For example, you’ll be able to take advantage of various high-quality voices, which can be edited using the PianoRemote app and linking the two via the Bluetooth MIDI feature.
While we are big fans of the Yamaha Clavinova, we can acknowledge that they are pretty expensive - not to mention bulky. The ARIUS YDP-144 is a budget-friendly way to get yourself a Yamaha digital piano without compromising on feel or tone.
The YDP-144 delivers the authentic feel you’d expect from Yamaha and will undoubtedly satisfy most player's needs. As for the tone, the 8W speakers deliver a surprisingly adequate level of bass and definitely enough volume for home practice.
Like most of Yamaha’s home digital pianos, the YDP is also compatible with the Smart Pianist app - although it must be said this is via a cable and not Bluetooth. Hooking up your new digital piano to the app will allow you to take advantage of the Piano Room for changing voices and ambient effects, as well as changing the touch sensitivity of the keys.
If Roland is known for one thing - it’s their outstanding sounds, and the SuperNATURAL sound engine proves Roland knows how to replicate the complex sound of a piano. This incredibly sophisticated tone engine not only delivers fantastic piano sounds, but a whopping 324 voices, as well as limitless polyphony (when using piano category sounds).
It’s almost a given that it is going to sound great, it’s made by Roland, but how does it feel? Well, the PHA-4 Standard keyboard offers a great playing experience. The action isn’t as heavy as the Yamaha and isn’t as light as the Casio, so it’s perfect for players seeking the middle ground. The textured keys lend an extra level of authenticity and feel great under the fingers.
So if you’re looking for a terrific sounding digital piano that won’t completely break the bank, then it’s worth considering the Roland HP702.
Who says beginner instruments need to be basic and entry-level - certainly not Yamaha. The Yamaha Clavinova CSP150 is the ultimate beginner digital piano offering technology not found on any other instrument on the market.
The keen-eyed among you will have noticed the CSP150 doesn’t have any buttons - apart from a power button - on the face of the instrument. This is because the CSP uses a smart device, such as an iPad, to control every aspect of this incredibly powerful digital piano. The Smart Pianist app will allow you to edit the sounds built-in to this piano, while the audio to score feature automatically generates notation based on your favourite pieces of music. Once you’ve mastered how to play a piece, you can jam along with a dynamic backing band.
Now, in case that wasn’t enough, the CSP150 may be the only digital piano on the market that will teach you how to play it. Using a series of discrete lights that illuminate to show you which notes to play, you can master any song you can think of.
Okay, so pianos are large instruments, but not having the space for a bulky upright digital piano shouldn’t stop you from learning this glorious instrument. The Roland RP102 presents you with the exact same key action - PHA-4 Standard - as the larger Roland HP-702 listed above, meaning you don’t have to compromise on the feel when downsizing the cabinet.
Not only is it the same key action, but the RP102 also comes loaded with the same superNATURAL sound engine that makes the HP pianos so sought after, so you won’t need to compromise on the sound, either. We do have fewer voices here than the HP series, but let’s be fair, for this price point, it doesn’t really matter.
For our money, the Roland RP102 is one of the best - if not the best - budget slimline digital piano on the market right now. You really get a lot of piano for your cash!
Suppose the Casio GP-310 is the high-end premium option. In that case, the AP-270BK is at the other end of the spectrum, offering the full digital piano functionality for well under $/£1,000. This contemporary looking piano wouldn’t look out of place in any room - and even comes in white if that suits your style better.
This affordable instrument utilises the Casio AiR Piano sound engine and Tri-Sensor II keyboard action found on some of the more expensive offerings from Casio. So, although it may be cheap, it certainly doesn’t feel like it - or sound like it, for that matter.
There is plenty of on-board sounds - 17, including two grand piano voices - for the beginner pianist to sink their teeth into. There is also a MIDI recorder so you can keep track of your progress. For the money, this really is a fantastic option for the player just starting out.
The Korg LP-380 has to be the slimmest option on this list, at only 26cm in-depth, meaning it can be squeezed into the smallest of spaces. Not only is it small, but with the lid closed, it will easily blend into its surroundings - looking more like a sideboard than a piano.
Housed inside this tiny cabinet is the acclaimed RH3 (Real Weighted Hammer Action 3) key action. This superb action is, in fact, graded, meaning all the weight of the keys changes as you move from the lower to the higher notes, just like a real piano. With the addition of the Key Touch Control, you can even select one of three sensitivity settings, so you can perfectly set the touch of the piano to your preference.
Overall the Korg LP-380 feels very robust and is actually made in Kyoto, Japan. This adds a level of quality not seen in other digital pianos of this style, and while we aren’t massive fans of the plastic base on the foot pedals, the rest of the piano feels top-notch.
The Kawai CA49 is the entry-level point into the Concert Artist series, and let us assure you, it doesn’t feel entry-level. This is a fantastic digital piano in both looks and sound, with a very accessible key action.
The Grand Feel Compact wooden-key keyboard action and in-built sound of Shigeru Kawai SK-EX Grand Piano are sure to inspire everyone from the absolute beginner to the seasoned pro. In addition, the new motherboard developed in partnership with Onkyo has vastly improved the overall clarity of the piano, resulting in a bright, articulate sound.
Like many other digital pianos on this list, the CA49 has integrated Bluetooth MIDI, giving you the ability to connect to your mobile device, taking advantage of many piano learning apps and online piano lessons services.
Best digital pianos: Buying advice
What are the benefits of choosing a digital piano?
Believe it or not, there are still some people out there who think that to learn the instrument “correctly”, you have to play an acoustic piano. While this outdated opinion may have been correct 20 years ago, the truth of the matter is, digital pianos have come a very long way since then, with some of the high-end models being indistinguishable from the real thing.
The most obvious positives are digital pianos don’t have to be tuned - saving a lot of money over the lifetime of the instrument - and are way easier to move around!
Going digital opens players - new and old - to a whole host of features you simply can’t get from an acoustic instrument. From headphone outputs for silent practice, built-in metronomes to help you keep the beat, on-board recorders for tracking progress and a slew of different tones, these state-of-the-art instruments can make learning the piano fun and more engaging.
How to choose the best digital piano for you
First and foremost, you need to consider the size of your space. Digital pianos come in various shapes and sizes, from slimline units that will most likely fit in any room to upright pianos that look just like the real thing. So, measure the space before you make a purchase.
Next, you need to think about the key action. This is how heavy - or light - the keys feel to play. Now, there are no rules here, pick an action that feels right to you. If you feel more comfortable on a piano with a light touch, that’s fine. At the end of the day, the more comfortable you feel, the more you’ll play!
Lastly, consider extra features. You may want a digital piano with built-in Bluetooth to connect to your smart device, or perhaps you need two headphone outputs for lessons. Each piano brand offers a unique set of features, so make sure you look into these before you buy.
Buying a digital piano online
For some people, the thought of buying a piano online terrifies them. Well, really, it shouldn’t. Yes, pianos are bulky items, but most - reputable - retailers have services in place for delivering and sometimes building your new piano, although this can cost extra.
So what can you expect when your shiny new piano arrives at the door? Well, it should go without saying that the boxes the pianos come in can be rather large, so it’s worth making sure you have some help to get the box in the house. Most digital pianos can be moved with two people, but a third person won’t hurt if you are worried.
Once you’ve successfully navigated your way inside with the piano, the next part is very straightforward. The pianos come flat-packed and are a breeze to build - it’s just like putting together flat-pack furniture. You aren’t actually building the entire piano, only the legs and pedalboard. So there really isn’t anything to be put off by. Again though - like assembling a set of drawers - it’s best to have a helping hand as it will make life easier.
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