If you have ever imagined yourself playing the piano and singing along with family or friends, or perhaps playing professionally, you may be thinking about whether a digital piano is right for you. Digital pianos are compact, portable, and fun to play. With advances in sound sampling, it can be difficult to distinguish a digital piano from an acoustic one by sound alone. In addition, even a cheap keyboard piano can do many things that are simply not possible on an acoustic piano. This guide will help you narrow down your choices and find the best cheap keyboard piano for your musical journey.
Comparing the Top Budgeted Keyboard Pianos
This quick summary will give you an idea of the best digital pianos on the market. This easy reference list is sorted by price and not necessarily by our pick for the best cheap keyboard piano. Please be sure to check out our reviews below for a more in-depth exploration of these models.
|Rank||Cheap Keyboard Pianos 2020||Specs||Price|
|1||Yamaha P-125B 88-Key Graded Hammer||88-Key graded hammer action||Check Price|
|2||Yamaha DGX660B 88-Key Weighted||88-Key GHS weighted action||Check Price|
|3||Casio PX350 BK 88-Key Privia Digital||88-Key Scaled hammer action||Check Price|
|4||Dolphin Escape Robotic||88-Key AHAIV-f graded hammer Action||Check Price|
|5||Artesia 88-Key Digital Piano Keyboard||88-Key Semi-weighted action||Check Price|
|6||Casio Privia PX-160-BK 88-Key Full-size||$88-Key Tri-Sensor scaled hammer action||Check Price|
|7||Yamaha P45 88-Key Weighted Action||88-Key GHS weighted action||Check Price|
|8||Yamaha PSR-EW300 SA 76-Key||76-Key keyboard||Check Price|
|9||Alesis Recital 88-Key Beginner||88-Key Semi-weighted keys||Check Price|
|10||RockJam RJ761 61-Key Electronic||61-Key Keyboard||Check Price|
|11||ONE Smart 61-Key Portable||61-Key||Check Price|
|12||Novation Launchkey 49 USB||49-Key Keyboard||Check Price|
Best Cheap Keyboard Pianos 2020 Reviews
Now, you have an idea of some of the top brands in cheap keyboard pianos. As you can see, they come in a range of prices, but price is not always the most important factor when choosing a digital piano. They offer a wide range of features, from beginner to pro, continue reading to find out what each of them has to offer.
1. Yamaha P-125B 88-Key Graded Hammer Standard Digital Piano
- GHS weighted action is heavier in the low keys and lighter in the high keys, just like an acoustic piano.
- GHS weighted action keys
- Sounds like a 9’ CFIIIS concert grand piano
- Split mode allows you to voice each hand separately
- USB to HOST connectivity with audio transfer and MIDI
One of the things that Yamaha is known for is its realistic piano sound. The P-125B Sounds exactly like a 9-foot concert grand piano and has the ability to fill the room with sound. The keys are weighted just like an acoustic piano, with the lower ones heavier and the upper ranges becoming lighter as you move up the keyboard. You can get the same dynamics and expression on this digital keyboard as you do on a traditional piano. We like it because you get high quality Yamaha sound at a lower price than some of the higher-end professional models. This one ranks in the number one spot because it has a professional sound at an affordable price.
2. Yamaha DGX660B 88-Key Weighted Portable Digital Grand Piano
- GHS weighted action is heavier in the low end and lighter in the high end, just like an acoustic pia
- GHS weighted action
- 1/4” mic input so that you can sing along
- Wireless audio and MIDI features
- USB Audio and playback makes recording easy
The Yamaha DGC660B is more than a digital piano. It is more like a recording studio all-in-one package. The reason why we ranked it 2nd is that it little may be a little bit too much for those who are looking for something cheaper. However, we included it in the list because it is a Yamaha and has excellent sound quality. It is also packed with features that you do not find on many of the ultra-cheap keyboards. This one is definitely good enough to use to record and produce a few tracks, but you will have to pay a little bit more for it.
3. Casio PX350 BK 88-Key Privia Digital Stage Piano
- 88 keys with 3 sensors per key
- 240 instrument sounds
- Ebony and ivory textured keys
- Responsive Tri-sensor scaled hammer action keyboard
- Duet, layer, split and octave modes
Casio used to rank far behind Yamaha when it came to sound quality, but this is no longer the case. Casio has improved their sampling technology tremendously and now their keyboards compete with Yamaha. Many stage performers now prefer Casio as a performance instrument. Casio have simpler controls and they are easy to operate. They do not have a lot of bells and whistles that you do not need, but they have what you need the most.
4. Kawai ES100 88-Key Digital Piano with Speakers
- Responsive AHAIV-f Graded-hammer action keys
- Clear 192 note polyphony
- Built-in metronome with adjustable tempos and time signatures
- Split keyboard in dual mode
Kawai has been a choice of professional musicians for several decades. One of the reasons is that it offers 192-note polyphony, which gives it a crystal-clear sound. Even when you are using multiple voices, each one sounds out clearly, and the sound does not become muddy. If you are looking for sound quality in a keyboard that is built for stage performances, this is the perfect model. It also is great for beginners because it has teaching modes and a convenient built-in metronome. If you are ready to spend the money and know that you will stick with playing for a while, this is a keyboard that can grow with you as you learn.
5. Artesia 88-Key Digital Piano Keyboard
- Weighted Spring Action feel that is heavier than a synth touch but lighter then hammer action
- 12 voices
- Sustain pedal
- Adjustable keys for a harder or softer touch
- Semi-weighted keys
This is the best cheap keyboard piano for portability and taking with you wherever you go. It is an excellent lower price piano for beginners, but if you learned on an acoustic piano, this one does not feel very realistic. One of the things that stood out about this keyboard is its connectivity. It can be used with a variety of types of software including most music apps and DAWs. It is excellent for the hobbyist or beginner.
6. Casio Privia PX-160-BK 88-Key Full-size Digital Piano
- The AiR engine provides highly-accurate grand piano sounds with seamless dynamics for a remarkably expressive and powerful performance
- Tri-sensor scaled hammer action keyboard
- Keys are responsive and fast
- Excellent sound quality, especially pianos and strings
- 128-note polyphony
Once again, Casio hit the mark with a keyboard that is good enough for professional use, yet easy enough to use for beginner. It has 128-note polyphony, allowing it to compete with Yamaha for clarity. Casio has been concentrating on its sound quality so that it can go head-to-head with Yamaha in sound quality. This model sounds realistic and can produce performance quality sound. This an excellent choice for beginners who want a keyboard with enough features to allow them to continue to improve and experiment for decades to come.
7. Yamaha P45 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano
- GHS weighted action is heavier in the low end and lighter in the high end, just like an acoustic pia
- Advanced wave memory reproduces high-quality instruments
- GHS weighted action keyboard
- Keyboard is responsive and dynamic
- Has a dual mode so that you can play two voices at the same time
This is the best cheap keyboard piano for people just starting out who are not sure if they will continue playing or not. It does not have a lot of bells and whistles, but it is a good quality keyboard and has an excellent sound. Even though it does not give you a lot of choices, it is a Yamaha and it has a solid feel about it. This is a great cheap keyboard piano for beginners who are just starting out, but who still want a decent quality instrument with a good sound.
8. Yamaha PSR-EW300 SA 76-Key Portable Keyboard Bundle w/ Power Supply and Stand
- Bundle includes PSRE EW300 keyboard, PKBS1 keyboard stand and PA130 power supply
- Touch sensitive keys, acoustic piano feel
- Full-sized keys, great for beginners
- Choice of over 500 different voices
- Has split keyboard mode
We felt this was a great intermediate level keyboard that has a few more features than the lower priced models, but it is not quite feature-rich enough to qualify as a professional keyboard. The thing that we like the most is that it had touch sensitive keys that respond to dynamic changes and pressure. It also has full-size keys, so that beginners will get the right feel and be ready to move up to an acoustic or more professional model digital piano when they are ready.
9. Alesis Recital 88-Key Beginner Digital Piano
- Full features Digital Piano for beginners Electric keyboard with 88 premium full sized semi weighted keys with adjustable touch response to suit your preferred playing style
- 5 piano voices
- Host of educational features
- Has a lesson mode
- 128-note polyphony for clear sound
This may not be the most feature-rich digital piano on the list, but it is a good solid model for beginners and students. It has full-size weighted keys, so you can get the feel of being on a real acoustic piano as you learn. The only thing that we did not like about it is that it may not be compatible with some newer operating systems and software. However, if you are looking for a cheap keyboard piano to learn on, this is an excellent place to start.
10. RockJam RJ761 61-Key Electronic Piano Keyboard (RJ761-SK)
- The RockJam 761 keyboard piano superkit Includes a digital keyboard with 61 full size keys giving you that traditional piano feel whilst maintaining a portable and compact design that can be powered...
- Comes with 200 sounds and 200 rhythms
- Has a teaching function
- Access to content in Simply Piano in iOS and Android
- Comes with a sturdy stand
We thought this was the best cheap keyboard piano in the lower price ranges. One thing we liked about this model is that it comes with everything you need to get started. It also comes with headphones, so that while the student is learning, the rest of the family can have peace. We like its portable, compact design, and the fact that you can use it with batteries, and it doesn’t always need a power supply. Overall, we thought this was a great unit for beginners.
11. ONE Smart 61-Key Portable Keyboard Piano
- GREAT LIGHT KEY FOR BEIGINNNERS LEARNING PIANO KEYBOARD-With light-up keys,a beginner musician can start to play music in minutes. Learn from various modes, including light-up sheet music, integrated...
- Light up keys for the beginner musician
- Free learning interface for IOS, Android, and USB-MIDI interface
- Comes with 4,000 sheet music songs
- Piano games and integrated video lessons
Frankly, we did not expect much out of this keyboard when we first opened the box and got it ready to play. After all, it is lower-priced and has a full load of teaching features. Although it was not professional quality sound, the sound did surprise us. The one thing we absolutely loved about this keyboard is its teaching tools, and its ease of use for beginners. This one comes highly recommended for those just starting out, or perhaps a special gift for a child that wants to begin learning to play.
12. Novation Launchkey 49 USB Keyboard Controller
- MK2 version of Novation's 49-note USB keyboard controller for Ableton Live
- 16 velocity-sensitive RFB pads
- Works best as a MIDI controller
- Synth key action
- Simple to configure
This one made the list because it is inexpensive keyboard that is adequate for digital sound production for the Internet. It works best as a controller, rather than a piano. Also, it does not have a full keyboard, and another is that it does not have weighted keys like a piano. Moreover, it has more of a synthesizer feel than a piano feel. Yet, if you want something to get you started, this is a great little keyboard for that purpose. The sound quality is decent, but not as good as some of the more expensive models.
Factors to Consider before Selecting a Top Wallet-Friendly Keyboard Piano
There you have our wrap-up of the 12 best cheap keyboard pianos on the market. We reviewed a range of models from beginner to professional and in a number of different price ranges. All of the ones on the list make an excellent choice, depending on your level of playing ability and knowledge. Next, let’s explore some of the common terminology and things that you need to know before making your final choice.
Types of Keyboards
Cheap keyboard pianos fall into several different categories. The one that you choose depends on how you intend to use it and your experience. Here are the main classifications of keyboards.
- Digital Pianos: These are exactly what the name implies. They are designed to be a portable replacement for a full-sized acoustic piano. One advantage that digital pianos have over acoustic ones is that they are not affected by the weather. Acoustic pianos change sounds according to humidity, heat, and cold. The digital pianos are much more reliable, and advances in technology make it difficult to tell the difference in sound. They do not take up very much space and are easier to move. You also have the ability to play more than one instrument and to create recordings, which is another advantage over acoustic ones.
- Synthesizers: These sometimes known as synths, are not necessarily built for playing music in the sense of a traditional instrument. They are loaded with a variety of sounds and can be used for doing sound effects. Before shopping for a synthesizer, it is important that you know what you want it to do. Some of them have a more retro sound, while others are more suited to modern electronic creations.
- Workstations: These are like a miniature recording, composing, and production station all-in-one. They have the ability to record audio and do multi track recording. They have built-in CD burners and everything that you need to begin producing music. One of the most important considerations when choosing a workstation is to make sure that it has sufficient polyphony to make a high-quality recording. The more notes they can handle at one time, the clearer the sound will be and the better the recording output.
Common Keyboard Features
Number of Keys
A traditional acoustic piano has 88 keys. You can find digital pianos and keyboards with key numbers anywhere from 25 to 88. One of the things you may need to consider is space. In some cases, this may limit the number of keys that you can have on your keyboard. However, if you get a keyboard that has less than 88 keys, it may limit the types and range of music that you can play. In addition, one with 88 keys it feels more like playing on a traditional acoustic piano.
Type of Action
One of the terms you may have come across when searching for digital pianos is the type of action that the instrument has. You will come across the terms weighted, semi-weighted, synth, and hammer action. These terms describe how the key feels when it is pressed. Hammer action is where the manufacturer added actual mechanical hammers so that it feels as close to playing an acoustic piano as possible. In synths, the keys are more like an organ. There is no resistance when pressing them, but as soon as you let off, the sound stops immediately. Weighted and semi-weighted hammer action keys feel the most like an acoustic piano.
Touch sensitivity, or velocity sensitivity, is something that manufacturers only recently mastered in digital pianos. Now, they use sensors to sense the force or speed with which the key is pressed. It changes the volume and sharpness of the tone accordingly, just like striking an acoustic piano. This allows you to add dynamics and much more expression to your playing.
MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. This is a protocol that allows computers to communicate with instruments. This allows you to download a piece of music from the computer and the keyboard will know which notes to play and how much speed and velocity to use. Not all cheap keyboard pianos have this capability, so make sure that you check before you buy.
Another thing that you want to check before you buy is computer compatibility. Keyboards can connect with USB, Firewire, MLAN, S/PDIF, and MIDI. The most common are USB and MIDI interfaces, but not all of them some check and make sure that the keyboard you are going to purchase has the ability to connect to your computer. In addition, it is possible to connect your keyboard to iOS and have access do cloud based storage, musical collaborations, performance, practice, and recording all from your tablet or smart phone.
Another thing that you will want to check is whether your keyboard has an arpeggiator, which allows the ability to play a chord as an arpeggio when a single note is touched on the keyboard. An arpeggio is when the cord is played one note at a time going up the scale and then back down.
If you plan to use your keyboard as a workstation, you will need to check the types of input and output ports that it has. You will need to find one that is compatible with your external microphone, amplifiers, mixers, and speakers. This is especially important if you plan to do live performances. If you need to connect a more recent device, make certain that it has the correct size port.
Even if you do not have your heart set on producing music, the ability to record and store music is a valuable tool. You can practice and then play back the music to help improve. If you want to do live performances, you need to make certain that your instrument has enough memory capacity to store your backing tracks and other audio that you need. You also want to make certain that it has enough ROM to handle the special effects that are included.
Otherwise, it can have lag while you are performing, and this is not what you want. The more features the piano has, the more ROM it needs to handle it. When manufacturers start adding things like weighted keys and high polyphonic counts, higher numbers of instruments, and more sound effects, they need a more powerful computer system. The worst thing you want is for your system to hang in the middle of a performance.
Synthesizers are used to make sounds and add effects to musical compositions. Some of them have convincing piano sounds on them, and they have other traditional instruments such as horns, strings, and organs. They also often have a number of drum pads available. However, they also offer a wider range of sounds such as crashes, waveforms, reverb, chorus, delay, and the ability to bend the sound of a traditional instrument.
One of the more recent trends in synths is a throwback to the early classic ones of the 1960s. Manufacturers are now beginning to produce some that sound like older ones. They are even producing them with the old dial knobs so they look and feel like a retro one. Only these newer models are compatible with MIDI and computer software, making them the best of both worlds. Be sure to check out the wide range that is now available on the market.
Keyboard workstations go a little bit beyond the ability to play music. They allow you to record, compose, and do some post-production editing of your work. If you are a beginner, this is probably a little bit more than you need for your purposes. However, if you want to produce pieces and put them on the Internet, or produce CDs to sell, then a workstation is essential.
Some of the lower end ones allow you to explore these capabilities, but they have limited ability to record multiple tracks and they do not have enough polyphony to handle the music that you want to play without hanging, lagging, and becoming garbled. The more professional systems are more expensive, but they also can come close to having the capabilities of a full recording studio.
Arrangers are like workstations, only they are geared towards the songwriter. They include compositional tools to help the songwriting process and have sometimes been referred to as band-in-a-box. They allow you to record small snippets and then rearrange them, duplicate them, and put them in order all on the keyboard. While many of them do you have a range of sound engines, but they are often not as numerous as those found on workstations.
Workstations and arrangers are advanced tools with professional capabilities, but they may be a little more than the beginner needs. Even if you think that you want to work up to this level, it may be best to start with something simpler and learn the basics first. Portable keyboards are often the choice for beginning players. They do have some sequencing functions, but they also include learning software and tools to help you find your way around first.
Just as not all acoustic pianos are the same, there are also different classes of digital pianos too. They are generally divided into those that are intended for home use and those that are intended for stage use. The best thing about them is that they are portable, which makes it easy to take them to venues such as festivals, nightclubs, weddings, and other smaller performance venues.
The major difference between stage and home pianos is the exterior design, but many of them share the same range of sounds and software. Those designed for the home often have cabinetry surrounding them that make them look more like a traditional piano. However, they also take up more space than those designed for stage. A stage piano is designed to be carried to the venue and set up quickly. Stage pianos often come with cases and longer cords.
Electric organs are another class of instrument that has undergone a renaissance, and manufacturers are now producing them to have retro sounds. As with digital pianos, these electronic organs are portable and take up much like space than their full-sized antique counterparts. You can get one that sounds like an old-school organ such as the classic Hammond B3, or a Wurlitzer. However, you can also hook them up to a MIDI, record, playback, and sequence on them, which you could not to on the antique ones.
MIDI Controller Keyboards
MIDI controller boards come in many different shapes and sizes. Some of them look like a traditional digital piano, while others have a set of square pads that can be customized for various functions. They have key, knobs, sliders, and other types of controllers. They are not meant to stand alone as an instrument, but rather to be used with another instrument or synth.
One of the most important considerations when buying a MIDI controller is that it is compatible with what you want to hook it up to. Before purchasing a MIDI controller, you need to seriously consider what you will be controlling and what you want to do with it. Some of them are compatible with smartphones and different music production apps.
Health Benefits of Playing Piano
One of the best reasons for learning to play piano or any instrument is that it makes you feel good. I can attest to this. I learned to play piano add an early age, and it is still something that I like to do to help me relax and rest from a busy day. Now, the health community knows what piano players already knew about the health benefits of playing the piano.
1. Get Rid of Stress
As I just mentioned, playing the piano can help to lower levels of stress. Stress is the plague of the modern world and has been associated with the development of conditions such as high blood pressure, inflammatory conditions, cancer, and even heart disease. It is also associated with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
That is not to say that playing the piano will cure you of these conditions, but any activity that takes you out of your problems, even if just for a little while, will lower stress and have an impact on the immune system. When you are playing the piano, it is easy to drift away and feel like you do not have a care in the world. It can be like a little mini vacation.
2. Improve Concentration
Playing the piano also helps to improve concentration. It requires your full attention, much like driving a car. You have to coordinate both hands, listen, and sing at the same time. Playing music has been found to improve the ability to concentrate in those that suffer from anxiety, and in those that have ADHD. Some use playing the piano as a form of moving meditation.
3. Brain Stimulation and Focus
Listening to music stimulates the brain and can help you focus on tasks that are repetitive and boring, but playing music is even better for improving brain stimulation and focus. When you are learning to play an instrument, you are forming thousands of new neural connections and improving your brain’s plasticity. This has been shown to prevent diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, and delay the onset of age-related dementia.
4. Enhances Language Skills
Recently, the academic community has focused on how to improve children’s language skills. More than one study has shown that making music and developing an appreciation of music can help in advanced language acquisition. This effect first began to be studied in the early 1990s and was referred to as the “Mozart effect.” It was found that music greatly improved spatial reasoning tasks in children.
5. Strong Hand Muscles
Playing the piano helps to strengthen the hand muscles and make them more flexible. This is important in preventing and improving conditions such as arthritis and joint inflammation. Physicians agree that moving is good for you, and there is little that works your hand in such a range of motion as playing the piano. It is important to use proper hand position to prevent injury, such as carpal tunnel. However, playing the piano can strengthen the muscles and surrounding tissues and prevent it, as long as you play properly.
6. Elevate Growth Hormones
Music encourages the brain to produce delta waves, which have been known to stimulate the pituitary gland and release growth hormones. This is the theory behind sleep induction tapes that encourage deep sleep. However, you do not have to go to sleep to get this effect. Playing the piano and other instruments can also do this. It has an effect on insulin, cortisol, and glucose levels in the blood. It also produces the hormone oxytocin, which is known as the “feel good” hormone. There is a biological reason why music makes you happy.
There you have it, after reading this buying guide, you should know that there are many reasons to consider learning to play the piano, if you do not already. You also have the basics of how to choose the right keyboard piano for you. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned professional, this guide gives you many choices to help you take your playing to the next level.
There is no doubt that buying a digital piano or keyboard is no easy task, and there are many things to consider. Hopefully, you now understand a little bit more about what some of the terms mean and what you need to think about before you make the purchase. The best thing is that nowadays there are so many choices in cheap keyboard pianos that you can get a good quality system without spending big bucks.
In our opinion, Yamaha holds the top two positions in terms of the best cheap keyboard pianos on the market. The Yamaha P-125B 88-Key Graded Hammer Standard Digital Piano and the Yamaha DGX660B 88-Key Weighted Portable Digital Grand Piano offer high-quality sound at an affordable price. The difference between these two models are the features that they offer.
One thing that makes Yamahas stand out above the rest is their ability to reproduce the sound of a realistic piano. They were one of the first companies to achieve the ability to do this, and they continue to be a leader in that field. However, other companies have also begun to improve their skills in this area, such as Casio. Be sure to check out our top 12 picks in digital pianos and find the one that is exactly what you need to begin a journey of fun and enjoyment that will last the rest of your life.
- 61 responsive piano style keys with built in speakers perfect for practicing and performing to your friends and family
- 31 mini keyboard key to inspiring your baby's musical talent.
- Amazon exclusive model includes power adapter and sustain pedal
- Dance music Mode w/50 built-in dance music rhythms
- 🎹【KIDS PIANO KEYBOARD PARAMETER】Age:3-10 years old. Product size: 53 * 20 * 6.2cm / 21 * 7.9 * 2.4inch(L * W * H), The kids piano has been certified by CPC children and conforms to RoHS safety...
- This RockJam keyboard piano features 54 full size keys that gives this keyboard a traditional piano feel
- Start playing professional keys today - the ultimate beginners digital piano loaded with 12 expertly crafted voices and powerful educational features that guarantee to have you playing professional...
- STANDARD SIZE ELECTRONIC KEYBOARD: Complete with 61 keys, 255 timbres, 255 rhythms, 50 demo songs, 32 types of keyboard percussion, and a starting tempo of 120 BPM
- FULL SIZE KEYBOARD: A true full size 61 key keyboard piano with standard key sizes features LCD screen, record and playback functionality, 100 keyboard sounds 100 rhythms, and 50 demo songs