The future of music

10 Best Digital Pianos for Beginners

December 29, 2023
A beginner playing a digital piano.

Starting your musical journey is easier with the best digital pianos for beginners, where quality meets ease of use.

Find the perfect balance of quality and ease of use in my handpicked selection, designed to kickstart your passion for music without overwhelming you.

Quick answer: what are the best digital pianos for beginners? I found the Yamaha P145 perfect due to its authentic acoustics and natural feel. The Kawai ES120 also impressed me with its responsive touch and tonal balance, ideal for learners. Moreover, the affordability and compact design of the SDP-1 by Gear4Music make it a fantastic choice for starters on a budget.

Top Digital Pianos for Beginners Ranked

Here is a quick list of the best digital pianos for beginners based on my hands-on analysis:

  1. Yamaha P145 – Overall best digital piano for beginners
  2. Kawai ES120 – Best for Kawai sound samples
  3. SDP-1 by Gear4Music – Best for portability
  4. Kawai KDP120 – Best for a wide variety of tones
  5. Casio CDP S110 – Beginner-friendly Casio digital piano
  6. VISIONKEY-200 – Best for a large selection of sounds
  7. Casio PX 770 – Best for acoustic piano feel
  8. VISIONKEY-100 – Lightest digital piano
  9. Roland FP 10 – Best for triple sensors
  10. Korg SP-280 – Best for stylish design

I’ve also made a video on the best digital pianos for beginners for those who prefer watching a video:

10 Best Digital Pianos for Beginners Reviews

To ensure that only the best beginner digital pianos make it into my guide, I put each instrument through rigorous tests.

  1. Playability: The primary test evaluates the piano’s playability, focusing on key action and the physical feel of the keys. The digital piano must mimic the feel of an acoustic piano, not just a keyboard. The texture of the keys is also examined, with top digital pianos replicating the feel of real ivory and ebony for an authentic experience.
  2. Sound Quality: I assess the quality of inbuilt voices and the frequency range of the speakers. Although digital pianos can’t perfectly emulate the vast tonal range of acoustic pianos, with modern technology, they should come close. I also test the sound quality through headphones since many players use them for practice.
  3. Additional Features: The evaluation doesn’t stop at playability and sound. I also test other features like pedals, audio outputs, MIDI compatibility, and any associated apps to determine how they stack up against competitors in their price range.

1. Yamaha P145 – Overall best digital piano for beginners

Yamaha P145, overall Best Digital Piano for Beginners.

Having tested the Yamaha P145, I must say it’s a top choice for newcomers.

Its light, portable frame is ideal for carrying to lessons, and although it doesn’t include a stand, finding one is no hassle.

What impresses me most is the realistic feel of its Graded Hammer Compact (GHC) keyboard, akin to an acoustic piano, ensuring comfort as you play.

For beginners, the transition to this is smooth, thanks to its authentic touch.

Despite its affordability, it doesn’t skimp on features: it boasts essentials like a Metronome, a sustain pedal, and various modes, enhancing practice sessions right from the start.

The sound quality, mimicking a grand piano, is a standout, especially with the Sound Boost function that adds vigor to performances.

Connectivity with Yamaha’s Smart Piano app is a bonus, extending control and offering an extensive sheet music library.

While advanced players might seek more connectivity, the P145’s solid build, reasonable pricing, and quality make it an excellent start for anyone.

2. Kawai ES120 – Best for Kawai sound samples

Kawai ES120, digital piano for beginners.

After exploring the Kawai ES120, I find it tailor-made for beginners, striking a balance between quality sound and affordability.

Its Responsive Hammer Compact (RHC) Action keyboard mimics the touch of an acoustic piano, enhancing your play with a natural feel.

What excites me is its premium SK-EX Grand Piano tone, backed by the sound of the Kawai K-60, delivered through Harmonic Imaging Technology.

Despite its beginner-friendly price, the ES120 doesn’t cut corners, boasting twenty-five preset voices and a plethora of effects and features, including a metronome, sustain pedal, and powerful speakers.

Its high-quality sound output is unmatched in beginner models, thanks in part to upgraded speakers. The low-volume balance and headphone compatibility are thoughtful inclusions for varied practice settings.

Adding Bluetooth functionality stands out to me, allowing seamless integration with devices for interactive lessons and backing tracks.

I’m also intrigued by the six reverb settings, providing a range of acoustic environments.

At just over twelve kilograms, its portability is a boon, though the lack of a stand means considering an extra purchase.

Price-wise, it sits higher than some entry-level options, but given the advanced features you’re accessing, it’s a worthy investment for any burgeoning pianist.

The ES120’s design exudes elegance and practicality, promising a rewarding journey for players ready to dive into a serious musical pursuit.

3. SDP-1 by Gear4Music – Best for portability

SDP-1 by Gear4Music beginners digital piano.

The SDP-1 stands out as a top pick for anyone needing a lightweight, easy-to-carry piano.

As someone who’s tested it, I appreciate its compact size with 61 non-weighted keys, ideal for beginners and kids starting their musical journey.

It’s incredibly portable at just 5.5 kilograms, designed for on-the-go practice.

Although it lacks weighted keys, preventing a true acoustic piano feel, the keys’ adjustable sensitivity compensates by offering a somewhat similar tactile response.

The SDP-1 doesn’t overwhelm with features but includes essential ones: eight distinct sounds, multiple effects like Reverb and Chorus, and a handy metronome.

One of its perks is being battery-operated, perfect for outdoor sessions or street performances.

It’s equipped with two ten-watt speakers, an X-frame stand, and a headphone jack for private practice.

I recommend it for beginners seeking a fun, straightforward learning tool, thanks to its diverse instrument sounds, including pianos, organs, a vibraphone, and a harpsichord.

4. Kawai KDP120 – Best for a wide variety of tones

Kawai KDP120 digital piano for beginners.

As an experienced player, I found the Kawai KDP120 impressive in mimicking the genuine feel of an acoustic piano, thanks to its Responsive Hammer Compact II keyboard with enhanced cushioning.

Its sound richness is notable, featuring the Shigeru Kawai SK-EX Concert Grand tone via Kawai’s Harmonic Imaging, delivering a grand piano experience.

The KDP120 is generous with fifteen preset voices and multiple features, such as damper resonance, reverb effects, and spatial headphone sound, among others, enhancing its versatility.

Additionally, it houses a metronome, three essential pedals, and reliable speakers powered by two ten-watt amplifiers, closely emulating acoustic piano nuances with key-off effects and hammer delay.

What makes it beginner-friendly is the integrated lesson function, guiding learners through skill enhancement, coupled with its sturdy build for long-term use.

Though heavy at thirty-seven kilograms, its durability means you won’t need an upgrade soon.

It’s compatible with Bluetooth and USB for a tech-savvy learning approach, connecting with Kawai’s dedicated apps for added resources.

It leans towards the expensive side, but its robustness and extensive features justify the investment, promising to accompany you from novice strides to advanced performances.

5. Casio CDP S110 – Beginner-friendly Casio digital piano

Casio CDP S110 digital piano for students.

The Casio CDP S110, light and easy to carry, is ideal for students. Its ten-kilogram weight and slim design make it perfect for young beginners to transport to lessons or school.

Despite its compact size, it offers a full set of eighty-eight keys and a Scaled Hammer Action Keyboard II, ensuring an authentic piano touch. A handy music stand is included for convenient practice.

With ten preset voices, plus Reverb and Chorus, the sound variety impresses. It has a metronome, a sustain pedal, and two speakers powered by eight-watt amplifiers, providing clear, strong sound.

Casio consulted numerous piano teachers to understand essential piano features. The key feel emerged as a top priority, influencing the CDP S110’s design to mimic a true piano feel, appealing to learners.

The keys boast a special finish, enhancing grip and adding a sleek look. Its MIDI and USB support, along with compatibility with the Casio Music Space App, extends its functionality, offering a rich selection of songs for learners.

Affordably priced, this model presents a cost-effective choice for beginner pianists, balancing quality with budget-friendliness.

6. VISIONKEY-200 – Best for a large selection of sounds

VISIONKEY-200 digital keyboard for beginners.

The VISIONKEY-200 stands out as a portable piano, offering a rich array of sounds that spark learning and creativity.

Though it lacks sound effects, the selection of one hundred and twenty-eight tones, eighty-three rhythms, and sixty-one built-in songs across genres compensates generously, making practice engaging for novices.

Its full-size, eighty-eight-key, velocity-sensitive keyboard, backed by two ten-watt amps and a sustain pedal, delivers a touch and sound rivaling that of an acoustic piano.

Bluetooth, a quarter-inch jack, and five-pin DIN pedal ports on the VISIONKEY-200 open vast possibilities for learners: it doubles as a speaker, syncs with your phone for interactive sessions, and supports quiet practice in noisy spaces.

Beginners benefit from versatile modes like Dual and Split. Dual layer sounds for richer output or tandem practice, while Split assigns distinct voices to each hand, ideal for solo play.

Unique among entry-level options, it features an easy-to-use recorder, perfect for capturing ideas and refining skills through playback. This tool is invaluable for aspiring songwriters, ensuring no melody escapes memory, thanks to the diverse sound palette.

Affordable yet feature-rich, the VISIONKEY-200 is a treasure for beginners, balancing cost with a suite of functions that enhance the learning journey.

7. Casio PX 770 – Best for acoustic piano feel

Casio PX 770 digital piano for beginners.

The Casio PX 770, though pricier, offers beginners rich sounds and textures.

Its eighty-eight-key Tri-Sensor II Hammer Action keyboard mimics the feel of an acoustic piano, using three sensors for realism.

Casio’s unique sound tech replicates a grand piano, drawing from a nine-foot concert model, which keeps learners engaged and ready for the real thing.

With nineteen voices, effects like Reverb and Chorus, a metronome, and a sustain pedal, it delivers top sound, powered by two eight-watt amps and speakers.

Weighing over thirty-one kilograms, it lacks portability but gains stability, appealing based on your needs.

It includes ten classical tracks for playful practice and duet mimicry.

Compatible with Casio’s Music Space app, it offers helpful lessons and drills.

In short, the PX 770 is a worthy spend for beginners seeking quality and robust features.

8. VISIONKEY-100 – Lightest digital piano

VISIONKEY-100 best piano for beginners.

The VISIONKEY-100, ideal for new players, stands out with its portable build, perfect for classes, weighing just under five kilograms.

This model, a simpler, budget-friendly sibling of the VISIONKEY-200, boasts a sleek design that blends into any setting.

Its touch-sensitive keyboard with eighty-eight keys and a sustain pedal offers a pleasing play experience.

What draws attention is its broad array of one hundred and twenty-nine sounds, compensating for fewer features compared to others listed.

Ease of use is a key perk, backed by an LED screen showing presets clearly.

Besides the sounds, it features one hundred and twenty-eight rhythms and thirty practice songs, enhancing learning and making practice enjoyable.

It offers various connection options like USB and Bluetooth, allowing hookups to phones, speakers, or mics.

The VISIONKEY-100 presents a cost-effective, feature-rich choice for beginners, packed in a convenient, stylish form.

9. Roland FP 10 – Best for triple sensors

Roland FP 10 piano for beginner players.

The Roland FP 10, ideal for beginners, impresses with its top-notch keyboard and robust sound.

This model, easy to move once off its stand, weighs slightly over twelve kilograms.

Roland employs the PHA-4 Standard Keyboard, complete with Escapement and Ivory Feel, and eighty-eight keys for a true piano feel, avoiding poor play habits.

Its hammer action is quieter than past models, letting players enjoy pure sound without key noise.

The SuperNATURAL sound engine enhances realism, pushed through two speakers and amps, and pairs with a metronome and sustain pedal.

It houses fifteen sounds, varying effects, and a twin piano mode for duo practice.

The Roland FP 10 offers an affordable, straightforward learning path, though not the cheapest, marking a fair mid-level price point for beginner digital pianos.

10. Korg SP-280 – Best for stylish design

Korg SP-280 digital piano for new players.

The Korg SP-280, perfect for new players, stands out with its distinct, rounded look.

Its design differs from others, offering a unique style choice for your space.

Though heavier at nearly twenty kilograms, it’s not too bulky for gigs or classes.

Its eighty-eight-key, weighted keyboard mimics the smooth touch of an acoustic piano.

You’ll find thirty sounds, thirty demo tunes, and various effects like reverb and chorus.

Practicing is simple with its sustain pedal and metronome.

The robust twenty-two-watt amps and two speakers ensure rich sound.

Designed for starters, the Korg SP-280 marks a wise pick for newbies at a mid-range price.

What Is a Digital Piano?

The main purpose of a digital piano is to replace an acoustic piano and to mimic its sound and feel.

It is an electronic keyboard instrument that utilizes technology to do this.

To make them sound as lifelike as possible, they frequently employ samples of real acoustic grand pianos.

What Is the Difference Between a Keyboard & a Digital Piano?

The fundamental distinction between keyboards and digital pianos is that the latter uses weighted keys, whilst the former has spring-loaded, bouncy keys that only allow for one level of volume.

While still electronic and utilizing technology, a digital piano can produce a variety of tones depending on how firmly the keys are pressed, making it similar to an acoustic piano.

Why Do Instructors Recommend Digital Pianos for Beginners?

As with learning any new skill, it can be easy to pick up bad habits when you first start learning piano.

A digital piano helps you build your technique as if you were playing an acoustic grand piano, without the poor technique that sometimes comes along with keyboards due to the different feel.

The weighted keys help with wrist posture and finger strength, which means that at examinations you won’t have any unwelcome surprises when you switch to an acoustic.

Many digital pianos also have dual and duet modes, which split the keyboard in half so your teacher can practice right next to you.

This allows them to see what your fingers are doing while also playing along with you.

These points, along with all of the features of digital pianos that we’ve discussed, are why instructors recommend digital pianos for beginners.

They ensure that your skills are fully transferable to an acoustic, which is usually the goal.

How to Choose the Best Beginner’s Digital Piano for You

There are four major considerations when selecting a digital piano that will meet your demands and provide the greatest experience:

1. Budget

The price range of digital pianos on the market is significant, so this is an important consideration.

2. Features

A beginner may not require too much fancy technology or recording capabilities, but rather a working piano that allows them to practice their skills.

3. Goals

As a beginner who has taken up something new, a less expensive model may suffice for practicing and honing your talents. 

Consider your objectives and keep them in mind.

4. Space

Are you looking for a compact digital piano for your flat, or do you have a little more space to experiment with?

This is an important factor to consider when browsing. 

Fortunately, the digital pianos on my list vary in size and shape, so there’s something for everyone.

What Are the Benefits of Choosing a Digital Piano for a Beginner?

For a beginner, there are a few benefits to choosing a digital piano over an acoustic one.

Here are some of the main benefits of choosing a digital piano:

Most of them are more affordable than acoustic pianos

For a beginner, you’re unlikely to be paying more than $1,000 for a digital piano (unless you choose a higher-range instrument).

Even some of the more expensive digital pianos cost less than low-priced acoustic pianos, so it’s an affordable way to learn how to play.

They have a high-quality sound

As previously said, technological advancements have enabled digital piano makers to create instruments with exceptional sound quality as well as high-def speakers.

Almost every digital piano now includes a set of sounds designed to resemble some of the world’s most-known grand pianos, such as the Bösendorfer.

This means you could be experiencing a true grand piano sound right in your living room for a fraction of the price.

They can feel the same as an acoustic piano

Digital piano keyboards are no longer lifeless, owing to modern technologies.

They have been developed to simulate the sensation of playing an acoustic piano, complete with weighted keys. 

This is one of the main reasons why pianists prefer digital pianos over acoustic ones – they now feel quite similar to play.

You don’t need to tune them

An acoustic piano will need to be tuned once it has moved into your home, and then around once a year following that.

This costs money and takes time, and there will be periods when your piano isn’t sounding its best.

Rather than having to hire a professional tuner, you can simply leave your digital piano alone.

They require little to no upkeep, making them perfect for beginners who just want to learn to play the simple way without spending extra money or time.

They save space

Acoustic pianos are large and take up a lot of space, which doesn’t work for everyone.

Most digital pianos, on the other hand, are compact and streamlined yet still have a full-sized keyboard.

You can learn how to play piano without compromising your home!

They have programmed-in sounds, instruments, and rhythms to help you learn

This is one of the most significant advantages for a beginner.

Whether you’re creating a song, learning how to play, or simply jamming along to a backing track, everything is at your fingertips, which an acoustic piano does not provide.

They feature new technology like headphones, Bluetooth, and speakers

This is a lifeline for today’s families.

If you want to practice without disturbing anyone around you, simply put in headphones and enjoy your artistic space. 

When not in use, many individuals utilize their digital piano as a sound system, as most now include powerful speakers and the ability to connect to external speakers through Bluetooth.

You can link your phone via Bluetooth so you can tune in to a lesson while playing.

Of course, this isn’t a must, and it’s not a feature shared by all digital pianos, but it’s a nice bonus (particularly for kids).

They last a long time

People used to prefer acoustic pianos over digital pianos since they lasted much longer. 

Digital pianos can now last anywhere from twenty to fifty years, so you won’t be racing to upgrade in a couple of years.

They come with additional accessories

This means you can personalize your experience!

They often come as full packages which include music stands, pedals, power supplies, and maybe even a headphone and a stool. 

What Factors Should I Consider When Buying a Digital Piano for Beginners?

If you’re buying a digital piano for the first time, you should consider the keyboard that you choose.

Most teachers recommend one with eighty-eight keys, which is full-sized.

This ensures that you can transfer your skills to an acoustic.

Similarly, you likely want keys that are at least semi-weighted.

This is for the same reason as above and encourages good technique.

For a beginner, it’s beneficial to choose a digital piano with high-quality sounds and samples.

It’s best to go for quality over quantity, here, so you can hear what you should sound like and replicate it.

Finally, size is an important factor.

You need to make sure it fits into your home, and you need to decide whether you want it to be portable.

They come in a range of sizes and weights, so make sure to do your research.

Should I Order a Beginner’s Digital Piano Online?

In brief, ordering a digital piano online is safe. 

But keep in mind that there are a few things you should think about before adding it to your shopping basket. 

Keep in mind that it isn’t easy to return a piano through the mail!  

You’ve now discovered your ideal digital piano online; it might even be one from my list!

If at all feasible, I do not recommend purchasing it immediately online.

It’s usually a good idea to walk into a store and try products out for comparison. 

This isn’t always practicable, so it’s not essential. 

You’re good to go as long as you’ve done all of your research and are certain about the size, color, and are satisfied with your pick.

There are benefits to purchasing a digital piano online.

You could come across one on sale, which saves you the trouble of going to every store in your neighborhood and checking their stock.

It’s always worth doing a quick Google search to get evaluations of your preferred model, and perhaps even watching a YouTube video to hear it in action.

What Are Weighted & Graded Keys?

Weighted keys are specially designed to simulate the resistance felt when touching the keys of an acoustic piano.

This is called action, and it indicates that they react smoothly to quick musical parts.

A graded keyboard means that, like an acoustic, the bass notes are heavier at the treble (right) end and lighter at the bass (left) end.

How Much Should I Spend on a Digital Piano?

For a starter piano, I recommend spending no more than $800.

This is easily doable with the wide range of models out there, and the low price point doesn’t affect the quality.

Of course, if you’re looking for a more hardy digital piano that’ll last longer as you progress, you could increase your budget to $1,000.

Which Digital Piano is Closest to an Acoustic Piano?

Many digital pianos are comparable to acoustic pianos.

The closest ones are the models that feature samples of real acoustic grand pianos, for example, the Kawai ES120 which samples the SK-EX Grand Piano. 

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right digital piano can set beginners on a path to musical success.

My selection prioritizes authenticity, user-friendliness, and value, offering something for every new pianist.

Each model is a gateway to a harmonious musical journey, blending quality and affordability to inspire and nurture your budding talent.

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Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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