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If you are looking for the best cheap keyboard piano in 2021, we have got you covered. Keyboard pianos can be very expensive and the idea of finding a good one on a budget might seem impossible.
The good news is there are lots of great options available for under $500. If your budget is even tighter we even found some solid choices for under $300. So, whatever your budget is, we can help you find what you need.
Here are the best cheap keyboard pianos under $500-$300:
- Roland GO:PIANO88
- Alesis Recital Pro
- Korg B1
- Yamaha YPG-535
- Alesis Recital
- Artesia Performer
- RockJam RJ88DP
- Roland FP-10
- Yamaha P-45
- Casio PX-160
1. Roland GO:PIANO88
The Roland Go range are some of the best cheap keyboards around. They are designed to encourage creativity and fun.
The GO:PIANO88 is the new flagship model and it’s just as intuitive as its smaller counterparts. It has 88 touch-sensitive keys (not fully-weighted) with 3 levels of sensitivity and 128-note max polyphony.
There are 4 different voices which are: piano, electric piano, organ, and strings. Despite the small number of voices, they are extremely high-quality and derived from some of Roland’s best digital pianos.
This keyboard also utilizes Roland’s Piano Partner 2 app via USB or Bluetooth. This means you can access lots of interactive learning content straight from your smartphone. Bluetooth also allows you to play music from your smartphone through the keyboards built-in speakers.
On the surface, this might not seem like one of the best digital pianos under $500. So, let’s get the negatives out of the way first. It doesn’t have fully-weighted keys and it only has 4 different voices, so why is it on our list?
What makes the GO:PIANO88 worth considering is the combination of fantastic sounds in such a portable unit. It will never compete for the best feel on our list but the sound is certainly up there. So, if you are looking for something more portable then maybe this is right for you.
2. Alesis Recital Pro
This is a slightly overlooked choice but the Alesis Recital Pro has a lot to offer. The hammer action keys are very convincing for the price and come with adjustable touch response. The keyboard has a max polyphony of 128 notes so you should never have any issues there.
It comes with 12 onboard voices including pianos, electric pianos, organs, and strings. Alesis are longtime pros at making great MIDI controllers so the Recital Pro adapts perfectly to your favorite DAW or VST via USB.
Lesson mode splits the keyboard into 2 zones with the same pitch and voice for tuition purposes. The onboard record function lets you record and playback to your progress. Also great for practicing is the built-in metronome that can be adjusted from 30-280 bpm.
The Recital Pro comes with built-in 20W speakers, more powerful than most of its competitors.
The Recital Pro is genuinely one of the best affordable digital pianos at under $400. It ticks so many boxes with very few complaints.
The keys could be more expressive/responsive but they aren’t bad and at the price, they are probably better than most. It’s great for beginners and it’s an ideal performer/controller keyboard piano for more advanced players.
3. Korg B1
Korg is known for making some of the best value keyboard pianos. The Korg B1 is a prime example of everything a straight-forward affordable digital piano should be. It’s a stripped-back instrument that aims to do the essentials very well.
It has Korg’s Natural Hammer Action keys with matte black keytops. There are 3 sensitivity levels: light, normal, and heavy. The B1 has a max polyphony of 120 notes and 8 instrument voices. The instruments include 3 pianos (jazz, concert, ballad), all of which are very impressive. The sound source for the B1 is Korg’s PCM stereo sampling which is incredibly detailed. There’s no split mode but a duo mode is available.
We don’t think this is the best keyboard piano under $500 but it may be the most straight-forward. What we mean by that is that it doesn’t do too much but it does it well. Korg keyboards always have very good piano voices so that was no surprise. It’s worthy of its place on our list because many people prefer Korg’s piano sound over other manufacturers.
4. Yamaha YPG-535
The Yamaha YPG-535 is slightly older but still a very popular keyboard piano. It comes with 88 semi-weighted keys and 3 levels of touch sensitivity (32 note max polyphony). The graded soft touch action keys function on a spring mechanism rather than a hammer mechanism.
Where the YPG-535 comes into its own is in its versatility, boasting a huge 500 onboard sounds. Along with the huge soundbank, it also has 160 preset styles and 30 preset songs. The onboard effects include 9 reverb types, 4 chorus types, and 26 harmony types.
The voices come from the same AWM stereo sampling as the Yamaha P-45 so the piano sounds are very good. A built-in 6-track MIDI recorder allows you to record up to 5 songs.
Navigating all of these sounds/functions will seem daunting at first because there are over 40 buttons on the front panel. However, this is made easier by a large central LCD screen. The LCD screen is also great for using Yamaha’s Education Suite, packed with lots of learning material.
This isn’t the cheapest keyboard piano and it isn’t the best keyboard piano, there are a few issues here. First of all, it doesn’t have fully-weighted keys so you won’t get that realistic piano experience. Secondly, it doesn’t sound as good as multiple other options at a similar price. The fact it has a max polyphony of 32 notes could also be a problem with some classical pieces.
But, here’s the upside: it has a huge amount of voices, onboard effects, and it’s lightweight. So if you want a keyboard that can do a bit of everything and won’t break your back carrying it to a gig, the YPG-535 should be considered.
5. Alesis Recital
We wouldn’t always place 2 variations of the same model keyboard on our list but in this case, we had to. The main reason being that the Alesis Recital is almost half the price of the Pro version.
The Recital has 88 semi-weighted keys with 128-note max polyphony. There are 5 onboard voices, less than the Pro version but of the same quality. Voices can be split or layered simultaneously (2 at a time). It doesn’t have the onboard record function of the Pro version but the good news is that most other features remain the same.
The onboard metronome, lesson mode, effects, etc are exactly as the Recital Pro. It even has the same built-in 20W speakers that easily fill a small recital room.
The Alesis Recital could just be the best cheap keyboard around. Of course, it lacks in certain areas, the keys don’t feel realistic. But the same can be said for any semi-weighted keyboard piano.
There aren’t many sounds but the ones you do get are very good. The educational aspects are great for beginners and development. There isn’t too much to say here, it’s a surprisingly good, cheap 88-key keyboard (well under $300).
6. Artesia Performer
The Performer from Artesia is a good starting point for anyone who hasn’t played with weighted keys before. The spring tension action keys aren’t the most convincing but they offer enough resistance to make them a good transition from non-weighted.
It comes with 12 onboard instrument voices and some nice DSP effects. There are 50 preset songs and exercises to help players develop their technique in a fun way. Other features include a built-in metronome and USB connectivity.
The Artesia Performer has 4 built-in 15W speakers making it suitable for home practice or small performances.
There are two ways to look at this keyboard, is it the best keyboard piano under $300? No, it’s not. Is it still a good cheap keyboard piano? Yes, it is.
Here’s why, this might not be the ideal performers’ keyboard but for complete beginners, this is a very good transitional instrument. It’s something that will bridge the gap between non-weighted and fully-weighted keys. You will outgrow it but by the time you do, you’ll have had value for your money and then some.
7. RockJam RJ88DP
This is a beginners keyboard piano that seems to be getting very popular. It has 88 semi-weighted keys with adjustable touch sensitivity.
It comes with 10 unique voices including acoustic pianos, electric pianos, strings, and organs. Sounds are projected through the 2 built-in 12W speakers.
The RockJam RJ88DP is all about fun, learning, and self-expression. You can plug a microphone directly into the keyboard and let out the performer in you. It’s a very useful way to practice playing and singing at the same time without hiding your voice.
The RockJam RJ88DP offers exclusive access to the Simply Piano app. The app offers tutorials on technique and both classical/popular music.
As cheap electronic pianos go, this ticks all of the boxes. It’s never going to compete with the top of our list but it’s aimed at an entirely different market. The RockJam RJ88DP is for beginners or people who just want to have some fun with music.
In either case, there are enough onboard sounds and content available to make it a viable option. The potential to plug a microphone straight into the keyboard does add another dimension that most keyboards don’t have. If you fancy yourself as a budding singer/songwriter, this could be your first stop.
8. Roland FP-10
Despite its slimline body, the Roland FP-10 has hammer-action keys with ivory feel, just like the more expensive FP models. It comes with 15 instrument sounds including acoustic and electric pianos. The highlight is that the piano sound comes from Roland’s much-acclaimed SuperNATURAL sound engine.
Adding to the realism, the FP-10 simulates resonant noise that you would get from an acoustic piano. This means things like string, damper, and key-off resonance.
The FP-10 has a max polyphony of 96 notes which is more than enough even in duo/split modes. Duo mode will split the FP-10 into 2 identical piano ranges, perfect for teacher/pupil playing.
It has an onboard metronome along with 17 preset songs and 15 demos. Navigating sounds/presets is a bit different on the FP-10 because it only has 4 buttons: Power, Volume up; Volume down, and Function. Voices are selected by holding down the function button and pressing the key that corresponds to the voice you want.
Roland’s free Piano Partner 2 app provides some great interactive-learning content as well as the potential to expand on the 15 onboard voices. The keyboards USB connectivity makes it easy to connect to your smart device for the app or to your computer, as a MIDI controller.
Roland’s FP-10 could well be the best budget keyboard piano yet. We base this largely on two things, how it feels and the piano voice. The progressive hammer action keys with ivory feel are fantastic at under $500. As for the piano voice, you’d struggle to find an affordable keyboard piano that can match Rolands SuperNATURAL piano.
One minor complaint is that there is no screen but there aren’t many functions to navigate anyway, so it’s not a problem. There are only 15 voices, but they are high-quality voices and the most wanted sounds are present. The Piano Partner 2 app is easy to use and can be pretty useful, especially for beginners. Overall, this is a better keyboard than you’d expect at this price.
9. Yamaha P-45
This is the successor to the P-35 and it comes with improved sounds, higher polyphony, and USB connectivity. The Yamaha P-45 has graded hammer action keys with 4 levels of touch sensitivity: Hard, Medium, Soft, and Fixed.
The improved sounds come from Yamaha’s AWM Stereo Sampling that goes deeper than the previous P-35 model. The 10 onboard instruments include 2 acoustic pianos which are the best of the bunch. Together with the graded hammer action keys, these piano sounds provide a very realistic experience.
It has a max polyphony of 64 notes, on the low side generally speaking but still shouldn’t cause any problems. There are 10 preset songs and 10 demos that you can play along with. All of this sound comes out of the built-in 6W speakers. The built-in speakers are capable of filling a small room but for ensemble performance, you’d need an external amp.
The P-45 is a difficult one to place with real conviction. We decided to put it in at number 2 purely based on the feel of the graded hammer action keys and the sound of the AWM sampled concert grand. We said as much about the Roland FP-10 too, the difference is that while the FP-10 was on the verge of lacking versatility, the P-45 is further behind in that department.
The fact that we can say that and still place it at number 2 goes to show how much we think of the feel and sound. If you want a pure piano and prefer the Yamaha sound to Roland, this is for you.
10. Casio PX-160
The Casio Privia range is well known for their realistic piano experience. The PX-160 doesn’t disappoint, it comes with Casio’s Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action II keys. The keys have simulated ebony and ivory tops that grip the fingertips nicely. Tri-Sensor means that there are 3 levels of sensitivity to suit your personal preference.
There are 18 instruments onboard, including 5 pianos, all coming from the Multi-Dimensional Morphing AIR Sound Engine. Multiple modes are available including split, dual, and duet. These are great for practicing solo or with a tutor. The PX-160 also has 2 headphone jacks which are useful for practicing quietly even with a tutor.
One function of the PX-160 that the keyboards above don’t have is its 2-track MIDI recorder. This is ideal for recording ideas/songs without the need for a computer. The built-in 8W speakers are more powerful than some other inexpensive keyboard pianos.
In some ways, the PX-160 beats the 2 keyboard pianos we have placed above it. It’s certainly more versatile and the addition of the onboard MIDI recorder is fantastic. So, if you want a more versatile budget keyboard piano, this might be the one for you.
We decided to put it in 3rd place simply because the piano sounds on the 2 above are better. Outside of that, we are talking very fine margins, this is a great buy.
Whether you are buying a $2000 keyboard or a $200 keyboard, there are always multiple options. The under $500 range that we are looking at is no different.
Be careful not to fall into the trap of thinking cheapest keyboard pianos are all the same! You should take exactly the same thought process you would do if you were buying an expensive keyboard.
You have to think about your budget first then consider what’s most important to you. Is it the realistic hammer action keys? The sound? The functions? Or maybe it’s versatility.
The point is, even at a cheaper price range, keyboards will excel in some areas and not in others. The key is finding the one that fits your needs most and we hope our list can help you do that. Our 10 great choices suit different budgets and playing levels and hopefully don’t break the bank.
James is a writer and musician with a passion for audio production. He is a lover of all things tech, especially the latest keyboards, synths, DAW’s, virtual instruments, and effects plugins. Musical interests include jazz, funk, hip hop, blues, and rock.