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If you’re looking for the best digital pianos and keyboard pianos in 2021, you’ve come to the right place.
We have reviewed some of the very best instruments on the market and chosen our top 12 for your consideration. Our reviews cover all aspects of these instruments, from how they feel and sound to value for money.
In this article, we will explain how we made our decisions and help you choose the perfect instrument for you.
1. Roland RD-2000 – Piano Keybed Keyboard
The best keyboard piano for the stage
The Roland RD-2000 is the ultimate keyboard piano for performers and the highest-rated on our list. It ticks every box; it sounds and feels superb and delivers the perfect blend of modern and vintage features. The control it provides over onboard parameters, as well as your DAW or virtual instruments, is unrivaled. The fact it integrates so well with other sound sources makes it infinitely expandable, too. The RD-2000 is one of the best keyboard pianos we have ever seen.
|Image credit: Roland Check Amazon||
The RD-2000 is the most advanced in a long line of Roland RD keyboard pianos. According to Roland, it’s their best feeling keybed yet. Roland’s PHA-50 (progressive hammer-action) keyboard is a hybrid of wood and plastic, with a synthetic ivory feel. The keys have a fantastic action and a realistic weight allowing for maximum expression.
The all-important piano sounds come from two independent sound engines; SuperNATURAL engine and V-Piano technology. The SuperNATURAL engine powers some acoustic piano voices, electric pianos, and over 1100 other sounds with 128-note max polyphony. Roland’s V-Piano engine offers some beautiful grand piano voices with full polyphony. It’s worth noting that amongst the sounds are recreations of two classic Roland electric pianos, the RD-1000 and MKS-20.
Roland went as far as recreating some classic analog effects, too, like the Boss CE-1 Chorus and Roland Dimension D. Onboard effects include reverb, delay, tremolo, amp-simulations, a 3-band compressor, and a 5-band EQ.
The RD-2000 gives you ultimate control over your performance through eight assignable dynamic encoders and nine faders. There are eight zones for layering sounds that are controlled by the faders. So you can easily adjust massive sounds on the fly, and layered sounds can come from the RD-2000 or external sources, even virtual instruments.
It also features a high-quality 24-bit audio interface, so you get the full quality of your external sounds. There are four multi-function pedal inputs and 100 user slots to save custom patches. You can even record your performance (2-channel) and playback as a high-quality WAV.
2. Yamaha CP88 – Classic Design Professional Keyboard
The best vintage sounds and effects
The CP88 is one of our favorites because of its authenticity; it should be amongst anyone’s best-rated keyboard pianos. Yamaha has done a fantastic job of creating an instrument with a vintage sound that meets a modern musician’s demands. The keys feel great, although perhaps a little lighter than expected. It sounds awesome, and the vintage effects are lovely.
|Image credit: Yamaha Check Amazon||
The CP88 is a modern throwback to the mid-1970s and Yamaha’s original Combo Piano. It’s often overlooked, but we feel it’s a must-have in any keyboard piano review list.
With Yamaha’s NW-GH keyboard, this keyboard piano has an ultra-realistic feel. NW stands for natural wooden keys. The sound comes from the AWM2 tone generator with 128-note polyphony.
Voices are separated into three sections: Pianos, Electric Pianos, and Sub. The Sub section contains organs, strings, synths, and a variety of other sounds. There are 10 acoustic pianos with three flagship grands, the Yamaha CFX, S700, and a Bösendorfer Imperial 290. It features some gorgeous upright pianos, too. Each section has its own dedicated effects and controls. The electric pianos feature some more vintage tones, the CP80 and 75 Rd.
Yamaha’s Virtual Circuitry Modeling provides stunning vintage effects. It mimics the behavior of high-end studio signal processors, modeling the circuits with incredible detail. These emulated vintage effects are one of the best things about the CP88. There are also a few master effects with dedicated controls, like delay, EQ, and reverb.
It has a few handy performance features, particularly the Seamless Sound Switching. It lets you change the sound while holding a note from the previous sound, and it won’t drop out.
The CP88 has a nice LCD screen, and all controls are robust and a little bit retro. Add in a 2-channel USB audio/MIDI interface, and this keyboard piano is a stage and studio powerhouse.
3. Casio PX-770 – Perfect Home Piano for Beginners
The best digital piano for the home
The PX-770 is one of the best digital pianos for the money. It’s priced low enough to justify the purchase as a beginner, and the piano sound more than good enough for a professional. The ebony/ivory feel keys are a really nice touch and create a more realistic playing experience. It doesn’t hurt that it looks lovely, too!
|Image credit: Casio Check Amazon||
If you go to a music store to check out the best digital pianos, a Casio Privia will never be far away. You also won’t find any digital piano reviews that fail to mention the Privia lineup. They range from beginner-friendly options to very high-end pianos; we are looking at the Privia PX-770.
The PX-770 has scaled weighted hammer-action keys, which means they get lighter as you move up in pitch (128-note max polyphony). The keys have a simulated ebony and ivory feel, and combined with the weight; they feel very realistic.
There are 19 voices in total, and that’s more than respectable for a digital piano. However, it’s all about the grand piano sound, and it comes from Casio’s AiR Sound Source. Stunning concert grand pianos were sampled with four dynamic levels to produce a very expressive voice for the PX-770. Built-in chorus and reverb effects can make the piano sound even richer.
The other thing you want from a home digital piano is some tutorial features. Casio’s PX-770 comes with 60 play-along songs and a 2-track MIDI recorder to capture your progress. It also features a Duet Mode for student/teacher lessons, creating two equal keyboard zones.
The build quality of the PX-770 is very high, it feels solid, and the key cover moves well. It’s an instrument that will look good anywhere in the house, which is important for a digital piano.
4. Nord Stage 3 – Professional Musicans’ Keyboard
The best stage piano/synth hybrid
So many professionals use the Nord Stage 3, and they can’t all be wrong. It’s a genuinely fantastic instrument, from sound to build quality. The keyboard action won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but that and the high price are the only drawbacks. If you have the money and you need a serious, professional stage piano, the Nord Stage 3 could be the one for you.
|Image credit: Nord Check Amazon||
Nord keyboards are the must-have instrument for many professional musicians. The Nord Stage 3 is the flagship piano in the range and the most expensive on our list.
The Stage 3 has fully-weighted keys with aftertouch. The keyboard action feels a bit different from other high-end stage pianos, and it’s a compromise between a realistic piano feel and a smooth action for synths/organs. The max polyphony is 120 notes for piano and 34 notes for synths.
Onto the sounds, and that’s where the Nord Stage 3 really shines. There are around 400 presets split between three unique sound engines; piano, synth, and organ. Countless professional musicians favor Nord’s piano sound; it’s rich and has real depth. The synth sounds come from the Lead A1 engine, so whether it’s leads, pads, or basses, they sound amazing. As for the organ engine, that’s surprisingly good, both in its quality and its choice of instruments.
Being a true performers keyboard, the Stage 3 has a wide range of gig-ready effects. The built-in effects include speaker simulations for the organ sounds, phaser, chorus, ring mod, and most others you can imagine.
Nord keyboards can look a bit intimidating to a beginner with buttons everywhere. However, the layout is actually very easy to use; each section is nice and clear/defined. The Nord Stage 3 integrates with external MIDI gear perfectly, like it was part of the keyboard.
5. Korg Grandstage 88 – Minimalistic Design and Realistic Piano Feeling
The ultimate piano experience
If you want a dedicated stage piano, you will struggle to find any better than the Grandstage 88. It’s one of the best digital stage pianos on the market and has the most realistic feel in our top 12.
Despite having around 500 high-quality preset sounds, it’s the piano voices and the keybed that make it worth buying. For a jazz or classical pianists, it’s one of the best keyboard pianos around. If you play in a band that requires a wide range of sounds, you’ll get better value for money elsewhere.
|Image credit: Korg Check Amazon||
Korg’s Grandstage 88 is the perfect example of how a stage piano should feel. That beautiful feel is mostly thanks to Korg’s RH3 keybed (Real Hammer-Action). The progressive weight and responsiveness are hard to beat unless you go for a real piano. It has a max polyphony of 128 notes.
The Grandstage 88 is a piano first and foremost, but it features seven individual sound engines. Sound engines include the SGX-2 acoustic piano engine, EP-1, VOX organ, and the AL-1 analog modeling engine. It’s surprisingly versatile for an instrument that isn’t often considered more than a great piano sound.
The overall sound quality is exceptional, and the combination of the SGX-2 piano engine and real hammer-action keys creates one of the most expressive stage pianos you will ever play. The VOX organs are exceptionally authentic, although the weight of the keys isn’t perfect for organ playing.
You can change from one sound to another without any drop out with Korg’s Smooth Sound Transition function. The same function works with effects too in real-time. There aren’t many onboard effects, but the 3-band EQ, delay, and reverb all have dedicated controls for easy tweaking.
Sounds can be layered or split with 64 favorite slots available to store and instantly recall your most-used sounds. It’s quite a heavy unit, but it comes with a solid custom Grandstage stand that looks great.
6. Roland RD-88 – Best Live Gig Keyboard
The best newcomer
The RD-88 is an excellent addition to the stellar RD series. It’s a lightweight and portable stage piano with extremely high-quality sounds. If you want something a bit lighter for gigging without losing quality, it’s the RD-88. However, if you are buying it because you can’t yet afford the RD-2000, just wait and save up. The RD-88 isn’t meant to compete on that level; it’s meant to play to its strengths, which are its sound quality and portability.
|Image credit: Roland Check Amazon||
Roland’s RD range has been around forever, and the RD-88 is the newest addition. It’s a somewhat streamlined version that’s meant to make life on the road a bit easier.
The strongest argument for choosing the RD-88 over something like the RD-2000 is that it’s much lighter and much cheaper. Although it’s much lighter, it still comes with a lovely progressive hammer-action keybed with escapement. It also has ivory feel keys that are very nice to play.
The sounds are generated by Roland’s ZEN-Core Sound Generator and the SuperNATURAL sound engine. Together, the sound engines have over 3000 presets, which is insane, in a good way. You know what you get from the SuperNATURAL sound engine; outstanding acoustic and electric pianos. Like the RD-2000, it integrates very well with external gear and even soft synths.
The RD-88 can split into three zones, and unique voice and effect parameters can be applied to each zone. Zonal effects include 90 types of multi-effects, EQ, and tone color. There are effects that can be applied per voice rather than per zone. For example, if you have a sound present in multiple zones with a master reverb, but you only want chorus applied to zone one.
It’s a fantastic controller keyboard, whether it’s for external gear or your DAW. It comes with eight assignable knobs and two assignable wheels.
7. Casio PX-S3000 – World Slimmest Keyboard
The best portable keyboard piano
The one guarantee with the PX-S3000 is that it will feel nothing like you expect. For such a slim instrument that weighs under 25 lbs, the scaled hammer-action keys are astonishing. It looks awesome, and it’s super-portable.
Although very good, the downside is that for close to $900, you can probably find a better piano sound. But, it won’t come with the same feel in a lightweight package, so it depends on what you value most.
|Image credit: Casio Check Amazon||
The PX-S3000 keyboard marks the biggest advancement in technology the Casio Privia range has seen since the original. The PX-S3000 is the world’s slimmest keyboard piano, and it looks super cool.
Unbelievably, due to its slimline design, the PX-S3000 has the most advanced hammer-action keys in the entire range. Casio’s Smart Scaled Hammer Action simulates a unique touch response for every individual key. Some of the most expensive stage pianos available cannot boast such an expressive keybed.
The advanced AiR Sound Source delivers a very rich, expressive tone that compliments the weighted keys very well. Much to our surprise, the PX-S3000 comes with 700 onboard voices. Like any keyboard with so many voices, there will be many that you never use or just don’t like. But, we have to say, for the most part, these voices are such a high standard. Voices can be split or layered to create custom patches.
Despite being so slim, the PX-S3000 houses a powerful stereo speaker system so you can play without an amplifier. The speakers sound great with the 200 onboard rhythms, or you can stream your own via Bluetooth from a mobile device.
It’s the perfect partner for Casio’s Chordana Play app that has lots of tutorial content. It has a nice Duet mode to create an equal split for students and teachers if you are taking lessons. The sleek casing is finished in a glossy black befits a concert grand piano; it’s gorgeous.
8. Casio CDP-S350 – Cheap Keyboard for Beginners
A great all-rounder
The Casio CDP-S350 offers remarkable value for money. Let’s be clear, it doesn’t sound as good as the high-end choices on or list, but it’s around 80% cheaper in some cases. The ivory-feel keys, the versatile arpeggiator, the quality of piano tones, and versatile recorder are all unexpected at this price. It’s fantastic for starters and even for pros who want a lightweight piano for practice or performance.
|Image credit: Casio Check Amazon||
The Casio CDP-S350 is a bit of an unexpected choice. At a glance, you’d be forgiven for assuming it was a budget MIDI controller, but it’s a legit compact digital piano.
It comes with scaled hammer-action keys with a simulated ebony/ivory feel. Straight away, you feel a level of quality that you wouldn’t expect to see under $600. It comes with a massive 700 sounds and 64-note max polyphony. It’s fair to say that not all of the 700 voices are going to blow you away, but the sound quality is very strong where it matters. The grand piano sounds are similar to something you’d expect from a more expensive Casio digital piano.
It has 200 rhythms with varied auto-accompaniment styles that make for decent backing tracks. The built-in arpeggiator has 100 types/modes, and that’s where the CDP-S350 gets more interesting. Features like the arpeggiator and an onboard 6-track recorder make this keyboard a great songwriting platform, too. It even has 50 onboard piano lessons and access to the Chordana Play app for beginners.
The CDP-S350 is very slim and light; it has a small display, but the layout is minimal otherwise. That makes it easy to use and easy to move around. Unlike most stage pianos, it has built-in speakers and can be battery-powered, so it’s a play-anywhere piano.
9. Roland FP-30
The best budget piano voice
Roland’s FP-30 is somewhere between the ideal beginner keyboard piano and a budget choice for a pro. As a beginner instrument, the price is good; it has some basic practice functions and great sounds. For a pro, the biggest benefit is the SuperNATURAL piano sound that’s good enough for any stage. It’s lightweight, easy to get around, and the built-in speakers are very good quality.
|Image credit: Roland Check Amazon||
Roland’s FP-30 is another relatively cheap keyboard piano for our list. The FP range has been a favorite of music students for some years. The FP-30 has progressive hammer-action keys with 128-note max polyphony. Its PHA-4 keybed isn’t at the level of something like the RD-2000, but it delivers a great feel in a lightweight instrument.
The best thing about the FP-30 is undoubtedly the SuperNATURAL piano sound. It’s the same piano tone that you can hear in much more expensive Roland pianos. Roland’s SuperNATURAL piano is rich, expressive, and a real pleasure to find at this price. There are 35 voices all together (of varying quality), but the electric pianos, strings, and organs stand out.
It has eight accompaniment rhythms and 30 onboard songs. You can play more through built-in speakers via USB or Bluetooth and mobile devices or apps. One strong point of the FP-30 is the speaker quality; you don’t lose the richness of that SuperNATURAL piano through the built-in speakers.
Roland added an onboard MIDI recorder so you can capture your ideas. It also has a dedicated USB-to-device memory slot to transfer your recordings. If you are a student, features like Twin Piano that creates two identical piano ranges (split) is fantastic. There are some other dual and split keyboard modes for general performance use.
10. Yamaha YDP-103 – Best Digital Piano for Home Use
The best budget Arius home digital piano
While the Yamaha YDP-103 may be considered a budget Arius, but it’s one of the best sounding pianos at this price. When you cut the cost, it will cut the quality somewhere (in most cases), but Yamaha made the right decisions with this piano. The core qualities, the feel, and sound are still excellent, especially for a beginner. It lacks the versatility and finesse of the more expensive models but delivers where it counts, and it looks great in any room.
|Image credit: Yamaha Check Amazon||
The Yamaha Arius range is widely regarded as some of the best digital pianos for home use. Our pick is the YDP-103, at the lower end of the Arius price range.
At first sight, the YDP-103 is a lovely looking digital piano in a rosewood cabinet. It comes with Yamaha’s graded hammer standard keybed and 64-note max polyphony. The cabinet has a built-in 3-pedal unit for damper, sostenuto, and soft, much like a real piano. The damper pedal allows for half-peddling to give you control over subtle dynamics.
When it comes to sound quality, Yamaha’s AWM sampling delivers a lovely grand piano sound. There are 10 voices in total, not all quite as good as the main piano. However, voices can be layered to create new interesting sounds, which is a nice touch. The piano tone is rich and detailed, and some depth can be added via any of the four built-in reverb types.
It has 10 demo songs and 10 piano preset songs, but you can stream anything through the built-in speakers via USB and a mobile device. Duo mode lets you split the keyboard into two equal ranges for student/teacher practice. There’s also a Digital Piano Controller app for iOS.
11. Yamaha DGX-660 – Best Keyboard for Creating Music
The singer/songwriters keyboard
The DGX-660 wouldn’t be our first choice as a stage piano or a home digital piano. But, if you are an aspiring singer-songwriter, it could be the ideal one-stop device to showcase your creativity. Yamaha’s Pure CF sound engine is fantastic, the keyboard action feels good, but it all hinges on the features. If you love the mic input, 6-track recorder, and Score Display, then it’s the one for you.
|Image credit: Yamaha Check Amazon||
The DGX-660 is a bit of a curveball on our list because it has some features that most others don’t have. It’s an 88-key arranger keyboard with graded hammer-action keys. It can serve two purposes; as a portable stage piano or a home digital piano with a wooden stand. The DGX-660 has a max polyphony of 192 notes, which speaks highly of its piano credentials.
In total, there are 554 voices and 205 rhythm styles. If we focus on the piano sound, it comes from Yamaha’s Pure CF sound engine, and it’s beautiful. Yamaha sampled their stunning 9ft CFIIIS concert grand with incredible accuracy. The flagship piano tone has real weight to it; it delivers a wide range of dynamics and expression.
If you are an aspiring singer-songwriter, you will love the DGX-660. It has a mic input so you can sing along while you play through the built-in speakers. You also get a 6-track recorder that lets you take an idea from nothing to a complete demo track. Once you have your demo ready, you can save it directly to a USB drive.
Beyond USB, it’s possible to stream audio/MIDI via Wi-Fi, although an optional adapter is needed. As an arranger keyboard, the LCD screen is more functional than the average keyboard piano. The Score Display function shows MIDI notation and scrolls as it plays. The Yamaha DGX-660 is definitely an outside choice.
12. Alesis Recital Pro – Best Keyboard for Money
The best value for what you give
The Alesis Recital Pro is an exceptional keyboard piano for under $400. It has some flaws, like the non-piano sounds aren’t great or the weighted keys aren’t progressive. You have to think about what you are getting for the money. Could you find a better keyboard and grand piano sound for under $400? Unlikely. The Recital Pro is the best digital keyboard piano for the money.
|Image credit: Alesis Check Amazon||
The Alesis Recital Pro is an entry-level keyboard piano that offers insane value for money. It has fully-weighted hammer-action keys and a max polyphony of 128 notes. The hammer-action keys aren’t progressive, so every key is the same weight, and that’s not ideal. However, for under $400, it’s beyond average!
There are 12 voices in total; six main sound types each have two variations. The sounds include acoustic pianos, electric pianos, synth, strings, and organs. Within a few notes, it’s clear that the overall sound quality isn’t going to challenge any high-end stage pianos. However, I tend to focus mostly on the acoustic pianos for this kind of instrument, and they are very good indeed.
The surprising thing about the piano sounds is that even with classical or jazz playing, they don’t get muddy as most cheaper keyboards do. Sounds can be split or layered, and these functions are a simple one-button process. It also has some onboard effects, including modulation, which can help make the non-piano sounds more interesting.
It’s ideal for beginners who take lessons using the keyboard equal split function. It has a basic built-in recorder so you can listen back through the 20w speakers or using headphones. The Recital Pro looks a little bulky, but it’s pretty light and can be battery powered so you can play on the go.
We had to mention the PX-S1000 as we included its more expensive bigger brother in our top 12. It’s exactly what you’d expect, a slightly streamlined version of the PX-S3000. Here’s the good news, it still has the same slim body and outstanding keyboard action, and it’s cheaper! Check it out.
We featured the YDP-103 in our top 12 because overall, it offers better value for money to beginner and intermediate players. Further up the Arius range, with a higher price tag, sits the Yamaha YDP-184; a digital piano that we have highly-recommended before. If you love the Arius sound and feel but have a little more cash to spend, the YDP-184 is one of the best home digital pianos.
We didn’t include the P-45 in our top 12, but it’s one of the best-selling electronic keyboard pianos for a reason. It’s a budget piano that’s very popular with beginners because it’s so simple to use. It sounds great and feels like a more expensive keyboard, well worth a look.
How do we choose?
Different instruments have different values, depending on the player. Some people are only focused on sound; for others, it’s about the feel, and for some, it’s mostly about price.
We have picked 12 outstanding instruments that we think represent a fair balance of sound, feel, and value for money. Our last pick could be your first pick; we have provided some great options to help you choose the one that’s best for you.
As always, there are no bad choices in our top 12. Every stage piano and digital piano that we chose has something to offer. Some are better suited to advanced players and a larger budget; others are great for newbies with less to spend. The important thing is that you focus on the qualities that you need most from the instrument and spend your money wisely. These are the best keyboard pianos and digital pianos in 2021, enjoy.
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.