Finding the best digital piano under $1000 is a difficult task, but not in the wrong way. It’s difficult because there are lots of fantastic instruments to think about in that price range.
In this article, we are looking at our top 10 picks under $1000 in 2020. We will review a mix of digital pianos and keyboard pianos to give you some amazing options to consider.
Here are the best digital pianos and keyboard pianos under $1000:
- Casio Privia PX-870
- Yamaha Arius YDP-103
- Kawai ES110
- Roland RP102
- Roland FP-30
- Korg SP-280
- Korg B2SP
- Kurzweil SP1
- Studiologic Numa Compact 2x
- Yamaha P-125
1. Casio Privia PX-870
The best home digital piano under $1000
Much like the Yamaha Arius range, Casio’s Privia pianos have a stellar reputation as best-selling digital pianos. The PX-870 comes with Casio’s Tri-Sensor 2 hammer action keys with simulated ebony and ivory tops. The mock ebony/ivory tops aren’t just for show, they absorb moisture and make for a more comfortable playing experience. The 3 levels of touch-sensitivity encourage expressive playing, with a vast 256 notes max polyphony.
The Privia PX-870 features Casio’s AiR Sound Source. Thanks to increased memory, the PX-870 can store larger samples for higher quality, detailed sound. Tone simulation for damper response, string resonance, and key action noise are also incredibly accurate. There are 19 voices, including some gorgeous acoustic and electric pianos.
As for effects, the basics are covered, 4 reverb types, 4 chorus types, and brilliance. Layer, split, and duet mode are available. The PX-870 has a single song 2 track record function, up to 5,000 notes, 10 concert play songs, and 60 music library songs. Interactive content, like play-along songs and tutorial content, is vastly expanded via Casio’s Chordana Piano app.
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We would go as far as saying if you buy a Casio Privia model, you will always get a fantastic piano. They are excellent instruments, and the PX-870 is the best Casio digital piano under $1000.
Technically, there aren’t any significant flaws or complaints, it’s just about the cost. When it gets close to $1000, you have to decide if it offers more than all the others. In this case, it’s not the most versatile, but as a pure piano, it’s right up there as our highest-rated digital piano.
2. Yamaha Arius YDP-103
The best compact digital piano console
Yamaha’s Arius series digital pianos are known for being top-quality. We are looking more towards the entry-level of the range, but the YDP-103 is undoubtedly worth a look.
The console is slimline, attractive, and should look good in any room; that’s why we think it’s the best Yamaha digital piano under $1000.
It has graded hammer action keys with 64-note max polyphony. The keys feel great, as is to be expected from an Arius piano, but the max polyphony is a little low.
The sound engine is Yamaha’s AWM (Advanced Wave Memory) synthesis. Piano tones are sampled from some of Yamaha’s most iconic concert grand pianos. The piano sounds are already great, and the half-damper pedal control further enhances them. The half-damper control creates the most subtle detail, just like an acoustic piano.
In total, there are 10 voices, 10 voice demo songs, and 10 piano demo songs. The front panel of the YDP-103 is relatively basic, but Yamaha’s Digital Piano Controller app provides a more intuitive workflow via your smart device.
|Image credit: Yamaha Check Price on Amazon||
The verdict comes down to price with the Yamaha YDP-103. It’s a great beginner digital piano to learn to play on, it feels realistic. It will set you up nicely to transition to a real piano, and it’s reasonably budget-friendly.
Some of the voices are a little disappointing, and 64-note max polyphony is very disappointing. So, it’s not without its faults, but again, if you happen to prefer Yamaha’s sound and feel, it’s worth checking out. As a pure digital piano that will help you progress to a real piano, it’s excellent.
3. Kawai ES110
The professional performer
Kawai digital pianos are known for their realism, and the ES110 is no exception. It’s potentially the best sounding keyboard piano under $1000. It has individually weighted keys with 192-note max polyphony. The weighted keys here are quite special, Kawai has used a spring-less design to get even closer to the correct motion of acoustic piano keys.
The heart of the ES110 is the sound of Kawai’s EX concert grand piano, which has been masterfully recreated in digital form. There are 11 piano tones in total, including grand pianos, uprights, and electric. Amongst the other onboard sounds, there are organs, strings, a harpsichord, a vibraphone, and various bass voices.
The standard keyboard functions are available, like split, layer, and dual-mode. Dual-mode also has adjustable volume for each keyboard section Kawai’s ES110 also has a record function for up to 3 songs at a maximum of 15,000 notes. These functions, along with the Alfred’s Basic Piano lesson function, are useful for beginners mostly. Another helpful feature is the inclusion of 2 headphone jacks for student/teacher listening.
Some onboard reverb types and sound settings can be tweaked to suit, too. Kawai has a reputation for making beautiful acoustic pianos, and that luxury feel is continued in their keyboards. The ES110 has 88 individually weighted hammer-action keys that feel as authentic as you’ll get with most keyboards.
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We think the Kawai ES110 is the best stage piano under $1000. We would suggest that it’s a perfect choice for serious musicians who need a realistic portable piano for performing. It does have some beginner features, but they aren’t as comprehensive as you can find with other keyboards.
So, in our opinion, this is more for intermediate to advanced players. The different sounds are all decent, but it’s the ES concert piano tone and the beautifully weighted keys that make the ES110 what it is.
4. Roland RP102
The most realistic feel under $1000
The Roland RP102 brings us to the top end of our budget again. It’s a sleek, compact digital piano with excellent ivory touch keys. The keys are graded hammer action with 128-note max polyphony.
The sound comes from Roland’s SuperNATURAL sound engine, and if we haven’t said it enough, it’s stunning. The grand piano sound will compete with anything on the market. There are 15 voices in total, 4 of which are pianos, along with a mixture of instruments.
There are over 200 onboard songs, from traditional music to well-known classical pieces. These songs are ideal play-along tools in combination with Roland’s Piano Partner 2 app. Built-in effects are few, but the ambiance, brilliance settings available are very nice. The other piano effects, like string resonance, are very authentic and not overbearing.
The cabinet is compact for a digital piano, so you get the experience of sitting at a real instrument, without taking up too much space.
|Image credit: Roland Check Price on Amazon||
We place the Roland RP102 right up there with the best digital pianos in this price range. It’s undoubtedly the best Roland digital piano under $1000. Roland has got the feel of the ivory touch keys spot on here, and it makes for an authentic playing experience. The SuperNATURAL sound engine is outstanding as ever.
5. Roland FP-30
The best piano sound in a portable keyboard piano
The Roland FP-30 is a keyboard piano with some pedigree, coming from a long-established FP range. It shares the same hammer action, and ivory feel keys that you find on Roland’s high-end pianos and has 128-note max polyphony. The realistic feel makes the FP-30 one of the best weighted keyboards under $1000.
The main thing it shares with some higher-end models is Roland’s fabulous SuperNATURAL sound engine. There are around 29 voices overall, with organs and electric pianos, but it’s the acoustic pianos that shine. Roland’s attention to detail supports adds to the realism with string, damper, and key-off resonance.
There aren’t many onboard effects; some ambiance and brilliance control is offered. The keyboard can be played in dual, split, or twin piano modes.
The onboard song recorder can handle up to 30,000 notes with optional external storage via USB. You can use your recorded track as a play-along song. More interactive material is available through several apps, and on-screen sheet music can even be triggered by footswitch for handsfree page-turning.
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The Roland FP-30 is a keyboard piano that will suit beginners or professionals who want a lightweight and reliable piano. It feels great with the ivory feel keys, and the SuperNATURAL sound engine delivers one of the most authentic piano tones available. The FP series of keyboards have been around for some time for a reason, they are outstanding.
6. Korg SP-280
The best electric piano tones
Korg’s SP-280 has that vintage look as if it came from the Fender Rhodes era. It comes with graded hammer action keys and 120-note max polyphony. Korg has put a lot of effort into creating a realistic piano feel with this keyboard, and it shows.
The SP-280 has 30 voices in total, with most of the focus being on acoustic and electric pianos. There are 5 acoustic piano types and 6 electric pianos. Other voices include organs, guitars, and, more unusually, a choir.
The onboard reverb types simulate various performance locations, like a concert hall. Other built-in effects include brilliance and chorus. It comes with 30 demo songs and has 2 headphone jacks for duet practicing. Small details like half-damper pedaling add some extra authenticity.
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The Korg SP-280 is probably best suited to a working/performing musician. If you want something that is primarily for practice and learning piano, there are better options. But, if you perform, this could be the one for you.
The vintage body shape isn’t just for show, it gives you the feel of playing a real instrument, and that’s important when performing. In a band setting, the SP-280 gives you an impressive mix of pianos, electric pianos, and organs.
7. Korg B2SP
The best Korg digital piano under $1000
The B2SP is a keyboard piano with a wooden 3 pedal stand, turning it into a digital piano. Korg’s Natural Hammer Action keys feel very authentic, and a little different to most graded hammer action keyboards. It comes with 12 voices and 120-note max polyphony.
The built-in stereo PCM voices include 5 acoustic pianos, the best of which are the German Concert Piano, and the Classic Piano. The German Concert Piano has a powerful, percussive bass range with vibrant highs, perfect for big and bold playing. The Classic Piano is more delicate and suited to softer playing.
Korg’s 15-watt speaker system’s motional feedback technology enhances the natural sound of the piano tone. It works by controlling the movement of the cone, which reproduces low frequencies with virtually no distortion.
The B2SP is bundled with some software to help you hit the ground running. Skoove is the most broad-based piano tutorial platform around with over 300 songs to suit all skill levels. Korg’s Module Le has a packed professional quality sound library, which is ideal for production or performance.
Adding to the production element, the Korg Gadget 2 Le app provides mini synths and drum machines called gadgets. It combines them with an intuitive music-making interface that even beginners will be able to use.
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Korg’s intentions are apparent here, the B2SP is as straightforward as a digital piano gets. Yes, there are electric pianos, organs, and some demo songs, but this is all about the grand piano experience. The combinations of Korg’s natural hammer action keys, authentic piano tones, and Motional Feedback Technology deliver an excellent playing experience.
Our thoughts are that if you aren’t interested in the Skoove or the Korg apps then you could spend money better elsewhere. But, if you have an interest in music production, this could be the one to kickstart your journey.
8. Kurzweil SP1
The most versatile portable keyboard piano
Manufacturers have their way of doing things, and that leads to a different feel and sound. That’s why the Kurzweil SP1 is on our list, it’s something a little different from the usual suspects. It has fully-weighted hammer action keys with 256-note polyphony.
The flagship grand piano voice comes from Kurzweil’s German D Artis Grand, and it’s incredibly expressive. The other onboard voices include electric pianos, organs, synth pads, and strings.
The SP1 has a 3-band master EQ for fine-tuning your overall sound. As well as that, there are 4 insert effects, which are reverb, chorus, tremolo, and delay. Any tweaks you make to the effects can be saved as favorites and recalled quickly.
The available keyboard modes are whole, split, or layer. Up to 4 sounds can be split/layered at one time, which is useful when using orchestral voices. Kurzweil’s SP1 is aimed at performers and has a very user-friendly interface.
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The SP1 is a genuinely fantastic keyboard piano. In our opinion, it all hinges on the flagship grand piano sound. Some people will prefer a Yamaha, Korg, or Roland sound, but this is something different. It feels realistic, maybe not as much as others on our list, but the weight of the keys is very well matched to the sound.
The SP1 is without a doubt amongst the best portable keyboard pianos under $1000 and is ideal for anyone who gigs regularly.
9. Studiologic Numa Compact 2x
The wildcard choice (we love it)
On every top 10 we try to offer something for everyone; on this list, the Numa Compact 2x is our wildcard. The Numa Compact 2x is the latest addition to Studiologic’s Numa series. It has semi-weighted keys with aftertouch and a max polyphony of 128 notes.
It has 3 dedicated sound engines, for piano, synth, and organ; the piano sounds will rival most on our list. The piano engine is Studiologic’s TrS (True Sound), the organ is from the Numa Organ 2, and the synth engine comes from Studiologic’s Sledge synth. Between the 3 sound engines, there are 100 voices in total.
The Numa Compact 2x comes with plenty of onboard effects, with 2 separate effects engines (FX1 – FX2). You can run up to 6 effects simultaneously; 2 effects on the upper part, 2 effects on the lower part. Effects include reverb types, chorus, flanger, drive, and more.
The keyboard has split and layer modes (2 sounds each) and 9 assignable sliders that can be used to control multiple parameters.
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You could argue that the Numa Compact 2x shouldn’t be on this list because it’s not a typical keyboard piano. However, while it does sacrifice fully-weighted keys for semi-weighted, it offers so much more for your money.
The sound engines are outstanding, and the piano tones are close to the best ones on our list. For those reasons, we had to include it; it’s one of the best 88-key keyboards under $1000.
10. Yamaha P-125
The best lightweight Yamaha keyboard piano
The Yamaha P-125 is a popular and affordable portable keyboard piano that should be on everyone’s top 10 list. It has graded hammer action keys that are very realistic, considering how light the keyboard is. The P-125 has a max polyphony of 192 notes, so whether you are playing chopsticks or Rachmaninov, you are all good.
Along with a realistic feel has to come a convincing sound, in this case, it’s delivered by Yamaha’s stunning Pure CF Sound Engine. There are 24 preset voices, but the P-125 excels when it comes to the acoustic and electric piano tones, which are beautiful.
Sounds can be split or layered; the keyboard can even split into 2 identical playing ranges for teaching purposes. Yamaha has packed in 21 demo songs and 50 piano songs along with a 2-track record function, so there’s plenty for learners to do.
Expanding on the learner material is Yamaha’s Smart Pianist app, which offers a wealth of tutorial content for varying levels. A feature that may be unique to this keyboard is the Table EQ function. This function helps you keep a consistent sound whatever playing surface and space you are using.
|Image credit: Yamaha Check Price on Amazon||
The Yamaha P-125 is perfect for anyone who wants seriously good piano sounds in a portable instrument. If you are a beginner looking for a keyboard piano that will last, the P-125 is a perfect choice. It’s also the cheapest keyboard piano on our list, which will suit a beginner budget.
It will give you a realistic feel with lots of learning material through the Smart Pianist app. If you are more advanced, the Pure CF Sound Engine is so good that it’s suitable for any stage.
The digital piano under $1000 range is very crowded, so much so that our list could easily be 15-20 instruments. The difficulty is that when you weed out the ones that aren’t good enough, you are still left with a very tough decision.
The first thing you have to do is decide if it needs to be portable or not. If you can say for sure that it doesn’t need to be mobile, then choose a digital piano console like the Yamaha Arius YDP-103 or Roland RP102. Sitting at a digital piano will give you a more comprehensive piano experience than a keyboard.
Otherwise, if you want something that you can easily move around, go for a keyboard piano. Portable doesn’t just mean gigging; you should consider moving from room to room at home, too.
Once you make that choice, you will have a shorter list to consider. Some of these pianos are very similar, and only separated by minor differences. So, as always, choose the one that’s best for you, not the one that people tell you is the best.
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.