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We are looking at the best digital pianos with weighted keys available in 2021. An upright digital piano console is an excellent place to start if you want a realistic piano experience with the added comfort of volume control and headphone port. As well as sounding and feeling great, a digital piano can look great in the home, too. With that in mind, we will focus on true digital piano consoles. Although less portable, they make for beautiful additions to your furniture, providing they sound fantastic, of course!
If you need something more portable, whether it’s for the stage or just moving around the house, make sure you check out our best weighted keyboards article; we’ve got you covered.
Here are the best digital pianos with weighted keys:
1. Kawai CA59
A true piano experience
Kawai makes some of the most beautiful pianos in the world. Whether it’s a concert grand or a digital upright for the home, they do it right. Our pick is the Kawai CA59.
Kawai’s Grand Feel Compact system means you have real wooden keys with an ivory feel. The graded hammer-action uses counterweights and let-off simulation to provide an ultra-realistic response.
It makes sense that Kawai re-create their own grand pianos for the CA59. In this case, it’s the Shigeru Kawai SK-EX and EX concert grands, along with the Shigeru Kawai SK-5 grand. The piano voices have been re-created in stunning detail, which is further enhanced by Kawai’s Harmonic Imaging XL technology. What you get is a grand piano sound that is richer than you’d expect from a digital console. It has a 256-note max polyphony. There are 44 voices in total, and 24 built-in effects, including reverb types and brilliance.
The cabinet looks more like a real modern upright piano than any other on our list. Features like the Grand Feel Pedal System that simulates real pedals’ weight and response adds to the realism. There’s even a Virtual Technician function to tweak your instrument like a real piano.
The onboard recorder allows for up to 10 songs to be saved and replayed. Surprisingly, for such a high-end piano, the CA59 has a lot of tutorial features. For teacher/student playing, you get dual headphone outputs, dual/split, and four-hand keyboard modes. It has onboard lessons for varying technique levels that allow you to practice one hand at a time or both at your own tempo.
|Image credit: Kawai Check Sweetwater||
It’s tough to say anything negative about this piano. At first sight, you can tell it’s something of real quality. From the gorgeous cabinet to the touch of the keys, and the sound of Kawai’s concert grands, it’s a thing of beauty. Yes, it’s expensive, but rightly so.
2. Yamaha CLP-735
One of Yamaha’s finest
As far as the best digital pianos with weighted keys go, it’s inevitable that Yamaha would feature on our list. We are starting with the Yamaha Clavinova CLP-735, a modern piano with classic looks.
The CLP-735 boasts Yamaha’s Real Grand Expression 2 technology. Yamaha’s technology covers the GrandTouch-S real hammer-action keyboard with escapement, along with the pedals, providing a realistic response in all areas. The keys come with a simulated ebony and ivory feel, which also help stop your fingers from slipping during performance.
The sound comes from newly enhanced versions of Yamaha’s flagship CFX and Bösendorfer gland piano samples. The newly enhanced samples offer a more authentic experience in conjunction with Virtual Resonance Modeling (VRM) that captures the slightest nuances of your playing. There are 38 voices in total, as well as onboard reverb, chorus, and brilliance effects.
Yamaha captured the sounds with 3D binaural sampling, which re-creates acoustic space through headphones. Grand Expression Modeling boosts the flagship sounds by simulating a real piano’s mechanical aspects, like hammers, etc. With max polyphony of 256-notes, there is no shortage of natural expression.
Dual, duo and split modes are available and great for learners. You can also record yourself with the built-in USB recorder (up to 80 minutes). It comes with the traditional three-pedal layout, two headphone jacks, and is compatible with the Yamaha Smart Pianist app.
|Image credit: Yamaha Check Sweetwater||
The Yamaha Clavinova CLP-735 is stunning in every way; it’s our best digital piano for home use. The Clavinova sound is always high-quality, but this new enhanced version takes it to another level. We could have picked on the fact that some digital pianos offer more interactive learning functions, but as a true piano experience, that’s not the main focus. It’s relatively expensive but worth every penny.
3. Roland HP704
The best Roland home digital piano
The HP704 is our top-rated Roland digital piano, and it’s gorgeous. The HP704 features the tried-and-tested PHA-50 keyboard with escapement. PHA stands for progressive hammer action, meaning the keys get gradually lighter from bottom to top. The keys have a synthetic ebony and ivory feel. The three pedals also have a progressive action to simulate the feel of an acoustic piano.
If you are familiar with the high-end Roland products, you’ll have heard of their SuperNATURAL sound engine. This sound engine has delivered some of the most convincing piano tones in recent years, and it powers the HP704. The piano sounds are created by combining traditional sampling and computer modeling and cover any style of playing. Including the pianos, there are 324 sounds in total, with onboard brilliance and ambiance effects. Pano voices have limitless polyphony for max expression; other sounds have 384-note max polyphony.
Roland’s Piano Designer allows you to edit various parameters to create the ideal playing experience. It lets you adjust mechanical noise from the lid, pedals, and hammers, as well as tweak single note tuning.
The built-in 4-speaker system delivers crystal clear sound with the richness of a real piano. Listening through headphones doesn’t lose that richness, thanks to Roland’s 3D ambiance. If you are a learner, there are some useful features like split and dual modes, a built-in audio/MIDI recorder (70,000 note memory), and 287 lesson songs. It also has two stereo headphone outputs for student/teacher playing.
|Image credit: Roland Check Sweetwater||
The Roland HP704 is a great piano that feels and sounds very good. It’s just difficult to place it higher due to the quality of the instruments above. It’s a very expressive digital piano, and if you are already a Roland fan, you may prefer their sound engine over others. It’s also more beginner-friendly with so many lesson songs available.
4. Casio AP-710
Bechstein history in a modern Casio
Casio’s Celviano range includes some of the manufacturer’s best digital pianos ever. We have picked out the AP-710 to add to our list. It comes with Casio’s scaled hammer-action keys with simulated ebony and ivory feel. Casio’s Acoustic Simulator technology adds realism by mimicking pedal, hammer sounds, etc.
The AP-710 offers three distinct grand piano sounds, based on legendary pianos from Berlin, Vienna, and Hamburg. The most iconic being the Berlin Grand, developed in collaboration with C. Bechstein. All sounds come from the advanced AiR Grand Sound Source, with 26 sounds in total, including a brand-new Harpsichord sound.
The keyboard has split/duet modes and dual headphone outputs that are great for teaching. There are 60 play-along songs to choose from with adjustable tempo and volume. But, the real star learner feature is the Concert Play function. Concert Play lets you play along with a full orchestra and develop your ensemble skills. As your skills progress, the onboard audio recorder allows for up to 25 minutes of recording.
|Image credit: Casio Check Sweetwater||
The Casio AP-710 has one major flaw, and it’s that it doesn’t stack up to the competition in its price range. On its own, there are so many good things to say. It sounds awesome, it feels great, Concert Play is fantastic, and the Berlin Bechstein is outstanding. For me, it’s not enough to make the top three, but if anything convinces you otherwise, it will be that Bechstein voice.
5. Korg G1 Air
The most versatile home digital piano
Korg is a manufacturer that rarely go far wrong when it comes to any keyboard instrument. The Korg G1 Air is the one we have picked out to join our list of the best digital pianos with weighted keys for home use.
The G1 Air is a versatile digital piano built with Korg’s RH3 keyboard. That means it has real hammer-action keys that are counterweighted, rather than just simulating the weight. The modern cabinet comes in a few colors, including a limited edition White Ash finish. Each of these pianos is hand-built in Japan to ridiculously high standards.
The three concert-style pedals allow half-pedaling and mimic the weight and feel of a real piano fantastically. The piano sounds are modeled on iconic German, Austrian, and Japanese grand pianos. Between all three, you have tones that cover traditional classical music, modern classical, and jazz. Along with the pianos, there are a further 29 sounds, including some lovely electric pianos. The downside is that the max polyphony is 120 notes, quite low for a piano that costs almost $2000.
It has a built-in recorder (CD-quality) that will store two songs and up to 45,000 notes. There are 10 demo songs and 40 piano songs that you can learn. Although, as tutorial material goes, it’s not very in-depth. One nice feature is the Bluetooth connectivity, which means you can stream play-along songs through the built-in speakers from other devices. The powerful built-in speakers are custom-designed for this piano, with a nice wide soundstage.
|Image credit: Korg Check Sweetwater||
The Korg G1 Air is a tough one to call. As a pure piano, it’s not near the top of our list. But, it’s not miles behind either. It comes down to the additional sounds that are better than the non-piano voices on most others; the electric pianos, etc. If you value that versatility, then the G1 Air will be perfect for you.
6. Roland RP102
The best budget home digital piano under $1000
The RP102 is the second Roland on our list, and it’s the cheapest, too. This one comes in a lighter console/cabinet and offers a fair compromise between quality and value.
It has a PHA-4 progressive hammer-action keyboard with escapement, which is a step down from Roland’s flagship pianos, but still very realistic. There RP102 has the standard (metal) three pedal layout, despite the slimline design.
The best thing about the RP102 is that it utilizes Roland’s amazing SuperNATURAL sound engine. There are 15 sounds in total, including four lovely grand pianos. The overall sound quality is very good, and onboard ambiance/brilliance control lets you tweak your tone a little. You get a max polyphony of 128 notes, again that’s a little lower than flagship pianos, but it’s enough for most beginner-intermediate players.
It comes with 200 play-along songs and a built-in metronome to get your timing on point. If you are using the piano for lessons, Twin Piano mode gives you a split with two identical zones. Adding to that, there’s plenty of tutorial material available through Roland’s Piano Partner 2 app.
|Image credit: Roland Check Sweetwater||
The Roland RP102 is ideal for anyone who wants a digital piano console without spending a fortune. It’s one of the best cheap digital pianos with weighted keys around. Don’t be put off by the fact it falls behind the more expensive models; it’s still very good. If you are a beginner to intermediate player, the RP102 will serve you well! It’s no doubt one of the best $1000 digital pianos on the market in 2021.
Our top 6 includes the digital pianos that we feel best represent high-quality across a range of budgets. There are so many options; if we added every piano that we love, our list would never end. But, we have a couple here that are too good not to at least mention.
The reliable Arius
In other lists, the YPD-184 could be number one; it’s that good. It missed out purely because it’s not as good as the much more expensive pianos, and it’s not cheap enough to earn its spot as a budget option.
This great-looking piano showcases the sound of the flagship CFX 9 ft concert grand beautifully through Yamaha’s CFX sound engine. The graded hammer-action keys feel fantastic, and it has a range of functions for beginners via the Smart Pianist app; check it out.
A great piano on a budget
The PX-770 was close to making our top 6 as a budget option, under $800. Having just missed the cut, we wanted to give it a special mention here.
This relatively lightweight cabinet looks very slim and sleek. It comes with Casio’s scaled hammer-action keys with three levels of touch sensitivity. The sound comes from Casio’s outstanding AiR processor. The pianos are fantastic, and it offers 19 tones in total. If you want a digital piano for home use on a budget, definitely check this one out.
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As always, there are no bad choices in our top picks for weighted-key digital pianos. Remember, this kind of instrument is a showpiece; it’s there to be seen as well as heard. Our picks cover various skill levels and budgets, and although some are better than others, all offer a fantastic piano experience. After all, that’s the most important thing, feeling like you are sat at a real piano (that your family can unplug when they’ve had enough of you).
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.