When my students ask me advice on buying the best digital piano and don’t talk about the budget, I usually advice them one of the pianos in the price range between $500 and $1000. These pianos are universal and suitable in most cases:
- They all have 88-key weighted keyboard which is good for both beginners and professionals
- Most of them have very good natural sound
- The feeling of play is very close to real acoustic instruments
- They don’t cost a fortune, just the most adequate price for the quality
Best Stage and Home Piano under $1000
Stage piano is a compact electronic piano that is usually used in live performances or at home where you often need to move it from one place to another. It doesn’t usually have permanently mounted legs, internal speakers, amplifier and pedal unit, so you can easily hide it in a cupboard after you play or carry it with you on a gig and attach all the required parts such as portable keyboard stand or portable sustain pedal. Stage pianos are more serious instruments then electronic synthesizers, and usually have fewer voices and functions.
There is rather blurred boundary between home and stage pianos. Most top digital piano brands have furniture-style keyboard stands for some of their middle-class stage pianos. So you can buy stage piano with a stationary stand and pedal unit, and it becomes home digital piano. But the reverse doesn’t apply – you can’t by home digital piano and remove stand, because home piano usually has built in stand for nicer look.
Let’s see what are the best digital pianos for 500-1000 USD.
|Number of sounds
|Casio Privia PX-160
|Yamaha YDP103R Arius
Now I will talk a little more about each piano to help you choose the right piano for you.
I put Yamaha DGX-660 on top of my list. This is a mix of a synthesizer and a professional digital piano. It has tons of functions, fully weighted keys and lots of sounds, which other pianos can’t boast of. DGX-660 weights 21 kg (46 lbs) without stand, so it can hardly be called a stage piano. It has a bright 320×240 LCD display, which can display score or lyrics. With 205 auto-accompaniment styles you feel as if you are playing with a professional band, and Yamaha Education Suite will help you learn basics if you are a beginner. You can also attach usb flash drive to this piano to record your playing, or microphone to sing along. Internal speakers are good for a usual room and the sound quality is great, you’ll never say that this is not a real piano if you hear it walking outside of the house. Also an optional wi-fi adapter can be attached to it to stream music to or from iOS device.
Sustain pedal and power adapter is included. Though the sustain pedal is very small and feels cheap, so I advise you to look for a full-sized pedal or pedal unit. Also matching stand and furniture bench comes with DGX-660 on Amazon.
Yamaha P115 is a stage piano. It doesn’t have all that hundreds of sounds and styles as DGX-660 has, it doesn’t come with an LCD display and some other features, but it is almost two times lighter and can easily be taken on live performances. Built in speakers are also here, so there is no need for external amplifier when you are practicing. It has 14 built-in drum rhythms to practice the performance and 10 auto-accompaniment pianist styles.
Free digital controller app for iPhone or iPad allows to control many functions right from it’s screen.
It doesn’t have Yamaha Education Suite though, so consider other instruments if you need electronic teaching system. But it has 2 headphone outputs, so you can play along with your teacher and don’t bother your relatives.
You can buy just a piano itself or choose a bundle on Amazon with a matching keyboard stand, 3-pedal unit, and furniture bench.
Casio released their newest Privia model called PX-870 in the end of 2017. It has inherited many features from the predecessor – PX-860. It has 256 notes polyphony, 4 speakers, 19 voices, and provides great sound quality utilizing multidimensional AiR Sound Source technology. The power of sound is similar to a grand piano, you can use some unique features to make it even more real, such as
- Lid Simulator feature (allows you to simulate grand piano sound with different lid position)
- Hammer response
- String resonance
- Damper resonance
- Key action noise
- Damper noise
Of course PX-870 has also all the features which you can’t imagine modern piano without: Dual/Split/Duet modes, Metronome, Recording and other. It has USB to host and USB to device ports. And unique Concert Play function allows you to play with 10 actual live orchestra recordings.