The niche of inexpensive musical instruments has always been quite popular. There are some beginner keyboards under 300 dollars and you will certainly choose something inexpensive if for example you want to try yourself in music, but do not want to immediately spend a fortune on an expensive electronic piano. Or your child just makes his first steps in music and you need to buy him something simple to start with. On this page I tried to collect the most popular models of electronic keyboards for 150-300 dollars to help you with choosing the best digital pianos from inexpensive ones. Of course, for an amount less than $300 you will not be able to find a new truly professional digital piano. But if you have some money, then you can easily buy an entry-level electronic keyboard that is suitable for learning and practice.
|Model||Keyboard||Polyphony||Number of sounds||Rating||Prices|
|3||Yamaha YPG-235 / DGX230||76-key|
|4||The ONE Light Keyboard||61-key|
I will talk a little about each keyboard.
Recital is number one in my rating of electronic keyboards under 300 USD. This is a good affordable beginner digital piano with 88 semi-weighted keys with adjustable sensitivity. It has many features to help you learn how to play the piano. Also has a 3-month Skoove Permium subscription code included as a free addition if you buy it on Amazon.
- Most affordable 88-key electronic keyboard
- Power supply included, can be running on 6 D cell batteries (optional)
- Weights only 15.7 lbs
- All the required connections: sustain pedal input (1/4″), headphone output (1/4″), usb-midi, RCA stereo out
- 128 polyphony – Maximum polyphony among cheap electronic keyboards
- Split/Layer/Lesson Mode
- 60 preset songs, 2 demos
- Piano sound is very realistic, except for the top octave
- Only 5 voices (Acoustic and Electric piano, Organ, Synth and Bass)
- Keys are semi-weighted, but that is maximum you can get for such low a price
- Sustain pedal should be purchased separately
This keyboard has 61 light-weighted keys, so it can’t be called “digital piano”, but it deservedly can be called a nice Casio beginner electronic keyboard. It has all you need to start learning piano and have fun: about 400 various voices, 100 rhythms, step-up learning system and much more. Don’t forget to buy X-style keyboard stand and a pair of headphones.
- 400 voices, 100 rhythms
- 48 notes polyphony
- Included power supply, can run on batteries (optional 6 AA-size)
- Step-up Learning System
- Weight is only 7.3 lbs (without batteries)
- LCD display
- Only 61 keys (light-weighted)
- Keys are not touch sensitive
To summarize, Casio CTK-2550 is a good electronic keyboard at a very cheap price. The only flaw is that it has 61 keys and they are light-weighted. But if you are a beginner you will like CTK2550 – there are a lot of built in voices and much more features even then in some other more expensive keyboards. Casio has a lot of other interesting keyboards and pianos, I’ve reviewed them here.
Yamaha YPG-235 (YPG235SA)
Yamaha YPG235SA is an affordable piano from the Yamaha Portable Grand series. It has 76 piano-style keys with Graded Soft Touch action (that means the lower keys are more heavy in touch then higher keys) with soft touch of digital keyboard for beginners). Using Easy Song Arranger feature you can play any of built-in songs in any style. For example you can play a rock song as a hip-hip or ballad and so on. For beginners YPG-235 has Yamaha Education Suite (Y.E.S.) – set of built-in learning tools helping you to teach yourself. I’ve reviewed more Yamaha keyboards and digital pianos here.
- Weight: 18 lbs (this is not too much, but Casio CTK2550 weights less)
- 76-keys graded soft touch keyboard
- LCD display
- ~500 voices (116 + 361 XGlite + 12 Drum/SFX Kits)
- Split/Layer modes, Metronome
- 30 preset songs
- 5 songs to record
- Connections: Headphones, Sustain input, USB to host
- 32 polyphony (minimum that you should look for, but enough for beginner)
YPG-235 is very good 76-key keyboard from well-known brand with a lot of features, but costs a little more then the competitors. There is a bundle on Amazon, which is known as YPG235SA, it includes power adapter and keyboard stand at profitable price.
The One Light Keyboard
This keyboard is a new model from The ONE Music group. The word ‘Light’ in the name is not only about it’s weight (only 11 lbs), but also about the lights that can show you which key to play. It’s fun and easy both for kids and for adults. Free app for your tablet or phone provides multiple learning schemes for everyone. You can choose from hundreds of sheet music to learn (some of them are free and for more songs you will have to pay) and break down each piece into left and right hand to practice, learn via games or by video lessons.
- 128 built-in voices
- 64 notes polyphony
- MIDI output
- Recording feature
- Free learning app
- Only 61 keys and they are non-weighted
- Though there are lots of songs in the free app, some of them are for 88-key pianos
- The wire from the AC adapter is very short
The One Light keyboard is good piano keyboard for learning, it can save you lots of money as it will act as a teacher for unlimited hours that you won’t pay for.
What about weighted keyboard under $300?
Weighted keyboard is the main thing that distinguishes digital piano from electronic keyboard. Unfortunately you won’t find any new pianos with weighted keys for the price below $300. Semi-weighted keyboard is the most you can count on. But there are cheap 88-key keyboards – such as Alesis Recital and Williams Legato Plus, they are most close to digital pianos in the list. Other keyboards under $300 have 76 keys or less, which is fewer then a real piano has. That’s ok if you are a beginner or just going to have fun playing the keyboard.
If you are ready to increase your budget a little, please see my article about the best digital piano under $500, where you will find digital pianos with fully weighted keys, which feel and sound more like a real piano.