If you’re serious about your sound, you need the best digital pianos for the job. Here’s our best electric piano options for the players out there in need of a live, studio and home option.
We’ve rounded up the best digital piano options from the likes of Yamaha, Roland, Casio and Nord that will provide a professional level sound at all times as well as incredible playability. These are not your cheap digital pianos, but pro options that are suited to the live and studio environments.
This is it: the definitive guide to the best digital pianos available
Let’s start by defining digital pianos. Digital pianos are a mix-up of an acoustic piano and an electronic keyboard, providing you with the best of both worlds. Why should you buy a digital piano? Here are some good reasons:
- You don’t have enough space for a grand piano
- You perform all over and want something consistent and portable
- You don’t want to disturb others whilst you play
- You don’t fancy forking out on regular tuning
- Because you want one
Now that you know what a digital piano is and you have established that you want one, these are some features you need to look for in a digital piano:
The term ‘weighted’ in a digital piano description is always a good thing; because every decent digital piano always tries it’s hardest to imitate the hammers of a real piano. Keep your eyes peeled for that word when searching!
When it comes to listening out for decent sound quality you want to keep an ear out for two particular things: the bass notes need to have a rich, full sound and the electric keyboard setting has to be soft and smooth – if the digital piano sounds the opposite to these descriptions then don’t buy!
Maximum Polyphony is the number of individual notes a digital piano can produce at one time. An acceptable polyphony is 64, however 128 is best. Anything less than 64 ain't much cop and anymore than 128 is gimmicky, unless of course you’re a master of the instrument and need 256 notes going at a single time.
Simple Features - like a headphones input!
Also remember to bear in mind the simple features of your digital piano and think about what you need from it: Does it have external-facing speakers? Is an amp needed to make any sound? Do you need headphone jacks? Will your digital piano be compatible with your amp and/or computer?
We’ve highlighted at the bottom of each option what application they’re best suited to, so you know which you can use for certain environments.
These are some of the best digital pianos for home use, live sessions or if you have the room, studio environments where you need superb quality sound and expert playability.
1. Roland HP702-CH Digital Piano Charcoal Black
The Roland HP702-CH Digital Piano pictured here in Charcoal Black is one of the best digital pianos on the market today. This is smack bang in-between the likes of the FP-30 and the LX-17 digital home piano, offering a realistic upright experience, but still at a fairly affordable level.
It’s compact, simple to use and very stylish, making a great addition to any home or studio. We think it’s one of the best digital pianos as it comes equipped with the PHA-4 Standard keyboard and Progressive Damper Action pedals, offering a hyper realistic playing experience akin to an acoustic upright.
You have 324 tones built in which benefit from Roland’s SuperNATURAL Piano Modeling, as well as a host of non-piano sounds too. There are onboard speakers as well as Bluetooth connectivity so you can stream music, backing tracks and connect your smart device to the piano for use with learning apps. There’s not a lot this can’t do.
2. Korg Grandstage 73 Stage Piano
Next up we have the Korg Grandstage 73 Stage Piano which we feel is one of the most powerful live digital pianos you can get your hands on. This makes our best digital pianos blog with ease as you have sounds from five different grand pianos from all over the world including Berlin, Heidelberg, Austria, Japan and the newly sampled Italian grand piano, so it’s one for the purists out there. There’s also a beautifully sampled upright, 12 levels of velocity switching so you can hone in on dynamics and a world of other sounds including organs and electric pianos.
You have EQ, dynamic and effect controls so you can make full use of reverb and delay effects whilst sculpting your perfect sound and the intuitive operability and portable design has been specifically designed for stage and studio musicians.
3. Yamaha P-125 Portable Digital Piano Black
The Yamaha P-125, seen here in a sleek black finish is one of the best portable digital pianos under £500. We love it because the Pure CF Sound Engine within the Yamaha P-125 provides an amazing recreation of the renowned Yamaha CFIIIS 9ft concert grand piano. This in combination with the Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) keybed provides an incredibly realistic feel akin to an acoustic piano.
There are 24 voices built-in to this Yamaha Digital Piano, spanning pianos, electric pianos and more useful sounds, all of which have been beautifully created to ensure players of all levels and genres have something they can use.
The Table EQ feature is great for those who may not have a stand, but want to place the piano on a flat surface as it automatically optimises the sound of the speakers when you’re playing on a hard, flat surface – perfect for studios and home use. A split function is also ideal for teachers as you can split the keyboard in half so you can both play along at the same time.
The performing musicians out there will appreciate the Smart Pianist App compatibility as you can select voices, rhythms and change settings from your smart device of choice. You can even save settings for recall later on and really get the most out of your piano with this app.
4. Roland FP-30 Digital Piano
The Roland FP-30 Digital Piano is often utilised by beginner and entry level musicians learning at home thanks to its ease of use, simple layout and affordable price. However, this is by far one of the best digital pianos for experienced players and serious musicians too as it offers superb playability and selection of sounds that stage, studio and live musicians can also benefit from.
It includes Roland's acclaimed SuperNatural Grand Piano technology so it sounds just like a Grand Piano when you’re playing it – perfect for those recording sessions and the compact design allows you to take it on stage and tour with it really easily. You have a host of different tones including 6 Piano Tones, 7 Electric Piano Tones and 22 Other Tones including strings to choose from so you’re covered for a wide range of musical genres.
5. Yamaha CP73 Stage Piano
The live, session and studio musician needs a lot of options when it comes to their sound, especially when they’re recording or playing gigs. This is why we’ve included the Yamaha CP73 digital piano as it has been specifically designed for the live musicians out there.
The newly designed 73-key BHS Keyboard (E1-E7) (Balanced Hammer Standard) offers incredible playability which will actually benefit players by offering perfect control and the subtle dynamics they need to improve their playing. As we all know; the feel of the keys will affect our playing!
We feel it’s one of the best digital pianos as you have 23 studio quality effects built in, 57 voices including 10 Pianos, 14 E-Pianos, 33 Sub Voices (Strings, Organs, Pads, Synths) and 160 live set sounds that you can recall for quick use on stage.
The fact it weighs a mere 13kg makes it a great option for travelling musicians too!
6. Roland GO:Piano 88 Digital Piano
I know what you’re thinking with this one; “Wait isn’t this a beginner piano?” well, it is and it isn’t. The Roland GO:Piano 88 Digital Piano has been designed for musicians of all levels who need something fun to record and perform with. Although it doesn’t contain as many features as some of the options in this list, the responsive piano sounds modelled around Roland’s acclaimed premium piano tones will satisfy the tone snobs out there.
You have 4 tones which include beautifully sampled Piano, Electric Piano, Organ and String sounds as well as an adjustable reverb effect which allows you to record and perform with ease. The 88 velocity sensitive keys with adjustable sensitivity allow you to enjoy lush dynamics which will help with playing.
Onboard speakers, Bluetooth connectivity and battery operation make it a perfect portable keyboard too.
If you need something simple for the studio, home recording or even honing your skills, this is one of the best digital pianos in terms of price, playability and functionality.
7. Vox Continental Keyboard 61 Keys
The Vox Continental Keyboard 61 Keys is a faithful recreation of the classic VOS transistor organs that appeared in the 1960s, offering an incredibly powerful sound engine that not only provides that classic sound but builds upon the legacy for the modern musician.
We think this is one of the best digital pianos as it utilises tube driven technology to give you an incredibly organic, warm sound that some digital pianos simply can’t recreate. You have a range of sounds centred around various instruments such as Organ, E. Piano, Piano, and Key/Layer all of which are powered by NuTube technology. This NuTube technology, which is found in a selection of the new VOX amps, adds the stunning presence and warmth of a traditional vacuum tube without the associated weight and performance issues – which I’m sure valve amp players can sympathise with.
You have four types of delay, five types of reverb and a 9-band EQ with touch sensitive strips to sculpt your sound. You can even store scene memories for easy recall of sounds, change the key sensitivity settings and enjoy a world of different tones/instruments as each category has a series of beautifully sampled sounds.
If you want a vintage style feel with modern functionality, then the Vox Continental Keyboard 61 Keys is one of the best digital pianos for you.
For a limited time, this now comes with a V861 expression pedal, and dedicated keyboard stand at no extra charge!
- Rock Bands!
8. Roland RD-2000 Stage Piano
Need a lot of sounds? Need a lot of effects? Need to connect to your DAW on stage and in the studio? Well, the Roland RD-2000 Stage Piano is what you’ve been looking for. The clue is in the name here as the RD-2000 Stage Piano has been designed for the performing musicians out there who need instant access to and control over their sounds.
We love the Roland RD-2000 as it features an 88 key PHA-50 Keyboard with escapement and Ebony/Ivory feel, so you get a fantastic playing experience. You also have 1,100 tones spanning classic acoustic pianos and a range of iconic electric pianos from the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
You have a whole studio’s worth of effects at your fingertips too, including a range of modulation, tremolo effects, amp simulators, reverb and delay effects as well as a 3-band compressor and 5-band digital equalizer.
One of the key features studio and live musicians will love is the inclusion of a built-in studio-grade 24-bit/192kHz audio interface, allowing easy connectivity to your DAW Software via USB. This means you can record audio and MIDI at studio grade quality wherever you may be with minimal latency. A perfect studio tool!
9. Yamaha reface CP Electric Piano
Finally, we have the Yamaha reface CP Electric Piano, which is the most portable option in our best digital pianos list but still a very powerful live and studio performance tool.
This beautifully recreates the classic sounds of vintage Yamaha CP stage pianos from the 70s. You actually get six classic keyboard sounds built in, all of which utilise SCM (Spectral Component Modeling) and AWM2 sound generation which basically means each sound reacts the same way their original keyboards would, right down to any quirks.
If you love the sounds of the classic Fender Rhodes and Wurlitzer keyboards you’ll love this as each sound has been painstakingly recreated.
You also have a range of effects on board such as analogue and digital delay, reverb, tremolo, wah, chorus and phaser effects. If you want to keep it simple, concise and your sound air tight, then this is perfect!
Shop a full range of digital pianos, home pianos, keyboards and synthesizers over at PMT online today, or call in to your local PMT store to try out a full range for yourself. We have a massive selection online and in-store ready for you. Or if you want some advice on what might be the best option for you, call 0151 448 2089 and speak to our experts - we're here to help!