Best Digital Pianos Under $1000 Reviews – A piano is an essential instrument to a musician or a hobbyist. Nothing can replace the sound and feel of an acoustic piano, but since the real world offers limited space and a restricted budget, you have to settle for the next best thing. A digital piano is a much cheaper and lighter substitute that never goes out of tune.
The digital piano has a lot to offer. They are less expensive and takes a little space as compared to a traditional piano, it does not need regular tuning and you can practice quietly or play with your headphones on. There are many digital pianos, and all of them have bewildering technical specs that are hard to understand. This article aims to help you with a buying guide on how to score the digital piano for your needs. It also features the best digital pianos under $1000.
It may appear like a regular keyboard, but digital pianos are more akin to a piano in terms of its feel and sound. Unlike the 22-key keyboards that you grew up with, the digital pianos of today have fully-weighted keys, a special key with life-like reverb and better sound that it almost sound like a grand piano.
Table of Contents
- 1 What to look for When Buying a Digital Piano?
- 2 Best Digital Pianos under $1000 – Top 9 Picks
- 2.1 #1. Casio Privia PX-860
- 2.2 #2. Yamaha Arius YDP-103
- 2.3 #3. Roland RP102 Digital Piano
- 2.4 #4. Casio Privia PX-780 Weighted-Key Digital Piano
- 2.5 #5. Yamaha DGX-660 Portable Grand
- 2.6 #6. Casio CGP-700 Digital Compact Grand Piano
- 2.7 #7. Roland FP-30 Digital Piano
- 2.8 #8. Kawai ES110 Portable Digital Piano
- 2.9 #9. William Overture 2 88-Key Console Digital Piano
- 3 Conclusion
What to look for When Buying a Digital Piano?
1. Key Action and Weight
To be a legit digital piano, the basic requirement is the mimic the feel and action of a traditional piano. Manufacturers call them by different names, but the main idea is to make the keys feel like the real deal and heavier. You can also find digital pianos with keys varying in weights with the lower notes heavier and the weight gradually reduces as the keys become higher. It also needs to be close to the feel of an ebony and ivory keys.
2. Sound Quantity and Quality
Digital pianos have limited sound presets because the focus of its memory and processing power is to replicate the sound of an acoustic piano. You will notice that the sound choices is the acoustic piano and various types of acoustic piano and electric piano sound. The latter is important because it is used in other styles of music like pop and rock. These are the sounds you can find plus the main staple like an organ, synths, guitar, strings and many more.
3. Number of Keys & Simple Features
It should be 88 keys, which is the standard for all pianos. You have to take a good look at the speaker setup. You need to check if there are external facing speakers or the piano can make sound with an amplifier. The inputs and outputs are also important so that you can plug in your headphone, the amp or the computer.
4. Maximum Polyphony
Quite a fancy term that simply refers to the number of individual notes that it can produce at one time. With digital pianos, you will encounter 32-note maximum, a 64, and the 128 that is the best. If you come across a 256 that is not true.
5. Touch Response
This is the most important feature of the digital piano you need to look for and not the fancy LED lights and dials. This is when a player presses down the piano keys; they will feel a certain resistance, which is released when the internal hammers hit the piano strings. This has plenty of benefits to a musician from the nuances and dynamics of music to the technique. Without the hammer effect, music is flat.
Here are the categories of touch response that you need to know
No touch response
This is the most typical in digital pianos with few keys. If the piano has a 5-volume level or up/down switch for louder and softer, chances are this has no touch response.
This is tricky because when the manufacturer mentioned touch sensitive, it is only a slight improvement from the first.
This is what you should be getting because a good digital piano should be as close to the qualities of an acoustic piano as possible.
Best Digital Pianos under $1000 – Top 9 Picks
Now that you know the feature to consider in a digital piano, let us look at the best digital pianos under $1000.
#1. Casio Privia PX-860
Casio brand of digital piano is quite successful with its PX-850 model, but ever since it was discontinued, the next 88 key digital piano has a large shoe to fill. Enter the Casio PX-860. In general, the look and feel of this piano are almost the same as the previous model.
The Casio Privia PX-860 is considered as one of the best digital pianos under $1000 on today’s market. It has the following features: 88 keys with the ebony and ivory feel, the scaled hammer action feature, touch response that features three-level sensitivity and a multidimensional morphing air sound. Its sound quality is impressive; hitting the first note the first time will make you feel like you are playing a grand piano. It seems that the designer for this model has picked up all the good quality of the previously released pianos and combine them into a superb acoustic sound quality.
Its hall simulation feature is hard to ignore because it simulates the sound of playing inside a concert hall. In terms of its build, this piano is slim with various buttons that activate different features. While the sound quality is more of a traditional piano, its connectivity is ready for what lies in the future. It has USB connectivity and a port ready for iPad or any mobile device.
- Superb sound quality.
- Excellent build and size.
- Next to the real acoustic piano feel of the keys.
- Very good accessibility.
- The control panels at the center disrupt the traditional look.
- A limited number of recordings in the built-in music library.
#2. Yamaha Arius YDP-103
This is the most affordable upright piano made for an entry-level pianist with a limited budget but looking for a great acoustic piano. The YDP-103 is easy to move because it weighs only 83 pounds. The key cover is a sliding type, which closes smoothly with a music rest that can accommodate a laptop or an iPad. You will have an included bench when you purchase the product.
This Arius YDP-103R has useful connectivity like the two jacks for the stereo headphones, USB port and the connection linking the pedal unit to the keyboard and the DC power jack. For the feel of the keys, it uses the Graded Hammer Standard keybed, a patented design for Yamaha keyboards. It attempts to copy the heavy to light touch with the gradual progression of keys that you would feel in a grand piano.
In terms of sound, it has 10 different instrument options on its memory. Each option has a different distinctive sound which are all useful with some are better to be heard on the digital piano speaker rather than with amplifiers.
Some are unrealistic too like the harpsichord sound. It also has four different reverb settings: Hall 1 & 2, room and the stage. Each of these settings duplicates the reverberation effects referring to these four different environments.
- With good overall aesthetic.
- With much useful connectivity.
- Heavy to a light touch of keys.
- With 10 different sound patches to create different music effects.
- The white keys have a low-quality plasticky feel.
- Had a little difficulty navigating its different functions.
#3. Roland RP102 Digital Piano
Known for its high-end pianos, the introduction of RP102 packed with all the good stuff gave other pianos in the same price range a run for their money. It follows the traditional style cabinet with a traditional vibe in its appearance. It is also clean and minimalistic with a great build quality.
The Roland Rp102 has three pedals that support half-pedal operation. This allows you to master the pedaling technique to play more advanced musical pieces. It also has a simple user interface that is easy to navigate.
All entry-level pianos from Roland have PHA-4 Standard, which is a more realistic keyboard you will find in with the price point. The 88 fully weighted keys follow the gradual weight progression hammer system, which imitates the feel and action of an acoustic piano including the ivory and ebony keys.
The patented SuperNatural sound of Roland is also present here. It simulates the sound behavior of a traditional piano. It doesn’t have many built-in instrument sounds and is meant to be played like a piano, hence the four different piano tones present. The speaker system is powerful enough to fill the living room with real sounds.
It has barely minimum features, but the beauty of this digital piano is you can expand its features with the Roland app for both iOS and Android called the Piano Partner 2.
When it comes to connectivity, it is packed with all the essentials, which include USB port for a computer, two jacks for the headphone and USB to device port. The Bluetooth connectivity is also a welcome innovation because you can connect your smart device to your digital piano and work on the advantages of MIDI-compatible apps.
- Minimalist and clean traditional style cabinet.
- Fully weighted with an ivory feel keys.
- Four realistic piano tones.
- Superb patented Supernatural sound technology.
- Its speakers are not powerful enough.
- Few options to customize the sound.
#4. Casio Privia PX-780 Weighted-Key Digital Piano
When it comes to design and beauty, the Casio Privia line is worth the money. This model PX-780 has a nice cabinet that has a matte color finish with wooden feel. It is a full 88 key piano with a sliding cover with an indentation where the interface is located. Unlike other digital pianos at the same price point, it has a small LCD screen that helps you navigate the rhythms and tones of the machine.
This piano line is known for its exquisite sound and the PX-780 did not disappoint. It comes with 250 built-in tones to give the player varied sounds to choose from. It also has 128 notes polyphony to help ensure a small number of drop notes when playing the piano. The Privia Px-780 has a better sound when hooked up to a speaker system. The hammer action effect is also worth noting. It is engineered in every key to give a more realistic acoustic feel on each amazing ebony and ivory.
In terms of connectivity feature, it did not disappoint too. It is one of the first digital pianos to have the USB MIDI connectivity, which makes it an industry standard in connecting with other machines like a computer. It has the standard spit layer feature with the bass on the left and another one on the right to make two sounds one on top of the other.
The Duet mode is a very good feature for the piano player and the teacher. It splits the piano into two equal sections and while sitting side by side, one can replicate what the other is doing.
- It has a beautiful build and design.
- Exquisite sounds with 250 built-in tones.
- The 128 notes of maximum polyphony ensure a small amount of dropped notes.
- USB MIDI capability can connect the piano to other machines.
- It does not come with a piano bench.
- The cabinet does make it look like a piano.
#5. Yamaha DGX-660 Portable Grand
Considered by many users as one of the best digital pianos under $1000, this is a successor to an already popular Yamaha, the DGX-650 and is loaded with upgrades. Included in the additional feature are the higher polyphony and improved feel of the keys with four touch settings. It has an automatic Acoustic Control, a feature that lets the piano adjust the setting to achieve a balanced sound.
In terms of sound, it has an impressive high-quality sound through the speakers and amplifiers built in the system. What makes this piano different from the other model is its app integration where users can enjoy Yamaha iOS apps to enable connection to the piano. Some of these apps include the playback, accessibility to song sheets, customization of its settings, and audio-video recording.
The microphone jack and the wireless adaptor are equally impressive, but the Piano Room is the most exciting feature so far. You can choose from a variety of acoustic and piano options and performance environment.
- The 88 Grade Hammer Standard keys have a great feel under the fingertips.
- It can adjust the setting for a balanced sound.
- High-quality detailed sound.
- The Piano Room feature makes you create your own sound environment.
- Hard to access the piano menu.
- Difficulty in changing options in the middle of playing.
#6. Casio CGP-700 Digital Compact Grand Piano
This is a compact piano loaded with good features aside from being one of the most affordable pianos on the market. It is portable with a sleek design and a removable wooden stand. It has many features that can be overwhelming, but surprisingly, this digital piano is easy to use. The Color Touch Interface at the center of the piano makes all the settings and preferences easy to change with the touch of a button.
When it comes to sound quality, the six speakers work harmoniously packs a powerful sound. The Tri-sensor Scaled Hammer Action keyboard allow the piano to recreate the feel and touch of the concert piano. It can simulate a 9-foot concert piano, with the settings on the touch screen allow you to choose from many style preferences and with the SP-33 pedal system, you can experience three pedal types.
Casio puts exactly the right features in this model for a first-rate digital piano experience at home and on stage. It is worth every penny you will pay.
- It is portable without the stand.
- Great sounding stage piano.
- The color touchscreen is easy to use.
- The 40W built-in amplifier makes superb sound.
- There is no expression pedal jack.
- No modulation controller.
#7. Roland FP-30 Digital Piano
Roland is a brand name that is associated with quality and this digital piano surely did not disappoint. This FP30 features a realistic piano sound, powerful built-in speakers and a fantastic feel of a real piano. Since it is a stage piano, the design and portability were given more importance rather than on its aesthetics. It comes in a basic design with optional stand and pedal board as an accessory.
The play and feel of this Roland FP30 are top-notch because of the real lightness of touch and bounce. The weight of the keys is also exceptional, it gives you dynamic control and an impression that you are sitting on a real piano. The signature SuperNATURAL piano sound engine is also present here.
The user interface of this digital piano is easy to use with the eight buttons on the top panel although there is no digital display. In terms of connectivity, there is a USB MIDI so you can connect the digital piano to any studio setup. There is also the Bluetooth connectivity function that allows connection to iOS apps.
- It has many functionalities.
- With keys that feels like an acoustic piano.
- The convincing piano sounds close to the traditional piano.
- With Bluetooth connectivity to music apps.
- No visual display.
- No quarter-inch outputs.
#8. Kawai ES110 Portable Digital Piano
The Kawai ES110 is worth considering to be one of the best digital pianos under $1000. There is a lot to like in this digital piano considering its price point. It has a realistic piano sounds, with good weight of keys and connectivity features. It is a portable like any digital piano in this category but it is exceptionally lighter. You can have the option to attach a stand and pedal board for home use.
The Kawai ES110 may not be designed as an attractive instrument, but this piano is easy to play with the weight and feel of the keys. It also has a vibrational feedback that is very much like the acoustic piano. It is a great sounding piano with clarity and crisp energy.
The user interface is the drawback of this instrument because there is no display. However, this was compensated with its ability to split the keyboard in the middle. This is perfect for piano teachers. Another impressive aspect is its connectivity. It has a Bluetooth 4.0 capability that allows you to connect wirelessly to any iOS or Android device.
- Bluetooth connectivity.
- Great piano and electric sounds.
- Great speaker driver system.
- Light and portable.
- No display.
- There is no USB port.
#9. William Overture 2 88-Key Console Digital Piano
This digital piano brand caters to a specific audience and customer base. Call it an elitist but judging by its look, you will say that it is more decorative and fancier. It has a fine keybed, and the body is well built and sturdy. There are three standard set of pedals for a more acoustic piano feel.
It features a 64-note polyphony, which is fine and acceptable for a less discerning player. There are four speakers built into the unit and the volume was quite adequate. This gives a clear and vivid sound even at higher volume. The hammer keys feel natural and even but without grading. It features a tutor mode spanning 50 songs in different genres.
One of its exciting features is the General MIDI playback functionality where you can upload an SD card with music you can play back and play along. It has many connectivity options like the USB port to connect to a computer, pair of headphone jacks and audio out connections to hook up to an external sound system.
- A realistic sound that closely resembles the tones of the acoustic piano.
- Touch response mimics the action of an actual piano.
- The 88-note keyboard features weighted action.
- The piano’s appearance is highly stylish and decorative.
- This piano is quite heavy.
- It has limited polyphony.
Playing the piano is exciting and you don’t have to be a professional musician before you can play. You can buy a home piano so your kids can practice growing their skill in playing the piano. For this reason, you need to find the best piano to practice. The most preferred option is the digital piano.
Acoustic pianos are good, but digital pianos are more versatile. It can sound like any type of piano imaginable. It is also easy to maintain because it is not tunable. In an acoustic piano, the most daunting task is to tune them to remain playable. Lastly, digital pianos can be played in silence. You can plug in the headphone and work on your music without bothering anyone.
Choosing the best digital pianos under $1000 can be challenging as there are many options you can consider. Therefore, if you want to settle for the best digital piano, you need to know how to choose. Hopefully, this article can help you to decide which models that are fit your needs and your budget.
See also: Best Digital Pianos Under $500