Best Weighted Keyboards – The keyboard’s action preference is totally individual and it depends on a couple of things. If you’re an experienced player, you already know the difference between keyboard actions and how they work. However, if you’re not, this article will help you to find out. Keep reading if you want to find out what are the best weighted keyboards on the market at the moment.
Table of Contents
- 1 Buying guide
- 2 Best Weighted Keyboards – Our Top Picks
- 3 Conclusion
When you’re searching for a keyboard you will always come across these terms:
- Semi-weighted action.
- Weighted hammer action.
As already mentioned, you probably know the difference if you’re an experienced player. For those who don’t know, each action is offering a different feel for a player. Semi-weighted and weighted hammer actions are usually giving a feeling of a piano, especially a weighted hammer action.
This is why this action is usually preferred by natural piano players as it has mechanical hammers for enhanced response. The synth is the opposite, keys have no resistance and you can play them very quickly. Synth-action is for a person who likes to play fast lead passages, so if you’re one, this option is for you.
Number of keys
MIDI controllers are available in huge variety when we’re talking about numbers of keys. The keyboards can have up to 88 keys, and as little as 25. Again, the preference on this is totally individual.
For example, a DJ might prefer a keyboard with 25 keys, while a natural piano player may prefer an 88 keys keyboard with weighted hammer action. It totally depends on the type of music you want to play and your space restrictions.
Velocity or touch sensitivity
In simple words, this is the keyboard’s ability to react to the speed or force with which a key is pressed. It will then create a sound according to that force or send the proper MIDI message.
This aspect is important for people who like to work with a lot of instruments and different sounds. Basically, a keyboard that can generate a lot of sounds at once is considered to have good polyphony. You can even find keyboards with such polyphonic capability that they are able even to mimic an entire orchestra.
MIDI was created in the ‘80s for electronic computers and instruments. It is basically a communication protocol. The messages have no sounds and they rather serve as blueprints that speak to the software or hardware instrument and telling it what notes to play and what velocity should be used.
You could send a MIDI message to a controller and the controller would play the same message with the sounds that are available on the instrument. So basically, compatibility is enabling a MIDI controller to receive and send MIDI messages.
Nowadays, MIDI controllers are able to connect to a computer in a number of ways. mLAN, MIDI, USB, S/PDIF, FireWire, and a lot of other types of interfaces, either built into a controller or external, are offering ways for keyboards and computers to communicate.
Usually, keyboards will include a MIDI host port and USB cable for easier connection. Keyboards are also offering iOS capabilities in the last couple of years. This gives players access to a whole new world of performance, recording apps, and practice.
Best Weighted Keyboards – Our Top Picks
You will see that there are a lot of options out there, so making a good choice is not easy. Luckily we can help. We have chosen the most popular and the best weighted keyboards for you. Let’s check them out.
#1. Yamaha DGX-660
It’s Yamaha. You know that you can trust this manufacturer already. This digital piano is made with a lot of features and it enables playing, sharing, and learning music fun for all people. As one of the best weighted keyboards on the market, the DGX-660 offers some great features, and the new one is called Piano Room. This feature lets you choose from a variety of acoustic and pianos settings. Basically, you are able to create your custom and very own piano environment.
This manufacturer is usually known for versatility. And this model is no exception. You are able to connect your microphone to it and sing with digital effects while you’re playing. You are even able to record the whole session to a USB and share your music with family, friends, and people online.
As we already established, Yamaha is the leader in the digital piano industry. One of the reasons for that is the Pure CF sampling feature. This instrument is offering you incredible expressiveness and dynamics. You simply can’t go wrong with it.
The LCD screen can be switched to lyrics or score display. This means that any MIDI song that you play on this keyboard will be able to show notation. This way you can follow along with the songs you can acquire from the MusicSoft by Yamaha, or read the music of your built-in songs. Another thing you can enjoy is the score of the songs you create within the keyboard.
- Very good action, responsiveness.
- Touch sensitive keys.
- Very easy to use.
- Users love the audio feedback.
- Very heavy keyboard.
- Poor instructions.
#2. Casio PX-770
This is yet another great piano in the Privia family. The design is unique and you will have a feeling like you’re playing a true grand piano only a modern, slim version of it. It has an authentic piano sound, impressive features, and natural feel.
This instrument is awesome for live performances as well as recording or just practicing. It has ivory and ebony keys which only further makes it aesthetically pleasing. This keyboard is also suitable for beginners as well as for more experienced players.
This keyboard has a built-in library which allows you to play with a symphony orchestra, or with recordings of it. There are classical themes and elementary pieces. You will love this feature and you will experience what is like to be a solo pianist in an orchestra.
The cabinet design is unique, modern, minimalistic, yet beautiful. It will fit perfectly in any room. Three pedals and full-size keys will represent a feeling of a real piano.
- Same as piano only less space.
- Great quality.
- Suitable for beginners.
- Amazing sound.
- Quality of the stand isn’t amazing.
- Need special cord to connect your phone.
#3. Yamaha P125
P-Series is probably the best selling Yamaha series when it comes to digital pianos. And this model is just more improved in terms of sound quality and user-friendliness. It’s available in two colors, and this piano has a very compact design ideal for stage, studio, or home use.
This piano, obviously, has weighted hammer action and a lot of common sounds like electric pianos and grand piano voices. You are able to layer and split sounds and you’ll be able to enjoy the final product thanks to the high-quality speakers built in the keyboard.
The realistic piano tones are only results from years of making pianos by experts. Yamaha as the leader in the industry delivered this keyboard with its unique sound, yet compact and powerful. This controller is allowing you to have incredible expressiveness and dynamics worth the Yamaha’s name.
This keyboard also has some acoustic properties; it behaves almost the same as the acoustic pianos. It is able to recreate what’s happening inside a grand piano thanks to the Damper Resonance.
This model has improved tweeter position which benefits the performer. Treble passages and melody lines are more expressive and brighter as a result. This configuration is ensuring that the keyboard is sounding alive and sparkle.
- Touch sensitive keys.
- Very easy to use.
- Comfortable action.
- Good audio.
- No percussion.
- No vibrate.
#4. Casio CGP-700
As one of the best weighted keyboards, this model has new authentic sound and looks of a grand piano. Thanks to that, and many other positive things, it makes making music enjoyable, fast, and easy. This keyboard has a lot of impressive features but is very easy to use after all.
There’s a 5.3-inch touchscreen in color located in the center of the keyboard. The display is high-res and very clear and bright. You will be in control and always informed about what’s happening. You are navigating through the rhythms and tones using swipe and touch gestures.
This keyboard has a total of 6 speakers built-in. Two are low-frequency speakers, and four are in the top panel. It doesn’t matter if you want to enjoy the experience of a grand piano if you want to play with the rhythms built-in the keyboard, or you just want to listen to your MP3 player, this keyboard will allow you to enjoy the music in your room with detailed, rich sound.
This model has a very famous Casio weighted hammer action keyboard. This model will successfully recreate the feel and response of a grand piano and it will do it a lot better than most other keyboards.
The keyboard is suitable even for the most demanding players, but it also gives beginners a way to learn new and proper techniques. The keys have a lighter feel up top and heavier in the lower register, just like the grand piano. The surface of the keys also feels very natural.
- Well-balanced keys.
- Great speakers.
- Very good sound.
- Built-in recorder.
- Some users report speakers crashing.
- Not very deep keyboard.
#5. Yamaha P115
Yamaha is known for their Graded Hammer Standard action. It is unique in a way that it has a lighter touch in the high end and heavier touch in the low end, meaning that it perfectly mimics the real acoustic piano. The P115 is considered one of the best weighted keyboards in the price range.
This keyboard is great for practicing right finger techniques that will be of use when you’re ready to start playing a real grand piano. The black keys have the matte finish making them a lot less slippery if you’re one of those who likes to play for long periods of time.
This keyboard has built-in drum rhythms for performance and practice. There are a lot of patterns that you can choose from, from swing beats to rock. The rhythms are used for adding a fun element for practice or having a drummer for a performance.
There are AUX out jacks included in this keyboard that is allowing you to send the audio to a powered speaker or an external amplifier if you want to have some powerful live performances. You can connect these jacks without having to disable the speakers while your headphones are on.
Thanks to the Pianists Styles feature, you are now able to sound like two players playing together. All you have to do is to play the chords by your left hand and this feature will make patterns. This will allow your other hand to play other chords and melodies, or just add musical flare. This particular model has 10 different types of styles that will make playing easier and more fun.
- Great action.
- Very good sound quality.
- Great keyboard for beginners.
- Quite heavy but still portable.
- Users report damaged box.
- Some users say keys tend to break.
#6. Korg B1SP
This is basically a model that’s perfect for any beginner pianist. This lovely digital piano has everything that you need to start making music from your home. It has a three-pedal unit, a stable stand, and 88-key keyboard of course.
Design, touch, and sound are three very important aspects when you’re buying a digital piano. The keyboard has a weighted hammer action and they’re touch-controlled. This means that you can set up the keys for a player who’s new to a piano as well as you can for a more experienced professional.
The reason why this keyboard is good if you want to learn piano is its Partner Mode. When you activate it, your keyboard is going to split into two sections and you can pitch both in the same range.
This will allow a new player to play along with a teacher or someone who’s good with piano. This is an awesome way to learn new things very fast and effective. Also important to mention, this means that two people can play the instrument at the same time, making it more fun and versatile.
If you decide to go with this keyboard, you will enjoy elegant performance techniques. The stand is stable and you are able to practice without worries of interruption. The pedal unit is only further ensuring you will have a good experience.
Users are generally very satisfied with this keyboard and the reviews are all positive. It’s perfect for professional needs as well as for everyday use and practice.
- Easy to move around.
- Great for beginners.
- Stable stand.
- Compact unit with great sound.
- No MIDI output.
- No transpose.
#7. Casio Privia PX-160
The chassis of this keyboard has been redesigned. There are a few reasons for this, the main one being the new elegant look. Other than that, new 8w x 8w speaker system also had to be accommodated, so this solved the problem.
The speaker system is ported to the back but also open to the front, which will provide amazing sound even when this keyboard is located against a wall. Also, having this keyboard in the classroom or in front of the audience will also be a benefit. This is the main reason why people buy this keyboard instead of others that have speaker systems aimed downward.
This model has the famous Casio’s weighted hammer action. The action itself has ivory and ebony textured keys for a better feeling and there are also three sensors that capture the performance’s dynamics with great accuracy and speed.
Another Casio’s feature is mimicking the speed of hammers inside the grand piano and giving the same feeling to this keyboard.
Casio is using the Acoustic and Intelligent Resonator (AiR) as their proprietary sound source. This feature is able to mimic grand piano sounds in this model. This engine is able to deliver the sound with amazing dynamics for very powerful and expressive performance. It’s also very powerful when combined with the damper pedal.
- Great for intermediate players.
- Awesome sound quality.
- Perfect key action.
- Compact size, portable.
- Not the best quality sustain pedal.
- Not the best key sensitivity.
#8. Yamaha P71
This model is designed to play the role of the perfect digital piano for home creating, learning, and rehearsing. The keys are fully-weighted and the piano has the full sized keyboard. Combine that with the Yamaha premium piano voices and you have everything you need for successful music making. The sound and feel you get from this piano is very realistic and will maintain positive energy in your house.
This model has a lighter touch in the high end and the lower touch in the low end. This is thanks to the unique Yamaha’s weighted hammer action that mimics the hammers inside the grand piano. Practicing on this type of a keyboard will improve your finger technique a lot and you will be ready to play the grand piano when you want to.
This keyboard is also really good for experienced players as they are already used to this action.
You can change a whole lot of things with a push of a single button on this keyboard. All you have to do is to hold the Grand Piano button and you can play demo sources, change voices, and use the metronome from there.
- Best value for the price.
- Really good keys.
- Versatile volume.
- Perfect for practice.
- Not the best percussion.
- Some users have issues with the sustain pedal.
You see some best weighted keyboards. Weighted hammer keyboards are perfect at mimicking the grand piano feel, sound, and overall experience. This article has everything you need to find out what’s the right one for your needs, whether you’re a professional player or just a beginner trying to practice some chords.