Best Cheap Keyboard Pianos 2022 [Reviews, Specs, Video & Buyer’s Guide]


If you have ever imagined yourself playing the piano and singing along with family or friends, or perhaps playing professionally, you may be thinking about whether a digital piano is right for you. Digital pianos are compact, portable, and fun to play. With advances in sound sampling, it can be difficult to distinguish a digital piano from an acoustic one by sound alone. In addition, even a cheap keyboard piano can do many things that are simply not possible on an acoustic piano. This guide will help you narrow down your choices and find the best cheap keyboard piano for your musical journey.

Comparing the Top Budgeted Keyboard Pianos

This quick summary will give you an idea of the best digital pianos on the market. This easy reference list is sorted by price and not necessarily by our pick for the best cheap keyboard piano. Please be sure to check out our reviews below for a more in-depth exploration of these models.

RANK CHEAP KEYBOARD PIANOS 2020 SPECS
1 Yamaha P-125B 88-Key Graded Hammer 88-Key graded hammer action
2 Yamaha DGX660B 88-Key Weighted 88-Key GHS weighted action
3 Casio PX350 BK 88-Key Privia Digital 88-Key Scaled hammer action
4 Dolphin Escape Robotic 88-Key AHAIV-f graded hammer Action
5 Artesia 88-Key Digital Piano Keyboard 88-Key Semi-weighted action
6 Casio Privia PX-160-BK 88-Key Full-size $88-Key Tri-Sensor scaled hammer action
7 Yamaha P45 88-Key Weighted Action 88-Key GHS weighted action
8 Yamaha PSR-EW300 SA 76-Key 76-Key keyboard
9 Alesis Recital 88-Key Beginner 88-Key Semi-weighted keys
10 RockJam RJ761 61-Key Electronic 61-Key Keyboard
11 ONE Smart 61-Key Portable 61-Key
12 Novation Launchkey 49 USB 49-Key Keyboard

Best Cheap Keyboard Pianos 2022 Reviews

Now, you have an idea of some of the top brands in cheap keyboard pianos. As you can see, they come in a range of prices, but price is not always the most important factor when choosing a digital piano. They offer a wide range of features, from beginner to pro, continue reading to find out what each of them has to offer.

1. Yamaha P-125B 88-Key Graded Hammer Standard Digital Piano

Quick Features:

  • GHS weighted action keys
  • Sounds like a 9’ CFIIIS concert grand piano
  • Split mode allows you to voice each hand separately
  • USB to HOST connectivity with audio transfer and MIDI

One of the things that Yamaha is known for is its realistic piano sound. The P-125B Sounds exactly like a 9-foot concert grand piano and has the ability to fill the room with sound. The keys are weighted just like an acoustic piano, with the lower ones heavier and the upper ranges becoming lighter as you move up the keyboard. You can get the same dynamics and expression on this digital keyboard as you do on a traditional piano. We like it because you get high quality Yamaha sound at a lower price than some of the higher-end professional models. This one ranks in the number one spot because it has a professional sound at an affordable price.

Pros
  • Realistic concert grand sound
  • Only need one cable to connect to DAW and music software
  • Dynamic and expressive
  • High enough quality for professionals
Cons
  • May be too many voices for beginners
  • Only compatible with iOS Smartphones
  • No Bluetooth connectivity
  • Key action not very realistic

2. Yamaha DGX660B 88-Key Weighted Portable Digital Grand Piano

Quick Features:

  • GHS weighted action
  • 1/4” mic input so that you can sing along
  • Wireless audio and MIDI features
  • USB Audio and playback makes recording easy

The Yamaha DGC660B is more than a digital piano. It is more like a recording studio all-in-one package. The reason why we ranked it 2nd is that it little may be a little bit too much for those who are looking for something cheaper. However, we included it in the list because it is a Yamaha and has excellent sound quality. It is also packed with features that you do not find on many of the ultra-cheap keyboards. This one is definitely good enough to use to record and produce a few tracks, but you will have to pay a little bit more for it.

Pros
  • Perfect for the semi-professional or beginning professional
  • GHS weighted action is heavier in the bass and lighter in the treble
  • Ability to sing along and playback
  • Impressive 554 instrument sounds
Cons
  • Only compatible with iOS devices
  • Made for the more experienced musician
  • Not easy to learn all of the features

3. Casio PX350 BK 88-Key Privia Digital Stage Piano

Quick Features:

  • 240 instrument sounds
  • Ebony and ivory textured keys
  • Responsive Tri-sensor scaled hammer action keyboard
  • Duet, layer, split and octave modes

Casio used to rank far behind Yamaha when it came to sound quality, but this is no longer the case. Casio has improved their sampling technology tremendously and now their keyboards compete with Yamaha. Many stage performers now prefer Casio as a performance instrument. Casio have simpler controls and they are easy to operate. They do not have a lot of bells and whistles that you do not need, but they have what you need the most.

Pros
  • Adjustable key sensitivity levels
  • Can record on 17 tracks
  • AIR sampling technology produces warm, resonant sound
  • Excellent expressive capabilities
Cons
  • Only 10 user songs
  • Can only hold 5 recorded songs
  • Lacks the teaching mode

4. Kawai ES100 88-Key Digital Piano with Speakers

Quick Features:

  • Responsive AHAIV-f Graded-hammer action keys
  • Clear 192 note polyphony
  • Built-in metronome with adjustable tempos and time signatures
  • Split keyboard in dual mode

Kawai has been a choice of professional musicians for several decades. One of the reasons is that it offers 192-note polyphony, which gives it a crystal-clear sound. Even when you are using multiple voices, each one sounds out clearly, and the sound does not become muddy. If you are looking for sound quality in a keyboard that is built for stage performances, this is the perfect model. It also is great for beginners because it has teaching modes and a convenient built-in metronome. If you are ready to spend the money and know that you will stick with playing for a while, this is a keyboard that can grow with you as you learn.

Pros
  • Keys have the feel of an acoustic piano
  • Headphone jack for quiet play and practice
  • Easy to use for beginners
  • Built-in piano lessons
Cons
  • A bit heavier than others, weighs 33 pounds
  • Can only record 3 songs
  • May be too much keyboard for beginners

5. Artesia 88-Key Digital Piano Keyboard

Quick Features:

  • 12 voices
  • Sustain pedal
  • Adjustable keys for a harder or softer touch
  • Semi-weighted keys

This is the best cheap keyboard piano for portability and taking with you wherever you go. It is an excellent lower price piano for beginners, but if you learned on an acoustic piano, this one does not feel very realistic. One of the things that stood out about this keyboard is its connectivity. It can be used with a variety of types of software including most music apps and DAWs. It is excellent for the hobbyist or beginner.

Pros
  • Full keyboard that is slim and lightweight
  • Connects to a DAW or learning software
  • Has headphone output for quiet practice
  • Cheap digital piano made for beginners
Cons
  • Keys have an artificial feel
  • Weighted spring-action keys do not feel realistic
  • 64-note polyphony, not enough for professional use

6. Casio Privia PX-160-BK 88-Key Full-size Digital Piano

Quick Features:

  • Tri-sensor scaled hammer action keyboard
  • Keys are responsive and fast
  • Excellent sound quality, especially pianos and strings
  • 128-note polyphony

Once again, Casio hit the mark with a keyboard that is good enough for professional use, yet easy enough to use for beginner. It has 128-note polyphony, allowing it to compete with Yamaha for clarity. Casio has been concentrating on its sound quality so that it can go head-to-head with Yamaha in sound quality. This model sounds realistic and can produce performance quality sound. This an excellent choice for beginners who want a keyboard with enough features to allow them to continue to improve and experiment for decades to come.

Pros
  • Elegant chassis and styling
  • High-quality speakers with excellent sound
  • AIR sound source creates realistic sound
  • Compatible with amplification for performance
Cons
  • Only has a 2-track recorder
  • Can only record one song
  • Optional keyboard stand is heavy and not very portable

7. Yamaha P45 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano

Quick Features:

  • Advanced wave memory reproduces high-quality instruments
  • GHS weighted action keyboard
  • Keyboard is responsive and dynamic
  • Has a dual mode so that you can play two voices at the same time

This is the best cheap keyboard piano for people just starting out who are not sure if they will continue playing or not. It does not have a lot of bells and whistles, but it is a good quality keyboard and has an excellent sound. Even though it does not give you a lot of choices, it is a Yamaha and it has a solid feel about it. This is a great cheap keyboard piano for beginners who are just starting out, but who still want a decent quality instrument with a good sound.

Pros
  • Weighted action keys feel realistic.
  • Has USB and HOST port
  • Has full 88-key keyboard
  • Feels like an acoustic piano
Cons
  • Only has two piano sounds
  • Speakers may be lacking a bit in power
  • Limited features and instrument selection

8. Yamaha PSR-EW300 SA 76-Key Portable Keyboard Bundle w/ Power Supply and Stand

Quick Features:

  • Touch sensitive keys, acoustic piano feel
  • Full-sized keys, great for beginners
  • Choice of over 500 different voices
  • Has split keyboard mode

We felt this was a great intermediate level keyboard that has a few more features than the lower priced models, but it is not quite feature-rich enough to qualify as a professional keyboard. The thing that we like the most is that it had touch sensitive keys that respond to dynamic changes and pressure. It also has full-size keys, so that beginners will get the right feel and be ready to move up to an acoustic or more professional model digital piano when they are ready.

Pros
  • Great for student who are learning
  • Compact and portable
  • Can record and playback for practice
  • Intermediate level keyboard
Cons
  • Not a full keyboard
  • 48-note polyphony, not for professional quality sound
  • Keys feel like plastic
  • Can only record in 2 tracks

9. Alesis Recital 88-Key Beginner Digital Piano

Quick Features:

  • 5 piano voices
  • Host of educational features
  • Has a lesson mode
  • 128-note polyphony for clear sound

This may not be the most feature-rich digital piano on the list, but it is a good solid model for beginners and students. It has full-size weighted keys, so you can get the feel of being on a real acoustic piano as you learn. The only thing that we did not like about it is that it may not be compatible with some newer operating systems and software. However, if you are looking for a cheap keyboard piano to learn on, this is an excellent place to start.

Pros
  • Designed with the beginner in mind
  • Compatible with Windows 7 and iOS 10.8
  • Full-size digital with 88-Keys
  • Excellent speakers with full sound
Cons
  • Limited features and voices
  • May not be compatible with newer operating systems
  • Must buy subscription to Skoove 3 in order to use beyond the trial period

10. RockJam RJ761 61-Key Electronic Piano Keyboard (RJ761-SK)

Quick Features:

  • Comes with 200 sounds and 200 rhythms
  • Has a teaching function
  • Access to content in Simply Piano in iOS and Android
  • Comes with a sturdy stand

We thought this was the best cheap keyboard piano in the lower price ranges. One thing we liked about this model is that it comes with everything you need to get started. It also comes with headphones, so that while the student is learning, the rest of the family can have peace. We like its portable, compact design, and the fact that you can use it with batteries, and it doesn’t always need a power supply. Overall, we thought this was a great unit for beginners.

Pros
  • Has sustain pedal
  • Comes with headphones
  • Can be powered by a power supply or batteries
Cons
  • Not a full-sized keyboard
  • Simple Keyboard without a lot of bells and whistles

11. ONE Smart 61-Key Portable Keyboard Piano

Quick Features:

  • Light up keys for the beginner musician
  • Free learning interface for IOS, Android, and USB-MIDI interface
  • Comes with 4,000 sheet music songs
  • Piano games and integrated video lessons

Frankly, we did not expect much out of this keyboard when we first opened the box and got it ready to play. After all, it is lower-priced and has a full load of teaching features. Although it was not professional quality sound, the sound did surprise us. The one thing we absolutely loved about this keyboard is its teaching tools, and its ease of use for beginners. This one comes highly recommended for those just starting out, or perhaps a special gift for a child that wants to begin learning to play.

Pros
  • Great features for learners
  • Low enough price for beginners who are just starting out
  • 128-note polyphony
  • MIDI output and recording
Cons
  • Does not have a full keyboard
  • Not the best sound sampling
  • Teaches playing songs, but not music theory

12. Novation Launchkey 49 USB Keyboard Controller

Quick Features:

  • 16 velocity-sensitive RFB pads
  • Works best as a MIDI controller
  • Synth key action
  • Simple to configure

This one made the list because it is inexpensive keyboard that is adequate for digital sound production for the Internet. It works best as a controller, rather than a piano. Also, it does not have a full keyboard, and another is that it does not have weighted keys like a piano. Moreover, it has more of a synthesizer feel than a piano feel. Yet, if you want something to get you started, this is a great little keyboard for that purpose. The sound quality is decent, but not as good as some of the more expensive models.

Pros
  • Great cheap keyboard piano for beginners
  • USB bus-powered, works without drivers or power cable
  • Works with Mac and PC
Cons
  • Not a full keyboard
  • No standard MIDI port

Factors to Consider before Selecting a Top Wallet-Friendly Keyboard Piano

There you have our wrap-up of the 12 best cheap keyboard pianos on the market. We reviewed a range of models from beginner to professional and in a number of different price ranges. All of the ones on the list make an excellent choice, depending on your level of playing ability and knowledge. Next, let’s explore some of the common terminology and things that you need to know before making your final choice.

Types of Keyboards

Cheap keyboard pianos fall into several different categories. The one that you choose depends on how you intend to use it and your experience. Here are the main classifications of keyboards.

  • Digital Pianos: These are exactly what the name implies. They are designed to be a portable replacement for a full-sized acoustic piano. One advantage that digital pianos have over acoustic ones is that they are not affected by the weather. Acoustic pianos change sounds according to humidity, heat, and cold. The digital pianos are much more reliable, and advances in technology make it difficult to tell the difference in sound. They do not take up very much space and are easier to move. You also have the ability to play more than one instrument and to create recordings, which is another advantage over acoustic ones.
  • Synthesizers: These sometimes known as synths, are not necessarily built for playing music in the sense of a traditional instrument. They are loaded with a variety of sounds and can be used for doing sound effects. Before shopping for a synthesizer, it is important that you know what you want it to do. Some of them have a more retro sound, while others are more suited to modern electronic creations.
  • Workstations: These are like a miniature recording, composing, and production station all-in-one. They have the ability to record audio and do multi track recording. They have built-in CD burners and everything that you need to begin producing music. One of the most important considerations when choosing a workstation is to make sure that it has sufficient polyphony to make a high-quality recording. The more notes they can handle at one time, the clearer the sound will be and the better the recording output.

Common Keyboard Features

  • Number of Keys

    A traditional acoustic piano has 88 keys. You can find digital pianos and keyboards with key numbers anywhere from 25 to 88. One of the things you may need to consider is space. In some cases, this may limit the number of keys that you can have on your keyboard. However, if you get a keyboard that has less than 88 keys, it may limit the types and range of music that you can play. In addition, one with 88 keys it feels more like playing on a traditional acoustic piano.

  • Type of Action

    One of the terms you may have come across when searching for digital pianos is the type of action that the instrument has. You will come across the terms weighted, semi-weighted, synth, and hammer action. These terms describe how the key feels when it is pressed. Hammer action is where the manufacturer added actual mechanical hammers so that it feels as close to playing an acoustic piano as possible. In synths, the keys are more like an organ. There is no resistance when pressing them, but as soon as you let off, the sound stops immediately. Weighted and semi-weighted hammer action keys feel the most like an acoustic piano.

  • Touch Sensitivity:

    Touch sensitivity, or velocity sensitivity, is something that manufacturers only recently mastered in digital pianos. Now, they use sensors to sense the force or speed with which the key is pressed. It changes the volume and sharpness of the tone accordingly, just like striking an acoustic piano. This allows you to add dynamics and much more expression to your playing.

  • MIDI Capability

    MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. This is a protocol that allows computers to communicate with instruments. This allows you to download a piece of music from the computer and the keyboard will know which notes to play and how much speed and velocity to use. Not all cheap keyboard pianos have this capability, so make sure that you check before you buy.

  • System Compatibility

    Another thing that you want to check before you buy is computer compatibility. Keyboards can connect with USB, Firewire, MLAN, S/PDIF, and MIDI. The most common are USB and MIDI interfaces, but not all of them some check and make sure that the keyboard you are going to purchase has the ability to connect to your computer. In addition, it is possible to connect your keyboard to iOS and have access do cloud based storage, musical collaborations, performance, practice, and recording all from your tablet or smart phone.

  • Arpeggiator

    Another thing that you will want to check is whether your keyboard has an arpeggiator, which allows the ability to play a chord as an arpeggio when a single note is touched on the keyboard. An arpeggio is when the cord is played one note at a time going up the scale and then back down.

  • Input/Output

    If you plan to use your keyboard as a workstation, you will need to check the types of input and output ports that it has. You will need to find one that is compatible with your external microphone, amplifiers, mixers, and speakers. This is especially important if you plan to do live performances. If you need to connect a more recent device, make certain that it has the correct size port.

  • Storage Capacity

    Even if you do not have your heart set on producing music, the ability to record and store music is a valuable tool. You can practice and then play back the music to help improve. If you want to do live performances, you need to make certain that your instrument has enough memory capacity to store your backing tracks and other audio that you need. You also want to make certain that it has enough ROM to handle the special effects that are included.

    Otherwise, it can have lag while you are performing, and this is not what you want. The more features the piano has, the more ROM it needs to handle it. When manufacturers start adding things like weighted keys and high polyphonic counts, higher numbers of instruments, and more sound effects, they need a more powerful computer system. The worst thing you want is for your system to hang in the middle of a performance.

Synthesizers

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making your final choice.

Common Keyboard Features

  • Number of Keys

    A traditional acoustic piano has 88 keys. You can find digital pianos and keyboards with key numbers anywhere from 25 to 88. One of the things you may need to consider is space. In some cases, this may limit the number of keys that you can have on your keyboard. However, if you get a keyboard that has less than 88 keys, it may limit the types and range of music that you can play. In addition, one with 88 keys it feels more like playing on a traditional acoustic piano.

  • Type of Action

    One of the terms you may have come across when searching for digital pianos is the type of action that the instrument has. You will come across the terms weighted, semi-weighted, synth, and hammer action. These terms describe how the key feels when it is pressed. Hammer action is where the manufacturer added actual mechanical hammers so that it feels as close to playing an acoustic piano as possible. In synths, the keys are more like an organ. There is no resistance when pressing them, but as soon as you let off, the sound stops immediately. Weighted and semi-weighted hammer action keys feel the most like an acoustic piano.

  • Touch Sensitivity:

    Touch sensitivity, or velocity sensitivity, is something that manufacturers only recently mastered in digital pianos. Now, they use sensors to sense the force or speed with which the key is pressed. It changes the volume and sharpness of the tone accordingly, just like striking an acoustic piano. This allows you to add dynamics and much more expression to your playing.

  • MIDI Capability

    MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. This is a protocol that allows computers to communicate with instruments. This allows you to download a piece of music from the computer and the keyboard will know which notes to play and how much speed and velocity to use. Not all cheap keyboard pianos have this capability, so make sure that you check before you buy.

  • System Compatibility

    Another thing that you want to check before you buy is computer compatibility. Keyboards can connect with USB, Firewire, MLAN, S/PDIF, and MIDI. The most common are USB and MIDI interfaces, but not all of them some check and make sure that the keyboard you are going to purchase has the ability to connect to your computer. In addition, it is possible to connect your keyboard to iOS and have access do cloud based storage, musical collaborations, performance, practice, and recording all from your tablet or smart phone.

  • Arpeggiator

    Another thing that you will want to check is whether your keyboard has an arpeggiator, which allows the ability to play a chord as an arpeggio when a single note is touched on the keyboard. An arpeggio is when the cord is played one note at a time going up the scale and then back down.

  • Input/Output

    If you plan to use your keyboard as a workstation, you will need to check the types of input and output ports that it has. You will need to find one that is compatible with your external microphone, amplifiers, mixers, and speakers. This is especially important if you plan to do live performances. If you need to connect a more recent device, make certain that it has the correct size port.

  • Storage Capacity

    Even if you do not have your heart set on producing music, the ability to record and store music is a valuable tool. You can practice and then play back the music to help improve. If you want to do live performances, you need to make certain that your instrument has enough memory capacity to store your backing tracks and other audio that you need. You also want to make certain that it has enough ROM to handle the special effects that are included.

    Otherwise, it can have lag while you are performing, and this is not what you want. The more features the piano has, the more ROM it needs to handle it. When manufacturers start adding things like weighted keys and high polyphonic counts, higher numbers of instruments, and more sound effects, they need a more powerful computer system. The worst thing you want is for your system to hang in the middle of a performance.

Synthesizers

 

Synthesizers are used to make sounds and add effects to musical compositions. Some of them have convincing piano sounds on them, and they have other traditional instruments such as horns, strings, and organs. They also often have a number of drum pads available. However, they also offer a wider range of sounds such as crashes, waveforms, reverb, chorus, delay, and the ability to bend the sound of a traditional instrument.

One of the more recent trends in synths is a throwback to the early classic ones of the 1960s. Manufacturers are now beginning to produce some that sound like older ones. They are even producing them with the old dial knobs so they look and feel like a retro one. Only these newer models are compatible with MIDI and computer software, making them the best of both worlds. Be sure to check out the wide range that is now available on the market.

Wrap Up

There you have it, after reading this buying guide, you should know that there are many reasons to consider learning to play the piano, if you do not already. You also have the basics of how to choose the right keyboard piano for you. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned professional, this guide gives you many choices to help you take your playing to the next level.

There is no doubt that buying a digital piano or keyboard is no easy task, and there are many things to consider. Hopefully, you now understand a little bit more about what some of the terms mean and what you need to think about before you make the purchase. The best thing is that nowadays there are so many choices in cheap keyboard pianos that you can get a good quality system without spending big bucks.

In our opinion, Yamaha holds the top two positions in terms of the best cheap keyboard pianos on the market. The Yamaha P-125B 88-Key Graded Hammer Standard Digital Piano and the Yamaha DGX660B 88-Key Weighted Portable Digital Grand Piano offer high-quality sound at an affordable price. The difference between these two models are the features that they offer.

One thing that makes Yamahas stand out above the rest is their ability to reproduce the sound of a realistic piano. They were one of the first companies to achieve the ability to do this, and they continue to be a leader in that field. However, other companies have also begun to improve their skills in this area, such as Casio. Be sure to check out our top 12 picks in digital pianos and find the one that is exactly what you need to begin a journey of fun and enjoyment that will last the rest of your life.

 


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