Top 8 Best Digital Pianos For Beginners

Digital pianos are one of the easiest way to learn how to play piano in general. Before digital pianos became a thing, people had to either get expensive acoustic pianos or resort to using mock keyboards. These days you can enjoy both the sensation and the sound of playing an actual piano. If you're a interested in starting to learn, you're in the right place. In this short guide we are going to show you our top picks for the top 8 best digital pianos for beginners. Although simple, some of these are easily among the best digital pianos available.

Top 8 Best Digital Pianos For Beginners

PRODUCT

FEATURES

PRODUCT

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PRODUCT

FEATURES

Korg-B1-300x300

AR RATING 91/100

  • Incredible keyboard with 88 natural weighted hammer keys.
  • Comes with an awesome sound engine and good samples.

AR RATING 88/100

  • An awesome upright design which is rare in this segment.
  • Features all three pedals and a load of other features.

AR RATING 88/100

  • An awesome portable design that really adds to functionality.
  • Comes with a great set of accessories.
  • Compact design with plenty of cool features.
  • Comes with full sized piano keys.

AR RATING 84/100

  • A full sized upright design at this price.
  • Comes in a very robust and good looking cabinet.
Alesis-Recital-300x300

AR RATING 82/100

  • A functional, portable design which is easy to work with.
  • Features 88 touch sensitive keys of good quality.

AR RATING 80/100

  • A compact design perfect for carrying around.
  • Good sized keys that actually feel nice.
Plixio-Portable-Electronic-Keyboard-300x300
  • A super affordable ticket into learning to play piano.
  • Features a whole bunch of tones despite its price.
Korg-B1-300x300

AR RATING 91/100

Korg is definitely one of the brands that is currently dominating the digital piano market. Their models are both versatile and very capable in all ways that matter. Korg B1 is by no means an affordable digital piano, but it ides offer everything a beginner could need. If you are looking for a 'future proof' beginner model, this is it. 

In terms of features, you are looking at 88 weighted hammer keys, a very responsive sound engine, good speakers and so much more. Not to mention that the piano itself is designed in a way which breaths simplicity as well as functionality. One thing that we have to mention is the lack of presets and anything that isn't piano related.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    Incredible keyboard with 88 natural weighted hammer keys.
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    Comes with an awesome sound engine and good samples.
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    Features a functional and rather simple design.
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    Comes with Korg's MFB Servo technology.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

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    This package does not include a stand.

AR RATING 88/100

Lagrima is one of those brands that are rushing to fill the void left by the larger players on the market. As it turns out, they are doing a great job at it. Lagrima LG-8830 is a very fine upright digital piano that comes complete with all the bells and whistles you could need as a beginner. It is impressive.

Without exaggerating, this might be the best bang for the buck deal you will find even if you are an intermediate player. The sound engine, the weighted keys, the triple pedal setup, all of it follows the golden hardware requirements for a solid digital piano. Best of all, it sounds more than nice when you run its classical piano presets.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    An awesome upright design which is rare in this segment.
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    Features all three pedals and a load of other features.
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    Comes with a full scale keyboard.
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    Features weighted keys which actually feel nice during use.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    Built in speakers don't do it justice.

AR RATING 88/100

Artesia PA-88W represents what is arguably the best setup for beginners. In other words, this is a portable digital piano that is packed full with awesome features and accessories. As you can probably guess, it comes with all the good things you would want in a starter model. Most importantly, it packs an authentic set of weighted , velocity sensitive keys.

However that isn't the most impressive thing about this piano. No, that title goes to the complex grand piano sample and the overall sound engine. Artesia really did an awesome job with the 3 layer piano sample. Sounds quite authentic and feels very rich. Best of all, this model comes with 64 note polyphony, which is plenty enough for beginners.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    An awesome portable design that really adds to functionality.
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    Comes with a great set of accessories.
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    Features impressive grand piano samples and a solid sound engine
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    Supports 64 note polyphony even with effects engaged.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    Doesn't feature pedals within the bundle.

AR RATING 85/100

The ONE Smart piano keyboard isn't exactly the optimal choice, but it definitely has a lot to offer. At this point you are probably wondering why a keyboard piano costs as much as a very solid standard digital piano? The answer is quite simple. This particular model comes loaded with awesome piano learning features and software. That definitely adds value.

The whole idea behind the ONE Smart piano keyboard is to support interactive learning. This is a 61 key model that features full sized piano keys, good velocity sensitivity and all the usual bells and whistles. However, the keys on this keyboard light up. Paired with the learning software we have mentioned earlier, it really makes learning piano super easy.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    Compact design with plenty of cool features.
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    Comes with full sized piano keys.
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    Features good hardware and great speakers.
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    Built in learning software lights up keys for easier learning.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

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    Not quite refined in terms of piano sound.

AR RATING 84/100

Treating yourself with a full sized upright digital piano on a budget used to be impossible not so long ago. However time have changed for the better. Models such as the vidaXL Classic 88 blur the line between affordable and mid range segments. What you see here is an awesome piano which is perfect for beginners who want something solid.

In terms of pure performance and specs you are getting a very good deal. Classic 88 features full 88 standard piano keys, good speakers, a very robust cabinet with a lid and so much more. The features include 50 demo songs, over 100 types of sounds and the standard array of effects. In the ultimate bang for the buck choice.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    A full sized upright design at this price.
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    Comes in a very robust and good looking cabinet.
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    Features awesome software and hardware options.
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    Offers an abundance of presets as well as sounds.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    It is lacking pedals, event the most basic ones.
Alesis-Recital-300x300

AR RATING 82/100

Alesis is a brand that has done a lot towards popularizing the MIDI controller design. With that said, they have a very firm presence in the keyboard world as well. With all that in mind, it really isn’t strange to see them offering a great digital piano. Alesis Recital is a fairly basic portable piano with a lot to offer.

What you get in this package is a robust set of keys with good velocity sensitivity. This is followed and supported by 128 note polyphony, a vast array of cool presets and much more in terms of sounds. The learning side of software is a story of its own. Alesis offers this piano with Skoove subscription included. Overall, it’s awesome.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    A functional, portable design which is easy to work with.
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    Features 88 touch sensitive keys of good quality.
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    Comes with a whole array of awesome sounds and samples.
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    Offers some of the best learning software available.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    None.

AR RATING 80/100

The next model we want to show you also comes from Alesis and represents one of their better entry level options. As you can probably tell, this is a keyboard piano which means shorter scale but also a good balance of features and learning software. One more aspect that this design brings to the table is a rather affordable price.

At the very center of this package are the 61 keys. These are very responsive and feel rather great under your fingers. Sure, they aren’t fully weighted nor do the have that ivory feel to them, but they are good. The software includes over 300 sounds, 40 demo songs, and more. It is a perfect learner model on a budget.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    A compact design perfect for carrying around.
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    Good sized keys that actually feel nice.
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    Packed with all kinds of cool sounds and presets.
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    Features a decent set of speakers capable of good volume.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    Short scale isn’t a deal breaker but it’s suboptimal.
Plixio-Portable-Electronic-Keyboard-300x300

AR RATING 50/100

Last we have a model that is really reserved for those who are on a very, very limited budget. We are talking the bare minimum of entry level digital pianos. Plixio Portable Electronic Keyboard is exactly that, an electronic keyboard. The keys are close enough to actual piano keys where you can get a good practice out of it consistently.

However, everything else is all keyboard. By that we mean that there is no grand piano emulation, at least not one that sounds good. With this model you’re more or less limited to very simple velocity recognition and rudimentary sounds. Then again, that’s better than not having anything to practice on. It may not be perfect, but this keyboard works.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    A super affordable ticket into learning to play piano.
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    Features a whole bunch of tones despite its price.
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    Good sized keys that will serve you well.
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    Very light and easy to carry should you need to.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    t is a very rudimentary keyboard.

Beginner Digital Pianos - Where To Start?

One of the main things you need to figure out before you even start looking at digital pianos is to know what type you need? This is going to depend on a few factors. For starters, are you learning by yourself or are you learning with a teacher? Then you have to figure out what your budget is. If you are learning on your own, you can pretty much start with any model from our list. Learning on your own takes more time overall, but you can still get there. Things become a bit more difficult when you are working with a teacher or a tutor. Lets find out why.

Learning With a Teacher

Just like it is the case with any other instrument, digital pianos or pianos in general require you to learn the theory and technique. A professional with formal education, which means most piano teachers out there, is going to be versed in both. Not only that, but their curriculum is going to consist of both theory and technique. They will push you through a quick pace schedule that requires plenty of work. Because of that a good number of piano teachers require you to have a slab digital piano with weighted keys at the very least. We are talking full scale, real piano keys and so on.

All of these features are important because playing piano is much more than just knowing which keys to press. It is how you press them that matters a lot too. Digital pianos are the bare minimum. If you are learning with a teacher, most of them will turn you away if you show up with a keyboard. That's a big no no for many. On the other hand, if you're starting by yourself, you can definitely learn the basics with a keyboard type piano as well.

When And Where Do Keyboards Make Sense?

As we have just mentioned, keyboards can be a viable learning tool depending on your needs and your situation. There are several situations where a keyboard type piano would make sense. This is exactly what we are going to discuss in this segment.

Price

Price is definitely one of the best reasons to go with a keyboard over a full blown digital piano. Even though digital pianos are much cheaper than acoustic pianos, they still tend to be pretty expensive depending on the model you go for. A good digital piano will run you about $1000 easily. If you want to see which pianos fall into that category, check out our dedicated guide. Keyboards pianos on the other hand, are generally affordable. Being limited by a strict budget can make shopping for a starter board pretty hard. This is where these affordable keyboards come in. Sure, there are some tradeoffs that need to be made and features that have to be sacrificed. However, getting yourself a board to work with is much better than postponing the whole thing indefinitely.

Learning Tools

One area where keyboard pianos really shine are various learning tools. Since keyboards are generally stuffed with whole lot of bells and whistles, most brands offer them with a number of learning tools. These tools can be really basic or really complex depending on which keyboard you get and which brand you choose. For example, Casio's learning tools are known to be one of the best.

When we say learning tools, we mean a whole array of features aimed at helping you develop good technique and learn basic theory. You will run into features that will teach you both basic and advanced cords, scales and more. Some even have features which teach you how to extrapolate chords based on root notes and so on. At the end of the day some of these keyboards are really packed, especially for the money.

Portability

One of the more important yet often overlooked advantages of a keyboard piano is the sheer portability of such systems. Your average digital piano is not as heavy as an acoustic piano, but it isn't light either. At the end of the day, it isn't something you would want to hog around on a daily basis. On the other hand, most keyboards are pretty light. Not only that, but keyboard pianos are smaller as well.

This is where we run into the first disadvantage that is also an advantage. Smaller size means reduced scale. Most compact keyboards will feature a 61 key board, which is short compared to the standard 88 key setup. Is it a deal breaker? No, not in most cases. However, if you are working with a strict teacher, this shortness of scale is going to be one of the things that is a huge no no.

Features To Look For

No matter which type of digital piano you go for, there are some features that definitely need to be present in your new board. We are mainly talking about features which are essential to performance and good user experience. Some of the most important ones are the touch sensitive keys, speakers and hardware, as well as polyphony. Lets discuss each in detail.

Touch Sensitive Keys

Whether you are looking at a digital piano or a piano keyboard, you will definitely want some kind of velocity control. Velocity is the ability of a key to produce different intensity sound depending on how hard you hit it. In other words, lightly pressing a key will yield a soft sound while hitting it hard is going to yield a heavy and sharp sound. Weighted keys are definitely something you want, but chances are that you won't run into this feature in the budget segment. Weighted keys is something we can live without, but touch sensitivity isn't. If your keyboard or digital piano doesn't feature touch sensitivity, you should definitely skip it and look at something else.

There are different types of touch sensitivity too. A lot of keyboards and pianos come with three different key sensitivities ranging including soft, medium and hard. However, not all touch sensitivity systems are made equal. On the contrary, some are much, much better than others. A good system should allow you to press a key slow enough where it doesn't trigger a note. A good system should also be able to respond gradually and smoothing to a linear increase of force exerted on a key. Naturally, better systems will be found on pianos that cost more, while more affordable models will be limited to simpler systems.

Speakers And Hardware

Unlike their acoustic counterparts, digital pianos require transducers, or speakers, to produce sound. Every digital piano out there is going to feature a set of speakers, with the exception of few niche cases. The important thing is to find a model which sounds good and has enough volume for your needs. Most higher end digital pianos will come with line out jacks which allow you to run their signal through a PA system or similar. If you plan on performing with your digital piano, it would be in your best interest to make sure that your piano has this feature.

On the other hand, if you simply need something to practice at home, a good set of speakers will do just fine. There is one thing you should pay attention to. Speakers, although not configured this way on purpose, tend to be fairly directional. In other words, a digital piano isn't always going to sound the same to you at the seat and an observer standing 6 feet in front of you. That is also why you will find many pros suggesting that you sit behind a piano in order to truly test the speakers. Since the whole point of this guide is to spare you the legwork, we have gone and tested these pianos for you. The reason why we are mentioning this difference in sound is so that you understand that a piano may sound differently to you compared to an observer nearby.

Polyphony

The importance of polyphony has been vastly exaggerated lately, unfortunately for all the wrong reasons. Polyphony is nothing more than the ability of the digital piano to play a number of different notes you can play at the same time. You will find pianos with polyphony that ranges anywhere from 32 to 256. Is 32 enough? Or do you need more? Well, 32 isn't really enough but 64 is, especially if you plan on using the piano feature alone. Those crazy polyphony values come in handy when you want to layer things.

In other words, lets say you want to run a backing track, a couple of types of synths over your piano samples and so on. This is where higher polyphony is literally necessary. If you just plan on playing your piano presets, you can definitely get by with 64 polyphony and not feel limited in any way, shape or form. This is important because beginner digital pianos won't be as diverse or as capable in this regard. It is very easy to overload a 32 polyphony keyboard if you go crazy with samples and rhythm tracks. Knowing what polyphony is and how you can best utilize it will prevent you getting disappointed in your new piano.

Keys

Keys are definitely one of the most important hardware features on any digital piano or keyboard piano. However, not all keys are made equal. On the contrary, there are some keys which are not piano keys and those should be avoided by all means. A piano style key is very specific in its size, shape and feel. Your first mission is to find a piano that features the correct type and size of the key. Only then should you go for the feel if you can afford it.

The way a piano key feels under your fingers is very important to your overall experience. This is where weighted keys come into play. However, the weight of the keys is only one metric that needs to be followed. There are models out there which come with specially coated keys. This coating makes them feel like real ivory. Of course the coating is completely synthetic but that doesn't take away from the authenticity at all. The problem is that high end features such as these are reserved for higher end models. The beginner segment is mostly going to be limited to the correct size and shape of the keys, as well as relatively accurate weight. For someone who is just starting out, those features are more than enough. Once you build your skill, you will also learn to appreciate better grip that comes with ivory or ivory like keys.

Brands

Last thing we would like to address are the brands. There are many, many players in this industry and all of them are fighting for a larger market share. Even so, some names keep coming up more frequently than others. For example, Casio is a huge name in this business and so is Yamaha. However, you won't be seeing too many of their models in the budget segment. Instead, you will run into lesser known brands and even some generic brands. Does that mean that these keyboards aren't worth considering? Definitely not. Some of the best entry level digital pianos are made by practically unknown brands. The key is to get the best your money can buy no matter which brand's logo sits above the display. The point we are trying to make is that turning to huge brands is great when possible, but that you shouldn't completely disregard other options.

Conclusion

The models we have listed above are definitely some of the best beginner digital pianos your money can buy. These represent what is available out there and belong to a few different categories. All you're left with is to make a decision and get the model that best suits your needs and your budget. If there is one rule that you can always rely on, that is to get the best you can with the budget you have at hand. After you make a commitment to start, a digital piano at your fingertips is going to be your best friend.

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