🎹Yamaha P45 vs Casio CDP-S350 Digital Piano Comparison - Compact & Light Designs🎹

Yamaha and Casio are easily amongst the most popular digital piano manufacturers on the planet, with a wide range of offerings across many price and quality points. That said, they’re both absolutely dominant when it comes to entry-level 88-key digital pianos.

And that brings us to the subject of today’s article and video as we’re going to be comparing and contrasting each manufacturer’s 88-key, weighted action entry-level model with the Yamaha P45 vs Casio CDP-S350 compact digital piano.

We’ve never actually compared these two, but after requests from multiple viewers, we figured it was time.

Like always, we’ll be comparing the tone engines, speakers, actions, core features and connectivity.

Let’s get into it.

Yamaha P45 vs Casio CDP-S350 – Background

Yamaha P45
Yamaha P45

It goes without saying that if you’re looking for an entry-level, 88-note piano with weighted keys and you aren’t feeling adventurous enough to hop on Alibaba or Amazon to roll the dice with an unknown product from China, you’ll want to stay with a well-known brand.

There’s peace of mind in selecting a brand you know will be around to support the warranty, and of course, choosing a product with a good reputation is always a safe bet. If this is your line of thinking, the odds are very good that you’ll come across the Yamaha P-45 and the Casio CDP-S350.

The P-45 has been with us for a few years now as the replacement to the popular P-35, while the CDP-S350 is a newer product, available for less than their standard Privia products, such as the Casio PX-S1100, but it also brings more to the table than the CDP-S100 or CDP-S150 (replaced by the CDP-S160.)

Along with the Roland FP 10, these are two of the most popular musical instruments in the price range and serve as the entry point for each manufacturer.

Before we dive in, we just need to mention that on paper, there’s no doubt that the CDP-S350 looks like a vastly superior instrument. That said, how something looks on paper doesn’t necessarily translate to the overall playing experience.

There are still quite a few reasons to keep the P-45 on your list if you’re already a Yamaha fan, so don’t discount it right away due to the specs sheet. Let’s jump into everything sound related on these two pianos.

*Note that the CDP-S350 has been replaced by the CDP-S360

P45 vs S350 – Piano Sound

Built-in Speakers

We’re going to kick off our sound discussion with a look at the speakers, as it’s important to understand from the outset that neither of these pianos has a particularly strong onboard speaker system blasting out high-end sound quality.

That said, both are sufficient for a small space or for personal reference. On the P-45, we have a pair of 6-watt speakers for 12 watts of amp power. Over on the CDP-S350, we have a pair of 8-watt speakers for 16 watts of power, so a little bit more power here.

Neither set of speakers has premium cones or a premium amplifier driving it, but they ultimately do the trick. The headphone experience however is much better on both pianos though, so keep that in mind.

Piano Tone

The P45 is equipped with Yamaha’s Advanced Wave Memory (AWM stereo sampling) sound engine, while Casio doesn’t really give a name for the CDP-S350’s sound engine, though it’s likely some version of the AiR engine they’ve been using for a number of years now.

After playing both pianos side-by-side, it’s clear that there isn’t a tremendous amount of difference between the two from a tonal perspective.

In terms of the default, core grand piano sound we tend to favor the P45 due to a greater degree of natural mid-range warmth. The CDP-S350 has a bit of a V shape on the EQ, and we’re not sure if that’s inherent to the sample or the result of some specific signal processing.

At the same time, the P45’s acoustic piano sample is a little bit more simple with a fairly limited amount of decay. In any case, when you consider how inexpensive both of these pianos are, their ability to replicate the sound of a real piano is just great, and both offer some adjustable reverb to tweak the timbre.

Other Sounds

The P45 has 10 total instrument sounds, including a couple of electric pianos, harpsichord and vibraphone.

The CDP-S350 by contrast has 700 total built-in presets, so literally it has 70X more sounds than the P45, and these sounds are surprisingly high quality pretty consitently across the board.

In that sense, Yamaha’s DGX series pianos might be better comparisons since they too are weighted action digital pianos with a ton of built-in tones.

Now, many users don’t really need anything beyond the basics which are covered by the P45, but if you are looking for a vast swatch of onboard tones to play with, the S350 really delivers in this regard.


Both pianos are offering 64-note polyphony. This is definitely on the low end of what you’ll see out there and can be potentially problematic for playing advanced repertoire where you’ll want to be around 80 notes maximum polyphony and up.

That said, neither of these weighted keyboards are aimed at players looking to play advanced classical music. Instead, these instruments are mostly aimed at beginners and those looking for an affordable, lightweight practice instrument.

Piano Action

If you’re an experienced player, odds are neither of these actions are going to blow you away. They’re both reliable and functional, but again, if you’re used to acoustic piano actions or have tried some higher-end digital piano actions, these two action configurations won’t wow you.

That said, they’re both leaps and bounds above what was available at an entry-level price point 10 or so years ago so that context is important.

Casio’s Scaled Hammer Action Keyboard II

Casio CDP-S350 Stand Triple Pedal
Casio CDP-S350

The CDP-S350 uses Casio’s Scaled Hammer Action Keyboard II, which features highly textured white and black keys, and the key stick length is quite compact. Casio has done some interesting things with the geometry in recent years to compensate for the shorter key which they’ve gone with to accommodate a very slim, lightweight cabinet.

The shorter key stick creates a slightly different playing dynamic whereas slower and lighter playing feels great. When you start playing more intensely, faster or more loudly, the dynamic resistance of that keyboard starts to feel less natural.

You can edit the touch sensitivity and mitigate this to some extent based on your playing style, but it’s important to be aware of it nonetheless.

Yamaha’s Graded Hammer Standard Action

The P-Series Yamaha P45 digital piano is equipped with the Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) action. This action has been out for quite a number of years now and is generally their go-to in much of the lower half of their lineup. It can be found on the hugely popular Yamaha P-125 for example.

The weighting is sold, as is the repetition speed, and this is the case regardless of the volume or speed at which you play the action.

The keystick length is longer than the Scaled Hammer Action, and more in line what the typical digital piano action.

While there is a matte finish on the black keys, the white keys have a glossy finish and no texture, which means the keytops can get overly sticky during longer playing sessions. In fact, our Chief piano reviewer Stu Harrison has found that this action peels back the skin on his fingers during longer gigs, so this is definitely a negative that needs to be highlighted.

Dual Sensor

Both actions are utilizing a dual sensor, which itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however, it means that the sensitivity will not be as good as a triple sensor action. An action with a triple sensor is almost unheard of at this price point, except for Roland’s FP10 and its PHA4.

Between these two actions, we are finding that there is a greater dynamic range available on the Scaled Hammer Action than on the GHS action, likely due to how the action is mated to the tone engine.

Action Summary

There are pluses and minuses on both actions – the shorter key stick leads to the Scaled Hammer Action feeling different at various speeds and dynamic ranges, but it is the more sensitive of the two with better feeling key tops.

The GHS has more natural weighting and the keys move in a more consistent way, but it is less sensitive and the glossy white keys can be problematic.


CDP-S350 Connectivity
CDP-S350 Connectivity


Both pianos have all of the standard functions covered such as layer (dual mode), split, duo mode, transpose, and a metronome.

Otherwise, the P45 is pretty bare from a features point, and it isn’t currently compatible with Yamaha’s apps, so that’s one of the areas separating the P45 from the more expensive Yamaha P125. It also doesn’t offer a display screen of any kind.

The CDP-S350 has a little bit more going on in this regard, of which a full auto accompaniment system is especially notable. The auto accompaniment rhythms are fairly easy to use and quite high quality. It also has an arpeggiator which is very popular in the synth world, so some standard arranger keyboard features here.

The S350 also has a built-in MIDI recorder and playback function, is compatible with the Casio Chordana Play for Piano app for iOS and Android and a pitch bend wheel.

It also has a very handy LCD screen which is quite a rarity for the price point. Finally, the S350 can also run on battery power (8x AA batteries) making it extremely portable!


Both pianos have a standard headphone jack, as well as USB Type-A so either one can be used as a MIDI controller. The S350 adds a Type B USB port, and a stereo mine line in.

Both pianos have a port for a sustain pedal, but both ship with a very basic footswitch pedal so we’d strongly recommend upgrading that to a more substantial damper pedal.

The S350 is also compatible with an optional 3-pedal unit, however, the P45 is not. Neither piano offers any Bluetooth connectivity.


In addition to the basic footswitch pedal, both of these 88-key keyboards also ship with a music rest and power adapter for your power supply.

Both are available with a matching keyboard stand.

Closing Thoughts

We hope you’ve enjoyed this look at these two massively popular entry-level digital pianos. As we mentioned early on in this piece, the CDP-S350 definitely looks better on paper, but if you prefer the tone and touch of the P45, as some do, then two critical areas might trump the more impressive specs sheet.

Thanks for reading!