As we move into 2022 so it’s time again for a full review of the best digital piano for beginners on the market.
It’s been a very exciting and yet challenging time for the piano industry with lots of delays and shipping problems, but at the same time, the options for beginners have never been better.
This is going to be our overview of what we think are the best keyboards and what we would consider appropriate for a beginner digital piano buyer. Everything on our list has 88 weighted keys, including alternate modes like dual-mode, headphone jacks, a sustain pedal (damper pedal), and a music stand, and is going to be an appropriate option for someone in piano lessons. Be sure to check out the video for an even more in-depth breakdown, as well as some playing examples.
Best Digital Piano for Beginners | Overview
What we’ve done to create this list is cherry-pick the piano that we think represents the best value for specific reasons across all of the major brands. To avoid playing any favorites here, we’re putting the brands in alphabetical order. With that in mind, let’s start with Casio.
Casio Digital Pianos
Casio has made some major strides over the last 10 years, especially over the last 5 years in terms of becoming a major player in the home digital piano space. They were always really strong with entry-level products and with professional, portable arranger products, but they have made a concerted push to become one of the dominant giant players in the entry-level digital piano space, along with Yamaha, Roland, and Kawai. They have a few phenomenal values when it comes to digital pianos in that space.
The first thing worth noting about the CDP-S350 is the unbelievable selection and quality of different sounds it offers for the price point. It actually has the same number of tones as the PX-S3000 and the new PX-S3100 with 700 in total.
The quality of the samples on those tones is incredible – you could use this as a sound source for tracking at home or for live performance. To top it off, the action feels solid too, and the speakers are no slouch either.
Next, we have the Casio Privia PX-870. This is a non-portable, home-based digital piano packed with a huge amount of amplifier wattage on the speakers for the class. It’s got a four-speaker system so you’re getting a nice treble from the player’s perspective, but it’s still filling the room with lots of sounds. The Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action Keyboard action is solid with a triple sensor for good touch response, and the piano tone itself is one of the better ones available in the class, as is the high 256-note polyphony count.
It has many fewer sound presets to choose from than the CDP-350, but the combination of solid action, speaker quality, tone quality, and general cabinet quality, puts the PX-870 definitely on our list.
And then last but not least, we have the Casio PX-S1000 and its soon-to-be replacement, the PX-S1100 (which includes a free Bluetooth adapter). PX-S1000 was released in the last couple of years to commemorate a major anniversary for Casio. It’s very easy to use and it features a totally new design ethos.
The sound is very solid with a lot of user control of different reverb effects, and it also features a newly designed action. An optional stand and three-pedal unit are available, so when you factor everything in, you’re left with a compelling option.
Now, all three of these instruments definitely are geared toward beginner players and not professionals. Casio does make some more advanced hammer actions, but the key actions in the pianos on our list wouldn’t be particular highlights. It’s the overall combination of sound and touch, available for affordable price points, that gets these three models on our list. Casio’s Chordana Play App is also awesome. Let’s check out Kawai now.
Kawai Digital Pianos
Kawai is a huge presence in the digital piano space. They are also one of the world’s largest acoustic piano builders. In fact, acoustic and digital pianos are all that they do. They make some of the most advanced digital/acoustic pianos on the market, but they also have offerings at more of a beginner-friendly price point. First and foremost among those is the Kawai ES110.
The ES110 is a lightweight, portable piano, with a widely acclaimed action and a stunning onboard tone.
It’s also equipped with Bluetooth connectivity, which allows you to connect wirelessly to a portable device or computer, which is of course very handy. It has some onboard recording capability, but the real noteworthy thing here is the combination of getting an EX grand piano sample set with individual 88-note sampling, a good action, and a great set of onboard speakers.
The second instrument from Kawai that we have on this list is the KDP120. This was a follow-up to the hugely successful KDP110 which was pretty much impossible to keep in stock. The KDP120 is following suit already.
This is an instrument with 40 watts of speaker power, which like the PX-870, is phenomenal for this price range. Its action has a triple sensor, which makes it great for touch sensitivity and MIDI input. The acoustic piano tone is killer, and there’s some really great headphone technology available as well. The whole package includes a cabinet, an integrated triple pedal, and a complimentary bench. You can’t forget that sometimes that bench adds $50 to $100 to the cost, so it’s nice that Kawai includes one.
The two Kawai pianos on our list are going to be a great fit for those focused on an instrument that best replicates a real piano for an authentic piano playing experience. Let’s move on to Korg now.
Korg Digital Pianos
Korg makes a wide range of digital piano products and they have a few different actions that they use. Korg’s RH3 is the most impressive and is one of the better plastic actions out there (no relation to Kawai’s RH3 action.) We’re going to include a couple of Korg models that use this action.
The LP380 includes the high-quality RH3 action and also happens to offer beefy 44-watt speakers. The piano sound is quite nice, and the package also includes a stand, triple pedal and bench as well.
The Korg is a full-size portable keyboard that also happens to include the RH3 action. It’s technically a stage piano and doesn’t feature any built-in speakers, so you will need an amp if you go with the Korg D1.
We love the Korg RH3 action and realistic sound so we definitely had to include a couple of models here on our list. Let’s move on to Roland now.
Fourth on our list is Roland. Roland’s musical instruments have been a favorite of professional musicians for decades. Roland, just like Casio, made the decision that they were also going to get into the home digital piano market and do it right. And boy, have they ever succeeded.
The Roland FP series is one of their staple lineups, and there are two absolute killer digital pianos for beginners in this series – the FP-10 and the FP-30X.
The FP-10 has been with us for a couple of years now, and while it is a fairly limited offering in terms of its functionality, if a good weighted keyboard action is the priority, this is the best action available for under $1,000, hands down.
Roland’s PHA4 action is one of the best plastic actions on the market and is used in Roland models up to 3x the price of the FP-10 with a couple of really functional tones around basically just the PHA-4 action. The version of the SuperNATURAL engine they’re using here is also one of the stronger sound engines for the price point.
For people who are looking for something that’s a little more full-featured and balanced, the FP-30X is a welcome update to the FP-30. Roland has addressed, added, and improved upon so many areas based on user feedback that they’ve turned this into potentially one of the best offerings of the portable digital world of 2021.
The FP-30X now has discrete 1/4-inch outputs, Bluetooth audio as well as Bluetooth MIDI, and the sound quality has been improved with the BMC sound chip. The PHA-4 action returns to round out this excellent instrument.
The last model from Roland we’re going to add to our list is the RP-102. This model has been out for several years now, but because it’s still using the PHA-4 action and you can access the whole general MIDI 2 soundbank and full accompaniment through Roland’s apps via Bluetooth, this instrument is still one of the best pianos for the price even in 2021 going into 2022.
We do expect an update from Roland on this model at some point in the next 18 to 24 months, but for now, we’re still ordering and selling tons of the RP102. The price point is very attractive rather, and since it includes a stand and triple pedals, it’s strong from a value perspective.
Depending on what you’re looking for, odds are one of these three Roland options should check a lot of boxes for you. Let’s move on to our last piano maker now – Yamaha.
Yamaha Digital Pianos
Last but not least best digital piano for beginners is the Yamaha entries. Yamaha has a wide range of stationary, portable, and professional products just like some of the other brands on our list. Standing out amongst all of their offerings are two models – the DGX-670, as well as the P-125. Both of these models have huge followings around the world, and we’ve actually reviewed both of these models on the YouTube channel.
The 670 is a follow-up to the popular 660 and is an all-in-one ensemble performer unit. It really stands out for several reasons. For one, the sheer quantity of the selection of sounds like pianos, electric pianos, organs, synths, and many others, and two, a host of arranger features, like a multi-track recorder and playback, easily navigated with an LCD screen.
This would work really well for rehearsal pianists, choir directors, or even just hobbyists who want to play around with numerous sounds and features. It can be used as a slab, but a keyboard stand can be added as well.
The Yamaha P-125 has been around for several years and is the more advanced version of the popular Yamaha P-45. In a lot of ways, broke new ground when it came equipped with a USB audio interface (USB port for USB connectivity) and a great set of onboard speakers. Both the P-125 and DGX-670 feature the GHS action, which while dated and not as good as some of the other actions on our list, is still serviceable. The sound engine features very high-quality samples of the Yamaha CFX concert grand and Bosendorfer Imperial concert grand.
An extra on the P125 that not many portable pianos in the price point include an auto-accompaniment feature. This is a really fun feature, especially compared to a metronome, if you like to play along with a bass, or drummer, and cycle through some different styles.
Yamaha is always going to be a safe choice since you know you’re getting a well-made product with industry-leading warranty coverage. Are some of the digital keyboards on our list providing a better value? We would argue that the answer is yes, which is why we omitted the popular Arius line, but Yamaha is about as safe a choice as there is.
That’s it for our list of the best digital piano for beginners that have impressed us at Merriam Music that don’t have heart attack-inducing price tags. Everything on our list would be a good fit for a first-time learner, or even someone looking to get back into piano after a hiatus with a solid 88-key keyboard. We hope that this has been a helpful review.
There are of course some other popular 88-key digital pianos on Amazon like the Alesis Recital that are worth a look as well, but we decided to keep this list to the tried and true big digital piano keyboard manufacturers.
Thanks for reading!