- Max Kuehn
What To Look For When Buying an 88 Key Keyboard
It’s usually a good idea to know precisely what you’re looking at before selecting, so consult our purchasing advice. With this in mind, we’ve created a buying guide that represents the many areas in which we’ve examined each keyboard.
This is one of the most significant things to make since it is the feature that distinguishes most keyboards from one another.
Because it is electronic, several functions may be included. Let’s look at some of the more prevalent ones you may be interested in.
Realistic keys are a must-have for many gamers since they make the game seem more natural. They want to imitate the weight on each key as it would travel on a real piano and to alter it as you progress from lower to higher notes.
Originally, piano keys were manufactured from the trunks of elephants, walruses, and narwhals. The use of genuine ivory is now prohibited. As a result, producers of digital pianos must utilize synthetic ivory in their keyboards.
There are several kinds of synthetic ivory. To maintain the appearance of a piano keyboard without using actual ivory, a variety of polymers and coated wood are currently being employed. However, some synthetic ivories are much superior to others.
When shopping for an 88-key keyboard, be sure the synthetic ivory feels similar to an acoustic piano. It should be smooth to the touch and chilly to the touch. There should be no grit or roughness on the surface of the keys.
The musician who is used to playing on an acoustic piano will be most sensitive to the coatings on the keys. No one, however, enjoys touching their fingers on sandpaper. Keeping this in mind, make sure you know how the keys will feel before purchasing the digital piano.
A few non-keyboard-related characteristics to consider when buying a digital piano.
Acoustic pianos rely heavily on sound, and producers will go to great lengths to provide the finest possible sound by using specialized processes, materials, and designs. When it comes to keyboards, though, things are a little different since no acoustic sound is created.
The keyboard is merely playing a sample of a real piano that has been electronically manipulated. See the differences, benefits, and drawbacks of a digital vs an acoustic piano here.
Then there are the built-in speakers. If you’re not wearing headphones, they may make a significant difference in the sound quality generated. The better the speakers, the clearer the sound and the greater the ability to mimic the sense of a genuine piano.
Deeper bass notes and sharper highs will be audible. It’s worth noting that many MIDI keyboards lack built-in speakers and are instead intended to be utilized with external gear. However, some higher-end MIDI controllers do.
Contrary to what the name implies, Preset voices do not have to be voice sounds. On the other hand, Preset voices refer to any pre-recorded sounds with a keyboard. These may vary from sung notes to musical instruments and even natural noises. The more preset voices that come with a keyboard, the more composing choices you have.
Some keyboards come with as few as ten preset sounds, and these devices are often geared at novices. Other weighted keyboards include up to 500 preset voices and are styled for expert composers.
People often acquire a digital piano to study the instrument. As a result, you want to get an instrument with as many instructional functions as possible.
Some of the items mentioned in this article provide a free Skoove trial membership (by Fidlar.com). Alternatively, you may be able to get access to the manufacturer’s instructional software.
Let’s start with Skoove. Skoove is a web-based, interactive piano education program. Your membership, in particular, enables you to study piano at your speed and in your own time.
The application offers online lessons and interactive instruction for beginners, intermediates, and experienced players. You have to listen, and your piano technique will improve dramatically.
Built-in songbooks, lesson plans, and a teaching mode are other educational features you could discover on a digital piano. These aspects are beneficial to both the student and the piano instructor. To get the most out of a digital piano with an 88-key keyboard, look for a device that includes various educational options.
Quality is a vital consideration, as it is with all instruments. Keyboards that aren’t well-made may not withstand the rigors of being moved about a lot, which is something that keyboards often have to do whether you’re putting them in and out of storage, moving them to practice somewhere, or even performing at a performance. To get an idea, read customer evaluations of prior models.
Design isn’t for everyone, but given that instruments may be pieces of art in their own right, it’s always worth considering. Do you favor sleek and simple gadgets, or do you enjoy the aesthetic of banks of switches, sliders, and knobs? There are several to select from, and although most electric keyboards are black, seek the ones on our list that are also available in white.
When choosing an 88-key keyboard, you must pick what sort of weight the keys should have. There aren’t many digital pianos available with non-weighted keys. However, there are three distinct sorts of weighted keys on the best digital pianos.
The keys on semi-weighted keyboards have sprung-action, which reacts to your touch. The heavier you play, for example, the louder the dynamic level.
Hammer action keyboards are the most similar to acoustic pianos. They are designed to look like the hammer mechanism found in the body of an acoustic piano. Finally, graded weighted keys have a heavier low pitch and a lighter high pitch. In addition, this mechanism attempts to replicate the sensation of an acoustic piano.
You may desire keys that feel as similar to an acoustic piano as feasible. A hammer action or graded weighted keyboard is a good choice in such a situation.
It doesn’t matter what you’re purchasing; everyone wants to get a good deal. We’ve highlighted it briefly in each of our evaluations to help you determine whether you’re spending your money wisely.
Budget alternatives are inherently appealing, but that doesn’t necessarily imply they’re a good deal.
Some mid-range items that are a little more costly are a fantastic deal because they offer many features or are of high quality.
Pay close attention to the sort of digital piano you buy. Some instruments, for example, are merely MIDI keyboards. They don’t make their sound. As a result, MIDI keyboards are not suitable for performance instruments.
On the other hand, composers may not want or require sound features on their digital pianos. Similarly, you will not want outputs that link to additional speakers if you are not playing the instrument.
Before buying a digital piano, think about how you want to use it. As a result, you will not purchase an instrument that does not have the desired performance potential.
Top Rated 16 Best 88-Key Keyboards In 2022 Reviews
Yamaha DGX-660 Piano
(Includes a furniture stand, a power wire, a sheet stand, a Knox piano bench, a sustain pedal, a dust cover, headphones, a piano book, and a DVD.)
88 graded hammer standard keys, 100 preset tunes, Yamaha education suite, and microphone are a few features.
You’ve come to the correct spot if you’re looking for a full-featured digital piano. In this sense, the Yamaha DGX-660 offers features designed to teach piano skills in the most realistic manner possible. The keyboard, for example, contains 88 keys and has a GHS weighted scheme. This function simulates the sensation of an acoustic piano’s keys on the DGX-660.
Furthermore, Yamaha supplies everything you need to get started. Do you need a stand, bench, music stand, metronome, or other accessories? The Yamaha DGX-660 has your back.
- brimming with features
- The LCD is quite useful.
- It is compatible with iOS devices.
Why We Liked It: The DGX-660 has many functions, almost too numerous to list. You get all of the normal features you’d expect on a keyboard at this price, such as recording, lessons, and well-weighted keys. However, you also get a fantastic LCD screen to train you (you may also try the instructive books) and the possibility of wireless link-up with phones and tablets (with added Yamaha adapters).
The Roland RD-2000 is at the top of numerous lists, and this will continue for some time. It’s a fantastic instrument with highly intuitive control over every performance area. It is now the greatest 88-key keyboard piano for musicians.
The RD-2000 is a stage piano with 88 keys driven by two iconic sound engines: SuperNATURAL and V-Piano.
It includes some of Roland’s most renowned vintage keyboards and a wide and varied selection of voices. The SuperNATURAL engine supports a maximum polyphony of 128 notes, whereas the V-Piano voices support full polyphony. It includes Roland’s greatest progressive hammer-action keyboard (a plastic/wood hybrid).
To top it all off, the RD-2000 has some of the greatest built-in facilitate the creation and unequaled connectivity.
Yamaha Clavinova CLP-735
Look no farther for a genuine piano experience. The Clavinova CLP-735 is a wonderful instrument that links the physical and digital worlds. It’s not for novices, but if you’re an accomplished player with the money to spend, it’s one of the greatest digital pianos with weighted keys ever manufactured.
The sound and feel of the Clavinova CLP-735 set it distinct from most other digital pianos.
It reproduces the sound of two renowned concert digital pianos: the Yamaha CFX and the Bösendorfer Imperial. The CLP-735 provides remarkable realism, dynamic range, and expressiveness, whether you’re a jazz or classical pianist.
The actual wooden keys and Yamaha’s Real Grand Expression Technology and Acoustic Optimizers contribute significantly to the authenticity. It flawlessly combines a genuine experience with current digital elements.
(Premium software package and music rest are included.)
M-Audio is a well-known company in the electronic music business, producing anything from speakers to software, but they lay a strong emphasis on MIDI creation. The Hammer 88keyed home digital keyboard is the one we’ve featured here, and it’s a great mid-range alternative for individuals who value how their controller feels to play. It also comes with a lot of applications to get you started.
We can’t comment on how the device sounds since it’s an electronic keyboard, but the touch-sensitive keys that simulate velocity are likely to imply that the manner you play truly reflects in the sounds created.
This massive and substantial keyboard does not feel like a mid-priced device at all. Everything seems quite solid, albeit the weight may be an issue for certain consumers. It’s almost double the weight of other lesser choices, weighing 40 pounds.
This is a no-frills keyboard with a no-frills design, which isn’t always a bad thing. It has a clean appearance, albeit the switches and sliders on the left side of the board seem a touch cheap compared to some of the other keyboards we’ve evaluated.
This fantastic budget 88-key MIDI keyboard is ideal for folks who already have the peripheral gear and software to get the most out of a MIDI controller but want a terrific feel without spending a fortune.
- Excellent key feel
- Superb quality
- On its alone, it has very little utility.
Why We Liked It: This is a MIDI controller keyboard, so there are no speakers, but you do get some controls, such as an 88-key digital piano with weighted keys, sustain pedals, pitch bend, modulation, and more. There are no drum pads on the Nektar. However, you get fantastic hammer-action, velocity touch-sensitive keys, which will be a huge selling point for many people.
Artesia PA-88W Digital Piano
(Power adapter, music rack, handbook, and sustain pedal are all included.)
Features include 88 semi-weighted velocity-sensitive keys, 12 instrument samples, a music app, learning software, and DAW compatibility, and a weight of under 20 pounds.
Artesia is a tiny firm that produces an excellent digital piano. It’s also one of the cheapest pianos we’ve seen. It’s compact and light, yet it has all of the features you’ll need to get started playing the piano. As you advance, so will your compatibility with music applications, learning software, and DAW (digital audio workstations).
There is one disadvantage.
The weighted spring movement of the keys does not need a heavy touch as it does with acoustic pianos. Most gamers, though, should not have a problem with this. However, eventually buying a digital piano to upgrade to an acoustic piano might be an issue.
- Fast playing works nicely with the velocity-sensitive keys.
- You may pick between five conventional controllers and four-voice controls for more sound versatility.
- The built-in metronome’s pace and loudness may be changed.
- The PA-88W has a maximum polyphony of 32 notes. This should be adequate for the majority of new players. However, skilled players will very certainly need more than 100 polyphony.
- To get the matching stand and bench for the PA-88W, you must buy the package.
- To utilize headphones with the PA-88W, an adapter is required.
Korg B1SP Digital Piano
(Comes with a furniture stand, three pedalboards, an AC adaptor, a sheet stand, and a bench.)
88 naturally weighted keys, three touch controllers, 120 max polyphony, eight sounds, and a built-in metronome are just a few features.
The Korg B1SP Digital Piano is an excellent acoustic piano reproduction. We mean that this digital piano authentically reproduces acoustic and electric piano tones. However, it lacks the connection seen in many digital pianos. This instrument cannot be connected to a computer or other sound systems.
Korg does provide instructional resources. If you want to learn how to play the piano, the B1SP is your instrument. It also includes the “Focus on Piano” study book and the regular three pedals. Furthermore, this instrument comes with all the accessories you’ll need to get it up and running in your house. The Korg B1SP makes the switch from digital to acoustic piano simple.
- Includes a “Focus on Piano” piano learning handbook for the simple self-directed study of the instrument.
- Three distinct acoustic pianos are among the eight diverse sounds. There are also two electric pianos, a harpsichord, and two organ sounds.
- The speakers have an active servo that eliminates distortion and simulates the sound of an acoustic piano.
- Most gamers will find the headphone jack inconveniently placed. Furthermore, most regular headphones may have difficulty attaching to the instrument.
- The B1SP is not a concert piano but rather for practice and instruction. As a result, the speakers are not loud enough to be heard in public. Furthermore, there is no aux-out connector to connect the keyboard to an external sound system.
- There aren’t many connection possibilities on the keyboard. As a result, it will not connect to your laptop or PC.
Modern and old collide.
Since its first debut, the Yamaha CP88 has been one of our favorite keyboard pianos. It has a retro look and attitude that may not suit everyone’s requirements, but if vintage effects and fantastic pianos/electric pianos are your things, the CP88 is a great choice.
The CP88 is a full-size keyboard piano inspired by Yamaha’s original Combo Piano from the 1970s.
The built-in effects from Yamaha’s Virtual Circuit Modeling technology are one of the places that most adapt to the old mood. VCM faithfully reproduces the irregularities of high-end, studio-grade processors.
Everything is housed in a retro-styled unit with an easy-to-use modular design.
The greatest affordable keyboard piano in terms of feel
The Alesis Prestige and Prestige Artist are great fully-weighted keyboard pianos for intermediate to advanced players. The sound and feel on offer represent excellent value for money, so the Prestige makes our list.
The Alesis Prestige is an 88-key keyboard piano with graded hammer-action keys. It improves on the popular Alesis Recital Pro in terms of keyboard feel.
It’s not a very flexible keyboard, but it does what most Alesis keyboards do: it over-delivers.
The sound quality, particularly on the electric pianos, is surprisingly outstanding for the price. It’s the kind of keyboard piano that will assist students in improving their talents. It’s certainly worth a look if you’re looking for a basic keyboard piano.
Nektar Impact LX88+
(Comes with Bigwig 8-track DAW.)
88 semi-weighted keys, LED buttons, eight pads, MIDI out, and Nektar DAW integration are among the features.
Nektar’s Impact LX88+ offers it all for the technologically savvy individual. This USB MIDI controller is ideal for songwriters or anybody wishing to improve their skills. For example, it includes a premium software package and a variety of MIDI alternatives.
In addition, the eight hyper-sensitive illuminated pads help with MIDI programming. With a single button push, you may access all of the Impact LX88capabilities. +’s Not to add, Nektar will feature a press-only Bigwig 8-track digital audio workshop. You should try one right now.
- Automatically connects to Nektar’s DAW (digital audio workstation).
- You may choose between MIDI Out and MIDI programming.
- The portable keyboard contains 88 semi-weighted keys with mild tension. Furthermore, the keys are simple to press.
- You cannot change the touch level of the keys on the Impact LX88+ like you can on other digital piano manufacturers’ portable keyboards.
- This is only a MIDI keyboard. As a result, it doesn’t make its sounds and isn’t a performing instrument.
- The Impact LX88+ does not include a stand.
Why We Liked It: This is a MIDI controller keyboard that can be used with almost any MIDI program on your laptop, desktop, Mac, or anything else. Split/layer, 8 drum pads, various faders, and other knobs that enable you to adjust the sound are ultimately included. It has a wide variety of features so that you won’t need many extras.
The finest lightweight keyboard with weighted keys
We adore the Roland RD series, and we believe it’s fantastic that the RD-88 makes them cheaper. There aren’t many lightweights, stage-ready keyboard pianos that have the type of realistic feel that the RD-88 has. It’s fantastic.
The Roland RD-88 is a stage-ready keyboard piano designed for performers seeking authenticity in a compact size.
The RD-88 is simple to use, and artists may use every sound and function on stage with ease. While it lacks the versatility of the RD-2000, it does share access to over 3000 sounds from Roland’s ZEN-Core engine.
We expected amazing sound quality from any RD series keyboard, but we didn’t anticipate the PHA-4 keyboard to be so comfortable.
At mid-level pricing, you get a high-end feel.
Kawai is known for manufacturing incredibly realistic digital pianos, and the KDP120 is no exception. A digital piano with 88 weighted keys might be purchased for cheaper, but it is unlikely to be as excellent. It’s a stunning piano.
The KDP120 is an excellent example of a firm bringing expertise from high-end concert pianos to the digital realm.
It does not have the feel of a concert grand, but it produces a sound and sensation that makes you forget you’re playing a digital instrument.
Along with the sound of Kawai’s SK-EX concert grand, you get some fun extras like a built-in recorder and 55 internal tunes. All of this is delivered through an outstanding 20 W built-in speaker system.
Yamaha P71 Digital Piano
(Comes with sustain pedal and power supply.)
Features include 88 fully weighted keys, ten distinct voices, dual-mode for mixing various voices, and a weight of under 25 lbs.
Yamaha’s P-71 is only available on Amazon. Notably, it has a full-sized keyboard with 88 GHS-weighted keys. Furthermore, it is meant to be sleek and light, allowing it to fit everywhere you need it to go. With the purchase of the P-71, you also have access to Yamaha’s incredible sound engine.
Remember that since this product is simplified, you will need to buy your attachments. However, the additional need is worthwhile. If you want a realistic and versatile digital piano that can help you improve as a musician, you might choose the Yamaha P-71.
- The Yamaha P71’s fully weighted keys use the company’s GHS technology. In that instance, the keys on the bottom end of the keyboard will feel heavier than those on the upper end, simulating an acoustic piano.
- The majority of the P71’s settings may be altered with a single button press.
- Yamaha employs Advanced Wave Memory (AWM) for sound sampling, resulting in a richer, more realistic sound.
- There is no seat or stand included with this digital piano. You will need to make a second purchase to play it as an acoustic piano.
- This digital piano does not contain a MIDI connection.
- It might be difficult to utilize the sustain pedal properly since you must connect it before turning on the keyboard. If you don’t, the sustain pedal will silence the sound.
The P115, the last Yamaha on our list, is a mid to high-end digital piano that will appeal to those searching for a great all-around performance. It’s still considered a lightweight and compact keyboard, but it boasts many useful functions and is one of the most expensive selections on our list. Let’s look at why the Yamaha P115 is so well regarded.
This digital keyboard may be the best at recreating the sound and feel of a genuine acoustic grand piano of all the ones on our list. It does an excellent job of sounding rich and realistic with 192 note polyphony and damper resonance.
The build quality is excellent – you shouldn’t have any issues with uneven key heights or undesirable sounds.
The Yamaha P115 may be ordered in either black or white, which is a great contrast from the standard black digital keyboard, but it looks beautiful in any color. The buttons and speakers are both rather little.
The Yamaha P115 is priced in the middle range for a digital keyboard, but you can get more functions for less money. However, you may not be able to attain the same level of sound quality as you do here.
- Excellent audio quality
- novel functions
- Excellent construction quality
- More features may be obtained at a lower cost.
Why We Liked It: There are 14 distinct voices to pick from, effects, and a plethora of connection possibilities, including the ability to use this with iOS devices. You also get a helpful sonic boost mode when you need the Yamaha P115 to stand out. Finally, a unique split mechanism allows the digital keyboard to be divided into two 44-key parts for duets or instructor practice.
Casio Privia PX160BK 88key
You’ve probably heard of Casio watches, but did you know they also produce keyboards? The Casio Privia PX160 is one of the full-size alternatives in the Casio line, and it’s meant to give a good blend of pricing and functionality in a mid-range 88-keyed digital piano. Casio advertises the Privia PX160 as a beginning to intermediate choice, and we’d have to agree.
The speakers on this Casio Privia are of extremely good quality, but what jumps out is the quality of the samples and the digital keyboard’s ability to divide and layer sounds to produce a really rich and realistic tone. It’s high-end merchandise, and we’re very impressed.
Casio has a solid reputation for quality and dependability like other Japanese instrument makers. If you read any owner reviews, you’ll see that there are few to no complaints about the finishing on this model.
It’s not the most visually appealing digital keyboard on this list, but it’s not bad either. Furthermore, it is available in standard black and a pale gold finish.
This isn’t a high-priced digital keyboard, so it will always be a good buy. However, there aren’t many features, so the value may be lacking if you’re looking for lessons and other functions. Consider the Casio PX860 as an option.
- Keys with a nice hammer motion
- Excellent sound.
- Simple appearances
- Other inexpensive choices provide more.
Alesis Coda Pro Weighted Action
Alesis Professional is now a household brand in the electronic music business, with a reputation for producing high-quality weighted keyboards that compete with premium manufacturers without the premium price tag.
The Coda series is one of their best-selling keyboard lines, and we’ve included the Coda Pro here. Its full-size 88-keyed weighted keyboards have been created for various applications, ranging from students in their dorms to live usage. We can tell you that it’s a fantastic alternative, with some wonderful features at an incredible price, but let’s dig a bit further.
There’s not much more to say except that this is a terrific sounding digital keyboard with key weights – all 20 sounds are superb, and you’d be hard to tell that this isn’t a keyboard that costs twice as much.
The hammer action weighted keys contribute significantly to the Coda Pro’s superb feel. They make the digital keyboard seem more like an 88-keyed digital piano (click for digital keyboard under $500) and are typically quite pleasant to play. Each key is also well-made; there are no cheap-feeling plastics here.
The Coda Pro is a stylish digital keyboard with a black finish, symmetrical design, and cool angular speakers. The highlights are highlighted in red. Again, all of this contributes to the appearance of a high-end product. Because it is a USB MIDI, it has a USB port.
Alesis’ reputation for value has already been mentioned, and it certainly continues here. The Coda Pro performs well in comparison to much more costly keyboards. Alternatively, you could try the Alesis Recital 88key beginner digital piano.
- Excellent value
- Excellent quality
- A good selection of features
Why We Liked It: The Coda Pro has many features that make it a very versatile digital keyboard. There are 88 weighted keys with hammer action, 20 built-in voices from Air Music Technology and SONiVOX, 60 preset tunes, 50 patterns, and instructional modes. You can also record your music directly on the keyboard, which is nice. Outputs include USB-midi and midi din, 14-inch aux, a 14-inch headphone jack, and a stereo 14-inch aux input. Everything you need for peripherals is included.
The best slimline digital piano with fully weighted keys on the market.
The LP-180 from Korg isn’t the greatest 88-key digital piano. However, it is a fairly priced method to get a digital piano that feels and sounds natural. Thanks to its simplistic design, we believe it looks as wonderful as it sounds.
The Korg LP-180 is a slimline digital piano with a stylish look. The modern design looks great and saves space in the home.
It has natural hammer-action keys that are, without a doubt, among the best in their class. The keyboard feel and Korg’s superb piano sounds create a very immersive playing experience.
The 22 W (2 x 11 W) speaker system, which produces a strong and expressive sound, also contributes to the immersive playing experience. The LP-180 is a good choice if you want something modern.
88 key keyboards are the industry standard for pianos and other keyboard instruments. They offer a wide range of benefits for both beginners and experienced players.
For beginner keyboard piano, 88 key keyboards provide a larger range of notes to learn and practice. They offer a more realistic playing experience, as most piano music is written for 88 keys. Experienced players will appreciate the increased range and versatility of an 88 key keyboard. Thanks for reading!
Last update on 2022-09-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API