Ultimate Gift Guide of Digital Pianos / keyboards in 2020

In the modern musical world, digital pianos and keyboards are increasingly replacing the usual acoustic instrument. The digital piano becomes more popular, as it is less demanding on the owner. You do not have to configure it, and buying a digital piano is much easier than a regular one.

And, of course, the quality of the instrument itself will be impeccable. The digital piano will not bring you any surprises. In the case of an ordinary acoustic instrument, you should be extremely careful both when buying and when using it. But how to choose the right musical instrument? Learn more below.

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Why is a digital piano better?

For most of us, the essential factor is the size of the instrument. Digital pianos and keyboards take up significantly less space than acoustic ones. And you can put these portable models on any convenient surface but also, if necessary, hide it in a cupboard or under a bed. You do not need to tune the instrument regularly.

We should also mention the trend of the merger of digital pianos with synthesizers. Now almost every digital piano or keyboard contains at least ten tones (and sometimes several thousand). Thanks to that, you can play the sound of other instruments – violins, organs, guitars, etc. You can also divide the keyboard. For example, you can play the guitar timbre in the left part and the tone of the flute in the right.

What are the most famous manufacturers of digital pianos?

Out of the large variety of companies producing digital pianos and keyboards, three stands out: CASIO, YAMAHA, and ROLAND. These manufacturers are the best, although today, many companies make up the competition. The main task of the digital piano is to make its sound and the sensations of playing it as close as possible to the acoustic version.

Since a digital piano is an electronic rather than an acoustic instrument, its price will generally depend on the technical solutions used in it. A digital piano is not an instrument for years, but decades. Therefore, you need to choose carefully.

So, where to start when choosing a musical instrument?

From the price? Not certainly in that way. The fact is that there are quite a lot of electronic musical instruments, and they cover a fairly wide price range. Therefore, it is more critical for you to understand what functions of an electronic device will you need.

First and foremost: the sound quality of tones. In this regard, different questions most often arise. All the instruments are exceptional in their way. Besides, identical technical solutions from different manufacturers can have different names.

And then, remember the fact when making purchases: goods with approximately the same price, will turn out to be about the same quality. As for the choice of the manufacturer’s company, sales managers came up with the concept of price-quality ratio. And each buyer has his attitude or reason for buying a product. So the choice is yours.

What is the difference between digital pianos and keyboards?

Digital pianos are the full copy of their acoustic version; they have a complete set of 88 keys. Keyboards are the lightweight model of piano. Usually, they have 61 or 76 keys. Digital pianos allow you to feel like playing an ordinary piano, and it is the best option for beginners. But they are more expensive than keyboards. And they also provide you a better quality of sound.

The dimensions of the keyboards are smaller compared to digital pianos, so you can bring them everywhere. So the first thing to think about while choosing between the keyboard and digital piano is your purpose. Both these instruments have their pros and cons.

What should be the keyboard?

The keyboard is of three types:

a) synthesizer-type, that is, very soft. If you used to play the accordion, then this is the closest analog. When pressed, the key instantly returns to its initial position. This type has its central use in synthesizers.

b) Next, the specialists concluded that each key should be weighted. Thus, they achieved more natural feeling during the play. But the use of the spring still did not give a complete imitation of the behavior of an acoustic piano.

A semi-weighted or lightweight keyboard appeared. We should mention the fact that different companies understand the word light-heavy each in its way. This keyboard is a cross between a piano and a synthesizer. As a rule, it is characteristic of the instruments of the budget series. But, please note, not necessarily of average quality.

c) And finally, unique hammer mechanisms appeared that imitates a natural keyboard. Such tools repeat the entire chain of impact – from the key to the hammer. In this case, it does not hit the string, but specific sensors. There can be from one to three sensors, which also indirectly affects the nuance of the play.

For example, a half-press of a key should also play the same, and an ultra-slow press should not sound at all. All manufacturers of electric pianos adapt their products, so you can ignore this point. This keyboard also has a name – a piano-type weighted or heavy.

Almost all modern keyboards of this class should be hammerhead. But only grand luxury models that are in the price category of more than five thousand dollars can call themselves this way. In such instruments, the feelings are as close as possible to the piano mechanics.


You should choose a digital piano with powerful speakers. The perception of a particular instrument largely depends on the quality, diameter, and power of the built-in speakers. Therefore, you need to take into account that you can get high-quality speakers in massive case musical instruments. And 6-12 Watt speakers are typical for compact plastic pianos. But this is due to the possible use of the device.

If you play in a little room, then 10-20 Watt (Casio PX-760, Roland RP-401) will be enough. If a great show is ahead, then you need a 60-100 watts instrument (Casio AP-650, Yamaha CLP-535). On the other hand, if you are performing on stage, then you will connect your digital piano or keyboard to the sound reinforcement system. In this case, the quality of the music processor rather than the built-in speakers of a compact instrument is more valuable to you.

Read our best keyboards for kids

Read our best keyboards under $200


As you see, you need to know a lot of things about digital pianos and keyboards to choose the right option. The models differ in the type of keyboard mechanism, speakers, additional functionality. And the products of the central three manufacturers have their pros and cons. The main thing when choosing a musical instrument is to determine how and where you are going to use it. And our ultimate gift guide of digital pianos and keyboards will help you to do it.

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