Our Yamaha PSR E253 Review: 7 Reasons It’s An Excellent Portable Keyboard To Learn Piano in 2017

The Yamaha PSR E253 review at a glance

Ease of Use

Very beginner friendly

Price

Affordable at less than $150

Rating

Highly recommended!

We like:

*The duo mode which splits the 61 keys into two 'separate' keyboards

*Hundreds of instrument voices, styles and preset songs

*The portable grand piano button

*Auto power off function​

*Weighs only 8.8 pounds

We don't like:

*Non-weighted keys

*Loud accompaniment sound

*Non-touch sensitive keys

Summary of our Yamaha PSR E253 review: For its price tag, this is an excellent choice for both beginner and intermediate piano students. It has many excellent features but what makes it stand out is the 'duo mode' which transforms this keyboard into an excellent teaching and learning instrument. 

​A Short Introduction

Yamaha is known for the quality of its products which you can buy at reasonable prices. For years, it remained trusted to provide keyboard pianos that are innovative, truly portable, and tested for its durability. The company is not about to break its tradition of excellence and competence, especially with this portable keyboard piano.

The Yamaha PSRE-253  is considered as one of the best keyboards for beginners since it is loaded with 385 instrument voices, 100 complementary styles, and a bank of 102 built-in songs that you can play along with, and its stereo input enables you to play using your personal music player.

You do not have to worry about your lack of piano skills, since this keyboard piano includes the popular Yamaha Education Suite (Y.E.S.) which would help you master the basics with its structured interactive learning process so you can develop both your right and left hand techniques.

Finally, unlike other keyboards, it has a duo mode which allows you to 'divide' the keys into two 30-note keyboards. 


An Overview of Yamaha PSR-E253 Features


  • 61 full-sized keys that are great for fun-playing or even learning the proper piano techniques
  • It has 385 instrument voices like strings, guitars, brass, drums, piano and more
  • Duo mode divides the keys into two halves, like having two piano in one keyboard! Each would have its own "middle C" for practicing with a partner
  • The Aux Line Input allows you to connect any music player with a headphone output, such as an MP3 player, a computer, a mixer or even another keyboard, and hear it through the built-in speakers
  • Yamaha Education Suite offering a nine-step lesson function
  • 100 Styles and 102 preset songs you can follow or play along with
  • The Portable Grand button instantly resets the keyboard to the grand piano voice
  • 32-note polyphony allows the beginner to play and perform advanced level pieces, allowing for sustained notes to ring through without being cut off.
  • Compact and portable design

Click here if you would like to read the complete Technical Specifications of the Yamaha PSR-E253

Advantages of Yamaha PSR-E253


Before we list down the many advantages of the Yamaha PSR-E253, check out this YouTube video highlighting some of its features: 

1) 61 full-sized keys

The Yamaha PSRE-253 is a great electronic keyboard for beginners due to its simplicity as it allows amateurs to learn the basics without being overwhelmed. Since the keys are full sized, or equal the size of a real piano, you can easily practice finger positioning and other techniques until you are ready to advance to the next level of piano lessons.

2) Duo Mode

With this portable piano keyboard, you can split the 61 keys into two 30-notes, with both sides having its own “middle C" for more convenient and practical use.

So now you can practice with a partner or play for fun with someone you love, literally side-by-side, in just one keyboard!

Additionally, it is ideal for parents teaching their children as they can easily guide the piano lessons of their young learners.

3) 385 Instrument Voices

The diverse array of 385 different voices in just one keyboard piano makes Yamaha PSRE-253 a truly great choice, because you can utilize stereo-sampled sounds with a superb feeling of presence, as if you are in a concert hall yourself.

Furthermore, it even has the grand piano voices and choruses that adds extra range and resonance to the sound system.

4) 100 Accompaniment Styles and 102 Preset Songs

Who says playing piano at home is boring with these interesting and wide array of choices?

Play like a pro, as if you are performing with a live band or even an orchestra with you, with the included 100 accompaniment styles.

You can also choose from the built-in song bank of 102 songs which you can listen to for fun, as a guide, or something to follow along with as you try to learn the basics of fingering positions and proper technique.

5) Yamaha Education Suite

This is an exclusive virtual guide from Yamaha which offers a nine-step lesson function—three for the left hand, three for the right and three for both hands— making it super easy for beginners to learn.

The scoring function also adds fun to your practice and motivate you to improve your skills more!

This is one reason why this keyboard made it to our Top 10 List of beginner keyboards -- thanks to its comprehensive guide which helps beginners practice the songs stored in the instrument.

6) Compact and Portable Design

This Yamaha is a superb portable piano keyboard and brings new light to the word ‘portable’ since it only weighs in at less than 9 pounds!

We know, this is quite a shocker, as this lightweight keyboard can be taken anywhere without hassle. 

Since it can run on 6 AA batteries, you don’t need to worry about plugging it in for power.

7) Auto Off Function

We really do think this feature should come standard in all keyboard pianos as it will help save precious battery power. Fortunately, the PSR-E253 is one of the few models in this category that includes this useful feature.

Disadvantages of Yamaha PSR-E253


1) Non-weighted keys and non-touch sensitive keys

This is just a basic keyboard model so you cannot expect advanced features such as weighted keys, but its 61 keys have enough resistance and bounce back to mimic an advanced piano board. Additionally, it is not sensitive to touch, meaning there is no difference in sound whether you press on the keys lightly or heavily.

2) Loud accompaniment sounds

While some users wouldn't mind having loud accompaniment sounds, we know that others (maybe a majority) would view this a negative as it clouds the acoustic piano sounds. Sadly, it cannot be turned off.

3) No USB and MIDI ports on this keyboard

Unfortunately, you cannot connect your computer to this keyboard. Connectivity is a big bonus especially to the younger generation, what with all the computers and mobile gadgets available nowadays. If this feature is important to you, you are better off looking at other Yamaha offerings such as the EZ-220 or the YPT-240.

A Few Yamaha PSR-E253 User Reviews


We have summarized a few reviews from other buyers to prove that indeed the Yamaha PSR-E253 is a great buy for everyone who wants to learn music!

One buyer confirms that the build on this keyboard is excellent and not cheap at all. She is enjoying practicing on the keyboard and for the price, she says it is an unbeatable deal. She did say however that Yamaha could have tried to replicate the sound of a true piano much better but at the price she bought the keyboard for, she is not complaining at all and gave this keyboard 5 out of 5 stars.
A woman bought the keyboard for her daughter who is just beginning her piano lessons. She was a bit surprised about the lack of AC power cord as it did not come with her purchase (yes, you do have to make sure you buy the right package as the basic pack does NOT come with the adapter!) but overall is very pleased with her purchase. She finds the keyboard a perfect size as it does not take up too much space but not too small either and there are many sound options, a demo song, a metronome and the built in lesson system.
Another buyer wanted to learn how to play the keyboard and bought the PSR-253 as a therapeutic hobby. She likes how easy it is to use and it was also full of options. She also mentioned the keyboard is very light (at less than 9 pounds!) and she can easily move it around her apartment. She finds the keyboard to be made of high quality material and the black and white keys are easy to press as well. While she was also a bit surprised about the lack of included AC adaptor, she found the battery option was just as fine since she can play for hours on end with just 6 AA batteries.
A mother with two kids bought this keyboard for them as she wanted her kids to learn how to play musical instruments. The kids find the keyboard fun to use and her daughter especially loves to use the training mode, a.k.a. the Yamaha Education Suite, to play simple songs.
Finally, another buyer said that he loves learning on this keyboard as he finds it light and very easy to use. The manual that came with the keyboard provides him with ample guidance on how to use the voices, effects, and rhythms that comes built-in on the keyboard. He said it was easy to figure out how to use all the buttons on the keyboard and that it is perfect for any beginner who wants to learn how to play piano.

Frequently Asked Questions


1) Does the PSR E253 come with sheet music holder?

Yes, it does ship with the sheet music holder.

2) What’s the power source for this keyboard?

You can either use an AC power adaptor (make sure you purchase the package that includes one as the basic package does not include it for free!) or you can use 6 AA batteries to power up your new keyboard.

3) Can you connect a foot pedal to the keyboard?

Yes, you can connect a sustain pedal through a ¼ input. Of course the sustain pedal is not included in the basic package, but you can purchase it as an additional in a bundle package.

4) Can you record your songs on it?

Yes, you can record songs you play on the keyboard. However, if you meant singing along to the music you are playing, then the answer would be no. You should purchase an external recorder for that.

5) Are the keys full sized?

Yes, the keys are full sized like real piano keys.

6) Can I connect this to my computer?

No, unfortunately this keyboard does not have ports for USB and MIDI. You can, however, use the AUX IN to play audio from your computer but that’s just about it.

7) Can I use headphones for this keyboard?

Yes, you can. The keyboard has a standard ¼ headphone port so if you want to use a 3.5mm headphone such as the ones used on your iPhone then you have to purchase a separate adaptor.

8) Will this work with Synthesia?

The connectivity on this keyboard are as follows: ¼ headphone out, aux in port, sustain pedal port and the AC port. There is no USB and MIDI support so it will not work with Synthesia.

9) Do the keys light up on this keyboard?

No, this is not a light up keyboard like the Yamaha EZ-220. But it does have a large LCD display that shows you the song information and keys you can press to follow along.

Should you buy the Yamaha PSR-E253?


Our final word in this in-depth Yamaha PSR E253 review: Yes, you should seriously consider buying this keyboard!

How can you turn down this keyboard with its awesome innovative features and superb music at such a reasonable price?

After all, Yamaha is tested for its sturdy products so with proper use and care, this could stay with you for years!

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