Our Yamaha PSR E453 Review: The Best Digital Keyboard Under $300 in 2017

The Yamaha PSR E453 review at a glance

Ease of Use

Very beginner friendly

Price

A bit expensive at almost $300

Rating

Highly recommended!

We like:

*4 levels of touch response

*758 high quality voices

*220 styles

*Upgraded 48 note polyphony

*LCD backlit screen

*Yamaha Education Suite

*Auto power off

*USB and MIDI connectivity

We don't like:

*Only 30 preset songs

*Non weighted keys

*On the heavy side at almost 15 lbs without batteries

Summary of our Yamaha PSR E453 review: This keyboard is one of Yamaha’s most awaited upgrades to date. Where they normally only provided incremental upgrades in past keyboards, this time they have delivered quite a number of features that is almost at par with what Casio offers on their beginner keyboards; namely, the hundreds of voices and styles as well as the upgraded 48-note polyphony (a standard on Casio entry-model keyboards). If you can afford shelling out some serious cash, then you will absolutely love this new keyboard!

​A Short Introduction

Did you know that playing the piano can be therapeutic? Psychiatrists’ recommend taking piano lessons as a way to relieve too much stress and body tension. So if you choose to try out the piano, you would get to relax and create wondrous art at the same time. That’s definitely a win-win situation!

However, if you think that learning how to play the piano is almost impossible with your hectic schedule—don’t! It might be difficult for a newbie, but not impossible, especially once you get a beginner keyboard piano that you could practice on every day in the comfort of your home, such as the Yamaha PSR-E453 61-Key Portable Keyboard!

This recent addition to one of the most popular keyboard lines of Yamaha has a one-key touch response, powerful built-in speakers, and reliable features, which allows for self-learning because the functions are easy to navigate.


An Overview of Yamaha PSR-E453 Features


  • 61 keys touch responsive keyboard
  • 48 notes polyphony (an upgrade from earlier models which only have 32 notes polyphony)
  • Backlit LCD screen
  • 758 voices and 220 styles
  • Live control with 2 knobs
  • Reverb, chorus and 10 DSP effects
  • Registration memory
  • Yamaha Education Suite 6.0
  • Amplification 6W + 6W
  • Connectivity: Aux. in, Sustain, USB-to-Device et USB-to-Host (MIDI/Audio), HeadphoneiPad, iPhone and iPod touch application compatibility

Click here if you would like to read the complete Technical Specifications of the Yamaha PSR-E453

Advantages of Yamaha PSR-E453


Check out this short video highlighting some of the main features of the Yamaha PSR-E453 before we discuss its advantages:

1) 61 Touch-Sensitive Keys

As a beginner, you would not need too many keys because that would probably just overwhelm you. This is why here at SoundsElectric.org we recommend 61-key keyboards for all beginners and intermediate learners. It is wonderful that the Yamaha PSR-E453 has just enough number of keys for your learning.

There are 4 levels for touch response (soft, medium, hard and fixed). This means that the keys would respond to how light or heavy your touch would be. For example, if you press lightly, the keys would emit a soft sound, while if you press down hard, the keys would make a louder sound.​

2) 758 High-Quality Voices and 220 Styles

The Yamaha PSR-E453 comes with a fun bonus! It contains 758 high-quality voices (hundreds more than earlier PSR models), which ranges from acoustics to bass to electric instruments. These are further broken down into: 237 panel voices / 24 Drum, SFX kits / 40 Arpeggio / 457 XGlite voices

With the use of Yamaha’s innovative technology, this keyboard also features the following exclusive-to-Yamaha voices: 8 Sweet! voices / 3 Cool! voices / 3 Dynamic voices

Yamaha boasts of its realistic sounds and keeps proving the excellence of their sound system by being able to emulate specific characteristics of a ‘voice’.

In addition to these voices, the PSR-E453 also includes 220 new backing styles and patterns.

3) 48-Note Polyphony

The Yamaha PSR-E453 now has a maximum of 48-note polyphony which is certainly more than the older models which only had 32-note polyphony. This is very helpful for beginners and intermediate learners as it allows for smoother performances, especially of complex music routes, without note dropping.

4) Assignable Real-Time Control Buttons, DSP Effects, and Pitch Bend Wheel

There is nothing more perfect than real-time control of your devices. The Yamaha PSR-E453 won’t leave you fumbling around the keyboard as it has two convertible, real-time control buttons, which allows you to filter and adjust your sound according to your needs and wants, similar to an analog synthesizer.

Furthermore, PSR-E453 has ten new DSP effects that you can assign and control with the use of the knobs for unique and animated performances.

Also, the pitch bend wheel feature lets you adjust the pitch of your sound easily, it even brings out the voices such as guitar, saxophone, and even the trumpet to help you out.

5) Audio Connectivity and MIDI Capability

Yamaha PSR-E453 will help make your piano keyboard lessons easier and convenient as it has an audio transfer feature via USB port.

Recording live performances on your computer and other mobile devices is possible and with your iOS devices.

The Aux-in jack allows you to connect an external music player such as your smartphone and play in time with your favorite music, while the advanced melody suppressor decreases the sound of vocals and melody lines from the original records, so that you can play for yourself.

You can also enjoy the MIDI capability of this keyboard piano.

6) Personal Grooves

It has a pattern function, which allows you to put many powerful loops and beats, and would result to your own dynamic music - one you can dance and sing along with.

7) Arpeggio Function

Losing motivation happens to anyone, so if you need some nudge to productivity, try to use the Arpeggio Function, which lets you improvise over pattern and tones.

The Yamaha PSR-E453 has 150 built-in Arpeggio patterns that you can tweak, adjust, and morph around notes and chords. This would certainly stimulate your creativeness and you would be playing the piano keyboard with vigor sooner than you think.

8) Light and Compact

The Yamaha PSR-E453 is lightweight at only 15 pounds (without batteries), so that makes it truly portable. You can definitely practice anytime and anywhere. This is also an advantage for players with small apartments or houses, as it would not take up too much space. You can store it your closet and pull it out anytime, without struggling with the weight, and maybe just play on your lap.

Disadvantages of Yamaha PSR-E453


Of course, despite all of these useful and creative features, Yamaha PSR-E453 still has its own shortcomings. What are those, you ask?

1) Non-weighted keys

Weighted keys emulate the resistance of a real piano and Yamaha PSR-E453 only has a touch-sensitive keys. There are some keyboard pianos that have weighted keys, but you would be lucky to find one within an affordable price range. However, this is not a truly major disadvantage if you have no plans of venturing into playing a real piano anytime soon.

We are also of the opinion that weighted keys would not be so advantageous for beginners, because it can be intimidating and a little difficult platform to practice on so early in the piano world.

2) May be a bit heavy for some

Weighing almost 15 pounds without batteries, it may feel a little too heavy for some, especially when you consider other keyboards in this price range weighing anywhere between 9 to 12 pounds. However, the good thing with a slightly heavier keyboard is it will definitely feel more stable and more 'solid'. Do not fret though -- 15 pounds is still highly portable so you can still carry this wherever you like.  

A Few Yamaha PSR-E453 User Reviews


A lot of people who have purchased the Yamaha PSR E453 are happy with their purchase. We have summarized reviews from a few satisfied users:

A gentleman who previously purchased the PSR-E443 returned that model and got the PSR-E453 upon learning of the new features on the E453, such as the 48-note polyphony (the E443 only has 32-note polyphony). He also said the keys feel great and the ports at the back are laid out better than earlier models. He loves that he can connect his phone to his keyboard and play along with his favorite music.
Another buyer said he loves the PSR-E453’s attractive matte black finish, the rounded corners, and the new buttons configuration. He also appreciates that the polyphony has now been increased to 48 notes from the previous 32 in older models. He also likes the fact that he has the option of powering the keyboard through regular AC adaptor or 6 AA batteries. Lastly, he appreciates that Yamaha has improved the sounds system from previous models making this one of the best sounding keyboards at this price range.
Another gentleman said this is one amazing keyboard as it offers the best overall combination of performance and price in a 61-key keyboard. He has previously owned several high-end keyboards so he appreciates the superb build quality of the PSR-E453 especially when taking the price into the equation. The keyboard feels good to the touch and sounds great, however, he does wish Yamaha configured the keyboard to allow both the onboard speakers as well as external speakers to be used at the same time. Overall, he is very pleased with this keyboard and gave it 5 stars for having professional features at a beginner keyboard price.
Lastly, one buyer said he is very happy with his new keyboard and said it is the best mid range keyboard ever. He loves how the keyboard looks and feels, the live control, the auxilliary in feature, the increase in polyphony from previous models, and the high powered onboard speakers.

Frequently Asked Questions


1) Does this keyboard come with the sheet music stand?

Yes, the keyboard is shipped with the sheet music holder or stand.

2) What is the power source for this keyboard?

Most retailers ship the keyboard with the AC power source but this is location dependent so you should double check this important accessory. If you don’t get a free AC adaptor you can either purchase one separately (PA-130) or buy 6 AA batteries.

3) Is it possible to connect a pedal?

Yes, there is a port for a sustain pedal at the back.

4) Are you able to transpose?

Yes, you just need to press the Function button and look for the Transpose option.

5) Can I use it as a MIDI keyboard?

Yes, the PSR-E453 has been designed as the perfect MIDI keyboard as it features a USB-MIDI/Audio connection which allows the use of MIDI for recording, sampling, score-writing, and triggering virtual instruments. You may also record audio directly from the keyboard into your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation software) using a compatible USB cable to your Windows or Mac computer, and your iPad or iPhone.

6) Does it have a built-in microphone so I can record my own songs?

No, this model does not have a built-in microphone. You can only record what you play on it.

7) Can I connect this to my computer or my iPad?

Yes, there are two modes for the USB function: USB to host and USB to device. These options allow you to connect your keyboard to your computers and tablets.

8) Are the keys touch sensitive?

Yes, there are actually 4 levels for touch response - soft, medium, hard and fixed.

9) Do the keys light up on this keyboard?

No, there is no option to have the keys light up like the Yamaha EZ-220.

10) Does this work with GarageBand?

Yes, it’s really quite easy to connect this keyboard to your computer and GarageBand.

11) Can I add my tones through an SD card?

No, it would not be possible to add tones via SD card as there is no SD card slot on this keyboard.

Should you buy the Yamaha PSR-E453?


Yes, we highly recommend this keyboard.

The Yamaha PSR-E453 is an excellent way of learning to play the piano, really good introduction to the musical world, and the perfect hobby for those who needs to let go of stress and anxiety.

It provides smooth and realistic sounds, which would seem heaven for your ears, and also allows you to navigate the functions easily, so it is guaranteed not to add to your stress levels.

If you are a beginner or intermediate player, go on and try this keyboard. After all, Yamaha has consistently produced top quality keyboards for so many decades now so this is definitely a company you can trust.

So there you have it. We hope you enjoyed our Yamaha PSR E453 review. If you would like to know more about the keyboard or purchase it now, please click on the red button below.​

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