What is a weighted piano keyboard? What is the best option for beginners? Are 88 keys necessary? Learn more and check our top picks for the best weighted keyboard with 88 keys in the market.
Just like most things in life, pianos have also been taken over by all that digital. For some people, this might be a turn off since the traditional keyboard, and the feels that come with it is what makes you love a piano. However, if we look at the professional keyboard players, they are pleased with the digital ones.
A list of the 7 best weighted keyboards with 88 keys:
- Yamaha P71
- Casio PX 350
- Yamaha DGX 660
- Alesis Recital Pro
- Casio Privia PX 160
- The ONE smart keyboard
- KORG SP 170
We have listed down the seven best 88 key weighted keyboards to help you find the best one for yourself. All these keyboards are budget-friendly, have a high value for money, and are packed with all the necessary features.
Top 7 Best Weighted Keyboards with 88 Keys [Guide & Reviews]
1. Yamaha P71 Digital Action Weighted 88-Key Piano
First on our list is this excellent yet affordable Yamaha Keyboard is one of the most basic keyboards available on the market. This Yamaha 88 key weighted keyboard has a lightweight and slim body designed for pianists who travel a lot. Despite being basic, it has most of the features required by an artist. The sound quality is pretty good, and the speakers are top-notch. It brings 10 different voices that the user can choose from including several prestigious grand pianos. The artist can also blend different sounds together for versatility. Yamaha is famous for its high-quality products. Hence, like all other Yamaha products, there is no compromise on quality in this case either.
Since the product does not feature a one-touch system and is pretty basic, it is very minimalistic design-wise. Which in most cases, appeal to many artists as many musical instruments are usually very bold and, in the face when it comes to aesthetics. Even though the product is pretty reasonable, it has minimal functionality. The main plus point here is it’s minimalistic, sleek, and lightweight design which has turned this device into a common fan favorite. It is ideal for newbies but can also work well for professionals as a side device.
2. Casio PX350 88 Key Digital Stage Piano Packages
Casio’s Privia series is by far its most famous digital pianos lineup. All the products released under this lineup feature top of the line specifications which can suit the needs of any musician out there. The PX350 is no less; this Casio 88 key weighted keyboard comes installed with the latest technology that makes it sound like a real acoustic piano. As compared to other digital pianos in the same price bracket, this one has three times the built-in storage and has a bold resonating sound that every pianist dies for. This feature is courtesy of the Acoustic and intelligent Resonator sound engine patented Casio. It is considered one of the most powerful sound engines to date.
As far as for the key action, the piano comes with a tri-sensor and scaled hammer action. It provides the best realism and functionality possible via a digital keyboard. The sensors under the keys are precisely installed to keep a check on how hard or how soft a key is pressed to produce the note every time accurately. Just like the acoustic pianos, it has heavier lower keys and lighter higher keys. The keys have ebony and ivory feel to them, giving it a realistic keyboard like touch.
3. Yamaha DGX660 Bundle
Another Yamaha digital piano that made it to the list is this DGX 60 premium grand piano. It has a specific design that replicates the acoustic pianos. This digital keyboard has a strong build, high-performance features, amazing functionality, and robust construction. Just like acoustic pianos it has heavier low-end keys and lighter higher keys. The ¼-inch microphone input allows the users to connect the microphone for singing along with playing the piano. Apart from this, the keyboard also boasts wireless audio and MIDI features that use the Wi-Fi to stream the audios and MIDI. It only has iOS compatibility so you can only use it with iOS devices.
Moving on, the keyboard sports 192-note polyphony which feels great on the fingertips and is pretty close to acoustic pianos. The Intelligent acoustic control added to the piano automatically adjusts the settings to provide a balanced sound when the keys are pressed. As compared to other pianos in the DGX series it is more significant, bulkier and more massive. However, it is pretty sturdy and well-built as well, but it is challenging to transport. Hence, if you are looking for something portable and easy to move, unfortunately, this piano is not the one for you.
4. Alesis Recital Pro Digital Piano
This entry-level digital piano by Alesis is aimed at beginners and newbies in the field. It features semi-weighted keys and has some amazing features that will help beginner artists fine-tune their skills in no time. The Alesis keyboard 88 weighted keys are designed to help new piano players get used to the idea of weighted keys without confusing them. This product is a kind of transition from the non-weighted keys to weighted keys. The maximum polyphony that this keyboard provides is 128, which is ideal considering the reasonable price of this digital piano. The piano has 5 choices to choose from and create different effects for versatility.
As far as the connectivity is concerned, the piano comes with USB and MIDI connections. The piano can be easily termed as one of the most portable digital pianos available on the market. For the sake of portability, it gives its users the option to either use six D cell batteries for fueling the system or uses an adaptor in case you are using it at home. The best part is, the product comes with a three months subscription for Skoove. Skoove is the best teaching tool for new pianists developed up to date.
5. Casio Privia PX-160BK 88-Key Full-Size Digital Piano
This full size 88 weighted keys Casio keyboard is a decent blend of good value for money and mid-range features. Designed for beginners and intermediate level players, the keyboard has some amazing sound options. The speaker installed in this full-sized keyboard is a very high standard. However, the main attraction here is the quality of samples that come with the keyboard. The keyboard has the ability to layer sounds and split them in order to create an authentic tone. Such tones sound pretty full and real. Casio has had a good reputation in the world of electronics for a long time now. Likewise, this keyboard is no different. It tops almost all the other keyboards in durability, sturdiness, and reliability.
As far as the value of this keyboard is concerned, the keyboard is pretty reasonable but is still loaded with some high-end specifications. Thus, it is safe to say that the keyboard has a high value for money. However, if you want something that will help you get lessons, then this keyboard might not be the one for you. It has excellent hammer actions and has a fantastic sound. The aesthetics are pretty basic; Casio has not gone with anything chic and dandy. Hence, we don’t see any exciting design elements.
6. The ONE Smart Keyboard Pro
This full-sized keyboard by the one music group has made it to the list of best-weighted keyboard with 88 keys due to its versatility, durability, and reliability. It features complete hammer action keys whose touch response you can adjust easily. The digital music keyboard also shows the artists which note to play. It sports a high 128-note polyphony that team up with a set of powerful speakers. Thanks to this, the keyboard can easily deliver HD sound and authentic playing experience. The key targets of this keyboard are beginner and intermediate level players. It comes with abilities to teach the user how to play the keyboard and claims that it can help a newbie start playing the keyboard within five minutes.
This digital keyboard comes integrated with a crash course for new pianists, video lessons, and pianos games as well. It also has a free app with a human-like teacher and a complete learning management system. For connectivity, it comes with a USB MIDI output that you can use with educational software and other instrument plugins. The keyboard also has a record mode which allows you to record your performance and listen to it later on.
7. Korg 88-Key Digital Pianos – Home SP170SBK2
Korg is a Japanese company that has a long history in the work of music instruments. This is a skillfully sampled piano that has a number of sample sounds from different grand pianos. This helps users create a plethora of sound effects. Such effects not only sound real but feature a great deal of versatility as well. Design-wise, it features very clean and minimal lines. The controls are pretty streamlined and clean. Even a person using the keyboard for the first time will understand the controls within seconds. Via the controls, the user can easily access the 10 sample sounds provided, which include electric pianos, harpsichord, strings, organs, etc.
The natural hammer action keys almost make it feel like a real acoustic piano. It has the same touch, and the same sound feels as well. For connectivity, the keyboard has two headphone jacks for listening to recordings. This also helps in private student-teacher lessons where you don’t want to make a noise. It also has USB and MIDI ports.
What is a weighted piano keyboard?
Usually, treble keys or the piano keys used on digital pianos have a lighter weight. Where this works fine for amateurs and newbies, most of the professional users require weighted keys as they are completely balanced and have the same heaviness from top to bottom. Weighted keyboards are basically digital keyboards with weighted keys. Apart from weight, the right amount of resistance also plays an essential role in creating weighted keys. For the proper resistance, the keys either come with a hammer action or a graded action. Thanks to the right weight and the right resistance, the keys give the user the leverage to perform a full spectrum rather than just soft and loud notes.
An 88 key keyboard is a full-size keyboard with hammer action keys that features 52 white keys and 36 black keys. These keyboards are available in many sizes.
You might also end up looking for MIDI keyboards, that do not produce any sounds instead but can be connected to your computer, laptop, or iPad and your software and play through. For more info, and top product reviews, check the best cheap MIDI keyboards and the best MIDI keyboard controllers in the market.
The Need for Weighted Keyboards
These weighted keyboards have a specific design that simulates the traditional upright piano. It produces the same sound quality without being heavy and hard to move. This is a special design for professionals or people pursuing a career. The design assists pianists greatly since it is easy to carry.
Most of the time, pianists want to use their own keyboard rather than using someone else’s, since it gives them a homely feeling and they are used to using and playing on their own device. With the traditional upright pianos, this was never possible as they weighed hundreds of kilos.
The digital pianos, on the other hand, have succeeded in replicating the traditional pianos. Some of these weighted keyboards even come with hammer actions. Just like the acoustic pianos, these pianos also have heavier lower keys and lighter higher keys.
As the technology is progressing, more and more manufacturers are moving towards constructing their own weighted keyboards, which is good since we get to choose from a variety of features and specifications, but at times it can get frustrating due to the gazillion low-quality products that have made way to the market.
However, just to spare you the frustration and research, in this post we will list the best keyboard with weighted keys and will also provide a brief buying guide so that you can understand how the process works. All the mentioned weighted keyboards belong to the list of best value-weighted keyboards on the market.
What to consider when buying 88-key weighted keyboards?
Before you decide on buying anything, we recommend you briefly go through a buying guide for the product since it helps in clearing your thoughts and helps you understand how the thing works. This holds for weighted keyboards as well. Some of the things that you need to consider before buying a weighted keyboard are:
Electronic keyboards are usually comprising of features that you might not want in the first place but can be a bonus if they come with the package. If you are a beginner, looking for lesson modes and metronomes in your weighted keyboard is the first thing you need to do. It will help you learn how to play and will also fine-tune your playing skills. Connectivity features are also sought by many artists since they usually want to output the audio from the keyboard to the computer or headphones.
With keyboards, you don’t get an acoustic sound when pressing of a button; the keyboard only plays a sample from the real piano which is only electronically altered. Thus, unlike while getting a real piano, while buying a keyboard, you have to consider different things when it comes to the sound. It is crucial to understand where the manufacturer acquires the audio samples from since those samples will be what you hear while playing the device. Apart from samples, the built-in speakers also have a significant effect on the way it produces the sound. The better the quality of speakers, the better sound quality you will get.
The design of the keyboard completely depends on your own preference; it has nothing to do with the sound quality or the features that come with it. Some people like their keyboards chunky and huge while others want it sleek and chic. However, if you are someone who travels a lot and likes to take his/her music instruments along, then steering clear of the chunky and large weighted keyboards might be the best option. Going for a sleek, portable, and easy to carry the keyboard will be better. Of course, the one with keys that feel real rather than just heavy plastic keys that don’t even feel real.
Before buying anything, considering its value for money is extremely important. All the keyboards that we mention in this article are high-value products, but if you decide to go for a weighted keyboard that is not on the list, getting to know its value for money is pretty important. Every budget-friendly option does not mean that it is a high-value option; it could mean the complete opposite, though. There is no definite way of finding the right value for the money of any product, but by doing your research and weighing the pros and cons of every product will give a decent idea. The more features you get for a low price, the better.
If you are a beginner who wants an affordable keyboard, check the best digital piano for beginners in 2020.
More keyboard options for producers, pianists, and casual playing:
- The best MIDI keyboard controllers
- Top 10 best digital piano under $1000
- The best digital pianos for beginners
If we take a look at the market, there are a ton of options for digital keyboards. Hence, settling for one that you don’t like shouldn’t be an option. If you look hard enough, you will find the one that suits you best.
All our options above are perfect to practice, learn to play the piano, perform live, or record your set and samples into your computer and DAW. All affordable and relatively portable for a keyboard with 88 weighted keys.
Every keyboard has its ebbs and flows; hence, you will have to make compromises in some features if you want a budget buy. However, if you don’t have a budget to stay in, then the sky is the limit.
Before you go, you may want to take a look at the best music production software, to record, edit, and compose your final piece.
Make sure you go through the buying guide and do your part of research before investing in a digital keyboard.
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