9 Best Digital Pianos Under $1000 – In-Depth Reviews

I have always been fascinated by grand acoustic pianos, especially their longer keys and elegant looks. Unfortunately, they’re beyond my reach as they’re too expensive for me.

Left with no option, I’ve had to explore the cheaper and reliable alternative that is an electric piano. I know I am not the only one. Many first-time buyers are gravitating towards them too.

How good are they? Some of the latest models sound nearly as good as grand acoustic pianos, and they are cheap too. If you are looking for an inexpensive electric piano, then you have come to the right place. I will show you the best digital pianos under $1,000!

Top Pick

My top pick is the Yamaha P115. Produced by a leading maker of musical instruments, the P115 comes fitted with some of the company’s best features.

 

 

The Best Digital Pianos Under $1,000 Reviewed

Yamaha P115

The Yamaha P115 is the best digital piano under $1,000 hands down. It features Yamaha’s best sound engine and some of the latest music technology. It is also compact and light, which makes it easily portable. I highly recommend this piano for freelance performers.

 

Key Features

  • Pure CF sound engine with tones from Yamaha’s famed 9-foot CFIIIS grand piano
  • Graded Hammer Standard keyboard with 88 weighted keys
  • Digital piano app with access to all features and settings
  • Auxiliary jacks that are compatible with external speakers and other instruments
  • In-built drum rhythms
  • A USB port to connect to phones and PCs

 

What I Like

I like the overall power of this piano, especially its powerful sound engine. It features Yamaha’s best sound engine and comes with ten in-built drum rhythms. It even sounds like Yamaha’s famous CFIIIS 9-foot concert grand piano and comes with 88 GHS keys that are weighted to feel just like an acoustic piano. Easy to play, these key allow you to transition quickly to an acoustic piano.

The tweeters are set up in a way that they line up with your ears when playing meaning you can pick up every tune quickly. You can connect it with external speakers and headphones, too, and access virtually all the settings on this piano via the Yamaha piano app. I also appreciate the fact that it is easy to carry.

 

What I don’t Like

Besides the drum rhythms, this piano does not mimic any other musical instrument. While this isn’t a big deal if all you want is a piano, it is more limited than many other digital pianos on the market in this regard.

 

 

Pros

  • Smooth melodies
  • Weighted keys
  • Enhanced sound configuration
  • Powerful app

 

Cons

  • Limited instrument tools

 

The Yamaha P115 is excellent for players with different skills. Beginners will find it easy to learn while pros will find it good suitable for their professional performances.

 

Overall Rating: 9.6/10

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Yamaha DGX-660B

The Yamaha also takes the second spot in our review with another excellent digital piano. The Yamaha DGX-660B features some of Yamaha’s best and latest technologies.

 

Key Features

  • Pure CF sound engine
  • 88-keys GHS weighted keyboard
  • Audio recording and playback capability
  • Score display
  • Smart chord Technology

 

What I Like

I like the range of interactive features on this piano, such as the USB recording and playback feature. It taps the power of Yamaha’s Pure CF sound engine and sounds like Yamaha’s grand CFIIIS concert piano.

The Smart Chord technology helps you create professional-sounding tunes even with minimal skills and experience. You can sing along as you play your piano by connecting a microphone. You can also save your music thanks to the recording and playback feature.

Textured for comfort, its weighted keys re-create that feeling of playing a real acoustic piano. It even comes with an LCD screen display that lets you read the lyrics and score of your music.

 

What I don’t Like

Even though the DGX-660B model is light and compact, I find it bulky and setup is time-consuming.

 

Pros

  • World-class tunes
  • Make your very own music
  • Easy-to-use keyboard
  • Keep track of your score and lyrics

 

Cons

  • Cumbersome to set up.

 

The Yamaha DGX-660B is a multi-purpose electric piano. Beginners will especially appreciate its Smart Chord technology and easy-to-use keyboard. On the other hand, Pros will appreciate its power and music recording capability.

 

Overall Rating: 9.5/10

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Kawai ES110

A product of Kawai, one of the most reputable makers of pianos, the Kawai ES110 is joining the list of the digital pianos that you can also buy for less than $1,000. It uses a harmonic sound imaging technology.

 

Key Features

  • Built-in stereo speaker system
  • 192-note polyphony
  • Weighted and graded keyboard with Hammer Compact Action
  • Dual and split modes
  • MIDI and Bluetooth ports

 

What I Like

I like the clarity and complexity of the tunes on this piano. They make it sound and feel just like an acoustic piano. Thanks to its advanced sampling technology, you can explore 18 sound samples from sophisticated grand pianos, too. All the keys are graded and feature Hammer Compact Action, so they are comfortable to play and give the feeling of an acoustic piano.

The 192-note polyphony count makes this an excellent choice for pros. With it, you can compose complex tunes. This piano may feel a bit complex for beginners, but it comes with in-built lessons to help you hone your skills. You can take this piano anywhere as it is compact, lightweight, and easy to set up.

 

What I don’t Like

Despite its built-in lessons clearly aimed at those still learning, I wouldn’t recommend this piano for beginners as it is on the complex side and can be challenging to get the hang of.

 

Pros

  • Beautiful tunes
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • High polyphony notes
  • Onboard lessons
  • Easily portable

 

Cons

  • A bit complex for beginners

 

Kawai makes some of the best and most expensive digital pianos. However, the Kawai ES110 not only features Kawai’s best technology but is also affordable by all standards.

 

Overall Rating: 9.5/10

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Yamaha YDP143R Arius Series

The Yamaha YDP143R looks, feels, and performs like an acoustic piano. To top it off, it uses Yamaha’s best sound technologies.

 

Key Features

  • Pure CF sound engine
  • Sound samples from Yamaha’s acclaimed CFIIIS grand acoustic piano
  • Graded Hammer 88-key keyboard with weighted keys
  • Stereophonic Optimizer headphone technology
  • iOS compatibility
  • Recording and playback capability

 

What I Like

I like the elegant look and feel of this piano. It sounds just like Yamaha’s best acoustic piano: the Yamaha 9-foot CFIIIS grand concert piano. The Graded Hammer Action technology and weighted keys give this piano the feel and convenience of an acoustic piano, too.

You can also record your performance in addition to two tracks play them back simultaneously. It can be linked to your iOS smartphone or PC to access more diverse settings and capabilities. This piano is excellent for beginners as it is not only easy to use but also comes with a songbook and other learning resources.

 

What I don’t Like

I think this piano could perform a bit better if it came with preset temperaments. Presets are by no means a necessity, but they are a common feature in digital pianos these days.

 

Pros

  • Beautiful tunes
  • Advanced recording and playback capability
  • Easy-to-use keyboard
  • iOS compatibility
  • Easy to learn

 

Cons

  • Lacks preset temperaments

 

Even though the Yamaha YDP143R isn’t portable, it looks elegant and comes with excellent playback capability and learner resources.

 

Overall Rating: 9.5/10

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Casio PX860 BK Privia

Fitted with Casio’s best sound technology, the PX860 BK Privia looks as good as it sounds. The inspiration behind its design and functionality comes from Casio’s grand acoustic pianos.

 

Key Features

  • Advanced Acoustic and Intelligent Resonator (AiR) sound engine
  • 256 notes of polyphony
  • Tri-sensor Scaled Hammer Action keyboard with textured keys
  • Split and layer capabilities and a duet mode
  • Audio recordings of 10 live orchestra performances

 

What I Like

I like its advanced sound technology and acoustic-grade performance. This piano features Casio’s powerful AiR sound engine that sounds just like the company’s grandest acoustic pianos. It also comes with ten pre-recorded orchestra performances.

It is one of the most versatile keyboards on the market. Its keys are weighted, and you can adjust the Scaled Hammer Action to three sensitivity levels. You can also connect your piano to your PC via the USB MIDI port or external speakers/headphones using auxiliary jacks. You can play this piano in pairs, too – student and teacher— thanks to the duet mode.

 

What I don’t Like

This is not a piano that a single person could move around with ease. If portability matters to you, look elsewhere.

 

 

Pros

  • Acoustic-grade tunes
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Versatile compatibility
  • Duet mode

 

Cons

  • Not very portable

 

The Casio Privia PX860 is one of Casio’s most advanced digital pianos. Though it comes with some excellent settings, it is not easy to move around.

 

Overall Rating: 9.4/10

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Yamaha P71

The Yamaha P71 is the best digital piano under $1,000 in terms of power and portability. It is suitable for freelance performers. You can use it at home or in a studio.

 

Key Features

  • Slim, light, and compact
  • Advanced Wave Memory (AWM) stereo sampling sound engine
  • 88-key fully weighted keyboard
  • Dual sound mode
  • Ten different sounds

 

What I Like

I like the sophistication of this piano and its compact design. It uses Yamaha’s Advanced Wave Memory stereo sampling sound engine with samples recorded from Yamaha’s grand pianos. There are ten pre-recorded sounds and tones which simulate other musical instruments. Also, you can layer two sounds simultaneously to create more vibrant music.

It is 12 inches thick and weighs only 25lbs, so it is easy to carry around. Since it comes with accessories, you can set it up anywhere you want. The 88-keys are GHS-weighted just like an acoustic piano’s keyboard and textured for your comfort, too.

 

What I don’t Like

The P71 is not feature-rich, but this is understandable because of its slim build.

 

Pros

  • Powerful sound engine
  • Diverse sounds and effects
  • Easily portable
  • Comfortable keyboard

 

Cons

  • Limited features

 

The Yamaha P71 is an excellent digital piano for performers who are always on the move. It is powerful enough for professional presentations and simple enough for beginners.

 

Overall Rating: 9.3/10

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Casio Privia PX-160

This piano from Casio looks so stylish and elegant that it is difficult to believe that it costs less than $1,000. It is designed as a classical upright acoustic piano but features some of the latest sound technologies.

 

Key Features

  • Acoustic and Intelligent Resonator sound technology
  • GHS 88-key keyboard
  • Classic upright acoustic piano design
  • Three-pedal system

 

What I Like

I like the simplicity of this piano. It is ideal for beginners and sophisticated enough for professional pianists. Casio uses its Acoustic and Intelligent Resonator sound engine to simulate the grand acoustic piano.

You can connect to external speakers via audio jacks. It’s also possible to connect your piano to a laptop or smartphone and access more dynamic features. You can play this piano for hours on end as its keys are textured and easily accessible.

 

What I don’t Like

This piano lacks some of the latest tech features, such as a piano app, and the keys aren’t weighted, so they don’t really have that authentic acoustic piano feel.

 

Pros

  • Incredible tunes
  • Powerful speakers
  • Eighteen pre-recorded sounds
  • PC and smartphone compatibility
  • Textured keys

 

Cons

  • The keys are not weighted
  • No app

 

This Casio model can spice up your performance as it has some beautiful acoustic-piano-grade tunes and pre-recorded tunes from 18 different sound instruments.

 

Overall Rating: 9.2/10

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Korg B1 Digital Piano

Korg is an upcoming brand that is rivaling larger brands such as Yamaha and Casio. The Korg B1 digital piano is one of its best digital piano models.

 

Key Features

  • MFB Servo sound technology
  • Eight onboard sounds
  • Onboard chorus and reverb effects
  • Hammer Action weighted keyboard

 

What I Like

I like the simplicity of the Korg1 digital piano and its ease of use in general. Korg’s MFB Servo sound stereo technology isn’t just powerful, but it sounds just like an authentic acoustic. In addition to the original piano tunes, this digital piano also features eight onboard sounds as well as built-in chorus and reverb effects. The 88-keys are Hammer Action-weighted and textured for extra comfort.

 

What I don’t Like

I think that this piano could do with more features such as compatibility with a variety of accessories. The technology behind it too basic for advanced players or professional pianists.

 

Pros

  • Powerful sound system
  • Vibrant sounds and effects
  • Comfortable keyboard

 

Cons

  • Limited features

 

The Korg B1 digital piano is ideal for beginners thanks to its ease of use. However, professional pianists may find it challenging to work with owing to its limited features.

 

Overall Rating: 9.0/10

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Alesis Recital Digital Piano -Best for Beginners

The Alesis Recital is the best digital piano under $1,000 for amateurs and beginners. It incorporates decent sound technology and comes with comprehensive learning resources for beginners.

 

Key Features

  • Complementary Skoove premium piano lessons
  • 88-key semi-weighted keyboard
  • Five meticulous voices
  • Auxiliary jacks and USB port
  • Battery-powered performance

 

What I Like

The supplementary learning resources are an excellent addition to this piano. Designed for learners, it comes with a complimentary 3-month subscription to Skoove’s interactive piano lessons, which includes one-on-one tutoring.

All the 88 keys on this piano are ergonomically designed to make them easily accessible. They are also semi-weighted to give the feel of an acoustic piano. On top of that, you can connect it to a wide range of accessories like external speakers, headphones, computers, and smartphones. There are five built-in voices on this piano, too: acoustic piano, digital piano, bass, synthesizer, and organ.

Apart from plugging the Alesis into your home power, you can use six D-cell batteries as a power source.

 

What I don’t Like

Because of its simplistic feel, it doesn’t look like a piano that could arouse the interest of professional performers. Its features are very basic.

 

Pros

  • Great for beginners
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Versatile connectivity
  • Five meticulous voices
  • Battery-operated

 

Cons

  • Limited features aren’t ideal for experienced players

 

The Alesis Recital digital piano is easy to use and so suitable for starters who want to learn and practice at their own pace.

 

Overall Rating: 8.8/10

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Digital Piano Buying Guide – Factors to Consider

Digital pianos have come a long way. The latest models sound more like acoustic pianos thanks to advances in sound technology. You have a variety of brands and models from which to choose. Each model styles itself as the best, but you don’t have to take the manufacturers’ word at face value.

So, what determines the worth of a digital? In my opinion, the number of features influences the cost. Here’s what to look out for next time you go shopping.

 

Sound Quality

Some of the latest digital pianos sound just as good as acoustic pianos. However, you can still tell there is a slight difference in sound quality.

The best way to judge the sound quality of any piano is by paying extra attention to the decay and sustain of different individual notes. Good pianos should produce realistic sounds. Of course, this aspect depends on the type of sound engine.

The other factor is the samples used to reproduce these sounds. Yamaha is a trailblazer in this area as it uses the world-famous 9-foot CFIIIS grand acoustic piano to produce sound samples in all its digital pianos.

The speakers’ quality and configuration also play a significant role in determining the sound’s quality. In-built speakers and tweeters should be crystal clear and positioned in a way that aligns them with your ears. This way, you won’t strain to listen when playing. Lastly, the piano should be compatible with high-definition headphones and external speakers.

 

Variety of Sounds and Effects

Digital pianos are more versatile than acoustic ones as they are capable of generating more sounds other than piano tunes. Some models use pre-recorded sounds from different musical instruments such as drums, flutes, and organs. It’s not usual to find a piano with a dozen sounds from different musical instruments and hundreds of effects.

With such a large selection of sounds and effects at your disposal, you will find it easy to compose more diverse and vibrant music. However, you should check to see that the sounds are realistic. If you prefer to stick to just a piano sound, these extra features may also be an unnecessary expense. Consider what you’ll really use before making a decision.

 

Polyphony

Polyphony refers to the number of notes and tones that a piano can produce simultaneously. A high polyphony rating means that you can create more complex music. The best quality digital pianos have polyphony rates of 128-notes or higher and are popular among pros. If you are a beginner, go or a keyboard with a lower polyphony rating. A 64-note polyphony rating should suffice until you fully hone your skills.

 

Keyboard Touch Response

The keys of an acoustic piano keyboard are naturally resistant because of wooden hammers and other mechanical components. They are also weighted so that the lower keys feel heavier than the upper ones. Both aspects make the keys comfortable and easy to use.

On the other hand, the keys on a digital piano are not naturally weighted. So, they tend to feel like the keys on a computer. As a result, they may feel less comfortable and less enjoyable to use.

It also compromises the quality of your tunes owing to inconsistencies in your fingers’ velocity. For this reason, many leading models feature Graded Hammer Action- actual mechanical hammers that simulate the natural feeling of acoustic piano keyboards.

 

Connectivity and Compatibility

When shopping for a piano, you should keep in mind the ability to connect to a range of accessories. The piano, at the very least, should be compatible with a wide range of sound components such as external speakers (for notable performances) and headphones (for private/silent practice). It will also help if your piano is compatible with smart gadgets such as smartphones and computers. Enhanced connectivity would give you access to more features such as music programs, extra sounds and effects, and piano apps.

Most digital pianos are compatible with speakers, smartphones, and computers. Some of the sophisticated models can seamlessly connect with other musical instruments such as organs and other keyboards.

 

 

Portability

Acoustic pianos have more parts and are larger than digital ones. The attributes give it unique power and sound quality. On the contrary, these pianos a cumbersome, so moving them around might be a challenge.

Digital pianos may not sound as good as acoustic ones, but they are getting there. They are also much smaller and lighter than the latter, so it’s easy to move them around. What’s more, they come with extra portable accessories including stands and benches for quick setup. These make them convenient for freelance performers who move from stage to stage or perform in unconventional stages such as in the streets.

However, not all digital pianos are portable. Some are styled in an upright design to look just like acoustic pianos. Some of these are not hard to dissemble, but it is not always easy. Nevertheless, they are still lighter and smaller than grand acoustic pianos.

 

Recording and Playback Capabilities

It’s almost natural for players to want to listen to their performances. Beginners may want to record and keeping track of their progress while pros may do so while producing their music. A good digital piano should be capable of recording your performance as you play.

The good thing is that most pianos come with recording and playback features. Some models are sophisticated enough to record two different sounds at the same time. Other designs include auxiliary ports for microphones in case you wish to sing along to your tunes. I recommend you for a model that has both recording and playback features.

 

Learning Resources

Most pianists would not be where they are today were it not for digital pianos. They’re not only cheaper and easier to access than acoustic ones, but also more comfortable to play when practicing. So beginners can gain the most when they acquire them.

Unless you are a pro, you should check whether the piano you intend to buy comes with learning tools and resources. A good learner’s keyboard should have a songbook and pre-recorded piano hits and classics. Some models include advanced learning tools, interactive online classes, and powerful apps.

 

Final Thoughts

Digital pianos are a cheaper alternative to the costly and cumbersome acoustic pianos. They use the latest sound technologies and sound just as good as their acoustic counterparts. With nine fantastic pianos within our price range, you have options that might suit your budget.

Consider features such as playability, polyphony, recording, and playback capability when shopping for your digital piano. Also, if you are a beginner, complementary learning resources to hone your skills should be considered. I am confident if you follow the leads in this review, you will find the best digital piano under $1,000 for you.

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