Digital pianos offer plenty of advantages over their acoustic counterparts. To start, they are much lighter and easier to transport than a traditional piano.
Digital pianos also come equipped with a number of useful features such as a different voices to choose from, built-in recorders, USB connectivity, learning enhancement programs, and many more.
Best of all, however, digital pianos are incredibly affordable. With digital pianos, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars in order to purchase an instrument that will feel and sound great. However, you mind consider few factors before acquiring best digital piano for your needs.
In order to help you find a great, affordable digital piano, here are the best digital pianos under $500 as well as the information you need to know in order to find the perfect one for you.
Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Digital Piano
In order to ensure that you get a digital piano that best suits your needs, even if you are searching for an affordable one, here are the key factors you will want to pay attention to:
The key action of a digital piano refers to how much weight and responsiveness the keyboard has. In essence, it is how closely it can replicate the feel of an acoustic piano.
While no digital piano can perfectly mimic the resistance an acoustic piano’s keys have when they are struck, there are plenty of great digital pianos that have highly realistic key actions.
To start, look for a piano with a fully weighted or hammer weighted keyboard. A graded keyboard also provides an extra bit of realism, and some pianos allow you to adjust the responsiveness of the keys to your own liking, which is a nice bonus.
Sound quality is the first thing everyone thinks of when judging how good a digital piano is, and it is certainly important.
You will want to purchase a piano that has a nice, realistic sound. One big factor in determining a piano’s sound quality is to see how the sounds were recorded.
The size and quality of the speakers also plays a role, as does how many notes of polyphony the piano is able to produce. The higher the maximum polyphony, the less likely the piano is to drop any notes prematurely.
The extra features that digital pianos come with are a big part of what makes them so popular.
The first feature that is usually noticed is how many different voices the piano comes with. Some digital pianos are able to produce hundreds of different sounds, ranging from a violin and accordion to a harmonica and everything in-between.
The more voices that a piano comes with, the more variety you can have in your musical performances (and the more fun you can have just playing around!). Many digital pianos also come with accompaniment features.
Whether it’s a background beat or a full-fledged ensemble of instruments playing along with you, some digital pianos have the ability to provide you with a song to play along with, giving you what in essence is a virtual band.
Digital pianos may also come with features such as key split and layering of voices, a recorder to save your music, USB connectivity to transfer recorded songs to your computer, a built-in metronome, a headphone jack, and many other useful features.
Weight and Portability
One big advantage that digital pianos have over acoustic pianos is that they can be incredibly lightweight and portable. Rather than having to hire professional movers just to get an acoustic piano into your home, you can purchase a digital piano that is light enough for you to carry in all by yourself and move around as you see fit.
Some digital keyboards are portable enough for you to take with you anywhere you go, allowing you to have your music with you even when you are not at home.
While some people mistakenly think that small, portable keyboards are not very high quality instruments, there are plenty of lightweight keyboards that have a highly realistic piano sound and key action. Determine where and how often you would like to move your digital piano and then purchase one whose size and weight will allow for this maneuverability.
There are large number of great digital pianos for under $2000. There are even quite a few great digital pianos for under $1000 and a handful of great ones for under $500.
Basically, whatever your budget, there are some excellent instruments for you to choose from if you do your research. Still, determining your budget is an important step to narrowing your search for the best digital piano for you.
Top Five Digital Pianos for Under $500
Now that you’ve got a good idea of what goes into making a great digital piano, even an affordable one, it’s time to start looking at the some of the best digital pianos on the market today.
If you are looking for a great deal on an excellent instrument, consider purchasing one of these top five best digital pianos for under or around $500:
Williams may not be the most recognizable brand in the industry, but the digital pianos they produce are on the level of any of the top manufacturers. The Williams Rhapsody is one of these pianos, and its beautiful wood cabinet and velocity sensitive keyboard definitely make it one of the best digital pianos under $500.
The Allegro is another great digital piano made by Williams and is the more affordable, slightly more simplistic version of the Rhapsody. The Allegro still has many of the same great features and is also portable, making it near the best keyboard under $500 you will find.
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The Cadenza may be a little-known digital piano, but it’s still a really great instrument. The Cadenza has an attractive design, good key action, and great sound quality as well as plenty of extra features to explore.
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Yamaha is known for making some of the best digital pianos in the world, and the P45B is one of their most popular. This piano has a great sound, a highly realistic key action, and by far the largest number of helpful features and settings of any piano made by other brands. In all honesty, the P45 may very well be the best digital piano under $500 that you can find.
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If you are looking for a cheaper, more portable version of the P45, the Piaggero is an excellent choice. This instrument has most all of the same features that make the P45 great stuffed into a package that weighs just 9 lbs.
Williams may not be the most recognizable brand in the industry, but the digital pianos they produce are on the level of any of the top manufacturers. The Williams Rhapsody is one of these pianos, and its beautiful wood cabinet and velocity sensitive keyboard definitely make it one of the best digital pianos under $500. This piano has great sound and a wide variety of cool features. Rhapsody works with custom sounds from vintage electric piano, grand piano, synths, organs and strings among others. The 88-key weighted Hammer Action keyboard is a great advantage for Williams Rhapsody.
The Cadenza may be a little-known digital piano, but it’s still a really great instrument. The Cadenza has an attractive design, good key action, and great sound quality as well as plenty of extra features to explore. With this piano, you can easily bring your ideas and creativity to life. The 88 hammer action keys allow you play any piano piece. Cadenza is designed with simplicity and style in mind as well as enabling you to create beautiful sounds. There are numerous piano voices you can choose from i.e. Organ, Grand, Upright, Electric and Strings among others. All the eight Cadenza’s piano voices can be accessed just at the push of a button so you don’t need to search for voices through the massive digital database.
Alesis Coda Pro
Alesis Coda Pro is a powerful 88-key digital piano that comes with 20 voices and has a split mode that enables you to layer two voices. This piano also comes with a teaching mode allowing you to easily offer tutorial lessons to your students. The piano has 88-keys and hammer action so it feels as if you are playing an acoustic piano. You can use MIDI to connect the piano to a computer. This is a great piano for beginners so you wouldn’t want to miss this deal.
Yamaha DGX comes with a massive 489 voices to choose from meaning you have a perfect sound for every circumstance. This piano is a great choice for beginners as it comes with 76 keys instead of 88. Yamaha DGX has numerous features and options meant to help beginners. This workstation is a superb choice for music production purposes.
Yamaha P71 has 88 weighted keys and allows you to choose from 10 different sounds. Furthermore, you can layer two voices together making the output to sound like a full band. Yamaha P71 is extremely light and slim so storing it is quite easy. There is a USB connection allowing you to connect the piano to a computer especially if you wish to compose.
Yamaha YPG-235 has 76 keys and serves more as a hybrid of a keyboard and a digital piano. Even though it’s not full-sized with 76 keys but still works well for many people. The keys are not weighted hammer action so it’s only ideal for modern music such as rock and pop music. This piano has close to 500 various voices, 160 preset styles and 30 preset songs. This digital piano can connect to your computer via a USB connection and you can either use a power adapter or AA batteries. Yamaha YPG-235 also has a built-in recording feature.
Casio Privia PX160
Casio Privia PX160 is a simple and slim 88-key digital piano that comes in two color varieties i.e. black and gold/champagne. The piano can be connected to a computer or table via MIDI USB connection. You can choose from 18 different voices and it is a great alternative for a real acoustic piano. Casio Privia PX160 has superb built-in speakers and a speaker system. The lightweight capability of the piano makes it highly portable.