12 Best Piano keyboard
Music speaks louder than words. It helps you maintain peace and calm. Learning to master the art of playing a musical instrument like a piano keyboard, guitar, drums, ukulele, etc. is a treat of its own.
Musical instruments are the soul of a musician. One of the commonly played instrument is the Piano keyboard. Its working is similar to that of a piano, but it uses electric current or batteries to operate.
You can read more regarding the functioning of a piano keyboard in the following section of this article.
There are different types of keyboard piano available in the market. You can easily find various piano keyboard online. If you wish to know more about the best type of keyboard piano and the working of a piano keyboard, this article is sure to prove itself insightful.
You can go through a piano keyboard’s guide listed below to know the most critical factors you should consider before purchasing this soulful instrument.
Top 10 Piano Keyboard
The Ethnically Diverse Keyboard
The Keyboard for Children
Best Portable Beginner Keyboard
Best Digital Piano
Value for Money
Best Professional Synthesizer
Best Arranger Keyboard
Best Beginner Keyboard
Working of a Piano Keyboard
A musical keyboard is one of the most popular musical instruments that produce a diverse number of sounds and tones. The keyboard comprises a set of keys that help in playing the twelve notes of the western musical scale.
The keys are a combination of longer and shorter keys where the shorter ones are black while; the larger ones are white. The layout of a keyboard is similar to that of a piano, and hence it is referred to as a piano keyboard.
Depressing a key makes the keyboard produce sounds. So, how are these sounds produced? In the case of the acoustic and electric piano sound is produced mechanically as the hammer strikes a string or by air flowing through in a pipe organ.
On the other hand, in electronic keyboards like digital pianos, keyboards, or arrangers, depressing the keys complete the electric circuit, which in turn produces the sound.
You may ask how to do instruments like synthesizers and arrangers make different sounds? Well, this happens because of the difference in sound waves.
These keyboards have different voices or oscillators that produce waves of different shapes like the sine wave, saw wave, triangular wave, etc. They might also combine the waves with being able to mimic the sounds of instruments like flutes, violin, or even a piano for that matter.
Types of Piano Keyboard
Arranger keyboard allows you to be a “one-man-band.” This keyboard comprises several songs, tones, or sounds, including that of a bass and a drum. This is a digital keyboard that allows you to be creative with its versatile sounds and accompaniment features.
Arranger keyboards are also great options for recording and playback purposes. There are different models of arrangers available, most of which are portable while the lower end models are found to be inexpensive.
This is another type of a keyboard that generates audio signals, which may be converted into sound. The primary feature of a synthesizer is that it can mimic any kind of sound, be it a piano, flute, violin, or even drums and bass.
It is one of the most popular instruments among musicians. Synthesizers help you create your innovative music, and it also comprises of in-built tracks that enhance the playing.
These are designed specifically for professional use by songwriters or producers. The keyboard is connected to the computer. Hence most keyboard workstation comes with MIDI and USB connections.
It syncs with computer software and helps in editing, crafting, or finalizing songs. They also come with audio inputs so that you can record instruments directly.
This type of keyboard is suggested only for the experienced who are familiar with recording, sequencing, and editing. If you are a beginner, this would not be a preferred choice to go for.
These keyboards replicate the sounds of old-school organs, including harmonium, pipe organ, and theater organ. They also provide the retro feel into your music composition. They are most primarily used in churches, and the Hammond organs are used in rock bands.
It is not always possible to get a traditional piano as they are expensive and might prove to be inconvenient for your home. Thus, digital pianos are electronic keyboards that replicate the realistic sound of a grand piano.
Apart from this as its primary feature, it also has other features, including portability, computer connectivity, and even other sound effects like tones, rhythms, and songs.
Digital pianos are divided into two categories- Console pianos and Stage pianos. Console pianos are designed mainly for household use as they come with a traditional cabinet design. On the other hand, stage pianos are much more portable and are used by musicians that perform on stage.
Buyer’s Guide for Piano Keyboard
The first factor to consider is the type of keyboard required by you. If you are a beginner or are looking to gift your child with a piano keyboard, the most preferred options would be an arranger, synthesizer, or a digital piano.
On the other hand, a digital keyboard workstation would be great for an experienced and professional music producer or a songwriter who requires a tool for editing songs.
Arranger Keyboards, Synthesizers, Organs, and digital keyboards are also great for an amateur or experienced musician. For stage performances, you would require a portable option. Hence, for this case, a stage piano or an arranger would be the ideal choice.
The number of keys in a keyboard also plays a significant part in the selection of a keyboard. The number of keys in a keyboard ranges from 25-88. If you are a beginner, the ideal option would be a 61 keys keyboard as it will help you learn better.
On the other hand, experienced musicians go for the 88 keys keyboards. For a child, you should go for a smaller size keyboard with 25-32 mini keys as it will help him or her play more comfortably.
If you want to replicate the feel of a piano, the keys should be weighted or semi-weighted. Many keyboards also have the function of a split that will allow the user to divide the keys into sections to play different tones simultaneously.
Tones and rhythms
If you wish to have a keyboard that will help you create and re-create innovative music, go for an arranger or synthesizer having a high number of tones and rhythms. The number of tones is usually high in a synthesizer.
Tones are the waveforms that are available in different shapes such as sawtooth, square, and sine. It helps in copying the sounds of different musical instruments ensuring creative learning as well.
Rhythms, on the other hand, are in-built beats that help in providing different musical styles, including ethnic styles like Mexican, Indian, etc. This ensures diversity in music. Thus, check that the keyboard you purchase comes with a high number of tones, rhythms, and even in-built songs that are great for learning.
The keyboard should be easy to operate. Go for a keyboard that comes with a clear LCD screen with backlights. Also, a touch-sensitive keybed with knob control is a great feature to ensure having. A touch-sensitive key responds to various player actions and replicates the feel of an acoustic piano.
There are other functions that also matter during the purchase of a keyboard. One of the main functions is the ability of the keyboard to record and play.
This enables you to learn better as you can point out your own mistakes. Thus, ensure that the keyboard comes with a USB connection that allows the transfer of data to and from the computer.
It should also have ports and a MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) controller that allows your keyboard and other digital instruments like phones or ipads to communicate. The keyboard should also be able to function with rechargeable batteries instead of adapters as it will save power consumption.
The sound quality of a musical instrument is a significant factor. The keyboard should have high polyphony notes, i.e., the number of tones or sound the keyboard can produce at once.
This ensures a high and clear sound quality. If you want a realistic piano sound to ensure that the keyboard comes with a sustain pedal as when pressed, it maintains a note’s sustain until it is released.
Price and Warranty
Keyboards are available in different price options. You can get budget-friendly keyboard options if you are in search of a beginner keyboard. On the other hand, experienced and professional based keyboards and workstations are more expensive.
Brand and warranty also play a vital role. Go for a brand like Yamaha, Casio, Behringer, or Roland that offers the best warranty.
The warranty provided should be a minimum of 3 years so that you don’t have to worry about its durability or about spending money on getting it fixed.
1. Nektar SE25 MIDI Keyboard
The Nektar SE25 MIDI keyboard has a very compact size that fits in almost any backpack and has a mini-keyboard. This keyboard is as long as a laptop while letting you create music on the go even in less space.
It has 25 mini keys with six control buttons and Nectar DAW integration. Despite smaller keys, its minuscule dimensions enable you to play them expressively with a firm and defined feel. The piano has a dedicated ‘2’ button that lets you shift the momentum of the octave, add an octave, or harmony layer while you play or even shift to a different channel.
- The built-in Bitwig 8 Track DAW lets you produce, design, develop and perform your tracks from day one.
- It has the Bitwig Essentials package that has over 50 software instruments and effects for use on up to 8 audio or MIDI project tracks.
- It has 25 velocity keys, three velocity curves (default, soft, hard), and six buttons (Octave Up/Down, PB1/PB2, Sustain, Part 2).
- It also has PB1 & PB2 buttons (assignable to Pitch Bend, Transpose, Vol, Pan, Track* or Patch* change) (*requires Nektar DAW integration)
- It has part Two-button which is assignable to Octave, MIDI Channel, Transpose, Layer and Latch (momentary)
- The keyboard has an “S” button that is assignable to Sustain or Modulation.
- You can control transport through the secondary button function.
- Nektar DAW integration is required for Bitwig, Cubase, Garageband, Logic, Nuendo, Digital Performer, FL Studio, Mixcraft, Reason, Reaper, Sonar, and Studio One.
- The keyboard can be connected through Micro USB port.
- The product’s dimensions and weight is 33.5 cm (L) x 10 cm (D) x 2.1 cm (H), 0.4 kgs respectively.
- It works with any raw music software on OS X, Windows, and Apple iOS or DAW.
- Portable size and travel friendly.
- Value for money
- It comes with a one-year manufacturer warranty.
- Sturdy design of the keyboard as well as keys.
- Ideal for beginners.
- No negative points observed so far.
2. Yamaha PSRF51 Keyboard – Our Choice
This one here is the best Yamaha keyboard for beginners. It is a portable keyboard that comes with 61 keys. It can function with an AC adapter, or you can work it using six 1.5-V AA size batteries instead. It has a powerful and realistic sound quality and comes with dynamic features like a duo mode and a dual voice feature.
The model also comes with speakers and a headphone audio jack that will allow you to practice without disturbing others. It is a great product for a great price.
- The keyboard weighs 7 lbs 8 ozs.
- Power consumption: 6 watts with an AC adapter.
- Batteries required are six 1.5-V AA size batteries, which can be either rechargeable (1.2V Ni-MH rechargeable batteries or equivalent) or non-rechargeable.
- Dimension: 940×109×306 mm.
- A number of keys: 61.
- It has a LED display in the control panel.
- It has 120 voices and 114 preset styles.
- Tone Generating Technology: AWM Stereo Sampling.
- Tempo Range :11 – 280 and Transpose :-12 to 0, 0 to +12
- It comes with a 3-year warranty.
- The model is easy to use because of its color-coded intuitive panel.
- The dual voice feature provides a powerful sound by combining the sound of piano and strings.
- It features the sounds of instruments like piano, guitar, brass, and many other traditional instruments from all over the world.
- It gives a realistic and powerful sound with a combination of 2.5 W + 2.5 W amplifiers and high-quality Yamaha Voices.
- It can be played using batteries instead of an AC adapter.
- It offers a Duo mode that enables two people to play together on identical keyboard sections.
- The headphone output jack allows you to practice with headphones so that you don’t disturb others.
- It comes with a music rest for holding sheet music.
- Speakers are not up to the mark
3. Yamaha PSRI455 Digital Keyboard – The Ethnically Diverse Keyboard
The Yamaha PSRI455 is an organ-style keyboard that comprises of 61 keys, making it ideal for beginners. It has 753 voices and 206 styles built-in, including 19 Indian voices, 26 Indian styles, and its 10-song and 6-track sequencer. Apart from the Indian voices and styles, it also includes styles from all over the world, making it known for its ethnic diversity.
The keyboard has a touch response with knob-controls making it easy to use. It is also great for instrument and voice training. Thus, if you are a beginner looking for playing ethnic music from all around the world, this keyboard would be a suitable choice. It may be expensive, but it certainly ensures value for the price.
- This is a digital organ-style keyboard.
- Size: 92 mm x 42 mm.
- The number of keys: 61.
- Power consumption: 16 watts with AC adapter (PA-150 A).
- Batteries required: Six “AA” size alkaline (LR&), manganese (R6), or Ni-MH rechargeable batteries.
- It has a touch response with knob controllers and an LCD on the control panel.
- Tone Generating Technology: AWM Stereo Sampling.
- It offers 753 voices and 206 styles built-in.
- It has 19 Indian voices, 26 Indian styles, and its 10-song and 6-track sequencer.
- Tempo Range: 11 – 280 Transpose: -12 to 0, 0 to +12 Tuning: 427.0 – 440.0 – 453.0 Hz.
- It comes with auto-power off function.
- It comes with a three-year manufacturer warranty.
- Suitable for many different types of ethnic music because of its wide array of voices and styles from Mexican, Arabic, Brazilian, Chinese, and other genres.
- Highly useful in instrument and voice training.
- The USB to the device terminal allows you to store and recall data.
- You can record as many as ten songs, each with up to six tracks.
- The keyboard also comes with Ultra Wide Stereo-an acclaimed Yamaha audio effect that can be used to create a wider, more vibrant stereo mixes.
- A songbook containing the sheet music for the keyboard’s built-in songs can be downloaded free-of-charge.
- It is expensive.
4. Casio Mini Keys Keyboard – The Keyboard for Children
If you are looking for a keyboard for your child, the Casio SA-46 Musical Keyboard is a perfect choice. The keyboard comes with 32 mini keys that are great for your child as they fit in comfortably with their fingers.
It comes with a headphone output and other great features that allow your child to practice in peace. This increases the creativity, concentration, and communication skills of your little musician.
- This is a mini keyboard designed for children.
- It comes with 100 tones and 50 rhythms.
- The number of keys: 32 mini keys.
- Has a song bank with ten in-built songs.
- Has 5 Percussion Pads & Piano/Organ Button.
- It comes with LCD acts as an excellent visual guide for selecting different music options.
- It has an eight phone polyphony.
- Color: black and green
- It comes with a three-year manufacturer warranty.
- The mini-sized keys enable children to play the keyboard comfortably and easily.
- The LSI Sound Source and the eight-note polyphony ensure good quality sound.
- It comes with a 3.5 mm jack that connects the headphone, allowing your child to practice in peace.
- The piano/organ button allows your child to switch between piano and organ.
- The keyboard is fun and easy to operate.
- The built-in grip ensures portability.
- It does not come with an adapter.
5. Yamaha PSR-E263 61-Key Portable Keyboard– Best Portable Beginner Keyboard
Yamaha 61 full-sized keyboard can be your ideal choice as it teaches and develops your keyboard playing technique. It includes 102 preset songs and 400 instrumental voices that enable you to learn how to play music from any genre.
Moreover, it has a compact and light-weight design which allows you to carry it anywhere you go.
- Comes with a library consisting of 102 preset songs and 400 instrumental voices so that you can play any musical genre.
- Has 130 auto accompaniment styles that provide real-time backing band tracks.
- Helps you learn to play using its three modes: listening, timing and waiting.
- It comes with an adapter.
- Features an aux line input to help in connecting any musical device for listening on the internal speakers, using a headphone output like an MP3 player, computer or mixer.
- Produces a detailed and high-quality sound.
- The duo mode enables two players to play together on the same keyboard sections by creating two middle C-notes.
- The keyboard has a compact, light-weight, and portable design.
- An ideal option for beginners who are just starting out as aspiring musicians.
- Comes with a recording option to record and listen to your own performance.
- The adapter was not provided with the keyboard.
6. Casio CTK Keyboard – Best Digital Piano
The Casio CTK-2550 is another great keyboard that consists of 61 piano-style keys. It is great for learning purposes, as you can practice at any time and place with the help of the chordana app. The keyboard comes with a sustain pedal jack that provides the exact musical sound like that of a real piano.
Apart from this, you can create musical sounds that will help you boost your overall performance. It can also be connected to your mobile or tablet to ensure the ultimate learning experience.
- It has 61 piano-style keys.
- Comes with a 48 note polyphony.
- It has 400 High-Quality Tones and 100 Rhythms with Auto-accompaniment.
- It comes with 50 built-in dance rhythms.
- Comes with an LCD which helps you learn both music notation and clear hand positioning.
- AA batteries required.
- Comes with app integration/dance music mode
- Has a three years manufacturer warranty.
- The intuitive control panel allows you to just start playing without facing any issue.
- You can enjoy powerful and realistic sounds with the combination of 2 W+2 W amplifiers and high-quality Casio tones.
- The sustain pedal jack provides the sound like that of a piano.
- You can enjoy playing along with music via a 3.5 mm audio input or practice without disturbing anyone with the help of 6.5 mm headphones out.
- You can practice anytime and anywhere with the help of chordana play app.
- The power adapter provided was from a local brand.
7. RockJam Electronic Piano Keyboard – Value for Money
The RockJam RJ761 is a digital piano that comes with 61 keys. It is suitable for all age groups because of its touch-sensitive pad. The keyboard is the perfect example of value for money as it comes with a headphone, keyboard stool, and stands. This allows you to practice without having to worry about disturbing others while playing.
The stool ensures hours of comfortable practice while the stand provides stability. Moreover, it comes with record and playback functionality, which allows you to learn better.
- It is a portable keyboard that comes with 61 keys.
- Has a soft touch-sensitive pad making it universal among all age groups.
- It has 200 tones/rhythms and 50 songs in-built.
- Has an added sustain pedal.
- Comes with record and playback functionality.
- The keyboard comes with headphones, a keyboard stool, and a stand.
- It has a 12-month manufacturer warranty.
- Has multiple connections for connecting to a laptop, phone, or iPad, including the use of MIDI.
- The headphones allow you to practice for hours without turning the volume down or disturbing anyone.
- The keyboard stool ensures comfortable playing.
- The keyboard stand is sturdy, which keeps the keyboard stable while playing.
- The quality of sound could be better
8. Behringer Deepmind 12 Keyboard – Best Professional Synthesizer
The Behringer Deepmind 12 is the perfect classic polyphonic synthesizer that comes with seven waveform shapes providing you diversity intones. The synthesizer has 49 keys and ensures a deep, analogous sound quality. This product is perfect for a professional musician because of its algorithms and features.
- This is a classic polyphonic synthesizer.
- The number of keys: 49.
- Has 12 true analogous voices.
- Comes with over 30 algorithms, including reverb, chorus, flanger, phaser, delay, and multi-band distortion.
- Comes with an oscillator sync mode.
- Has Three ADSR generators per voice for control of VCF, VCA, and mod envelopes.
- It has a three-year manufacturer warranty.
- The 12 voices come with two oscillations per voice.
- Provides the deep and analogous sound quality.
- It has seven waveform shapes for diversity in tones and sounds.
- Comes with a USB port that allows sharing data to and from the computer.
- It is costly.
9. Roland EX-20 Arranger Keyboard – Best Arranger Keyboard
The Roland EX-20 is the best arranger keyboard on the list. It is a great product to gift your son or daughter who wishes to learn keyboards as a hobby or even as a new career option.
It is not bulky as most of the other keyboards; instead, it is light-weight and easily portable. The high 128 note polyphony ensures a clear and high-quality sound that enhances the playing experience of the player as well as the listener.
- This is an arranger keyboard.
- The number of keys: 61.
- Maximum Polyphony: 128 voices.
- Comes with 140 in-built songs and 253 styles.
- Tempo 30—280.
- The weight of the product: 5 kg.
- USB Computer port: USB B type.
- Jack: Stereo 1/4-inch phone type, Output (L/MONO, R) jacks: 1/4-inch phone type.
- Comes with a one-year company warranty.
- It is great for solo practice as the built-in Arranger feature that lets kids play along with the full musical accompaniment.
- Has a high-quality piano sound.
- The traditional and onboard sounds allow you to get creative.
- It is budget-conscious, space-saving, and highly portable.
- keys might not work after a few months of usage.
10. Trinity PA-49X 49 Keys Keyboard – Best Beginner Keyboard
The Trinity PA-49X is a 49 keys keyboard. It is a budget-friendly instrument and is the ideal choice for beginners. The keyboard is easy to operate and provides a good quality sound for its price.
Apart from this, it also comes with 137 built-in tones and 135 rhythms/pattern which ensure creative learning. So, if you are looking to gift your child with a keyboard, this is the best option to go for at a great price.
- Dimensions: 86 cm x 12 cm x 33 cm.
- The weight of the keyboard: 5 kg.
- The number of keys: 49.
- It is made using PVC fiber.
- Color: black and white.
- Maximum polyphony: 16.
- Has 137 in-built tones including 9 Indian tones.
- It has 135 rhythms/patterns and 30 built-in songs.
- Memory Banks: Yes; Sustain: Yes; Vibrato: Yes; Chord Tone: Yes; Accomp Volume: Yes
- It has various functions like key transpose, lesson function, Indian rhythm kit, live programming, memory banks, sustain, vibrato, chord tone, and accomp volume.
- It is easily portable.
- Has good quality and is ideal for beginner because of having 49 keys.
- Three keys were making jarring noise along with the tone.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Should I learn piano on a keyboard?
A keyboard is a more affordable substitute for a piano. However, it is not ideal to learn piano on a keyboard as the keys are not weighted in a keyboard like in a piano. The weighted keys build your hand strength and help a player to advance forward.
2. Which is the best keyboard for beginners?
Some of the best keyboard for beginners are as follows:
3. How many keys are there on a full-size piano?
The number of keys on a piano keyboard ranges from 25-88. However, a full-size piano has a total of 88 keys, i.e. 52 white keys and 36 black keys.
4. Which type of piano keyboard should a beginner get?
For a beginner, the ideal type of keyboard would be a 61 keys keyboard. The preferred keyboard options for a beginner would be arrangers, synthesizers, and digital piano.
5. Which one to get a piano or a keyboard?
The piano is the traditional musical instrument which will always be more preferred by a musician. However, it might not always be convenient to get a piano home because of its size or price. Hence, keyboards also serve the same purpose. If you want to get a similar feel of a piano, go for a digital piano, especially a stage piano if you require a portable option.
6. What do I need to maintain my piano?
If you possess an acoustic piano, it would require tuning after regular intervals. Moreover, a piano or keyboard must be covered with a cover or a bag to prevent it from dust or insects. You also get piano cleaners to clean the instrument.
This article helps every musician be it a beginner, amateur, or even a professional musician find the right keyboard. We have provided a buyer’s guide explaining all the necessary information regarding keyboards. This will help you know more about the keyboard before making a buy.
This is followed by the detailed reviews of the top eight piano keyboards which is sure to clear any confusion which you might still have. We have also provided the links to purchase them from Amazon. If you are looking for a portable beginner keyboard, go for our number one choice- Yamaha PSRF51 61-Keys Portable Keyboard. You can also go for Casio CTK-2550 61-Key Portable Keyboard if you require a digital piano.
We now come to the end of the article. We hope you find the ideal keyboard which will help you learn and grow as a musician.