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Yamaha PSRE253 Review - Armchair Empire

Yamaha PSRE253 Review

  • 8.3/10
    Sound Quality - 8.3/10
  • 8.7/10
    Features - 8.7/10
  • 9/10
    Voices - 9/10
  • 7.8/10
    Value - 7.8/10
8.4/10

Our Rating

Table Of Contents

Intro  •  My Review  •  Pros  •  Cons  •  Features  •  Conclusion

Yamaha PSRE253 Introduction

If anyone wishes to learn how to make a great portable piano they should ask Yamaha. Any model, design or make from Yamaha always manages to get rave reviews. They really are clear with their objectives and target market. The Yamaha PSRE253 portable keyboard is targeted towards kids and beginners mostly. This joy thing is 61-keys in all but what it loses in the number of keys, it more than makes up for in terms of digital features. Total of 385 high quality voices that include variations and synthesizer versions of drums, pianos, strings, orchestral instruments, flutes and much more. Each voice is stereo sampled and thanks to reverb effect, the concert hall comes to your home. If that wasn’t enough, Yamaha decided to add 100 styles that provide a good backdrop for you to play out your chords. All this in a tiny package that weighs less than 9 lbs. The Yamaha PSR-E253 is in fact a compact and portable digital piano that can operate off batteries for hours.

Yamaha PSRE253 1

What truly sets Yamaha pianos apart though is the education suite. Total of nine stages, three are for the left hand and three are for the right hand. The remaining are for both hands. This division in lessons to target each hand separately and then together is sufficient to teach any beginner the absolute basics of piano playing. But what if someone doesn’t really match the pace of the education program? Well, this piano comes with a waiting function that basically adjusts to a person’s pace by changing the lesson’s tempo. Finally, if you run out of tracks to play with then just connect an audio player to the Yamaha PSR-E253 portable digital piano and continue having fun.

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Yamaha PSRE253 61-Key Portable Keyboard
  • 61 full-sized keys are great for learning and developing keyboard playing technique.
  • Duo mode splits the keyboard into two halves, each with their own "middle C" for practicing with a partner
  • The Aux Line Input allows you to connect any music device with a headphone output, such as an MP3 player, a computer, a mixer or even another keyboard, and hear it through the internal speakers. The Portable Grand button and instantly resets the keyboard to the grand piano Voice

Yamaha PSRE253 Review & Experience

Request to review the Yamaha PSR-E253 61 key digital piano has been building up for quite some time now. We kept putting it off simply because we are a bit biased towards anything Yamaha. In fact, in our opinion, Yamaha pianos are far better than anything in their price range. However, with this entry level “enjoyment mostly” piano, we wanted to wait so we could compare it to the Casios and other such entry brands and models. Now that we have a few entry level digital keyboards reviewed, it is time to meet the popular PSR-E253 digital keyboard.

Yamaha PSRE253 2

First off, it doesn’t look like it but this keyboard is a featherweight if you compare it with a Casio. Not only is it small but so light that it can give the false impression of being fragile, which it is not. How do we know this? Because we accidentally dropped it during the unboxing! So, that’s something we can safely say Yamaha has maintained with this digital keyboard – the construction quality. Even the keys seem plastic but not cheap. The speakers though could have used a little more power as they don’t necessarily fill up a room even at full blast.

Let’s get to the meat of the review and speak on its sound. First off there are so many voices on this beauty that we haven’t had the time to test them all. We have however managed to cycle through the most basic ones such as flute, organ, guitar, digital piano, electric flute, electric guitar and even the acoustic grand piano voice. A few more synthetic voices too but those aren’t really our concern. The standard equipment sounds are well reproduced. Don’t expect a DGX-660 like quality. As long as you aren’t too keen on perfection, this digital piano will flatter you. Did we mention that we couldn’t go through all the voices yet? There’s like 500 or so of them and to properly sample them it would take ages. Oh! Before we forget, its reverb function is amazing.

Yamaha PSRE253 3

As for the additional features, we love the fact that you can not only play to a backdrop of over 100 pre-recorded tracks but also to any of your favorite music by connecting a music player, computer and whatever you have in mind. Yes, its input port takes in a standard 3.5mm connection. As for output, it has the basic AUX port that you can plug into a pair of headphones or amplifiers. Unfortunately, Yamaha has decided not to sell the PSR-E253 digital keyboard with a power supply. We aren’t surprised though as Yamaha markets this model as a portable digital piano and no truly portable instrument ever runs off anything other than batteries. You can get the stand and power cord together as a complete add-on bundle.

Yamaha PSRE253 Pros

  • Great fun playing with the voices and rhythms as there is simply a lot to mix and match. Kids should have a blast with this piano and so will adults.
  • Weight isn’t an issue and neither is portability as it is small, compact and light.
  • The keys are full sized even though just 61 in number but they are light with absolutely not weight. Thankfully though the keys are sturdy and inspire confidence.
  • Reverb feature is a treat as you can minutely control how much of it you need depending on the voice you are using.
  • The piano works for hours on batteries and we think it lasts longer than Casio players we reviewed in the past.
  • The lesson mode is easy to follow, detailed and tempo variable. It changes based on the learner’s pace.

Yamaha PSRE253 Cons

  • The power cord is missing, something all too common among portable digital keyboards.
  • It can feel fragile because of the lack of weight but it isn’t. The only bad news though is that everything is plastic so don’t drop it like we did or you might just crack a key or two. We were lucky!
  • The middle C isn’t clear and comes off muddy at best. Not an issue for recreational purposes though learners might feel a little let down here.
  • Some many voices and rhythms does make it fun playing this instrument but many of the voices are just subtle variations at best.

Yamaha PSRE253 Features

  • Compact and portable, this digital piano comes with full sized keys, total of 61.
  • The split mode allows to segregate the keyboard into two equal halves and divides the middle C for both allowing seamless duets.
  • With the AUX line you can connect a music player and with the headphone jack you can stream live music without disturbing your neighbors. In fact, the AUX out jack works with a computer, mixer or even a second keyboard.
  • A reset button that Yamaha calls the Portable Grand button immediately wipes away any configuration reverting the keyboard back to the grand piano voice.
  • Total of 32 note polyphony provides sufficient variations for beginners and advanced users alike.
  • This piano ships without the power supply though on battery it should last hours.
  • A lesson mode teaches left hand, right hand and both hand playing through interactive tempo adjusted chapters. Basically, the piano waits for you to match its beat before moving on.

Yamaha PSRE253 Conclusion

A piano that costs less than $100 should never be better than those that cost over $1000. The target market for these kind of digital keyboards is different. Recreation is probably what Yamaha had in mind when it designed the PSR-E253. 61 keys in a compact box made from plastic that weighs absolutely nothing and runs off batteries – if these sound alluring to you then you are Yamaha’s favorite customer. Remember, so long as you don’t keep your expectations high, you will not be disappointed. But, if you plan on any serious learning with a tutor, don’t go for this model. Take a higher version Yamaha such as a DGX if you can afford one or at least a YPG model.

Not the choice for you? Check out the rest of our digital piano reviews hub!