Digital Piano Buying Guide - Armchair Empire

Digital Piano Buying Guide

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This Digital Piano buying guide has been written to help you work out what features to look for, and what models will be best suited towards your individual needs. Unfortunately, traditional acoustic pianos may not be right for you. While I’m a great fan of acoustic pianos, and always have been, I feel that they are no longer in-line with the technology advancements we have seen over recent years. Expensive Steinway’s are great for live performances, but not so great for home use. If you’re considering purchasing a piano for your teenager, then chances are, a bulky and heavy acoustic piano just won’t cut out. You won’t be able to fit it in a smaller room, and you’ll probably get annoyed at the extremely loud keys being played.

And with that said, it’s time to consider a digital piano. Digital pianos have grown immensely since the 1990’s. Back in the olden days, you were limited to keyboards boasting 44-keys. Now, you have access to digital pianos that have hundreds of keys, and come pre-included with advanced technology that completely allows you to manipulate the sounds you produce. How about life-like reverb effects, or sound effects from other instruments? Fortunately for you, the digital pianos on the market today are extremely advanced, and most of them sound the same, if not better than an acoustic piano. However, be forewarned that there is a large difference in models – and each digital piano will have different features and effects.

Number of keys – 60 keys minimum

The first thing you’ll want to be looking for is a digital piano with a minimum of 60 keys. While smaller pianos may offer convenience and portability, they usually don’t come with a full range of keys. In addition to this, smaller pianos often have smaller gaps between the keys, and don’t resemble a conventional piano. For best playing experience, it makes sense to opt for a larger digital piano with a variety of key ranges. In terms of piano keys, I have always opted for the Casio Privia PX850 as it comes complete with a whopping 88-keys.

Weighted Action

Cheaper digital pianos will have cheap keys that feel as if they are made out of plastic. This is because they won’t come with weighted action. Non-weighted keys are distracting in nature, and can often reduce the capabilities of the piano player. I have personally seen first-hand how distracting non-weighted keys are. They disrupt your concentration and make it quite a lot harder to play a song perfectly.

Digital Piano Brand Name

Like with any product on the market, it’s important to go with a brand name that you trust and feel comfortable with. Over the years, you’ll have most likely been exposed to dozens of different brand names, and you’ll only think positively about a few of them. Some of the better known digital piano brands that I recommend include:

  • Casio
  • Yamaha
  • Roland
  • Studiologic
  • Kurzweil
  • Korg

There are numerous other brands that excel in providing consumers with high-quality digital pianos. However, the most important factors to consider are the brands overall reputation, and consumer reviews of their products and/or customer service. Digital pianos often involve a hefty investment, and so you need to be sure that the manufacturer can be relied upon should any issues arise in the future.

Type the companies name into a search engine and read through customer reviews. Look for reviews mentioning their customer service, and perhaps even give them a ring before hand. Spending time learning about the brand will be beneficial later on should you ever need to rely on them.

A Headphones Jack

This is a feature that many digital piano players often overlook – but it’s on my buying guide for a reason. If you’re like me, and like to play your piano during the night when you can experience a tranquil environment, then a headphone jack is a must. Headphones are also perfect for children who are learning to play – as they won’t disrupt the whole household throughout the evening.

On a positive note, most digital pianos will come with a headphone jack; but it’s always best to double check. It will be the more cheaper models and/or used models that may be lacking a headphone jack. As a handy tip, if you’re going to buy a digital piano second hand, then be sure to take headphones along with you to test the port connection.


This will depend on what sort of digital piano you’re looking to purchase. If you’re wanting to purchase a high-end digital piano, then you may need to sacrifice portability, as many of the more expensive models weigh quite a lot and simply cannot be easily moved. However, portable digital pianos such as the Casio CTK-4200 can be unplugged and carried with ease. Always consider how frequently you’re going to transport your digital piano, and what the total weight of the piano is.