Given that a good 88-key weighted keyboard piano won’t be cheap and there are a lot of different options on the market, how can you possibly choose the right one?
Well, our team tested dozens of options, for you, to come up with a shortlist of the best 88-key weighted keyboard pianos to suit every budget and need. Check them out!
How We Chose The Best 88-Key Weighted Pianos
We looked at a lot of different aspects but our top concerns were:
- The action – did it feel as close to a real piano as possible? The point of action weighted keys is to deliver a similar feel, after all
- Sonic realism – did the sounds come close to the “real thing”? After all, this is a big reason for opting for this class of instrument
- Value for money – there is a big range of prices in our list but each of the pianos on the list represents excellent value for money in its price category
- Quality – we felt that all of these weighted keyboard pianos would last for years or more
- Brand – the reliability of the brand as a whole is important when you’re investing a large sum of money in an instrument
Nord Stage 3 88-Key Digital Piano
If you want a top-end, fully-featured piano, this is it but be warned, it comes with a price tag to match your ambitions.
The virtual hammer action keys are unique to Nord and it uses both bottom and top of key triggering to improve the way that notes are released.
1. Three sound engine sampling process is unmatched
2. Amazing OLED display for the best visual cues
3. The digital effects are amazing
1. This is an expensive option
2. The keyboard action could still be better
3. Some of the menu options are too feature packed and take too much time to scroll
Kurzweil Music Systems Forte SE 88-Key Stage Piano
This is an excellent keyboard which rivals some of the much more expensive options, the Italian hammer-weighted keys just feel “right” under your fingers.
We also like that they’ve included an “aftertouch” option which isn’t often found on this style of keyboard but which allows you to add effects to the sound easily.
1. The best value for money for a premium keyboard
2. Feels really good to the touch
3. Sounds like a world class piano
1. The screen’s not the biggest of displays that we’ve seen
2. Keyboard action is not identical to that of a piano
YAMAHA P71 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano
If you’re looking for something a little more “entry-level,” then the Yamaha P71 is an excellent choice. It’s balanced features with pricing very effectively.
We like the dual mode which lets you blend two instrument sounds into one as you play, it’s really clever.
1. Great for beginners and those seeking a value digital piano
2. You can easily buy additional accessories to enhance the value
3. It’s quite slim and light
1. Doesn’t offer as many tones as other pianos
2. There’s no LCD screen
3. A little bit “tinny” in the mid-range
Korg Grandstage 88-Key Digital Piano
The Korg Grandstage is a beast of a digital piano and it’s very heavy and quite expensive but it is an absolute pleasure to play.
The key action was developed in Japan and it may be the closest thing to a “real piano” that exists in the digital world. We appreciated the dynamics control which allows you to get the sound, “just right”.
1. Over 500 voices to choose from and it’s surprisingly easy to switch between them
2. The dynamics knob is a brilliant addition and we’d love to see this go industry-wide
3. Feels more real than any other digital piano
1. It’s designed with jazz in mind and you can tell
2. It’s big and heavy which make it challenging for some spaces
3. It’s quite expensive
Roland RD-2000 Premium 88-Key Digital Stage Piano
If you want something that will stand up to the rigours of going on tour with you, then the RD-2000 was made with live gigs in mind.
It uses a pair of sound engines that work very well together. It can also be used as a MIDI interface and thus, it will easily pair with your favorite w DAW and laptop.
You could even use it with a nice pair of field recording headphones while you get set up.
1. Built for playing live
2. Easily integrates with your DAW and laptop setup
3. Feels great to use
1. Definitely not the ideal choice for regular practice or home use
2. Enable the percussion and you can’t use the upper drawbar
3. Also quite expensive
Donner DDP-100 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano
If you want an all-in-one beginner’s set up than this offering from Donner might be the perfect place to get started, it comes with tutorials and even pedals and a furniture stand.
We also like the MP3 mode which lets you record and playback your sounds immediately on any device. We let our 6-year old loose on this and he had a wail of a time learning to play.
1. Incredible value for money
2. Fantastic sound quality for the price
3. Very easy to set up
1. Complex pieces occasionally seem to “miss a note” which has been struck
2. Some people report minor damage to the unit when it has been received
3. The finishing isn’t great
Casio Privia PX-S3000 Digital Piano
This is a super choice for beginners who intend to progress quickly with their digital piano playing as it’s a bit more expensive than the other beginner’s sets.
The hammer-action keys really come close to the feel of an actual piano and the AiR sound engine renders every note beautifully. And it comes with 700 voices too!
1. 700 voices on a digital piano this cheap? Total win
2. Has Bluetooth and USB connectivity
3. It’s super portable
1. The overall tone isn’t quite as good as most pianos on this list
2. The pitch bend wheel has a slight “rattle” to it
3. No damping for the harpsichord sound which is a bit frustrating
Choosing an 88-key weighted keyboard piano is a serious business, even a beginner’s piano is quite expensive and at the top end, you can end up investing thousands of dollars.
However, we’re confident that our choices of the best 88-key weighted keyboard pianos are the best that are currently on the market and that you will be happy with any of them, as long as it meets your needs as a piano player.