Are you looking for a keyboard that has the feel of an acoustic piano? If so, there are two basic requirements. It is necessary to have 88 of them, and they need to be properly weighed.
We’re going to look at seven of the best 88 key weighted keyboards to help you narrow down your search. Here are the things we love and any niggles to watch out for. Our buying guide will help you make the right decision.
Without further ado, let’s find your new keyboard!
Top 5 Best 88-Key Keyboards For The Money
1) Yamaha P71 88-Key Weighted Digital Piano
Yamaha’s P71 reproduces the feel of an acoustic piano with its graded hammer standard action. Keys at the lower end are heavier, those at the higher end are lighter.
This is the perfect practice instrument if you want to perfect your fingering technique for an acoustic piano. No matter how long you play, the matte finish on the black keys won’t get slippery.
It also sounds like an acoustic keyboard. Yamaha uses something called Advanced Wave Memory Stereo Sampling to achieve this. The sound of an acoustic piano is captured using two microphones for a rich, full sound.
You can choose from ten different voices, including grand pianos and organs. To change the sound, hold down the “Grand piano/ Function” key and press a key. You can use the same approach to play samples or set the on-board metronome.
64-note polyphony is available regardless of the voice you choose. In other words, it is a keyboard that can play up to 64 notes at once without losing any notes. If you play moderately fast, with complex chords, you won’t notice any difference in your listening experience.
The “dual” mode lets you layer two different voices at the same time. Students and teachers can play together in duo mode, which splits the keyboard into two identical zones. When accompanying singers, the “transpose” function is invaluable.
The USB to Host port allows you to connect music software and tuition packages. If you want to do this, you’ll need a USB cable.
It is a great keyboard, but it has some limitations. The keys are touch-sensitive, but the dynamic range is about half that of an acoustic piano. Thus, pressing the key harder will produce a louder note, but not by much.
Furthermore, there are no on-board options for recording and playing back your music. It comes with a sustain pedal, but it’s not as sturdy as we’d like. You may want to consider upgrading if you don’t want to chase it across the floor.
Amazon only offers this model, which is identical to Yamaha’s P45. There is a difference between what’s included in various keyboard bundles. For specific parts, see what’s available with the different models at the time. Contents and prices can change over time.
2) Alesis Recital Pro 88-Key Weighted Keyboard
The Alesis Recital Pro keyboard is one of the least expensive on our list, but doesn’t sacrifice functionality.
As with an acoustic piano, the full-sized keys have hammer action, so the higher notes are lighter. Unlike an acoustic keyboard, however, players of this keyboard can adjust the weight of the keys to suit their playing style.
Despite the impressive 128-note polyphony, you won’t lose any notes, even when playing the most complex pieces. For your compositions, you can select reverb, modulation, and chorus. With the onboard recorder, you can save and play back your performances.
There are also twelve voices to choose from. Two styles of acoustic piano, electric piano, vibraphone, organ, harpsichord, clavi, strings, synth, brass and bass are available.
You can assign different voices to each hand using the split mode, or combine two using the layer mode. Furthermore, a lesson function divides the keyboard into two identical halves, so that students can play alongside teachers.
Powerful 20-watt speakers deliver the sound. You can also use the 14-inch jack to divert the sound to headphones if you want to practice quietly. If your headphones have a 3.5-millimeter connection, you’ll need an adapter.
Additionally, there are 14-inch stereo outputs that can be connected to an amplifier, recorder, or mixer. If you want to connect up to a PC or Mac, you can. You can access virtual instrument plug-ins and music software with the USB-MIDI output.
You’ll also get three months of premium access to Skoove when you register your keyboard. This website offers a wide selection of chart and classical music. Every month, new lessons are added. You can even ask experienced musicians for help if you need it.
Using six separate D-cell batteries, you can play the keyboard on the go. Alternatively, you can plug the adapter into your electricity supply for unlimited playing time.
We have one issue with this one: the keys do click when they are struck. It’s not a big deal – and for beginners, it’s an excellent keyboard. However, professional players might want to spend more to eliminate this issue.
3) Donner DEP-20 88-Key Weighted Keyboard
Beginners interested in a keyboard with plenty of features should consider the Donner DEP-20.
There are full-sized hammer action keys with adjustable touch-response. You can therefore make them lighter or heavier to suit your playing style.
The 128-note polyphony ensures that no notes will be missed even in dense compositions.ns.
There are 238 different voices, chorus and reverb effects, as well as the ability to layer two sounds. It also has a sustain pedal of professional quality. This is a great option if you enjoy experimenting with different sounds.
You can also record your creations and play them back through the two 25-watt speakers.
Connectivity options are plentiful as well. There’s a socket for connecting your MP3 player, along with a USB interface. An additional port is for a pedal, and a separate one is for the sustain pedal.
Audio inputs and outputs allow you to connect headphones or an amplifier. This 14-inch headphone jack is easy to reach. Your fingers won’t have to fumble around at the back of the keyboard.
You’ll also find an LED screen, which shows chords and notation, as well as allowing you to adjust the tone. Bluetooth is not included, however.
This is a heavier keyboard than most others, weighing just over 35 pounds. This is not the right choice if you’re looking for something portable.
All in all, this is a great choice for beginners and intermediate players. Moreover, with features like 128-note polyphony and adjustable touch-response, this offers exceptional value.
4) The ONE Smart Keyboard Pro 88-Key Digital Piano Keyboard
You should check out the Smart Keyboard Pro from The ONE if you want to invest serious money in your keyboard.
Hammer action is used to replicate the feel of an acoustic piano on the 88 full-sized keys. However, there is less difference between the weight of the lower and higher notes than you would find in the real thing.
The touch-response can be adjusted. No matter how light or heavy your fingers are, you’ll enjoy the game.
A realistic piano sound is produced from ten layers of samples and 128 notes of polyphony. By using a clever dual-purpose button, you can adjust the volume and change the instrument voice. Additionally, there are 691 timbres and 11 drum sets to choose from.
Regardless of whether you have paid tuition or not, this is a great option for beginners. The keys light up, so you can start playing immediately. On the site, you can find illuminated sheet music, video tutorials, fun games, and a crash course for quick results.
Additionally, the keyboard has a USB-MIDI output so you can connect it to your computer. Online tuition software, music samples, and virtual instrument plug-ins become readily available. You can record and playback your progress.
They’re designed to work with The ONE Smart Piano app, but they’ll also work with Synthesia. The ONE app is okay, but a bit limited. You’ll need to pay a download fee for most songs, even if some are free. You can’t preview the songs beforehand.
It’s worth noting that with this one, you have a choice of finishes. You can choose between black or white to match your interior design scheme.
5) Yamaha DGX660B 88-Key Weighted Digital Piano
DGX660B is another keyboard worth considering if you have more money to spend.
There are a number of optional extras available, including a furniture stand. Bundles are available if you’re looking for a bench or three-pedal unit. If you already have the furniture, there are accessories bundles that include a sustain pedal, headphones, and microphone.
The keyboard itself, however, is another matter. Well, the 88 keys here are full-sized and feature Yamaha’s graded hammer standard. The P71 uses the same mechanism, and the lower keys have a heavier feel similar to an acoustic piano.
This is a rich and true sound. It is created by the Pure CF Sound Engine. Yamaha’s CFIIIS grand piano is simulated with hi-tech sampling technology.
MIDI is also supported. When you play a MIDI song, the LCD display will show either the score or lyrics. You may also create your own notation. With the built-in USB recorder, you can record and play them back.
A USB drive can also be used to download new songs from the MusicSoft site. You will be able to access sheet music and hit songs through the online “You are the Artist” music library.
Beginners will also find some great options here. With the “Smart Chord” function, you can generate a full chord from one note played with your left hand. It can create simple triads for pop, or complex sevenths or ninths for jazz.
There are more niggles with the accessories – and their ports – than the keyboard itself.The first is where the headphone jack is located. At the back of the chassis, it’s hidden under the music rest. Particularly if the keyboard is placed against the wall, it is difficult to reach.
In our opinion, the accessories bundle with the sustain pedal and microphone isn’t the best purchase. You can get better options separately for a similar price, and the quality isn’t great.
Best 88 Key Weighted Keyboards Buying guide
You’ve read all the reviews, but still don’t know which keyboard to choose. We’re here to help! Check out some factors to consider before making your final decision.
If your keyboard is compatible with music software, you can download virtual instrument plug-ins and tuition packages. One thing you will never be able to change is the feel of the keyboard. This is why it’s one of the most important factors to consider when making your choice.
The keyboards here are weighted, so they’ll feel more like an acoustic piano than a synth. It’s also worth looking for those with graded hammer action. This will replicate the way that the lower keys on an acoustic piano are heavier than the higher ones. It will feel more like playing a piano.
The ability to adjust the touch-sensitivity of the keys is another feature to consider. If you’re practicing fingering techniques for an acoustic piano, you won’t need a keyboard that allows this. If you want your instrument to adapt to your playing style, that’s a great feature to have.
Last but not least, look at the texture of the keys. To simulate the playing experience of an acoustic piano, some keyboards feature simulated ivory and ebony finishes. However, the simulation isn’t exact, so it’s worth trying before you buy to make sure you like the texture.
In general, the more expensive the keyboard, the better the sound quality. However, sound is also a very personal experience. It’s always a good idea to listen to an instrument before you buy it.
Don’t forget to consider the experience of those around you as well. Look for options with headphone jacks if you want to practice without disturbing others. If you want a keyboard for performance, make sure it can be plugged into an amplifier.
Having seen what you should look for in an 88 key keyboard, and having seen what some of the options are, you should be in a great position to find your next instrument. To do this, you should make a list of all the things you value most, whether it’s amazing value or piano-like authenticity, and then cross-check these against the reviews. Eventually, you’ll find the keyboard that’s right for you, and you’ll know you’ve made a great choice! This study shows the benefits of owning a keyboard.