The Benefits of Owning a Digital Piano
Let’s begin this article by talking about the benefits of owning a digital piano, compared to a traditional piano. If you’re unsure of reasons to purchase a digital instrument, here are just a few reasons to jump on board.
Ideal for a quiet environment
With a traditional piano, you have to consider your environment, and avoid playing the piano if people are asleep or you reside in an apartment block. Fortunately, digital pianos feature a headphone socket, so you can plug in your headphones and listen to your music while the outside isn’t disturbed by your playing. This is convenient for an array of environments and doesn’t put a time limit on when you can rehearse.
More sound options
Digital pianos are more advanced and offer many more sounds than a traditional piano. You can change the tone, volume, and even sound. This allows people of all levels to experiment with new sounds, so you’re constantly learning and getting musically creative.
If you’re a beginner, a digital piano is a suitable option because you can record your musical creations. This allows you to keep track of your progress and continuously improve.
You can also use the recording feature to playback your recordings, edit, and adjust the timing. With these recording capabilities, you can also download your music to your laptop, allowing you to edit or listen to whenever you choose.
Our Top 5 Digital Pianos under 500 Dollars
Before we get into the reviews of all 10 products, here is a comparison table of the top 5 best digital piano under 500 dollars. This will help you visualize the quantitative aspects of each keyboard and enable you to make easier comparisons.
|Piano Model||No. & type of keys||Price||Dimensions & weight||Best for|
|Yamaha P45||88 Keys, Weighted||$$||58.2×16.1×11.7”/ 25lbs.||Beginner – Expert|
|Yamaha YPG-535||88 Keys, Weighted||$$||58×22.5×12.5”|
|Mid – Expert|
|Yamaha PSR-E253||61 Keys, Not Weighted||$||4×12.8×37.5”/ 10.2lbs||Beginner|
|Casio Privia PX160BK||88 Keys, Weighted||$$||11.5x52x5.5”/ 24lbs||Beginner – Expert|
|Alesis Recital||88 Keys, Semi-Weighted||$||3.6×11.5×50.5”/ 15lbs||Beginner|
10. Plixio 61 Key Electric Musical Keyboard
The first recommendation for the best digital piano under 500 dollars offers built-in 2-way speakers that allow for MP3 input. It also allows connectivity to other electronic devices via USB. At only 8.6 pounds, it is incredibly portable and easy to move. Starting at an extremely low price point with few features, this is a great choice for beginners.
There are only 61 keys so more advanced pieces of music may be impossible to play correctly. The volume switch is so sensitive that simply playing the keyboard causes the volume to increase. Due to the sensitive volume switch, the built-in speakers can easily blow out and/or lose their sound quality if you are not careful to keep the volume down.
|Speakers for MP3 input.||61 keys only.|
|Portable.||Sensitive volume switch.|
9. Hamzer 61 Key Portable Electronic Keyboard
This Hamzer selection might be the best digital piano under 500 dollars for beginners who are content with a decent number of 61 keys. It offers an integrated learning system to teach the basics of piano playing as well as a headphone jack for silent practicing.
On the other hand, you must purchase a power adapter separately. The keys are not weighted, which allow for a toy-like feel. Along the same vein, the keys are smaller and more closely set together than on a standard 88 key digital piano. Therefore, this setting would be great for children but not as much for adult hands.
|Great keyboard for starting up piano lessons.||Doesn’t include power adapter.|
|Comes with teaching system.||Keys not weighted.|
8. Casio WK245-PPK 76 Key Piano
This piano is the best digital piano under 500 dollars for beginners due to its inexpensive price tag and USB computer connectivity. It offers a 48-tone polyphony and 76 keys for a wide range of notes. Moreover, it comes with a power adapter.
The keys are not weighted, which do not allow for a true acoustic piano feel. There is no Mac computer support either; this keyboard is only compatible with Windows operating systems.
|USB connectivity.||Incompatible with Macs.|
|Comes with useful accessories including stand, headphones, music sheet holder, and power adapter.||The unit needs a quality speaker system for a perfect sound.|
|There are 600 different decent tones, 180 rhythms, and 152 strings.|
7. Yamaha DGX230 76 Key Digital Piano
This Yamaha choice is the best digital piano under 500 dollars for any skill level. It offers 76 semi-weighted keys and 6-track recording. On top of that, it is Mac and Windows compatible via USB connection. Included in the package, there is an educational suite on CD-ROM to help new players learn the basics. Additionally, there is a headphone jack for silent playing.
However, there are only 76 keys instead of the standard 88 which can hinder more advanced pieces of music from being properly played. The keys are only semi-weighted which do not allow for a true acoustic piano feel.
|Mac and Windows compatibility.||Semi-weighted keys.|
|Powerful built-in speakers.|
|Well-positioned buttons that feel soft to the touch.|
6. Alesis Coda 88 Key Digital Piano
This piano has all 88 keys with hammer action just like an acoustic piano. It offers built-in speakers and USB computer connectivity. It is lightweight and easily portable for travel convenience.
On the other hand, the speakers are not very loud. Therefore, additional amplification is recommended if you are using it for a concert setting or in a large space. Moreover, the unit turns off after 30 minutes of inactivity and does not save the current settings when it does so. This can cause a player to have to reset everything to specifications should the unit shut down.
|Weighted 88-key keyboard.||Needs the power of an amplifier.|
|Includes wheel for pitch bend.||Has only 20 voices.|
|Harmonious sound right out the box with no special settings.|
Note: This product is temporarily unavailable in online stores, but we will update this article as soon as it comes back in stock!
5. Alesis Recital 88 Key Digital Piano
This is a great piano for beginners due to its small size and low price. It has 88 semi-weighted keys and has a headphone jack for ease of playing when no one else wants to hear it. It also includes a 3-month premium subscription to expert interactive online piano lessons via Skoove. All these, plus the fact that it’s a best seller in the digital pianos category, make it a candidate for the best digital piano under 500 dollars.
On the other hand, the built-in 20W speakers are not the best quality – they often crackle and do not project sound as well as other brands. The keys, although semi-weighted, feel cheap and not like those of an acoustic piano.
|Great starter pack for beginners – includes 3 months of premium subscription to Skoove plus other perks.||Top notes tend to lose their intensity.|
|Portable with USB MIDI connection.|
|88 semi-weighted keys.|
4. Casio Privia PX160BK Digital Piano
Standing at the top of our price point, this piano is an excellent choice for mid-level or expert pianists. It offers sound layering, digital recording, and a crisp, clean sound. The keys are weighted for an authentic acoustic feel while the entire unit is easily portable for traveling.
Nonetheless, coming from a pricier model touted for higher-level players, the keys are not as reactive as other brands. When it comes to more advanced pieces of music, when the keys are quickly played, the notes may sound unnatural.
|Wide range of features with crisp sound.||Keys might be noisy.|
|Backed by a 3-year warranty.|
|88 weighted keys with 18 piano tones.|
3. Yamaha PSR-E253 61 Key Keyboard
At just a little over 10 pounds, this is the best digital piano under 500 dollars for portability and the third best overall. The low price tag is amiable as is the overall sound quality of this beginner’s model. On top of that, owners get a 32-note polyphony, Aux Line Input to connect it to any other musical instrument, duo mode for piano lessons, and more.
On the other hand, the 61 keys are not at all weighted, offering the feel of a toy rather than that of a real instrument. Moreover, this keyboard also has sound projection issues, leaving a need for higher amplification in recital or concert settings.
|Lightweight.||Only 61 unweighted keys.|
|Comes with over 200 tempos, 758 voices, and 30 songs.||Faulty sound projections.|
|Ideal for beginners.|
Interested in more options for beginners? Check out our collection of the best digital pianos for beginners in 2018 and pick your favorite!
2. Yamaha YPG-535 88 Key Digital Piano
The sound quality of this keyboard is amazing, which is why we think it’s the second best digital piano under 500 dollars. The projection of sound coupled with its piano-like tones offers a pleasing audio experience for anyone listening. Thanks to its LCD screen, piano players get to stay updated to live lyrics, notations, and chords.
The keys are weighted for a real piano feel while the reactivity of them is superb – which is perfect for those playing more complicated and lively pieces. On the other hand, its portability is cumbersome at nearly 40 pounds. Nonetheless, users can place it near a PC to tap into its full educational power to add online tracks to its in-house 30-sound library and benefit from Yamaha Educational Suite.
|Realistic premium voices.||Some keys might produce an unpleasant click.|
|88 weighted keys.|
If weighted keys are essential to you, also check out our collection of the best digital pianos with weighted keys!
1. Yamaha P45 88 Key Digital Piano
This is, by far, the best digital piano under 500 dollars this year. It boasts fantastic sound quality from its 88 weighted keys and is a great keyboard for beginners and experts alike. It is portable, easy to set up, and projects sound with ease.
Behind quality sounds stands Advanced Wave Memory Stereo Sampling feature. Instead of an overwhelming number of knobs and wheels, there’s one button at the top. This part alone can change sound effects, activate metronome, and more.
However, the construction of the keys is a bit delicate. They feel like they are about to break if you are not careful with the keyboard in transit.
|64-note polyphony.||Feeble materials.|
|Ideal for both beginners and experts.|