When it comes to purchasing a digital piano, while your instinct might tell you to go for the most affordable option, you might find yourself paying extra to upgrade to a better model in the future.
Perhaps you are a beginner just learning piano or purchasing for someone who is; or maybe you're an instructor looking to replace an outdated unit with something more seamless and reliable.
Here we've compared several digital pianos to the Korg B1 to give you a comprehensive overview of the pros and cons of different models currently on the market.
What Is the Korg B1 Digital Piano?
The Korg B1 is a compact digital piano that's great for beginners and advanced piano players alike. Its low weight and ease of use are just two of the instrument's impressive features that make it a great choice for anyone interested in purchasing a digital piano.
The simple design makes the Korg B1 a delight to add to any room, and with its advanced technology you'd never guess it to be capable of such wonderful sounds. At just 26 lbs, the B1 is easy to transport, which makes it a great instrument for bringing some music to your next party or gathering.
What makes the Korg B1 Digital piano special is the powerful sound it can produce while being so lightweight and portable. This instrument is also wonderful for beginners as it is simple and responds well to key touches.
At just 26 pounds and no deeper than 13 inches, it can easily fit in any vehicle. The B1 is able to produce rich tones that you'd usually get only from acoustic pianos. This is due to the MFB technology that Korg is known for routinely adding to its products.
The Korg B1's passive radiator paired with full range speakers can up your game when playing this instrument. The piano itself has two oval speakers that amplify at 9W which is pretty impressive at its current price point (around $400). This digital piano can produce vibrant tones similar to acoustic pianos tanks to its state-of-the-art sampling technology. The Korg B1's range is very expressive and rich compared to that of other models produced by the same company.
The Korg B1 can also reproduce damper resonances as well as string vibration. This give you a wide range of sounds to choose from when composing your next project as well as more variety when choosing complex compositions to learn how to play.
Even more, the B1 will not create the cheap clacking sounds that you are used to hearing on cheaper models that are made with plastic keys. This is because the Korg B1 comes with Natural Weighted Hammer keys that are heavier to the touch near the lower keys as well as lighter to the touch on the upper keys, which perfectly simulates the dynamic of a real acoustic piano.
What's more, you can set the response of the piano to match your individual playing style. The unit also offers Motion Feedback (MFB), which offers you amazing sound quality with the unit's powerful built-in speakers. This means that the instrument can reproduce low frequencies with little to no distortion.
This digital piano has all the basic voices and eight sounds (three acoustic piano selections, some electric piano selections, organs, and a harpsichord). For the price, this unit offers a great selection of features only found in higher priced units. The quality of sound is, again, outstanding.
A unique feature of the Korg B1 is its Partner Mode, which allows the user to be able to split the keyboard into two different sections, effectively creating two different keyboards. This makes it easy to use by beginning students when attempting to mimic the instructor during piano lessons. Of course, this Partner Mode makes playing duets seamless.
The B1's seamless design and usability coupled with its powerful sound and Partner Mode make it our first choice for a digital piano. Whether you are a new student to piano, a professional, or even relearning, this is a great instrument for you. It is a wonderful piano to practice with on a regular basis and offers a great platform if you plan to teach your students how to play the piano.
Although the Korg B1 does not come with a stand of its own, you can purchase a stand as well as other accessories like the triple pedal unit and matching cushioned bench separately. This is a small sacrifice to make for such a powerful and sleek instrument like the B1.
This unit can be purchased for around $400-$500 from all major retailers. Again, the piano does not include a stand or any accessories, but those can be purchased separately.
How It Compares
We picked three similar products to see how they stack up against the Korg B1.
Korg B1 Digital Piano
Ease of Use
We gave the Korg B1 digital piano five stars when it come to ease of use because it is so simple to play and the keys respond well since they are weighted. Although this unit is great for beginners, it has a beautiful sound and range that you'd typically expect from a more complex instrument.
Sound & Connectivity
The sound is exceptional so we gave the unit five stars. The connectivity is quite basic: a headphone jack and pedal output, which makes it approachable by beginners to jump right in and start playing.
The Korg B1 deserves nothing less than five stars when it comes to design quality. The piano itself is sturdy and the weighted keys are of a level of quality that you'd otherwise expect in much pricier units.
The warranty is pretty standard for Korg products. When purchased from a Korg USA authorized dealer, each unit comes with a one-year warranty on labor and parts. For the tuner and metronome are covered for three years with the exception of tubes, AC adapters, and foot switches, which are covered for just 90 days.
The customer is responsible for providing proof of purchase to obtain any warranty service. If you register your unit within 90 days of purchase, you'll receive an extra year of warranty through Korg.
- GHS weighted action is heavier in the low end and lighter in the high end, just like an acoustic pia
- 1/4" microphone input allows you to connect a microphone so you can sing along while you play
- Wireless audio & MIDI features utilize Wi-Fi to stream audio and MIDI to/from your iOS device
The Yamaha DGX-660 is a very well designed digital piano. It produces a great sound and has weighted keys just like the Korg B1. It also offers a split and dual mode that is very similar to the Partner Mode offered by the Korg B1. You can also record while playing, which is great for independent practice as well as for beginners. This device comes with its own stand and higher price point than the previously reviewed product.
Ease of Use
The Yamaha DGX-660 is very easy to use and was designed with beginners in mind. It does have more controls which can be daunting to first timers, but it is a great competitor to the Korg B1.
Sound & Connectivity
This unit has built-in speakers and a powerful sound.
This Yamaha DGX-660 is a bit larger than the Korg B1 but does also have weighted keys which make playing it a dream. This unit weighs closer to 90 pounds, so it is not as transportable. As it si much larger than the Korg B1, it is a better option for users looking for a more stationary unit.
When purchased directly from a Yamaha authorized dealer, users can expect a three-year warranty on this unit. Although not as great as the Korg B1's warranty and option for an extended warranty, this is a pretty common warranty for other units on the market.
Bonus Read: How to Record Digital Piano the Right Way
Alesis Recital Pro Digital Piano
- Start playing professional keys today - the ultimate beginners digital piano loaded with 12 expertly crafted voices and...
- Universal responsive feel - 88 premium full-sized hammer action keys with adjustable touch response to suit your...
- Connectivity covered - built-in 20W speakers, ¼" Sustain pedal input (pedal not included), ¼" stereo headphone output...
The Alesis Recital Pro is a great beginner’s digital piano without all the bells and whistles of the Korg B1 but still a powerful educational tool. It comes with four different modes: Standard, Layer, Lesson, and Split and a free 3-month subscription to interactive online piano lessons on Skoove.
Just like the Korg B1, this Alesis model has 88 full-sized hammer action keys. The touch response is adjustable and so are the included sound effects (Reverb, Chorus, and Modulation). The box contains: the piano, AC adapter, and the coupon code for the Skoove lessons.
Ease of Use
For beginners, this digital piano is pretty straightforward but with plenty of features to help them properly learn to play piano. It can be also battery operated for maximum portability to and from the class or your friends’ home.
Sound & Connectivity
The Alesis Recital Pro has 12 expertly curated voices that can be overlapped in the Layer mode for richer tones. The piano comes with a generous 128-note polyphony and decent connectivity (built-in 20W speakers, stereo headphone output through the headphone jack, and pedal input, but the pedal needs to be purchased separately)
The Alesis Recital Pro is similar in size to the Korg B1 (51.6 x 13.8 x 5.5 inches) and at the same weight (26 lbs). It sports 88 semi-weighted hammer-action keys, with more resistance than cheaper models, excellent sound, but is not 100% true to a classic piano. This piano is not recommended for users with heavy hands; we believe it is more geared toward children who want to learn to play the piano.
Manufacturer’s warranty can be requested from Amazon’s customer service here.
Studio Logic SL88
The Studio Logic SL88 is a digital piano with its main standout feature of being MIDI exclusive. This piano was designed for users with a plethora of music equipment pieces that are in need of a great portable unit with an impressive quality of sound.
- 88-key graded hammer action keyboard
- Real wooden keys with ivory touch
- Three contacts per key with note-on and note-off velocity + after touch
Ease of Use
While this digital piano is fairly easy to use, some of its features that are made accessible by the MIDI connection might to fly over the heads of the greenest beginner.
Sound & Connectivity
This unit is great for users with plenty of MIDI equipment. The added control that the user has makes for the great ability of this unit to emit a powerful sound, especially when combined with other types of equipment.
The design of the SL88 is very simple and sleek, much like the Korg B1. It boasts an ultra portable shape at 45 pounds. They keys are wooden with an ivory touch that well mimic the feel of a grand piano.
Warranty information for the SL88 is not available online from the manufacturer but can be purchased aftermarket through most major retailers.
Bonus Read: Top 7 Best MIDI Keyboards To Buy In 2019
When stacked up against the competition, it is easy to see why the Korg B1 is our favorite among its contenders. From the portability of the unit to its sleek design there's nothing quite like it at the same price point. Here we've rated the units that we reviewed from 1 to 4, with 4 being the highest.
1: Alesis Recital Pro
The Alesis Recital Pro was designed mainly for beginners and with its rather less sturdier construction than the Korg B1, it is recommended for children who want to learn piano.
2: Studio Logic SL88
The Studio Logic SL88 is our most expensive unit reviewed, coming in at around $900. While it is more attractive to professional musicians with MIDI equipment to connect to, it's not our first pick. It also has some design flaws that make it seem overpriced for what it has to offer.
3: Yamaha DGX-660
The Yamaha DGX-660 is our second pick and a second contender only to the Korg B1 digital piano. Boasting the same quality of sound and similar Partner Mode, this unit was edged out only by its steeper price.
4: Korg B1 Digital Piano
The Korg B1 Digital Piano is our reigning champion. It seems to be both the most portable and attractively priced model (around $400), giving you the best bang for your buck. This unit has showed us that it is certainly possible to combine a great quality product with sleek design and ease of use for beginners without breaking the bank.
You might also like: Digital vs Acoustic Piano – A Study on Which You Should Get
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