Casio is well-known for its electronics, including calculators, printers, and of course, its widely popular music keyboards. However, their musical division has been around since the late 1970s, when they began developing digital keyboards at affordable prices.
Over the years, Casio has increased their research and development to include not just budget-friendly keyboards, but higher-end electronic instruments, as well. In this article, we’ll talk about the best of Casio’s keyboards so you can pick the one that fits your needs and your budget. Casio lives up to its passion for making music available to everyone at every budget.
The Casiotone CTS1 is truly a go-anywhere keyboard. Sixty-one full-size, touch-sensitive keys are just enough to play most music. In addition, the built-in speakers offer surround sound effects to give you a concert hall experience in a truly portable package. The micro-USB port lets you connect to MAC, PC, and iOS or Android. Use the Chordana Play app to download MIDI files and plan and learn your favorite songs. An optional Bluetooth adapter even lets you connect wirelessly to Bluetooth speakers.
If you are looking for a stage keyboard that does it all, the Casio PX-5S might just fit the playbill. This is a full-size keyboard with scaled hammer action, so it feels realistic without all of the extra weight of fully-weighted keys. In addition, you’ll find a host of configurable stage settings, sequencing, and MIDI controls that you can set up for your performance and recording needs.
If you’re looking for something that blurs the lines between a keyboard and a digital piano, this is it. You’ll find the simplicity and weighted action of a digital piano with the portability and size of a keyboard. Simply put, this digital piano is streamlined, lightweight, and easy to use. In addition, it will run on the included power adaptor or batteries so that you can play it on the go.
This keyboard includes a built-in metronome for practice and a one-touch recorder. It also includes a standard sustain pedal with the option to purchase a separate three-pedal unit for even more functionality. USB ports mean you can connect easily to your MAC or PC.
The Privia Digital Piano PX-770 has a slim and modern design with beautiful sound and a great feel. This moderately priced digital piano is excellent for students and experienced players alike. Straightforward and streamlined, it is easy to use and fits well in smaller spaces. So if you are a music lover or home hobbyist looking for a reasonably priced but great-sounding instrument, you might just love this one.
The LK-S250 is a portable, compact keyboard with a built-in carry handle. With just 61 keys, this keyboard is compact and can run off of 6 AA batteries (not included). In addition, there are 60 built-in songs and a voice-guided lessons system to help you learn right from home. You can follow along and use the lighted keys to learn how to play.
You’ll love the My SetUp button, which quickly takes you back to your favorite presets. If you don’t have access to a piano teacher or just aren’t ready for the commitment, this keyboard will give you a great start to learning to play.
The CT-X700 gives you a lot of sound for less money. So whether you are a beginner just starting out or an experienced player in need of an inexpensive keyboard, this one makes a great choice. In addition, since it runs on both an AC adapter or battery power, you can take it with you just about anywhere.
The Casio Mini Keyboard was created to introduce little learners to the love of making music. The mini keys are just right for little fingers to play and explore all of the different sounds and included rhythms. The LCD display makes it easy to see what you’re doing, and sounds are easy to find with the touch of a button.
Casio has a wide array of keyboards for every type of musician. So if you’re looking for a Casio, it can be pretty hard to pick just one! But we took a few criteria into consideration when creating this list of the best Casio keyboards.
Keyboards come in a variety of sizes, from just about 44 keys to a full 88. If you’re a pianist looking to practice classical music on a keyboard, you might want to choose a larger, 88-key keyboard. On the other hand, if you’re a new student just starting, if space is tight, or you just want to play around, a smaller keyboard might do everything you need it to do. For very young children, any size will give them the opportunity to explore, even if they aren’t old enough for formal lessons.
Key action describes how the keyboard feels when you play it. Many keyboards have what’s called synth-action keys. Synth-action keys are very lightweight keys that are easy to push down. A small spring inside helps the key to rebound to its ‘resting’ position. These types of keys are less expensive to manufacture, and they help to keep both the cost and the weight of the keyboard down. Most synth-action keys are also velocity-sensitive, so the faster you play them, the louder they will sound. The slow you push down the key, the softer it will sound. They don’t feel like an acoustic piano at all, but they will give you the ability to create musical dynamics and nuance.
On the other end of the spectrum as fully-weighted, graded hammer standard keys.
These keys are often found more in digital pianos than keyboards. They are designed to mimic the feel and operation of an acoustic piano. The keys may be made of wood and synthetic ivory to give you a realistic feel, which helps you develop your hand strength and musicianship.
The graded hammer standard means the keys on the lower end of the keyboard take a little more force to play than the keys on the higher end of the keyboard, just like you would find on an acoustic piano. These keys are also touch-sensitive and have as many as three sensors per key to give you the most realistic musical nuance and playing experience. However, these types of keyboards are much heavier and less portable, and they are much more expensive.
Key action can be necessary for developing your hand strength and musical expression. If you are working towards being a classically trained pianist, you’ll want the most realistic piano feel that you can afford. On the other hand, if you are studying popular music, playing for fun, or using your keyboard as a MIDI controller, you might not be too worried about that.
Typically, the more realistic the feel and responsiveness of the keyboard, the more expensive it will be due to the materials and construction.
Sounds can be recreated in a variety of ways. For example, the higher-end keyboards may use sampled sounds to create their instrument voicings. A sampled sound is a recording of an instrument taken at different volumes and intensities and put together in the keyboard. Sampled sounds are usually found on more expensive instruments because of the work involved in creating them.
A digital piano will only have a few high-quality sounds. However, they’ll be easily accessible at the touch of a button. Lower-cost keyboards will have a lot of sounds, but they may not have the same quality as a digital piano.
So you’ll need to decide if you want more lower-quality sounds to play with and explore or if you just need a few higher-end sounds, such as keyboard, strings, and electric piano.
Some keyboards will have built-in speakers. So you’ll be able to plug your keyboard in, turn it on, and play. Beginner models, smaller models, and fun instruments generally have built-in speakers as well as some kind of a headphone jack.
On the other hand, higher-end models, aside from digital pianos, may not have any built-in speakers at all. Instead, they may only have a headphone jack and a line out, which you need to plug into an amp, speaker, or sound system. This type of keyboard is often intended for playing at gigs because the line out provides a higher quality of sound than what you would hear from internal speakers.
Portability is a consideration when you purchase your keyboard. Will you be keeping it at home, set up and ready to play all the time? If so, you might prefer a larger model such as a digital piano that is a prominent piece of furniture in your home.
If you plan on going to gigs with your keyboard or taking it from home to home for practicing, then you might want to consider something smaller and lighter that is easier to transport.
Many of the keyboards on this list are intuitive and easy to use. You’ll find easy access to sound banks so you can find the exact sound you need for your music. You may also find it easy to add a metronome, chords, and other fun effects.
Digital pianos are generally the easiest to use because they have fewer but higher-quality sounds and functions at your fingertips. You might find just a few sounds on a digital piano, but they’ll sound great to your ear.
Some keyboards with lots of sounds, knobs, buttons, and pads can be complicated to set up and use. They give you all kinds of music-making options, but you’ll have to spend time understanding how they work and what they can do.
In a digital world, connectivity is an important consideration. For example, your keyboard may come with Bluetooth connectivity so that you can access music, recordings, lessons, and controls through your tablet or smartphone.
Many keyboards can also be used as MIDI controllers, so they will either have a 5-pin MIDI in/out port or a USB port. This allows you to manage other keyboards or digital audio workstations so you can record your music.
A sustain pedal is the most commonly used pedal function for keyboards and digital pianos. You’ll need this to make your piano music sound realistic and smooth. Without it, your playing will be choppy and less expressive.
Your keyboard will probably come with one sustain pedal port, but it may or may not come with a good pedal. As long as the port is there, inexpensive sustain pedals are easy to purchase separately when you need it.
Casio offers such a full lineup of keyboards and digital pianos that it’s hard to narrow the field down to just one. However, suppose you are looking for a reasonably priced, fully-equipped keyboard for gigs. In that case, the Casio PX-5S Privia Pro Digital Stage Piano is an excellent choice with a full 88-key keyboard, lightweight, portability, and loads of features, and great sound.
However, for the new or beginner student, hobby player, or someone who just wants to take their keyboard with them, we love the Casiotone CTS1. It’s all about balance with the Casiotone CTS1: sound, price, portability, and feel.
This Casiotone offers 61 full-sized, touch-sensitive keys for musical expression and enough beautifully crafted sounds to make a variety of music. In addition, it is lightweight and highly portable. You can run it from battery power and connect to the Chordana app so you can learn to play your favorite songs.
It’s so simple and easy to use, and at a budget price, it’s a great keyboard for just about everyone.
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