Yamaha has a reputation for producing instruments loved by professional musicians and hobbyists alike. But it isn't all just hype; Yamaha is without question renowned for their ability to create rich, full sounds and realistic feeling digital pianos at a wide variety of price points.
With a name like Yamaha, it’s hard to make a bad choice when you’re looking for a digital piano. But to give you a little extra insight when keyboard-shopping, we chose the top 5 Yamaha digital pianos to review. You might be surprised by our favorite one!
Quick glance at the best Yamaha digital pianos:
The Yamaha P71 and P45 are nearly identical keyboards with slightly different marketing bundles. Both of these keyboards are aimed at beginner pianists. These are easy to use and offer pretty authentic sound and a realistic acoustic feel, all in a very affordable package.
First of all, this keyboard is small and lightweight, making it very portable and easy to move despite its full 88 keys. The Graded Hammer Standard means that the higher notes are a little easier to play than the lower notes, which mimics the feel of an acoustic piano. Graded Hammer Standard is an excellent feature for pianists going back and forth between acoustic pianos and keyboards.
Check out our full buying guide & reviews for the best portable keyboard pianos
This keyboard is straightforward to use with just ten voices, and the built-in headphone jack means you can practice without anyone else listening. It’s very practical and you might consider it a plug and play keyboard because you just turn it on and you’re ready to go.
The Yamaha P125 is a little more costly than the P71 and P45, but with the extra price comes some very usable extra features. The most significant difference between the two is the sound. The P125 uses an upgraded sound engine to really capture the richness and depth of the Yamaha 9 foot concert grand, and the 192 note polyphony means you can play more of those reverberant tones simultaneously. In short, you’ll get a little more musicality out of your purchase.
You get the same great weighted keys with graded hammer standard, but you get more voicings, split mode, two headphone jacks (great for piano lessons), and the record function.
The Yamaha DGX670 isn't just a digital piano. It's an entire band with tons of functionality. Yes, you can still practice your classical music pieces on this instrument, but it will do so much more! Plug in a mic for at-home karaoke or dial up the drum machine and use the smart chord features to create endless variations of accompaniments for your favorite melodies.
Adaptive Play means the accompaniment adjusts to the intensity of how and what you are playing, and smart chord means you can create rich harmonies with just a few keys. Use your favorite Bluetooth speaker or record to your favorite app with the onboard Bluetooth functionality. This keyboard is extremely versatile and can go on gigs or stay put in your living room.
The Arius 184 isn't a gigging keyboard, but it is ideal for the musician logging hours of practice or the home piano teacher. With its full-size keyboard and graded hammer standard, you'll get a realistic acoustic feel. In addition, it includes a three-pedal set just like you would find on an acoustic piano, with the ability to dampen and sustain.
This digital piano is significantly more expensive than the first three on our list, but don't let that discourage you. You certainly get what you pay for in this digital piano's incredible sound and feel. And while it is smaller than a typical acoustic piano, it's still a beautiful piece of furniture that will take up a small footprint in your home.
If you are a gigging musician looking for a digital piano to take on the road, you'll want to test drive the CP88 Stage Piano. This digital piano boasts the same great sounds and feel you've come to expect from Yamaha, but in a portable package.
This digital piano includes oodles of sounds for you to explore and incorporate into your concerts. The graded hammer standard gives you that real acoustic piano feel and the wooden keys with synthetic keytops make it even more realistic.
There are lots of controls and features to learn here, including EQ, delay, and reverb effects, all with knobs and dials to give you the ultimate control over your music.
This model lacks onboard speakers, though, so you'll need headphones or a sound system to listen in.
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Yamaha has a make and model of keyboard for any and every musician. There are so many choices. It might be hard to decide what you want. We made our selections based on a few critical factors.
Standard acoustic pianos have 88 keys. There are a few exceptions, but for the most part, those 88 notes are used because higher or lower notes just don't sound that good to our ears. And while some keyboards have few than 88 keys, if you want to maximize your music potential, you'll be better off with the standard 88. All of the keyboards on this list have 88 notes.
Acoustic pianists may say that you'll never be able to imitate the feel of an acoustic piano on a digital piano. But Yamaha is probably as close as you can possibly get. They can accomplish this because all of these keyboards use the Graded Hammer Standard. Graded Hammer Standard means that the lower notes of the keyboard will be harder to play than the higher notes of the keyboard, which mimics the feel of a grand piano. On a grand piano, the thicker, heavier strings on the low notes mean you have to push the keys down with more force than you would the thinner strings of the higher notes.
The key action of a digital piano is essential for developing hand strength, musical expression, and nuance. It's even more critical for those pianists going back and forth between an acoustic and a digital instrument so that the feeling is as close to the same as possible.
The more expensive instruments on this list will have an even more realistic feel than the less expensive instruments. This difference is due to design, construction, and materials. It's really a personal choice whether you want to spend the extra cash for the more realistic action or if the lower-cost keyboards feel good enough to you.
There are a number of different ways that digital pianos mimic the sounds of acoustic pianos. The highest quality sounds, found in the most expensive instruments, are sampled sounds or recordings of an actual, physical piano, which you'll find in the Arius model.
Another key aspect to the sound is the vibrations. For example, if you are playing on an acoustic piano, the soundboard, strings, and frame will resonate with the vibrations of the strings that you play. Yamaha recreates this virtually to give you a better sensation of playing an acoustic piano. It's called Virtual Resonance Modeling.
Less expensive keyboards, like the P45, won't have this complex sound, but they will use onboard speakers to recreate it as closely as possible. However, if you were to listen to the keyboards side by side, you would be able to hear the richer, fuller sound of the Arius model over the P45.
Most of the keyboards on this list are incredibly intuitive and easy to use. Ease of use is essential because many adults and children simply won't start playing if there are too many steps involved in getting sound from the keyboard.
Most of these models from Yamaha have built-in speakers, so all you have to do is turn it out, and you'll be able to play with the default sound. Most of them only have a few voices to use, too, so there won't be too many distractions.
The CP88 Stage Piano is an exception here. You need to plug in external speakers, a sound system, or at least headphones to be able to hear it. It has no onboard speakers. And it has tons of bells and whistles. All of the features make it a lot of fun to play, but it's also time-consuming to learn and explore. It is worth it if you are a serious musician playing gigs or making home recordings, but if you're just starting out, you probably want to lean towards simplicity.
Most of the digital pianos on this list are very portable due to their slim size and lightweight of around 25 to 40 pounds. Their low weight makes them easy enough to tote around the house, take to rehearsal, and play gigs. Of course, you'll need either a desk or a folding stand for these, which you can purchase separately or sometimes bundled with the keyboard itself.
However, the Arius line is much heavier, weighing in around 80 pounds. It's really a piece of furniture, just like a smaller, lighter version of an acoustic piano. So while you can move it, you probably won't be loading it into the minivan for a trip to Grandma's house.
In today's world, connectivity is extremely important. So most of these keyboards will have a standard USB line that you can use to connect to MIDI components, laptops, or other electronic devices so you can view sheet music, record, or use apps to learn how to play.
Newer models will incorporate Bluetooth, giving you the option for speakers and easier connections to headphones or tablets.
All of the digital pianos on this list can technically be used by the beginner keyboardist, although the CP88 does have a bit of a learning curve. On the other hand, more advanced users will probably want to steer away from the P45 and the P71 because the feel and the sounds are not as good as those with the more advanced models.
Also, keep in mind that the Arius series is meant to stay in one place, so it wouldn't be the best choice for a gigging pianist, but it would work great for a teacher. Likewise, the CP88 is great for gigs but would also work fine for a teacher, especially if they wanted to dive into preparing their students for gig work.
For most beginner to intermediate students, you really can't go wrong with just about any of these Yamaha Digital pianos. They all have the lush sounds, graded hammer action, and touch sensitivity that Yamaha is known for. Anyone can learn on a digital piano. But one Yamaha digital piano clearly stands out above the rest. It's the Yamaha DGX670.
We love this digital piano because it's an outstanding balance of great sound, great feel, and cost. But it also is very relatable to the modern pianist looking to dive into more than just classical music.
The DGX670 has Graded Hammer Standard keys for that great feel and musical nuance, but it also has a rich, real-time sampled grand piano sound, making it a good fit for anyone studying classical music.
But for the hobbyist or the aspiring pop star, you've got a host of other sounds to incorporate, plenty of backup rhythms, and onboard accompaniment so you can be your own band. Top that off with Bluetooth connectivity, and you can broadcast to headphones and speakers or connect your table to get the best sheet music at your fingertips. Don't forget you have a mic input, so you can host karaoke night or sing along with your own songs.
Another great feature of this digital piano is its versatility. You can purchase a permanent stand to make it look more like the Arius series or purchase a separate folding stand for gigs. It's a little heavy to tote around but still manageable, really giving you the best of both worlds and all for a really nice price. The DGX670 is the cream of the crop when it comes to Yamaha Digital pianos.
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