How Much do Electronic Keyboards Cost?
Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, buying an electronic keyboard can be a hassle. Beginners tend to face even more trouble, as they’re unaware of what features they need to have. Generally, they don’t want to spend too much on features that will be of no use to a novice. On the other hand, they still need to ensure that the keyboard is durable and worth the price.
Thus, knowing what to spend on an electronic keyboard is quite crucial. A major reason for buying a keyboard is to encourage the correct intonation for a piano without spending thousands of dollars on a piano. Generally, you can find electronic keyboards at prices as low as $100 and as high as (or higher than) $1,000.
The lower end is targeted towards beginners while the higher end is more suitable for intermediate to advanced players. Yet, the price is still heavily dependent on the kind of features you want and what benefits and drawbacks of the product are.
There are various types of keyboards on the market, each with their own price. The general range is mentioned below:
Arrangers are portable electronic keyboards that grant all the tools you need to write a song. They help you turn your idea into a reality by providing the necessary sounds. While this is certainly an upside, it still tends to fall short in comparison to a fully-fledged workstation.
For beginners who only need to start and get the feel of an arranger, an entry-level device will suffice. Mostly, these cost around $100-$500 USD. Going for the lower-end product might compromise on important features such as touch-sensitive keys and the number of octaves the keyboard can play.
Typical Entry Level Arranger Prices
- Yamaha PSR-E263 – $119
- Korg EK-50 – $400
- Casio CTK2550 – $100
More professional arrangers are available at higher prices of up to $6,000. These contain more keys and also include a wider variety of features. This is why they are called arranger workstations.
Typical Arranger Workstation Prices
- Yamaha Genos 76 Key Arranger – $5500
- Korg PA1000 – $2000
- Roland BK-5 – $1000
Synthesizers use pre-recorded samples to generate sounds. They manipulate and modify electric signals to produce these sounds. Furthermore, they provide you with a larger sample set from instruments such as the organ, horns, strings, and piano.
Most digital synthesizers cost about $1,000-$4,000. This might be expensive, but synths aren’t really for beginners. They are used by studio professionals and musicians. You can try going for the analog synthesizer which is cheaper and costs under $1,000.
Typical Synthesizer Prices
- Yamaha Montage 8 – $4,000
- Korg Kross 2 Synthesizer – $1,100
- Roland V-Combo VR-730 – $1,500
Keyboard MIDI Controllers
MIDI controllers are available in a number of different styles; the most popular ones have keys similar to a keyboard. They have a wide variety of keys and include different response characteristics. These can include aftertouch response, weighted keys, and velocity response.
Moreover, you use them to record sounds with the help of a software. The typical range is from $100 to $1,000. The costs increase as the features and the number of keys increase. Usually, for 61 keys or less, the MIDI keyboard will cost about $100-$400. The ones with more than 61 keys will cost anywhere from $250 – $1,000.
Typical MIDI Keyboard Prices
- Akai Professional MPK Controller – $100
- Arturia Keylab 88-Key Controller – $800
- M-Audio Code 61 Keyboard Controller – $350
Considerations for Price
While the lower priced keyboards may be attractive, they can compromise on certain features. Thus, you need to ensure that your keyboard has all the necessary features and doesn’t break the bank. The following features may often define the price of the keyboard:
Number of Keys
Most acoustic pianos contain 88 keys so, buying a keyboard with 88 keys will be easier. On the other hand, the smaller keyboards with fewer keys may be simpler to fiddle with. They contain about 61 keys – semi-sufficient for beginners. The more complex and the higher the number of the keys, the higher the price will be.
Another important aspect is the response. Some keyboards feature a touch response, where the pressure you put on the keys determines the sound. Also, some keyboards feature a velocity response where the sound is determined by how quickly you press the keys.
Some keyboards might not offer some of these features which can result in a lower price. Always be careful and check out the features to ensure you’re buying what you want.
Materials and Durability
A major factor that affects the price is the quality of the materials. Some might be completely plastic and can cost less than $100. Some might be constructed out of a higher grade of plastic such as ABS Plastic. Metallic versions are available as well.
We recommend that you check for the materials and their quality and then decide on the keyboard.
Pressing the keys on a standard piano provide a tensed feeling due to the hammer and string mechanism. Thus, it is important that an electronic keyboard simulates the same feeling. Weighted keys often provide resistance to the keys and allow the player to build his technique.
If the keys are not weighted, the price might be low because the keyboard is easier to manufacture. Are weighted keys worth shelling out the few extra hundred dollars? In the end, it depends on your preferences.
All in all, keyboards are available in a wide variety of types and prices. Some of these include advanced features and consist of high-quality materials, so they cost more. On the other end of the spectrum, there are some keyboards that cost less, but the quality will be compromised.
If you’re a beginner, jot down a few features that you absolutely need. This will help you understand what you are looking at spending.