10 Best Yamaha Keyboard & Digital Piano Reviews in 2020

If you are searching for the best Yamaha keyboard for your musical preferences and lifestyle but are struggling to figure out exactly which one will be appropriate for you, then read on!

We have included an extensive review of our top 10 favorite digital pianos on the market right now. We have also included a buying guide so you know exactly what you should be thinking about before making the purchase.

Top 10 Picks: Best Yamaha Keyboard Reviews

1. Yamaha Arius YDP-164 Digital Piano – Best Overall

Specifications

  • Number of Keys: 88

  • Digital Display: Yes
  • Preset Types: 10
  • Built-In Speakers: Yes

The Yamaha Arius range pianos have become incredibly popular digital pianos for beginners and intermediate players, alike. If you are in the market for a piano keyboard that we believe is the best overall choice in terms of quality and price, then the Yamaha Arius YDP-164 could be for you.

Although the Yamaha Arius does not feature any of the more complicated effects or range of digital capabilities that more expensive models include, it is the perfect choice for anyone looking for a keyboard piano with a classic style, and for an affordable price also.

The body of this keyboard is made from Particleboard, which ensures that it is solid and durable. It includes a matt coating on the entirety of the body which makes it resistant to fingerprints. If you are tired of your acoustic piano looking constantly filthy with fingerprints then the Yamaha Arius could be a great alternative piano keyboard.

Yamaha has made playability the main priority with the Arius YDP-164 and many beginners will notice this difference as they are practicing on this instrument. Each of the keys, buttons, and knobs on the piano feel incredibly tactile and easy to produce a fantastic sound with.

The Yamaha is perfect for anyone that is searching for a digital piano that has a classic and simple design without too many effects to choose from. The overall playability of the piano makes it ideal for beginners or intermediate players who are still trying to find their feet in playing the piano. The keys ensure that playing this keyboard piano is an easy and wonderful experience no matter what your learning level is.

2. Yamaha PSR-E273 Portable Keyboard – Budget Pick

Specifications

  • Number of Keys: 61

  • Digital Display: Limited
  • Preset Types: Various
  • Built-In Speakers: Yes

The Yamaha PSR-E273 is definitely the best Yamaha keyboard for anyone that is on a tight budget. This digital piano is immensely cheaper than any of the other models but will still give you a fantastic choice of instrument, especially if you are a beginner.

These portable digital pianos will allow you to easily transport your instrument from rehearsals or to gigs without having to worry about it becoming damaged or breaking your bank trying to carry it on public transport! If you are a musician that knows you will be traveling around a lot with your keyboard, then this Yamaha digital piano would be a great choice for you!

This model has 61 keys, which is decent for any beginner or lower intermediate players, and still a fantastic range of notes for the budget price! The weighted keys on this keyboard feel easy to play, making it ideal for beginner fingers or smaller hands.

The unique thing about this digital piano is the educational features that are included. For instance, there are various patterns to allow you to practice at different speed levels, which is great for beginners! There is even a quiz mode that will help you practice your musical ear training by ‘guessing the note’ that the piano is playing.

Due to these educational features, and the fact that it is a budget level Yamaha digital piano, we would recommend the PSR-E273 for beginner players. You will never have to worry about you or your child damaging an expensive keyboard due to a lack of knowledge about the instrument, and this particular model makes for a fantastic entry-level digital keyboard. Advanced piano players may find the 61 keys limiting, but for beginners, this number of keys is more than enough!

3. Yamaha P121 Digital Piano – Best For Intermediate Players

Specifications

  • Number of Keys: 73

  • Digital Display: No
  • Preset Types: 21 demo songs and 50 piano songs
  • Built-In Speakers: Yes

This piano features 73 weighted keys, meaning that it features keys that are similar to those on acoustic pianos. If you are just making the move from acoustic piano to a digital piano, then the Yamaha P 121 could be a great choice for you as you will not feel too much difference between the keys while playing.
The Yamaha P 121 includes over 70 songs that you can play with, giving you a great range of preset choices to choose from in order to practice your playing. These sounds range in musical style so there will be the perfect song for everyone!

Aside from the range of sounds already included, the Yamaha P 121 also features a range of effects that you can use on your own music from reverb, chorus, and string resonance. This will give you even more creativity and scope for musical writing than on a keyboard without this range of effects.

The Yamaha features a USB Midi port, allowing you to connect your keyboard to your headphones or computer. This is fantastic for those that wish to easily transport their recordings to their computer, or who wish to play directly while using songwriting computer programs.

We believe the Yamaha P 121 is best suited for intermediate players who are serious about developing further in their digital piano playing. As it is at a mid-range price and is a high quality piano, the Yamaha is perfect for those looking to balance price and quality in their new digital piano! Given the range of effects and preset songs included, alongside the ability to easily connect to a computer, the Yamaha P121 is perfect for intermediates.

4. Yamaha Clavinova CVP-701 Digital Piano – Best Premium Choice

Specifications

  • Number of Keys: 88

  • Digital Display: No
  • Preset Types: 777 voices
  • Built-In Speakers: Yes

The Yamaha Clavinova CVP-701 is one of the most popular models of digital pianos for advanced players and players who are looking to spend a little extra cash on their new keyboard! This model is the most expensive on the list provided so it is certainly the best Yamaha digital piano you can find here.

The fantastic range of 88 weighted keys feel just like an acoustic piano and are definitely a world away from some of the cheaper Yamaha digital pianos on the market right now. The keyboard features a three-sensor configuration, which means that it senses and then interprets how the keyboard is being played in order to create a response like that of a grand piano. If you are searching for a new digital piano that will give you an effortless feeling like an acoustic piano while playing, then this premium Yamaha could be for you.

One of the great things about this particular Yamaha is the fact that it is set up for players who love to sing also. You can easily connect a microphone to record your voice while playing keys, a perfect set up for anyone budding musician who sings their own songs!

Due to the very high price point, we would recommend the Yamaha Clavinova CVP-701 for very advanced or professional players. If you are a beginner or an intermediate player then there is simply no need to purchase such an expensive instrument. However, if you can afford it, and are looking to splash some cash on your new keyboard, then extra money for this Yamaha is completely worth it!

5. Yamaha YDP-184 Arius 88-Key Digital Piano

Specifications

  • Number of Keys: 88

  • Digital Display: No
  • Preset Types: 256 voices
  • Built-In Speakers: Yes

The Yamaha YDP-184 Arius 88 Key piano is another very popular Yamaha keyboard that many musicians choose due to its very high quality and resemblance to an acoustic piano. If you are in the market for a keyboard with weighted keys like an acoustic piano then this Yamaha could be great for you. Kraft Music has specifically mentioned how fantastic the keys are on this keyboard (1):

It features 88 hammer weighted graded keys that feel just like an acoustic piano. They’re a little heavier on the left, and they gradually become lighter as you move up to the right, just like an acoustic piano would.

Having a keyboard that features keys that are lighter in higher registers makes a world of difference while you are playing the instrument, especially if you are accustomed to playing acoustic pianos. You will not have to worry about the change over between the acoustic and this Yamaha digital keyboard.

A great thing about this piano is the fact that you can easily record performances and simultaneously play them back also. This is perfect for a musician who loves to record and rehearse from home!

As this Yamaha model is quite pricey, we do not recommend it for beginners or intermediate players. This piano is certainly worth every penny but is suited towards more advanced players. Given the fact that it is one of the best to choose from for being similar to an acoustic piano, the Yamaha YDP-184 would be fantastic for anyone that has played a traditional piano for a long time and is worried about the change over to a keyboard.

6. Yamaha PSR-E463 Portable Keyboard

Specifications

  • Number of Keys: 61

  • Digital Display: Yes
  • Preset Types: 758 High-Quality Voices, 35 Grooves, and XG Lite Voice Library
  • Built-In Speakers: Yes

These Yamaha keyboard models are extremely popular among beginner players due to their budget price and simple and classic design. With 61 keys and a large variety of preset sounds and effects, the Yamaha PSR-E463 is everything that an entry-level keyboard player could want or need!

The PSR E463 Yamaha keyboard pianos feature a fantastic overall sound and a variety of instrumental effects, enhancing your creativity and music-making immensely. It currently features over 750 sounds and is perfect for anyone that is interested in World Music as you can find a rhythm or sound from Colombia, Dominican Republic, or Cuba.

The overall controls on the Yamaha PSR E463 ensure that even the most novice players will be able to use the features immediately.

This particular Yamaha keyboard will allow you to start playing, recording, and performing with all the effects with complete ease, which is fantastic for a beginner!

You can even make your own rhythms with the ‘Groove Creator’ function, which means that you can get creative with your own music from the very beginning of learning the keyboard! This is a great feature for any songwriter out there who is worried about using complicated systems.

The Yamaha PSR E463 is the best Yamaha digital piano for beginners who are just starting their learning journey on the digital keyboard. As this model is incredibly budget-friendly, you will not have to splash out a lot of cash in order to get some of the best-preset features around. With the option to easily use a variety of effects and rhythms, the Yamaha makes it incredibly easy for a beginner to start composing.

7. Yamaha DGX 660 Digital Piano

Specifications

  • Number of Keys: 88

  • Digital Display: Yes
  • Preset Types: 151 Voices, 15 Drum/SFX Kits, 388 XGlite, and 205 Accompaniment Styles
  • Built-In Speakers: Yes

The Yamaha DGX 660 includes a fantastic range of 88 graded hammer keys, with a heavier touch in the lower register, and a lighter touch in the higher register. This would be an ideal keyboard choice for anyone that is searching for a keyboard that will make the transition from a traditional piano to a digital piano much easier.

The DGX 660 features a ‘Pure CF Sound Engine, which means that you can easily play this keyboard while replicating the large and beautiful sound of a grand piano. If you are in the market for a keyboard that will replace a grand piano then the DGX 660 with the included pure cf sound would be the best Yamaha digital product for this.

A nice feature of these keyboards is that they include a pair of Samson SR950 professional studio headphones free with the instrument. Anyone that is interested in musical sound will know how great these headphones are so this is certainly a great addition to an already great instrument.

Although the Yamaha DGX 660 is certainly not the most expensive Yamaha keyboard on the list provided here, it is also not a cheap option, either. Many players will find the price tag for this Yamaha too high, and for this reason, we recommend the DGX 660 to anyone who is serious about the keyboard. With the overall grand piano sound and the Pure CF Sound Engine, this Yamaha will enhance any live musical performance to professional standards!

8. Yamaha YPG-535 88-Key Portable Grand Piano

Specifications

  • Number of Keys: 88

  • Digital Display: Yes
  • Preset Types: 160 preset styles
  • Built-In Speakers: Yes

The Yamaha YPG-535 is the closest digital piano that you will get to resemble the sound of a grand piano. It features 88 graded hammer keys that provide an immense sound engine similar to that of an acoustic piano.

This Yamaha digital keyboard features registration memory which means that you can save your current setup of effects and features in order to easily access it in the future. This makes it an ideal choice for gigging musicians who need to quickly access pre-set sounds live on stage.

The Yamaha YPG-535 features an in-built Yamaha education suite, making it perfect for beginner players or even advanced players who wish to brush up on their skills. The Yamaha education suite features seven different levels of piano lessons and a chord dictionary to teach you new things automatically.

You can easily connect these digital pianos to your Mac or Pc via a USB port, meaning that you can play songs directly onto your computer for recording and future editing. This is perfect for any musicians who are struggling to record their music at home without the right equipment.

The Yamaha education suite that is featured in this keyboard makes it the best Yamaha digital piano for anyone that is hoping to brush up on their keyboard skills and learn some new things while at home. Not only are you getting a high quality instrument for a fantastic price, but it gives you the opportunity to expand your knowledge and take your playing skills to the next level.

9. Yamaha YP45B Digital Piano Home Bundle

Specifications

  • Number of Keys: 88

  • Digital Display: No
  • Preset Types: 88
  • Built-In Speakers: Yes

This amazing bundle features the Yamaha YP45 digital piano, Yamaha L-85 piano stand, and the on-stage KB50 keyboard bench, meaning that when you purchase this bundle you are getting everything you could need for your new digital piano!

The Yamaha YP45 piano is a fantastic, budget-friendly keyboard that produces a fantastic sound, thanks to the pure cf sound engine. With 88 graded grammar keys and a fantastic range of effects and sound choices, this piano is perfect for beginners and advanced players alike.

These pianos feature Advanced Wave Memory (AWM) sampling, meaning it sounds very similar to a traditional, acoustic piano. The AWM stereo sampling ensures that the sound produced by this piano is clear, rich, and perfect for live performances and recording.

The Yamaha digital pianos review of this particular model notes how easily controlled all the features are. If you are a beginner keyboard player and are searching for one that will give you the ability to easily choose preset styles and sounds, then the Yamaha YP45 could be a great choice for you.

10. Yamaha CP88 88-Key Digital Stage Piano

Specifications

  • Number of Keys: 88

  • Digital Display: Yes
  • Preset Types: Not specified
  • Built-In Speakers: Yes

Last up on our list is the Yamaha CP88 Digital Stage Piano, the best Yamaha for any gigging and traveling musician who wants to sound fantastic on stage! The CP88 digital pianos feature all the effects, sounds, and preset styles that you could ever need at the touch of the button making your live gig even better than ever.

You can choose between synth, strings resonance, deep bass sounds, brass, and more from the preset sounds that are included with the Yamaha CP88. The control system is easy to use and even features a real-time interaction, to ensure that you can instantly create music with only a few buttons used.

The Yamaha features 88 graded hammer keys with synthetic ebony and ivory keytops. Many have noted the high quality of the keys and how fantastic they are to play on. If you are struggling with the changeover from the acoustic piano to the digital piano, then this Yamaha could be the one for you!

A free pair of Samson SR950 headphones are even included to ensure that you can silently practice without bothering anyone in your house, and without sacrificing the overall sound production!

We recommend the Yamaha CP88 for any musician who will be performing live a lot and needs a reliable and high quality, portable keyboard with the ability to change sounds and effects quickly and easily. The sound produced on the Yamaha CP88 is fantastic and, coupled with the variety of effects to choose from, makes for a perfect keyboard to take with you on tour or to local rehearsals.

Buying Guide

The Keys

The keys on digital keyboards are one of the most important aspects, and this is something that you need to consider very carefully before you purchase your new digital piano. The keys on keyboards will vary immensely in terms of weight, feel, and responsiveness.

Depending on the type of budget you have, the keys should be one of the main factors in determining whether you purchase the instrument or not.

Many expensive keyboards will feature 88 keys, which resembles the amount that you will find on a traditional, full sized piano. Many more advanced keyboard players, especially keyboard players that have played acoustic pianos for a long time, will require this amount of keys on their keyboard. In some of the cheaper models, you will have a smaller range of notes, which for many beginners, is sufficient. Usually, digital pianos will have a range of 76 keys to 88 keys.

While no digital keyboard will be the exact same as an acoustic piano, the keys on some models do ensure that the sound you produce is as close as possible to this. If you search for digital pianos with graded hammer 88 keys, then you will be able to mimic the sound of a grand piano with ease (2).

Sampling

Sampling on a digital piano is the process in which each note on the keyboard is based upon a pre-recorded note from an acoustic piano. Each note will be recorded from an acoustic piano many times in order to be effectively played on the keyboard.

As ThePianoForever describes, the process of this is very detail orientated but will ensure that when you hit the key, the sound produced will be a replica of an acoustic piano (3):

There will be multiple different dynamic levels based on how hard you hit the key. It’s very complex and is very detail-orientated work because you have to record each key multiple times just to get a sample for a single sound.

The sampling system used on Yamaha digital keyboards is the Pure CF Sound Engine, and is one of the best sampling systems you can find for keyboards!

Sound Library

This is a great feature that you should consider when purchasing a digital keyboard as some have a much wider range available than others. Many of the more expensive models have an incredible amount to choose from, which is perfect for anyone that is in the market for a keyboard that will truly enhance their songwriting capabilities.

Before you purchase your new digital keyboard, you should have a think about what kind of sounds and rhythms you will want to work with and try to match your new keyboard with this. It will make your music playing a whole lot easier and more enjoyable too!

FAQs

The best Yamaha keyboard for beginners, in our opinion, would be the Yamaha PSR-E463. Not only is this keyboard incredibly budget-friendly, but it is a decent quality instrument and will give you all you would need and from a digital keyboard as a beginner player.

This will be dependent on your personal preference and your budget. If you are on a strict budget, then a Casio keyboard would be a fantastic choice, giving you a decent quality instrument at an affordable price. If you can afford it, then splashing out on a Yamaha keyboard would give you a much better instrument overall.

A keyboard for beginners should have 66 – 76 keys. As a beginner player, there is no need for a full sized 88 key keyboard. Many beginner players find that keyboards with the range of 66-76 keys are sufficient for their learning and progress on the instrument.

The most realistic sounding digital piano is the Yamaha P121 digital piano. It is the best Yamaha keyboard that produces a sound most similar to that of a traditional, acoustic piano. If you are in the market for a keyboard that perfectly replicates a grand piano or traditional piano, then the Yamaha P121 would be the best for you.

Many professional musicians will use Yamaha keyboards as they are such high quality keyboards at reasonable prices. The most common professional Yamaha keyboard used is the Yamaha Clavinova CVP-701 digital piano. Although this model is very expensive, many musicians would prefer to pay the extra money for a piano like this that is reliable and will ensure that you perform exceptionally well on stage. If you are a professional musician searching for your next keyboard, then check out this model

You can make your keyboard sound amazing by ensuring that the keys, sampling, and sound library are all the best quality that you can get for your money. If you are trying to make your keyboard sound better after you have purchased it then you should look into downloading some free or paid for sound samples to enhance your music making!

  1. Yamaha Arius YDP-184 – Overview. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LzcND8Cats
  2. Weighted Piano Keys: Why they are important for a beginner. Retrieved from: https://music.casio.co.uk/blog/weighted-piano-keys-why-they-are-important-for-a-beginner
  3. Yamaha Arius YDP-184 – Overview. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNxOCNiVplY&ab_channel=ThePianoforever