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There is nothing lovelier than the sound of a piano. And while a traditional acoustic piano is often large, bulky, expensive, and hard to place in a house, a keyboard can produce the same sounds, but in a much more compact form. Thus the search for the best digital keyboard under $1000 often ends up at a weighted keyboard with 88 keys. The keys are weighted to feel similar to an acoustic piano so that when you are playing a keyboard, there is a familiarity to it. And the 88 keys, instead of a simple 61, give you a much broader range of notes to experiment with.
This review will look at eight of the best weighted keyboards with an 88-key count. Each product review will examine essential features such as tone, polyphony, and dimensions. They will look at what makes each weighted keyboard unique and describe just who is best to purchase each product.
To write this article, we researched the manufacturer’s notes, personal reviews, and our own observations to compile the best weighted keyboards with 88 keys. This article starts with a handy comparison table and then more in-depth reviews of each of the eight keyboards that we have selected. Then, there is a buying guide with valuable information and an FAQ section. Hopefully, this knowledge will allow you to have a worry-free experience when shopping for your next 88-key weighted keyboard.
"Despite being a high-end product, this pick is totally worth it as apart from its clear sound and multiple compatibility options this instrument boasts library catalog of constantly updating samples and songs."
"This instrument comes with everything needed for newbies and professional players as well: a furniture stand, triple-pedal system, furniture bench, an Austin Bazaar polishing cloth, instructional DVD and book."
Not only is the Yamaha YDP143R our favorite choice, but it is also Amazon’s Choice in digital pianos. If you want one of the best weighted keyboards with 88 keys, then this is definitely a product to consider.
Its upright design makes the Yamaha YDP143R resemble a traditional piano, which is most appealing. The build, though, will necessitate enough room, so be sure to measure twice before purchasing. With a width of almost 52 inches, not everyone will have the room for this piano. It also weighs 83 pounds, so be sure to have someone help you maneuver the instrument into your house.
With the Yamaha YDP143R you not only receive a beautiful, shiny black instrument. You also get a machine that has 50 inbuilt classic piano songs that are also found in an accompanying music book. This will allow even the most beginner player a chance to perfect their skills.
The sound itself is dynamic and expressive. The tones have been recorded from an actual Yamaha concert grand piano, and the two speakers provide crystal clear pitch. If anyone were to close their eyes while you played, they would be transported to the best concert hall.
There are also three pedals for even more diverse playing abilities and a recorder to help you with your playing or composing.
The Casio Privia PX-870 is a lovely example of when form meets function. It looks powerful with a commanding upright black presence, but also comes in a stark white function as well. The 88 keys are weighted allowing you to be more connected to the music you make. There are also ebony and ivory textures on the keys to add even more depth and feeling.
The detailed resonance of the piano sounds is inspiring and there are 18 other tones to play around with. The polyphony is a whopping 256 notes, which means that no matter what you want to compose, you will be able to.
The keyboard features four speakers which is more than the average two found with most weighted keyboards. This speaker system provides crisp sounds that perfectly mimic an acoustic piano.
Numerous audio recording tools are easy to use. What is really nice about the Casio Privia PX-870 is that it can seamlessly connect to both Android and iOS devices to help you achieve your newest compositions. There are 50 included pieces with the Chordana app, and you can also record your own sounds.
In addition to these features, the Casio Privia PX-870 has an automatic Headphone Mode. Within this mode the sounds of the grand piano are adapted so that you can clearly hear the playback.
If you are serious about creating a new masterpiece, then check out the Nord Piano 3. It takes technology-based sounds to a whole new level. In addition to the 88 keys that have improved weighted action, the Nord Piano 3 uses Nord Virtual technology that results in improved key response. Sound functions include layer and split abilities, and there is also a triple pedal for more diverse sounds.
The keyboard features an OLED display panel which makes it easy to understand as there are many functions that you can choose from. The instrument provides you with six categories of preset voices, with up to nine models in each category.
What really puts the Nord Piano 3 in a class of its own is the extensive music library that you have access to. Not only are there hundreds of samples at your disposal, but they are actually updated regularly to provide more precise notes and diverse choices. The library itself is stored in 256 GB of designated memory space, which takes up part of the larger 1 GB of total memory storage. This means that there is plenty of space left over for your own unique music.
In addition to all these features, the Nord Piano 3 looks inspiring. In a bright cherry red with black and white accents, this weighted keyboard is both stylish and professional.
Available in both a bright white and a deep black, the Roland F-140R-WH keyboard is an exciting purchase. It is affordable and stylish, which is a great combination.
The sounds of the Roland F-140R-WH are recorded from a real acoustic grand piano and the two speakers seek to amplify this music. There are 72 different rhythm styles that include six piano styles, which is a diverse sound range. In addition to these styles are over 300 pre-recorded tones which include instruments such as the guitar, string instruments, and even synthesizers. No matter what type of sounds you are looking for, the Roland F-140R-WH can produce them.
If you like to play using headphones, then take heart as the model also features 3D Ambience headphone technology that creates multi-dimensional sounds. You can also connect your computer or smartphone to this keyboard via its Bluetooth technology or USB port. You can even select an option to turn sheet music pages wirelessly, which is truly state of the art.
The set up is easy, and this keyboard is relatively light at only 76 pounds. It comes with a three-year limited warranty as well as a two-year limited warranty on labor. If you aren’t technologically savvy, or just want to protect your investment, then these warranties will give you some extra peace of mind.
What are our favorite features?
3-year warranty and 2-year warranty on labor are great assets
A large number of preset voices leads to endless creativity
Looks really nice in either black or white
What could be better?
Needs to be assembled, but instructions are simple
Those that like choice, be prepared to wonder at the Flychord DP330. There are whopping 500 preset voices with this keyboard, enough to amaze even the most advanced player thoroughly. In addition to the preset voices, there are 200 preset styles, 60 preset songs, and ten user styles. All this comes with a 128-note polyphony, which is perfect for just about everyone. There is also the option of Song Recording and Auto Accompaniment. Together these features allow you to create a masterpiece with this decent instrument.
The Flychord DP330 is a true weighted piano. In fact, almost all of the reviewers agree that you can feel the depth of the keys as you play. If you are someone used to a traditional acoustic piano, then weightiness will be an issue. With the Flychord DP330 you can seamlessly transition between instruments and still produce the sound you are used to.
The sounds that are produced have been sampled from a grand piano, and these concert-quality notes will impress. As an added bonus, the white keys have a tactile surface. Unlike some less expensive keyboards which have slippery keys, the Flychord DP330 makes it so that you can tickle the ivories with a sure grip.
There is a one-year warranty for replacements, and if there are any issues in the future, the customer service is very responsive and will help you out. This is a keyboard that was created to withstand the test of time.
What makes it stand out?
Fantastic amount of preset voices, sounds, and songs
Nice weighted feel similar to an acoustic piano
Textured ivory keys prevent slippage
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
Some history of damage upon delivery, but replacement warranty will cover this
For an excellent, mid-budget keyboard, look to the Casio Privia PX-160. Priced well under $1000, this weighted keyboard is bundled to include a furniture stand, pedal system, and furniture bench. Also included is a polishing cloth, an instructional book, and an Austin Bazaar DVD. Together, this package is perfect for any beginner looking to get right into the world of music.
In fact, the Casio Privia PX-160 is actually the brand’s bestselling digital piano. It’s always reassuring when the majority of other people have given good remarks about something you want to buy.
The Casio Privia PX-160 has a redesigned speaker system so that the music you make is clear and concise. The tones feature those of a piano and a string ensemble, which is great for composing. There are 18 preset voices, which is enough for any beginner to make his mark. The polyphony is 128 notes, which again, will do just fine for the average music aficionado.
One unique feature of the Casio Privia PX-160 is that there are two headphone outputs on the front. This makes it perfect if you want to enjoy your music without offending anyone else. There is also a left and right line output to connect other electronic devices.
The finish itself is deep ebony, and the accompanying bench has a comfortable cushion on it. This weighted keyboard will look at home amongst any décor.
The Yamaha P125 is the perfect, portable keyboard. While it has a full 88 keys, this keyboard only weighs 26 pounds meaning that you can take it from room to room, or even transport it out of the house with relatively little effort. If, however, you want something more stable, there is the option of purchasing a stand and chair package.
The sound itself is precisely what you are looking for as the tone is a replication of a Yamaha concert grand piano. This means that you can benefit from all the extra features that a digital keyboard has, while still playing as if you were in a grand concert hall. There are 24 preset voices which add to the versatility of this remarkable model.
The tempo range is 5 to 280, and there is a 192-note polyphony. There are no limits as to what kinds of music you can make. In addition to its vast sound variety, there is also a split mode which means that you can play a different voice with each hand. This is truly versatile.
As for technical features, the Yamaha P125 has a USB port and MIDI technology. You can easily connect a cable to your music-making software so that your compositions will be as advanced as your musical abilities.
For a budget pick, the Yamaha P45 is an excellent choice of weighted keyboards. For sound quality, you can rest at ease as it uses Advanced Wave Memory Stereo to allow you to sample music, record, and lay tracks for a complete sound. The polyphony is at 64 notes which results in relatively few dropped notes.
One nice feature of the Yamaha P45 is that there is a USB port that allows you to connect to a variety of musical devices, computers, or smartphones, which will further your musical attributes. This keyboard does its best to tap into all the technical apparatuses available.
The weighted keyboard itself has a heavy and light end, which makes it seem just like an acoustic piano. So if you’re used to a traditional piano, it won’t take much effort to switch between the two.
Included in your purchase of the Yamaha P45 is the keyboard stand, a bench to sit on, and a sustain pedal. Without the stand, the keyboard is relatively light at only 25 pounds. This means that if are looking for a portable option, this device will do nicely.
There is also a three-year limited warranty, which gives great peace of mind for those who aren’t technically savvy.
What makes it special?
Keyboard is lightweight and portable
A 3-year warranty is longer than most manufacturers offer
What cons did we find?
Sound, while good, is not as crisp as other models
Things to Consider
88-key weighted keyboards give you all the advantages of a traditional piano, but also provide you with a few more features. The ability to record sounds and start composing are some fundamental attributes of weighted keyboards. To help you understand more about weighted keyboards with 88 keys, please consult this buying guide.
What are the advantages of full-sized weighted keys?
Keyboards, no matter the type, can recognize how hard a key is pressed and will make the appropriate sound. However, as a piano player, it’s important to be aware yourself of how you are playing. Weighted, full-sized keys are vital for anyone who wants to feel the rhythm of the music they are making. These keys are even more critical for traditional piano players that are new to the world of keyboards. There is a certain intimacy in playing a piano, and full-size weighted keys on a keyboard help replicate that feeling.
Features to consider before buying a keyboard
Before purchasing your next weighted keyboard with 88 keys, it’s important to understand the most common features you’ll come across in its specification sheet. Below are important details to aid in your purchase.
Weight and dimensions
Digital, weighted keyboards come in all different types and sizes. The Yamaha P125, for example, is a tabletop keyboard and therefore is not only portable but also lightweight. It comes in at just 26 pounds. Most other models of this type weigh between 75 and 80 pounds.
As for dimensions, because weighted keyboards have the same number of keys, 88, the width will be relatively the same, between 50 and 55 inches. The depth will also be similar among products, usually between 11 and 16 inches.
If you are a larger adult, be sure to find a keyboard with a sturdy stand. Not all stands and benches are created equal. While it may seem like a good idea to find a keyboard weighing less than others, that will be reflected in the construction. You don’t want to be afraid of pounding the keys for worry that it will topple over. If the intended user is a child, then be sure to look at bench height. Most are not adjustable so you may have to use extra cushions, or even a different chair if you have a small child who will be playing the instrument.
Unlike its name would suggest, preset voices don’t have to be voice sounds. Instead, preset voices refer to any pre-recorded sounds that come with a keyboard. These can range from sung notes to musical instruments, and even to sounds from nature. The more preset voices that come with a keyboard, the more options you have for composition.
Some keyboards come with as little as ten preset voices, and these instruments are usually more designed for beginners. Other weighted keyboards come with as many as 500 preset voices, and are stylized for the advanced composer.
While preset voices come with the keyboard, some devices will allow room for you to record your sounds. Look for keyboards with USB ports or Bluetooth technology to connect to other recording devices with which you can create your own samples.
Polyphony is a complicated concept but means the maximum number of notes that can be produced by a keyboard at one time. This number usually ranges from 64, as is the case with the Yamaha P45, to 256, as with the Casio Privia PX-870.
Normally you won’t be able to produce a whopping 256 notes all at the same time, but the more options you have, the less constraints there are.
If you are a beginner, then a simple 64-note polyphony will be plenty. If you are an advanced composer that wants deep layers of sound, then you should look for a keyboard that has a polyphony of at least 128 notes.
The speakers largely determine just how crisp the sounds will be. While the original recording needs to be amazing, if the speakers are fuzzy or worn out, that will be heard in your music. Most weighted keyboards have two speakers. However, the Casio Privia PX-870 has four speakers which further amplifies the music. If you plan on composing in your room, or just playing around, then two speakers will be adequate. If you want to play for large crowds, then more speakers will be needed to really amplify the music.
Warranties are important with any machine. The standard warranty length for weighted keyboards is one year, and the warranties themselves are often limited in scope. However, there are a few keyboards on our list that have an excellent three-year warranty.
If you are worried about the technical side of keyboards, then be sure to consider the warranty term, and if necessary, opt for extra protection.
Beginner vs. advanced
Are you new to the world of keyboards and just want a space to play around, learning from a few YouTube videos? Or are you a composer who needs the latest equipment so that your career can flourish? While the budget is usually in-line with this classification, sometimes you can find yourself purchasing a keyboard that is really unnecessary for your needs.
For children or beginners, choose a weighted keyboard that is stable, functional, and well within your budget. For advanced musicians, you will undoubtedly be more informed and know your specifications. Be honest about what you need the keyboard for, and this will be reflected in your purchase.
It’s always nice when your purchase comes with a bit of help. Many manufacturers will realize that their product is being purchased for a beginner, and will do their best to help those out. Keyboards may come with an instructional book or DVD. Within these are not just directions on how to set up the keyboard. Rather, it will show you how to get started to make your own music. Beginner lessons could be featured including how to position your hand, common scales, and even sheet music for popular songs. The more knowledge you can attain, the better musician you will be.
Some people want a weighted keyboard to fiddle around with in their spare time. Others need a weighted keyboard for composing the next hit. Whatever your reason, the extra features included in a weighted keyboard will likely set each model apart. While all of the models on our list come with 88 keys, other features could be the type of technology employed in delivering the music. The music catalog that is attached to a model could have just a few songs, or possibly an infinite number. The Nord Piano 3, for example, regularly updates its catalog with innovative samples.
Another extra feature could be the type of inputs and outputs. Whether it has a USB connection is essential to know, especially if you plan on syncing your keyboard with a smartphone or computer.
Finally, the accessories included are necessary to consider. Most keyboards have the option of purchasing a stand and chair, but the price is often adjusted for this.
Preset voices, tones, and styles refer to sounds that come with your weighted keyboard. They are often a mixture of sung notes, instrument sounds, and even everyday sounds. If you are composing a song, but want to include a sample of a drum beat or a horn melody, then a preset style will be useful. They allow you to create original content by combining different notes from different sources. You can usually record your own sounds and use them too, but the more preset options there are, the less work you’ll have to do.
Weighted keyboard models that don’t include a stand will be the most portable. They can be set up on any table top as long as there is access to a power outlet. The Yamaha P125 is quite light, weighing only 26 pounds. The Nord Piano 3 is also not too bad, weighing 40 pounds.
While many weighted keyboards with 88 keys will have stands included, you can often relatively easily remove the keyboard from the stand, making it portable. Models such as the Casio Privia PX-160 and the Yamaha P45 are reasonably lightweight when removed from their stand.
If you plan on moving your weighted keyboard from room to room, or between different venues, it’s a good idea to consider if you need the included stand at all. This way you can possibly save a bit of money.
A weighted keyboard is much better at producing acoustic piano sounds than regular electronic keyboards, which is why they are often favored over. Weighted keyboards have pre-recorded notes in them that are activated when you press a key. Some, like the Yamaha YDP143R, will try to find an equivalent acoustic piano to record from, in this case a Yamaha concert grand piano.
The precision of the sound and pitch will come out in the speakers, which again, are usually better depending on the price point. It’s important to read reviews to see how the sound will come out and what quality you can expect from each model.
The best weighted keyboard that features 88 keys is the Yamaha YDP143R. It has precision sound, a nice, standard 192-note polyphony, and is perfect for those seeking to create wonderful music. It is affordable for most, and while it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of other weighted keyboards, this is reflected in its price which makes it available for the average music lover.
The next contender for the best digital piano under $1000 is the Casio Privia PX-870. If you are a music lover, then you will surely be impressed with its 256-note polyphony. This combined with the four high-quality speakers will inspire the best music compositions.
The Nord Piano 3 is not for everyone. Its astronomical price tag will most likely eliminate the majority of buyers, but it is included in the top three for its amazing features. Not only are there almost 50 preset voices, but the online catalog is constantly updating, meaning you get a wealth of sounds. It is impressive and slightly intimidating, but the sound can’t be beat.