Best Digital Pianos Under $1500Posted on: March 2, 2022, by : CynthiaV
This article is for you if you are planning to buy the best digital piano under $1500. It will cover everything you need to know including the five best digital pianos under 1500, their features, pros and cons to help you make the right decision.
Over the past years, the demand for digital pianos in the market has been growing thanks to their advantages and benefits as compared to the acoustic pianos. Currently, you will find many available digital piano options more so in those that are sold below $1500.
Choosing a Digital Piano
It is always a challenge choosing or buying a digital piano for the first time because the available instruments in any price range and category appear similar and boasts of the same features.
It is advised that you do your research well and also taking enough time before making any decision so as to avoid making any mistake and the worst mistake will be getting a digital piano that has no value for your money.
This blog and its articles will help anyone in their hunt for the best home digital piano by saving their time and ensuring they make the best informed decision. I however recommend that before settling on any instrument, you should first try it yourself because doing it personally will help you know whether it meets your needs or if it’s what you are looking for.
The following is a list of the best digital piano under 1500 for you to choose and get the best instrument with your ample budget of less than $1500.
Best Digital Pianos Under 1500 Bucks!
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In 2019, Yamaha made headlines with its latest brands of YDP pianos at the moment Arius pianos were even barely into the third year after their entry into the market. The new generation of Yamaha digital pianos YDP-S54, YDP-S144, and YDP S-164 models came to respectively replace the YDP-S52, YDP-S143, and YDP-S163 predecessors.
I will focus on the YDP-164 which according to me is the best digital piano under 1500 out of all the other pianos in this list. It also has the same features to the YDP-S144 model.
The most notable feature that makes this model improved than the YDP-S163 is the Yamaha CFX piano tone that can also be found in the premium range of Clavinova. CFX tone has organic elements like Damper Resonance, Smooth Release, String Resonance, and Key off Simulation which are missing in its predecessor model.
Despite this unique tone, this type of digital piano is a cut-down model to the Clavinova which employ the use of a Virtual Resonance Modeling (VRM) that produces extra piano sound nuances and allows adjustment to each of the sounds. Such elements in the YDP-S164 model have been built into one tone meaning there is no room for adjustment.
YDP-S164 is one of the most competitive model in the world of digital piano market, in fact, it’s hard to understand how comes the YDP-S163 brand did not have this improved feature yet it was expensive and other models they competed with had them.
The sound of this piano model has distinct sounds and character that is unlike of a Yamaha piano because the tone is based on CFX Concert Grand. According to some people, this hybrid tone stands mid of Yamaha, Bösendorfer, and Steinway pianos. This is because the piano produces middle-range tones that lean towards Steinway whereas its bass that is thunderous is similar to that of Bösendorfer.
To me, this particular tone is beautiful and has a dynamic range that is responsive and good. Apart from Piano tones, music instruments such as strings, electric pianos, and organs produce sounds although the tones are not as good as those of digital pianos.
With the YDP-S164 piano model, you will only be able to select from 10 tones because this best digital piano under 1500 focuses on delivering the best experience to its player.
These realistic piano sounds are produced by two speakers which are each 20W and found on the piano sides. This gives anyone playing the piano the power to play comfortably at home without the need of external devices to amplify the sounds.
Some digital pianos in this price range (like the Casio AP-470 and Korg G1 Air) have 4 speakers, which help provide a more surround and immersive listening experience. It would be nice to see something similar in the future YDP-series releases from Yamaha.
Other digital pianos with four speakers in this price category are the Korg G1 Air and Casio AP-470 which produces extra immersive and surround sound. If the Yamaha YDP series adds this feature, then they will be the best digital piano under 1500 offering the best listening experience.
Like every Yamaha digital piano, the YDP-164 model has the popular hammer action GH3 with a detection system of three sensor keys that enhances repetition of sound notes and improves playability. The touch keys features ebony surfaces and simulated ivory that helps in absorption of excess moisture and also improves control.
I agree with some who believe that the GH3 hammer action is good as it offers the feeling of high quality and substantial. This action truly ranks on the heaviest end of a spectrum than even other acoustic piano models.
Despite the fact that this piano action is physically heavier than the GHS hammer action used in the entry level of Yamaha’s digital pianos, The YDP-S164 longer keys are very easy to control because they offer a long point of pivoting. This makes this piano ideal for people who prefer or love a touch that is heavier but if you want a digital piano with a light feeling, then Roland F-140R and Kawai KDP110 pianos are good for you.
YDP-164 piano model as straightforward and simple basic features that such as 2-track MIDI recorder, metronome, and transpose functions. It also enables a player to play with its built-in 50 masterpieces. The most distinctive feature that cannot be found in other best digital pianos under 1500 is the USB interface for audio which enables the transfer of piano generated audio and MIDI data through its USB port.
This feature gets rid of requirements of external audio interfaces when sending or receiving audio signals from a smart phone or a PC.
YDP-S54 model is the answer to anyone looking for a piano model that is slim and features modern style like the Korg G1 and Roland F-140R while Yamaha YDP-184 Arius series’ flagship is ideal for people who love digital pianos with acoustic features. This model has extra features and sound engine that is improved
- GH3 keyboard made of 3 high quality sensors and simulated ebony-ivory keys
- Has CFX concert grand sounds
- Simulated string and damper Piano resonance
- 40W speakers that is powerful
- Has USB audio interface
- Pianist app for expanded functionality, and navigation
- There is limit to tone selection, only 10 tones
- There is limit to options to shape sound
- Does not have split mode
- Does not have Bluetooth option
- The controls are not intuitive
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This is one of the best digital pianos under 1500 that is popular among intermediate and beginner players. Since its entry to the market in 2015, Roland F-140 is still ranking top of the available options yet there are latest models in the market today.
This is the only piano on this list with a slim design as compared to Kawai and Yamaha who feature cabinets with traditional designs. This is one of the reasons why this model is loved by people who live in homes with tiny rooms or apartments.
The F-140R has small footprint that is lighter and easy to move from one place to another or during assembling.
Roland F-140r features the popular Roland’s super sound engine that has a combination of both modeling algorithm and acoustic piano sampling that helps it produce sounds that are realistic with resonance and natural decays.
On resonance, this best digital piano under 1500 has the following nonadjustable built in organic tone elements; Damper resonance, Key Off simulation, and string resonance.
The music instruments made by Roland are popular for their amazing bass response, bright character, and resonant sound. For those who do not want too much brightness, they are able to adjust the settings on brilliance to anywhere between 0 and 21. There are also piano tone options going up to nine including nice mellow tones for selection.
Roland’s F-140r has a Progressive Hammer Action (PHA) 4 standard that has escapement and key tops that have been simulated with ivory. This hammer action has many tongues talking and is believed to be the best key action for pianos selling below 1500 bucks.
When you compare this hammer action with that of Yamaha’s GHS action, you will realize that the one for Roland F-140r is the best. This is because for Yamaha GHS, the hammer action is not express enough and is springy. During playing, you will likely encounter a challenge since the keys get heavier more so the black keys.
Roland’s PHA0-4 hammer action is heavy as compared to GHS action but they are easy to control them. According to my view, the simulated feeling you get when pressing these keys is accurate in PHA-4.
This makes Roland F-140r piano ideal for people learning to play pianos because their untrained hands will easily master the hammer action.
This Piano has a marginally more limited point of pivot and pressing the keys needs a similar relative measure of power because the GH3’s hammer action is heavy.
This advanced piano has the most amazing features that will not disappoint you. For instance the large number of built in tones which total to 316 cannot be found in any other digital piano.
It also comes with preset songs that over 150 in total. These songs include pieces of Hanon, Czerny, and classical masterpieces. This is the only best digital piano under 1500 in this list that comes accompanied with two variations and 72 styles to help improve your play by giving you a full band-like sounds.
This Roland’s piano also has a screen that helps anyone playing to navigate through settings and rhythms, sounds and song presets.
Kawai KDP110 and Roland F-140R are the only two digital pianos on this list that has the option of Bluetooth MIDI. This feature is useful whenever you wish to connect the instrument with your laptop or smart device. This feature also allows a pianist to use the smart apps such as FlowKey, Roland Piano Partner 2, and GarageBand.
Roland F-140R will be what you need if you are looking for the best digital piano under 1500 that can go beyond the abilities of standard digital piano in regard to bells and whistles, sounds, and rhythms. You will definitely get value for you $1500 budget.
But if you want to buy a digital piano model with traditional designs, then RP-501 R that is identical to F-140R only that it has extra songs and acoustic cabinet is perfect for you.
- Cabinet that is slim and has modern design.
- Screen display for navigation
- Produces powerful resonant piano and bass sounds
- PHA-4 Piano Keyboard with responsive ivory simulated keys fitted with three sensors
- Broad sound selection ranging to 316 options
- It has preset songs over 150 for maximum entertainment
- Comes with a total of 72 accompaniment functions
- MIDI and WAV flash drive playback capability
- Bluetooth option
- Smart apps functionality for easy navigation
- The option to shape or adjust sounds is limited
- Does not have multi-truck recording option
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This best digital piano under 1500 is and advancement or improved version of Kawai KDP-90 (its predecessor). Kawai KDP-110 together with the portable ES110 piano is the only Kawai digital piano models that sell under $1500.
This does not mean they are of low quality in terms of make and performance. Interestingly this two Kawai Pianos have a highly regarded space in the piano market because of their keyboard action and high quality sounds.
The KDP110 has a Harmonic Imagic Sound engine that comes with flagship samples of SK-EX Concert Grand that produces the piano’s amazing signature natural sounds together with the organic elements such as key off resonance, hammer response, damper resonance, and lid simulator.
This type of digital piano has parameters that can be adjusted unlike in its competitors. In KDP110, the stretch tuning, minimum touch, decay time, soft-pedal depth, and temperament can be turned on and off
These adjustments can be done through a Virtual Technician app which can be downloaded and installed on a smart device from Play Store or Apple Store for android and IOs devices respectively. This app allows adjustment of up to a total of 13 parameters which controls various sound elemnts in the digital piano. On matters to do with shaping sounds or making them sound better, KAWAI KDP-110 is the most advanced digital piano in this list.
This best digital piano under 1500 uses RHCII hammer action which was improved from the ES110 RHC action. This was done by adding a third sensor to improve playability during fast trills play or fast sound note repetition.
A comparison of this hammer actions shows that RHCII key action is silent, does not bounce and is heavier than RHC action. This puts it in the same category as that of Korg RH3 and Roland PHA-4 actions in terms of sound reality and expression.
The above key actions are my favorite but RHCII hammer action light as compared to the other two making it the worst for anyone who loves actions that are heavy. What you need to know is that despite the fact that RHII action is the lightest, it still remains a weighted action like that of an acoustic piano and offers the best response and less tiring.
RHCII is quick and versatile when it comes to playing electric pianos, organs, and synths that have weighted keys that are light.
This piano also comes with a total of five presets of music which allow you to listen when practicing to play. These presets include popular music books such as Beyer 106, Czerny 30, and Alfred’s Lesson Book, which are ideal for those beginning to learn how to play pianos.
Another feature making this digital piano great is the available option of connectivity. It has In & out MIDI ports, port for USB, Bluetooth and two jacks for headphones connection options that allows various external connection.
- Quick, responsive and versatile RHCII keyboard action
- Produces natural and acoustic SK-EX concert grand sound
- Virtual Technician and 13 options for adjusting parameters
- Five music books for learners
- Powerful 40W0-speaker systems that produce great sounds
- USB and MIDI in/out ports for external connections
- Bluetooth MIDI Option
- The need for a manual to navigate through the various settings and modes.
- Does not have splitting mode
- There is no option for multi-track recording
4. Korg G1 Air
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This list will not have been complete without this amazing instrument from Korg. The Korg G1 Air came and shook up the market in 2017 as the best digital piano ever made by Korg.
Korg primarily produces music instruments such as stage pianos, music work stations, and synthesizers that are mostly used during live event performance or studios and not digital pianos for use at homes.
Their latest models G1 Air and C1 Air are impressive and I would recommend G1 Air to anyone looking for Korg’s best digital piano under 1500.
This is because the design alone is stylish and very unique from the other digital pianos selling below 1500 bucks.This Piano’s design has grand piano- inspired curves and fore legs that are beautiful and offers extra support and striking looks.
The G1’s tone and dynamics are incredibly precise, allowing the pianist to convey every aspect of musical expression. KORG has produced a unique digital piano based on decades of cutting-edge piano sound technology, the makers of the award-winning KRONOS, and precision manufactured keyboards that are precisely responsive from gentle pianissimo to forceful fortissimo.
G1 technology has advanced noticeably. The slender body of the elegantly built G1 is the culmination of KORG’s long history of instrument design and acoustic technology. Finally, superb sound and flawless design are inextricably linked. It takes a lot of skill to create rich sound with a digital piano as tiny and beautiful as the G1. The KORG G1 will permanently redefine the way you think about digital pianos once you see, touch, and hear it.
Unlike Kawai and Yamaha pianos, Korg pianos do not include acoustic designs nor does the company use samples of grand pianos in their craft. GI Air does not use any Korg grand piano in recording samples. This formula resulted in the G1 Air piano having three unique tones because they were sample from various brands. Each of the tone has deferent characteristics you will ultimately love.
The defferent tone samples mentioned above are from Austrian, Japanese, and German concert brands. Since Korg do not give the specific models used in G1 Air piano, a keen pianist or sound technician will tell you that Yamaha, Steinway, and a Bösendorfer were used. These three tones also have simulated damper resonance, Key off, and string resonance.
This piano also has sound system that is multi-channel powerful. This system is made up of two 40 W speakers that are 5 cm and 12cm making it the most powerful digital piano being sold in this price category.
The G1 suffices in terms of sound and you may be wondering now of how feels in your hands when playing it. You don’t have to worry or get concerned. The piano has a Korg RH3 keyboard, which is used in music studios and professional stage pianos. Any pianist will agree with me that such a piano in this price category will not compete with any other in terms of keyboard action.
Although there are no ebony or ivory imitations on the keyboard, the keys of this piano are incredibly responsive and enjoyable when playing. The RH3 keyboard action has an average weight that is perfect for beginning or experienced pianists. It is also ideal for anyone who loves playing lighter types of keyboards like synths and organs.
It is not quite as hefty as the Yamaha GH3, but it’s a little heavier than the Kawai RHCII, in my opinion. For feel and weight, I would place it somewhere in the middle of the Roland PHA4 Standard and Kawai RHCII.
It’s also worth noting that the RH3 is likely the longest key on this list, with the longest point of pivot, making it simpler to play. To put it another way, playing higher keys does not require much effort. This may be a serious issue, particularly in the case of certain low-key habits.
The G1 Air offers a limited number of functions but it has everything you need. There are 9 kinds of temperament, 32 sounds, 40 music presets, and 2-track MIDI recorder options. There aren’t many audio customization choices on the G1 Air. It only has reverb, brightness, and chorus. Each of this may be modified in three increments.
Unlike the Casio AP470 or Kawai KDP110, you cannot modify numerous organic piano settings like as lid position, hammer response or string resonance. Line out, two headphone ports, MIDI in/out, and a USB port are all included on the G1 Air.
It’s important to note that the “Air” designation suggests that the piano can receive audio signals over Bluetooth as well. The G1’s built-in speakers may be used to wirelessly stream music from your smartphone or tablet to the piano.
However, you won’t be able to send MIDI data via Bluetooth (to operate music programs like GarageBand) but just audio, unlike the Roland F140R and Kawai KDP110. There are a few small variations between the C1 Air and the G1 Air that may help you save some money if you’re interested in the G1 Air idea but don’t have much money to spare. The C1 Air has speakers that not powerful and less piano tones.
- Spectacularly Crafted
- The best RH3 key action from Korg featuring long pivoting point and pleasant touch
- The sounds were sampled from the best grand German, Japanese and Austrian pianos.
- A wide variety of 32 built-in audio files.
- A four-speaker audio setup (80 W)
- In addition to regular USB connections, Bluetooth (Audio) MIDI connectors are available.
- The polyphony of 120 is low
- The options to shape sound are limited
- There is no option for Bluetooth MIDI
5. Casio AP-470
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When it comes to Casio digital pianos, you’re certainly aware of the company’s modest but steady growth over the last decade from a maker of basic, low-cost electronic keyboards to a leading producer of digital pianos as the leading digital piano manufacturer in the industry.
As a result of Casio’s aggressive price approach, other companies find it difficult to compete with Casio’s average music instruments and their entry-level. One of the best examples is the Casio AP-470 that is part of Casio’s Celviano line, which appears to be a direct rival to Yamaha’s Clavinova digital pianos. Casio AP-470 is far less expensive than the most economical Clavinova piano. ‘(CLP-735).
Even yet, isn’t the cheapest always the best? While there are several areas where the AP-470 falls short of the CLP-625, there are a plethora of similar features between the two, and the Casio excels in just a few of areas. Let’s begin by looking at some of the similar features.
Front legs and a top lid that can be opened similar to those of an acoustic piano are included in the AP-470’s attractive cabinet. If you’re looking for an acoustic piano-like instrument for less than $1,500, this is the best option.
In order to produce sound in the AP-470 piano, the source of the Multi-dimensional Morphing AiR Sound must be activated first. When compared to engines found in lower-end pianos such as thePX-870, PX-160 and PX-770, This best digital piano under 1500 has a more polished and natural tone.
The latest American piano tone which was sampled from a Steinway concert piano and is not present on the Privia instruments, is the centerpiece of the newest Celviano instruments. To this day, the AP-470’s piano sound is my personal favorite.
It’s impossible to hate the AP-470’s sound, which is enhanced by its strong 40W 4-speaker audio system and 256-note polyphony. If you want to tweak the sound of your piano, the Casio is a good option since it lets you adjust many aspects of the piano’s sound to suit your preferences.
Hammer response, Damper noise, lid simulator key on & off action noise, and string resonance are all included in this set of characteristics.
The AP-470 isn’t nearly up to the standards set by the other best digital piano under 1500 in this list . As with Casio’s entry-level digital pianos such as PX-160 and PX-770 among others, the AP-470 has a comparable key action.
However, I believe that the Tri-sensor Scaled Hammer Action II is not superior to the other main actions that were discussed before, but it’s likely to have a following.
With this keyboard, you can play trills and quick passages with ease thanks to a 3-sensor key detecting mechanism. It boasts ebony and ivory-like simulated keys that gives them a nice feel touch, however some users may prefer keys with a more subtle feel or conventional smooth ones.
Although this keyboard is perfectly fine for those looking for an inexpensive digital piano, I would anticipate a significant increase in sound quality from its more expensive sibling the AP-470, which falls into a little different category.
The AP-470’s key actions are a little noisier and have a harder bottom feel than those of the other digital piano listed here. The pivot point is also shorter and possibly the smallest on the list making it more difficult to control, particularly while playing the piano. The keys are likewise shorter (the unseen section). This is generally a decent action, however at this price point I anticipated more from Casio.
In spite of all this, Casio was able to make the AP-470 a desirable instrument by integrating several functions that you won’t find on the other digital pianos in this category of prices, which is fascinating.
One of them is a voice recorder built inside the piano. Because of this functionality, your performance may be recorded in WAV format and stored directly to a USB/flash drive without having to purchase an external audio interface to capture and record your performance in audio of high quality.
On top of all that, the AP-470 comes with the Casio Chordana software, which gives you access to all of the AP-470’s settings and features, as well as the ability to listen to and apply MIDI files shown on the piano screen.
Additional options include changing speed and applying each hand’s half independently. There is no Bluetooth option on this piano meaning you will have to utilize a cable connection to connect your smart device for you to use the app, which is a bummer.
- The cabinet has a lovely acoustic appearance.
- Two grand pianos that have been widely tested, particularly the American grand
- Acoustic characteristics that you may tweak to your heart’s content.
- The ability to play 256 notes simultaneously
- Four-speaker (40W) system with Lid Simulator Concert Play option for a really immersive listening experience.
- The Chordana app makes it simpler to go around and offers more features.
- Inadequate keyboard performance
- Bluetooth connection is not available
- Split mode has bass option only
How to Find the Best Digital Piano Under 1500
Everyone has their answers now! Keep in mind that the digital pianos in this list are the ones I consider to be the best on the market right now for around $1500. If you haven’t discovered the proper instrument in this post, I would love to share some more information that may help you identify the right piano under $1500.
The following are some of the most often used terminology and concepts in the digital piano field.
Pianos with 88 keys, such as those seen in modern acoustic models are common. 61, 73, 76, and 88 keys are common on keyboards and digital pianos, respectively. 99% of today’s music can be played on 73 keys but some more difficult (classical) works call for the use of all 88 keys on the keyboard.
In general, there are three sorts of acts that Pianist take:
Non-weighted – The majority of keyboards, including entry-level synthesizers and organs, lack weighted keys.
Semi-weighted – This is a typical feature on portable keyboards that cost less than $300. It is more difficult to press the keys with a spring mechanism than without.
Fully weighted – For example, a piano has a hammer action that mimics that of an actual instrument. Rather of springs, each key is fitted with a miniature hammer that mimics the action of a piano’s keys.
You’ll need a keyboard having hammer action keys if you want to learn how to play the piano. Your fingers will become stronger and your technique will improve, making it much simpler to go from this digital instrument to an acoustic in the future when you want to.
This depends on how firm or soft you press a key, a keyboard’s or digital piano’s touch sensitivity also known as velocity sensitivity or touch response or velocity sensitivity affects the instrument’s output loudness.
The term “polyphony” refers to the simultaneous production of many notes by a digital piano. Nowadays, the majority of digital pianos provide 256, 192, 128, 64-note polyphony as standard equipment.
Many digital pianos include extra modes that enable you to play four hands or two instruments at the same time, in addition to the conventional “Single” keyboard option.
The following are the most often used modes on digital pianos:
- The Split Mode
- Two modes of operation
- Duo Mode is the third option which is also referred to as Partner Mode, Twin Mode, and Duet Play
It is possible to practice a song on a digital piano by turning off the left- or right-hand tune tracks that are either downloaded or presets. A multi-track MIDI recorder is often seen in pianos with this feature.
Without the need of an extra equipment, you may play back or record your own music using a MIDI recorder.
You can record real sounds produced by the piano using the built-in recorder and later save them to a USB stick, generally in WAV formats such as stereo, 16-bit, linear PCM, and 44.1 kHz. This will enable you to share them either by uploading to SoundCloud, social media platforms or even producing a Compact Disk.
For those who want to make their performance seem more like a complete band, using the accompaniment option delivers full harmony, rhythm and bass accompaniment. It is possible to play chords or individual notes when you do not know the complete string, and the accompaniment will vary accordingly.
With the Transpose feature, you may change the keyboard’s pitch in half-tone increments. Using this tool, you may play a song in a different key without changing your fingering or learning the song in a different key.
The A440 standard tuning may be adjusted in 0.1Hz or 0.2Hz steps using the tuning feature. It is possible to utilize this feature to exactly match the pitch of the piano to other instruments or musical old piano recordings.
A USB device port or a USB storage port is other names for this interface. Using the USB connector, you may easily transfer files between the piano and a USB flash drive.
AUSB type B
This port is often referred to as USB to Host terminal or USB to Computer port. This port is used to connect your digital piano to a computer or a smart device (using a special adapter) to exchange songs/files, and MIDI data.
A USB-Host port or a USB-Computer port is other names for this port. MIDI data and song files may be exchanged between your smart device, computer and digital piano via this connector.