Separating the best 88-key weighted keyboard pianos from the rest of the market can help you to ensure you have a realistic experience. Weighted keyboards and digital pianos are made to mimic the feel of an acoustic piano. This means that you can easily switch between an upright or grand piano, but benefit from the portable design of an 88-key weighted keyboard.
The following models have been picked out as some of the very best on the market in 2021. The music tech scene is always changing and new keyboards are released regularly. These keyboards are the best choices on the market at the moment.
Here are the best 88-key weighted keyboard pianos 2021:
- Korg Grandstage 88
- Yamaha P-45 (P71)
- Casio PX-160
- Yamaha P-515
- Roland FP-30
- Kawai ES110
- Casio PX-S3000
- Alesis Recital
Korg Grandstage 88
Korg is a manufacturer known for their keyboards as well as other music equipment such as synthesizers and effects pedals. The Grandstage 88 is not a cheap option, but if you are looking for an elite keyboard piano, perfect for recording or even taking on tour, this instrument could be an ideal choice.
The Grandstage 88 comes with loads of different options for sounds and even effects, as well as coming with a damper pedal for more audio experimentation. It looks like a big and hefty piece of kit, but it only weighs 20 lbs, so it is suitable for taking out and about to shows if you need to.
What we like (and don’t like) about the Korg Grandstage 88:
- Over 500 different sounds including 5 extremely high quality piano tones.
- RH3 weighted keys. The hammer action mimics the way the small hammers pluck the wires in a piano in order to make the signature piano sound.
- Split and layer options provide different playing modes.
- 4 insert effects including delay, reverb and EQ.
- USB compatibility. You can use this to control music software.
- More expensive than many of the other options on the list. The features justify the price for pro musicians, but this is an expensive model.
If you don’t mind parting with some extra cash, the Grandstage 88 can be a fantastic option for musicians, and opens up a world of new sounds to use. The hammer action turns this into a keyboard that feels like a piano to play, too. It’s the best 88-key weighted keyboard currently on the market in our opinion.
Yamaha P-45 (P71)
This is the best hammer action weighted keyboard brought to market by Yamaha, especially if you are looking for a balance between affordability and quality features. It has a lot to offer, and the size, weight and cost make it a good choice for beginners as well as more advanced players.
The Yamaha P-45 and P71 are identical models. The P71 is the name of the option sold via Amazon, whereas the P-45 can be bought from other retailers. It doesn’t matter which you opt for. Another difference is the fact that some are sold as different bundles, meaning that you can get different accessories depending on which package you buy.
What we like (and don’t like) about the Yamaha P-45 (P71):
- Clever graded hammer system mimics the feel of an acoustic piano, with a lighter touch on the higher keys.
- Can be bought with stand, sustain pedal and other accessories if required.
- Slim and lightweight. It’s less than 12 inches deep and weighs less than 25 lbs.
- Only 10 different tones and voices to play.
- Doesn’t come with an LCD screen.
If you are looking for a relatively affordable option, and you aren’t too fussed about having recording, effects or hundreds of different sound functions, then this keyboard piano is well worth exploring as an option. Typical Yamaha quality, and a high-rated, affordable weighted keyboard.
The Casio brand is another, like Yamaha, known for creating brilliant digital pianos. This 88-key model, the Privia PX-160, is relatively affordable and has some very high-quality features and speakers to reproduce the sound to a high standard.
There are multiple sounds, including a harpsichord and string ensemble to go with the excellently sampled Casio piano sounds. Though it doesn’t have as many sounds as some of the other options, the instrument modes within give high quality sampled audio, brilliantly replicating audio from acoustic instruments.
What we like (and don’t like) about the Casio PX-160:
- AiR sample engine gives a highly-accurate level of detail and dynamics within the piano sounds.
- Tri-Sensor Hammer Action keyboard gives a great, realistic feel to help this digital piano feel like an acoustic model.
- Split and layer options give you far more that you can do with your sound, and is also suitable for learning to play. Split gives two equal piano ranges in order to allow one person to show another how to play something.
- The Casio Privia includes a two track recorder for layering and playing back your performances.
- There’s no LED screen showing the modes of the piano, and it is easy to get lost in the controls.
If you are looking for an option with recording and playback then this keyboard from Casio could be an ideal choice. It’s marketed largely as an entry-level digital piano as it is pretty affordable, and one of the cheapest weighted keyboards on the list if you want something that has hammer action. This is Casio’s best option, especially for beginners and intermediate players.
The P-515 is part of Yamaha’s more elite range, and the model has some amazing sounds inbuilt. Yamaha has pioneered new technology, and while this leads to a more expensive price tag, it also means an incredible level of high-end audio, suitable for live performances and even recording. This is more of a “pro” model than some of the alternatives on our list of the best keyboards.
The incredible Yamaha CFX and Bösendorfer Imperial piano samples are probably the biggest selling point. The clever technology included within this digital piano also allows you to take control of the sound, and perfect it for your own needs.
What we like (and don’t like) about the Yamaha P-515:
- Piano room setting allows you to create a room “environment” for the piano, changing the acoustics and reverb.
- Virtual Resonance Modeling also gives you an added level of realism with a varied expression similar to a concert grand.
- Synthetic ebony and ivory keys meaning you may not even be able to tell the difference between this and a classic, acoustic piano.
- 256 note polyphony meaning even the most complex of rhythms and compositions can be played with ease.
- The price tag is too high for many beginners or casual pianists.
- If you buy the bundle that comes with the sustain/damper pedal, this may not be up to the quality of the piano itself.
This is undoubtedly a model for those looking to step up from entry level keyboards. It is a top-rated 88-key keyboard piano and has some stunning sounds included to allow you to play to even audiophile audiences.
The price tag isn’t for everyone, but the sounds give a huge level of quality and options for the user.
Roland is another powerhouse audio brand. This model, the FP-30, is a good balance between affordability and a good level of features. Plus, it is portable, and made with the signature quality we’ve come to expect from Roland, who make keyboards as well as effects, amplifiers and other music equipment.
The FP range from Roland has multiple models of full-size weighted keyboards. The 88-key model gives a good option if you are looking for a keyboard to replicate the sound of a piano, but one of the key bonuses if you opt for the Roland piano is the fact that it has so many extra tech features. This is a good model for connecting to other devices and can suit musicians and performers who do much more than just playing piano.
What we like (and don’t like) about the Roland FP-30:
- Phat-4 Keyboard system giving an authentic, piano feel to the keyboard.
- Headphone compatible for private practice.
- Can be bought as a bundle with accessories including pedals.
- Bluetooth connectivity allows you to connect to a tablet and use apps like GarageBand or sheet music applications to help you to learn.
- Portable and easy to take to practice and shows.
- Includes lots of non-piano sounds and tones including voices, drums, strings and synth sounds.
- USB compatible, and you can even record songs you play straight onto a USB memory stick.
- Piano tones aren’t quite as realistic as some of the Yamaha options on the list.
If you are looking for a flexible digital piano or full-size keyboard capable of doubling up as a controller, plus want extra tech features such as inbuilt recording, the FP-30 is a great choice. The piano sound isn’t quite as strong as some other tones, but the other features make it a top choice.
This is a simple and reliable keyboard piano that is suitable for those who are constantly taking their keyboard out and about with them. It’s a good option for live shows and though the features are a little bit more simplistic than some other keyboards. The build-quality is great, and Kawai are a popular brand as they offer a 3-year warranty on the ES110 keyboard.
Most of the ES110 options are sold as bundles, including a stand, the F-10H damper pedal and more accessories including a cloth and music rest. Some even include headphones.
What we like (and don’t like) about the Kawai ES110:
- 19 great sounds, 8 of which are high-quality piano sounds.
- 3 year warranty on both the parts and labor, offered by the manufacturer.
- Comes with damper pedal and music rest.
- Responsive hammer action mimics the feel of an acoustic piano with a great feel for the user.
- Harmonic imaging sound technology is designed to provide a realistic resonance.
- The included stand is a little bit flimsy compared to some other options.
- Though it isn’t overly expensive, some similar models with the same features can be found cheaper.
All-in-all, this is a good 88-key keyboard, lightweight and small enough to take to shows and practices. It’s well-built, too, and the three year warranty offered by the manufacturer provides peace of mind when making the purchase.
The Casio Privia PX-S3000 88-key keyboard piano is a very good option for people who are looking for as many quality tones as possible. It still isn’t excessively expensive, and it offers an incredible 700 tones for you to play with. This makes it a songwriter or composer’s dream!
The Privia PX-S3000 is not only packed with tones, but it has other fantastic features including two 1/4-inch outputs, two headphone outputs and an inbuilt powerful speaker system. The Privia range has been on the market for over 15 years, but this recent generation is a great leap forward for tech and compatibility.
What we like (and don’t like) about the Casio PX-S3000:
- Can be battery powered or played with an AC adapter.
- USB storage allows you to save songs, while Bluetooth lets you play along to your favorite songs.
- Works seamlessly with Chordana, a free app for iOS or Android.
- 200 rhythms to go with 700 different tones. Songwriting tools allow you to layer up sounds and play full songs, perfect for a performance.
- Chordana app can’t use the Bluetooth connection, so you need to use USB connections.
- The action is a little on the stiff side compared to some other keyboards.
The added tech features make this a great option, the Privia range was always good, but the PX-S3000 adds a modern level of compatibility. The piano sound is great, and the price is somewhere in the mid range compared to other choices. It’s the best weighted keyboard for tones and voices.
We should start by clarifying that this is a semi-weighted keyboard, meaning it doesn’t feel exactly the same as the hammer action or graded hammer action digital pianos on the list. However, for beginners, it can be a good way to get used to playing keyboard tunes with a touch sensitive action.
The Alesis Recital is not an elite option, as such, but it does offer a lot of good features for beginners and also has a very attractive price point. If you are looking for a cheap weighted keyboard then this might be an option to consider. It’s a fraction of the price of some of the elite options.
What we like (and don’t like) about the Alesis Recital:
- Easily portable and lightweight, good for taking to practice.
- Can be battery powered, but also comes with a 9V adapter to plug into a power supply.
- Education modes including “split” and “lesson” mode.
- 5 high-quality sounds to choose from.
- Comes with a 3-month membership to “Skoove” to help users learn piano basics.
- Not fully-weighted. The keys are touch sensitive but do not have hammer action.
- The piano sounds are not as realistic as the other options on this list.
- Only 5 sounds in total to switch between.
If you are looking for an 88-key keyboard on a budget then this could be a good choice to get you started. It isn’t a high-end product, and won’t be seen on stage at a big festival any time soon, but it is a decent keyboard piano at a very attractive price point. It’s the cheapest option on our list and still allows you to get a realistic feel for playing digital piano.
There are lots of different options on the market, and tons of brands making digital pianos and keyboards in 2021. It’s hard to know what is best, but our guide provides choices for beginners and advanced players, at a variety of price points. Spend a little time researching and ensure you end up with the model best for your own needs.