Best Digital Pianos Under $1000 for Home Use

Best digital pianos under $1000

Modern digital pianos come in every size, shape and form you can imagine (and every possible price point too).

There are portable, stage, console, and even grand digital pianos available on the market today.

But if you want to get as close as possible to replicating a real acoustic piano without spending a fortune, you’d definitely want to look in the direction of console-type digital pianos, also known as furniture cabinet digital pianos.

Note that this list includes only console-type digital pianos, if you’re looking for a portable (slab) digital piano follow these articles: Under $500 (for Beginners), Under $700 (for Intermediate Players).

You might also want to check out our Under $1500 article where we covered the best mid-range home digital pianos.

Console digital pianos are perfect for home use, and while they tend to be more expensive than their portable alternatives (with similar characteristics), they also provide a more realistic playing experience.

best home digital pianos

The good news is that today you can get a solid digital piano with an authentic sound, touch and a good feature set for less than 1000 dollars.

No matter if you’re a beginner or an intermediate pianist, these pianos give enough room not only for playing and enjoying your music but also developing your skills even further.

An in this article, we’ll take a deep look at the best home digital pianos under $1000 on the market so that you can compare them thoroughly and find the one that’s right for you.

Each type of digital pianos has its pros and cons, and the console type is no exception.

best console electric pianos

1) The main advantage of console digital pianos comes from their design. Compared to portable pianos, they look and feel much more like an acoustic piano, making a nice addition to your home decor.

2) Console pianos come with a furniture-style cabinet and a full set of 3 piano pedals, which means you don’t need to spend extra money on a stand or pedals for your instrument, as you probably would with portable pianos.

3) Finally, thanks to a bigger keyboard base, console pianos usually sound fuller and bolder compared to their portable alternatives, mainly because of the resonance effect caused by the cabinet.

The main disadvantage of console pianos is that they aren’t particularly portable.

Yes, you can still move them around much easier than traditional pianos, but in many cases you’ll need a second person to help you out.

In any case, console pianos aren’t really designed to be moved around constantly.

If you ask me which brands to go for when choosing a console digital piano, I’d certainly recommend sticking with the following manufacturers:

  • Yamaha
  • Casio
  • Roland
  • Korg
  • Kawai

They provide the highest level of performance, reliability, and realism that other brands cannot match (at least for now).

digital pianos brands

Now, let’s take a look at the comparison table below to get familiar with pianos that made it onto this list and their main characteristics.

Best home digital pianos under $1000

  • Model
  • Keys
    Modern acoustic pianos have 88 keys. Most digital pianos and keyboards have 88, 76, 73, or 61 keys.
    In reality, 73 keys are enough to play most modern pieces. Some advanced pieces require a full set of 88 keys.
  • Fully-Weighted Keys
    There are 3 most common types of key actions:
    1) Non-weighted - most organs, synths and entry-level keyboards are not weighted.
    2) Semi-weighted - often used portable keyboards and workstations. Spring-loaded mechanizm adds more resistance to the keys compared to the non-weighted action.
    3) Fully weighted (hammer action) is designed to replicate the action of a real piano. It uses small hammers (rather than springs) attached to each key to recreate the mechanical movements and resistaince similar to the acoustic piano action.
  • Simulated Ivory/Ebony
    Some digital pianos come with a simulated Ivory (white keys) and Ebony (black keys) key surfaces, which gives them a nice textured feel, helps absorb excessive moisture and prevents your fingers from slipping off the keys.
  • Touch Sensitivity
    The volume produced by the instrument changes depending on how hard or soft you play the keys.
    Touch Response, Velocity Sensitivity, Touch Sensitivity are the same thing .
    Many digital pianos allow you to adjust touch sensitivity (make the keyboard more or less sensitive to the force of your keystrokes) to better suit your playing style.
  • Tone Generator
  • Polyphony
    The number of notes a piano can play at once.
    The more polyphony the better, especially when layering several sounds or using backing tracks, etc. When you reach the polyphony cap, the piano starts to drop the earliest played notes to free up memory for the new ones, which affects the sound and its fullness.
    It’s desirable to have at least 64 notes of polyphony.
  • Built-in Tones
  • Modes
    1) Split - divides the keyboard into two parts, allowing you to play a different instrument sound in each of them.
    2) Dual (a.k.a. Layer Mode) - allows you to layer two different sounds so that they sound simultaneously whenever you press a key.
    3) Duo (a.k.a. Duet Play, Partner Mode, Twin Piano) - devides the keyboard into two halves with identical pitch ranges (two middle Cs) allowing two people to play the same notes at the same time.
  • Lesson Function
    The ability to use built-in/user songs for practice by turning off the left- or right-hand part of a song and practicing it along with the playback of the other part.
  • MIDI Recorder
    Allows you to record and playback your own performances.
    A multi-track recorder (2 and more tracks) allows you to record several musical parts on separate tracks and play them back as a single song.
  • Audio Recorder
    Allows you to record the audio output of the instrument and save it to a flash drive usually in WAV format (Linear PCM, 16bit, 44.1 kHz, Stereo).
    You can then share your recording on social media, upload it to SoundCloud, burn to CD, etc.
  • Piano Elements
    Organic piano elements that are reproduced on the instrument, often using physical modeling. These elements are usually quite sublte but important if you want to get the fullest, and the most natural piano sound.
  • Preset Temperaments
    Ability to change the standard “Equal Temperament” tuning to other tuning systems better suited for playing certain styles of music (Indian, Arabian, classical).
  • Transpose,Tuning
    1) Transpose function allows you to shift the overall pitch of the keyboard in semitone steps.
    2) Tuning function (aka Fine Tuning, Master Tuning) allows you to shift the pitch from the standard A440 tuning in 0.1Hz or 0.2Hz steps.
  • Metronome
    A useful tool for practice that will help develop your rhythmic and timekeeping skills by providing a steady beat to play along with.
    Some pianos allow you change the conventional click sound of the metronome to various drum rhythms.
  • USB Type B
    This port enables you to connect the keyboard to a computer/smart device and use it as a MIDI controller with VST plugins and music apps like GarageBand, Flowkey, Synthesia, FL Studio, etc.
  • Bluetooth Connectivity
    Allows you to connect your piano to a smart device wirelessly and excnhange MIDI data with various music apps (e.g. GarageBand, Flowkey, Simply Piano, etc.). This can be used as an alternative to a USB type B port. Note that some pianos can only tranfer Audio data via Bluetooth, others can only tranfer MIDI.
    Some pianos support both MIDI and Audio data via Bluetooth.
  • Speakers
  • Weight
  • Casio PX-870
  • 88
  • Tri-sensor Scaled Hammer Action Keyboard II
  • 3 types, OFF
  • Multi-dimensional Morphing AiR
  • 256 notes
  • 19 (5 pianos)
  • Dual, Split (Bass only), Duo
  • 60 songs
  • 2-track, 1 song
  • 25 min per song, 99 songs
  • Damper/String/Key Off Resonance, Hammer Response, Lid Simulator, Key On/Off Action Noise
  • 17 types
  • 20W + 20W
  • 75.6 lbs (34.3 kg)
  • Roland RP-102
  • 88
  • PHA-4 Standard with Escapement and Ivory Feel
  • (Ivory only)
  • 5 types, OFF
  • SuperNATURAL Piano Sound Engine
  • 128 notes
  • 15 (4 pianos)
  • Dual, Duo (Twin Piano)
  • Damper/String/Key Off Resonance
  • 6W + 6W
  • 83.3 lbs (37.7 kg)
  • Yamaha YDP-144
  • 88
  • Graded Hammer Standard (GHS)
  • 3 types, OFF
  • Pure CF Sound Engine
  • 192 notes
  • 10 (3 pianos)
  • Dual, Duo
  • 50 songs
  • 2-track, 1 song
  • Damper/String/Key Off Resonance
  • 6W + 6W
  • 83.7 lbs (38 kg)
  • Casio PX-770
  • 88
  • Tri-sensor Scaled Hammer Action Keyboard II
  • 3 types, OFF
  • Multi-dimensional Morphing AiR
  • 128 notes
  • 19 (5 pianos)
  • Dual, Split (Bass only), Duo
  • 60 songs
  • 2-track, 1 song
  • Damper Resonance, Hammer Response
  • 17 types
  • 8W + 8W
  • 69.4 lbs (31.4 kg)
  • Korg LP-380
  • 88
  • Real Weighted Hammer Action 3 (RH3)
  • 3 types
  • Stereo Piano System
  • 120 notes
  • 30 (5 pianos)
  • Dual, Duo (Partner Mode)
  • Damper Resonance
  • 9 types
  • MIDI In/Out
  • 22W + 22W
  • 81.5 lbs (37 kg)

1) Casio PX-870 Best value for money, packed with useful features

Casio PX-870 review


In September of 2017 Casio have updated their Privia line of digital pianos by introducing the new PX-770 and PX-870 models, which replaced the PX-760 and PX-860 respectively.

The PX-870 is a flagship model that offers the most realistic playing experience in the series.

It comes with a few significant improvements, including a redesigned cabinet, an upgraded piano sound, and a new 40W sound projection system.

Casio PX-870 white

But first let’s take a closer look at the two most important aspects of any digital piano, touch and sound.

Touch

The PX-870 comes with Casio’s famous Tri-sensor Scaled Hammer Action Keyboard II with 88 full-size keys.

The keyboard utilizes hammer action system with triple sensor detection technology, which allows for faster note repetition and greater expressiveness.

The keys of the PX-870 have simulated ivory & ebony keytops which provide a nice textured feel. The surface of the keys also helps absorb moisture from your fingers and enhances control.

Casio Tri-sensor scaled hammer action II keyboard

To my fingers, the PX-870’s keyboard has a nicer and more accurate feel than Yamaha’s GHS keyboard, but it also seemed a bit noisier than the rest of the keyboards on the list (especially noticeable when playing at low volume levels).

In this price range, Casio’s keyboard and Roland’s PHA-4 Standard are the only keyboards that use 3-sensor technology and have simulated ivory finish on the keys.

Sound

casio px-870 grand piano

The previous PX-860 model had a very good sound already, but the new PX-870 proves that there’s always room for improvement.

At the heart of the PX-870 is the Multi-dimensional Morphing AiR Sound Source, which comes with an upgraded 4-layer piano tone. I must say it sounds incredibly realistic and there are a few reasons for that.

The PX-870 fully reproduces important elements of the acoustic piano sound such as damper resonance, string resonance and key on/off action noise.

Apart from that it also has Key Off simulator, Lid Simulator, and Casio’s proprietary Hammer Response feature.

All these elements do make the PX-870 sound more beautiful and nuanced. Unlike the rest of the pianos on the list, the PX-870 also allows you to adjust each parameter to get the exact sound you like.

The second thing that makes the PX-870 stand out from the competitors is its unique 4-speaker sound projection system with 40W of output power.

It delivers a full, rich sound and can get as loud as a real acoustic piano. The dynamic range is also very impressive ranging from the softest pianissimo to the loudest fortissimo.

Another thing worth mentioning is 256-note polyphony, which ensures that the notes will continue to sound fully and naturally even under high demand performance situations (fast passages, layered sounds, etc.). It’s the only piano in this price range that has 256-note polyphony.

Features

When it comes to features and functions, the PX-870 does not disappoint either.

Along with the standard features like metronome, transpose, dual/duo modes, the PX-870 offers 60 internal songs to listen to and play along with as well as great recording capabilities.

casio px-870 usb computer

With the PX-870 you can record your performances not only in MIDI but also in WAV, meaning you can record the actual sound of the instrument and share it with your friends and family easily. It’s the only piano on the list that has this function.

Another great feature the PX-870 has is called Concert Play.

It provides you with 10 different tunes, which are real recordings of the symphony orchestra. First, you can practice the piano part of those pieces (each hand can be practiced separately) and then move on to playing along with the orchestra accompaniment.

It’s pleasing to see that Casio continue to improve their instruments and provide the technology normally only available on much higher-priced pianos.

Overall, it’s safe to say that the PX-870 is currently one of the best digital pianos you can get for under 1000$.

It has an incredible piano sound, realistic hammer action and lots of nice features to keep you entertained.

Pros
  • Slim, simple design
  • Nice-feeling keyboard with textured keys
  • New 4-layer piano tone sounds beautiful
  • 256-note polyphony
  • Powerful 2 x 20W sound projection system
  • Concert Play feature
  • Built-in MIDI and Audio recorder
  • Chordana Play app unlocks more features and simplifies navigation
Cons
  • Slightly noisier key action compared to the competitors
  • Limited Split Mode (only bass sound for the left-hand section)

3) Roland RP-102 Excellent-quality keyboard, Bluetooth onboard

Roland RP-102 review


This is another amazing digital piano and a worthy addition to Roland’s RP series of home digital pianos.

Up until now, Roland didn’t offer any digital pianos under 1000$ except for their popular FP-30 model. But they soon realized that it’s a very popular price point among beginners and intermediate players and decided to join the game.

Roland RP102 cabinet

The RP-102 is almost identical to the FP-30, as far as piano playing goes, but unlike the FP-30 it comes with a furniture-style cabinet, 3 pedals and a whole bunch of preset songs.

Even though the RP-102 doesn’t offer many bells and whistles, it does an excellent job of recreating the sound and feel of an acoustic instrument.

Touch

The RP102 features the PHA-4 Standard keyboard with Escapement mechanism and Ivory feel keys.

It’s the latest iteration of Roland’s hammer actions, which have become even more realistic and less “noisy” compared to the 3rd generation.

Roland PHA-4 Standard keyboard

The PHA-4 Standard uses triple sensor detection system, which allows for more accurate key repetition sensing and better expression.

The escapement mechanism simulates that unique clicking sensation felt when you gently press the keys on a grand piano.

The Ivory textured keys aid control and help absorb moisture from your fingers.

Overall, PHA-4 Standard is one of the most reliable and realistic key actions in this price range, and is one of my favorites keyboards under $1500.

To my taste, the PHA-4 action has a more realistic touch than Yamaha and Casio keyboards. I’d put it on the same level as Korg’s premium RH3 key action used in the LP-380.

Sound

At the heart of the piano is Roland’s unique SuperNATURAL modeling technology, which is known for delivering a very full, rich piano sound with seamless dynamics.

Roland RP-102 sound

Some people like the sound, some people find it a bit too bright and metallic. I personally like the rich sound of Roland pianos. It’s very dynamic, powerful, and has its own character.

Moreover, the RP-102, PX-870 and YDP-144 are the only pianos on this list that simulate sympathetic string resonance, a unique characteristic found on an acoustic piano.

Since the PR-102 and the FP-30 share the same sound engine; you can compare how it sounds compared to Yamaha and Kawai instruments (note that the Yamaha P-115 in the video uses a different piano sound than the one in the YDP-144):

Features

The RP-102 probably doesn’t have as many features as the other pianos on the list, but thanks to its great connectivity (USB port, Bluetooth) you can easily expand the capabilities of the instrument using music apps such as FlowKey (for learning songs), GarageBand (for creating music), Logic Pro X, etc.

Roland RP102 controls

Moreover, Roland designed a great app called Piano Partner 2 (available for both iOS and Android devices).

Using this app, you can quickly access all the functions and songs on the PR-102 as well as display the scores of preset songs, develop your note-reading skills using the Flash Card game and much more.

What’s important is that the app also allows you to record your performances in MIDI, which is particularly useful for the RP-102 as it doesn’t have a built-in recorder.

Speaking of preset songs, the RP-102 has over 200 songs that you can listen to and play along with.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t provide a lesson function, which means you can’t turn off R or L track of a song to practice each hand’s part separately. But apps like FlowKey and Synthesia will easily solve that problem.

Ultimately, I definitely recommend adding the RP-102 to your list, considering it has arguably the best keyboard feel, impressively rich piano sound, and a variety of connectivity options.

Pros
  • Well-built piano-style cabinet
  • Realistic key action with escapement simulation and ivory feel
  • Rich, resonant piano sound (SuperNATURAL sound engine)
  • Over 200 built-in songs
  • Bluetooth MIDI
  • Extra sounds and features available via the app
Cons
  • No built-in MIDI recorder
  • No lesson function
  • Controls aren’t intuitive

2) Yamaha YDP-144 A straightforward piano that gets the job done

Yamaha YDP-144 review


Yamaha is probably the most popular manufacturer not only when it comes to budget-friendly digital pianos but pianos in general.

The company’s updated YDP line consists of console digital pianos that offer realistic piano playing experience for a fairly affordable price. This is what makes this series so popular among beginners and intermediate pianists.

The Yamaha YDP-144 is the middle model in the YDP series (YDP-164 – next model up; YDP-103 – next model down), which primarily targets home-based intermediate piano players.

The piano comes with a traditional-looking cabinet and 3 piano-style pedals. It’s the heaviest piano on the list (83.75 lbs) and it’s slightly deeper than its competitors (16.6″).

Yamaha YDP144 rosewood cabinet

If you take a closer look at the specs of the YDP-144, you can see that it’s very similar to the portable Yamaha P-125.

The pianos share the same key action and have an almost identical set of features. However, the piano sound is different.

The P-125 features the Pure CF sound engine (same as was used in the YDP-143), while the YDP-144 uses Yamaha’s CFX sampling found in their higher-end Clavinova series.

Touch

The YDP-144 is equipped with 88 full-size touch-sensitive keys that use the Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) action (Yamaha’s most affordable fully weighted action).

Yamaha YDP-144 GHS action

I was a bit disappointed that Yamaha didn’t even try to improve on this aspect by designing an improved version of this action or a new action entirely.

Instead, you get the same tried and true key action that Yamaha have been using on their entry-level and mid-range digital pianos for years.

The GHS provides a fairly realistic feel with a lighter touch in the upper range and heavier touch in the lower range.

Yamaha graded keyboard

The white keys have regular smooth plastic keytops, while the black ones have a black matte finish and are less slippery when playing over long periods of time.

There are a few limitations I’ve run into with this keyboard, and key pivot length is one of them.

Yamaha GHS keys

The GHS action is relatively short, which makes the pivot length shorter as well. This, in turn, makes it a bit tricky to play further up the keys, as they do get quite heavy towards their upper points.

Although this is quite common among budget-friendly digital pianos, the GHS is definitely not on the better side of the spectrum.

Although the GHS is nothing exceptional, it’s still a decent fully weighted action that feels similar to an acoustic piano and designed to meet the requirements of beginners through to intermediate players.

Sound

One of the major upgrades in the new YDP-144 compared to the YDP-143 is sound.

The YDP-144 uses Yamaha CFX sampling, which means you get to enjoy the sound recorded from Yamaha’s most expensive piano, the Yamaha CFX 9-foot concert grand.

This time Yamaha finally added some of the organic piano elements to the sound including string resonance, damper resonance, and key-off samples.

Thanks to the high-quality samples, 192-note polyphony and Yamaha’s latest technologies for sound optimization (Intelligent Acoustic Control, Stereophonic Optimizer), the YDP-144 offers a very rich and realistic sound through both headphones and 12W onboard speakers.

The sound options on the YDP-144 are pretty limited. There are 10 sounds including 3 different grand piano variations (CFX, mellow, pop), 2 electric pianos, 2 organs (pipe, jazz), strings, a harpsichord and a vibraphone.

When it comes to sound customization options, you don’t have much choice either. 4 reverb types are pretty much all you get.

Features

As far as features are concerned, the YDP-144 is pretty basic as well, but I wouldn’t say something important is missing here.

The piano has a metronome, dual and duo modes, a 2-track MIDI recorder, and a lesson function with 50 preset songs to practice right and left-hand parts independently.

Moreover, using the USB port, you can connect the piano to a computer or iPad to use it as a MIDI-controller with various music-making and teaching apps.

Using this port, you can also load up to 10 User Songs onto the instrument and use them in the same way as preset songs.

The YDP-144 is compatible with Yamaha’s Smart Pianist app, which will allow you to navigate the YDP-144 using an intuitive graphical interface and get access to some of the extra features.

Yamaha Smart Pianist

All in all, the YDP-144 is a good no-frills digital piano with an impressive sound and attractive price that will not let any unnecessary features and distractions get in the way of your playing.

If you like the sound and feel of the YDP-144, but you’re looking for something more slim and compact take a look at the YDP-S34, which is basically the same piano as the YDP-144 but has a different cabinet design.

Pros
  • Traditional, acoustic-like design
  • Lush, expensive sound of the CFX 9-ft. grand
  • 192-note polyphony
  • 2-track MIDI recorder
  • Lesson function (+ 50 preset songs)
  • USB Audio Interface function
  • Well-designed Smart Pianist app (remote controller function and extra features)
Cons
  • Not the most realistic key action
  • Limited selection of sounds
  • Navigating can be a pain if you don’t have the manual at hand

4) Korg LP-380 Japanese quality, great selection of sounds

Korg LP-380 review


The Korg LP-380 is another popular digital piano on the market and a great alternative to the newer C1 Air for those who has a limited budget.

Until recently, the LP-380 was a flagship model in Korg’s range of home digital pianos.

But even now, after the G1 Air and the C1 Air have been released, the LP-380 is still a worthy piano that you can get for a very appealing price.

Touch

The piano features the same RH3 keyboard action as the C1 Air model.

Korg LP-380 cabinet

The RH3 is one of the best key actions you can get for under $1500, and the LP-380 is actually Korg’s most affordable digital piano that uses this key action.

While the RH3 is based on a 2-sensor detection technology and doesn’t offer any ivory or ebony simulation on the keys, it’s one of the longest mid-range key actions out there, which considerably improves pivot length and makes it easier to play further up the keys.

In this particular component it beats every other key action on this list.

Korg RH3 keyboard action

The RH3 has a medium weight touch, feels very responsive, and reproduces the feel of an acoustic piano pretty accurately.

The RH3 along with Roland’s PHA-4 Standard deserve to be called the best actions in their class.

Sound

The Korg LP-380 uses the same stereo PCM sound engine and 120-note polyphony as the C1 Air model.

If you want to have as many sound options as possible, the LP-380 is the way to go. It has more built-in tones than any other piano on the list.

Unfortunately, the LP-380 doesn’t have the new piano sounds of Japanese and German grand pianos found on the C1 Air, which, as I previously said, are quite impressive.

But even with the Classic Grand Piano sound and slightly less powerful speakers (2 x 22W), the LP-380 sounds more than decent. Take a listen!

The LP-380, just like the C1 Air, is manufactured in Japan, which means you get the same exceptional Japanese quality for an even better price.

But there are also certain limitations that come with the lower price tag. In particular, the LP-380 doesn’t have a built-in MIDI recorder or lesson function.

There are 30 built-in songs (10 demos and 20 piano songs), which you can play back and play along with but you can’t change the sound of the song or turn off one of the tracks (R or L) to practice each hand’s part separately.

Korg LP380 front panel

Connectivity also isn’t something the LP-380 is very good at. There is no Bluetooth support and more importantly no USB ports.

Instead you get MIDI In/Out ports, which you can still use to exchange MIDI data with your computer, but a MIDI-USB adapter needed for this connection is pricier and harder to find than, say, a USB A to B adapter that you get at any electronics store for less than 10 bucks.

The rest of the connectors include two headphone jacks and a mini line out jack for connecting to external speakers, amps, etc.

The LP-380 is a good instrument all around with a wide selection of sounds and a high-quality Japanese-made RH3 key action.

It would be best suited for progressing piano students as well as recreational players who need an alternative to an acoustic instrument with minimal features and a fair price.

If you feel that you could benefit from having a few extra features such as a USB port, Bluetooth Audio connectivity, and the new upgraded pianos sounds (Japanese and German grand pianos) with sympathetic damper resonance and key off simulation, you should consider the Korg C1 Air.

Pros
  • Slim, sleek design
  • Well laid out easy-to-use controls
  • Premium RH3 key action taken directly from their pro keyboards
  • 30 beautiful preset sounds
  • Made in Japan
Cons
  • No MIDI recorder
  • No lesson function
  • No USB port

5) Casio PX-770 The best choice for those on a budget

Casio PX-770 review


We already talked about the PX-770’s older brother and the flagship of the Privia series, the PX-870.

These two digital pianos have a lot of similarities, though the Casio PX-770 does lack a couple of features, which explains the lower price tag.

Casio PX770 white

When it comes to piano-playing experience, they are very similar since they share the same key action and sound engine (same set of built-in tones too).

Although piano sounds are the same, the PX-870 simulates more organic piano elements, which makes it fuller and more realistic sounding compared to the PX-770.

When using the onboard speakers you’ll also be able to tell the difference between the two, as the PX-870 has a more powerful and sophisticated speaker system.

However, don’t be fooled by the numbers, the PX-770 gets louder than you’ll ever need for a typical home situation.

Casio PX-770 controls

Polyphony also isn’t something to sweat over. Be it 128 or 256 notes, you’ll be able to play pretty much anything you like without fearing that any notes will be cut off.

There are also a few sound-enhancing technologies present on the PX-870, though I wouldn’t say they change things dramatically sound-wise.

The PX-770 also doesn’t have an audio recorder, which none of the pianos on this list have, except for the PX-870.

As you can see, the PX-770 is basically a watered-down version of the PX-870. It has a beautiful 4-layer piano sound, very decent keyboard, and some cool features to keep you busy.

Casio PX-770 keyboard

As of the time of writing, the Casio PX-770 is the most affordable console digital piano on the market (among 5 major brands I mentioned in the beginning of the article) but it can surely compete with its higher-priced counterparts, which is what Casio are very well-known for.

Pros
  • Relatively lightweight and easy to move around
  • Nice-feeling keyboard with textured keys
  • New 4-layer piano tone sounds beautiful
  • Concert Play feature
  • 2-track MIDI recorder
  • Very affordable
Cons
  • Slightly noisier key action compared to the competitors
  • Limited Split Mode (bass sound only for the left-hand section)

Things you MUST KNOW before choosing your Home Digital Piano

There you have, folks! Note that this list is based on what we believe are the best home digital pianos under $1000.

In case you haven’t found the instrument that suits your needs in this article, I’d like to provide some extra information that will hopefully help you find the right instrument.

Here are some of the main terms and aspects of the digital piano world that you’ll most likely run into when doing your research.

KeysAction TypesTouch sensitivityPolyphonyModesLesson FunctionMIDI recorderAudio RecorderAccompaniment Transpose, Tuning USB type A USB type B

Modern acoustic pianos have 88 keys. Most keyboards and digital pianos have 88, 76, 73 or 61 keys.
73 keys are enough to play most (99%) modern pieces. Some advanced (classical) pieces require a full set of 88 keys.

how many keys acoustic piano

There are 3 most common types of actions:

1) Non-weighted – most organs, synths and entry-level keyboards are not weighted.
2) Semi-weighted – common action for budget portable keyboards (usually cost <300$). Spring-loaded mechanism adds more resistance to the keys compared to the non-weighted action.
3) Fully weighted (hammer action) is designed to replicate the action of a real piano. It uses small hammers (rather than springs) attached to each key to recreate the mechanical movements found inside a real piano.

hammer action

If your main goal is to play piano that you’ll definitely want a keyboard with hammer action keys.

It’s the key action that feels close to the real piano keys and will help you build proper finger strength and technique, making it much easier to transition to an acoustic in the future (if you decide to).

Touch sensitivity (a.k.a velocity sensitivity or touch response) is a very important feature of any keyboard or digital piano, which ensures that the volume produced by the instrument will change depending on how hard or soft you play the keys.

It’s not a big deal nowadays as almost any $150+ keyboard have touch-sensitive keys regardless of its action type.

Much more important is whether the keyboard is weighted or not. Keyboards with fully weighted action often have adjustable touch-sensitivity so you can adjust it to your playing style.

polyphony digital piano

Polyphony is the number of notes a digital piano can produce at the same time.

These days, most digital pianos are equipped with 64, 128, 192 or 256-note polyphony.

You may wonder how it is possible to have 32, 64, or even 128 notes playing at the same time, if there are only 88 keys and we never play them all together.

First of all, many of today’s digital pianos use stereo samples, which sometimes require two notes for each key played.

Another thing is that the use of the sustain pedal, sound effects (Reverb, Chorus), Dual mode (layering) and even the metronome tick sound take up additional notes of polyphony.

For example, when you depress the sustain pedal, the earliest played notes continue to sound while you’re adding new ones and the piano needs more memory to keep all the notes sounding.

Another example of polyphony consumption is when you’re playing along with a song playback (can also be your own recorded performance) or auto-accompaniment.

In this case, the piano will need polyphony not only for the notes you’re playing but also for the backing track.

When you reach the polyphony cap, the piano starts to drop the earliest played notes to free up memory for the new ones, which in turn affects the sound and its fullness.

You’ll hardly ever need all the 192 or 256 voices of polyphony at a time, but there are cases when you can reach 64 or even 128 note limit, especially if you like to layer several sounds and create multi-track recordings.

For an intermediate player it’s desirable to have 128 notes of polyphony or more.

Along with the standard “Single” keyboard mode, digital pianos often offer additional modes that allow you to use two instrument sounds at the same time or playing four hands.

Here are the most popular modes that digital pianos have:

1) Split Mode – divides the keyboard into two parts, allowing you to play a different instrument sound in each of them. For example, you can play guitar with your left hand and piano with your right hand at the same time.

split mode
2) Dual Mode (Layering) – allows you to layer two different sounds so that they sound simultaneously whenever you press a key. For example, you can layer strings with the piano sound or combine whatever sounds you like to get some new interesting combinations.

dual mode layering
3) Duo Mode (a.k.a. Duet Play, Partner Mode, Twin Piano) – divides the keyboard into two halves with identical pitch ranges (two middle Cs) allowing two people to play the same notes at the same time.

Duet Play is particularly useful when you use it with your teacher or tutor who will play you some tunes on one side of the keyboard, and you’ll be able to follow along on the other side, playing the exact same notes at the same time.

duo mode duet play

lesson function

Some digital pianos allows you to turn off the left- or right-hand part (track) of a song (preset or downloaded from the Internet) and practice it, playing along to the playback of the other part.

Pianos that have this function usually have a multi-track MIDI recorder.

midi recorder

A MIDI recorder allows you to record and play back your own performances without using any additional equipment.

Multi-track recording (2 and more tracks) allows you to record several musical parts onto separate tracks and play them back as a single song. You can also experiment with your recording by turning off some of the recorded tracks.

For example, you can record the right-hand part of the song on track 1, and the left-hand part on track two (while listening to the playback of the first track).

You can also create complex, multi-instrument recordings by recording several instrument parts onto separate tracks and playing them back together afterwards.

MIDI-recording is not the recording of the actual sound of the instrument. Here, we’re recording the MIDI data (a sequence of notes, their length, velocity and other parameters).

audio wav recording

A built-in audio recorder will allow you to record the actual sound of the instrument (native samples) and save it to a flash drive usually in WAV format (Linear PCM, 16bit, 44.1 kHz, Stereo).

You can then share your recording on social media, upload it to SoundCloud, burn to CD, etc.

Audio recordings are more universal than MIDI ones because they provide you with a CD-quality audio file playable on most modern devices, and don’t require any additional software, and sample libraries (VSTs) to render a MIDI recording to audio.

accompaniment function

Accompaniment function will enrich your performance, providing full backing accompaniment (rhythm, bass, harmony) that will follow your playing and make you sound like full band.

The accompaniment changes depending to what notes you play with you left hand (chords or even single notes if you don’t know full cords).

In other words, you manage your “band” with your left hand (by specifying chords) and play the main melody with your right hand.

Some instruments offer several accompaniment modes, and allow you specify chords using the full range of the keyboard.

transpose tuning

1) Transpose function allows you to shift the overall pitch of the keyboard in semitone steps. The function is particularly useful when want to play a song in a different key but don’t want to change your fingering and learn it in a new key.

So, for example, if you know how to play a song in F major, you can transpose the pitch and play it in C major without actually learning it in the new key.

You can also transpose a song written in a difficult key (e.g., many black keys) into a different key with easier chords, but still hear it as if you were playing in the original key.

2) Tuning function allows you to shift the pitch from the standard A440 tuning in 0.1Hz or 0.2Hz steps.

You can use this function to match the piano’s pitch finely to that of another instrument or music (old piano, recording).

usb type A to device

This port is also known as USB to Device port or USB drive port. The port can be used for connecting a flash drive to the piano to exchange files quickly and easily.

For example, you can load MIDI songs into the piano’s internal memory for playback or rehearsal (if the piano offers this option).

Alternatively, you can play back WAV and MIDI files (depends on the piano model) directly from the flash drive without loading them into the piano’s internal memory.

And finally, you can save your own performances recorded with the instrument to the flash drive as well as load them back onto the instrument when needed.

usb type B to HOST

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.

This port will allow you to use the piano as a MIDI controller to control various music apps such as GarageBand, FlowKey, Playground Sessions, etc.

There are actually tons of other apps that can expand the functionality of your digital piano in terms of learning, composing, recording, editing music.

Some brands offer their own free apps designed for certain piano models. Such apps usually enable you to control all the settings and functions of the instrument using an intuitive graphical interface.


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If after reading this review you still have doubts about what instrument to choose, take a look at our Digital Piano Buying Guide and other popular articles listed below:

Best Digital Pianos for Beginners (Under $500)

Best Weighted Keyboards Under $700 (for Intermediate Players)

Best Home Digital Pianos Under $1500 (In-depth Comparison)

best-digital-pianos-under-1500

Best Portable Digital Pianos Under $2000 (for Advanced Pianists)

The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Digital Piano

Digital Piano Buying Guide

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