Best 88-Key Digital Pianos – 5 Best Picks

(Last Updated On: November 13, 2022)

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So you’re looking for a brand-new 88–key digital piano to complement your space. But how do you choose from the dozens, if not hundreds, of 88-key digital pianos available on the market today? There are plenty of factors to consider before making your purchase, and we have taken into account every one of them to give you the top 5 options that are all guaranteed to deliver amazing sounds and offer the most value for your money.

88-key digital piano

Buying a new digital piano is always an exciting experience for a music lover, but it can also be a bit confusing and overwhelming when you see all the choices available and how many companies claim that their keyboard is the best, leaving you even more puzzled.

Digital pianos, especially 88-key ones, are a great investment because they are highly versatile and offer the portability that a real piano doesn’t have. You can simply bring it to your next gig and perform wherever and whenever you like while providing more sounds and effects than any traditional piano can produce. So let’s check out some of the best 88-key digital pianos available on the market today. Some are great for beginners, while others are more suited for experienced players. However, all are certain to deliver an excellent performance.

Also Read: Best Ways to Learn Piano As a Complete Beginner

5 Best 88-Key Digital Pianos

  1. Nord Stage 3 HA88
  2. Roland RD-2000
  3. Yamaha P125
  4. Yamaha P71
  5. Alesis Recital

1. Nord Stage 3 HA88

Features:

  • Organ, piano, and synthesizer sound engines.
  • 88-key fully weighted Hammer Action keybed for more resistance. 
  • Two OLED screens are provided for the Program and Synth areas for smooth navigation.
  • A seamless transition between programs prevents your sound from being disrupted when switching patches.
  • Song Mode with setlist functionality for a smoother stage perforation.
  • 2GB of space to add your preferred instrument sounds from the Nord Piano Library.
  • You can utilize two pianos, two organs, two synths, and two effects pedals at the same time using two independent instrument slots.
  • Electric pianos, strings, voices, folk instruments, and more are all part of the expanded instrument selection.
  • Integration of external MIDI sound modules through the Extern Section.
  • Separate controls for important functions for quick access.
  • Supports Program Changes from external footswitch (not included.)
  • Size and weight: 4.7″ x 50.7″ x 13″. 41.8 lbs.

The Nord Stage 3 HA88 is a world-class performer that we’re positive you’ve seen many times before, especially during live performances by celebrities and artists such as Billie Eilish, Finneas, Angèle, and many others.

This keyboard features the award-winning Nord Lead A1 Synth Engine, the renowned Nord C2D Organ Engine, an advanced piano section (all of which can be used simultaneously), and access to hands-on effects giving you tremendous sonic flexibility. The Nord Stage 3 includes two slots that allow you to simultaneously use two pianos, two organs, two synthesizers, and two effects units for a vast range of sonic possibilities. The Nord Stage 3 also has a fully weighted Hammer Action keyboard giving you the realistic experience of a real piano. Due to its massive amount of sounds and customizing capabilities, you can cover a wide range of musical genres and create huge layered sounds to either record or perform live on stage. Even though the price is a bit hard to get past, the Nord Stage 3 HA88 is a monster that’s worth every penny.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Easy to use and extremely versatile.
  • Incredible sound.
  • Realistic and natural feel to the keyboard.
  • Great build quality.

Cons:

  • Very expensive.
  • No built-in speakers.
  • No touch screen.

2. Roland RD-2000

Features:

  • Two separate sound engines and various controller features.
  • Specialised acoustic piano sound engine with full polyphony.
  • Second SuperNATURAL sound engine features 128-voice polyphony.
  • 8 knobs with LED status indicators; faders for immediate sound and effect modulation.
  • Merging internal sounds and external sources through 8 assignable zones (including VIs.)
  • Advanced sensor technology in the PHA-50 keyboard’s hybrid wood/molded design.
  • The RD-1000 and MKS-20 electronic pianos from Roland.
  • Vintage analog effects like the BOSS CE-1 Chorus, Roland Dimension D, and more.
  • Organs, synths, brass, orchestral strings, and more than 1100 additional sounds are available.
  • 2 wave expansion slots for loading more sounds from Roland’s Axial website.
  • 100-scene memories for saving and one-touch setup recall.
  • Two assignable wheel controllers in addition to the standard Roland pitch/mod lever.
  • 4 pedal inputs can be set up for expression pedals, damper pedals, and more.
  • Damper pedal operation with the DP-10 pedal.
  • Onboard 24-bit/192kHz USB audio/MIDI interface.
  • Support for high-resolution RAINLINK velocity control.
  • Wood and Plastic Hybrid Structure PHA-50 Keyboard, with Escapement and Ebony/Ivory Feel.
  • Power Consumption of 23W.
  • Size and weight: 5.56″ x 55.62″ x 14.50″. 47.87 lbs.

The RD-2000 by Roland is one of the best 88-key digital pianos you can spend your money on. It’s a very powerful keyboard with the excellent build quality, making it ideal for stage performances and travel. It has a very natural sound and flexible sound-sculpting features that adapt to any musical scenario and gig. From vintage to acoustic to electric pianos, you can customize your sounds, add depth to them, and quickly pull them up on stage with no trouble.

The RD-2000 offers 100 scene memories allowing one-touch setup recall, as well as nine sliders for real-time control, making it the ideal gigging partner. Its 2 independent sound engines and extensive controller features give players unlimited sounds and editing capabilities when they’re live on stage or in the studio recording. The PHA-50 hammer action keyboard, one of the RD-2000’s most significant features, gives you the feeling that you’re playing a real piano, sometimes making you forget that you’re using a digital one. The realism element also comes in the acoustic piano sounds since they have their own dedicated sound engine. Mix that with the PHA-50 hammer action keyboard, and you’ll have the perfect digital piano in your hands.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Easy to use and extremely versatile.
  • Realistic and natural sound.
  • Great build quality.
  • Extremely customizable, providing an infinite amount of sounds.
  • Intuitive design.
  • LED status indicators for night performances.

Cons:

  • Volume knob is too small.
  • The nine faders feel a bit flimsy.
  • A bit expensive.

Also Read: How to Sing and Play Piano at the Same Time?

3. Yamaha P125

Features:

  • Similar to an acoustic piano, GHS weighted action is heavier in the low keys and lighter in the upper keys.
  • Despite frequent use, matte black keytops retain their tactile quality without getting slippery.
  • The Yamaha 9′ CFIIIS concert grand’s tone is faithfully recreated by the Pure CF Sound Engine’s 4-level sampling.
  • The sound of a grand piano inside when the dampers are off the strings is recreated using Damper Resonance DSP.
  • String Resonance simulates the behavior of acoustic pianos by recreating the sympathetic sounds of all undamped strings resonating.
  • Key-off samples offer a subtle variation in sound at the precise moment the damper falls back to the string.
  • Connect your music-making software with a single cable using a USB to host MIDI and audio transfer.
  • You can be heard in small ensemble settings by using Sound Boost, which increases volume and adds EQ to help the instrument project and cut through the background noise.
  • The stereophonic optimizer modifies the way sound is distributed in headphones so that it appears to be coming from the piano rather than the player’s ears.
  • You can use each hand to play a distinct voice in split mode.
  • To practice with a friend or tutor, the keyboard is divided into two half via Duo mode, each having its own middle C.
  • Includes music rest and footswitch.
  • Size and weight: 6.56″x 52.18″ x 11.62″. 26 lbs.

The first thing you’ll notice about the Yamaha P125 is its sleek, minimal design, especially compared to the first 2 digital pianos we just covered. When Yamaha built this digital piano, the most crucial element they wanted to focus on was realism. They added the Graded Hammer Standard action, which mimics the dynamic sensation of hammers on real acoustic piano strings by being heavier in the low notes and lighter in the high keys. And String and Damper Resonance DSP to recreate the echoing sounds inside a grand piano when the dampers are off the strings.

It is the perfect digital piano for beginner and intermediate players. It is pretty easy to use and provides a wide range of sounds and customizations despite its appearance and very minimalistic design. But don’t let first impressions fool you. The P125 features 50 built-in classical music masterpieces, 24 great-sounding instrument voices, a collection of 20 drums and bass styles, Split and Duo modes, and plenty of polyphony to handle it all. This keyboard is among the best 88-key digital pianos we could find and will definitely give you the bang for your buck.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Affordable.
  • Lightweight and portable.
  • It has an integrated full stereo sound system.
  • Customizable and versatile.
  • Minimalistic design.
  • Great keyboard for beginners.

Cons:

  • Limited selection of effects.
  • No Bluetooth.
  • The graded hammer system could be better.

4. Yamaha P71

Features:

  • The 88 Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) keys simulate the feel of an acoustic piano.
  • A rich, detailed grand piano sound is created through full-stereo AWM sampling.
  • 4 reverb effect styles.
  • Keyboard layer mode for more complex sounds.
  • Duo mode for team exercises or teaching purposes.
  • Live performance using built-in stereo speakers and two 6W amplifiers.
  • Sustain footswitch, power adapter, sustain pedal, and a music rest included.
  • Size and weight: 6″x 52.25″x 11.5″. 25.35 lbs.

If you’re wondering why the Yamaha P71 looks precisely like the Yamaha P45, it’s because they’re the exact same keyboard. The only 3 differences between the two are that the Yamaha P71 is sold exclusively on Amazon, while the Yamaha P45 can be found in most music stores. The P71 is cheaper than the P45 and comes with a power adapter and sustain pedal that the P45 doesn’t offer.

The Yamaha P71 is an excellent digital piano for beginners. It comes with Yamaha’s GHS (Graded Hammer Standard), which gives it that realistic touch and weighted feel that mimics acoustic pianos. And has a very slim and minimalistic design and is very portable, making it ideal for live gigs and traveling.

What’s interesting about the sound of this keyboard is that it was captured using AWM (Advanced Wave Memory) Stereo Sampling, which creates a deeper, richer, and more spacious sound by using 2 microphones (L and R.)

You can also control many of P71’s settings using one button, which is one of the reasons its simplicity is perfect for beginners.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Affordable.
  • Easy to use.
  • Minimalistic design.
  • Lightweight and portable.
  • Comes with built-in speakers.

Cons:

  • Not-so-great build quality.
  • No built-in recording function.
  • Headphone jack is in the back.

Also Read: Best Arranger Keyboard for One-man Band

5. Alesis Recital

Features:

  • 88 full-sized, superior semi-weighted keys with programmable touch response.
  • 5 premium built-in voices with the option to split or layer two voices at once.
  • 128-note maximum polyphony and 20-watt speakers provide realistic sound and performance.
  • The keyboard is split into two halves with the same pitch and voice when in lesson mode.
  • The built-in metronome’s tap tempo can be selected between 30-280 BPM.
  • Pedal resonance function; easily adjustable Reverb and Chorus FX.
  • Stereo RCA AUX outputs are available for connecting to other sound systems, an amplifier, or a mixer.
  • For private use, you can silence the internal speakers by using the 14″ (6.35mm) headphone output.
  • To use virtual instruments plugins or learning applications, a USB-MIDI output is available.
  • Connect a standard ¼” (6.35mm) sustain pedal (not included) using the sustain input.
  • Features a power adapter or uses six D-cell batteries for power (not included.)
  • Size and weight: 3.6”x 50.52″x 11.52″. 15.62 lbs.

The Alesis Recital is one of the most powerful 88-key digital pianos found on the market for beginners. Considering that you can purchase a brand new one for $229, this keyboard has plenty to offer. It comes with semi-weighted keys, which are perfectly suitable for beginners and give you the best of both worlds of acoustic pianos and synthesizers. The Recital is incredibly adaptable thanks to its adjustable touch sensitivity capabilities and five built-in instrument voices, including Acoustic piano, Electric piano, Organ, Synth, and Bass. It also features effects such as Reverb and Chorus to give your sounds that extra shine. And it is one of the few digital pianos, especially at this price point, to feature two powerful 20-watt built-in speakers, allowing you to practice and perform whenever and wherever you want.

The Alesis Recital is highly recommended for beginners. Remember, though, that for this budget, you won’t be getting a keyboard that you’ll be using on stage with Beyoncé. It is, however, more than sufficient to get you started and upgrade to a better one later on.

Pros and cons

Pros:

Cons:

  • Not-so-great build quality.
  • No pre-recorded songs.

Buyer’s Guide for an 88-Key Digital Piano

Buyer’s guide for an 88-key digital piano

Before indulging in a new keyboard, there are 5 factors you need to consider;

Sound

You should test your chosen keyboard and listen to what it has to offer. Does it sound deep and rich, or does it sound like a kid’s toy? This is the most crucial element to consider, especially if you’re on a tight budget where the risk of getting a cheap sound is higher.

Portability

Are you buying this keyboard for your home? Or do you want the flexibility to practice anywhere you like? Because some 88-key digital pianos can weigh up to 60 lbs., which is not ideal if playing at the park with your friends is something you consider doing. So make sure you check out the size and weight of the keyboard before making your purchase.

Keys

There are 3 options available when it comes to your keyboard. Weighted (or fully-weighted), semi-weighted, and unweighted. Weighted keys are a bit harder to press than our other 2 options giving you the impression of playing a real acoustic piano. Semi-weighted keys offer less resistance than weighted keys, which is great if you’re not used to playing a real piano. And unweighted keys, which are extremely easy to play and excellent for mastering rhythmic music styles but may give you the flimsy impression that you are playing a child’s toy keyboard. So, in the end, it all comes down to preference and needs.

Polyphony

Polyphony is the maximum number of notes a keyboard or sound module can simultaneously produce. Many of today’s keyboards offer 64-note or even 128-note polyphony. While few keyboardists will play so many notes at once, they still look for a higher number before buying their keyboard in order to have more options in creating as many complex and layered sounds as they like.

Add-ons and accessories

Plenty of music stores offer bundles specifically designed for beginners to help them get started. They offer package deals that include the keyboard and a few items like a stand, headphones, and pedals. These are great if you’re just getting started and might want to look for shops that offer these bundles. However, if you’re an experienced player, we can almost guarantee that you already own these items.

Also Read: Best Keyboard Pianos With Built-in Looper / Sequencer

FAQ

Are 88 keys enough to learn piano?

A full 88-key digital piano is more than enough to help you learn piano. You can even learn on a 61-key or a 76-key keyboard. However, if you want to unlock a piano’s full potential, it’s best to go for the 88-key piano, especially if you’re planning on learning classical music, which calls for many notes and octaves.

How much should I spend on an 88-key digital piano?

You can spend anywhere from $150 to $7000 on a brand-new keyboard. It all depends on your budget and how much you’re willing to pay. It’s clear that the more expensive keyboards undoubtedly have better sounds, more effects, and higher build quality. However, this doesn’t necessarily imply that you must spend $7000 to get a great keyboard. You can check out digital pianos ranging from $300 to $1200, as the majority of these 88-key digital pianos offer a variety of sounds and effects that deliver impressive results. And if you later decide to upgrade your keyboard, you can always check out some of the digital pianos we mentioned earlier, as all of them are excellent choices.

What's the difference between a 61-key keyboard and an 88-key?

A full-size keyboard and a standard piano have 88 keys. A full-size keyboard has 88 keys. A 61-key keyboard has 27 fewer keys than an 88-key keyboard, is lighter and smaller, and offers 5 octaves as opposed to the 88-key keyboard's 7 octaves.

Conclusion

All the keyboards featured today are excellent and versatile 88-key digital pianos for beginners and advanced players, with prices ranging from $229 to $5299. So feel free to choose one of the five pianos listed above based on your budget, skill level, and preference. We hope we have made the process of selecting a new digital piano a little easier for you, as buying a brand-new instrument should always be fun and exciting.

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