Korg B2 88-Key Digital Piano
Yamaha P121 73-Key Piano Keyboard
Casio CTK3500 61-Key Keyboard Piano
Table of Contents
There’s nothing quite like the warm, resonant tones produced by an acoustic piano. The authentic voice combined with the control an acoustic piano offers to the pianist makes it a wish list item for many budding players.
Unfortunately, everything that makes a classic piano so desirable comes at a price — and a hefty one at that.
If a grand or upright piano is outside of your price range, worry not. There’s a wide range of affordable keyboard pianos that not only get the job done, but sound pretty amazing too.
Our favorite and pick for the best cheap keyboard piano on the market is the Korg B2 88-Key Digital Piano. This full-sized keyboard combines high quality engineering and beautiful sonic voicings, making it a solid choice for beginners and veterans alike.
The B2 isn’t the only option when it comes to quality keyboards at lower price points. We’ve chosen seven additional keyboards that will serve you well.
So, whether you want an affordable instrument for piano lessons or a smooth keyboard for jam sessions and gigs, read ahead to find the perfect model for you.
The 8 Best Cheap Keyboard Pianos:
|Image||Keyboard Piano||Summary||Check Price|
|Korg B2 88-Key Digital Piano|
Best Choice: Full-sized digital piano that’s easy to use but feels like a premium instrument when you play
|Casio CTK3500 61-Key Portable Keyboard Piano|
Best Value: One of the best cheap keyboard pianos with versatile sounds and dynamic response
|Yamaha P121 73-Key Weighted Digital Piano Keyboard|
Premium Pick: Classic Yamaha sound with high-quality build and enough instrument voices to play any genre of music
|Casio CT-S200 61-Key Portable Keyboard Piano|
Entry-Level Keyboard For Beginners: Good for playing along with songs or getting beginners set up on an affordable, accessible keyboard
|Roland GO:KEYS 61-Key Digital Piano Keyboard|
Superb Features For The Money: Packed with Roland’s digital voices and features at an affordable price
|Yamaha PSR-E273 61-Key Portable Keyboard Piano|
Awesome Keyboard for Kids: Comfortable and affordable keyboard that’s built for new musicians
|Casio CTX700 61-Key Digital Keyboard Piano|
Ultra-Budget Friendly: One of the best step-up models that provides good quality without sacrificing value
|Yamaha PSR-E463 61-Key Portable Keyboard Piano|
Yamaha’s Flagship PSR Model: Includes the top features of other PSR pianos with extra piano sounds and high-quality build
Korg B2 88-Key Digital Piano
Korg is one of the most famous brands in the digital piano world, with stage pianos and weighted keyboards used by professional musicians in all genres. The B2 Digital Piano condenses Korg’s signature build quality into a more affordable package.
If you want a good cheap keyboard piano that delivers resonant sounds and comfortable action, it’s hard to top the B2. This keyboard piano offers 12 different sounds and 12 effects, including five acoustic pianos.
The German and Italian grand pianos provide power and finesse, while the keyboard’s electric piano, organ, harpsichord and string settings are great for a change of pace.
The B2 uses Korg’s natural weighted hammer action keyboard with a full 88-key range. The lower range is heavier than the treble keys and the action is supple for maximum articulation. If you’re used to the feel of an acoustic piano, this is a good affordable substitute.
For recording and playback, the B2 also comes with a Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) port via USB. This connector links the keyboard piano to your computer or audio interface. You can use the keyboard as a MIDI controller or play different instruments from a digital audio workstation (DAW).
Casio CTK3500 61-Key Portable Keyboard Piano
Beginners on a tight budget need a durable keyboard that sounds and feels realistic — and on those grounds the Casio CTK3500 is the best option on the market.
It provides two sensitivity levels with hundreds of onboard tones and rhythms, so you can start to play without spending thousands.
The core of this keyboard piano lies in the sound engine. It has 400 different sounds ranging from acoustic and electric piano to strings, brass and other instruments.
The classic piano tones are smooth and dynamic, without a lot of the boxy, tinny sounds that are common on cheap keyboard pianos.
Likewise, the response is a step above most other competitors at this price range. The keys feature two different sensitivity settings, so you can adjust the resistance to your exact liking. Both levels are light enough for beginners to get comfortable, while still providing a traditional piano action.
Along with the sounds, this keyboard piano includes 100 rhythm tracks, 60 built-in songs and a headphone output so you can play along with songs in a full band. If you want to create your own tunes, you can link this Casio to your computer or audio interface via the USB connection.
Yamaha P121 73-Key Weighted Digital Piano Keyboard
Yamaha offers a sterling reputation in the digital piano world. If you want to harness the tone and dynamics of a Yamaha piano in a more reasonable package, the P121 is the best choice for you.
This keyboard piano provides 73 keys with beautifully resonant built-in speakers and a smooth, lifelike response.
The P121 uses Yamaha’s graded hammer standard keyboard. Unlike most other cheap keyboard pianos, these keys incorporate genuine wooden hammers to feel like an acoustic piano.
You can also adjust the touch sensitivity between four settings to find the perfect weight.
Yamaha’s Pure CF Sound Engine powers the acoustic section with samples from Yamaha and Bösendorfer concert grand pianos. Together, they provide the perfect balance of power, depth and articulation for any passage.
Beyond the grand piano sounds, the P121 comes with 24 onboard voices for upright pianos, electric piano and all manner of brass, woodwind and string instruments as well. With damper resonance, reverb and 192-note polyphony onboard, you can be sure your digital piano will sound completely natural in any situation.
Casio CT-S200 61-Key Portable Keyboard Piano
While more expensive keyboards provide some fantastic features, many players just need a basic, streamlined keyboard piano to get started with.
With hundreds of tones, USB MIDI connectivity and a portable frame, the Casio CT-S200 is one competitive option.
At an extremely affordable price point, this keyboard piano includes 400 onboard tones and backing tracks.
The built-in speakers sound relatively clear and balanced. They don’t emphasize the trebles or basses, instead offering a relatively smooth character.
However, they can sound boxy when turned up. If you want to play over any other noise source, you’ll need to augment them with an external speaker or keyboard amp. The keys also don’t provide any touch sensitivity, which gives them less touch response than an acoustic piano.
If you need to take your keyboard out of the house, the CT-S200 can run on six AA batteries. And at just 3.3 kilograms, it’s not hard to grab it by the handle and go.
Roland GO:KEYS 61-Key Digital Piano Keyboard
Roland’s stage pianos are some of the most popular in the world, but the Japanese company doesn’t just make pricey premium instruments.
Its new GO:KEYS model is a budget model that combines the best features of Roland stage instruments with a versatile and durable frame for playing anywhere.
The GO:KEYS provides more than 500 sounds and effects onboard. The acoustic piano sound is luscious and resonant. There are also dozens of other voices onboard, ranging from strings and brass to drums, bass and off-the-wall synths.
The keyboard itself includes 61 full-sized keys, with three levels of touch sensitivity and Roland’s “ivory feel” mechanism.
The 10 onboard pads are another unique feature. You can use these to bend pitches and add effects to your basic sound for a quick accent in the middle of a tune. The GO:KEYS also includes a song mode to let you track up to eight parts on top of each other.
Yamaha PSR-E273 61-Key Portable Keyboard Piano
The PSR-E273 is the latest entry in Yamaha’s renowned PSR line. For small kids and younger players, this keyboard is a dynamic option that punches above its price range.
With 61 keys and hundreds of voices, this keyboard piano offers enough depth to play at all skill levels. The sounds cover different pianos and other instruments, along with backing tracks and effects. You can even switch to dance music mode for playing DJ songs.
In most scenarios, the onboard speakers do a fine job at amplifying a loud, resonant piano sound. However, at higher volumes, they lose some depth and natural feel, which is important to keep in mind if you’re planning on playing with other musicians in the future.
For learning players, this keyboard’s accompaniment feature is a unique touch. If you hold down one or two notes, the keyboard fills out entire chords to play a passage.
This helps beginners learn what sounds good on piano and how different notes fit together into a cohesive piece of music.
Casio CTX700 61-Key Digital Keyboard Piano
The Casio CTX700 provides more features than bargain keyboards yet remains one of the best budget keyboard pianos around.
This model runs with more than 600 onboard sounds, so you’ve always got unique voicings under your fingers.
Though it comes at an affordable price point, this keyboard also includes Casio’s AiX Sound Source. This technology is found on some higher-end Casio keyboards, and recreates the tones of a vintage concert grand piano with greater fidelity and warmth.
The 61-key keyboard provides more dynamic expression than cheaper models, although it leaves a bit to be desired.
If you want true touch sensitive keys you might want to look for a higher-end model from Casio, Yamaha, or Roland.
The front console features clear illustrations for every key and menu, so you know exactly how to use the keyboard at all times. There’s also an onboard USB-MIDI port that is perfect for home recording and playing back your songs.
Yamaha PSR-E463 61-Key Portable Keyboard Piano
As the flagship model in the Yamaha PSR series, the PSR-E463 offers a step up from the company’s cheap keyboard lineup. If you’re looking for the best budget keyboard piano with better-weighted action and quality sounds, the E463 is worth checking out.
This cheap keyboard piano offers Yamaha’s XG Lite voice library, which stores more than 750 voices to fuel your creativity as you play. There are also 235 auto accompaniment styles and the “quick sampling” technology that lets you capture external sounds and assign them to your keys in real time.
The keys themselves provide four levels of sensitivity so you can adjust the action to your liking. These also come in handy for playing with different instrument voicings and tweaking the dynamics for better articulation.
To make sampling and recording easier, the keyboard includes both auxiliary and USB-MIDI inputs. You can record and playback tones via your DAW, or play along with MIDI voicings from your computer.
Which Keyboard is Most Like a Piano?
Digital pianos are a great tool for players just starting out on the instrument but, if you want the most realistic experience, it’s important to find one that resembles a traditional piano.
To get the best feel out of your cheap digital piano, you’ll need to look for features like weighted keys, quality voices and built-in tones for effects and recording. These aspects make the difference between the best cheap keyboard pianos and cheap toys.
But while the affordable keyboard pianos provide features resembling more expensive models, it’s still important to learn what separates them from genuine acoustic pianos. Let’s take a look and break down each feature.
Expensive vs. Cheap Keyboard Pianos
While you can find solid keyboard pianos in almost any price range, it’s important to consider the differences in sound, build and materials between these models and premium stage pianos.
The main distinction lies in the quality of their sound engines. Expensive stage pianos use meticulously crafted samples of concert grand pianos. The sound engines often include damper resonance, string resonance and room ambience, so you get as accurate a sound as possible.
Cheap pianos, on the other hand, use lower-fidelity samples without as many variations in tone and ambiance. In practice, this makes them sound a bit more “canned,” without as much natural warmth and depth to their sound.
Likewise, the materials used differ greatly. Premium stage pianos offer simulated ivory textures on the keys and real wooden hammers to approximate the touch of a concert piano. More affordable keyboards opt for spring resistance or no sensitivity in the keys, with an artificial plastic shell.
Finally, the build quality is another factor to consider. Stage pianos are often built by hand, with thousands of internal parts that need to fit together perfectly. More affordable options use cheaper production techniques that don’t provide the same supple, fluid play response.
Weighted Keys vs Touch Sensitive Keys
Properly weighted keys often make the difference between a realistic digital piano and a cheap keyboard toy. Weighted keys can be tough to find on a cheap keyboard piano, because creating the feel of realistic piano keys carries a higher price tag.
To get the best action in a cheap keyboard piano, look for traditional hammer action keys. These keyboards use genuine hammers inside each key, which is the same technology you’d find in an acoustic piano. In practice, this gives you more control to play trills and staccato accents and alter your dynamics.
Some premium keyboards even offer tri-sensor scaled hammer action. These keyboards use sensors built into the keybed to provide superior dynamic control and good quality resistance as you’re playing. However, installing the multiple sensors is expensive, making them rare on cheap keyboards.
Along with hammer action, you should also look for fully weighted keys. These provide the same weight as a traditional grand piano, so the instrument feels realistic under your fingers.
Compared to pianos with 88 semi-weighted keys, fully weighted pianos provide more opportunities for dynamics in your playing. If you want to switch to an acoustic piano as you improve, a fully weighted keyboard will make your transition as seamless as possible.
Some budget keyboards like the Casio CTK series and Yamaha PSR provide semi-weighted keys. These keys provide just a bit of resistance, usually from springs underneath the keys. They’re good for beginner and intermediate players and many of the best cheap keyboard pianos offer semi-weighted action.
If you want a premium weighted keyboard, you should also check out our in-depth article on the best digital weighted keyboards at any price tag.
Size and Portability
While keyboards with 88 keys are standard for touring pros, they’re not as common among the best cheap keyboard pianos. For beginners on a tight budget, 76-key, 73-key, or 61-key pianos are good alternatives.
By opting for a smaller piano instead of an 88-key keyboard, you’ll save money and get a good quality platform for learning and practicing. They include most of the same notes as a standard digital piano, so beginners can get comfortable with the most common notes on the piano.
These smaller keyboards also tend to be lighter and easier to transport. Whether you want to jam with friends or move it around the house, a mini design will work much better than a full-size piano.
What is the Best Keyboard Piano for Beginners?
Many beginners start out with cheap digital pianos along the way to a more advanced instrument. Whether you want a starter instrument to learn basic songs or one high-quality keyboard to last you years, it’s important to consider how your keyboard can set you up for success.
The best cheap beginner keyboards provide a stable learning platform for students. The main factor here is how the keys respond: are they quick and snappy, or slower and more touch-sensitive? The best keyboard piano models provide more weight in the keys so you get more dynamic control across music genres.
Finding these keys in a beginner piano can help develop proper technique for future learning. Getting used to the weight of an acoustic piano is an important step in the learning process and these keyboard pianos replicate it better than their non-weighted counterparts.
Keyboard size can also make a digital piano better or worse for beginners. While 88-key keyboards offer the traditional scale of a full piano, they’re also unwieldy and tougher to navigate for smaller players.
If you’re buying a keyboard for a young beginner, a 61-key or 73-key model might be more appropriate. The compact space will be easier to control and they’ll still have access to the most crucial notes across multiple octaves.
Finally, look for a keyboard with a streamlined menu interface. While having more sounds to play with is fun for advanced pianists, complex menus can feel daunting for beginners. Keyboards with short and sweet menus let new players focus more on playing and less on fiddling with dials to find the right tone.
We picked the Korg B2 as the best cheap keyboard piano. Out of all the digital pianos on the market, it offers one of the best sonic engines around and a smooth, dynamic feel.
Which cheap keyboards do you prefer? Do you have one that sounds like an acoustic piano? Do you have a favorite model that should have made the list? Let us know in the comments below.