Best Digital Pianos (88-Keys) Under a thousand dollars in 2022.
With hundreds of digital piano models out there, how do you avoid a costly mistake when buying an affordable digital piano for your home? It is easy to be misled into spending way more than you really need when you are bombarded with slick marketing campaigns. As a music teacher for the last 26 years, I have to recommend to my very own students the best value home pianos that will last them many years. After making more than 500 independent digital piano and keyboard reviews and tutorials, here are in no particular order my top 4 digital pianos under $1,000 that not only sound good but have great key action and will be a beautiful compliment to your home decor without breaking the ban
Digital Piano #1 - Yamaha DGX-670
One of the best digital pianos under $1,000 to come from Yamaha is the DGX-670.
This super-mutant offspring is the result of Yamaha mating their Clavinova digital piano with their PSR-SX professional keyboard. This piano is packed to the brim with features and functionality that were previously unheard of in this price category.
With its “Piano Room” feature, beginners and piano players can use the DGX-670 like a traditional piano while advanced music producers can delve deep into its 601 sounds, 263 rhythm accompaniments, and 29 drum and sound effects kits.
The main piano voice is sampled from Yamaha’s ¼ million-dollar CFX Concert Grand. Coupled with Yamaha’s Virtual Resonance Modelling, Key-Off Samples, Intelligent Acoustic Control, and Stereophonic Optimiser technology, the piano voice sounds rich, detailed, and resonant.
With 256 note polyphony, you also do not have to worry about note dropouts when playing long sustained music passages. With more than 400 Digital Signal Processors, reverb, chorus, compressor, and master EQ effects, your imagination is the only limitation to shaping the 601 onboard sounds. Voices can also be layered or split across the keyboard.
The GHS graded hammer key action with matte black keys may not be Yamaha’s latest technology but it has been around long enough to be tried and tested.
This was the key action Yamaha used on their $10,000 flagship Clavinova digital pianos just a few years ago. The Yamaha DGX-670 is the only digital piano on this list that has a sophisticated built-in 16 track sequencer in addition to an audio recorder and player.
The DGX-670 ability to save an unlimited number of user registration setups, a feature few digital pianos in this price category have. The large color LCD screen makes configuring different functions highly visual and intuitive.
Other digital pianos require you to connect an iPad just to have this level of graphical interface. Music scores and lyrics can be displayed on the LCD screen and you can plug in a microphone if anyone wants to sing along.
The microphone effects section is also extremely powerful, helping you to sound professional. Not only can you playback music stored on your USB stick, but you can also stream backing tracks from any app on your smartphone directly to the DGX speaker system using wireless Bluetooth.
On paper, the 12 watts amplifiers on the DGX seem anemic, but the sound output from the 4 powerful speakers is more than sufficient to fill a large living room.
A headphone jack is available to those who need to practice quietly. If you are into desktop music production, the USB port transmits and receives both MIDI and digital audio data to your favorite DAW software.
To match your home decor, the DGX-670 is available in black or white with a matching wooden furniture stand, a triple pedal unit, and a piano bench.
I have recommendations for speakers, headphones, microphones, and other connectivity devices which I use personally. You can also find the best prices, detailed specifications as well as my 30-minute long in-depth review and demo of this Yamaha DGX-670 here
Digital Piano #2 - Casio PX-S1100
If space is a premium and you need the world’s most compact 88 full-size graded hammer action digital piano, look no further. The Casio PX-S1100 is the most affordable digital piano on the list but packs 18 high-quality acoustic and electric piano sounds as well as most of the organ and strings samples most keyboard players use. With a 192 note polyphony, you can layer and split the sounds for a richer tone without worrying about note drop-outs.
Casio has included a whole slew of new music tech to bring the realism of the samples to a higher level. Hammer response, key-off response, key-off noise, damper resonance, string resonance, and damper noise found in traditional acoustic pianos are on the PX-S1100. These add an extra dimension to the realism of a sterile digital sample. The keys on the PX-S1100 are lightly textured and the black keys have a matte finish, replicating the feel of real ebony wood and ivory keytops.
Those who prefer a lighter action will feel right at home with the PX-S1100 compared to the heavier action found on the other digital pianos in the list.
The onboard tones can be personalized with 2 surround, 4 chorus, and 4 hall simulator effects which is Casio’s fancy name for what is essentially reverb. While various DSPs are applied to the samples from the factory, it would have been nice to have the option of turning off or changing the parameters of the DSP effect.
A library of 60 popular piano tunes is included for you to learn or play along with.
One of the big upgrades to the PX-S1100 over the PX-S1000 is the inclusion of a USB audio recorder. Not only can you record up to 10 MIDI songs of your performances on the internal memory, but you can also now record and playback up to 99 digital audio performances directly on a USB stick.
If you prefer to stream music wirelessly from your mobile device, an optional bluetooth adaptor allows you to do just that. While 2 headphone jacks allow you to practice or have lessons quietly, the design of the onboard speakers has been improved over the previous PX-S1000.
The 16 watts amplifiers are able to drive the speaker system, providing deep bass resonance while keeping high frequencies distortion-free.
A USB MIDI port works great for connecting to Casio’s Chordana mobile app and other music learning apps.
The PX-S1100 is the only digital piano on the list that can be powered with AA batteries which is an important feature if your piano needs to be located away from a wall outlet.
The PX-S1100 also has the most contemporary minimalist look and is available in black, white, and a striking red color together with a matching furniture stand, bench, and triple pedal unit.
Digital Piano #3 - Korg LP-380U
This digital piano is a unicorn. Due to Japan’s high wage cost, it is impossible to find a digital piano at this price that is made in Japan. Somehow, Korg manufactures this digital piano in Kyoto, Japan, and yet manages to sell it at this ridiculously affordable price. Unless you spend upwards of $5,000, most digital pianos and keyboards are made in lower-wage China, Indonesia, India, Vietnam & Malaysia. As elaborated in my in-depth review, the Korg LP-380U oozes high-quality Japanese craftsmanship and build quality.
Korg’s made in Japan RH3 graded hammer key action is one of the quietest on this list. The key action is heavy and solid making it an excellent practice piano for those who need a firm grand piano response.
In fact, the RH3 is the exact same key action that Korg uses on its flagship Kronos Music Workstation and its professional stage pianos.
The LP-380U contains 30 acoustic and vintage electric pianos, strings, and organ tones from Korg’s renowned sample library. The vintage electric piano voices on the LP-380U are one of the best heard at this price. While these voices can be layered, they cannot be split across the keyboard. The onboard brilliance, reverb, and chorus effects add further spaciousness to the sound.
With its large-diameter speakers driven by a pair of powerful 22 watts amplifiers, you can crank up the volume all you want on this digital piano till it is uncomfortably loud without any distortion.
In the latest model, the USB port has been updated to handle digital audio in addition to MIDI data.
While Japanese buyers can configure their LP-380U in more than a hundred different color combinations, the rest of the world only gets this digital piano in black, white, rosewood, and rosewood black. This digital piano has the least bells and whistles compared to the competition.
There is no color LCD, no fancy mobile app and it does not even have an onboard song recorder. However, if the features most important to you are a good key-action, high-resolution sound quality, and impeccable build quality you cannot go wrong with this digital piano.
Digital Piano #4 - Roland FP-30X
The Roland FP-30X adds many much-needed upgrades to the previous FP-30.
Roland’s PHA-4 graded hammer action has one of the most pronounced key escapements which those accustomed to playing on a grand piano will find familiar.
It is nice that the lightly textured key surfaces help your fingertips stay planted even when sweaty.
The FP-30X is of great value because it has the exact same key action found on the more expensive FP-60X.
Roland’s SuperNatural sound engine is one of the more powerful ones in this price category. It applies instrumental modeling to the sound samples to capture the performance dynamics and nuance when you play. You get 12 acoustic piano tones, 20 electric piano tones, and another 20 various tones including organs & strings. With 256 notes of polyphony, the FP-30X is more capable than other digital pianos which cost double.
The accompanying Piano Designer App is extremely powerful. Using the app, you can configure Lid Position, String Resonance, Damper Resonance, and Key Off Resonance. Also for the very fussy advanced pianist, you get to configure the tuning, volume, and character of each and every individual key to get a bespoke digital piano under your fingers.
However, there is a lack of effects for personalizing the tones. This is a piano-centric keyboard and it shows. There is triple pedal support and the speakers powered by a pair of 22 watts amplifiers are sufficiently loud.
One of the things that Roland could have done better is to use a volume knob rather than buttons.
You can easily record and playback MIDI and audio files using a USB stick. The USB port handles both MIDI and digital audio signals making the FP-30X an excellent companion for use with music learning apps.
Personally, I prefer to use the FP-30X’s wireless Bluetooth to connect to my iPad instead of a USB cable.
One downside with the FP-30Xis its over-reliance on a mobile app for setting advanced parameters. There is little guarantee that the mobile app will work with future smartphones. The FP-30X is available in black or white with a matching furniture stand to fit your home decor.
I hope you found my reviews useful. Do check out the links provided in this article for the latest and most updated information and prices of these digital pianos.
You can find my recommended digital pianos, keyboards, and music learning apps here. You can check out my beginner piano app as well as some beginners video courses and course materials available for you. Also, do check out this free 25 Piano lesson too. Do also take a look at my other articles to find the best and most suited instrument for your personal need.