• Jeremy See

Review: Is the Casio CDP-S150 Worth Buying in 2021?

Review:

Casio CDP-S150

$500 USD




Build Quality


A major selling point of this digital piano is the compact form factor making it the most portable graded hammer action 88-keys fully weighted digital piano. Among the competition, the Casio CDP-S150 has one of the slimmest profiles and takes up a small footprint. Weighing at just slightly above 10kgs, this Casio piano is also one of the lightest in this price category. Coupled with the ability to run this digital piano on readily available AA batteries, you can easily bring this digital piano everywhere you go with an optional bespoke backpack style carrying case. If you have no need to move your piano around, you can opt for a wooden furniture-style stand as well. The detachable music rest that comes with the packaging is lightweight but feels flimsy. I wouldn’t risk putting a thick music book on it.


The keys are made of textured ebony and ivory key tops which makes a noticeable difference when playing fast passages. The key action is relatively silent but the compact nature of the chassis means the keys have a shorter pivot than the competition. The keys are noticeably harder to press down when closer to the lever. While most beginner and intermediate piano players will not notice this, pianists playing advanced pieces should consider Casio’s higher end models such as the PX-S1000 where you can find more information here. The key action on the CDP-S150 is also a little lighter which is fine for budding pianists who are still developing their finger muscles. However, those accustomed to playing on grand pianos, will find these keys less satisfying.



The pair of 8W amplifiers are more powerful than those on the Roland FP-10 and Yamaha P45. The speakers on the Casio CDP-S150 are rear-firing speakers, instead of downward-firing speakers on the Yamaha P45, which means that this piano sounds best when placed near a wall. Casio has also cut out little strips on the chassis to emulate monitor speakers facing the player. All in all, these speakers are more than sufficient for personal practice or when entertaining at a small venue. You will be disappointed if you expect more.




Built-in Features


While other piano brands in this price range, typically come with a single damper sustain pedal with no triple-pedal support, you can upgrade the included sustain pedal of the Casio CDP-S150 to a triple-pedal unit which supports soft, sostenuto and damper functions. This is a feature that Casio’s cheaper CDP-S100 does not support.


In comparison with Roland, Korg & Yamaha, the Casio CDP-S150 is the only digital piano in this price category to feature an on-board song recorder. It is basic but is extremely easy to use — you just hold the record button, play your song, press the same button to stop recording and press the button again to playback your song.


Song Recorder Feature



You also get a single headphones socket, a class compliant USB MIDI port compatible with MacOS, Windows, Android & iOS to access piano learning apps including Casio’s excellent Chordana Play for Piano app which you can download for free, and an auxiliary audio-in jack which allows you to play-along with music on your smartphone via the piano speakers. While it would be great to have wireless bluetooth audio instead, the Casio is better than the Yamaha P45 which doesn’t have any audio inputs at all.




Sound Quality


The Casio CDP-S150 comes with 64 notes of polyphony and 10 tones — 3 different grand piano tones, 3 electric piano tones, a harpsichord, strings and 2 organ voices. While a few of the competitions offer more voices, if you primarily use this for piano practice, these 10 voices are adequate. The grand pianos & electric pianos samples are above average but the sound does decay quicker than other keyboards. The quality of the harpsichord, strings & organ tones are just average but these voices are rarely used. Advanced piano players will no doubt experience note dropouts with music containing complex passages and heavily sustained phrases and they will be better off with the Casio PX-S1000.


There is also the ability to layer 2 voices easily just by holding the function button and holding the 2 corresponding keys of the tones you want to layer with no feature to adjust the volume mix of the layers. However, you do get 8 types of reverbs and choruses — the most generous among its competitors in this price category.


Layering Voices


Grand Piano (standard)


Grand Piano (mellow)


Grand Piano (bright)


Electric Piano 1


Electric Piano 2


Electric Piano 3


Harpsichord


Pipe Organ


Jazz Organ


Strings




Unless you value the compact, lightweight, portable and battery operated features of this piano, the Roland FP-10, which cost about 10% more, offers quite a bit more. The biggest problem, though, is the availability of the Roland FP-10. As at the time of recording this video, the Roland FP-10 has been out of stock in the US and EU for more than 9 months.


Otherwise, I hope that this review of the Casio CDP-S150 has been useful for you. Do check out the links provided in this article for the latest updates and prices of the Casio CDP-S150. If this keyboard is not for you, do look at the other articles in this blog to find your ideal instrument.




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