Top 5 best Keyboards under $200 (2022) - Big Sounds with a Tight Budget
Are you thinking about getting your first keyboard to start learning music but do not want to spend too much money in case your interest or enthusiasm does not last? I will be reviewing 5 of the best value keyboards under $200 in 2022 and will also reveal which of these 5 are the Best Value Keyboard, Best in Class Keyboard, and Best Pro-Level Sound keyboard.
Before we get to my list of top 5 keyboards under $200, there are a few bare minimum features you want to look out for in your first keyboard.
Firstly, you should get a keyboard with at least 61 keys and the keys should be full-size like a traditional piano instead of mini-keys. The keys should also be touch-sensitive like an acoustic instrument. That means if you press hard on the keys, it should produce a louder tone and if you gently caress the keys, the keyboard will produce a softer sound.
Secondly, you want to make sure your keyboard has a piano tone that is as realistic as possible because a beginner will use the piano tone much more than any other sound on their keyboard.
Thirdly, your keyboard should have built-in speakers as well as a headphone jack for quiet practice.
Last but not least, get a keyboard that has a USB MIDI port for connecting to music learning apps. Every keyboard on my list fulfills these requirements
The first keyboard may be the most affordable one on my list, but do not be fooled by the ridiculously low price. This Casio keyboard comes with 61 full-size touch-sensitive keys, 400 tones, and 77 rhythms while staying extremely lightweight at just 7 lbs
For aspiring DJs, this keyboard also comes with a Dance Music mode where you can mix & match 50 dance music patterns while triggering 12 DJ voices. Beginners will love the 60 built-in songs for learning and playing along with.
You get an LCD screen, a sustain button, and the ability to store your favorite settings as well as a pair of 5 watts speakers.
A 3.5mm headphone jack helps you practice quietly and you can use the USB MIDI port with music learning apps as well as the free Chordana app from Casio.
The keyboard can be powered with AA batteries or a power adaptor and is also the most affordable touch-sensitive keyboard that comes with a pitch bend wheel.
Costing less than a family steak dinner in a restaurant, the Casiotone CT-S300 is the absolute minimum I would recommend to my students in 2022.
You can find my in-depth video review of the Casio CT-S300 and the latest price here. You can also 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
For $20 more, the 2nd keyboard on my list comes with key lights and a 4 step lesson system that shows you which notes to play.
While this Casio keyboard has the same 61 full-size keys, 400 tones, 77 rhythms, 50 dance music patterns, and an LCD screen just like the CT-S300, it is geared more towards students who prefer to learn on their own.
The 4-step lesson encourages the students to watch, listen and remember the lesson tunes. At the end of each exercise, there is a score to help students evaluate their progress. I am impressed that this is the most affordable key-lighting keyboard to come with a microphone input that encourages students to sing along while they play with the in-built songs.
While you do lose the pitch bend wheel found in the earlier CT-S300, you do gain quite a number of features beginners will find useful. The usual headphone jack and USB MIDI port for connecting to music learning apps are also available.
At just 7lbs, this keyboard is easy to carry around with the innovative handle as well as AA battery and electrical power options.
The Casio LK-S250 is the most affordable key-lighting keyboard in the market from a reputable brand that comes with great features suitable for beginners.
You can find my in-depth video review of the Casio LK-S250 and the latest price here. You can also 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
The 3rd keyboard on my list costs a mere $5 more than the previous Casio LK-S250 but it contains a newer, more advanced sound engine as well as more great features. This keyboard comes with 61 full-size keys with 4 adjustable levels of touch sensitivity.
You get 600 realistic tones generated by the latest AiX sound engine.
These tones can be layered for a richer sound or different tones can be assigned to the left and right sides of the keyboard.
To make your music learning more fun, there are 195 rhythm accompaniments for you to jam along with. The 160 onboard songs are also great for learning with the 4-step lesson system incorporated into this keyboard.
For electronic dance music lovers, the 100 arpeggiator patterns are a godsend. I am impressed that Casio provides a multi-track recorder that lets you record up to 6 individual tracks for a polished song.
For such a capable keyboard, I am thankful that there are 32 memory slots to store all the settings I painstakingly created from scratch.
Just like the previous 2 keyboards, you can use the Casio CT-X700 with batteries as well as a power adaptor.
The powerful 5-watt speakers and headphone jack mean you can easily perform to family and friends with this keyboard or practice quietly.
This keyboard sounds like an amazing deal, so what is the catch? At 9.5 lbs, this keyboard is heavier and bulkier than the previous 2 keyboards.
If portability is your number one priority, this may be a deal-breaker. You can find my in-depth review and demo of the Casio CT-X700 as well as the latest price here. You can also 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
The next keyboard from Yamaha is the most expensive on this list at just a dollar shy of 200. At this price, you do get a full-featured and extremely capable arranger keyboard.
With 61 full-size touch-sensitive keys, 622 sounds, 205 rhythm accompaniments as well as Yamaha’s time-tested “Keys to Success” learning system, this keyboard will easily last a beginner a couple of years before they outgrow it.
This keyboard is powered by Yamaha’s renowned Advanced Wave Modeling sound engine and has also inherited the Super Articulation technology from Yamaha’s flagship keyboards.
The PSR-E373 is also the only keyboard on this list to have 38 high-quality digital signal processors that can dramatically change the characteristics of every sound.
I love the large backlit LCD screen as well as the easy-to-use interface.
With 170 presets in the Music Database and 205 expertly programmed One-Touch Settings, any novice can quickly call up the best sounds and rhythms for a particular song or genre of music.
I am disappointed that for such a powerful keyboard, there are only 9 user slots for storing our own settings.
Just like the other keyboards, the PSR-E373 can run on batteries or be powered with an adaptor.
The 5 watts speakers are sufficient for home use and the headphone jack is great for quiet practice.
One feature I love on the PSR-E373 is the USB port.
Not only does it transmit and receive MIDI information, but it is also a digital audio interface useful for more advanced musicians who want to work with digital audio in music production software. Yamaha’s Rec’N’Share app also takes advantage of the digital audio interface to allow musicians to connect this keyboard to their smartphone and take high-quality professional-level audio with video for sharing instantly on social media.
This powerful feature is not found on any other keyboard in my list. You can find my in-depth review and demo of the Yamaha PSR-E373 as well as the latest price here.. You can also 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
The star on this list has to be this keyboard. For under $200, you are getting one of the best key actions and sound quality at this price category. This keyboard may not have as many features as the others on this list, but if fantastic piano & electric piano sound quality and key action are all you care about, you cannot get a better deal than the CT-S1.
While it only has 61 tones, each and every voice, which can be layered, sounds great.
There are no onboard rhythm accompaniments or any lesson system in this keyboard as it is geared towards those with some keyboard playing experience.
In addition, this keyboard has 64 notes of polyphony, important to musicians who play long musical runs or big thick chords. This is the highest polyphony of any keyboard at this price. Other than the headphone jack, this keyboard also has one of the best sounding speakers on this list.
The speakers, incorporating a bass reflex system, are larger than those found on similar keyboards and sound noticeably more full-bodied.
This is the only keyboard on this list that has wireless capabilities this is a feature usually found on higher-end keyboards. With an optional adaptor, this keyboard will banish pesky cables and instead connect to smartphones using wireless MIDI or Bluetooth audio to jam along with.
You can find my in-depth review and demo of the Casio CT-S1 as well as the latest price here. You can also 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
Jeremy’s Special Awards 2022
Best Value Casio CT-X700
The Casio CT-X700 may be the oldest keyboard on this list, but it is also the keyboard with the best value for money. At an affordable price, beginners get the features they need, coupled with a good sound engine and loads of useful tones and rhythms. The user interface may not be the most polished, but just like anything new you will get used to it after using it for a few weeks.
Best in Class Yamaha PSR-E373
The Best in Class award goes to the Yamaha PSR-E373. It has one of the better sounds for less than $200 and Yamaha has literally packed every bell and whistle into this keyboard. Super articulation instruments, as well as more than 200 very well programmed rhythms, mean this keyboard will satisfy the absolute beginner to even intermediate keyboard players. The established Yamaha brand also almost guarantees a better resale value when you upgrade.
Best Pro Level Sounds Casio CT-S1
Professional musicians care most about the sound quality and the key action. Casio knows this and the CT-S1 was created with these people in mind. Whether you are playing in a school band, busking on the streets, or supporting your worship leader in a home cell group, the CT-S1 has a sound quality that can compete with keyboards costing many times more. Coupled with its compact dimensions and the option for battery operation, you are more likely to bring it with you and make music anywhere.
I hope you found my review top 5 best Keyboards under $200 in 2022 useful. Do check out the links provided in this article for the latest and most updated information and prices. Do also take a look at my other articles to find the best and most suited instrument for your personal need. Also, check out my Piano App and beginner keyboard course available for you.