Top 7 Digital Pianos under $500 in 2021
Updated: Jun 10, 2021
Before we begin and prevent repetition, do note that ALL keyboards in this list have met 7 minimum criteria. The digital piano must have 88 weighted full-size keys like a traditional acoustic piano and with the weighted keys, it allows you to play more expressively. It has to support a damper pedal for sustain notes, adequately amplified speakers, at least one headphone jack quiet practice, a music rest for sheet music, and every keyboard in this list with USB MIDI capability to connect to music learning apps on your smartphone, iPad or computer.
Digital Piano #1
First on the list will be the most affordable piano that meets the 7 criterias. The Donner DEP-20 comes with 88 fully weighted, full-size piano keys with 4 configurable velocity curves to match your playing style. It has 238 tones and 128 notes of polyphony which includes a good variety of pianos, electric pianos, organs, guitars, saxophones, and ethnic instruments.
At a budget price, not every tone is good but the sounds that matter, such as pianos & electric pianos are above average. The voices can be layered and split across the keyboard and DSP effects can be applied as well.
The DEP-20 has 200 rhythms you can jam along with and you can record your playing with the built-in song recorder. What is surprising is that at this price point the DEP-20 comes with an LCD screen which makes navigation much easier. It also has 25 watts amplified speakers which are loud and clear.
The Donner DEP-20 is very good value for money with an above-average key action, good piano tones, loads of rhythms to play along with and many useful connectivity options. The DEP-20 has an optional wooden furniture stand if you want to better fit your decor.
Digital Piano #2
The Casio CDP- S150 is one of the most affordable 88-key fully weighted, graded hammer action digital piano. It has textured ebony and ivory keytops. Comparing the CDP- S150 to the others on this list has one of the slimmest profiles and takes up a small footprint. Weighing only about 10kgs making it lightweight as well.
The CDP- S150 will provide you with 3 different grand piano tones, 3 electric piano tones, a harpsichord, strings, 2 organ voices, and 64 notes of polyphony. These 10 voices will definitely be adequate if you primarily use this for piano practices. The voices can be layered and you can also apply 8 types of Reverb & Chorus effects to the sound which makes the CDP- S150 the most generous among the competitors in this list.
With a pair of 8 watts amplified speakers this is slightly disappointing as they are less powerful than the other pianos but sufficient for personal practice. The CDP- S150 comes with a single damper sustain pedal but it supports a triple pedal unit
One advantage of the Casio CDP- S150 is that it supports battery power if you are not near an electrical outlet. The CDP- S150 has an optional wooden furniture stand if you want to better fit your decor as well.
Digital Piano #3
The Alesis Recital Pro is an 88-key fully-weighted and touch-sensitive. The key response and key noise is above average for this price bracket. It has 12 built-in tones which can be layered and split. The voices can be further enhanced with modulation, reverb, and chorus effects for a personalized tone.
The Alesis Recital Pro has a big, bright, and useful LCD screen which makes navigation very easy. It also has a song recorder which is extremely easy to use as well. The Alesis Recital Pro supports battery operations and also has a pair of stereo 1/4 outputs if you want to attach external speakers. The piano has a pair of 20 watts amplified speakers which are considered quite powerful.
The Alesis Recital Pro supports a single sustain pedal but does come included with it. There is no option for a wooden furniture-style stand.
Digital Piano #4
The Yamaha P-45 also known as the P-71 is the cheapest 88-key fully weighted, graded hammer action you can get from Yamaha. One reason why the P-45 is so well liked worldwide is because the GHS key action is identical to other Yamaha digital pianos that cost twice as much as the P-45. It also has a better resale value due to it being a Yamaha brand if you decide to upgrade.
It has 10 beautiful instrument sound samples which can be layered but, unfortunately, cannot be split across the keyboard. The P-45 comes with a pair of 6 watts speakers which are one of the least powerful in this list but sufficient for home use. Unfortunately, the P-45 does not have a built-in song recorder but you still can record songs with an app on the smartphone by connecting it through a USB cable.
The Yamaha P-45 does have an option for a wooden furniture stand if you like.
Digital Piano #5
The NUX NPK-10 comes with 88 graded hammer action weighted keys with simulated ivory keytops and triple key sensors. On top of that, the piano has 189 notes of polyphony and 12 tones which can be layered, split, and personalized with 10 reverb and chorus effects. There are 12 built-in rhythms you can jam along with and a built-in song recorder which makes recording easy.
The NPK-10 has a pair of 20 watts amplified speakers which has the ability to stream backing tracks via wireless Bluetooth audio. This feature is only found on 2 of the pianos on this list. The NPK-10 has an optional wooden furniture stand with the upgrade to a triple pedal system
As the NUX NPK-10 is the latest digital piano to the market and will subject to availability due to the limited stock but is to see an improvement eventually.
Digital Piano #6
The Korg B2 comes with 88 keys, full size, natural weighted hammer action which has 3 levels of adjustable touch controls. The unique selling point of the Korg B2 is the legendary warm and detailed German and Italian piano samples among the 12 available tones. Although this digital piano does not have any fancy features compared to the others on this list, such as voice layers or voice splits, it is extremely simple to use for those who are just starting out.
For those who want to explore more into the world of music production, the Korg B2 is bundled with a number of useful virtual instrument sound modules for use with your smartphone and computer. The Korg B2 comes with a single pedal system but uses a proprietary connector which limits the choices you have when you need to replace it.
The Korg B2 has a pair of 30 watts amplified speakers which is clear and loud that's hold up playing at high volumes.
Digital Piano #7
The Roland FP-10 is the most expensive piano on this list but has always been a favorite in the market. It has the best key action and is the closest you will get to an acoustic grand piano touch for this price category. It comes with graded hammer, triple key sensors, simulated ivory key-tops, and escapement mechanism of the keys which are identical to the Roland FP-60X which is much more expensive.
The FP-10 comes with 15 voices, which can be layered but not split also, you can access a further 127 more voices via an app which you can download for free. The Roland FP-10 is also the only digital piano on this list that comes with both wireless Bluetooth audio and MIDI connectivity. This makes it extremely convenient and does away with the hassle of messy cables.
It may not have the bells and whistles of the other pianos on this list, but if a great piano tone and a fantastic key action are what you are looking for, the Roland FP-10 will meet your needs
I hope you find my Top 7 Keyboards under $500 to be useful in your buying choice. Do click on the links provided for the latest prices and updated information.