When it comes to digital pianos, Yamaha is one of the best-known names in music. If you’ve decided to invest in one of their instruments, you’ll have a great selection to choose from. But how do you know you’re picking the instrument that will suit you best?
We’re going to help you navigate the options. We’ll look at seven of the best Yamaha digital pianos out there right now, and review their pros and cons. And our buying guide will help you find the best fit for your needs and playing style.
The p71 has 88 weighted keys. The keys for lower notes have greater resistance than those for higher notes. And they’re full-sized too. If you want a playing experience that effectively simulates that of an acoustic piano, this is a good choice.
The sound quality is impressive too. That’s delivered by Yamaha’s “Advanced Wave Memory” system. This captures pairs of waveforms from Yamaha’s own grand pianos using two microphones. The result is a richer, fuller sound.
You can choose from ten different instrument sounds or “voices”. And you can create your own sound combinations by layering two voices together.
This isn’t an instrument that has a lot of different buttons. Instead, there’s a button to switch between grand piano and function settings. When “function” is selected, pressing different keys will change the voice, start the metronome or play demo songs.
Included in the package is a sustain pedal and power adapter. There’s a headphone jack suitable for larger headphone connectors, and a USB port.
There’s no MIDI output, though, so you’ll need to use the USB to connect up to music software. And you’ll need to buy any other accessories, including a stand and bench, separately.
It’s worth noting that while the piano quality here is top-notch, the pedal isn’t. It will be fine for beginners, but more accomplished pianists will want to invest in something better.
If you’re looking for a piano that’s reasonably portable, this will fit the bill. It weighs just 25 pounds and has a sleek design that’s 12 inches deep.
If you want to position it right against the wall though, watch out for the music stand. That protrudes a few inches beyond the rear of the instrument. The good news is that it’s nice and sturdy, and will keep your music secure.
All in all, this is a great option for beginners or more experienced pianists looking for acoustic-like playing experience.
88 weighted keys for a convincing acoustic-like playing experience
Great sound quality from Yamaha’s “Advanced Wave Memory” system
Fairly portable at just 25 pounds
The position of the music stand means you won’t be able to place this flush against a wall
The sustain pedal included in the package isn’t the same quality as the piano.
With the DGX660B there’s lots of versatility when it comes to the packages available.
You can purchase the piano with a stand, with a stand plus bench, or with both plus a three-pedal unit. Alternatively, you can lose the other furniture and purchase it with a bundle including microphone, headphones and sustain pedal.
The keyboard consists of 88 full-sized keys, weighted with graded hammer standard. This means they’re heavier for the lower notes than high ones, just like an acoustic piano.
The sound comes from Yamaha’s Pure CF Sound Engine. This uses Yamaha’s famed CFIIIS grand piano and state-of-the-art sampling technology to create rich, true sound.
It comes with a clear LCD display that can show either scores or lyrics for any MIDI song being played. You can also see the notation for music you’ve created yourself. And you can download new songs from Yamaha’s MusicSoft site using a USB.
You’ll also have access to Yamaha’s You Are The Artist music library. This includes best-selling sheet music and hit songs.
For beginners looking for encouragement, the Smart Chord function is great fun. Play with a single finger of your left hand, and Smart Chord will turn the note into full chords. That includes both simple triads for pop music, and more complex 7th or 9th chords for jazz.
There’s a built-in USB recorder too, so you can record and play back your compositions.
If you choose the sustain pedal and microphone bundle, the accessories don’t reach the quality standards of the piano. We’d recommend buying these separately – you can get better quality without spending a lot of money.
A minor niggle is that the location for the headphone jack is particularly difficult to reach. It’s tucked away at the back of the piano, beneath the music rest.
But if you can live with this, the DGX660B offers brilliant feel and sound quality.
88 graded hammer standard weighted keys
Excellent sound quality courtesy of the Pure CF Sound Engine
LCD screen with USB and MIDI connectivity
The microphone and sustain pedal included in the bundle aren’t high quality
The position of the headphones jack is unnecessarily awkward.
The Yamaha YDP103 console piano looks almost like a traditional upright. You can choose between attractive rosewood, black walnut, or matte black veneers, and it comes with a matching bench. The few buttons are tucked away discreetly at the side of the keyboard.
This is another piano with 88 graded hammer standard keys for an acoustic-like feel. You’ll feel more resistance from the lower keys than the higher notes, just like with a stringed piano.
And you’ll also feel the vibrations in a similar way. Yamaha uses Virtual Resonance Monitoring to reproduce the resonance of the soundboard, rim, and frame of an acoustic piano.
There are three pedals here: soft, sostenuto, and sustain. And because they’re incorporated in the frame, you won’t have to worry about them traveling across the floor during use.
There aren’t lots of buttons. Instead, simply connect up your tablet or smartphone using the USB port. Then access Yamaha’s Digital PianoController or Smart Pianist app to select functions or instrument sounds.
There are two headphone jacks, so you can practice alone in peace and quiet, or with a teacher.
There are four different models in the Arius Series, with the 103 being the most affordable. The difference is in sound sampling and the level of polyphony.
The 103 uses the Advanced Wave Memory, or AWM, system, while the more expensive models use Yamaha CFX Sampling. AWM still gives you good, full sound.
And you’ll get 64-note polyphony – i.e. the number of notes you can play at once without “losing” any. In contrast, the 144 and 164 models offer 192-note polyphony, and the 184 offers 256. For beginners and even intermediate players, 64 notes will be more than enough.
One thing to note is that if you don’t buy your piano from an authorized dealer, the warranty isn’t valid. There are some great deals online, but you will be taking a gamble. And we’ve heard of one case where the 103 simply stopped working after six months. If you’re not under warranty, that’s a real headache.
88 graded hammer standard keys
Virtual Resonance Monitoring for a more authentic acoustic piano-playing experience
Soft, sustain and sostenuto pedals incorporated in the frame
The 64-note polyphony isn’t as much as more expensive models
Note that the warranty won’t cover purchases from unauthorized dealers.
The P125 is another digital piano that is offered alongside a range of different bundles. You can choose between the piano only, or a deluxe bundle with stand, bench and pedal unit.
The 88 full-sized keys are weighted so they’re softer on the higher notes and heavier on the lower.
The built-in speaker system uses two speakers to project the sound up and down. The result is a fuller audio experience. The volume levels are good too.
It comes with the Smart Pianist app, which enables you to change functions and instrument sounds using your smart device. This includes the “split” mode, allowing you to select different voices for each half of the keyboard.
There’s also a metronome to help you keep time. The tempo range is impressive – between 5 and 280 beats per minute.
Whatever music software you use, you’ll only need one cable. The piano has USB to host connectivity, with MIDI and audio transfer.
But what about the sound? This is, of course, subjective – ideally, you should test this out before buying to see if it will suit you. But for our money, the sound of Yamaha’s 9-feet CIIIS concert grand piano is reproduced pretty faithfully here.
If you’re looking for an instrument that will fit in tighter spaces, this could be a perfect choice. Its slim, minimalist design won’t take up a lot of room.
So is there anything not to like?
Well, note that your choice of voice isn’t stored, so if you turn off the piano, you’ll need to reset it. And the function selection is rather complicated. But these are minor niggles with what is otherwise a great instrument.
Compact, space-saving design
Good volume and sound quality
88 weighted keys offer a good simulation of the acoustic experience
You’ll need to reset your choice of voice if you turn off the piano
Function selection is more complicated than we’d like.
If you’re looking for a shorter keyboard that’s great for beginners, the EZ-220 could be for you. This has 61 keys, all of which light up to help you learn to play.
It comes in a bundle with an X-frame stand, Samson HP30 closed-back stereo headphones, and power adapter. And there’s an alternative bundle that includes all of the above plus a bench too. If you’re just starting out, it’s a convenient and economical way to get everything you need.
There are plenty of different instrument sounds to keep you entertained – 392 of them in all. And there are 100 different accompaniment styles to choose between too.
There’s a demo song to show what the piano can do, and another 100 songs built in to help you learn. There’s also a fingering guide and integrated Education Suite. The latter enables you to play with your left or right hand only, or both hands.
Just choose one of the songs, press the “start” button, and the keys to press will light up. The piano will wait for you to press them before lighting up the next keys. It’s a great way of playing music quickly, and building motivation.
If you have an iPad, you can use the EZ-220 Page Turner app too. This is a digital songbook that turns the pages automatically as you play.
You can also access Visual Performer, which creates animations from the pitch and velocity of your music. Stream them from any MIDI device as you play to add another dimension to your performance.
A USB port allows you to connect the piano to your computer to access online tuition software.
The only real drawbacks with this package come with the accessories. The stand is reasonable, but it doesn’t fit the keyboard very securely. And the cord for the power adapter is unhelpfully short. You’ll need to position the piano almost on top of the power supply or use an extension lead.
But for anyone looking for a 61-key piano with great learning features for beginners, this is a good deal.
Light-up keys get you playing music quickly
On-board education suite
Access to a range of useful apps
The stand doesn’t fit the keyboard as well as it might
The PSR-EW300 is another keyboard that comes with optional extras. You can add a power adapter, stand or bench to your bundle.
There are 76 keys, but they’re touch-sensitive rather than weighted. This isn’t the instrument to buy if you’re looking for an acoustic piano-like experience. But it is easy to play and doesn’t require well-developed finger strength.
And unlike many unweighted keyboards, this does offer dynamic control. Press the keys lightly and you’ll get quieter notes. Press them firmly, and it will be louder. There’s also a touch tutor mode that tracks the velocity of your keystrokes to help you learn.
This instrument also offers a huge amount of versatility in terms of sound. There are no fewer than 574 different instrument tones. And there are 165 backing styles. Select the function and an accompaniment will play automatically, suiting the cords you’re playing.
You can choose from 154 pre-set songs to play along with as you learn. Or you can use MIDI files on compatible devices. There’s a free downloadable songbook containing a range of music and exercises. And you can transpose the keys too.
There’s a maximum polyphony of 48 notes. That means if you’re playing more notes than that at once, some of them will be lost. This may sound more alarming than it is. Digital keyboards and pianos compensate for limited polyphony by losing the notes least likely to be detected by the human ear.
You can connect up your smartphone or other music player using a USB cord. You’ll be able to play music through the keyboard speakers, and play along with it at the same time.
The stand that comes with this one has four height settings, allowing you to play comfortably whether seated or standing. And the keyboard itself is lightweight enough to be transported easily from place to place.
The sound quality here isn’t as impressive as some of the other instruments on our list. You’re not likely to mistake it for an acoustic piano. But it has tons of features and is a great, fun instrument. And the volume is loud enough to work in a band as well as at home.
574 voices and 164 backing styles
Bags of different features, including record, playback, and transpose
Touch-sensitive keys allow good dynamic control
The keys aren’t weighted, so this won’t suit those looking for a practice instrument between lessons on an acoustic piano
The sound quality isn’t as good as other digital pianos.
The YPG535 is an 88-key portable grand piano with a ton of added features. And it’s very well priced for an option that comes with its own stand.
The keys here are what Yamaha calls “Graded Soft Touch”. There’s slightly more resistance from the lower notes than the higher ones, but the keys aren’t fully weighted. The feel here is closer to a conventional keyboard than to an acoustic piano.
It comes with 361 different voices. As well as the stereo-sampled piano, these include trumpet, pan flute, organ and tenor saxophone.
This piano features Yamaha’s interactive learning system, the Yamaha Education Suite, or YES. This guides you through playing the 30 built-in songs, with the option of separating out the left-hand and right-hand parts. You can play with one hand, while the piano plays the other part.
When you’ve exhausted the on-board options, you can access another 70 songs from the CD ROM included in the package. You can monitor your progress using the lesson grading feature, which gives you a grade at the end of the piece.
There’s also a Chord Dictionary. This uses the LCD screen to tell you which chord you’re playing. The same screen will also show you how to play different chords.
And if you want to access online tuition from other sources, you can. There’s also a USB port, allowing you to connect your keyboard to a computer.
One downside with this one is that the multiplicity of features can be rather confusing. Expect to need to refer back to the manual to get the full functionality.
That said, this is a well-priced option, that gives decent sound quality. It won’t suit professionals or those looking for a playing experience similar to acoustic pianos – but it’s a lot of fun.
361 different voices
Yamaha Education Suite offers a great range of on-board learning exercises
Comes with a sturdy stand
The Graded Soft Touch keys won’t suit anyone looking for an acoustic-like playing experience
The sheer number of different functions and features can be quite confusing.
If you’ve read through all our reviews but still aren’t sure which is the right piano for you – don’t worry! Our buying guide is here to help you make the perfect choice. Read on for some factors to consider to help you narrow down your search.
Consider the feel
This is perhaps the single most important feature to think about. Unlike many other aspects of your instrument, there are no workarounds to change the feel of the keys. So make sure your piano has a feel you’re comfortable with.
Different keyboards will have different weights. If you want a playing experience as close as possible to an acoustic piano, you’ll need weighted keys. These will be heavier on the low notes and lighter on the high ones.
And whether or not your keys are weighted, look for options that give you dynamic control. This means that the harder you press the key, the louder it will sound. This will give you the ability to make music that’s much more expressive.
Check out the tuition features
Digital pianos come with a wide range of different features. Many have on-board tuition options using LCD screens or even light-up keys that can help make learning easy and fun.
If you’re planning to take regular lessons with a piano teacher, these may be less important. But they can still help make practice sessions more entertaining. And for those who want to take charge of their own tuition, access to good on-board features can be very important.
Pianos that have USB ports are also a great way to access other tuition. Plug in your computer or smartphone, and you’ll open the doors to a wide range of music software online.
Cabinet style and portability
Finally, consider how and where you’re going to be playing your digital piano.
If you don’t need your instrument to be portable, look for options that come with a sturdy cabinet. Those with an integrated pedal kit are particularly good. Standalone pedals can easily migrate across the floor as you play.
If you need to move your piano from place to place, make sure it’s light enough to do so easily. And if you’re short of space, it may be worth considering a shorter keyboard too.
Ready to choose?
That brings us to the end of our guide to seven of the best Yamaha digital pianos. We hope it’s helped you think about the model that will best suit your needs.
Our favorite is the Yamaha P71. It’s well-priced and offers good sound quality and a convincing acoustic-like feel. And at 25 pounds, it’s not too heavy to move around.
But if you’re looking for a more substantial set-up, we love the Yamaha DGX660B. The feel and sound quality here are exceptional. And it comes with a sturdy frame and the option of a three-pedal kit.
Whichever model you choose, we hope your digital piano gives you many hours of musical pleasure. Happy shopping!