The arrival of the portable electronic keyboard made so many things possible. Not the least was the creation of instruments like the one featured in our in-depth Kmise 61 Key Portable Electronic Keyboard Review.
The portable keyboard arrived in a strange way. In fact, the truly portable keyboard was actually devised after the synthesizer. One might have thought it would be the other way round. Before the synths, were instruments like the Vox Continental organs and the Hammonds. But they were out of reach for the majority of people.
Far Eastern production…
It wasn’t until the 70s that Yamaha moved us towards the full portable keyboard. If there is ever going to be a development towards consumerism, then the Japanese will lead the way. They still do.
Today there are hundreds of choices of keyboards at all playing levels. Some good, some not so good. There are the big players with their exceptional professional instruments. And there are those who design and manufacture for the beginner at a cost-effective price. Kmise is one of the latter.
But not being Yamaha, Korg, Roland, Casio, or Kawai, we don’t know so much about them. So who are they?
Based in Shenzhen, China, Kmise-Miaoyin is an established manufacturer of musical instruments. Better known possibly for their mandolins, ukuleles, and guitars, they have a wide range of attractively priced instruments.
They are well-known in certain locations for producing good quality at a cost-effective price.
So, let’s take a look and see if this keyboard measures up…
This a full 61-key portable keyboard/piano. It features standard, although not full-size, keys and a wide array of built-in sounds and demo songs. It is built to be user-friendly and has an LCD screen that delivers current performance information. The control panel looks a little daunting at first but is quite simple once you know your way around it. We shall look at that a little later.
Some nice additions…
There is a record and playback facility, and you are provided with a microphone. You can therefore record what you are doing, including any vocals, and play them back later.
It has built-in speakers but also comes with a headphone socket. This allows you to practice in private as the connection of the phones will mute the speakers.
These are some useful additions to what is a good size keyboard. Let’s take a closer look…
As is the norm these days, it has a plastic body. It is a decent quality of plastic, though, so it feels quite substantial. The corners have been slightly rounded off, so there are no sharp edges. It measures 34.9 by 15.5 by 5.5 inches and weighs only 9.5 pounds. It is, therefore, very lightweight and easy to carry around.
There are 61 standard, not full-size keys. It is a velocity keyboard; therefore, it will recognize how hard you strike the keys and react accordingly. The keys are not weighted.
The built-in speakers are located at each end, and there is an LCD and control panel placed centrally. It will run off either a mains supply or by using six AA batteries which are not supplied.
This keyboard is supplied with a very basic level of microphone. Not the highest quality of mic you will come across, but a useful addition you don’t often find. You can use the mic to record your performances for playback. The input is on the rear, as is the socket for headphones.
When you plug in the headphones, the speakers will mute, thus giving you total privacy. The headphones are not provided.
A reasonable build quality, with one big plus point being how lightweight it is.
As is the case, even with keyboards that cost far more than the Kmise, the quality of the sounds can vary. There are 255 built-in sounds that include all the favorites. The piano sounds are quite decent, as is the organ. Some of the strings are also quite acceptable.
There are some, of course, that are best described as not so good. But having said that, there are enough instruments to not worry about a few sub-standard options. There are sustain and vibrato effects, which is always a useful addition.
Also built-in are 255 rhythms allowing you to set up some backing for what you are playing. There are also some extra percussion sounds attached to each of the 61 keys. This allows you to set up your own rhythms and sounds.
This type of keyboard is designed for the beginner. And we always think the layout of the controls can be quite daunting. There seems to be so much information facing you at first. But when you get to know the keyboard, it is quite basic and easy to use.
The majority of the information that might confuse you is actually instrument listings. The rest of the controls are push buttons and clearly labeled. The LCD screen takes center stage, giving you the current status of the keyboard and other programmable options.
Mix and match…
Some of the most used are well-placed, like the Master Volume. There is also an accompaniment volume. This is a plus point as it allows you to set separate volume levels and balance them accordingly.
The power-up button is clear to see, and their rhythm programming functions with sync and fill-in. Finally, the record and playback options.
Once you know your way around the keyboard, it is all quite simple and straightforward.
How does it play?
It is an easy keyboard to play, assuming you can set it up at the right height. As we have already mentioned, it has a velocity keyboard. The bass keys do require a noticeably harder style, whereas the treble keys are more sensitive and need a softer approach.
There are 255 styles of auto-accompaniment. These provide background music in real-time. As you play different chords, the accompaniment will change with you.
There is also Dual mode, which allows you to split the keyboard in half. This allows you to play along with someone else, be it a family, friend, or teacher. This is a good added feature not often found on the more budget range keyboards.
It has a single chord/fingered chord facility, which is a great help for the beginner. Using this, you can hear the effects of full chords whilst only using one finger. There are also 24 demonstration songs that are built-in.
There is a built-in tutorial mode provided by Kmise. This has been developed for the complete beginner to allow them to start creating music quickly.
This is a budget range keyboard and, as such, might lack some of the finer additions more expensive keyboards have. But we think it represents good value for money for the young player and beginner.
Kmise 61 Key Portable Electronic Keyboard Review – Pros and Cons
- Nicely made with decent materials and pleasant design.
- Very lightweight and simple to carry around with you.
- 61-velocity keys.
- 255 different instrument sounds.
- 255 rhythms.
- Built-in speakers and a mic provided.
- Record and playback facility.
- Sounds are very basic.
- Keys are not weighted.
Looking for Something Else?
There are plenty of excellent electronic keyboards on the market. So, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Portable Keyboard Pianos, the Best Digital Pianos for Beginners, the Best Cheap Keyboard Piano, the Best Digital Piano Reviews, and the Best Digital Grand Piano you can buy in 2021.
Kmise 61 Key Portable Electronic Keyboard Review – Final Thoughts
At this price point, there are no complaints. It is a simple keyboard with mostly quite basic sounds. But it does exactly what it says it will do.
It is therefore great for starters and early beginners aged about 10 or 11 plus. And at this price point, it is not hard to recommend it as a great first keyboard.
Until next time, may the music make you merry.