Pianos: Top 6 Best Portable Keyboard Pianos For The Money
One of the toughest challenges of being a pianist is moving around your instrument. It can be nearly impossible to take along your favorite one, so that’s why we’re bringing you a list to help you find the best portable keyboard piano for you. We take a look at the lightest, most portable keyboard pianos that sacrifice the least features for their portability.
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Top 6 Best Portable Keyboard Pianos To Buy In 2020 Reviews
- 1. 1 1 Yamaha P45 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano
- 1. 2 2 Yamaha DGX-660 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Grand Piano Premium
- 1. 3 3 Kawai ES100 88-key Digital Piano With Speakers
- 1. 4 4 Yamaha P115 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano
- 1. 5 5 Yamaha P255 88-Key Professional Weighted Action Digital Piano
- 1. 6 6 Casio Privia PX-160BK 88-Key Full Size Digital Piano
- 1. 7 What’s The Takeaway?
Let’s get started.
Top 6 Best Portable Keyboard Pianos To Buy In 2020 Reviews
1 Yamaha P45 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano
Size details: depth of 12 inches, weighs 25 pounds.
- Super light
- Great weighted keys
- Very responsive
- Could be much louder
- Lots of volume variation
- Keys deteriorate with time
The Yamaha P45 is one of the lightest portable keyboard pianos on the market that has weighted keys. That’s one of the main things that brings it to the top of our list. Weighted keys can make a huge difference in playability, so it’s a great feature.
It’s extra impressive that the P45 has them because weighted keys can be quite heavy, but Yamaha chose to equip this piano with the lightest ones out there. All of the portable keyboard pianos on this list are full-size, but it’s not a feature to be overlooked either.
Those keys are also very responsive, an advantage characteristic of Yamaha pianos. When making this portable keyboard piano, Yamaha definitely didn’t sacrifice the responsiveness.
But There’s A Catch
What they might have sacrificed is the volume quality. This portable keyboard piano is pretty quiet – and it’s even more quiet in the high keys. The low keys end up being somewhat loud, almost drowning out the high keys.
In fact, the overall volume with the built-in speakers is disappointing. This is a portable keyboard piano that you’ll have to transport with an amp, which takes away from the portability.
With this portable keyboard piano, we also have some concerns with durability. It seems that over a relatively short amount of time, the keys can start to deteriorate.
That said, it’s almost impossible to ignore how convenient the portability of this piano is and we love it for that reason.
For even more information, check out our full review of the Yamaha P45.
2 Yamaha DGX-660 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Grand Piano Premium
Size details: depth of 17 inches, weighs 82 pounds.
- High-quality sound and voices
- Lots of features
- Very heavy and bulky
- Menu is confusing, features can be hard to access
- Keys are loud when rebounding
Quite the opposite of the Yamaha P45, the Yamaha DGX-660 is heavy and bulky. Weighing over 50 pounds more than the lightest option on our list, its weight is significant.
With that weight does come more features, though. This portable keyboard piano packs lots of high-quality voices and tones into its body. It also produces very high-quality sound.
The Best Part?
The larger size also permits larger, more powerful speakers that can stand on their own. That eliminates the need for external speakers in most cases.
This portable keyboard piano also makes some extra noises… the keys are quite bulky. When you press down on them, they make a clicking sound when rebounding. For most, this isn’t a big deal, but some people might find it annoying.
The many features that it includes also makes the menu confusing to navigate. That makes some of the more advanced features hard to access.
Although this portable keyboard piano isn’t exactly the most portable, some other features help make up for that. The loud speakers, the extra voices and the many features pack weight. The key is to decide if 81 pounds is too much to carry.
3 Kawai ES100 88-key Digital Piano With Speakers
Size details: depth of 11 inches, weighs 33 pounds.
- Keys feel authentic
- Sustain pedal that it comes with is excellent
- Keys action is silent
- Speakers are quiet; sounds better with headphones
- Few voice options
The highlight of the Kawai ES100 are the keys. Put simply, they feel real. Oftentimes cheap synthetic ebony and ivory doesn’t feel much better than normal digital keyboard keys.
The ES100 is different – the keys are silky smooth, well-weighted and absolutely silent when pressed. All you’ll hear is the tones emitting from the piano.
For being just 33 pounds, that’s pretty amazing.
This portable keyboard piano also comes with a sustain pedal, that for its size and quality, is excellent. It’s just as portable as the rest of the piano and, unlike most sustain pedals that come included, it actually works super well.
It seems like Kawai put a lot of effort into the keys and pedal but missed the ball on the sound. The built-in speakers are pretty quiet, although they sound much better with headphones. There are also relatively few voice options and few other features.
Still unsure if this is the best choice for you? We have a full review of the Kawai ES100 that you can read to find out more.
4 Yamaha P115 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano
Size details: depth of 11 inches, weighs 37 pounds.
- Excellent sound
- High polyphony for its class
- Voices are authentic
- Physical keys don’t feel that authentic
- Included pedal is mediocre
- Needs to have speakers
The Yamaha P115 checks all the boxes, has all the necessary features and is a solid choice, but quite honestly, doesn’t particularly stand out in any one way.
The sound is quite good, with many authentic voices. The piano also features a very high polyphony for its class. Between the voices, the polyphony and the overall sound, it’s a solid instrument for its size.
Where it shines in sound, it lacks in feel. The keys are made of the synthetic ebony and ivory that lands in the awkward middle of the smooth digital piano keys and the real acoustic keys.
That’s Not All
The pedal that the portable keyboard piano comes with is pretty mediocre, along with the volume. A set of external speakers is basically necessary to achieve a sound that reaches beyond the player’s ears.
In many ways the Yamaha P115 is the opposite of the Kawai ES100. Its sound holds up to the test, but the feel is weak.
If you like the Yamaha P115, then take a look at our full review to get all the details.
5 Yamaha P255 88-Key Professional Weighted Action Digital Piano
Size details: depth of 13 inches, weighs 38 pounds.
- EQ sliders are super useful
- Synthetic ivory keys, feel authentic
- High-quality built-in voices
- Sound is flat with built-in speakers
- Few extra features
- A little heavy for traveling
The Yamaha P225 is an all-around solid instrument. It’s a little heavy, for how simple it keeps its features, but not so heavy nor large that it’s unmanageable.
Its simplicity focuses on the functions that emulate an acoustic piano. The keys are synthetic ivory, and unlike other models, do have an authentic, comfortable feel.
Although the selection isn’t incredibly large, the voices that the Yamaha P225 includes are solid and authentic sounding, as well. In addition to the voices and styles preset into the portable keyboard piano, there are also EQ slides which help hone in on your desired sound.
The mixture of features focused on the most authentic sound possible are pleasant and effective and make for a solid instrument.
Where the P225 could improve is in its built-in speakers. The speakers that the P225 comes with don’t make for a very full sound, and, despite the excellent voices and ability to mix features, somehow can make the sound fall flat. Choosing to use headphones or an external amplifier might be a better choice with this model.
6 Casio Privia PX-160BK 88-Key Full Size Digital Piano
Size Details: depth of 11.5 inches, weighs 25 pounds.
- Super light
- Lots of voices
- Intuitive to use the features
- Key texture is very synthetic
- Sound with headphones isn’t great
- Sustain is weak
One of the things that Casio does best is usability, and the Privia PX-160BK maintains that pillar. It’s many features are easy to access and intuitive to use, which can make someone new to digital pianos much more comfortable with this instrument.
Considering all the features packed into it, this portable keyboard piano really is portable. Weighing just 25 pounds, it ties for the lightest portable keyboard piano on our list, and with a depth of just 11.5 inches, it is actually the thinnest of any of the options.
One of the highlight features is the voices. It comes with many, and although some have many striking similarities, the pure volume of options assures that you’ll find some that suit you.
There are some downsides, though.
The key texture feels very synthetic on this piano and the weighting of the keys is mediocre at best. It seems that Casio packed the features into the portable keyboard piano but left behind some of the material quality.
Another area in which this portable keyboard piano falls flat in is its sustain. The natural sustain isn’t very good; the sound seems to last just a bit less than it should.
The last consideration to have with this digital keyboard is that the sound is much better with the speakers than with headphone. That’s actually the opposite of most cases and something important to keep in mind.
What’s The Takeaway?
Choosing the best portable keyboard piano can seem like a lot to take on. Many of the portable keyboard pianos give up certain aspects of quality in order to make them smaller and lighter. In our list, we found the ones that give up the least.
Our favorite is the Yamaha P45 for its lightness and simple quality. It’s hard to argue with quality, and where there are downsides to the instrument, they can be corrected fairly easily. All around, it’s a solid choice, and any pianist can take it with them wherever they want to go.
Also see: Top 10 Best Roll Up Piano