If you’re looking for a keyboard that not only has weighted keys but also won’t bust the bank account, then you’re in luck since we have put together what is in our opinion a list of three keyboards that are the best at the price points of 300, 400 and 500 dollars. We’ve listed all the pros and cons of each keyboard and the overall conclusion of whether you should shortlist it, should you ignore it or should you seriously consider buying it, which are the cheapest weighted keyboards?
So without any further ado, here’s our opinion on the top 3 keyboards with weighted keys that won’t empty your wallet between 300 and 500 dollars
This product is aimed at people who are just beginning playing and are looking for something to practice at home with.
With 88 premium full-sized semi-weighted keys and adjustable touch response plus 5 built-in premium voices with the ability to split or layer 2 voices simultaneously, it is quite the package for only 300 dollars. 20-watt speakers and 128 note max polyphony help make for a realistic sound and playability. Lesson Mode divides the keyboard into two areas with the same pitch and voice.
Price with a price of around 300 dollars (price right at the time of writing), this keyboard is certainly one of the cheaper options to go for.
- 88 velocity-sensitive keys with adjustable sensitivity. 5 voices
- Max polyphony 128
- Dual 20W speakers
- 1 270 x 292 x 86 mm
- 7.1 kg
- Release date: August 2016
- A very low asking price for a full-sized keyboard
- The keys’ sensitivity can be adjusted to your liking and a split mode allows playing different sounds, alternatively plus layer 2 sounds across the whole keyboard
- Inbuilt effects such as reverb, chorus, and a pedal style resonant effect plus the 20-watt speakers perform better than expected whilst plating louder and more powerful sounds
- Only semi-weighted keys
- No hammer action feel
- Only 5 voices
- The body construction is more or less poor and might not be satisfactory
- The weighs is quite a bit for its poor construction at 7.1 kg
Conclusion of Alesis Recital 88-Key Digital Piano
If you’re just looking for something to practice on at home or something along the lines of “my first keyboard” then this is arguably the best option for you. Although it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that more expensive keyboards of the same category have it is still quite a package, especially for the 300 dollars. So, as a beginning artist, you should most likely go ahead and shortlist it. “Why not just buy it?” you might ask… continue reading and find out why you should rather shortlist this piano than straight-up buy it.
Though if you feel that you’re more advanced than a beginner and an intermediate level player then you might want to look elsewhere, but it is still a piano to keep in mind if funds are a problem or if you feel that the quality of play is suitable for your needs.
#2: Yamaha P-45
This product is aimed at players at levels beginner to intermediate. It won’t go overlooked by someone who plays piano as their job. The 88 fully weighted piano-style keys simulate the feel of an acoustic piano and provide a quality playing experience. The GHS (Graded Hammer System) weighted action is heavier in the low end and lighter in the high end. Just like an acoustic piano. It contains 10 different voices, including digitally sampled tones from real Yamaha acoustic grand pianos. The dual-mode lets you combine 2 voices, like piano and strings, for an inspiring new playing experience.
Price with a price tag of around 400 dollars the Yamaha P45 is another cheap option to consider when buying, but is the extra 100 dollars over the Alesis worth it?
The specs of Yamaha P-45
- 88-key fully weighted keyboard with matte black keytops
- Graded Hammer Standard action
- Touch Sensitivity (Hard, Medium, Soft, Fixed)
- Sound: AWM Stereo sampling
- 64-note polyphony
- 10 instrument sounds (2 pianos)
- 10 preset piano songs + 10 demo songs
- Modes: Duo, Dual
- Metronome, Transpose, Fine-tuning
- Speakers: 6W + 6W (12 cm x 2)
- Connections: USB to Host, Headphone jack, Sustain Pedal jack
- 1 326 x 295 x 154 mm
- 11.5 kg
- Release date: April 2015
- although being a compact design it still offers you the full 88 keys that are fully weighted and differ in feel – at the bottom end of the keyboard the keys feel the heaviest, and the further up in notes you go the lighter the keys feel
- Yamaha’s Graded Hammer System technology
- The sound quality is more than satisfactory and feels quite like the real thing
- A split keyboard mode and the fact that the P in the name stands for portable makes this instrument more beginner-friendly and adaptable than some other counterparts
- As the entry-level model only has a polyphony of 64 compared to its bigger brothers (192) higher up the price range
- Can be bothering to navigate through all the different options since besides the volume knob and 2 other buttons everything is done through a function button and then pressing a specific key on the keyboard to get the voicing to change or to access the metronome, which can be bothersome especially with no screen.
Conclusion of Yamaha P-45
From a beginner to an intermediate level player, this piano is certainly fitting, and even those that consider themselves experts might also be interested in this product. With all its options it still weighs a moderate 11.5 kgs, which is certainly more than the Alesis, but considering the build quality of Yamaha and the extra features, the weight penalty is something to look at as one of those “first world problems” as well. Although the features are plentiful enough and the weight can be overlooked, then something worth considering whilst buying is the over-simplistic design of 3 buttons and doing everything through the keyboard itself. If you are a person who likes these sorts of designs then this won’t be an issue, but if you’re more used to the traditional layout with many buttons and knobs then this might be a key feature to consider whilst buying. Nevertheless, the Yamaha P-45 is a great value for money and worth shortlisting if not outright buying it right away.
#3: Roland FP-10
Product description of Roland FP-10
his piano is like the one mentioned beforehand in the way that it is aimed at players from beginner to intermediate level, but just like the Yamaha won’t go unnoticed by someone who is playing piano for a living. So, meet the FP-10, the latest in the acclaimed FP-Series from Roland which has defined how a digital piano should sound and feel: a rich, responsive tone from Roland’s renowned SuperNATURAL Piano sound engine and keys that feel like a real acoustic piano, with the expressive touch and ivory feel.
The headphones’ output and quiet keyboard action let you enjoy playing at any time without disturbing others.
Powerful onboard speakers reproduce your playing beautifully and the option of a built-in Bluetooth MIDI/USB MIDI interface for connecting to Garageband, computers, DAW software just add to the experience. Furthermore, Roland’s Piano Partner 2 app lets you conveniently select sounds, set metronome, and more from your smartphone
With a price of around 500 dollars, this piano is as well one of the cheaper options to go for in the world of keyboards with weighted key action.
- 88 fully weighted keys
- PHA-4 Standard Keyboard: with Escapement and Ivory Feel
- Touch Sensitivity (5 types, OFF)
- Sound: SuperNATURAL Piano Sound
- 96-note polyphony
- 15 instrument sounds (expandable via the app)
- Modes: Dual, Duo (Twin Piano), Split (via the app)
- 17 preset songs + 15 Demos
- Piano Simulation: String Resonance, Damper Resonance, Key Off Resonance
- Metronome, Transpose, Fine-tuning
- Speakers: 6W + 6W (12 cm x 2)
- Connections: USB to Host, USB to Device, Bluetooth 4.0, a Headphone jack (3.5mm), Sustain Pedal jack
- 1 284 x 258 x 14 mm
- 12.3 kg
- Release Date: January 2019
- At this price point, the feeling of the keys is incredibly realistic
- Resonant noise adds realism to the Roland, which makes it imitate acoustic piano. It means things like string, damper, and key-odd resonance
- With the 96 note maximum polyphony
- 17 preset songs and 15 demos
- If you get Roland’s free Piano Partner 2 app you can engage in interactive learning and an opportunity to expand on the 15 onboard voices
- Just like the Yamaha this has a simplistic 4 button design that consists of a power button, a volume up, and a volume down button plus a function button, which means that all the voices and such are selected once again by pressing certain keys on the keyboard, but what is even more troublesome is that the Roland, just like the Yamaha, lacks a screen
- Also like the Yamaha, the weight is up quite a bit from the Alesis, but considering that the build quality, key action, and the sound system are all arguably better (especially the first one) than the Alesis it can be overlooked just like with the Yamaha.
Conclusion of Roland FP-10
Just like the Yamaha and the Alesis this keyboard is beginner-friendly and suitable even for higher levels of players. The Roland FP-10 is a keyboard with a super realistic key feel for the price and a supernatural piano voice. The slimline body makes it quite versatile and the Piano Partner 2 app means you can even further enhance your piano playing skills even when playing alone. But, same as with the Yamaha, the way you select different voices for the keyboard, the lack of a screen, and the highest asking price out of all three might be factors to consider before buying. Nevertheless, this is a great keyboard and you should definitely shortlist it if not just outright buy it.
So, depending on your tastes and your financial situation you will choose one over the other. Here’s a little reminder of what to keep in mind when buying one of these 3 keyboards:
- The Alesia Recital 88-Key Digital Piano is quite cheap at 300 dollars and does all the things you would like as a beginner, but might be a little too simplistic for an advanced player. Also, keep in mind the build quality and the fact that the keys are only half weighed. But at the asking price is one if not the best deal you can get, especially for a beginner.
- The Yamaha P-45 is in the middle in terms of its price at 400 dollars and offers a variety of functions. It is suitable for beginners but also higher level players. Even to those who play piano as a job, but it has limited voices, so keep that in mind. It also lacks a screen and shuffling between the different modes and voices can be troublesome. Still, it is portable and quite reliable plus has fully weighted keys that differ in feel the higher up the notes you go.
- The Roland FP-10 is the most expensive of the lot at 500 dollars but offers a wider variety of options. There’s a companion app that makes learning and playing easier than with the other two. It means it is also very beginner-friendly but just like the Yamaha is also suitable for higher-level players. Also like the Yamaha, it lacks a screen and you select the voices by pressing the keys themselves. It might be annoying. Still, the Roland offers a great feel whilst playing and has a supernatural piano voice.
These are the basic things to keep in mind when choosing the right keyboard. Hopefully, this article helps you choose the right keyboard for you.
If you like this article and found the provided information useful, you might want to check out our other reviews at AalbergAudio.com