Top 9 Best Digital Pianos Under $500

Affordable digital pianos are probably among the most competitive segment of the market right now if we exclude the very cutting edge flagship category.

Today we are going to show our picks for the top 9 best digital pianos under $500. These rather affordable models include models which are by far some of the best on the market. Once we cover our picks in more detail, we will discuss what makes this category so interesting, what to look for and what to generally expect. As it turns out, this segment is full of surprises and a perfect place to start.

Top 9 Best Digital Pianos Under $500

ImageDigital Pianos / RatingSummaryCheck Price
+ - Casio Privia PX-160BK Casio Privia PX-160BK

Total of 4.83/5   4.8 out of 5 stars

A truly impressive model in the lower mid-range segment of the market

+ - Medeli SP4200 Medeli SP4200

Total of 4.78/5   4.8 out of 5 stars

A great alternative to the more popular brands and their mid-range models

+ - Casio CDP-240 Casio CDP-240

Total of 4.72/5   4.7 out of 5 stars

One of the more balanced models in this price range from Casio

+ - Yamaha P45 Yamaha P45

Total of 4.67/5   4.7 out of 5 stars

A compact, minimalist digital piano that brings everything you could possibly need.

+ - Korg SP170SBK2 Korg SP170SBK2

Total of 4.65/5   4.7 out of 5 stars

A focused and streamlined model from Korg, which is all about performance.

+ - Artesia PA-88H Artesia PA-88H

Total of 4.57/5   4.6 out of 5 stars

A slightly more agile piano compared to most options in this segment.

+ - Yamaha P71 Yamaha P71

Total of 4.47/5   4.5 out of 5 stars

A streamlined, affordable model from Yamaha that brings proven features and hardware.

+ - LAGRIMA LG-8830 LAGRIMA LG-8830

Total of 4.43/5   4.4 out of 5 stars

Lagrima has nailed it with this upright model. It's impressive all around.

+ - Alesis Recital Pro Alesis Recital Pro

Total of 4.35/5   4.4 out of 5 stars

A solid alternative to more popular options, which doesn't break the bank.

Casio Privia PX-160BK

Casio Privia PX-160BK

Design:4.9 out of 5 stars
Features:4.8 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.9 out of 5 stars
Value:4.7 out of 5 stars

Casio has been a strong authority in the digital piano industry from the beginning. They are also a brand that recognizes the importance of the lower mid range segment. Because of that, their Privia series are currently dominating this category of the market. Privia PX-160BK is somewhere in the middle of the range. It's not a flagship but it isn't the most basic member of the family. Being a compact model, it packs a full 88 key action with full sized keys and their famous Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action II. As far as sound goes, Casio offers AiR sound engine packed with impressive grand piano samples from Casio's own acoustic models. Overall, this is one of the best pianos available.

Medeli SP4200

Medeli SP4200

Design:4.8 out of 5 stars
Features:4.7 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.8 out of 5 stars
Value:4.8 out of 5 stars

Even though they don't enjoy the same level of popularity as Casio or Yamaha, Medeli is one of those brands that is gaining customers by offering good deals. Medeli SP4200 is an awesome digital piano which offers plenty both in terms of hardware and software. Medeli has packed a full sized hammer action with full sized, quality made keys. As far the feedback goes, this thing is on point. Under the hood they've installed a very versatile sound engine that simply works. We are talking great sample handling, 128 note polyphony and a library that exceeds 230 presets. SP4200 is a portable rig, but one that comes with a very diverse I/O cluster and a great set of speakers.

Casio CDP-240

Casio CDP-240

Design:4.8 out of 5 stars
Features:4.6 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.7 out of 5 stars
Value:4.8 out of 5 stars

Next digital piano we want to talk about also comes from Casio. This time around we're talking about a model that was designed for a specific vendor. As such many might think that Casio CDP-240 is somehow inferior because of this, but that's definitely not the case. Casio went out and catered this piano to deliver a very balanced performance. You are getting a 88 note, weighted scaled hammer action, which Casio is known for, 700 tones, 200 rhythms and a very solid sound engine .The only thing to look out for is the fact that CDP-240 features 64 note polyphony, which is a bit lower than usual in this price range. Even so, this is a very solid piano.

Yamaha P45

Yamaha P45

Design:4.7 out of 5 stars
Features:4.6 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.7 out of 5 stars
Value:4.7 out of 5 stars

Yamaha P45 is easily one of their most popular mid range models on the market. This is a portable digital piano that is rooted in simplicity. However, despite its somewhat spartan aesthetics, this is definitely one of the more capable options out there. Yamaha has fitted these with a full 88 key weighted action, a good library of voices and presets as well as a pretty capable sound engine. With all that said, this is definitely a digital piano first and foremost. The voices included don't go to far outside these parameters. One more cool feature you can look forward to is the Dual Mode which allows you to combine two voices. At this price, P45 is definitely a bargain.

Korg SP170SBK2

Korg SP170SBK2

Design:4.7 out of 5 stars
Features:4.6 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.6 out of 5 stars
Value:4.7 out of 5 stars

Many think that Korg is not well represented outside the premium flagship segment. That is definitely not true. They offer models such as the SP170SBK2, which really give other brands something to think about. This piano is quite something, especially if you appreciate streamlined designs and optimized software. Aside from the full sized, 88 key weighted action, there aren't too many other controls available. Korg kept it simple and kept it focused on what matters the most. Similarly, they offer 10 sounds in total, which include an organ, strings and electric pianos in addition to a pretty great sounding acoustic piano. As far as sound quality goes, these are on point to say the least. Korg's offer is very attractive.

Artesia PA-88H

Artesia PA-88H

Design:4.5 out of 5 stars
Features:4.7 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.5 out of 5 stars
Value:4.6 out of 5 stars

Another name that breaks up the dominance of big industry's authorities is Artesia with their PA-88H. This piano represents a viable alternative for anyone who wants something different, something more. Artesia banked on the fact that their digital piano is loaded with a more diverse selection of voices. Where as most offer up to 10, Artesia went with 16 different instruments, most of which are pretty traditional. Not only that, but their samples are impressive all things considered. The piano features a sound engine that manages to easily manipulate said samples in a way that makes it all sound fairly authentic. Lastly, PA-88H features a decent hammer action that offers decent feedback. Overall, Artesia has made a very competitive model.

Yamaha P71

Yamaha P71

Design:4.4 out of 5 stars
Features:4.5 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.6 out of 5 stars
Value:4.4 out of 5 stars

Just like that Casio model, Yamaha P71 was a model designed and produced exclusively for an online retailer. Again, just like Casio, Yamaha pretty much just streamlined an already solid base. What you have here is a full 88 key weighted action that comes with great quality keys and offers good feedback during use. The sound engine is more or less the same as the one on P45 and comes packed with great voices as well as actual samples. One thing to keep in mind is that this is a compact model that is definitely meant for those who are frequently on the move. Great thing about P71 is that it comes with two pedals right out of the box.

LAGRIMA LG-8830

LAGRIMA LG-8830

Design:4.4 out of 5 stars
Features:4.2 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.4 out of 5 stars
Value:4.7 out of 5 stars

The next model on our list comes from Lagrima and is the only upright model we are going to offer. Lagrima has always been among the very few brands who offer upright models in competitive, still affordable segments of the market, which is definitely something we appreciate about them. LG-8830 is an impressive piece. For starters, it comes with a solid cabinet, a decent semi weighted action and quite surprisingly, all three pedals. Controls are simple despite being rather numerous. Lagrima has packed this thing full of awesome sounds. You are looking at almost a 1000 tones, 200 rhythms and functional 128 note polyphony. Not to mention the learning tools and software. Generally speaking, this is a very solid choice.

Alesis Recital Pro

Alesis Recital Pro

Design:4.3 out of 5 stars
Features:4.3 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.3 out of 5 stars
Value:4.5 out of 5 stars

Last but not least we would like to introduce you to Alesis Recital Pro. This digital piano is an evolution of Alesis Recital, which has been quite successful over the years. Alesis is best known for their keyboards and MIDI controllers, however they have definitely proven that they can hold their own in a very competitive market. Recital Pro features 88 full sized keys, a hammer action system that feels great and impressive velocity sensitivity. As far as software and sound goes, Alesis did a very good job with layering those samples and capturing an rather authentic piano vibe. On top of that, Recital Pro features advanced learning tools, which include 3 months premium subscription to Skoove. Overall, it's awesome.

What to Expect From a $500 Digital Piano?

Even though just about everyone has their own opinion on this subject, it is arguable that $500 digital pianos are the perfect place to start if you are a beginner. Budget digital pianos are good and do a very decent job all things considered. However, they are often seen as the last resort for those who are limited by a tight budget. If you can, you should definitely get the best your money can buy. If that means a $500 model, that’s great. However it means a good $1000 digital piano, by all means go for that instead. As long as you are certain that playing a digital piano is something you want to do long term, making these types of investments is perfectly reasonable. At this point you are probably wondering what you can expect from a $500 digital piano? The truth is that this segment of the market is extremely diverse. Here are just some the things you can enjoy should you decide to go for one of these models.

Proper Weighted Actions

Right up until you get to this price range, the actions you’ll run into will be a compromise at best, absolute disappointment at the worst. The moment you step into the $500 category, you will run into some pretty good solutions. Brands such as Casio and Yamaha have pretty much reached a point where they are doing their best to simplify their flagship actions into something that is possible to squeeze into these budget models.

The result are weighted action systems which may not be as refined as their top stuff, but every bit on point. The implications this level of quality brings are quite obvious. If you are looking to become a traditional pianists, you will absolutely benefit from investing into a good action. Just about every model on our list will give you that type of performance.

Sound Engines and Samples

The next aspect where you will definitely hear a large difference is the sound. To be more specific, the sound engines and samples which are included with these models. One byproduct of the current market trend is the blurring of lines which separate the mid range from the top tier models when it comes to sound engines. It used to be that you would get a completely different setup in the mid range, while the flagship segment was reserved for the good stuff. These days, you are getting the flagship sound engine in the mid range segment, albeit a simplified version.

As far as samples go, this is where different brands take different paths. Samples are pretty much what matters the most with digital pianos in this category. Some brands pay a lot of attention to this and offer layered, well designed samples of their in house acoustic pianos while others take a much simpler approach. This is where sticking to known brands tends to yield the best results. The reason for this is quite simple. Brands such as Casio or Yamaha make some of the best acoustic pianos on the market. Therefore it is very easy for them to record and layer quality samples and offer them in budget models. That is exactly what gives them the edge over smaller brands who don’t necessary cover the acoustic segment as well.

Conclusion

All things considered you can get some pretty awesome pianos at right around $500. This is arguably where the market really opens up and becomes saturated with competitive models. The ones we’ve chosen for this list are definitely among the best. We’ve included a few rock solid choices which are already veterans of this segment by now but we have also included a few less known pianos which definitely deserve your attention. Choosing the right one for you comes down to figuring out your budget and which features you value the most. With that said, all of these will work.


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