The Best Portable Digital Piano or Keyboard
Digital pianos are very unique in that they can be far more portable than their acoustic counterparts. Because each sound is produced electronically, the digital piano or keyboard weight is made up of the keys themselves, rather than from the steel used in acoustic pianos. In addition, many portable digital pianos cut out the sometimes-unnecessary upper and lower registers, offering 74- and 66- key models that are smaller and easier to handle.
That being said, many of the features used to make digital pianos and keyboards portable also cut down on the features of the piano itself, as far as versatility is concerned. Some super-portable models will even sacrifice the weight in the keys to promote maneuverability, which can have a heavy impact on performance.
There are many factors that go into choosing the right portable digital piano or keyboard. You’ll want to ensure that your portability needs are met, without sacrificing too many features. For example, a student moving from dorm to dorm every semester through college would understandably want a smaller, more portable instrument, and may be willing to give up some features and technical specs of higher end models to achieve higher portability. Those who are relatively stationary and may only need to move a unit a few times shouldn’t have to sacrifice too many features to meet their portability needs.
As with choosing any piano, choosing the right model takes many factors into account. Some of the greatest factors that should influence your decision include:
- Digital Piano Keyboard Size and Weight – Whenever a product is considered “portable,” it’s usually of a compact size, ideal for frequent transportation. These same rules apply to digital pianos and keyboards, as full-size pianos are far from portable. Portable digital pianos can expect to be moved around frequently, and therefore should be of a size that’s maintainable for you. While some may find transporting an 88-key fully weighted digital piano easier than others, those uncomfortable with the higher weight associated with 88-key models may want to consider a smaller option.
- Keys and Sensitivity – The keys in portable digital pianos are designed with lightweight materials such as plastic to keep down on excessive weight, but better models will use weighted keys. In addition, the keys in some portable digital pianos are less sensitive than those in more advanced models, with fewer sensitivity settings to work with. This may not be an issue for certain play styles, but those looking to practice more intricate pieces may want to consider a digital piano not designed for portability.
- Accompaniments and Song Banks – This is often a personal choice, as not all players have a need for accompaniments or song banks. More advanced players may want to skip this feature in favor of more customization options, however this can be very useful for beginner.
- Budget – As with any investment, budget plays a big factor in making the right decision. Choosing a model that has the features you need at the price you want is important, and paying for more than you need isn’t always ideal with portable digital pianos. Make a list of the features you’d like in your digital piano, then take a look at the prices of some models with those features. Determine which falls into your price range, and go from there!
For more information or to check current pricing click on the links and images below to see these models on Amazon.
For Infrequent Movers We Like the Yamaha DGX-650
As far as portable digital pianos go, our favorite choice is the Yamaha DGX-650. This digital piano delivers full, rich tones, and gives professional quality features in a package that’s just under 50 lbs (without stand) or about 65lbs (with stand). This instrument may not be ideal if you will be transporting it alone, but if you can expect some help, you’ll find that moving this model comes with ease. In addition, this model packs all of the features you could ever expect from a Yamaha into its compact body, as well as 88 fully-weighted keys, making it an excellent choice for beginners and professionals alike.
- PureCF-sampled sound engine
- AUX line input
- 128-note polyphony
- 88-note, weighted GHS action
- 147 instrument voices + 15 Drum/SFX kits + 381 XGlite
- Dozens of Reverb, Chorus, DSP, and EQ effects
For more information on Yamaha digital pianos visit our Yamaha page: http://www.digitalpianoreviewssite.com/yamaha/
A More Travel Friendly Option is the Casio PX-160
Those looking for a more portable model should consider the Casio PX-160, a less robust model that trades some of the technical specs for a lot of portability. This model is light enough for one person to easily carry, but for a very lightweight key design can pack 88 weighted keys into its highly portable body. This model doesn’t come with an extensive array of features, but it does have enough to support a beginner to intermediate player. Those without the need for multitudes of instrument voices will find this instrument to be highly useful in any situation, whether it be in the classroom or on stage.
For more information on the Casio PX-160 visit our Casio page: http://www.digitalpianoreviewssite.com/casio/