Classical grand pianos are built with weighted keys, which gives you as the player, a better feel for the instrument.
The weighted keys give you control over the dynamics and the velocity of each hit.
The reason why acoustic grand pianos have keys that bear weight is that they are attached to strings that hit the hammer when you play each note.
Because grand pianos can be ridiculously expensive and take up a lot of space, not all of has can afford to own one.
Fortunately, a lot of companies have developed digital grand pianos which are more affordable and more portable versions of the classical grand.
These digital pianos try to emulate the sound and feel of the grand piano that we all know and love.
The sounds that digital pianos produce are recorded samples taken from acoustic grand pianos.
Some digital pianos sound better than others because of their elaborate recording techniques.
They record each note from different angles and different velocities to emulate the dynamic feel when you play them on a digital piano keyboard.
Aside from emulating the sound, digital pianos also try to emulate the feel, which is why manufacturers are adding weight to the keys as if they are actually connected to the strings.
Some digital pianos even copy the changing weights of low to high notes.
An acoustic piano has dynamic key weight resistance that gets lighter as you move across the key bed.
All right, let's get back to the article:
The best digital piano with weighted keys is the ones that sound and feel close to the real thing.
The key to being the best are in the piano keys themselves, and the way they react to how you hit them.
The audio quality plays a big role too, but the combination of weighted keys, dynamics, and audio quality is what makes a digital piano worth buying.
In addition to this, a good digital piano should also have the full 88 keys.
Not all digital pianos or keyboards have weighted keys, but in this article, I listed down some of the best keyboards and digital pianos with weighted keys.
It really depends on the player.
If you are a classical piano player, you will prefer an acoustic piano for the all-natural feel and dynamics.
On the other hand, if you are a keyboard player, a digital keyboard or synthesizer would be best for you because of the wide array of digital sounds.
Digital pianos also have fewer keys and octaves than an acoustic piano.
Now that we have that information out of the way, let's move on to the list.
13 Best Digital Pianos with Weighted Keys of 2021
Let's look at our contestants!
#1 Yamaha DGX-660 Digital Grand Piano
Yamaha is known for its excellent representation and emulation of their grand pianos in digital form.
Since Yamaha is known for making acoustic grand pianos as well, it is a brand that you can trust in recreating the best sounds, and they seem to really know what they're doing.
What Yamaha is doing right is that they are making their expensive good-sounding grand pianos accessible to people by recording and sampling the sound, and inserting them into a more affordable digital box that does not only emulate the sound, but it also recreates the same natural feel and hammer action into a digital device known as a digital piano.
The Yamaha DGX-660 is an excellent example to start with.
It is a combination of the classical grand piano sound and the best technology.
It is not a portable digital piano you want to take on tour, but it makes an excellent home buddy.
Yamaha did a great job of putting weight on its keys as they really feel close to the real thing.
The engine they used for the DGX-600 is for recreating and replicating the sound of their concert series grand piano, and might I say, they did a pretty good job.
If you ever listen to classical music, this digital piano can produce the same tone.
Well, it is exactly the same tone because it is playing recordings of the popular concert piano.
Aside from its piano-like features, it does come with a few extra features that only digital pianos have such as a built-in six-track recorder.
This feature allows you to layer multiple sounds.
It helps a lot when you are experimenting and writing original compositions.
One of its most unique features is the “Piano Room” feature where you can choose different piano sounds recorded in different rooms for more tonal options.
Overall, this digital piano is one of the best options if you want a combination of an acoustic piano and the high-tech features of a digital keyboard in one.
#2 Casio Privia PX-160 Digital Piano
Casio is one of Yamaha’s direct competitors.
They too are widely known for creating the best digital pianos and keyboards, and the Privia PX-160 is no exception.
It is a full-sized 88-key digital piano that is suitable for touring and a great option for your home or studio.
The Privia PX-160 is just one of the models included in Casio's Privia series, and it is one of the ones.
It is a digital piano that emulates the sound and feel of an acoustic piano but is built with some digital features that are convenient to have, whether you are a piano or keyboard player.
This model includes a wide range of different sounds, including 18 different piano sounds.
It is also equipped with the “Pure” feature that improves resonance, making it sound more authentic as possible.
This digital piano is equipped with hammer action weighted keys that allow you to play detailed melodies with dynamic changes.
Its velocity-sensitive keybed really works and you can hear every nuance and dynamic change you can trigger by hitting each not softer or harder as if you were hearing a real acoustic piano.
As a digital piano, Casio included onboard effects such as reverb and chorus so you can further tweak with the sound to get the tone you want.
The built-in speaker can produce a maximum power of 16 watts, which is good enough to fill a room with sound.
If you want to play louder, you can hook this option to a PA system or amplifier.
The audio quality is clean and clear.
Even when cranked up to high volume, the signal does not get distorted.
You can also use this digital piano as a keyboard MIDI controller where you can record software instruments directly.
If you are a piano player and want to record music with this piano, you can record straight into your computer without an audio interface.
However, you will need to buy a piano plugin if you want it to produce more sounds.
However, it does not have any transport controls such as real MIDI controllers.
#3 Yamaha Arius YDP-164 Console Digital Piano
Yamaha has tons of models in the market.
This brand has been in the digital piano for while now and they have developed tons of models that had their fair share of ups and downs.
There are just some critics that are hard to please.
You shouldn't be worried about picking up any Yamaha Digital Piano featured on this list, because I only chose the models that I know personally and some models that have the highest ratings.
The Yamaha Aurus YDP-163 is one of those high-rated models.
The reason why Yamaha has so many models is so that they can conquer different price points.
They also make affordable models with the same quality, minus some features to cut the price.
This model is not one of those affordable products.
If you are looking for a high-end digital piano option, the YDP-164 is an excellent choice.
Although digital pianos try to combine the feel of an acoustic piano with the features of a digital keyboard, this particular model lean toward the acoustic piano.
From the aesthetic to its feel, this model is as close you can get to owning an actual Yamaha grand piano.
The Arius YDP features a three-sensor design of weighted keys that recreate an accurate feel of an acoustic piano.
To add more acoustic piano features, it has three built-in pedals.
However, Yamaha still managed to slip in some modern features like the built-in recorder and classical songs you can jam along to.
#4 Korg B1 Digital Piano
Korg is well-known for creating synthesizers and digital keyboards, but with this particular model, Korg did a great job of penetrating the digital piano market.
Since they are masters of sound design, you can already expect that this option will be a good one.
The Korg B1 is an excellent digital piano with weighted keys.
They describe your keys as a natural hammer, which does in fact, feel like a real piano hammering down on strings.
They did a good job of recreating the natural acoustic feel, and the sound is pretty decent too.
This particular model is equipped with 88 keys, the same as a full-sized piano, but it is built more portable.
It makes an excellent choice for touring, but it is still too large and it can be a hassle carrying this thing around.
If you are looking for an affordable digital piano with excellent weighted keys and action, the Korg B1 is worth checking out.
This piano makes an excellent practice keyboard for your home or studio.
It has eight different piano sounds that you can edit with the onboard effects.
It wouldn't be a Korg Keyboard if it didn't include at least one modulation effect.
In terms of audio quality, as I mentioned earlier, the sound is not bad.
It is decent, but not that impressive.
There are more digital pianos that can produce better quality piano samples, but for an affordable option, it is as good as it gets.
Overall, this option makes a good beginner digital piano.
#5 Yamaha P-125 Digital Piano
This Yamaha Digital Piano is a popular choice for weighted keys.
Like most Yamaha Digital Pianos, this model is equipped with weighted action that most piano players prefer.
The P-125 does not only feature weighted keys, but it also emulates an actual acoustic piano by having heavier weighted keys on the low notes and lighter keys when you reach the higher keys.
To further enhance the acoustic piano feel, it is equipped with the Pure CF Sound Engine.
This sound engine contains samples recorded from the Yamaha Grand Piano.
The audio was sampled in different angles and velocities to make sure you can recreate the same sound with the way you hit the keys on this digital piano.
The audio quality is by far one of the best and closest to sounding like a classical grand piano.
As a digital piano, you will get some extra features that are not found in acoustic pianos such as 24 different voices, a headphone output, and expensive and sustain pedal ports (pedals are not included).
However, if you want to purchase pedals for this digital piano, there are a lot of options available.
It can produce up to 14 watts of power, which is suitable for home practice and home performances for your family.
If you want to use the P-125 for live performances in bigger venues, you will have to connect it to the house speakers or sue a keyboard amplifier with higher power output.
Overall, the Yamaha P-125 is a portable full-sized digital piano that comes with extra features thanks to its digital side.
The sound quality of this digital piano sounds very natural and pretty close to the real thing.
#6 Roland FP-30 Portable Digital Piano
The Roland FP-30 is a portable digital piano with weighted keys.
It is a popular touring digital piano that a lot of professional musicians are using.
Roland is another brand that can stand up and compete with the likes of Casio or Yamaha when it comes to digital piano products.
You should also know that Roland is a brand that popularized the TR808 and the Rhodes Electric Piano (originally the Fender Rhodes Piano).
The FP-30 is an excellent digital piano that allows you to take the feel of an acoustic piano on-stage without the hassle of actually bringing a grand piano on tour.
If you are looking for an excellent digital piano that is durable enough to take a beating, this digital piano is worth checking out.
#7 Medeli SP4200 Digital Stage Piano
Medeli is a fairly new brand when it comes to making digital pianos, but this model deserves to be on this list based on its performance and good reviews.
The Medeli SP4200 Is decent digital piano that features a full-sized keyboard with 88 keys.
Aside from its good size, it is also equipped with tons of features that you are hard to find in digital pianos in its price range.
This particular model is an excellent combination of a digital piano and a keyboard.
It features the full size of a piano with weighted keys and sampled piano sounds, but it is also equipped with keyboard features such as a wide collection of sounds and more.
On its keyboard side, it has a total of 600 different voices, giving you more versatility.
You can explore and create different sounds with this model and put it into your own compositions.
It has an amazing 128 notes of polyphony, allowing you to learn and play even the most complicated piano pieces.
It also comes with a collection of over 200 style accompaniments, so that you can jam alone.
It even comes with a unique guitar mode that can emulate the sound of guitar chords with accurate picking sound and everything.
It features a USB input so you can playback backing tracks from your thumb drive, and the best thing about this digital keyboard with weighted keys is that is highly affordable.
It might be an unknown brand, but it has more features than most of the biggest brands on this list.
However, this list does feature the best digital pianos, so do not expect options with the same amount of features as the Medeli SP42000.
It does come with a catch though, the speakers are not really good, so your solution is to use different speakers by connecting it to an amplifier.
#8 Kawai ES110 Portable Digital Piano
Kawai is another brand that makes pretty decent digital grand pianos.
The ES110 is a great portable option that you can take on-stage or band practices.
Looking for a portable piano that is capable of playing live shows is pretty challenging, especially if you are on a budget.
If that is the case, this digital piano would make an excellent choice for you.
The sound quality is impressive for its price range, and it is light and easy to carry.
It has 19 built-in sounds, and most of the sounds are modeled after acoustic grand pianos using its incredible sound engine.
It features a full set of 88 keys with decent hammer action.
However, because of its price range don’t expect it to have the same functionality and nuances of an expensive option.
Overall, the Kawai ES110 makes an excellent portable option for band practice and for playing small venues.
#9 Korg SV-1 73-Key Stage Keyboard
The Korg SV-1 Stage Keyboard is an excellent option for live performances, band practice, and recording.
It is a digital keyboard that is equipped with 73 weighted hammer-action keys and a wide selection of quality sounds.
To tell you upfront, this option is not cheap.
It is equipped with features that are impossible to get at a cheap price.
The Korg SV-1 sports a simple and straightforward design.
Unlike other synths and digital keyboards, it does not come with an LCD screen, which makes it a little difficult to load presets, add effects, and whatnot.
However, you will get used to using this option after a few hours of messing around with it.
Once you mastered how to use the SV-1, you can personalize and fully customize your sounds and use its built-in amp and cab modeling features to recreate the iconic tones of some of the famous amps.
Overall, the SV-1 is a fantastic synth keyboard with weighted keys.
It is not a suitable choice for beginners because the controls are not at all intuitive.
I recommend this option for people who have an interest in sound design, but also want the weighted keys of an acoustic grand piano in one device.
#10 Nord Stage 3 HP76 Stage Keyboard
Nord Stage 3 is a popular choice.
It is a digital keyboard built with incredible sound engines to produce both realistic and synth sounds.
It has 76 weighted, hammer-style keys that feel absolutely great, especially if you are used to the weighted keys of an acoustic piano.
The Nord Stage 3 is often seen on stage and used by popular artists and producers like PHINEAS (Billy Eilish's Producer/ Brother), Fifth Harmony, Gwen Stefani, Lauryn Hill, and Questlove just to name a few.
The Nord Stage is packed with a vast selection of quality sounds over 2GB.
It comes with three superb sound engines that can create the best sounds that money can buy.
You can also access the Nord editor that allows you to edit ad design sounds.
Overall, the Nord Stage 3, based on the name itself, is an excellent choice for live stage performances.
It is not too little but not too large to carry on the tour.
It is a durable choice.
However, these incredible features don't come cheap.
#11 The ONE Smart Digital Upright Piano
The One Smart Digital Upright Piano is a unique option.
You probably own a smartphone like everybody else right?
This option is a “Smart” Piano.
This piano option is the most high-tech choice on this list, and it comes at an expensive price.
The One Smart Piano features high-tech features such as apps that provide lessons, videos, piano learning games, and more.
You can pair your iOS and Android device and download the app to maximize its functionality.
In terms of weighted keys, The One Smart Piano has decent hammer action.
It is built with the usual features of a digital piano such as a full key bed and speakers.
This piano is geared towards beginners rather than seasoned piano players.
If you already know how to play the piano and you are already good at it, the extra features might not be worth it, unless you have kids who want to learn.
#12 Roland RD-64 Digital Piano Keyboard
The Roland RD-64 is a digital keyboard with piano-like features such as the weighted keys.
This digital keyboard produces its fantastic tones using its SuperNATURAL piano engine, which allows it to produce a wide variety of tones including realistic sounds like pianos, organs, string instruments, and woodwind instruments.
Aside from its incredible sound engine, the key weight of this option is superb.
For a medium-sized keyboard, the weight and hammer action of these keys are beyond great.
They are very accurate to digital pianos and acoustic pianos.
This keyboard also uses the INTEGRA-7 modular system that provides the RD-64 with over 80 synth sounds.
If you want a combination of synths and the weighted keys of a piano, this option is a great choice for you.
#13 Lagrima LG-8830 Digital Piano
Finally, we have reached the final option on the list.
The Lagrima Digital Piano is the best option you can get if you are looking for a budget-friendly digital upright piano for your home.
For a cheap piano, it has pretty fantastic weighted keys and decent audio.
When I say decent audio, it is acceptable, but not that great, especially if you compare it to something like the Yamaha Arius.
Another downside of this piano is the speakers.
They sound a little weak, but you can use it for home practice.
Now that you know the negatives, let's move onto the positives.
This piano has three built-in pedals, it has an insane amount of tones; 960 to be precise, and it is equipped with recording and playback features.
You can also use this digital piano as a MIDI controller.
If you are looking for a budget-friendly option that lets you experience weighted keys, this option might be the one for you.
What is the difference between a digital piano and a keyboard?
The main difference between these two is that a digital piano is a modern and digital representation of a classical instrument.
A digital piano is supposed to sound like a grand piano but with upgraded technology such as USB i/o, TRS outputs, different sound choices, recording features, and more.
On the other hand, a keyboard is an entirely different instrument.
It is a piano-style instrument that focuses on electric piano sounds, synthesizers, digital instruments, and more.
These two instruments are also played differently.
Digital pianos are played like a classical piano, while keyboards can be played like a lead guitar, bass, or any other instrument.
Semi-weighted vs. weighted keys: What's the difference?
Weighted keys focus on resistance.
They are heavier than semi-weighted and non-weighted keys, and they are made to recreate the classical grand piano feel.
Semi-weighted keys only have a little resistance.
They feel more like synth keys, rather than acoustic piano keys.
Semi-weighted keys are made for keyboard players so that they can emulate the style of any instrument rather than just the piano.
Is having a full-sized keyboard essential?
It depends on what you need.
If you will be using the piano on the road, it is not really necessary to buy a full 88-key digital piano.
A 61-key keyboard should do the trick.
However, if you are looking for a digital piano for your studio or home, going for the 88-key should be okay, as long as you have enough space for it in your house.
Playing rock, pop, or alternative music doesn’t usually need all 88 keys.
If you are playing classical and jazz you will need more octaves depending on the piece.
What is hammer action?
Adding hammer action to a digital keyboard or piano is an excellent way to successfully emulate the key weight of a grand piano.
Acoustic pianos play notes in a similar fashion.
They are connected to hammers that would hit the strings when a key is struck.
Other digital pianos add spring action, which is not as good as adding actual hammer action.
Are there MIDI keyboards with weighted keys?
Some MIDI keyboards are equipped with semi-weighted keys.
I haven’t come across any MIDI keyboard with full-weighted keys yet, but the semi-weighted keys work for versatility, so you can use it to play as a piano and as a keyboard at the same time.
Models such as the M-Audio Oxygen 61 or Novation 61SL has excellent key action for MIDI keyboards.
There are so many digital pianos to choose from, which makes it very challenging and overwhelming to choose the best one.
Make sure you know what features you need.
To make things simple, if you are a piano player, choose a digital piano.
On the other hand, if you are more of a synth or keyboard player, choose a digital keyboard.
Sounds simple right?
Some digital pianos might have the same features, but there are not many identical options when it comes to the weight of the keys, so you really have to choose the best one for you.
This list contains most of the information you need to know before choosing the best digital piano with weighted keys for you, so make sure you decide based on the info I provided you.
Whether you are choosing based on the number of keys and features, make sure you get the one that suits your needs.
Don't worry, all of the items on the list are carefully curated, meaning they are all excellent choices, the only decision you have to make is to choose the one (or three) for you!
Last update on 2021-02-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API