04 Jan Casio PX-S3000 & Casio PX-S1000 REVIEW | Best Pianos Under $1000?
Casio PX-S3000 & Casio PX-S1000 REVIEW | 2 Best portable 88-key digital pianos under $1000? – The all new Casio PX-S1000 at $649 price & PX-S3000 at $849 by Casio have set a new standard for portable digital pianos under $1000. So what makes these 2 new models so impressive and stand apart from all the rest in this price range under $1000? To start off, there are a number of new features and functions not seen before in 88-key piano-weighted key-action digital pianos including complete playing freedom with being able to operate the pianos on just 6 AA batteries as well as regular electric power. That is a huge leap in this type of instrument because up til this point, only the smaller, very lightweight keyboards weighing somewhere between 8 lbs to 18 lbs with cheap lightweight “spring type” keys had battery capability and some of those only take the heavier D size batteries. So to have a full size fully piano weighted key action in an 88-key portable digital piano with AA battery power with 4 full hours of battery operation means that for the first time you can get a “real piano playing experience” anywhere you want to take them including to the beach, the park, the mountains, the lake, in your backyard, in your hotel room, in your vehicle, wherever you want to go…and they sound great. Also, these are the first 2 full digital pianos which have a “3D surround sound” internal speaker system which creates a sound environment that your ears will not believe, based on our experience playing with both of these models. The “surround sound” technology in the PX-S1000 & PX-S3000 makes it sound like the piano has a lot more audio power than really does with 16 watts of stereo power going into 2 speakers. The sound you hear is full, clear, and surrounds the piano rather than just coming up from 2 speakers and not having as good of clarity or stereo separation. So the surround sound technology is a big leap in a more natural acoustic piano playing experience for a portable digital piano under $1000 that no other manufacturer has.
Apart from all of that is the fact that both of these new models have built-in Bluetooth wireless audio connectivity which no other manufacturer offers. This feature allows you to play your favorite audio MP3 or audio wav file songs from your digital music library in your external device through the PXS speaker system so that you can hear it through the surround sound piano speakers as well as through stereo headphones. This allows you to play the piano along with your favorite songs and to be able to learn them either by ear or by music if you get the music for your songs. Or…you can just use the PXS pianos as a portable stereo speaker system to play your songs through wirelessly for listening enjoyment. Beyond Bluetooth connectivity is also something unique for lighter-weight portable digital pianos in this price range which is a stereo audio input. This type of wired physical input connectivity is something normally not available in most digital pianos under $1000. With a stereo audio input you can connect a microphone and then sing or talk through the internal speaker system of the piano even while playing the piano. There’s even a separate volume control for the audio input on the PX-S3000 so you can balance the volume, but if you want further control on either model then you can also connect an external passive, inexpensive mixer to increase volume or connect and have separate controls for multiple mics, and even have reverb/echo to apply to your vocal part through the mixer. A very cool thing to do.
Both pianos have a unique smooth flat top control panel showing absolutely no buttons, display screens, sliders or other buttons on the control panel while the piano is powered off. However, when either piano is powered on, then both pianos display “virtual touch senor buttons” which light up so that when you touch that virtual button it activates the function you have selected whether that be an instrument sound like a piano tone, a metronome, the recording function, the “surround sound” feature, or other functions in the PXS models. The PX-S3000 has the addition of many more lighted LED touch sensor “virtual buttons” along with an easy to see larger LCD user display screen so you can see the names of each function your are selecting. With the PX-S3000 powered off, you cannot even see the LCD display screen…it just pretty much disappears. The PX-S3000 does have a movable/digital pitch-bend wheel for bending instrument tones to make them sound more realistic such as clarinet, steel guitar, synth, etc…and that’s something you don’t find on many of these lower priced portable digital pianos. There’s hundreds more very impressive features on the PX-S3000 the PXS1000 does not have, so my favorite of the two models is the PX-S3000 by far because for only $200 more, it is definitely worth the upgrade, especially for longer term ownership.
The really good news is that both models share the same piano weighted key key-action, piano pedal system, and primary stereo piano sampled sound and this is really the heart of these new pianos because without offering the best piano playing experience possible for the money, the rest of the features in these pianos don’t mean much to me. With my 40 plus years of teaching piano to thousands of students (I started when I was very young) as well as playing acoustic grand pianos, upright pianos, digital pianos, organs, and guitars professionally, I take the fundamentals of piano playing very seriously. So when I first played these new PXS portable digital pianos I was really amazed at just how good the piano key action, the grand piano sound, and the pedaling was in these instruments. It was as if I was playing new digital pianos twice their cost of $599 and $799 because the realism of the piano playing was that good. I really like the other top brands of digital pianos including Yamaha, Kawai, Roland, Korg, and a few others, but these new Casio PXS models are so good it’s difficult not to like them A LOT and more than the other portables under $1000. The way the new key action feels and sounds when pressing the keys down and coming back up, the natural resonance and fullness of the new 192-polyphony stereo grand piano sound sample with all of it’s organic detail and dynamic tonal range, and the beauty of the pedal sustain response and sustain volume along with brand new balanced and lengthy “pedal sustain-decay times” goes way beyond what Casio has ever offered and for that matter, what most of the other brands offer now. So you couple this new acoustic type piano playing experience with all these new proprietary functions and features in a 24 lb cabinet (lightest of all 88-key portable digital pianos) measuring only 52″ wide, 9″ deep, and 4″ high, and you have all the things that make these 2 new pianos a huge “home run” going further than I imagined they would go…particularly for their low prices. I just cannot find anything to really complain about. Also, when you connect either the PX-S1000 or PX-S3000 to an external sound system or small monitors in your home or outside in a bigger space, then both of these models can sound like actual grand pianos…it’s that good when connected to good external speakers.
Both models also have, for the first time from any digital piano manufacturer for portable pianos under $1000, a portable triple-pedal unit which allows you to easily connect it directly to the piano and be able to have and use all three traditional piano pedal functions including soft, sostentuto, and sustain with full half-damper recognition, all in one lightweight and inexpensive unit. That’s really a very big deal because otherwise an optional triple pedal unit could only be purchased as a triple pedal-bar which has to be connected to a an optional furniture stand for the piano. So with this new portable triple pedal unit, Casio is again leading the way in practical accessories as well. Having this optional item is a good thing as you grow in your piano playing abilities and become a better player, but in the meantime you can still use the single plastic sustain pedal that comes with the piano which should be enough to get you by for some time while you are a beginning student.
Finally, Casio has developed a proprietary app for controlling all functions of the piano and that is called “Chordana Play for Piano.” As far as I am concerned, this app is indispensable in being able to operate and utilize functions and features of both models that make it more intuitive and easier to enjoy the PXS models in ways that you cannot do without the app. I put it on my iPad and using my iPad color touch screen display with all these easy to read and easy to use features just made the experience that much better…and the app also does some very cool things above and beyond what the pianos themselves can do…and it’s great for all ages. The PX-S1000 and PX-S3000 appear to be extremely well designed, cool looking, super lightweight, portable, and flexible digital pianos in ways I have not seen before, especially in this price range. Although other brands offer some good models under $1000, it’s going to be difficult for them to compete with these new Casio portable digital pianos until the other companies “catch up to them,” and that may be awhile based on what I have seen out there so far. So for at least the rest of this year 2020 and possibly far beyond, we believe that these 2 new Casio models will be in the lead for portable lighter weight 88-key digital piano with actual piano weighted key actions. Now it’s up to you to decide what brand and model you want out there of the major brands, and if you choose Casio, are you willing to spend the extra $200 to get the much more advanced PX-S3000 which offers a lot more acoustic piano variety, 700 instrument sounds including pro quality acoustic guitars, Spanish classical guitars, vintage electric pianos, organs, string symphonies, 200 high quality drum rhythm patterns and additional accompaniments, and so much more. In our opinion, going up to the PX-S3000 is a no-brainer, especially if you plan to keep it for awhile. Please read my detailed reports of this new Casio PX-S1000 & PX-S3000 at our other review site at the link below where we do in-depth reports on all digital pianos. Then let me know what you think. As always and with all digital pianos, we can help you order one for LESS MONEY THAN AMAZON & INTERNET PRICES along with free shipping, no tax, brand new, with new factory warranty. Casio PXS1000 In-Depth Review Casio PXS3000 In-Depth Review