01 May Top 10 Digital Pianos Under $2000 – REVIEW | May 2021
By: Professor Tim
Top 10 Digital Pianos Under $2000 – REVIEW | 2021 – The pianos we talk about here are current 2021 model digital pianos. There are many “fake” review sites out there that say they are posting info on 2021 models, but many of those pianos are old discontinued models not available anymore and those “fake reviewers” are giving you bad information and saying that they are 2021 models…but they are not. When we here at Digital Piano Review Expert review different pianos and say that they are current 2021 models, you can trust that we actually know what we are talking about. We play those pianos personally and we analyze them so that you can rely and trust what we say about them. There are a lot of very good new digital pianos out there for near or under $2000 including home furniture style upright pianos, semi-portables, and portable digital pianos. This review contains 10 recommended digital pianos under $2000 for 2021 that we believe will fill a number of needs that piano shoppers are looking for.
This is not an exhaustive review because there are actually a few more than 10 good digital pianos choices available under $2000. But we have put together this list to give you a good starting place when shopping for a nice, reliable digital piano in this price range. There are definitely new digital pianos in this price range that we do not recommend because there are some brands which produce mostly PSO’s (aka: piano shaped objects) which look good on the outside but are definitely no so good on the inside and they don’t provide an adequate or realistic piano playing experience in out opinion, even for a beginner. Some of those brands we do not recommend include Williams, Artesia, Suzuki, Kurzweil, and a few others so be careful out there. Take a look below at our 10 Top digital piano recommendations under $2000 for 2021. These 10 pianos are not necessarily in any particular order, they are just different and unique in their own ways.
– Yamaha CLP-725 Digital Piano at $1999 internet price has just come out for 2021 and it’s a solid piano for someone who mainly wants to play piano and get a realistic piano playing experience in this price range. It has Yamaha’s latest stereo piano sound engine, redesigned and improved piano key action, improved piano pedal response for more control, and a reasonably good internal speaker system although we would have preferred something even better for this model as it is limited to just 40 watts of power going through 2 smaller speakers. This instrument is fairly intuitive to use especially because of Yamaha’s proprietary “Smart Pianist controller app” that can be used on an iPad. Even for people with little experience on a digital piano the basic Yamaha control panel on the piano and the assistance of the app to control the piano from your color touch screen on your iPad is fairly intuitive.
It has some of useful “bells & whistles” on it. but not a lot. It has 10 instrument sounds with 2 of them being the main stereo acoustic piano sounds which are very good. It has a basic 2-track MIDI recorder which can record, play, and store just one song, whereas most other digital pianos in this price range can record, playback, and store multiple songs. So the recorder is good, does the job for piano practice…but is limited otherwise. It has 256-note piano polyphony chip, responsive weighted, graded key action with 3-sensor electronics for faster repetition response along with synthetic ivory & ebony key-tops. It comes in 2 attractive cabinet colors which are matte black and matter rosewood which is beautiful. Since this piano just came out and is very popular there will likely be inventory shortages on it because of reduced factory output due to Covid restrictions. So if you want one you’ll need to get in line and reserve your today. If you want more info on this model then check out my Yamaha Clavinova digital piano review at the following link: Yamaha Clavinova CLP-725 Review
Korg G1 Air Digital Piano
– Korg G1 Air Digital Piano at $1799 internet price is by far Korg’s best selling digital piano and their top-of-the-line home digital piano right now and we highly recommend it. The Korg company has been producing high quality digital pianos in Japan for over 30 years and this model is the latest incarnation of Korg’s top-of-the-line home piano technology that focuses squarely on the piano playing experience. The G1 Air comes in 3 cabinet colors and bench is optional. The most surprising thing about these pianos is how big and full they sound for their compact size. In fact when you play this piano you’ll think you’re playing a real baby grand piano because it just sounds so rich and resonate coming through it’s 4-way stereo speaker system with an astounding 80 watts of power.
The G1 Air also has some cool, usable technology features such as Bluetooth audio reception and USB connectivity. But what really makes this piano stand out and sets it apart from most of the others under $2000 is how good the weighted-graded key action feels and how natural the stereo piano sound and piano sustained tones are when you play and hear it. We recommend this G1 Air to anyone who wants an inspiring piano to play with a minimalist look but yet elegant in design. For a more thorough and detailed review of the Korg G1 Air please click (touch) the following link which will give you more info on the Korg G1 Air: Korg G1 Air Review
Kawai CA49 Digital Piano
– Kawai CA49 Digital Piano at $2299 is Kawai’s most competitive entry in the digital piano market so far. This is because of Kawai’s proprietary wooden movement grand piano type key action. The CA49 has impressive stereo piano sound sampling and smooth sustain decay time and tone. But it’s really all about this outstanding key action that even an advanced player will be impressed by. The keys are designed, installed, and move in such a way as to make you believe you really are playing on a Baby Grand piano as opposed to an upright piano or keyboard. The CA49 has a minimalistic control panel and design and looks very much like a smaller acoustic piano.
The CA49 does have some additional instrument tones which are quite good and a few other cool features along with a simply designed but yet intuitive and easy to read control panel. But this instrument’s primary purpose is for piano playing. There are other good brands out there in this approx $2000 price range and many of them I like. But in terms of natural playable piano style key action which comes closest to replicating a real acoustic grand piano (a very good key action is the most important thing to get in a new digital piano), in my opinion nothing comes close in this price range. I will have an upcoming detailed review of the new CA49 soon along with additional updated pics so stay tuned.
Yamaha YDP-164 Digital Piano
– Yamaha YDP-164 digital piano at $1499 internet price is upgraded from the previous model YDP-163 in just one main way…it has a new piano sound chip which offers a noticeably better, more natural piano sound. The speaker system is the same as before, the 192 note polyphony technology is the same, the cabinet design is the same, the operation of the piano is the same, and the other sounds and features are the same as before. One of the things I did not like on the previous model was the piano sound realism because it was compressed without much dynamic tonal range and had short sustain/decay time and overall very artificial in its piano sound.
Yamaha calls their new sound chip the CFX sampling sound which means that the source for their new piano sound comes from Yamaha’s best acoustic grand piano called the CFX model. Beyond the change is where the piano sound sample comes from, there are more organic elements in the new piano sound such as string resonance vibration technology which makes the piano sound more natural which provides more “musical colors” in tone than ever before. After playing this new piano many times it is event to us (Tim & Erik) that Yamaha did their homework, listened to people like us, and made the necessary changes in developing a much better piano sound.
This model YDP-164 including its newer brothers, the Yamaha YDP-S54 and YDP-144, have nearly identical in digital features but differ in cabinet design, speaker system, and a different lower level key action in the YDP-144. The YDP-164 is also different from the previous YDP-163 model in that it has the ability to play and record audio data. You can play back audio data on a smart device or a computer with this instrument and also record your keyboard performance as audio data to a music production app on a smart device or a computer. Beyond this new feature, the YDP-164 can be connected to the new proprietary Yamaha “smart pianist” app to remotely control the functions and features in the piano. Without this app the YDP-164 features are not easy to use and unintuitve overall because the control panel has limited functions to control and access the many features in this piano. I like the new YDP164 much better than the older YDP-163 and the price has not changed, which is a good thing.
Casio PX-S1000 Portable Digital Piano
– Casio PX-S1000 at $649 internet price is new technology for Casio in this low price range. The top of this portable piano is completely flat except for a large round low profile volume knob. All of the functions use a touch sensor surface under the control panel to activate instrument sounds and other features. The hi-gloss smooth top of the piano makes this instrument look sleek and modern and the PXS1000 comes in either gloss black or gloss white top control panels and is surrounded by an aesthetically pleasing matching matte color finish with some well designed curves making this piano unique among its competition in this price range.
Casio has also redesigned the key action so it feels great with good balance, key response and key weight, along with improved piano sound chip, internal speaker system and other functions which makes this new model much more sophisticated in giving you a noticeably more authentic piano playing experience as compared with previous models. The PXS1000 is just 25 lbs and even works on 6 double A batteries so you can easily take it anywhere and use it without having to plug it in. Take it to the mountains, to the beach, to the park, anywhere you want and you can play this new digital piano and it still sounds great.
Something else pretty cool about the new Casio PX-S1000 is that the touch sensitive panel buttons light up when you touch them and even have red lighted indicators when using specialized features on the piano. To access different sound and features you would touch a function button and then a specified key on the piano according to a chart in the owners manual. Or…you can use a new proprietary app on your iPad or Android tablet that Casio created which makes it incredibly easy to use all the features in this model that the piano touch screen cannot access without needing to use the function button and certain key presses on the piano.
The proprietary app that Casio designed is called Chordana for piano and it’s pretty amazing. There are even educational music playing games in the app along with other useful content. We highly recommend this new model and also it’s “bigger brother” the PXS3000 which is offered in the exact same cabinet but with a huge upgrade of additional technology including approximately 700 instrument sounds, interactive rhythm accompaniments and music styles, multi-track recording functions, and a lot more.
The PX-S000 is the next model up and definitely more exciting than the PX-S1000, and at $849 internet price it’s only $200 more than the PX-S000 and in our opinion it’s definitely worth the extra cost for what you get. An optional well designed furniture type stand an independent modular triple pedal unit is also available for an extra cost on both the PX-S1000 and PX-S3000. You can learn all about the PXS-1000 in our new detailed review of that model in our more detailed review at the following link: PX-S1000 Review
– Casio PXS UPDATE: For only $200 more at $849, check out the new big brother Casio PX-S3000 at our following review link. This piano is simply Amazing! PX-S3000 Review
Kawai ES920 Digital Piano with optional stand and triple pedalbar
– Kawai ES920 digital piano at $1599 is a new model just coming out in late October or sometime in November. It is replacing the highly successful and very popular ES8 which was known as the premier instrument in its price range under $2000 since it came out a few years ago. The ES920 has an even more realistic organic stereo grand piano sound along with a key action that plays like “butter” and its pedaling sustain response is excellent. Not only that, but this piano is quite versatile in its ability to be taken off its optional stand and put on a portable metal stand and played it that way with a single sustain pedal because it only weighs 37 lbs but produces a beautiful piano tone because of its advanced sound and sampling technology. This ES920 will be popular model in homes, schools, universities, churches, studios, and other popular venues just the the previous ES8. It’s a great choice whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced piano player because the ES920 does such a great job in making you feel like you’re playing a real high quality acoustic piano.
This instrument is fairly intuitive to use, even for people with little experience on a digital piano because the control panel has direct access buttons to select the many features this piano has to offer including the sounds, transpose, rhythms, metronome, and recording features, along with displaying info on a new and easy to read OLED display screen. The reason a person would want this instrument is for its versatility in offering a contemporary compact cabinet available in either black or white that can look good in its optional cabinet or be played independently as a portable digital piano along with offering enough exciting digital technology to keep you busy including Bluetooth wireless connectivity, and providing an extremely satisfying piano playing experience that in our opinion is superior to any other self-contained, compact, and portable (if necessary) digital piano out there. In our opinion it is superior to any other brand and model portable digital piano we have played under $2000…and we have played them all including Yamaha, Roland, Casio, and others.
Korg C1 Air Digital Piano
– Korg C1 Air at $1449 is a compact contemporary digital piano with a really nice feeling key action with good balance and weight along with a number of great features including a convincing grand piano sound. But what really sets this piano apart from all the others under $1500 is how big and full the sound is coming out of this smaller cabinet. By looking at the model you would think from its minimalist design that it might have a smaller piano sound. However, the internal speaker system that is housed in a separate acoustically tuned speaker box underneath the keyboard is very impressive and the sound coming out is like nothing else you have heard or will hear under $1500 in terms of how full and rich the tone is. The bass response is so good that the stereo piano sound coming out of it actually sounds like a real acoustic baby grand piano and I have not heard any other self contained digital piano for under $1500 sound like this one…it’s just amazing.
The Korg C1 Air normally comes in 3 cabinet colors which include matte black, rosewood, and white along with a new limited edition color of Natural Wood-Grain black finish (pictured above). This model also includes a variety of acoustic piano sounds, strings, organs, harpsichord, guitar, vintage electric pianos and more. It also has a 2-track MIDI recorder & player that allows anyone to record their left hand and right hand parts separately and then play both parts back individually or simultaneously to evaluate your playing or practice, which is great for students or anyone working to improve their playing. But what this piano is really all about is “playing piano” and if that’s what you are looking to do then in our opinion you cannot miss with the Korg C1 Air digital piano, both for looks and performance. Go to the following link to learn more about the Korg C1 Air: Korg C1 Air Review
Casio AP-470 Digital Piano
– Casio AP-470 Celviano digital pianos at $1499 internet price is Casio’s most popular home digital piano for those people who want a more upscale traditional cabinet along with big, resonate piano sound, and the latest digital interactive technology. The AP-470 is focused mostly on piano playing and it all comes out of a 4 built-in speaker system going through 40 watts of power and it has a very wide dynamic tonal range when playing the responsive AP-470 key action. The response of the piano type key action feels good under the fingers and the piano sound is resonate with better pedal sustain response than previous models. The piano control panel is minimal giving the AP-470 a more understated appearance which many people like to have. The AP-470 comes in 3 cabinet colors including matte black, walnut wood, and white. All cabinet color options include matching height-adjustable padded benches. The AP-470 also comes with a strong factory 5 year warranty including in-home service which is very unusual in this price range.
Casio also has a proprietary app for their AP-470 digital piano which is called “Chordana” for piano. This iPad or Android app is designed to compliment the operation of the piano because although the piano itself can control the functions in the piano, some of those functions are not easy to navigate or to use that way, which is true of other digital pianos like the Yamaha YDP164. So this Casio “Chordana” controller app allows you to control most of the very cool functions & features in the piano directly from your tablet device. As far as a comparison goes for digital pianos that focus mostly on the piano playing experience, the most popular digital piano under $2000 for Yamaha is the YDP-164 which I talked about earlier, and the most popular digital piano for Casio is this AP-470.
Comparing the two together, although both pianos have good digital features, apps, and both have 40 watts of audio power, the Yamaha GH3 key action is noticeably firmer & heavier than the Casio AP-470 key action. It takes a lot more effort to press down the keys on the Yamaha than on the Casio and this true for many of the Yamaha pianos in the Arius series of pianos including the top-of-the-line YDP184. Most good acoustic pianos I have played have a medium to medium-light key action in terms of key-weight but the Yamaha is definitely more firm/heavy. Some people may like this but many people will not. So when it comes to key action movement, weight, and balance, I personally prefer the Casio AP470 over the Yamaha YDP-164 for this reason alone plus a couple of other reasons…but both models are built well and you can likely enjoy either one. For more thorough and detailed review of the Casio AP-470, please click (touch) the following link which will take you to our more detailed review on our Casio piano report:
Yamaha YDP-S34 Digital Piano
– Yamaha YDP-S34 digital piano at $999 internet price is Yamaha’s new compact contemporary furniture cabinet digital piano and is a new entry for them under $1000. The YDP-S34 comes in either a matte black or matte white finish and can fit into smaller spaces, This piano uses the GHS standard key action which is found in the low priced Yamaha portable piano models P-45 and P-125. Overall I do like this new model and it has some useful features including a new proprietary app for iOS and Android tablets called Smart Pianist which allows you to control the piano functions in a much more intuitive way. The is the same app that controls the other Yamaha models such as the YDP-164 as I previously mentioned. The smaller internal speaker system is fairly weak in this model at just 16 watts of total power with regard to providing a fuller and more natural tone, so I was a bit disappointed in that way although for some people this many not necessarily be an issue.
The YDP-S34 is a good price point at $999 in that it looks attractive, plays more like a piano than some other models, and has some compelling digital features. Yamaha is a well recognized brand which builds reliable products and this model is no exception. However, when compared with the very popular Casio PX-870 at $999, the Casio has a more natural key action movement, has a more robust speaker system with 4 speakers going into 40 watts of total power along with offering audio wav file recording & playing, as well as other useful features which I talk about below. For more thorough and detailed review of the Yamaha YDP-S34, please click (touch) the following link which will take you to our other website where we do more detailed reviews of digital pianos: Yamaha YDP-S34 Review
Casio PX-870 Digital Piano
– Casio PX-870 digital piano at $999 internet price has been the most popular and successful furniture cabinet digital piano ever under $1000. This because it offers what is considered to be the most realistic piano playing experience you can get. It has the highest rated internal speaker system with 40 watts of power going through 4 speakers, 256-notes of polyphony power, simulated ivory & ebony key-tops, a 3 -senor responsive key action with a noticeably natural piano-weighted key action that moves better and quicker than than most of the other brands in this price range including Yamaha, Roland, and Kawai. The PX-870 also offers audio wav file recording so you can record and save your playing onto a USB flashdrive which can be inserted into the piano. No other model can do that in this price range.
Although the PX-870 has a simple, easy-to-use control panel, the functions and features can also be controlled with a proprietary app for iOS & Android devices (tablets, iPhone, etc) called Chordana Play so you can trigger the functions in the piano from your device color touch screen. This kind of interface makes the piano much more enjoyable and more intuitive to play and use. The PX-870 comes in 3 color choices including matte black, matte walnut wood-tone, and matte snow white. With a nice cabinet design, enjoyable key action feel, stereo acoustic piano sound, responsive pedaling, and other great features including some very natural string symphony, harpsichord, and organ sounds, the PX-870 is hard to beat in this price range. For more thorough and detailed review of the Casio PX-870, please click (touch) the following link which will take you to our other website where we do more detailed reviews of digital pianos: Casio PX-870 Review