01 Oct Top 5 Portable Digital Pianos Under $1000 | REVIEW | Learn Here
Top 5 Best Portable Digital Pianos | Under $1000 | REVIEW | for 2020 | LOWER PRICES HERE | Kawai ES110 at $699 internet price, the Yamaha P-125 at $649 internet price, Roland FP-30 at $699 internet price, the Casio PX-S1000 at $649 internet price, and the Casio PX-S3000 at $849 internet price. As an expert for many years on all digital pianos, I know from personal experience that a lot of digital piano shoppers are looking for a good portable digital piano under $1000 which they can easily transport, take with them, play at home, set it up in a small space, and even put it away if they want to store it somewhere. There are some very good portable digital pianos in the marketplace but in our experienced opinion the Top 5 portable digital pianos are as I just mentioned, Casio PXS-1000, Casio PX-S3000, Kawai ES110, Roland FP-30, and Yamaha P-125. There are others out there under $1000 and under $500 that I would consider “off brands” that we don’t recommend like Williams, Artesia, and a few more off brands that you can find on Amazon. However, we do not recommend them because they just don’t play or sound like pianos…they are more artificial in sound and play more like keyboards with uneven touch and tone. When it comes to choosing the top 5 digital pianos under $1000, stick with the ones I mentioned here because they will be worth it in the end and you’ll be glad you got one of them.
1. PX-S3000 digital pianos | $849 internet price | The #1 portable digital piano under $1000 right now that we think is by far the best buy for what you get is the new Casio PX-S3000. The reasons for this are pretty simple: you get way, way more for the money than any other digital piano in its class…and in fact there really is not another portable digital piano in its class until you get up to about $1200. When you see a ball get “knock out of the park” as they say, this one certainly qualifies for that description. To start off with…this model offers Bluetooth stereo wireless audio connectivity, battery power on 6 AA batteries which runs it for a total of 4 hours wherever you want to take it, and a 3D surround sound internal stereo speaker system that has a stereo sound like you have never heard before in a small portable digital piano.
This model only weighs 24 lbs which makes it the lightest of all self contained digital pianos, measures 52″ wide x 9″ deep x 4″ high so it’s super slim, has a linear graded piano weighted key action that is quiet with excellent responsive piano weighted keys for each key, has very nice synthetic “ivory & ebony feel” keytops for a more inviting and stimulating tactile feel when touching the keys and also helps absorb sweat from fingers (also looks very classy as well), has a 192-note stereo polyphony piano sound chip, offers 700 very impressive instrument sounds (many of pro quality) along with 200 interactive accompaniment backing tracks for a full accompaniment band experience.
The PX-S3000 is packed with functions and features that I have not seen before in this price range including a good size built-in LCD screen to display the functions you select and the piano control panel top is completely smooth and streamlined with no visual buttons at all…until you power up the piano. Once you power it up then you see a few rows of LED lights that are virtual touch sensor buttons so you can select 100’s of sounds, features, and functions instantly for a wide range of musical enjoyment. There’s also a brand new intuitive proprietary app from Casio called “Chordana Play for Piano” that allows you to control the piano from the color touch screen on your tablet device which helps you to better maneuver through all the functions and features of this piano in ways that Casio has never offered before and that no other manufacturer in the price range has ever had. It’s an amazing app to use no matter what age or experience level you are and allows you to do some extra musical things that the PX-S3000 does not do on its own.
The PX-S3000 also can play full multi-track General MIDI song files that sound incredible through the piano’s superior internal sound system along with being able to record and play audio wav files and utilizing internal studio quality special effects normally found in digital pianos far above $1500. The PX-S3000 also has a professional pitch bench wheel and 2 programmable controller knobs that let you access special effects and functions in “real-time” just like pro musicians like to do…and it’s great to use at home as well. The connectivity in this piano is also impressive with 2 pro quality 1/4″ audio outputs, a stereo audio input (which can be used for a mic), a USB/MIDI output to device, and a USB thumbdrive input for loading, recording, playing, and saving song recordings. But what makes the PX-S3000 super outstanding is how super impressive it is as a piano when you play it, hear it, experience it, and as a full orchestra, synth, organ, vintage electric piano, and one-man band with backing tracks.
When you combine the hundreds of very cool and useful features in this instrument along with its small, compact size and other capabilities including having battery power to go anywhere…in our opinion the PX-S3000 is unbeatable right now under $1000 and even up to $1500 for a self-contained portable digital piano. By the way, just so you know, even though this is an obviously glowing review of the PXS3000, we tell it like it is, we don’t work for any of the manufacturers and don’t get paid for our reviews. We just happen to really love this product, especially as compared to what the other brands have to offer right now. Sometimes one of the top digital piano manufacturers comes out with a big “grand slam” and scores “Bigtime,” and we think this is one of those cases.
2. Casio PX-S1000 | $649 internet price | The #2 portable digital piano for 2020 under $1000 is the Casio PXS1000 (not including optional stand and triple pedal unit). Casio captures the #2 spot because the new piano key action, grand piano sound, and pedaling technology in this model (like it’s big brother the PX-S3000) far surpasses the other brands and models under $1000 with regard to offering the most natural, organic piano playing experience for a portable in this price range whether you’re a more advanced piano player or just a beginner. The PX-S1000 has made a big impact in its price range because of the very impressive features offered in this model and for the first time in any portable digital piano under $1000 other than the PX-S3000, Casio includes Bluetooth wireless audio connectivity from external devices, battery power from 6 AA batteries so you can play this piano anywhere, anytime independent from a connected power source, and a “3D surround sound speaker system” that sounds twice as full and clear as it would if the sound was only coming through its normal 16 watt, 2-speaker sound system.
The cabinet design is very unique as compared to any other portable digital piano out there by offering a smooth top control panel with a “no-button” flat surface and a lighted LED touch-sensor “virtual button” technology that only appears when the instrument is powered on and then it works great and easy to see in dark environments too. When you put all that together with an amazing 3-sensor, linear graded/piano-weighted key action and grand piano sound that has never existed under $1000 on any instrument, this piano really has a huge “WOW factor” when you see it and play it.
The PX-S1000 comes in either black, white, or custom red and weighs just 24 lbs and measures 52″ long x 9″ deep x 4″ high, so is very slim and portable and easy to carry around. Casio also makes a custom option gig bag/carry case for this model so that you can take it anywhere. This piano has all the connectivity you could want in a piano like this including dual audio outputs, stereo audio input, USB/MIDI output to device, and 2 mini stereo headphone jacks. Casio also has a proprietary app for this model called “Chordana Play for Piano” which allows you to more easily control all of the functions in this model and manipulate them in ways you just cannot do on any other brand or model in this price range. But what sets this piano apart from all other digital pianos around the $700 range is how this instrument sounds and feels to play when it comes to piano music.
There are other very nice instrument sounds and functions in this model, but it’s really all about piano playing and being able to get a higher quality instrument in the price range of the normally lesser realistic digital pianos that are in the market now. However, the vastly increased grand piano selections, functions, features, sounds and other upgrades on Casio’s bigger brother PX-S3000 are so numerous and compelling that for just $200 more it makes no sense to me to settle for the PX-S1000 when you could have the PX-S3000…assuming you can increase your budget to do so. If there is any way possible for you to increase your budget and purchase the new PX-S3000 instead, you will be way ahead of the technology and piano playing curve for many, many years and it’s just a better overall long-term investment in my opinion.
However, if you are limited in funds and cannot stretch up to the PX-S3000, then the PX-S1000 is an excellent choice and well worth the difference over any model below it from any digital piano manufacturer including Casio’s lower price entry level digital pianos under $500.
3. Kawai ES110 | $699 internet price | The #3 portable digital piano is the Kawai ES110 which is their lowest priced digital piano. It has been out for awhile now and continues to be a very popular digital piano mainly for its key action, piano sound, and pedaling response. The ES110 is focused primarily on the piano playing experience offering a very good variety of stereo sampled acoustic piano sounds and a few other instrument sounds such as strings, electric pianos, bells, etc. It has 192-note polyphony power for piano playing although the keytops don’t have the synthetic ebony & ivory material like the Casio pianos.
This piano is fairly simple to use although there is no LED or LCD user display and no controller app available so when it comes to accessing some of the deeper functions within this instrument, it’s not very intuitive. However, most people just play the Kawai ES110 as a piano and it that case it’s a fine instrument and easy to use in that way and certainly portable weighing in at about 26lbs and measuring 52″ long x 11″ deep x 6″ high. The sound/function buttons are fairly easy to access at the top left of the control panel and the internal speakers are more than adequate with 2 internal speakers with 14 watts total power. One of the things that helps this piano stand out is the fact that a very nice piano style single pedal comes with the ES110 and that pedal will trigger the “half-damper” effect for piano playing which is a feature that seasoned piano players like to have. Other digital pianos don’t have a pedal like this that comes with the instrument so you need to purchase a “half-damper” pedal (or triple pedal unit separately.
The Kawai ES110 also has Bluetooth wireless connectivity but it is for MIDI Bluetooth and not audio Bluetooth. MIDI Bluetooth allows you to connect with MIDI apps on your iPad or Android without using connector cables plugged in, so that can be convenient. However the Bluetooth Audio is the the more popular Bluetooth wireless to connect your digital music library wirelessly to the piano speaker system and that’s what the new Casio’s have. Overall I really like the ES110 for piano playing and it does have a lighter piano key action than the Casio models but there are some people who need and want a lighter piano key action so that could be a benefit for a number of people while still having enough weight to feel like a piano. We highly recommend this model and it even has Bluetooth MIDI connectivity.
4. Yamaha P-125 | $649 internet price | The #4 portable digital piano is the Yamaha P-125 which is their most popular portable digital piano under $1000. This one is by far the most popular due to the piano sound, features, functions, internal speaker system, and key action. Also in some ways this piano has a very convincing piano sound that is as realistic as the Kawai ES110, but I much prefer the key action of the ES110 over this Yamaha P125 because Yamaha uses the same entry level key action in the P125 for all their digital pianos under $1100 and although that key action is overall pretty good, it just has too much resistance and a springy sort of key movement for me personally, although for other people it could be just fine. But as far as “piano-like” key actions go, this P125 GHS key action is not anywhere close to the Kawai and Casio’s as far as I am concerned.
However, I do like some of the acoustic piano tones in the P125 and the speaker system is fairly powerful and projects those sounds pretty well and even a bit better than the Kawai ES110. With regard to piano sound projection, the Yamaha probably sounds very good through its internal 4-speaker, 14 watt system. However, when you use the 3D surround sound technology in the Casio PXS series, then the Casio is out in front in terms of how the sound projects through the internal speaker system of the Casio and the added clarity and resonance of the 3D surround system coupled with the Hall Simulator effects. So when your “comparing” digital pianos out there, the internal speaker systems of these portable digital pianos are what they are. You power up the piano and play it. But with the new Casio PXS series, unless you activate the 3D “surround sound” and Hall Simulator on piano, you would be missing a very important part of the sound comparison to Yamaha, Kawai, Roland, and others.
As for other nice features in the Yamaha P-125, it has 24 instrument sounds including 4 acoustic piano tones, it can split two sounds on the keyboard, it can layer/mix any two sounds together, it has 192 notes of polyphony which is the same as the Casio and Kawai, it has reverb/echo effects, a 2-track 1-song MIDI recorder, a built-in digital metronome, and has a transpose feature. It has stereo headphone jacks, audio outputs, USB/MIDI output to device, and you can purchase an optional stand a 3-pedalbar to make it look and work more like an actual piano. The P125 key action does not have the synthetic ivory/ebony keytops like the Casio which I happen to like quite a bit.
Yamaha does have a very cool proprietary app called “Smart Pianist” which allows you to control some but not all the P125 features from an iPad device. It’s very intuitive to use and helps you navigate the features and functions more easily. The P125 also has a very nice feature called “bass & drum backing tracks” which allows you to have 20 different basic accompaniments to play along with. It’s like having a drummer and bass player playing along with you and it follows the chords you are playing so it’s always in the right key. This is a fun feature and I like it for rhythm training and learning to play by ear. The P125 weighs in at 26lbs and measures approx 52″ long x 12″ deep x 7″ high so it’s portable enough but not quite as compact as the Casio PXS models. Overall this piano is a good choice in its price range and we do recommend it. As always and with all digital pianos, we can help you order one for less money than internet and Amazon discount pricing along with free shipping, no tax, brand new, with new factory warranty.
5. Roland FP-30 | $699 internet price | The #5 portable digital piano is the Roland FP-30 and is a good option for portable digital pianos under $1000. Roland has always been a great brand and is well known around the world for making impressive pro music equipment for pro stage use, recording studios, and for home use. The FP30 has been out for a couple years and has a solid piano style weighted and graded key action, resonate piano sound, and good pedal response and sustain. It has a lot of useful and fun features and functions in a sleek looking well designed cabinet.
The reason I placed it lower at #5 among the other brands is because of the key action and acoustic piano sound. Although there’s a lot to like about this model, the key action is, in our opinion, the firmest/heaviest of all the key actions in this group and it takes a stronger amount of finger pressure to press down the keys as opposed to the other models, which for many people is not necessarily preferable. Some people will like that but there are many people who prefer a slightly lighter touch which is what many grand piano key actions have…a lighter touch. The key action does have the synthetic ivory keytops (not synthetic ebony) which gives the white keys a nice tactile feel. The Roland key action is the only one in this group to offer “escapement” functionality in each key which is what grand pianos have. “Escapement” is a fancy name for a slight hesitation of the key when pressing it down lightly and you can feel that slight “bump or hesitation” about half-way down or so. This notched hesitation is what a person would feel on a grand piano when playing it, and for a good player, that slight bump/hesitation can offer a bit more control with each key and the piano sound produced. However, the “escapement” function in the FP30 is only a simulation using a rubber flap inside the keys and not close to being what a real grand piano key action would feel like. The FP30 key action “escapement feature is OK, but definitely not close to the real thing and overall not necessary to have a good piano playing experience.
FP-30 continued – In addition to all that, a somewhat noticeable thumping sound from the keys can be heard when playing the keys harder and more aggressively as they touch the bottom keybed under the keys. So the key action does give off some ambient noise that way and that is more noticeable when playing the piano at lower volume or with headphones. Beyond that, the acoustic piano sound has a lot of dynamic tonal range which is great but the piano sound samples tend to be a little brassy and twangy overall, especially when playing the keys harder. Other digital pianos have good tonal dynamics as well but I don’t find the piano sampled sound getting near as brassy/twangy on those pianos as I do with this Roland FP30. The brassier, more metallic piano sounds in the FP30 are great for pop music and even for some jazz, but definitely not for classical music, ballads, and other types of piano music that do better with fuller, more rounded, warmer, and less metallic piano sound.
However, the internal speaker system in this piano is the strongest and bassiest of all the digital pianos in this group with 2 speakers going into 22 watts of total power. The way Roland has configured this internal speaker system is impressive and the piano is plenty loud enough on its own to fill up a good size room. The FP30 has a number of useful features including have 35 different instrument tones, being able to split or layer/mix two different instrument sounds at the same time, having 5 different key touch sensitivity adjustments, the ability to play back general MIDI song files from a USB flashdrive as well as audio wav file songs (the only other model in this group that can do this is the Casio PX-S3000), and has string, damper, and key-off resonance and stretch tuning for the acoustic piano sounds, however these effects are always on and also non-adjustable.
The FP30 can record a 1-track MIDI song, whereas the other models here can do at least a 2-track recording which is both left & right hand independent of each other. For rhythm & timing the FP30 has an adjustable digital metronome along with 8 types of drum rhythm patterns. Finally, this model has Bluetooth MIDI wireless connectivity (like the Kawai ES110) and also a useful, proprietary app that Roland designed called “Piano Partner 2” which provides some extra accompaniment features for the FP30 along with displaying digital sheet music/notation for the 30 built-in classical songs in the piano. The app has a lot of very nice useful features and it makes the FP30 even more enjoyable to play. However the Piano Partner 2 app doesn’t come close to what the Casio Chordana app is able to do in terms of intuitive user control for the PX-S3000.
The FP30 weighs in at about 31 lbs and measures approx 51″ long x 12″ deep x 6″ high. As with the other models in this Top 5 group, an optional furniture style stand & triple pedalbar is available to make the FP30 look and function more like a compact furniture style piano. As for connectors, the FP30 has one stereo 1/4″ stereo headphone jack, one stereo mini headphone jack, 1 USB?MIDI output jack to device, and 1 USB thumbdrive input to load and play songs from a flashdrive. Unfortunately there are no separate audio output jacks like the other models have and no audio input jack like the Casio PXS3000 has. To connect to external speakers you would need to use one of the stereo headphone jacks which is not a great solution in terms of sound or use, but at least it can be done in some way. Don’t know why Roland would leave separate audio output jacks off this model especially considering that Roland makes a lot of other digital pianos that do have audio output (and input) jacks. However, overall the FP30 is a good choice as long as you understand what this model can and cannot do and how it performs as a piano.
Korg B2 portable digital piano | $499 internet price (without optional stand or triple pedal unit) | We added he Korg B2 portable digital piano as a “bonus” digital piano because it should be in this Top 5 group because of its lower price for what you get. It has piano weighted keys, a huge internal 30 watt speaker system, and stereo grand piano sound. Its smaller and lightweight and has some impressive features. Please read my full review on this model to learn more about it at the following link: Korg B2 digital piano review
You really cannot go wrong with any of these models because they all have some nice features. But the biggest bang for the buck out of all of them in our opinion is unquestionably the brand new Casio PX-S3000 for $849. At just $150 more than the Kawai ES110 and Roland FP30, and just $200 more than the Yamaha P-125 or Casio PX-S1000, the PX-S3000 in our opinion is definitely worth the extra money for a huge variety of reasons. If you are already spending between $500 to $700 for a good portable digital piano, then going up to $849 for an absolutely outstanding portable digital piano makes more sense to me, especially if you plan on keeping it for a long time.
Beyond that, I have learned the Casio PX-S3000 has recently been given numerous and prestigious awards from within the digital piano industry as being the best portable digital piano product under $1000 for 2020 in the entire piano industry. So this new model is even being recognized by “professional industry insiders” for what it is and what it does as compared to everything else out there. But the bottom line is…the purchase of a portable digital piano that will fit your needs is entirely up to you based on your musical goals, musical needs, and budget. Whichever one you choose, please contact us because we truly are the digital piano EXPERTS. Please do not purchase any piano from anyone until you find out how we can save you even more money over what’s out there on Amazon, internet, or stores including free shipping, no tax, full factory warranty, along with discounts on factory accessories. We can also show you how to get special 6 month (no interest) financing if that may be of interest to you (no pun intended:).