Digital Piano vs Keyboard

Digital pianos and keyboards provide many options, but they can be difficult to compare because there has been significant innovation in the years since computers started to become part of music production.

The good news is that in general, portable digital pianos are better for beginners because they can provide a more authentic playing experience.

The article will be comparing the top qualities of keyboards and digitally played pianos in terms of piano sounds, quality, and more.

Although there may be other factors that are taken into account when deciding between which one to buy, these are the ones that are most important. But before anything, let us first understand the basic concept of a digital piano and a Keyboard. So, let us begin:

Keyboard Basics

acoustic pianos

Keyboard pianos are a musical apparatus that produce sounds when you press the keys. Keyboards have a musical keyboard that has black and white keys, just like pianos, except most keyboards have fewer than 88 keys.

Keyboards are most commonly used by beginners to play melodies and other pre-programmed parts in modern songs. Some keyboards are used by professional musicians to create unique sounds or play electronic versions of their music.

But most keyboards are not suitable for use as the primary instrument in a full band because they do not produce sound on their own.

Digital Piano Basics

stage pianos

A digital piano is an electric piano like musical instrument that uses weighted keys and internal speakers or headphones that simulate the feel and sound of an acoustic piano. Many digital pianos also come with pedals that allow the player to control certain aspects like volume, sustain or modulation.

There are many types of such pianos, varying in size, price and features. Most beginner musicians should only consider purchasing a full 88-key piano keyboard because it will be easier to play for extended periods of time.

88-key keyboards are the closest thing to a traditional stage piano or upright acoustic piano because they have all the necessary components, including keys, pedals and speakers.

Comparing Digital Pianos And Keyboards

authentic acoustic piano sound

There are many factors that go into choosing between digital pianos or keyboards, but if you want an instrument that is more similar to a traditional piano, then you should consider buying a piano keyboard instead of a digital instrument.

Digital Piano Vs. Keyboard: Sound Quality

One key difference between keyboards and digital pianos is that the former generally have better sound quality than keyboards (or when compared against acoustic pianos). This is because the sound comes directly from the instrument, while most keyboard sounds are produced by speakers within the keyboard itself.

Digital Piano Vs. Keyboard: Connectivity

Depending on your needs, you might want to purchase an instrument with more connectivity.

If you plan to play with other musicians or record your music, then you might want to consider purchasing a digital piano because they tend to have MIDI capabilities and have more of an acoustic piano feel.

If you don’t need the extra features and would like an instrument that is easier and more similar to play than traditional pianos, then a keyboard might be a better choice.

Digital Piano Vs. Keyboard: Weighted Keys

Many keyboards are not weighted, which means that it will take more effort to press down keys on a keyboard than on an 88-key digital piano with weighted keys.

If you plan to play for extended periods of time, then you might want to consider purchasing a digital piano instead of a keyboard because they have a heavier weight and most models come with a stand for proper playing positioning.

Digital Piano Vs. Keyboard: Size

Most digital pianos are the same size as traditional pianos, which means that they produce more sound than keyboards.

While some digital piano models do come in smaller sizes, they usually cannot compare to the volume produced by an 88-key digital piano.

Digital Piano Vs. Keyboard: Price

Digital pianos are usually more expensive than keyboards because they have better piano sound quality, sound effects, and connectivity options.

Keyboard prices can range from about $200 for a small portable model to over $2000 for higher end models with all the bells and whistles.

The price of digital pianos also varies greatly, but you should expect to pay minimum of around $1000 for a basic model without all the extra features.

Overall, if you need an instrument similar to traditional pianos and want higher quality sound, then digital electric pianos with fully weighted keys might be for you.

If you just need something simple and cheap or want to use it as accompaniment for vocals or another instrument, then keyboards are often the better choice.

Keyboard Pros And Cons

electronic keyboard

  • Keyboard piano keys are lighter than those on a digital piano, so they might be easier for beginners to press down quickly without losing their form. Most people can press the black keys on a keyboard with more ease as well because they are closer together than on an acoustic piano.
  • Keyboards do not have the same amount of weight as pianos. Hence, you can go for them if you need portable pianos.
  • Upright piano-like keyboards often come with additional features like drum pads and recording capabilities, which can be fun for beginners to explore and create authentic sound and enjoy realistic piano experience.
  • Keyboards often come with a built-in speaker and sound engine, which allows you to play them without headphones or external speakers. But the internal speakers on most of the keyboards are not very loud, so they might be difficult to hear when playing in a group.
  • Keys on keyboards are not always weighted, meaning that you will not get the same feel when playing chords or notes on different parts of the keyboard.

Digital Piano Pros And Cons

piano sound

  • Digital pianos have weighted keys, which makes it easier for beginners to press down hard on them without losing their form.
  • These pianos have features like midi controllers and more that allow you to connect an external speaker or amplifier for a better sound and to make it easy to create music.
  • They are usually the same size as a traditional grand piano, which means that they produce more volume than keyboards.
  • Some digital keyboard models have built in recording and expandability through MIDI connectivity.
  • These Pianos often come with pedals that are similar to the pedals on an acoustic piano.
  • These pianos are expensive especially when they come with weighted keyboard.


While both simple or console digital pianos and keyboards have their own pros and cons, most beginners will find that a keyboard is easier to play because of the lighter weight of the keys.

Digital pianos are good for learning how to play chords and progressing from traditional piano lessons, but they can be a challenge for beginners who want a better keyboard feel.

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