If you are looking for a keyboard with an acoustic piano feel, the keys should have the following two basic requirements:
- They have to be 88 in number.
- They need to be appropriately weighted.
We have ensured this guide gives you some of the best choices available on the market. If you struggle to get a proper keyboard, our guide will help you get a suitably weighted keyboard with full-sized 88 keys. Whether you are a beginner, a professional, or you want to get a replacement, an 88 key keyboard with weighted keys will be a great keyboard for you. Also, you will find it easy transitioning to a grand piano. What you all need is perfect sound modelling.
Full-size piano comes with aesthetic beauty and tends to be among the most charismatic and distinctive instruments. Such keyboards are designed to replicate the actual piano’s sounds as much as possible and give you other additional benefits over a grand piano, such as being smaller and easily movable. However, some of the challenges you can encounter with this full-size 88 keys keyboard are that it is big, static and cumbersome, meaning they are not convenient for all.
Compared to other keyboard options on the market, an 88-key weighted piano ensures a realistic experience when using it. With the press of each key, you get a great feel that motivates you to play more with a great response. With the passing of years, we have seen great improvements in 88-key weighted keyboards, with manufacturers creating models or versions with improved features for enhancing experiences and sounds. With so many models on the market, getting the right 88-key weighted keyboard model can be challenging. But you should not worry as we have got you covered with our best picks.
When analysing an 88-key weighted piano, you should understand various key actions. Non-weighted keys: also known as synth action, have no weight or any form of resistance. A semi-weighted keyboard has sprung-action that offers more resistance than non-weighted keys, yet they are less effective than fully weighted keys. With hammer action, a fully weighted key has a similar hammer mechanism to an acoustic piano.
Resistance found in a graded keyboard is more concentrated in the lower register as the upper register gives less resistance. When you want to experience the resistance of all key actions, a keyboard with fully weighted keys will give you what you are looking for. Some keyboards have aftertouch activated by you holding down the keys with the pressure applied to the key.
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Types of weighted keyboards
The following are types of weighted keyboards you will find on the market:
1. Not weighted Keyboards
You will mostly find this kind of keyboard in electronic and pipe organs, commonly found in recital venues and churches. Other non-weighted instruments include entry-level keyboards and accordions, which are mostly aimed at kids or beginners. Currently, most professional keyboards are weighted in one way or another.
2. Semi-weighted keyboards
These keyboards are more popular among budget keyboards, which are mostly designed for portability. They tend to have a spring-action key which offers great resistance for aspiring keyboard professionals. Also, they are common in beginners keyboards.
3. Hammer action keys
When we say that a stage electronic piano or digital piano has a hammer action key, we mean the mechanism of the key is somehow mimicking the action you would find on an acoustic piano. For these keyboards, the resistance comes from small hammers attached by a lever system near your keyboard’s keys, not in spring. Manufacturers provide different kinds of hammer actions, aiming to add more realism to the high-end keyboard models.
4. Graded hammer weighted keyboards
More resistance is encouraged in the lower range than in the upper range on an acoustic piano. Keyboards with progressive hammer-action or graded hammer weighting offer a heavier touch on the lower notes and lighter touch on the high notes. Keys made from wood deliver a more realistic feel than keys made from plastic. This is among the reasons why high-end keyboard manufacturers are using wood to construct great models.
Features to consider before choosing a weighted keyboard
Before making your final decision on selection, below are the key things to watch:
1. Keyboard feel
If your keyboard allows you to connect it to music software, therefore, you can easily download tuition packages and online courses. However, there is one thing that you can not change on your keyboard. Your keyboard feel will always remain constant, and that is why you should consider it first before settling on any keyboard.
All our keyboards are weighted, and they will ensure you get a similar feel to an acoustic piano and less of a synth. But it is worth considering a keyboard that offers a graded hammer action. The lower keys tend to be heavier than the higher keys, just like with acoustic piano.
2. Ability to adjust the touch sensitivity
If you are in the process of developing your fingering skills, you need a keyboard that will allow you to adjust the touch sensitivity of its keys. This is a great feature to have on a keyboard.
3. Key texture
You should also check the texture of the keys. While some keyboards have an ebony finish, others have a simulated ivory finish. Different finishes aim at bringing about an acoustic piano feel. Although simulation may not be exact, it is good to try out different textures to know what suits you.
The more expensive a keyboard is, the greater and better the quality of the sound. However, you should be aware that sound depends on personal needs and preferences. Make sure you listen to the sound produced by an instrument before buying it. Also, you should consider the experience the keyboard will give to people around you. You would not want to have a keyboard that can not allow you to practice privately. A keyboard with headphones input will be the most convenient and appropriate for practising quietly. If you are looking for a keyboard that will allow you to have outdoor performances, check whether you can plug it into an amplifier.
Different manufacturers try to equip their pianos with great features to get a higher place on the market. If you are a keyboard teacher, a keyboard with a split feature will be the most appropriate. This feature is commonly known as the duo mode, allowing a learner to play alongside the teacher.
Our best-weighted keyboard 88 keys reviews
Despite its price, Alesis Recital PRO Digital Piano/Keyboard is not compromised in its functionality. The full-size 88 keys have hammer action, making them lighter on the higher note, similar to an acoustic piano. But a feature that Alesis Recital PRO has that an acoustic piano does not have is that you can adjust its keys’ weight to suit your playing style.
This piano gives you all you need to play different music categories. It has 128-note polyphony, so it is difficult to lose notes, even when playing complex sounds. With this keyboard, you can select chorus and modulation to develop new effects for different compositions. Also, it has a recording function where you can record your performances and learning progress. You can also select different styles, including electric piano, acoustic piano, organs, vibraphone, harpsichord, strings, brass, bass, and synth.
The split mode of this keyboard helps you assign different modes to each of your hands or combine both using the layer mode. A lesson function makes it easier for learners and teachers to share the same keyboard in two identical halves.
Below are the key components of this keyboard:
- It has 128-note polyphony.
- The keyboard has 12 voices as well as modulation, reverb, and chorus effects.
- It comes with a three-month Skoove premium online course, which helps you to learn faster and better.
- The keyboard can be powered using six D-cells batteries, meaning you can play the piano anywhere.
Why we have chosen it
Away from the keyboard having 88 weighted keys, it produces great sound delivered via its powerful speakers. Also, if you want to have a quiet practice, this keyboard will allow you to use your headphones so you do not disturb people around you. Moreover, if you want to use it for outdoor performances, you can connect it to an amplifier, a mixer or a recorder. The USB-MID output will allow you to access virtual music software and instrument plug-ins.
Once you register your piano, you will get access to three months of Skoove premium lessons, where you will learn piano techniques faster and better. Skoove gives an extensive catalogue of charts and classical music. Skoove adds new lessons every month on their website. On the website, you will meet music experts and piano professionals who will help you improve your skills.
Another feature that impressed us is it can be powered by battery cells. This feature helps you to use the piano anywhere, even without access to electricity.
Consume all the information available about this keyboard before purchasing it. Reviews from one of the best venues for studying this keyboard more.
The Casio CDP-S100BKC5 is designed to suit the requirements of all musicians. The 88 fully weighted keys are crafted with adjustable touch sensitivity. The texture of these keys is simulated ebony and ivory for offering a precise and authentic feel. With Casio CDP-S100BKC5, you can perform with any of the ten high-quality sounds provided, including the Concert Grand Piano. When it comes to design, this keyboard is the most compact in its class. This compact design makes it fit in different musical lifestyles.
For a precise touch and to ensure the correct fingering technique, the piano has a fully weighted scaled hammer action, which gives you an authentic acoustic piano feel. You will also feel the weight of graded keys while playing as the hammer action tends to be heavier in the lower register and lighter in the higher register, similar to an actual piano.
This piano allows you to connect it to external devices such as Mac, iOS, PC, or Android devices via a standard USB MIDI port.
Below are the man selling features of this keyboard:
- The keyboard has 88 weighted keys with graded hammer action.
- It has a lightweight and compact design.
- You can opt to connect it with a power supply or batteries, making it more flexible and convenient.
- The USB MIDI interface enables you to connect the keyboard to various external devices.
- It includes SP-3 sustain pedals.
Why we have chosen it
This keyboard makes you experience the feel of graded hammer action. The experience is usually very outstanding and beautiful, making you want to play more. Also, the feeling gives you a similar experience to that of a traditional piano. The connectivity feature of this keyboard enables you to connect it to any PC, Mac, Mac, Android, or iOS device. This way, you can play the piano alongside your favourite music.
It is designed with great features that help you learn and improve your performance skills, such as a built-in metronome and a sustain pedal. It also has a feature that allows the collaboration between a music teacher and a student. This element makes it an ideal piano for beginners and teachers. Also, you will get to enjoy free downloadable songs and backing tracks.
Different people have different thoughts on the performance of this keyboard. This means that it was not satisfactory to all buyers. Reviews will help you see different sides which the manufacturer would not tell you. This includes additional pros as well as keyboard shortcomings. You will also get experts’ opinions on this keyboard to make a better selection.
This keyboard has a lightweight, compact, and foldable design with full-length 88 keys. It folds to 33 cm and weighs only 1.6 kg which makes it more portable. It is battery-powered, and it takes only eight hours to recharge its battery. The keyboard is ideal for kids, students, and professionals; hence it does not discriminate. It is for anyone who wants to learn and use the piano with full-sized keys, soft-touch texture, and a realistic feel.
The following are key selling components of this piano:
- Its lightweight, compact, and foldable design make it a portable instrument.
- It is equipped with multiple digital interfaces, including 30 demo songs and six metronomes, giving you a wide range of accompaniments.
- It is battery-powered so that you can use it anywhere.
Why we have chosen it
For anyone who has been looking for an ultraportable keyboard, this is the keyboard for you. It is light, compact with a foldable design. Once you’ve finished using it, you will just need to fold it and pack it in the bag. It is battery-powered and has a built-in USB and MIDI for convenience and efficiency, making it an ideal piano for music enthusiasts, especially travelling musicians.
From the reviews, it is evident that most musicians love what this product offers. However, others feel that the keyboard needs some improvement. Remember to read reviews before making any purchase.
The Korg B2 Piano has 88 weighted hammer keys dedicated to giving you a realistic piano feel every time you are playing. The keyboard has speakers with 2 x 15 Watts, providing a powerful sound that fills your living room up. It has 12 sounds with a range of the classical piano, Stage Electric piano, Jazz Piano and Organ sounds. The sleek case is fitted with USB and Audio In Plus for connecting it to your headphones. It comes with a Skoove package to help you improve your performance.
Below are the main features of this keyboard:
- It comes with powerful speakers for quality sounds.
- The 12 carefully chosen sounds give you a great range to choose from.
- You can use the keyboard with your headphones for quiet practising.
Why we have chosen it
Korg has been making quality electronic music instruments for too long. Most of their products are being used worldwide, proving that musicians are satisfied with what the product offers. After trying Korg B2 Digital Piano, we were impressed with its weighted keys and the great sound produced by the powerful speakers. This is a keyboard every professional would want to have.
There is a sizable number of verified buyers who have left comments on Amazon after purchasing this keyboard. This is an indication that most are pleased with the keyboard features. Reading reviews will help you make a better decision.
Our best picks of keyboards with weighted keys consist of products that have been tried and tested and proven to perform well. Away from just having weighted keys, we considered other features like sounds and connectivity. Take your time to study our best picks before deciding on the keyboard that caters for your requirements.