Best 88 Key Keyboard Review – Top Rated Models with Buying Guide
With so many products available for sale these days, it might be a bit challenging and time-consuming to find the right 88 key keyboard for your needs. To make it easier for you to identify the item that meets your requirements, our team has examined various models in this line and concluded that the first option to consider is the Yamaha P71 Digital Piano & Sustain Pedal. The 88 fully-weighted piano comes with a sustain pedal and a power adapter as well as 10 different voices that you can combine to enhance your experience and find your sonic personality. The unit was built with ease of use in mind and features a design that simulates the feel provided by an acoustic piano. In case this product is currently unavailable, another model you might want to pay attention to is the Alesis Recital Semi-Weighted Keys.
Our Top Choice
Whether you want to learn, rehearse, or create new music, this digital piano is worth trying as it was built to simulate both the sonic experience and feel of acoustic pianos. The unit features fully-weighted keys, which makes it ideal for musicians of all levels but especially for beginners who need to learn and build the proper finger technique. Thanks to the 10 different voices provided and the Dual Mode, you will get the chance to play and explore even more.
The keyboard might be a better choice for beginners.
Compact and lightweight, this fully-weighted keyboard is ideal if you want to learn and advance as it comes with features that will help you build the right finger technique.
Featuring 88 full-sized semi-weighted keys and 5 curated voices, this unit is committed to helping you learn, explore, and create. Thanks to the various characteristics it comes with, you won’t just enjoy fuller and richer tones but also versatility. The Lesson Mode renders this model ideal for students and teachers as it enables users to split the keys into two areas with the same pitch and voice. The USB-MIDI output will allow you to connect the unit to your computer.
The batteries needed for the unit to work are not included.
Whether you’re a student or a teacher on the lookout for a keyboard, this model should not go unchecked as it will help you learn or teach with greater ease.
Also To Consider
Built to deliver highly-accurate grand piano sounds and a noteworthy range of dynamics, the PX-160BK makes a great addition to your musical gear whether you’re a beginner or a more experienced player. Thanks to the hammer action provided, you will get to enjoy enhanced speed and accuracy. The Duet Mode makes it a good option for both students and teachers. Plus, the two-track recorder featured will enable you to record and playback your performance.
An external amp might be needed for live sessions.
Designed to help users advance their skills with ease, this item is an option both students and teachers can benefit from as it enables two users to play at the same time.
8 Best 88 Key Keyboards (Updated Reviews) in 2020
If you’re time-poor yet you’re interested in finding the best 88 key keyboard for your needs, these models are worth considering. We have showcased them below to help you get an idea of what they offer. Check out these reviews before making your final decision.
- 1. Yamaha P71 Digital Piano & Sustain Pedal
- 2. Alesis Recital Semi-Weighted Keys
- 3. Casio Privia PX-160BK
- 4. Alesis Q88 With Bench & Sustain Pedal
- 5. Yamaha MX88 88-Key Music Synthesizer
- 6. Best Choice Products 88-Key Digital Piano Set
- 7. Yamaha P125 Weighted Key Digital Piano Bundle
- 8. Yamaha P45 Weighted Action Digital Piano
- Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions
1. Yamaha P71 Digital Piano & Sustain Pedal
Built to simulate the feel and experience offered by acoustic pianos, this model is worth taking into account if you want to rehearse, learn, and create more. The Yamaha 88 key keyboard comes with fully-weighted keys as well as features that are committed to providing the player with realistic feel and sounds.
Thanks to the GHS weighted action, this 88 key weighted keyboard is ideal for beginners who need to build the proper finger technique. Moreover, changing the various settings the product boasts can be easily and quickly done with the Grand Piano/Function button. All you have to do is to hold down this button and press the keys that are dedicated to a specific setting.
To further up your musical experience, the unit comes with 10 different voices. Some of them are sampled from real Yamaha acoustic pianos and, thanks to the Dual Mode featured, you can combine two voices to express your sonic personality and explore your creativity.
What’s more, the 88 key weighted keyboard is also compact and lightweight as it measures only 58.2 x 16.1 x 11.7 inches and weighs 25 pounds. This means that you can easily carry it from one place to another and find room to store it.
Featuring a compact and lightweight build, this weighted digital piano is an option you might want to pay attention to if you need to practice and learn more and do so at home.
The product comes with a design that ensures ease of use and helps beginners build the proper finger technique.
The various settings available can be easily changed thanks to the Grand Piano/Function button.
To help you explore and create more, the unit offers 10 different voices including digitally sampled tones from real acoustic pianos.
The product is worth considering if you tend to travel a lot with it as it boasts a slim and stylish build and weighs only 25 pounds, which translates into ease of storage and transportation.
Considering its features as well as compact build, the unit might be a better option for beginners than advanced players.Buy from Amazon.com for ($449.99)
2. Alesis Recital Semi-Weighted Keys
Engineered to help piano players take their experience one step further, this digital piano comes with 88 full-sized semi-weighted keys and features that make it a popular choice among musicians of all levels. The product is thus committed to helping students and even seasoned players practice, create and explore more.
The unit comes with 5 curated voices including Electric Piano, Acoustic Piano, Bass, Synth, and Organ, which means you will get the chance to be more versatile with your sonic outputs. Thanks to the Layer Mode, you can combine two of them at once and thus create fuller and richer tones.
Moreover, to tailor the sounds you create even more, you can also use adjustable Reverb and Chorus. Due to the 128-note polyphony and 20-watt built-in speakers, the sounds produced will have a highly realistic flavor and your playing experience will be significantly enhanced.
To help students and teachers alike, the Recital boasts a Lesson Mode, which allows the user to split the 88 keys into two areas that have the same pitch and voice. Thanks to the USB-MIDI output, you can easily connect the unit to your PC to use various plugins or musical software.
If you want to learn how to play the piano and do so professionally, this 88 key piano keyboard is worth taking into account as it was built to provide a premium sound and a realistic feel.
With 5 built-in voices and a Layer Mode that allows you to combine two of them at once, you can explore and create more than ever and do so with great ease.
This keyboard piano 88 key model is committed to helping beginners explore the realm of a digital piano and thus sports a Lesson Mode as well as an adjustable metronome.
To help you enjoy a personalized yet natural playing experience, the product features an adjustable touch response.
Connecting the Recital to your PC is easy thanks to the MIDI output featured.
The product can be powered using the power supply included or 6 D Cell batteries that should be bought separately, which adds to the final cost.Buy from Amazon.com for ($225.47)
3. Casio Privia PX-160BK
Committed to ensuring a powerful and expressive performance, this Casio 88 key keyboard comes with features that will deliver grand piano sounds of great accuracy and remarkable dynamics. The quality of the sounds produced is ensured by the product’s various features and systems including the AiR Sound Source.
The Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action II keyboard delivers a realistic feel as well as enhanced speed and accuracy. To further provide a rich sound, the unit sports an 8w x 8w speaker system and a redesigned chassis to house it.
In order to enable users to explore, the item offers new string ensemble sounds that can be used alone or layered with electric pianos, grand pianos, and more. Thanks to the layer and split modes, you can further customize your performance. Teachers and students can use the piano simultaneously due to the Duet Mode.
If you want to keep track of your progress and creativity, you can record and playback your performance as the product offers a two-track recorder. Furthermore, the item boasts two headphone outputs to ensure quiet listening and practicing. The unit weighs only 24.5 pounds and measures 11.5 x 52 x 5.5 inches, which ensures easy storage and transportation.
Pairing your digital piano performance with enhanced accuracy, speed, and sonic richness, this keyboard piano 88 key model is an option both students and teachers might want to consider.
The Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action II keyboard contributes to the sound produced but also to the realistic feel the player gets to enjoy.
Thanks to the 8w x 8w speaker system featured, you will get to enjoy rich sounds and, due to the fact that it is open to the front and ported to the back, you can place the unit against a wall and enhance the sound even more.
The Duet Mode allows two players to use the product at the same time, which makes this model ideal for teachers and students.
You might need an external amplifier if you want to enjoy very loud sounds because the volume offered by this unit might not be enough.Buy from Amazon.com for ($549)
4. Alesis Q88 With Bench & Sustain Pedal
Whether you simply want to explore the sonic capabilities of a keyboard or you’re a music producer interested in getting new quality gear, this model should not go unchecked before you hit the order button. The unit sports 88 semi-weighted keys and a design that will make it easy for you to use it even if you’ve just embarked on this sonic journey.
To help beginners explore its capabilities, the product comes only with the buttons you need to create new sounds and practice and no unnecessary knobs, pads, or sliders; therefore, you will get a volume/data-entry slider, pitch and modulation wheels, a sustain pedal input as well as a MIDI button.
Plus, in order to help you control external hardware, the item sports the traditional MIDI out port. You also get backlit Octave up/down buttons that will further enhance your performance. What’s more, the keyboard is powered via USB, which ensures power efficiency and reduces electrical risks.
The kit includes a sustain pedal, a bench, a USB cable, and the Ableton Live Lite Alesis Edition Software so you can get started right away. Due to the software included, you will enjoy versatility as well since it allows you to perform, record, and sequence music.
Versatile, easy to use, and ideally-sized, this unit promises to help beginners and music producers learn and create more easily.
To help players reach their sonic targets with greater ease, the unit is not overloaded with knobs or pads and comes with the necessary buttons.
The pitch and modulation wheels ensure expressive playing whereas the Ableton Live Lite Alesis Edition Software included will enable you to further play with the music you produce.
The kit comes with everything you need to start playing immediately upon arrival; therefore, you will get the keyboard controller, a USB cable, the above-mentioned software, a sustain pedal, and a bench.
The product features a USB-MIDI and a traditional MIDI Out port so you can easily connect it to your PC or MIDI hardware.
The spring pressure of the keys might get you tired hands if you use the unit a lot.Click to see the price on Amazon!
5. Yamaha MX88 88-Key Music Synthesizer
Including anything you need to help you start playing right away, this kit is worth adding to your list of options if you want an 88-key music synthesizer, a folding bench, and a stand. The weighted keyboard 88 key model is a great choice whether you’re an aspiring music producer, a beginner, or a live performer.
The unit was designed to provide a realistic piano touch and comes with improved sample content as well as 128 notes of polyphony to take your performance one step further. Thanks to the technology used, you can easily connect the unit to your PC and iOS devices.
The new model brings improvements and additional features such as FM essential compatibility and an aux line input. Due to the USB Audio/MIDI interface, you can simply plug and play as there’s no need to install drivers.
The matte black key tops are committed to absorbing moisture and remaining tactile; therefore, you don’t have to worry that they will become slippery with time. The keyboard is light and compact, which means you can easily add it to your gear when traveling. The pack also includes a folding piano bench and a keyboard stand.
Whether you’re on the lookout for an 88 key keyboard for beginners or live performers, this unit is an option you might want to pay attention to before you order.
Everything about this unit was built with one thing in mind: to provide you with a realistic feel and sound experience.
The new model sports various improvements and additional features including a USB Audio/MIDI interface for easy connectivity, an aux line input, and 128 notes of polyphony for improved performance.
The materials used for the keys promise to withstand the test of time and remain tactile even after extended practice sessions.
The pack includes the keyboard, a folding bench as well as a keyboard stand.
The unit is small and lightweight, which ensures easy storage and transportation.
The keyboard might be a bit expensive yet it comes with features that will up your sonic performance.Buy from Amazon.com for ($1168.99)
6. Best Choice Products 88-Key Digital Piano Set
Made of sturdy materials, this full-size keyboard comes with 88 weight-sensitive keys and represents a great choice for the aspiring music master with limited floor space. The collapsible stand is easy to pack and store anywhere and provides a stable foundation for practice or performing whenever you want.
The digital piano comes with a detachable pedal that simulates a damper-free sound adjustment, allowing you to create notes and tones that stop suddenly or fade gradually. In other words, you can play with your sound and add incredible effects to your music for unique interpretations.
The multiple sound settings of the piano allow you to replicate the sounds of six different instruments and piano styles to experiment with sounds even more and broaden your skills. With just a simple push of a button, you will have access to a harpsichord, organ, and others. Also, the built-in speakers will help you enjoy a crisp, clear, sharp, and loud sound.
The full-size keyboard is suitable for both music enthusiasts and newbies. The 88 keys are weight-sensitive, allowing you to enjoy a similar experience as if you would play an acoustic piano.
The product comes with a folding stand that is lightweight, sturdy, and compact at the same time so it can easily fit anywhere you want, without occupying too much space in your house.
The built-in speakers allow you to enjoy a rich spectrum of sound while the media connectivity helps you pair the keyboard with other devices.
This instrument mimics the sound of six different instruments and piano styles, making it the perfect choice for experimenting with new sounds.
You have to press the keys firmly and strongly to hear them and the overall volume of the keyboard isn’t great either. Also, after a while, some of the keys might stop working but you can’t replace them.Click to see the price on Amazon!
7. Yamaha P125 Weighted Key Digital Piano Bundle
With over a century in the industry, Yamaha is one of the most reputed brands in the world when it comes to musical equipment. The new P125 key digital piano doesn’t disappoint and represents an excellent choice for professionals and beginners alike.
The product allows for incredible dynamics and expressiveness. The full-size piano keyboard delivers a heavier touch in the low end and a lighter touch in the high end, which means you will achieve a sound that resembles an acoustic piano.
The intuitive user interface allows you to easily use functions like Split Keyboard and Dual voice for whenever you want to play or record music with someone else. The two-way speaker system gives a rich stereo sound, again resembling the one you would get from an acoustic piano.
The bundle also includes a foldable stand, an adjustable X-style bench, and a sustain pedal to help you sit and play comfortably for hours in a row.
Benefiting from over 100 years of experience, you can rest assured this full-sized piano keyboard from Yamaha is a great choice for your high music standards.
It comes with a full set of useful accessories, including a foldable keyboard stand, an adjustable X-style bench to sit comfortably, and a sustain pedal to give more power to your sound.
The full-size keyboard provides a heavier touch in the lower end keys and a lighter touch in the higher end to resemble the weight and feel of a real acoustic piano.
It boasts a user-friendly interface that allows you to easily make the most out of functions like Dual Voice or Split Keyboard whenever you want to play alongside your friends or teacher.
The stand doesn’t come with straps but even so, it is built out of solid materials that will resist the weight of the keyboard and your hands on it, without shaking.Buy from Amazon.com for ($709.99)
8. Yamaha P45 Weighted Action Digital Piano
Purchase this bundle and you will enjoy the ultimate experience playing an instrument that resembles an acoustic piano. The bundle contains the weighted action digital piano, a power supply, a double-braced X-style keyboard stand, a foldable X-style bench, and a sustain pedal.
All of these accessories are made of sturdy materials and are designed to last for a long time, allowing you to comfortably play the instrument and enjoy every minute of your musical experience.
The P45 piano features Yamaha’s Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) weighted action that ensures a heavier touch in the low end and a lighter one in the high end, resembling the hammers inside an acoustic piano for real playing experience.
The item is slim and stylish and won’t occupy too much space in your living room, as opposed to a full-size acoustic piano. The instrument also comes with a built-in sound system and can even be used outside.
Affordable and only weighing 25 pounds, this full-size piano keyboard from Yamaha represents a wonderful choice for beginners and music enthusiasts.
It is equipped with the Japanese brand’s Graded Hammer Standard technology that adds weight to each key so that it feels like playing an acoustic piano.
The bundle includes a series of useful accessories such as a sustain pedal, a padded X-style foldable piano bench, a power supply, and a reinforced stand that sustains the weight of the instrument while playing on it.
All the items in the bundle are of high-quality materials and compact so that they won’t occupy too much space in your living room.
The bench is not very comfortable and the padded section doesn’t support your lumbar area so you might get back and shoulder pain during your extended playing sessions.
Also, the stand might be hard to put together even when following the instructions provided.Buy from Amazon.com for ($579.99)
Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
The benefits of playing a musical instrument are various and they range from enabling you to use your brain differently to helping you to disconnect from the mundane activities and embark on something that can uplift your state of mind.
If you’ve chosen to explore the world of sounds with an 88 key keyboard yet you don’t know where to start, there are some things to help you find the best 88 key weighted keyboard for your needs. From the type of keyboard to its action, everything counts; therefore, here are a few things to pay attention to before hitting the order button.
Digital and electronic pianos
In case your budget doesn’t allow you to buy an acoustic piano, you’ll have to make do with digital pianos and electronic keyboards. Digital pianos are manufactured to sound like acoustic pianos and some of them even come with weighted keys to provide the same feel as their acoustic versions.
Moreover, the keys of a digital keyboard ensure enhanced resistance, sensitivity to speed and pressure as well as a reasonable range of dynamics.
Electronic keyboards are the most affordable in this line of products and are sometimes referred to as mini synthesizers. If you want to opt for such a model, one of the most important things to consider is the way the keys are built. Make sure you get 88 of them and they are weighted if you want to get a satisfying sound quality.
It’s true that nothing beats an acoustic piano yet the digital and electronic keyboards available these days do come with features that can only be appreciated. Think of the possibility of connecting the keyboard to your computer to further play with the sounds you’ve produced. Not to mention that such units come with features that will help you practice in silence.
Action and sensitivity
Other features you need to consider include the action and sensitivity of the keys the keyboard comes with. You will thus find weighted and semi-weighted keys. These are the ones that resemble a traditional acoustic piano and the ones most players prefer.
However, there are keyboards that provide hammer and synth action. Hammer action actually makes use of mechanical hammers to enhance the response of the weighted keys. With synth action, you will get the least resistance, which means you can easily glide through keys during your performance.
Key sensitivity holds great importance as well. The faster the keys sense pressure, the faster they will send the required MIDI message.
Computer connectivity, MIDI compatibility, and other features
One of the great things about digital and electronic keyboards is that most of them can be connected to a personal computer, external amplifiers, speakers, and mixers. Make sure you check out the product’s connectivity options before buying especially if you intend to engage in live performances.
In case you want to explore your creativity more, you might want to consider getting a keyboard that allows you to record your samples so you can modify and play them back in new ways after you’ve recorded them. Don’t forget about MIDI compatibility as a keyboard that is MIDI compatible will further enable you to explore more and will extend your sonic possibilities.
Many aspiring musicians and even advanced players go for digital and electronic keyboards because they are portable and easy to store. If you intend to travel or engage in live sessions, you might also want to consider the weight and dimensions of the unit you want to buy.
Even if your budget only allows you to purchase a cheap 88 key keyboard, pay attention to the quality of the materials used as well and the durability it ensures.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why is an 88 key keyboard necessary?
Finding the best keyboard is not an easy task, especially if you’re new to the field. There are hundreds of good models on the market, designed to meet the requirements of both newbies and virtuosos, so how can you make sure you brought home the right instrument for you?
The full 88-key keyboard is only necessary for playing late-romantic or modern virtuoso works but won’t be too helpful if you want to compose your own music. Generally speaking, most beginners opt for the 76-key models as there are more than enough when it comes to learning music and even composing new pieces.
Acoustic pianos have 88 keys as each key represents a different note that allows you to reach a wide range of sounds, depending on the composition you’re playing. However, since keyboards are designed to be more practical and portable, unless you are a composer or a professional musician, you won’t need all the 88 keys.
Q: How big is an 88 key keyboard?
There is no official standard size for pianos and keyboards, which means that each manufacturer has its own rules when establishing the perfect length and width of its instruments. That being said, most keyboards donning all the 88 keys of an acoustic piano usually measure between 48 and 48.5 inches.
The width of an octave on a modern keyboard is roughly 165 mm, which leaves a variation of about one centimeter (approximately 0.5 inches) in width on the keyboard. However, modern manufacturers of keyboards can choose to make their instruments larger or narrower, depending on various factors.
For a keyboard to approach the natural feel of an acoustic piano when playing, many companies decide to add extra weight to each key, which will make the product heavier.
However, too much weight on a full 88-key keyboard can compromise the entire purpose of a keyboard which is its portability, and this is why some companies choose to make the keys smaller and apply a smaller weight on them.
Q: Can I learn piano on a keyboard?
The answer to this question depends on the type of keyboard you’re opting for. As we previously mentioned, acoustic pianos count for 88 keys but weigh a lot and are amongst the most expensive musical instruments, which means not many people can afford to own one.
A more reliable and affordable alternative would be to invest in a keyboard. However, keyboards come in various sizes and number of keys, most of them ranging between 60 and 88 keys.
Beginners who are just learning the keys and musical notes won’t need all the 88 keys on a keyboard or a piano, while those who have played the instrument for years will find it impossible to go through certain musical pieces without all the keys.
You can learn to play the piano on a keyboard as long as the latter is a reliable instrument with enough weight on it to feel “real” and not like a toy. But even when you’ll learn the keys and the principles of playing, you won’t be able to recreate the unique sounds of an acoustic piano with a keyboard.
Q: Do you need a full size keyboard to learn the piano?
As we previously mentioned, a keyboard and a piano differ in terms of sound and dimensions. One of the main advantages of a keyboard is its portability, allowing you to easily carry it with you anywhere you go and experiment with new sounds.
That being said, you won’t use more than approximately 60 keys if you’re a beginner and not a music composer or a piano virtuoso, which means there is no need to invest in a full-sized item, especially if you don’t know how long this new passion is going to last.
If you simply want to learn the keys and play simple pieces of music, any keyboard with a little weight on its keys will suffice. However, you won’t get the “real” experience until your fingers will reach the keys of an acoustic piano for the first time.
As some teachers like to put it, using a keyboard teaches you the principles and the alignment of the keys but won’t get you anywhere near in terms of sound and emotion as playing an acoustic piano.