Which Is Better: Digital Piano Vs Keyboard? What's The Difference?

Last Updated on September 7, 2021

Digital Pianos Vs Keyboards - Our Best Comparison Guide

For people who are looking for their first electric piano to invest in, the choice between a keyboard and an average digital piano can be confusing as both enjoyable instruments are built very similarly. 

Most of the time, for quality electronic sound quality, a digital piano is always the perfect choice as they come with realistic acoustic piano sound samples which mimic how traditional pianos feel. This nice instrument often has extras such as piano pedals which piano keyboards lack to produce the best music.

So as we can dive a little deeper and compared both excellent choices of the piano we will cover the basics of what both pianos do down below and compare their features such as portability, design, price, sound quality and more down below to help you make a decision on which piano is right for you. 

What Is a Digital Piano? 

Digital pianos probably look very similar to keyboard musical instruments at a first glance but are designed to look and feel like acoustic pianos. 

These types of computerised pianos come in a wide range of types ranging from portable pianos with a slab design to upright pianos for a traditional look. 

As these digital pianos tend to be larger consoles than keyboards they have great speakers for stage pianos and even come with a full 88 key set as well as weighted keys for that authentic piano feeling. 

Many people opt for a digital piano over a real piano nowadays as they are an affordable instrument with a range of tones but do not have a plastic feel making them suitable for even an experienced musician looking for a dynamic performance instrument to practice with at home.

What Is a Keyboard? 

Keyboards on the other hand are awesome instruments for people who are on a budget and want a portable instrument to play basic piano with. These types of pianos come with a wider range of sounds than digital pianos but lack the authentic piano touch due to their non-weighted keys and shorter key sets which limit the music you can play. 

It should be noted that these models of pianos will often have a poorer sound quality too due to their travel size which can't fit as powerful speakers inside.

Keyboards Vs Digital Piano - Which Piano Wins? 

Now we know the basics of each kind of piano and how they work we can get into comparing the features and specs of each piano to see which model is best for your music production. 

Keyboards 

First of all, we will get into the advantages of keyboards over digital pianos. Keyboards are always significantly cheaper than digital pianos making them an excellent choice for music students who are just getting into learning piano or general beginners. 

If your looking for a piano that is fit for travel musicians this would be the model to choose due to the smaller slab design, these keyboard pianos come with a wider range of sounds, tones and features too so are great for music designing. 

However, there are considerable downfalls to choosing a keyboard over a digital piano. First of all, these keyboards rarely come with weighted keys and many of them only have 71 or 62 key set-ups which can be very limiting to learn on if you are looking to be able to play a full range of music or on an acoustic piano one day too.

In addition, the keys of keyboards tend to lack touch sensitivity too and are often made with a plastic design that does not feel like playing on a real piano.

Pros 

  • More affordable. 
  • Great range of sound choices. 
  • Portable.

Cons 

  • Lack of touch sensitivity. 
  • Smaller keyboard size. 
  • Plastic feel. 

Digital Pianos 

Digital pianos have the upper hand over keyboards as they come with weighted keys as well as a full 88 key set up which is the same as an acoustic piano, so is excellent for beginners who are looking to learn. 

They come with excellent sound quality and connection features too such as MIDI which allows you to record as you play your piano. One of the best specs about digital pianos is that they have adjustable touch sensitivity too which allows you to set your piano to soft or hard play for a more natural smooth feel. 

The drawbacks of digital pianos in comparison to keyboards have to be their lack of portability, as some of these models have to be used with a stand. They are more expensive too than keyboards due to their higher quality.

Pros 

  • Weighted keys. 
  • Adjustable key sensitivity.
  • Full 88-key set. 
  • MIDI connections.

Cons 

  • Not as portable. 
  • Expensive. 
  • Smaller range of sound effects.

Conclusion - Which Musical Instrument Should I Choose?

Overall, a digital piano is always the better choice over keyboards as they are made with higher quality parts and have a more realistic design which allows you to learn on these pianos and switch to acoustic easily if needed thanks to their weighted keys. 

However, if you are on a budget and want to play more with sound design a keyboard might be the better option, it should be noted you will be more limited when it comes to playing professionally though.

Last Words 

To conclude, if your looking to take your piano playing to a professional level and you want a piano that feels like an authentic acoustic model we would suggest going for a digital piano as these are of higher quality when it comes to sound and feel. 

Heya'll Im Oliver (Oli), I run DigitalPianoReviews.UK. By trade an Electrical Engineer, an owner of a piano shop. Always being asked about my recommendations for top piano, I created this site. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to reach out :)

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