The Alesis Concert is one of many budget keyboard pianos from Alesis. It’s a full-size keyboard with semi-weighted keys aimed at beginners. It comes in at under $300, so if you’re in the market for a cheap keyboard piano, make sure you read on.
About the author
- 88 semi-weighted keys
- 128-note polyphony
- built-in speakers
- 10 voices
- stereo RCA outputs
- headphone jack
- USB, MIDI
Final verdict on the Alesis Concert
The Alesis Concert is an excellent keyboard piano. Why? Because it’s so cheap. There are better choices for another hundred dollars or two, but if on sale under $300, the Concert is the one for me. Everything it does, from the sound to the feel, is better than the price would suggest.
What I like
- Great piano sounds.
- Decent connectivity.
What I don’t like
- Limited features.
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The Alesis Concert has just 10 built-in voices, which isn’t huge. But, to be honest, my score is almost entirely based on the grand piano tone. Like most aspects of the Concert, you can get better quality if you spend a bit more, but at the price, the sound is surprisingly good.
The downside of having such a good piano sound is that it makes you want to play with more passion and expression, which the semi-weighted keys don’t fully allow. Other voices include electric piano, harpsichord, drawbar organ, church organ, synth, strings, bass, and clavi.
Across the board, the sound quality is better than expected, but the standouts are definitely the acoustic pianos, electric piano, and organs. The Alesis Concert has a max polyphony of 128 notes, which is fantastic for the price.
One thing you tend to get from Alesis, even in budget keyboards, is a powerful speaker system. The Alesis Concert is no exception, powered by two 20-watt amplifiers. In terms of power, it’s above average in its class.
I have to say it seems to perform better than some others like the Alesis Virtue, too. The sound is nice and clear/articulate, and that’s important when you have a high-quality piano sound.
The Alesis Concert finds itself in a somewhat tricky position when it comes to the keyboard feel. On the one hand, I could say it’s as good as any semi-weighted keyboard that you’d get for the same money.
On the other hand, you could spend a touch more and get weighted keys. So, I have to consider both arguments, which means I can’t score it any higher.
The keys are pretty light, but the various levels of touch sensitivity do add the illusion of extra resistance. It’s fair to say that the key tops don’t feel as cheap as you’d get from many similarly-priced keyboards, either.
The semi-weighted keys and great piano sound are more than enough to start developing your technique for a beginner.
The Alesis Concert is one of the most straightforward keyboard pianos on the market. It does everything it needs to and nothing more, which is often best for beginners.
Lesson mode is one of the best features that a learner can have. Whether being taught by a parent or piano teacher, Lesson mode allows proper side-by-side practice. It splits the keyboard into two identical zones so that both the teacher and student have the same pitch range.
Split and Layer modes
Split mode lets you divide the keyboard into two zones, each with a different voice. It’s a handy way to practice walking bass lines, with bass on the left hand and piano on the right. Layer mode allows you to layer two sounds together to make a custom sound.
A built-in metronome is a crucial feature for any good beginner piano. Practicing with a metronome is the best way for beginners to train their internal clock and develop perfect timing.
The built-in effects include reverb, chorus, and pedal resonance, all of which can be easily adjusted.
What I look for in any beginner keyboard is a simple layout that is easy to navigate. The Alesis Concert doesn’t have too many buttons or controls, so it should be no problem, even for younger players. With only 10 sounds, it’s easy to change quickly with semi-dedicated buttons.
As it’s aimed at beginners, I’d expect that players will use it at home more than anywhere else. People sometimes think playing at home means it doesn’t have to be portable, but wait till you start annoying family, friends, or neighbors with your lengthy practice sessions.
The good news is that the Concert weighs just 15.7 lbs and can be powered by six D batteries, so taking it from one room to another is no problem.
I’m unlikely to score any higher until I see a budget keyboard piano with a solid metal case, but that won’t happen. Anything in the few hundred dollars to $500 range tends to be pretty similar in this department.
Typically, I only have something to highlight if the quality is particularly bad. In this case, things are pretty standard. The body is entirely plastic, but it’s robust enough for the use it would be expected to get.
One thing that I do like about the construction is that while it’s a plain Jane, it looks like a more expensive keyboard.
From left to right on the back panel, you’ve got USB type B, a 1/4-inch pedal input, stereo RCA outputs, and a 1/4-inch headphone jack.
I’m pretty happy with the connectivity on offer here. It would be easy to say 1/4-inch audio outputs would be better, but most cheap keyboard pianos don’t have any dedicated audio outputs, so I can’t complain.
Compared to other budget keyboards
The Alesis Concert isn’t the only option for beginners on a budget, and here are a few alternatives that you should check out.
Alesis Concert vs Recital Pro
The Recital Pro is a similar keyboard piano, but it’s a step up to weighted hammer-action keys. Unless you prefer lighter keys, I’d go for the Recital Pro.
Alesis Concert vs Virtue
The Alesis Virtue is a great example of a cheap and fun digital piano for kids. I would stick with the Concert unless you prefer a wooden stand.
Alesis Concert vs Roland Go:Piano88
This keyboard has some stunning sounds and comes from a leading manufacturer. However, in my opinion, the Alesis Concert provides more value for money.
Who is the Alesis Concert best suited for?
The Alesis Concert is best suited for beginners who want something portable for home use.