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The 8 best cheap portable digital pianos for $300-600 in 2024

Creative endeavors are often expensive, but learning to play the piano doesn’t have to break the bank. The quality of budget keyboards and digital pianos is better than ever, and beginners and hobbyists are spoiled for choice.

I’ve tested and reviewed various entry-level (and slightly above) instruments to see how far you can go on a tight budget.

Quick recommendations

Casio’s CDP-S360 is an almost perfect budget digital piano. It’s the most sonically versatile keyboard on the list, yet it remains one of the easiest to use.

I absolutely love the Numa Compact 2, not least for its impeccable sound quality, from authentic grand pianos to organs and synths. It’s a budget keyboard that a seasoned pro could comfortably take onto the stage.

Korg’s Liano is an ultra-slim, ultra-light keyboard with some of the best sounds you’ll ever hear from a $300 instrument. The grand piano voices come from flagship keyboards like the Korg Kronos and Nautilus, which is mind-blowing at such a low price.

Why you should trust me

Choosing a budget keyboard or digital piano might seem easier than choosing a high-end instrument because you’re spending less money, but the decision is no less important.

James Nugent, author and contributor at Higher Hz

I’ve tested countless budget-friendly keyboards/pianos over the last 20 years and learned that having the right instrument as a beginner can make all the difference.

As a student, I didn’t feel as confident or comfortable with every keyboard I bought, and a poor choice could significantly impact my progress.

As a piano teacher, I draw on my own experience as a beginner to help students avoid those poor choices and find the best possible keyboard or digital piano.

How I chose and tested

In the context of this list, when I say digital piano, I mean a portable keyboard with 88 weighted keys, not a digital piano console unit.

My first task was setting a sensible price range, beyond which I no longer consider instruments budget-friendly.

Of course, budget-friendly means different things to different people, and it differs depending on the level of the intended buyer (beginner, intermediate, advanced, professional).

To keep things simple, I’ve set a price range of $299 to $599, and I’m looking at instruments suitable for complete beginners to early intermediate players.

I could set a lower range, especially for complete beginners, but to find the best options, I set some minimum expectations.

Every keyboard on the list must be:

  • full-size (88 keys),
  • well above average beginner sound quality,
  • portable,
  • easy-to-use.

I’m also prioritizing instruments with weighted keys, but I’ve allowed a couple of exceptions.

With the above criteria in mind, a price range of $299 to $599 allows me to focus on instruments that really are the best in their class. It also allows me to choose instruments that epitomize value for money because they will last for years.

I don’t think it’s ever a good idea to feature an instrument just because it’s cheap enough; it has to be good enough. After considering a wider selection, these are the best budget keyboards and digital pianos in 2024.

Casio CDP-S360

The best budget portable digital piano

  • Number of keys: 88
  • Type of keys: fully-weighted
  • Max polyphony: 128 notes
  • Preset voices: 700
  • Built-in speakers: Yes

As a beginner, I preferred Yamaha and Roland keyboards over Casio, but 20 years later, this Casio deserves the top spot.

I love that it’s easy to use despite its vast feature set. Of its 700 voices, not all are stellar, but many are, and the newly refined piano sounds are great. With some real premium features, the CDP-S360 looks, feels, and sounds fantastic; it’s outstanding value for money.

If your budget doesn’t stretch far enough, you can save a little with the cheaper (but less versatile) CDP-S160.

Casio CDP-S360 on the table
Image: Casio

Casio’s CDP-S360 is a relatively budget-friendly digital piano aimed primarily at beginners and intermediate players.

It has 700 voices (CDP-S160 only has 10), including newly refined grand piano sounds, and a max polyphony of 128 notes (64 notes for the CDP-S160).

The grand piano sounds are excellent for the price, as are the organs and some surprisingly good synths. Casio’s built-in speaker system delivers a clear sound with ample volume for home use.

I love the feel of the CDP-S360; it has scaled hammer action keys with a simulated ebony/ivory finish. The simulated ebony/ivory is a premium feature that adds a touch of class to what is already one of the most realistic keyboard actions in its class.

Casio has gone all out on features, including a built-in 6-track recorder, 200 onboard rhythms, an arpeggiator, Bluetooth connectivity, and a pitch-bend wheel. You even get some built-in effects and over 150 demo songs.

I don’t always like so many sounds and features in a piano primarily aimed at beginners, but the CDP-S360 remains incredibly user-friendly, thanks, in part, to a handy LCD screen. It’s incredible value for money.

Buy Casio CDP-S360 at: SweetwaterAmazon

Studiologic Numa Compact 2

The best budget keyboard for performers

  • Number of keys: 88
  • Type of keys: fully-weighted
  • Max polyphony: 128 notes
  • Preset voices: 88
  • Built-in speakers: Yes

I was blown away when I first encountered the Numa Compact 2 at the Musikmesse Frankfurt show in 2018, and I still love it in 2024. It’s not my top pick because it doesn’t have fully-weighted keys, but it’s a true performer’s keyboard.

The Numa Compact 2 has some incredible sounds and features that could easily grace a keyboard at four times the price. It might be more than some beginners need, but I love it.

Studiologic Numa Compact 2 review
Image: Studiologic

The Studiologic Numa Compact 2 is a lightweight 88-key keyboard with outstanding sound quality.

It features 88 sound presets from Studiologic’s TrS (True Sound) stereo multi-samples engine. The onboard sounds include eight acoustic pianos ranging from rich and resonant concert grands to much brighter pop piano tones.

What surprised me most about this keyboard is that the sound quality is incredibly high across all 88 voices. The Numa Compact 2 has organs, orchestral, and synth sounds that are as good as you’ll ever hear at this price.

A built-in speaker system powered by two 10-watt amplifiers delivers crisp and clear sound; my only slight negative is that I’d prefer the speakers not to be on the back panel.

The Numa Compact 2 has semi-weighted keys, and while I prefer weighted keys, the lighter keys are the ideal compromise between piano, organ, and synth playing.

This feature-packed instrument has high-quality built-in effects, including Drive, Chorus, Flanger, Rotary, Tremolo, multiple Reverb types, and more. It also offers advanced keyboard split and layer options, making it perfect for aspiring performers.

While a lot is going on, and I wouldn’t recommend this keyboard for the youngest beginners, it’s still relatively straightforward to use and made easier by a lovely OLED display.

Read my full Studiologic Numa Compact 2 review to find out more.

Buy Studiologic Numa Compact 2 at: SweetwaterAmazon

Alesis Prestige

The best portable digital piano under $500

  • Number of keys: 88
  • Type of keys: fully-weighted
  • Max polyphony: 128 notes
  • Preset voices: 16
  • Built-in speakers: Yes

The Alesis Prestige is a no-nonsense digital piano for beginners that shouldn’t be overlooked. It over-delivers in most areas, and at under $500, it’s a struggle to find something better.

I recommend the Prestige to anyone who wants a straightforward instrument with a good sound and a realistic piano feel. It’s also an excellent choice for kids who are ready for an instrument that looks and feels a bit more grown-up.

Alesis Prestige portable digital piano
Image: Higher Hz

The Alesis Prestige is an 88-key digital piano aimed at beginners and anyone on a tighter budget.

It features 16 sound presets, with the acoustic pianos being the best of the bunch. The grand piano voices aren’t the best on our list and perhaps lack a little depth in the lower range, but they are surprisingly good for the price.

In addition to the grand piano tones, the Prestige features a pretty impressive Wurly (electric piano) sound. Another welcome surprise is the max polyphony of 128 notes; you might expect 64 notes at this price.

The Prestige offers more speaker power than you are likely to need in most home/practice scenarios with dual 25-watt amplifiers.

What I like most about the Prestige is that it provides something that most low-priced keyboards don’t: graded hammer-action keys. The keys are heaviest at the lowest notes and get gradually lighter as you move up the keyboard to emulate the feel of an acoustic piano. 

As far as onboard features go, keyboard modes (Split and Layer) and Record mode (one track) are about it, but simplicity is part of the appeal.

The keyboard is a little bulkier than some others, but with graded hammer-action keys, that’s to be expected.

Read my full Alesis Prestige review to find out more.

Buy Alesis Prestige at: SweetwaterAmazon

Yamaha P-145

Yamaha’s outstanding P-Series just got better

  • Number of keys: 88
  • Type of keys: fully-weighted
  • Max polyphony: 64 notes
  • Preset voices: 10
  • Built-in speakers: Yes

The Yamaha P-145 picks up where the P-45 left off and goes much further. Despite my initial skepticism over the new compact keyboard action, it’s a joy to play.

Along with recreating the same piano feel in a much lighter keyboard, the P-145 provides higher-quality sound than the already excellent P-45. It’s tough to improve on a classic without a significant price increase, but Yamaha has nailed it.

Yamaha P-145 on the table
Image: Yamaha

The Yamaha P-145 is the new entry-level model of the famous P-Series of digital pianos. It’s a portable digital piano that focuses on realism in a lightweight package.

The higher sound quality I mentioned above comes from the transition to Yamaha’s premium CFIIIS grand piano sound. The previous AWM engine was great, but the P-145 is a clear step forward for the range.

Yamaha keyboards generally produce some of my favorite acoustic piano voices, and the CFIIIS is outstanding: it’s rich, resonant, and remains realistic in the lowest and highest ranges.

The P-145 features electric pianos, pipe organs, strings, and even a di zi (Chinese transverse flute), in addition to the stellar grand piano voices.

An enhanced speaker system delivers more clarity than any previous model. One significant change in this area is the moving of the speakers from the underside of the keyboard to the back panel.

Although there’s no built-in recorder, Yamaha’s Rec’n’Share app makes capturing performances and practice sessions easy.

The P-145 has a Sound Boost feature that might seem insignificant initially, but when you start to play with other musicians, it can help you sit better in the mix. Duo mode allows you to create two identical keyboard ranges for teacher/student piano lessons.

The P-145 maintains the simplicity that has made the P-Series successful but takes the sound and portability to another level.

Read my full Yamaha P-145 review to find out more.

Buy Yamaha P-145 at: SweetwaterAmazon

Korg B2

Realistic feel on a budget

  • Number of keys: 88
  • Type of keys: fully-weighted
  • Max polyphony: 120 notes
  • Preset voices: 12
  • Built-in speakers: Yes

The Korg B2 is a lovely digital piano that delivers an authentic piano feel and high-quality sound at a very attractive price.

You could argue that the B2 should be higher on the list, but the difference between this model and those above it might be personal preference. I like it for beginner to intermediate players who want a realistic piano experience at a bargain price.

Korg B2 portable digital piano
Image: Higher Hz

Korg’s B2 is an 88-key digital piano that takes the quality over quantity approach. The sound quality is excellent, and the grand piano voices are particularly impressive.

The B2 delivers some of the best concert piano sounds from Germany and Italy with outstanding accuracy. The German concert grand tone is bold and powerful but can be as subtle and delicate as you like when necessary.

There are 12 voices available, including authentic vintage electric pianos perfect for jazz, funk, etc. Korg’s B2 has a max polyphony of 120 notes.

A relatively powerful speaker system featuring two 3.9-inch speakers and dual 15-watt amplifiers delivers accurate sound even at loud volumes.

One of my favorite things about this keyboard is its natural weighted hammer-action keys. The keys might be slightly heavy for some younger players, but the weight will allow you to develop touch and control of dynamics at a higher level than lighter keys.

There aren’t too many features to discuss, but there’s one that I consider to be very important, and that’s half-damper support. This feature allows far greater control over the amount of sustain applied when using the sustain pedal.

Due to the realistic hammer-action keys, the B2 is a bit heavier than many of the keyboards on the list, and I don’t mind that at all; it feels very robust. However, keep the weight in mind if you plan to move the keyboard around a lot.

Read my full Korg B2 review to find out more.

Buy Korg B2 at: SweetwaterAmazon

Korg Liano

The ultimate 88-key lightweight keyboard

  • Number of keys: 88
  • Type of keys: non-weighted
  • Max polyphony: 120 notes
  • Preset voices: 8
  • Built-in speakers: Yes

The Korg Liano is the ultimate lightweight full-size keyboard. While you sacrifice some realism for portability, it’s hard not to love the Liano.

Korg produces some of the best high-end keyboard instruments money can buy, but I’ve always considered them a step behind manufacturers like Yamaha and Casio regarding beginner instruments. The Liano changes the landscape for me; it’s so much fun, and the sound quality is outstanding.

Korg Liano with a separate stand
Image: Korg

The Korg Liano is a full-size keyboard that has recently become one of my favorites. I was overwhelmed by the quality of the grand piano voices; no keyboard around $300 typically sounds so realistic.

It was no real surprise to learn that the grand piano tones come from the premium Korg Kronos and Nautilus keyboards. The piano voices are as luxurious as I’ve heard in the lower price range.

There are only eight voices, including electric pianos, organs, and strings. Besides the grand pianos, I have to highlight the organ sounds; they sound so alive compared to most budget offerings.

The Liano’s light-touch action keys are a downside for those who want an authentic piano feel. The keys are also not ideal for dynamic performance, but since the Liano is aimed at beginners who prioritize portability, it’s a fair trade (especially with such impressive sound).

The built-in speakers are small but pack a punch with two 8-watt amplifiers. The speakers are optimized to provide an excellent bass response, perfect for the low end of those stunning piano tones.

The Liano is Korg’s lightest full-size keyboard, and its ultra-slim design looks beautiful. At under 14 lbs, it’s the perfect instrument for anyone who wants to practice anywhere, anytime.

Read my full Korg Liano review to find out more.

Buy Korg Liano at: SweetwaterAmazon

Alesis Concert

Outstanding value for money

  • Number of keys: 88
  • Type of keys: semi-weighted
  • Max polyphony: 128 notes
  • Preset voices: 10
  • Built-in speakers: Yes

The Alesis Concert is an absolute steal at under $300. It’s not quite as good as the Alesis Prestige, but the price reflects the step-down. It’s a straightforward digital piano with very few extras, and that’s often just what a beginner needs. It’s also ideal for younger learners not yet ready for fully-weighted keys.

Alesis Concert portable digital piano
Image: Higher Hz

The Alesis Concert is the epitome of a good budget keyboard; it has everything you need and nothing you don’t. It’s a full-size but lightweight 88-key keyboard.

The Alesis Concert has just 10 onboard sounds, but like the Prestige, it over-delivers. Also, like the Prestige, the grand piano sounds lack a little depth compared to others on our list, but at under $300, it’s very impressive.

Other sounds include a nice drawbar organ, a funky clav, electric piano, and strings. Alesis provides a max polyphony of 128 notes, which is more than enough for any beginner.

The built-in speakers, powered by a 20-watt amplifier system, are very good; again, they are not the best, but excellent relative to the price.

The Concert has semi-weighted keys that might be a touch light for some players. However, starting with lighter keys can benefit some beginners, especially younger kids, so it’s less of a negative and more about personal preference.

One of the features I like to see on any beginner keyboard is Lesson mode. This mode splits the keyboard into two identical ranges for student/teacher practice. The Alesis Concert has built-in effects that help shape the perfect tone, including five reverb and chorus types.

I’d have loved a second headphone jack to pair with Lesson mode, but it’s hard to complain at this price. Along with a single headphone jack, you get an audio output, sustain pedal input, and USB connectivity.

Read my full Alesis Concert review to find out more.

Buy Alesis Concert at: SweetwaterAmazon

Roland Go:Piano88

Legendary Roland sounds in a lightweight package

  • Number of keys: 88
  • Type of keys: non-weighted
  • Max polyphony: 128 notes
  • Preset voices: 4
  • Built-in speakers: Yes

Roland Go keyboards are all about fun, and while this 88-key version is no exception, it’s a little more grown-up.

The lack of weighted keys makes it difficult to be as dynamic and expressive as some would like with the fantastic grand piano sound. But it’s great for complete beginners, who have a while to go before reaching that stage.

testing Roland Go:Piano88 (GO-88P) keyboard piano
Image: Roland

The Roland Go:Piano88 is a lightweight, full-size keyboard that looks as good as it sounds.

The first thing to note about this instrument’s sound is that it only has a handful of voices (grand piano, electric piano, organ, and strings) compared to the many hundreds found in the 61-key version. The dedication to core sounds shows a more grown-up approach that provides a more focused piano experience.

The grand piano sound is remarkably good for the price and highlights Roland’s pedigree in this area. With a max polyphony of 128 notes, you’re very unlikely to experience any dropouts.

The built-in speaker system sounds great, and I like the placement of the speakers. The speakers are on the top panel, providing more natural projection, and they look great, too, because they are not overly intrusive to the sleek design of the piano.

Roland’s Go:Piano88 has velocity-sensitive keys with four levels of touch sensitivity. Although it’s not ideal for some players, the lighter keyboard is perfect for kids and complete beginners.

Bluetooth is a massive feature of this keyboard because it allows you to stream audio from your smartphone or tablet. It means you can jam along to your favorite songs, which is epic for future singer-songwriters.

The Go:Piano88 has a built-in recorder to capture practice sessions and performances. It looks great, sounds fantastic, and is lightweight enough to take anywhere.

Buy Roland Go:Piano88 at: SweetwaterAmazon

Conclusion

As I said at the top, budget keyboards and digital pianos are better than ever, and this list highlights my favorites.

I enjoyed playing these instruments very much, and based on my experiences as a student and a teacher, I recommend them to anyone looking for a budget keyboard or digital piano. If you want the best blend of quality and value for money, it’s on this list.

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