Higher Hz is reader-supported. Links on our site may earn us a commission. Learn more

The 8 best digital piano/keyboard brands on the market in 2022

What are the best keyboard and digital piano brands on the market?

That’s a question that many people ask, particularly when choosing a first instrument or when stepping into the high-end market for the first time.

Whatever end of the market you’re jumping into, you need to find the manufacturer that will help you get the most out of your money.

We are looking at the companies that make some of the best instruments money can buy.

We believe the best brand depends on your specific needs, so read on to find out what these makers do best.

These are the best digital piano/keyboard brands on the market right now:

Nord

The professional choice

Nord keyboards aren’t for beginners; the price alone will tell you that. For many years, Nord keyboards have been a common choice for professional performers, and that trend shows no signs of changing.

Surprisingly, Nord didn’t start with keyboard instruments. In 1983, Nord launched the Digital Percussion Plate 1, synths came in 1995, and stage pianos came even later.

Nord brand keyboard pianos
Image credit: Hans Malm, Nord Keyboards

Nord has a few legendary keyboard ranges: the Lead, Electro, Piano, and Stage series. They also offer the fantastic but less popular Nord Grand and C2 D Combo organ models.

All Nord keyboards come in the iconic red color and are known for stellar build quality.

The flagship Nord Stage series is a favorite of performers because it combines top-quality (and versatile) sound with an intuitive, hands-on interface and a rugged construction fit for life on the road.

  • Premium sounds and build quality.
  • Incredibly intuitive workflow for advanced players.
  • Flexible performance keyboards.
  • Very expensive.
  • Not suitable for beginners.

Yamaha

The best all-rounders

Whether buying a keyboard or digital piano, Yamaha is one of the best manufacturers around. Yamaha is one of a few manufacturers that cater to beginners and professionals with the same success.

One of the things that Yamaha has in its favor is a rich and extensive history in making acoustic pianos that most makers can’t match. With a history spanning over 130 years, Yamaha knows precisely what to prioritize at each price range.

Yamaha brand keyboards and synthesizers
Image credit: Yamaha

Yamaha’s Clavinova series includes some of the most realistic digital pianos ever made.

When it comes to high-end synths, workstations, and stage pianos, Yamaha has been at the top for years, with the legendary Motif series to the more modern CP88.

As for beginner instruments, Yamaha’s PSR series has provided the perfect first keyboard for countless learners.

Yamaha is a master of touch and sound, but what they do best is deliver just what the user needs in accordance with budget and ability.

  • High performers at every price range.
  • Iconic sound engines.
  • Well thought-out interfaces.
  • Some beginner models are easily outgrown.

Roland

The performance masters

Roland is another manufacturer that achieves success at every level, from beginner to pro. It’s also one of the most innovative brands on the market.

Roland has been around for 50 years, and unlike some other leading brands, they exclusively manufacture electronic instruments. This extreme focus is the thing that allows them to be innovators in the keyboard and digital piano markets consistently.

Roland brand digital pianos
Image credit: Roland

For years, Roland’s FP and RD series keyboard pianos have been among the best for beginners to advanced players. The RD-2000 is still widely considered one of the best stage pianos ever made.

Roland also created one of the most sought-after synths of all time in the Juno-106.

Roland is a brand that takes some risks, and not every idea has been long-lived (like the D-Beam). But, that mentality has led to some of the most intuitive performance keyboards and realistic digital pianos ever.

  • Iconic sound engines.
  • Flexible performance keyboards.
  • Innovative technology.
  • Interfaces are sometimes overcomplicated.

Kawai

The most luxurious pianos

Kawai is one of the only manufacturers that can genuinely rival Yamaha’s authority when it comes to creating a realistic piano experience. Kawai keyboards and digital pianos are primarily aimed at intermediate to advanced players.

Kawai is a brand that dates back to 1927. Its concert grand pianos like the CP Series are some of the most desired and luxurious in the world.

The attention to detail shown in their acoustic instruments is clearly passed on to their electric keyboards and digital pianos.

Kawai brand digital piano
Image credit: Kawai

Kawai is one of the best digital piano brands with entry-level models like the KDP120 and the more high-end CA59.

You can expect the same luxurious sound and feel from keyboard pianos with models like the MP11SE with Grand Feel wooden keys.

Kawai can do most things well, but if you are looking for a piano/synth/organ all-rounder, there are better ways to spend your money. But, if your primary concern is an authentic piano sound and feel, Kawai is rarely beaten.

  • Stunning piano sounds.
  • Authentic piano feel.
  • More entry-level options now available.
  • Not the most flexible instruments.

Korg

The tech innovators

Korg makes keyboard instruments for every purpose, whether it’s a home piano, studio controller, or keyboard piano for the stage. Although Korg makes beginner-friendly keyboards, it’s a brand that fits better in the intermediate to advanced range.

Korg was founded in the early 1960s and has been one of the industry leaders in new technology ever since. Over multiple decades, Korg has earned a reputation as a master of all kinds of electronic keyboard instruments.

Korg brand digital stage piano
Image credit: Korg

Korg has produced some instruments that shaped not only the future of the company but also the future of the industry. Instruments like the M1 synth, Trinity and Triton workstations, and Oasys stage piano. The Korg Kronos is currently one of the best 88-key stage pianos around.

Korg is best-known for creating instruments that encourage creativity and experimentation. In our opinion, that’s what makes them one of the best keyboard brands, overall.

  • Always pushing technology.
  • Great performance-lady keyboards.
  • Outstanding sound engines.
  • Iconic models.
  • More beginner options would be great.

Casio

The beginner’s choice

Casio has long been one of the best electronic keyboard brands on the market. While they offer some high-end options, they shine most at the beginner price range.

For decades, Casio has created outstanding beginner keyboards that have helped many budding pianists.

The difference between Casio and a brand like Yamaha is that Casio doesn’t share the same consistency through all price ranges. Casio excels at the entry-level, but when you go towards the high-end, it has a few exceptional instruments, but a few that miss the mark, too.

Casio brand keyboard pianos
Image credit: Casio

A great example of exceptional Casio instruments is the Privia range of keyboards and digital pianos. Privia digital pianos are the ideal bridge between beginner and professional pianos. The Casio PX-S3000 is still the slimmest 88-key stage piano on the market.

Casio is best-know for creating easy-to-use keyboards and pianos that provide high-quality while acting as a steppingstone to the next level.

  • Value for money.
  • Ideal for beginners and first-time buyers.
  • Surprising sound quality.
  • Relatively less impressive further up the price range.

Studiologic

The one that surprise you

Studiologic is a brand that might previously have missed out on our list. They make keyboards that are fantastic for intermediate to advanced players. But, they are so reasonably priced they are a valid option for beginners, too.

Studiologic has a long history with Fatar. Fatar manufactures many keybeds that top brands put in their keyboards and pianos. Despite being ignored for more popular brands at times, Studiologic is often a leader in showcasing the best keyboard feel available.

Studiologic brand keyboard pianos and controllers
Image credit: Studiologic

The most prominent range would be the Numa series, including organs, synths, and pianos.

The Numa Compact 2X is one of the best examples of value for money across all brands. The Numa X Piano GT is one of the most authentic-sounding/feeling keyboard pianos we have ever seen.

Studiologic often over-delivers when it comes to value for money. Another thing they are known for is a simple, intuitive, and tactile workflow.

  • Value for money.
  • Outstanding Fatar keyboards.
  • Surprising sound quality.
  • One of 2022’s best keyboard pianos (Numa X Piano GT).
  • Intuitive/simple workflow.
  • Typically semi-weighted keys outside of the high-end.

Kurzweil

Elegance meets rugged build quality

Most Kurzweil keyboards and digital pianos start slightly outside the beginner price range. But not so far out of reach that they shouldn’t be considered.

Any beginner with a slightly higher budget or intermediate players upwards could do far worse than choosing Kurzweil.

Kurzweil led the digital/keyboard piano market for some time; despite not being the household name that some other manufacturers are. They were once the most trusted stage pianos by some of the world’s most famous artists.

Kurzweil brand keyboards
Image credit: Kurzweil

Kurzweil is best-known for stage pianos like the SP6 and digital pianos like the stunning KAG100. But, they also make some great synths and even cheaper portable keyboards like the KP80.

If we had to choose one thing that Kurzweil does well, it would be delivering a fantastic grand piano sound. They also produce some of the most robust stage pianos on the market.

  • Great piano voices.
  • Rugged build quality.
  • Simple user interfaces.
  • Less flexible than other high-end stage pianos.

Frequently asked questions

Now that we have established the best keyboard and digital piano brands on the market, we can start to address some of the most common questions that potential buyers have.

What brand of keyboards is most trusted by professional musicians?

At a professional level, the decision will be based on personal preference because professionals have the experience to know what suits their style of play.

Some musicians will prefer the sound and feel of one manufacturer over another.

However, if we had to choose one, it would most likely be Nord.

Nord keyboards are still a common choice, but exclusively piano-based artists often turn to Yamaha or Kawai.

Artists who want a more flexible setup interacting with external hardware often choose Korg or Roland.

Which company makes the most authentic/realistic-feeling digital pianos?

Again, there is no straight answer to this question, and it’s more about specific models than brands.

We could say that Yamaha and Kawai generally perform best, but it varies from one piano to the next.

If you want the most realistic feel, look at models that feature real wooden, scaled hammer-action keys with escapement and a simulated ivory/matte finish.

Which brand has the best piano sound?

This question could get complicated because it involves personal preference again, so let’s simplify things.

We believe Yamaha and Kawai produce the best sound in high-end digital pianos while Nord/Korg/Roland are very close in the high-end stage piano market.

Our favorite piano sound of 2022 so far, surprisingly, comes from the Studiologic Numa X Piano GT.

What makes one brand better than another?

As we’ve mentioned, it all relates to personal preference. Some brands are of better quality, and the price is usually a good but not exact reflection of that.

Ultimately, what makes any brand better is what you personally get from the instrument in terms of musical development.

People like to compare brands directly, which doesn’t always work because they each have different strengths. But, we will put popular brands head to head and pick out the areas that we think they perform best.

Before we start, the answers we give here are based on the average performance of each brand in certain areas. But, that doesn’t mean there aren’t exceptions.

Roland vs. Yamaha

Beginner keyboards: Yamaha

Keyboard pianos: Roland

Digital pianos: Yamaha

Synths: Roland

Casio vs. Yamaha

Beginner keyboards: It’s a tie

Keyboard pianos: Yamaha

Digital pianos: Yamaha

Synths: Yamaha

Korg vs. Roland

Beginner keyboards: Roland

Keyboard pianos: It’s a tie

Digital pianos: Roland

Synths: It’s a tie

Korg vs. Yamaha

Beginner keyboards: Yamaha

Keyboard pianos: Korg

Digital pianos: Yamaha

Synths: Korg

Roland vs. Kawai

Beginner keyboards: Roland

Keyboard pianos: Roland (Kawai often has the better pure piano sound)

Digital pianos: Kawai

Synths: Roland

Roland vs. Nord

Beginner keyboards: Roland

Keyboard pianos: It’s a tie

Digital pianos: Roland

Synths: Roland

Brands to avoid

It seems a bit harsh to single out particular brands that you should avoid, but the maxim you get what you pay for is very relevant.

In other words, if you spend $200 on a keyboard, don’t expect $1000 worth of performance.

Is Donner a good piano brand?

Relative to the brands that we have highlighted, absolutely not; it’s lightyears behind them.

However, it’s not a brand that intends to compete with industry giants. It’s a brand that offers budget instruments that act as a first step before committing to anything more expensive.

Remember, not everyone who starts learning to play piano sticks with it.

Are cheap pianos from lesser-known brands worth trying?

We don’t advocate overspending as a complete beginner. Sometimes you need to think of an instrument as a long-term investment, and other times it’s just a steppingstone.

So, keep in mind a cheap keyboard from a lesser-known brand might be the best way to find out if playing the piano is for you or not.

Conclusion

We believe the brands we have highlighted collectively manufacture the best keyboards and digital pianos on the market.

While highlighting areas where we feel they perform best, we also want to emphasize that no brand is best every single time. If someone asked us for the best keyboard for home practice and stage performance, we would give two different answers.

Choosing an instrument from one of the manufacturers we’ve selected is an excellent place to start. But remember to tailor your choice to your specific needs, ability, and budget.

Share