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The 8 best digital piano and keyboard brands in 2024

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.

In this article. I’m looking at the companies that make some of the best instruments money can buy. I believe the best brand depends on your specific needs, so read on to find out what these makers do best.

About the author

I’m a producer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist with over 20 years of experience in the music industry. As a professional pianist, I’ve played and tested everything from a Bösendorfer Imperial concert grand piano to budget-friendly beginner keyboards.

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

  1. Nord
  2. Yamaha
  3. Roland
  4. Kawai
  5. Korg
  6. Casio
  7. Studiologic
  8. Kurzweil

Nord

The professional choice

Nord brand keyboard pianos
Image: Hans Malm, Nord

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

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.

The flagship Nord Stage 4 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.

What I like

  • Premium sounds and build quality.
  • Incredibly intuitive workflow for advanced players.
  • Flexible performance keyboards.

What I don’t like

  • Very expensive.

Yamaha

The best all-rounders

Yamaha brand keyboards and synthesizers
Image: Yamaha

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’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, particularly the PSR-E373 model, 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.

What I like

  • High performers at every price range.
  • Iconic sound engines.
  • Well thought-out interfaces.

What I don’t like

  • Some beginner models are easily outgrown.

Roland

The performance masters

Roland brand digital pianos
Image: Roland

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.

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.

What I like

  • Iconic sound engines.
  • Flexible performance keyboards.
  • Innovative technology.

What I don’t like

  • Interfaces are sometimes overcomplicated.

Kawai

The most luxurious pianos

Kawai brand digital piano
Image: Kawai

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 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.

What I like

  • Stunning piano sounds.
  • Authentic piano feel.
  • More entry-level options now available.

What I don’t like

  • Not the most flexible instruments.

Korg

The tech innovators

Korg brand digital stage piano
Image: Korg

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 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.

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

What I like

  • Always pushing technology.
  • Great performance-lady keyboards.
  • Outstanding sound engines.
  • Iconic models.

What I don’t like

  • More beginner options would be great.

Casio

The beginner’s choice

Casio brand keyboard pianos
Image: Casio

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.

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 PX-S1100 is 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.

What I like

  • Value for money.
  • Ideal for beginners and first-time buyers.
  • Surprising sound quality.

What I don’t like

  • Relatively less impressive further up the price range.

Studiologic

The one that surprise you

Studiologic brand keyboard pianos and controllers
Image: Studiologic

Studiologic is a brand that might previously have missed out on my 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.

The most prominent range would be the Numa series, including organs, synths, and pianos. The Numa Compact 2 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 I have ever seen.

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

What I like

  • Value for money.
  • Outstanding Fatar keyboards.
  • Surprising sound quality.
  • Intuitive/simple workflow.

What I don’t like

  • Typically semi-weighted keys outside of the high-end.

Kurzweil

Elegance meets rugged build quality

Kurzweil brand keyboards
Image: Kurzweil

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 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 I 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.

What I like

  • Great piano voices.
  • Rugged build quality.
  • Simple user interfaces.

What I don’t like

  • Less flexible than other high-end stage pianos.

Frequently asked questions

Now, let’s address some of the most common questions that potential buyers might have.

What brand 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 I had to choose one, it would most likely be Nord.

What brand is most used by today’s popular artists?

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 realistic-feeling digital pianos?

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

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

I 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.

What makes one piano brand better than another?

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, I will put popular brands head to head and pick out the areas that I think they perform best.

Before I start, the answers I 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: Which is better?

Yamaha makes better beginner keyboards, while Roland has better stage pianos. Yamaha has better digital pianos, while Roland has better synths.

Casio vs Yamaha: Which is better?

Both Casio and Yamaha offer good-quality beginner keyboards. But when it comes to digital pianos, stage pianos, and synths, Yamaha wins the argument.

Korg vs Roland: Which is better?

Both Korg and Roland offer great stage pianos and synths. But when it comes to portable keyboards and digital pianos, Roland is a better choice.

Korg vs Yamaha: Which is better?

Yamaha makes better beginner keyboards, while Korg offers better stage pianos. Yamaha offers better digital pianos, while Korg offers better synths.

Roland vs Kawai: Which is better?

Kawai typically offers more authentic and realistic-feeling digital pianos. But when it comes to portable keyboards, stage pianos, and synths, Roland wins the debate.

Nord vs Roland: Which is better?

Both Nord and Roland make amazing stage pianos. But when it comes to portable keyboards, digital pianos, and synths, Roland offers more versatility.

What are the 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 I have highlighted, absolutely not; it’s lightyears behind them. However, it’s not a brand that intends to compete with industry giants.

Donner is a brand that offers decent 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?

I don’t advocate overspending as a complete beginner. 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

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

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

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

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