Korg is one of the most popular digital piano brands on the market. One of the things that Korg is known for is creating modern digital pianos with a minimalist design. In this review, I look at the Korg LP-180, which perfectly fits that description. It’s a slimline digital piano aimed primarily at beginner to intermediate players.
About the author
- 88 weighted keys
- 120-note polyphony
- built-in speakers
- 10 voices
- 1/4″ audio outputs
- MIDI out
- 3-pedal unit
Final verdict on the Korg LP-180
The Korg LP-180 is a digital piano that offers the right quality at the right price. It isn’t trying to be the best high-end piano, it’s trying to be the best digital piano for its target audience of beginner to intermediate players.
With a typically excellent sound from Korg, easy-to-use functions, and reasonable price, it’s ideal for any learner who wants a piano that will last as their ability level increases.
I actually score the LP-180 higher than the more expensive LP-380U because competition is stiffer at the higher price range.
What I like
- Excellent acoustic/electric piano sounds.
- Slimline design.
- Impressive stereo speakers.
- Beginner-friendly interface.
What I don’t like
- Keyboard action could be better.
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The LP-180 offers a max polyphony of 120 notes and 10 high-quality voices. Voices include acoustic pianos, electric pianos, a church organ, strings, and a vibraphone, making it suitable for many genres.
The grand piano sound will be most important for most players, but I want to highlight some others first.
Korg is consistently one of the best when it comes to electric piano sounds, and whether you want 70s funk or 80s pop, the LP-180 can do it. In my opinion, the electric piano voices are a close second to the acoustic pianos. With some digital pianos, additional voices beyond the acoustic pianos are less than impressive, which is why I wanted to highlight these.
Now, on to the all-important grand piano sound, which has been sampled in great detail. It’s rich, expressive, and reacts well to dynamic playing. If I were being hyper-critical, I could say it lacks a little depth at the low-end, but you’d have to pay significantly more to get that. Overall, the LP-180 delivers fantastic sound for the money.
With two 11-watt amplifiers, the LP-180 stereo speaker system is amongst the most powerful in its class. The speakers are positioned underneath the keyboard, giving the illusion of sound coming naturally from the body of the piano. While this isn’t the most essential quality, it definitely adds to the realism of the LP-180.
I have given a fairly high score in this department because I feel the speaker system delivers projection and clarity that isn’t always found at this price.
I have mixed feelings about the Korg LP-180’s keyboard. It features Korg’s natural weighted hammer-action keys (NH), which get lighter as you move up the keyboard. On paper, that seems to tick every box for what you’d want from a good digital piano. In reality, the action isn’t quite as responsive as possible, which is a shame because the grand piano sound responds well.
What this means is that you will probably get a slightly different experience depending on how you are playing or what you are playing.
I don’t want to be too harsh because the keyboard feel is still above average for its class. The problem is that I expect a little better when talking about a Korg natural hammer-action keyboard.
In the LP-180’s defense, I should mention that it’s a very slim and lightweight digital piano.
The Korg LP-180 doesn’t have many features to talk about, but the ones it does have are incredibly straightforward. Rather than focus on a lack of features, I like to point out why that’s a good thing for beginners.
The design or image of a digital piano isn’t something I’d always mentioned in features, but I should in this case. The slimline design of the LP-180 doesn’t just look good, but it also makes it a more practical choice for anyone with limited space. It’s also ideal for anyone who wants a piano to be fairly inconspicuous.
A key cover is something you’d expect on most digital pianos, but to be fair, it’s a feature often reserved for more substantial units. It keeps dust and dirt out of your keyboard and doubles as a music stand when in use, very handy.
The LP-180 might be one of the most straightforward instruments you can buy, and that makes it a perfect digital piano for beginners. The top panel is bare, with just a few buttons and a volume knob. The last thing a learner needs is to get stuck in complicated controls that distract from practicing.
The Piano Play button instantly returns you to the flagship grand piano sound, no matter which voice you are using.
The LP-180 offers built-in chorus and reverb effects, which allow you to shape your sound to some extent.
Perhaps surprisingly, I score the LP-180 very high in this area. I refer back to saying it offers the right quality at the right price. I think Korg has been very realistic about what this piano has to offer and who its target users are.
It’s a digital piano that is primarily going to be used by beginners for practicing at home. In that scenario, the most important qualities a student needs are easy controls, a realistic piano sound, and a hammer-action that lets them get used to weighted keys. The LP-180 delivers all of that, so I can’t fault it.
As players progress to the intermediate level, they will eventually outgrow it, but that shouldn’t be for a few years when they are approaching advanced playing.
The LP-180 comes with a wooden stand and a three-pedal unit. When assembled, it does have the look of a digital piano but not the presence of a more substantial console unit. With that in mind, it’s a trade-off between robust build quality and style/size.
Given the slim design, the build quality is well in line with any similar digital pianos. But, keep in mind when buying a slimline digital piano, it won’t be quite as robust as something larger.
The LP-180 has a single pedal input that takes the included three-pedal unit. It also has dual headphone jacks that double as audio outputs if you want to feed straight to an amplifier or PA system. The great thing about dual headphone jacks is that you can have student/teacher practice in silence.
The LP-180 also offers MIDI out, which means you can control sounds from external hardware or virtual instruments.
Compared to other digital pianos
The LP-180 is a great entry-level digital piano and one of the best options under $1000. But it isn’t the only beginner-friendly piano on the market, so it’s always best to check out the competition.
Korg LP-180 vs B2SP
If you want to save a little money but stick with Korg, you could go for the B2SP. A solid choice at an excellent price.
Korg LP-180 vs Casio PX-770
The PX-770 has been considered an excellent entry-level digital piano for some time now. It doesn’t have the modern slim look of the LP-180, but it might be a better all-rounder.
Korg LP-180 vs Kawai KDP75
If you can stretch your budget a little further, the KDP75 is a fantastic choice. Very few manufacturers deliver a grand piano sound that can match Kawai.
Who is the Korg LP-180 best suited for?
The LP-180 will suit beginners who want a modern digital piano that will last long well into the intermediate phase, too.Buy Korg LP-180 at: SweetwaterAmazon