Our Favorite Keyboards
Yamaha PSR-EW300 76 keys, you'll be able to play a wide range of songs. It has a lot of different voices and drumbeats to explore and practice with. Keys are touch-sensitivity, but NOT weighted. It feels different from an acoustic piano and will take some time to adjust if you want to play an acoustic piano in the future. If budget is your concern, this keyboard is an affordable option.
Yamaha P71 88 weighted keys with graded hammer action. With this full-range 88 keys piano, you'll be able to play any songs. It contains 10 different voices. Since it feels similar to a real acoustic piano, you'll need very little getting used to when transitioning to an acoustic piano. I'd recommend this keyboard to piano players at all levels.
Digital Keyboard vs Acoustic Piano
Touch and Feel
Playing on a digital keyboard without weighted keys feels very different from an acoustic piano. While more high-end digital keyboard feature weighted keys with graded hammer action, an acoustic piano has the authentic feel and resonance that digital keyboard cannot replace.
Average digital keyboard range from $100-$1000, while a good acoustic piano cost $5000 or more. Also, an acoustic piano requires tuning at least once a year which cost $100-$200. An out-of-tune piano without regular maintenance can do more harm to the learning process. On the other hand, digital keyboard require almost no maintenance and will always be perfectly in tune. If affordability is a concern, a digital keyboard with weighted keys and graded hammer action makes it perfect for beginners to develop correct playing habits because it plays very similar to an acoustic piano.
Space and Flexibility
Digital pianos are more portable and can be relocated easily. They are also great if you live in an apartment because you can control the volume or use headphones for silent practice. Digital pianos usually come with different instrument sounds to inspire creativity. Acoustic pianos need a team of people or piano mover to relocate. There is no headphone jack nor volume control.
If you are a beginner or play piano for fun, a digital keyboard is definitely more affordable.
Real Acoustic Piano
If your goal is to become a professional pianist, an acoustic piano is a way to go. Acoustic pianos have the most authentic sound and feel. a good acoustic piano can cost $5000 or more. An out-of-tune piano with no regular maintenance can do more harm to the students. Acoustic pianos also require tuning at least once a year which cost between $100-$200.