Best 88 Key Weighted Keyboards (2020)

If you’re wondering that the difference between a keyboard with weighted keys, and a keyboard without them is, and more importantly why you should care, the simplest answer is that weighted keys make a keyboard feel more like a piano.

The added weight helps with the flexibility of your playing so if you’re a player who wants the feel of a piano as well as the sound then look no further because this handy guide will take you through some of the best options currently available. 

There ‘s also an FAQ section to help answer your burning questions, and a buyers guide to help you get the best keyboard for you!

Here Are the Best 5 88 Key Weighted Keyboards

Now let’s get down to business and review some of the best 88 key weighted keyboards. Please know we only considered the highest rated 88 key weighted keyboards for this list:

  1. Yamaha DGX-660 88 Key Weighted Keyboard
  2. Casio Privia PX160BK 88 Key Weighted Keyboard
  3. Yamaha P125 88 Key Weighted Keyboard 
  4. Yamaha P71 88 Key Weighted Keyboard 
  5. Alesis Recital 88 Key Weighted Keyboard ​

We used consumer reviews and our own research to compile this list. These are unbiased reviews designed to help you pick the best possible keyboard.

1. Yamaha DGX-660 88 Key Weighted Keyboard

YAMAHA DGX660B 88-Key Weighted Digital Piano With Furniture Stand,Black

Our rating:

This keyboard from Yamaha is an excellent option and comes with built-in ‘Scaled Graded Hammer’ technology. This means that when you press lightly, medium, or heavy on the keys, they can tell the difference. While the keyboard only has 88 keys, it's capable of 264 tones, which makes it sound more like a piano and gives you greater flexibility while you play.

It’s also possible to wirelessly connect to iOS devices, which if you looking to use the keyboard for recordings, is an excellent feature for easy music-making. The keyboard also has a USB port so even without iOS you’ll be able to plug in other devices to help with your music. It can also be used with headphones so you don’t have to worry about disturbing the neighbors or your family when playing. This bundle comes with a stool, and a dust cover to help protect your keyboard.

If you’re a beginner then this is a great option for you because it comes with a DVD and music book to help you get started. This keyboard sounds great and looks great. It does take a little bit of time to get used to playing because the keys need to be broken in when you first start as they are a little stiff, to begin with. But this is still an excellent keyboard for beginners and more experienced players looking for a feel that’s more like a piano.

Pros

  • A great range of accessories which will give you everything you need to get started, great for beginners.

  • Graded weight detection to help achieve a greater range of tones

  • Wireless connection to iOS devices and a USB port for non-iOS. Making this a great option for those looking to record their music on their keyboard

  • Excellent rich sound

  • Robust and durable, this keyboard isn’t going to break as soon as you get it out of the box

Cons

  • The keys are a little stiff, to begin with

YAMAHA DGX660B 88-Key Weighted Digital Piano With Furniture Stand,Black
  • GHS weighted action is heavier in the low end and lighter in the high end, just like an acoustic pia
  • 1/4" microphone input allows you to connect a microphone so you can sing along while you play
  • Wireless audio & MIDI features utilize Wi-Fi to stream audio and MIDI to/from your iOS device
  • The assignable pedal allows you to connect a foot switch and configure it to control various functio
  • USB audio recording and playback captures performances on a USB drive

2. Casio Privia PX160BK 88 Key Weighted Keyboard

Casio Privia PX-160BK 88-Key Full Size Digital Piano with Power Supply, Black

Our rating:

Casio can often be put down as the perfect place to get a beginner’s first keyboard, but this model could be a great find for a more experienced player too. If you’re looking for loud than the PX160BK comes with two 8-watt speakers and has several ports for loudspeakers. If you’re looking for a keyboard that’s good for live performance than this is a powerful option great for recitals and gigs. It’s also only 25lbs, improving portability and is a far lighter option than others on the market. The slim design also packs away easily, reinforcing this as a great option for someone looking for a keyboard to take on the go.  

A surprisingly versatile keyboard, particularly as it only has 18 tones. Other keyboards have far more as you’ve already seen but coupled with the weighted keys this keyboard packs a surprisingly large punch and has a lovely rich sound which more than rivals other options with more tones.

Like the above Yamaha, this keyboard also has scaled hammer action which detects between soft, hard and medium presses. It also has a USB port do you can hook up a computer, or iPad for recording purposes if that’s what you’re looking for. If you’re looking to play with headphones or a synthesizer though than this isn’t the best option. It’s not going to be the worst playing experience, but the notes have short sustains which might make playing more difficult than it needs to be.

Pros

  • Extremely lightweight and portable, excellent for taking on the move

  • Two 8-watt speakers perfect for loud playing and with places to connect loudspeakers

  • Able to connect to computers

  • Scaled Hammer action for more flexible playing

  • An excellent keyboard for gigs and recitals

Cons 

  • Not the best to play with headphones

Casio Privia PX-160BK 88-Key Full Size Digital Piano with Power Supply, Black
  • The AiR engine provides highly-accurate grand piano sounds with seamless dynamics for a remarkably expressive and powerful performance
  • The Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action II keyboard has an incredible feel and captures the dynamics of a performance with unparalleled speed and accuracy
  • Features a chassis designed for an elegant look and to house a 8w x 8w speaker system that delivers the PX-160’s remarkable sounds with total richness
  • Features newly developed string ensemble sounds that sound wonderful by themselves or layered with the PX-160's grand pianos, electric pianos, harpsichord and more
  • Provides split and layer capability allowing you to play bass in your left hand and have two layered tones in your right

3. Yamaha P125 88 Key Weighted Keyboard

Yamaha P125 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano With Power Supply And Sustain Pedal, Black

Our rating:

Casio can often be put down as the perfect place to get a beginner’s first keyboard, but this model could be a great find for a more experienced player too. If you’re looking for loud than the PX160BK comes with two 8-watt speakers and has several ports for loudspeakers. If you’re looking for a keyboard that’s good for live performance than this is a powerful option great for recitals and gigs. It’s also only 25lbs, improving portability and is a far lighter option than others on the market. The slim design also packs away easily, reinforcing this as a great option for someone looking for a keyboard to take on the go.  

A surprisingly versatile keyboard, particularly as it only has 18 tones. Other keyboards have far more as you’ve already seen but coupled with the weighted keys this keyboard packs a surprisingly large punch and has a lovely rich sound which more than rivals other options with more tones.

Like the above Yamaha, this keyboard also has scaled hammer action which detects between soft, hard and medium presses. It also has a USB port do you can hook up a computer, or iPad for recording purposes if that’s what you’re looking for. If you’re looking to play with headphones though than this isn’t the best option. It’s not going to be the worst playing experience, but the notes have short sustains which might make playing more difficult than it needs to be.

Pros

  • Extremely lightweight and portable, excellent for taking on the move

  • Two 8-watt speakers perfect for loud playing and with places to connect loudspeakers

  • Able to connect to computers

  • Scaled Hammer action for more flexible playing

  • An excellent keyboard for gigs and recitals

Cons

  • Not the best to play with headphones

Yamaha P125 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano With Power Supply And Sustain Pedal, Black
  • A fully weighted digital piano with 88 full sized piano style keys
  • GHS weighted action is heavier in the low keys and lighter in the high keys, just like an acoustic piano
  • Beautiful when paired with any digital piano or keyboard
  • Quality wood construction

4. Yamaha P71 88 Key Weighted Keyboard

YAMAHA P71 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano With Sustain Pedal And Power Supply (Amazon-Exclusive)

Our rating:

Yamaha is a titan within the musical instrument business and this is a great option to try out some of their high-end features at a much lower price. It doesn’t include a bench or a stand but as it’s only 25 pounds it’s easy to carry around, making this an excellent option for someone looking to go to gigs or recitals.

The sustain pedal lets you explore a range of musical genres, and will help you with technique while enriching your sound. You can also simulate string instruments while using the sustain pedal, which is a nice little bonus on this model.

The Graded Hammer system you saw on one of the other models, is included here too. Which makes striking the weighted keys easier while maintaining the feel of a traditional piano. The treble keys will feel slightly lighter than the bass so you can play with more feeling and give your performance a greater depth

There are 10 voices you can switch between, including two organs, a harpsichord, and strings. There’s also a dual voice feature which means you can play two instruments while only hitting one key. It might not look as fancy as some of the other keyboards out there, but the P71 packs a lot into a small package. It even sounds a lot better than more expensive models, which is why this is one of the most popular keyboards out there.

If you’re looking to record though than this is probably not the best option due to the limited connectivity on the keyboard. There are a standard USB and stereo jack on the back panel, which means you can connect to iPads and iPhones to control the keyboard with the Yamaha app. But the placement of the connections at the back limits you in terms of space because cables will be hard to play around.

Pros

  • A range of voices and the dual voiced feature make this a great keyboard for someone who's looking to have fun with their playing

  • Excellent sounds

  • Lets you try more expensive features without having to spend more money

  • Graded Hammer System for a wider range and flexibility of play

  • Very light to carry around, making it a good keyboard for gigs and recitals

Cons

  • Placement of USB and stereo jack make it difficult to play around cables

YAMAHA P71 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano With Sustain Pedal And Power Supply (Amazon-Exclusive)
  • Amazon exclusive model includes power adapter and sustain pedal
  • 88 fully weighted piano style keys simulate the feel of an acoustic piano and provide a quality playing experience
  • Contains 10 different voices, including digitally sampled tones from real Yamaha acoustic grand pianos
  • Dual mode lets you combine 2 voices together, like piano and strings, for an inspiring new playing experience
  • Slim and stylish design with a depth of less than 12 inches, the P71 requires little space and weighs only 25 pounds

5. Alesis Recital 88 Key Weighted Keyboard

Alesis Recital | 88 Key Beginner Digital Piano / Keyboard with Full Size Semi Weighted Keys, Power Supply, Built In Speakers and 5 Premium Voices (Amazon Exclusive)

Our rating:

Another excellent option aimed mostly at beginners, this keyboard is an excellent practice keyboard with semi-weighted keys. This can help new players get used to weighted keys without disrupting new techniques. It has a max of 128 polyphony, and works well with headphones which can be a great help to beginners who might be worried about disturbing others.

Each of the five voices can be adjusted for different effects, but this probably won’t keep an experienced player interested for very long. This is a very portable option, that only requires 6 batteries if you need to take it somewhere it can’t be plugged in like lessons or recitals. It does offer USB connectivity.

The keyboard also has split mode for different keyboard voices on the left and right. The lesson mode also separates the keyboard into two different areas with the same voice and pitch so a student can play next to their teacher playing the same notes. This can help move players on quickly and help them master the basics.

Pros

  • A great option for a beginner because of the semi-weighted keys

  • Great portability due to the keyboard working on 4 batteries

  • USB Connectivity which is great for headphones

  • Split mode which helps players learn faster and get to grip with basics while playing alongside the teacher

Cons

  • Expert players may get bored quickly 

Sale
Alesis Recital | 88 Key Beginner Digital Piano / Keyboard with Full Size Semi Weighted Keys, Power Supply, Built In Speakers and 5 Premium Voices (Amazon Exclusive)
  • Full features Digital Piano for beginners Electric keyboard with 88 premium full sized semi weighted keys with adjustable touch response to suit your preferred playing style
  • Premium Sounds 5 voices (Acoustic Piano, Electric Piano, Organ, Synth, and Bass), built in FX: Chorus, Reverb, and two built in 20W speakers that deliver crystal clear, room filling sound
  • Connectivity Covered ¼ Inch sustain pedal input (not included), ¼ Inch stereo headphone output for private practice and stereo RCA outputs for connection to speakers / amplifiers
  • Play the Keyboard Anywhere Power via the included power adapter or 6 D cell batteries (not included) for professional piano performance wherever you are
  • Powerful Educational Features Standard, split, layer, and lesson modes with 128 note max polyphony and Skoove 3 month premium subscription for expert interactive online piano lessons

Final Thoughts

You may still be wondering why weighted keys are a good idea for your keyboard, and if they make a difference to your playing. To answer this it’s important to remember the way a piano works. When you hit a key on a piano, there is a hammer attached which strikes a string when you press a key. This is the sound you hear while you play. These hammers have weight, which means that the heavier you press, the louder sound you make.

A normal keyboard makes a consistent sound, a weighted play allows for more variety and flexibility in your playing. You can play something quieter, then build the volume for example. This is why many musicians prefer weighted keys because they simulate the sound of a hammer-based piano. Weighted keys expand what your keyboard can do.

Weighted keyboards are the hardest type to play, and especially to learn from. Once you can play an 88-key weighted keyboard, you’re going to have no trouble handling a piano. You learn about the differences in power to produce different sounds, which can be very beneficial to learn from the beginning. But these kinds of keyboards take time and patience to master, and a new learner may get discouraged or daunted by the task and stop altogether so maybe better purchasing a cheaper beginners keyboard.

Only you know what kind of learner you are, and if you think you’re likely to get frustrated by progressing slower, than finding another kind of keyboard is a great idea. A 61 or 76-key keyboard, maybe a better option because they’re more consistent and offer fewer keys. They can help you master the basics then you can move up more prepared and less likely to get frustrated. Remember there are lots of options and you shouldn’t be put off learning because this isn’t the right kind of keyboard for you.

Thinking about brands is another important thing to consider when buying your keyboard. For a lot of instruments, which you get is more dependent on your needs as a player, but with weighted keyboards looking at who you’re buying from and what their history is in digital and acoustic instruments is can be very beneficial to what you end up purchasing. Brands like Yamaha and Alesis have long histories in this field, and the benefit of that experience can really show in the quality of the instrument you end up buying.

Getting the feel and sound of an acoustic piano within a digital keyboard package is not easy, and brands like Yamaha make it seem easy. Regardless of the price range, you’ll be sure to find something and with the peace of mind of knowing you’re choosing an instrument that isn’t going to breakdown at the first sign of trouble as you learn. Many of them come with beginner bundles too which can be an excellent (and cheap) way to get all the accessories you need.

Polyphony, that is the keyboards ability to play different sounds at the same time, can be another important factor when looking to purchase your first keyboard. A high polyphony means that the keyboard can play multiple sounds as a backing to you normal playing, and with some keyboards you can create these yourself meaning you’re making your own personalized backing track. This is one of the main advantages over pianos, and it’s worth thinking about before you make a decision.

FAQs

What are Semi-Weighted Keyboards?

Semi-weighted keyboards are a way for beginners to learn with weighted keys while not worrying about finger strength. You can focus more on learning the notes, and precise finger position, while still feeling a difference between the keys. It comes down to personal preference whether a full weighted keyboard is a better option, as you’ll probably want to upgrade at some point anyway. Semi-weighted is easier to play so you can practice for longer, and they can be cheaper so it’s worth having a good think about what you want.

How Portable are Weighted Keyboards?

Like with anything there’s such a wide variety, you’ll almost definitely be able to find a keyboard light enough to suit your purposes. Shop around until you find what’s right for you!