Now is a great time to learn to play piano with a digital electronic keyboard. Or take the time to improve your skills and entertain your friends and family. We’ve got a short list of keyboards for both kids and adults, starting under $50. Our top pick is a complete digital keyboard kit which includes the 61-Key Standard Keyboard, Stand, Stool, Headphone and Power Supply for under $100.
Top Pick – Joy 61-Key Bundle
We like the Joy brand of keyboards for the responsiveness of the keys and the sound quality. At this price you won’t be getting piano-key actions, but these still have a good motion and feel. Yes, it is just a “starter” keyboard – best for kids’ to learn and practice, and anyone coming back to keyboards.
The Joy 61-Key Bundle Kit (JK-66MKit) has everything you need to get started playing, and all for under $100. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a similar deal anywhere!
We like that Joy bundles a digital keyboard with the stand, stool, headphones and power supply. It makes this really easy to set up in a bedroom, garage, office or anyplace you have the space. The included headphones also mean that if you are playing in a shared space, no-one else has to hear!
The advantage electronic keyboards have over a regular piano are all the features. With the press of a button, you can switch between 128 tones (“timbres”) to get any of the common instrument sounds you could possibly want.
You can also add in on of 128 rhythms and 8 percussion sounds. There is a rhythm programming function so you can create your own specific set of sounds and have available from stored memory.
There are even 12 demonstration songs you can select from to hear the various capabilities of the keyboard. When you are ready, you can follow along with the demo. The LED screen provide key guidance and shows you the correct keys to press in the demo songs. This great for players to better learn their notes and fingering.
For would-be musicians just starting out, there is three-step training / learning method you can turn-on: One-Key, Follow and Ensemble. To hear how you sound, there is record & playback from the built-in memory.
The LED screen also shows which functions and effects have been selected and enabled.
Not usually found on keyboards at this price level, you get multi-function key activations like:
- single finger
- fingered chord
- chord timbre
- sustain/ vibrato
The Built-in Stereo Speaker System keeps high sound fidelity. Of course you can adjust it with the nicely placed volume control button. Or use the headphone out jack with the included headphones.
Other ports include: UDisk Jack, Microphone Jack, Audio Input Jack and USB.
The USB port is for uploading MP3 files to the piano or saving your music to a memory stick.
The keyboard measures 38.6 x 13.4 x 4.3 inches and weighs in at just 8.2 lbs.
You can get more information or order the Joy 61-Key Bundle Kit through Amazon. It’s our favorite for all the features packed into a $100 bundle.
Best Beginners Keyboard – Plixio 61-Key
The Plixio 61-Key Digital Electric Piano Keyboard (about $60) is great for getting started learning music, both for kids and adults.
Looking for just the keyboard? The Plixio’s 61-key full-sized keyboard is a good choice. Comparable to the Joy, you get 100 rhythms, 40 tones, and 8 percussions. We like that it has 60 demo songs to work with.
The keyboard action is good – just remember that at this price you won’t get sensitivity adjustments or velocity control for the keys. The tones can be set to repeat if you partially press the key down (it’s like hitting the key multiple times).
The built-in stereo speaks are good – again, don’t expect a lower-price digital keyboard to sound like an acoustic piano!
To keep the weight down, this is powered by 6 AA batteries (rather than the heavier D-cells that some use) for when you are on-the-go. You can use the included power adapter when not traveling.
Jacks are available for headphone and microphone, but this keyboard doesn’t have a USB or MIDI port.
At 6.9 pounds, it’s one of the lightest keyboards available and it measures 34 x 12 x 3.5 inches.
Get more information or order through Amazon, Plixio 61-Key Digital Electric Piano Keyboard .
Lowest Priced – CHUYANG 61-Keys
The CHUYANG 61-Keys Keyboard Piano (under $50) is our low price leader pick, but it’s hard to say if the $10 difference from the Plixio is worth it. It does have full-sized keys, and we’d say it’s suitable for beginners to advanced players.
Like the Plixio, it has stereo speakers and a microphone input for karaoke singing.
The other features are more limited: 10 rhythms, 16 tones and 6 demo songs.
It is compact at 29.9 x 7.8 x 2.9 inches and under 7 pounds.
Best Choice Portable – RockJam 54-Key
The RockJam 54-Key Portable Electronic Keyboard (about $70) is a small-format, light-weight keyboard you can take almost anywhere, and also doesn’t take up a lot of space in your home or office. It’s a great keyboard to have around for anytime you want to practice or play.
With this keyboard, we drop down from 61-keys to 54-keys, still full-sized. This means a smaller and lighter keyboard, which is great for carrying around or fitting into a tight spot at the home or office.
The electronics are still full-featured. It has an interactive LCD screen which works with the companion “Piano Maestro Teaching App” ( 30 demo songs to play along with). This also comes with exclusive access to content within the “Simply Piano” app for both iOS and Android devices to assist keyboard piano players.
The RockJam 54-key keyboard piano has record & playback functionality, 8 demo songs, 100 sound effects and 100 rhythms
As with the other keyboards in this review, the RockJam has built-in stereo speakers. The audio quality is good, and you have jacks for headphones, external speaker and microphone.
It’s powered by either batteries or the included power supply.
A nice bonus are the included key note stickers you can affix to the keys. It’s a good visualization for kids, but adults may not need them. Some folks find them distracting as they learn to play, but since the stickers are free with the keyboard you can decide. Fortunately, the stickers are easily removable.
Along with the Simply Piano App (a gamification method to help learn) and Piano Maestro Teaching App, there is also a built-in teaching mode. The LCD indicates which keys and chords should be played and also displays the beat point, to ensure you stay at the right tempo
At 8.3 pounds and measuring 33.5 x 13 x 4.7 inches you can enjoy your music wherever it takes you.
Get more information or order on Amazon with our link: RockJam 54-Key Portable Electronic Keyboard
Pick a digital piano that will get you started on your music and rock on!