Digital Piano vs Keyboard: What’s the Difference Between? (2023 Guide)

Whether you have just started or you have experience of years in musical instruments playing. You have probably been into the war of words on the topic of “digital piano vs keyboard.” The reason for the hype is the nature of both instruments. Although both these instruments are not alike. Still, there is no doubt each one is the best in their niche. Therefore, if you are willing to learn all the factors that set both of them apart, we assure you are at the right forum. We have made the comparison of digital pianos and keyboards a lot easier to learn.

What you will get here is;

Digital Piano vs Keyboard 2021

The answer to an important question; are keyboards and pianos the same? You will also get a comprehensive knowledge of each instrument. Even, you will realize that the difference is not as complex as it sounds. In the final, you will be able to choose the right niche if you are going to invest in buying one of those products.

So without delaying anymore, let’s unveil the truth!

Overview of Digital Piano and Keyboard

Before we get into our main topic, let’s find out the definition of digital pianos and keyboards. We will discuss different types to give you a general concept of pianos. This classification consists of the overall features that differ from each other.

Digital Pianos

Digital pianos are instruments that are digital copy of acoustic pianos. They give you the feel or touch of an acoustic piano. Digital pianos consist of 88 keys mostly. Primarily keys are graded hammer action to provide a realistic feel. The keys are heavy at one end and lighter at the other end.

what is the difference between piano and keyboard

Digital pianos come in a wide range. They have a variety of features that make them unique. Other than that, there are several piano types as well. That also shows the vast array of digital pianos. We will now have a look at some of the digital and electronic piano types.

Console digital piano is sometimes called the furniture-style digital piano. They have a huge box that copies the look of a real keyboard. They provide you with a significant sound experience because of built-in speaker systems.

A portable digital piano is sometimes called a slab piano. These are lightweight pianos. They occupy smaller spaces in your home, just like an upright piano that takes less space. And their unique features are portability and compact style.

The hybrid digital piano, as the name indicates, combines the acoustic piano and digital action simultaneously. This feature provides you with high-quality sounds and effects.

  • Digital Grand Piano feels like the concert grand piano. And they are unique in having a high-quality speaker system. However, they are costly.
  • Stage piano is for live performances on stages. Moreover, you can use them in studios as well. They also record jazz and famous songs.


Keyboards are lightweight and have a smaller number of keys. They lack weighted action keys. Almost all the consoles have built-in speakers and arranger. That is an ideal choice for composers and entertainers. They have a compact design and easily fit in your home décor.

difference between piano and keyboard

  • Arranger Keyboards offers you a one-man-band action. You can easily play them with only one hand. Also, they have some other useful features, such as sounds and rhythms. Composers and entertainers choose arranger keyboards.
  • Portable Arranger Keyboards are suitable for beginner musicians. Because they provide you with a higher degree of backing support, they are incredibly light in weight and chosen by gigging musicians.
  • Workstations are mostly for more excellent control options. They have a user-friendly interface. You can record and edit songs pretty quickly with the workstation.
  • Synthesizers mostly come in a limited number of keys as compared to other keyboards. Their primary purpose is to provide authentic sounds and a variety of rhythms.

Questions to Ask Yourself

We are getting you closer to the topic!

piano or keyboard which is better

You have already gone through an overview of digital piano and keyboard. Now let’s discuss some factors or questions you should keep in mind while you differentiate them.

The following will assist you with the guidelines you should consider. These will help you choose between digital piano and keyboard.

  Skill Level:  

When we talk about skill level, no doubt, the digital piano offers you greater flexibility. Because they range from beginners to professionals, digital pianos come in hammer-action weighted keyboards. That will help you control the feel and touch of the keys. The manuals offer 76 keys mainly. Mostly they are chosen by composers when the primary purpose of manuals is composing. New learners can use them quickly because of smooth controls.


The second and most crucial factor is what your goal is in selecting the instrument. If you are a novice learner or simply want to familiarize the basic features of music, then the keyboard is the best option. They offer you a wide array of basic guidelines. You can boost your learning. They are suitable for a gigging musician that plays in concerts. If you are an expert and want to expand your music skills, then the digital piano is the optimum solution. They provide excellent and useful features.


Keyboards and digital pianos come in a wide range of features. So it is up to you whether you want good sound quality or action. Also, other features like connectivity options play a significant role.

Digital Pianos vs Keyboards

are keyboards and pianos the same

We differentiate both instruments based on some factors. Their difference is due to sound, keys, price, connectivity, build quality, and overall feel of the product. Given that the comparison is not complete if we do not mention these factors here.

Now we will discuss these main highlights. You can consider them as essential points if you are willing to spend your valuable money on a digital piano versus keyboard.

Which One Offers More Flexibility?

Who does not like the easy-to-use interface and size-friendly instrument? In that event, keyboards may have a good lead against digital pianos. Standard keyboards come with amazing space-saving designs. Therefore you can easily install them anywhere in your home in hallways or living rooms. They are also small and lightweight. You can easily carry them for outdoor concerts and functions.

piano versus keyboard

Whereas digital pianos can cover a lot of space as some digital pianos don’t even allow portability. On the other hand, the great grand digital pianos are notably more massive than the keyboards. It is still harder to get the most out of them even if digital pianos offer portability. They come with more components to carry than the keyboards. Some digital pianos don’t support battery power options.

You can cut through the complexity of wires. You can play some electric keyboards and digital pianos without electricity. Both two go side by side on this point. And same is the case with keyboards. That’s possible because of the battery power adapter.

The Difference in Price Range

Let’s discuss another vital point that creates contrast between keyboards and digital pianos.

midi controller vs digital piano

Almost all electric keyboards are cheaper than digital pianos. That becomes a selling point of the standard keyboards in beginner players.

On the other hand, digital pianos are a little costly as they have advanced features that give you greater flexibility.
Also, you can use them in concerts and grand functions. Digital pianos also come at low prices for starters who have a keen interest in them.

Companies make some digital pianos, especially for starters. They have essential functions that help learners to play them with ease.
There are expensive keyboards as well. Those keyboards give excellent support for professional music playing.

Difference of Sound Design and Feel of the Keys

Digital pianos have a fair lead in terms of sound quality. And here is the reason why.

digital piano vs stage piano

The digital pianos mimic the sound of an acoustic piano. Therefore they provide the most realistic and rich sound experience. The sound of the digital pianos is the pre-recorded sample of the best acoustic pianos. However, that does not imply that they identically produce acoustic piano sound. Digital pianos come with additional built-in songs. That expands the piano-playing experience.

Whereas keyboards might not provide you with high-quality sounds anyway, they are fun and lovely instruments if you are learning to play.

What’s more notable is that digital pianos come with pedals for a warmer feel. Even some digital pianos offer three-pedal expressions in a cheaper amount. Meanwhile, keyboards lack that ability overall. That’s unfortunate. But still, we should not expect that much while looking at the price range.

The feel and nature of the keys have great significance in each of the instruments. Digital pianos come with Graded Hammer Action Keys in general. That mimics the feel and weightage of an acoustic piano. Whereas, keyboards’ keys are soft and not weighted in general. Also, the keyboard’s keys seem a little unnatural. But that does not end here, as some expensive keyboards do offer hammer action keys.

Some Other Variations to Look For

what is a digital piano

Also, there are other factors that we should look for while talking about pianos and keyboards. Pianos offer a wide range of connectivity options like Bluetooth, MIDI, and recording functions. The interface of pianos looks easy and sometimes may feel complicated. But you can easily access all these features with a single touch.

On the other hand, the keyboard offers a limited number of features. However, these features are handy. They make your keyboard playing skills more enjoyable. They have features that make composting easier. You can learn keynotes and sounds quickly with the help of keyboards.

Digital pianos come in three different modes in general. And that adds a plus point for digital piano players. They have DUO, Split, and Duet mode, which help you to learn better. But keyboards only offer some basic playing modes. Digital pianos give a classic look to your home decor. While on the other hand, keyboards feel a little artificial. Even sometimes, keyboards feel like toy-like instruments. That intends them for children to have fun.

But that’s a difference of purpose. Keyboards have basic features that are very useful for learners.


Experts mainly bring out the prominent highlights on the matter of these two products. First, they point out the purpose that elaborates the use of keyboards. And the sole purpose of manuals is to give a little insight into piano playing. Keyboards are easy to master and have a more comfortable interface. That’s why new players love them.

electronic piano vs keyboard

Different from keyboards, digital pianos are recommended for intermediate and skilled players. Experts argue that digital pianos have a more complex user interface than a manual in general. They are expensive, and most of them are meant for professional use as well.

If you have little to no background in musical playing instruments, you should go for a keyboard. If you are more than just a beginner, you can choose a digital piano. You will get a better and more enjoyable experience. Exceptions are included based on some unique products in keyboards and as well as digital pianos.

Now, you are also aware of the expert’s point of view. That will add to help clear your thoughts and create a bold line between the two products.


In the final analysis, we are going to put a summary on the topic of the difference between digital piano and keyboard.

It is evident that the two products are identical and have equal importance. The preference lies in your choice. Keeping all those unique features in mind, you get to decide what will work best for you. Therefore, choosing which one is the best based on their profile is the exact opposite of shooting a fish in the barrel.

Now that you have learned all the essential parameters that create contrast between digital pianos and keyboards, you are ready to pull the trigger. We hope this informative article on digital piano vs. keyboard 2023 has helped you in some way.

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