For music enthusiasts, playing the piano is a fulfilling and rewarding experience. However, traditional pianos can often be expensive and take up a lot of space in your home.
Fortunately, portable keyboard pianos offer an affordable and convenient alternative for those who want to learn or practice playing the piano.
With so many available options, choosing the right one that fits your budget and needs can be overwhelming. In this article, we will explore the best portable keyboard pianos that are priced under $150.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player looking for a budget-friendly option, these keyboards will provide you with musical bliss without breaking the bank.
When choosing the right portable keyboard piano, several factors must be considered. The number of keys, the quality of sound, and additional features such as built-in rhythms or recording capabilities can all make a difference in your playing experience.
You can find a portable keyboard piano that fits your needs and budget by exploring different options and reading reviews from other musicians. With the right instrument at your fingertips, you can enjoy the joy and satisfaction of playing the piano without spending a fortune or sacrificing space in your home.
So let’s dive into our list of the best portable keyboard pianos under $150 and find your perfect match!
What If You Don’t Want To Spend That Much?
Plenty of great options are available if you don’t want to spend too much money on a digital piano. Several quality digital pianos in the $150 – $800 range offer good sound and a realistic feel.
While these lower-cost models may lack some features found in more expensive models – such as professional studio sounds, built-in speakers, or MIDI connections – they can still make great practice instruments for novice players or budget-conscious musicians looking for an inexpensive way to learn how to play the piano.
Certain brands are known for manufacturing efficient low-cost pianos, such as Casio, Yamaha and Korg. Casio is well known among beginners because their entry-level instruments often have basic features like auto accompaniment (Chordana Play), built-in songs and lessons (Smart Scaled Hammer Action Keyboard series), and connectivity with other devices (CS-67P).
Most of these keyboards have 61 keys which is enough for most learners who have just started playing.
Yamaha’s PSR keyboard line has been around since the 1980s. Still, it continues to be popular among enthusiasts due to its affordability and useful functions, including assignable knobs/buttons, intelligent arpeggiator, 705 voices & 187 styles from around the world as well as multiple effects processors, which means you get a wide array of sounds at your disposal without breaking the bank.
Last but not least, Korg offers amazing value synthesizers such as MicroKorg XL+, featuring eight-voice polyphony with 64 program memories sourced from both classic Korg synthesizers plus vocoder synthesis capabilities via additional plugin cards, making it ideal if you’re into producing electronic music on budget!
What We’re Looking For in A Portable Keyboard
Shopping for a portable keyboard necessitates looking for certain features. Pick the features that suit you best depending on your level and budget.
To start, consider the keyboard’s size. Portable keyboards come in various shapes and sizes, such as full-sized and mini.
Full-sized ones offer more keys and flexibility, but smaller ones are more transportable and require less desk space.
If you plan to play simple melodies, the number of keys may be irrelevant. But think twice if you want to use it for complex rhythms or harmonies.
Also, do you need a stand or case? Or is one included with the package? What about sound effects, beginner lessons, and other features important for your playing style?
Make sure all components are included with the model you choose.
Lastly, research any extra accessories or upgrades you might need in the future.
This should be taken into account when picking a model within your budget.
Regarding portable keyboards, there are a few key features you should be looking for.
- When selecting a portable keyboard, look for one with full-sized, pressure/velocity responsive keys and accurate piano sounds.
- The minimum number of keys should be 61 to avoid missing music opportunities.
- Aim for lightweight but durable construction so it’s easy to take everywhere and delivers a professional playing experience.
Best Portable Keyboards Under $150
1) CASIO CASIOTONE CT-S300 – Best Practice Keyboard
The Casio Casiotone CT-S300 is the ideal practice keyboard for any musician seeking a great value portable piano. It was designed with beginners in mind.
- It has 61 touch-sensitive keys, a 32-panel LCD screen to guide the user, an onboard recorder and 50 preset songs.
- Plus, it has a built-in microphone to record audio directly or connect an external device via its two line inputs. Also, the headphone output ensures discreet practice sessions.
- Its Chordana Play app lets users learn tunes from their own music libraries or download them from the internet. Those familiar with MIDI technology can connect the CT-S300 to their computer for extra sound selection and playback options.
- The battery power supplies 6 – 10 hours of playtime, depending on settings used. It’s the perfect choice for any newbie starting out on their musical journey!
Casio has resurrected the classic Casiotone line, making music more accessible! The keyboard that revolutionized playing in its heyday is back with modern updates and full-sized keys for everyone.
Now’s your chance to fulfil those long-abandoned dreams of becoming a musician without breaking the bank!
If you’re in the market for a Casiotone, we highly recommend aiming high and going with our favourite, the CT-S300. This model offers pressure sensitivity that its lower counterparts lack, making it much more suitable for practicing piano.
However, if visual stimuli are your learning style of choice, then splurging an extra $20 on the LK-250 could be worthwhile – upon first glance, this one looks similar to its counterpart but has light-up keys, which may appeal immensely!
The compact and lightweight CT-S300 is surprisingly durable despite its all-plastic construction, making it a great travel companion.
Its streamlined design makes for easy usage even for beginners but still includes an encoder knob to select sound like those found in more pricey Casio keyboards.
The 61 velocity-sensitive keys take some getting used to at first, yet once adjusted the familiar feeling of premium arranger keyboards emerges – perfect if portability matters as much as the performance!
An impressive 48-note polyphony means you don’t have to worry about the number of keys limiting your soundscape.
Despite a limited selection, these sounds respond dynamically to how hard you hit them, allowing for nuanced emotion in every piece – from gentle touches on grand pianos and horns all the way up to firing synths taken directly from CTX’s renowned keyboards.
If you’re just getting started with keyboards, this is the perfect practice option – equipped with a whopping 400 sounds!
Plus, its realistic piano sound will have even seasoned pianists settling in for some tunes. Unweighted keys can take some adjustment to get used to if your experience has been solely on acoustic instruments; don’t underestimate how differently they respond compared to traditional weighted-keys.
You’ll be playing passable pieces and chord progressions before long!
The piano offers more than just a good sound bank – 77 unique accompaniment rhythms and variations offer an exciting alternative to metronomes when practicing.
From traditional beats like Bossa Nova, newcomers can get into the groove of some exotic styles too! While it’s not on par with dedicated arranger keyboards, they’re fun for everyday practice sessions.
The dual 2.5W speakers may not be top-of-the-line quality but still provide stereo clarity that is ideal for aspiring musicians who need their keyboard instruments at home or in transit.
If you want to take your performance beyond the basic keyboard, it’s time to bring on board the CT-S300 Casiotone.
This model comes equipped with a mini TRS jack for connecting to external amplifiers and if practice makes perfect–as they say–the same jack doubles as a headphone output allowing for some private sound testing.
But wait, there’s more! With 6 AA batteries loaded inside, this instrument hums along at 20 hours of crisp playtime (or use an AC adapter)–and even throws in its sustain pedal port so that nothing gets left behind while ensuring your staccato is spot on throughout each setlist selection.
With its micro USB port, the CT-S300 is a MIDI powerhouse. Unleash new creative possibilities by connecting it to various applications such as DAWs and Casio’s Chordana Play app – easily controlling sound selection!
Combining these features together gives your performance an extra edge when syncing songs along the stylish light-up keys of LK-S250.
The CT-S300 is an affordable USB MIDI controller with a wide range of capabilities, including the bonus feature of a pitch bend wheel – perfect for honing your synth solo skills.
If you want to upgrade from the CT-S100 or 200 models and require this added versatility, take advantage of what the S300 offers!
- Compact and lightweight design
- 61 full-size keys with touch response
- Wide range of instrument sounds
- Built-in speakers
- USB connectivity
- Limited polyphony (only 48 notes)
- No pitch bend or modulation wheel
- No sustain pedal included
- Build quality is not as sturdy
2) YAMAHA PSR-E273 – Best Sounding Budget Portable Keyboard
The Yamaha PSR-E273 is of great value! It has diverse sounds, effects and expressive capabilities. Plus, a built-in song recorder.
The keys are touch-sensitive which helps with the feel of playing a real piano! It also has high-quality voices – including organ, wind and strings.
This device has over 500 sounds and comes preloaded with hundreds of songs. It is an excellent choice for those seeking impressive sound quality without spending too much.
The PSR-E273 arranger keyboard stands out for its Yamaha AWM sound engine, which is slightly bulkier in a black plastic body than Casiotone’s CT-S300.
Unfortunately, it does not come with pressure sensitivity, meaning the keys emit the same fixed velocity no matter how hard or soft you play them – an important factor, especially when learning and practicing music on keyboards.
However, this should not be seen as detrimental to users who prioritize features more suited towards arranging rather than practice; after all these are two different purposes best met by their respective instruments!
The PSR-E273 is affordable for beginners, and the 61 keys offer a full piano experience. Unfortunately, however, you don’t get much in terms of quality or feel—the plasticky keys are lower than other options on the market at this price range.
With only 32 voices available to use simultaneously and independently within its polyphony limit, it’s not quite as comprehensive an offering compared to more advanced models such as Casiotone keyboards.
The PSR-273 from Yamaha features 401 diverse sounds powered by the Advanced Wave Memory sound engine. Listeners will surely appreciate everything this digital keyboard has in store – you’ll find a range of instruments like pianos, strings, synths, and more!
Unfortunately, dynamic expression is limited as it lacks pressure sensitivity. If you’re curious about what these sounds look (and sound) like, then check out the demo below for its predecessor’s tones which have not changed significantly since release – they still provide pleasing audio through dual 2.5W speakers despite being hampered somewhat overall lack of dynamics.
The Yamaha PSR-E273 arranger keyboard is the perfect tool for aspiring musicians and producers looking to take their skills to the next level.
With intro, fill, variation, and outro buttons accompanying a selection of ready-made rhythms – it’s like having your one-man band!
Also, practice sessions can be spiced up with ease thanks to advanced auto accompaniment functions. This versatile keyboard also boasts an easily navigable LCD screen which will have you selecting sounds effortlessly in no time, making this great value-for-money product even more worthwhile.
The Yamaha PSR-E273 arranger keyboard is a great starter device offering many options for those new to keyboards.
While the lack of velocity sensitivity may hinder progress, its comprehensive sound range and features make it worth considering.
For an extra bump in performance, try out Yamaha’s YPT360, which offers pressure sensitivity and higher polyphony count plus USB MIDI connectivity – even if that does mean breaking past our set budget!
- Affordable price point
- 401 high-quality instrument voices
- Touch-sensitive keys
- Lesson function with onboard songs
- Portable and lightweight design
- Limited polyphony
- No sustain pedal jack
- Smaller size may feel cramped
- It doesn’t have as many advanced features
3) CASIO CTK-3500 – Best Arranger Features
The Casio CTK-3500 is ideal for those after a keyboard piano. It has 61 keys and 482 natural-sounding tones. Plus, one-touch settings and 60 built-in rhythms.
There’s a five-track recorder and an LCD screen. Easy to make adjustments and learn chords. A powerful sampling function with 17 virtual Indian instruments. 128 General MIDI (GM) tones, 152 digital effects and 10 reverb types.
Plus Dance Music Mode to remix tracks with sound effects. Powered by batteries or an AC adapter. Perfect for all!
With Yamaha’s PSR-E273 featuring an AWM sound chip and Casio’s AHL engine lagging behind, it pays to think carefully before picking a keyboard.
Even though both models are powered by two 2W stereo speakers with fairly similar wattage, the CTK-3500 suffers from notable muddiness that disrupts its performance.
The keys themselves have some similarities compared to other keyboards out there but, fortunately, boast velocity sensitivity in addition to preset levels for dynamic control training.
However, this still doesn’t make up for the lack of superior sounds on the part of higher model numbers, such as those produced by rival manufacturers like Yamaha or even older versions within Casiono’s product line.
Casio may have the advantage regarding one-man-band capabilities, but they fall short in sound production.
Unfortunately, their output is heavily compressed, resulting in a lack of pressure sensitivity and average piano sounds. Their keyboard offers some nice synth variations as well as strings.
Yet, Yamaha’s PSR-E273 leads quality audio with its superior-sounding acoustics that can be heard through any headphone jack or connected external device.
Get ready to be wowed with the impressive 48-note polyphony on this keyboard – no more choppy sound cutoffs when you’re sustaining notes!
You’ll also get plenty of rhythm options, including two fills, a variation, and a synchro. For maximum control over your accompaniment sections, enjoy flexible bass parts for an enhanced performance experience – something our readers know all about from CTX-700 coverage already!
With the CTK-3500, you can access a wealth of musical options like pitch bend wheel and USB connectivity, which provide great opportunities for recording on computers or using Chordana Play’s app with its range of lessons & control.
This incredibly compact keyboard is 37.2” x 12.1” x 3.6” in size and 7.5 lbs – perfect for taking your tunes wherever your travels take you!
The built-in power adapter ensures no dry batteries when making music away from home OR use AA Batteries if needed; this little machine provides ultimate portability without compromising sound quality or features!
Deciding between a Yamaha and Casio budget arranger? It may seem impossible, as both offer great sound quality. But if you’re looking for advanced features such as touch sensitivity in your practice keyboard, then look no further – we can help settle this debate once and for all!
- Affordable price point
- 400 high-quality tones
- Touch-sensitive keys
- Step-up lesson system
- Built-in speakers
- Keys may feel too light or plasticky
- Limited polyphony
- No weighted keys
- Some users report issues with durability
- No sustain pedal
4) NEKTAR GX61 + VST – The Drastic Option
For just $149, the NEKTAR GX61 + VST keyboard is a great buy. It says on the box that it works with both MAC and PC. Plus, there are two user memory banks with 10 pre-configured setups. Its performance controls let you tailor your playing experience.
Input options make it suitable for beginners in the studio. The built-in sound engine allows you to play a range of instruments without spending too much. 8 freely assignable control switches give you control over multiple parameters. This allows you to explore different musical styles flexibly.
The MIDI Keyboard
MIDI keyboards are electronic pianos with a range of features to help you explore musical creativity. They’re perfect for beginners, casual players and bedroom producers, as they’re easy to carry and store.
MIDI keyboards have 25 to 88 keys. You can make notes in different octaves depending on the key you press. Plus, many have velocity sensitivity, so you can control the sound volume depending on how quickly you press the key. They also have pitch bend and modulation wheels for more advanced musical expression.
MIDI keyboards come in many styles. From traditional wooden designs to modern, lightweight plastic cases.
There are basic models and advanced performance-level ones. Many budget-friendly models can still provide great sound quality and features.
You have to know what to look for! Bluetooth connectivity allows you to connect to external devices, like iPhones and iPads, without cables.
The Nektar GX61 is a great value MIDI keyboard with springy synth-action keys that other comparable models can’t match.
While the 61-key model might not suit those wanting classical training, its smaller sibling -the SE series 49-key option – may still do the trick without breaking your budget!
Dedicated MIDI keyboards let you bring your music-making ideas to life without needing batteries or AC adapters – they work simply by connecting directly via USB.
While this type of keyboard can’t make sounds, it can trigger preloaded samples when played on a connected sound module – providing an exceptional range and depth of expression!
The Sound Source
We recommend going digital with a VSTi Plugin for the ultimate sound quality and versatility. Addictive Keys is an affordable solution that can be set up in no time – plus, you’ll have access to even better options when your production reaches its final stages!
Get the same grand piano sound on any digital instrument with Addictive Keys Studio Grand. Our roundup of piano VSTs declared this plugin its best budget pick, and with good reason – it boasts a straightforward interface while allowing for advanced editing in an “advanced view”.
With presets and reverb adding additional creative potential to your music, you can tailor-make your sounds however you like! So why not get an experiment now?
Get your hands on professional-grade recording equipment without spending a fortune! Focusrite products come with free copies of XLN Audio’s Addictive Keys so you can purchase them for as low as $15 in the KVR Forum Marketplace.
With its cutting-edge preamps and interfaces setting industry standards, why not take advantage of this amazing deal?
The Host Software
For modern keyboard pianos, software is needed for full use. This software can include synthesizers and effects to help create music.
Buying host software can be expensive. But, the best cheap keyboards under $150 come with advanced host software. These are Roland Cloud’s flagship sound engine and Native Instruments’ Komplete Start. They provide lots of sounds for all genres and styles.
Both have adjustable parameters like attack, decay, EQ, and volume control. This gives users the ability to make soundscapes in a natural way.
“This Seems Overly Complicated”
Shopping for a portable keyboard can be overwhelming. Comprehending the basics of tech specs and jargon makes it simpler and cost-effective. Knowing which features impact sound quality most and which are necessary for desired sound helps to find the ideal affordable keyboard.
When buying an affordable keyboard, consider what you need from it. Are you practicing scales? Or performing more complex tasks? Having the answers helps to narrow your choices and save time.
The two key elements of any keyboard are size (number of keys) and sound engine (type of technology). Fewer keys mean fewer notes, while a sophisticated engine provides better sound quality. Low-priced models usually have smaller keys for basic learning, but not enough for advanced performance.
Fortunately, budget-friendly models with decent quality sound are available – such as Casio and Yamaha – so those with a tight budget can still find digital keyboards to meet their needs.
5) The Used Market – Yet Another Drastic Option
The used market can be a great way to find more affordable keyboards. It may not be brand-new, but you can make the most of the price. You may even get lucky and find pianos with years of general or professional use still in them. Plus, you can shell out more than $150 to get one.
Remember to check the manufacturer’s warranties, too. They may still be valid even on pre-owned goods! Thrift stores, pawn brokers and secondhand stores are worth considering when buying your portable keyboard piano. But do your research before committing to any purchase – looks can be deceiving!
Are you on the hunt for a top-notch keyboard or digital piano? Look no further – we’ve got reviews from some of your favorite brands, such as Roland, Kawai, Yamaha, and Casio. With our help, you can easily identify the perfect instrument that suits all your needs!
When shopping for the perfect digital piano, select an option with 88 full-range keys, weighted hammer action response and authentic sampled sounds. Remember that its button’s functional capabilities should also be intact so you can make beautiful music without any hindrances!
Navigating the ever-changing web marketplace can be tricky, so it’s important to maintain extra caution when shopping. Luckily, you don’t have to worry too much about decay or rust with virtual items like chips and circuit boards; even technology from five years ago will typically perform just as well!
With the ever-changing online market, purchasing a keyboard can seem daunting. We’ve got five tips to help you with your search:
1) Steer clear of ‘organ’ keyboards as they will not provide realistic sound and may be missing touch sensitivity.
2) Beware of too-good-to-be-true deals – if it’s a Yamaha Clavinova for less than $1K, something is up!
3) Look into seller reviews to only work with reliable users.
4 ) Always opt for confirmed delivery before paying.
5) Test out similar or identical products at music stores or on sites like Craigslist. By following these steps, finding the perfect keyboard won’t feel intimidating anymore!
Budget matters when choosing a portable keyboard piano. Research and understand the different types of models for the best value. Think about pros and cons before buying. Don’t be afraid to shop around. Consider sound quality, key action, capabilities, size, and portability in your search. You can also read Best Beginner Keyboards Under $300.
From entry-level models to advanced ones, there’s something for everyone. Find musical brilliance without breaking the bank!
Hi, my name is Pallav, and I've been playing the piano for over 20 years. I'm also the proud owner of Digital Keyboard Piano, an online platform where I share detailed reviews of the latest MIDI controllers, digital pianos, and related equipment.