When you’re looking to buy a piano, you may be overwhelmed with options. Should you buy a new or used piano? What size of piano should you buy? What is the best piano brand in your price range? One of the most common questions we are asked is what the benefits are of a digital piano vs. an acoustic piano.

Digital Pianos

Digital pianos are a great starter piano for families or as an instrument for beginner or intermediate students.

Cost-effective. Digital pianos are often more cost-effective than acoustic pianos since they don’t have as many moving parts and intricacies as a traditional piano.

Smaller size. Because there is no need for strings or a soundboard, digital pianos are traditionally more compact than acoustic pianos.

Integrated learning. Many digital pianos have capabilities to integrate with learning or composition tools. The Yamaha CVP-709, for instance, has follow-the-light software that lights up above each key to let you know which key to play for your song of choice.

Volume control and headphones. This is a huge benefit for busy families who may have a lot of noise (or a need for quiet) in the household.

Sound and rhythm samples. This feature is just plain fun! An acoustic piano only has one sound, but a digital piano can have hundreds. This is great for families or young piano students because it can help children stay engaged during practice. It’s also great for adults who like to have an opportunity to compose or create!

Easy to move. If you’re a college student or move around often, a digital piano is a lot easier to tow around than an acoustic piano. Acoustic pianos require professional movers to ensure the safety and integrity of the strings and soundboard in an acoustic piano, whereas a digital piano doesn’t have as many delicate parts. An acoustic pianos will also almost always need to be tuned after a move.

Never needs to be tuned. Digital pianos are maintenance-free, never needing to be tuned (which can be a huge lifesaver for families with buckets of other responsibilities).

Acoustic Pianos

Authentic Sound. Even though our favorite piano brand, Yamaha, produces an amazing line of digital pianos in addition to their traditional acoustic grand pianos and uprights, nothing can quite replicate the sound of a true piano sound resonating in an acoustic soundboard and frame.

Feel. Depending on the quality of digital piano, engineers can often get close to the authentic touch of an acoustic piano using weighted keys. In some instances, they may even use real piano action to set off sound sensors. But in most mid-grade digital pianos, experienced piano players may still long for the traditional feel of an acoustic piano’s responsive keys under their fingers.

Expression. A pianist can best express him or herself when the piano’s sound responds to the slightest change in key depression. At this point, this can never truly be replicated in a digital piano. For new or early piano players, this isn’t an issue, but for most advanced pianists there’s no substitute for the connection between artist and instrument that is found in a true acoustic piano.

Visual appeal. This can be a pro for either a digital or acoustic piano.

Acoustic pianos have a more traditional visual appearance and typically have more cabinet colors and styles available than their digital counterparts.

Digital pianos, on the other hand, have a more modern look and feel which some pianists prefer. There are modern cabinet colors and styles to fit nearly any home decor.


Final Thoughts

On our opinion, any piano is better than no piano at all. If you don’t have a preference for digital capabilities vs. acoustic sound and touch, then we typically help our customers explore which pianos can offer them the highest level of quality within their price range. Do you have a question about a piano? Contact us and one of our piano experts will be happy to help you!