Last updated: August 9, 2021

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It is not without reason that the keyboard is one of the most popular keyboard instruments in the world of music. The wide range of functions, sounds and rhythms are just a few of the reasons that speak for the electronic musical instrument. With a high-quality keyboard from Yamaha, you can give free rein to your musical passion and creativity. The unique sound experience of Yamaha keyboards makes playing and listening even more fun.

In our Yamaha keyboard test 2021 we want to introduce you to the different models of Yamaha keyboards. We show you the advantages and disadvantages of each model. You will also find out which criteria you should pay attention to when buying a Yamaha keyboard. Our test article should help you find the most suitable Yamaha keyboard for you and make your purchase decision a little easier.




Summary

  • As the world's largest manufacturer of musical instruments and a leader in audio solutions, Yamaha offers a wide variety of keyboards.
  • Whether you're looking for a keyboard for kids, beginners or true professionals, Yamaha has a model for every music enthusiast.
  • Whether you choose a portable keyboard, a digital workstation or a stage keyboard from Yamaha depends on your preferences. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages.

The Best Yamaha Keyboard: Our Choices

Guide: Questions to ask yourself before buying a Yamaha keyboard

What makes a Yamaha keyboard different from other manufacturers?

Yamaha is considered the world's largest manufacturer of musical instruments and a leader in audio solutions. This is true for both home and professional use. The musical passion and sound quality is always in the foreground of all products. With the guiding principle "Quality First", only high-quality products are manufactured and distributed.

Yamaha Keyboard-1

Yamaha is one of the best-known manufacturers of musical instruments. Among other things, Yamaha produces high-quality keyboards.
(Image source: unsplash.com / Gabriel Gurrola)

With a Yamaha keyboard, you are well equipped if you want to create and feel real sound. Thanks to the learning functions integrated in many models, Yamaha keyboards are also ideal for beginners. You can learn complete songs step by step or practice your dynamics.

How much does a Yamaha keyboard cost?

The price range of Yamaha keyboards is quite wide. Depending on the type of keyboard, the price also varies. The range is approximately between 90 euros and 5,100 euros.

Type price range
Portable Keyboard approx. €90 - €500
Digital Workstation approx. €700 - €4,700
Stagekeyboard approx. €2,000 - €5,100

The first portbale keyboards are already available from about 90 euros. The price can go up to 500 euros in this range. The digital workstations are considerably more expensive. Models of this type cost between 700 and 4,700 euros. Stage keyboards are the most expensive Yamaha keyboards. Depending on the model, you can expect to pay between 2,000 and 5,100 euros in this category.

What accessories are available for Yamaha keyboards?

Accessories for keyboards allow you to expand your musical experience. Yamaha offers a very large selection in this area. Among other things, you can buy various keyboard stands and music stands from Yamaha. Foot pedals, buttons and controllers are also available, as well as power adapters and interfaces. If you want an even better sound experience, you can connect your keyboard to Yamaha monitor speakers or subwoofers. To play your keyboard at night without disturbing your neighbours, you can get Yamaha headphones. Headphones are perfect both for not disturbing other people and for not being disturbed by ambient noise.

Where are Yamaha keyboards made?

The Japanese company Yamaha Corporation has its headquarters in Hamamatsu, a large city on the Japanese main island of Honshu.
"Quality First" as a guiding principle

Most of Yamaha's products are manufactured in Japan or Indonesia. With their guiding principle "Quality First", the products are controlled and checked with the same standards in every factory.

What are the alternatives to a Yamaha keyboard?

Alternatives to a Yamaha keyboard are of course keyboards from other manufacturers. Besides Yamaha, these keyboard manufacturers are particularly popular:

  • Casio
  • McGrey
  • RockJam
  • FunKey

However, if you are looking for another option from Yamaha, you will also find it here. Besides keyboards, Yamaha also offers pianos, synthesizers, electric pianos and Piaggeros, a mixture of keyboard and piano.

Yamaha Keyboard-2

Yamaha offers other keyboard instruments besides keyboards. A possible alternative to the keyboard is a Yamaha piano.
(Image source: unsplash.com / Jordan Whitfield)

Decision: What types of Yamaha keyboards are there and which is the right one for you?

If you want to buy a Yamaha keyboard, you can basically choose between three alternatives, which differ from each other in their functions:

  • Portable Keyboard
  • Digital Workstation
  • Stage keyboard

The three types of keyboards each have advantages and disadvantages. Depending on whether you are a keyboard beginner or a real keyboard professional, a different type is suitable for you. The following section will help you decide which Yamaha keyboard is best for you.

What are the features of a Yamaha Portable Keyboard and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Portable keyboards are the cheapest keyboards you can buy from Yamaha. If you're looking for a Yamaha keyboard but don't want to spend too much money, you're sure to find what you're looking for in a portable keyboard. An absolute advantage over Yamaha digital workstations or stage keyboards are the built-in learning functions. With the help of these functions, you can easily learn different preset songs or train your dynamics. This is a great function, especially for keyboard beginners. The portable keyboards are also very compact. This means they weigh comparatively little and are very portable. If you want, you can take them to friends' houses and make music together.

Advantages
  • Most affordable
  • Learning functions
  • Compact and portable
Disadvantages
  • Fewer functions
  • sound sometimes a little worse

A major disadvantage compared to the other keyboards is that the portable keyboards are usually equipped with considerably fewer functions. However, this is not a bad thing for beginners, as they will not lose track of what they are doing. For advanced users or professionals, the other keyboards are probably better suited. The sound is also somewhat worse in comparison. This is mainly because the portable keyboards were designed for beginners and home use. Accordingly, they cannot compete with the much more expensive stage keyboards, which are designed for larger stage performances.

What distinguishes a Yamaha digital workstation and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The possibilities of digital workstations are much more extensive than those of portable keyboards. With the registration memory function, for example, you can store sounds you have created yourself for direct access. You can select and change parameters directly on an integrated colour display. There are also many other functions. The number of real instrument tones and accompaniment styles is also much larger. This allows you to give free rein to your musical creativity.

Advantages
  • Many possibilities
  • many real instrument tones and accompaniment styles,
Disadvantages
  • Expensive
  • not suitable for beginners

One negative aspect is the price. Because of the many functions, digital workstations are much more expensive than portable keyboards. Here you have to weigh up whether the higher price or the more extensive features are more important. Another disadvantage is that you can quickly lose track of everything because of the many functions, buttons and display. Beginners in particular are quickly overwhelmed with these models. Digital workstations are more suitable for experienced players.

What distinguishes a Yamaha stage keyboard and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Yamaha stage keyboards are particularly convincing because of their authentic acoustic and electric piano sounds. These models are perfect for demanding pianists. In addition, the stage keyboards are very compact and portable. Live keyboardists can easily transport their instrument to the performance venues and quickly set it up and take it down. Another positive point is that the selection of grand piano, upright piano, electric piano and keyboard sounds is enormous. No matter to which style you want to play, with this selection of different sounds, you will surely find something suitable.

Advantages
  • Authentic acoustic and electric piano sounds
  • Compact and portable
  • Large selection of grand piano, piano, electric piano and keyboard sounds for all styles
Disadvantages
  • Very expensive
  • Not suitable for beginners

One disadvantage of stage keyboards, however, is their price. In the Yamaha keyboard range, this is where you have to spend the most money if you want to buy such an instrument. Due to the very extensive functions and the high price, stage keyboards are less suitable for beginners. Professional keyboardists, on the other hand, will not find better instruments from Yamaha.

Yamaha Keyboard-3

A Yamaha stage keyboard is perfect for stage performances.
(Image source: unsplash.com / Becca Tapert)

Buying criteria: These are the factors you can use to compare and evaluate Yamaha keyboards

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many possible Yamaha keyboards. The criteria you can use to compare Yamaha keyboards include:

In the following paragraphs you will find out what is important in each aspect.

Connections

Almost all Yamaha keyboards have the option of connecting headphones or extra speakers to the instrument. This way you can further improve the sound quality. You can connect your keyboard to your computer with a MIDI port and the appropriate cable. You can find out exactly how this works at the end of our test report. If you plan to use a pedal with your keyboard, it must be connected to the computer. Since this is not the case with all Yamaha models, you should take this into account before buying.

Some Yamaha keyboards also have a USB-to-host or USB-to-device connection. The USB-to-host port is used to exchange data from the keyboard to the computer. The USB-to-device port allows you to connect your keyboard to external storage devices and store data on them. You should think about which devices you want to connect to your instrument before you buy it. Accordingly, your keyboard must have the necessary connections.

Number of sounds, rhythms and accompaniment styles

Most Yamaha keyboards come with a variety of different sounds and rhythms. The more sounds and rhythms you can choose from, the more variety you will have when playing. The accompaniment automation allows you to feel as if you are part of a whole band. Various chords of other musical instruments play in the background while you create your own sounds. The range of sounds, rhythms and automatic accompaniment styles varies between models.

Learning functions

If you are new to keyboard playing and want to learn with your Yamaha keyboard, make sure that your keyboard has various learning functions.

Learn complete songs step by step with the Key-to-Success

The Key-to-Success learning function is based on learning units developed by Yamaha in cooperation with music teachers. Thanks to this function, you can learn how to play complete songs step by step. With the so-called "Touch-Tutor" you can further develop your keyboard skills. You learn the basics of the important dynamics and can train them perfectly with this function.

Three-Step-Lesson helps you learn to play

The "Three-Step-Lesson" helps you learn to play the keyboard. The listening, timing and waiting mode introduces you to keyboard playing and prepares you perfectly for playing complete songs. Not every Yamaha keyboard is equipped with a learning function, so you should compare the different models before buying. In the portable keyboard category, you are most likely to find entry-level models with a learning function.

Touch response

The harder you press the keys, the louder the sounds. If you want to produce soft tones, simply press the keys a little lighter. However, this only works if your keyboard is equipped with a touch response. If you want to benefit from this great function, you should choose a model that has this feature. In the area of stage keyboards and digital workstations, most models are equipped with this function. Among the portable keyboards, however, you will find some models that do not have this function.

Number of keys

The number of keys is crucial if you want the widest possible sound spectrum. For beginners, models with fewer keys are suitable so that you don't lose track of the keys or become overwhelmed. Professional players often go for models with many keys in order to make the most of the broad sound spectrum. Yamaha offers keyboards with 61, 74 or 88 keys. Portable keyboards and digital workstations are equipped with either 61 or 76 keys. The stage keyboards, on the other hand, are also available with 88 keys. With these, all pieces for the piano can be played without any problems. Basically, the more keys your keyboard has, the more notes it can produce.

Interesting facts about the Yamaha keyboard

What warranty does Yamaha offer?

Yamaha gives its customers at least a 2-year warranty on musical instruments. The warranty covers defects in materials or workmanship. Defective equipment will be replaced or repaired within the warranty period, free of charge to you.

How long has Yamaha been producing keyboards?

Yamaha Corporation was founded in 1887 as a manufacturer of upright and grand pianos. Many years later, in 1976, Yamaha began producing electronic pianos. Finally, in 1980, the first Portable Keyboard, the Porta-Sound, was introduced.

Did you know that the history of Yamaha instruments began in a primary school? In 1887, the harmonium of a primary school broke down. Torakusu Yamaha, an expert in repairing medical equipment, was then called to the school. Although he had no idea about the instrument, he repaired it. A little later, he started making this kind of instrument himself.

Are there also Yamaha keyboards especially for children?

Yes, there are also special Yamaha keyboards for children. Despite their good sound quality, these are usually a little cheaper than the normal keyboards. The special thing about the keyboards for children is that the keyboard is designed especially for small hands. These devices have fewer keys so as not to overtax children. They are also particularly light and can easily be taken anywhere. The selection of stored sounds and songs is also specially designed for children. In the additional quiz mode, sound effects are played and children are asked which notes were played.

How do I connect a Yamaha keyboard to my computer?

Follow these 8 steps to connect your Yamaha keyboard to your computer and record your keyboard:

  1. Step: Connect USB or MIDI cable to keyboard.
  2. Step: Connect the other side of the cable to the computer.
  3. Step: Switch on the keyboard.
  4. Step: Download the MIDI driver for the keyboard. You can find this for Windows and Mac on the Yamaha website.
  5. Step: Select the keyboard or audio interface in Sound Settings.
  6. Step: Open the digital audio workstation. If your digital interface does not have its own digital audio workstation, you can download free programmes such as Audacity.
  7. Step: Add a new audio or MIDI track.
  8. Step: Start recording. And your keyboard is recorded!

What other products does Yamaha offer?

In addition to keyboards, Yamaha makes many other musical instruments. Among other things, you can find pianos, drums, guitars, basses, various brass and woodwind instruments, string instruments and percussion instruments. Yamaha also produces high-quality speakers, amplifiers and receivers. Hi-fi systems, sound bars and BluRay and DVD players are also available. Yamaha has also developed several apps that can be used for the various devices.

Image source: Zhang / 123rf.com

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