key keyboards can be a great way to learn how to play the keyboard, to enjoy playing sounds and songs that you like as a hobby or to create sounds and songs as an artist or a professional.
There are basically endless choices for 61-key keyboards being sold out there, with buyers of one kind or another. Whether you are a budget or a brand-conscious buyer, I have got you covered with the top 10 best 61 key keyboards below. Whether portability, overall performance, ease-of-use or touch-sensitivity is what matters to you the most in a music keyboard, you will find the keyboard that is most appropriate for you below. With that said, let’s get started.
Top 10 Best 61-key Keyboards List 2020
Top 10 Best 61-key Keyboard Reviews
- 61 full-size keys
- Great for beginners to learn
- Easy to assemble and operate
- Adjustable stool
- 300 in-built tones and 40 demo songs
- Split modes for using on lessons
- Comes complete with a stand, a chair, a headphone as well as a microphone
Watch out for
- Lacks a midi and/or USB hookup
- The quality of the headphones is not very great
Arguably the best overall 61-key keyboard for learners, the Alesis Melody Keyboard is what you need to start his or her journey towards becoming a legendary keyboard player or a musician. This 61-key keyboard is easy to get started with, fun to play and most importantly does its job.
The keyboard comes with everything you need, so you don’t need to get troubled in finding other accessories. You’ll get many free learning tools to help you to learn the piano, including the LCD display screen, and live classes from TakeLessons, etc. Plus, the price is very appealing.
- Very affordable price for a Casio keyboard
- 400 tones as well as 100 rhythms, all pre-recorded
- Very portable and compact for moving around
- Easy to use
For budget-conscious buyers, there is no better option than the Casio CTK-2550 (full review here). Being the best affordable 61-key keyboard on the market right now, this instrument will allow you to save a lot of money on a new keyboard. That’s because it goes for around just $100. Despite the cheaper price, this keyboard offers all the keyboard essentials for you to learn and practice.
- Compact, lightweight, and portable
- Produces a beautiful piano sound with 64-note polyphony number
- Comes with a controller app for iOS device and USB port
- Simple but cute-looking with a cool black finish and sleek edges
- Battery-powered with 6 AA batteries
- Includes a song recorder function
Watch out for
- The keys are not weighted
Yamaha is a highly respected brand of musical instruments such as keyboards, audio systems and so on. If you are looking for a decent 61-key keyboard, you should look no further than the Yamaha NP12 keyboard. As the best option for a 61-key keyboard from Yamaha, this musical instrument makes playing the keyboard a fun and fulfilling experience for all types of players.
Yamaha NP12 is equipped with 64-note polyphony number to enhance the sound quality. It’s very portable for you to take it wherever you want. Additionally, the keyboard is battery-operated, so it allows you to practice whenever you want.
- 61 full-size and touch-responsive keys
- 600 tones and 195 rhythms, all pre-recorded
- High-quality piano sound
- Comes with a USB port
- MiDi compatible
Watch out for
- The LCD screen is a bit too bright
Another well-respected brand of musical instruments and electronic appliances is Casio. When it comes to musical instruments, the brand doesn’t disappoint with its CTX-700 keyboard.
Casio CTX-700 is great for beginners. It is equipped with a lot of pre-recorded tones and rhythms to get you started right away. Impressively, the keys are touch-sensitive, you can adjust it to suit your playing styles and your preferences.
- 61 full-size keys
- Three different beginner-focused learning guides
- Easy to learn and get started with
- Very affordable price
- Easy to setup
Watch out for
- The keys are not touch sensitive
If you would like to start learning how to play the piano or your kid to do so, the Rockjam 61-key keyboard can be a great way to start. Designed to be easy to set up, easy to learn and easy to master, this keyboard is arguably the best choice for beginner players. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t suit intermediate or advanced players because it certainly does.
The keyboard comes with every essential you need. The box packs a number of essential accessories like a keyboard stand, a set of headphones. Importantly, the Rockjam keyboard comes with three different beginner-focused learning guides, including free Simply Piano app, free Two months of face to face lessons, and an LCD screen for guiding. If you’re a beginner, don’t miss it!
- 61 full-size keys
- Compact, lightweight, portable and easy to store
- Offers a range of instrument sounds
- Yamaha Education Suites for learning and practicing
- Aux line input for connecting external devices
For some buyers, we understand that portability is a top priority for one reason or another. As such, when shopping for a suitable keyboard, they will go straight to the options that are portable.
With that said, if you are looking for a portable keyboard that is not too large to move with from one place to another or to store within a small space without trouble, the Yamaha PSR-E263 Keyboard will not disappoint. But apart from extra portability, this 61-key keyboard also comes with many other advantages, including a wide range of instrument sounds and preset songs. Additionally, it comes with Yamaha Education Suite for guiding you to learn, which is great for beginners and learners.
- 61 touch-sensitive keys
- Nice-looking with a matte black finish and sleek edges
- Compact, lightweight and portable
- 400 tones and 100 rhythms, all pre-recorded
- Auto power off lets you save power when the keyboard is on standby
- Easy to set up and get started with
Watch out for
- Not MiDi capable
- Not good for professional players
Not all keyboards would rate the same when it comes to touch-sensitivity. Some keyboards can be too sluggish when it comes to responding to the stimuli that come from the player’s fingers. Others will over-respond or overact to the stimulus, making it difficult for the player to create a uniform sound or to play that without unnecessary distortions. Yes, all those types of keyboards are in plenty out there.
However, unlike those keyboards, the Casio CTK-3500 (full review here) is a different story, at least going by the kind of touch-sensitivity, which it has. Apart from it, it has many features and functions as listed.
- Light-up keys for learning easily
- Great for kid learners
- 400 tones and 150 rhythm
- Dance Music Mode for remix and creating dance music
- Free Chordana Play app
- It shows users how to play their favorite songs
Watch out for
- Not for pro players
Known to be another best 61-key keyboard for kid beginners, the Casio LK-265 keyboard (full review here) is what you need to buy for your child who greatly yearns to learn how to play the keyboard from scratch.
Notably, this instrument is relatively easy to set up and get started with, thanks to its simple design and easy-to-follow instructional manual. In fact, it’s said that an average kid who has never played a keyboard before can learn how to play some nice songs and tunes with it within two days from the beginning.
- Relatively compact, portable and easy to store
- Features the best MiDi controller
- 8 pressure-sensitive and velocity-sensitive backlit pads
- Great for beat production as well as clip launching
- Offers seamless, visual feedback, using illuminated buttons as well as knobs
- Delivers expressive, creative control
Watch out for
- Dynamics on keys are not very great
The Alesis V61 keyboard is arguably one of the best MIDI keyboards available. For those who are shopping for a keyboard that will perfectly synchronize with a range of day to day gadgets like laptops, smartphones and so on, this is certainly the best choice to go for.
Plus, it produces incredible sounds, making it suitable for players who play just for fun and those who do so for professional purposes.
- Great for beginner players
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Small, lightweight and portable
- Great for creating songs by playing notes
- Comes with intuitive one-touch control
- Allows players to extensively manipulate loop sounds
- Bluetooth connectivity and MIDI
Watch out for
- Relatively expensive compared to other keyboards in its category, given the fact that it retails for around $299.99
- Has a cheap-looking design with weird maroon finishing
For buyers who are obsessed with Bluetooth connectivity for a music keyboard, there is no better option that the Roland GO-61K Keyboard.
This 61-key keyboard has a connectivity range of up to 50 meters, which is considered longer compared to other keyboards in its category. But it’s not the longer Bluetooth connectivity range that makes this musical instrument more attractive to buyers than other musical instruments. You can read on to understand the other advantages that it comes with, of course, with the disadvantages you can expect from it:
A Guide to Buying the Best 61-key Keyboard
The secret to getting the most value out of a 61-key keyboard lies in selecting the most appropriate keyboard, depending on your needs and situation. Nevertheless, to be able to select the right keyboard, you need to take a number of factors into consideration.
Factors to Consider When Purchasing the Best 61-key Keyboard
The size of the keys
It goes without saying that 61-key keyboards can be broadly classified under two categories, based on the size of their keys. Having said that, there are full-size key keyboards and smaller sized keys for kids and toddlers, with each type of keyboards having its own list of pros and cons. For example, a full-size key keyboard, since it feels much more like a regular piano, minimizes and simplifies the adjustments you make as you move your fingers between the instrument, ensuring a more pleasant playing experience. Smaller-sized keys, on the other hand, are much better for kids and toddler’s hands to practice.
It is worth noting that all 61-key keyboards are designed to produce a softer sound when the keys are pressed softly and a louder sound when the keys are pressed harder. Nevertheless, we have touch-sensitive keyboards and none-touch sensitive ones. The difference between the two lies in how hard or soft one must press the keys to get the desired sound. With a touch-sensitive keyboard, you do not need to press the keys too hard to get a loud sound and the opposite is true for a non-touch sensitive keyboard. Keep in mind that most regular keyboards are non-touch sensitive.
Some pianos that are more learner-oriented such as the Casio CTK-3500 piano come with what we call a “built-in step-up lesson system.” This critical educational feature for beginners enables the player to learn valuable musical skills like timing, chord recognition, note recognition and so on. Others come with incredible lesson suites, such as Yamaha PSR E-263 comes with Yamaha Education Suite, that are rich with educative content players can exclusively access online via their devices to learn the art of playing the piano keyboard.
The Sound Quality
It comes as no surprise that keyboards produce varying sound qualities, depending on the model and brand of the instrument. Sound quality is one of the important factors to consider when choosing the best keyboards. It’s no doubt that choosing a keyboard with the best sound is a great idea.
Top of the range keyboard models deliver topnotch sounds and the opposite is true for their low-end model counterparts. Also, some brands are known to manufacture keyboards with better sounds and vice versa.
Contrary to what you might think, a USB port isn’t a common feature for all 61-key keyboards. For example, some keyboards such as the Casio CTK-700 comes without a USB connectivity. However, that does not mean you cannot connect the instrument to your PC, as most of them allow you to use the MIDI port instead of using a USB method of connection.
This is a very important feature for keyboard pianos, even though some units lack it. For starters, MiDi is an acronym for the phrase “Musical Instrument Digital Interface.” Simply put, this is a connectivity standard for transferring digital instrument data, which is primarily used by electronic keyboard pianos, computers, and synthesizers. In a piano keyboard, the point of this feature is to enable the instrument to connect with other devices such as computers and so on, as an alternative connection option to USB.
While nearly all keyboard pianos come with a headphone jack for connecting with a headphone, it comes as no surprise that some models lack this essential feature. A headphone jack can come in handy, especially when; your keyboard is speakerless, your keyboard has poor quality speakers that produce terrible sounds, you want to some private practice time or you do not want the sound coming from your instrument to disturb others. Therefore, it’s better to go with a unit that has a headphone jack as opposed to one without, if you have the option to.
Some high-end digital keyboard pianos will come with extras such as Bluetooth connectivity to expand their capabilities. Although these extra features can add to the cost of the instrument, they are worth every additional buck that you’ll spend on your keyboard. So, if you don’t mind paying a little more, go with a piano that offers some extra features like Bluetooth connectivity, Wi-Fi connectivity, and so on.
Why Do We Need a Keyboard that Has At Least 61 Keys?
To answer the question as to; why do we need a keyboard that has at least 61 keys, I would like to point out that piano keyboards are musical keyboards that are meant to imitate the traditional acoustic piano, which has 88 keys, as much as possible, at least in terms of the sound. While most piano keyboards have between 61 keys and 76 keys, a few models out there have keys fewer than 61. The RockJam (RJ549) piano keyboard, for example, has only 49 keys.
Back to the question as to; why do we need a keyboard that has at least 61 keys? The answer is they are the least option that allows players to imitate the acoustic piano as much as possible.
Keyboards with fewer keys will not play all kinds of music as effectively as you would expect. While they can handle contemporary styles such as rock and pop pretty decently, they will do a poor job at playing more complicated music pieces such as the La Campanella, Sorabji, and Ravel, unlike their 61-key piano keyboard counterparts. In other words, if you want something that will help you play reasonable sounds, it would be a good idea to go with a keyboard that has at least 61 keys.
As you can see, whether you are looking for the cheapest, the best overall, the best brand or the most portable keyboard, you will find one among these keyboards. Similarly, whether you are looking for the most easy-to-use or the best touch-sensitive keyboard, this product list will not disappoint you.