When it comes to the keyboards or digital pianos, Yamaha and Casio are always the two brands you can see frequently. Even if you’re new to the world of keyboards and digital pianos, you’ve definitely heard about them.
Yamaha and Casio are both well-known brands that enjoy a well-earned reputation for producing products in well quality. Each of them offers a wide range of keyboard instruments and comes with many different types of pianos. So, it’s probably hard to decide which one you should go for.
In this article, we’ll be talking about Yamaha vs Casio digital pianos and keyboards to see which brand or which type of keyboard is the right one for you. After the comparison of these two brands, we’ll recommend some models of keyboards and digital pianos from Yamaha and Casio for you to find your preferred one.
Which group of people do Yamaha & Casio for?
To summary, Yamaha keyboards and digital pianos are more piano oriented, so they always put the highest priority on piano essentials, including the sound quality, weighted feel. So, Yamaha keyboards and digital pianos are great for those who want to concentrate on playing the piano.
Yamaha keyboards are very easy to operate. You won’t find it very confusing with endless buttons. As for the beginners, there are some educational features that come with keyboards. They could be very encouraging and you’ll get self-motivation while learning.
Compared with Yamaha, Casio wins over in providing different features. Yamaha may lead Casio in sound quality and key action (for digital pianos above $1000), but Casio leaves Yamaha in offering fun and useful features.
The advantage of a Casio over a Yamaha is that for the money, Casio will offer you more features than a similarly priced Yamaha. However, if you want to focus on practicing, too many features will distract you to some extent.
Therefore, both Yamaha and Casio offer a wide range of different keyboard models. how you choose depends on your demand of the keyboards or digital pianos and your budget as well.
Main Factors While Comparing Yamaha vs Casio
There are loads of factors when it comes to comparing Yamaha and Casio. We selected several important factors and we’ll be talking about them in the following content.
By comparing these factors, you are able to get a better insight into these two brands and what do they offer.
Sound quality and key action are considered to be the two most important factors when choosing a keyboard or a digital piano. In these two aspects, sound quality is about whether or not the sound is like a real acoustic piano sound. And key action is how you feel while touching and pressing the keys.
So, let’s talking about sound quality first.
If you go for an 88-key weighted digital piano, this kind of digital piano is usually designed to imitate an acoustic piano. So, the sound quality you can get could be quite satisfying and realistic.
But as usual, like other products, you’ll get what you pay for. If you choose a low-priced keyboard, you’ll probably end up with poor sound quality. But on the other hand, there are quite a lot 88-key weighted keyboard piano with great-sounding on the market, such as Casio PX-160, and Yamaha P-125, etc.
Generally, the sound quality of Yamaha is slighter better than Casio to some extent. Compared with Casio, Yamaha is somewhat more piano oriented. Therefore, the Yamaha manufacturer always put the highest priority on the piano essentials, including sound quality.
In terms of the piano sound, Yamaha offers you tones having depth and the tonality usually has better bass. It depends on the different factors which contribute to the quality of the sound, such as polyphony number, speaker systems and other features related to the sound.
The number of polyphony number ensures that you play pieces without dropping notes. And obviously, the more powerful speaker system that piano offers, the better sound quality you can get.
On the contrary, Casio has its advantages as well. It appears that Casio usually gives a number of options of instrument voices whether Casio’s entry-level keyboards or high-end digital pianos. But as so many voices that Casio keyboards offer, you may have to compromise the quality of tones.
The Quality of Key Action?
For keyboards under $300, you may not able to get a keyboard with weighted keys from both Yamaha and Casio. But some of them provide touch-sensitive keys for you to feel the dynamics of piano performances.
Then, let’s talk about weighted keys deeply. Both Yamaha and Casio come with different levels of weighted action. And, it mainly depends on the range of your budget.
Weighted Keys/Weighted Action
GHS (Graded Hammer Standard) is a technology of weighted action that appears on almost all the Yamaha digital pianos under $1000. It’s probably the most popular weighted action from Yamaha. GHS is a hammer-action weighted action, meaning you can have lighter touch in the high end and heavier touch in the low end. However, there are some piano players who found that GHS weighted action is a bit lighter than standard weighted action and it could be struggling for advanced players to have a proper feel.
As for Casio, this brand has a slight edge in weighted action if you want to buy a digital piano under $1000. Casio has developed Tri-sensor Scaled Hammer Action II. Even some Casio digital pianos under $500 are equipped with this weighted action as well. It uses three sensors under every key as opposed to the two sensors of Yamaha GHS weighted action. It’s also equipped with ivory and ebony key surfaces so that you can get a very authentic piano feel to every delicate touch.
Therefore, if you’re looking for a digital piano under $1000 or under $500, Casio’s Tri-sensor Scaled Hammer Action II values for the price and ensures the quality of your playing experiences. On the other hand, it doesn’t mean the GHS weighted action from Yamaha is not good. It’s a proper hammer-action weighted action as well and has proven to be a reliable entry-level action. You may need to pay attention that it may be a bit light for advanced players to use. But for beginners, GHS is a solid option for you to get started and build proper finger technique for when the times comes to perform on a real piano.
If you go up to more advanced digital pianos, Yamaha also has two high-end weighted actions, including the mid-range weighted action –GHE (Graded Hammer Effect) that provides a correct response to your figures and the premium weighted action –GH3 (Graded Hammer 3)- which is the best weighted action you can get on Yamaha keyboards. There are few Casio digital pianos above $1000 on the market. So, if you wish to get a high-end digital piano, choose a Yamaha keyboard with more powerful weighted action.
Price and Affordability?
There are so many keyboards and digital pianos from different price ranges on the market. And it gives you multiple options to choose. Both Yamaha and Casio have produced entry-level keyboards and high-end digital pianos. And as these two brands are both top and reliable manufacturers, at least, you don’t need to worry that you’ll get a keyboard with very poor quality.
In this category, I would say that Casio is the one that wins over. Nowadays, Casio dominates the entry-level keyboards and digital pianos as this brand provides a great value for its very reasonable price. For digital pianos under $1000, Casio always has a better price for what it offers. Casio manufacturer has produces lots of affordable keyboards and digital pianos with many useful features and functions.
Yamaha also offers many inexpensive keyboards and digital pianos. But they come with a bit higher price than Casio keyboards. As always, the budget determines your purchase. You can choose to get a high-end Yamaha digital piano if your budget is above $1000.
Portable or not?
Portability is an important factor for traveling and gigging musicians. It’s super difficult to carry around a heavy piano like big furniture.
While there is not much to compare in this category. Both Yamaha and Casio offer portable keyboards and digital pianos for you to move around and even lug it from gig to gig.
Weighted keys and the number of keys are the two most important factors that determine the weight of the keyboards.
If you’re a beginner and looking for a 61-key non-weighted keyboard, portability is not something you should worry about. The weight of a 61-key keyboard ranges from about 7lbs to 15lbs.
In addition, there are loads of portable digital pianos and stage pianos weighing at about 25 lbs from Yamaha and Casio.
Yamaha has produced a series of digital pianos that stands out for the portable design, which is Yamaha ‘P’ series. Each of them offers portability and ensures your quality of piano performances, including Yamaha P45, Yamaha P71, and Yamaha P125.
At the same time, Casio also has some models of portable digital pianos, such as Casio Privia PX-160, and Casio CDP-240, etc.
How is the Build Quality?
Sound, key action, and tech features are not the most important areas while looking for a digital piano to buy. If the digital piano is loaded with many features but in poor build quality, then it still couldn’t be a long-term purchase.
Luckily, as two reliable instrument brands, Yamaha and Casio are both great in terms of the construction quality, otherwise, they won’t become what they are today.
Their instruments are made of high-quality materials, ensuring a great durability and can be a long-term investment. They are very durable and well-constructed, which is really important for touring musicians and those who are always on the road.
Tech & Digital Features?
One of the main advantages of digital pianos is that they are equipped with tech features. Those tech features can help you with learning, composing, and music editing, etc.
In this category, it is Casio that comes out on top. Casio leaves Yamaha way behind in offering functions and features.
Let’s talk about the number of voices and rhythms first. They are great for using while creating tunes and you can explore different combinations of instrument voices. Casio usually gives more options in the number of instrument voices and rhythms. But as for the quality, Casio is not that good compared with the quality of voices on Yamaha keyboards.
In terms of other tech features, Casio is good at creating fun features for players to learn on and have fun. For example, Casio’s Dance Music Mode allows you to create electronic dance music in a fun and simple way. The feature of lighting-up keys is super great for beginners to learn to play favorite tunes by following the keys lighting up.
Recommended Yamaha vs Casio Keyboards & Digital Pianos
In order to help you to decide which one you should go for, here are some models of keyboards and digital pianos that we recommend.
Yamaha PSR E-263 is an entry-level keyboard with 61 keys. If you’re an absolute beginner looking for a keyboard to get started, it could be a solid option for you.
Thanks to the Yamaha Education Suite and onboard Lesson, you can learn to play the piano fun and simple. 61 keys allow you to play most casual songs.
Weighing at only 11 pounds, you can carry Yamaha PSR E-263 whenever and wherever you want, even on the road.
As one of the most affordable 88-key weighted digital pianos on the market, Yamaha P-71 offers world-class features at unbeatable price.
The P-71 is an easy-to-operate digital piano with a clean design. You can concentrate on playing and practicing without bells and whistles to distract you. In addition, 88 hammer-action keys allow you to have the feel of playing on an acoustic piano, giving you lighter feel on the high end and heavier feel on the bass end.
What makes Yamaha P-125 so popular among entry-level and intermediate players?
It combines incredible resonate sound quality, hammer-action weighted keys, portable and compact design, making it stand out on the market. Among these features, sound quality is really the big one that shines. You can enjoy the ultimate playing performances.
There are lots of useful features as well, including 2-track recorder, free Smart Pianist App for learning.
Casio CTK-2550 (Full review here) is an ideal keyboard that can be used as the first keyboard for beginner pianists. It offers powerful educational functions and several fun features for you to keep engaging and improve with the piano, backed up by the reliable Casio brand.
Step-up Lesson System has 60 preset songs. This system helps you with the learning of note reading, learning keys, and playing songs, etc. The LCD display is able to show the notes on the staff and figure placement, which makes your learning process easier and funnier.
Casio CTK-2550 is equipped with 61 keys and it’s one of the best keyboards under $100.
Casio Privia PX-160 (Full review here) has a great value for the money. It’s loaded with excellent key action and textured keys, ensuring you get an authentic feel.
As one of the best digital pianos under $500, Casio Privia PX-160 lives up the high expectations in this price range.
Dual Mode with 18 instrument voices allow you to explore different instrument combinations by layering two different voices. Its portable design is perfect for gigging musicians to move around.
There are many differences between Yamaha and Casio though they are both reliable instrument manufacturers.
To conclude, Casio tends to produce cheaper keyboards with different kinds of features for learning and having fun. Whereas Yamaha provides wider range of keyboard types with high-quality piano essentials.
You can keep reading to find the right keyboard you need: