What Are The Pros And Cons Of A Digital Piano?

Last Updated on January 11, 2023

What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of A Digital Piano?

Digital pianos have many advantages that make them the ideal choice for anyone looking for an instrument to practice and perform with. Digital pianos have little to no maintenance needs and are cheaper than acoustic pianos, allowing you to quickly start playing without tuning. There are also some drawbacks when it comes to digital pianos such as it can be difficult to repair them in the event of malfunctions.

When it comes to convenience, digital pianos have some great features as well.

  • You can adjust the volume or plug in digital piano headphones so your practice won't disturb anyone else.
  • You can also access a variety of fun features, such as different instrumental sounds, built-in accompaniments to play along with and recording options that work easily with any recording software.
  • Finally, these instruments take up far less space than acoustic pianos and are easy to transport.
  • For all of these reasons, digital pianos offer unique advantages that make them an excellent choice for any musician.

As with anything, there are some drawbacks to playing the piano.

  • One issue is that digital pianos tend to sound artificial, especially older models or ones with lower-quality audio. The sound quality of some digital pianos can range from tinny and computerized to close replicas of acoustic pianos, but if you don’t enjoy the piano sounds it will be hard to stay motivated.
  • Also, technology is continuing to evolve rapidly today and features on digital pianos become outdated quickly. Older models may still have floppy drives making them harder to transfer recordings with other current devices.
  • Finally, digital pianos may not build finger strength as well as acoustic pianos because some models do not use weighted keys while other models simply aren't weighted enough. This can cause problems with finger dexterity when learning how to play the piano. Make sure you give each model's keys a test before buying.

What Exactly Is An Acoustic Piano?

An acoustic piano is an incredibly timeless instrument that has been around since the early 18th Century. It features 88 keys, giving you a 7-octave note range - which is especially appealing to classically-trained pianists looking to learn pieces with extensive ranges of notes.

Manufacturers have made adjustments over time, including changes to both key lengths and cabinet sizes, in order to provide more comfort and better acoustic qualities. However, overall the design remains relatively unchanged in a bid to capture the classic look and rich sound we all know and love.

Put simply, an acoustic piano is one of the most iconic instruments we have today - it delivers an incredible sound without fail that can't be replicated anywhere else.

How Does An Acoustic Piano Function?

An acoustic piano works by striking a set of usually three steel wire strings with a felt-covered hammer when one of its keys is depressed. The vibrations produced by the strings are then amplified by the soundboard, which is essentially a large wooden surface located within the piano.

These string groupings are arranged in different pitches and can be tuned chromatically, much like a guitar. Moving from left to right on the piano will produce gradually higher notes while the white keys produce whole notes and the black keys produce flat and sharp notes.

A pianist can also have control over how loud or soft the note they play is - pressing lightly will result in gentle, articulate sounds whereas playing aggressively will result in more intense sounds. All in all, this is an intricate yet impressive function of an acoustic piano!

How Does It Feel To Play An Acoustic Piano?

Playing an acoustic piano is unlike anything else. You experience this when you touch the weighted keys and discover the varying levels of touch sensitivity. On a traditional low-end acoustic piano, the keys are heavy and resistant, allowing you to have more control over the dynamics of the notes that you play.

Depending on whether you choose a low or high touch sensitivity, either pressing lightly or firmly on the key will still produce a clear and pronounced sound. The three pedals also help to enhance your playing experience as they create an array of sound effects.

The soft pedal produces lower volumes with each note that is played; it does this by moving the hammer slightly to one side. The sustain pedal which is typically located on your right side enables every single note to ring out longer as well as move dampers away from steel wires so they may freely vibrate.

The sostenuto plays around with sustaining certain notes while others don't get affected; if held down whilst playing a chord, you can lift your fingers yet still have that melody resonate in the background enabling new ones to be layered in atop.

Which Is Better: An Acoustic Or A Digital Piano?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to which type of piano will be better - acoustic or digital. Both have distinct advantages and disadvantages. For those just starting out, a high-quality digital piano may be the preferred choice as they offer more in terms of affordability and connectivity options.

On the other hand, an acoustic piano offers a stronger sense of involvement as you’re playing on real instruments; however, they also come with higher costs and take up more space, making them more difficult investments.

So, when it comes to choosing between an acoustic or a digital piano, there's no clear-cut answer - it all depends on your needs as a musician or student. Consider what you are seeking to achieve in your music journey before making your decision!


When it comes to sound, the acoustic piano will be a better choice for piano students. The unique way in which the hammers strike the strings creates an authentic, warm, and resonant tone that cannot be achieved through digital technology. Furthermore, this provides a better level of control for articulation and expression when playing musical notes.

In comparison, a digital piano is limited as it simply mimics the sound of an acoustic rather than truly replicating it. It's true that high-end digital pianos can make superior sounds compared to budget acoustic pianos, but overall an acoustic has a much richer and better quality sound that you just won't get from a digital version.


When it comes to versatility, digital pianos simply outshine acoustic ones. Did you know that digital piano models not only allow you to produce incredible sound quality but also offer a variety of features that make them more versatile than their acoustic counterparts?

For one, they let you play the sounds of almost any instrument with just the push of a button, ranging from saxophones and choirs to drums! You can even record your playing as a digital file using the piano's connection to your computer.

And what's more, digital pianos come with volume knobs and headphone outputs so you can practice without disrupting others. Last but not least, digital pianos tend to be more portable and easy to transport than traditional acoustic pianos.

So if you're looking for an instrument that offers versatility along with great sound quality, definitely consider investing in a digital piano!


Maintenance is a key point when it comes to choosing between an acoustic and a digital piano. An acoustic model requires more attention, as the wooden exterior, felt on its hammers, and steel strings are all delicate features that must be properly taken care of.

Tuning your acoustic piano 1-2 times per year is necessary in order to keep it in tune. This usually requires the assistance of a professional which can increase your expenses. Furthermore, vulnerability to changes in humidity and temperature levels can affect its components if not kept in the right environment.

To ensure optimal precision and performance, periodically having a technician regulate your instrument may also be necessary. Overall, while both models require maintenance efforts, an acoustic piano tends to need more compared to a digital one.

Touch Sensitivity

Touch Sensitivity is an important factor to consider when evaluating the difference between an acoustic and digital piano. On an acoustic piano, there is a significant amount of strength required to properly strike the keys and this can significantly impact the sound that is produced.

On a digital piano, however, even a gentle touch on the keys can produce sound. Many manufacturers have attempted to bridge the gap between the two instrument types by introducing weighted keys - this emulates the heaviness of acoustic piano keys, as well as providing more touch sensitivity.

However, some pianists may find that digital pianos still lack in terms of touch sensitivity when compared with their acoustic counterparts. With acoustic pianos, the intensity of a key determines the sound, something that isn't achievable with digital pianos which only have a limited range of tones.

Consequently, this can hamper a player's expressive potential when performing pieces on these instruments.


Generally speaking, acoustic pianos are usually more costly than digital ones. An upright acoustic piano can range in price from $1000 to $3000, while a digital one might range from $200 up to or over $500.

While this may mean that acoustic pianos are more of a financial commitment upfront, they are generally much better investments in the long run and have far better resale value than digital versions. Digital pianos tend to depreciate quickly due to frequent upgrades, meaning their resale is much lower whereas acoustic pianos often hold onto their value for longer periods of time.

However, if you're looking for an investment that will resale better in the long run, then you should really go for an acoustic piano over a digital one. Digital pianos depreciate much more quicker, as new and more advanced models are released every year.

On the other hand, a quality, a well-maintained acoustic piano can maintain its value and even appreciate in some cases. So overall, although more costly initially, acoustic pianos are a much better investment in the long run.


Pedals play an essential role when it comes to picking between an acoustic and digital piano. On an acoustic piano, you have access to three pedal types: soft, sustain, and sostenuto. While the sustain pedal sees regular use in all musical styles, the other two do not usually come up often.

However, some digital pianos only feature a sustain pedal or don't even come with pedals at all - although it is possible to purchase them separately if necessary. These features can greatly affect your ability to perform certain pieces, making it important to consider each instrument's pedal options before making a decision.

Regardless of whether you prefer an acoustic or digital piano for its sound or aesthetic quality, be sure to check which varieties of pedals are included (or potentially upgradable) in order to make the best decision according to your exact needs and preferences.

It’s important to clearly understand how each type of piano fares regarding its variety of pedals for ultimately better playing experience. In conclusion, a traditional piano has three pedals - soft, sostenuto, and sustain - whereas some digital pianos may have only one or none at all.

Heya'll Im Oliver (Oli), I run MyDigitalPiano.com. By trade an Electrical Engineer, an owner of a piano shop. Always being asked about my recommendations for top piano, I created this site. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to reach out :)

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