The first Yamaha Portable Keyboards arrived in 1979 with the PS-1, PS-2, and PS-3 models.  Nearly 40 years later, Yamaha has continued to develop and create new milestones of cutting edge keyboards for players of all skills levels. Whether it’s your first time tickling the ivories or you already consider yourself a maestro, there’s a Yamaha portable keyboard for you to get your hands on.

What makes Yamaha portable keyboards so popular is in part of the name: “portable”. No longer are the days where your keyboard was a permanent fixture for your home nor a burden to carry around; enjoy and enormous library of sounds and rhythms that you can easily carry in one arm, with or without a gig bag.

Speaking of sounds and rhythms, these aren’t your grandma’s piano. Not only do you get a healthy variety of classic piano sounds, you also get tons additional keyboards and synths, along with instruments galore. Now you can play and record an entire rock band, a symphonic orchestra, or both if you’re so inclined! Rhythmically, you have nearly every genre tonally imaginable from rock, classical, pop, EDM, dance, and more to play along with and inspire a new style and feel with every performance!

Another feature that has made these keyboards the go-to is the wonderful array of teaching tools. Whether you use the pre-installed features or connect your smart device to unlock further instruction, you can easily begin to understand the basics of playing and music theory or take on more advanced techniques to keep your chops up! You’ll soon be on your way to become the next Elton John or Lady Gaga!

All that being said, one worry for some people when playing piano is being too noisy or simply trying to keep quiet. Thankfully, each Yamaha portable keyboard offers a line out for headphones so you can plug in and play to your hearts content. However, if you want to crank it up and play to an audience of thousands, any of these keyboards can easily plug into a speaker for maximum volume with all your music sounding just as stellar as if they were playing on their internal speakers.

Let’s first take a look at some keyboards best suited for beginners.

Yamaha PSR-E263 Portable Keyboard

Want to jump right into playing piano without breaking the bank? If so, your best option is the Yamaha PSR-E263! Without a doubt the simplest and most affordable option from Yamaha’s illustrious line of portable keyboards. You’ve got dozens of songs, voices, and styles of beats to choose from to sound like whatever style of music you’re interested in or curious to experiment with to expand your musical palette. For those that are still learning the nuances of the piano, it comes chock full of different teaching tools to help aid you in becoming a better pianist, whether teaching yourself or having an instructor of your own. This is the perfect option for anyone looking for a simple-to-use keyboard perfect for young children or adults not accustomed to piano.

Features:

  • 400 voices
  • 130 styles
  • Recording function to record and playback ideas
  • Duo Mode to allow two people to play on one keyboard by splitting the keyboard. Great for teachers to have students follow along with their playing
  • 1/4 output for headphones/speaker
  • Aux input to play along to your favorite songs from your media player
  • Powered via power supply (not included) or batteries (6 AA batteries)

Yamaha PSR-EW300 76-Key Portable Keyboard

If you’re looking to get a little more advanced with your playing, songwriting and recording, it’s worth looking at the Yamaha PSR-EW300. While the PSR-E263 is a great beginner keyboard, there are some features that are slightly limited compared to this keyboard.

For instance, the previous keyboard can only record audio from the previous keyboard via ¼ inch cable. With the PSR-EW300, you can easily connect this keyboard to your computer or smart device via USB MIDI and start recording on your favorite DAW as a MIDI controller! Also, when you get to a skill level of playing more complex or sustained chords, you won’t have to worry about notes dropping out thanks to this keyboard’s 48-note polyphony compared to the PSR-E263’s 32-note polyphony! When playing along with the auxiliary port, unlike the previous keyboard, you can use the “melody suppressor” technology so you can sing and/or play along to your favorite songs and hear yourself better in the process.

Like how two voices sound and wish to play them simultaneously? Have no fear with Dual Mode! Once activated, you can choose any two sounds you like and hear them in tandem such as piano and violins to give a unique characteristic to your playing!

Features:

  • USB to Host audio and MIDI connectivity
  • Aux input to play along to songs using “melody suppressor” technology
  • Powered via power supply (not included) or batteries (6 AA batteries)
  • Duo Mode to play alongside another person by having a piano with two middle “C” notes
  • Dual Mode for layer two sounds together to make one playable sound
  • Split Mode to allow two sounds to be played on either side of the keyboard
  • 48-note polyphony
  • Phrase Repeat to help with practicing difficult phrases

Yamaha Piaggero NP-12 Ultra-Portable Digital Piano

If you’re starting out on piano, chances are you want to jump right in to learning to play without having to spend part of that time learning how your keyboard works. That, or you don’t need all the bells and whistles and simply want a keyboard that sounds great and feels comfortable.

While it doesn’t boast as many keys and onboard features as the previous PSR-EW300, it makes up for it with it’s beautiful sounds and comfortable keys. Although it has minimal onboard features, the feeling and expressiveness of the keys rivals other portable keyboards that give you a more dynamic feel where playing softer yields quieter notes and playing harder yields louder notes.

Like the 32-note polyphony of the previous keyboard? If so, this keyboard doubles that to 64 notes so you can glissando and hold huge chords without worry!

One of the best aspects of this keyboard (and even for professionals) is the Record function. Ideally, you want to hear your playing to understand where your strengths and weaknesses are. Thanks to the Record function, you simply press a button, play to your hearts content, and then play your performance back instantly!

Features:

  • USB to HOST port to unlock bonus educational and music creation features
  • The Record button offers you easy one-touch recording of your practice sessions, performances, or original compositions so you can listen back yourself or share with friends and family.
  • 10 voices including piano, electric piano, organ, strings, vibgraphone and harpsichord
  • Powered via power supply or (6) AA batteries
  • Velocity and touch sensitive keyboard for dynamic expression

Yamaha PSR-E363 Portable Keyboard

While the previous keyboard is a fantastic approach for beginners, some piano players may want more onboard features and sounds on their keyboard. Thanks to the Yamaha PSR-E363, it comes with enough voices and styles to get your creative juices flowing to inspire more playing and infinite songwriting ideas! It’s also jam-packed with tons of educational tools to not only help with your playing but understand what you’re playing. With the “Keys To Success” program,
you can go through different music theory related lessons that will help you not only play better but understand what it is you’re actually playing.

Speaking of teaching tools, perhaps you’ve hired a teacher to help you learn piano. Instead of having two separate pianos, activate Duo Mode to split the keyboard evenly great for teachers or two friends looking to play together!

Playing along to your favorite songs is one of the great joys of being a musician. However, many of us have to try and sing/play over the vocalist on the track. Thanks to the “melody suppressor” function, not only can you play along with your favorite tracks via AUX input, you can use the function to minimize the song’s lead so you can truly be the star of the song!

Yamaha understands that not everyone can play along with songs they hear without years of practice. With that being the case, you can download a Song Book that includes sheet music to accompany the built-in songs on the keyboard.

Features:

  • 574 voices of different instruments with reverb effects and Master EQ
  • 150 varied arpeggio types
  • 165 styles to offer backing tracks that can follow the chords you play to keep in key with your playing
  • “Keys to Success” is based on teaching techniques shared with Yamaha over many years. Through short and easy, step-by-step lessons, players learn how to play entire songs.  To help build your skills, the new “Touch Tutor” takes the mystery out of learning dynamic expression.
  • USB to HOST connectivity with MIDI for recording MIDI or audio
  • Auxiliary input for performing along your favorite tracks
  • Powered via power supply

Yamaha PSR-EW410 Portable Keyboard

If you’re past the novice stage of playing piano and looking for a keyboard that can unlock your potential not only as a pianist but as a well-rounded musician, it’s worth diving into the Yamaha PSR-EW410! It has tons of sounds and features that previous keyboards have with some newer ones for budding music producers and songwriters alike.

If you’re an aspiring DJ/producer, this is a fantastic choice of keyboard since it offers the ability to create your own beats, add effects with various buttons and knobs, and let’s your save your latest creation to a USB stick to post online or perform at your next show! Best of all, this keyboard is a fantastic sampler by allowing you to capture audio and play it back at your will, either in Normal mode (playing the sample in different pitches on the keyboard), Loop mode (sample plays repeatedly), or One-shot (sample plays only when triggered).

Go even further into DJ territory by using the Groove Creator to create and manipulate beats and sounds with your playing! Using the onboard Live Control knobs to tweak your mix and change the parameters of your tone, you’ll be the hit of any party or show you perform!

Regardless of what you play, it’ll all sound incredible coming out of two 12-watt speakers so you’ll sound great practicing at home or performing live at a small venue!

Features:

  • 574 Voices with included Reverb effects and Master EQ
  • 235 styles to play and perform along with to inspire new ideas and grooves
  • USB to HOST connectivity with MIDI
  • USB to DEVICE to record your performances onto a USB Flash Drive to either play later or share with other computers/smart devices
  • Auxiliary input for sampling and performing along your favorite tracks
  • Powered via power supply or (6) AA batteries

If you’re an experienced piano player, you might feel stifled by the options you have with your sounds and features on the piano you currently own. Additionally, you may want to experiment with songwriting and solo performance. To solve that issue, Yamaha has created what are called “arranger” keyboards that not only offer all the features of the previous keyboards, but offer additional features for helping with accompaniment, live manipulation of sound, and so much more!

Yamaha PSR-S670 Arranger Workstation Keyboard

You’ve played the keys for years and you love manipulating sounds a features live and in the studio but need one keyboard that can do it all. If that’s the case, perhaps you’re ready for an arranger keyboard. Look no further than the Yamaha PSR-S670! If you’re already comfortable using a keyboard like the PSR-EW410, think of this as the wiser, more mature elder sibling that can do all of that and more!

Boasting 416 voices and 230 styles, you’ll find yourself diving deep into all of the varied combinations of sounds and rhythms! While it has all the features of the previous keyboard, you have new features to allow you to truly be a solo musician such as a sequencer to create your own songs and beats to play along with at any live show! The arpeggiator is even better than ever to come up with some incredibly unique performances for your DJ set allowing you to free your hands to play chords and manipulate sound with the control knobs and pads!

Unlike the previous portable keyboards mentioned, this one has a balanced stereo output so you can plug into a mixer or speaker and get a beautiful, wide sound live! This is great when you want to pan certain sounds to either the left or right speaker giving the listener a more immersive experience.

Best of all, if you want to add new sounds to your keyboard, there’s Expansion Memory to allow you to do just that through various packs or by adding your own samples!

Features:

  • 416 Voices
  • 230 Styles
  • Expansion Memory
  • Chord Tracker: adownloadable app for smart devices that analyzes a songs’s audio and creates chords for your to play!
  • 2 live controllers for manipulating effects and other functions

Yamaha PSR-S775 Arranger Workstation

If the previous keyboard still isn’t enough for you and you’re looking for even more features and control, check out the Yamaha PSR-S775. It does everything the previous arranger does but now offers a total of 1460 voices and 433 styles to truly expand your horizons of creativity.

Unlike any of the other keyboards mentioned, it also offers a mic/guitar input so you can record vocals or guitar samples/tracks as samples or simply sing and play over your performance. Additionally, you can manipulate the sound of your voice or guitar with the onboard effects!

If you’re looking to get even more control over the multiple functions and parameters of this keyboard, you’ll be happy to know that this arranger has MIDI in and out! Plug any assortment of external MIDI devices so you can trigger different effects, parts of your performance, or anything else you can think of to have a standout solo performance! You also have two additional foot pedal ports so you can use one for sustain and use the other as a dampener!

The USB Audio playback function in this arranger is incredibly helpful in live performance. Not only can you simply play along to the audio, you can time stretch and pitch shift to suit your desire tempo and key, as well as use lyric display so you never have to worry about what the next line of your song will be!

While we mentioned you can add expansion packs to the previous keyboard, you won’t have to pick and choose your packs when this keyboard has 280MB of ROM storage for you to fit your favorites. If you love playing woodwinds and other sounds that depend on dynamics, you’ll get a more realistic sound thanks to Super Articulation voices so your flutes and other instruments will sound like the real deal.

Features:

  • 1460 Voices including 50 drum/sfk kits and 480 XG voices
  • 433 Styles including 30 session styles and 15 DJ styles
  • 280 MB of ROM memory
  • MIDI In/Out
  • Mic/Guitar input

Yamaha PSR-S975 Keyboard Arranger Workstation

The keyboard that does it all and more: the Yamaha PSR-S975! Every voice, style and feature you can think of is built into this monster of a machine right out of the box. Should you manage to find a sound not featured in this keyboard, you still have 768 MB of onboard memory to add more sounds if you wish.

While this shares the Mic/Guitar input of the previous arranger, this one adds two new features: Vocal Harmony 2 and Synth Vocoder! Now, you can sing with harmonies while playing or become a human vocoder!

The Yamaha Tyros 5 boasts Real Distortion and Real Reverb effects that have made it a standout arranger for recording and mixing and now you all that software built into this incredible keyboard! There’s also options of phaser, wah, compressors, and phasers you can use thanks to Yamah’s Virtual Circuitry Modeling (VCM).

Don’t have a computer nearby but still want to mix your tracks? Do it right on the keyboard! It’s incredibly intuitive design makes using the menu a breeze and manipulating the controls as easy as doing it on a computer in the mixing stage, perhaps even easier!

Features:

  • 1625 Voices including 55 Drum/SFX kits and 480 XG voices
  • 523 Styles including 40 audio styles, 34 sessions styles, and 15 DJ styles
  • Vocal Harmony 2 and Synth Vocoder
  • Real Distortion and Real Reverb for truer guitar and keyboard tone
  • 768 MB of onboard memory
  • Mic/Guitar input
  • Vocal Harmony 2 and Synth Vocoder for manipulating vocals live
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Ben Ash
Ben Ash is a member of the Sam Ash Music family, both literally and figuratively. He has worked on the sales floor in both the Huntington and Forest Hills location. As Social Media Coordinator, he was integral with bringing the social media of the company to new heights and relevancy. He was also a Manager of the Northeast region. Currently, he is the Content Marketing Manager for Sam Ash Music. He received a Bachelors Degree in Music Business at Berklee College Of Music in 2012. He’s a proficient guitar player and can also play bass and ukulele. Although he grew up as a fan of classic rock and alternative, he’s now opened his mind to being a fan of many genres of music. He regularly posts his music covers on his YouTube channel and has played multiple venues in Long Island, NYC, Philadelphia and Boston.