The search for a quality digital piano can be difficult. There is a huge amount of choice even just in the Casio range, and when you take into account the rest of the pianos and keyboards on the market then the features can get confusing. In our Casio Px150 Digital Piano Review we look at the features and pros and cons of this model, which is one of the most popular digital pianos if you are looking for something lightweight and portable.
Is the Casio Px150 the instrument you’ve been searching for?
If you are a pianist, you may sometimes be frustrated by the fact your instrument is heavy and difficult to take out and about. If all you want to do is tinkle the ivories at home then it isn’t a problem. For touring musicians and those who need to play and practice at locations outside of their own home, portability is key.
How do we solve this problem?
Well, the way Casio have tried to is with their PX range. The PX150 is the newer version of the Px130, and it is one of the lightest digital pianos on the market. It weighs just over 20 lbs. You can put it in a case and carry this instrument to gigs and rehearsals easily.
What about the other features?
Obviously, the sound is always going to be an important part of a digital piano. It doesn’t matter if the rest of the features are great, if the piano doesn’t sound good you won’t want to use it.
The Casio Px150 has 18 tones in total, which is more than enough for most musicians. Casio have modeled five of these sounds on acoustic pianos while the rest include organs and string sounds. These are great for variation or trying out a new style.
The technology running this sound is the “AiR sound source”. This is their term for the way the piano sounds have been sampled to be included in the piano, and the ‘resonance’ they add to give that extra bit of realism. Without getting too technical, it works, and the sounds are all realistic and rich.
This piano has numerous inbuilt functions to affect the sound. You can use the Duet mode, split and layer options. These let you divide up the keyboard and assign different sounds to each. You can even choose which octaves these are playing at so two people be playing the same key if needed – great for lessons.
You can choose from Sixty different built-in songs which can help you learn how to play, and there are also effects that can alter the sound. These include chorus and reverb, which can change the characteristics of the tone you are playing.
You will definitely be listening to the inbuilt speakers at least some of the time. They do a decent job, but they aren’t one of the strengths of the Px150.
The speakers themselves have a 13×6 cm cone and are fine for practicing or bedroom playing. For performances you will probably want to use an amp or plug into a PA system which can allow the brilliant inbuilt sounds to be heard properly.
The speakers are accompanied by two different headphone outputs. You can use these for privately playing or to connect to other audio hardware. A good set of headphones is a great way to hear the lush tones of the Casio Px150.
So, how does the Px150 actually feel to play?
The ‘feel’ of an instrument may sound quite abstract to beginners, but it is a very real concept. Experienced pianists know that the keys themselves are important, just like the pressure applied to them.
Casio have included their ‘Tri-Sensor’ technology which drives the hammer action of the piano. What this means is that the keys feel realistic when played as the keys towards the lower end are heavier, and they are lighter near the high end. This is exactly how real pianos work.
The realistic weighted, touch-sensitive, ‘hammer action’ of the Px150 comes from the sensors within. These detect how firmly the keys are pressed and will alter the volume and sound accordingly. If you hit a key harder, a louder sound is triggered.
The keys also have a fairly realistic ‘ebony and ivory’ feel. This design is modeled on real pianos, and gives a nice feel on your fingers as you play, something acoustic pianists will be used to. Some digital pianos feel plastic and low quality, but the Px150 does a good job of feeling realistic.
Just as “no man is an island”, no instrument really works only on its own in this age of music technology. This means you can use your digital piano to control other sound modules such as DAWs (digital audio workstations which can be installed on your computer).
So, what does the Px150 work in conjunction with?
The PX150 has a built in recording mode. This allows you to record what you play straight onto a flash drive. You can then use this with audio programs, and just creates audio files which you can use or send on.
It has a USB/MIDI port. MIDI means you can connect it to other instruments and synthesizers which are MIDI compatible and control them with your Casio. MIDI has been an audio staple since the 1980s and is extremely useful still.
The USB connection is slightly more modern and allows you to connect to PC, Mac or even iPad or other tablets. Consequently, won’t even need to install a driver. From here you can record directly from the Casio PX150 or even control virtual instruments. The sound possibilities are unlimited.
Pros And Cons
As well as our detailed review, we have featured the pros and cons of the Casio PX150 below as a simple and easy “at-a-glance” guide.
Pros Of Casio Px150 Digital Piano
- Excellent quality sounds including five piano tones.
- Realistic feeling Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action II keys.
- Comes with a sturdy stand and polishing cloth.
- One of the lightest digital pianos out there.
Cons Of Casio Px150 Digital Piano
- Speakers aren’t great for power and clarity.
- There are cheaper options of digital piano out there.
You can experience true portability with the Casio PX150. If you are looking for the most in terms of tone options or the most powerful speakers, this won’t be for you. However, if you want a digital piano that sounds good and is easy to get out-and-about, the Px150 is worth looking into.
It’s rich sound and realistic feel also make this perfect for people who are transitioning from an acoustic piano to an electric.
In general, the Casio range has some excellent sounds and playability, and this digital piano is no exception.