Yamaha Arius YDP-181 Review

Yamaha Arius YDP-181 Review
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You are here because you want an honest Yamaha Arius YDP-181 Review. The good news for you is that we have one. We studied the ins and outs of this pricey but gorgeous instrument. We found what it does right, and what it does wrong.

Why?

Because musicians are artists. They care about their instruments, and they don’t want to have to wonder if they are getting the right one.

There is certainly quite a bit to like about the Yamaha Arius YDP-181. However, this isn’t at all to say that the keyboard is perfect.

To find out if this is the right piano for you, read on for our review.

Yamaha NP12
Our rating: (4.4 / 5)

Important Features

Let’s now take a look at some important features that will inform your buying decision. The factors that we will look at in this section are mostly positives.

We will also look at some things the keyboard does wrong a little bit later.

Stand

The Arius is really quite beautiful. This is mostly due to the furniture quality stand that closely resembles the look of an upright piano. From a distance, many people might not even be able to notice the difference.

The Arius is sleek, low-profile, and elegant. The piano look is completed with three built-in pedals that mimic the setup of an acoustic.


The only real issue that we had with the stand is that it is a little bit vulnerable to scratching. This is a cosmetic problem, but also never one that you like to see.

Great Keyboard

As you would expect from a piano in this price range, the Arius features an excellent keyboard. The keys are weighted, graded, and they feature nuanced sensors.

The weighting and grading components mean that it will play like an acoustic. Weighted keys mimic the resistance that you find with an acoustic piano. The graded element further improves this effect.

Yamaha Arius YDP-181

When keys are graded, it means that each section of the board has its own unique weight. Lower notes will be heavier than higher notes.

Lastly, the high-quality sensors mean that the keyboard will be extremely responsive to nuanced playing.

All of these features are more or less expected from a keyboard of this price range. Still, these things are also all great to see.

IOS Capable

iPhone users are really in luck with this piano. If you are the owner of an Apple device, you can sync the Arius up to your device for easier access to its features.

The display simply gives you a centralized hub for finding and experimenting with the features. If you don’t have an apple product, you can still navigate the board. You will just be limited to using the onboard controls.


Onboard Recording

Last but not least, you also get an onboard recorder with this piano. You can only store three songs at a time, which is actually less than many options out there. Still, you can always upload your recordings to your computer to keep the onboard memory clear.

Onboard recording is a fun way to make music, and experiment with your practicing.

Issues

Price is going to be a big obstacle for many people. This is a premium keyboard with a premium price tag. Granted, there are pianos out there that cost ten times what you pay for this one. But that is an entirely different category of instrument.

This isn’t necessarily a pro-caliber piano. It is a handsome, high-quality unit made for at home use.

That in mind, it is pretty pricey.

The other issues are a little bit smaller. For one thing, we noticed that this board is pretty challenging to set up. There are lots of pieces. They are big, and heavy, and awkward to handle. If you are going to be doing the assembly yourself count on needing the help of at least one other person.

We also weren’t blown away by the texture of the keyboard. They keys do get a lot of things right. They are responsive, weighted, and graded. The keys play great, but they don’t quite feel all the way right.

YDP 181

The coverings have a plasticky feel to them that is very common to electric keyboards. This problem is so pervasive that we don’t always even mention it. The reason that we do mention it here is because of the price of the Arius.

There are certainly pianos in this price range that offer keys with a  better feel to them.

Last, we found that the stand itself was a little bit vulnerable to cosmetic wear and tear. The material seems to scratch pretty easily. This will probably be disappointing to people that bought it as a furniture piece.

The cosmetic wear isn’t a guarantee. However, if you have pets or children, it is something to keep in mind.


Are these deal-breaking cons? Probably not. The piano still performs extremely well, which is the main consideration for most people.

Still, these things are good to keep in mind. This is a pricey keyboard so it is a little bit disappointing to see a few small, unnecessary cons.

Pros And Cons

If you have read to this point that means it is almost time to make your buying decision. Yay, or nay? With all of the info you have just read, it can be easy to get tripped up. That in mind, we have condensed our review into these pros and cons.

Read on!

Pros Of Yamaha Arius YDP-181

  • Beautiful Stand
  • Built-in Pedals
  • Onboard Recording
  • Responsive Keyboard
  • IOS Capable

Cons Of Yamaha Arius YDP-181

  • Pricey
  • Stand vulnerable to cosmetic wear

Conclusion

Buyers on a budget will probably shy away from this unit. Affordability is not one of the many departments in which it succeeds.

However, if you do have a little bit of money to spend, this is a good option to keep in mind. Aesthetically, it looks great. This is as much a furniture piece as it is an instrument.

And of course, it is also just a high-performing piano. The bottom line is that, for the right buyer, the Yamaha Arius is an excellent opportunity to get a great instrument.