MIDI Keyboard Vs. Digital Piano: What is the Difference?

Differences of Midi keyboard and digital piano.

If you are aware of it or not, there are significant distinctions between a digital piano and a MIDI keyboard. 

A digital piano attempts to replicate the feel and sound of an actual acoustic piano. In contrast, a MIDI keyboard is intended to be used in music creation and is often equipped with controllers such as faders or even knobs which are utilized to handle various MIDI inputs.

The weight, dimensions, controller selections, speaker quality, and overall lifespan of a digital piano, as well as a MIDI keyboard, are just a few of the significant distinctions between the two instruments.

What is a Digital Piano?

In order to replicate the feeling and sounds of an acoustical piano, digital pianos are developed and constructed specifically for this purpose. As a result, keyboards are often accessible with 88 keys, which corresponds to the full scale of an acoustic keyboard.

It often includes some additional sound such as orchestra, flute, harpsichord, and a few pianos timbre, yet their sound repertoire is nothing as comprehensive as what of a keyboard provided.

A digital piano is essentially a cross between acoustics pianos and MIDI keyboards in terms of functionality.


  • The sounds are pre-installed
  • Configuration or workflow is more efficient.
  • Built-in speaker system
  • Keyboard with weighted keys


  • It’s costly
  • Heavier
  • There are no faders, controllers, or percussion pads on this board.

What is a MIDI Keyboard?

A MIDI keyboard is not attempting to replicate the sound of an actual acoustic piano, nor is it trying to conceal its presence. It is usually available in a wide variety of dimensions, the far more popular being 61 keys. It is far more portable even than the acoustic piano and the digital piano, respectively.

You’ll appreciate the MIDI keyboard if you’re looking for something portable that has an extensive collection of inbuilt sounds and MIDI controllers.


  • Functionality in conjunction with software-based equipment.
  • Percussion pads, faders, and encoders that can be assigned are possible.
  • Staging pianos are often less expensive than regular pianos.


  • Setup is time-consuming, slowing down the workflow.
  • There are no solo sounds included
  • Always require a desktop to function.
  • Keys with a semi-weighted vibe  

Major Differences of Digital Piano & MIDI Keyboard

We will discuss the distinctions seen between a digital piano and the MIDI keyboard in more detail below.


Usually, a digital piano is equipped with the following connections:

  • Maintain Pedal 
  • USB
  • Headphones
  • MIDI
  • Input of electrical power

The following are the most frequent connectors found on a MIDI keyboard:

  • Maintain Pedal 
  • USB
  • Headphones
  • MIDI

As you can observe, there isn’t much of a distinction between the various connection choices available in this case. A digital piano with a USB connection may be used for a MIDI keyboard in your recording studio, mainly because both have USB connectivity.

Portability: Weight and Size

A digital piano and a MIDI keyboard are easily distinguished by their physical weight and dimensions, which are both significant factors in their performance. 

In addition to being massive and weighty, a digital piano is often larger and heavy than a Midi keyboard. It renders the digital piano considerably more immobile and “furniture-like” rather than the MIDI keyboard due to the greater size of the digital piano’s frame.

The keys of a digital piano are designed to be as similar as possible to an actual piano’s keys. Therefore, considering how much money you are prepared to pay, they may be anything from reasonably good to highly comparable.  

It is a frequent occurrence for fully weighted keys, and several digital pianos utilize a similar precise material as traditional pianos. If you’re looking for the finest of the greatest, you should look into the luxury Yamaha Grand Piano line from Yamaha Brand.

When using a MIDI keyboard, the keys are sometimes semi-weighted or unweighted keys. While it is not essential to be as realistic as necessary, it is vital to offer a lightweight and portable keyboard that is simple to use and play.

Audio Outputs for Live

Digital pianos are equipped with speakers that are integrated into the instrument. In other words, the only thing you have to utilize a digital piano to produce music is a power connection.

A MIDI keyboard does not have the ability to generate sound by itself. You may claim to have a keyboard at your house, and it is equipped with speakers. That is the distinction between a MIDI keyboard and a digital keyboard, to put it another way. Essentially, a digital keyboard is a separate musical instrument with integrated speakers that is fully responsible for generating sound.

It is not included with a MIDI Keyboard that it has speakers. It is reliant on a desktop or monitor being connected in order to generate sound.


Many other digital pianos should last you between ten to fifteen years, assuming proper care and maintenance. According to other people’s experience, MIDI keyboards have a considerably shorter lifespan, ranging from two to five years. Just a word of caution: don’t go for the cheapest option.

Should I buy a Digital Piano or a MIDI keyboard?

If the device does not have a USB port, it does not have access to digital instruments except for an SD card slot or memory functionality.

My preference is for the midi keyboard since it takes more time and energy to set up a digital audio workstation (DAW) or independent software or virtual instruments. In contrast, with a digital piano, all you have to do is switch it on, and the sounds are immediately playing. Weighted keys are also available on high-end digital pianos, which provide a more realistic sensation while performing.

If you use quality software instruments, possessing a midi keyboard opens up a plethora of other soundscapes, and also several midi keyboards even have corresponding percussion pads, faders, and encoders.

A digital piano with a MIDI keyboard mounted on a rack over it is, without a doubt, is a superb combination. Furthermore, since many digital pianos have a USB output, this effectively transforms the instrument into a midi keyboard in and of itself.

Final Thought

Undoubtedly, there are several diverse types of key-based instruments nowadays. Perhaps this information has helped clarify any misunderstanding you may have about the numerous other instruments and variations out there.

When selecting the best instrument for you, I usually suggest that you try searching and testing out any of the different piano instruments as practicable before drawing any conclusion.

The characteristics of each instrument are simple to count. However, when it comes to right down to it, the most crucial aspect is how each instrument sounds to you as a pianist.

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