Digital vs Acoustic Piano: Which one is right for you?

A debate which will undoubtedly rage for some time, and has become even more rife as technology advances, Digital Piano vs Acoustic Piano is often a difficult call to make when you are considering purchasing, and both have their plus points, and their shortcomings, all of which will be explored in this article exploring the debate, will you go with digital or will you go with acoustic?

To keep the format easy, I’ve written two different sections below, a ‘pro acoustic’ and a ‘pro digital’ which allow you to see the plus points of both.

The Argument for Acoustic Pianos

In spite of the fact that this website is about the best digital pianos on the market, there is a strong argument for acoustic pianos, and sometimes they will be the best option, depending of course on what you’re looking for. Some plus points include

Hammer action is natural, not synthesized. The hammer motion is a key aspect of playing, and though this is replicated in most digital pianos, an acoustic piano can promise you the real thing.

Resale value. This is a bit of a funny one, but if your acoustic piano is of value then that value might not decrease, and could even increase, over time. This only really applies to the top end of the market.

Thick, natural sound. Some acoustic pianos make an amazing sound and though digital pianos replicate this brilliantly, acoustic will always be the real thing.

The Argument for Digital Pianos

As you might have guessed from the fact that this site is all about digital pianos, I do have a preference for these models! In my opinion the positives far outweigh those of acoustic pianos, as you can hopefully see from the list below.

They don’t need tuning. Tuning a piano can be an expensive, inconvenient and time consuming practice, but with a digital piano it will stay in tune at all times.

Multiple sounds. You can make your digital piano sound traditional, use other more electronic sounds such as Rhodes or other classic models, or you can even hook it up to a software synth to create a wide variety of sounds.

Effects! Lots of digital pianos have an option to add effects such as reverb to improve the sound coming out of your speakers.

Headphone slots available so you can practice late at night or just in private until you’re confident enough to play in front of other people.

Most have MIDI compatibility in order to allow you to program in other sounds such as drum kits and other triggers for performing live.

Some models offer built in Rhythm capabilities to allow for accompanied playing.

Portable! They’re not always the most lightweight items but compared to a big old grand or even stand up piano they are easy to take out and about for performances.


As you can see, there are merits to both, but in my opinion, the Digital piano wins the day for the vast majority of cases. Though many purists will make arguments about the sound of an acoustic, there are so many amazing features that make digital pianos the way forward for most pianists and other musicians.