Yamaha YDP-160 Arius Review

The options for digital pianos are endless, but I wanted to find one that gave me an authentic piano experience. It is a suitable option for people who want to develop proper playing habits and finger strength. Designed to mimic an acoustic piano, the Yamaha YDP-160 Arius digital piano is a great option to consider for a real piano feel.

Things To Consider When Buying A Digital Piano

When shopping for a digital piano, decide which features are most important to you. Do you need scaled and weighted keys? Do you need a lot of different sounds for layering? What do you want in a foot pedal? Do you need the ability to hook it up to your computer? How many headphone jacks do you need? Do you need a built-in record function?

The Yamaha YDP-160 Arius Package

The Yamaha YDP-160 Arius digital piano comes in a rosewood finish with a matching stand, bench and full keyboard. It has more piano samples per key than its predecessor, the Yamaha Arius YDP-131, but less sound samplings than its competitor, the Casio Privia PX-850.

Pros

  • Suitable for people of all skill levels
  • Sliding keyboard cover
  • High quality sounds
  • Scaled and weighted keys

Cons

  • Only 10 sounds
  • More expensive than other digital pianos in its class
  • Dual 20 watt speakers aren't quite loud enough to fill a large room

Features And Benefits

Features For An Authentic Piano Experience

With a graded and weighted full keyboard, great action and response, and high quality sounds, it feels and sounds like playing an acoustic piano. It also includes a triple pedal that works and feels just like the pedals on a baby grand. I like this combination of features because it nurtures good techniques you can only learn from a digital piano that mimics a real piano. The Yamaha YDP-160 Arius is a digital piano that works, sounds and plays like a real piano.

Sound Options

It has 10 sounds in 6 different categories: grand piano, electric piano, harpsichord, vibraphone, church organ and strings. I like this feature for practicing different types of genres and layering sounds. If you write your own music and want to add rich layers to your songs, you might find this feature useful.

Helpful Functional Features

One of the things I found most helpful with the Yamaha YDP-160 is that there are several functional features like two headphone jacks for playing without disturbing those around you. It has two midi ports for notation and learning software—useful for teachers and students. It also has a sliding keyboard cover to protect the keys from dirt and debris, which is great if you are also interested in maintaining your keyboard.

I like the built-in metronome and one-track recording capability for learning, practicing and listening to my progress. Pianists of all skill levels might find these features useful.

Rating

Design

5

Performance

5

Construction

5

Value for the Money

4

User Satisfaction

5

Alternatives

The Yamaha Arius YDP-160 is a great digital piano for students, professionals, teachers and novices alike, but there are other alternatives if it doesn’t quite suit your needs.

Casio Privia PX-860

Casio Privia PX-860

This digital keyboard is in the same class as the Yamaha YDP-160 Arius. It has many of the same features plus some that the Yamaha YDP-160 does not have—like a split keyboard. It is designed to give you an authentic piano experience with a full keyboard and graded and weighted keys. It is cosmetically pleasing with a black finish and matching stand. 

Compared to the Yamaha YDP-160 Arius:

  • Around $50 cheaper
  • Has 8 more voices and includes instrument tones that the Yamaha YDP-160 Arius does not
  • Instrument sounds are great, but not as authentic
  • No matching bench in package

Williams Overture 2 88-Key Console Digital Piano

Williams Overture 2 88-Key Console Digital Piano

In the same class as the Yamaha YDP-160 Arius, the Williams Overture 2 is a digital piano designed to give you the benefits of a real piano. It comes in a glossy black finish with the option to purchase a matching bench separately. It has more features than the Yamaha YDP-160, like split keyboard and a usb port. While it is a good alternative at a much better price point, it does have mixed reviews, so you might want to research it further. 

Compared to the Yamaha YDP-160 Arius:

  • Priced about $300-$350 lower
  • Well over a hundred more sounds to choose from
  • Decent, but lower quality sound samplings
  • Has 2-track recording capability, as opposed to the Yamaha YDP-160's single track
  • Lower quality construction
  • Lower overall quality with a few reviewers reporting technical malfunctions

Yamaha P-45

Yamaha P-45

This digital piano is in a lower class than the Yamaha YDP-160 Arius, but it is still a very reasonable alternative. The Yamaha P-45 digital piano has a full keyboard with scaled and weighted keys. It is not as fancy as the Arius line, but it does have high quality sound and mimics a real piano. 

Compared to the Yamaha YDP-160 Arius:

  • Keyboard, stand and bench cost about half as much as the Yamaha YDP-160
  • Same number of voices
  • Lower quality speakers
  • Smaller footprint
  • Authentic high quality sound samplings
  • Keyboard weight and action not as authentic as the Arius
  • Lower polyphony

Final Thoughts

The Yamaha YDP-160 Arius is a great digital piano for musicians off all skill levels. It feels and plays like an acoustic piano. This instrument is great for nurturing proper playing habits and form. If you are looking for a high quality digital piano that will give you an authentic piano experience, then you might want to check out the Yamaha YDP-160 Arius digital piano. There are many things you need to consider when searching for the best digital piano brand for you, so we recommend that you read our digital piano guide.

Stephanie Su
 

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