Stage piano or home piano: What are the differences?

Yacine Khorchi
Yacine Khorchi

Co-Founder | Piano teacher

Last update: 15.09.2023

Basically, both variants are digital pianos. This in turn refers to an electronic instrument that replicates the feel and sound of an acoustic piano as closely as possible.

The stage piano and home piano describe two different groupings of digital pianos.

Stage piano

For a stage piano it is common to use it in stage applications. A good stage piano has weighted keys, is easy to transport and weighs between 33-66 lbs. In order to get it from A to B easily, there are gig bags or flight cases that secure and simplify transport.

However, you usually need a keyboard stand and a music stand. The speakers are integrated in most models.

Home piano

A home piano is, as the name suggests, intended for the living room. You get it delivered, set it up once and then it usually stays in place. Due to its size and weight, the home piano is not so easy to transport. Especially for regular stage use, you do yourself no favors with a home piano.

On the other hand, you have to take care of almost nothing at home. The pedals are permanently mounted. Just like the music stand and the integrated speakers. Set it up, plug it in, play.

Wooden keys for a natural feel

What a few years ago was reserved for the absolute high-end devices is now also available in the mid-range for affordable money. Piano keys made of real wood provide a realistic playing feel and are hardly inferior to acoustic pianos. Especially the big manufacturers Yamaha and Kawai offer a wide range of models and price ranges for wooden keyboards. If you want the most realistic and pleasant playing experience possible, you should take a closer look at the keyboard.

Sound of the digital piano

A digital piano usually has integrated speakers and a headphone jack. This is quite sufficient for use at home. However, if you want to play in front of an audience or in a rehearsal room, more than the internal speaker is required. If a PA (sound system) is available in the rehearsal room or performance venue, you can run the stage piano directly through it. Usually it is plugged into a mixing console with a jack cable which in turn controls the sound of the PA.

If no PA is available, the cheapest option is to buy a keyboard or acoustic combo. Recommended products in the entry-level range are in this case the Behringer K900FX or the Vox VX50KB. These amplifier combos can amplify the sound of the stage piano accurately and often offer additional inputs for a microphone, for example. The sound quality is average.

If good sound is important to you, you have to use an active monitor. If you want stereo, you need two of them. As a rule, you should choose at least a 12″ large, so that it is also worthwhile.

Meanwhile, there are also so-called column systems. You have a bass speaker at the bottom, into which a column is inserted, over which the treble is reproduced at the top. The result is a transparent, balanced and clear sound. Such systems are available, for example, from Bose with the L1 or from LD Systems with the Maui series.

Different piano sounds

With both digital pianos and home pianos, you have the option to select and play different sounds. Mostly you have the choice between different upright and grand pianos, electric pianos, strings, organs, etc. Usually, the portable digital pianos offer more sounds. The home pianos are more specialized in the high-end piano sounds.

Connecting digital piano to PC or HiFi

Theoretically, the digital piano can be run via HiFi or PC. In this case the line outputs and inputs should always be used. However, you have to keep in mind that PC sound cards and HiFi systems have a different level.

Digital pianos usually have -10 dBu and HiFi systems have +4 dBu. Here it is mandatory to set the instrument very low, otherwise the output device can be damaged. Basically we advise against this.

What does a digital piano cost?

The prices for a good stage piano or home piano for beginners start at about 500 €. These are often already equipped with a weighted keyboard and an acceptable sound. Of course, you should not expect too much. The middle class is around 1000-1400 €. Upwards, as always, the price range has basically. The upper range starts at about 2000 €.

Who wants to be on the safe side and has a long-term playing in mind, should choose a mid-range digital piano. With this you can not go wrong and are well equipped.

The 5 best entry-level digital pianos up to 500 €

Here are a few recommendations:

The best home pianos from 500 €

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