Difference Between Digital vs. Acoustic Piano

How do you know if the digital or acoustic piano fits you better? Let's take a look at the difference between digital vs. acoustic piano:

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Miller Piano Specialists August 14, 2020 3 Min Read

Trying to find out which piano best suits what you need? Both the digital and acoustic piano has so much to offer, and they’re both great. But, how do you know if the digital or acoustic piano fits you better? Let’s take a look at the difference between digital vs. acoustic piano:

Acoustic Piano

Acoustic pianos produce sound by channeling the power of the fingers pressing the keys into the hammers, which strike the strings. There are vibrations produced by striking the strings, and they transmit onto the soundboard. From there, the vibrations diffuse richly, and that amplifies the sound. In an acoustic piano, the tone varies on how the piano player plays the keys. With this instrument, you can play with emotion and expressiveness.

Digital Piano

A digital piano has no strings, and each key is a switch to produce a specific sound. An electronic tone generator produces the sounds, which amplify using a speaker. Technological advances have digital pianos to reproduce a sound that sounds so much like an acoustic piano.

Digital pianos produced by Yamaha are equipped with hammers. These are not for striking the strings but made to capture the dynamics with which the key is played, creating a very dynamic response to touch that closely imitates the experience of playing an acoustic piano.

The main difference between a digital and an acoustic piano is how the piano produces the sound:

Digital PianoAcoustic Piano
AttributesThe Digital Piano is lightweight, compact, and requires no tuning, with volume control. Has the ability to imitate a variety of musical instruments, including the ability to sound like an acoustic piano. Have recording features and functionalities.The Acoustic Piano offers the luxury of playing a historical and sophisticated instrument. It has an appealing and rich sound that creates a harmonious atmosphere in any room. The expression is limitless and can be played in many ways and genres. However, it does require regular tuning and care.
Sound ProductionMost digital pianos offer sensors that can detect the most delicate movements of the keys. The sound is digitally recorded from a grand piano and can amplify through speakers. It offers acoustic effects, reverbs, and creates an acoustic environment when performing in a larger space.It requires a string-striking mechanism that generates vibration that is transmitted to the soundboard to produce sound. The entire instrument acts as a resonator, which creates a rich and high-quality sound.
TouchThe touch of a digital piano depends on the manufacturer and model. There are many ways a manufacturer can reproduce a grand-piano-like touch response on a digital piano.The stringed instrument is capable of being very responsive to the player’s touch. The “action” or the acoustic piano is composed of around 5,500 individual precision parts.
ExpressivenessDigital pianos offer a large variety of detailed recordings and technology features that allow piano players to play with expression. This piano can imitate the sound and feel of an acoustic piano.Acoustic pianos already have a vibrant and expressive tone, and can be manipulated by how soft or firmly the player desires to play the keys. Sustain pedals allow the musician to perform at their own pace and feel.
ToneThe Digital Piano is capable of having a consistent tone and timbre according to how loud or soft it’s played.The Acoustic Piano’s tone is consistent with how the musician plays the instrument. The piano player can play with expression and has a wide range of techniques for playing the piano.
DurabilityThe durability of a Digital Piano depends on the expected lifetime by the manufacturer and the electronic features.The lifetime of an acoustic piano’s lifetime can be prolonged with care, tuning, and replacing worn parts. The acoustic piano can last for years/ a lifetime with the right care.


We hope you enjoyed reading about the difference between digital vs. acoustic piano. Overall, both of these pianos have great features to offer. If you’re looking to buy your dream piano, we can help you!

If you’re interested in buying a digital Yamaha piano, we are open! Our hours are Monday-Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. We are happy to help you in person again, using all the guidelines we have been provided. We are here for you.

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