I'm deciding to buy a digital piano keyboard for home usage as a beginner and I intend to only use headphones while playing. So, does the sound system even matter, and are there any good value keyboards that scrap the good quality sound for other features that actually matter for headphone usage?

I want it to sound good, don't get me wrong, but I want it to be using headphones and not the external speakers. Thanks!

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    The sample quality is going to be the same over speakers and headphones. The only thing this changes is how much you care about speakers themselves. Pick your budget, get a list of option in your budget, and compare. If any of your options is good or bad because of the speakers, you can ignore that aspect of reviews or comparisons. You’re not going to find any two keyboards that are at the same price point where one is better in some way because the speakers are worse. No one is catering to the headphone only market Mar 8, 2022 at 16:06
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    There is spacial information they can work into the speakers & cabinet that you will never hear on headphones [& may even be bypassed for the headphone out]. The only way to discover which you like is to go to a music shop & try them.
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 8, 2022 at 16:10
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    Considering that nobody caters for headphone only market, there are surprisingly many digital pianos with twin headphone jacks for student and teacher.
    – ojs
    Mar 8, 2022 at 19:44
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    @ojs On the contrary, I think there's a pretty big market for "Let's fill a room with Clavinovas so we can teach piano class and everybody can pound away on their own with headphones on, and then the instructor can sit at the front and patch in one student after another to hear their progress." Mar 8, 2022 at 21:10
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    @AndyBonner I believe you're answering to the person who wrote " No one is catering to the headphone only market", not me
    – ojs
    Mar 8, 2022 at 23:12

2 Answers 2

  1. There are other considerations besides sound. I love my Kawai partly, yes, for its nice on-board sound, but also for its realistic key action.
  2. To some degree I get the impression that speaker "quality" improves in lockstep with other factors, like sample bank, digital-to-audio converter, and overall hardware. In other words, in general, no, you're not going to find some piano that has crappy speakers but in other regards is great (until you get into high-end stage keyboards that have no onboard speakers anyway). What you will find is that, in general, as you invest more into the whole package, the speaker sound improves too.
  3. I would argue that you should care about it even if you'll usually play with headphones, or plug in other amps or speakers, etc. There still might come a day when you have friends over and want to play for them, or your external amp breaks—or, for that matter, you resell it.

Answering the question as it is written when I'm writing this answer: There are keyboards sold as stage pianos that are intended to sound good through PA system (and coincidentally headphones) and do not have built-in speakers or wooden cases. Some models from Yamaha, Roland and probably other manufacturers that have built-in speakers that are kind of usable in emergency situations but they sound much better through headphones or PA system. For example, in Yamaha P series of stage pianos the old P-80 and P-90 did not have built-in speakers at all but later models have these small boxy sounding speakers.

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