Korg SP-280 Digital Piano Review

When it comes to digital pianos, all pianists seek an instrument that delivers almost similar authenticity, like acoustic pianos, when playing. The Korg SP-280 digital piano is a unique musical instrument one such instrument that manages to tick most pianists’ checklist.

The piano replaces its predecessor, the Korg SP-250, and comes with new upgrades and some enhancements from the previous model. This piano has beautiful sounds featured in a stylish design capable of matching any décor. It faithfully reproduces the feel and sounds of a Concert grand piano to give you the most authentic experience when playing.

And if you don’t believe yet, find out for yourself in this Korg SP-280 review.

Korg SP-280 digital piano Overview

Usually, compact and affordable digital pianos sacrifice a lot of significant features. But this isn’t the case with the Korg SP-280 digital piano. As an upgrade, it comes with multiple functions, and better yet, its build doesn’t limit its ability to impress.

The Korg SP-280 digital piano features a weighted hammer keyboard that the beginners can take full advantage of, and will still impress pros when playing. Although sold separately, the SP-280 comes with a damper pedal that offers the same functionality as the one in traditional pianos. It is portable and only weighs around 41lbs, making it the perfect option for many frequently gigging musicians.

Thanks to plenty of sounds and different variety of features, this digital piano can match the needs of any level of pianist.

Features of the Korg SP-280 Digital Piano

Korg SP-280 Specifications

  • 88-key, Natural Hammer Weighted Action
  • 3 Touch Sensitivity Levels – Light, Normal, Heavy
  • Polyphony – 120 voices
  • Pitch – Transpose, Fine Tuning
  • 9 types of Temperament
  • Sound Engine – Stereo Piano System
  • Sound Effects – Reverberation, Chorus, and Brilliance
  • 30 Demo Songs
  • Metronome – Time Signature, Accent, Volume, and Sound Controls, Tempo
  • Damper Pedal
  • Amp. – 22W x 2
  • Speakers – (16cm – 8cm) x 2
  • Connectivity – Headphones x 2, Pedal Unit, MIDI IN/OUT, Line IN/OUT
  • Dimensions – (W x D x H) 53.58” × 15.98” × 30.91” (without the stand)
  • Weight – 41.89lbs / 19kg

Design

Korg SP-280 digital piano
Korg SP-280 Digital Piano

Compared to the SP-250 that preceded it, the Korg SP-280 digital piano features a more stylish and lightweight design. This piano takes away the idea that a digital piano should only be played against a wall. It has a modern, distinctive, and curvilinear look capable of fitting aesthetically with any décor.

Because of its design, you can place the SP-280 anywhere you want in your space. As an upgrade from its predecessor, this piano weighs 30% lighter, meaning it was built with portability in mind. It also features a newly designed sturdy stand that’s easy to attach. The Korg SP-280 music stand is also another addition to the aesthetics, and once connected, it leaves the floor uncluttered.

Korg SP-280 Digital Piano Keyboard

Korg SP-280

The piano features Korg’s NH keyboard, which is the Natural Weighted Hammer Action. The keyboard action is useful in reproducing the touch and feel of an acoustic piano. Because it’s a weighted action keyboard, you’ll feel a more substantial effect on keys in the lower register, while those on the higher register will feel lighter. If unaware, this is the same action found in acoustic pianos.

The NH is an impressive keyboard action as it allows the nuances to be faithfully expressed by the sound when you play. Additionally, the Korg SP-280 digital piano keyboard features three touch-sensitivity levels that you can use to adjust to your most preferred feel when playing.

The adjustment capabilities will affect your playing dynamics and output and enhance your playability to give you a good experience on the Korg SP-280’s keyboard.

READ ALSO: Korg LP-380 Review – Is It Worth Buying?

Korg SP-280 Digital Piano Sound

Sound is another area where the Korg SP-280 digital piano excels. It features rich and expressive sounds that any level of pianists would love to hear. It switches between four piano samples depending on your dynamic of play, making it provide a feel that is incredibly close to a traditional piano. And with delicate pianissimo to dynamic fortissimo, the SP-280 responds authentically to how you play.

The SP-280 is a perfect instrument for live performance as it features 6 varieties of authentic and vintage electric piano sounds. Korg put a lot of thought into this piano’s electric piano sounds, and the results are vividly impressive.

These electric piano sounds are period-accurate and reproduce sounds in response to your touch. They also reproduce subtle noises that occur from releasing a key, making the whole experience very satisfying.

In addition to electric piano sounds, the SP-280 also features a total of 30 vibrant and high-quality sounds as classified below:

  • 5 Acoustic Piano sounds
  •  Harpsichord
  • Clavi x 2
  • Vibraphone
  • Marimba
  • Acoustic Guitar
  • Jazz Organ x 3
  • Pipe Organ x 3
  • Strings x 3
  • Choir x 3

Also, onboard the SP-280 are three sound effects, including:

  • Brilliance – This effect adjusts the brightness of the tone being played.
  • Reverb – The Reverberation effect simulates the natural ambiance experienced in a concert hall.
  • Chorus – Notorious for adding spaciousness to the sounds.

As for sound projection, the SP-280 has 2 high-output amplifiers that deliver 22 Watts of output power. In collaboration with the speakers, the amps give out ample and rich sounds with deep lows and impressive highs. And with a maximum polyphony of 120 voices, there’s nothing you can’t play on the Korg SP-280 digital piano.

Connectivity Options

Korg SP-280 digital piano

Line In and Line Out jacks

The Korg SP-280 digital piano has both the Line In and Out jacks. You can use the Line In jack (stereo mini-jack) to connect to an external audio device and listen to it via this piano’s speakers. With the Line Out jacks (phone jacks), you can connect the SP-280 external sound projectors like speakers, amps, or a recording device.

MIDI IN and OUT

The Korg SP-280 digital piano also features both types of MIDI connections, allowing you to transfer data between the piano and your computer. With this MIDI capability, you can use the SP-280 as a 16 part multi-timbral sound module, enhancing your playability.

Other connectivity options of the SP-280 digital piano include two headphone jacks and a pedal unit.

Extra Features of the SP-280

Metronome

The piano features a built-in metronome that allows you to adjust the volume, tempo, and signature. You can also use a bell as an accent on this piano, and you’ll find the whole experience quite exciting.

Layer Mode

As you may know, the layer mode allows two sounds to be played together simultaneously. With this digital piano, you can layer two sounds together, such as a piano tone and an organ. And thanks to this piano’s decent number of polyphony voices, you’ll hear every nuance of the sounds played.

Partner Mode

The Partner mode included in the piano allows you to split the keyboard into two halves and play the same range of pitches with another person. Moreover, the SP-280 has two headphone jacks, meaning that it’s the perfect instrument for playing duets.

Benefits of Owning the Korg SP-280 Digital Piano

Portability

Weighing only 41.89lbs, the SP-280 fits perfectly in the list of portable digital pianos on the market. You can move it around quickly, and thanks to its compact design, storage won’t be a hassle.

Decent Keyboard Action

Korg’s NH keyboard action mimics the authentic feel of playing in concert grand pianos. The 88 keys are fully weighted, which are a high starting point for beginners and fulfill a pro’s playing needs.

Impressive Sounds

Unlike most portable, compact, and budget-friendly digital pianos, the Korg SP-280 digital piano comes with an amazing sound library. It features a division of rich piano sounds that any level of player would find enticing. The sound engine here also gives you vintage electric piano sounds that are perfect for live performance.

Comprehensive Connectivity Options

Not many compactly built and affordable digital pianos come with a vast connection capability. But that’s what makes the SP280 stand out among its competitors on the market. With this piano, you can connect to different devices and further enhance your playability using various functions.

Why Should You Buy the Korg SP-280 Digital Piano

Coming from the benefits of owning this instrument; there’s absolutely every reason to bring this piece of beauty home with you. But one of the most inspiring reasons to buy the SP-280 is the fact that it’s an upgrade of a previous model.

This means that you are getting something fresh, an improvement of what you perhaps didn’t like from the previous model. And because it’s an upgrade, you are in for a treat considering its affordable price.

Pros and Cons of the Korg SP-280 Digital Piano

Here is a summary of what we liked and didn’t like about the piano:

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Portable and stylish design
  • Weighted Hammer Action Keyboard
  • A decent polyphony count – 120 voices
  • Touch Control Function
  • Built-in Metronome
  • Multiple connectivity options

Cons

  • Lacks an in-built recording system
  • No USB connectivity
  • Average sounds

Conclusion

The Korg SP-280 digital piano is a versatile instrument that can accommodate the needs of any level of player. We love how this digital piano incorporates high-quality sounds, a weighted action keyboard, and multiple connectivity options in a stylish and compact design.

And although it might not offer hundreds of whistles and bells as most stage pianos do, the SP-280 is still worth the investment.

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