Alesis Recital Pro vs Yamaha P45: Which is Better For Beginners?

Learning Piano

Do you have a piano recital coming up and your old keyboard just doesn’t cut it? Maybe you want to invest in a more withstanding instrument for the future? Perhaps you just started the art of the melodic keys and want to practice when you please.

Whatever your reasoning, selecting a new keyboard is exhilarating because you get a new instrument, but it comes with its challenges.

Today we have compared and contrasted two of the most popular portable pianos on the market right now: the Alesis Recital Pro and the Yamaha P45. This guide illustrates the pros and cons of each, the differences between both, and spoiler alert, the one we think is a better pick.

If you find yourself wondering about a new keyboard but are stuck between these two quality contenders, continue reading!

Alesis Recital Pro vs Yamaha P45 Comparison At a Glance

Alesis Recital Pro


  • An upgraded model – This upgrade from the Alesis Recital original model, the Alesis Recital Pro includes 88 weighted keys with adjustable touch responses. If you push middle C with intensity, the deeper sound resonates throughout your practice space.
  • If you push middle C with a flitty poke, the light sound bounces through the room, inviting a nice melody. Since the keyboard comes with this feature, it records the manner you play in (takes into account how much force is used between notes and within different songs) and calibrates the responses to you.
  • Wide variety of features – In addition to the touch response, this keyboard comes with 12 different voices. If you want, you can see how Chopin’s Minute Waltz sounds in a synth voice. Get as funky as you want with electric piano or vibraphone voices. But, if you prefer a fuller sound, one that captivates a room of opera-lovers or church-goers, play in the organ voice or the church organ voice. The fun doesn’t stop there.
  • This keyboard lets players combine different voices. So, if you want to go to a synthy-sounding church service combined with organ tunes, you can! Sound is extremely customizable with this keyboard. Assign certain voices to your left or right hands, add some reverb, slap on a chorus, and soon you have yourself a one-person band.

Voices include:

  • Harpsichord
  • Fingered bass
  • Acoustic bass
  • Synth
  • Clavi
  • Organ
  • Strings
  • Electric piano
  • Church organ
  • Acoustic piano
  • Acoustic piano (bright)
  • Vibraphone
  • Several outputs – These enhance sound and the quality of practice. For headphones, there is a 6.35 mm (¼ inch) output. This silences the speakers inside the keyboard to cut excess noise while playing.
  • A sustain pedal is not included with the purchase of the piano, but another 6.35 mm (¼ inch) output for one is. Taking your piano skills to a party? Don’t worry because your keyboard comes with one more 6.35 mm (¼ inch) output that can connect to speakers, mixers, or anything that amplifies sound. Lastly, plug in your keyboard to a laptop or use virtual plugins via the USB-MIDI connector.


Let’s draw attention to some drawbacks of this instrument before you buy.

  • No extras – Keyboards sometimes come with additional materials for setup, including a stand and a sustain pedal, but this model does not include either item. You need to purchase these assets separately to get a full feel for a complete keyboard setup.
  • Low on MIDI connections – This keyboard has numerous outputs, but for MIDI connections, it only has a laptop outlet which can be quite limiting if you want to use other MIDI instruments.
  • Limited pitch wheels – Having twelve different voices is a great part of this keyboard, but it has limitations with its pitch wheels. This affects people who like to play in synth voices and play electronic music. You cannot explore as many sounds as other keyboards with pitch wheels or modulators.

Alesis Recital Pro |  Digital Piano / Keyboard with 88 Hammer Action Keys, 12 Premium Voices, 20W Built in Speakers, Headphone Output & Powerful Educational Features

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Yamaha P45


  • Affordable – At $599, Yamaha marks the P45 keyboard as their most affordable digital piano option. For a company with keyboards costing up to $5,000, you can save money with this model but not miss out on quality. The total cost includes a sustain pedal, AWM stereo sampling, ten voices, reverb effects, duo and dual modes, a headphone input, and speakers.
  • Grand piano similarities – Not only does this model look like a grand piano with 88 sleek keys, but it also sounds like one. It utilizes grand piano reverberations.
  • You know when you’re in a concert venue and the singer’s voice echoes through the entire room? That is reverberation. For a piano, the notes play out after you finish playing, a technique most keyboards don’t have. But, if you don’t want to sound like a grand piano, you can toggle the button to turn that feature off.
  • GHS (Greater Hammer Standard) resembles actual wooden keys – When you sit down to play on a Yamaha P45, the hammer keys respond to the location of the keys. If you play in a higher key, the keyboard relays a light, treble sound. If you play in a lower one, the keyboard emits lower, grungier bass parts.


  • 64 Polyphony – Polyphony refers to how many notes or voices can be played at the same time without losing sight of the original sound. When you first start out playing piano, you might not think of polyphony that much.
  • When you advance to more difficult pieces, if your instrument lacks adequate polyphony, you won’t be able to play your pieces because the sound won’t come through. The Yamaha P-45 offers 64 polyphony which is good, but 128 polyphony allows players to do more.
  • Speaker placement – This keyboard comes with two speakers. However, the positioning of said speakers is near the bottom of the instrument. When playing with other instruments, your sound can get lost in the mix. Of course, you can plug into an external speaker for amplified sound.
  • Basic control panel – Similar to the Alesis Recital Pro, the Yamaha P-45 has a rudimentary control panel, hindering pianists’ abilities to experiment with different sound shapes and techniques.

So which is better at a glance? The editor’s choice is the Alesis Recital Pro.

Yamaha P45 88-Key Weighted Digital Piano

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What are the Differences Between the Alesis Recital Pro and the Yamaha P45?


Starting with the price, these keyboards are about $200 apart. Let’s break down why their cost differs and which has a better value.


This model costs around $599 on the Yamaha website. It looks like a piano, and it sounds like a piano. It’s a Yamaha P45 keyboard. This model aims to mirror a grand piano as closely as possible, and it does, for the most part. How exactly does it resemble a grand piano?

  • 88 glossy keys
  • A sustain pedal
  • Graded hammer standard keyboard
  • Reverb

Besides sounding like a grand piano, the keyboard offers players ten different voices to try during practice.

Voices include

  • Concert grand piano
  • Bright grand piano
  • Electric piano one
  • Electric piano two
  • Harpsichord one
  • Harpsichord two
  • Strings
  • Vibraphone
  • Pipe organ one
  • Pipe organ two

The keyboard is light, weighing in at 25 pounds, making it easy to transport.

Alesis Recital Pro:

This model costs $380 and comes equipped with 88 weighted keys.

The Alesis model has twelve different voices equipped with split mode, layering, reverb, and other techniques to master your unique style.

This keyboard has four attached outputs:

  • Headphones
  • Sustain pedal
  • USB
  • Recorder/stereo

Alesis Recital Pro weighs 26 pounds, one pound heavier than the Yamaha P45. Lastly, purchasing this keyboard includes two free months of lessons and three free months of classes.

Which gives you more for your money?

The Alesis Recital Pro option is cheaper and offers more features. Although the sound might not be as clear as the Yamaha option, you get what you pay for with the Alesis Recital Pro.

Alesis Recital Pro |  Digital Piano / Keyboard with 88 Hammer Action Keys, 12 Premium Voices, 20W Built in Speakers, Headphone Output & Powerful Educational Features

Buy on Amazon

Polyphony & Voices

Polyphony refers to the number of notes that can be played (and heard) at once. Different kinds of pianists require different amounts of polyphony. For example, a beginning player will not need as much polyphony as an advanced piano teacher.

Yamaha offers 68 polyphony, the perfect amount for intermediate players.

Are notes the only thing that require polyphony? No. If that was the case, 88 polyphony would be the limit, but pianos can reach up to 256 polyphony, albeit rare.

Polyphony affects

  • Notes
  • Metronomes
  • MIDI
  • Sustain pedals
  • Patch tracks
  • Layers
  • Synth

Alesis Recital Pro:

The Alesis Recital Pro does not resemble a grand piano as closely as the Yamaha P45, but it offers more unique sounds for keyboards.

With 88 weighted keys, you can decide where your tone comforts lie on the keyboard. Perhaps you like to play deep, high octaves or light, low octaves, and on this portable piano, you can. Again, adjusting to weighted keys comes in handy when dealing with a keyboard, but not always with an acoustic piano.


The Alesis offers two more voices than the Yamaha P45 and a few different ones. The Yamaha focuses on more refined piano sounds such as concert grand piano, harpsichord, strings, and pipe organs. The Alesis adds in experimental and synthy elements, including synth, clavi, acoustic bass, and fingered bass voices.

With twelve varying voices, beginner and intermediate pianists can experiment with their sounds. Advanced pianists are welcome as well, but they probably prefer options with more advanced voices.

Another way this keyboard beats the Yamaha is with its ability to layer and split different voices. With the twelve voices, you can layer them and assign specific voices to specific areas of the keyboard or your right and left hands.

You might only want to play fingered bass with your left hand, and you might only want to play synth with your right. If you’re feeling extra creative, try layering the synth voice with electric piano and the fingered bass with vibraphone. The options are endless.

Since this keyboard has more adapters and better speakers than the Yamaha, it needs a higher polyphony count. Unlike the Yamaha, Alesis Recital Pro has 164 polyphony, increasing the capabilities and aiding the improvement of players. Plus, this keyboard works better with more advanced intermediate players or advanced players.

So loop your melodies and max out on your polyphony with the Alesis Recital Pro.

Winner: Which keyboard has a better total sound? The Alesis Recital Pro offers more variation, while the Yamaha sticks to a specific sound. The winner is up to the consumer.

Alesis Recital Pro |  Digital Piano / Keyboard with 88 Hammer Action Keys, 12 Premium Voices, 20W Built in Speakers, Headphone Output & Powerful Educational Features

Buy on Amazon

Included Accessories and Plugins

When investing in a new keyboard, remember to research which accessories and plugins come with the instrument. You might find an awesome instrument, but if it only includes keys, you will have to spend a lot more money on extra parts. Instead, see which option includes the best deal.


The P45 edition comes

  • Headphone jack
  • Sustain pedal outlet
  • Pedal
  • USB outlet
  • Metronome
  • Tuning function

P45 does not include

  • Built-in MIDI
  • Aux output
  • Pedal unit
  • Record Mode

Speakers control the sound inherent to an instrument. Rather than using extensions and amplifiers to play projections of sound, speakers play the original, clean copy.

When looking for a keyboard, pay attention to its included speakers because nothing is worse than playing with friends on a keyboard with bad speakers. Your sound will get lost, your tone will be quiet, and no one will know that you are playing.

The Yamaha P45 comes with two six-watt speakers, both averaging around 12 centimeters, or 4½ inches. Six-watt speakers are okay if you prefer to play alone or at small gatherings, but if you want to play for a lot of people or at large outings, you might want to find a keyboard with higher wattage.

However, the quality of these speakers is clear with minimal feedback.

Study the location of the speaker on the keyboard. The speakers on this model point down and lie on the bottom of the instrument. If you play with a lot of external noise around you, your speakers might not do the best job of extending your sound outward.

Remember, you can plug into external speakers to increase sound, but you need to purchase extra features.

Alesis Recital Pro:

Alesis Recital Pro includes

  • Headphone jack
  • Sustain pedal input
  • USB-MIDI output
  • Stereo output
  • Metronome
  • Record Mode

Does not include

  • Built-in MIDI
  • Sustain Pedal

Alesis Recital Pro favors 20-watt speakers increasing the sound and the higher the wattage, the sharper the sound. The speakers sit on top of the keyboard, one ten-watt speaker on each side, and point upward, making this a better keyboard to use at parties and large gatherings. Plus, the sound quality increases with the wattage.

Which keyboard takes the prize? The Alesis Recital Pro includes better features than the Yamaha P45.

Alesis Recital Pro |  Digital Piano / Keyboard with 88 Hammer Action Keys, 12 Premium Voices, 20W Built in Speakers, Headphone Output & Powerful Educational Features

Buy on Amazon

Which Keyboard Takes the Overall Prize?


The Alesis Recital Pro navigates the world of intermediate and experimental keyboard players and the Yamaha P45 serves more classical style pianists. Now, the two can overlap, and because they do overlap in some ways and differ in others, it is up to the musician which style they choose to purchase.

For a pianist looking to experiment with different sounds, better speakers, and a cheaper keyboard, invest in the Alesis Recital Pro. For players who want to imagine playing on an acoustic piano or a baby grand and pay a little more money, choose the Yamaha P45.

What to Look for When Selecting a New Keyboard

  • Affordability
  • Sound quality
  • Polyphony
  • MIDI compatibility
  • Inputs/outputs
  • Size/weight

For starters, weigh your options. Do you go with a lighter keyboard or a sturdier, deeper-sounding instrument? Should you allot more money into the transportable piano, or should you save and go with a more affordable option to later have enough funds for a baby grand?

The list goes on and on when selecting the right keyboard.

Final Thoughts

Selecting a new instrument comes with hardships. You have to weigh sound quality, appearance, features, compatibility, and so much more. To make the process easier, we decided to make a comparison chart between the popular keyboards Yamaha P45 and the Alesis Recital Pro.

They both have their own unique facets while possessing multiple similarities. Of course, instrument selection is subjective to your preferences and taste, but we broke down the most objective factors to aid your research.

Now get to the music store and buy your new keyboard today? Which one will you pick?

About the Author Linda Ritter

Linda Ritter is a passionate pianist and a songwriter for more than 7 years. With a Masters in Music, she has explored the world of music and has collaborated with several musicians and brands like Roland, Tune Core, and plenty of blogs.