Yamaha ARIUS YDP-181 Digital Piano Review

The Yamaha ARIUS YDP-181 digital piano provides true piano sound, feel and expressive control. The Graded Hammer keyboard has a remarkably authentic sound and natural touch, making it a true joy to play, both in practice and performance. The lower notes on the Graded Hammer keyboard have a heavier touch, while the higher notes are more responsive to lighter playing. The YDP-181 includes a USB device port for storing songs recorded on the instrument. Besides, the damper pedals incorporates a half-damper effect, which gives the user nuanced expressive control over the sustained sound. The Yamaha ARIUS YDP-181 features dual voice capability which enables the user to play two different sounds at the same time. It also comes with a 2-track song recorder hence allowing you to capture your original musical ideas and performances.

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Advantages of the Yamaha ARIUS YDP-181

  • The Yamaha ARIUS YDP-181 features a Graded Hammer (GH) Keyboard (GH) with an extra key sensor capable of reproducing fast repetitive playing of a single note with perfect articulation. The black keys feature a matte finish therefore enhancing the keyboard’s luxurious appearance.
  • The piano has good control over dynamics. Unlike acoustic pianos, with this Yamaha digital piano, it feels easier to control dynamics.
  • The Yamaha Arius digital piano comes equipped with Advanced Wave Memory (AWM) which is a sampling system that creates the realism of an acoustic instrument by using digital technology to record the instrument sound and apply high-quality digital filter technology to the recorded audio samples. This sampling system can produce dynamic nuances by recording samples of different playing strengths.
  • The YDP-181 features USB connectivity for storing and playing music. You can insert a USB storage device into the USB port and be able to save and transfer your performances.
  • The piano features variable touch sensitivity. Using a dedicated touch button on the front panel, one can be able to select the hard, medium or soft setting in order to match the playing style or finger strength. You can also be able to turn off sensitivity for a fixed response setting, which is perfect when playing the piano.
  • The piano comes with a headphone hanger, hence you are able to use headphones while practicing at night.
  • The YDP-181 model features damper resonance samples that provide rich and broadening tones when pedaling.
  • It also features built-in stereo 16cm speakers. You can therefore enjoy full stereo sound. The bigger speakers mean deeper lows for a strong bass.
  • The 88-key piano comes with half-pedal control allowing for the step-by-step variation of the sustain length depending on how far the pedal is pressed.
  • You can transfer MIDI songs to PC and replay with high quality virtual piano software. The piano has two MIDI connectors, one for in, one for out. The Yamaha USB to MIDI cable works flawlessly.
  • The Yamaha ARIUS YDP-181 comes with a selection 50 preset piano songs provided in the song player for your listening pleasure. The recordings were chosen for their beauty as well as their functionality. Many of these songs are classic piano pieces, hence you can use them as learning reference or for background music.
  • Both beginning students and experienced players will certainly like the piano’s built-in 2-track recorder. You can even play along with a metronome to help stay in time.


  • Some users of the Yamaha ARIUS YDP-181 have complained that the bench is narrow, and the back panel is very thin. Others have expressed that the music rest is a bit narrow something which makes it a bit clumsy.

The Bottomline

The Yamaha Arius YDP-181 combines true piano sound and feel for an outstanding playing experience. Unlike a traditional acoustic piano, this piano incorporates high-tech sampling system enabling the user to get the full sound of a concert grand piano that reacts to everything from the softest pianissimo to the strongest fortissimo. With its great look that fits into any home décor, the Yamaha Arius YDP-181 is certainly an excellent pick for someone who wants an instrument that will look great on the main stage, while sounding great in the process.

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