Korg SP-280 Piano Review, 88-keys NW Hammer Action

Korg SP-280 digital piano review

The Korg SP-280 is a fantastic 88-Key weighted hammer-action digital piano, with a responsive grand piano sound & touch, and the on-board speakers are wonderful as well. Korg SP-280 is a nicely designed digital piano that combines authentic sound, natural feel, and eye-catching style. The versatile home/stage piano can be used at home or even on stage. It uses top quality piano sampes and has keys that closely resemble that on an acoustic piano. Grand piano sound plus 6 authentic vintage electric pianos, it comes with a Stand.

Korg SP-280: At a Glance (Highlights)

  • You get thirty rich, and expressive sounds (grand piano, vintage electric piano sounds, strings, organs to fuel your creativity).
  • Powerful built-in stereo speaker system
  • Full-featured Stage piano that is great for gigging, has inputs and outputs for audio for connectivity to other equipment.
  • Is also perfect for home practice and lessons

Korg SP-280: Pros & Cons

  • Pros – 3 levels of touch sensitivity. Main piano sounds are nice and well rounded, has Rhodes Sounds. The EPs are also okay (better than most in this price category). Realistic Piano Sound & Responsive Action. Comes with powerful on-board Speakers
  • Cons – Action is okay (a bit lighter). No built in recording system. No USB connectivity

Who Is It For?

  • Piano players of all skill levels
  • Gigging keyboard players

Korg SP-280: Review

The SP-280 is a nice improvement over its earlier version, looks more stylish, has a natural weighted hammer action, and provides the experience of playing a much expensive acoustic piano. With an excellent collection of electric piano sounds & lightweight design, its ready to be used for gigs as well.


Korg SP-280 Piano review

More Benefits
Its ideal for home or stage use, has a powerful built-in stereo speaker system and comes bundled with a stand.

It comes with 30 high-quality sounds, including grand piano, electric piano, organs, clavs, harpsichord, strings, and more.

MIDI connectivity
The Korg SP-280BK lacks USB connectivity, which is a shame (you find it on most modern digital pianos). But this model has been around for some time now and that is why it has the older midi slot.

If USB connectivity is a concern, you can always get a MIDI to USB converter.

Korg Sustain Pedal Included
You get a nice sustain pedal so that’s very nice of Korg. The SP-280 comes with an included sustain pedal with half-damper support, in which you can vary the damper effect by how far you press the pedal.

Want a 3-pedal unit? You can use the Korg PU-2 pedal unit (you need to buy it separately), which effectively replicates the three-pedal system that you commonly see on acoustic pianos — Sustain, soft and damper pedals (recommended for the serious piano student or performer).

About the Keyboard Touch
The graded Natural Weighted Hammer Action (NH) keyboard mimics the action on an acoustic piano (heavier action in the lower register and a lighter response in the higher register).

Is it Ivory? No? Its very good though.

There are many piano players who don’t really like the NH action on the Korg SP280 because they feel its lighter (they prefer the RH3 action instead). If you have played a Yamaha before, this action is somewhat similar to the GHS, and not exactly like the GH or even the Privia action. I think they have made the action suitable for performance / gigs.

The Key Touch Control function offers three levels of adjustments to the touch, lets you customize your performance to suit your own playing touch.

Powerful Speakers
The speakers are among the best and it also comes with a brilliance setting which makes it sound even better, although the unit is a bit heavier. Delivers 2 x 22 Watts of output power, perfect for practicing without setting up monitors or an amp.

Competition Check/Alternatives, Piano Comparison

You may also consider the Yamaha P115 (its a great piano) or the Casio PX360 (better action). However, the sound on the SP280 is a lot better overall.

  • Korg SP280: 88 keys of Natural Weighted Hammer Action, 42 pounds (including stand). ($$)
  • Williams Allegro 2: 88 hammer-action weighted keys, 29.8 pounds. ($$)
  • Yamaha P115: GHS weighted 88-key action, 37.7 pounds, ($$)
  • Casio Privia PX-360, 88 Keys Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action II keyboard, 21 pounds ($$)
  • Kawai ES-110, 88 Grade-Weighted Keys, 38 pounds, ($$)
  • Korg B1SP: 88 keys with natural weighted hammer action and touch control, 46.3 pounds (includes stand), ($$)

In case, you are looking for exceptional electric piano voices, you should checkout the more expensive SV-1.


Korg SP280 Piano

Korg SP-280 Video Demo / Review

Here’s video review of this piano:



Korg SP-280 Specs

Here are the key features of this piano:
Korg Digital Piano

  • 88-Key digital piano suitable for both stage and home
  • Natural Weighted Hammer Action (NH) keyboard for acoustic piano like feel
  • Rich, dynamic acoustic piano sounds. Authentic vintage electric piano sounds, suited for live performance
  • 30 Instrument sounds, including organs, clavs, harpsichord, and strings. 3 Effects (brilliance, reverb, chorus) for rich, spacious tone
  • “Layer Mode” lets you play two sounds together, helps you come up with more creative sounds
  • “Partner Mode” divides the keyboard into two parts, allows two players to play and practice simultaneously.
  • Two headphone outputs for two players, who can play without disturbing others in the surrounding.
  • Stereo audio input for playing along with external audio sources
  • High-output amp section (Powerful built-in speakers) produces good volume
  • Stylish design
  • Inputs and outputs for audio for connectivity to other equipment.
  • Built-in metronome with adjustable time signature, tempo, and volume
  • MIDI I/O
  • Available in black and white finish.
  • Comes with folding metal stand that is lightweight and easy to attach
  • Includes AC adapter, Music Stand, Stand, and Damper pedal
  • Korg SP280: Buying Links & Prices

    The Korg SP280 is an excellent piano with a better key touch compared to the Korg sp-170, and also comes with powerful on-board speakers. Its great for practicing and learning the piano. Overall, the SP-280BK is a good digital piano for the price with several useful features.

    Buying Options
    If you are looking for something in the mid-range, all in one unit and not a console, than do consider the Korg Sp-280.

    The weighted hammer-action keyboard and authentic piano sounds make Korg SP-280 a joy to play.

    Have any views on the Korg SP-280? Please share it below. You can check out more Korg pianos here.

    5 Comments

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    1. Where can I find the user manual for the Korg SP-280. I want to read all the instructions to further explore the piano.

      1. Here’s the link to User manual of Korg SP-280. Just follow the link and download the user manual.

    2. How does the Korg SP-280 compare with the Yamaha P-115 digital piano? I like the SP280, but see a lot of positive comments for the Yamaha piano. Is there lot of additional features on it?

      1. The Korg 280 has the NH action, which is also used on the SP-170. I played the 280 recently and thought it felt better than what I remembered of the 170. It was comfortable to play, though sort of mushy/spongy. The main piano sounds seem okay, but I thought the other EP sounds sucked. If I needed a digital piano (or something with weighted action) in this price range, I may probably choose something else. However, there are many who prefer the Korg.

        1. In fact, I think the electric piano sounds are the best part of the SP-280. I do not use the organ sounds much, though there are some fat cathedral sounds. The SP-280 has an excellent vibraphone, and the guitar sound is also fun to play. I also don’t play the voice and string sounds much.

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