Korg LP 380 Review

Korg has been producing digital keyboards since 1963, adding synthesizers in the ’70s and expanding to other musical instruments and equipment since then. Although not as well known as top brands like Casio and Yamaha, the company is known for producing high-quality instruments at a lower price point.

Their LP 380 digital piano, for example, offers intermediate players outstanding performance and a fair amount of additional features at a reasonable price. The impressive acoustics and authentic action make this a good piano for students looking to progress to a higher-performing instrument, as well as adult beginners.

Korg LP 380 reviews commend the instrument’s sound, and customers used to acoustic pianos appreciate its weighted hammer action. Those with limited space appreciate the slim, stylish design.

An improvement on the discontinued LP 350 model, the LP 380 includes twice the polyphony (120 notes) and adjustable touch sensitivity. It’s also physically lighter than the previous model, making it easier to transport.

Pianists looking for Bluetooth or USB connectivity will be disappointed with this model, however. This piano excels in its authentic feel and sound, but its connectivity options leave a little to be desired. It’s nothing an adapter won’t fix, though, so if you’re in the market for a high-performing, low-profile digital piano, this one’s worth checking out.

Pros

  • Attractive, low-profile design
  • Outstanding acoustics
  • Authentic-feeling weighted hammer action
  • Generous amount of sounds and effects
  • Partner mode for teachers or duets

Cons

  • Too heavy to travel with regularly
  • No MIDI USB port

Things to Consider Before Buying a Korg LP 380

Korg LP 380 is a good choice for intermediate or advanced piano students, as well as hobbyists, who want to upgrade to a better-sounding piano without the cost of a top-of-the-line digital or acoustic model. Piano teachers can also make use of this model, with its convenient partner mode.

If you have a smaller home or are particularly concerned with aesthetics, the LP 380 is compact enough to fit just about anywhere without compromising quality. It comes in five color variations and looks like a contemporary side table when closed, helping it blend in with any decor.

If connectivity and recording are important to you, you might want to consider something like the Casio PX-870, which features audio and MIDI recording and a USB port, which the Korg LP 380 lacks.

Before purchasing this or any other digital piano, consider:

  • Size and aesthetic
  • Sound and playability
  • Connectivity
  • Special features

Features & Benefits

The LP 380’s features make it an excellent mid-range digital piano that’s perfect for intermediate students or adult beginners who want something budget-friendly without compromising quality.

Attractive Low-Profile Design

(Source: Korg.com)

At just under 14 inches deep, the Korg LP 380 can fit into pretty much any room without being in the way. The sleek shape helps it blend in with modern decors, allowing you to highlight it or tuck it away, depending on your preference.

The LP 380 comes in 5 color options:

  • Black
  • White
  • Red
  • Red and Black
  • Rosewood

The more traditional options of black and rosewood are the most widely available in the US.

Soft-Close Key Cover

A key cover on a digital piano is nothing new, but Korg includes a soft close feature on this model, which prevents smashed fingers or loud bangs if you’re not careful when closing it.

The cover folds up to double a music stand, which is nice, but it also prevents you from accessing anything on top of the piano while playing, since it covers it.

Adjustable Weighted Hammer Action

The keyboard on the LP 380 features graded weighting, mimicking the amount of resistance you would get on a real acoustic piano – more resistance on the base keys, and less on the higher treble keys.

The keyboard sensitivity is adjustable, too, so you can adjust it to suit your playing style:

  • Light touch
  • Medium touch
  • Heavy touch

The graded weight, plus the authentic hammer action, add to the authentic feel of playing piano, which will be helpful when you’re playing out and about on acoustic pianos.

Partner Mode

A really handy feature that music teachers will love is the split keyboard, called partner mode. When you enable this feature, the keyboard plays as two half-sized keyboards side-by-side, allowing two people to play next to each other.

That makes duets or lessons easier, letting players sit comfortably instead of having to take turns or stretch to reach needed keys.

The double headphone jacks allow you to practice or play in partner mode without disturbing anyone.

Realistic Pedals

(Source: Korg.com)

Many digital pianos in this price range require you to buy a foot pedal separately, but the Korg LP 380 includes three concert grand-style pedals:

  • Soft
  • Sustain
  • Sostenuto

The pedals are quite responsive and allow for full or half-pedaling. While they’re not as heavy as a baby grand, they’re heavier than pedals on most comparable digital pianos.

Sound

No matter how good a digital piano looks or feels, nothing else matters if it doesn’t give you the sound quality you’re after. Fortunately, the Korg LP 380 produces clear, rich tones that match any piano in its class.

30 Sound Options

Like most digital pianos, the LP 380 mimics various pianos as well as other instruments. A few sound options are:

  • Piano: classic, grand, and vintage electric
  • Organ: jazz and pipe
  • Acoustic Guitar
  • Percussion
  • Strings
  • Vocal

These sound options are fun to play with, and you can use them to compose songs for multiple instruments.

Effects

You can add an effect onto any sound option you choose with the Korg LP 380:

  • Brilliance: lets you change the tone, making it brighter or more mellow
  • Reverb: changes the acoustic effect, so you sound like you’re playing in a larger or smaller space
  • Chorus: makes it sound like multiple of the same instrument are playing

These effects are fairly standard on digital pianos, but Korg does it as well as anyone, offering three levels of each.

Layer Mode

Layer mode is similar to the chorus effect, but it allows you to layer two different instruments together rather than making it sound like multiple of the same one. Like effects, layer mode isn’t strictly necessary for learning piano, but it’s fun to play with and can be useful to composers.

30 Demo Songs

The LP 380 comes with 30 pre-programmed demo songs that you can use to get an idea of the instrument’s capability.

They’re also helpful to play along with for practice, although the Korg doesn’t offer a ‘lesson’ option of turning off the left or right-hand parts of a song to practice along with one hand at a time.

Amp and Speakers

Two four-inch speakers combined with a pair of 22-watt amplifiers give the Korg LP 380 a crisp, rich sound without distortion. As we mentioned, there are two headphone jacks as well, allowing you to play without disturbing anyone.

Connectivity

As far as connectivity goes, the LP 380 offers:

  • LINE OUT jack: connect to external speakers
  • MIDI IN and OUT: connect to other keyboards or an audio workstation

These connections give you greater flexibility as far as how you use the instrument and are worth taking into account when comparing digital pianos.

The only thing it’s missing is a USB port, which many digital pianos have nowadays. You can get around this easily enough with an adapter, but it would be nice if that weren’t necessary.

Built-in Metronome

The piano’s built-in metronome allows you to adjust:

  • Time signature
  • Tempo
  • Volume

It’s nothing to write home about since most digital pianos have metronome features, but it’s worth noting, especially if you’re a student and still learning to keep time.

Reduced Chassis

The Korg LP 380’s reduced chassis makes it much easier to move than earlier models like the LP 350, which was about 11 pounds heavier.

At 81.57 pounds when assembled, the piano still isn’t the most portable instrument in the world, but the low-profile design combined with the lighter weight makes it less of a hassle than many in its class.

Social Proof

Customers around the web are largely happy with the Korg LP 380, and it boasts a 4.5/5 rating on Amazon. Most purchasers like the same things we do about this digital piano:

  • Impressive sound quality
  • Authentic action
  • Stylish, compact design

The piano’s playability and additional features make it a great fit for intermediate or advanced students as well as people used to playing on an acoustic piano but who need to save space or money.

Korg LP 380 reviews were overwhelmingly positive, with many noting the quality compared to the cost and recommending it over pricier models.

Alternatives

The Korg LP 380 certainly isn’t the only digital keyboard in its class, and although it’s perfect for many people, every musician has different needs, so it’s important to compare options when shopping. Below are strong contenders in the race for reasonably-priced digital pianos with an authentic feel and sound. 

Yamaha YDP-144

The Yamaha YDP-144 is a classic digital keyboard, made by one of the most well-known piano and keyboard companies around. At 16 ⅝ inches deep, it’s not as compact as the LP 380, and it doesn’t offer nearly as many sound options.

But it does offer USB connectivity, as well as recording and playback options, which the Korg lacks.

  • Recording, playback, and smart device capabilities
  • USB Connectivity
  • Only 10 sound options

You can see more information about the Yamaha YDP-144 here.

Casio Privia PX-870

Casio Privia PX-870 is an amazing starter piano, with responsive keys, clear sound, and everything you need to get started: bench, cleaning cloth, and instructional DVD.

The keys are a little louder than the others listed here, though, which some players find distracting, especially while playing at low volumes. Although it only offers 19 sound options to the Korg’s 30, it’s a good overall digital piano.

  • Includes bench, cleaning cloth, and lessons
  • Keyboard is noisy
  • Songs include lesson function
  • USB port

See all of the Casio PX-870’s features here.

Roland RP-102

Roland RP-102 is another strong option for those looking for that genuine piano sound. Synthetic ebony and ivory keys add to the piano’s authentic feel.

This is the only piano on the list with Bluetooth connectivity, so if keeping up with technology is important to you, it’s one to consider.

  • Bluetooth
  • Five touch sensitivity settings
  • No pre-set temperaments

Click here to get more details on the Roland RP-102.

Conclusion

If you want to get close to the feel and sound of a real acoustic piano but don’t want to break the bank, we recommend the Korg LP 380. The weighted hammer action on the keys gives it an authentic feel, and its sound is clear and robust.

Additional features, like partner mode and adjustable key sensitivity, are especially useful for students. Players new and old will love the many songs, sounds, and effects that come with this piano.

Click here for pricing and more details on the Korg LP 380.



Michael Southard

Michael is a multi-instrumentalist with extensive knowledge of audio production. He loves trying new gear to discover gems to create unique sound.