The Korg B1 digital piano has been around for a while now. It is one of the most popular entry level on the market. In this Korg B1 review, I will showcase every aspect of this instrument. By the end of this review, you will have all the information you need to draw your own conclusion whether the Korg B1 is right for you.
The Korg B1 is designed as a portable digital piano. It looks simple with a modern accent. What makes the Korg B1 stands out is its curved corners. That gives it a soft and comfortable vibe that invites you to play music on it. Another thing you might immediately notice is the long wide speaker grill on the korg B1. It takes a large proportion of the surface area. Personally I’m not a big fan of the speaker grill but if it helps improve sound quality I can live with it.
The music rest that comes with Korg B1 is rather unique. I haven’t seen anything like this from other manufacturers. Unlike the instrument itself, the music rest has straight lines and slightly sharper corners. It is not very wide but it’s definitely tall enough to support any score book or printed sheet music. What’s rather unique about the music rest on the Korg B1 is the placeholder at the corner. I find that a really thoughtful touch from Korg.
The control panel on the Korg B1 is extremely simple and clean. It consists of 1 volume dial and 4 buttons. I do love the simplicity here. Besides the power button, you have 1 piano sound button, 1 button for other sounds and 1 last button to turn on metronome. Just like any other entry-level digital pianos on the market, many advanced functions requires a combination of buttons and keys on the Korg B1.
The Korg B1 has 88 keys. They are all plastic. The black ones have a matte finish while the white keys are glossy. It looks quite similar to Yamaha P45. The keyboard looks good quality and well built. I haven’t noticed any uneven spacing between the keys.
As a portable digital piano, the Korg B1 is small in size and light in weight. Compared to its competitors in the market, the Korg B1 is slightly deeper thanks to that speaker grill. It is around the same weight like the Yamaha P45 and Casio PX 160. The Korg B1 weighs about 12 kg (26 lbs). Without music rest, it has the dimensions of 131(W) x 33(D) x 12(H) cm (52” x 13” x 5”).
On the Korg B1, you will find what they call Natural Weighted Action keyboard. Behind the keys, there are real hammers to mimic the key action of an acoustic piano. The keys are weighted and graded. Each key has a different weight. It goes from heavier on the left side to lighter on the right side, just like an acoustic piano.
The keys are also touch-sensitive. you can adjust the level of sensitivity to your liking.
Overall I find the Natural Weighted Action from Korg feels quite similar to Yamaha’s GHS on the P45. Compared to the Casio PX-160, Korg B1 lacks slightly on dynamic. The keys on the Casio PX-160 has also Ivory/Ebony key tops. This significantly helps with grip and moisture absorption during long playing sessions. It is unfortunate that the Korg B1 doesn’t have that.
The sound engine on the Korg B1 is called PCM Stereo Sampling. It took samples from an acoustic concert piano. There are also synthetic string and damper resonance. This adds a lot more details and make the sound much richer.
In my opinion, the Korg B1 sounds around the same level as the Yamaha P45. and I find the Casio PX-160 sounds slightly better with a little bit more richness.
The Korg B1 is equipped with two 9 watt speakers. Behind that speaker grill, they use a special technology called Motion Feedback to control the movement of the speakers. This creates a much better sound quality on the Korg B1. Overall the speakers and not very loud. But it is enough to fill a small to medium sized room.
What’s really lacking on the Korg B1 are its features. It doesn’t have any internal recording capability. it doesn’t have the Dual or Split mode. The choices of sounds are quite limited. And there is no internal songs for you to listen and practice with. One more significant disadvantage is that the Korg B1 doesn’t have any USB or MIDI connectivity. Feature wise, the Korg B1 is really bare-bone.
The Korg B1 comes with a music rest and a pedal. Unlike many of its competitors, the Korg B1 gives you a proper piano pedal. This pedal feels authentic and it works pretty well. It also supports half pedaling which you couldn’t find on other models in this price range.
Depends on the bundle you get, you might need to purchase a separate stand and bench. Like any other portable digital pianos, you can choose between furniture style stand and bench or portable style ones.
A good pair of headphones are always recommended for any digital pianos.
Although the speakers on the Korg B1 is slightly better than its competitors. It is still not very good enough for any serious performance. For that you would still need an external speaker/monitor.