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Casio LK-265 Review 

 December 7, 2021

By  Zen Chung

Casio LK-265 61-Key Lighted Portable Touch Sensitive Keyboard with Power...
  • This compact and lightweight, yet rugged and reliable keyboard lets you make...
  • 400 Tones and 150 Rhythms deliver a huge variety of musical exploration
  • Listen to your playing via the built-in speakers, or connect headphones for...
  • Dance Music Mode lets you create and remix electronic dance music quickly and...
  • Select from different variations of drum beats, bass lines, and synth parts; add...

Since 1946 Casio has been manufacturing electronic devices and musical instruments, including electronic keyboards like the Casio LK 265. This piano-style keyboard comes with illuminated keys ( the LK stands for Light Keys) that make learning so much easier and fun. Thanks to these nifty little features, the Casio Lk-265 ranks high as both the best-lighted keyboard piano and the most ideal for children and adult learners and anyone who wants to get back on the saddle.

The keyboard's key lighting function is a fun feature that transforms the learning experience into a fun and visual way of learning. Ultimately, it removes the intimidating aspect that comes with learning how to read music by making learners feel more comfortable, more motivated and have fun while at it.

With improved sound quality and features such as a voice-fingering guide and a downloaded Chordana Play app, the Casio LK 265 is a great learning tool and a total entertainment keyboard. In addition, it comes with features such as; an impressive library of downloaded MIDI file songs and a Dance music mode for a fun party right out of the box.

Casio's popular Chordana Play app is compatible with your smart device (either iOS or Android device) to give you more options for a deep dive into musical exploration. This feature also gives you the ability to transform your smart device screen into a touchscreen keyboard that you can use to practice playing piano anywhere. In addition, just by pushing a button, you can also access different musical instrument tones in the background.

What Key Specs Does Casio LK-265 Have?

  • 61 full-size touch-sensitive keys
  • 2-level touch sensitivity and an OFF option for the touch sensitivity
  • LCD display
  • Lighted Keyboard
  • 400 built-in sounds of musical instruments
  • Stereo piano sounds
  • Scoring system
  • 100 built-in auto-accompaniments with an advanced auto-accompaniment feature
  • Dance Music Mode with 50 built-in rhythms and effects
  • 48 levels of max polyphony
  • 10-level reverb
  • Virtual hall mode
  • 60 built-in songs downloaded, with the capacity to add 30 more
  • Transpose plus tuning controls
  • Metronome
  • 100 One Touch presets
  • Downloaded Chordana Play app
  • Compatible with a smart device for the virtual keyboard
  • Keyboard accompaniment function
  • Store and play MIDI file songs through the app
  • Built-in powerful lesson functions such as Step-up lesson and voice fingering guide
  • Six dramatic sound effects
  • Auto-power off feature when inactive

What Features Does Casio LK-265 Come With?

The LK-265 is a piano-style keyboard that resembles an acoustic piano. But unlike an acoustic piano, it comes with an easy-to-play keyboard that's specially designed for anyone who needs to practice playing songs quickly. With this, you won't need to learn how to read music since the keyboard's key lighting function helps guide you until you can play independently.

As a grand starter piano for kids, learners and anyone who's trying to get back into the game, here are the features that make it one of the best:

1. Design

It comes with 61 full-size keys on a compact and portable keyboard. The fact that it runs on 6 AA battery power means that you can play it from anywhere. The LCD screen is bright, making it easy to read, while the buttons and screen help quickly guide you through each setting and adjustment.

This keyboard also comes with a One-touch feature that lets you quickly restore your favorite presets. In addition, the full-size touch-sensitive keys respond to your playing style and touch for great lesson play and expression. Alternatively, you can turn it off altogether.

2. Sound

It has an improved sound quality that comes with 400 instrument digital effects and 100 built-in rhythms, along with 46 other basic rhythms, so it's easy to experiment with and customize your sound.

i) Built-in songs

It also has 10 reverb levels and a Virtual-hall mode for the classic piano sound. It also comes with 60 original built-in songs for piano practice, but you can also expand your keyboard's store with your favorite songs. Some of the built-in songs in the LK-265 include basic rhythms like the Range wedding march from Midsummer night's dream and others.

The LK 265 is a digital piano with features such as 8 levels of polyphony, transpose and tuning, and a built-in metronome. Using an audio cable sold separately, you can transfer the 50 built-in songs from the app and the songs downloaded as MIDI files saving them on the keyboard. Then, using the keyboard accompaniment function, you can use the saved song data to enjoy its Step-up lesson feature.

ii) Total entertainment keyboard

If you're looking to play dance music expressing your Dj mood, it comes with a feature full of fun rhythms. You get up to 50 rhythms in the dance music mode and a 48- range polyphon. All within the 400 high-quality tones. Overall, the LK-265 is an impressive keyboard that's great for both your listening enjoyment and practice.

iii) 400 high-quality tones

It comes with a good selection of musical instrument tones to support different genres.

iv) 100 rhythms with Latin music Auto-accompaniments and other basic rhythms

The LK-265 comes with an advanced auto-accompaniment feature that gives you access to an impressive global collection of ethnic rhythms, with a special emphasis on Latin rhythms. Outside special emphasis on Latin music, you get other basic rhythms, such as Cumbia, Reggaeton, Calypso, etc.

v) One-Touch preset with 100 presets

The One Touch Preset automatically sets up your keyboard to match up with the currently selected rhythm.

3. Dance Music Mode

A Dance Music mode that makes this keyboard a dance music machine, with 50 different dance music styles, including synth, drum beats, bass, and digital effects that allow beginners to create their dance music in minutes.  With an easy dance tune playback, you only need the play dance music expressing your DJ mood. Alternatively, you can use the Build-up play mode to apply sound effects characteristic of your dance music, making it even more fun.

4. Onboard Lesson System

The onboard lessons include the lesson lite module, with onboard scoring and a voice fingering guide. You can customize the powerful lesson functions for the right hand, left hand, or both hands at once.  

5. Chordana Play App

The downloaded Chordana Play app for your smart device is compatible with your iOS or Android device. It's also free to download and is a great companion for your LK-265 keyboard. The Chordana Play app comes with its own saved song data of library and lesson system to guide learners. Learners play along with a piano roll showing and/or a music notation displayed. The app also combines the practice of playing along with teaching learners how to read music.

i) MIDI files

Using the app, you can also convert the built-in songs into a MIDI, which you can play along on your LK-265 keyboard, or store and play it later online or offline. The app also lets you assign tracks to each hand, change your tempo, transpose and tune, or even use the repeat function to practice at your own pace.

The app also comes with an on-screen virtual keyboard display feature that lets you use your tablet or smart device screen to practice playing when you don't have the LK-265 keyboard with you. The app also tracks your progress by keeping a music score to make learning a more fun and interactive activity. It's also a great way to get kids more engaged on their keyboards and simplify learning for learners at whatever level or age.  

ii) Practice on the smart device screen

Another fun feature on your app is being able to take 3-step lessons on your smart device using the virtual keyboard that appears on your screen. You get to confirm the melody, chords, and finger timing visually on your screen while using the scoring function to keep track. With the built-in app songs and downloaded MIDI file songs, you have more than enough available for your lessons.

6. Keyboard

Generally, the LK-265 is a specially designed model for kids, learners, students and non-professional players and comes with a decent 61 keyboard lighted keys. The keyboard keys are lighted and fluted, with a speed of 2 degrees. Other features include;

i) Piano-style keyboard

An easy-to-play keyboard that resembles an acoustic piano.

ii) Touch-response feature

It has a Touch Response feature that lets you add the delicate nuances to notes depending on how much pressure you apply on the keyboard keys.

iii) Digital effects

Has digital effects such as drum beats that not only make it more fun but also help add reverb for more depth and breadth in music.

iv) Keyboard with Chordana Play app

With the Chordana Play app, you can increase the keyboard's store of MIDI files and other basic rhythms onto the original built-in songs. The piano roll showing the music score uses a scoring function and finger timing visually on the mobile device's app screen.

v) Virtual keyboard

Using your mobile device's app screen, you can practice playing from anywhere using the downloaded Chordana Play app on your smart device

7. Onboard Features

Even though the Casio LK-265 keyboard doesn't support recording or playback, you get several sections that let you play with more than 100 different accompaniment styles. The information is clearly displayed on its LCD display. The LK-265 comes with built-in speakers that give you an enhanced listening and music experience of the effect the LK-265 creates as you make music.

8. Power Lesson Functions

This is another fantastic feature that comes with a setup lesson. In order to correctly learn, it comes in three parts. First, you have to master each phrase until you can play the entire song with the help of the setup lesson.

When the LK-265 keyboard senses that you're having difficulties, it uses a simulated human voice to guide you until you get better. What's even more exciting is the fact that you can choose each part-selecting lesson either for your left hand, right hand, or both. In addition, you get built-in songs consisting of specific genres to play and listen to for your currently selected rhythm.

i) Intuitive Step-up Lessons

To master the songs, the Step-up lesson feature breaks lessons into short phrases; after mastering each phrase, you can then piece everything together. Then, just as a virtual teacher would, the Step-up lesson feature uses a simulated human voice to correct you and guide you when you make mistakes.

ii) Voice-fingering guide

When the LK-265 keyboard senses that you're having problems, it helps you by calling out the finger numbers using the simulated human voice.

iii) 60 original built-in songs

Built-in songs that cover different genres for lesson play and for listening enjoyment when you're having a party. Alternatively, you can add MIDI songs to your storage.

10. Built-up Play Feature

Depending on how much pressure you use, pressing the indicated black lighted keys livens up your music with six dramatic sound effects on your LK-265. You can also use the Build-up Play feature to apply sound effects characteristic of dance music for a lot more fun.

Pros

  • It's specially built for learners; both adults and kids
  • Runs on 6 AA batteries and a power supply, so the keyboard is both portable and mobile
  • 2 high-quality built-in speakers with improved sound quality
  • Great library of pre-loaded songs, sounds and tunes with the ability to add more
  • Besides the keyboard, you get a keyboard stand, power cord and headphones with the purchase of the LK-265 keyboard
  • Using a USB slot, cable, computer and MIDI software, you can add MIDI songs to your keyboard
  • Lighted keys that light up to simplify learning
  • Compact and portable size
  • Onboard lesson feature, Easy-dance tune, Built-up Play feature, Voice-fingering guide, and so many more features to simplify learning
  • Free Chordana Play app for versatility and practice
  • Full-size sensitive keys for learning
  • Keyboard lighting OFF feature for the more advanced players

Cons

  • The LCD display is relatively small, with no light
  • Playing can be a bit difficult because of its semi-weighted keyboard
  • No exporting audio option with the audio cable sold separately

Who Should Use The LK-265 Piano; Kids or Adult Learners?

Using a lighted keyboard piano while learning how to play the piano comes with some distinct advantages. On the other hand, learning how to play the piano will require a lot of patience, so you'll need to spend a lot of time and effort learning. In addition, kids will need to be constantly encouraged, and one way to encourage them is to make the learning process fun and exciting. 

Naturally, kids will have little patience and a short attention span. So, most kids will initially find piano playing exciting, but after a couple of lessons, most run out of patience and give up playing the piano. This is all the more reason to encourage the child to learn the basics of piano playing by making it more exciting and interactive.

A lighted keyboard piano with all the additional learning features that the LK-265 has serves as a great motivation for kids to play the piano.  Not only do the lighted keys help kids, paired up with the other features, they also serve as a great learning tool for adult beginners.

The lighted keys, easy, intuitive lessons, fun rhythms, dance music mode, ability to play favorite songs from the music library, and impressive features make it easy for learners to keep the interest and play the LK-265 keyboard for fast progress. Additionally, it's relatively affordable compared to other lighted keyboards, so you won't have to invest too much to start.

The LK-265 is also great for adults or anyone trying to dip their toes back into piano playing after some years away. This LK-265 is a great way to learn the songs and build your repertoire quickly. However, all factors considered, it might not be the best instrument for performances or for playing experiences that require the full spectrum of piano sound.

However, if your goal is to learn songs quickly, it pays off fast. Overall, the LK 265 Casio piano keyboard is a great starter piano for children and adults.

What Does the LK-265 Come With?

The LK-265 comes in 2 bundles; the basic bundle and the premium bundle. The basic bundle comes with the following:

  • LK-265 keyboard
  • Power supply
  • Pair of high-quality headphones
  • Keyboard stand -so you won't need to get a new piano table or desk

On the other hand, the premium bundle gives you a simpler and more affordable option rather than buying the items you need separately, thereby transforming your LK-265 keyboard into a full music setup.

How Does Casio LK-265 Compare To Other Lighted Keyboard Pianos?

  • Casio LK-280
  • Yamaha EZ-220

A) Casio LK-265 vs. Casio LK-280

Honestly, these two models are almost alike. For starters, both have the lighted keys as their primary learning function, which can also be turned off when you prefer not to use it, or have had some time to practice or have prior experience with the instrument.

The main similarities include:

  • Both keyboards have illuminated keys which is most ideal for children to facilitate the learning process
  • Both have a keyboard-intuitive and integrated learning system
  • Both have a transposition function
  • Both have 61 touch-sensitive keys
  • Both have 48 notes of polyphony
  • Both have a Metronome feature
  • Both have a microphone input feature that connects to the speakers and allows you to add special effects to your voice while performing as you play
  • The microphone input in both that connects to the speaker also allows you to sing while you play
  • Both include a microphone that you can also use to record your performances
  • Both have an LCD display for easier configuration and easier operation
  • Both come with a power supply that also supports battery power
  • Both have 2 high-quality speakers that work great for home rehearsals and practice
  • Both have an input pedal to sustain pedal connection
  • Both are light and compact in size, making them portable

The main differences between the Casio LK-280 and LK-265 are:

Casio LK-265

  • 400 built-in sounds
  • It has exciting keyboard effects such as electronic music rhythms, Virtual hall mode, Dance Music mode, Built-up play feature, intuitive Step-up lessons and others
  • 60 songs that are already configured
  • 100 different rhythms and tones
  • 100 types of settings that can be triggered using a single button system
  • Comes with a hull and line output
  • Mini-jack input for plugging in the player or anything similar
  • Includes a power supply that also supports batteries
  • Two 2-inch speakers
  • The dimensions (946 x 307 x 92 mm) - W x D x H respectively
  • It's light, compact and light in weight at 3.6 kg

Casio LK-280

Casio LK-280 61-Lighted Key Touch Sensitive Personal Keyboard
  • Has 180 preset rhythms built into the keyboard that expand your music...
  • Offers 48 notes of polyphony so you don’t have to worry about dropping notes
  • The combination of the exclusive Step Up Lesson system and lighted piano-style...
  • Featuring 600 total onboard Tones, 180 Rhythms, and Reverb plus Chorus Digital...
  • Comes with an included power supply but it can run on batteries if you’d like...
  • It has 200 more sounds, so 600 sounds in total
  • It has a sampler option that records loops of up to 10 seconds which you can play over.
  • Has the ability to record up to 6 tracks
  • Has a memory expansion slot for either SD or SDHC cards that's up to 32 Gb
  • Has relatively more powerful built-in speakers
  • All these features definitely bring about an increase in price
  • It has 180 sound styles
  • 110 internally configured songs in the keyboard system
  • Sampler function that records the percussion loops and musical passages and has the ability to then play over them in a loop up to 10 seconds
  • An SMF format player
  • USB port for MIDI file audio connection
  • 2 x 2.5W speakers
  • Headphone and line output for the live performances
  • Also, light in weight but at 4.5 kg
  • Compact dimensions of (948 x 350 x 103mm) - W x D x H respectively

B) Casio LK-265 vs Yamaha EZ-220

Both the Casio LK-265 and Yamaha EZ-220 rank high on the best-lighted piano list. So, let's compare the Casio LK265, which we have already covered in so much depth.

Generally, we already know that the LK-265 keyboard is priced relatively lower than the Yamaha EZ-220 keyboard. To know what's best going to suit you, let's compare them in detail to see their similarities and differences:

Similarities between Casio LK-265 and Yamaha EZ-220

  • Both are lighted-keyboard pianos that come with illuminated keys, which is ideal for learning
  • Both keyboards come with 61 touch-sensitive keys. However, the sensitivity feature comes as an option on both to change the dynamics when you're playing a composition. For instance, when a strong key is pressed, it will sound relatively louder than when another is pressed with less pressure
  • While the Casio LK 265 comes with 400 sounds and 48 notes of polyphony, the Yamaha EZ-220 comes with 392 sounds and 32 notes of polyphony, but they both come with 100 different styles and rhythms of accompaniment
  • Both come with settings that can be activated using a single-button system
  • Both are wirelessly compatible with smart devices, where the Yamaha EZ-220 uses its Page Turner application to integrate into an iPad device. The app allows you to switch through the pages, record scores automatically, and record audio onto the device. On the other hand, the Chordana Play app on the Casio LK-265 is more of a learning application. It's compatible with either a tablet or smartphone, on both iOS and Android
  • Other than using the power supply, both can use batteries which is most ideal for a lot of players because it makes them much more portable and mobile
  • Both come with a charger to the power supply when not using batteries, included in the purchase

Here are the different characteristics of each of these pianos to make it much easier to spot the differences:

Casio LK-265

  • 48 different notes of polyphony
  • 400 different sounds
  • The LK-265 keyboard comes with the basic rhythms and effects and some interesting ones that work well for electronic music, including the Virtual Hall feature, Dance Music Mode, a virtual room mode, etc.
  • This keyboard comes with a microphone input feature that connects to your speakers and allows you to perform as you play and add special effects to your voice while you perform
  • It also includes a microphone in the purchase that you can also use to record your performances
  • Comes with a Chordana Play app that wirelessly connects to smartphones and tablets, both on iOS and Android, which is more of a learning application that you can use to practice wherever you are
  • 60 popular songs already configured into the keyboard system
  • 100 different types of rhythms
  • 100 types of settings that can be triggered by using the single-button system
  • Transposition feature
  • LCD display for easy monitoring and setup
  • Metronome feature
  • Mini-jack input for plugging in a player or similar
  • Hull and line output
  • Pedal input that can sustain the pedal connection
  • Two high-quality 2-inch speakers with improved sound quality that you can use to practice while at home
  • Dimensions (W x D x H): (946 x 307 x 92 mm) respectively
  • Compact and light in weight at 3.6 kg

Yamaha EZ-220

Sale
Yamaha EZ-220 61-Lighted Key Portable Keyboard Package with Headphones,...
  • Premium bundle includes the Yamaha EZ220 keyboard, Samson HP30 closed-back...
  • 61 touch-sensitive, lighted keys; Transpose: -12 to 0, 0 to +12
  • Total of 392 high-quality instrument voices and 100 accompaniment styles
  • 100 built-in songs plus 1 demo song for easy learning. Also includes: Fingering...
  • Number of Polyphony (Max.):32
  • 392 different sounds
  • 100 different built-in songs
  • 32 notes of polyphony
  • The Yamaha EZ-220 uses a wireless Page Turner application that is only compatible with your iPad device. It also allows you to switch pages to where the scores are recorded automatically
  • The Page Turner application also comes with an Audio-Recorder by 'Page Turner' that records audio on the connected device
  • One-click configuration system using the one-button
  • Display with LCD technology
  • An internal learning system that is broken into 3 levels
  • Hull exit
  • Input for a sustain pedal, but the pedal is not included
  • USB MIDI file connection
  • 2 medium power 2.5 Watt speakers for practice
  • Relatively heavier at 4.4 kg
  • Relatively bigger in size at 94.5 x 34.8 x 11 cm in dimension
  • It comes with a lectern

C) Other Portable Keyboards: Casio LK-265 Vs. Casio CTK-3500

Casio CTK-3500 61-Key Touch Sensitive Portable Keyboard with Power...
  • Dance music Mode w/50 built-in dance music rhythms
  • Chordata play app integration
  • 48 note polyphony
  • Step-up Lesson system
  • 400 tone, 100 rhythms. Auto power off

As you shop around for Casio keyboards, you may have heard or noticed another very similar model by Casio, the Casio CTK-3500 model. It is relatively higher in price, but it ranks just as high as the LK-265 on the best portable keyboards. On a more detailed review, we look at the Casio CTK-3500, but here's a brief but extensive comparison on both.

Both the Casio LK 265 and the Casio CTK-3500 share the following features:

  • Both are piano-style keyboard models that compact and almost identical in both size and weight
  • Both can run on AC power or run on 6 AA batteries, a feature that comes in handy, especially if you're playing away from home
  • Both have 61 full-size, touch-sensitive keys
  • Both have 400 different piano sounds
  • Both have a set of stereo piano tones
  • Both have a Virtual Hall mode function
  • Both come with 48 levels of polyphony
  • Both come with 10 levels of reverb
  • Both have 100 different rhythms and an additional set of 46 world rhythms
  • Both have a Dance Music Mode with 50 different dance rhythms
  • Both come with 60 built-in songs and have the capacity for an extra 30 songs
  • Both come with a lesson lite piano learning system that comes in handy for learners
  • Both are compatible with the Chordana Play application
  • Both come with a transpose, tuning, and metronome feature
  • Both have pedal input ports for pedal connection
  • Both have identical high-quality speakers and amplifiers that are built into the keyboard

The CTK-3500, however, comes with additional features that a lot of learners and musicians will really appreciate, such as:

  • A pitch bend wheel
  • USB port to host
  • General MIDI file connection

On the other hand, the LK-265 keyboard comes with:

  • A keyboard that lights up for learning purposes
  • A microphone port to allow you to sing as you play, record and change audio effects

In other words, if you prefer a keyboard that lights up as you play, as the key feature you're looking at, then the Casio LK 265 is definitely the best choice. Ultimately, it's one of the best-lighted keyboards among all the varieties that light up as you play. It's also one of the best options for learners, whether children or adults.

However, if you're not really looking for light-up keys as crucially, then the Casio CTK-3500, which comes with MIDI and USB capabilities, serves as a much more versatile piano keyboard. Everyone at the party will definitely appreciate combining the Dance Music Mode and rhythms with its pitch bend wheel for that party atmosphere.

Frequently Asked Questions on Casio Lk-265

1. Is Casio Lk-265 a piano or keyboard?

Casio is popularly known to give particular attention to always combining high sound quality with modern functions and impressive optics when it comes to their line of pianos. Generally, Casio keyboards excel in the compact format they come in, with immense flexibility, paired up with various functions that seem incomparable to other brands.

Both are keyboard instruments, and Casio keyboards are based off on the traditional pianos. However, their difference comes in their distinct purposes. First, Casio keyboards are digital, so they do not fall into classical music.

2. Is Casio better than Yamaha?

Generally, both are pretty good and have an excellent market command. However, Casio tends to offer relatively cheaper products, but they also come with great features and a lot more sounds. On the other hand, Yamaha offers you more choices with more products and exceptional sound when it comes to their high-end models, at least.

3. What is LK-265's song list?

It has a built-in library of 60 songs which include; Twinkle twinkle little star, Midsummer night's dream, most famous - Range wedding march, Amazing grace, etc.

4. Do I need all 88 keys to learn to play the piano?

For a learner, the basic 61-key keyboard will do. Alternatively, some come with either 66 keys or 72-keys, which is most recommended for anyone with some prior experience.

However, any learner who wants to play the classical piano will need the full 88 keys. Unfortunately, most keyboards come with less than 66 keys.

Zen Chung


I'm Zen Chung, a piano and violin teacher based out of Plano, Texas. I started this blog because my students (and their parents) kept asking about the best musical instruments to buy online. Look no further I'm here to save the day! 

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