Donner DEP 20 Review: A Beginner Digital Piano

Are you looking for a beginner digital piano for under $500 or an affordable piano to quench your music creativity? This Donner DEP-20 Review will help you determine if this piano will meet your needs.

Donner is probably a lesser-known brand in the piano world. To start, the manufacturer does not offer any traditional pianos, only electric keyboards, and digital pianos, along with other electric instruments and accessories.

Founded in 2012, Donner started with guitar effect pedals. In recent years, the young digital piano maker put on the market several affordable digital piano models catering to beginners and music creators with their simplistic designs.

Below is our Donner DEP 20 Review, which shares everything you need to know about this digital piano.

Donner DEP-20 Specifications

DEP-20 Specifications
  • Keyboard: 88 keys, fully weighted keyboard
  • Sound: Multi-sampled premium ‘DREAM’ sound engine from real grand piano sounds
  • 128-note polyphony
  • Tone: 238
  • Preset songs: 100
  • Rhythms: 200
  • Pedals: a plug-in sustain pedal
  • Mode: Dual; split
  • Recording: single-track one-song onboard recorder
  • Speakers: yes; 25Wx2 amplifiers
  • Connections: 2 headphones jacks, pedal socket, USB audio/MIDI; MP3 Interface
  • Color: available in black
  • Dimensions: 56.69″x13.78″x9.45″ (144 cm x 33 cm x 24 cm)
  • Weight: 25.5 lbs (11.6 kg)
  • Owner’s Manual on Donner’s official site


donner dep-20 review

The DEP-20 is a portable digital piano; however, it is over nine inches in thickness. Therefore, it is actually not easy to carry around. On the other hand, it is still easier to move around than the console-style digital piano or any acoustic piano.

This affordable entry-level piano is equipped with features and functions many premium rendered pianos more than twice its price.

The DEP-20 has a simple design with no assembly required. It is a true plug-and-play instrument and has a solid build.

Overall, the design is pleasing, and all the controls are straightforward.


The DEP20 offers many fun and useful functions. The control buttons are clearly labeled for easy access, and they are located in the middle and above the keys. Moreover, the bright setting display indicates your selections visually.

You can enable many functions just a bottom pressing away.

more buttons

The Donner DEP-20 digital piano also comes with a convenient button to quickly turn on the drum kit to accompany your playing or play some finger drums on your piano.

This digital piano features a basic single-track song recorder that is utterly easy to use. All you need to do is press the RECORD button to start recording, repress the RECORD button to stop recording, and then press the REPLAY button to playback whatever you recorded.

The Sustain Pedal

The piano has a nice sustain pedal, not a footswitch like some portable digital pianos. The pedal also has an interesting feature, a switch that provides two different ways of sustaining the sound:

donner dep-20 pedal
  • The pedal can be a conventional sustain pedal, meaning when you press down the pedal, the piano sound continues even when you lift your fingers from the keyboard.
  • However, when you switch the pedal, it behaves differently. It sustains the sound without pressing the pedal. On the other hand, when you press the pedal, it stops the sustaining.

While the piano only comes with a sustain pedal, you may also get a 3-pedal system with the match stand.


donner dep 20 connectors

The Donner DEP 20 comes with a set of sockets that enhances your experience with the piano.

  • It is easy to connect your computer to the USB-to-Host port. You can learn, compose, and store music pieces on your computer. Additionally, you can play your pieces or accompaniments from the computer.
  • The 1/4″ (6.35mm) audio in & out jack allows you to plug in external speakers or a microphone to sing along.
  • There is also an MP3 socket that lets you play your MP3-formatted music on the piano speakers.
  • The separate pedal socket is for you to connect a 3-pedal (sustain, soft, and sostenuto pedals) system when you have the Donner DEP-20 matching stand. The 3-pedal system is just like pedals on grand pianos.

With all these various connectors, you’ll have more fun playing and making music. Keep in mind all these connectors are in the back of the piano.

However, the two headphone jacks are located in the front of the piano for easy access. They are mini-stereo jacks, 1/8″ (3.5mm) for two sets of headphones. When headphones are plugged in, the built-in speakers are disabled automatically for a quiet play session. In comparison, the sound quality in the headphones is as good as the sound out of the speakers.



The sound is an important aspect of any piano. What about the tones and sounds found on this DEP-20?

The Donner DEP-20 uses AWM (a.k.a. Advanced Wave Memory) sampling technology that provides you with more than just the default piano voice. In reality, you get a total of 238 tones with a good variety of

  • pianos
  • electric pianos
  • organs
  • guitars
  • saxophones
  • synths
  • strings
  • folk instruments

Even though not every tone is outstanding, you still get very good voices of pianos, electric pianos, and some folk instruments like bagpipes.

This digital piano also offers built-in DSP (Digital Signal Processors) to enrich the resonance of the sound.

Realistically, at this price point, you are not going to get some fancy or super articulated sounds found in digital pianos costing five to ten times over this one. However, most tones are quite decent.


Polyphony is the number of notes a piano can sustain simultaneously. With the help of layering and pedals, you can easily reach a higher level number of notes, also known as polyphony.

The Donner DEP-20 digital piano features a polyphony of 128 maximum notes, which is enough to play long, sustained, and complex classical pieces without experiencing note dropout.

As you get used to playing this entry-level piano, you will reach a level where you can play the music that needs higher polyphony levels to perform at your best. However, 128-note polyphony is good enough for many beginners and intermediate players.


donner dep-20 buttons

The Donner DEP20 offers dual (layer) and split modes.

You can get a richer and lusher sound by layering two voices. You only need to press the DOUBLE VOICE button. Additionally, the piano allows you to split voices across the keyboard, so you get different tones on the left and right sides.

With these features, you can play a small band all by yourself.


You may be surprised to find that this digital piano has 200 rhythms with chord accompaniment styles ranging from pop rock, blues, and jazz to Latin music and many more.

These rhythms would make your learning and practice unbelievably more fun and engaging.

In addition, there is a built-in metronome that can help you regulate your rhythms and tempo during practice.


speaker disected

The DEP-20 is equipped with two speakers with a 25W amplifier each. These are powerful speakers compared to many portable pianos. They are enough for a large room. You can have some performances playing in front of a small group without external speakers.

Let’s enjoy a sample of this piano sound –


donner dep-20 keyboard

This Donner DEP-20 review is not complete without mentioning its key action.

The DEP-20 has a fully weighted full-size keyboard with four levels of velocity settings to match your preference. It has a graded hammer action, just like an acoustic piano. This means the keys on the left side of the piano have a heavier touch, and the keys become lighter as you move to the right.

Additionally, the keys have a nice texture on them that prevents slippage during your play.

It is rare that you get this kind of touch feel and graded hammer action in this price range.

Convert to a Console Piano

donner dep-20 with stand

Donner offers a matching stand with a 3-pedal system for the Donner DEP-20 digital piano. The stand makes the piano portable and a modern decor piece without sacrificing any functions the piano offers. The slim design will fit any tight space.

On the other hand, if you would like to take the piano somewhere, such as using it in your college dorm or performing on a small stage, you may consider having an X-style folding stand. This way, you will not lose the portability.

Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
128-note polyphony No Bluetooth connectivity
Nice piano sound and 200+ tones A bit bulking for a portable digital piano
Suit for beginning-level players and music creators Not a great sound for headphones
Powerful speakers  
Weighted hammer action keyboard  
Quality piano for a very affordable price  

Summary of the Donner DEP-20 Review

To conclude this Donner DEP-20 Review, I would say the instrument is undoubtedly a bargain for the functions it offers. It is the least expensive, fully weighted hammer action keyboard. Hence, it is a cost-effective beginner digital piano.

For any beginner, it is not good to learn with a keyboard without weighted keys. It ultimately hinders hand technique development. Hence, this piano is a good choice.

Being a portable digital piano, you can practically put it on any sturdy surface. However, one caution is the height of the surface you put it on. You need to make sure the height will support your postures correctly.

While this piano is adequate for beginners, at this price range, there are inevitably some compromises. For instances –

  • You cannot adjust the volume independently when using the layer function or in split mode.
  • There is no quick way to select the sounds or rhythms without scrolling through the list. It could be time-consuming to go through 238 voices and 200 rhythms to find the one you want. Moreover, you cannot save your voice and rhythm settings for quick recall.
  • While it is nice to have a single-track recorder, it would be ideal to have a two-track recorder for recording the right hand and left hand separately. This feature would be especially useful for beginners to practice two hand parts one at a time.

Overall, this entry-level digital piano is worth its cost and offers more features than any digital piano or keyboard in this price range. You are not likely to regret your purchase. A lot of good reviews on Amazon speak for themselves.

As usual, please do not hesitate to contact me by leaving a comment below.

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