Yamaha YDP-184 Digital Piano Review: Pros & Cons

The Yamaha YDP-184 is the top-of-the-line of the Arius series. It will make anyone feel like a professional. The instrument can work magic through the realistic acoustic sounds and feel.

This instrument is a great choice for those who want an acoustic grand piano but are looking for a more affordable option.

If you would like to find a quality digital piano that fits your modest space, YDP 184 will also fit the bill.

This Yamaha YDP-184 review shares our experience and observations of the instrument.

Therefore, it will help you to make the best decision for your piano journey regardless of whether you are a seasoned pianist, a beginner, or planning on a hobby.

Yamaha YDP-184 Specifications

YDP-184 Specifications
  • Keyboard: 88 keys, Graded Hammer 3 (GH3) keyboard
  • Simulator: Virtual Resonance Modeling (VRM), key-off samples, and smooth release
  • Touch Response: 5 levels, plus Fixed
  • Sound: Yamaha CFX Sampling
  • 256-note polyphony
  • Tones: 24 instrument tones in six groups (Piano, E. Piano, Organ, Strings, Bass, Others)
  • Build-in MIDI recorder: 16 tracks
  • Mode: dual (layers), duet(due), split
  • Metronome – tempo range: 5-280
  • Pedals: 3 build-in pedals (sustain/damper, soft, sostenuto)
  • Speakers: 2 speakers; 30Wx2 amplifiers
  • Connections: headphones, MIDI, Aux-In (stereo mini), Aux-out, USB-to-Host, USB-to-device
  • Dimensions: 57.5″ x 18.1″ x 36.5″ (1461 mm x 459mm x 927 mm)
  • Weight: 123.4 lbs (56 kg)
  • Release Date: February 2018
  • Full specs on Yamaha’s official site


The design of YDP 184 presents a fresh and elegant look. It comes with a custom dark rosewood finish.

yamaha ydp 184 pedals

The three pedals look and fell like an acoustic grand piano with half-damper control.

They provide many functions, including

  • sustain
  • sustain continuously
  • sostenuto
  • soft expression
  • pitch bend up and pitch bend down
  • rotary speed
  • vibe rotor

An onboard interface and control panel are on the left side. This is in contrast to the previous YDP models that have buttons above the keys.

Thus, this modern design encourages the player to concentrate on playing, and the player is unlikely to be distracted by various buttons and options.

On the other hand, it does reduce the convenience of setting changes.

yamaha ydp-184 controls

It is also worth noting that the volume control is on the right side of the piano.

YDP-184 sometimes comes with a padded bench. It is designed with the same look and feel as the piano for a complete experience.

Yamaha YDP-184 Digital Piano Sound

Yamaha digital piano with sound of a 9-foot concert grand

Yamaha YDP 184 was incorporated perfectly with the CFX sound. It is the sound of Yamaha’s flagship 9-foot concert grand piano.

YDP 184 features soft sustaining, vibrato, and echo sound effects while playing the instrument.

YDP-184 provides many options for sound effects or voices, consisting

  • stereo symphony
  • strings
  • electric piano
  • guitars, and
  • more with the accompanied polyphonic note or sound.


The YDP has 256-note polyphony. Polyphony on digital pianos is the maximum number of notes that a keyboard can sound simultaneously.

The 256-note polyphony allows you to play complex music, and it gives a layer of multiple sounds. While the 128 or 192-note is enough most of the time. In general, the more notes, the better it is.


Yamaha YDP184 has 24 preset voices:

  • 5 Pianos
    • The signature CFX Grand
    • Pop Grand
    • Jazz Grand
    • Rock Grand
    • HonkyTonk Piano
  • 3 Organs
    • Organ Principal
    • Jazz Organ
    • Mellow Organ
  • 5 Others
    • Harpsichord 8′
    • Harpsichord 8’+4′
    • Vibraphone
    • Nylon Guitar
    • Steel Guitar
  • 5 Electric Pianos
    • Stage electric piano
    • DX electric piano
    • Vintage electric piano
    • Soft electric piano
    • Phaser electric piano
  • 4 Strings
    • Strings
    • Slow Strings
    • Choir
    • Synth Pad
  • 2 Basses
    • Acoustic Bass
    • Electric Bass


The YDP-184 is furnished with quality speakers that can help make sound quality resonate.

It has two built-in 30-watt speakers. This speaker type enables standard volumes to echo into small venues like petite concert lounges, music studios, houses of worship, and living rooms.

It has an acoustic optimizer that best complements the speaker’s capabilities. This feature adds to the brilliance of sound.

Tone Generation

yamaha digital piano virtual resonance modeling

Yamaha YDP 184 offers Virtual Resonance Modeling (VRM), key-off samples, and a smooth release.

In an acoustic grand piano, the sound resonates throughout the body of the instrument. The enhanced VRM replicates these phenomena of an acoustic grand piano. Hence it produces a rich reverberation sound.

The VRM simulates string resonance sound with physical modeling when the damper pedal is pressed or keys are pressed. Ultimately, it achieves string resonance and damper resonance.

This technology allows pianists to produce rich, vivid, and expressive music.

Yamaha DP-184 Keyboard

yamaha ydp 184 keyboard

The YDP 184 features the Graded Hammer 3 (GH3) weighted action 88-keys.

The GH3 weighted keyboard presents Yamaha’s signature feel. The synthetic ivory and ebony keys closely mimic acoustic piano touches.

Three-sensor configuration is also equipped in this model. It enables the facility to express a more realistic and authentic sound like a grand concert piano.

The heavy keys are for lower octave controls while the light keys are for higher octave controls. As a result, the keys give a quick response and realistic feel when used.

In addition, the keyboard has the ability to absorb moisture that prevents fingers from slipping while playing.

You also can manipulate the string resonance, the damper resonance, and the brilliance of the instrument.


Similarly, Yamaha YDP 184 provides dual, duet, and split modes. They are comparable to many other digital pianos.

Dual (Layers) Mode

It offers two layers of different adjustable sounds. You can combine the tone with a harpsichord, electric piano, or strings.

Dual Mode keyboard

When you combine it with the 16-track recording feature, you can almost create an orchestra effect. To achieve this, you record different instruments into separate tracks and then play them out together.

Duo (Duet) Mode

It splits the piano into two sections. It will be handy if you are playing a duet with another person. This is also the best option for student/teacher experience.

duet mode

The duet mode creates two sections with two middle C and octave ranges. For instance, a teacher can play tunes on the left side of the keyboard as the student follows on the right side.

While Duo mode is on, the Reverb, VRM, and Stereophonic Optimizer functions are disabled.

Split Mode

It splits the keyboard into two segments and assigns different tones. A split would give you one sound in your left hand and a different sound in your right hand. Normally you would put bass on your left side.

split mode keyboard

The audio compression and memory capacity produce accuracy and string resonance. It’s rich and smooth.

You can also use the Dual and Split modes simultaneously. It creates more sound voices concurrently.

Recording and Playback

Yamaha YDP 184 allows you to record 16 tracks.

For example, you can play your piano part, then strings, and then bass. You may stack them all up to 16 different instruments and playback a full orchestration.

On the other hand, if you only want to play piano, you can record that too. It will store up to 250 songs.

When you want to store more, you always can back them up on a USB flash drive. You can load them back to the piano as you wish.

The YDP-184 also has preset 14 voice demo songs and 50 classic pieces.


The YDP-184 provides several useful connectors to enhance your enjoyment of the instrument. The headphone jacks and USB connectors are conveniently located in front of the piano. They are on the underside of the keyboard.

Standard Stereo Jacks

yamaha digital piano ydp 184 headphone jacks

YDP-184 has two 1/4″ stereo headphone jacks. They offer the Stereophonic (SP) Optimizer feature.

The SP feature will be automatically enabled when a headphone is connected and the piano group voice is selected.

The Stereophonic Optimizer is an effect that reproduces natural sound distance. It feels like the sound from a piano but it is actually through a player’s headphones.

While the Stereophonic Optimizer operates automatically, you can shut it off using the control penal. It is recommended to shut off this function when you use an external speaker system.

AUX IN and AUX OUT Jacks

  • AUX-IN is the stereo mini-jack. It lets you use your portable audio device to hear YDP 184 sound through the built-in speakers.
  • AUX-OUT jacks allow you to connect the YDP 184 to externally powered speaker systems. This is especially useful for playing in large venues and projecting higher volumes.

USB-to-Host Connector

This USB Type B port lets you connect to a computer for exchanging MIDI data. You can transfer the songs to the computer.

You may also connect to your mobile device such as iPhone/iPad. Then you can leverage the free app from Yamaha, the Smart Pianist app, to manage the YDP-184 settings.

USB-to-Device Connector

The USB flash drive port, or USB-to-Device (USB Type A), allows you to exchange files conveniently.


YDP 184 has three MIDI terminals.

  • [IN] – receives MIDI communication from an external MIDI device
  • [OUT] – transmits MIDI data generated on YDP-184 to another MIDI device
  • [THRU] – relays the MIDI communication received from the [IN] jack

Other Functions Worth Checkout

Piano Room

Yamaha YDP 184 has a particularly cool feature called Piano Room. It allows you to customize the sound of the grand piano voice. You can set it to lid-open, lid-half-open, or lid-close.


A metronome produces a steady pulse (or beat) to help musicians play rhythms accurately. Thus a built-in metronome is a useful tool, and it helps the player adjust tempo and time.

Sometimes it’s fun to play along with drum patterns instead. YDP 184 provides 20 different drum patterns in a variety of styles.

Onboard Control and Smart Pianist App


YDP 184 features a full-dot LCD that provides a multi-line interface. Hence, you can manage all the controls and features right from this panel on the left side.

If you like a more visual representation, Yamaha offers a free app Smart Pianist. It allows you to control all of the functions of the YDP 184.

However, the Yamaha YDP 184 is not equipped with Bluetooth technology. Therefore, you’ll have to use the USB-to-Host port to connect to your mobile device.


Yamaha digital piano YDP 184 comes with some useful accessories:

  • A complete owner’s manual for ease of operation
  • A music sheet book that includes 50 classical masterpieces
  • An attached music stand
  • A matching designed bench
  • Smart Pianist, is a free mobile app to be used to manage the settings, modes, song selections, etc.

Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
256-note polyphony No Bluetooth to connect to any mobile device; however, it CAN be connected via a USB-Type B connector
The incredible sound of the flagship Yamaha CFX concert grand piano Small monochrome control display
24 built-in voices Not for portability, best for home use or lesson studios
Three pedals – supports half-damper action that closely mimics an acoustic grand piano Higher prices for entry-level players
16 recording tracks  
External Speaker connection to externally powered speaker systems using AUX OUT jacks  

Our Verdict for Yamaha Digital Piano YDP-184

4.5 out of 5.0

To conclude, the Yamaha YDP-184 has integrated renowned CFX sound into a more compact and mid-level model.

It will be a worthy purchase because you will have the award-winning Yamaha’s CFX nine-foot concert grand piano right there at your fingertips.

Despite its relative heaviness and higher price, this is still a pretty strong competitive model. It is suited for beginners, intermediate players, and professional pianists as well.

The price justifies the sound, the quality, and the additional features the brand and model offer.

Overall, the Yamaha YDP-184 is a top-tier option for searchers of a digital piano. It

  • combines traditional designs and advanced technology,
  • offers well-recognized sound quality and acoustic piano feel, and
  • renders memorable and superb musical senses.

The YDP-184 is available in dark rosewood color. It also comes with a beautiful sliding key cover. With this instrument, you can play with confidence for your friends, families, or spectators.

Related: Yamaha Digital Piano Options

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