This gadget turns your old piano into an educational ‘smart’ piano.
The One Smart Keyboard Pro uses RGB lights to help you play piano
Learning to play the piano is hard. I know; I’ve been trying for almost a year, and wrote an article on my process and struggles a few months ago.
Not surprisingly, there are to a myriad of apps, websites, and other tools pop up over the years in order to make playing the piano easier. In many cases, these tools try to simplify the process by introducing a visual element to help you map and time notes without needing to know sheet music.
The $749 One Smart Keyboard Pro is such a product, but it’s better than most in that it doesn’t try to replace traditional methods. For the most part, it deftly straddles the line between helpful learning tool and fun gimmick.
An important disclaimer: I’m very much a beginner with many years to go before my opinion on piano technique is particularly valuable. My impressions are from the perspective of a beginner who has tried every major keyboard out there and consulted with people better than me.
With that out of the way, this is a tech blog, so I’m going give this piano the gadget treatment.
First off it, looks great. I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a better looking keyboard for its price. I tested the white model, which I far prefer, but it’s also available in black. Despite a largely plastic build, it all feels solidly constructed, and I love the minimal design and touches of acrylic.
Rather than being bloated with buttons and screens, the Smart Keyboard has just a power button and volume knob. Press in on the knob, and you can choose between 88 sounds – each corresponding to a color above a key. This color-coded system is surprisingly fast – each color group reflects a different group on instruments. It also looks rad.
But to access even more instrument sounds and advanced functions, you’ll need to attach your smartphone or tablet and download the accompanying app. Mercifully, the Smart Piano comes with USB-C, Micro USB, and Lightning cables to make it work with any Android or iOS phone or tablet.