Axus AXS2 review
Axus AXS2 sound
One of the biggest worries anyone has when buying a digital piano as opposed to an acoustic is how it will sound. So when you look at the fairly small speakers of the Axus AXS2 you don’t expect much. But how wrong you’d be!
The sound is better than what you’d expect for a compact digital piano. The piano sound is typically what you need to judge any digital piano on, no matter how many other sounds it has, and it doesn’t fail the test.
You get a nice rich bassy tone from the sound, and the speakers are great. The reverb effect included is an absolute must if you what the sound to resonate properly and feel realistic, and the reverb function on this works just fine.
Some of the backing styles are really good, and some I would say are OK. But I have to take into consideration how much this digital piano costs, which makes me instantly respect the technology that’s gone into this.
I have been blessed over the years with playing and owning lots of different and expensive types of keyboards and digital pianos over the years, so I know how much better and more realistic backing styles and sounds there are out there. However, it would be extremely unfair to shoot this piano down as the quality of the voices and styles are definitely above average.
Overall the sound and quality of the voices, along with good quality speakers is great:
Axus AXS2 touch and feel
Standard keyboard keys are not weighted, and it’s typically what you’d expect to see here. However, the Axus AXS2 has hammer action keys so you get a very realistic acoustic piano feel.
You can just about get away with playing really fast pieces on this piano, but it isn’t as responsive as you’d like if you are playing extremely difficult classical pieces. However, this digital piano isn’t really aimed at the concert pianist, and ticks all the boxes when it comes to everyday piano playing.
The touch and feel of the Axus AXS2 would have no problem taking you up to grade 5 and beyond, and you wouldn’t ned to consider an upgrade for many many years, if at all!
Axus AXS2 features
A total of 559 voices means that I obviously didn’t have enough hours in the day to get through them all. I did however still have a scan through as many as I could which included – brass, strings, electric pianos, guitars and so on.
The transpose function is great if you are playing with a singer or a choir as you don’t have to learn a particular song in another key if you already know it, and you can just change the pitch of the piano to their preferred key.
Dual function allows you to have to voices playing at the same time. I’ve always loved this feature on a digital piano as I love to combine piano and strings, but you can of course combine any two voices you want – and with 559 you could have hours of fun finding out what works for you.
Split function allows you to play two different voices on different sections of the keys, allowing you to have say piano at the top half and strings at the bottom. I sometimes like to split with piano at the top and a double bass at the bottom, along with using a swing or jazz rhythm. You can literally create the sound of a three piece jazz band with just two hands.
Touch sensitivity is pretty much a given these days at this price, and especially when it’s being advertised as a digital piano. However, it’s always worth pointing out that this function is included as it’s extremely important for any pianist to have. If you are not sure what this is, it basically means that the sound is louder if you hit the keys hard, and quieter if you hit them gently – just like a real piano.
Accompaniment function allows you to choose from the 200 unique styles, so you can create the sound of a band using just your left hand to play the chords. The Axus AXS2 also includes some great functions in addition to this like intros and endings, as well as a couple of fill-ins typically marked ‘A’ and ‘B’. This means that the piano will introduce the backing song as well as end it at the touch of a button. And the two different types of fill-ins do just that – they add a little fill into the song which can be used to transition to the next part of a song. This could be anything from a few extra drum fills, and/or the backing track adding extra sounds.
The piano is very light and compact which allows it to be easily transported around the house, or more importantly for you performers out there, to gigs so you can show off your skills. This is also a nice feature for schools as they often have to try and save space which is difficult with a full size acoustic piano. This can easily be carried off and put away into the corner and stored until it’s used again.
Axus AXS2 price
At around £400 it sits nicely in the market as a keyboard/digital piano. The piano sound obviously isn’t the main focus of the technology that’s gone into this model, so if you are only interested in playing the piano and are not interested in brass, strings or guitar sounds as well as the numerous backing styles, then this model isn’t for you and you’d be able to spend the same amount of money on something that has a better piano sound.
However, for those of you out there that like to have fun with various voices and rhythms, then this is an extremely reasonable price to pay. You are definitely getting a lot for your money when it comes to value.
Axus AXS2 summary
The Axus AXS2 reminds me of the Yamaha CVP range, as it combines piano with keyboard. So if you get bored of just listening to yourself playing piano all the time, this type of hybrid model could be just the thing you need to keep you motivated in between your 2 hours of scales practice each day (which I’m sure you do).
So as soon as you get bored of the piano sound you’ve got 558 other voices to try or combine with each other. And not only that, you can also play along to backing styles and accompaniments and create and record your own songs.
Also, ff you are a keyboard player by trade, then the Axus AXS2 could be a nice upgrade when it comes to the weighted keys and the fact that you have the full 88.
Overall I would say this digital piano isn’t necessarily for the hardcore pianists out there because of the amount of voices and backing styles which wouldn’t get used if you are not into that sort of thing. But if you love to expand your skills with other voices and sounds, and you like to play along to backing styles and have fun with all the different functions, then this would be the perfect choice!