Casiotone CT-S1: a keyboard for the Insta generation

There was a time, long ago, when Casio keyboards were known more for their cheap plinky-plonkiness (yes, that’s a word) than anything else. But that time has long gone.

In the same way that Casio watches have progressed from ubiquitous ‘80s wrist fodder to collector’s items of great beauty, Casio musical instruments now benefit from many years of research and development, and all the advances in technology that have produced their top-end pianos such as the rightly celebrated Grand Hybrid Pianos.

Released in early 2021, the Casiotone CT-S1 keyboards are no exception; they take all those technological advances and squeeze them into a portable, easy-to-use and – most importantly – fun keyboard.

What makes them so great? Here’s what stands out to me:

1. They Sound Great

Gone are the bleepy-bloopy noises of yore. These keyboards deliver a range of incredibly expressive sounds, from lifelike pianos to swirly Rhodes to fat synths, with a decent bottom end, even from the inbuilt speakers.

2. They Have Loads of Sounds

With 61 voices, ranging from pianos to flutes to synths to mellotron, you can have loads of fun recreating classic songs (there’s more than a hint of Strawberry Fields in the Tape Flute voice) or creating your own weird and wonderful compositions.

3. They’re Super Portable

Lightweight (just 4.5kg, the weight of a guitar) and slimline, Casio CT-S1 keyboards are designed to be moved around so you can play whenever inspiration strikes: lounging on a sofa, on the kitchen floor, in bed, or wherever!

4. They Look Cool

Just look at them! My personal favourite is the red one, but the white comes a close second. I expect these to feature in a bunch of Insta posts.

5. They Connect

With USB for connecting to your devices, the CT-S1 can be used to control a range of apps, including Casio’s excellent Chordana Play. You can even attach a Bluetooth dongle (sold separately) and avoid all those pesky wires!

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