Hardware, MIDI Controllers

An Honest Starfavor SP20 Piano Review + (5 Fast Tips)

Written By : Andrew Siemon

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I got my hands on the Starfavor SP20 Electric Piano, and I was impressed when I first pulled it out of the box. I noticed the quality of the weighted keys immediately which is probably the most important feature of any digital piano.

All-in-all, the Starfavor SP20 Digital Piano is a quality electric piano for the price. It’s Bluetooth. It has 88-weighted keys; it comes with a sustain pedal, the ability to combine and split sounds, and it can be used as a MIDI controller. However, the speaker’s sound quality isn’t perfect.

Ultimately, there are a few things that stand out about the SP20. The first is the price, and the next are the keys. But there are other features worth discussing including the sound quality, the Bluetooth capability, as well as the sustain pedal.

The Starfavor SP20 Digital Piano – An Overview

The Starfavor SP20 Review
This is the Starfavor SP20 (on Amazon) along with the included music stand, manual, sustain pedal, as well as the power adapter.

In the video below, I show you the unboxing process, how I set it up, and all the features with the exception of the Bluetooth functionality. Additionally, I’ve assembled a brief list of the Pros and Cons of the Starfavor SP20 to help you make your decision as quickly as possible.

How is THIS Keyboard SO CHEAP? - Starfavor SP20

Pros and Cons of the Starfavor SP20

Pros Cons
88-Keys (Full-Size) In-Built Speaker Quality Isn’t Great
PriceNo MIDI IN/OUT
Bluetooth Connection (Audio and MIDI)Sustain Pedal Feels Cheap
MIDI Controller Capability (via USB or MIDI)
Easy to Assemble
Sturdy Construction
Comes with a Sustain Pedal
Includes Drum Kits, Backing Tracks, and Demo Songs
Touch Sensitivity, Metronome, Reverb, and Chorus
1/4″ Jack for Recording Into a DAW

The Most Important Aspect of Buying Any Digital Piano

Price

The SP20 and a Dollar Sign

Starfavor’s SP20 is definitely a budget keyboard, making it most accessible to beginners and intermediates who want to get into playing the piano but don’t have huge amounts of money to spend.

It’s hard to find quality 88-key electric pianos on the market for as little money as what this one costs which is where the SP20 shines. If you don’t want to spend much money on a full-size piano, the SP20 is probably a good option for you.

Features of the Starfavor SP20 Digital Piano

Pictures of the Digital Piano SP20
A picture of the manual and a list of a lot of the features.

In terms of its features, the SP20 has what you could ask for in a piano. It has extra bells and whistles like different piano sounds, and rhythm backing tracks, as well as Bluetooth Connectivity, but it does its job where it matters: to feel like a real piano when you’re playing.

I’m not really a “bells and whistles” kind of guy because I find additional features are often used as a way to skirt around the fact that the product doesn’t complete its primary function very well. Thankfully, the SP20 doesn’t make this mistake.

1) 238 Sounds

The Sounds Button on the SP20
Click on the + or – buttons to move through the sounds.

If I understood correctly, there are 238 sounds on it, although, I haven’t tried all of them. Some of them sound pretty good and others not so much, which is to be expected for pretty much any electric piano. For instance, the electric guitars are almost never good on any electric piano. The strings sound great though.

2) 200 Rhythms

Try out some of the rhythms
Hit the Tone/Rhythm button and then hit the Play/Stop button.

There are also quite a few rhythms to go through which are really just drum tracks. They’re pretty cool to play around with. Reminds me of using the BOSS RC-5 guitar pedal.

3) Dual & Split Keyboard Mode

Dual Mode on Starfavor SP20
Press the Function button and press the Dual key highlighted in the bottom right image to activate Dual Keyboard mode.

Dual keyboard mode, essentially, combines two sounds at once. For instance, if you want to play the electric piano and the Synth Strings at the same time, this is how you do it. This is a really nice feature that made me like using the Starfavor SP20 a lot more.

Split Mode works in a similar fashion, however, instead of using two different instruments, you can set it up so there is one instrument on the left side of the piano and another on the right side of the piano.

4) Bluetooth Connectivity (Smartphone, Tablet, or PC)

Audio/MIDI on the Starfavor SP20
The Starfavor SP20 can be used as a MIDI controller connected via Bluetooth, or you can also use its speaker for your iPhone or whatever device you have that uses Bluetooth.

The Starfavor SP20’s ability to connect to any speaker or device by Bluetooth is an underrated feature that I didn’t explore until after I made my YouTube video for it.

Bluetooth on the Starfavor SP20
As you can see, you can connect MIDI and audio with the Starfavor SP20 via Bluetooth

This means you can play it through another speaker other than its in-built one. However, keep in mind that this will likely result in some latency or delay, something I’ve discussed at length in my GarageBand tutorial and in my TikTok tutorial.

5) 88 Keys

88 Keys on the Starfavor SP20

As I’ve already mentioned, the Starfavor SP20’s stand-out feature, in my opinion, is the weighted-keys – all 88 of them.

It’s possible to learn with just 25, but 88 makes it just like a real piano and you have no limits on what you can learn. The last thing you want from an electric piano is to have toy-like keys. I discussed this in my guide comparing the AKAI MPK Mini MKI and MKII.

While I’m not sure what your goals are, I imagine that you want the ability to smoothly move from an electric piano to a real piano, which feels different to play. A real piano’s keys have an unmistakable feel to them because you’re hitting keys attached to actual strings. They tend to feel a bit heavier.

6) In-Built Speaker

Starfavor SP20
There’s an in-built speaker on the left and right side of the piano.

The Starfavor SP20 has a built-in speaker as well so you can hear the sound, but as I briefly stated in the beginning (and I’ll discuss it in more detail below), it’s the SP20’s weakest feature.

7) MIDI Controller Capability (via USB and Bluetooth)

Sustain Pedal on the Starfavor SP20
Use the Starfavor SP20 as a MIDI controller through Bluetooth or a USB cable.

If you ever need to use the Starfavor SP20 to control your DAW, whether it’s GarageBand, FL Studio, or Logic Pro for iPad, know that the SP20 can do it. I tried it in the YouTube video I shared earlier.

It works with GarageBand, FL Studio, Logic Pro X, as well as the iOS versions of all 3. Simply put, the Starfavor SP20 can control VSTs and other software instruments that you’ll find in nearly all digital audio workstations.

8) Velocity Sensitive (and Controllable Touch Sensitivity)

Starfavor SP20 Touch Sensitivity
I believe there are 3 different touch sensitivity settings, Normal, Hard Touch, and Soft.

Of course, the Starfavor SP20 is also velocity-sensitive. In case you don’t know what this means, this refers to the keyboard’s receptiveness or ability to input how hard or gently you’ve pressed the keys.

Pressing on the keys gently will input a small number on a MIDI grid, compared to a larger number if you press harder. Normally, this number falls between 0 and 127.

9) Full-Size

Yamaha vs Starfavor
A size comparison between my Yamaha PSR-640 and the Starfavor SP20.

Because it’s a full-size electric piano, the SP20 is quite large. But this is to be expected if you’re dealing with an 88-key keyboard. It’s still a fraction of the size and weight of an authentic piano including both a grand piano and upright piano. Just make sure you have room for it before you buy it.

10) Sustain Pedal Capability

Starfavor Sustain Pedal - Review of the SP20
The sustain pedal for the Starfavor SP20.

The sustain pedal is also really easy to connect and it works perfectly, although, it feels a bit cheap. Admittedly, it isn’t something I use a lot, but it works well. However, I can’t speak for how long it’ll last if you use it constantly.

11) 1/4″ Jack for Headphones, External Speakers, and Recording Into A DAW

 Starfavor SP20 Phones Jack - Review of the Digital Keyboard
You can use the Phone’s 1/4″ port for connecting an external speaker, using headphones, or for recording with an instrument cable which is what I did for the demonstration down below.

12) Metronome

Starfavor SP20 Review Metronome Function
The Starfavor SP20 also has a metronome that’s easy to use.

13) Reverb & Chorus

Starfavor SP20 Chorus  - Review of the Digital Keyboard
You can also set up Reverb and Chorus if you want some extra sauce on your sound.

14) Demo Songs

Demo to Play the Songs
The Starfavor SP20 also comes with a bunch of demos that you can play along to.

For instance, I had Abba’s “Dancing Queen” which was cool. Personally, this feature is something I would never use but it’s there if you want it.

15) Drum Kits

Drums on the Starfavor SP20
You can also use the Starfavor SP20 as a drum kit instead of as a piano.

Simply put, if you hit the Function button and then hit the Drum key, you’ll turn the keys into the different parts of the drum kit, i.e., kick, snare, and hi-hats.

16) In-Built Music Stand

In-Built Music Stand
And finally, a music stand is included.

There are a couple of other features that I didn’t discuss, including Sync and Audio Accompaniment, but other than that, I believe I covered almost everything it can do. Ultimately, it’s a fully-featured keyboard that can do quite a lot.

5 Tips for Using the Starfavor SP20

After playing around with the SP20 for a couple of weeks, I came up with 5 different tips or ideas for you to use or consider. These are things that I think you should either try for yourself or you should at least know about after you’ve gotten the SP20.

1) Connect External Speakers With the Audio Jack

While external speakers that aren’t strictly Bluetooth-connected are becoming harder and harder to find these days, there is a port on the back that can be used for connecting speakers via 1/4″ input. I was going to list the lack of volume on the SP20 as a con, but it’s easily fixed just by using external monitors.

2) Use the Bluetooth Functionality For MIDI Control and Audio Output

Try out the Bluetooth functionality if you want to control your DAW remotely. It works just fine, and you can also the speaker on the SP20 as a Bluetooth speaker if you want to.

3) Set the Touch Sensitivity (Velocity)

Set up the Touch Sensitivity to Soft, Normal, or Hard if you’re struggling with the sensitivity. You may find that one or the other is better for your playing style. I prefer to just have it at Normal.

4) Use Dual and Split Mode

Dual mode is my favourite feature on the SP20. It sounds pretty good when you combine the Synth Strings and the Piano. Combine whatever you want.

5) Get Used to the “Function” Button

And finally, get used to using the Function button because it’s how you set up most features on the SP20. There are exceptions to this, but for the most part, you’ll be pressing the Function button and then hitting the keys to enable various modes and parameters.

Cons of the Starfavor SP20

1) The Sound Quality Isn’t As Good As It Could Be

Starfavor SP20 vs Yamaha PSR 640 Audio Comparison

On the other hand, the SP20’s sound quality is its biggest drawback, in my opinion, particularly through the built-in speakers on the side of the unit. The actual recorded audio isn’t terrible.

In the audio recording shared above, you can hear the difference in sound quality between my Yamaha SPR-650x (from 1999) and the SP20 although this is recorded through the 1/4″ Phones jack on both pianos.

The Yamaha keyboard sounds a lot warmer, whereas the Starfavor SP20 is a bit tinny and contains more high-frequency info.

This probably won’t be a huge deal to many beginner players, because you won’t be used to what an authentic piano sounds like anyway. I grew up playing an upright piano and I’ve also owned 2 different electric pianos, so the sound quality is something I noticed right away.

2) No Separate MIDI IN/OUT Ports

Starfavor SP20 MIDI Ports
The MIDI Ports on the back of my Yamaha PSR-640. You can control many different devices with these, and not just software instruments inside a digital audio workstation.

If you’re expecting to use the Starfavor SP20 to control other devices via MIDI, you’re out of luck, because it only has one MIDI port for the sustain pedal. So yeah, it does have a MIDI OUT port, but you have to choose between the sustain pedal or the MIDI port.

Yes, you can use it as a MIDI controller/keyboard via the USB port, but you can’t use an actual MIDI cable like what’s shown in the image above and below.

Assuming you’re a beginner to electric pianos, I can’t imagine this is a big priority anyway. I like that my Yamaha keyboard has it, but it doesn’t have a USB port to connect to laptops, iPads, phones, and computers.

3) Sustain Pedal Feels Cheap

Sustain Pedal on the Starfavor SP20
The sustain pedal works perfectly on the Starfavor SP20, but it doesn’t give off as sturdy a vibe as the actual piano, itself.

With that said, you can always buy a separate sustain pedal from Amazon or elsewhere in case that happens, because, as I said a moment ago, it’s connected through a simple MIDI cable.

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Gear Mentioned

1) Starfavor SP20 (on Amazon)

Andrew Siemon is the principal creator of ProducerSociety.com, a website dedicated to all things music, including music production, music theory, recording, and how to use the most popular DAWs. Starting out as a metal guitarist, Andrew has since moved into other areas of music production including hip-hop and fusion

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