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Yamaha MX88 Review (2023) – Is This Synthesizer Worth Buying?

Quick Review: Maybe you want a very powerful music synthesizer with a realistic sound engine. You can’t go wrong with Yamaha’s synthesizer machines and its very own Yamaha MX88. You’ll have a great synth machine, amazing sounds, and features, it give you just everything you need to play a great masterpiece.

Editor's Pick
Yamaha MX88 88-Key Weighted Action Synthesizer
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  • Really good and usable sounds and features
  • Super lightweight and portable
  • Great sound quality
  • The weighted keys and action are just great


  • Not very versatile, especially with the layer and split functions
  • No speakers, so better connect it to external speakers or headphones

The Yamaha MX88 Synthesizer Workstation

Yamaha’s MX line of products was already popular and its weighted version is amazing. The Yamaha MX88 is one of the best choices in this series. It comes with everything you need for your gigs and performances.

In order to be familiar with the famous music synth, the following review will help you know MX88 better. It’s packed with great functionalities and features that will be discussed quickly in this review. You’ll also have a quick run through of the pros and cons of this production workstation.

Plastic, but Solidly Crafted

Though it weighed around 30.6 lbs, it’s still very portable and handy. The matte black keys will absorb moisture. Hence, you won’t have any slipping problems even for extended practice and performance sessions.

yamaha mx88 synthesizer review
credits: ask.audio

Easy to Play GHS Keybed

Like most keyboards from Yamaha, MX88 also comes with the Graded Hammer Standard and its 88 keys are weighted. For the benefit of those who don’t know about weighted keys, it’s heavier in the bass range and becomes lighter as go up to the treble keys. This means, it feels so nice, plays so great and it seems to be pretty well-balanced.

Sometimes the response might be a little sluggish, especially when playing synth leads and percussive sounds. However, it’s not that bothersome, especially for beginners.

Outstanding Sound Quality

When it comes to the sound its really the best for its price. Although there may be some stepping with filter at high resonance levels, it still produces great music. You can simply create and play just any music from classical to electronic and everything in between.

There are around 16 different sounds that you can choose. You can simply jump from one sound to another with just cursor keys and don’t necessarily need to go to the main menu. What’s interesting is, you can’t hear any cutoffs while switching from one sound to another.

One notable feature of the MX88 is the full concert grand piano, which comes from the MOTIF series. You will get a very powerful low-range, detailed mid-range and a perfect high range. Indeed the MX88 is a great keyboard and synthesizer workstation for any music style.


Useful Display and Controls

Since it’s a Yamaha, it sure is great quality. The controls, knobs, buttons, and switches feel so solid and very sturdy.

There are four knob functions, a lot of accessible buttons and so much more. You can choose from over 1000 voices and 61 drum kits options. You can select from different categories including piano, organ, guitar, strings, bass and so much more.

When it comes to the display, there’s an old-school, yet useful display. You’ll see the performance number, voice names, editing tasks, and a couple more information.


Easily Accessible Functions

Among the very easy functions you can maximize in MX88 is the split and layer modes. There are buttons dedicated for each mode.

Recording your synth sounds with your MX88 and playing it elsewhere using any digital audio workstation (DAW) is a breeze. You’ve got every single control onboard that lets you edit, manipulate and tweak more controls through your DAW. Since MX88 is USB audio and MIDI class-compliant, recording and playing your music to and from your computer or phone is very easy.

Might be a Touring Piano

Though it may not be the most lightweight music synthesizer there is on the market, it sure is very handy. It may take time to really get the hang of it, but it’ll make you a great performer. It helps you unlock the musician and pianist inside of you.

It’s a great keyboard, but…

It seems like a complete package. But, I think it’s still very important to put some speakers on it. Although the fact that it’s best used for editing, arranging and manipulating music, which could be done in DAW, it’s still great to quickly hear the notes when you strike the keys.

You can still connect it to external speakers and headphones, though. So, maybe it’s still a steal for some, but for me, it’s not. There is a need for me to hear the notes sooner without the need to plug in my headphones.

However, just take my words lightly, as the need for speakers is dependent on the needs of the player. If it’s okay with you that it doesn’t have a built-in speaker, then, go grab it. Setting the speaker problem aside, MX88 is a great buy.


Editor's Pick
Yamaha MX88 88-Key Weighted Action Synthesizer
We may earn commission from purchases made from our links, at no additional cost to you.

It is indeed great for gigging and studio recordings. It’s great, it’s complete and its connectivity is just awesome. It comes with wide sound library options which you’ll surely get tired and excited to try each one.

Is it worth its price?

It’s way more than its price. It’s probably the best for your buck. You’ll get not just an ordinary keyboard, but you’ll have more options to manipulate your music, that’s what the Yamaha MX88 can offer..

You’ll not only become a pianist or a keyboardist, you will become a versatile player and musician. Having to produce, edit, and create your own music through the abundance of this music synth will really help you level up your career. Even a complete beginner can easily keep up and even level up to produce great music.

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  1. Upgrading from DGX660 I’m really torn between mx88 and the juno ds88. I want my kids to have a piano for learning but I also want a synth for my expermental music which the DGX is not capable of. I’m leaning towards the mx88 but I wonder if it’s not too old. How often does Yamaha release upgrades to its synth lines?

    • Bought a used one for half of the price, so if something new release and better, I still can sell mine for the same price and buy the newest


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