Portable Keyboard Review | Roland E-09

Review of Roland's Portable Keyboard Arranger

Roland E-09 white or black
Image Courtesy of Roland | View in Black

Review of Roland E-09 | 61-Key Musical Keyboard

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Review Summary:

First off, the voices are fantastic. They’re well-rounded and clear, and even the brass tones (which are notoriously artificial-sounding) are balanced and pleasant.

This would make a great secondary instrument, particularly for a keyboardist in need of an arranger. The keys are light and hollow, but this model (along with its voices) can always be slaved to a heftier keyboard with a wider range of notes.



  • Keys: 61
  • Polyphony: 64-note
  • Touch Sensitivity: Yes; cumulative adjustments from 1-127, or off
  • Reverb/Chorus: 8 reverb settings; 8 chorus
  • Metronome: Yes; 20-250 BPM
  • Available Colors: Black; white (E-09W)


Price: $300-$600 Compare Prices



  • Beautiful voices; among the best I’ve heard on a 61-key
  • Two headphone jacks on front panel
  • Chord generator
  • Pitch bend/modulation control in-one
  • 32MB sampling RAM



  • No sustain pedal included
  • Custom recordings cannot be looped
  • Layering & splitting cannot be combined (see Keys & Action)


Keys & “Action”:

The keys on this model are thin and unweighted, but lack that dreaded hollow and markedly artificial feel common on other 61-keyers (although I did find the accidentals a tad slippery). The keyboard stays quiet during play – a must-have during external recording sessions.

The degree of touch-sensitivity is adjustable by increments from 1-127, whereas other keyboards generally have fixed numbers of presets, each quite unique.

So, it should be noted that there are not 127 different velocity curves, but one curve whose intensity may be adjusted.

Splitting is supported (two different voices can play on either end), and the split point is adjustable by octave; you cannot set the split to a specific note.

Transposition from -12 to +12.


Voices & Tones:

There are 614 voices, 70 drum kits, as well as an additional 256 GM2 tones. Voices include:

  • 18 Acoustic pianos, including various harpsichords & clavichords
  • 15 Electric pianos
  • 34 Organs & 15 accordions
  • 19 Acoustic guitars; 19 acoustic & 34 electric
  • 55 Bass guitars
  • 47 String & orchestra ensembles
  • 79 Brass, synth brass & woodwind
  • 12 Vocal & choral


… and loads more.


Tones may be “dual-layered” so that two different voices can be played simultaneously; however, splitting and layering cannot be used at the same time.


Keyboard Speakers & Quality:

The speakers are quality. Usually, you can detect a faint whisper when the speakers of a portable keyboard are on, but these were completely silent. In use, they proved to be a perfect match for the voices: they handled pitchy trebles and rumbling basses played at high volumes with no cracking or modulation issues.

The speakers automatically turn off when the headphones input jack is in use – whether by earphones or an external amp – which prevents feedback, interference, or startling noises.


Included Accessories:

  • 9V AC power supply (model # )
  • Music rest


Optional accessories which may be purchased separately include:

  • Sustain footswitch (model # ) – $12-$18
  • Piano-style sustain pedal (model # ) – $30-$35
  • Keyboard stand (model # KS-12)


Back Panel:

○ 2 x audio OUT (R,L mono)
○ MIDI in/out
○ Sustain pedal input, 1/4"



More Keyboard Reviews:

▪ Yamaha P95 - 88-Key Digital Piano
▪ Korg SP250 - 88-Key Digital Piano

▪ Yamaha Piaggero NP-V80 - 76-Key Portable "Digital"


Getting Started on Keyboards
 ▪  Sitting Correctly at the Keys
 ▪  Playing Piano vs. Electric Keyboard
 ▪  How to Buy a Used Piano

Piano Chords
 ▪  Chord Types & Symbols in Sheet Music
 ▪  Root Notes & Chord Inversion
 ▪  Diminished Chords & Dissonance
 ▪  Essential Piano Chord Fingering
 ▪  Different Types of Arpeggiated Chords

Beginner Piano Lessons
 ▪  Notes of the Piano Keys
 ▪  The Point Of Double-Sharps
 ▪  Finding Middle C on the Piano
 ▪  Essential Piano Fingering
 ▪  Comparing Major & Minor Chords

Piano Care
 ▪  Everyday Piano Care
 ▪  Safely Whiten Your Piano Keys
 ▪  When to Tune a Piano
 ▪  Piano Room Temps & Humidity Levels

Musical Symbols:
▪ Key Signatures
▪ Time Signatures
▪ Note Lengths
▪ Dotted Notes
▪ Music Rests

▪ Tempo Commands
▪ Turns
▪ Tremolos
▪ Glissando
▪ Mordents