Yamaha Design “Synapses” P-S500


A portable smart piano that brings you the joy of playing.


The P-S500 features a format that takes advantage of advanced technologies such as stream lights to assist your playing, while keeping the Yamaha logo prominent and emphasizing its piano-like side arms. We used a flat, smooth display, and even went so far as to create a design that reflects the surroundings beautifully.


The surfaces of the touch panel display featuring the stream lights, and the sheet music stand on which a tablet can be placed are set at the same angle for both visibility and usability. Aligning the angle of reflections with the sheet music stand allows comfortable, stress-free playing.


The “stream lights” that seem to flow as they light up along with the wide display on which they appear are spread out in front of the player together with the keyboard, making performing highly immersive.


The P-S500 features a design that’s both modern and classical but also solid and stately, with a strong horizontal and vertical appearance that blends in well with any space. Whether you place it on your desk or use it with a dedicated stand, this is an instrument that you will be able to use for a long time, and which will match where and how you play.

Masafumi Futo
Masafumi Futo
Yamaha Design Laboratory

The importance of a design befitting a piano that’s highly playable.

The P-S500 is a portable smart piano that supports your playing with both a dedicated app and a keyboard guide function. The stream lights shown on the display behind the keyboard make it easy for anyone to play just by pressing the corresponding keys. Further, you can install the dedicated app on your smart device and connect it to your computer for an easy way to play the piano parts (notated accompaniment) of the songs you usually listen to.

In designing this instrument, we gave special attention to the angle of the display (which features the stream lights and touch panel) and the sheet music stand on which your smart device rests and which is used for functionality unique to the P-S500. Changing the display angle even slightly may cause light reflections that make it difficult to play while looking at the display, which is different from when reading sheet music. The process of finding the right display angle took a long time, as we worked on achieving the right balance between usability and playability before finally deciding to use a 45-degree tilt. Although the angle of the sheet music stand of a typical acoustic piano is 70 degrees, we concluded that the touch display should be angled at 45 degrees, roughly halfway between the sheet music stand (70 degrees) and the keyboard (horizontal). In giving the player access to these two elements (the stream lights and the touch display) from the same angle, we were also able to create identical reflectivity and provide a comfortable playing experience.

While digital pianos offer the designer a certain level of freedom in the form they can take, we were insistent that the instrument should have an authentic piano-like appearance. The P-S500 was designed to provide beginning piano players and those who have been away from the piano for a long time with the joy of easily playing their favorite pieces. We developed this product out of a desire to inspire players to eventually want to play a grand piano, as we assumed that there are users who were motivated to play without using the stream lights after they had been practicing for a while. Side arms reminiscent of an acoustic piano are located at either side of the keyboard, and the logo in the center of the front panel leaves an impression. Simply resting your fingers on the keys is sure to offer an immersive experience much like performing on an acoustic piano.

In putting together a “piano-like” look and feel with our advanced technologies, we have created a new kind of tried-and-true product that isn’t found anywhere else—an answer that befits Yamaha’s approach to portable digital pianos. With its simple design that can be used for any occasion, the P-S500 can be enjoyed by many people, regardless of age or playing experience.

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