Roland Juno DS88 Review – Does It Live Upto The Hype?

Roland Juno DS88 Review

Have you outgrown your beginner level keyboard recently and are looking for a new one that will match your skills? Or are you looking for a keyboard that will provide a plethora of high-quality sounds and is easier to carry? Not only will the Roland’s Juno DS88 provide you all of this but it has so many added features that we are dying to tell you. So, stick to the end of this review and see if the Roland Juno DS88 is the right one for you or not.

Features Of Roland Juno DS88:

The Roland Juno DS88 has been one of our favorite keyboards on the market and there’s a lot about it that we would like you to know about it. Before that we want you to know that this digital piano costs around $1000, in some places less and some places more but close to that. So, if that’s out of your budget or you’re a beginner you might want to skip the article and save your time. 

However, the Roland Juno DS88 is totally worth the price and even if you can’t afford to buy it right now, we suggest that you keep it in your bucket list and buy it when you have either the money or the skill. With that being said, let’s dive into the specifics of the Juno DS88.


roland juno ds88 aesthetics

The Roland DS88 is a gorgeous looking instrument and so many stage performers use it. Although the buttons and knobs on the control panel might overwhelm you, the rest of the design is quite simple and minimalistic. However, we do feel that the LED screen should have been a little bigger.

Did we scare you by telling you that the control panel has too many knobs and buttons? Well, that’s because the Roland has so many features to offer you and besides, the manual that comes with it will make navigation so easy for you. So, don’t worry about navigation on the DS88, if you’re aiming to become a great player, you will have to learn these things one day or another. 

Besides that, the DS88 is quite a compact and portable digital piano. It weighs 35 lbs, which is lightweight for an 88-key digital piano, and therefore you’ll find it easier to carry it to your stage performances and back to your studio. It’s also the right size for placing in a car. 

What makes the Roland DS88 more special for gig performers is its ability to run so long on a battery. This is so beneficial for musicians who are always at the risk of getting booed by the crowd when a power outage happens during live performance. 

Sound quality and memory

The most amazing thing we found in the Juno DS88 is the access to Juno DS sound bank where you can get more than 1000 sounds and over 1200 presets. Furthermore, the DS88 also has 30 drum kits and 64 performance slots which makes way for so much creativity. The quality of sound and music that you will produce with this keyboard will be so amazing. 

The credit for the high-quality sound of the Roland DS88 goes to the 128-synthesis engine that is used in all of Roland Di keyboards. No matter which sound we played, either the organ, the bass, or the piano, all sounded so real. The plethora of sound manipulation options provided in the Roland Juno DS88 is unbelievable. You can download Roland’s editor for adding waveforms, effects, and filters. It also has eight phrase Pads for triggering samples and storing songs via a USB drive. 

With all these editing and composition choices, you will find it so fun and learning. You can create and edit patches and then assemble them one after the other, making hours-long music for your on-stage performances. This, however, does not mean you can’t edit your songs while you’re on the stage, you do have the freedom to do both of them. This is why the Roland Juno DS88 is called the best synthesizer up to date. 

Key sensitivity

roland juno ds88 keys

When it comes to the keys, the Roland Juno DS88 hasn’t disappointed us either. It has weighted acoustic piano-like keys. The Roland Juno DS88 is equipped with progressive hammer action. The DS88 is the first among the Juno keyboards with the Ivory Feel-G keys and they do feel good when you play them. This is all a pianist needs to take his skill to the next level.

One thing worth noting is that the “88” in DS88 refers to the number of keys because the same keyboard is available in 61 keys and 76 keys. However, when you can have a full-sized keyboard why would you waste your money and time on a lesser version. 

Other features

roland juno ds88 other features

Like we’ve said before the DS88 is a feature-rich keyboard, it has so much to provide that it’s hard to keep track of everything. So, if we miss out on something here, forgive us but do let us know.

Remember the small LED screen we mentioned before? Its purpose is to provide onboard pattern sequencing without having to reach for the Computer. For those that find it cumbersome to use the DAW for editing the Juno DS88 can be a great relief. However, if you want to connect it to your computer, you can. 

When it comes to the speakers, we were a bit disappointed. Comparing to other features of the keyboard the speakers were not producing as good quality sound especially when the volume is raised. However, since amplifiers are a must when performing on stage a keyboard’s speakers are seldom important. For practicing in silence, you can plug in your headphones.

One of the most outstanding features that we found in the DS88 is that the 88 keys can be split up to 16 sections and each section can be assigned a different sound. The internal recorder also works perfectly, so all the music created while practicing will be saved unless you turn off the recorder.

Pros and Cons Of Roland Juno DS88:


  • Affordable keyboard in this category
  • Compact, lightweight and portable
  • Good sound quality and outstanding sound memory
  • Easy to navigate
  • Long-lasting batteries
  • Onboard editing and plethora of effects
  • Eight phrase pads
  • The keyboard can split up to 16 sections
  • Weighted and graded keys
  • Ivory Feel-G keys


  • Small LED screen 
  • Speakers are subpar


By seeing so fewer cons and too many pros it might strike your head that is review unbiased or is it sponsored by Roland. Rest assured that we try to be as authentic and unbiased as we can be. We don’t try to promote products here that our readers will regret buying and therefore we’ve left you quite an honest Roland Juno DS88 review. 

However, if you do have a negative experience with this keyboard let us know in the comment box down below. For not we are inclined to say that the Roland DS88 is worth the money and you should definitely buy it if it meets your skill level.

About Traci Schroeder

At KBonet, she’s our music & sounds expert. Traci has dived deep into the worlds of instruments, uncovering the very best in composing music, song writing, sound designing and more — all with an eye towards practicality and affordability.

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