Kawai ES110 88-key Digital Piano Review

Digital pianos are divided into two main types: those that attempt to replicate analog pianos and those that are built around composing music with a variety of instruments. One of the best representatives from the first type of intermediate piano is the Kawai ES110.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Digital Intermediate Piano

Digital pianos can have a great deal of features. Some are for piano realism. Others are to create better sound, to connect to and from sources and outputs, to make using the piano easier, or to give you more ways to use it. Do some research and come up with a core list of "must have" features and balance that against your budget to come up with the best fit.

The Kawai ES110

The Kawai ES110 comes from a lesser-known brand compared to the market leader, Yamaha. It's a digital piano that focuses on replicating a concert piano and helping pianists practice and improve in a portable form. It combines user-friendly features with included lessons and multiple ports to aid recording or monitoring.

  • If you do purchase the peripheral pedals extra, you will be rewarded with a pedal mechanism that functions along multiple levels
  • Since it cannot compete at the highest levels with the core functions of a digital piano with top of the line models, it compensates with amazing connectivity
  • The Responsive Hammer Compact Action is incredibly responsive all things considered, though it is not the best in the market
  • The speakers are a relatively poor quality. However, connecting to external amps does not provide a superior experience to competitors. This is primarily an at home practicing piano.
  • All of the peripherals are sold separately. This means if you want a stand, so you can actually play it, or pedals, which are required for proper practice, you will have to spend more.

Features and Benefits

Sound and Feel

Kawai ES110 88-key Digital Piano

As with other digital pianos in this price range, the ES110 has a graded hammer feature to change the response of the keys. It also has 3 reverb settings for replication of different room sizes and 8 different piano voices. The samples are of high quality and they respond well to the different combinations of settings. The piano supports a polyphony of 192 different notes, which is high for this price range.

Extras

The ES110 comes with a selection of additional features, mostly dealing with learning and practice. The ports include Bluetooth, MIDI, and line out. There are dual headphone jacks as well, which can support two people playing at once for instructional purposes. It comes with a damper pedal, which is usually sold separately. The 19 voices include 8 pianos and jazz organ, church organ, slow strings, string ensemble, wood bass, electric bass, harpsichord and vibraphone. It can record three songs. It also comes with a selection of Burmuller etudes and Alfred Basic Piano songs; each hand's notes can be played separately and at any tempo.

Value

At $720, the ES110 has more features and tools than most of the competition. The polyphony is higher, there are more ports, there are extra features, and the included speakers and pedal all add up to significantly more than most digital pianos that cost around $800 include. In general, the digital pianos that replicate concert pianos tend to have smaller feature lists, but that is not true of the ES110. The savings mainly come from the limited onboard memory and lack of accompaniment features or automated tools, but those aren't generally useful on a digital piano of this style anyway.

​Rating

Design

4

Performance

5

Construction

4

Value for the Money

5

User Satisfaction

5

Alternatives

Yamaha P115

Yamaha P115

The Yamaha P115 costs $600 for the piano alone and $700 with an included matching stand and bench. It has a similar feature set, such as graded hammers and high-quality samples, but it adds an app that you can use to set the controls and settings of the piano from a smartphone. It also has an accompaniment tool called Pianist Styles, which can select and apply a style based on the tempo of your current play.

Comparison

Yamaha P115

Price: $600

Type: Concert Piano

Special Features: App Control, Pianist Styles

Kawai ES110

Price: $720

Type: Concert Piano

Special Features: Bluetooth, Dual Headphones, Lessons

Yamaha P45

Yamaha P45

The P45 is another step down in price at $450. It is a budget-tier concert piano. It does have the PureCF samples of the Yamaha digital pianos, but none of the extra automated tools. It has an Advanced Wave Memory system to improve playback in stereo. The Dual Voice mode allows for interesting possibilities by combining two potentially different instruments. One of its most unusual features is a USB port, which is rare but very useful for connectivity to all kinds of devices. It's more universal than line in or MIDI.

Comparison

Yamaha P45

Price: $450

Type: Concert Piano

Special Features: USB Port, Dual Voice

Kawai ES110

Price: $720

Type: Concert Piano

Special Features: Bluetooth, Dual Headphones, Lessons

Yamaha DGX-660

Yamaha DGX-660

Yamaha's DGX-660 is a slightly upmarket digital piano at $800 that has a wide and deep feature set. It moves the focus away from the concert piano replication and towards an array of accompaniment and composition tools, along with a large library of styles, voices, and tones. It has a USB port for universal connectivity. The DGX-660 is a good alternative for those who want more features or who are less interested in practicing concert grand piano skills.

Comparison

Yamaha DGX-660

Price: $800

Type: Instrument Simulation

Special Features: USB Port, Automated Accompaniment, Smart Chord

Kawai ES110

Price: $720

Type: Concert Piano

Special Features: Bluetooth, Dual Headphones, Lessons

Final Thoughts

The ES110 from Kawai is a strong competitor in the area of digital pianos that attempt to replicate concert pianos. It has a focus on learning and practice tools to help serious and new pianists improve their skills. It is much lighter and easier to transport than a full piano, but still tries to maintain the same key and hammer weight, dampening, and reverb. At $720 it has a robust feature set combined with high-quality samples. These are just some of the options for you, to know more you can check out our best intermediate piano guide and reviews.

Stephanie Su
 

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: