Hello Everyone, it is Anne Watson again. Welcome to another portable piano review. Here we are taking a close look at the Kawai ES110 digital piano, one of the Kawai ES portable series.
The ES series delivers the same outstanding tone and quality sound that you found in many acclaimed Kawai digital pianos and offers portability for any venue or occasion.
The ES110 is the successor of the discontinued ES100. The ES110 has not changed much in appearance, however, the ES110 is 26.5 lbs (12kg) vs. the prior ES100. was 33lbs (15kg) in weight. This makes the ES110 ultra-portable and much more gig-friendly.
Table of Contents
- 1 Kawai ES110 Specifications
- 2 Design
- 3 Sound
- 4 Keyboard
- 5 Modes
- 6 Connectivity
- 7 Metronome
- 8 Accessories
- 9 Kawai ES110 vs. ES100
- 10 Kawai ES110 vs Yamaha P125
- 11 Kawai ES110 Pros & Cons
- 12 Summary and Our Verdict On Kawai ES110
Kawai ES110 Specifications
The Kawai ES110 is a quality entry-level digital piano that excels in many areas. It features a stylish design, realistic sound, and offers great connectivity.
One thing you’ll appreciate about this model is the lightweight design. This is what you need to take those gigs on the road. The control panel has a few buttons that give the keyboard a sleek look.
Although the piano has no display, the interaction with the keys is quite intuitive. The ES110 model comes in two colors:
The sound of the Kawai ES 110 piano is truly impressive. It is equipped with Harmonic Imaging as the Kawai digital pianos tend to be. It’s clean and similar to that of a digital piano. And you can customize it to suit your needs.
Although it is not Kawai’s splendid SK EX sound sampling, it is one notch down from there, the EX concert grand sampling set. Still, ES110 has really inspiring sound at its price point.
The notes are individually recorded to capture subtle tone differences. Best of all, the sound is enhanced by adding resonances to create a dynamic and authentic sound.
The ES110 has 192-note polyphony. Polyphony on digital pianos is the maximum number of notes that a keyboard can sound simultaneously.
Even though the more polyphony notes the better, 192-note polyphony is enough to play complex music. It allows you to play multiple sounds and classical pieces without cutting the notes.
Keep in mind that it’s only Kawai and Yamaha that offer the 192-note polyphony. At a comparable price range, brands like Korg, Casio, and Roland feature 128-note polyphony.
Kawai ES110 provides various sound settings that enrich your play experiences. In many ways, these settings are to recreate a nostalgic feel of an acoustic piano.
Vibration is transmitted to an acoustic piano such that the strings are in resonance within the chamber of the piano.
The ES110 replicates this sound phenomenon with the Damper Resonance. You can also adjust the resonance volume to suit your needs – small, medium, large, or off.
The reverb settings allow you to experience the sound environment of different rooms:
- Small recital room
- Small hall
- Concert hall
In order to mimic the acoustic piano key hammer characteristics, the ES110 comes with a special feature, Voicing.
The Voicing setting allows the overall tonal character of the ES110 digital piano to be set to one of four different types: normal, mellow, dynamic, and bright.
While the normal setting will suit a wide range of music genres, sometimes you may like to have a more mellow sound for intimate pieces, or a little bit brighter for rock or pop-type music.
Kawai ES110 has a separate Brilliance setting which is independent of the Voicing setting. The Brilliance setting can be adjusted from -10 to +10 with +10 being the brightest.
This is the sound of the keys returning to the normal position when playing quiet pieces. You can control the parameters using the available preset settings – small, large, normal, or off.
It is the noise coming from an acoustic piano pedal. Kawai ES110 reproduces this sound with 4 levels of adjustment: small, normal, large, or off.
The tuning system of the ES110 model can deviate from the modern standard temperament to the popular temperament during the Baroque and Renaissance periods.
You can choose from:
- Equal (piano standard)
- Pure (pure minor/pure major)
For Kawai ES110, you get a total of 19 voices.
- Eight piano sounds: studio grand (2), concert grand (2), mellow grand (2), rock piano, and modern piano
- Three electric pianos
- Two organs
- Six others: slow strings, string ensemble, wood bass, electric bass, harpsichord, and vibraphone
Each mode is unique and fits a specific situation. The default concert grand piano sound comes on as soon as you turn it on. It is very expressive and gives you a full surrounding sound feel.
And then there are many other voices to choose from, from mellow warm sound to very poppy bright kind.
The speakers are an upgrade from the ES100 model. You get a full spectrum of frequencies that deliver rich and clear sound. The sound may not be the same as an acoustic piano, but still very convincing.
The 14 watts of output power along with the quality speakers gives you really nice warmth out of the tone and is loud enough for you to play the piano in front of the family without externally powered speakers.
If you want to change the sound character especially when you put the instrument on a table or desk, you can use the speaker EQ setting to optimize the sound of the speaker system.
However, you may need an amplifier for bigger performances. The piano comes with line-out jacks that help you plug into audio equipment. In this case, it is best to turn the EQ setting off.
This instrument comes with full 88-keys and a standard piano keyboard.
The key action on Kawai ES 110 is the Responsive Hammer Compact (RHC) weighted action. simulate the weight of an acoustic piano. The action is remarkably accurate and dynamic even though it does not have a triple sensor system.
The keys have matte surfaces that provide a very close feel to ivory keys and a very nice grip. Your fingers glide delightfully over the keyboard just like you would experience it on a real piano.
Hence ES110 remains the most realistic piano feel in its price range.
Touch Curve (Touch Sensitivity)
There are four touch sensitivity settings, so you can choose the one that suits you best: light, normal, heavy, and off.
The heavy setting is the most responsive and provides a maximum dynamic range. You can play with greater expressiveness. It is also a wonderful tool to strengthen your fingers.
If you reduce touch sensitivity to OFF, you get the same level of volume no matter how hard you play.
Kawai ES110 offers dual and split modes, and a built-in songbook to aid your practice.
Dual (Layers) Mode
The dual-mode (layering) allows you to layer two instruments, such that they sound the same when you press the keys. You can also adjust the mix volume to make the sound of one instrument more prominent.
In split mode, you can play two different voices simultaneously using your right and left hands, each hand plays a voice. Since the keyboard is split into two equal sections, you can place the grand piano mode on the right hand and the Wood Bass on the left.
Kawai ES 110 comes with some useful connectors.
There is a damper jack in the rear which is used to connect a foot pedal.
The ES110 comes with a nice big and solid sustain pedal that has half-pedaling. The pedal is made of real metal with a quite heavy plastic base. It is really sturdy and prevents it to slide around.
Standard Stereo Jacks
There are a pair of 1/4″ stereo jacks for headphones. They are located in front of the piano that providing convenience for you for enjoying the music without disturbing others.
The two headphone jacks are perfect for duets and a great option for student/teacher sessions.
Line Out Ports
Kawai ES100 features two dedicated audio outputs that are standard 1/4″ stereo jacks. It is not common in a similar range of instruments.
You can use these jacks for externally powered speakers, especially in an outside large venue. Meanwhile, the headphone jacks are still open and it does not turn off the built-in speakers.
MIDI In/Out Jacks
ES110 has the MIDI In and Out jacks. The 5-pin connectors are a bit of old fashion. However, its Bluetooth wireless connection well compensates for this.
Bluetooth Wireless MIDI
This allows you to wirelessly connect a modern smartphone, tablet, or even a computer.
Kawai provides a free PianoRemote app to control your instrument with a visual presentation on your smart device. There are also many other music apps, such as the Sound Museum app and etc, you can use.
The ES110 model features a built-in metronome. This can be helpful for beginners in practice at a consistent tempo.
There is also a fun alternative, the Drum Rhythms. It gives you the bass lines and drum beat that accompany your playing.
Kawai ES110 features a detachable music rest that is very convenient for transportation. It can be easily inserted into the slot at the rear of the instrument.
You also have the option to purchase a wooden furniture stand, otherwise, a foldable X-style will work nicely for your easy transportation.
However, in many cases, a piano stand does not come with your ES110 purchase. You’ll have to choose the stand style and purchase it separately.
The console-style stand also has an optional triple pedal unit to complete the upright piano look. The three piano pedals are sustain, soft, and sostenuto pedals
Kawai ES110 vs. ES100
For the upgraded model ES110 weight is the most noticeable difference from ES100. It is only 26.5 lbs vs. the discontinued model ES100 weighs 33 lbs.
The keypad for ES100 is located at the tip of the keys, while the key sensor for the ES110 model is located at the center. With this improved key action, Kawai ES110 feels more natural and closer to acoustic piano touch.
Kawai ES110 vs Yamaha P125
Both offer the same polyphony notes (192 max). The main difference is that P125 has more preset songs for practice.
In addition, the ES110 model comes with RHC action keys, while the Yamaha P125 has graded action hammer action keys. These key actions are comparable and mostly depend on personal preference.
At first glance, the ES110 and P125 share many similarities.
However, there are a few differences. The speaker system for the P125 is richer and more expressive because it is equipped with 4 speakers, even though both have an output of 14 watts.
Both are lightweight and compact to fit in a small apartment.
Another key difference is technology. The ES110 provides Bluetooth wireless connection, but without USB ports. In contrast, the P125 features a USB-to-Host connector but no Bluetooth connection.
For more details, check out our comparison review of Kawai ES110 vs Yamaha P125.
Kawai ES110 Pros & Cons
|192-note polyphony||No USB Ports|
|Kawai’s EX concert grand piano sound||No LCD control panel|
|Compact & lightweight design – very portable|
|Bluetooth wireless MIDI|
|Dedicated audio output|
|Budget-friendly price point|
Summary and Our Verdict On Kawai ES110
4.2 out of 5.0
Even though Kawai ES110 has been out on the market for several years, with Kawai’s engineering and quality, this piano is still standing up to many of the new competitors in its price range.
If you need a really convincing inexpensive piano for your road gigs, ES110 is a great option. It also works well for gigging musicians who like to practice at home.
While the lack of an LCD screen can be a turn-off for some players, the Bluetooth connectivity is a nice compensation that ultimately provides visual control and settings and utilizes more music apps.
In summary, if you’re looking for a digital piano that gives value for money, Kawai ES110 is a sure bet. You’ll get –
- the impressive sound
- a nice variety of onboard voice selections
- very portable
- stand available for station use
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