In this Kawai ES110 vs Yamaha P125 comparison review, we are going to examine the two portable digital pianos side by side. Both models are extremely popular at the mid-range price point.
In June 2022, Kawai announced ES120 at the last NAMM Show. It is the newest addition to the portable series and replaces the ES110 model. The Kawai ES120 release date in the United States is August 2022.
Check out our latest ES120 review with comparison to ES110.
Both the Kawai ES110 and Yamaha P125 are budget-friendly portable pianos that can be turned into home-use console-style pianos. While they do not have top-notch sounds and key actions, both are outstanding high-quality instruments at their price point.
Table of Contents
Kawai ES110 vs Yamaha P125 Spec Comarison
|Kawai ES110||Yamaha P125|
|Check Price on Amazon||Check Price on Amazon|
|Sound Engine||Harmonic Imaging (HI), 88-key stereo sampling of Kawai EX grand piano sound||Pure Yamaha CF grand piano sound|
|Keyboard||Responsive Hammer Compact (RHC) action keyboard; full 88-keys||Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) keyboard; full 88-keys|
|Touch Sensitivity||Light, Normal, Heavy, Off||Soft, Medium, Hard, Fixed|
|Key Touch||Matte key surfaces||Matte black keys; glossy on white keys|
|Speaker System||2 speakers; 7Wx2 amplifiers||2-way, 4 speakers; 7Wx2 amplifiers|
|Onboard Recorder||Yes, 1 track||Yes, 2 tracks|
|Modes||Dual (Layers), Split||Dual (Layers), Duet (Duo), Split|
|Dimensions||51 2/3″ x 11 1/3″ x 5 3/4″ (1310 mm x 285 mm x 148 mm)||52.2″ x 11.61″ x 6.54″ (1326 mm x 295 mm x 166 mm)|
|Weight||26.5 lbs (12 kg)||26 lbs (11.8 kg)|
|Release Date||January 2017||September 2018|
Both the Kawai ES110 and the Yamaha P125 have a stylish, compact, and lightweight design. They are perfect for tight spaces and carrying with you on the go. There is no assembly required if you just put it on a tabletop or on an X-Style stand. Basically, they are plug-and-play instruments.
On the other hand, should you wish to convert them into console-style pianos, both brands offer optional stands that match your piano. They are also very easy to put on and take off the stand; therefore, you do not lose the portability.
The ES110 comes with a nice big and solid sustain pedal that supports half-pedaling. In contrast, the P125 has a plastic footswitch by default which you may need to upgrade to an optional model FC3A that has a half-pedaling function.
The half-pedaling function allows the player to apply to sustain level, not just the on or off damper control.
When you go with the console-style stand of either model, you can add on the triple pedal unit to complete the upright piano look. The three pedals replicate the acoustic piano pedals and their functions. They are damper, soft, and sostenuto pedals.
Both pianos have simple control buttons that give the instrument a sleek look. Neither of the two has an LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) screen for controls. This could be a disadvantage since you’ll have to use the function buttons along with the designated keys to manage the settings. In many cases, you’ll quickly learn the common settings and most likely remember them.
Additionally, both digital pianos can be connected to respective piano apps to control the setting visually.
- Kawai ES110 has Bluetooth MIDI that enables wireless connection to a modern smartphone, tablet, or even a computer. You can use the free app PianoRemote from Kawai to control your ES110 settings.
- Yamaha P125 comes with a USB-to-Host port that allows you to connect to a computer to exchange MIDI data. You also can connect music apps like Yamaha’s free app Smart Pianist to manage your piano settings and choose songs to play.
Sound is one of the most important aspects of a digital piano. Please keep in mind that we are analyzing two mid-range digital pianos with a price tag under a thousand dollars. That will help us to put things in perspective.
The P125 is featured with Yamaha’s CF 3 concert grand piano sound, which is one of the most popular Yamaha concert grand pianos. While the CF3 sound is a notch down from the CFX, it is still a world-class sound from a piano.
The sound engine of the Kawai ES110 piano uses Harmonic Imaging (HI) technology and Kawai’s EX concert grand piano sound sampling. Even though it is not the splendid SK EX sound sampling, you still get impressive sound quality.
In our opinion, both models offer fantastic sound quality. The acoustic pianos generating these sounds cost tens of thousands of dollars. And now you can have beautiful sound in your home at a fraction of the cost.
Polyphony on digital pianos is the maximum number of notes that an instrument can sound simultaneously. Both ES110 and P125 have a maximum of 192 notes which is pretty impressive. Other brands within the price range only offer up to 128 notes.
With the 192 polyphony, you can play some very complex music pieces with sustaining without losing any notes.
We have an easy pick on the speaker system considering the Kawai ES110 vs the Yamaha P125. Although both instruments have 14W power output, the P125’s 2-way with 4 speakers is a clear winner. The 2-way speaker system produces an expansive piano sound in both upward and downward directions.
Both models feature the Speaker EQ function that optimizes the speakers when the instrument is put on a tabletop.
Both keyboards have 88 graded weighted keys. This means the keys on the bass section are heavier than the ones on the treble section. However, the two brands have their own names for the graded weighted key actions.
Both models offer four levels of touch sensitivity that include Off or Fixed. For beginners, it is better to use the Heavy or Hard setting to help strengthen the fingers and develop finger techniques. This also gives the player the ability to play on acoustic pianos.
In terms of key touch feel relating to the Kawai ES110 vs Yamaha P125, the ES110 has an edge. All keys of ES110 have matte surfaces that provide a very realistic feel to ivory keys. In contrast, the P125 only has matte black keys, and the glossy white keys could be a little slippery.
- Drum Rhythms (The ES110 comes with 100 drum rhythms while the P125 has 20.)
- Built-in Recorder
- Internal Songs or Preset Songs (12 for ES110 and 50 for P125)
It is worth mentioning that the Yamaha P125 offers three modes: Dual (Layers), Duet (Duo), and Split. The Kawai ES110 only has Dual (Layers) and Split modes.
The Duet Mode is the function of dividing the piano into two sections, and each section has the same pitches. Thus, this function is especially useful for teachers and students to play the same piece.
Depending on your purpose of having a digital piano, it is good to know some of these differences. Some functions may not be a deal-breaker, but they will make your learning or playing more fun. in this respect, the Yamaha P125 may have an upper edge.
One of the advantages of having a digital piano is the connectivity to various devices. Nowadays, there are a few connections you would expect from digital pianos. Let’s take a look at the two models we are analyzing here.
|Connector||Kawai ES110||Yamaha P125|
|Quarter-inch headphone jack||2||2|
|IN/OUT||MIDI IN/MIDI OUT|
The 5-pin connectors are a bit of old fashion.
Useful for externally powered speakers
|USB-to-Host (USB Type B)||–||Yes|
Wired connection to smart devices or computer
|USB-to-Device (USB Type A)||–||–|
|Bluetooth MIDI||Yes |
Wireless connection to smart devices or computer
Overall, both portable digital pianos are very good musical instruments that are adequate for home practice and small ensemble performances.
However, there are a couple of differences worth calling out:
- 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.
- The ES110 provides Bluetooth wireless connection but without USB ports. In contrast, the P125 features a USB-to-Host connector but no Bluetooth connection.
Another personal choice matter to be considered is the key action. 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.
In general, we would recommend P125. It has more preset songs that may make the practice more fun for beginners. In addition, it features a more powerful speaker system for better sound effects. On Amazon, the P125 seems to have a bit lower price than the ES110.
On the other hand, if wireless connectivity matters more to you, you may choose the ES110.