Kawai KDP120 Review: Why It Is Impressive

The Kawai KDP120 digital piano is the latest addition to the modestly priced KDP series and the successor to the immensely popular KDP110.

Kawai is a global instrument manufacturing company, and it is famously known for its pianos, keyboards, and synthesizers. The KDP series is a set of entry-level Kawai digital pianos. KDP series is focusing on high performance at a low cost.

The predecessor to the KDP 120, the KDP110, was by far one of the best digital pianos on the market at its price point because it provided an outstanding sound.

The KDP120 retained the same great piano sound and the 40-watt amplification system. In addition, the Kawai incorporated up-to-date technology with a few more modern features into the Kawai KDP120.

One of the remarkable features is its compatibility with Kawai’s piano remote app, which is available for both iOS and Android devices via Bluetooth wireless connectivity.

Kawai KDP120 Specifications

KDP-120 Specifications
  • Keyboard: Responsive Hammer Compact II (RHCII) action, 88 weighted keys
  • Reverb: Room, Lounge, Small Hall, Concert Hall, Live Hall, Cathedral, Off
  • Touch Response: light, normal, heavy, off
  • Sound: Shigeru Kawai SK-EX concert grand piano; Harmonic Imaging (HI) 88-key piano sampling
  • 192-note polyphony
  • Tones: 15 instrument tones (4 acoustic pianos, 2 electronic pianos, 2 organs, a harpsichord, a vibraphone, 2 strings, and 3 others)
  • Build-in MIDI recorder: 3 songs, approximately 10,000 notes
  • Mode: Dual, Duet
  • Metronome – 7 beats; tempo range: 10-300
  • Pedals: 3 build-in pedals (sustain/damper, soft, sostenuto)
  • Speakers: 2 speakers 12 cm; 20W x 2 amplifiers
  • Connections: 2 headphones jacks (1/4″ & 1/8″) , USB-to-Host, Bluetooth
  • Dimensions: 53.5″ x 16″ x 33.5″ (1360 mm x 405 mm x 866 mm)
  • Weight: 74.08 lbs (33.6 kg)
  • Release Date: May 2021
  • Full specs on Kawai’s official site


Kawai KDP120 presents a compact design. It comes in a beautifully styled stand with a wooden texture. For pianists looking for quality, this model is a worthy upgrade.

Designed to complement any décor, the Kawai KDP 120 is available in three different premium finishes:

  • Rosewood
  • Satin Black
  • Satin White.
kawai-kdp120 3 finishes

The KDP-120 has no display. However, the control buttons are easy and straightforward. On the right-hand side of the keyboard, you have the power button and volume slider.

kawai kdp120 buttons

On the left side of the keyboard, there are functional buttons. To access the different functions, you should press and hold a functional button, then press a corresponding key on the keyboard.

For example, if you want to select the Concert Grand piano sound, you press and hold the Sound Select button and press the A0 key simultaneously. For more details on how to use the left-side panel buttons, refer to the User’s Manual.

Another option to control your instrument’s settings and operations is using the free Kawai RianoRemote mobile app.


kawai kdp-120 sound

Kawai KDP120 features the celebrated Shigeru Kawai SK-EX concert grand piano sound.

The sound of all 88 keys has been meticulously and individually recorded, analyzed, and truthfully reproduced as high-fidelity digital waveforms.  This way preserves the rich harmonic character of the SK-EX concert grand piano.

It also offers three additional acoustic piano voices, plus others. In total, there are 15 different voices.

Build-in Tones

The 15 voices are really good choices of sounds for playing different styles of music. The voices are:

  • 4 acoustic piano sound
    • Concert Grand
    • Studio Grand
    • Mellow Grand
    • Modern Piano
  • 2 electronic pianos
    • Classic E. Piano
    • Modern E. Piano
  • 2 organs
    • Jazz Organ
    • Church Organ
  • Others
    • Harpsichord
    • Vibraphone
    • String Ensemble
    • Slow Strings
    • Choir
    • New Age Pad
    • Atmosphere

The Studio Grand is a slightly smaller grand piano that sounds a little bit brighter. Therefore it is perfect for pop and jazz-type music.

There is also the Mellow Piano sound, which is ideal for light classical music.

The fourth piano sound is the Modern Piano, and it is a much brighter piano sound. It is really suitable for rock or pop dance tracks.

The KDP 120 also features some really nice classic keyboard voices which bring back a nostalgic feeling to the 1980s.


The KDP120 has 192-note polyphony. Polyphony on digital pianos is the maximum number of notes that a keyboard can sound simultaneously.

The 192-note polyphony allows you to play most music pieces and gives a layer of multiple sounds. It is enough for beginners and intermediate players.


The KDP120 comes with a 40-watt amplification system. Generally, the powerful speaker system gives you an immersive and realistic listening experience.

The speakers are enough for a large room. You can have some performances playing in front of friends without external speakers.

Sound Settings

The Kawai KDP120 provides various sound controls that further enhance the player and listening experience.

Damper Resonance

The Damper Resonance setting allows the volume of the resonance to be changed when depressing the damper pedal. The types are Off, On, Small, Medium (default), and Large.


There are also seven reverberation types that simulate various virtual environments. The most suitable reverb type is automatically applied when a voice is selected. However, it is possible to select a different reverb type as desired.

Low Volume Balance

The KDP120 has a new feature, the Low Volume Balance. When you turn the volume down low, the piano actually changes the tone of the piano slightly.

The Low Volume Balance setting reduces the difference in volume between pianissimo and fortissimo
. This feature allows the piano to continue to be played at a low volume without losing the sound of pianissimo notes.


kawai kdp120 pedals

The piano has Kawai’s Grand Feel Pedal system, which features three pedals: soft, sustain, and sostenuto. The sustain pedal is responsive to half-pedal depressions.

A pedal support bolt is attached at the base of the pedalboard to back stability when the pedals are pushed. Adjust the bolt until it makes contact with the floor and supports the pedals firmly.



The KDP120 is equipped with Kawai’s Responsive Hammer Compact II (RHCII) keyboard. That is similar to the keyboard on the older model.

However, there is an improvement. There is some sort of cushioning material added to the keys, which makes the keys a lot quieter.

This is especially helpful when you are playing with headphones. When there are other people in the room, you’ll not disturb them too much with the sound of keys returning back up.

As far as the actual touch is concerned, Kawai KDP120 provides a really nice feeling keyboard, particularly in this price range.

Although the keys are plastic, they offer a realistic keyboard action. The design measures the velocity of the weighted hammers when playing each key.  This method more closely replicates the mechanism of an acoustic grand piano.

KDP120 keyboard also leverages triple sensor detection, allowing players to display more colorful and expressive music.


Kawai KDP120 provides dual and duet modes.

Dual Mode

It offers two layers of different adjustable sounds. You can combine the tone with a harpsichord, electric piano, or strings.

Dual Mode keyboard

In dual mode, you can mix or layer any two sounds you want together. For example, you have the sound of the piano and the string ensemble mixed together in every single key. You can plan an orchestra. This is really a lot of fun.

Duet Mode

It splits the piano into two sections. This is the best option for student/teacher experience.

duet mode

By employing the octave shift function, the duet mode can have two sections with two middle C and octave ranges. For instance, a teacher can play tunes on the left side of the keyboard as the student follows on the right side.

Recording and Playback


Kawai KDP120 has a really neat onboard recording feature. It can be a lot of fun and an excellent practice tool.

When I was learning piano, I was told to practice one hand first and practice the other hand separately, and then put both together. The recording feature enables you to record your right hand and then play it back while you practice your left hand. It makes the practice a bit easier.

Another fun way to use the built-in recorder is to play a duet by yourself. For instance, you record your play of the bass part; then, you play the treble part while playing back the bass part.


The most noticeable enhancement of the KDP120 is its Bluetooth® MIDI, USB-MIDI, App Support, Impressive speaker & headphone sound.

Bluetooth® MIDI

When the Bluetooth MIDI function is enabled, the KDP120 can be wirelessly connected to any mobile device of your choice.

You can use a wide range of music-related apps to listen to and learn your songs. Kawai offers free PianoRemote and PiaBookPlayer apps for iOS/Android devices.

Standard Stereo Jacks

headphone and digital piano

One of the reasons people choose a digital piano over an acoustic is the ability to turn down the volume or use headphones. Therefore, you do not disturb anyone else in the household.

When you are using headphones on KDP 120, it offers Kawai’s Spatial Headphone Sound (SHS) technology, which gives you an ambient or surrounding type of sound through your headphones. Hence a more enjoyable experience.

The SHS quality also helps to reduce auditory fatigue when listening for extended periods of time.

The Kawai KDP120 comes with two headphone jacks; thus, two people can enjoy the music from the instrument at the same time.

When a pair of headphones is connected, the speaker will be automatically shut off.

USB-to-Host Connector

This USB Type B port allows you to connect to a computer to exchange MIDI data.

You may also leverage this port to connect to your smart device and use the PianoRemote app to manage the KDP120’s settings and selections visually.


A built-in metronome is a useful tool that helps the player adjust tempo and time. It produces a steady pulse (or beat) to help musicians play rhythms accurately. You should keep playing at an adjustable tempo, volume, and time signature.

Kawai KDP120 vs. KDP110

Kawai KDP110 is a discontinued model. It is the forerunner to the KDP120. What are the enhancements made to KDP120?

The KDP120 is a really great piano. It essentially keeps the same kind of principles as the older model KDP110, the same sound with a full-bodied amplification system.

This updated model features the following improvements:

  • An improved Responsive Hammer Compact II keyboard action reduces key noises
  • Convenient Bluetooth® MIDI and USB-MIDI connectivity with support for the latest PianoRemote and PiaBookPlayer apps
  • Low-volume balance allows the piano to be played at a low volume without losing the sound of pianissimo notes.

Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
192-note polyphony No dedicated line out
Outstanding Shigeru Kawai SK-EX concert grand piano sound Onboard setting without visual presentation
The Compact & stylish design with three color options  
Responsive Hammer Compact II keyboard action  
Three pedals – Grand Piano Feel  
Bluetooth MIDI & USB MIDI connectivity  
Powerful sound output  

Kawai KDP120 Summary & Our Verdict

4.7 out of 5.0

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Kawai KDP120 is really a great piano. I think it achieves its objective of a high-performing digital piano with affordability.

It covers the piano fundamentals brilliantly in sound and key action.

  • The instrument features a vibrant, impressive grand concert piano sound. It brings home a Kawai signature grand concert piano SK-EX sound in a compact package.
  • Its keyboard yields a realistic acoustic piano touch and feel. Playing any one of the weighted keys is an accurate representation of the authentic one.

In addition, the KDP-120 incorporates up-to-date technologies that increase music enjoyment in

  • Spatial Headphone Sound
  • Individual-key-recorded sound sampling
  • Bluetooth MIDI wireless connection

If you are in the market for a high-quality digital piano, Kawai KDP120 is a good option. It is perfect for home, music lesson studios, houses of worship, and schools, wherever you need an uncompromising piano sound.

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2 thoughts on “Kawai KDP120 Review: Why It Is Impressive”

  1. Hello,
    I bought this piano in January, and I regret it. If I had known what I now know, I would have got the CN29 instead.
    The keys are a little too bouncy, but you get used to it.
    First, you cannot save the configuration you like. It means that every time you switch the piano on you must set everything again.
    Second, I always play with earphones, and I want to hear everything through them. I got this piano because I was told I could manage it with my mobile. It’s partially true. The problem is that the metronome is independent, and if you use the mobile to set the metronome, you hear it on the mobile, not on the piano, and it’s useless in my case. Even more, If you push the “metronome” button of the console, the mobile gets disconnected. In the end, I never use the mobile, and it was one of the reasons I got this model. I now use the keys to set the metronome, and it’s a bit annoying.


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