Kawai ES110 vs Yamaha P125
Kawai ES110 vs Yamaha P125 are two models that are highly recommended if you are looking for a portable digital piano that won’t break the bank. Both of them are already equipped with graded touch-sensitive keys, and they both offer 192-note polyphony. However, there are several differences in their design, features, and connectivity.
So, which one is better? Continue reading to learn further on:
– Which digital piano that is easier to operate due to having better controls
– The quality of the keys on each model
– The additional features and connectivity options on each model
– The sound quality of Kawai ES110 vs Yamaha P125
– Which digital piano that is generally more recommended for you
Kawai ES110: Design and Control
Let us start with Kawai ES110. In terms of design, it is a simple yet stylish digital piano with a fairly portable overall size. Due to its compact nature, it should be able to fit into smaller spaces like a studio-size apartment or a dorm room without any issue. It is available in two color choices, black and white. Kawai ES110 and Yamaha P115 Vs P125 are among the most popular models in the portable digital piano category.
You can put the Kawai ES110 digital piano on a desk. This is not very convenient, but since the unit is pretty compact at 51.6 inches wide, 11.2 inches deep, and 5.8 inches tall, this is still possible. The weight is only about 26.5 lbs, so it will be manageable to transport and move around.
The control panel is quite straightforward. This gives the digital piano a clean and sleek look. There are just a few buttons and a volume slider.
Since there is no display screen, in order to access most of the settings and features, you will need to use a particular “Button + Key” combination. This is quite common for digital pianos in the sub-$1000 price range. However, it is still possible to connect Kawai ES110 to an iOS device and use the mobile app to control the unit’s settings and features with a visual feedback.
Kawai ES110: Keyboard
As mentioned above, Kawai ES110 vs Yamaha P125 are equipped with graded touch-sensitive keys. However, their technologies are slightly different.
Kawai ES110 uses the Responsive Hammer Compact (RHC) action. This is a streamlined version of the company’s higher end technology, with a more compact overall size to fit Kawai ES110’s case. Despite being plastic, the 88 keys still feel very nice. Instead of springs, they are equipped with real little hammers and sensors. As a result, they can mimic acoustic pianos’ keys very closely.
Compared to Yamaha P125, the keyboard action of Kawai ES110 is slightly better. Too bad that the keys are still plastic. If the keys are matte and textured to imitate ebony and ivory, Kawai ES110 can win easily.
The hammers are graded, with the lower keys being the heaviest and the higher keys being the lightest. The keys are also touch-sensitive, so their volume levels are affected by how hard you strike them. You can adjust the sensitivity between light, normal, heavy, and off.
Kawai ES110: Features and Connectivity
The next differences of Kawai ES110 vs Yamaha P125 are found in the features and connectivity. Although Kawai ES110 is lacking a few things, it also comes with unique features that can be very useful for some people.
Kawai ES110 is equipped with two 12cm speakers, which provide a total power of 14W. The sound quality of the speakers is decent. You can adjust the sound character by tweaking the Speaker EQ setting.
There are Dual Mode and Split Mode, which are common features for keyboards and digital pianos. Unfortunately, Kawai ES110 doesn’t have a Duo Mode to split the keyboard into two parts of equal pitch ranges.
Kawai ES110 has a MIDI recorder that can store up to 3 tracks. Although the unit only supports one-track recording, it is possible to record one hand part while playing the other hand part live.
There are dedicated Line Out jacks which will allow you to connect the digital piano to external speakers or mixers. There are also headphone output jacks. Kawai ES110 doesn’t have a USB port; instead, it comes with five-pin MIDI I/O ports. You can still connect it to your computer if your computer has MIDI I/O ports.
You don’t need to fret about the lack of a USB port, because Kawai ES110 comes with an even better option: Bluetooth MIDI. This way, you can connect the keyboard wirelessly to Bluetooth-enabled smartphones, tablets, laptops, or even desktop computers. No adapter or cable is needed.
Kawai ES110: Sound Quality
Kawai ES110 utilizes the Harmonic Imaging sound source. All of the 88 keys are sampled individually in order to preserve their tonal characteristics. Their sounds are sampled from the 9-foot Kawai EX Concert Grand Piano.
The sound quality is very good. The piano sounds across the notes are accurate, crisp, and clear. And, Kawai ES110 has 192-note polyphony, so you can play the most complex musical pieces and layer sounds without getting the notes cut-off. So far, in this price range, only Kawai and Yamaha have digital pianos with 192-note polyphony.
The coolness doesn’t end there. Kawai ES110 also allows you to fine-tune the sound of your digital piano by tweaking various parameters: reverb, damper resonance, fall-back noise, voicing, damper-noise, brilliance, and temperament. So, you can create unique sound profiles for creative remixes or making your own music.
Yamaha P125: Design and Control
Now, let’s continue with Yamaha P125. It is a compact and lightweight digital piano suitable for home users as well as traveling musicians. It is also available in black and white color options.
The construction is mostly plastic, but it feels very solid and robust. The excellent build quality is to be expected from Yamaha. It has a red felt ribbon on the top of the keys and a subtle curve on the front panel. It looks very elegant and classy.
Yamaha P125 measures 52 inches wide, 11.6 inches deep, and 6.5 inches tall with a weight of about 26 pounds. It is really comparable to Kawai ES110. You can put this digital piano on a table just fine; there is a special feature called “Table EQ” which will optimize the sound for playing on a flat surface.
Although Yamaha P125 doesn’t have any display screen, it is a little bit easier to operate. This is because some of the buttons are equipped with little LED indicators to let you know whether their functions are active or not. There are also more on-board buttons to allow you to access more number of features quickly, although the rest still need to be accessed via “Button + Key” combinations.
Anyhow, you can also connect Yamaha P125 to your mobile device and use the Smart Pianist mobile app to control the unit’s settings and features. The mobile app also has additional capabilities. It can analyze the songs in your local library and provide their cords for you to play. This is quite useful for learning new songs, though it is unable to process songs that are harmonically too complex.
Yamaha P125: Keyboard
As mentioned above, Kawai ES110 vs Yamaha P125 use different technologies for their keyboards. The one on Yamaha P125 is called Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) action. This name is probably familiar to you, as the company has been using the same technology for quite a while.
Compared to Kawai ES110’s RHC, Yamaha P125’s GHS is a little bit less realistic. It doesn’t mimic the feel of a real acoustic piano as closely.
That said, we must say that the keyboard of Yamaha P125 is still of a very good quality. In this price range, Yamaha P125’s GHS is still among the best, so you can’t really go wrong with it. The keys are graded properly, and they are also touch-sensitive. You can also adjust the sensitivity between light, normal, heavy, and off.
Yamaha P125: Features and Connectivity
Yamaha P125 is equipped with four speakers, two on each side. They consist of two 12cm speakers for the lows and mids, and two 4cm tweeters for the highs. The total power is still 14W. However, with dedicated speakers and tweeters, the produced sound will have better detail and clarity. The improved sound won’t provide any benefit if you are using external speakers, but it is still nice for practicing at home.
There are Dual Mode, Split Mode, and Duo Mode. Yamaha P125 also comes with a MIDI recorder which can record two tracks for each song. You can only store one song at a time, though there are two additional slots that can be filled with MIDI files from your computer.
On the back panel, you can find the 1/4-inch Line Outs for attaching external speakers, amps, or mixers. Then, there is a USB port which will allow the digital piano to exchange MIDI data with a computer. Finally, the headphone jacks are located on the left side for easy access.
Yamaha P125: Sound Quality
Yamaha P125 uses the Pure CF sound engine, which samples sounds from the famous 9-foot Yamaha CFIIIS Concert Grand Piano. It utilizes a 4-layer sampling technology to create more dynamic sounds with smoother transitions.
As a result, the sound quality becomes very impressive. The piano sounds are rich and natural. There are also some additional elements, such as key-off simulation, damper resonance, and string resonance. With 192-note polyphony, Yamaha P125 can easily play the most complex pieces with super detail and accuracy.
Unfortunately, the sound has limited adjustability. There is only one sound effect which can be customized, which is the reverb. You can choose between four reverb types, and increase or decrease the depth.
Kawai ES110 vs Yamaha P125
Both are good quality digital pianos. However, Kawai ES110 is generally more recommended due to having a better keyboard action and more features. Besides having MIDI ports, it also has built-in Bluetooth MIDI. The sound quality is great, too.