Continuing our “12 FAQs” series, today we’ll be setting our sights on another immensely successful and well-regarded 88-key weighted action portable digital piano – the Kawai ES110.

The ES110 has been one of Kawai’s best-selling musical instruments since its release in early 2017 and considering everything it has to offer for the price point, most notably its rich piano tone and stereo speaker system, it’s not hard to see why.

We’ve checked Google to find out the 12 most common questions people have about the Kawai ES110, and we’ll be answering them all here. While the answers to these questions are available in different places around the internet, such as specs sheers and digital piano reviews, this article and companion video will save you by putting it all in one place.

FAQ #1: How Good is the Kawai ES110?

Kawai ES110 88-Key Digital Piano
Kawai ES110 88-Key Digital Piano

While this is obviously a very general question, it’s also a very important one, especially for folks that aren’t interested in burying themselves in months of research. Rather, they’d simply like to know; is the ES110 a good instrument, and if so, how good?

Simply, the ES110 is very good, especially when you consider the price range and what else is available in the class. The quality of the piano sound and the way it’s paired with the built-in speakers and amplifier is very impressive. In fact, we think the piano tone is without question one of the contenders for the top spot in the class, especially due to its full 88-key piano sampling and synthesis of things like damper resonance, damper noise and fall-back noise.

The ES110 also has a 1/4” line out, which when it came out, was a rarity for the class, though competing models have since added this feature, such as the Yamaha P-125 and Roland FP30-X.

The ES110 was also one of the first pianos in the class to include Bluetooth MIDI at the price point, and its light weight makes it truly portable. Kawai’s great warranty coverage caps everything off.

FAQ #2: Is the ES110 Good for Beginners?

The answer here is a resounding “Yes.” There are other pianos that cost that will also work for piano lessons, but the ES110 is going to provide a wonderful piano experience for a beginner that they’ll be able to grow with for several years.

Of course, you can spend as little as $100 on a keyboard, but that’s not going to serve a beginner for long if piano lessons are part of the picture.

The ES110 is going to set a beginner on a great path, especially if eventually learning classical piano is the goal, and the free damper pedal Kawai includes is actually very solid (with some Casio Privia and Korg products, for example, an upgrade over the included pedal is almost essential.)

One other consideration when shopping for a beginner is the potential trade-in and resale value; given the ES110’s success and high praise, it’s certainly an instrument that is going to retain strong resale value on the secondary market, and great trade-in value at a piano dealer.

FAQ #3: Does the ES110 Have Weighted Keys?

The to this question is another “Yes.” Kawai uses the Responsive Hammer Compact Action in the ES110, which is a well-regarded key action featuring a dual sensor and textured keytops. The weighting is similar to the average 48” upright piano, or even smaller baby grand piano.

The RHC action also boasts solid repetition speed and response. While Kawai is more known for their actions in their more expensive, super high-quality instruments, the RHC is very solid.

FAQ #4: When was the Kawai ES110 Released?

The ES110 was first announced by Kawai at NAMM 2017 in January of that year and first started appearing in North American showrooms by the Springtime.

In the summer of 2022, Kawai announced the replacement to the ES110 in the form of the new ES120, capping off what ended up being more than a 5-year production run for the ES110.

Given that there are still plenty of ES10s sitting in warehouses, expect some great clearance pricing on remaining stock at various dealers until the ES120 has shipped.

FAQ #5: How do you Connect an ES110 to a Computer?

It’s actually quite easy to connect the ES110 to a computer. Start by getting your hands on a standard USB cable, and from there, it’s as simple as plugging one end into the ES110 and the other into the computer.

Connecting via Bluetooth connectivity is also a possibility, but since it’s an older version of Bluetooth technology present here we’d recommend going with a cable to avoid latency issues- fortunately, there are no latency issues with the connection between the ES110 and Smart Devices like phones or tablets.

FAQ #6: How do you Connect the ES110 to Bluetooth MIDI?

The last question dovetails with this next one; how do you connect an ES110 to Bluetooth MIDI? The first step is to press the function button and the B-flat 5 key, which is three B-flats from the top of the keyboard.

This turns the Bluetooth function on, and from there, you can open up the Bluetooth setting on your device, whether that’s an iOS or Android device, and select the ES110.

Kawai’s Sound Museum app is a great app to check out as it allows you to control the ES110 remotely, navigating between sounds like the concert grand piano and other grand piano sounds, to the synthesizers and electric piano tones.

You can also navigate through the drum rhythms, Virtual Technician feature, song recorder, keyboard modes and metronome this way too.

FAQ #7: How Much Does the ES110 Weigh?

Kawai ES110 Dimensions
Kawai ES110 Dimensions

This is going to be an important consideration for folks seeking maximum portability. The ES110 weighs in at a mere 26.5lbs, making it one of the lightest and most portable 88-key weighted action digital pianos around.

Some of Casio’s PX-S series digital pianos are slightly lighter and slimmer, but we’re talking about less than a 2lb difference here.

FAQ #8: How do you connect the Kawai ES110 to an iPad?

The steps are essentially the same here as they were in FAQ # 6 as Apple’s iOS systems are the same on iPhones and iPads.

Please see the answer to FAQ #6 for the step-by-step guide.

FAQ #9: What is the difference between the Kawai ES110 and Kawai ES120?

We have a video over on our YouTube channel that breaks this answer down with what we know so far, and we’ll certainly be doing a full product review of the ES120 once it ships.

Head over to that video for a fuller breakdown, but in summary, the ES120 is going to feature an updated user interface, inclusion of the SKEX sample set into the Harmonic Imaging Sound Technology, upgrade from a 14-watt amplifier to a 20-watt amp, improved key cushioning and the addition of Bluetooth Audio.

These are some very nice upgrades sure to make the ES120 appeal to a wide range of customers – beginners, semi-professionals and even professionals.

FAQ #10: How does the Kawai ES110 compare to Yamaha?

Kawai and Yamaha are always pitted against one another, so of course, people will want to know how the ES110 compares to the equivalent Yamaha models.

Most industry observers will have a preference between Kawai and Yamaha, and there are very loyal camps on both sides. That said, from a quality standpoint, we’re talking about two companies that are very much neck in neck.

The best Yamaha comparable to the ES110 would be the Yamaha P125. Both pianos have good acoustic piano sound engines with equal 192-note polyphony, and solid actions, though the Yamaha GHS action in the P125 is considered a little bit dated by some measures. That said, the GHS action still has many ardent supporters.

In terms of features and connectivity, their offerings are fairly similar and both notably have line-out jacks. The ES110 has Bluetooth which the P125 does not, but the P125 features a built-in USB audio interface which the ES110 does not.

FAQ #11: Can you fit the Kawai ES110 in a car?

Given that the ES110 is billed as a portable piano, it’s pretty important to know whether or not it will fit in an average-sized car. Fortunately, even in the original box, the ES110 will fit in an even small-sized sedan, unlike some stage pianos.

The best wait to go about getting the ES110 into a small sedan in the box is to fold down the front passenger seat and feed the ES110 in the car from the rear, positing it on top of the reclined front passenger seat.

In a more compact carrying case when going to and from gigs or rehearsals, you won’t have a problem at all, assuming you haven’t affixed it to the HML1 stand or triple pedal/pedalboard/pedal unit. The ES110 truly is a very portable instrument.

FAQ #12: How do you transpose on the Kawai ES110?

Kawai ES110 Transposition
Kawai ES110 Transposition

The transpose feature is quite easy to use on the ES110. There’s a nice visual demonstration in the owner’s manual, but simply, you press and hold the ‘Piano’ button and press the F-Sharp and G-Sharp just to the right of the ‘Piano’ button to either raise or lower the key.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or experienced pianist, we hope you’ve found this article covering the 12 most common FAQs about the Kawai ES110 helpful.

The ES110 was hugely successful during its production run, and will undoubtedly continue to serve musicians of all stripes even after the release of the new ES120.