Consistently regarded as one of the top instruments in its class, the Kawai ES110 has been a huge success since it first hit showrooms. It features Kawai’s “Harmonic Imaging Technology” which utilizes 88-key piano sampling (a luxury typically reserved for higher price points), along with their Responsive Hammer Compact action. It was built with those on the go in mind as it weighs in at a mere 35 lbs, but is equally poised to be a stationary home option with the inclusion of the optional matching designer stand and triple pedal board. Find out for yourself why the ES110 is consistently regarded as the top digital piano available for under $1,000 CAD.
Kawai Musical Instruments Corp has been building pianos in Japan since 1927. Along with Yamaha, it is considered the largest piano manufacturer in the world, but unlike Yamaha, Kawai doesn’t build other musical instruments, but rather focuses all of their collective energy and expertise on piano building. Kawai builds over 100,000 pianos per year and has a state-of-the-art production facility in Hamamatsu, Japan. In the 1980s, Kawai decided that digital pianos were the future and they were going to invest millions of dollars into the best R&D department the piano world would ever know. They dreamed of building a digital piano that actually performed like a real acoustic piano. Twenty years later, that dream has now become a reality.
Tone Engines & Sound
The Kawai ES110 uses the Harmonic Imaging sound technology engine, which is an additive synthesis on top of an existing sample of a Kawai EX Concert grand piano. Note that this is different than the SK-EX sample set that the new CN / CA digital pianos have. The ES110 can be connected via wireless Bluetooth to a tablet with Kawai’s Virtual Technician, which gives you microscopic control of all of the parameters, such as changing the reverb to reflect that of a concert hall. It also gives the player 192-note polyphony, which is PLENTY for great textured playing at any level of complexity.
The speakers have been redone on the ES110 vs the ES100, and the bass response has improved, as well as the projection.
Overall, the piano, electric piano and other sounds such as harpsichord and vibraphone are rich, dynamic, and well-matched to the onboard speakers and 14-watt amplifier. With headphones or an amp, the instrument is truly a professional audio source.
The ES110 uses the first generation of Responsive Hammer Compact Action (RHC), which uses an 88 key hammer action design. While it does not feature escapement, it is a tighter, firmer action than Kawai has previously put in their portable machines with plastic actions. As far as keyboard actions go, this is definitely one of the most realistic feeling and sensitive actions at the price point, even in spite of the lack of escapement.
There’s a slight texture to the keys which is helpful, and the repetition speed and weight of the key is great as well. All in, the key action here delivers a very good playing experience.
With regards to connectivity, the ES110 has several different connectivity options. It’s equipped with Bluetooth MIDI, so connecting with smart devices to access apps is easy. In addition to the Bluetooth functionality, the ES110 also has traditional MIDI ports for connection to a computer, as well as a line-out. These line-out jacks are a fantastic feature, meaning you can plug into an amp without defeating the local speaker system with the headphone jack.
If you’re a student, hobbyist player, or working professional, if you’re looking for a portable piano with built-in speakers, the ES110 is a MUST-SEE before deciding on something, and we would especially recommend comparing it against the Roland FP30, as these two are often tossed around the best $1,000 portable digital options. The ES-110 famously indestructible, easy to operate, flexible with Bluetooth MIDI, lightweight, and offer a wide array of high-quality studio-grade sounds.
If you’re a student, hobbyist player, or working professional, if you’re looking for a portable piano with built-in speakers, the ES110 is a MUST-SEE before deciding on something, and we would especially recommend comparing it against the Roland FP-30, as these two are often tossed around the best $1,000 portable digital options. The ES110 famously indestructible, easy to operate, flexible with Bluetooth MIDI, lightweight, and offers a wide array of high-quality studio-grade sounds.
Kawai ES110 Owner’s Manual
Kawai ES110 Related Resources
|Keyboard||Responsive Hammer Compact action
- 88 keys
- Grade-weighted hammers
- Matte key surfaces
|Pedal||F-10H pedal unit
- Damper (with half-pedal support)
|Piano Sound||Harmonic Imaging (HI)
- 88-key stereo sampling
- EX recording
- 192 note maximum polyphony
|Piano Resonance||- Damper Resonance|
|Piano Adjustment||Virtual Technician (7 parameters)
- Touch Curve
- Damper Resonance
- Damper Noise
- Fall-back Noise
- Temperament Key
|No. of Sounds||19 voices|
|Other Effects||Preset (can be disabled)|
|Speakers||12 cm x 2|
|Output Power||14 W (7 W × 2)|
|Music Rest||Detachable type (included)|
|Dimensions||Width||51 2/3" (131 cm)|
|Depth||11 1/3" (28.5 cm)|
|Height||5 3/4" (14.8 cm)|
|Weight||26.5 lbs (12 kg)|
|Available Finishes||Stylish Black (ES110B)
Elegant White (ES110W)
Registration (4 memories)
|Internal Songs||Sound Demo||12 songs|
|Lesson Songs||Burgmüller 25 (25 Etudes Faciles, Opus 100)
Alfred’s Basic Piano Library Lesson Book Level 1A
Alfred’s Basic Piano Library Lesson Book Level 1B
|Internal Recorder||Total Memory||approximately 15,000 notes|
|No. of Songs||3 songs|
|Metronome||Time Signatures||1/4, 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 5/4, 3/8, 6/8|
|Drum Rhythms||100 patterns|
|Bluetooth *||Bluetooth (Ver. 4.1; GATT compatible)
Bluetooth Low Energy MIDI Specification compliant
|USB Audio Recorder||Record/Playback||-|
|App Functions||Virtual Technician app (iPad), Sound Museum app (iPhone/iPad)|
|Connector Jacks||Headphone||2 x 1/4" Stereo jacks|
|MIDI||MIDI IN, MIDI OUT, Bluetooth MIDI *|
|Line Out||1/4" L/MONO, R [unbalanced]|
|USB to Host||-|
|USB to Device||-|
|Others||Damper (for F-10H)|
|Power Consumption||9 W|
|Others||Warranty Card *
F-10H damper pedal (with half-pedal support)
|Dimensions||57 × 14 × 12 in|