$2,299.00 – $2,787.00
The long-awaited update to Kawai’s hugely successful ES8 is finally here. With improved touch and tone, not to mention a significant reduction in the weight of the case, the ES920 delivers an extremely authentic piano experience in a super lightweight package. For those seeking a professional quality, all-in-one portable digital piano, don’t sleep on the ES920.
The Kawai’s ES series is easily one of their most popular lines, with retailers perpetually sold out due to high demand, even in pre-pandemic times. Many rabid fans argue that when it comes to piano realism in a portable all-on-instrument, Kawai’s ES series models are all at the top of their respective classes.
The top-of-the-line ES8 was a hugely popular and successful model for several years, widely regarded as one of the very best all-in-one portable digital pianos on the market. The ES920 is the brand new update to the ES8 and looks well equipped to represent this venerable line of pianos.
The ES920 features a great action with Kawai’s Responsive Hammer III with updated key switches for greater accuracy, dual speaker system driven by two distinct 20-watt amplifiers for 40 watts total (compared to 30 watts on the ES8), a sample-based engine derived from the Shigeru Kawai SK-EX concert grand piano, along with a highly intuitive and engaging accompaniment feature that will breathe life into your solo piano gigs.
Another significant improvement over the ES8 is the reduction in weight, from 50 lbs to 37 lbs! You’ll be hard-pressed to find any other portable all-in-one instrument of comparable quality as light at this.
As Kawai’s top entry into the professional, portable all-in-one stage piano category, the ES920 competes with other instruments built for stage and studio use, including the Roland FP90X and Yamaha P515, though Kawai’s vocal cohort of fans contend that the ES920 is in a class of its own.
The ES920 features an updated version of the Responsive Hammer III action RHIII), with upgraded key switches for greater accuracy and better durability. The RHIII has been a staple throughout Kawai’s lineup, featured prominently in mid to upper-mid range digital pianos such as the CN series and MP7SE. The RHIII features tri-sensor key detection, widely considered one of the most sensitive and accurate of any plastic action, escapement, and grade-weighted hammers.
This action also has nice ivory touch key surfaces for grip.
The RHIII was even borrowed by Nord for their new top model as they wanted a better action than they’re currently producing themselves.
The Kawai ES920 features Kawai’s top sample-based engine, Harmonic Imaging XL (HI-XL). This sound engine is one level up from what you’ll find in the CN series and even the CA49, having to go all the way to the CA59 and up to get this engine in a home digital piano.
HI-XL boasts 256 notes of polyphony and 88 key individual note stereo sampling. It features the most recent SK-EX sample, along with a strong cadre of professionally rendered non-acoustic piano tones including E-piano, pads, and organ, for 38 total onboard sounds.
Something pioneered on the ES8 and brought back by Kawai once again here with the ES920 are the sequestered speaker boxes, outfitted with air-ports on the underside for improved airflow and superior bass response. Where the ES8 featured a 30-watt amp, the ES920 has been upgraded to 40 watts, and given the speaker design, actually sounds like even more than that!
The ES920 covers pretty much everything you would need for connectivity, whether you’re a hobbyist looking at an instrument for casual home use, or a professional looking for something equipped to handle studio and stage use.
An upgrade that stands out right away is the inclusion of both Bluetooth MIDI and Audio. The ES8 was totally devoid of Bluetooth functionality, so that’s a pretty substantial improvement here.
Beyond that, staples like dual headphone jacks, standard MIDI connectivity, twin ¼” line outs, a line in, and USB connectivity all return from the ES8.
In terms of pedal ports, there’s one for the F-10H sustain pedal that comes standard with the ES920, along with ports for both triple pedal options – the F-302 and GFP-3.
While it would be tempting to highlight the intuitive 4 part auto-accompaniment here, the new lightweight cabinet is going to be such a big deal for so many people. The fact that Kawai has been able to reduce the weight of this instrument by 13 lbs from the ES8 while simultaneously IMPROVING the musical experience is nothing short of a revelation. There really is nothing else on the market this light in weight that even comes close to being as good.
So there you have it. Anyone familiar with the ES8 will know just how much work Kawai had cut out for themselves to improve on it. Fortunately, we’re happy to report they did just that.
Kawai ES920 Owner’s Manual
Kawai ES920 Related Resources
|Keyboard||Responsive Hammer III action
- 88 keys
- Grade-weighted hammers
- Ivory Touch white key surfaces
- Let-off simulation
|Pedal||F-10H pedal unit
- Damper (with half-pedal support)
|Piano Sound||Harmonic Imaging XL (HI-XL)
- 88-key stereo sampling
- 256 note maximum polyphony
|Piano Resonance||- Damper Resonance
- String Resonance
|Piano Adjustment||Virtual Technician (17 parameters)
- Touch Curve (incl. User Touch Curve)
- Voicing (incl. 88-key User Voicing)
- Damper Resonance
- Damper Noise
- String Resonance
- Key-off Effect
- Fall-back Noise
- Hammer Delay
- Topboard Simulation
- Decay Time
- Minimum Touch
- Stretch Tuning (incl. 88-key User Tuning)
- Temperament (incl. User Temperament)
- Temperament Key
- Key Volume (incl. 88-key User Key Volume)
- Half-Pedal Adjust
- Soft Pedal Depth
|No. of Sounds||38|
|Other Effects||11 types + 4 combination effects + amp simulator|
|Speakers||(8 x 12) cm x 2|
|Output Power||20 W x 2|
|Display||128 x 64 pixel OLED|
|Music Rest||Detachable type (included)|
|Dimensions||Width||52 3/4" (134 cm)|
|Depth||14 2/3" (37.5 cm)|
|Height||5 2/3" (14.5 cm) (not including music rest)|
|Weight||37.5 lbs (17 kg)|
|Internal Songs||Sound Demo||27 songs|
|Internal Recorder||Total Memory||approximately 90,000 notes|
|No. of Songs||10 songs|
|Parts||2 track recorder|
|Metronome||Time Signatures||1/4, 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 5/4, 3/8, 6/8, 7/8, 9/8, 12/8|
|Drum Rhythms||Rhythm Section
- 100 styles (x 2 variations)
- 4-part accompaniment select
- 100 preset chord sequences
|Bluetooth *||Bluetooth (Ver. 4.1; GATT compatible)
Bluetooth Low Energy MIDI Specification compliant, Bluetooth Audio
|USB Audio Recorder||Record/Playback||MP3
|App Functions||Virtual Technician app (iPad)|
|Connector Jacks||Headphone||2 (1/4",1/8 “ )Stereo jacks|
|MIDI||MIDI IN, MIDI OUT|
|Line Out||1/4" L/MONO, R [unbalanced]|
|Line In||1/8" Stereo|
|USB to Host||✔|
|USB to Device||✔|
|Others||Damper/Soft (for GFP-3/F-302)
Damper (for F-10H)
|Power Consumption||18 W (PS-154 AC adaptor)|
|Others||Warranty Card *
F-10H damper pedal (with half-pedal support)
|Dimensions||57 × 18 × 11 in|
Digital Piano – Slab