Take an acoustic piano and give it the same basic technology as an electronic keyboard, and you have a digital piano. Rather simplistically put, but basically true. They are usually larger than a keyboard having 88 keys. With the emphasis on recreating that great acoustic piano sound.
It’s not entirely possible of course to recreate the wonderful sounds of a full concert grand piano quite yet. But some digital pianos get very to the real thing. The best Kawai digital pianos are very close to the real thing. And they know exactly what the real thing sounds like, having manufactured world-class concert grand pianos for over 90 years.
The digital piano was invented after the second world war by a man whose name became synonymous with the instrument and bore his name for many years. His name was Harold Rhodes and the instrument after some development, became known as the Fender Rhodes piano after Leo Fender bought his company and released it to the world.
…and the ‘Rhodes’ has been used live and on recordings by many of the world’s top players over the years.
Way before Harold had his ideas, in 1927, the Kawai company was formed to make Grand and upright pianos and over the years built a world-wide reputation. There first digital pianos were sold in 1986, the same year that they opened Kawai UK. And two years later, they acquired Lowrey in the US, as they began to develop their worldwide brand name and presence.
They are now a worldwide brand with showrooms in many countries where people go to view and listen to the best they have to offer. Kawai produces some of the best digital pianos on the market. So in this review, we are going to have a closer look to establish, which is the best Kawai Digital Piano and find out which is the perfect one for you…
- Top 10 Best Kawai Digital Piano For The Money 2021 Reviews
- 1 Kawai VPC1 Virtual Piano Controller
- 2 Kawai ES100 Digital Piano
- 3 Kawai MP11 Professional Stage Piano 888365927770
- 4 Kawai MP6 Professional Stage Piano
- 5 Kawai CE220 Digital Home Piano
- 6 Kawai ES8 Digital Piano
- 7 Kawai ES110 88-Key Digital Piano With Speakers
- 8 Kawai KDP110 Digital Home Piano
- 9 Kawai KDP-70 Digital Piano
- 10 Kawai MP11SE, 88 Keys Stage Piano
- Best Kawai Digital Piano Buyers Guide – Taking The Next Step
- But What Is The Best Kawai Digital Piano?
Top 10 Best Kawai Digital Piano For The Money 2021 Reviews
1 Kawai VPC1 Virtual Piano Controller
This keyboard is a MIDI controller that has been designed to use with virtual piano software. And finally, we have a VPC (Virtual Piano Controller) that feels and sounds like you are playing the real thing. We know many keyboard players who whilst appreciating some of the technology involved, have nevertheless always been disappointed with the VPC experience.
At last, there is a piano that sounds and feels to all intents and purposes like the real thing.
The VPC1 is beautifully made with a deep black finish which is just the start of the feeling that you are playing something serious. It has a plain design that is uncluttered with any knobs, dials or wheels and whilst it does not come with a stand has a three-pedal unit which will support half-damping.
Advances in technology have allowed companies to produce ever more realistic sounding pianos, and Kawai is one of the manufacturers at the forefront.
They are intent on giving you the feeling of playing the real thing. The 88 long keys made from real wood are just the beginning of the experience. Many of the design effects of the real thing are included. These include weighted hammers, extra counterweights on the lower bass keys, and balance pins that are staggered. As well as, accurate let-off movement and key surfaces that react to the touch.
They have taken the feel of their Concert Grand RM3 piano and installed it digitally in this controller.
The touch curve mapping software is included and comes with multiple settings to help you achieve exactly the sound you are looking for. Editor software for Windows is also included. And it allows connections to both USB and MIDI at the same time.
What you get with the VPC1 is an elegant piece of furniture that has the essentials for producing the sound and playing like a real acoustic grand piano. A stunning creation that is certain to impress.
- Impressive elegant style.
- Many features taken straight from the feel of a real concert grand with sounds to match.
- No stand included
2 Kawai ES100 Digital Piano
The ES100 for Kawai is one of their budget range of pianos. It was designed to keep things basic, whilst still maintaining the quality, but making it a little more affordable. It is an 88 key piano that has a weighted hammer action that gives an authentic piano experience and feel to the touch.
Featuring nineteen sampled sounds that include acoustic grand pianos and electric pianos and organs. It even includes some strings. All designed to allow you to create plenty of warm sounds.
It has an impressive 182 note polyphony, and the keyboard can be dual for mixing two of the included sounds at the same time. Or it can be split to have one sound set for one end of the keyboard and a different sound or instrument to the other.
The record function is an interesting asset, and the built-in speakers let you hear the full richness of the sampled piano sounds it holds. The impressive piano sounds are created by the Harmonic Imaging software onboard.
A memory facility is installed that will allow you to save your favorite sounds or settings into one of four memories. These can be recalled at any time. A further excellent inclusion is a damper pedal. And this is capable of a half-damper as you would find on a real piano. This is a feature rarely found on pianos in the price range.
A metronome with adjustable tempos and time signatures and one hundred drum rhythms that you can use to play along with. While on the rear of the piano are MIDI jacks and two headphone sockets to allow someone, maybe a student or your teacher, to listen in with you if necessary.
It includes a lot of features for the price point and all of them with that special Kawau excellence. As a less expensive option, it is outstanding value.
If you want to know even more about this piano, please check out our Kawai ES 100 review.
- Well made and attractive piano with authentic action and sounds.
- A lot of good features included.
- No stand for use.
3 Kawai MP11 Professional Stage Piano 888365927770
The MP11 is a stunning piece of equipment and certainly going to be a contender for the best Kawai digital piano. This is a piano that is going to satisfy the professional player. Kawai has put a lot of thought and effort into this piano, and at first sight, it can seem quite daunting.
It is well-made and has an attractive finish and style that whilst having a prominent control panel packed with the tech still seems somehow to be quite plain. Just what you need with all the controls in a position where you can use it easily. It is built using wood with a metal chassis and weighs 70 pounds.
The tone of this piano is quite breathtaking. The renowned Kawai EX grand piano provides the samples that are made extra long to give a new warmth to the sound. The keys are long and wooden to create an authentic feel and have ivory tops, and the action has a triple sensor to detect the touch through the keys. Counterweights are located at the rear of the keys.
…that there is no space to discuss, they even provide a fine-tuning and personal sound setup facility onboard. The playing feel and sound are excellent.
Twelve different pianos across a wide spectrum of genres including of course various grand pianos, all at the touch of a button. It also includes some strings, pads and some bass sounds. EQ covering the range of basic sounds and over one hundred other effects to shape the exact sound you want. As well as to simulate the environment where you’d like to be playing. Split and Dual modes are both included.
So much more to discuss but no space. It just needs to be said it is a stunning instrument. Let’s find a bit of fault. No stand, seat, or integrated speakers, which is unfair possibly. This is because it is manufactured as a keyboard rather than a stand-alone piano, and the three pedals are sold as a separate item. Nevertheless, still, a great piano even though it is quite expensive.
- Wonderful piano sound and feel of playing the real thing.
- Lots of sound options and facilities built-in.
- The price will scare some people away.
4 Kawai MP6 Professional Stage Piano
To prove that Kawai can not only produce great authentic-sounding stage pianos but can also manufacture keyboards with a few extra little options, here is the MP6.
It still has all the impressive Kawai piano-based features including the sound of the MP5 piano with half-dampening. A Responsive Hammer (RH) action with authentic let off feel. As well as Ivory Touch key surfaces are included on nearly all Kawai instruments as standard, which is why they always feel like the real thing.
As an extension to the Controller keyboard idea of the MP5, it has two piano basics plus the MP5 piano sound, EP sounds, and a tone wheel. It includes a total selection of 256 sounds, including the pianos and/or user setups and effects.
There is a 3-band EQ built-in that has a sweepable mid-range. And USB recorder or player and storage for your personal settings, and USB recorder or player and storage for your personal setting.
This 88-key piano is lightweight at just forty-seven pounds. Therefore it is suitable for use in the recording studio or taken out on the road. If you are looking for a great piano sound than you can carry around with you, this could be a good choice. But if you are looking for something more akin to a synthesizer, this keyboard won’t be of interest.
It is a piano and has a few little extras, but it is a piano first, and a very good piano.
- Wonderful piano sounds.
- A few extra features built-in.
- No built-in speakers.
5 Kawai CE220 Digital Home Piano
When you begin to search for a top-quality digital piano, then the name that comes to many people’s minds who have had the experience, is Kawai. And if you want to get a piano that takes you to the summit of digital pianos, creating the grand piano sound. Then you will need to take a look at the CE220.
Everything about this piano is authenticity and greatness. Long wooden keys with a silky antiperspirant touch give the elegant feel of the grand piano. They have a graded hammer action designed to give you the feel of a real concert grand. It has the most realistic action of just about any instrument in its price range. That is why, as a piano, it is so highly-rated.
It has the full 88 notes, all of which and individually sampled from Kawai’s Exclusive Grand Piano range. It has a 192 note polyphony. While the cabinet is made from particleboard which is then covered in a laminate to create the finish which is very attractive and able to fit in with any home decor and installed is the speaker system that can handle up to 40 watts.
Other features include a three-pedal setup with half-dampers, a bench seat, and the option for utilizing a split or dual keyboard and a wide music stand. It has a two-track recorder and a USB input.
Many pianos these days come quite close to the sound of a full concert grand piano, but the CE220 takes you a step closer. It is very near to the real thing, and the playing action created to be as authentic as possible takes you even closer. Take a seat and get lost in the world of Mozart, Beethoven, and Chopin. This piano will take you there.
It’s more than some will usually pay, but if you want this much quality, it is just not going to come cheap. Best Kawai digital piano? It will take some beating.
- Beautifully made with great piano sounds.
- Authentic playing feel to the touch.
- The price might, unfortunately, make people think twice.
6 Kawai ES8 Digital Piano
The question with this digital piano is, can you carry 65 pounds around with you. If you can, then you have not only a great piano to use at home, but also an instrument that is going to have a big impact on stage.
Kawai is famous for the feel of their digital pianos and how close they are to actually play the real thing. And this piano is another example. 88-keys all with the Kawai RH ( Responsive Hammer) action. Weighted hammers that make the bass side of the keyboard have a much heavier feel than the treble side, as on a real acoustic piano. And counterweights to assist with the touch.
More authenticity is included with Let off that creates the feeling in the fingers of an acoustic piano keystroke, and Triple sensor detection makes this piano feel and act like the real thing.
Not only does it play great, but it is also packed with the sampled sound of the Kawai EX concert grand. A recognized world-class piano. In giving this as much of the real thing as possible, you will even hear the damper resistance and hammer noise.
Included in the sound capabilities of this piano are three different Kawai concert grand pianos and a variety of rock organs and effect pianos. This instrument though goes a lot further with its sound options offering 34 excellent instrument options. These include strings, brass, and even guitar, choirs and strings.
With a variety of effects on board that allow you to use different amps and speaker cabinet simulations, the sound-shaping possibilities become enormous.
Dual and split mode playing are included, and 30-watt stereo speakers are built-in. It also comes with headphones and 1’4” jack socket line outs and an onboard multitrack recorder. Effects such as reverb and EQ and MIDI in and out, and drum tracks that will follow your playing genre. The list of options with this piano just goes on.
A great keyboard for recording, playing live, or even teaching. It is Kawai at its practical best and might be Kawai’s best digital piano because of its versatility.
To find out even more, please check out our Kawai ES8 review.
- Great variety of stunning sounds.
- Typical authentic Kawai playing authenticity.
- If we are to be deliberately picky, then maybe a stand would have been a nice extra.
7 Kawai ES110 88-Key Digital Piano With Speakers
Here is something that is good to see, an entry-level Kawai piano. Designed to be light and transportable so it can be used at gigs. But with all the features needed to use and teach at home, this piano is great value.
Kawai is definitely trying to introduce the new young player or possibly players still at an early stage, and give them the real piano experience at an affordable cost.
To be fair, they have cut a few corners to make this instrument as cost-effective as possible. It is plastic made, albeit a good quality tough plastic. This makes it lightweight, and they have really only concerned themselves with the design of a great piano without most of the extras that a lot of entry pianos seem to carry around. This is a piano for those that want to play the piano.
Whereas they may have cut a few manufacturing corners, they certainly haven’t in the sounds or the way it feels to play. This is important to Kawai to let new players feel they are playing as close to the real thing as an entry-level piano can be. They even use the hammer system found in more expensive Kawai pianos.
The EX range of concert grands are recognized as one of the world’s top acoustic grands, and it is this piano that ES110 has taken its grand piano sound. Each note sampled from the original is given a little bit of reverb and resonance, and you have a sound straight from the concert hall.
Built-in are two concert grands and two other rand piano options a studio and a mellow. Also, you have the choice of two electric pianos and an organ with a jazzy feel. Two speakers with a rating of 7 watts each give you some sound for home use or teaching. But the full effect will be obtained by plugging it into something a little louder.
This is a great entry-level piano and opens up the world of Kawai to a whole new clientele.
- Lightweight and easy to transport.
- Built with great Kawai sampled sounds and playing feel.
- Don’t expect a top of the range Kawai and you won’t be disappointed.
8 Kawai KDP110 Digital Home Piano
The KDP110 is another digital piano from the Kawai range that has something extra to offer. It is finished in an attractive Rosewood and is aesthetically an impressive piano with its compact and neat design. It has a great sound using the sampled sounds of a Kawai concert grand piano, the EX88.
This is a higher entry-level Kawai piano that is really designed for the new player or student. But is still a good enough instrument to be used in a studio or by a more seasoned player.
The Kawai Responsive Hammer action in the keyboard gives the authentic feel of a real acoustic grand with its natural and smooth feel. The sound of the EX88 Concert grand is replicated by Harmonic Imaging that Kawai uses to make reproductions of their top of the range instruments.
The 88 keys of this piano are reproduced as close to the original as possible. Three pedals are included, and there are some basic controls by the left hand.
Playing the piano is a unique thing to each player, and the amount of pressure applied to the keys will determine its sound. Harmonic Imaging will take each note individually and apply the sounds recorded from different key contact pressures to ensure that your own style is faithfully reproduced.
This piano has a variety of extra features built-in, including extra instruments. Besides the pianos, there are electric pianos, harpsichord, and a vibraphone. It even includes a variety of organs and some strings. It has dual mode allowing you to use two of the voices together.
Reverb can be added to simulate the sounds created in a concert hall to bring your playing to life. A three-song recorder allows you to record and playback when you choose. It has two 4.7 inch speakers driven by a 40-watt amp and a music rest, and a basic piano lesson library. And it is equipped with Bluetooth technology and USB and MIDI connectivity.
A great piano for home or studio use, it offers a range of valuable extra features to go with its great piano sound.
- Kawai piano sounds and extra instruments and effects.
- Cost-effective price.
- At this price, we can think of nothing that might be considered negative.
9 Kawai KDP-70 Digital Piano
Another piano from Kawai’s entry-level range this time the KDP-70. These instruments from Kawai might be lower level from their perspective, but the quality of sound and the way they play remains at the highest level. Another ideal starter piano for a new player or an improver who wants to take the next step.
The KDP-70 is made from wood and has an attractive black finish to its compact design and is a well-made and sturdy piano. It has a music rest that folds down and a key cover. The grand piano sounds are not what you are going to get from Kawai’s top of the range. But nevertheless, they are still very good and better than other pianos in a comparable price range.
The piano sound is taken from Kawai’s EX concert grand series and features sampling across all 88 keys and has half-pedal support for the three pedals. The playing action is weighted to give it an authentic feel and utilizes the Responsive Hammer technology of its more expensive cousins. The sounds are produced using Kawai’s Harmonic Imaging Technology.
It has some extra features that include a 16-watt amplifier and speakers, a metronome and a recorder to keep songs that you are playing and working on. It has onboard a selection of built-in lessons and music to help your development.
A variety of other instruments are on board other than the concert grand pianos including, organs, harpsichord, and strings.
An excellent piano for a beginner at a very cost-effective price when you consider all that is included.
- Well made with an attractive black finish.
- Kawai sound and keyboard technology at a budget price.
- Will be rather basic for the experienced player.
10 Kawai MP11SE, 88 Keys Stage Piano
The latest in the fantastic MP range of pianos from Kawai is the updated version of the MP11, the MP11 SE. There are not that many differences, and thankfully, the great playing action of the MP11 has not been changed in any way.
One change is that they updated the piano sound chip to give more realism if that were possible. And Kawai is now making their own three-pedal system which is installed on the SE. Apart from a slight change to make the unit a darker wood that is about it. Underneath it is still the same exceptional instrument, the MP11 is.
Still included are the two EX concert grand pianos and the SK-5 grand. As well as 40 other instruments including jazz and pop pianos, and electric pianos. And all 88 keys have the same sampling technology using Harmonic Imaging and as we mentioned the same wooden-key action with Let off and 256 note polyphony.
The effects are still present in the way of six reverb sounds and over one hundred other effects. The controls are still located on the piano fascia and can look a little intimidating. But they are self-explanatory and once the initial learning curve is passed, easy to operate.
Kawai has managed to take the MP11, which in itself is a masterly design and just improve it a little bit. They haven’t got for drastic change and the really important element of the way the piano feels to play. And its likeness to playing the real thing has not been touched.
Everything else that makes this piano one of the great digital pianos remain, and the little things, like good connections and easy to use controls, are still present.
A great piano and the best testimony it can have, is that when you play this and play a real concert grand, it hardly feels different at all. Certainly a contender for best Kawai digital piano.
- An upgrade of the MP11 with a few added improvements.
- Still has all the many excellent features of the MP11.
- It will be viewed by some as an expensive piano.
Best Kawai Digital Piano Buyers Guide – Taking The Next Step
If you are buying a Kawai piano, then you are serious about getting the best sound and the best playing experience you can from a digital piano. The closest to an authentic Concert Grand maybe for what you propose to use it for.
And that is what will be at the center of your decision. Are you a learner or a more experienced musician? Do you want it for home use only, maybe for a studio or possibly to play on stage with? Whatever your potential use of these great pianos, we have reviewed something that will fit.
They all have that great Kawai sound and feel and whatever you finally choose it will be a great asset through its sheer quality
But What Is The Best Kawai Digital Piano?
How do you stand in the middle of so much excellence and have to choose one piano above another? Kawai technology both in sound and developing the feel of the instrument when its played is present in all the instruments we reviewed.
We had to choose, and our choice for the best Kawai digital piano is the …
A stunning instrument in every way.