Kawai ES 100 Review

Because it was established, Kawai was and continues to be,  associated with extreme quality. In the lengthy history of its brand,  founded in 1927 by Koichi Kawai has evolved from making hi end concert pianos to creating professional and reliable digital pianos.

Lately, the company unveiled a brand new product or service in its popular ES series: the Kawai ES 100, and that is the first ever 88 key weighted hammer action digital piano under $thousand from the Japanese manufacturer, now offered for $799.

Designed for piano pupils, professional and intermediate musicians who are concerned about the piano sound and fidelity, the ES 100 is undoubtedly the greatest option in the $500-1000 price range and offers one of the more realistic piano experiences, even considering more expansive products, for example several Yamaha’s products under the $1500 range.

Before progressing with the review of ours, please take a moment and also use the interactive table below to compare the Kawai ES100 to several of the fantastic digital pianos currently available:

The Kawai ES 100 ships in both white and black finishes. Today, let us see what is inside the box:

Kawai also provides an optional furniture style HML 1 stand, that matches with ES 100 and offers the 3 pedal functionality. Compared to competitors’ stands, the $230 Kawai HML 1 may be slightly costly for some, but the quality of construction materials, the elegant finish and the 3 pedals made out of metal are certainly well worth the cost.

The included F 10H damper pedal is among the greatest options that come with this Kawai digital piano: an incredibly good, heavy duty piano style pedal that allows for half pedal functionality, something which you will pay eighty dolars for if bought separately. No other digital pianos in this price range offer a similar damper pedal in the box.

The ES 100 itself features an extremely lightweight chassis (only thirty three pounds), but despite its ease of handling, it has the excellent AHA IV F, a graded hammer action keyboard that simulates similar thoughts associated with a real grand piano by making use of an hammer component under every one of the eighty eight keys.


Below, check out several of the very best selling digital pianos available on Amazon, and find out just how they stack up against the Kawai ES 100 in terms of specs, price: and features

Yamaha P-115
Yamaha YDP-163
Casio PX-860
Yamaha P255

Less is More


The Kawai ES 100 features a simple design: additionally to the power switch and volume slider on the best, we find the Function, Play/Stop, Lesson and Rec buttons, and 3 more buttons to switch between the readily available sounds. Some other alternatives could be managed by pressing the Function button along with a certain key on the keyboard.

In addition to the chassis, there’s additionally a slot for the music rest as well as the two 7W integrated speakers. On the back side, instead, we find the MIDI I/O, the damper jack as well as the input for the AC adaptor. There will also be 2 Phones outputs, that could be used for practicing in silence and connecting the piano to a mixer or a P.A..

The built in recorder allows for 1 track recording, for a maximum of 3 user songs. You are able to play along the previously recorded song, however, not record another instrument in one song. Competitors as Yamaha and Casio offer built in 2 track recorder in the products of theirs, and it is a shame that Kawai didn’t do exactly the same in the ES 100.

There’s no Duet mode at all or perhaps any automatic accompaniment to choose from, but at the least you are able to play along with hundred different drums rhythms. Solo musicians are able to make use of this particular feature combined with the Layer/Split mode for the gigs of theirs or perhaps live exhibitions.

The Lesson mode, a library according to the renowned Alfred’s Song Books and Burgmuller twenty five Etudes, is an enormous feature for pupils that would like to learn the basics, which may be found just in the Kawai ES 100, considering the $500 1000 range.

A lot of you might complain about the absence of features, such as the USB port or even the LCD display, but the the fact is that even without those appreciated options, the ES 100 can be considered most convenient digital piano for pupils, pro players, stage musicians and piano maniacs.

Let us dig a bit deeper to discover why.

A True Piano Experience

The heart of Kawai ES 100 is the Harmonic Imaging sound engine, which offers to piano players an excellent, organic sound when put together with the aforementioned AHA IV F keyboard. Each note of all the eighty eight keys was individually sampled by Kawai to be able to deliver the ultimate piano tone under the $thousand price range, and this goal was definitely achieved.

The key reason why Kawai’s piano sounds so good is due to 3 additional features: the very first will be the pedal resonance, that allows you to listen to the strings echo and resonation while pressing the sustain pedal. This may be fully adjustable through the Function menu.

To be able to achieve an excellent, killer piano sound, Kawai put into the mix the Fallback Hammer Noise and Damper Rail Noise, each of the mechanical sounds you are able to go through in a real grand piano, which are simulated also in the ES 100. These features are velocity sensitive, so the faster you press or even release the sustain pedal, the louder the noise will be.

The ES 100 also offers nineteen different sounds to choose from, including eight stunning different piano tones (from Concert Grand to Modern Piano, from Studio Grand to Rock Piano) and have a maximum polyphony of 192 notes. This’s probably the highest amount of notes offered in a product of the range, that also provides a much more reasonable and organic way of playing.

The various other included sounds are 3 Electric Pianos, 2 different Organ types, Vibraphone and Harpsichord samples, 2 Strings and 2 Bass presets. Naturally, you are able to layer 2 different sounds or even split the keyboard in 2 zones. You are able to also change the reverb, the balance or perhaps the EQ between 2 sounds, and the mellowness along with other advanced settings.

In the event that you would like to preserve the sound you have created, just press on the list of preset buttons on the top part of the chassis to be able to put in a patch that you are able to immediately recall anytime. That is especially great for live musicians who would like to personalize the playing experience of theirs and also use the ES 100 as the main stage piano, as well for pro players totally addicted to recreating most reasonable and personal piano sounds.
Kawai ES 100 vs Yamaha P-115 vs Roland F-20

If compared to many other similar products, like the Yamaha P 115 or perhaps the Roland F 20, the Kawai ES 100 still stands out because of its pro features and reduced price.


With the ES 100, Kawai created its first affordable product, that is ideal for both pro players and pupils. While it just features simple options, I think that Kawai got it right by focusing on what truly matters: the piano experience.

The list price of $799 aren’t an entry level budget, but by choosing the ES 100 over cheaper instruments, you will create an investment for a long time to come. With its superior graded hammer action keyboard and realistic piano tones, the Kawai ES 100 could well be the best portable digital piano you are able to find that is under the $thousand range.


  • Dual and Split modes.
  • Memory functions allow you to save your favorite sounds and settings for instant recall at any time.


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