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Kawai KDP 110 Review – Best Digital Piano Around $1,000?

Kawai KDP 110 Review

Kawai KDP 110

8.5

Design

8.0/10

Key Action

8.5/10

Sound

8.5/10

Features

8.0/10

Accessories

8.5/10

Value

9.5/10

Pros

  • Excellent key action
  • Individually sampled sound
  • Very good pedal
  • Powerful speakers
  • Bluetooth

Cons

  • No USB to device
  • Only 15 voices

Around $1,000, there are many excellent entry level digital pianos. One might even argue that these offer the best value for money. No wonder so many people are searching for the best model in that price range. In this Kawai KDP 110 review, I’ll try to show you why this might just be the one you are looking for.

Kawai’s KDP product line is what they call the entry level series. The KDP 90 was popular and well received by the market. In 2018, Kawai introduced a new model the KDP 110. It has many upgrades to the previous model and is probably the best entry level digital piano in the market right now. Let’s find out if that’s true.

DESIGN


The Look

The Kawai KDP 110 is a console style digital piano. It tries to mimic the classic upright acoustic piano look and I have to say it’s quite a success in doing that.

Depends on your region, you can choose either a Black or Rosewood color. They both feature wooden texture finish and look really premium.

Kawai KDP 110 rosewood finish

Even though it’s an entry level digital piano, the KDP 110 is built with quality. The stand is firm and every part of the instrument looks and feels well-built.

Overall the Kawai KDP 110 looks classic and premium. However I do find this classic style difficult to fit a modern home decor. Depends on your situation, this may or may not be an issue for you.

Music Rest

The music rest on the KDP 110 has curved edge which fits greatly was the classical look of the digital piano. It is definitely wide enough to display any scorebook. You can put 3 pieces of A4 paper side by side comfortably on the music rest. I’m happy to report that it is also quite tall to support any printed sheet of music.

Fold-able music rest on the Kawai KDP 110

You cannot adjust the angle of the music erased. However it is collapsible. This is a really nice and convenient feature in my opinion.

Control

As expected for an entry-level digital piano, the control panel on the KDP 110 is very simple.

On the right side, you will find a power button and a volume slider.

On the left side, there are 6 buttons for quick access. The buttons are well labelled and I think Kawai did a good job of selecting the most often used functions.

Left side control panel of the Kawai KDP 110
Right side control panel of the Kawai KDP 110

There is no display on this digital piano. However there are small LED indicators on each button.

Keys

The Kawai KDP 110 comes with a full 88 keyboard. The keys are made of plastic with matte finish key tops. Kawai did a good job to mimic the feel of modern acoustic piano keys.

This keyboard seems to be built with quality. I haven’t noticed any uneven spacing between the keys like many other entry-level digital pianos.

What I do miss is the red velvet at the end of the keyboard. I think this would look really good on this model due to its classical Style.

88 keys on the Kawai KDP 110

Size & Weight

Being a console style digital piano, the Kawai KDP 110 is not small nor light. However since you are not going to move it around, this shouldn’t be an issue.

The instrument arrives in a box and some assembly is required. The main body of the piano is quite heavy and it is definitely a two men’s job. Make sure you have a friend or family member to help you with that.

The KDP 110 weighs about 39 kg (86 lbs).

Without music rest, it has the dimensions of 136(W) x 41(D) x 85(H) cm (54” x 16” x 33”)

KEY ACTION


Being a model from Kawai, I have high hopes for the key action on the KDP 110. This is also one of the big upgrades from the KDP 90.

The key action on the KDP 110 is the Responsive Hammer Compact II from Kawai. Surprisingly, this is not the entry level key action from Kawai. It is a more advanced version of key action from the Kawai ES110.

Key action of the Kawai KDP 110

The RHCII is a triple sensor key action. It helps to provide a more precise and responsive feel especially during fast passages.

As mentioned before the keys are plastic with matte finish. This helps to improve grip and absorb moisture the real long playing sessions.

The keys are individually weighted and graded, just like any proper digital piano. It feels heavier on the bass side and gradually becomes lighter towards the right side.

Overall the key action on the KDP 110 feels very nice to play. it is very easy to control the volume, the timing and to put emotions into each key press. I personally find it to be the best entry level key action on the market right now. It feels more authentic than equivalent actions from Yamaha, Casio and Roland.

The key noise on the KDP 110 is at an acceptable level. It doesn’t bother me at least. However, there are reports that after few month of use, some keys will exhibit clicky noise when bounce back.

SOUND


Another major upgrade you would find on the KDP 110 is the sound engine. It uses the current generation Harmonic Imaging technology from Kawai. It features Kawai’s world famous SK-EX acoustic concert grand piano.

Sound sample on Kawai KDP 110 from Kawai world famous SK-EX concert grand

Not only is each key individually sampled, it is also sampled at various different volume levels. This is to capture the subtle tonal change when you press a key at different force on an acoustic piano. This is a huge advantage in the entry-level digital piano market. Because many other brands sample their keys in groups instead of individually, let along at different volume.

The Kawai KDP 110 has a maximum polyphony number of 192. This is more than enough for any entry level digital piano.

To compliment the upgraded sound engine, the KDP 110 equips a much more powerful speaker system. The two 20 watt speakers are powerful enough to make the instrument sound like an acoustic piano.

Overall and the sound quality of the KDP 110 is impressive. It is authentic, dynamic and expressive. It is also the only model that features individual key sampling in the entry level digital piano segment.

FEATURES


As an entry level digital piano, the KDP 110 does not have too many features. Besides the upgraded key action and the best entry level sound engine, it does have Bluetooth for easy connectivity. It also has two headphone jacks, one quarter inch and the other 3.5mm. It’s a convenient feature that allows your teacher to listen to your playing. With the smaller 3.5mm jack, you can also avoid the hassle of the headphone adapter. 

Unfortunately, there is no multi track recording on the KDP 110. You can record up to 3 songs. There is no USB to device port, which I do find a bit inconvenient.

Here are some other features that you might find useful:

  • Sound (15 total):
    • Piano × 4
    • E.Piano × 2
    • Strings × 2
    • Organ × 2
    • Others × 5
  • Polyphony: 192
  • Reverb: 6
  • Modes:
    • Dual Mode: two instrument sound simultaneously
    • Four-hand Mode: split the keyboard to identical halves
  • Internal recording:
    • MIDI: 3 songs
  • Connectivity:
    • Bluetooth
    • USB to Host
    • MIDI (IN/OUT)
    • Headphones x 2 (6.35mm 1/4” + 3.5mm 1/8” )

ACCESSORIES


As a console style digital piano, the KDP 110 comes with a 3 pedal unit. This is what Kawai calls the Grand Feel Pedal system. This is the same pedal system that you would see on Kawai’s premium flagship models. It supports half paneling and does authentically reproduce the feel of pedaling on an acoustic grand piano.

Grand Feel pedal system on Kawai KDP 110

You will need to purchase a bench separately if you can’t find a good bundle offer.

A good pair of headphones is always recommended for any digital piano.

Being a console style digital piano and with its powerful speaker system, you won’t need any external monitor/speaker for the Kawai KDP 110.

WHO IT’S FOR


The Kawai KDP 110 is recommended for beginners with a somewhat relaxed budget. It is not the cheapest entry level digital piano but it does provide the best key action and sound.

In my opinion, the KDP 110 is definitely worth the price and I would even recommend it to intermediate players.

It is also to some extent future proof. With the excellent key action and sound quality, you won’t feel the need to upgrade any time soon. Thanks to Bluetooth, you will always be able to utilize apps on your smart devices.

The KDP 110 is also suitable for performing at medium sized venue as long as it does not need to be moved.

CONCLUSION


The Kawai KDP 110 is an excellent digital piano for any beginners. It is in my opinion the best entry level model on the market right now. It packs superior key action and sound engine to its competitors.

OTHER OPTIONS


Kawai KDP 110 vs. Yamaha YDP-143

These two are similarly priced, with the YDP-143 a hundred dollars cheaper.

The RHCII key action on the KDP 110 is significantly better than the GHS on the Yamaha. The RHCII is a triple sensor action and the GHS is dual sensor. It is also better in terms of responsiveness, expression and timing.

The sound engine on both models are both very good. However, the KDP 110 does have an edge that each note is individually sampled. It has also a much powerful speaker system than the YDP-143. The KDP 110 packs 40 watt speaker while the YDP-143 has 12 watt.

They have the same polyphony number. But the KDP 110 wins again with Bluetooth.

Overall, the Kawai KDP 110 is much better than the Yamaha YDP-143. You do get charged a lot premium for the Yamaha brand.

For more details about the Yamaha YDP-143, click here for my full review.


Kawai KDP 110 vs. Roland F-140R

Another similarly priced model is the Roland F-140R. It is a very popular entry level digital piano from Roland.

The F-140R has much more features than the KDP 110. Not only does it also have Bluetooth, the F-140R has 300 more sounds to choose from. It also has a USB to device port and can record more songs internally.

However, the Kawai KDP 110 wins on key action and sound. The key action is vastly superior in my opinion and the sound engine is also more advanced. The F-140R exhibit off balanced tonal characteristics that are common to group sampling. The KDP 110 does not have such issue thanks to each key being individually sampled.

The KDP 110 also has a more powerful speaker system of 40 watt compare to F-140R’s 24 watt.

I would recommend the Kawai KDP 110 over the Roland F-140R for its superior key action and sound engine. The F-140R does have more features.

For more details about the Roland F-140R, click here for my full review.


Leave a comment to let me know what you think of this review. And if you happen to have some experience with the Kawai KDP 110, please share with us in the comment below.

43 thoughts on “Kawai KDP 110 Review – Best Digital Piano Around $1,000?”

  1. Hi Wei, thanks for the detailed review. Such a valuable information here! Could you please confirm that the CN17 model is just a different code name for KDP 110? Based on the Kawai official website the only difference between these models is the color availability.

  2. Hi Wei
    My budget allows me to have the below choice, since I do not know anything about piano and would like to seek your advice. My son is 7 and just started learning and would like to buy one that can last 3 years before any necessary upgrade.
    Kawai KDP110
    Korg C1 Air
    Casio PXS3000
    Casio PX870
    or any other model you can recommend? The 4 models are of very similar prices difference around $100 between them.
    Thanks!
    Thanks!

    1. Hi John,

      The Casio PX S3000 is an outstanding stage piano but I don’t think it’s the right instrument for your son. It’s a stage piano which means it has many features that’s unnecessary for your 7 year-old son. The PX S1000 has the same key action and sound and is much cheaper.

      All of the rest three options are excellent pianos. You really can’t go wrong with any of these. My personal choice would be the Kawai KDP110.

      The Kawai KDP110 has the advantage on key actions and sound. Each note is individually sampled. It also has Bluetooth, which could be very useful for your son to use apps for learning and fun.

      As always, see if you can find a store where you can try these models. The feels of the keys are very subjective. Also, I assume your son will take piano lessons? If so, get some advise from his teacher.

      Hope this helps and do come back and share with us which one you end up with.

      1. Thanks Wei for your advice.
        I did have a look at the actual product Kawai KDP110 and I like how it looks and feel very solid unit. There is just a thing that’s bother me is I did some googling and it comes up some people have the issue where it has clicky sound. Below is one of the owners’ comment
        “I’ve had my kdp110 for a short while now and then I noticed a plasticky clicky sound upon depressing certain keys on the keyboard, on the lift it clicks just enough to bother me. This happens around the middle C (so keys used quite often, although I haven’t played it a lot to be honest)

        I’ve looked around YouTube and forums and it seems that some people say this is normal on these RHCI/II units. I can’t see how that could be the case or they would do it on all the keys not just certain ones.”

        Have you come across this issue or anyone told you about the problem with this model?

        If this is quite normal, I will be setting with this DP.
        Thanks!
        John

        1. Hi John,

          I haven’t notice this issue myself. But I’m aware that there have been reports on these clicky noise issue. I don’t think it’s a common issue and this wouldn’t be a deal breaker for me. It probably has something to do with the materials Kawai uses and some people are more sensitive to these noises to others.

          But I would advise you to purchase from a reputable dealer just to be safe.

      2. Hi Wei
        I got mine delivered yesterday (Kawai KDP110). I was originally ordered the rosewood color but need to wait a month so just change to the black one which they have it in stock. Thanks for your advice.
        John

  3. Hi Wei. Thank you for all of the detail you put into your reviews. I’m trying to find the perfect digital piano for my wife. She is just learning. She really wants a white piano. Beauty inspires her so I’m looking to balance the best feel and sound with finding a piano that she feels happy to play.

    based on your reviews it seems that the KDP110 is your preferred choice of a piano in the 1000-1400 price range. but they don’t appear to come in white.

    I found the KDP-S34 and S54. Do you find the sound and feel to be that much different in either of these models vs the KDP110? Or do you have another suggestion for a white digital piano? Thanks again for your advice. Love your site.

    1. Hi Dave,

      How sweet you are to find a white piano for your wife. She’s so luck to have you!

      Indeed the KDP110 doesn’t have a white version. I assume the alternatives you find are YDP-s34 and S54 from Yamaha. I compared KDP110 to the YDP-S54 in this detailed review.

      The actions on the YDPs are a bit on the heavy side. I’m not sure if that’s the best action for your wife, as she’s just starting to learn to play the piano.

      For models that come in white, I would recommend the Roland F-140R and the Casio PX-870.

      Another great option is the Casio PX S1000. But this is a portable piano. It’s pretty impressive and you can power it by batteries. Of course, if you don’t need portability, it’s usually better to buy an upright style piano.

      Hope it helps Dave and wish your wife a lovely piano journey ahead!

  4. Hi, I’m considering Kawai KDP110 or the Korg Air C1 for my family (6 &13) both at beginner level and I want to take up lessons again (very rusty!). I am very torn between the two as this seems to be the most classic sound/feel but the Korg is a great design and with space an issue I am going back and forth between the two. Also considering the longevity of both beyond grade 3? Really could do with some help to know if one is that much better than the other and I will forgo the space if it’s the bigger. Can I ask for your help please as your site has given me great advice about each one individually but I’m struggling to compare and decide between the two. Many thanks!

    1. Hi Mel,

      I have to say the difference between the two models are not that big. While the Kawai KDP110 is a great choice for its price, the Korg C1 Air is not bad at all. It has a much smaller polyphony number (120 vs. 192) but you do get different piano samples.

      I would say the compact size and modern design is enough to sway your choice towards the Korg.

  5. Thank you so much for this review. Do you know how the Kawai KDP-110 compares to Roland RP-302?

    Our local options are Kawai KDP-110, Roland RP-302, and Yamaha YDP-103 and YDP-143. How would you rank these? The YDP-143 is about $300 more than the others.

    1. Hi Nelly,

      The Roland RP-302 uses the PHAII action from Roland. While it’s not bad, this action is actually quite old and not the best you can get nowadays.

      For your options, I would rank them as follows:

      1. Kawai KDP-110
      2. Roland RP-302
      3. Yamaha YDP-103
      4. Yamaha YDP-143, considering it’s $300 more expensive.

  6. None of our local shops have either the Kawai KDP110 or the Yamaha YDP164 to try. One store can offer us the Yamaha at the same price as the Kawai. Have no idea which one to choose since we can’t try out either one! This is for my 15yo son who is quite a talented musician and is about a year into his piano studies. If both were the same price, which would you choose?

  7. Wei, thank you so much for the comprehensive review. I ordered one Yamaha Ydp 164 for my son. After studying your review, I returned that and brought Kawaii Kdp 110. The key action is lighter than 164, which makes my son very happy. The built-in lesson is helpful.

  8. As a novice looking to move from a keyboard to a digital piano for my 7 and 5 year olds (who have played for 3 and 1 years) I find your reviews really useful. Informative, well balanced and answer the ‘but how does this compare to…’ question. I’m really taken by this Kuwai based on your review. I’m just going to do a little more browsing on your site to figure out whether paying a little more would help to future proof us – how that piano stacks up when you’re thinking about more experienced players. Thank you.

  9. I am a 48 year old looking to get back into piano after taking lessons as a child. Can you tell me whether you would recommend the new Kawai KDP 70? What are the differences between the KDP 70 and the Kawai KDP 110?

  10. Hi Wei,
    First, Thank you for your comprehensive and simple reviews.
    I am looking for an entry level piano to start and I kind of narrowed my options to only KDP-110. However, my last search in the market was in March 2019 and I was wondering if you know of any new rival comes to the market that worth consideration.
    Main features that I am looking for are sound quality, key action and connectivity.

  11. Dear Wei,
    My son in grade 8 level and has been playing piano for over five years. We got a old Knight upright piano, and we are planning to buy a digital piano for him for his future learning. It recommended by my son’s piano teacher. I do know which one should be the best one for him: Yamaha YDP164, or Kawai KDP110? The boy loves music very much. When he finishes his music theory, he may start to learn how to write a simple song as his hobby. He also joins some piano competitions, and performing in some local concerts sometimes.
    We wish the one we are going to buy for him,it doesn’t need to be upgraded in the short term. Our budget is under $ 1000. We expect a great common from you.
    Many thanks in advance!
    Jonathan

    1. Hi Jonathan,

      Check my YDP164 review and at the bottom, there’s a comparison between the YDP164 and the Kawai KDP110.

      The main difference between the two are sound characteristics and key action. If you can find a store with the two models available, take your son and test these pianos.

      Bottom line is: you can’t really go wrong with either of them and it depends on your son’s preference of sound and touch.

  12. Hi Wei,

    The quality of your reviews urged me to leave a comment here. I am on the way of looking for an entry level digital piano for my children whilst having very limited understanding about them. Originally, I have identified the YDP-144 as my choice, but then, after reading your review about this model, then this Kawai KDP-110, I think the target should be clear now. What I am gonna do in the next few days is to experience the sound and key weighted between these two by myself and my children.

    1. Hi Joseph,

      Thank you so much for your kind comment. It makes my day knowing my work has helped people.

      Do come back and share with us your experience with these models.

  13. Hi what’s the best modern looking entry level piano you would recommend? My kids are 5 and 7, and our house decor is more modern than traditional.

      1. hi wei ,my son is 6 looking for entry level piano to start. after reading your post i think kawai kdp 110is the best choice. may i know the kawai kdp 110 had any other colour or type? coz i saw kdp 110es is it the same model as kdp 110 in black?

        1. Hi Rex, you can choose between Black and Rosewood for the KDP110.

          I’m not sure what you mean by KDP110 ES. Can you maybe send me the link to it and I can check it for you.

  14. Firstly thank you for your reviews. I am a beginner (actually I haven’t yet begun, my 5 year old has and I will start too), and we were looking to identify digital pianos…

    I am almost convinced on kdp 110 (the other contender is YDP 144), but I wanted to know a couple of things, could you help?
    > The company spec sheet says it has USB port… however, your note says it does not have USB connectivity..what is the difference in terms of USB to host/device?
    > I don’t have Apple gadgets so their apps are of no use to me. Are there enough Android apps to integrate with this piano?
    > does Bluetooth connectivity work ok with the latest Android devices? I read somewhere that there was latency with Android devices…

    Do advise, thank you!

    1. Hi Mitra,

      Thanks for your comment. When it comes to digital pianos, usually you would find two types of USB port.

      1. USB to Host: these are used to connect your dp to a computer.

      2. USB to device: these are used to connect a USB stick so as to export recordings of your performance.

      When it comes to apps for dp, there are more choices for apple devices than Android. But there are still some solid ones to choose from. Like Perfect Piano and Flowkey. Experiment and find the ones that’re best for your need.

      Generally speaking, iOS performs better in terms of Bluetooth connection with digital pianos. But I do believe that Android is getting better. The latency will differ for each app so you’ll have to test them with your piano and smart device.

      1. Thank you, this is helpful!

        To ask further on USB to host… so will there be a way to export recordings to /via the computer? Maybe I will need the right program? I have Windows 10.

        Thank you once again!

        1. Yes, there are two ways to do that.

          1. Use the USB to host to connect your dp with a computer and use software like Pianoteq to record.

          2. Use an audio cable to connect the dp from its headphone jack to the line in port on the computer. Then use any kind of audio recording software to record.

          Method one should provide better quality but those softwares are usually not free. Most of them do have free trail though.

          Hope it helps!

  15. Great Review,
    Hello Wei, can you review kawai ca98? I just preorder kawai ca98, but i enjoy read your reviews. Give me a credit and please review kawai ca98. Thanks Wei.

    1. Hi Oskar,

      Thanks for dropping by and congratulations on your pre-order of the Kawai CA98. I have actually tested the CA98 and have some thoughts on it. But haven’t got the time to put them together yet. Premium unit like the CA98 requires a lot more effort for a review.

      I’ll do my best and let me know your experience with the CA98 once it arrives.

  16. First off I need to congratulate you on an insanely well written and aesthetically good looking article. I honestly mean it. I am a musician and I am pretty much a Korg fan. However, when I am not using music workstations with software like Logic or Ableton Live, Kawai pianos always impress and usually when I walk into a music instrument shop to try out some of the pianos for fun, then Kawai pianos are usually my piano of preference. When I find myself in the music shop again I will be sure to try out the Kawai KDP 110 Digital Piano.

    1. Hi Schalk,

      Thanks for dropping by and your kind comment. I am so glad that you enjoy reading my reviews. I have to admit, reviews are hard to write.

      Can you share why you are a Korg fan? Is there some specific reason you would use a Korg with music software? I do not have much experience with Korg myself.

      If you have the chance to try the Kawai KDP 110 in a shop, do come back and share with us your thoughts on it.

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