Kawai ES110 Vs Alesis Recital Pro: Should You Shell Out for the Kawai ES110?

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Find the best digital piano for your needs in this Kawai ES110 vs Alesis Recital Pro comparison.

The Kawai ES110 has been dubbed the king of budget digital pianos. And once you see this piano’s features and its price point, it’s easy to see why.

That said, this Kawai model is still a bit more expensive than other pianos we consider “budget-friendly”. For example, the Alesis Recital Pro is considerably more affordable than the Kawai but comes with a similar feature set.

So, is the Kawai ES-110 really worth your money?

Well, when making this Kawai ES-110 vs Alesis Recital Pro comparison, I found out that it is. Even if it’s a bit more expensive, it comes with premium features that you usually find in more expensive pianos. And while the Alesis Recital Pro put up a good fight, it couldn’t beat out the value for money that the Kawai ES-110 offers.

I’ll get into the details of both pianos in today’s comparison. That way, you’ll have an easier time choosing the best piano for your needs!

Kawai ES110 vs Alesis Recital Pro: Comparison Chart

Image
The Winner (#1)
Kawai ES110 88-Key Digital Piano with Speakers - Gloss Black
The Runner (#2)
Alesis Recital Pro - 88 Key Digital Piano Keyboard with Hammer Action Weighted Keys, 2x20W Speakers, 12 Voices, Record and Lesson Mode, FX and Display
Model
Kawai ES-110
Alesis Recital Pro
Product Line
ES
Recital
Number of keys
88
88
Hammer Action
Responsive Hammer Compact action
Fully-weighted keys
Tone Generation
Harmonic Imaging (HI)
Sampling
Effects
Reverb, Brilliance
Chorus, Modulation, Reverb
Polyphony
192
128
Layer Mode
Split Mode
Number of voices
19
12
Duo-Mode
Headphone input
Recording
28.21lbs
MIDI
Speakers
4 x 2.5" woofer, 4 x 2.5" passive radiators
Two 20W Speakers
Pedal
Yes, single pedal only
Yes, single pedal only
What I like
Price
$699.00
$379.00
The Winner (#1)
Image
Kawai ES110 88-Key Digital Piano with Speakers - Gloss Black
Model
Kawai ES-110
Product Line
ES
Number of keys
88
Hammer Action
Responsive Hammer Compact action
Tone Generation
Harmonic Imaging (HI)
Effects
Reverb, Brilliance
Polyphony
192
Layer Mode
Split Mode
Number of voices
19
Duo-Mode
Headphone input
Recording
28.21lbs
MIDI
Speakers
4 x 2.5" woofer, 4 x 2.5" passive radiators
Pedal
Yes, single pedal only
What I like
Price
$699.00
More infor
The Runner (#2)
Image
Alesis Recital Pro - 88 Key Digital Piano Keyboard with Hammer Action Weighted Keys, 2x20W Speakers, 12 Voices, Record and Lesson Mode, FX and Display
Model
Alesis Recital Pro
Product Line
Recital
Number of keys
88
Hammer Action
Fully-weighted keys
Tone Generation
Sampling
Effects
Chorus, Modulation, Reverb
Polyphony
128
Layer Mode
Split Mode
Number of voices
12
Duo-Mode
Headphone input
Recording
MIDI
Speakers
Two 20W Speakers
Pedal
Yes, single pedal only
What I like
Price
$379.00
More infor

Last update on 2022-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Kawai ES110 vs Alesis Recital Pro: A Head-to-Head Comparison

I tested all the main features of the Kawai ES-110 and the Alesis Recital Pro. And by the end, the score was 3-1 in favor of the Kawai. The Recital Pro was able to put up a decent fight in almost all categories. However, there’s a reason the Kawai ES-110 is one of the best-rated digital pianos in this price range.

Feel & Playability

The winner: Tie

One of the most important features when buying a digital piano is the feel. These pianos are more expensive than a typical keyboard because they’re designed to replicate an acoustic piano. So, make sure that you spend your money on a digital piano that feels close to a digital piano.

Luckily, both of these instruments feel close to acoustic pianos. They come with advanced hammer action systems that you wouldn’t expect in this price range. So, they both won the point in this category.

Kawai ES110 with X stand
Kawai ES110 with X stand

+Hammer Action

The Alesis Recital Pro uses fully-weighted keys. Usually, pianos in this price range only come with semi-weighted keys, so it was quite a surprise. On top of that, I noticed a really realistic weight on the keys, which I wasn’t expecting. So, the Alesis Recital Pro is a great pick if you want a piano with decent hammer action at a low price point.

That said, the Kawai ES-110 has a more sophisticated hammer action system, which you’d expect since it’s the more expensive model. This piano uses a responsive hammer action system which you can also find on premium Kawai pianos. This is a springless hammer action system that offers a very realistic touch.

And while both pianos do a great job, I feel like they were lacking in the subtle weight differences that you have on an acoustic piano. This is because neither piano has a graded hammer action system which was a slight letdown.

Additionally, since these are on the more affordable end of the spectrum, they also use glossy plastic keys. Having textured keys would have been a huge difference-maker for either piano, but none of them come with this feature.

Tone

The winner: Kawai ES110

Arguably, tone is the most important aspect of a digital piano. You never want to spend money on a digital piano that sounds digital. There are many digital pianos nowadays that have a very realistic tone, like the Kawai ES110 and the Alesis Recital Pro. But since the Kawai ES110 had a wider sound library, it ended up winning the point.

+Tone Generation

Both of these pianos generate tones through samples. These pianos come loaded with sample recordings of various instruments. And whenever you press a key on the piano, you trigger one of these samples.

This is one of the simplest tone-generation methods, but both Kawai and Alesis do a great job. This is because these pianos utilize multi-layered samples. These samples create a more detailed tone that sounds very close to the real thing.

Granted, you can still feel that the sounds come from a digital piano. But for entry-level pianos, both instruments surpass their price range’s expectations.

Kawai ES110 comes in 16 tones
Kawai ES110 comes in 16 tones

+Sound Library

The main reason the Kawai ES110 won out when I compared the tones of both pianos was the sound library. Most digital pianos have a limited sound library, and these instruments are no exception. However, you still have more sound options on the Kawai compared to the Alesis.

The Alesis comes pre-loaded with 12 voices. This includes a selection of acoustic and electric piano tones, strings, organ, and bass sounds. As a beginner, these are all the tones you need, and it’s nice that there’s some variety in your options.

That said, the Kawai takes it a step further. This piano comes in 16 tones. And while this isn’t that much more than the Alesis Recital Pro, it offers much more variety. So, if you want to have full control over your tone and how you sound when playing the piano, the Kawai ES110 might be the better pick.

Piano Features

The winner: Kawai ES110

The last comparison point I had for these two pianos was the piano features. And one of the reasons the Kawai ES110 is more expensive is that it has better piano features than the Alesis Recital Pro. With better polyphony and more realistic effects, the Kawai ES110 easily won this comparison.

+Effects

The Alesis Recital Pro comes with more effects than the Kawai ES110. However, the Kawai ES110’s effects are much more realistic than the Recital Pro’s. The Recital Pro has reverb, chorus, and modulation effects. And while these are fun to play around with, they aren’t the most realistic, and you’re likely only going to use the reverb effect when on stage.

The Kawai ES110, however, comes with a great reverb and brilliance effect. If you’re a performing pianist, this is a great set as you get full control over your tone. With reverb, you can add depth and character while changing the tone’s shape and brightness with the brilliance effect.

+Polyphony

For a budget-friendly digital piano, the Recital Pro has decent polyphony. With 128-note maximum polyphony, you can add a lot of emotion to your playing by stepping on the sustain pedal and hearing your notes ring out with great clarity. Most pianos in this price range have 64-note polyphony which means you can be much more expressive with the Recital Pro.

That said, the Kawai ES110 comes with 192-note polyphony. This makes a huge difference and is why even novices and some performing pianists enjoy using this model. You won’t find pianos with more polyphony in this price range, and this is one of the key reasons the Kawai ES110 is one of my favorite models on the market.

The Alesis Recital Pro provides with recording feature
The Alesis Recital Pro provides with recording feature

Kawai ES110 vs Alesis Recital Pro: The Similarities

It may come as a surprise, but these pianos actually have their fair share of similarities. To start, the Kawai ES110 and Alesis Recital Pro are both portable digital pianos. This is great for beginners and pianists on the go as you can easily bring either model with you to rehearsals, lessons, and gigs.

On top of that, the pianos have the same set of playing modes. You can utilize dual mode to layer two different voices on top of each other and duo mode to divide the piano into two mini keyboards. These are great features for beginners and novices alike.

And while they fall under the same price range, the Kawai ES110 comes out on top. If you’re looking for more tonal variety and more piano features, the Kawai ES110 easily wins in this comparison. But if you’re on a tight budget, there’s nothing wrong with the Alesis Recital Pro either.

Quick Rundown of the Kawai ES110

Kawai ES110 88-Key Digital Piano with Speakers - Gloss Black
  • 88-key Digital Stage Piano with Responsive Hammer Compact Action
  • Built-in Stereo Speaker System
  • Bluetooth MIDI pts
  • 192-note Polyphony
  • Dual Split Modes

Last update on 2022-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • One of the best entry-level digital pianos available
  • Great tones
  • Realistic feel
  • Various piano features
  • Gives you a lot of control over your sound
Cons
  • A bit more expensive than other beginner pianos

Quick Rundown of the Alesis Recital Pro

Alesis Recital Pro - 88 Key Digital Piano Keyboard with Hammer Action Weighted Keys, 2x20W Speakers, 12 Voices, Record and Lesson Mode, FX and Display
  • Start playing professional keys today - the ultimate beginners digital piano loaded with 12 expertly crafted voices and powerful educational features
  • Universal responsive feel - 88 premium full-sized hammer action keys with adjustable touch response to suit your preferred playing style
  • Connectivity covered - built-in 20W speakers, ¼” Sustain pedal input (pedal not included), ¼” stereo headphone output for private practice, included power adapter and ¼” stereo outputs
  • Powerful educational features - standard, split, layer, record and Lesson modes with 128-note max polyphony and built in FX: chorus, reverb, modulation
  • Learn piano today - Includes skoove 3 month premium subscription for expert interactive online piano lessons

Last update on 2022-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Very affordable
  • Portable design
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Great piano tones
  • Realistc feel
Cons
  • Limited sound library
  • The piano has plastic keys

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