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Kawai ES8 vs Kawai MP7 Review

Do you love to play music, but can’t afford a grand piano or squeeze one into your space? No problem—you’re going to love the versatile sound and true to life action of Kawai digital piano keyboards. Let’s take a look at two of their top models to see which one will be the best for you.

Kawai ES8 Digital Home Piano

Kawai ES8

Kawai ES8

Kawai and Yamaha are competitors. Both are well-known Japanese manufacturers of musical instruments. But where Yamaha can be very pricey for top quality quality features, Kawai will surprise you with their affordability. The ES8 is a perfect example of this.

The ES8 digital home piano is a replacement for the popular ES7 that was retired. You might run into either model in your school, a church, or even a university classroom. Some musicians consider the ES8 the best digital piano available on the the market. A lot of that comes from its excellent playability.

The playability comes from the natural, responsive key movement that comes from the counterweights and electronic sensors on every key. You can feel the let-off, or escapement, when you gently press down one of the 88 keys just like you would on an acoustic piano. You can repeat a note, play trills, and so much more just like on a grand piano. Plus, each key is covered in synthetic ivory that gives them a pleasant texture and a matte finish.

Since it’s a digital piano, the ES8 also has electronic features that expand its capability considerably. It has 34 voices with 256 note layers, with 8 built-in real piano sounds including concert grands and an upright. The Virtual Technician feature lets you adjust the sounds to perfection, from string resonance to reverb.

But like many digital pianos, you can also choose accompaniment with rhythm, or fool around with fun effects that make the ES8 sound like an organ and other instruments. If you plug in a USB connection or a thumb drive, you can record your music, play MIDI files, and overdub a pre-existing soundtrack. The accompaniment feature lets you become a “one-man band.” And don’t worry about the neighbors hearing the built-in speakers—simply plug in your headphones so only you can listen to your masterpiece.

More features of the Kawai ES8 Home Digital Piano:

  • Comes with a music rack, F-10H damper pedal, power cord, and manual
  • It’s possible to purchase a carrying case and other pedals separately


Kawai MP7 Professional Stage Piano

Kawai MP7

Kawai MP7

Like the Kawai ES8, the MP7 has very realistic key action with let-off from counterweights and three sensors on each key. Experienced pianists are shocked at how real this keyboard feels and how beautiful it sounds. But unlike the ES8, the MP7 doesn’t have built-in speakers.

The MP7 has Kawai’s Harmonic Imaging XL feature with 88-key sampling and expanded memory. It captures and plays each note instead of stretching any of them digitally. This makes the tone, the sustain, and the resonance sound like an acoustic piano instead of an electronic keyboard. You can also adjust the sounds to suit just like you can on the ES8, from resonance and reverb to decay and sustain. Part of the special effects on the MP7 get even more specialized—you can actually adjust the sound to simulate opening, lifting, lowering, and closing the lid of a grand piano.

Enjoy imitating a range of instruments like vintage electric pianos, stringed instruments, organs, and uprights. The MP7 has 256 notes of polyphony plus a 16-track MIDI playback system so it’s a master MIDI controller piano. Create layers of sound with the built-in mixer, and record your music in WAV or mp3 formats.Hook up your iPad with Garage Band to make rich compositions with percussion and other instruments. The MP7 takes the impressive abilities of the ES8 and expands them far enough to make pro musicians happy.

More features of the Kawai MP7 Professional Stage Piano:

  • Comes with two audio inputs for a microphone and more
  • Has a larger LCD display than the ES8



If you’re a professional musician, take a look at the Kawai MP7. Chances are you’ll find it perfect for performances and practicing off-stage, too.

If you’re a budding performer playing at home, the Kawai ES8 is a fantastic instrument for its price.

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