Casio CDP-S110 review – A Piano You’ll Love or Hate?

Check out my Casio CDP-S360 review!

If you’re in need of a good Casio CDP-S110 review that will assess this piano inside and out and provide you with everything you need to know about, well, you’re in luck.  I had the opportunity to test out the Casio CDP-S110 recently, and in this review, I’m going to share my experience with this piano, break down all of the positives and negatives, and help you determine if this piano is worth your money.

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Casio CDP-S360128 Notes of Polyphony

Casio CDP-S110 review – First Impressions

This section will be everything — good and bad — that went through my head the moment that I first laid eyes on this instrument.  Sometimes first glances are pretty accurate and other times, I’m left surprised.  So let’s see how this instrument stacks up.

For the CDP-S110, my first impressions were that I liked its sleek and minimal design.   It doesn’t seem like a complicated instrument and rightfully so since this is an entry-level model aimed mostly toward beginners and maybe intermediate players on a budget. 

At $399 it also seems like a pretty good bargain to me.  The CDP-S110 doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles; the only buttons on its panel are on the left side.

It does have a volume knob, which isn’t my favorite (I prefer sliders) but on a budget keyboard that isn’t a big shock, and, when I spun it, it did have pretty adequate resistance. The lack of buttons might lead to some user interface confusion, but that’s for a later section of this article.

A thing of note was that I really appreciate Casio texturing their keys, even on pianos at this lower price point.  A very nice touch that gives this instrument a little extra class.

First Glance Rating: 10/10

The Sound

And now for the categories that have a little more weight to them.

The sound your new digital piano makes should be a sound that you love to hear. And it should certainly be something that, as best as it can, replicates the sound you’d hear from a traditional piano.

And if you’re considering the Casio CDP-S110, then you’ll be pleased to hear that it sounds pretty good.  With two oval-shaped 8W speakers on its back — one at each end — you’re guaranteed plenty of sound.

Even though the speakers are on the back and the demo that I tried was up against a wall, I still had no trouble hearing the instrument. The sound carries very nicely.

And for its low price point, the voices are pretty good too. There are ten different voices in total, including the standard piano voice. Now, if you’re deciding between the Casio CDP-S110 vs Casio CDP-S100, it’s worth nothing that the extra bit of processing power that the CDP-S110 is packing gives it a subtle improvement over its predecessor. 

The decay (amount of time it takes for a note to fade out) is a little longer and more natural and the velocity (the way a note responds to your playing) is a bit more accurate.

Overall, not bad at all. The three piano voices this instrument has are rich and warm and while the string and organ options are a little less natural, they sound better than a lot of piano offerings at this price point. 

A bit on the MIDI side and the bass got a little muddy at times, but this is a beginner instrument and I think the sound that it offers is pretty darn good.

Sound Rating: 7/10

The Touch

A piano’s touch — or action — is how the keys respond to your playing.  A light touch should have the notes ring out softly while a harder touch should draw out more sound. It also describes the way the keys feel under your fingertips.

I’ve talked a lot how key action before, so if you’d like to learn more about that, I’d advise you to check out this helpful article: Which Digital Piano Has the Best Key Action

In short, a good digital piano should have weighted keys that mimic the same amount of effort it takes to press down the keys of a real acoustic piano. This is very important, because if you continually practice on a piano with unweighted keys and inaccurate action and velocity, then you rob yourself of the opportunity to develop the right technique and skills you need to perform delicate and beautiful music.

A keyboard with bad action is a concern.  But, luckily, the CDP-S110 gives you no cause for concern.

The action is pretty good on this instrument. Even at its lower price point, the CDP-S110 is rocking Casio’s Scaled Hammer Action II key action system.

The built-in sensors make sure that the keys behave like real keys when pressed down and respond dynamically to your touch. Even with rapid playing, the sensors keep up and your playing experience is accurate.

Now with that said, I did feel like the action was a bit on the light side. But since that is very common in beginner pianos (and probably intentional), I’m not going to fault Casio for that.

And, as mentioned before, the textured keys are a definite plus and not something you usually see on instruments at this price point.

Overall, I was pretty impressed.

Touch Rating: 8/10

Portability

This section will be focused on how easily the Casio CDP-S110 is to lug around with you.  This is especially important if you’re planning on gigging with your new instrument or at least playing at more than one location on a regular basis.

So, how portable is the CDP-S110?  Well, considering that CDP stands for “Compact Digital Piano,” it seems like this instrument was designed to be as compact and portable as possible.

Weighing in at just over 23 pounds, the CDP-S110 is slim and lightweight and shouldn’t be much trouble carrying around. It comes with a digital pedal and a removable music stand so it’s easy to slip it and its accessories into a case (sold separately) like the one below and transport in your trunk or backseat.

If you’re gigging, I also recommend purchasing an adjustable keyboard stand.

It makes performing so much easier by allowing you to play at whatever height is most comfortable. And it won’t hurt your CDP-S110’s portability much because it’s lightweight and folds up flat for easy transport and storage.

And even if the case and the stand are all you choose to buy, the CDP-S110’s speakers are helpfully positioned on the back of the instrument so a small audience should have no trouble hearing you even without an amp. 

And if the power goes out?   Well, that won’t stop you either (unless you’re reading music) because the CDP-S110 is also capable of running for 13 hours on 6 AA batteries. 

So, if gigging is going to be your main use, don’t worry. This instrument has you covered.

Portability Rating: 10/10

Features

And now we come to the features!  For many people, the features are the most fun part of owning a digital piano.  A digital piano can mimic and morph into other instruments, allowing you to create a magical playing experience that simply cannot be replicated on a typical acoustic piano.

And while the CDP-S110 is a beginner instrument, it still has enough to keep you busy.

Connections:

As shown here, there are connections for that sustain pedal we discussed earlier (labeled damper pedal) as well as USB, headphones, and a jack to hook up to an amp.

Pretty standard for most digital pianos. My only complaint is that the headphone jack is in the back of the instrument instead of in the front for convenience. But it’s a minor complaint.

The USB port will allow you to connect the CDP-S110 straight to your computer and to a DAW (digital audio workstation), so if recording and mixing are what you do best, you’ll have no problem doing it with this instrument. 

And to take your practicing and performing to the next level, your piano also comes with a supporting app that lets you adjust volume, voices, functions, and more from your phone by connecting with a simple aux cable.

Functions:

As for the CDP-S110’s functions, it’s pretty standard too.  Like most digital pianos, it can play in split-layer, which allows for two voices at the same time when a key is played.   Very nice for accompanying and playing duets.

As mentioned previously, it’s got 10 different voices, including three piano variations as well as other offerings like harpsichord, jazz organ, pipe organ, and strings. It’s also got a nice reverb effect that mimics the echo you might hear in a concert hall, as well as a chorus effect to make it seem like more than one voice is playing at once for a fuller and wider sound.

Very nice.

Data:

There is no recording function on the CDP-S110, so you won’t be able to store any songs in your piano’s memory other than the two demo songs it comes pre-programmed with. But, as mentioned earlier, if recording is your jam, then that shouldn’t stop you.

Use the USB connection and record straight into a DAW to store your tunes.

User Interface:

Any time I see a minimal design and no screen on a digital piano, I wonder if it’s going to be difficult to navigate to the voices and functions that I want.  But while the CDP-S110 is pretty minimal in the buttons department, it wasn’t too difficult to navigate once I got the hang of it.  There’s a bit of a learning curve, but the button variations are pretty clearly marked.

Do you like the Casio CDP-S110's features?

Just hold down the Function button on the left and choose the corresponding key. So, even without the Casio Chordana Play app, you shouldn’t have too much trouble figuring out what key does what when you’re changing voices and functions.

This is an entry-level instrument, so there isn’t a huge number of variations to choose from. With a little practice, you should have it down in no time.

Features Rating: 6/10

Casio CDP-S110 vs Casio CDP-S360

The Casio CDP-S110 vs Casio CDP-S360: Which do you choose?

The CDP-S110 is often compared to the CDP-S360, another beginner to intermediate option offered by Casio. So, how does the S110 stack up to the S360?  Well, the Casio CDP-S360 is $100 more and there are pretty stark differences.

For one, the S360 has a nice backlit LCD screen that makes it easier to navigate and see what you’re doing in low lighting. 

On top of that, there’s a nifty pitch-bending wheel for more realistic voicing and a fun effect to add to your music.  It’s also got the ability to record songs and store them internally. And while the S360 doesn’t have a lot of memory, the S110 does not have this ability at all.

The S360 can also play in two more functions (split-layer, as well as duet mode and dual mode) and it has several more voices and effects as well as the ability to connect to Bluetooth, though you’ll need to purchase a separate adapter to do this.

But one must remember that the S110 is more of a beginner instrument, so to give it a more beginner-friendly price, it’s really only packing the essentials.  So, if you think the S360’s extra features are worth plunking down $100 more, then go for it. If you’re content with the S110’s offerings, then save your money and put it towards some awesome sheet music (or something else you’d like or need).

Casio CDP-S110 Review Wrap Up

So, now that you’ve read my Casio CDP-S110 review, are you convinced that this is the right instrument for you?  Hopefully so, as you’ll definitely get getting a quality beginner friendly piano.

To be fair, I think you’d be much happier with something like the Casio CDP-S360, especially because it has a LCD screen.  But, if you can find the CDP-S110 for a nice price, you can’t go wrong.  

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