Yamaha P115 Vs P125 are both digital pianos in the Yamaha P series. “P” stands for “portable”. The P125 was designed to replace the P115 which was discontinued in 2018.
Our task for today, therefore, is to determine whether the P125 is worth the upgrade. Or whether you would be better off sticking to the legendary P115 for a while longer.
Before we move on to the comparison in details, this is going to be quite a long read. So, if you do not have the time to read through the whole review. Check the next three sections below. There, you would find all the information you need to make an informed purchase decision.
Both of these cameras are very similar, with the P125 acting as an elder sibling to the P115. For this upgrade, Yamaha didn’t bother changing the build style, type, or quality. So, these two pianos are very similar in terms of hardware.
They have the same number of keys, 88, the same action “graded hammer action”, the same connectivity ports, and even weigh exactly the same (11.8kg/ 26 pounds). You might not be able to tell these two keyboards apart without diving into them first.
Diving straight into them, we begin to notice the incremental differences that Yamaha added to the P125. It has more voices (24), more rhythms (20), and more demo songs (21). With all these, you get additional playing styles which means more versatility, as well as, more creativity.
The final nail in the coffin is the Smart Pianist App that is only compatible with the P125. The P115, on the other hand, only makes use of a digital controller. While a digital controller is good enough, it does just that, control the piano.
The Smart pianist app, on the other hand, has the ability to do a lot more. First, it can play your Spotify tracks through your piano’s speakers and also give you the chords of whatever song is playing on-screen, so you can play along.
Second, it can save piano settings and modes. Have you ever tried to play a gig and forget what key you transposed to? Or that particular voice you used to rehearse? Well, with the smart pianist app, you can easily save all that into a register and load it up once you set up your keyboard. And voila! Everything is back to exactly the way you want it to be.
Cost To Performance Ratio
Surprisingly, these pianos are not far apart in price. They are both sub $1000 digital pianos and for the quality they offer, that’s pretty reasonable. Yes, they’re not the cheapest digital pianos you can find out there but if you prefer quality over cheap, then you would definitely see these are worth your money.
Comparing the both of them, the P125 is a better economic decision. Although priced slightly higher than the P115, the changes that Yamaha has made to this piano, makes those few bucks feel like chicken change.
However, if you already have the P115, then the better economic decision would be to keep it for a while longer, at least until a much higher upgrade comes around. But if you’re in the market for something new and you have none of this, then get the price of the P115, add a few bucks, and get the P125.
Comparison Table — Yamaha P115 Vs P125
|Music Library||50 songs + 14 demo songs||50 songs + 21 demo songs|
|Number Of Voices||14||24|
|App Integration||Digital Piano Controller App||Smart Pianist App|
What Scenario Is What Piano Best Suited For?
| Both of these digital pianos are excellent for beginners. If you’re looking to learn how to play the acoustic piano, going out and spending a few thousand dollars might not be such a great idea when you are not sure whether it’s something you would want to do in the long term. |
Furthermore, because this has a solid action that is pretty close to the action of an actual acoustic piano, switching from this to an acoustic piano will be a breeze.
This is made possible by the weighted keys with graded hammer action. It makes the lower keys carry more resistance than the higher keys, just like an acoustic piano.
| While the P115 is made mainly for beginners and some intermediates, the progressive changes that the P125 has makes it a solid piano for most intermediate players. |
It’s also a good practice option for most advanced and professional players.
This is made possible by the inclusion of the Smart Pianist App, it’s excellent recording and playback feature, the added voices and rhythms, as well as, the added demo songs available.
Also, because it’s so lightweight and portable, this is a great option for musicians who go on tours or carry their own equipment for gigs.
Yamaha P115 Vs P125 – Features Common To Both Pianos
Because the P125 is only an incremental difference to the P115 and not a complete design change, it is no surprise that both of these pianos bear a lot in common.
In this section, we would be looking at all of those features that you would find in both the P115 and the P125.
88- weighted Keys With Graded Hammer Action
Because these two pianos are digital pianos, the major aim for the manufacturer was to create something as close to the original as possible. So, these digital pianos had to have the same feel as acoustic pianos.
This is why they have 88 keys. Because acoustic pianos also have 88 keys. This means that you maintain the same notes playable, the same pitch range, and the same movement of fingers on both the acoustic and these digital pianos.
Graded Hammer Action
Apart from the number of keys, there is also the feel of the keys. This is where the “graded hammer action” comes in. In an acoustic piano, a hammer hits down on either one, two, or three strings. This is depending on the pitch you are trying to produce. This makes the string vibrate, which then creates the musical note.
This hammer connects to the keys through a lever which makes the keys have some weight and resistance.
Digital pianos do not have the need for this type of mechanical system, as the sound is produced digitally. Therefore, there is a need to mimic that weight and resistance that you would get on the acoustic piano, in the digital piano.
Digital pianos with hammer action keys, like these two- Yamaha P115 Vs P125, use a key mechanism that replicates the feel of the acoustic piano. The resistance is generated by a small hammer attached to the keys, using a lever system.
This is much better than semi-weight keyboards that make use of springs to cause that resistance.
On an acoustic piano, more resistance is felt when trying to play lower notes than higher notes. To replicate this, these two products have “graded hammer action”. Being “graded” means that the lower notes have a heavier touch than the higher notes.
Polyphony Of 192 Notes
Polyphony is basically the number of notes you can play on the keyboard at a particular time. While it might seem like “the more the better”, it often gets to a point where incremental changes don’t actually mean any difference.
For example, having a polyphony of 192 notes is not such a big deal as you only have ten fingers and one pedal. So really, how many notes would you be able to play all at once? This is just one of those features that manufactures use to boost their “specsheets” and convince people who don’t really know to just buy the big numbers.
But is it really that unimportant? Well, for the most part, yes.
If you’re just going to be using this as a regular digital piano, then yes, 192 notes might just be overkill. However, if you’ll be using this with a synthesizer, that’s another story. Watch this quick one-minute video below to get the whole idea:
Recording is a very important feature, especially for beginners and intermediate players. With this, you can easily record yourself playing the piano and then playback to hear what you sound like, or transfer it to your laptop as either a MIDI file, or an audio file.
You can also use it to record two tracks on top of each other, save it on the keyboard, and then export it to your computer or mobile device.
Metronome, Transpose, and Rhythm
Both of these digital pianos come with a metronome and a transpose function. A metronome is used by musicians to mark time at particular predetermined rate.
Unlike a mechanical metronome where you can’t increase volume, this digital metronome is a lot better as it’s coming from your keyboards speakers. This would make it easier to follow, thereby, keeping you in tempo.
Transposing allows you to play whatever song, on whatever key, in the key you’re most comfortable with. Say you can only play on C major, and the song you want to play is on G#. Transpose will enable you play the song in C major, but it would sound like G#.
Unlike a metronome that just gives you a timing to follow, rhythms give you an actual flow and tempo to play your melody on top of. This is great for practice as it would enable you blend easily with other instrumentalists, when the need arises.
Although both of these digital pianos come with rhythms, they aren’t the same number. The P125 comes with 20 rhythms, which is 6 more than the P115 that has just 14 rhythms.
Both of these pianos come with 5 different connection ports.
First is a USB port. This allows you to connect to external devices like phones, tablets, and computers. Connecting to phones and tablets is most important as this is what would enable you use the apps that come with the pianos.
Next is a headphone jack, or two. Both of these digital pianos come with two headphone jacks. With headphones, you can practice for hours without disturbing the peace of everyone around.
Modes- Duo, Split, Dual.
The split, otherwise known as the key split, allows you to assign to different sounds to the keyboard at the same time. So, the upper half of the keyboard has one sound (or voice), while the lower half has another.
For example, the lower half can be used to play the bass notes using an electric bass voice, while the upper half maintains the piano and the melody.
Dual, on the other hand, places one sound on top of another. For example, you can have a piano sound, on top of a “strings” sound. What we are not sure about, though, is whether this piano will allow you to adjust the volumes of the various sounds, however you deem fit.
The final similarity between these two digital pianos is that they both support app integration. The app used with the P115 is the digital piano controller app, while the app used with the P125 is the smart pianist app.
Both of these apps typically work as controllers for the piano. So, they enable you to control things like the voice, tempo, play the songs in the music library, and stuff like that. Basically, it gives you a visual representation of all the functions of the piano.
However, while the app for the P115 is simply a controller app, that is, all it does is control the settings of the piano, the smart pianist app does a whole lot more. Most notable is the function that allows you to play your iTunes collection using the keyboard’s speakers.
As if that’s not futuristic enough, it also shows you the chords on the screen so you can easily play along with your favorite tunes. It’s like Shazam for chords.
Also, you can use the app to save customized sounds and settings into “registrations”. That way, once you get to a gig, you can simply load it up and have the keyboard set to the exact way you left it before.
Yamaha P115 Vs P125 – Features Unique To Each Piano
Alright! Now that we know all the features common to both of these pianos, it’s time to look at the features that make one stand out from the other.
Features Unique To The Yamaha P115
It is in features like this that you begin to notice the superiority of the Yamaha P125. While the Yamaha P125 comes with 24 voices for your perusal, this piano comes with just 14.
The 14 voices it comes with are:
- Grand Piano.
- Bright Piano.
- Mellow Grand.
- DX E. Piano.
- Stage E. Piano.
- Vintage E. Piano.
- Jazz Organ.
- Pipe Organ.
- Rock Organ.
- Wood Bass.
- E. Bass.
For beginners, this is more than enough. However, if you’re an intermediate, or you just recently started playing professionally, then this might just not cut it for you. If that’s the case, be sure to check out the 24 voices available with the P125.
50 Songs In Music Library And 14 Demo Songs
This is another area where you would also notice the superiority of the P125, although, ever so slightly. While these two digital pianos- Yamaha P115 Vs P125, have 50 songs in the song library, this piano, the P115, only has 14 demo songs.
Features Unique To The Yamaha P125
Just like we mentioned earlier, the Yamaha P125 is clearly superior in this respect. This is because it has 10 more voices, compared to the P115. The 24 voices available with this piano are listed below:
- Grand Piano
- Live Grand
- Ballad Grand
- Bright Grand
- Stage E. Piano
- DX E. Piano
- E. Piano
- Synth Piano
- Jazz Organ Rock Organ
- Organ Principal
- Organ Tutti
- E. Clavichord
- Slow Strings
- Synth Pad
- Acoustic Bass
- Electric Bass
- Bass & Cymbal
- Fretless Bass
50 Piano Songs, 21 Demo Songs
Carrying the same number of songs in the music library, this piano has 7 more demo songs than the P115. This means more options for you to choose from and more variety to play with.
Yamaha P115 Vs P125 – Unique Pros
- It’s more affordable.
- More voices to play with (24- 10 more than the Yamaha P115).
- 21 demo songs. 7 more than is available on the Yamaha P115.
- 20 rhythms available. 6 more than is available on the Yamaha P115
- Ability to “Shazam” the chords of your favorite iTunes song with the smart pianist app.
- You can save keyboard settings and modes in a register which you can easily load up once you’re at your gig.
Yamaha P115 Vs P125 – Unique Cons
- Only 14 voices available.
- Only 14 demo songs available.
- Only 14 rhythms available.
- Digital Piano Controller App has only basic piano control functions.
- More expensive.
Yamaha P115 Vs P125 – Common Pros
|Lightweight|| Both of these digital pianos are lightweight, weighing in at just 26 pounds (11.8kg). |
Being that both of these belong to the “portable” series, this doesn’t come as a surprise to us.
With this, you can easily pick up and carry your keyboard wherever you go, without having to worry about its weight.
|Same as the P115.|
|Number of Keys|| Because the idea of a digital piano is to mimic the acoustic piano as well as it can, it is really good that both of these digital pianos come with the exact same number of keys like acoustic pianos (88 keys). |
This means that you get the same number of pitches, as well as, the same number of notes playable.
|Same as the P115.|
|Weighted Keys With Graded Hammer Action|| Also to mimic the feel of acoustic pianos, these two digital pianos come with “weighted keys”. |
This gives them enough weight and resistance to make them feel like an actual acoustic piano.
Furthermore, because it’s graded, the lower ends have more resistance, compared to the higher notes. Which is exactly the same on acoustic pianos.
|Same as the P115.|
|Recording and playback|| This is one feature that is really good for practicing. You can easily record yourself, playback what you sound like, and tweak things to make it better. |
Also, you can record one sound on top of another and play a harmony, all by yourself.
|Same as the P115.|
|Metronome, transpose, and rhythm.|| These three work together to make sure you can play every song regardless of the speed, key, and rhythm, respectively. |
The metronome helps you to rehearse your timing. Transpose helps you play any song on a key you’re comfortable with, and rhythms give you something to make a melody on top of when you’re just starting out creating music.
|Same as the P115.|
|Ease of Use|| Because both of these digital pianos have app integration, it makes using them super easy. |
You can easily use the app to control all the settings on the piano visually. It’s more intuitive, and super fun.
It uses the digital piano controller app.
|It uses the Smart Pianist App.|
|External Connectivity|| With a USB port, 2 headphone jacks, line out port, and a sustain pedal jack. |
What more connectivity could you ask for?
|Same as the P115.|
Yamaha P115 Vs P125 – Common Cons
|No Bluetooth Connectivity|| Although both of these pianos come with enough ports for wired connectivity options, it’s quite sad that neither of them comes with built-in Bluetooth connectivity. |
With Bluetooth connectivity, it would have been easier to connect your phone to the piano, in order to use the controller app.
Also, the world is ditching the cords, why can’t we follow suit and just stick to chords?
|Same as the P115.|
|Limited Sound Selection||This is slightly worse than the P125. With only 14 options to choose from, there are hardly any sounds available on this piano, compared to some other digital pianos.||Even with 24 voice options available, this is still not on per with some of the other digital pianos out there.|
|Sustain Footswitch is not the Best||The sustain footswitch that comes with these pianos is quite disappointing. This seems to be a recurring problem in this Yamaha’s P series.||Same as the P115.|
|No LCD Screen|| To be fair, this one is not very common to pianos in this price range. |
But just so we don’t hide anything from you, neither of these pianos comes with an LCD screen.
However, that shouldn’t be much of a problem as you can easily use the app integration.
|Same as the P115.|
What Do People Think About Them?
|First, it is important for you to note that the people who buy this piano are mostly beginners and intermediate players.||The P125 is also a piano for beginners, as well as, intermediates. However, it’s added features also make this a great practice guitar for professionals.|
|Some beginners had a problem with the weighted keys as it sure needs some getting used to. However, intermediates who have handled real acoustic pianos really love how close the feel of this keyboard gets to the real thing.||People who bought this piano said that its action feels so much like a real acoustic piano. This is definitely a huge compliment as that is what digital pianos are made to do.|
|A lot of people also loved the portability of this piano. It’s light enough to carry around for playing gigs and traveling. But it’s also sturdy enough to play without any shakes.||Talking about the voices available with this piano, customers had quite a number of things to say. People felt like the organs had nice sounds. However, the strings and electric piano voices were “kinda cheesy” in their own words.|
| Another thing people didn’t fail to mention about this piano is its elegant design. Nothing extra on the body, just all the necessities. |
Couple this with its stand, and this makes a great looking furniture for the home.
| Just like we mentioned in our common cons, a lot of people complained about the flimsiness of the sustain pedal that comes with this piano. |
In fact, one customer called it a “cheap plastic piece of crap”. Their words, not ours. So, if you decide to get this piano, you might want to consider swapping out the pedal for something better.
|One problem people had with this piano, though, is that the speakers are not very loud. However, that can be easily fixed by either connecting some headphones with the headphone jack or connecting the piano to an external speaker.||Intermediates, as well as professionals, we’re happy to play with the number of voices available and the recording feature.|
|All in all, a lot of people who purchased this product were happy that they did.||All in all, people who purchased this product loved it, despite its one or two flaws.|
What Do We Think?
Like we said at the beginning, this is not an argument on whether the P125 is better than the P115. The P125 is an upgrade of the P115, so definitely, it is better. The real argument is whether the P125 is worth the upgrade. And to that, here’s our conclusion:
The price difference between these two pianos is surprising not so much. So, if you don’t own either of them and you’re looking at getting a digital piano for yourself, then the P125 is obviously the better choice.
You would get more voices and rhythms to play with, updated hardware, and best of all, the Smart Pianist App.
However, if you currently have the P115, then we do not think there’s any need to go out and get the P125. You would be much better off keeping the P115 for a while longer, at least until a much more upgraded version comes.
The upgrade on the P125, while it’s good, we don’t think it’s good enough to go out and spend so much money on it, when you already have a solid piano in the P115.
With that said, the decision is left for you to make: