Yamaha P115 vs P125: Which Upgrade To Yamaha’s Best-Selling P105 Is Right For You?

yamaha p115 vs p125
Both pianos are upgraded versions of the best-selling P105. Though very similar, we explore key differences in our Yamaha P115 vs P125 comparison.

Get ready for another battle royale comparison: the Yamaha P115 vs P125

If you’re looking for a portable digital piano that sounds as authentic as a full-size acoustic piano (without taking up the entire living room) then there’s no doubt one of these brilliantly made Yamaha digital pianos will fulfill that need.

Before we get to know about our contenders, let’s get a good look at Yamaha.

About Yamaha

Yamaha is the industry-leader and has been churning out high-quality instruments for over 100 years:

  • 1887: Torakusu Yamaha built his first reed organ prototype after completing a repair. 
  • 1897: Nippon Gakki Co., Ltd was established.
  • 1900: Production of upright pianos had begun. 
  • 1959: Production began of the electronic organ. (Technically the first electronic keyboard)
  • 1974: Yamaha released their first synthesizer, SY-1.
  • 1983: Marks the release of the first digital piano, the YP-40.

Yamaha knows a thing or two about pianos. It takes reliability and integrity as well as innovation to sustain for well over 100 years.  

In March of 2018 Yamaha sold $4,075,367 in musical instruments with the P105 as its top-selling digital piano.

Clearly, people trust Yamaha.

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Upgrading a Best Seller

While the P105 is Yamaha’s top seller, setting a high standard, why fix what isn’t broken? 

Well, in 2015, Yamaha rolled out the P115.

To better understand the P115, let’s take a look at its base and inspiration: the top-selling P105.

Yamaha P105

The P105 was released in 2012 and is an improved version of their entry-level Yamaha P45.

(Yamaha also makes a P71, which is suspiciously similar to their P45. We look at both in our Yamaha P71 vs P45 comparison.)

The P105 boasts the following features:

  • 88 note Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) keyboard
  • Piano sound recorded from Yamaha’s CFIIIS concert grand piano
  • 10 basic drum patterns
  • 10 piano styles (arpeggio, swing, blues, etc.)
  • Black and white color options
  • USB to host
  • AUX line out
  • 14 voices
  • 14W, 2-way stereo speaker system
  • Intelligent Acoustic Control EQ
  • 128-note polyphony
  • 1-year warranty

The list goes on and on.

To sum it up, the P105 does it all…and just a hair short of doing the dishes. 

yamaha digital piano

Yamaha P115

With a pretty sturdy foundation set, what made Yamaha decide, three years later, to release an updated version?

Technological advancements were being made and without a doubt Yamaha knew the only way to stay in the game was to keep up with it. 

What Stayed the Same

  • 88 key Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) keyboard
  • The Pure CF Sound Engine
  • 10 piano styles
  • Black and White color options
  • USB to host
  • AUX line out
  • 14 Voices
  • 14W, 2-way, stereo speaker system
  • Intelligent Acoustic Control EQ

What Changed

  • Sound Boost Feature
  • 192-note polyphony
  • 4 speakers, rather than 2
  • Digital Piano Controller application for Apple devices
  • 14 basic drum patterns
  • MIDI support
  • 2 Headphone jacks
  • 3 Year Warranty 

Yamaha P125

Once again, it’s time for an upgrade. The P115 was discontinued in 2018 with the release of the P125. Take comfort in the fact that the originating blueprint does come from the P105, carried to the P115, so the P125 can only get better.

Right?

Let’s take a look at the basic features.

  • 88 key Graded hammer standard (GHS)
  • 71 preset songs (21 demo, 50 piano)
  • USB to host line
  • AUX out 
  • 2 x 6.3mm (¼”) front-facing headphone jacks
  • 24 voices
  • The Pure CF Sound Engine
  • 24 different voices

Once again, Yamaha didn’t make drastic changes to make the upgrade completely unrecognizable from its origins.

Users who enjoyed the P105 will still have all the features and the signature sound they love, as will the users of the P115. This makes the transition smoother for existing users looking to upgrade, and it entices new owners with a bit of comfort knowing that this 3rd gen model comes from what is now considered a classic.

Yamaha P115 vs P125: The Showdown Begins

Now that we’ve gotten to know the history of Yamaha and a fair amount of specs on our contenders, it’s time to get them into the ring and see who comes out victorious.

So, which is better in our Yamaha P115 vs P125 comparison?

Weight & Size

P115P125
Width52-3/16″52-3/16″
Depth11-5/8″11-5/8″
Height6-7/16″6-9/16″
Weight26 lbs 3 oz26 lbs

We’ve found our first two subtle differences. Or are they minute that it doesn’t even matter at all? 

The P125 is smaller and weighs less. By a hair. Then again, if you’re checking in luggage to board a plane, that three ounces could make a difference.

Keyboard

In both instances, the Yamaha P115 vs P125 keyboards offer matte black key tops, GHS (Graded Hammer Standard), and four settings for touch sensitivity (soft, medium, hard, fixed).

What is Graded Hammer Standard (GHS)?

GHS provides a heavier touch in the low end and lighter touch in the high end, similar to the keys of an acoustic piano. It is best “suited for the beginner pianist and delivers the graded, weighted touch piano teachers recommend for building proper technique for playing acoustic pianos.”

yamaha digital piano keyboard

Effects & Functions

Both models offer The Pure CF Sound Engine, 192 max polyphony, damper resonance, Intelligent Acoustic Control (IAC), four reverb types, sound boost, dual, split, and duo. 

Dual

Dual lets you play two voices simultaneously (layer) across the entire range of the keyboard. So no matter what note you play, you’ll hear both voices. You can also edit both the octaves and volume of each voice independently.

Split

Split allows you to assign one voice to the left side of the keyboard and a second voice to the right side. it’s perfect for bringing together two different voice types–for example, a bass and piano, or maybe even add in some strings. 

Duo

This function allows two different players to play the instrument, one on the left and the other on the right, over the same octave range. Sounds played with the left voice are played from the left speaker, and sounds played with the right voice are played from the right speaker.

Stereophonic Optimizer

The P125 has a Stereophonic Optimizer…something that the P115 lacks

How does Stereophonic Optimization work? 

When using headphones, the Stereophonic Optimizer lets players enjoy the same dispersed sound heard when sitting in front of an acoustic piano. It adjusts the spacing of the sound and the separation from the digital piano, resulting in a spacious surround sound quality.

Voices & Styles

P115P125
Voices/Presets1424
Songs14 demo songs
50 piano songs
21 demo songs
50 piano songs
Styles1010

Now we’re getting into some competitive action.

  • The P115 has only 14 preset voices while the P125 has 24.
  • The P125 offers a wider variety of types of each voice.

Aside from just piano, both the P115 and the P125 offer organ, vibraphone, and harpsichord sounds. The P125 steps it up and introduces synth voices, choir voices, and more options for piano, organ, bass, and string voices. 

P115P125
Grand PianoYesYes
Bright GrandYesYes
Mellow GrandYesNo
Ballad GrandYesYes
Live GrandNoYes
DX E. PianoYesYes
Stage E. PianoYesYes
Vintage E. PianoYesYes
Synth PianoNoYes
Jazz OrganYesYes
Pipe OrganYesNo
Rock OrganYesYes
Principal OrganNoYes
Tutti OrganNoYes
VibraphoneYesYes
HarpsichordYesYes
Harpsichord 8′ +4NoYes
E. ClavichordNoYes
Wood BassYesNo
E. BassYesYes
StringsYesYes
Slow StringsNoYes
ChoirNoYes
Synth PadNoYes

Also, the “Styles” feature has not been carried over to the P125. It was discontinued with the P115. 

The styles feature made it possible for you to automatically play rhythmic arpeggios by specifying the chord type with your left hand while playing a melody with your right hand.

Demo Songs

The P125 has 21 voice demo songs while the P115 has 14.

Both offer 50 preset songs from artists such as Bach, Chopin, Beethoven, Mozart, and more.

While most of the songs are the same, there are a few that differ.

Also, organization of songs in the P115 is done alphabetically while songs in the P125 are sorted first by arrangements, then duets, and lastly original composition. Instead, each section is done alphabetically.

It may be a minor inconvenience that as a whole you can’t scroll alphabetically on the P125.

Accompaniment Rhythm

An accompaniment rhythm goes beyond the “tick” “tick” “tick” “tock” of a metronome. These are style-specific beats and backing sounds that are played on repeat until you turn them off.

Maybe hearing and playing to a beat will help you play more in time, or maybe you just want to experience playing with those other elements more so than just on your own. 

P115P125
8-Beat 1YesYes
8-Beat 2YesNo
8-Beat BalladNoYes
8-Slow RockYesYes
16-Beat 1YesYes
16-Beat 2YesNo
16-Beat ShuffleYesNo
Shuffle 1YesYes
Shuffle 2NoYes
Shuffle 3NoYes
GospelNoYes
DiscoYesNo
SwingYesYes
Fast JazzNoYes
Slow JazzNoYes
Jazz WaltzYesYes
SambaYesYes
Bossa NovaYesYes
Latin PopYesNo
RumbaNoYes
SalsaNoYes
MarchNoYes
Kids PopNoYes
Christmas SwingNoYes
Christmas 3-4NoYes

The P125 comes out on top by offering more individual beats and variations of existing rhythms. 

Similarities between the P115 vs P125

In the next couple of categories, we’ll be reviewing features that both of the portable digital pianos have in common. 

Recording

How about recording your composition? Both models offer the ability to record one user song with two tracks, a data capacity of 100 kb/Song (approx. 11,000 notes), and offers a compatible data format of .SMF. 

Controls

Again, we have no differences as both the P115 and P125 offer identical abilities when it comes to transposing up/down an octave, standards for tuning, a time-keeping metronome, and the parameters of the tempo speed/beats per minute.

  • Transpose: -6 – 0 – +6
  • Fine Tuning: 414.8 – 440.0 – 466.8 Hz
  • Metronome
  • Tempo: 5 – 280

Connectivity

You’ll find a suitable number of inputs and outputs on both the P115 and P125.

  • 2 standard headphone jacks
  • Sustain pedal port
  • USB to host
  • AUX output to run line in to a soundboard, D.I. box, or keyboard amp

Speakers & Amplifier

A very crucial part of a portable digital piano is not only the sounds that go into it, but how those sounds come out. 

Yamaha offers 2 x 7W amplifiers, one dedicated to each set of speakers.

For speakers, you get more than the standard two. Both models come equipped with 2 x 12cm and 2 x 4cm speakers. By offering four total speakers, you end up with two speakers dedicated to low- and mid-range frequencies and two speakers (tweeters) dedicated to handling higher-range frequencies. The benefit is a more full-spectrum sound. 

Power Supply

Again, both models share the use of a standard AC power adapter and the auto power-off function. Should you ever need to walk away from your piano and forget to turn it off, no worries. After a certain duration of inactivity, the device will power itself off. 

If you like that power-saving feature, it may interest you to know that the power consumption for the P115 is 6W while the P125 is 9W.

Yamaha P115 vs P125: Final Thoughts

That was a lot of information!

But now you’re ready to decide between the Yamaha P115 vs P125.

So, who’s the winner? 

Well, that’s up to you. It comes down to a choice based on features, and features are all a matter of personal preference. 

Who would want the Yamaha P115?

For a beginner with no experience at all, the Yamaha P115 comes with all the right features to learn, study, and begin your musical education. 

But hobbyists or professionals may want the P115 too. Does any of the following sound like you?

  • You want something to set up quickly and play with basic voices.
  • You want something easy to practice at home.
  • You want a backup digital piano.

In any of those cases, the P115 is your winner.

Who would want the Yamaha P125?

For those who want a portable digital piano that offers more songs, more voices, MIDI support, and more sound enhancements for use as their main instrument, the Yamaha P125 will be the best option. 

Overall, the “styles” feature is very useful and it’s somewhat disappointing that it’s not available on the P125.

However, the addition of more voices and sound enhancements on the P125 does make it pretty appealing.

Since I’m having a hard time deciding, let’s have a little fun. In the comments section below let us know which model you prefer: the P115 or the P125.

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