I’m back from my trip to Brussels and am really excited because I’ve finally been able to put my hands on the latest additions to Korg’s line of home digital pianos.
I’m talking of course about the new C1 Air and G1 Air, which have become quite a sensation since their release and are a big step forward for Korg.
Not that Korg never made good digital pianos before, but these two models are something very new for the company.
Korg is known for their professional grade stage pianos, which are highly prized and have become kind of an industry standard over the years.
But when it comes to lower-end (home) market, their digital pianos haven’t been as successful and have been having a hard time competing with brands like Yamaha, Roland or Kawai.
Even their popular LP-380, which is a great piano on its own, is often overlooked because it doesn’t offer nearly as many features and connectors as its competitors.
The good news is that Korg has learned from its mistakes and I should say upfront that the C1 Air and G1 Air are very competitive digital pianos in their price ranges, and you should definitely put them on your list of contenders.
The G1 Air is the flagship model in the line and the center of our attention today.
Korg G1 Air Specs
- 88 fully weighted keys
- Real Weighted Hammer Action 3 (RH3)
- Touch Sensitivity: adjustable 4 types, Off
- LED screen
- Sound: Stereo PCM
- 120-note polyphony
- 32 instrument sounds (9 pianos)
- 40 preset piano songs
- Reverb, Brilliance, Chorus (3 types each)
- Piano sound elements: Damper Resonance, String Resonance, Key Off Simulation
- Modes: Split, Dual, Partner Mode
- 2-track MIDI recorder (up to 99 songs)
- Metronome, Transpose, Fine-tuning
- Speakers: 2 x 12 cm (2 x 20 W) + 2 x 5 cm (2 x 20 W)
- Connectors: USB to Host, MIDI In/Out, Headphone jacks (2), Audio Out (mini jack), Bluetooth (Audio)
- 134 x 38.4 x 98.5 cm (53” x 15.1” x 38.7”)
- 41 kg (90 lbs)
Check the availability and current price of the Korg G1 Air in your region:
Among all digital pianos I’ve seen in this price range, the G1 Air appeals to me the most as far as design is concerned.
You can really see that Korg has put a lot of work into making this instrument look elegant and unique.
I can’t think of another digital piano in this price range with a similar design.
The G1 is designed with attention to details: curved lines, piano style lid, and beautiful front legs, which make the instrument look even more classy and expensive.
The piano is also very slim and will easily fit into limited spaces such as dorm room, bedroom or even a hallway.
The cabinet itself is only 11.42” deep, but keep in mind that anti-tipping brackets designed to enhance the stability of the G1 Air increase its depth to 15.12”.
The thing to remember is that despite its slim “airy” design, the G1 is quite heavy with a total weight of 90.39 lbs.
And while the assembly is not very complicated, you’ll most likely need a second person to help you unpack the box and put everything together (especially the part when you’ll need to put the keyboard on top of the base)
The lid of the G1 Air serves not only as a keyboard cover but also as a music stand when opened. It allows you to put music across the whole width of the piano, which is very convenient.
The soft-close mechanism prevents the lid from being slummed shut and keeps your fingers safe, which is especially important if you have children around.
The lid’s mechanism also ensures slow opening so that it doesn’t damage the cabinet when you let it fall back.
The build quality of the G1 Air is top notch.
Unlike most digital piano brands (Yamaha, Roland, Casio, etc.), which produce their pianos in China, the Korg produces their G1 models in Japan, and offers a 5-year warranty.
It doesn’t automatically make the G1 a better and a higher quality piano (quality control is something major brands focus on, no matter where the factory is located), but it’s still nice to have a digital piano designed and produced in the country where quality means everything.
So potentially the Korg G1 will last longer than any other brand. Well, time will tell.
The G1 Air comes with a 3-pedal unit that includes Sustain, Soft, and Sostenuto pedals.
The quality of the pedals is very satisfying. They provide a nice resistance and feel very similar to those found in a grand piano.
Moreover, more advanced pianists will appreciate the half-pedaling support, which allows you to control the amount of sustain applied to the notes (rather than simple on/off operation).
The G1 Air is available in 3 colors, which is quite rare for digital pianos in this price range.
There is matte black, matte white and wood grain brown color, which I really like for its beautiful wooden texture.
The control panel of the instrument is located in the center piano. It includes 18 buttons, a volume knob, and a small display.
Everything is pretty standard here: dedicated buttons for 3 main piano tones, recording features, metronome, split mode and for a few others functions.
The thing I didn’t quite like about the control panel is that it gets marked up with fingerprints and grease very easily, especially on black and brown version of the piano.
The display is quite small and basic. It helps navigate through the built-in tones and songs, but I wouldn’t call it very intuitive.
You’ll still need to read the manual to understand what all those characters mean and how to get to a certain parameter.
The Korg G1 Air is equipped with the best hammer action in Korg’s arsenal, and it’s called the Real Weighted Hammer Action 3 (RH3).
The RH3 has been around for quite a while, and Korg continues to use it in its top of the range keyboards and workstations including Korg Kronos.
Over the years, the RH3 has proven to be a reliable, nice-to-the-touch action, which is used by many professional musicians.
The RH3 has a nice medium weight, which makes it suitable for a wide range of playing styles starting from classical piano and ending with fast organ and synth passages.
I like how quick and responsive the action is. It’s a bit lighter than Casio’s Tri-sensor Hammer Action II and Yamaha’s GH/GH3, which are more on the heavier side.
The RH3 is a fully weighted hammer-action keyboard, which uses graded hammer system to recreate the feel of a real acoustic piano action.
Unlike the competitor actions from Casio (Tri-sensor hammer action II) and Yamaha (GH3), which use 3-sensor detection system, the RH3 utilizes two-sensor technology.
The 3rd sensor is usually added to facilitate playing quick passages and allows for faster note repetition.
In practice, the difference is not that obvious, and in case of the G1 Air, I didn’t have any problems playing fast repetitions.
The keyboard is divided into 4 weight zones. The keys on the left side of the keyboard feel heavier than on the right side, mimicking that characteristic of an acoustic piano.
The keys on the G1 Air are touch-sensitive and offer 5 sensitivity levels to choose from. There are Light, Normal, Heavy, Stable and Steady preset settings.
When the “Steady” setting is selected, the volume will not change depending on how hard or soft you play.
The “Heavy” requires the most force to produce the loudest sound and provides you with the widest dynamic range (from the softest pianissimo to the loudest fortissimo).
The RH3 keyboard doesn’t offer ivory/ebony simulation and has conventional smooth plastic keys.
It would be nice to have some sort of textured finish on the keys as it would provide a better grip in high humid situations.
But ultimately it all comes down to your preferences because some people actually prefer a smooth finish, which most acoustic pianos have nowadays.
At the heart of the G1 Air is the PCM sound generator, which uses stereo multi-layered samples of 3 world’s finest concert grand pianos: German, Austrian, and Japanese.
Each tone has its own unique character, which makes it easy to find the one that suits your taste and repertoire.
The German Grand is probably the best piano sound in the instrument. It’s sampled from a 9-foot Steinway grand piano and sounds incredibly rich and dynamic.
The Austrian Grand has a bit warmer and softer tone, which would be perfect for playing ballads and solos. The sound is sampled from one of the most highly acclaimed piano manufacturers in the world – Bösendorfer.
The Japanese piano is sampled from a Yamaha concert grand, which is known for its incredibly expressive sound and a wide palette of tonal colors.
The Japanese tone sounded a bit too bright for my liking, so I liked it the least out of three.
Each of these tones includes 3 important organic elements found in an acoustic piano, which increases the realism of the sound.
When you press the sustain pedal on an acoustic piano and play some notes, they will vibrate freely as long as you hold down the pedal.
But what’s important is that all the other notes that you didn’t play will also slightly vibrate adding a natural ambiance to the sound. The G1 Air recreates this phenomenon wonderfully.
It’s also worth mentioning that the G1 also has a long natural decay times, which is one of the key elements of a piano’s sound. It means Korg cut no corners and used higher quality samples that allowed for such a long decay.
Other organic element reproduced in the G1 Air are sympathetic string resonance and key off resonance.
Another thing that not every digital piano has is the ability to change the standard Equal Temperament tuning to one of 9 other temperaments suitable for different music genres.
There are Pure Major, Pure Minor, Arabic, Pythagorean, Werckmeister, Kirnberger, etc.
Aside from the main piano tones, there are 6 other pianos including Pop Piano, Jazz Piano, Baroque Piano, Honky-Tonk Piano and a few others.
There are a few parameters and sound effects you can play around with to add more depth, brightness or liveness to the sound.
To add some depth and ambiance to the sound, you can use one of the Reverb types (Shallow, Standard, Deep).
Chorus effect (Shallow, Standard, Deep) will make the sound richer and thicker by adding very similar (in pitch and time) notes to the ones you play.
Finally, you can adjust the brilliance of the sound (Less Brilliant, Normal, Brighter).
That’s pretty much it when it comes to sound customization.
I personally feel that it would be nice to have more options for reverb and the ability to adjust its type and depth independently.
The G1 Air comes with 120-note polyphony, which doesn’t seem like a lot, considering that most of its competitors have either 192 or 256 notes of polyphony.
But I can’t say that I’ve experienced any problems (e.g., note stealing, cutoffs) even during fast passages and intensive sustain pedal use.
Korg clearly states that each note can take up to four polyphony notes depending on how many oscillators it uses.
All Grand Piano sounds on the G1 Air use 4 oscillators, and we get 30 (120/4) notes that the instrument can produce at the same time, which, as I said, is enough for comfortable playing.
By the way, other digital pianos work in the same fashion, it’s just not every manufacturer clearly states how many polyphony takes each note you play.
The internal sound system of the G1 Air is impressive, no question about it.
There are 4 speakers each powered by a dedicated 20W amplifier.
Two speakers are built into the stand and are responsible for reproducing deep rounded bass and precise mid-range frequencies.
The other two speakers are called tweeters, and their job is to ensure crystal clear high frequencies.
These speakers are located right in the top of the piano so that the sound they produce is directed towards the player.
The total output power is 80W, which we’ve never seen in a digital piano under $2000.
Sound engineers did an excellent job of designing the speaker system of the G1 Air, and this is one of the best sounding digital pianos I’ve ever played.
I was also pleasantly surprised with how loud the G1 Air can get.
The maximum volume is comparable with that of an acoustic piano, so you won’t need external amplification to enjoy the experience of playing a real piano.
Korg home digital pianos don’t usually come with a lot of features except for standard ones like a metronome, the transpose function, etc.
But it’s a completely different story with this piano.
There are four performance modes available on the G1 Air. Aside from the default “Single Mode”, there are 3 other modes that will allow you to split and layer multiple sounds as well as play duets with a second person.
Layer Mode is a feature that will allow you to play two different sounds at the same time whenever you press a key.
Unfortunately, not all the sounds can be layered together. The G1 Air doesn’t allow you to layer sounds accessed via the same buttons.
There are 4 buttons for selecting the tones (G.Piano, A.Piano, J.Piano, Others), so you can only combine sounds available under a different button.
For example, Austrian Grand Piano and Ballad Piano cannot be layered, since they’re both accessed via the A.Piano button.
You can additionally change the volume balance between the sounds as well as shift octaves.
Split Mode allows you to divide the keyboard into two sections (the split point can be adjusted) and play a different sound in each of them.
Here you’ll also come across some limitations.
The thing is that you can only use one of the 3 bass sounds available in the piano for the left-hand section, and any other sound can be selected for the right-hand section.
Partner Mode allows two players to play in the same pitch ranges at the same time.
The keyboard will be divided into two equal parts where each part has the same octave range with its own middle C.
This mode also allows you to assign a different sound to each of the sections and adjust the volume balance between them.
To record your performances, you can use the built-in MIDI recorder.
The instrument can store up to 99 songs in its internal memory, and for each song, you can record up to two tracks.
For example, you can record the left-hand part to Track 1, then record the right-hand part to Track 2 while listening to the playback of the first track.
After you’ve recorded two tracks, you can either play them back as a single recording and or mute one of the tracks if needed. You can also play along to your recordings as they’re playing back.
Not only can you play back your own recordings, but you’ll also have access to 40 preset piano songs from Bach, Beethoven, Debussy and other famous composers.
Just like with recorded songs, you can choose which parts should be played back and which shouldn’t.
Most of these songs have a left-hand part recorded on Track 1, and the right-hand part recorded on Track 2, so you can turn off either of the tracks and play that part live, while the other part is playing back.
The G1 Air has an onboard metronome with adjustable tempo, time signature, volume, and sound type, which a great tool for those who want to practice their rhythm.
To match the pitch of the G1 Air to that of another instrument, you can use the Master Tuning function, which allows you to change the pitch of the keyboard in 0.5 Hz steps.
The transpose function is also available on the instrument.
When it comes to ports and jacks, the G1 Air doesn’t disappoint.
For more convenience two stereo mini headphone jacks are located right under the left side of the keyboard.
Two pairs of headphones can be connected simultaneously and will allow you to practice in silence without bothering anyone else.
All the other ports except for the headphone jacks are located on the bottom center of the keyboard.
I don’t really understand why Korg has been ignoring USB ports for so long, but the G1 Air is probably their first console piano that comes with a USB type B port, which almost all digital pianos have nowadays.
You can use this port to connect the piano to a computer and control various music software by sending and receiving MIDI data.
There are a huge number of apps that can expand the capabilities of the G1 in terms of learning (FlowKey), music production (Logic Pro), education (JoyTunes), etc.
Next to the USB port you’ll find traditional MIDI In/Out ports that might be useful if you need to connect the piano to another instrument or MIDI device.
When performing on stage or in the studio, you can use the Line Out (stereo mini) to plug in external audio equipment such as an amplifier, PA system or audio interface.
“Air” is not just a fancy word in the model name, it implies that the piano supports Bluetooth technology and can receive Audio data from other devices (phones, mp3-players, tablets, laptops) wirelessly.
It means you can use the G1 Air as a powerful sound system to listen to your favorite songs through the built-in speakers or use some backing tracks for your performance.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to exchange MIDI data via Bluetooth and control music apps such as GarageBand.
For that, you’ll still need to use the USB port and a special adapter for mobile devices. In case of iOS devices, you’ll need the Lightning to USB Camera adapter.
For USB computer connection, you’ll need an A to B USB cable.
The good thing about console digital pianos is that you don’t need to spend a lot of extra money on accessories.
The Korg G1 already includes a dedicated stand, a 3-pedal unit, and a key cover, so don’t have to buy them separately.
The only thing you should consider for buying is a bench and a pair of high-quality headphones.
When it comes benches, there are a lot of good options available on the market today. Just pick the bench you like, check the reviews, see if it fits your budget and you’re all set.
It gets a little more complicated when it comes to choosing the right headphones for your instrument.
Headphones come in very handy when you want to practice in private, focusing solely on your playing and not disturbing others nearby.
Moreover, a good pair of headphones will provide a clearer and more detailed sound compared to the onboard speakers.
Check out this guide to learn how to choose the best-sounding headphones for your digital piano.
Korg has really surprised me with this piano.
With the release of the G1 Air, Korg has proven that it can make high-quality console digital pianos and compete with big names like Yamaha and Roland in this market segment. And, man, this beast can compete.
There are a number of things that I really like about G1 Air.
First off, I appreciate how unique and classy this piano looks. Without a doubt, it will make a beautiful addition to any room’s decor.
The RH3 keyboard action was very enjoyable to play as expected.
And even though some classically trained pianists would probably prefer a slightly heavier feel, the RH3 is a high-quality action with a very natural and expressive touch.
3 different Grand Piano tones are also something unseen before in a digital piano in this price range.
Usually, digital pianos have one main (flagship) piano sound sampled from a Japanese, German or Austrian grand piano, but to have all three in just one instrument is incredible.
And with the help of a powerful 80 W speaker system as well as organic sound elements such as string resonance and key off simulation, the sound really comes to life.
The Bluetooth Audio is definitely a nice feature to have, but I was a bit disappointed that it doesn’t support MIDI data.
It would also be great to have more reverb options, and the ability to adjust string resonance, and other piano elements manually.
Below I’ve listed some of the strongest competitors that you might want to consider as an alternative to the G1 Air.
Check the availability and current price of the Korg G1 Air in your region:
For more information about how the Korg G1 Air compares to other digital pianos in this price range, please refer to our Best Home Digital Pianos Under $1500 guide.
Personally I do not see how the 30 Polyphony with the Grand Piano sounds is alright. I was interested in this piano but that seems awful and set up for trouble with notes dropping out. There is a song I like to play with a 5 note chord that is repeated quite quickly and it’s only a few seconds and the chord is struck at least 6 times, and that would reach maximum polyphony without even striking any bass keys in the left hand! My current Korg piano, the B1 seems to drop notes when I strike this segment and switch to different notes of the song and was hoping a newer more expensive upgrade would be worth it but I guess not?
Alex, in the example you are making, you will only use 5 notes of polyphony, because you are repeating the same 5 notes.
There are ways of reaching 30 notes polyphony but most of them are quite unpleasant to the ear so they are very uncommon.
For example, a way of actually reaching 30 notes polyphony would be to play a glissando over at least 30 keys (about 4 octaves) while keeping the damper pedal down.
Alex you are a Moran with a capital M. You don’t have a clue what you are saying. Based on your ignorant comment I would bet you have never played a whole song in your life. Don’t comment about what you don’t understand. I bought 2 of the G1 air for both of my nieces because its a fantastic, beautifully made, incredible accurate sounding piano. Go home practice.
I would like to compliment you on an excellent article. We can see how much effort and research you put into this review. It was extremely interesting and informative.
We just purchased one of these for our family and look forward to its arrival and use. My spouse is a professional musician and singer and the rest of us, (myself, and two kids, 11 and 14) are well, pikers…But we all anticipate more joy in our lives as we welcome a whole new world of music into our home.
Paul, that’s awesome. Good luck with your musical pursuits 🙂
Can you leave a rfeveiw on dexibell?
I’m dying to read about it!
Hi Daniel, what model are particularly you interested in? Is it S7, P7, P3 or something else? I didn’t have plans for reviewing Dexibell keyboards in the nearest future but I’ll make sure to include them in my list. Thanks
I’m also interested in a Dexibell review, especially the Vivo H7
Hey Andreas, sure, will try to put my hands on it whenever I get a chance.
Hey Lucas! Thanks so much for this review! It helped me decide to buy this piano 🙂
Having had it for 2 days now, I’m quite alarmed by a noise I hear when I’m not playing. It’s more audible with the headphones and as I turn the volume up, the noise goes up as well. I have no experience with digital instruments, so I wanted to ask if this is normal for all, or just this model… Or something’s wrong with the one I got?
Hi Vladimira, it’s hard to tell for sure without hearing the noise you’re referring to. Do you hear the noise when listening through the onboard speakers, or is it only audible through the headphones? Did you try a different pair of headphones? Do you use any adapters? In many cases the problem is more connected with headphones (esp. with low impedance) rather than with the digital piano itself. I’d recommend trying a different pair of headphones and if the issue persists, contact the manufacturer to get further assistance.
Hi Vladimira. I have recently bought a G1 Air and also experience a constant hiss from the speakers when not playing. Did you resolve the problem?
Thanks for the great review 🙂 Helped me finally make my mind up; just ordered a white G1, I can’t wait!
Awesome, you’ll love it! It would be cool to hear your impressions after you receive it.
Received the beast, and I love it <3
Congrats on your new instrument Alan, happy playing!
P.S. Thanks for the follow-up.
Thank you for your review of this digital piano, I decided by the G1 after a long process of review and also thanks for the headphones guide, I also invest a bit on them to have a nice piano sound!
Hi Eduardo, congrats! Good luck on your musical endeavors.
I bought the Korg G1 Air after reading your review a couple of times.
Really appreciate the fine details of each element you have examined and presented.
My G1 Air sounded horrible upon setting up but the ‘out of tune’ sound resolved after doing a factory reset.
Now the notes are pearly sparkling.
Never had so much joy playing a digital piano.
I hope Korg will continue to innovate and create Digital Pianos that will continue to immerse musicians when performing on them.
The addition of the Bluetooth feature is awesome, exceptionally welcomed for those of us who play by ear.
The availability of having 2 headphone jacks is awesome. Now you can have 2 people enjoying the piano in the late hours without disturbing your neighbors.
Thank you once again for your brilliant review.
You’re very welcome Joseph! Glad you’re enjoying your G1 Air. Happy playing!
How can I do a factory reset?
Alex, it should be explained in the manual. If you don’t have one, you can download from Korg’s official website here.
I recently purchased a Korg G1 Air digital piano from Music Connection in South Africa.
I am very happy with the instrument apart from one issue, namely the fact that there is a constant hiss coming from the speakers even if no keys are pressed.
The sound is similar to that generated by a poor quality stereo amplifier.
Please would you advise this is a common problem and if anything can be done to resolve the issue.
Hey David, congrats on your purchase! Can you hear the hiss when you’re playing? I just checked my dad’s Roland FP-30, I can hear a faint hiss when I listen closely to the speakers but it’s hardly an issue when I start playing.
It’s hard to give you a definite answer here without hearing the hiss you’re referring to. Does the hiss changes when you adjust the volume?
According to various forum threads, it seems that it’s quite common for digital pianos to produce a faint hiss, but I never really picked up on it as it’s usually so faint you can’t hear it, especially when playing in nosier environments. However, in your case, this may well be a defective unit since the hiss affects your playing experience.
To make sure nothing interferes with your instrument, try moving it to another room and check if there are any other electronic devices connected to it or are close to it.
Also make sure nothing else is connected to the same wall outlet or power bar (if you use one). If nothing of the above helped, I’d advise you to contact Korg customer support.
Hi Lucas. No I cannot hear the hiss when playing but hear it clearly when not playing and seated in the normal pianist position. There are no other electronic devices nearby so I do think it is interference. I called the agent who visited my home and declared the instrument to be ‘normal’ for that model. However I am still not satisfied, and intend visiting their showroom to inspect other examples of the G1 Air before I put the matter to bed. I will keep you posted.
I just received my G1 Air and indeed there’s a very soft hiss coming from the speakers below. I can only hear it when i put my ear next to the speaker. The hiss remains the same even if I turn down the volume. Anybody else experience the same thing?
Judging by the comments of other users, it seems to be normal for this model (and many other digital pianos, in my experience). In fact, it’s not limited to digital pianos, any audio system powered by AC will produce some amount of hiss. The only thing that’s different is its intensity.
Manufacturers try to minimize these noises as much as possible but there’s no way to avoid them whatsoever. I guess lower-end models are more prone to these issues due to using cheaper components, though I’ve seen people talking about the hiss from the speakers in high-end models as well.
Generally, the noise should be inaudible when you’re playing and shouldn’t interfere with your performance in any way. If that’s not the case, there’s a chance that you received a defective unit.
I had the same issue. I eventually returned the piano and purchased another brand.
I was wondering if you purchased another brand and if you did or didn’t get a hiss from this other brand as well?
Just to follow up on the very soft hissing noise that I’ve reported above. I have sent the piano back to the dealer to check and they told me their demo unit also has the same noise. It’s a inherent noise from bigger speakers with large amplification. You’ll also notice this background noise with other big speakers out there in any shops. Just to feedback here in case users of this model also noticed the same hissing sound. There should be nothing wrong with your piano unless the hissing noise is too loud.
Thanks for following up on this, Alex.
I’m sure your comment will be helpful to many other readers of PianoDreamers as well as potential buyers of the G1 Air or any other digital piano, as questions about hissing from the speakers have come up a bunch of times.
Regularly using three different brands of digital pianos (Yamaha, Casio Privia and Korg), the Korg G1 by far is the most sensitive allowing the player a wider range of expression than I’ve ever encountered, particularly in this price range. Anything even comparable seems to cost twice as much or more. High quality headphones will capture this digital world beautifully making the G1 perfect for practice. The one negative I’ve found is that the pedals are attached to the frame with a single small screw and the first time I moved the instrument the screw pulled out and damaged the particle board it was attached to. There are much more tough and permanent attachment solutions and they need to be incorporated into this marvelous instrument for more strength and durability.
Hey Albert, thanks for sharing your experience with the G1 Air. I’m sure this will be very helpful to the Piano Dreamers community and people considering the G1 for a purchase.
Hi, how does this compare to C1 Air? E.g. if we use the same German piano mode on both, with it sound/feel exactly the same?
The feel is the same, the sound is similar but not the same. The C1 Air lacks Sympathetic String Resonance simulation, plus when played through internal speakers they will sound different due to the more powerful speaker system used on the G1 Air.
Thanks for the great review. I see there are two options available, the G1 as well as a G1 Air. I can’t find the differences between these anywhere?
The G1 Air version comes with Bluetooth audio functionality, while the G1 does not.
Do you what the difference is between the Korg G1 and the newer updated G1b? There is no info online, and the only visual difference is the added backplate.
The Korg G1B is a newer model. The only difference is the added backplate, that’ all.
Thanks for a great article. I purchased the G1B air and unfortunately was very disappointed. The piano does look fantastic and probably one of the nicest designs. I had several issues:
The noise from the key action was extremely loud (even with the volume up full, all I could hear over my playing was the key noise, including when playing very lightly).
When the volume was at around the half-way mark and up – there was a noticeable hiss from the bottom speaker system.
When connected to a recording device, there was also a constant buzz (even with a HQ cable).
Although a very powerful speaker system – there wasn’t much coming from the top speakers. The majority of the sound came from the bottom speakers and just didn’t sound very realistic.
The sounds weren’t fantastic.
No headphone socket.
The control panel wasn’t easy to access underneath the piano as speaker in the way.
For the price and after researching many online reviews and demos – I was expecting more and had high hopes. It simply wasn’t good enough for teaching, for use in recordings and a pleasant playing experience in general.
I’ve exchanged for a Roland F140R which cost less, has a smaller but more than ample speaker system, fantastic sounds and key action and so much more functionality! Although it doesn’t look as good as the G1B air, as a whole, it is a big step up in quality. I’m really enjoying the playing experience and can use for teaching and in professional recordings. Perhaps it’s just down to personal preference!
Hey Thomas, thanks for sharing your impressions with the G1B. Sorry to hear it didn’t measure up to your expectations.
Here are some of my thoughts:
1) Really surprised to hear about the ‘noisy’ key action as I’ve always considered Korg’s RH3 to be one of the ‘quieter’ actions out there.
2) Did you connect your recording device to a headphone jack or to the line out? Did you try playing around with the levels to try to get rid of the buzz?
3) The speakers mounted above the keyboard (tweeters) are designed to accurately reproduce the high-frequency range, those are not full-range speakers, that’s why most of the sound is coming from the speakers below the keyboard.
4) There are two headphone sockets on the G1 Air.
5) Not sure what you meant by the ‘control panel underneath the piano’. The G1’s control panel is above the keyboard, right in the middle.
Either way, glad you ended up with an instrument you’re happy with!
Thanks for the great review- all your reviews have been helpful in deciding which piano to buy. I opted for the G1 air over the Roland for looks and it sounded like it might have the edge technology wise. I’ve just received my G1 air- sadly I’ve found it pretty disappointing- I am a novice pianist at best so im probably missing something in the technology.
I find the sound through headphones quite jarring and harsh- they are a medium quality set so could be the headphones??
Without reverb on, the decay of the notes seems very quick, so smoothly traversing the keyboard seems harder than other digital pianos I’ve played (I’ve had 2 Rolands and have a Casio GP510).
The pedals are quite resistant to pressure- which I guess makes half peddling easier? I mainly end up with a sore foot!! Would get better with practice I’m sure.
When playing without headphones there is an audible clicking of the keys- I’m hoping this is something that I can turn off- maybe the key release sound?
Finally there is a ‘noisy rattling key’- it appears to be mechanical as it is present with the sound off and not through the headphones. I’ve now seen a number of posts about this- I’m not sure if there is a fix other than sending it back.
Oh and the speaker hisses but I figured it was normal as per the other posts here.
Overall sadly, I think I wish I had got the Roland F140R.
It’s a very personal choice and I’m sure there are some equally irritating aspects to all of the available choices!!!
Hi Charlotte, sorry to hear you’re not enjoying your G1 Air 🙁
1) Headphones can definitely be the source of the problem. From my own experience, it’s not always the price that matters. I find that some headphones just sound better with digital pianos than others, so I’d definitely recommend trying out every pair of headphones you have at hand.
2) Regarding the decay, are you saying that when playing with the sustain pedal down the notes decay too quickly? You mentioned the Casio GP510 as one of the instruments you played (owned?), but it’s like 4 times more expensive than the G1 Air, so it’s not really a fair comparison.
3) The clicking of the keys you describe, are you only hearing it through the speakers but not headphones? If so, then the noise is probably coming from the keys themselves and is not an audio simulation.
4) Not sure what you meant by “noisy rattling key”. Is this a separate issue from the “audible clicking of the keys”?
How would this piano compare vs the Roland F-140R and the Casio AP-470? The F-140R appeals the most to me with lots of sounds and overall nice package of features etc, only the looks arent that great; the Korg G1 Air looks a little better and I like it’s piano sounds. but other stuff is a bit worse – and the negative feedback with the noise etc in the comments makes it even more disappointing. What is your opinion about these three?
First, I’d always take online comments with a grain of salt, as some people are more sensitive to certain things, they live in different environments, have different setups, and different background. These 3 are all good options. Feel-wise, I prefer the Roland and the Korg. Look-wise, I like the Korg and the Casio. Feature-wise, the Roland is the winner. So, as you can see they all have their strengths and weaknesses, but unless you play all three of them, it’s hard to say which one you’ll like best (especially in the key action department).
Kawai KDP 110 or Korg G1 Air, that is the question 🙂 ?
My daughter is a High schooler and we need a good piano, with good sound and good keyboard at the first place.
What would you recommend ?!I have read your reviews, but still need some help to decide. Like, is it good enough for a musical academy student to practice on?
Thank you !!!
Hi Mirjana, well, if your daughter will still have access to an acoustic piano (at the academy), then she can definitely use a digital piano to practice at home, though of course it also depends on the level of her studies. If she’s fairly advanced and is looking to become a professional pianist, it would definitely be beneficial to practice on an acoustic piano whenever possible.
How does the Korg compare to the Kawai CN29 or CN39? The CN29 is quite a bit cheaper, but is the G1 worth the extra?
Hey Tom, apologies for my late reply.
The CN29 is an excellent digital piano and is definitely a strong competitor to the G1 Air. Prices vary from country to country, and in the US, for example, the CN29 is more expensive than the G1 Air. I’d say they’re comparable when it comes to realism, but obviously, they’ll have a different sound character and feel (the Kawai has a slighter heavier action, a bit bouncier too). Which one you’ll like better is a matter of personal preference, but I don’t think you’d disappointed with either one.
please tell me the difference between “G1 air” vs “G1”. In my city, the “G1 air” is more expensive about $ 500 than “G1”
Only difference is Bluetooth. If you don’t want it you can save the $500