Korg XE20 & Korg XE20SP Review

We review the Korg XE20 vs Korg XE20SP | What’s the difference?

The Korg XE20 is a versatile, compact, and very user-friendly 88 key digital piano – the Korg XE20SP is the same main instrument, in conjunction with a 3-pedal system and enhanced stand. SP = stand and pedals.

First Impressions

On first look, the body materials of the Korg XE20 are indicative of pretty well every portable in this price range; sturdy and neatly finished, if a little uninspiring. But then again, you’re probably going to spend more time playing it than simply staring at it.

The XE20SP variation provides more of an authentic piano appearance, courtesy of the 3-pedal unit that fits nicely into the accompanying stand.

Korg XE20SP | What are the benefits?

With the 3-pedal system of the XE20SP, you’re more able to control the instrument, with the provision of a sustain, sostenuto and damper function, useful for the demands of many both classical and contemporary musical pieces. Stand-wise, there’s really very little to set the Korg XE20 apart from the SP version – the crossbar of the stand is simply set over the pedal unit on the XE20SP.

Sound & Speakers

Much like it’s appearance, the sound of the Korg XE20 is much like that of its peers, most notable of which being the Yamaha YDPS34. We have two 18 watt amplifiers driving two bass-reflex box-type speakers, providing both ample volume and clarity within the important low and high ranges, if offering nothing particularly special in the mid-range.

  • Korg XE20
  • Korg XE20SP
  • XE20SP / XE20 interface - clear and user-friendly
  • Solid sound in a compact format

Korg XE20 Features

Obligatory USB connectivity for host control is present here, as is a very capable 12-track on-board MIDI sequencer. The Korg XE20 is compatible with primary Mp3 and WAV audio formats, with USB recording output available.

There are over 700 sounds, 280 presets and nearly 70 styles to get you going with the Korg XE20, although the 184 note polyphony sets it just shy of the 192 available on the Yamaha YDPs32, it’s nearest rival.

The NH (natural hammer) key action is solid, if not outstanding, and adjustable enough that, whilst it doesn’t set it apart from the competition, it certainly keeps up with most of it.

Summary

The Korg XE20 and the XE20SP version offers an excellent alternative to the ‘go-to’ brands like Yamaha and Kawai, and performs very well, delivering a user-friendly interface and enough versatility and quality to keep you satisfied.