Yamaha EZ-220 Review

The Yamaha EZ-220 entered the marketplace in June 2012 and it’s currently retailing for less than $160 on Amazon.com. A popular option many customers choose is the premium package which, together with the keyboard, includes a pair of headphones, stand, and power supply for an additional $30.



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The Yamaha EZ-220 is the ideal entry-level keyboard for beginners. Featuring a powerfully effective teaching system, it can get anyone up and playing in no time. The keyboard is portable, affordable, and easy to use right out of the box.

The Yamaha EZ-220 features 61 touch sensitive lighted keys with 32 note polyphony. It comes with 392 great sounding instrument voices including pianos, synthesizers, strings, guitars, brass, drums, and much more. An optional FC5 sustain pedal can also be bought to further enhance your sound.

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PROS:
  • Great way to learn piano via the Yamaha Education Suite (Y.E.S.)
  • Lots of great sounding instruments and preset songs
CONS:
  • Can’t store/retrieve MIDI files
  • Lack of standard WiFi connection

The standout feature of the Yamaha EZ-220 is the Yamaha Education Suite (Y.E.S.) which offers 3 different ways to learn piano using lighted keys: Listen and Learn, Timing, and Waiting.

Each teaching method is designed to let you work at your own pace (e.g., left hand technique, right hand technique, playing with both hands simultaneously, etc.)

All lessons are taught using 100 preset songs with a new iPad app called Page Turner. The app is a digital page songbook that's very simple to use. Anytime one of the 100 built-in songs is selected on the keyboard, the matching score for that song automatically gets called up on your iPad. The music score automatically advances when a song is played, thereby freeing your hands to concentrate on the music itself. The app also features a handy audio record function to capture and share performances.

Interestingly, the keyboard and iPad don’t communicate via standard WiFi but through an inaudible tone emitted by the keyboard that’s then picked up by the iPad. Although innovative, a standard WiFi connection would have been better since the keyboard could then wirelessly interface with other music programs and apps. Having said that, the EZ-220 does provide a USB to HOST port so devices can still be connected to work with training programs like Synthesia.

Regarding safety, you don’t have to worry about accidently knocking your iPad off the music rest because the EZ-220 comes with a special clip that secures your iPad in place.

Unlike the Yamaha EZ-250i, there's no way to layer sounds with the EZ-220 (the feature that allows you to stack multiple sounds together to create a fuller sound). Yamaha also doesn't make it possible to store and retrieve personal MIDI files. It would have been nice had these features been included but it's important to remember that an entry-level keyboard isn't going to come with lots of bells and whistles.

Lastly, the premium package includes a pair Nady HP03 headphones, AD5 power supply, and a World Tour SXKS keyboard stand—all of which, unfortunately, have problems:

  • While the headphones are functional, the sound quality definitely isn’t up to standard.
  • The AD5 power supply cord runs on the short side.
  • The keyboard stand isn’t designed to accommodate a keyboard of this size and the two components can’t be secured in any way. (You might be better off purchasing the Yamaha L3C keyboard stand instead.)

The "EZ" in Yamaha EZ-220 lives up to its name—the keyboard makes learning piano a fun and easy experience. It also happens to be lightweight and portable so you can set up and practice anywhere. As the next best thing to private piano lessons, we give the EZ-220 our highest stamp of approval.

Click here to purchase this product on Amazon.



Brian Davies is the administrator of soundroundup.com. He's been a songwriter, arranger, producer, and engineer for over 20 years and his knowledge of audio technology allows him to provide qualified commentary and sound buying advice. Feel free to drop him a line!

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