Boston vs Steinway: A comparison of two sister brands

The rich and diverse world of pianos boasts many renowned brands, including our very own Steinway & Sons and Boston brands.

Today, we’re shedding light on the fascinating stories behind two of our world-renowned brands and providing an in-depth comparison to aid you in finding the perfect instrument for your needs.

Boston’s history

Boston Pianos entered the market in 1992, offering a mid-range alternative to intermediate players. Steinway & Sons provided the design specifications and technical expertise, while Kawai, the Japanese piano manufacturers, lent their state-of-the-art manufacturing capabilities. The goal was to create a mid-priced line that encapsulated Steinway’s standards of excellence without incurring the full cost of such a luxury model.

Over the years, this brand has carved out a niche for itself and is today known for its responsive action, expressive tone and high-quality materials. They provide a stepping stone in the world’s most famous product line, offering an affordable entry point for budding pianists and professionals alike.


As the Boston line was designed by Steinway & Sons’ experienced craftspeople, the brands share many similarities. Let’s explore these.

• Both brands share a strong commitment to quality and craftsmanship, reflecting Steinway’s influence on the secondary line’s design and development
• Both brands offer uprights and grand models, ensuring variety for different player preferences and spatial considerations
• They share a focus on delivering top-notch sound quality, robust build and long-lasting performance, encapsulating Steinway’s famed sound, touch and tone

What’s more, Bostons are built using many of its parent company’s patented designs and principles, including:

• the Octagrip pinblock
• the wide-tail design, which enhances the piano’s tonal quality through a larger soundboard
• a hard rock maple inner rim, ensuring less vibration
• solid copper-wound bass strings


While Boston pianos incorporate many of its famed creator’s design principles, the two brands diverge significantly in a few key aspects.

• Steinway instruments are handcrafted in the USA and Hamburg, Germany, embodying the highest standards of craftsmanship. In contrast, Boston pianos are manufactured in Japan, leveraging Kawai’s high-tech production facilities
Steinway pianos are positioned as the pinnacle of piano craftsmanship, often attracting world-class musicians and institutions, whereas Boston targets the mid-tier market, appealing to serious amateur pianists and students who desire the former’s quality at a more accessible price point
• While Steinway pianos feature a Sostenuto pedal, Boston uprights have a muffler pedal
• Our grand and baby grand models feature the patented Diaphragmatic Soundboard, whereas Boston grand pianos are made using a Sitka Spruce soundboard, though this is also patented
• The tonal richness, dynamic range and overall craftsmanship of a Steinway piano surpass that of a Boston piano, though the latter offers fantastic tonal quality considering its price point

Choosing the right piano for you

Whether you select a Boston or a Steinway piano ultimately depends on your individual needs, budget and skill level. For beginners or intermediate players seeking a quality instrument at a more affordable price, Boston instruments offer excellent quality for value.

For those who are seeking an unrivalled musical instrument that’s regarded as the gold standard in pianos, Steinway is the natural choice.

While reading reviews can be beneficial, the only way to truly determine which brand is best for you is to examine the instruments in person at a trusted dealership, play them and get to know their unique characteristics. Both product lines have their unique strengths and target audiences; regardless of your choice, both brands deliver on their promise of superior craftsmanship and unforgettable musical experiences.


Does Steinway make Boston pianos?

Yes, we are responsible for the design and marketing of Boston pianos. However, they are physically manufactured by Kawai in Japan. This collaboration enables these mid-range pianos to uphold our quality standards at a more affordable price.

Are Boston pianos good?

All pianos offered under the Steinway & Sons brand are crafted to the highest standards. Boston instruments are reputable for their excellent tone, durability and value for money. They serve as an entry point to the Steinway family, making them an excellent choice for many pianists.

What is the difference between Steinway and Boston?

While both brands share certain Steinway design principles, their production process, target market and price point differ. Steinway represents the apex of craftsmanship, while Boston offers Steinway's quality at a more accessible price point.

What are the sub-brands of Steinway?

Steinway & Sons owns two sub-brands: Boston and Essex. While all three brands uphold Steinway's commitment to quality, each is aimed at a different market segment, from the mid-range pianos we’ve explored here to the more budget-friendly Essex line.

Do Boston pianos hold their value?

Yes, Boston pianos tend to hold their value well due to their quality construction and materials and the prestige associated with the Steinway name. As with any instrument, however, the exact resale value depends on factors such as age, condition and maintenance.