Frequently Asked Questions

Spirio by Steinway and Sons is a new high-resolution player piano that provides an unrivaled musical experience, mirroring the quality of a live performance. Steinway Spirio breathes life into your living room with the world’s greatest music, independent of the listener’s playing ability.

The technology used in the Steinway Spirio takes advantage of a proprietary high-resolution software system as well as solenoids (a current-carrying coil of wire) that actuate each note on the piano, and two pedal solenoids. This patented system was developed with the help of Wayne Stahnke, a pioneer of the modern player piano system.

No, unlike other systems there is no mounted hardware visible on the piano. The only piece of hardware visible is the power cord. The Steinway Spirio system is installed directly into the piano itself at the time of manufacture, ensuring that the exterior beauty and performance you expect from any Steinway & Sons piano remains up to your standards.

The Steinway Spirio is only available on instruments that are handcrafted in the Steinway & Sons factory by Steinway artisans. The Steinway Spirio is installed at the time of manufacture and cannot be installed on existing pianos. Three Steinway and Sons models will be available with the Spirio system: Model B (Classic Grand, available worldwide), Model M (Studio Grand, available in select U.S. and Canadian markets), and Model O (Living Room Grand, available in select European and Asian markets).

While many earlier player piano systems rely on midi data files (compressed, low-resolution data files) and others rely on even lower resolution files for playback, Steinway & Sons is recording at the highest resolution possible, and has created a proprietary data file format that captures the nuances and full range of emotion from each artist’s performance.

This superior level of playback is made possible through a combination of proprietary high-resolution recording technology, and the Steinway Spirio’s ability to replicate smaller increments of velocity on both the hammers and proportional pedaling. The fact that the recordings are recorded and played on a Steinway & Sons piano dramatically increases the differences in performance quality when compared to existing products.

There are three main points of differentiation. First and foremost, the Steinway Spirio is ultimately a Steinway & Sons piano; possessing the same level of superior craftsmanship that goes into every single piano the company produces. Second, we have perfected technology to capture a range of subtlety and nuance that has never before been possible. Third, owners will have access to the entire high-resolution repertoire recorded in the Steinway & Sons Studios by a roster of over 1,700 Steinway Artists, exclusively for the Steinway Spirio.

Some users of other player piano systems are required to purchase music online or via a disk, and then upload it to the piano’s hard drive. Many of these files are in Midi format (compressed, low-resolution data files), which play notes but lack the nuance of the high-resolution Spirio recordings, therefore offering an experience that is less than performance quality. Steinway & Sons will not offer MIDI files for the Steinway Spirio to ensure an uncompromised experience. Steinway Spirio users can access the music through the Steinway & Sons App on their iOS device (an iPad comes with Steinway Spirio at the time of purchase). There is no extra fee and nothing to download since the music catalogue lives on the App. New music will be continually added to the Steinway Spirio library and seamlessly updated on users’ iPads, ensuring they always have the most current collection of available Steinway Spirio music.

The Steinway Spirio system measures the velocity of the hammers and the positioning of the damper lift tray and key shift, capturing the emotion and subtle nuances of a musician’s performance and not just a recording of the notes. To ensure superior quality, all recordings are being made on a Steinway Spirio specifically for playback on a Steinway Spirio system.

The Steinway Spirio system is operated through the Steinway Spirio App, which provides a seamless interface to the piano and is both intuitive and easy to use. With the accompanying iPad, you control the music, the mood, and the volume with just a swipe of the finger.

The Steinway Spirio library will be comprised of performances by Steinway Artists. Music will be recorded in the highest possible resolution, across music genres, enabling customers to experience the fullest extent of their Steinway Spirio’s unique capabilities. In addition, through the use of Zenph technology, Spirio will include select performances from historic artists like Glenn Gould, Sergei Rachmaninov and Art Tatum.

At the time of launch, we will have approximately 50 hours of content with over 700 music files available in the core music catalogue. The library will continue to grow as we record more artists and consumers will be given access to all new recordings as they are made.

The audience is comprised of those who have an appreciation and passion for the arts, with music playing a key role. They value uncompromising craftsmanship and quality, as well as authentic and unique artistic experiences. This could mean professional pianists, families, and music educators, as well as those that simply have a love of music, but do not know how to play the piano.

Steinway Spirio transports the listener to any of the world’s greatest concert halls, without leaving their home. Because Steinway Spirio provides such rich and emotionally nuanced playback, listeners will feel as though the piano is being performed live by an artist.

Steinway Spirio is meant to be a central part of the user’s life, to be played any time that one might listen to music, such as relaxing with family or entertaining guests.

Steinway & Sons is renowned for connecting the listener and the artist as only the world’s best piano can, and the Steinway Spirio is another example of that. We simply could not introduce a player piano system until technology existed that met Steinway’s highest standards; producing uncompromised sound quality and an exact facsimile of a live performance.

Steinway Spirio is an abstract reference, related loosely to the Latin word for “breathe.” Steinway Spirio suggests a number of sentiments that are closely tied to how we connect to and through music — through inspiration, spirit, and experience.