Do you have the curiosity to know about the Best Chromatic Harmonica to buy in 2020? 🤔 You can easily Find out now in this definitive list with our detailed review.
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Chromatic harmonicas are indeed a step up from the diatonic harmonics and it is understandable why every harmonica fan wants to have one. But if you are going to be stepping up your music game, you should be doing it with the best harmonica for you.
Finding the right chromatic harmonica has been said to be a chore for different people because uniquely you can’t test it, unlike other musical instruments.
Hence you need a trusted review to tell you all you need to know about harmonicas and help you make an easier decision.
The secret to getting the best chromatic harmonica is to use a relevant buyers’ guide to navigate through them and to know what you seek for in a harmonica.
This list couples the best chromatic harmonicas that will suit different needs from value to affordability, to volume to the quality of sound. Also, a buyers’ guide to tell you what you ought to be looking at when making a choice.
Best Chromatic Harmonica: Our Top Picks
1. Suzuki SCX-64C 64R 16H
The Suzuki SCX-64C harmonica is a very interesting instrument to have if you have a passion for playing harmonica especially if you are concerned with getting the best value for the money spent.
Suzuki is a known brand and has released different interesting and promising harmonicas over the years, and this is one of the SCX series, the one with the most holes (16 holes), but what puts the SCX-64C on this list is that it offers value.
Think high value, low price, a good brand and a good recommendation, these are few of the things that makes the SCX-64C one of the best out there.
Below are some of the features of the Suzuki SCX-64C 64R 16H that earned it a spot in our list of Best Chromatic Harmonica to get in 2020.
- Manufacturers are the Suzuki
- It weighs 250grams
- It comes with a plastic case and a cloth for cleaning it
- It has 16 holes
- It plays 64 notes from note C to note D4
- It has a brass cover plate that is chrome-plated
- The reed plates are made from phosphor bronze material
Below are some of the Pros and Cons of Suzuki SCX-64C 64R 16H that earned it a spot in our list of Best Chromatic Harmonica to get in 2020.
- The chrome-plated body case has a beautiful look that users have commended.
- The good ergonomic design makes it easy to use especially by professionals who may be using it for long hours at a time.
- The response of the chromatic harmonica when played is very fast, which makes using it enjoyable.
- It is air-tight which allows efficiency and precise note production
- Smooth sounding notes are produced when you use it
- The carry around the case is a plus when you buy it, so it becomes a convenient mobile instrument.
- It is good to be used by professionals because of the wide range of notes produced.
- If you are new to chromatic harmonics, you can use the SCX-64C as well, because the fast response time makes it easy to get used to.
- Nothing about the warranty from Suzuki.
Notes:- it is hard to fault this chromatic harmonica, leading it to be one of the best out there. It comes highly recommended for professionals that want value for their money and smooth performance. Beginners can do with other harmonicas in the SCX series.
2. Suzuki SCX-48 C 12H: best chromatic harmonica for beginners
When you have two products from the same series appearing as the best two, is it okay to say that they are so good we just couldn’t resist? This one comes cheaper than the 64C and it comes in this list for giving back immense value for whatever is spent on it.
While you may not get as much range as the 64C when you use this harmonica, you doubtlessly get a lot in terms of sound production.
The notably smooth sound production known with Suzuki, this harmonica is made for those that may not be at the level where the 64C comes in handy since it is advisable to buy within your skillset and upgrade later.
Below are some of the features of the Suzuki SCX-48 C 12H that earned it a spot in our list of Best Chromatic Harmonica to get in 2020.
- Manufactured by Suzuki brand as part of the SCX series of harmonicas
- It comes with a softly lined casing and a plastic harmonica comb
- It has a chrome-plated cover plate.
- It is handcrafted
- It has 12 holes
- It can play keys A, C, D, F, G
- The harmonica weighs 202 g
- It is also made with brass cover plate
- It is suitable for playing classical music, jazz, and pop
- The reed plates are made of brass.
Below are some of the Pros and Cons of Suzuki SCX-48 C 12H that earned it a spot in our list of Best Chromatic Harmonica to get in 2020.
- You can play classical music with this harmonica as well as jazz
- The harmonica can also be used by beginners until they improve.
- Interesting metallic finish that makes it aesthetically pleasing
- Using the harmonica for long hours of play is convenient because of the fine smooth finish and ergonometric design
- It is well priced, giving premium value for all the money spent to buy it
- It is made of metal parts which makes it a durable option.
- Made by a reputable brand – Suzuki
- The SCX-48 can be used by professionals.
- If you are used to the 16 holes, you may miss it.
Notes:- Even though this harmonica is designed with professionals as the target it can also be bought by beginners with chromatic harmonica because it is easy to use and not as complicated as the 64C which makes it to perfectly fit in our best chromatic harmonica 2020 lists.
3. East top 12 holes and 48 tunes
This harmonica is among the top-selling but also is a harmonica loved by users. If you want something that is a little louder, maybe you are playing alongside loud instruments, then you would fall in love with this.
Affordable, highly rated and durable, and with a unique sound. You will have a great time playing on this harmonica. The East top harmonica is built to be durable that will help you through your beginner phase with chromatic harmonicas.
Below are some of the features of the East top 12 holes and 48 tunes that earned it a spot in our list of Best Chromatic Harmonica to get in 2020.
- It is manufactured by East top
- It has 12 holes and plays 48 keys
- It is made up of metal parts of phosphor brass, brass, and electroplate
- It has a case and a cleaning cloth included when you buy
- It is a chromatic harmonica
- It weighs 11.8 ounces
Below are some of the Pros and Cons of East top 12 holes and 48 tunes that earned it a spot in our list of Best Chromatic Harmonica to get in 2020.
- The harmonica is made with metal reeds that account for its durability
- It has an interesting sound that is quite different from other brands
- This harmonica is easy to use by any level of player.
- Compared to the previous Suzuki harmonica, this is more beginner-friendly
- It is aesthetically pleasing compared to different harmonicas
- It is affordable especially for beginner players who do not want to spend too much
- It comes with a plastic case and a cloth for cleaning it that comes in handy as a carry-around instrument
- It can be used by professional harmonica players as well
- Expect a lower volume when compared to the Suzuki SCX series
Notes:- If you are looking for where to start with chromatic harmonicas, especially if this is your first buy, you will do well with this harmonica. Even though it is built to cater to professionals, it is also made to be easy to use and friendly to beginners.
4. Swan Harmonica FBA_SW1040
This Swan 10 holes’ chromatic harmonica is an interesting harmonica choice for beginners in using the chromatic harmonica. The stainless steel exterior makes it obvious that when this harmonica was made, Swan wasn’t joking about it.
Seeing that it is tailored to beginners rather than professionals, it is important to take a close look and go through the review knowing what guides you need as a buyer.
Nonetheless, there is no doubt that this harmonica will deliver in terms of performance when you start using it, if only they had thought about professionals (there are lots of options for professionals as well).
Below are some of the features of the Swan Harmonica FBA_SW1040 that earned it a spot in our list of Best Chromatic Harmonica to get in 2020.
- It is manufactured by Swan to be a chromatic harmonica for beginners
- It has 10 holes for beginner’s convenience
- It plays 40 tones to introduce the diversity of a chromatic harmonica.
- It costs $30
- It weighs 300 grams
- It plays C key
- It comes with a cloth for cleaning
- The material for the reed is brass
- The material of the body is a plastic slide, it has a metal body
- It plays in C key
Below are some of the Pros and Cons of Swan Harmonica FBA_SW1040 that earned it a spot in our list of Best Chromatic Harmonica to get in 2020.
- It is made with beginners as the target market
- It is easy to shift from playing diatonic harmonicas to playing the Swan FBA_SW10 40 because it uses the same number of holes
- it is a cheap-priced harmonica considering that they are generally expensive
- it is durable with the metal body
- it comes off looking more expensive than it is
- it produces good quality sound
- it doesn’t offer enough keys to be used by professional harmonica players
Notes:- this harmonica is highly recommended for diatonic harmonica players who are thinking of expanding their musical skill to the use of chromatic harmonicas. With the 10 holes, you will feel easily at home once you start using it which makes it to put it in our best chromatic harmonica 2020 lists.
5. Hohner HH270C: best chromatic harmonica for blues
One word to describe this Hohner harmonica is a range. This harmonica from a well-known German brand has 12 holes that produce a surprisingly loud sound when played.
One thing we know is that this harmonica will be perfect if you are in a band because you know that other instruments will not always out-sound yours.
If you have reviewed and have fallen in love with the Hohner brand, it is easy to notice their array of chromatic harmonicas that perform well and are targeted for professionals.
However, the HH270 sets itself apart by being easy on beginners as well without having to compromise the quality of the sound.
Below are some of the features of the Hohner HH270C that earned it a spot in our list of Best Chromatic Harmonica to get in 2020.
- It is manufactured by the Hohner brand
- It is a chromatic harmonica suitable for both beginners and experts
- It has 12 holes and 48 reeds that give it its tonal and key range
- It is airtight with the help of precision die punches
- It can play a range of 3 octaves starting at key C
- The cover is made from stainless steel for durability
- It has high volume when compared to other harmonicas
- It has a high response when played
- It produces the unique sound typical of Hohner harmonicas.
Below are some of the Pros and Cons of Hohner HH270C that earned it a spot in our list of Best Chromatic Harmonica to get in 2020.
- This harmonica can be used for beginners and professionals
- It has a good tonal range in the sound produced
- The slide is easy to use, making it convenient for all classes of players
- It can be used with blues and jazz music
- It has an impressive key range
- It produces good quality and consistent sounds
- Expect warm and rich sounds from this
- Some users have complained of noticing a little draw on some low notes
Notes:- If you are a beginner that does not mind the price of this harmonica, you will find it interesting to use because not only does it cater for the needs of beginners, it does for professionals as well. This means you will be using it through a long time of your skill growth before you will need to change it.
6. Swan SW 1664 C 16H 64R
If you miss the SW1040 because of its low price and you have grown a little in your playing skills, perhaps it is time to move on to something that offers you more now that you know what you are doing.
The Swan SW 1664 C sticks to the stainless steel exterior look that we saw in 1040 but performs way better when played. Built for more experienced players it has more holes (16) and reeds that give you a more tonal range of 64. If you are impressed already, you would fall over by the fact that it has four octaves in the notes production.
Below are some of the features of the Swan SW 1664 C 16H 64R that earned it a spot in our list of Best Chromatic Harmonica to get in 2020.
- It is made by the Swan brand
- When plays, you get the sound on key C
- It is made of a plastic body
- It has 16 holes and can play 64 notes
- It is built for professionals
- It comes with a carrying case and a cleaning cloth
Below are some of the Pros and Cons of Swan SW 1664 C 16H 64R that earned it a spot in our list of Best Chromatic Harmonica to get in 2020.
- It is incredibly cheap and convenient for anyone in search of a professional chromatic harmonica on a budget
- It can be used by beginners, even though it is a professional level instrument
- You get a good tonal range with it
- It has a convenient ergonometric design
- It has a good enough volume that is higher than some of its counterparts
- There have been reports of some of the holes not working properly
- The plastic body case might be a bother because of durability
- The possibility of it malfunctioning makes it more suitable for beginners than professionals.
Notes:- if you are in need of a harmonica that offers professional-grade sounds but you don’t plan to use it for very long, then this will be perfect as reported dysfunctions usually appeared months after.
However, as an amateur who wants to explore the diversity of tones with chromatic harmonica, you shouldn’t have a problem with the Swan SW 16-64.
7. Hohner 7542BX-C 48R
Hohner has had a long time to make harmonicas and it is safe to say they have perfected it with two of their harmonicas coming in on this list. the Hohner 7542BX-C is a beginner-friendly chromatic harmonica with 12 holes that can play sounds that fit into almost any kind of music, satisfying your hobby.
Like the HH270c, this harmonica was built to be a convenient use for everyone, even if you don’t exactly attract a crowd of people and perform on a stage for a living. You will enjoy exploring the 3 octaves and solo-tuning mechanism.
- Manufactured by the Hohner brand as a beginner chromatic instrument
- It has 12 holes that can play a range of three octaves
- It has an ABS black comb
- There are 48 reeds on this harmonica all made of brass
- The cover plates are made of stainless steel
- It plays on the key C
- It weighs 8 ounces
- It has an airtight design to maximize players’ effort
Below are some of the Pros and Cons of Hohner 7542BX-C 48R that earned it a spot in our list of Best Chromatic Harmonica to get in 2020.
- This harmonica produces a warm sound that is also rich as well
- It has a good tone and octave range that is suitable for beginners and intermediates
- It is beginner-friendly as they are the target market
- The metal parts make it highly durable and can serve as a priced member of your instrument collection
- It is easy to maintain as it doesn’t have problems often
- It is not as loud as the HH270 which is an advantage to some people
- If you need a higher volume, you may have to go for the HH270
Notes:- this harmonica is recommended for beginners that are not necessarily seeking a high volume, just a smooth and good quality sound.
8. Seydel Deluxe Steele: best professional harmonica
As a top contender for harmonicas, it is easy to see why Seydel is often called the best harmonica brand. The mechanism for sound and reed materials not only leads to good quality sound but also a durable instrument.
So get ready to have a piece for your trophy chest. This harmonica delivers a full sound and fast response that will sit well with professional players.
- it is manufactured by Seydel company
- it has 12 holes and 48 reeds which are all made from stainless steel
- it has solo tuning that can take up to 3 full octaves
- CNC milled Acrylic comb for airtightness and air properties
- It comes with a storage case to make it perfectly mobile.
Below are some of the Pros and Cons of Seydel Deluxe Steele that earned it a spot in our list of Best Chromatic Harmonica to get in 2020.
- You get a rich, full sound when you blow into it
- It is convenient for professionals to play on
- The durability of the stainless steel meets up to the prestige of the Seydel brand
- It is a high-end harmonica
- It has a good tonal range and uses solo-tuning
- Overall it is a durable device
- The harmonica can come off as expensive when compared with the others on this list.
Notes:- As a professional in search of a high-end brand that will suit your taste for rich sounding harmonica, the Seydel deluxe steel is perfect as long as the price doesn’t bother you.
Buyers Guide To The Best Chromatic Harmonica in 2020
If you are reading this, then it is a good bet that you, like many others, saw a piece of harmonica and thought, “I should test this” and just like that, you got hooked and looking for the best harmonica for you. Now you need more. However, the problem now becomes selecting the right one to buy.
If you are looking at Chromatic harmonicas, it means that you now want more from your harmonica play than you did because chromatic harmonica allows you to have more notes.
More about how a chromatic harmonica is different from the rest is written below, for the meantime, let us get you started on how you can get to pick the right chromatic harmonica.
Since you don’t get to take it for a test run, you need to have the right guides at your fingertips to help you buy what will be the right chromatic harmonica for you.
Best chromatic harmonica:- What To Consider
when it comes to chromatic harmonicas, they consist of different parts made by different materials that affect how durable the harmonica will be. In general, harmonicas with metal reeds usually adds durability when compared with wooden or plastic reeds, however, these ones are usually more expensive.
Therefore, metal reed materials should be your first choice, followed by the plastic of you can’t afford the price of metals, because plastics will work well for a longer time than wood would. This is because wood is a more porous material than wood and would, therefore, absorb more moisture when compared side by side
sometimes it is not easy to understand how the brand plays a role as to whether you made the right choice in your purchase, but when it comes to chromatic harmonicas, you definitely don’t want to sideline the brand. Chromatic harmonicas are professional instruments; they take a professional to make as well as to play.
For this reason, it is better to go with brands that have been making this for a while because you can expect that their experience with music will reflect on the quality of the harmonics produced.
But even with that, every brand has something unique about their harmonicas, so even among the popular notable brands, you have to find the one that best suits you.
Your skill level:-
although chromatic harmonicas are for more experienced players, you need to consider your skill level as a guiding factor when you buy a harmonica. Unlike some other musical instruments, harmonicas are not used for a very long time and that should be prepared for.
This means, there is no need buying a chromatic harmonica which is far beyond your expertise, as you will not use it efficiently. The better choice is to buy one within your skill level and slightly above, then later as you become a more experienced player, you can change it for a better one.
It also helps to know that you can sell your used harmonicas. Your skill will determine how many holes you need on your harmonica; this will also determine how much you will be spending.
even if you are working with a budget, harmonicas are priced according to how much they can do. This means that the more you want from your harmonica, the more you will be spending on it because more holes’ harmonicas cost more.
Also, the materials for the materials affect the price of your harmonica. This is why it is important to first know which harmonica you need for your skill level before proceeding to make a budget so that it will be realistic.
The ergonomic design:-
it is important that your harmonica is designed in a way that is easy to use and does not hurt your lip from extended usage. To know about this, you will need to rely on reviews from those who have used it.
How responsive are the reeds:-
since you don’t get to test a harmonica before buying it, you will also have to rely on reviews from users to know about this. The more responsive the reeds are, the more efficient you will be at playing as you will expel lesser energy than if it wasn’t as responsive.
What you need to know about the holes on a harmonica and the keys.
The key to a harmonica and the number of holes are often put up among the specs and here is why they matter. Generally, you expect that chromatic harmonicas will allow you to play more keys than a blues or a diatonic harmonica, but you need to know that not all harmonicas are created equally.
Normally for beginners, you will be paying in the C key, as with other types of harmonicas, but the more holes your chromatic harmonica has, the more keys you can play on it. This means that there is a correlation on the amount of hole on a harmonica and the keys it can play.
However, bear in mind that how many octaves you will want to play will depend on how skilled you are with the harmonica. Beginners often play with 12 holes that can allow for you to scale three octaves, the better you get, the more holes you would be looking out for.
In conclusion, as a professional, the Suzuki SCX 64C is the perfect one for you and it comes with the highest recommendation among others, however, for beginners, you could go for any of the Hohner harmonics on this list if you don’t mind their prices. If you are on a budget, however, the Swan harmonics offers the most for a budget.