Harmonicas or “harps” are some of the most popular, versatile, and convenient instruments in the world. We have come up with a list of best harmonicas of 2018 to help you get on the train. However, before we could plunge into the list, we should first know what you should look for in a harmonica.
Below you can find our favorite pick “Best Buy ♥“, which is the best harmonica for its price point. In other words, the Best Buy harmonica has the highest cost vs. quality. If you want a higher end harmonica, our “Best of the Best ♠” model is the highest quality harmonica regardless of price tag.
Because music is important to you, and because you’ll be spending a large amount of time using and practicing with your harmonica of choice it’s critical you get the right advice. So take some time to digest the information below.
For a quick overview, below is our list of the Best Harmonicas of 2018. For more in-depth information, scroll below.
- Boseno 24-Hole Harmonica
Key Features to Look for in the Best Harmonicas
- Chromatic: The unique feature of a chromatic harmonica is a sliding bar is used to redirect air to the desired reed plate, or note. The interesting thing about chromatic harmonicas is they can be played in any key, thus limiting the need for multiple harmonicas. The downside of chromatic harmonicas is a hand is necessary to slide the bar, thus not being able to play another instrument at the same time.
- Diatonic: Diatonic harmonicas are easily the most popular harmonicas on the market, often being used to play Rock, Country, Folk, Bluegrass, and Celtic music. What comprises a diatonic harmonica is simply any harmonica that is limited to one key range.
- Tremolo: Tremolo harmonicas are interesting harps because instead of one reed per note, there are two. One reed is a bit sharper than the root note, and one is a bit flat. This leads to a unique sound that is often used in folk, and East Asian music.
Having explained the key features, and based upon these, let us reveal the list of best harmonicas of 2018.
These Reeds are the pieces that are responsible for the differing sounds from blowing or drawing air. The inner reeds respond and produce sound when blown, and the outer reeds respond to drawing or pulling air.
It’s important to keep reeds clean and maintained, as it is possible for reeds to go out of tune over time. Learn more about how to clean a harmonica.
♥ Best Buy Award
When searching for the harmonica with the best bang for your buck, it’s hard to beat the Mugig Diatonic Harmonica.
The Mugig Harmonica is perfect for kids, first-learners, or just casual players, and is best suited around blues and folk. Consisting of a chrome steel cover, a plastic comb, and copper reeds, this harmonica is a fairly durable harp. Mugig also offers a 6-month money back guarantee if you are not happy with it.
If you are looking for an affordable, introductory harmonica, the Mugig Diatonic Harmonica is the way to go!
Hohner Marine Band Harmonica
Best of the Best ♠
It should come as no surprise that a company as esteemed as Hohner would hold the Best of the Best ♠ title on our list.
The Hohner Marine Band Harmonica certainly sits at the “pro” end of our list, and for good reason. This instrument has been seen with famous players such as Little Walter, John Lennon, Paul Butterfield, and more. The Marine Band contains 10 holes, 20 reeds, brass reed plate, a pear wood comb, a hard case, and an instruction manual for maintenance.
To sum up, the Hohner Marine Band Harmonica’s superior German craftsmanship is not going to let you down, and sits at a fair price point for it’s awesome quality.
Lee Oskar Diatonic Harmonica
Lee Oskar has been a top-name in the Harmonica world for quite some time, and the Lee Oskar Diatonic Harmonica is a shining example of the quality and care they put into their harmonicas.
For beginner or intermediate players, this harmonica can be a beautiful introduction in to the world of well-made harps. This harmonica comes with an airtight design, responsive reeds, a plastic case, a plastic comb, and loud sound output. Blues, rock and folk can be played without any hassle since it is a diatonic harmonica. Another cool feature about Lee Oskar is if you ever have to replace the reed plates, you can do so at half the price.
The Lee Oskar Diatonic Harmonica maintains Lee Oskar’s reputation of a trusted harmonica manufacturer.
Hohner 560 Special 20 Harmonica
Hohner makes our list again with the Hohner Special 20 Harmonica, and for good reason.
The Special 20 is a great harmonica that falls somewhere between beginner and pro level. This harp has stainless steel covers, a plastic comb, a brass reed (20) plate, hard case, consistent sound, and German craftsmanship, making this a perfect harmonica for the intermediate player.
One of the major differences between the Special 20 and the Marine Band, is the Special 20 has a plastic comb as opposed to a wooden comb in the Marine Band. A plastic comb is great for durability and clean-up, but we prefer the warm sound that wood offers, which is one of the reasons the Marine Band just edged out the Special 20 for Best of the Best. Despite that, the Hohner Special 20 is just that: a special harmonica that is durable and sounds top-notch.
Boseno 24-Hole Harmonica
As the only harmonica on our list to contain 24 holes (instead of 10), the Boseno 24-hole Harmonica is a great representative for non-traditional harmonicas.
The Boseno 24-hole Double Tremolo Harmonica consists of a black steel housing with electroplating, copper reeds, and a resin comb. Resin combs offer super easy clean up and maintenance, and are less prone to warping than wood combs. Also included are a wipe cloth, hard case, harmonica bag, and a user guide.
All in all an easy to play, great sounding 24-hole double tremolo harmonica.