The 10 Best Chromatic Harmonicas

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Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive

Capable of playing a 12-note scale -- as opposed to the 7-note one of its diatonic counterpart -- the chromatic harmonica makes a great addition to all kinds of jazz, classical, and pop music ensembles. But finding one that's right for your purposes can be tough, so we've put together a selection of some of the top brands out there, ranging from the affordable to the professional. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best chromatic harmonica on Amazon.

10. Hohner 255 Chrometta 12

9. East Top 12

8. Hering 5248 Deluxe

7. Seydel Saxony 12

6. Hohner 64 Chromonica

5. Suzuki S-56S Sirius

4. Swan 10 Holes

3. Hohner CX-12

2. Suzuki SCX-64C

1. Hohner Super 64 Performance Series

Special Honors

Hohner Amadeus Superb doesn't begin to describe the symphony-quality Amadeus. If you're willing to dish out what it costs to buy one, you're likely already heard plenty about this one's merits — like its ergonomically modeled, gold-plated mouthpiece, its novel plexiglas body, and its chrome-plated brass covers, all of which culminate in a mouth harp that's both tonally exquisite and comfortable to play.

Suzuki SCT-128 Tremolo As much a work of art as it is a musical instrument, the Suzuki SCT-128 Professional is by far one of the most beautiful mouth organs ever created. A gold-plated brass mouthpiece, a unique and elegant shape, and rich, tremolo-like tone all add to its unparalleled grandeur. Though it's a very pricey investment, it'll likely retain its value well if you care for it, making it a great collector's item, as well.

Editor's Notes

June 26, 2019:

For such a small instrument, you might be surprised by what some of the higher-quality harmonicas on the market cost. Depending on how long you've been playing, you've likely heard about the Hohner CX-12 (#3) and the Suzuki SCX-64C (#2), which are both similarly priced and of comparable quality. These two have beat out more-expensive models on our list for the sheer tonal beauty they are capable of producing at their price-point. They're priced so that even a novice might not feel too indulgent by pulling the trigger on either of them.

Then, at #1, you've got the Hohner Super 64 from the company's Performance Series. Lauded by professionals as, again, a veritable David that conquers others Goliaths of the harmonica industry, this one truly stands out for its durability and ease-of-use in that it can be easily adjusted and customized.

We've included a very inexpensive model at #4, the Swan 10 Holes, because it makes for an ideal beginner's learning instrument. At the price it's sold, it's practically free, and it'll last you a long time — plenty long enough to save up for a model that's of a higher quality. Other models that a beginner with a bit more money to spend could consider are the East Top 12 (#9) and the Hohner 255 Chrometta 12 (#10).

Daniel Goldstein
Last updated on June 26, 2019 by Daniel Goldstein

Daniel is a writer, musician, and frequent traveler with a bachelor’s in creative writing from the State University of New York. In recent years, his writing chops have developed alongside his musical skills, thanks to a rich double life. During the day, he apprenticed with “Rolling Stone” journalist and critic Will Hermes, and when the sun set, he and his NYC-based, four-piece band gigged at high-end venues across the northeastern United States. His affinity for sharing things he's passionate about has culminated in nine years of experience as a music teacher at elementary schools, where he honed his ability to simplify and elucidate concepts to the uninitiated. All considered, he feels most at home writing about instruments, audio electronics and backpacking gear.

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