The 7 Best Pan Flutes (2023) for a Warm and Rich Sound
The Pan flute is a beautiful old musical instrument. It persists as a beautiful addition used in a variety of music everywhere around the globe with different names and sizes but using the same principle.
You’ve most likely heard this beautiful-sounding instrument somewhere by now. The name ‘Pan flute’ comes from Ancient Greece and the legend of the creation of this flute by the Greek god ‘Pan’.
I’ve made a list of top pan flutes to help you with choosing the right one considering your preferences, as there are a lot of them that you can buy online. From beginners flutes meant for learning how to play to professional flutes for recording and live.
My main recommended pan flute is the Peru Treasure 15 Pipes Pan Flute. A compact and nice-sounding product for anyone interested in the instrument.
My second recommended pan flute is the Cusco QT-21 3-Octave Panpipes. It’s a decent budget pan flute if casual playing is all you intend to do.
The 7 Best Pan Flutes (2023)
Let’s compare these in more detail.
1. Pan Flute 15 Pipes Tunable Natural Bamboo
This Peru Treasure pan flute is a good starting flute that sounds good. It’s a small and compact 15 pipe pan flute that is quite easy to play and learn on. The small size makes it easy to carry, so there is no limit to where you can play it.
- The small size makes it easy to carry around
- Can be tuned
- Comes with a case for storage
- Might be considered too small for some
Being made of bamboo wood, it has a pretty solid construction and a traditional design. Plus, it comes with an artsy Peruvian case that captures the vibes of South America and keeps it safe. This is nice as you will be able to keep it around for a long time.
This is a curved pan flute. The shortest pipe is 2” while the longest is about 7” and a quarter. While its factory tuning is set to C, you can tune it as you desire.
|Dimensions||9 x 9 x 1.5 inches|
All in all, this is a pretty good beginner pan flute and can be considered a good value for money.
2. Cusco QT-21 3-Octave Panpipes
If you don’t have any big musical goals in mind and need a decent pan flute for playing now and then, then the Cusco QT-21 pan flute is a nice option. It’s pretty wide, physically and musically, and does not cost a whole lot.
- Has a whopping 23 pipes
- The tonal range covers 3 octaves
- Very affordable
- The learning curve can be a bit difficult
This pan flute consists of 23 canes or pipes. If you’re just a beginner, then this can be overwhelming. So, you will need to take some time to figure it out. The overall value-for-price ratio is excellent so the learning curve is a welcomed flaw in this situation, in my opinion.
It’s tuned in the key of C. However, it is also a tunable pan flute. It also has a 3-octave range, making a much greater room for musical exploration.
|Dimensions||18.25 x 11 x 2.75 inches|
The shortest pipe is 2.75” while the longest is 17.25”. Being such a big pan flute, the construction is a little flaky. Thus, keep in mind to maintain it well.
3. JIVE Pan Flute
For any pan flute enthusiast who is also influenced by looks, this JIVE pan flute is a treat to have. This bamboo wood has tribal art painted over it and makes for a nice souvenir.
As for the instrument itself, it has a pretty good sound. With 13 pipes, it is a really nice option for amateur players. Although it takes some getting used to, it has a melodious tone to it.
- Tribal art makes gives it a stunning look
- Good budget pan flute
- Durable construction
- It takes a lot of tuning and practice to get the right sound out of it
This pan flute will need some fine-tuning before you start playing it. But that’s common with beginner instruments. Since it’s made of bamboo wood, it is quite sturdy and should last you a while. With proper care, of course.
A known reported issue is that while it is aesthetically pleasing, it might come in with plain color as opposed to a painted version. This depends on the sellers’ inventory.
|Dimensions||11 x 9 inches|
The JIVE pan flute makes for a great talking point as it is eye-catching as well as ear-catching. So, it’s a good option if you’re looking to impress some friends.
4. Peru Treasure Pan Flute
Since pan flutes aren’t the most commonly played instruments, a truly professional pan flute is hard to find. So, if you’re a serious musician, this Peru Treasure pan flute is brilliant to capture south American style sounds.
This handmade bamboo flute has a very rich, melodious, yet calming sound. This is exactly what you want from a pan flute.
- A true, well-made professional pan flute
- Diverse and rich sound from all pipes
- Case included
This 13-pipe woodwind instrument produces very clear notes throughout the musical spectrum. Its factory tuning is set in the key E (Mi minor). Although, with a little effort, you can tune it to your liking.
With the biggest pipe being 11.5”, this is a mid-sized pan flute, which means you can carry it around with little to no problem. It also comes with a case to keep it safe.
|Dimensions||11.6 x 8.8 x 2 inches|
This Peru Treasure pan flute is a very good pick for musicians looking to incorporate pan flute sounds in their recorded music.
5. Alii of Hawaii Bamboo Pan Flute
When it comes to music, not everyone is trying to record some. Sometimes you just want to enjoy it. This Alii of Hawaii Pan Flute is ideal for that.
This is a very small and compact pan flute that can fit in the palm of most adults. It weighs just a few ounces. Because of its size, it’s also a great toy for children to play around with.
- Great for casual playing
- The small size makes it ideal for children
- Extremely affordable
Despite being a somewhat novelty product, the actual construction on this thing is pretty decent. This 8-pipe pan flute is made of bamboo wood, so it can handle some wear and tear.
If you’re eyeing a legitimate instrument to learn and actually record music with, this Alii of Hawaii pan flute isn’t for you. However, if you want to blow off some steam with or gift an instrument to a child, then this is a nice product.
|Dimensions||5.9 x 4.6 x 1.5 inches|
While this is considered more of a toy than an actual instrument, it is particularly useful if you want to try out a pan flute and consider learning it.
6. Wind Melody Eco-friendly Resin C tone Pan Flute
This Wind Melody pan flute, first of all, stands out with its unique non-wooden build. It’s made of eco-friendly resin. Second, it is a very good beginner instrument that one can spend a lot of time learning.
- Resin pan flute makes for easy learning
- Tunable with a wide tonal range
- Great aesthetics
- Isn’t made as a professional wood pan flute
Of course, it does not have the exact charm of a traditional wood pan flute. Its pipes have no reeds but having been made of resin, it’s a smooth instrument that’s very easy to play. The notes (whole and half notes) are quite clear and have a whistle-like sound.
There are 18 tubes on this, tuned in the key of C major. That said, it is tunable with a tonal range from G to C3.
|Dimensions||13.54 x 11.06 x 0.98 inches|
Unless you’re an expert who will settle at nothing but a professional wooden pan flute, this Wind Melody pan flute is a very nice instrument to play.
7. Traditional Chinese Pan Flute G Key
The SUTILA traditional Chinese pan flute is a vibrant woodwind instrument that’s great for beginner to intermediate use. It’s well-rounded in its made and vibrant sound.
Another reason why it’s literally well-rounded is the fact that the brand offers a left-handed and right-handed variation of this pan flute. This is great as there aren’t a lot of non-professional pan flutes that do that.
- Has left and right-handed variation
- Electric tuner makes it simple to tune
- Good for everyone who’s not a professional
- A bit pricey for a mid-range pan flute
Due to its solid construction, it allows for really smooth airflow. This allows for all of its 15 tones to be clear and characteristic. The best thing about it is the choice of both right and left-hand options.
The standard tuning is the key of G major. With its complimentary electric tuner, you can very easily adjust the tuning as you please. This is also a pro because regular tuning requires a stick or pen and manual turning.
|Dimensions||10.1 x 10.1 x 2.4 inches|
Whether you’re a lefty or righty, a starter or intermediate, this SUTILA pan flute is a pretty neat option to choose.
How does a Pan Flute Work?
A pan flute is a series of end-blown flutes tied together to form an instrument. These flutes are arranged in ascending order concerning their size.
Using pursed lips, you blow into the instrument and move sideways. The airstream in the pan pipes vibrates as they move from one end to the other. These vibrations are what you hear, much similar to a singing vibrato, only with an instrument. Different lengths mean different tones. The tuning is most often in the diatonic scale.
There are also various techniques on how to play them, while the optimal still stands, there is a tilt technique that is quite unique but difficult to master.
Where is the Pan Flute mostly used?
The pan flute is an age-old woodwind instrument found in many cultures. Historically, it was played by the Greeks and as Antara in tribal music from Africa, South America, and even Asia.
In modern-day usage, it still retains its tribal vibe, extensively used in folk and regional music. It has also found a place in orchestral music. The pan flute can be heard in churches, camps, and other various ceremonies that involve people, even more modern ones that include fundraising and other similar events.
What are the best Pan Flute brands?
Since pan flutes aren’t the most common instruments, you won’t find one made by most mainstream brands. However, there are plenty of professional or concert series pan flute companies today.
Peru Treasure, Wind Melody Panpipes, InkaTumi Bamboo Panpipes are some of the leading brands that have a good variety of excellent pan flutes. With them, you will find both beginner and intermediate pan flutes.
Some honorable mentions would be Ramos, MoonAngel, Nai, and the Zampona panflute. Still, the best brands can be considered those who use the best material, in my opinion. That would be ivory, bamboo, andean bamboo, or you can also spot a few plastic ones but you probably already know that it is not the best material.
What to look for in a Pan Flute when buying?
As a beginner, you want your pan flute to, first and foremost, sound nice. It should be easy to play as well since it can make or break the whole learning process.
Then comes factors like the number of pipes and the tunability of the instrument. This decides the range of sounds that you can get out of your pan flute.
The quality of the pan flute also should be high. High-quality pan flutes last a long time, are convenient to play with and can prevent mouth injuries.
Lastly, you want to look at the price as well. Unless you’re a professional or planning to be one, you don’t want to spend a lot of money for what essentially will be casual playing. Luckily, there are a lot of inexpensive, but good pan flutes out there.
A pan flute is a traditional, folksy woodwind instrument that is fun to learn and even more so to play. There are many good pan flutes available today, so it shouldn’t be hard for you to find one.
The Peru Treasure 15 Pipes Pan Flute is a very nice overall instrument for beginners to play and has that all-in-one factor.
If you’re on a budget, the Cusco QT-21 3-Octave Panpipes is another good option to consider.