This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Which saxophone is best?

The saxophone is one of the most renowned instruments across genres, including jazz, rock and concert bands, among many others. In addition, it makes a great learner instrument for beginners or musicians looking to try something new. However, it can be intimidating to sift through the options with so many different kinds and qualities available today. The Glory Professional E-flat Alto Saxophone Bundle not only has a great sound quality but also comes with all the accessories you need for a reasonable price. 

What to know before you buy a saxophone

Common types of saxophones

While there are as many as nine types of saxophones, there are four that are commonly used, ranging in size and overall pitch:

  • Soprano saxophone: Soprano saxophones are the smallest and highest-pitched types of saxophones.
  • Alto saxophone: Alto is the most common saxophone range, offering a build that’s smaller and lower-pitched than the soprano saxophone.
  • Tenor saxophone: Tenor saxophones are lower in frequency range than alto saxophones in addition to being slightly larger.
  • Baritone saxophone: Baritone saxophones, sometimes abbreviated to bari saxophones, are the largest of commonly used saxophone sizes, and they produce low-frequency notes.

Other rare types of saxophones include the high-pitched sopranissimo and sopranino saxophones as well as the super-low bass, contrabass and subcontrabass saxes. C melody saxophones are another rare type and are often likened in size and pitch to the tenor saxophone.

Skill level

Your skill level may determine what kind of saxophone is best. If you’re just starting out, it may be worthwhile to choose an affordable saxophone over an expensive one, as well as a product that includes the necessary hardware to start playing. Intermediate and professional-level saxophone players, however, often benefit from the high-quality components used in high-end saxophones. In addition, younger learners may prefer a smaller instrument, such as an alto or soprano saxophone.

Saxophone pitch

It’s worth noting that saxophones aren’t in concert pitch, which is considered C. Alto and baritone saxophones are in E-flat, while tenor and soprano saxophones are in B-flat. These notes correspond to what note is actually played when a saxophone’s C is played. This isn’t particularly important and won’t affect reading music — though it may save you some confusion when talking to or playing with other musicians.

What to look for in a quality saxophone

Preferred range and size

Most saxophone buyers will choose an instrument partially based on the size and note range they prefer. Alto saxophones are most common for beginners, while soprano saxophones offer a smaller build suitable for many children starting extra young. The tenor saxophone and baritone saxophone are best saved for players with some experience since they’re larger and heavier.

Accessory bundle

Saxophones need certain accessories for playing, cleaning and storing the instrument. For playing, saxophones require a mouthpiece, reeds, a ligature and a neck strap, in addition to the actual body, bell and keys on the horn. Many high-level saxophone players prefer to buy reeds and sometimes other hardware like mouthpieces and ligatures separately from the instrument. If you’re just starting out, however, it’s worth purchasing a bundle that includes necessary parts like a strap, case, mouthpiece, reeds and cleaning hardware.

Quality build

The quality of a saxophone often dictates its approximate price. Higher-quality instruments have the potential to offer warmer tones and longer-lasting lives. However, you don’t need to drop a fortune on the best saxophone available if you’re just starting to learn the instrument.

How much you can expect to spend on a saxophone

Cheap saxophones are sometimes priced as low as $230 for entry-level and beginner’s instruments. For saxophones designed for intermediate and professional use, you can expect to spend $500-$2,700.

Saxophone FAQ

Do saxophones include spit valves?

A. Not in most cases. Some low-frequency styles of saxophone, such as the bari and the contrabass, do include spit valves, but tenor and alto saxophones do not. Instead, it’s best to regularly take apart your saxophone to clean it and remove any condensed moisture from playing.

Is it easy to learn to play the saxophone?

A. The saxophone is relatively easy to learn, especially if you have experience with other wind instruments. The saxophone includes similar fingerings to the flute and a reed like clarinets and other woodwinds. Its mouthpiece is quite different from brass instruments like trumpets, trombones and tubas, but these still require similar breathing techniques to the saxophone.

What’s the best saxophone to buy?

Top saxophone

Glory Professional Eb Alto Saxophone Bundle With Case And Reeds

Glory Professional E-flat Alto Saxophone Bundle with Case and Reeds

What you need to know: This alto saxophone features a beautiful finish and a powerful sound, and it comes at a price that’s perfect for those just starting out.

What you’ll love: This saxophone features an impressive value, and it features the mouthpiece, reeds, strap, case and more to get playing. It’s small enough to be used by all ages, and it can also be purchased in 13 colors and finish combinations.

What you should consider: This saxophone is best for beginner and intermediate players.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top saxophone for the money

Mendini By Cecilio Eb Alto Saxophone Bundle With Case And Reeds

Mendini By Cecilio E-flat Alto Saxophone Bundle with Case and Reeds

What you need to know: This bundle features a great starter saxophone, including a case, mouthpiece, reeds and more.

What you’ll love: Buyers love the value, and it also offers a robust sound and high-quality, handcrafted parts. This saxophone can also be purchased in 11 colors, and it comes with a useful chromatic tuner for practice time.

What you should consider: Some buyers had to tighten the keys upon arrival.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Glory Professional Black And Gold Bb Tenor Saxophone Bundle With Case And Reeds

Glory Professional Black and Gold B-flat Tenor Saxophone Bundle with Case and Reeds

What you need to know: This beautiful black and gold tenor saxophone comes with a case, reeds and everything else you need to get started, and it boasts a resonant sound.

What you’ll love: This B-flat saxophone features beautiful hand-engraved designs on the bell, and it includes a mouthpiece, a strap, grease and a pair of gloves. It can be purchased in gold in addition to black.

What you should consider: Some buyers decided to upgrade the accessories down the line.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Peter McGuthrie writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.