It’s a tough call, but it’s not impossible. That's why we did the research and created a buying guide full of tips on choosing a bowl, then introduce you to 10 of our favorites. Our top pick is Thamelmart for Beautiful Minds' Master Healing Hand-Hammered Tibetan Singing Bowl. It's hand-hammered and has a clean, beautiful sound. Read on to know more!
Karin is a certified yoga instructor and HR director in addition to running a successful Instagram account about fashion, lifestyle, and more. She describes herself as "a Boho Girl living in a Yogi World".
mybest US' editing team consists of experienced members who have backgrounds in writing, editing, translation, and more. We are dedicated to researching what makes a product or service the best to users in the US in order to create top-quality articles. From skincare, to kitchen appliances, and to DIY supplies, our mission is to find the best ones for you.
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Table of Contents
The resonance of a bowl and the vibrations it sends through your core are born from the materials that went into the bowl. If we look at both traditional and modern bowls, four main materials come to mind.
Bronze bowls are corrosion-resistant and tougher than iron. They tend to be full-throated and earthy-sounding and can hold a note for minutes, too!
There’s no perfect combination of copper and tin. However, many singing bowls are made from bell metal, which has a higher ratio of tin (20-25 percent). These resonate the most and are behind the deep, powerful vibrations associated with a good singing bowl.
The range of overtones that cannot be found in crystal sound bowls can often be found in bronze or brass bowls. Bronze bowls can be more expensive than brass bowls, but they're more easily found than crystal bowls. Bronze singing bowls are thought to be more authentic since bronze was the material used by ancient Tibetan and Himalayan cultures.
Brass is an alloy made up of copper and zinc. Its color is similar to that of molten gold, so it produces beautiful bowls. And that’s part of the reason why many modern bowls are brass, mass-produced by machines. If you come across a bowl that’s small and pretty cheap, it’s probably brass.
Brass bowls don’t sound as throaty as bronze bowls; they tend to sound higher and clearer, almost crystalline. A note doesn’t resonate for a long time, but that doesn’t make the bowl of lower quality; it’s all a matter of personal preference.
The more cost-effective alternative bronze is brass, which is much cheaper and easier to find. Brass bowls produce a sound that is clean and fairly clear without being sharp, and may, at times, not resonate in sound as far as a thicker bronze bowl or the sharper crystal singing bowls. These are low-investment in price and may be a nice stepping stone into the world of singing bowls.
There’s an old myth about bowls forged from the seven astrological metals–copper (Venus), tin (Jupiter), iron (Mars), quicksilver (Mercury), lead (Saturn), silver (the moon), and gold (the sun). This is mainly legend, though. While there are a few ancient bowls that are made up of seven metals, most are made of two.
Rather, many seven metal bowls are actually modern, products of artisans anxious to keep the myth alive. We don't have any idea how magical they are, but all those metals certainly produce a rich and many-layered sound.
Crystal bowls are available in a range of pastel colors, and they have a clear, airy sound that really clears the mind.
Compared to that of metal bowls, the ring of crystal bowls is higher-pitched. Their vibrations also travel deep into your body, which is why yogis and therapists alike use crystal bowls to soothe and heal.
Crystal sound bowls are very popular and produce sharper, more high-pitched sounds. Crystal bowl sound baths are popularly known to purify or strengthen every aspect of a space. They have a higher hertz level oftentimes, and crystal bowls are the ones most commonly used during yoga practice or during meditations.
So, are ancient bowls worth the extra money? If you are looking for mystique, you’re an audiophile, and you can somehow verify that a bowl is indeed old, then we would say yes. But it’s hard to guess the age of a bowl, especially online. It’s easy to make a bowl look older than it is; patina is not a reliable marker.
Modern bowls still work to bring down a blanket of calm, and they’re reliably cheaper. To ensure quality, this article introduces only bowls that are being reliably produced right now.
Deciding between buying older bowls or brand-new bowls can usually be chalked up to personal preference. In terms of bronze bowls, the older bowls will have thinner layers on the bottom, which potentially produces a slightly different undertone.
Regardless of age, try to experience the sound a bowl makes before purchasing. A high-quality bowl, whether old or new, will create several tones and continue its ring significantly, whereas a cheaper bowl's sound will fade away rather quickly.
Many bowls are tuned to a certain pitch, each connected to a certain Chakra. If you’re looking for a bowl to heal your Chakra, see if it sings at the following notes.
Starting up top, we have the Crown Chakra, which leads us into higher states of consciousness and forms a bridge to the universal. Its note is B. A little bit lower, we have the Pineal Chakra, also known as the Third Eye. It’s connected to mystical vision and foresight. It responds to the notes A and A#.
Next is the Throat Chakra, which leads us to communicate and speak the truth. Its notes are G and G#. Then, there’s the Heart Chakra, the Chakra of love. It opens at the notes F and F#. Moving down, there’s the Solar Plexus Chakra. It’s associated with ego and willpower. Its note is E.
The Sacral Chakra is tied to pleasure and sensuality. Its notes are D and D#. Finally, we have the Root Chakra, which connects you to the Earth and makes you feel secure. It responds to the notes C and C#.
While it's easy enough to ask your singing bowl seller or look up which bowl resonates with which chakra, I highly recommend experiencing one or more chakra meditations so you can start to notice what resonates with which chakra before trying to purchase a singing bowl to play, to heal or open up a chakra.
If not properly used, singing bowls can oftentimes do more harm than good since they are played at such high frequencies and can unlock certain parts of the body.
Singing bowls come in different sizes. And this factor actually matters to the kind of sound the bowls can produce.
Usually, small bowls measure around 3.5 to six inches in diameter. They produce higher-pitched sounds than bigger ones, but the resonance isn't as long-lasting. They're quite affordable and are also convenient to bring with you when you're traveling, however.
Medium-sized bowls are about seven to eight inches in diameter and fit nicely in your palm. They produce sounds that are similar to the human voice and have a great resonance. Medium-sized bowls are quite popular and can be used for meditations, chakra balancing, and so on.
Without a doubt, large bowls have the most powerful vibration. They measure more than 10 inches in diameter and might be a bit heavy and tough to handle. Therefore, they're usually played on the ground instead of being held in your hands.
Also, large bowls are often played at large gatherings where many singing bowls are used at the same time to create grounding effects.
The size and thickness of a bowl will determine which chakra it resonates with and the depth or range of sound it makes. Typically, the rule of thumb is that the larger the bowl, the deeper the chakra down the line of the body.
For example, for the higher chakras (such as the throat or heart chakra), use smaller three- to five-inch bowls whereas the larger nine-inch bowls are more used for your sacral or root chakras.
Click to purchase
Thamelmart for Beautiful Minds
Master Healing Hand-Hammered Tibetan Singing Bowl
A Low, Complex Gong Set That Rings Forever
Tibetan Singing Bowl Set
A Contemplative Image of Buddha in the Base
Tibetan Singing Bowl Set
Sings in Long, Resonate Notes
F Note Crystal Singing Bowl
Tuned to the Chakra of Compassion and Beauty
Tibetan Singing Bowl Set
Set Your Mind at Ease With the Power of Sound and Crystals
Tibetan Singing Bowl Set
Excellent Built Quality and Design
The Ohm Store
Tibetan Singing Bowl Set
Has a Crystalline Ring and Provides Palm-Sized Mental Clarity
Singing Bowl With Mallet｜Om Mani Padme Hum Peace
Available in a Range of Sizes and Colors
Tibetan Handmade Singing Bowl Set
Carries a Deep Ring and is Inscribed With Compassion
Bronze and Gold Tibetan Singing Bowl Set
Two Handmade Singing Bowls for Twice the Zen
And it’s not only bell bronze; the maker lists off the seven elements, which contribute to the layered harmonics and low, mellow gong. It also comes with a cushion!
A few buyers notice that the bowl has scratches, while some find it difficult to use due to the lack of instruction.
Still, most reviewers say that the bowl sings easily and the sound is clean. For them, listening to it is a purifying experience. Other buyers further add that the bowl is so resonant and it sends vibrations through the entire body.
Some reviewers find it hard to create a sound, while some others are disappointed that the sound produced isn't really loud.
Yet, most reviewers compliment that it sings out rich, deep, and clear sounds that linger for a while. It’s helped with insomnia; some have played the bowl before sleep and were able to drift peacefully into slumber. Many buyers also praise the exterior and interior designs of the bowl.
It can feel cold and mechanical, but the tone is guaranteed. The one’s tuned, of course, to F–the heart chakra, overflowing with love and beauty.
A few buyers complain that the bowl breaks easily, so handle it with care! Meanwhile, many others find the bowl easy to use and are amazed at how loud, clear, and resonating the sound is. They also love the carrying case that comes with the product, which makes it convenient to bring around.
This beautiful bowl comes in a set with seven Chakra crystals: amethyst, clear quartz, lapis lazuli, green aventurine, rose quartz, red jasper, citrine, and carnelian. The stones are meant to enhance the healing properties of the bowl.
Each crystal has a different property, ranging from representing creativity to bringing you insight. And if you aren't sure what to use and when then the set also comes with a free eBook and user's guide!
A couple of reviewers note that the bowl was not as big as they expected and they couldn't get the bowl to sing. On the other hand, happy buyers were excited that the set came with a necklace to hold the crystal of your choosing. They also liked the small note from the manufacturer, the beautiful sound it produced, and they felt it was good for beginners.
Some buyers aren't able to make the bowl sing, but others succeed after a couple of tries and practices. They find the instructions easy to follow and helpful, too! Most reviewers are also satisfied with the sturdy construction and the clear, relaxing sound that resonates with them.
Still, many others love the high, crystalline ring that clears the mind. They also comment that the vibrations travel through the air, and the sound resonates. Reviewers find the bowl sings to a different note–most fall between a mid-D or E.
Some reviewers note that the little ones can sound tinny when the volume peaks. Others mention that the lip’s tight, so it doesn’t sing easily. They note that the bow sings to different notes, and, if you’re too rough with it, the lip chips over time.
Still, for many reviewers, the tone’s calming, resonant, and grows louder as you glide the mallet along the rim. They also compliment the design of the bowl.
A few buyers share that the bowl doesn’t sing willingly, but it will after some practice. Many others further add that when it performs, the sound is deep, warm tone layered beneath a high, bright ring.
It may be hard to tell what exactly you're getting with these handmade bowls in terms of notes and materials, but it's a great two-in-one deal. Plus, the two different designs can suit your varying moods and purposes. Since this set comes with everything you need, including wooden strikers and cushions, it's great for beginners!
One reviewer uses a tuning app to determine the tone of the bowl and find that both of the bowls sound at E#. Meanwhile, other reviewers mention that these bowls produce beautiful sounds and it's easy to make them sing.
If you're interested in antiques, it might be interesting to learn about all the different kinds of bowls there are. They didn’t make it into our top 10 list this time around because we can’t guarantee authenticity. But at least you can keep this information in mind for the next time you visit Nepal or Tibet.
The Remuna is a cousin to the Thadobati. They have similar soundscapes; the Remuna sings perhaps a bit higher, but it varies from bowl to bowl. But with the Remuna, the walls slope inwards and are quite thin. They’re just as easy to play as the Thadobati, though.
They’re also encased by high walls, but the walls are more curved than those of the Thadobati. They’re always hand-beaten and show off indents from the blows of the hammer.
Manipuri bowls all have short walls and are pretty shallow, but that’s where the similarities end. They can be thick or thin, plain or covered in inscriptions, big or small. Most have a diameter less than half a foot, though.
These bowls are common and varied, which means they sing in a bunch of different octaves and are relatively cheap.
These big bowls are rare and magical-looking. They are quite large, roomy, and have blooming lips, which is why they look so much like cauldrons. Because they’re so deep, they’ve got a low timber to their rings, bringing to mind the “ohm” of monks.
We’re moving further into the territory of rare singing bowls. Mani bowls have lips that curve inwards. They’re heavy, squat, with thick walls. Despite that, they tend to sing in bright, penetrating notes.
It’s no wonder, then, than lingam are often used for rituals. They have a pulsating ring, which ranges from mid- to high-range. They’re also, arguably, the rarest and most expensive of the singing bowls–and the market is rife with fakes.
If you're new to singing bowls and don't really know how to play one, check out the below youtube video, courtesy of ShaktiGray.
Need more ways to chill out besides singing bowls? We've got you covered. Take care of yourself!
No. 1: Thamelmart for Beautiful Minds｜Master Healing Hand-Hammered Tibetan Singing Bowl
No. 2: Maha Bodhi｜Tibetan Singing Bowl Set
No. 3: Silent Mind｜Tibetan Singing Bowl Set
No. 4: TOPFUND｜F Note Crystal Singing Bowl
No. 5: HEALING WAVES｜Tibetan Singing Bowl Set
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