The flute is a popular reedless woodwind instrument. It is a mainstay in concert bands, orchestras, and musical ensembles from around the world.
Since the flutes of the flute family are such widely accepted instruments, there are plenty of options for student, intermediate and professional flautists. This isn't only true of individual instruments but also of solo flute makers and larger brands.
Of course, the brand is far from the most important aspect of a flute, though it's still worth considering for general knowledge and judgement. In this article, I'll share my take on the top flute brands.
Though obviously subjective and prone to biases, I've done my best to list out these brands based on the following metrics (in no particular order):
- Company reputation
- Performance of the flutes
- Longevity of the flutes
- Variety of flutes available
- Accessibility of the flutes (how easy they are to find/buy)
- The company must currently be in operation
With all that being said, let's list out the brands.
The top 11 best flute brands are:
Let's get into each of these brands in greater detail and explain why they belong in the top 11 best flute brands. I'll share their country of origin, a bit of history, an example of a notable flute, and a link to their official website.
Related My New Microphone articles:
• Top 11 Benefits Of Learning & Playing Flute
• Top 11 Best Online Resources To Learn How To Play Flute
• Top 11 Best Piccolo Brands On The Market
• Top 5 Best Ocarina Brands On The Market
• Best Microphones For Miking Flute
Click here to return to My New Microphone's articles on musical equipment brands/manufacturers.
Perhaps, the most ground-breaking achievement from Miyazawa to the world is the co-design of the Brögger System along with Danish virtuoso Johan Brögger. This pinless system revolutionized the world and is present in every design Miyazawa retails to the world.
Speaking of which, Miyazawa Flutes are made of 958 silver, silver-and-gold alloys, 9k, 14k, 18k, and 24k gold, sterling, and even platinum. Moreover, the customization options are virtually endless. If you are after the ultimate instrument for your collection, you can't overlook Miyazawa Flutes.
Notable flute: Miyazawa 24K Gold With 14K Gold Mechanism (link to check the price at Schmitt Music)
Representing the top-of-the-crop of one of the most sought-after flute brands globally, this Miyazawa gold flute might be up on the podium as one of the most luxurious, best-sounding, most durable flutes in the world.
Furthermore, with the company's Brögger System, French-Style pointed tonearms, open holes, Straubinger pads, and open holes, it is an utterly-precise instrument that is a joy to play and a delight to listen to.
If excellence is the aim of your quest, you have to stop and try one of these out.
Miyazawa Flutes was founded by Masashi Miyazawa in 1969. Currently, the company's headquarters are in Asaka, Japan.
Official website: miyazawa.com
The three tuning forks in Yamaha's logo represent the brand's long-standing commitment to excellence in the musical instrument world. Moreover, Yamaha pianos can be found in the most demanding stages in the world. In the same vein, Yamaha's wind instruments, and especially flutes, are proud samples of how far Japanese precision can go, especially when mixed with top-notch components and over 100 years of experience.
If you want to play in the big leagues, you have to arrive at the venue with a Yamaha (and a handful of awesome musical pieces).
Notable flute: Yamaha YFL997 (link to check it out at Yamaha)
Handmade in top-grade 14k gold, these flutes represent the highest standard of Yamaha's uncanny craftsmanship. To begin with, toneholes are solderless and undercut, adding a lively edge to the resulting sound.
Also, the offset G configuration makes it a breeze to play, and the split-E mechanism adds to the overall stability and intonation. Finally, the B footjoint adds an extra key that allows the player to go an extra step lower while adding warmth to the overall tone.
Yamaha was founded by Torakusu Yamaha in 1887. Currently, the company's headquarters are in Hamamatsu, Japan.
Official website: yamaha.com
Yamaha is featured in other top brand articles at My New Microphone. Check out these articles here!
Offering models for players at all levels, this company is the result of collaboration between George Bundy's long leverage as the manager of Selmer USA and Kurt Gemeinhardt's uncanny know-how in terms of flutes and piccolos. Furthermore, George relocated Kurt from Markneukirchen, Germany to Indiana because he was the fourth generation of flute makers.
After a successful collaboration for over two decades, Gemeinhardt started manufacturing only the finest flutes for professional players and then expanded the line to include all tiers becoming worldwide famous for its quality. If you are after the best money can buy, several candidates fit the bill in Gemeinhardt's catalogue.
Notable flute: Gemeinhardt The Revolution (link to check it out at Gemeinhardt)
Proudly made in the USA by master craftsman Tom Lacy and his team of notables, this flute honours its name. To begin with, the scale designed by Trevor Wye, William Bennett, and Eldred Spell is perfect from every perspective. In other words, this flute is so accurately in tune it can set the performer free to visit the wildest sonic landscapes ever imagined.
Since it is made entirely of sterling silver, this flute can give you decades of joy performing just like it did on day one. For those after excellence in the shape of a flute, this is a must-try before you buy.
Gemeinhardt was founded by Kurt Gemeinhardt in 1948. Currently, the company's headquarters are in Elkhart, Indiana, USA.
Official website: gemeinhardt.com
Gemeinhardt is featured in other top brand articles at My New Microphone. Check out these articles here!
Although Pearl is, perhaps, better known for being a world-class manufacturer of drums and percussion instruments, the flute division gained major notoriety in the past decades. This is because they have a line that includes student and entry-level models with an affordable price tag made in the company's Taiwanese facilities as well as an astonishing line of fully handmade solid silver and gold instruments made in Chiba, Japan.
Covering this much ground, Pearl Flutes can proudly offer an instrument for every stage of a player's musical journey. Thus, if you want a great product from a brand that can accompany you in your career, you have to check Pearl Flutes out.
Notable flute: Pearl Maesta Gold (link to check the price at Guitar Center)
Available in 10K gold, 14K rose gold, and 18K gold, these handmade works of art deliver a wide range of natural harmonic overtones that sound musical and appealing regardless of the style you play. The revolutionary pinless design gives this flute its superior performance. Although its breathtaking looks, this is a reliable and in-tune performing instrument ready to shine on any stage.
The only problem with a Pearl Maesta Gold is that it is very hard to put down once you've put your lips to it. If it fits your budget, try one out before buying anything else.
Pearl Flutes was established in 1968 as a division of the Pearl Musical Instrument Company, founded in 1946. The company's headquarters are in Chiba, Japan.
Official website: pearlflute.com
Pearl is featured in other top brand articles at My New Microphone. Check out these articles here!
Although the first Altus flute was born in 1981, this brand's history goes back to 1977. That year, Tanaka and virtuoso player William Bennett met.
From the natural chemistry of their relationship and combined passion for musical instruments, the Altus-Bennett scale was born. This revolutionary approach makes each Altus flute a perfectly in-tune musical instrument capable of creating uncanny sounds that can expand your tonal palette grandly.
Every Altus flute you pick up carries the master craftsmanship of Mr. Tanaka and the performing trajectory of Mr. Bennett in a durable, beautiful, great-sounding instrument ready to take the world by storm.
Notable flute: Altus Gold Series 7707 (link to check it out at Altus Flutes)
18K gold is not only beautiful building material for a flute, it also sounds like nothing else you've heard before. Indeed, the dark timbre and warm tone combined with complex harmonics give this flute a rare sonic personality, hard to find elsewhere.
Since it bears a higher density than most materials, it is highly malleable. Thus, precision and perfection are adjectives to describe its perfectly in-tune, flawless performance. If you're after the best in the market, stop and give this flute a try.
Altus Flutes was founded in 1981 by Shuichi Tanaka. Currently, the company’s headquarters are in Azumino, Japan.
Official website: altusflutes.eu
This family-owned business results from three generations of flute makers with a common objective: excellence. Such is the case that no other flute company in the world sells as many professional-grade flutes as Muramatsu, shipping them to every corner of the planet.
This is not just a random fact but the outcome of decades of relentless innovation and a deep concern for perfection. Excellence in the world of flute makers has a name: Muramatsu. In case you haven't already, be sure to try one out before buying any other brand.
Notable flute: Muramatsu Platinum Clad (link to check the price at Flute World)
Built from solid silver with a generous platinum coating, this flute sounds just as you would expect: full, expensive, complex, and powerful.
Moreover, the durability of this precious metal, platinum, makes it one of the most dependable instruments in the market and provides uncanny warmth and projection to the sound.
Furthermore, the Muramatsu key mechanism will grant decades of flawless performance, making this a perfect musical instrument to accompany you in your musical adventures, expanding horizons as you go.
Muramatsu Flutes was founded by Koichi Muramatsu in 1923. Currently, the company’s headquarters are in Tokorozawa, Japan.
Official website: muramatsuflute.co.jp
William Haynes was a master silversmith who made a name for himself, creating some of the most innovative, best-sounding flutes in history. He patented his particular flute design in 1914 and started making instruments for the most exclusive stages around the world.
Soon after, his name became so popular he even made one-of-a-kind instruments for star soloists in every corner of the planet. Speaking of which, his famous all-platinum flute made for Georges Barrère is still today a benchmark the industry finest can be measured by.
If you want to take a step into one of the most exclusive clubs in the world, you need to test a Haynes flute before buying.
Notable flute: Haynes Custom Platinum (link to check the price at Flute Center)
Coming straight from the book of legends to your lips, Haynes's uncanny design and craftsmanship make this one-of-a-kind work of art the perfect canvas to paint a lifetime of passion for music.
Indeed, those moments in which only an extraordinary instrument can take your playing to that territory, you can pick this model up and travel to the unknown note after note. Finally, they are only custom-made by order, enhancing uniqueness and collectability.
The William S. Haynes Flute Company was founded by William S. Haynes in 1888. Currently, the company’s headquarters are in Acton, Massachusetts, USA.
Official website: wmshaynes.com
Burkart is the creation of two very different people with very different backgrounds and a common goal: to create the best flute in the world. On one side, Lillian Burkart is a professional flute player who started learning the art of flute playing at age 10 and holds more than one music degree.
On the other hand, James Phelan is an instrument repair technician with decades of experience working for orchestras around the world. Moreover, he also holds a degree in mechanical engineering.
Together, they joined forces, talent, and passion to create the instruments they always dreamed of having. As a result, every flute coming out of the Burkart factory is ready to make history.
Notable flute: Burkart Resona R300 (link to check the price at Flute Center)
This sterling silver flute represents the highest degree in the Resona line for Burkart. Still, this is one of those few rare cases in which everything feels and sounds like a custom-ordered piece with the price tag of a stock line-produced flute. This is because the quintessential Burkart sound is forged in the same facility and tested by the same gifted technicians that make the all-platinum top-of-the-line models.
Sounding amazing doesn't necessarily mean breaking the bank; grab one of these and hear it with your own ears.
Burkart was founded by Lillian Burkart and James Phelan in 1982. Currently, the company’s headquarters are in Shirley, Massachusetts, USA.
Official website: burkart.com
Burkart is featured in other top brand articles at My New Microphone. Check out these articles here!
The idea behind Azumi's foundation was to create a flute that was good enough to be at Mr. Tanaka's standards and affordable enough for the aspiring musician. Thus, these flutes feature a machined body together with a professional, handmade Altus headjoint. This way, the company narrows the gap between a professional instrument and one for the aspiring, amateur, or aficionado player.
If it fits within your budget and you're looking for the best bang for the buck, this company might offer some interesting models for you.
Notable flute: Azumi Britannia Silver Headjoint Flute Series S2 (link to check the price at Thomann)
The combination of 958 Britannia Silver Altus headjoint, 925 sterling silver lip-plate and riser, and silver-plated nickel silver body and mechanism make this affordable flute a must-check for the player on a budget.
Plus, when playing with one of these, you'll not only get to experience one of the best headjoints in the market but also play an exceptionally in-tune instrument crafted by experts at a fraction of the price of a real Altus handmade flute.
If you have the chance and the budget, play one of these before buying anything else; it might surprise you.
Azumi Flutes was founded by Shuichi Tanaka as an intermediate quality division of Altus handmade Flutes, headquartered in Azumino, Japan.
Official website: azumiflutes.com
Parent company: KHS America
Known to manufacture some of the best-quality flutes in the world through Altus and Azumi, the know-how gathered by KHS after acquiring these exclusive brands cascaded into the affordable line offered by Jupiter. Thus, this brand offers a great chance to have a quality instrument at a competitive price.
If you are after the perfect balance between price and quality, Jupiter is a great choice for you.
Notable flute: Jupiter 1100 Performance Series JAF1100E Alto Flute (link to check the price on Amazon)
The classic warmth, tone, and quality that make Azumi and Altus world-class flutes can be heard in this model by Jupiter as well. Despite the differences in terms of construction and material, the quintessential quest for excellence that has driven generations toward Japanese precision lives in the design of these affordable Jupiter models.
Finally, the silver-plated nickel silver body makes this a durable instrument and a lasting beauty. If you want quality at a price you can afford, you need to check this model out before buying.
Jupiter was established by KHS Musical Instruments in 1980. Currently, the company’s headquarters are in Taipei, Taiwan.
Official website: jupitermusic.com
Jupiter is featured in other top brand articles at My New Microphone. Check out these articles here!
The company offers entry-level, semi-pro, and professional models for musicians looking for a good cost/performance balance. That being said, the entire team of notables in the production line, as well as the R&D team, are musicians. Therefore, you can expect a level of attention to detail that can only come from passionate personnel that understands the nuances musicians go for.
As a result, every Trevor James flute, regardless of the price tag, comes from the same facility and is ready to take your playing to the next level.
Notable flute: Trevor James Virtuoso (link to check the price at Flute Center)
This flute oozes majestic 14K rose gold bonding, and 925 silver lip, riser, headjoint tube, body headjoint, and footjoint. Besides, the high-quality Italian pads, hidden adjusting screws, and pointed key arm mechanism, make this a high-quality, durable, easy-to-play instrument. Plus, just like every Trevor James flute, it is finished and set up by hand in TJ’s UK facilities by qualified technicians.
If you're looking for a gorgeous instrument that won't break the bank, this is a great place to start.
Founded by Trevor James in 1982, the headquarters of this young company is in Lenham, United Kingdom.
Official website: tjflutes.com
Trevor James is featured in other top brand articles at My New Microphone. Check out these articles here!
- Brannen Brothers
- Roy Benson