The best pocket trumpet is actually quite hard to put your finger on.
So if you’re thinking about taking a jab at jazz, then you’re in the right place. Because when it comes to getting into Jazz, there’s few ways to do so without breaking the bank. Pocket trumpets being one of them, as they’re essentially a full size trumpet that’s been hit with a shrink ray; you can get typically get a LOT more for your money by opting for a pocket.
And while there are those who say “pocket trumpets are (this, that & the other)” don’t let that put you off. In fact, not only are pocket trumpets great for beginners, but they’re also (providing you avoid cheap pocket trumpets) a joy to play for any brass buff too. In short then, they’re no gimmick! Invest in best pocket trumpet & you can almost guarantee you’ll stumble across some truly exceptional tones.
Hence why we’ve taken the initiative to list & review the best pocket trumpets we could find – i.e. save you all the hard work. In which case, what brand makes the best trumpets? And are they really worth it? Read on & we’ll reveal all.
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The best pocket trumpets @ a glance…
Our rundown of the 11 best pocket trumpets
Okay, so let’s get straight into this rundown. But first…
Know that this list has been compiled in accordance to sound & value. So while there will be some familiar pocket trumpet brands, they’ll also be some that are somewhat less ‘conventional’. It turns out that if you go by ear, ‘brand’ isn’t everything in the pocket trumpet game. Speaking of which, here’s over 10 of the best pocket trumpets you can buy today…
1: Plato Pocket Trumpet
Another head turner when it comes to pocket trumpets, is this little gem by Plato.
We say so because of its use of brass. This mini trumpet certainly looks the part – the golden lacquer that serves as another protective layer over the brass is super shiny. When it catches the light it’s just WOW! But this trumpet isn’t all about appearances – it sounds the part too. Blow into it & even if you’re a beginner you stand a good chance of sounding impressive. That’s because even though this trumpet is aimed at intermediate/ pro players, the way it plays makes it pretty easy to get a good sound out of it.
The smooth valves make judging your sound & hitting the right notes a piece of cake. So much so that we’d even say that with this pocket trumpet, you have as much control as you would with the original full size instrument. Something else also worth pointing out about this Plato pocket trumpet would be the bell, which excels in terms of projection, so even using this in busy places, you can still draw a crowd.
Volume aside, the intonation is decent too, as is the pitch. Together they come together to create a really nice bright, but rounded sound. One that you wouldn’t expect from a trumpet this small!! Safe to say if you’re a fan of pleasant surprises, then this could well be the best pocket trumpet for you.
Here’s why this Plato pocket trumpet rocks…
2: Jupiter JTR710S Silver Pocket Trumpet
As far as professional pocket trumpets go, it’s hard to beat the Jupiter’s JTR710S. An instrument that’s clearly designed with serious horn players in mind. It doesn’t take a genius to spot that.
The build puts a lot of cheap pocket trumpets to shame. In fact, we struggled to find one part of it that doesn’t feel well engineered. Everything from the valves & water keys right down to the bends in the pipe, feels like it’s been done with intention. High quality too. Not one part of this mini trumpet feels flimsy. The bell is a particular talking point.
At 121mm it is by far the biggest on this list, which as you can imagine, translates into a sound that’s both wider & louder than the majority of pocket trumpets. The silver-plated brass also goes a long way towards helping this horn sound individual. Team that with a case that’s framed in wood + a set of stainless steel pistons & really, with the Jupiter you’re buying into a whole lot more than just a pocket trumpet.
You’re investing in the ‘best of the best’ – a professional grade instrument.
The Jupiter is the best pro pocket trumpet because…
3: Sai Musicals pocket trumpet
Quirky aesthetics aside, this pocket trumpet really does pack a punch.
Being a mid-range (semi-pro level) trumpet, it’s build is reasonably solid. As far as we could tell no parts were loose or wobbled like you find on cheaper variants. And really aside from the sound that’s really what stood out to us – it’s a very composed instrument. There’s a nice weight to it, as well as a premium feel. Characteristics you don’t expect from a trumpet at this price range.
Something that’s partially to do with how the valves function. Unlike you get with a lot of cheap pocket trumpets, they’re smooth & easy to gauge, which makes placing your notes an absolute doddle. Ideal for any beginner! And as for the sound, well – that’s no slouch either. The tones you get from this trumpet are rich, vibrant & full of life. This is NOT a monotone trumpet!
Perhaps something to do with the size & shape of the bell, which does a really good job at projecting the sound. And if that’s not enough, the lacquer on this trumpet really does make it shine. So aside from a great instrument, it’s also not a trumpet you’d be embarrassed to play.
What makes this pocket trumpet a contender?
4: Classic Cantabile TT-500
As you can imagine, with this trumpet being so popular, there’s a LOT to talk about…
So let’s start with the trumpet itself, which straight out of the box, looks impressive. One of most noticeable differences to us about the Classic Cantabile when compared to other cheaper pocket trumpets, is its yellowish gold finish. Something that you only seem to be able to get with high priced models – perhaps because of the metal content?
Either way, the tonal quality of this mini trumpet is certainly up there with the best. The sound is sharp, but rounded, & has a significant range. Blow into the mouthpiece softly & you can achieve some real delicate sounds. Most likely something to do with the bell, which at 105mm is larger than a lot of PTs on this list. Couple that with the sturdy overall build of this trumpet & it’s genuinely hard to pick fault.
To hold, this mini trumpet is up there with the best. Even for those with big hands, it’s not too much of a squeeze. And yet despite it being aimed mainly at intermediate players, it functions super well for beginners too. Unlike a lot of cheap pocket trumpets, it doesn’t feel ‘built to a budget’, but more ‘built to last’.
All things considered, the TT-500 is one very capable trumpet, that has attracted a crowd for good reason.
Why the TT-500 is worth your time…
5: Stagg WS-TR249S
There’s no hiding it – Stagg make some of the best pocket trumpets you can buy. And this, the WS-Series is no exception.
To hold, this pocket trumpet feels really solid & tough. And it should do because weighing in at over 4Ibs, it’s not exactly a lightweight. Hardly a problem unless you plan on doing a full 45 minute concerto. As brass fanatics will already know, you can sense the ‘step up’ in build in comparison to a cheap pocket trumpet.
The stainless steel valves are the ‘stand-out’ difference to us. As not only are they rustproof, but they’re also incredibly smooth. The word ‘glide’ would be as more accurate description, as they really do give you a lot freedom. Ace for making micro adjustments! Team that with the 7C silver-plated mouthpiece (105mm) & the fact there’s not 1, but 2 water valves & yep – it’s genuinely hard to pick fault with this trumpet.
It even comes equipped with a thumb saddle to increase comfort & help you keep it steady under play. The phrase ‘well thought-out’ springs to mind.
This is the best pocket trumpet because…
6: Chopra Brass nickel plated pocket trumpet
A professionally made instrument that’s made to last. When it comes to impressive build quality at an impressive price, this pocket trumpet by Chopra pretty much takes the biscuit.
Take it from us, this is one well-built horn that not only feels the part, but sounds it too. Thanks to the nickel plating, this trumpet has a certain tonal resonance that you don’t get with standard brass. Its sound is more sharp & bright sound. One which if you ask us, makes it very distinctive piece of kit.
Plus, it’s not like it’s been made on the cheap. A lot of research has gone into the engineering behind this trumpet to ensure that components like its valves operate smoothly & its body remains airtight, despite the fact there’s multiple adjusting tubes & water keys. All good news for cleaning! Now, while of course this is no Jupiter (our Pro Pick), it is solid enough to gain the appreciation of beginners, regular players & even brass buffs like ourselves.
In other words, in the title for the best pocket trumpet, it’s a worthy contender.
Why’s this pocket trumpet a good pick?
7: Stagg WS-TR245S
Yes – another product from Stagg. But for good reason…
While the TR247S (mentioned above) is practically the same in terms of build, the TR245S is all that, but wrapped in a classic shade of brass. Slightly less controversial than the shades of blue & red, in which you can also get this horn. Worth considering should you want to re-sell your horn down the line. Not that we think you would though, as this is an instrument you’ll be hard pushed to beat.
As with the 247S, the 245S sounds pretty much flawless. The tone of B flat is smooth and warm, thanks to that 105mm bell. And playability is much the same, due it having the same stainless steel pistons, 2 water keys & mouthpiece that you find on its more colourful cousin. So should you be buying a pocket trumpet as a gift, then this traditional brass variant of the Stagg would likely be a safer bet.
This is the pocket trumpet for you, because…
8: Roy Benson MOD.PT-302
Yep – you can’t mention brass instruments without touching on Roy Benson. A instrument brand that’s held in high regard across the brass world, as well as rumoured to manufacture their instruments in the same place as Selmer – another prestigious music brand renowned for their high-end saxophones & clarinets!!
So as you can imagine, the MOD.PT-302 is no slouch when it come to quality. The mix of yellow brass & nickel makes for a trumpet that both looks, feels & sounds premium. Across all volumes the sound of this trumpet is impeccable – a special thanks to its whopping 125mm bell. Something that projects the sound a fair distance, even in crowded areas. Eyes closed, you’d likely be fooled into thinking that you’re listening to a full-size trumpet!
Factor in the practicality of 2 water keys & the 3 spring action valves, & this trumpet really does make a lot of sense. Yes, it’s not the cheapest pocket trumpet you can buy, but in the long run, it certainly looks like a wise investment. Any intermediate player’s dream.
You should consider a Roy Benson because…
The best pocket trumpet for beginners is…
9: Pedkit Mini Pocket Trumpet
While the bright blue version may not be the best pocket trumpet for professional musicians – it’s a bit ‘in your face’ for an orchestra. You can get this mini trumpet in 5 colours, so if the vivid blue or red doesn’t tickle your fancy, there is the option to opt for a more low-key silver or brass finish. Just to put that out there. Speaking of which…
We like to think of the Pedkit as a starter or hobby-focused trumpet. Now don’t get us wrong, this mini trumpet is ace. You can achieve some really good tones with it & it’s comfortable to hold. Only, as far as we can tell, it’s not quite as well put together as others on this list. Now whether that’s an issue for you or not really comes back to what you’re after.
If you’re after the ‘perfect pocket trumpet’ with a large bell, then we’d suggest you steer clear of the Pedkit altogether. The bell is pretty small at just 96mm in diameter! However, if you’re just after a casual mini trumpet that ‘does the job’, then you probably can’t go far wrong. There aren’t many trumpets where you get this many accessories for the £$€.
Plus, as much as some may say those mock mother-of-pearl valves look a bit over the top, we kinda like them. Ask us & they give it a somewhat retro twist. Really then, this pocket trumpet is very much yin & yang. Some people will love it, other will hate it.
Why the Pedkit mini trumpet is worth it…
Best pocket trumpet for kids
10: Sai Musicals pocket trumpet (Bright PINK!)
As far as playful instruments go, you can’t get much more junior than this. A bright pink pocket trumpet that’s cheap, cheerful & easy to play.
Exactly why if we were buying a trumpet for a child, this would be the one we’d buy. The main reason coming back to how it’s made. Unlike a lot of expensive trumpets, which are made using brass, this trumpet is made of pure copper. Therefore, it’s not only lighter, but it’s also more durable + cheaper too! Important when little ones can be tad rough during play!
What’s more, unlike the majority of pocket trumpets out there, it doesn’t take itself less seriously – those faux mother-of-pearl valve tops are proof of that, as is the garish pink exterior. All great news if you want to get your little ones excited about playing music from a young age. And yes, there’s only one water key, which can make it a bit of a pain to clean + the valves are nowhere near on par with those you’ll find on a high end Jupiter trumpet.
But for putting a smile on a child’s face, we can think of few instruments that do it better.
Here’s why a bright pink trumpet is a good idea…
Want to go one better? Try this pocket cornet (subtle difference)
11: Queen Brass Zweiss Pocket Cornet
Fancy a step up from a pocket trumpet? Here you are…
Designed in Britain, this pocket cornet is arguably 1-up from a pocket trumpet in a sense that it’s not actually a trumpet. It’s a cornet, but made using the same pocket formula. Something that’s not only a rarer find (i.e. more collectable), but also packs a lot more punch in terms of sound. Close your eyes & you’d be forgiven for thinking that this pocket cornet is full-size. The two literally sound identical.
And on the topic of sound, we were impressed. Where some cornets can sound a tad muddy if they’re not tuned right, this one sounded clean throughout the note register. There’s a real richness to the notes on this cornet that you don’t get with a trumpet. Dare we we say it’s more bassy. Perhaps something to do with the fact its bell is slightly larger than that of your average pocket trumpet + slightly more tubing is used.
Either way, if a pocket trumpet feels a bit ‘junior’ for you, then this cornet could well be a safe bet.
What is the best pocket trumpet in 2022? Our editor’s choice…
Out of all the pocket trumpets on this list, there’s one in particular that stands out for us. And that’s the…
Plato Pocket Trumpet – Best pocket trumpet (Most Popular)
And why all comes back to balance.
Ask us & the Plato gets the pocket trumpet formula spot on. It’s a quality build, but not such high quality that its price is out of reach of beginners. Neither is it hard to live with. It’s 2 water keys, both of which remain airtight during play & comes equipped with a usable mouthpiece & soft carry bag. During play, the valves provide good feedback & feel very much like those of a high-end Roy Benson trumpet.
Now don’t get us wrong, it’s no Jupiter. If you’re after a pro pocket trumpet, that’s the way to go. Same as if you want the choice of 1000 different colours, a cheaper pocket trumpet is likely the way to go. But you see, that’s exactly why the Plato would be our pick. It’s not uber precise, borderline gimmicky or made for the mass market. It’s just an honest pocket trumpet.
An instrument that we’;d be proud to own.
Enjoy what you’ve read and eager for more? Be sure to check out our latest gossip around Brass Instruments, as well as Musical Instruments in general. Equally, be sure to check out our recent articles on the Mellophone VS French Horn debate & the Best French Horn Cleaning Kits!
Or, if you’ve still got a burning question about these mini trumpets, keep reading to learn even more about how to spot the best pocket trumpet…