When even Silicon Valley goes on yoga retreats, you know it’s time we all got in touch with our souls. But who’s got the time or money to fly to resorts, seclude themselves on a mountaintop, or make a pilgrimage to Tibet? Not us. So why not bring the Himalayas closer, instead, and listen to the voices of singing bowls?
As with all spiritual objects, singing bowls are daunting to buy online. How can you know it’ll connect with you, that its sound will really soothe and heal? It’s a tough call, but it’s not impossible. This time around, we’ll give you some tips on choosing a bowl, then introduce you to 10 of our favorites.
How to Choose a Singing Bowl – Buying Guide
Just like humans, no two bowls sing in the same voice. Here are some ways you can tell whether a bowl is right for you.
What Kind of Tone Are You Looking For? Materials
The resonance of a bowl, 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: Traditional, Hand-Beaten, Soothing and Sonorous
If you find a bowl that’s been hammered into existence, it’s probably some kind of bronze. The ratio of copper to tin varies from bowl to bowl–and that, in addition to age, is how you get a range of colors: a bronze that’s a warm coffee, versus a bronze that’s a bright gold. Bronze bowls tend to be full-throated and earthy-sounding and can hold a note for minutes.
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%). These resonate the most and are behind the deep, powerful vibrations associated with a good singing bowl.
Brass: Easily Mass-Produced and Sounds Clean and Clear
Brass is an alloy, made up of copper and zinc. It’s got a color 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. Actually, if you come across a bowl that’s small and dirt-cheap, it’s probably brass.
Brass bowls don’t sound as throaty as bronze bowls; they tend to ring higher and sound more clear, crystalline. A note doesn’t also hold for as long. But that doesn’t make the bowl of lower quality, per se–it’s all a matter of personal preference.
Alloys Made up of Many Metals: Complex, Layered Sound
Some bowls are a mixture of five or more metals, including iron, silver, or even gold. Each metal’s got its own tone, but generally speaking, the more ore there is, the more complex the soundscape. If the bowl sounds like it’s singing in multiple pitches at once, it’s probably been hammered from multiple metals.
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 haven’t any idea how magical they are–but all those metals certainly produce a rich and many-layered sound.
Crystal: Pure Sound and Sharp, Tangible Vibrations
These don’t look the most Buddhist, but they sure are beautiful. Crystal bowls have been surging in the West. They’re available in a range of pastel colors, and they’ve got a clear, airy sound that really clears the mind. The ring’s higher pitched, and the vibrations travel deep into your body–which is why yogis and therapists alike use crystal bowls to soothe and heal.
Modern Bowls for the Everyday; Ancient Bowls for the Mellowness of Age
Just as a good guitar ripens with age, the sound of a bowl also mellows as the years go by. It gains “character,” as fanatics say. And old bowls have history. While most modern bowls are here to help city-dwellers de-stress, ancient bowls often served some ceremonial or religious purpose (or, more prosaically, they were used to store grain).
So, are ancient bowls worth the extra money? If you are looking for mystique, if you’re an audiophile, and if you can somehow verify that a bowl is indeed old, sure. 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. (Though, by the way, you can buy purportedly ancient bowls online on sites like eBay.)
What Note Does It Ring Out? Open Your Chakras
Many bowls are tuned to a certain pitch, each connected to a certain Chakra. (Crystal bowls, by the way, hold a note most reliably. Hand-crafted bowls are unique by nature and often sing at varying pitches.) 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 3rd 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#.
Top 10 Best Singing Bowls to Buy Online
Now, it’s time for you to find your match. Many of the bowls we introduce here have videos or audio clips, so give them a listen and find the voice that moves you most.
10. TOPFUND Singing Bowls F Note Crystal Singing Bowl (8″)
Flawless Appearance, Tuned to the Chakra of Compassion and Beauty
Let’s shake off tradition for just a bit. These bowls are made of quartz, which sound somehow purer, more airy than the earthy resonance of metal. Strike the bowl once, run the mallet around its rim, and the bowl will ring on and on. The 8″ is mid-tone; if you’re looking for something with a deeper hum, TOPFUND’s also got bowls twice as big.
The bowls are machine-made, hand-polished. So it can feel cold and mechanical, but tone is guaranteed. The one’s tuned, of course, to F–the heart chakra, overflowing with love and beauty.
9. DharmaObjects Tibetan Meditation Om Mani Padme Hum Peace Singing Bowl
The Loveliest Beginner’s Bowl–Available in a Range of Sizes and Colors
We aren’t sure how excited you’ll be when you hear these bowls are available in a fun variety of sizes and colors. The small bowls vibrate at a high, bright frequency; the bigger ones are fuller, throatier. The tone’s calming, resonant, and grows louder as you glide the mallet along the rim. (The little ones, though, can sound tinny when the volume peaks.)
The lip’s tight though, so it doesn’t sing easily. They also all sing to different notes–and, if you’re too rough with it, the lip chips over time. But it’s a lovely bowl with a lovely sound at a lovely price.
8. The Ohm Store Tibetan Meditation Yoga Singing Bowl Set
Crystalline Ring and Palm-Sized Mental Clarity
You can’t tell from the picture, but this bowl is really small and cute; you can cup it in your palm. It’s not hard to get it to sing, and it’s got a high, crystalline ring that clears the mind. The vibrations travel through the air, and the sound resonates. Each bowl sings to a different note–most fall between a mid-D or E.
This bowl will travel from Nepal to reach the shores of America. Parts of it were hand-crafted, others machine manufactured, and while it isn’t exuding mystique, it’s honest–does what it claims to do and is well worth the price.
7. Yak Therapy Tibetan Handmade Singing Bowl Set
Carries a Rich, Multi-Tone Ring and Is Inscribed with Compassion
Here’s another little (4″) bowl. There is, again, no consensus as to what note it sings to–the description refers to the Crown Chakra (its note is B), but listeners have also heard F and A. This bowl also doesn’t sing willingly, but it will after some practice. When it performs, the sound is layered–a deep, warm tone beneath a high, bright ring. (It claims to be made out of 7 metals.)
Its voice has been called haunting, yet infinitely serene. It’s got all the little imperfections of a hand-crafted item. Within, it’s inscribed with the Tibetan mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum,” related to transformation and the Bodhisattva of compassion.
6. Singing Bowl Nepal 11″ F Note Master Healing Mantra Carved Singing Bowl
Looks Aged and Hand-Hammered, with an Inscription of Buddha
The bowl’s got patina, the indents of numerous hammer blows, and a faint Buddha inscribed at the bottom of the bowl. Prayers are carved into the walls, among them “Om Muni” (Om Buddha). So, you can’t accuse it of not having atmosphere.
It sings easily and can hold a note for ages. The sound is layered, and you can feel the vibrations in the air, so some use the bowl for healing. It’s soothing. It, too, was crafted in Nepal by hand; it claims to sing to F, the Heart Chakra, but there is likely variance between one bowl and the next.
5. Geshe’s Dharma Tibetan Singing Bowl Set Hand Made 5″
Calms down Your Kid and Opens the Chakra of Communication
Because these bowls are hand-made, they sing in a variety of notes. Most are G, the Throat Chakra, or the Chakra of expression. Other times, however, it’s come out to C, or C#, the Root Chakra, which deals with physicality and survival. Either way, the sound is warm and washes over you, soothing you. (If it can calm down a kid frustrated with his homework, it can calm down anyone.)
Most just strike it. If you want to rub it around the rim and get it to sing, you can do so; it’ll just take time and patience. But that’s why you’re getting this bowl, right? To practice calm and fortitude.
4. SUMCOO Sound Bowl, Tibetan Singing Bowl
Palm-Sized Bowl with a Soft, Silvery Tone
All the 4 inches of this bowl sit snugly on the palm of your hand. It sings willingly; even a child can run the wooden mallet along its rim and get it to ring out. It’s got a soft, silvery tone–almost bringing to mind the sound of wind-chimes, but fuller and lower. However, it continues to ring for only a few seconds after you strike it.
It’s squat, bulbous, with the lip curving steeply in. The hammer marks on the bowl are beautiful, the sound it produces calming.
3. Silent Mind Hand Hammered B Crown Chakra Tibetan Singing Bowl Set
Sings in Long, Resonate Notes, Which Induces Oneness with the Universe
This bowl’s lovely, with gently sloped walls and hammer grooves. It’s made only of bronze, and yet it sings out with rich, varied undertones. Strike it, and one note seems to stretch into eternity. Most are tuned to B, the note of the Crown Chakra, connected to awareness, identification with the universe, and transcendence.
This bowl came from the heartland, Nepal, hand-crafted by a local artisan. It’s helped with insomnia; some have played the bowl before sleep, and were able to drift peacefully into slumber. Others leave it on their desk, and when work threatens to get overwhelming, they strike it and remember to breathe again.
2. Maha Bodhi Tibetan Singing Bowl Set
Purifying Sound and Contemplative Image of Buddha
It’s a little Buddha that can fit in the palm of your hand! And yet, the bowl is so resonant, it sends vibrations through your entire body. The sound is clean, and listening to it is a purifying experience. But the rings do fade away after a few seconds, and the sound lacks deeper undertones–the usual weaknesses of inexpensive little bowls.
It sings quite easily–but, again, each bowl hums in a different note. The box it comes in is a vibrant crimson–beautiful and perfect to hand off as a gift.
1. Singing-bowl House 11″ D-Chakra Master Healing Singing Bowl
Low, Complex Gong That Rings Forever
Because these bowls are hand-hammered, they don’t all sing at a D–but they do all sound beautiful. Strike it once, and you can still hear faint hums a couple minutes later. 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’s not a willing singer–most abandon the stick and strike it with the mallet. It’s calming, and you can fill its 11″ diameter tub with water and watch the ripples dance.
Extra, Extra! Types of Traditional Singing Bowls
If you are 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.
Thadobati: Characterized by High Straight Walls
Thado means “straight.” These singing bowls all have high, straight walls and a wide bottom. They’re quite common, as far as antiques go, and carry a wide variety of designs and inscriptions. They’ve also got flexible singing voices, stretching over four octaves, and are quite easy to play.
Remuna: Characterized by its Bulbous Profile
The Remuna’s a cousin to the Thadobati. They’ve got 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 thinner. They’re just as easy to play as the Thadobati, though.
Jambati: A Popular Chakra Healer
Jambatis have often got a low, calming ring to them–which might be why they’re so popular as Chakra healers. 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: Shallow Walls, Huge Range of Types
Manipuri all have short walls, 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.
Pedestal or Naga: The Most Mystical Looking
These are the only bowls that loom up on a pedestal–and they look beautiful and mystical. It’s no wonder that many originally had a ceremonial use and bear some kind of inscription. There’s a wide range of thicknesses and sizes, but generally speaking, these bowl have a clean, bright sound. They don’t resonate as deeply.
Ultabati: Witchy, with a Low Resonance
These big bowls are rare and magical-looking. They’ve got blooming lips, which is why they look so much like witch’s cauldrons. Because they’re so deep, they’ve got a low timber to their rings–bringing to mind the “om” of monks.
Mani: Squat, and Yet High-Pitched
We’re moving further into the territory of rare singing bowls. Mani have lips that curve inwards. They’re squat, with thick walls–despite that, they tend to sing in bright, penetrating notes.
Lingam: Ritualistic, with a Pulsating Ring
These adorable fellows are identified by their bellybuttons. Lingnam are sometimes associated with Shiva, the male principle, or pure consciousness. It’s no wonder, then, than lingam are often used for rituals. They have this 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.
Beauty and sound are such subjective things. A bowl may soothe one person and grate on the nerves of another. Hopefully, though, you’ve discovered one from among our selection that will bring you peace in today’s relentlessly chugging, relentlessly cold society. Best of luck.
Karaoke is always a welcome addition to any party. The only problem is that it can sometimes be difficult to get the right tools to where you need them, especially since traditional karaoke machines require a TV or bulky equipment. Luckily, there are quite a few options for portable karaoke machines now that allow you to take the fun anywhere. But picking the right one can make or break your party, so it’s important to get it right. In this guide, we’ll go over the things you should consider when deciding on a portable karaoke machine. At the end, we’ve also got a list of our favorites to help you get started on your search. How to Choose a Portable Karaoke Machine – Buying Guide While you should definitely consider going for the flashiest machine possible, you want to make sure that it also fits your needs and situation. Standalone Mic or Speaker Set Depends on Portability Needs and Party Size There are two main types of portable karaoke machines: all-in-one microphones and separate m
With the spread of Bluetooth technology, shower speakers are now the perfect accompaniment to off-key singing at bath time. But with companies like Anker and JBL, each with their own waterproof, compact, and high fidelity products, how can you choose the best one? So let’s talk about what points to look for when buying a shower speaker. After you’ve gotten down all the important features and looked through our listing, you’ll be back to singing in the shower in no time. How to Choose a Shower Speaker – Buying Guide Let’s start off with three points to consider: how waterproof it is, how good it sounds, and how easy it is to pair with your phone. Check the Waterproof Performance If you’ve never used a waterproof speaker before, your biggest question is most likely, “How waterproof is it, really?” You won’t be able to enjoy your bath if you’re worrying about this question, so let us break it down for you. The standard notation IP was established by the IEC (International Electro
Some fair foods are pretty easy to replicate at home–funnel cakes, corn dogs, and candy apples, for example. But cotton candy, one of the most iconic and most fun to eat foods, is nearly impossible to make without a dedicated machine. Luckily, cotton candy machines are pretty easily accessible, even to those who just want to make some for themselves or the kids. But whether you’re looking to whip up some fluff for a small slumber party or a big fundraiser, you’re going to want a machine that works for your needs. In this guide, we’ll go over the different factors to consider when choosing a cotton candy machine. At the end, we’ve also got a list of our 10 favorites to help you get started on your search. How to Choose a Cotton Candy Machine – Buying Guide Finding the right cotton candy machine can be a sticky process. The cute designs and fun colors of the machines may catch your attention, but don’t forget to take your own situation and needs into consideration first. What Can You T
Kids have different needs than adults when it comes to sleep and wake time. That’s why we’ve combed through the internet to find the best alarm clocks for kids. While researching, we found that the best kids’ alarm clocks are age-appropriate, have light-up features, and also help kids get to bed on time. Many of these include sleep training lights to help kids recognize when they should be in bed and when they can get up. Keeping these things in mind, we’ve come up with a list of our favorite alarm clocks for kids available online. Top 10 Best Alarm Clocks for Kids to Buy Online Finding the right alarm clock is largely a matter of figuring out what your child needs right now and what will continue to work for them as they grow. 1. LittleHippo Mella Ready to Rise Children’s Sleep Trainer and Alarm Clock Visit Amazon for more details Price: $49.99 Best Alarm to Grow with Your Child This design-focused alarm clock has enough features to evolve and grow with your child, but it isn’t overl
Summer is right around the corner, and before you know it, the days will be getting hotter, and you’ll be looking for a way to cool off. While it can be fun to go out for a cool treat, it’s nice to also be able to make your own at home. Whether that’s slushies, snow cones, or frozen margaritas, a shaved ice machine is the best summer house guest. There are a ton of options available, but not all of them will suit your needs. In this guide, we’ll go over the factors to look out for when choosing the right shaved ice machine for you. At the end, we’ve also got a list of our 10 favorites to help you get started on your search. How to Choose a Shaved Ice Machine – Buying Guide Shaved ice machines run the spectrum from $10 plastic machines that look like toys to gigantic metal machines that can shave hundreds of pounds of ice every hour. This guide will help you find your happy medium. Blocked Ice or Cubes–Consider Convenience and Ice Fluffiness Traditionally, shaved ice machines used big
At some point in our lives, we all need to hang something on a wall. Whether you’re a parent proudly showing off your child’s art or a college student decorating a dorm room, there’s always something new to be displayed. Unfortunately, a lot of times putting things up on the wall also means ruining walls. But while heavier items may actually require some nail pounding, lighter objects like posters and pictures can easily be mounted with some mounting putty. However, there are seemingly endless amounts of mounting putty out there, and almost all of it looks the same. So naturally, it can be a pretty tough decision. Luckily, we’ve put together this quick guide to help you find one that works for your needs. If you still find that you’re having a hard time choosing, we also have a list of our ten favorite mounting putties for you to consider. How to Choose a Mounting Putty – Buying Guide Having the right putty can make or break your decor. Here’s how to make sure you choose the right one
Traditional candles–particularly the scented ones–can often leave you with a headache or your bookcase covered in soot. Not exactly the relaxing environment you’re looking for. So we researched materials and pored through Amazon reviews and came to the conclusion that the best candles for you and your home are non-toxic and free from paraffin, phthalates, and lead. These candles are often soy- or beeswax-based and scented with all-natural essential oils. We kept all of this in mind as we hand-picked the best non-toxic candles on the market. Top 10 Best Non-Toxic Candles to Buy Online These candles aren’t just the most loved, but they’re also the best options with the most transparent labeling. 1. Old Factory Scented Candles (3 Candles) Visit Amazon for more details Price: $28.97 ($9.66 each) Best for Those Who Don’t Normally Like Scented Candles Tired of hyper-feminine floral candles? These candles come in thematic sets sure to appeal to a wide range of preferences. Sets range from
We scoured the internet and pored over reviews to figure out what makes a great wearable speaker. By the end of our search, we came to the conclusion that the best speakers can be worn while doing multiple activities, offer good sound quality and battery life, and won’t be affected by a little rain or sweat. Many are worn on the neck, wrist, or as a clip-on, include wireless technology such as Bluetooth, and are built largely for use during exercise or workouts. Keeping these factors in mind, here are some of our favorite wearable speakers available online. Top 10 Best Wearable Speakers to Buy Online Finding the right speaker for you is as much about considering the specs as it is about finding the right balance of quality, function, and price. 1. Doltech Wearable Speaker with Retractable Earbuds Visit Amazon for more details Price: $49.99 Best 2-in-1 This wearable speaker features retractable earbuds so you can listen to your music two different ways. It has a silicone neckband that m
Finding the right pot for your indoor plants can be a struggle–not only do you have to make sure it looks good, but it has to work too. We scoured the internet and pored over reviews to figure out what makes a pot so great. We found that the best pots are made from a material suitable for your plant’s water needs, fit your plant properly, and have proper drainage. On top of that, it pays to also consider its weight if you’re planning on hanging it or keeping it on a shelf. With these factors in mind, we’ve put together this list of the best pots for indoor plants available online. Top 10 Best Pots for Indoor Plants to Buy Online These pots are good looking, neutral enough for most decor styles, and they work. Of course, you’ll want to find something that fits your home’s aesthetic needs, but this a pretty solid place to start. 1. La Jolie Muse White Ceramic Planters (Set of 2) Visit Amazon for more details Price: $29.99 Best Medium-Sized Pots for Modern Decor This set of two indoor pl
We’ve all heard by now that plastic isn’t the best thing to be using, especially in the kitchen. But food can’t just be exposed all the time, so we’ve searched the internet to uncover the best silicone stretch lids available. After poring over descriptions and reviews, we’ve come to the conclusion that the best lids are made from food safe materials, stretch to fit the size and shape of your containers, and meet your organizational needs. Keeping these things in mind, we’ve selected some of the best silicone stretch lids available online. Top 7 Best Silicone Stretch Lids to Buy Online While most silicone lids tend to look very similar, there definitely are ones that work better than others. Always be sure to read reviews before you purchase. 1. Mockins Silicone Stretch and Suction Lids (12 Pack) Visit Amazon for more details Price: $12.99 Best for Those with Varied, Irregular Containers For those with a mess of irregularly shaped containers, this set is for you. Not only does it includ