Best Vandoren Clarinet Reeds

Are your last clarinet reeds cracked; do you want to replace them? Perhaps your ensemble’s raving reviews of Vandoren clarinet reeds left you curious. Are these reeds worth a shot? Read to find out more.

Reeds make or break the sound of a clarinet. A reed is an essential two-and-a-half inches long piece of cane that contributes to the functionality of a clarinet. Without a reed, a clarinet will not produce sound. The wrong reed can also make a premium clarinet sound subpar and flawed. Luckily, Vandoren has a proven century-old track record in the clarinet music industry.

If you’re in the market for a Vandoren clarinet reed, the great news is you’re on the right track. Vandoren makes quality clarinet reeds that produce impeccable sound without squeaks. The wide variety of Vandoren reeds matches most clarinetist needs and preferences since it offers different strengths and sizes. Here’s what you need to know about the popular French-cut Vandoren clarinet reeds.

Best Vandoren Clarinet Reeds- A Comparison

Best Vandoren Clarinet ReedsBest ForReed StrengthCheck Price
Vandoren Juno Clarinet ReedsBest For Beginners2, 2.5,3, 3.5Check price
Vandoren Traditional ReedsBest Flexible1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4, 4.5, 5Check price
Vandoren V.12 ReedsBest Durable2.5, 3, 3.5, 3.5+, 4, 4.5, 5, 5.5, 5.5+Check price
Vandoren 56 Rue Lepic Clarinet ReedsBest Stable Sound2.5, 3, 3.5, 3.5+, 4, 4.5, 5, 5Check price
Vandoren V21 Clarinet ReedsBest Versatile2.5, 3, 3.5, 3.5+, 4, 4.5, 5, 5Check price

Best Vandoren Clarinet Reeds Reviews

Vandoren Juno Clarinet Reeds – Best For Beginners

The design of Vandoren Juno Clarinet Reeds is ideal for a beginner clarinetist.

Key features

  • Extra- response
  • Sealed in individual Flow Pack
  • Pack of 3 or a box of 10 and 25

The art of a clarinet may overwhelm a newbie; it requires finger dexterity, coordination skills, a developed oral cavity, and strong air support through your embouchure muscles. Vandoren eased these learning obstacles when its team created the Juno Clarinet Reed. The Juno design is one of the softest Vandoren clarinet reeds. A Juno Reed’s flexible and extra-responsive cut makes it easier for amateur clarinetists to make full sounds as they learn tonal quality. This Vandoren model gives students a great sound and encourages them to learn how to play the clarinet.

Clarinet novices agree that the Juno Reed helps them play high and low registers. A band director and music teacher can use the Juno Reed to teach students the basics until they master control of a clarinet. The low cost of Juno clarinet reeds doesn’t compromise sound quality since Vandoren makes them from the same cane that builds professional reeds. Juno reeds are compatible with Bb, Eb, and Bass clarinets.

What we liked;

  • Affordable
  • Comfortable
  • Easy to use

What we didn’t like;

  • A few squeaks


Vandoren Juno Clarinet Reeds are excellent for beginner clarinetists. The soft nature of these reeds makes it easier to learn clarinet basics.

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Vandoren Traditional Reeds– Best Flexible

This standard Blue Box Vandoren Traditional Reeds are a popular choice for clarinetists who want a quick, bold, even, and clear articulation.

Key Features

  • 0.09 mm wide tip and a 2.8mm thick heel
  • Sealed in individual Flow Pack
  • Box of 10 or 50

Traditional clarinet reeds have a thick heart and the thinnest tip. This unique design makes this model ideal for any music genre. These reeds respond well to registers and deliver a clear sound, particularly for high or low notes with minimal squeaks. A Traditional reed’s flexibility allows you to play legato and staccato articulation. The various strengths and sizes of Traditional suit beginners, professionals, and classical clarinetists.

Notably, Traditional Clarinet reeds are an excellent transition from Vandoren Juno Clarinet Reed since they suit students with diverse experience levels. Intermediate students can use Traditional Reeds to sharpen their clarinet skills and strengthen their embouchure muscles. Vandoren Traditional reeds work with Eb, Bb, and Bass clarinets.

What we liked;

  • Various sizes and strengths to choose from
  • Great sound quality
  • Affordable
  • Smooth design

What we didn’t like;

  • Various choices can overwhelm beginners
  • Short lifespan


Vandoren Traditional reeds are flexible enough to play any clarinet music piece. The variety of these reeds makes them ideal for all clarinetists regardless of experience.

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Vandoren V.12 Reeds– Best Durable

Vandoren V.12 Reeds are durable clarinet reeds since they have thicker tips and longer palettes than Traditional.

Key Features

  • 0.1mm thick tip and 3.14mm thick heel
  • Sealed in individual Flow Pack
  • Box of 10 and 50

Vandoren makes V.12 Reeds with canes that share a similar diameter with alto saxophone reeds. The thick design makes V.12 reeds vibrate fast and delivers a remarkable range of rich sounds. Thick-tipped clarinet reeds last longer and save you money. Vandoren V.12 reeds are great for advanced clarinetists or long-facing mouthpieces like the 5RVLyre clarinet. Interestingly, if you are an alto saxophonist who wants to learn the clarinet, the Vandoren V.12 reeds are a start. This amount will serve your clarinet reeds for a while, considering their longevity. The Vandoren V.12 reeds work on an Eb and a bass clarinet.

What we liked;

  • Its compact structure
  • Easy to use
  • Great sound quality

What we didn’t like;

  • Limited strengths and sizes


Vandoren V.12 reeds are more durable than other Vandoren clarinet accessories. The thick compact structure of the V.12 improves its lifespan significantly.

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Vandoren 56 Rue Lepic Clarinet Reeds– Best Stable Sound

The Vandoren 56 Rue Lepic Clarinet Reeds have a thick tapered structure that resembles German reeds.

Key features

  • 0.11mm thick tip and 3.25mm-thick heels.
  • Sealed in individual Flow Packs
  • Packs of 10 and 50

This newer variety of Vandoren clarinet reeds has a quick response that offers an impressive, round, pure, and warm sound. The minute detailed strength graduations on these clarinet reeds make their sound consistent. Notably, these 56 Rue Lepic reeds are ½ strength stronger than Traditional Reeds.

Vandoren 56 Rue Lepic reeds work efficiently on the Bb and A clarinets. These pieces are ideal for clarinet novices and advanced players who play in solo acts, ensembles, and orchestras. Unfortunately, you can’t use the Vandoren 56 Rue Lepic Reeds on the widely-used Eb and bass clarinets.

What we liked;

  • Great quality
  • Easy to use

What we didn’t like;

  • Limited comparable strength range and sizes


Vandoren 56 Rue Lepic reeds offer a stable sound that produces rich music for solo or group acts.

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Vandoren V21 Clarinet Reeds– Best Versatile

Vandoren V21 Clarine Reeds are an exceptional blend of the V.12 Reed and 56 Rue Lepic Reeds.

Key Features

  • 0.1mm thick tip and a 3.25mm thick heel
  • Sealed in individual Flow Packs
  • Box of 20 or 50

The Vandoren V21 Reed has the profile of a V.12 reed and the shape of a 56 Rue Lepic Reed that improves your tone. This versatility of the V21 helps you to play large interval leaps of sound and maintains tone quality. Its unique design and varying strengths are a great idea if you have versatile needs. Clarinetists who fancy skips in their performances can benefit from the even rich tone of Vandoren V21 reeds.

You can use Vandoren V21 reeds on an Eb and bass clarinet. If you can’t choose between a Vandoren V.12 Reed and a 56 Rue Lepic Reed, the Vandoren V21 reed is the perfect middle-ground. Lastly, the strength of the reeds on Vandoren V21s is also harder than Traditional Reeds by a ½.

What we liked;

  • Versatile feel and sound
  • They work well on various clarinets
  • Easy to use

What we didn’t like;

  • Complicated for beginners


The distinct design of Vandoren V21 Clarinet Reeds offers a versatile clarinet sound experience. This model is an excellent compromise between the V.12 and 56 Rue reeds.

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Buying A Vandoren Clarinet Reed- What To Look Out For

Beginners and professional clarinetists need quality reeds that offer a great sound and a delightful music experience. If you are interested in a Vandoren, you have several choices. Since clarinetists put reeds into their mouths, they are personal; you can’t try them before purchase. Each clarinet box is a set of luck. Clarinet players also have varying talent levels. Therefore, you need to choose the right Vandoren clarinet reed based on your needs and preferences. You should assess the following factors before buying a Vandoren clarinet reed.

Your Clarinet

Considering the type of your clarinet is the easiest way to narrow down your search for the right reed. The size of your clarinet is a crucial factor. Make sure the reeds you want match the features of your clarinet to avoid wasting money. As mentioned earlier, Vandoren reeds pair well with Bb, Eb, and bass clarinets. Although Vandoren reeds work with any clarinet mouthpieces, you’ll deliver the best sound with a Vandoren mouthpiece.

Reed Strength

Vandoren denotes the strength of its clarinet reeds with a number system that ranges between 1 and 5. A seasoned clarinetist works with the highest reed strength since the instrument’s sound gradually improves with its corresponding resistance. This achievement is the ultimate goal for most clarinetists. On the other hand, clarinet reeds with the lowest strength benefit students and beginners.

Accordingly, you shouldn’t jump the gun and go for the highest clarinet reed strength until you hone your skills. When a reed is too hard for a player, it is tough to produce a sound on a clarinet. 1.5 and two clarinet reed strengths are softer and less resistant for beginners. Once you reach intermediate and advanced expertise levels on a clarinet, your reed’s strength is negligible. If you can afford it, experiment with other Vandoren clarinet reeds to understand what suits you.

Reed Quality

As mentioned earlier, the quality of your clarinet reed is crucial. According to Vandoren, its defined authentication system guarantees the quality of its clarinet reeds. Vandoren takes a strong stance against counterfeits. Each reed and its packaging has a unique identification code that verifies its authenticity on Vandoren’s official website. If you think the Vandoren clarinet reeds you bought are fake, use this system to confirm your doubts and ask for a refund from your retailer.

Once you purchase clarinet reeds from a trusted Vandoren seller, they mostly work right out of the box without tweaks. Nonetheless, you may have to adjust your new reed with a reed knife to shave and improve its fit. Technicians and experienced clarinet musicians are better at using reed knives; if you’re a beginner, consider taking your reeds to these professionals. You can also buy Vandoren’s clarinet reeds in bulk to prepare for mishaps like cracks or splits and factory defects in their structure.

Your Music Style

The music genre you play and the size of your ensemble determine the type of clarinet you should get. Vandoren clarinet reeds suit different music purposes. As you figure out which clarinet reeds meet your needs, you’ll soon discover how each reed creates a rhythm.

For instance, the Vandoren 56 Rue Lepic Clarinet reeds play better in an orchestra because of their quick response. During an orchestra, clarinetists tend to sit at the back of the group; they need their sound to reach the audience faster. The 56 Rue Clarinet Reed is the best for the job. On the contrary, softer clarinet reeds designed with a contrary response sound better in solo performances.

Verdict: Are Vandoren Clarinet Reeds The Best?

Vandoren clarinet reeds are among the best in the market. These reeds are ideal for beginners, intermediates, and advanced clarinetists. Reed strength, resistance level, and tonal quality are some of the factors you need to consider when buying Vandoren clarinet reeds. You can choose a Juno, Traditional, V.12, 56 Rue Lepic, and a V21 reed based on your needs and experience as a clarinetist. Opinions on the efficiency of Vandoren reeds are subjective since people have different tastes in music and preferences. You can experiment with other popular clarinet reeds like D’Addario and Rico to pick the best.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are Vandoren reeds expensive?

The Arundo Donax material that makes clarinet reeds grows off the Mediterranean sea in France and Spain. Processing this cane reed is time-consuming and costly. When the reed grows to its full size, it’s sun-dried, cut into small pieces, planed, polished, and graded before shipping. Luckily, the Arundo Donax reed is not as expensive as bassoon and oboe reeds used to make similar instruments.

How long should clarinet reeds last?

Quality clarinet reeds age depending on the frequency of use. Newbies or clarinetists who seldom perform keep reeds for around six months. On the other hand, intermediates and advanced artists who play almost daily keep their clarinets for a few weeks. Such serious clarinetists expose their reeds to more wear and tear. You should rotate between your favorite reeds to wear them down uniformly. You can also use several tactics to extend the lifespan of your clarinet reeds. For instance, mildly rubbing your reeds on a flat surface closes their fibers and enhances their life expectancy.

How can I break in Vandoren clarinet reeds?

New clarinet reeds are a thrill; they may tempt you to use them immediately. However, it’s vital to break in reeds gradually before use because they are a fragile part of clarinets. Experts advise clarinetists to play with a new reed for five minutes several times to test its responsiveness, resistance level, tone quality, and vibrations.

Your test results may change over the next couple of tests as the reed wets and dries during play sessions. Reed placement also influences the potential sound of your clarinet. When a new reed is too hard to play, lower it further into your clarinet’s mouthpiece for a better fit. In contrast, if the clarinet reed is too soft to use, move it slightly higher in your mouthpiece to get a better fit. Notably, hard clarinet reeds you can break in usually last longer than out-of-the-box reeds with a precise fit.

Are clarinet and saxophone reeds the same?

No, manufacturers design specific reeds for clarinets and saxophones. Although artists use these reeds interchangeably, this tactic affects the distinct desired sound quality of the two instruments. Understandably, reeds are costly fragile instrument parts; you may want to save money and maximize their value.

Nifty clarinetists and saxophonists should note certain limitations can hinder their attempts to interchange reeds. For instance, a soprano saxophone reed works well on a Bb clarinet, and the reed on a tenor saxophone works well on a bass clarinet.

How should I take care of my reeds?

Most clarinetists use a small water container to moisten their reeds. You can buy a conducive humidity pack to store your reeds in alternative moist conditions. Experts also recommend a multi-slotted reed case that is sturdy and flat to keep your reeds and stop them from warping. These steps maintain the quality of your reeds and increase their longevity. Vandoren has a Hygro Reed Case with six slots, a humidity controller that changes color when your reeds are too dry, and grooved floors that promote even drying. The Vandoren reed case is an affordable option you can explore.


Charlotte Moore is a Clarinetist by profession and has over time offered lessons on how to play the clarinet among other musical instruments. And while a majority of clarinet players are well versed with the process of settling with a good clarinet among other accompanying features. There is little information about clarinets. The reason why Charlotte prepared comprehensive experts touching on the various facets of the clarinet. The consolidated information will offer more insight on everything clarinets including the best stand to use, and the best plastic clarinet that you can invest in, among other information. Charlotte Moore is a devoted mother of two and a professional clarinet player.

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