Harmonium Comparison: Bhava Lite vs. Bhava Mini

chant at home harmonium Aug 06, 2023

Folks frequently ask if I they ought to purchase a Bhava Lite or a Bhava Mini harmonium. This is an excellent question, so I am addressing it here!

There are three levels of quality of each of these instruments - Standard, Limited Edition and Concert. To do an apples to apples comparison, below I compare the Standard Edition of each instrument.


If you click on the "Product Specs" tab for each instrument you'll discover the Bhava Lite and Bhava Mini (Standard Edition) are identical when it comes to color, finish, wood selections, one-piece key construction, number of keys (32), reed type, reed banks and reed orientation. Neither have a coupler/scale changer, and both come with a padded gig bag (carrying case). 

Like all Bhava harmoniums manufactured by Old Delhi Music, both instruments come with solid wood construction, quality fit and finish, thoughtful engineering and ethical manufacturing. 


  • The Bhava Mini weighs 16.5 pounds while the Bhava Lite weighs 13 pounds. 
  • The Bhava Mini collapses (folds down) and  the Bhava Lite does not. 
  • The Bhava Mini has 2 stops and 2 drones (C,G) and the Bhava Lite does not. 
  • The Bhava Lite is smaller than the Bhava Mini. Lite dimensions (L x W x H) are 18.5 x 11.75 x 9 inches. Mini dimensions are 19 x 12  x 8 inches (closed), 19  x 12  x 13.5 inches (open).
  • The Bhava Mini costs about $100 more than the Bhava Lite. 


After playing/using both instruments the key performance differences I see are: 

  • Sound: the Mini's sound is richer, fuller and louder than the Lite. 
  • Sustain: the Mini's sustain is significantly longer than the Lite. 
  • Pumping the Bellows: I am an "enthusiastic" pumper. This means that it's quite easy for me to over pump and thus over-fill the bellows on the Lite, making the instrument "yell" rather than having a smooth, mellow sound. I'm less likely to over pump when playing the Mini, and more likely to do so when playing the Lite. 
  • Portability: the Lite is more portable than the Mini as it is 3.5 pounds lighter. 
  • Durability: while both harmoniums are quite well constructed and durable, the Lite eliminates the need to open/close harmonium (it’s not collapsible) and it has no stops/drones. Less "stuff" means less stuff that can break. 


Which one is better for you? It depends. The Lite could be a better fit for you if...

  1. You are a small, spritely person, the 3.5 pounds less weight of the Lite can make a real difference in portability;
  2. You have a soft voice and want an instrument that won't overpower you;
  3. You live somewhere like New York City where every inch of space and pound of weight really matters. 

If you don’t meet one (or perhaps 2-3) of the above criteria I suggest you get the Bhava Mini. You’ll be delighted with the Mini's sound and sustain (click links above for a more detailed analysis), which will make it easier (and more fun) to chant, learn, and share sacred chant with others. Unless you fit the above criteria you may find that the Lite is less instrument than you want/need.

In my opinion, the Mini is the Goldilocks harmonium - not too big, not too small, and very portable (it easily fits into an airplane overhead bin). The Mini has a full and rich sound, with excellent sustain. In most cases it’s well worth the extra $100. 

Hopefully this blog post helped you narrow down your search. No matter which instrument you purchase be sure to get the FREE Concert (A-440) tuning. This tuning will be much better if you ever want to play with other musicians. 


Have questions or comments? Interested in receiving information about exclusive offers and a promo code that will give you a discount on your harmonium purchase at Old Delhi Music? Click here and we will get back to you soon. Or, check out our harmonium guide - Everything You Need to Know to Buy Your Perfect Harmonium. 


Want to learn more about the harmonium? Check out these informative blog posts:


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