I have played the Banjo for years and fancied something portable and fun. to get away from Tablature and learning by ear. I can now read music a bit more and am practicing to get better with this melodica. I also have a soft spot for accordions and harmonicas> Melodicas are the perfect middle ground, plus they are cheap and cheerful. Hohner invented Melodicas in their modern incarnation and so I decided to buy one of their brand.
The instrument is well made, and plays in tune. There are no dud notes, which I had read could be an issue in other Melodicas. That said, like a lot of companies, Hohner's manufacturing is outsourced to China and I can't help but notice that this instrument is structurally identical to many £20 offerings from other brands to the extent of identical plastic mold lines and screw positions. I suspect they might all be made in the same factory. That said, I am happy with the quality of this instrument.
I have settled on playing it hand-held, flat with two hands like a whistle. Being left-handed means my dominant hand can help from the top of the keys. There is a handle for the left hand that fits four fingers realistically. This aggravated an old thumb injury so I gave up on that within an hour. There is also a long tube to enable tabletop playing. The all-black keys look cool and I chose this because I bought my partner the white-keyed version so we can tell them apart. The one-colour keys are a little hard to distinguish as a result, but it is good practice to not look at your hands in my opinion, so I try not to. 37 keys is a good idea and I have used the whole range including the top end. The online advice is 'get as many keys as you can afford' and I'm inclined to agree.
The sound is great and needs very little breath to sustain. I'd say at least a quarter of what you need for a Clarinet.
I highly recommend this instrument!