Are "Plastic" Reeds Better Than "Wood" Reeds?
To start with, synthetic reeds are not made of plastic. They are made of non-organic materials which makes them last longer than regular reeds. Most new players consider them "plastic reeds" so we will use that term here to describe them.
Plastic (synthetic) reeds are not better than wood reeds. Although some people may prefer a synthetic reed because it is consistent and long-lasting, most players prefer natural cane reeds because of the warmer sound and feel.
It's is all about what each player prefers. Using cane reeds, players have a good sense of control over the sound. The sound is also warmer on cane reeds. Unfortunately, since cane is a natural material, there will be no two reeds that are exactly the same. The quality of reeds will vary. It means that there will most likely be that one single reed from the box that doesn’t go with you and your instrument so you end up throwing it away and using another one.
On the other hand, synthetic reeds are consistent. The sound will vary among brands but they are usually consistent within their own brand. Synthetic reeds will not warp and they do not need to be soaked before playing. They are not affected by temperature and humidity. Some players like using them because their durability makes them last longer compared to cane reeds.