Other chanting answers tend to explain tradition, but this question only concerns practicality.
Are the benefits of chanting exclusive, or can your practice easily be full and productive using other techniques?
For example, I don't sit lotus for any special reason. Simply to maximize stability and lessen distraction while meditating. Could someone develop a great practice sitting in a chair instead? I would guess they could, without necessarily missing something important.
On the contrary, if someone wanted to understand and fully benefit from Buddhism by becoming a master scholar, yet without putting in serious time meditating, I can't see how they'd even really achieve understanding let alone full benefit.
So which is it in this case? Is chanting just one of many paths of practice that is good, but not the only way? Or is it something fundamental such that omitting it is necessarily a detriment?
(if it matters, I most often study metta meditation personally, but often sit with diverse groups where chanting is done)