5 Best Drum Heads to Buy in 2018

Whether you are buying a​ drum set for the first time, or you are replacing your drum heads for the 10th time in your life, knowing what to look for in a quality drum head, or skin, can make your dollar go further, and make your drum head last longer. The quality of drum head you need will depend on how often you use your drums, what kind of music you play on them, and if you travel a lot, or require a certain sound from your drum kit. 

In this review of the best drum heads, we’ll give you an overview of what to look for when it comes to choosing the right drum head for your needs. As well, we’ll review the best drum heads in a variety of categories specific to each type of drum. As a first timer, or as a pro, there’s always something new coming out on the market to learn about, so don’t limit yourself to what you think you know about drum heads. Here we go! 

Whether you are buying a drum set for the first time, or you are replacing your drum heads for the 10th time in your life, knowing what to look for in a quality drum head, or skin, can make your dollar go further, and make your drum head last longer. The quality of drum head you need will depend on how often you use your drums, what kind of music you play on them, and if you travel a lot, or require a certain sound from your drum kit. In this review of the best drum heads, we’ll give you an overview of what to look for when it comes to choosing the right drum head for your needs. As well, we’ll review the best drum heads in a variety of categories specific to each type of drum. As a first timer, or as a pro, there’s always something new coming out on the market to learn about, so don’t limit yourself to what you think you know about drum heads. Here we go!

Best Drum Head Reviews

Best Drum Head Reviews

In this review, we’ll cover the best overall drum head, the best bass drum head, the best drum head for snares, the best drum head for tom toms, and the best economy choice drum head for entry-level of budget-conscious buyers.

In this review, we’ll cover the best overall drum head, the best bass drum head, the best drum head for snares, the best drumhead for tom toms, and the best economy choice drum head for entry-level of budget-conscious buyers

Product

Rating

Picture

Prices

Best Drum Head

Best Drum Head

Best Bass Drum Head

Best Bass Drum Head
Best Bass Drum Head

Best Snare Drum Head

Best Snare Drum Head
best snare drum head

Best Tom Drum Heads

Best Tom Drum Heads
Best Tom Drum Heads

Best Economy Choice Drum Heads

Best Economy Choice Drum Heads
Best Economy Choice Drum Heads

1. Best Drum Head

best drum head

Choosing between Evans and Remo for quality drum heads is like trying to choose between going to Disney World and going to Disneyland. They are both awesome. We had to make a choice though, so we picked the Evans Onyx Drum Head. 

We reviewed the 20-inch drum head and found that it had superior quality, design, and we actually really liked that it was black in color. It is made from two-ply film that measures 7.5 mil. As we discussed in our buying guide, double-ply drum heads offer more durability and life overall. The black color is actually a frosted coating that increases response and attack sounds, so it’s pretty cool. 

Evans drums are designed and manufactured in the United States, and they have been a leader in the drumming industry for years. You pop this drum head on your drum and have it tuned in seconds. It offers a 360-degree collar for a perfect fit, perfect tuning, and perfect sound. You can get Evans Onyx drum heads in a range of sizes including 6 inches all the way to 20 inches. It’s light weight, strong, and provides a unique and reliable sound overall. That’s why it’s our choice for the best drum head available right now.

Pros:

  • It’s available in a variety of sizes
  • Brought to you by a trusted name in the drumming industry
  • Offers easy fit and adjustment in seconds
  • Can be tuned in seconds right out of the box
  • Provides great sound and long-lasting durability
  • Made of quality materials
  • Coated
  • Double-ply construction

Cons:

  • If your other drum heads aren’t black, it might not match; if you don’tcare about that, this is the drum head for you!


2. Best Bass Drum Head

Best Bass Drum Head

Best Bass Drum Head

Turning to the best bass drum head now, we looked at both the Remo and the Evans and found that the Remo was slightly better with a medium-weight head made from apoly-spun fiber, single-ply Mylar film. It is a 24” bass drum head, so it’s a full-size option for drum kits. It provides a nice sound and a deep resonating range when struck. It is good for beaters, sticks, and brushes. You can use this on a band drum, as well as an up right rock drum set. It can also be used for different applications and various musical interest such as jazz or orchestra because of the deep sound that it makes when struck.

When it comes to choosing the best bass drum head, really what it boils down to is the quality of construction. Because the bass drum is used so frequently in songs, it gets a lot of traffic and use. The construction of the poly-spun fibers ensures arobust and well-constructed product, and it provides great sound on top of that. These drum heads offer a vintage look that is favored among drummers, and it will make the front of your drum set look awesome. 

Pros:

  • Well constructed
  • Available in 24” size
  • Vintage look and feel to appeal to the old school drummers
  • Single-ply construction
  • Deep sound and resonance
  • Great for beaters, sticks, and brushes

Cons:

  • Not available in other sizes at the moment

3. Best Snare Drum Head

Best Snare Drum Head

best snare drum head

Choosing the right drum head for your snare drum should not be taken lightly. Besides the bass drum, the snare drum is the most used drum head on the entire drum kit. More than any other drum, the snare is the high light of the show and keeps things moving. We chose the Evans MX5 snare drum head as our choice for the best snare drum head overall because it is a hybrid model. 

It is made from 5mil thick aramid fiber and polyester laminate. It provides a great sound and has a great response. It offers a crisp sound, more so than when a Kevlar drum head might, and it’s perfect for stationary drums, as well as side drums for marching bands. It works well indoors. As well, it has the ability to create a loud noise and carry in outdoor areas. It is well constructed and has a great deal of durability that enhances articulation and the playing experience. You won’t get any of those unwanted overtones with this well made snare drum head which features an overtone control ring. This drum head is available in both 14 inch and 13-inch sizes to suit your needs. Evans has been in the business of making drums for over 40 years, and you can tell that they have worked hard to create a product that delivers time and time again. We like the MX5 as our top choice for the best snare drum head on the market today.

Pros:

  • They are available in two sizes: 13 inchand 14 inch
  • Great color and construction
  • Made for marching drums, but can be used on stationary drums
  • These are made from 5mil film construction
  • Single-ply layer
  • Overtone ring to reduce unwanted sound
  • From a leadingmanufacturer with over 40 years experience in the drumming industry

Cons:

  • Buying drum heads separately means you might end up with a mismatched set


Choosing the right drum head for your snare drum should not be taken lightly. Besides the bass drum, the snare drum is the most used drum head on the entire drum kit. More than any other drum, the snare is the highlight of the show and keeps things moving. We chose the Evans MX5 snare drum head as our choice for the best snare drum head overall because it is a hybrid model. It is made from 5mil thick aramid fiber and polyester laminate. It provides a great sound and has a great response. It offers a crisp sound, more so than when a Kevlar drum head might, and it’s perfect for stationary drums, as well as side drums for marching bands. It works well indoors. As well, it has the ability to create a loud noise and carry in outdoor areas. It is well constructed and has a great deal of durability that enhances articulation and the playing experience. You won’t get any of those unwanted overtones with this well made snare drum head which features an overtone control ring. This drum head is available in both 14 inch and 13-inch sizes to suit your needs. Evans has been in the business of making drums for over 40 years, and you can tell that they have worked hard to create a product that delivers time and time again. We like the MX5 as our top choice for the best snare drum head on the market today.

4. Best Tom Drum Head

Best Tom Drum Head

best tom drum head

We chose a multi-pack for our top choice forthe best Tom drum head on the market so that all of your tom drums would match.While that might not matter to some, others will care a lot about presenting a unified front. And others just appreciate that everything goes together. In addition, whenever you can buy a set of drum heads, opt to get them. It’s great value for your money. 

The Evans G2 Tompack offers three tom drum heads that come in 10 inch, 12 inch, and 14 inches. They are a fusion pack, so they are made for slightly smaller than full-size drum kits. They have double-ply layers measuring 7mil in thickness. They are built to last. They have a coating on them to add warm tones and depth to your drumming. Rather than being opaque, these drum heads have a nice translucent finish which makes them look more expensive than they are, really.They also come in standard size packs, which measure 12 inches, 13 inches, and 16 inches; as well, they come in full-size rock packs measuring 10 inches, 12 inches, and 16 inches. So there is really something for everyone here. While you can get multi-packs of drum heads for toms from other manufacturers, we trust the long-time brand of Evans to deliver on quality and construction, so it’s our pick for the best tom drum head on the market. 

Pros:

  • This comes with a multi-pack with 3 sizes
  • Available in standard, rocker, and fusion drum sets
  • Great construction and color
  • Translucent finish
  • The drum heads are coated for better sound
  • The drum head measures 7mil film thickness
  • They are easy to install and adjust
  • Long lasting and durable

Cons:

  • There aren’t any real drawbacks to this set of tom drum heads, but besure to order the proper size for your drum kit. You don’t want to end up withsomething that is too small or too big. 


We chose a multi-pack for our top choice for the best Tom drum head on the market so that all of your tom drums would match. While that might not matter to some, others will care a lot about presenting a unified front. And others just appreciate that everything goes together. In addition, whenever you can buy a set of drum heads, opt to get them. It’s great value for your money. The Evans G2 Tompack offers three tom drum heads that come in 10 inch, 12 inch, and 14 inches. They are a fusion pack, so they are made for slightly smaller than full-size drumkits. They have double-ply layers measuring 7mil in thickness. They are built to last. They have a coating on them to add warm tones and depth to your drumming. Rather than being opaque, these drum heads have a nice translucent finish which makes them look more expensive than they are, really. They also come in standard size packs, which measure 12 inches, 13 inches, and 16 inches; as well, they come in full-size rock packs measuring 10 inches, 12 inches, and 16 inches. So there is really something for everyone here. While you can get multi-packs of drum heads for toms from other manufacturers, we trust the long-time brand of Evans to deliver on quality and construction, so it’s our pick for the best tom drum head on the market.

5. Best Economy Choice Drum Heads

Best Economy Choice Drum Heads

Best Economy Choice Drum Heads

The truth is that any drum head can be economical if you buy it in a small enough size. We focused on finding a decent average sized drum head for a good price. We landed on the Remo Ambassador Coated Drum Head because it was featured in 14-inch sizes, but it is available in every size imaginable. That’s right; this drum head comes in size 6 inches to 40 inches. That’s a great selection of drum heads, and it makes building your drum kit back up easier.

We chose a single drum head as our pick for the economical choice for best drum head though, just to be specific. This is considered the world’s best single-ply drum head, and it is coated for a more robust sound. It is a 10 mile clear film that will fit on my industry standard drums, including Toms. Best to check on the size of your drum before you order thought because, with such a range of sizes, you could end up with the wrong type. With slightly more experience in the industry than Evans, Remo offers great drumming solutions for everyone. This entry-level drum head is great for anyone on a budget, or someone who wants reliable drum head at an affordable price.

Pros:

  • Huge selection of sizes
  • Great construction
  • Affordable
  • 10mil clear film
  • Brought to you by an industry leading manufacturer
  • Durable and reliable
  • Coated for great sound
  • Economical choice for any drummer

Cons:

  • There aren’t really any cons to this drum head, but be sure to measure your drums before you order to ensure you get the proper fit for your drum kit.


     There aren’t really any cons to this drum head, but be sure to measure your drums before you order to ensure you get the proper fit for your drum kit.

The truth is that any drum head can be economical if you buy it in a small enough size. We focused on finding a decent average sized drum head for a good price. We landed on the Remo Ambassador Coated Drum Head because it was featured in 14-inch sizes, but it is available in every size imaginable. That’s right; this drum head comes in size 6 inches to 40 inches. That’s a great selection of drum heads, and it makes building your drum kit back up easier. We chose a single drum head as our pick for the economical choice for best drum head though, just to be specific. This is considered the world’s best single-ply drum head, and it is coated for a more robust sound. It is a 10 mil clear film that will fit on my industry standard drums, including Toms. Best to check on the size of your drum before you order thought because, with such a range of sizes, you could end up with the wrong type. With slightly more experience in the industry than Evans, Remo offers great drumming solutions for everyone. This entry-level drum head is great for anyone on a budget, or someone who wants reliable drum head at an affordable price.

Drum Heading Buying Guide

Drum Heading Buying Guide

Here’s everything you need to know about buying new drum heads for your drum kit!

Here’s everything you need to know about buying new drum heads for your drum kit

What Will You Be Playing With Your Drums?

What Will You Be Playing With Your Drums?

One of the first questions you need to ask yourself is what you will be playing on your drum kit. Do you play jazz, rock and roll, church music, or do they only get hauled out of the corner twice a year when friends come over for a drink? If you are a hardcore rocker, you are going to want to invest in a top quality set of drum heads. If you are an avid drum lover but don’t get a chance to play very often, you can probably get away with a middle-of-the-road type drum head. If you are a beginner, do your homework before you decide that all you need is an economy model of drum head. You never know where your drumming will take you, so give yourself some room to grow with at least an intermediate level drum head. 

One of the first questions you need to ask yourself is what you will be playing on your drum kit. Do you play jazz, rock and roll, church music, or do they only get hauled out of the corner twice a year when friends come over for a drink? If you are a hardcore rocker, you are going to want to invest in a top quality set of drum heads. If you are an avid drum lover but don’t get a chance to play very often, you can probably get away with a middle-of-the-road type drum head. If you are a beginner, do your homework before you decide that all you need is an economy model of drum head. You never know where your drumming will take you, so give yourself some room to grow with at least an intermediate level drum head.

Brand

Brand

When it comes to buying replacement drum heads, there are really only two brand choices out there that are worth mentioning and reviewing. One is Evans, and the other is Remo. These manufacturers have been around for years, and they continue to lead the way in innovation and design, quality and sound when it comes to drum heads. In this review, we’ll review products from only these two brand manufacturers.

When it comes to buying replacement drum heads, there are really only two brand choices out there that are worth mentioning and reviewing. One is Evans, and the other is Remo. These manufacturers have been around for years, and they continue to lead the way in innovation and design, quality and sound when it comes to drum heads. In this review, we’ll review products from only these two brand manufacturers.

Thickness of Drum Head

Thickness of Drum Head

There are two types of thickness to consider when it comes to buying drum heads for your drum kit. One type is called single-ply, and the other type is called double-ply. This refers to the thickness of the drum head, or skin,and can impact the way the drums sound. Double-ply drum heads hit each other when you tap the skin, and they make for shorter resonating sounds; whereas a single-ply has nothing to stop it from continuing to vibrate, so you get a longer sounding drum beat. The thicker the drum head, the lower the drum tones will be.

There are two types of thickness to consider when it comes to buying drum heads for your drum kit. One type is called single-ply, and the other type is called double-ply. This refers to the thickness of the drum head, or skin, and can impact the way the drums sound. Double-ply drum heads hit each other when you tap the skin, and they make for shorter resonating sounds; whereas a single-ply has nothing to stop it from continuing to vibrate, so you get a longer sounding drum beat. The thicker the drum head, the lower the drum tones will be.

Clear Coat vs. Clean Coat

Clear Coat vs. Clean Coat

Some models of drum heads have a clear coat of finish on them that changes the overall sound and impact of the drum. For example, when a coating is applying to the drum head, the drum itself makes less of a “snap” sound.Drums that aren’t coated have more a “snap” sound. Clean coat refers to drum heads that have no added finish applied; clear coat refers to drum heads that have an added finish applied to the drum head itself. 

According to experts, you won’t notice a difference as a novice, but as you become more experienced and develop an ear for drum sounds, you will start to hear the difference. In the beginning, either/or is fine. If you have any experience at all, you probably already have a preference, so we’ll leave it up to you to decide what is right for your needs.

Some models of drum heads have a clear coat of finish on them that changes the overall sound and impact of the drum. For example, when a coating is applying to the drum head, the drum itself makes less of a “snap” sound. Drums that aren’t coated have more a “snap” sound. Clean coat refers to drum heads that have no added finish applied; clear coat refers to drum heads that have an added finish applied to the drum head itself. According to experts, you won’t notice a difference as a novice, but as you become more experienced and develop an ear for drum sounds, you will start to hear the difference. In the beginning, either/or is fine. If you have any experience at all, you probably already have a preference, so we’ll leave it up to you to decide what is right for your needs.

Muffling Effects

Muffling Effects

Some drummers prefer the sound of raw drumming beats, while others want their drums to sound muffled. Drummers have long been struggling to achieve the right sound for their drums, and you might have seen some drum heads with plastic, mylar, or even tape on the head to keep the vibrations down, creating a muffled noise. Again, this is a personal choice, or it could be dictated by the kind of music you play, so if you are new to drumming, just know this is an option to think about. You won’t know whether you need it or not until you buy a drum set and practice on a set of drum heads. Some drum head manufacturers will add in extra features that will create a muffling effect on purpose to accommodate those drummers that prefer his sound. 

Sepcical Drum Heads

Some drummers prefer the sound of raw drumming beats, while others want their drums to sound muffled. Drummers have long been struggling to achieve the right sound for their drums, and you might have seen some drum heads with plastic, mylar, or even tape on the head to keep the vibrations down, creating a muffled noise. Again, this is a personal choice, or it could be dictated by the kind of music you play, so if you are new to drumming, just know this is an option to think about. You won’t know whether you need it or not until you buy a drum set and practice on a set of drum heads. Some drum head manufacturers will add in extra features that will create a muffling effect on purpose to accommodate those drummers that prefer this sound
Special Drum Heads

There is another class of drum heads called specialty drum heads. You’ll find a variety of options from every drum head manufacturer. A basic drum head might not have any of these features, but just so you are aware of them and can watch out for good deals when it comes to these specialty drum heads, here is a quick rundown of them. Some drum heads have Kevlar ® added to them, some have a center-dot head, some drum head have vents, and some are made from calfskin. Most drum heads today are made from Mylar.

There is another class of drum heads called specialty drum heads. You’ll find a variety of options from every drum head manufacturer. A basic drum head might not have any of these features, but just so you are aware of them and can watch out for good deals when it comes to these specialty drum heads, here is a quick rundown of them. Some drum heads have Kevlar ® added to them, some have a center-dot head, some drum head have vents, and some are made from calfskin. Most drumheads today are made from Mylar

Sound

Sound

The cool thing about drum kits is that you can customize the sound of your drums by adjusting the tightness of the drum head. While there is a certain level of tightness required, you can adjust it to a certain degree to make your drum heads sound different.  When it comes to the sound of a new drum head, it will greatly depend on the quality of construction, what the drum head is made of, if there are any special features added, and what kind of drum the drum head is for. Something to keep in mind is that every drummer has their own sound and own way to play, so it might take you a while to identify what you like in a drum head and drum kit.

The cool thing about drum kits is that you can customize the sound of your drums by adjusting the tightness of the drum head. While there is a certain level of tightness required, you can adjust it to a certain degree to make your drum heads sound different.  When it comes to the sound of a new drum head, it will greatly depend on the quality of construction, what the drum head is made of, if there are any special features added, and what kind of drum the drum head is for. Something to keep in mind is that every drummer has their own sound and own way to play, so it might take you a while to identify what you like in a drum head and drum kit.

Quality of Construction

Quality of Construction

In general, you can get a decent set of drum heads for a relatively low price. If you want a professional series, you should be prepared to pay for that. As with most things in life, the more you pay, the better quality you receive. That’s not to say that entry-level drum heads aren’t as good as professional ones.Actually,that is exactly what we are saying. So be aware that price is correlated to quality. However, when you buy either an Evans or a Remo drum head, you can rest easy knowing that even the economic model is going to be a good choice for your drum kit.

In general, you can get a decent set of drum heads for a relatively low price. If you want a professional series, you should be prepared to pay for that. As with most things in life, the more you pay, the better quality you receive. That’s not to say that entry-level drum heads aren’t as good as professional ones...actually, that is exactly what we are saying. So be aware that price is correlated to quality. However, when you buy either an Evans or a Remo drum head, you can rest easy knowing that even the economic model is going to be a good choice for your drum kit.

Overall Thoughts

Overall Thoughts

Choosing the best overall drum head was not an easy task. Because there are so many different types of drums, and every drummer has their preference related to what and how they like to play, it was a tough call. The thing that won us over about the Evans Onyx Drum head, though, was that it was a great looking drum head, from a respected and reputable drum head maker, and that it provided a great sound that would appeal to anyone.

Even though some people might not like the black finish on the drum head itself, the added layer of matte coating creates a unique sound that anyone would enjoy. Available in a range of sizes, and easy to install, the Evans Onyx Drum Head is the right choice for best drum head on the market today. So whether you are a professional drummer or a hobbyist, there is a drum head on this list for you. Try them all out and see which one you like the most. It takes time to develop a rhythm and feel for your drum playing, so don’t be surprised if your taste in drum heads change over time. As you keep evolving and keep finding new ways to play your drums, there will be a drum head to evolve with you. Happy drumming.

Choosing the best overall drum head was not an easy task. Because there are so many different types of drums, and every drummer has their preference related to what and how they like to play, it was a tough call. The thing that won us over about the Evans Onyx Drumhead, though, was that it was a great looking drum head, from a respected and reputable drum head maker, and that it provided a great sound that would appeal to anyone. Even though some people might not like the black finish on the drum head itself, the added layer of matte coating creates a unique sound that anyone would enjoy. Available in a range of sizes, and easy to install, the Evans Onyx Drum Head is the right choice for best drum head on the market today. So whether you are a professional drummer or a hobbyist, there is a drum head on this list for you. Try them all out and see which one you like the most. It takes time to develop a rhythm and feel for your drum playing, so don’t be surprised if your taste in drum heads change over time. As you keep evolving and keep finding new ways to play your drums, there will be a drum head to evolve with you. Happy drumming.

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