The best drum heads in the world today
2nd Jul 2010 | 13:24
The best drum heads in the world today
This is a gallery of the best drum heads on the planet - for bass drums, snares and toms. Whether you require single or twin-ply, resonant, specialist or retro-style, there's a drum head here to suit every player.
Our picks are collated from Rhythm Magazine's extensive reviews process and buyers' guides, as well as MusicRadar's own gear guides.
Browse through the gallery and, where available, click-through to read the full review for an in-depth breakdown of each head.
Evans Level 360 heads
The Level 360 concept brings a modified design to Evans' head offerings. These tweaks aim to ensure greater contact and balance between the head and drum, as well as greater tonal range. With this evolution of its design process, Evans has launched a true revolution in drum heads.
FULL REVIEW: Evans Level 360 heads
Remo White Suede heads
These heads are as versatile as they come and are priced the same for either the Ambassador weights or the Emperors, depending on your preference.
FULL REVIEW: Remo White Suede heads
Remo Suede heads
Suede heads have a textured surface on both the top and bottom, which is etched into the head. Since this isn’t a coating, it won’t wear off with time. The resulting sound retains the clarity and sustain of a clear head but also has some of the warmth of a coated product. Suedes are available in Diplomat, Ambassador, Emperor and Powerstroke 3 models.
Remo Ambassador-X heads
Just like the standard Ambassador, this is a supremely versatile head which will find favour with all types of drummer playing every style of music.
FULL REVIEW: Remo Ambassador-X head
Remo Ambassador X14 heads
The Ambassador X14 follows the success of the existing Ambassador X range.Supremely playable; open, powerful sound; substantially more durable than a regular Ambassador.Quite simply, what's not to like?
FULL REVIEW: Remo Ambassador X14 heads
Remo Ambassador Coated single-ply snare head
The Ambassador is the industry standard snare batter head for live playing and recording. The Coated Weatherking Ambassador is virtually unchanged since its appearance back in 1957 - to quote the cliché, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Formed from a single 10 mil film of Mylar, the Coated Ambassador’s sound is bright, clean and lively.
Remo Emperor Coated twin-ply snare head
If your Ambassadors are wearing out quickly or are a bit too bright the answer may be a change to Emperors. Two layers of 7 mil Mylar add significantly to the durability while darkening and warming the tone. Emperors are still open and resonant, though, and are good all-rounders for the firm hitter.
Evans G-Plus Coated single-ply tom head
These heads are a revelation in design – a real cut above the rest. Offering the combination of a warm, open sound without the nuisance of excessive ringing sustain, ease of tuning and durability, the G Plus is ideal for gigs. These aren’t mere heads, they’re instruments in their own right. Give these a try, you might become a convert, as we have.
FULL REVIEW: Evans G-Plus Coated drum heads
Evans G2 Coated twin-ply tom head
Always a popular choice for those needing harder wearing heads, these are beautifully made with a distinctive, slightly squared, preformed collar. The Genera G2 is the equivalent of Remo’s Emperor, with two plies of 7 mil Mylar producing an extremely hard-wearing head that is loud, consistent, more dense and focused than a single ply and has slightly shorter sustain.
Aquarian Power Trio heads
A tailored solution of heavy duty batters specifically designed with hard-hitters in mind.These are amongst the thickest kit heads ever made and appear capable of soaking up hours of punishing playing.
FULL REVIEW: Aquarian Power Trio heads
Evans Black Chrome heads
While these Evans heads appear slightly more expensive than others on the market, they are incredibly durable, sound amazing, are easy to tune, look stunning - what more can we say, what more can you want?
FULL REVIEW: Evans Black Chrome heads
Remo Fiberskyn-3 heads
Laminated Mylar and polyspun fibres produce a playing surface that, with its slightly ragged texture, looks like a real animal skin. There’s a dry warmth and softer stick response, deeper and tubbier, combined with a focused dark sound. They tune very easily over quite a broad range and don’t need any damping.
Aquarian Super-kick-1 bass drum head
One of Aquarian’s most popular heads and a bit of a secret weapon if you like a fat, deep, wet, resonant ‘blat’. The Super-Kick-1 batter is a single ply with a ‘floating’ perimeter muffler - a 1.5" band of thin white felt held loosely against the inner surface by a white card ring. For an all-rounder dabbling in rock, New Orleans funk, country and pop, they’re heaven.
FULL REVIEW: Aquarian Super-Kick and Regulator bass drum heads
Remo Powerstroke Pro heads
The three finishes bring variations in tonality and texture. Alongside existing pre-dampened bass drum heads, these are worth investigating.
FULL REVIEW: Remo Powerstroke Pro head