In addition to being a private violin teacher, Alecia started writing music-related articles 3 years ago and has been enjoying this experience greatly. Loves quilting and scrapbooking in her free time.
Marcus has a vast experience in digital audio and sound design. Thanks to his knowledge, he actively helps musicians with technical problems, improving their audio quality and even promoting their tracks so that thousands of listeners could enjoy some really good music.
Last updated: December 17, 2020
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Are you on the hunt for the best bass drum heads that can take your drum-playing abilities to the next level? If you’ve answered yes, well, then we have you covered. In this review, we’ll take a closer look at the top-rated products available on the market today to make a choice easier for you!
In exploring different bass drum heads, we have identified multiple important parameters that you must check. They include the diameter, construction, and also some unique features. All of these are crucial because drummers come across drum sets of different sizes, and they deeply care about the structure because it can often be tied to the longevity of the product. On top of that, drummers want to know what is so special with these particular bass drum heads and why people love them. Stick with us, and we’ll tell you everything in detail in this review of the best bass drum heads!
"An impressive option with warm and open tones that make it perfect for tom, bass and snare batter applications.22” diameter.Industry standard for multiple genres.bright attack and controlled sustain."
The first product on our list is our Editor’s Choice, the Remo Ambassador Coated Bass Drum Head. Remo and Evans make up the two premier brands when it comes to drum heads, and with this Remo bass drum head, you’re getting a marvelous product.
It has a diameter of 22 inches and a single-ply, 10-mil coated layer of film. This bass drum head is known in drummer circles as the most popular one in the world and is considered the industry standard for almost any genre of music you play. Drummers love this bass drum head because it produces very warm tones thanks to its coating. It also boasts a very bright attack with a shorter, more controlled sustain.
On the other hand, with these qualities and its single-ply layer, you can guess that this particular bass drum head is not for your heavy metal type of playing. Rather, it’s more suitable for producing those warm and charming tones. It comes at a very affordable price as well, making this Remo bass drum head a steal.
What we liked:
Overall fantastic quality
Produces warm tones
Known for its bright attack and controlled sustain
If the value is what you’re looking for, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better option than the Aquarian Drumheads Super Kick II Drumhead Pack. Aquarian Drumheads are less known than the drum head giants Remo and Evans, but they produce drum heads that are excellent options for beginner drummers.
This drum head comes with a 22-inch diameter, which is generally the standard size for most drums and comes with two, 7-mil plies. The unique feature of this drum head is its built-in floating muffle system, which is a muffle ring that helps to dampen the sound. If you’ve ever had to use a pillow to do that before, well then, no more of that with this drum head! Next, this drum head provides a full yet, low-end sound that offers a perfect balance and prevents you from having to use more dampening.
As great as this bass drum head is, a few drummers did mention that the muffling ring was too good at what it did and that they would have liked more sustain.
For those who want a bass drum head that really can do it all, look no further than the Evans EMAD2 Clear Bass Drum Head. Evans is the other big player in the drum head market along with Remo, and with this drum head, it’s not hard to see why.
First, it comes in a variety of different sizes ranging from 18, 20, 22, 24, and 26 inches in diameter. It is made of high-quality materials and features an excellent 7-mil outer ply and a 10-mil film of an inner ply, but keep in mind that we are talking about the 22-inch model. The 22-inch model is typically the standard drum diameter, and with this extra layer of film, it certainly adds to its durability.
Perhaps, the most visually appealing feature of this Evans drum head is the level 360 collar that has charcoal color. This collar makes it easier to tune your drum head and gives a much wider tonal range. With such a wide range, this drum head is suitable for all genres of music, making it incredibly versatile. However, a few jazz-playing drummers did mention that this particular model could use less dampening as they prefer to let their drums ring out.
Some of you live in an apartment where you want to play your drums but don’t want to bother your neighbors. Which drum head is the best for this situation? We got you covered with the Remo Silentstroke Bass Drumhead.
As you can probably see in the name, you’ll be getting plenty of silent strokes with this product thanks to its responsively low-volume playing. This feature makes it ideal for playing or practicing without disturbing your neighbors.
Also, this drum head comes in a 20 and 22-inch diameter and features a single-ply mesh that does an excellent job at reducing the sound to virtually nothing. For example, instead of hearing a loud boom when your beater makes contact, you’ll simply just hear a light sound. Next, it provides a soft feel, which is perfect for practicing within apartments or dormitories.
While this is a fantastic option at reducing the sound, a number of drummers said that it lacked some tone and resonance, so it’s not the best option for gigs.
If you’re the type of drummer that thrives on hearing your pedal beater smashing the bass drum head, you’re simply going to love the Evans REMAD Resonant Bass Drum Head. This awesome Evans drum head comes with a plastic sleeve that focuses the pitch and does a fantastic job enhancing the kick drum attack. Some drummers even say that this produces a studio-ready sound!
A neat feature with this bass drum head is that it has a 4-inch offset microphone port, and it also comes with two interchangeable foam rings, which helps a lot at reducing the vibration. This drum head is versatile and can be used with many kits as it comes in diameters of 18, 20, 22, 24, and 26 inches. Also, it is a singly-ply model with a 7.5-mil layer of film.
Many drummers absolutely love this bass drum head because of its enhanced pitch focus and increased attack, allowing you to truly rock out. Unfortunately, a few other drummers also noticed that the durability with this single-ply drum head wasn’t the best, especially if you want to use it frequently.
What we liked:
Enhanced attack and studio-ready sound
Comes with a 4-inch offset microphone port
Two interchangeable rings that absorb vibration
What could be better:
Durability isn’t the best
Things to Сonsider
Now that you have an idea of some popular bass drum heads available on the market, it’s time to learn more about what to look for when choosing between them. In this section, we’ll take the focus away from the individual bass drum heads and focus more on what makes these bass drum heads effective and awesome to play. Every drummer’s needs are different, and depending on the sound you’re looking for, you might want to go for some models with various parameters. Below, we’ll discuss the individual features of bass drum heads, and then we’ll wrap this up with our top three choices in our verdict.
How to find the best bass drum heads?
In order to find the best bass drum head, you must consider a number of different factors. Each bass drum head is great at producing distinct sounds, and often, it can depend on the individual aspects of the drum head itself. You’ll want to check the brand, diameter, structure, tone, adjustability, durability, any extra features it may have, and finally, its price. Depending on the type of drummer you are, some of these features may be more important than others. Our goal here is to help all drummers find the best bass drum heads that work for their playing style.
By far, the two most notable brands when it comes to picking the best bass drum head are Remo and Evans. Remo is a musical instruments company in California. They have been on the market since 1957, and their main products feature drum kits, drumheads, and drums. They are often known for their superb quality bass drum heads, as evidenced by our Editor’s Choice, the Remo Ambassador Coated Bass Drum Head.
Evans is Remo’s primary competitors in the bass drum head market, and they are the other major player on the market. Evans is also an American company that was founded in 1950. They specialize in the manufacturing drum heads as well, and they are known for applying advanced technologies to build their bass drum heads.
Another less well-known drum head company is Aquarian Drumheads. While they don’t have quite the remarkable reputation as Remo or Evans, they are known for producing more cost-friendly drumheads, such as the Super Kick II, that an introductory drummer can test.
Most experienced drummers already know that the diameter of the drum head is incredibly important. Not knowing your drum head’s diameter can lead to you purchasing the wrong size for your shell.
The best way to find out the diameter of your drum head is by simply checking the specs or removing it from your current shell and measuring it from one end to another, passing directly through the middle.
When it comes to the composition and structure of the best bass drum heads, you’re looking at two distinct types: 1-ply and 2-ply.
The single-ply drum heads are typically made of one 10-mil layer of film. Single-ply heads offer a different sound than double-ply heads, giving a more lively sound where you can uniquely identify the overtones, sustain, and ambiance. Many drummers say it offers a much wider variety in terms of changing the resonance and attack. Thanks to this variety, these drummers believe single-ply heads provide stable bass drum sounds.
For the 2-ply bass drum heads, these are typically made with 7-mil and 7.5-mil layers of film. The obvious benefit of having two plies as opposed to one is its superior durability. Drummers that prefer the double-ply heads also note denser attack, with fewer overtones and a much shorter sustain. The double-ply heads also produce a deeper low-end response.
The tone produced by the best bass drum heads can vary depending on the structure of the bass drum head. As mentioned in the previous section, single-ply drum heads produce more overtones and give the drummer more versatility when it comes to altering the resonance and attack. On the sound spectrum ranging from bright to warm, the sounds of bass drum heads are usually somewhere in the middle, so it’s balanced. Double-ply bass drum heads, however, produce more of a lower-end response. So on the spectrum, these types of heads most likely lean towards warm tones.
Generally, bass drum heads are very durable. We should also point out that double-ply drum heads will be more durable than single-ply heads, simply because of the extra layer of film. However, it can also depend on how frequently you play your drums and how hard you hit the pedal.
If you hear that your bass drum head no longer has that lively and bright sound, this might be the sign to get a new one. Still, there are some players who don’t switch their bass drum heads, but we don’t recommend doing that. The dull and flat sound might ruin your musical experience, so try to make the replacement when needed.
While extra features are nice to have when it comes to buying a bass drum head, you really shouldn’t rush your decision with that. They definitely can provide you more value, but you should look for the overall quality.
For example, you can find two interchangeable foam rings that come with the Evans REMAD Resonant Bass Drum Head. These rings can be helpful when it comes to reducing the drum head’s vibration by letting the foam absorb most of it. Another interesting add-on can be found with the Evans EMAD2 Clear Bass Drum Head. This one has a level 360 collar around it, which makes it easier to tune and provides the drummer with a wider tonal range. Apart from that, you can find models that are suitable for recording.
Price can be a massive consideration for some shoppers, but we’re glad to let you know that the best bass drum heads are incredibly affordable, so you can easily find a bass drum head within your price range. The products we have reviewed are all within the same range, offering awesome cost-effective solutions.
It really depends on how often you use your bass drum head, but many drummers seem to think 6 months is when you should start to think about replacing it. To check if it requires a replacement or not, you must determine if it’s still producing the right tone. Changing the bass drum head is relatively simple, and you can do it by removing the old one from the shell. Then, you want to take a cloth and wipe the bearing edge from any dust or particle build-up. Lastly, go ahead and place your new drum head in the drum shell, insert the tension rods, and then tighten them.
Tuning bass drum heads can be challenging for some people, mostly inexperienced drummers since it requires some practice. Doing that regularly will help you get into a rhythm of what you should be looking to hear for when tuning it. A great way to check the tune is by gently pressing your thumb against the head, so you will know its tightness. It should be soft with some resistance at the same time. Lastly, you’ll also want to tighten all of the bolts and ensure that none are loose.
If you’re looking simply for the longest possible life for your bass drum head, you should want to get one that is a double-ply since this extra layer of film provides an extra form of protection. How hard you hit the drum head will also have a huge impact on how long your drum head will last for. Obviously, the harder you play, the more worn out it will be. Tuning also plays a huge role, as well. Bass drum heads that are tuned too low will not last very long, too.
The best bass drum head for beginners has to be the Aquarian Drumheads Super Kick II Drumhead Pack. While it doesn’t have the brand name recognition of a Remo or Evans, this model is particularly good for practice. You really don’t have to worry about dampening with this drum head because of its built-in floating felt muffle ring that offers drummers the perfect balance. It’s a solid option for many different genres of music too. Another good option for beginners, especially ones that aren’t familiar with tuning, is the Evans EMAD2 Clear Bass Drum Head. It makes tuning that much easier because of its level 360 collar.
The first place in this competition goes to our Editor’s Choice, the Remo Ambassador Coated Bass Drum Head. This one is widely considered to be the best bass drum head for nearly every genre. It’s boosted by the bright attack and controlled sustain, two things that every drummer loves.
Next up, we have the Aquarian Drumheads Super Kick II Drumhead Pack. As we’ve mentioned already, we think this is the best option for beginner drummers because it offers the perfect balance and comes with a built-in floating felt muffle ring and full low-end sound.
Finally, we love the Evans EMAD2 Clear Bass Drum Head for its unique sound and level 360 collar that makes it incredibly easy to tune and offers a much wider tonal range.