If you know nothing about drums, you would perceive drumming as nothing more than a "hitting-till-you-get-a-sound" affair. But a drum set is more than what meets the eye.
Drumheads play the biggest role in affecting the sound quality of your drums. Choosing the right drum heads as per your style and learning to tune them is crucial when you are drumming. This is especially important when you play metal music.
There is no hard and fast rule to choosing the right drumhead, but there are certain characteristics that you should keep in mind before making your choice. Drumheads can be single-ply or double-ply, coated or clear and resonant type. Single-ply heads are thinner, more sensitive, but less durable.
Double-ply heads are thicker with a larger attack and fatter punch. I have listed down some of the best drum heads for metal to make things easier for you.
Table Of Contents
- 10 BEST DRUM HEADS FOR METAL REVIEW
- 1. EVANS G2 14 INCH - BEST SOUNDING DRUM HEADS FOR METAL
- 2. AQUARIAN SUPER-KICK II - BEST CLEAR DRUM HEADS FOR METAL
- 3. EVANS 14 INCH - BEST HYDRAULIC DRUM HEAD FOR METAL
- 4. REMO 15 inch CS-0115-10 - BEST COATED DRUM HEADS FOR METAL
- 5. EVANS 12 Inch DRUM Head - BEST BUDGET DRUM HEAD FOR METAL
- 6. REMO PINSTRIPE CLEAR DRUMHEAD
- 7. EVANS UV1 COATED - BEST RESONANCE DRUM HEAD FOR METAL
- 8. REMO EMPEROR COATED DRUM HEAD
- 9. KUYAL CLEAR - BEST 5-PIECE DRUM HEADS FOR METAL
- 10. REMO P31316-C2 CLEAR - BEST BASS DRUM HEAD FOR METAL
10 BEST DRUM HEADS FOR METAL REVIEW
1. EVANS G2 14 INCH - BEST SOUNDING DRUM HEADS FOR METAL
The Evans G2 14-inch drum head is one of the widely used drum heads in the market. The drum heads come in double-ply of 7-mil film. What a two-ply coating does is make the head stronger and more durable for playing long hours.
You might have seen that you need to put on the drum head and adjust it to loosen up in case of other heads. However, the Evans' level 360 technology completely eradicates that inconvenience. It increases the playing surface and the vertically enhanced collar design guarantees consistency in sound by ensuring even contact with the edge of the drum shell.
The added durability will let the drums take some heavy-hitting, making the Evans G2 the best drum heads for metal. The coated version delivers a warm attack with a moderate sustain and depth. There is no dampening and thereby has a well-balanced and focused sound.
The overtones are kept under control because of the top coated layer. It is a highly versatile drum head and is suitable for drummers who do not want to stick to a particular genre. So go ahead, play some jazzy beats and then switch over to playing some grungy tunes from Nirvana!
2. AQUARIAN SUPER-KICK II - BEST CLEAR DRUM HEADS FOR METAL
Founded by the famous drummer, Roy Burns, the Aquarian Drumheads company was established in 1980. The company gained popularity due to the excellent quality of the products. Aquarian Super-Kick II is one example of their fine craftsmanship skills. It is a clear drumhead pack, made of clear 2-ply 7-mil film.
The company boasts of its "Floating Muffling System" that is supposed to deliver an ideal sound. The narrow felt muffling ring is partially glued to the head's underside so that it can 'float' freely when the drum is hit. This 'floating' feature prevents the drumhead from getting choked and also ensures that the overall sound is lively and bright.
Super-Kick II is responsive and has a higher sustain and is less dark than the other drumheads of the Super-Kick series. The two-ply usage means that the drumheads can take heavy playing, so you can hit hard to get a big sound whenever needed. This feature allows the Aquarian Super-Kick II to make it to the best drum heads for metal.
When you play with these drumheads, you will get a sound characterized by a deep, tight and punchy thud. You will not find any ringing, thanks to the Super-Kick muffling ring. The drawback, however, is that you cannot remove the muffle ring.
3. EVANS 14 INCH - BEST HYDRAULIC DRUM HEAD FOR METAL
The Evans black hydraulic drum head has a 7-mil film with a thin layer of oil between the two plies. This unique feature helps in inducing a high amount of dampening so that there is almost no overtone.
The Level 360 degree Technology expands the playing surface. The Hydraulic drums take you back to the '70s when the Black Sabbath and Motorhead were around. So if you're aiming for that kind of sound, then I can affirm that this is one of the best drum heads for metal.
When you first hit the drums, you will notice that the sound has a well-balanced, bright attack, which is quickly followed by deep and short thuds. The tone of these heads is warm, making them ideal for toms. When tuned higher, you will get a slightly higher sustain, but the overall sound remains focused.
The drumheads are very durable and are ideal for genres that require heavy playing. However, despite having a high attack, the warm tones can sound subdued in loud environments in the absence of microphones. The real potential of the drumheads is heard at medium volumes. The Evans Hydraulic drum heads also come in blue, red, opaque and glass (clear). So you can match the heads according to the color of your drum set!
4. REMO 15 inch CS-0115-10 - BEST COATED DRUM HEADS FOR METAL
Remo has a record of 60 years of leading the way in the synthetic shell and drumhead development. Remo pioneered the use of Mylar, which is a synthetic polyester material used for drumheads. It was widely popular with drummers in jazz, fusion, pop and R&B bands.
The Remo CS-0115-10 drum head skin comes with a controlled sound coating that delivers focused mid-range tones while being durable. It is made of a single ply of a 10-mil film with a bottom control dot. The center dot further adds durability and controls overtones.
The drumheads are less attacking than the previous drumheads mentioned in this list, but Remo's drumhead is warmer and blends better with other instruments.
Since it has a thin ply construction, you can expect good responsiveness and a decent sustain. You will still be able to hear some ringing, which in my opinion, is a major shortfall. On the other hand, the controlled sound coat gives you a balanced sound characterized by a strong focus when the drums are struck in the center and high overtones when struck at the edge.
This is an ideal drum head for snare drums and toms. Although it does not count as the best drum heads for metal music, it still can be used for soft rock music. Overall, it is a great drumhead for the price and will satisfy your drumming needs.
5. EVANS 12 Inch DRUM Head - BEST BUDGET DRUM HEAD FOR METAL
Ever since the company's introduction in 2005, Evans produced the EC1 and EC2 batter heads that gained a lot of fame and love from drummers worldwide. Evans now brings the technology of Edge Control rings to resonant heads. What does edge control do? It seeks to dampen the drum head without choking the sound.
Now, edge rings are not that special since every other brand provides this feature. However, the difference between Evans and most manufacturers is that others fix the damping rings into the hoop while Evans places their Edge Control ring a centimeter away from the glue ring.
This distinctive feature allows the drum head to continue vibrating up till the hoop. This design is meant to control the edge vibration rather than eliminate it completely. This leads to a more central focus pitch and good mid-range frequency.
The sound of these heads is on the warmer side. The Level 360 degree blueprint comes with the widely acclaimed collar design. The steep collar extends the plane of the head that ensures consistent contact with the bearing edge of the shell.
The roll-over hoop adds strength and stability to the place where the film comes in contact with the hoop. It is also easy to tune which allows for a greater tonal range. The only disadvantage is that it costs more than other drum heads. Otherwise, it does have benefits that make it one of the best drum heads for metal.
6. REMO PINSTRIPE CLEAR DRUMHEAD
The Remo Pinstripe comes with a control ring and is pre-dampened around the edges of the head. Remo heads usually glues their 2-plies together at the outer edge and the control ring. This helps in controlling overtones, delivering a focused sound with less ringing.
When you use the drumheads, you will notice that they deliver a bright and big attack following a deep tone on the warmer side. You would probably wonder why one of Remo's drum heads is in this list since it is mostly used in jazz bands anyway, right?
Well, the answer is yes and no. While it was originally designed for jazz decades back, they were also a staple in many metals and rock bands.
Dave Grohl himself used Remo Pinstripe drum heads for a long time during his tenure in Nirvana! So overall for its best features, Remo got a chance to be in the list of best drum heads for metal rock music.
7. EVANS UV1 COATED - BEST RESONANCE DRUM HEAD FOR METAL
Ever since the D'Addario company acquired Evans, they have taken up to themselves to be as innovative as possible to satisfy their customers. They took things to another level by introducing the UV1 technology.
The Evans UV1 drumhead uses the UV curing method to coat the head. While we do not know what it does, Evans claims that this method gives the most even-coating on a drumhead.
At first glance, the coating looks nothing different from the regular spray-coating. Upon closer inspection, you will notice that the playing surface is more even, thinner and less coarse than the spray-coated heads. This makes it highly responsive, even to brushes.
Evans UV1 also utilizes a new type of film, which they claim to offer excellent strength and versatility. It is a lively and bright sounding drumhead that strikes a perfect balance between high, low and mid frequencies. However, it does have more overtones and less warmth.
8. REMO EMPEROR COATED DRUM HEAD
The Remo Emperor Coated drumhead is suitable for snare drums, bass drums and toms. You do not get an added dampening or control with this one, which is a pro and a con. The absence of dampening gives you a good sustain with some extra emphasis on ghost notes and smaller accents.
On the bad side, no sound control would mean more ringing and more overtones. The top coat makes the drums highly responsive to both drumsticks and brushes. It is suitable for medium to high volume drumming and is one reason for adding it to the list of best drum heads for metal.
9. KUYAL CLEAR - BEST 5-PIECE DRUM HEADS FOR METAL
The Kuyal clear drum heads come in a 5-piece set, which includes 12", 13", 14", 16" and 22" transparent drum heads with dots. It is made of imported PET, which delivers strong tension while being resilient against dry weather and moisture. In terms of sound quality, the drum heads deliver a balanced sustain, depth and attack with decent consistency.
The dot in the middle adds warmth and makes the attack sound focused and thick. The entire set is economical as you are getting all the necessary sizes on a one-time purchase. The downsides are that the 14-inch snare is less responsive and the single-ply makes this less durable.
10. REMO P31316-C2 CLEAR - BEST BASS DRUM HEAD FOR METAL
The Remo Powerstroke P3 is a clear drum head with control rings and a 10-mil floating inlay ring on the underside. Since it is a single-ply head, the added dampening helps create a decent balance between control and sensitivity.
The inlay and control rings reduce ringing and sustain. Remo Powerstroke P3 delivers a brighter and higher attack when compared to the coated version. It might not be the best drum heads for metal, but it is decent enough.
The added control adds warmth, which sounds beautiful on bass drums and toms. However, when used with toms, it might choke the sound a little.
You must be really interested in finding your ideal drumhead if you read till this point. What's the best drum heads for metal? Let me tell you a secret. There is no "best" drumhead out there. Searching for the best drum head is like asking someone about their favorite color. Don't be disappointed, though.
What is best depends on your music style, how hard you hit, how you would like your sound to be and other personal preferences. Just remember that if you want to play metal, get a drumhead that has a shorter sustain, high attack and durability. Also, don't forget to headbang!