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Best Drum Heads 2023: 15 For Funk/ Metal/ Rock/ Jazz & More!

What are the best drum heads for rock? Do drum heads make a difference? We investigate...

Not investing in the best drum heads is a bit like wearing cheap underpants – use them on the regular… & they’re going to need replacing pretty rapid.

An analogy that really all comes back to the role drum heads play in your kit; drum heads are that part of your kit that gets beaten to death with your drumsticks & takes a good 99% of the punishment. Call them the soldiers on the frontline if you will. Much the same as underpants… well – let’s not get into that.

But, you get what we’re saying. If you really think about it, drum heads are (if anything) ‘the’ most important part of your drum kit. Because aside from helping you to create sound, they also allow you to alter it too. A change of drum heads is an easy modification any drummer can make to alter the mood or even up the tone of their kit. The right drum heads can also come with playability perks too.

So as much as they may just look like small accessories, they could actually be the key behind your sound! All of which beggars the question, how do you choose the right drum heads? & are coated drum heads better than clear? Or is the difference not that big? We investigate…

After something specific about Remo or Evans drum heads? Or just curious what we deem to be the best drum heads on sale today? Use the menu below to grab all the answers you need in 1 click…

man replacing his worn out drum heads

NOTE: Interested in more than just drum heads? Be sure to check out our reviews of the Best Drum Thrones + the Best Snare Drums too.

No two drum heads are made equal, which is great… if you know what you’re looking for. 

REMEMBER: it’s the drum head that’s responsible for the how the strikes of your drumsticks are translated into sound; your heads govern the extent to which your input impacts the rest of the kit!  Team that with the fact that some are stiffer, others are thicker + some brands even have their own materials designed to create a specific type of sound, & suddenly choosing the right drum head has you raising your eyebrows & scratching your chin in curiosity. 

But no matter – because we’ve done 90% of the work for you. So all you have to do is read on, & we’ll reveal our picks for the best drum heads for sale today…

PS/ If you cannot find the right drum heads for you in this rundown, there’s something seriously wrong!

1: Evans Clear 500 snare side drum head

an assortment of drum heads to fit snares, toms & more

2: Evans Black Chrome Tompack (10/12/16″)

3: Evans MX5 marching snare drum head

4: Evans SoundOff TT14SO1 drumhead

close up of a remo drum head that's been battered by a drumstick

5: Remo Pinstripe clear drum head

6: Aquarian Super-Kick II drumheads

7: Evans EC2S clear rock pack (10/12/16″) + 14″ HD Dry Snare

buy drum heads online

8: Evans EMAD Onyx bass drum head

9: Remo Clear pinstripe pro pack (incl. 14″ Ambassador snare)

10: Evans Clear 300 snare drumhead

a drum kit with lots of different drum heads attached

11: Evans Calftone Tom Batter drumhead

It has to be said that not every type of drum head works for every genre.

So when it comes to Rock, to get the best possible sound, you’re actually in need of something quite specific. A set of heads that have been purpose-made to give off that signature thump you hear within a Rock song. And while of course, there is more than one option for drummers of a Rock band, there are those that appeal more than others.

Speaking of which, here’s our pick for the best drum heads for Rock music…

12: Evans G2 Tompack drumheads for Rock (10/12/16″)

drum heads brand new & sealed

Into playing drums like you find in Funk music? Then you’re going to need a specific style of head.

When it comes to drumming, Funk tends to be that bit more subtle & rhythmic. In Funk, a drummer’s tasked with laying down a mix of hand patterns, playing around with hi-hat opening & even factoring in the odd linear pattern too. Point being that, from a drummer’s perspective, Funk is incredibly unique & thus requires you to find a set of heads that allow you to create just that.

Thankfully though, we’re confident we’ve found the answer. Read on to discover what we regard to be the best drum heads for Funk grooves…

13: Remo Ambassador Hazy snare drum head for Funk

When it comes to Jazz, your choice of drum head is particularly important.

Because while it might first seem that cymbals (especially the crash) are the most prominent in a Jazz set, it’s the drums that create the overall background hum. So yes, even though you could say drums are an accompaniment to the cymbals, just like with all musical relationships, investing in the wrong heads could cause your entire song to break up.

REMEMBER: when drums are subtle, their tone is more important than ever before! Proof that it’s the small details that make all the difference. In which case, you need to read on & seriously consider what we deem to be the best drum heads for Jazz music…

14: Remo Powerstroke P3 Clear Bass Jazz drum head

rockstar smashing his drum heads on stage

Into drumming for Metal?

If so, then you’re going to REALLY need some specific heads. Because not only are you after heads that can create the vigorous thumping sound you get with Heavy Metal, but also some which are tough enough to withstand the punishment. Let’s just say that out of all drumming styles out there, that used for Heavy Metal is more than often the most vigorous & aggressive – i.e. takes the biggest toll on the health of your drum heads.

So with that in mind, here’s what we consider to be the best drum heads for Metal…

15: Evans Genera HD Dry drum head for Metal

Enjoy this review of the best drum heads & eager for more? Dive into our latest Percussion Instrument Reviews, as well as sample our know-how on All Types Of Musical Instruments. Recently, we also did a rundown of the Best Stands For Snare Drums + the Best Junior Drum Kits, which may also be worth a read.

cheap & reliable drum heads

Or, if you’re here purely to learn more about finding the best drum head, keep reading & we’ll answer even more of your burning questions…

Remo and Evans are two of the best drumhead choices amongst players. Both of these drumheads can be excellent for louder music styles, especially since they make a full ‘big’ sound. However, there are some differences between the two that we would like to get into. 

  1. The Remo drumhead gives a warmer, richer, and much more ‘opened’ feel or sound as compared to the Evans.
  2. The Evans drum head has greater endurance. It may not seem like as important at first, but endurance is one aspect you need to keep in mind if one is opting for these drum heads.
  3. The Evans drum heads are also able to generate more restricted sound than the Remo (Some drummers consider this to be ‘plasticky’). 

So more or less, it completely depends on the head style type you’re used to! To summarise the sounds, Remo heads generally are punchier and have significantly less endurance than an Evan head.

Before you start hunting for the finest rock drumming heads, you must have basic knowledge of how drumheads are classified and what distinguishes them. When you’ve acquired this knowledge, distinguishing between the popular models will be a piece of cake. To help you with your search, we’ve made a list of the top three Rock drumheads based on three categories: Kick, Snare, and Tom!

  • Kick – Evans EC Reverse Dot
  • Snare – Aquarian Triple Threat
  • Tom – Evans G2 Clear

Of course, they do!

Every musician should know how to take care of their gear properly. The same goes for drummers. Yes, drum heads do make a difference. So if you want the drum system to sound fantastic, you must understand when to change the drumheads. Since the drumhead is the primary point of contact on the drum kit, the grade of the drumhead determines the sound quality the equipment can create

The answer is very straightforward for louder drumming. 2-ply drumheads (sometimes called double-ply or even dual-ply) are the ideal option if you want loud drum heads, as these can improve your cut and attack in noisy settings such as metal, rock, or punk tunes. However, if you can get your hands on 2-ply drumheads, particularly with thicker drumheads, it’s the best thing to do because they can withstand stronger striking.

So now the question you probably want to be answered is ‘What’s the highest-quality 2-ply drumhead money can buy?’ We did some digging. Most users opt for the Remo Clear Power stroke P4; it is a good investment if you want strong, distinct sound. These heads have excellent range and are ideal for use in loud situations. 

When the drum of the drumhead is hit, the ‘strike’ is the early sharp punch or crack that is heard first. Even in loud environments, the louder the strike on the drumhead, the more chances it makes a louder sound. Yes, it is right that thicker drum heads are louder though this can be reduced if the drumhead is overly thick or has excessive dampening.

Many people have this confusion in mind if clear or coated drum heads produce different sounds or not. The coated drumhead choices are necessary for snare drum heads instruments if users perform using brushes. Coated drumheads tend to muffle the tone slightly. 

In comparison, clear drumheads produce brighter and more open sounds. Users with a clear snare head won’t be capable of producing that sandpaper effect. Clear versions will provide more punch, though.

But again, the choice between the two comes down to personal preference. 

Aquarian Classic Clear drumheads are a great option for a large, continuous duration and a blended tone when used as resonant tom or bass drumheads. They work well with any batter drumhead and will make your drums ring loudly. These drumheads are a fantastic option if you’re uncertain of the signature tone you want. 

There are various drum heads, each producing different sound effects. For example, a white or black-coated drumhead provides a mild muffled effect. 

The texture or finish of a coated snare head performs better when you use it with brushes, and many jazz drum players use clear heads with the toms and a traditional, white-coated head with the snare drum. 

In comparison, non-coated heads will have much more thrust and a louder, less controlled tone. Even when set at the very same tune, coated heads sound warmer when contrasted beside each other to a non-coated head.

Many people have different opinions on this topic, and it’s a whole debate, but it’s always good to hear what professionals have to say and build your insight on it. Professionals provide a few helpful suggestions for those who are just starting or haven’t yet developed a preference for replacing their drumheads.

Users should replace the heads every six months if they play and practice very often. Your set will probably be out of sync if the drumhead has scratches, dents, or splits. To avoid an impending rupture on the bass drum, ensure the beater isn’t poking the holes in the drumhead. Also, whenever the sound of the drumhead feels disturbed, know it’s time to change the drumhead.