Are you looking for the best Hi-hats for you to fit in with your cymbal configuration? Well, no doubt they are the main aspect of your cymbal setup which determines your drum kit ‘s overall sound.
In addition, Hi-hats are possibly the part you play or strike most on your drum set. So, to get your hands on good, high-quality hairs to prevent it sounding creaky is much more imperative.
And to get you in the right direction when choosing the best hi-hats, we have the best 10 hi-hats with comprehensive reviews, top features, advantages, disadvantages, and other exciting things.
Top 10 Best Hi Hats Review 2020 (Top Rated Hi-hats Pics)
01. Meinl 13’’ Hi-Hat Cymbal Pair For Drum Set-Excellent Sound With Small Kits
- Weight: 3.51 pounds
- Dimensions: 13 x 1 x 13 inches
- Includes any sound option within reach
- Powerful and durable brass alloy
- Optimal sound and heavier bottom with lighter top cymbal
HCS Cymbals are geared towards beginners and have maintained their musical tone by crafting their durable brass alloy in a way as to create an unmatched sound quality. It allows you to explore all sorts of other sounds such as those of chinas, stacks, bells, splashes, and trash crashes.
The HCS Series is great for beginners allowing them to go beyond the typical hi-hat, crash, and ride cymbal selection. It is an excellent choice to dive into other sounds for young and new players.
Encompasses a wide range of sound
The cymbal offers you a broad range of sound with the bell making a very solid ting. It is a great set for anyone ranging in the expertise of playing from start to advanced and is also very handy for those interested in playing rock. Of course, these hi-hats won’t be able to sustain the sound for too long but you can still make out the difference in its premium quality.
You are not only offered with a nice Meinl logo on them but are also provided with a Meinl logo-ed plastic bag for them. The best part about them is that their color still looks the same even after whacking them for a long time.
- Great value for the price
- Offer a bright and focused tone
- They are a viable option for not only rehearsals but also for small performances
- Sound a bit muffled as they are made up of Brass
02. Paiste 2002 Classic Cymbal Sound Edge Pair Hi-Hat 14 Inch
- Weight: 1.98 pounds
- Dimensions: 14 x 14 x 1 inches
- The musical is very precise with high energy levels
- It is made up of CuSn8 Bronze (2002 Bronze)
It serves you with a powerfully reliable projection and has a high degree of versatility and sustainability, owing to the fact that it can deliver warm and clear music by varying its settings as per your requirement from medium-soft to very loud.
Produce a Classic Sound
These hi-hats come with a classic crisp sound that is amazing and that seriously is difficult to beat. The sound is so special and relaxing that it makes Paiste worth the price and can easily let you cut through for loud rock.
When it comes to size, they are somewhere in the middle not causing much of a problem and not aiding in any way as well. Moreover, it makes an impact as the size greatly affects the tone of the musical.
It represents High-quality
Paiste has been in the industry for a long time now and always does signify nothing but high-quality. It originally used the CuSn8 Bronze, which is also known as 2002 Bronze and now has expanded its versatility with it to lean more towards the rock side.
- They come with a brighter voicing
- The sound is great for playing modern music
- Cymbal size is not definitive
- It is a bit difficult to bounce between genres
03. Zildjian A Series 14’’ New Beat Hi-Hat Cymbals Pair
- Weight: 1 pound
- Dimensions: 14 x 14 x 1.5 inches
- Perfect ‘stick’ and ‘chick’ sound
- Features symmetric hammering
- It is lathed with a traditional wide groove
Hands down Zildjian is considered to be one of the best hi hats to date which was originally designed by the legendary drummer, Louie Bellson. It was particularly designed to make a more pronounced ‘chick’ sound by bringing up a pair of hi-hats with a lighter top and a heavier bottom cymbal.
Delivers a solid performance
You throw anything you want at it from open, closed, soft to hard, it will still deliver a solid performance, falling into the category of one of those sweet-sounding hi-hats. Definitely, this won’t disappoint you, especially with that awesome ‘chick’ sound.
Amazing re-designed A-line
Zildjian A’s are certainly back to rock and this time they have made their mark by re-designing such an amazing A-line. It’s perfect for you to try it out in other situations or even in your band or at a gig.
- Serves as a great multi-purpose hi-hat
- Best hi-hat for rock
- They are quite durable with a solid ‘chick’ sound
- If you have soft playing applications then they are too loud for you
- Cannot be considered as a classic piece
04. Zildjian ZBT 14’’ Hi-Hat Cymbals Pair
- Weight: 4.87 pounds
- Dimensions: 14 x 14 x 1.25 inches
- They are lathed for the sound to groove on the top surface only
- Offer high-pitched sounds as compared to other cast bronze cymbals
- They are made up of B8 alloy whose composition consists of 92% copper and 8% tin
This cymbal set with a ZBT line is particularly marking a great introduction to the Zildjian family of cymbals. It comes at a great value with a high-pitched sound that allows you to swiftly cut through in all playing situations.
There’s no point in questioning its integrity and quality as they have undergone hammering, shaping, and lathing to arrive at the exact specifications and are marvelously sharp and focused providing you with bright and excellent sounds.
The power-packed ZBT alloy has rendered a bright and fast sound to this sensational sounding set of cymbals. Due to which this high-volume sound is perfect for any concert band or school marching. There’s optimum consistency with its boldness, quickness, and bright responses.
Perform a wide range of styles
The drum set is suitable for performing any style of music allowing you to grab maximum expression at that price. These hi-hats are certainly great sounding ones owing to the fact that they offer more focused overtones and fast delay.
- They are aimed at beginners
- They are bright and focused due to their voicing and size
- Best for those looking for an entry-level hi-hat
- Its overall quality is not intended for professionals
05. Meinl Cymbals B14SAH- Perfect Hi-Hats For Unique Sound
- Weight: 5.17 pounds
- Dimensions: 14 x 14 x 1 inches
- Hand Hammered from cast B20 Bronze Alloy
- Shaped by skilled Turkish cymbal smiths
- Comes with a unique crisp chick and trashy wash
These Byzance Vintage Sand deliver a mellow and an old-school sound which gives this set of cymbals the ability to comfortably occupy any frequency and have been thus developed in cooperation with Benny Greb for that matter.
Silky and smooth feel
The character of this set is definitive coming with a dry and earthy touch that is associated with it. The combination of hammering, sandblasting, and lathing has done wonders in its texture providing you cymbals with such silky-smooth feel.
Not only are they suitable in an old-world background but are also doing well with top recording and touring artists as they offer an increased sense of musicality along with being deeply rooted in traditional cymbal crafting methods.
Hand hammered in Turkey
The process of hand hammering using the B20 Bronze alloy has gifted these cymbals with a superhuman vintage look and sound as the alloy does wonders for it after the aging procedure which is initially conducted by sandblasting surfaces.
- Best hi-hats for Jazz
- Blends nicely into a mix of instruments
- Deliver dry and defined tones
- Unique and aesthetic look
- They do not have many overtones
06. Stagg BM-HR10 10-Inch Black Metal Rock Hi-Hat Cymbals
- Weight: 2.81 pounds
- Dimensions: 10 x 10 x 2 inches
- They are made up of B20 Alloy
- Qualify for mini hats having a diameter of 10-inch
- The projection and overtones can be controlled when struck hard due to the raw bow of each one
These hi-hat cymbals are probably smaller as compared to other cymbals to be used as the main hat. You can easily call them mini hats that are heavy little suckers and sound much similar to a normal set of hats.
You may not expect these to produce a sound it is capable of producing with a loud response. Their delivery is much better than any of the sound demos you might have heard on online platforms.
The phrase best suited for cymbals such as these is ‘small but mighty’. Mighty in every sense, you could talk about, particularly looks. It comes with a premium dark look that is perfect to fit into your cocktail kit or can even be used as a secondary option.
Crisp chic and slice
These handsome cymbals provide you with an audible and crisp chic and slice, making you fall in love with these even more. Its thick and heavy brass is another factor why this can come into the category of an excellent buy for you.
- It comes with a great ‘chic’ sound
- The sound quality and stick response is great
- Great Value for Price
- It is a little small to be used as the main hat
07. Zildjian Hi-Hat Cymbals (LV8014HP-S)
- Weight: 1 pound
- Dimensions: 16 x 16 x 3 inches
- 70-80% quieter than other sets of cymbals
- Perfect for low-volume practicing, especially if you’re living in a multifamily living quarters
This set of cymbals will definitely restrain you from any hearing damage or ear fatigue when playing around for a longer period of time as it is a lot more quieter as compared to other traditional cymbals. Thus, it is best suited for low-volume playing applications.
Sophisticated Matte Look
The matte finish does the job for this set in terms of delivering a unique sophisticated look. Its alloy and proprietary manufacturing techniques have magically worked well in delivering a real cymbal look to it.
These L80 low volume hi-hats have proved to be extremely useful for those who live in an apartment and would definitely want to control their sound levels in order to appease their neighbors. Though there’s no difference in the feel at all serving just like a conventional performance cymbal operating at 25% of the volume than the traditional ones.
- Excellent for practicing
- Comes with a unique matte finish look
- Not at all recommended for big on-stage concerts.
- It is also not recommended for live performances
08. Zildjian 13’’ K/Z Special HiHat Cymbal Pair (K0829)
- Weight: 5 pounds
- Dimensions: 13 x 13 x 1 inches
- Louder than a few other traditional cymbals
- Comes with a medium weight K Hi-Hat top
- Comes with an extremely heavy Z Dyno Beat Hi-Hat bottom
This set comes with a definitive chick and a dry, satisfying, musical sick sound owing to the fact that it is delivered with a medium top and heavy bottom. The weight of the top cymbal is fairly medium whereas the Z bottom is very heavy with a reflective finish.
Sound hits the spot
These hi-hats are great in producing a perfectly dry and musical sound upon striking. The ‘chick’ sound is not only bright but is also sharp at the same time delivering a controlled sound with a clear and nice wash.
Apart from its K top and Z bottom, the cymbals also look premium owing to its traditional finish. It’s satiating and relaxing to strike upon them on a daily basis and then look at them not even changing a bit from what it was earlier.
- It’s very responsive.
- Good quality of sound.
- Awesome look and feel.
- Comparatively expensive.
09. Foraineam 13’’ Hi-Hat Cymbals Pair
- Weight: 1.65 pounds
- Dimensions: 12.5 x 12.5 x 0.9 inches
- Relatively cheaper than other traditional cymbals
- With its sound quality, it is worth the price
- Qualifies as a sharp and focused hi-hat
These cymbals are perfect for those who are willing to integrate it into their setup. They are an ideal set going well with all possible styles. In addition to that, they are designed to be the right choices for beginner drummers, especially students and new players.
Durable and Versatile
You may first be skeptical about purchasing this one but once installed, its durability and versatility will surely surprise you to believe that you have certainly made the right purchase, especially if you’re gearing up your child to start with this.
Great Sound for the Price
If you compare the sound quality it offers you against the price you need to pay for it, it is a great purchase to make. The sound is pretty good, certainly not the best as compared to various other cymbals, but definitely serves the purpose for the price you’re paying for it. So, yes, it is pocket-friendly for you.
- Quite Durable
- Excellent for kids or beginners
- It won’t provide you with the best sounds
- There’s no much difference between the top and bottom hit-hat
10. Sabian 21402XLB AAX 14’’ X-Celerator Hi-Hats
- Weight: 5.65 pounds
- Dimensions: 1.3 x 14 x 14 inches
- Modern pinpoint lathing
- Delivers maximum clarity and cutting stick sounds
- An all-purpose series proving to be the ultimate modern bright sound
There’s no doubt that this is a lethal pairing from Sabian whose clarity is maximized to the core with the crisp and accurate sound. This killer X-Celerator hats have it in them to function as a true catalog workhorse by allowing you to do the positioning in any setting.
The next generation drummers will surely be having a nice fun time with the innovative designs of this set including that of Ozone, Air, Aero, and X-Plosion. The heritage of the AAX family is doing all it can with these cymbals to define an ever-evolving concept of being ‘modern’.
Delivers Clear Responses
The cymbals that are served with a rippled airwave bottom not only deliver a crisp and cutting stick sound but also play a major role in consistently delivering clear, crisp, bright, and cutting responses, making AAX nothing but the ultimate modern bright sound.
It provides you with everything you have come to expect from AAX including exceptional clarity along with its bright highs and complex lows. All the effects work well together to make it cut through at all volumes.
- Offers a very good quality sound
- Great for those looking for a high-end hi-hat
- Controllable volumes with rich and dynamic tones
- They are not suitable for beginners.
- Comparatively difficult to setup.
Percussionists are constantly on a run to add different sounds to their drum sets or trap sets. It gives them an edge for these hi-hats have been around us for a long time now, for almost a century, wherein the first-ever version of hi-hats was named Sock Cymbal. Previously, Sock Cymbals were much smaller as compared to the modern hi-hats you see today.
Without any doubt, hi-hats have now become a very important and an integral part of the drum set that helps drummers in switching towards a variety of genres and styles of music. As time went on, hi-hats continued to play a major role as a timekeeper and in increasing and decreasing the dynamics of a song by subtly providing it with a marvelous sound effect.
It is imperative to get these specifications right while performing, which only the best hi-hats would deliver. Thus, certain buying considerations need to be followed in choosing the best. Here, we’ve listed all that you need to keep in mind.
Choose the Right Size
There would be an immediate question about the right size for your hi hat. Many of you now are aware of this and others are not aware of it, but it’s vital that you know that the size, weight, and material of the cymbal has a significant effect on your cymbals sound.
Thus, you might have observed that hi-hats like 13’’ or 14’’ generate a more bright and crispy tone whereas when it comes to hi-hats of 15’’ or 16’’, the sound delivered is more warm and dark.
On the other hand, experimentation gets you on the right path too. Try mismatching them such as using 16’’ top with a 13’’ bottom. Check for the combination’s sound and shimmer. When you get the right size combination, you will be guaranteed with a sound that would be nice and crisp. Try it for yourself!
Go through Production Techniques
Many drummers skip this step and then end up buying hi-hats that sound miserable and creaky. It is imperative to go through the different methods that have been used during the production process as these different constructing types come with their own set of sonic benefits.
Drummers would definitely know the contrast between hand hammered and machine hammered cymbals. The cymbals that are hand hammered with a ball-peen hammer aim at delivering a more individualized, warmer tone, with each cymbal having a different look, sound, and a subtle but evident change in pitch.
On the other hand, the modern technique of machine hammering can be undertaken by a human running hammering machine or just can be done robotically. This technique quite clearly shows you the evolution of the cymbal making industry which did offer its own set of benefits. You certainly don’t need to panic after breaking one of them as you’re most likely to find the exact same cymbal that would deliver almost the same sound again.
Thus, it’s up to you to try them all and determine their sounds. Select the one that would suit your style or genre of music.
Have a look at the Material
Cannot stress enough on the fact that materials do matter while making the right decision in selecting hi-hats. Here, you are provided with two different types, that is sheet and cast cymbals.
Sheet cymbals are those that undergo an industrial process and then come out in the required shape and size after being combined with malleable bronze, brass, and nickel silver. I’ve often observed some jazz and orchestral percussionists enjoying the beats with sheet cymbals by their side as they deliver a superiorly bright sound and are hands down appealing to the rock, pop, and metal drummers.
Whereas, cast cymbals are those that undergo the traditional way of cymbal making wherein they are poured into a mold after melting down bell bronze. The required shape is then given to the cast cymbal by putting it through a lathe and carrying out the techniques of flattening and shaping. Moreover, cast cymbals are preferred more due to the pristine quality of their ingredients and the way they are made. And yes, I’ve seen many jazz and orchestral percussionists enjoying the sound of cast cymbals too.
Look for those that fit your sound
This is a very important aspect to consider that will lead to your satisfaction after the purchase of a good pair of hi-hats. You cannot just ask people around you to recommend the best and go about buying it since everyone has a specific taste and love to play different styles or genres of music.
That just provides you the motive behind creating this top 10 list as no ‘one hi-hat’ would be serving the purpose for all. So, before making a definitive choice, look for its qualities, and see whether they will lend better results to your style of music. Some may appear to be great for metal but would turn out to be too harsh for jazz. Thus, consider certain qualities of cymbals such as being bright, dark, washy, or dry.
How does thickness contribute to a hi-hat’s output?
Thickness is known to be a crucial contributor to a hi-hat sound, as thinner hairs generate a lower tone and slower vibration, while thicker hairs produce a higher tone and faster vibrations.
Does a hi-hat’s diameter affect a cymbal’s pitch?
Yeah, the pitch of a cymbal is influenced by the diameter. The relationship it demonstrates is clear, the greater the diameter the lower the time.
Why is hammering done?
Hammering is done to give a cymbal the required forms and musical complexity and can also cause the surface to be subtly distorted, often creating a trashy sound that many players enjoy. In addition, the hammering pattern is associated with the sound. This would produce a purer tone with a smaller and standardized hammer pattern, while a bigger, variable hammer pattern would give way to a more harmonic sound.
Why is lathing necessary?
The modulation of cymbals’ pitch and complexity is much simpler after laying as it reduces mass and generates record-like grooves around the surface of the cymbal.
What is the role of rivets and holes in hi-hats?
Rivets lead to the development of the frying sizzle that you may have heard regularly in swing music while holes have a major role in removing airlocks in hi-hats.
Is Brass the best material for hi-hats?
Brass is particularly best suited for reduced-dynamic applications as it delivers a softer attack and lower output as compared to several other bronze varieties.
Why is B20 Bronze so famed?
Yes, B20 Bronze is a well-known material and is also known as CuSn20 or Bell Bronze. It is famed due to the fact that it is an age-old alloy but is still considered to be reserved for the top of the line cymbals providing them with versatility, complexity, darkness, and old-world Turkish heritage.
Is B12 Bronze good enough for hi-hats?
B12 Bronze is also known as CuSn12 that provides a shimmery, glassy, and pure finish having the ability to not only control the warmth and cut but also to balance the output of the cymbal set.
Are B8 Bronze hi-hats the best in the lot?
B8 Bronze is also known as CuSn8 and is popularly known as the 2002 Bronze. Cymbals that are made up of B8 Bronze have a solid cutting and a pure tone, making them the appropriate choice for live stage use.
Are Cast Cymbals better than Stamped Cymbals?
The answer to this is not just final, because it is only one step from all of them to construct the best hijacks that make them cast or stamped out. Many other techniques, including training, laying, hammering, and handicraft, play an important role in the character and response of a high-quality craftsperson.
After all, everything just starts off with a raw blank of hardened material, and only after all these cumulative processes can it be considered as the best.
Why are hi-hats expensive?
Hi-hats are expensive because a lot many laborious tasks are involved in its making that certainly requires a number of man-hours. The production process of hi-hats requires loads of handcrafting, hammering, shaping, and firing techniques to come out as a product that you would love to strike on.
Why do hand-produced hi-hats cost more?
You won’t find any two cymbals looking 100% alike if they are hand produced because many production techniques such as formation, shaping, hammering, lathing, finishing, aging or maturation, together make up the best hand-produced hi-hats that never serve the purpose of looking alike and are expensive considering the amount of labor work required to reach the end result.
What are the most common sizes for hi-hats?
In recent years, the most common size for hi-hats is 13’’-14’’, with 16s, 15s, and 12s also seeing a surge.
Why are hi-hats so important?
Hi-hats play a major role in yielding the desired texture and are not only responsible for dynamic momentum but also for timekeeping. Moreover, hi-hats can allow you to vary the degree of space between the cymbals as these are traditionally used by mounting them to a foot-controlled stand.
Why are terms like ‘bright’ and ‘dark’ often referred to hi-hats?
A high pitched sound that offers an increased cut is associated with bright whereas a low-pitch sound that offers warmer tones is associated with dark responses.
What do you mean by a trashy response?
A response that is particularly dirty and raw is known as a trashy response, often associated with Chinese cymbals.
How do I get the best hi-hats without playing any?
For this very reason, we have prepared this list for you. Moreover, many reviews and specifications of hi-hats are listed on the internet today. You can make your best choice as apt comparisons in terms of price, value for money, quality, features, etc have been made on various platforms. The most recommended one is YouTube. Many creators have made detailed review videos and the best part is that you can also witness the delivered sounds.
We know it is quite a task for you to come up with the best hi-hats, especially if you’re just a beginner and haven’t tried your hands on such equipment before. That is why we’ve made it a point to include the best of all possible varieties of hi-hats. We know you have your own choices and specific needs to fulfill. Thus, this list has been made by keeping that in mind as we wish to provide you with the best that is available.