Many drummers agree that hi-hats are the most important aspect of a drum setup. Apart from the snare drum and the kick, it is of the components that are really hard to miss on any setup.
These cymbals are hit more often than any other cymbal – more than even some drums and percussion instruments. And just like the snare, your hi-hats’ sound plays a huge role in the overall sound of your drum set.
In simple terms, if you buy poor quality hi-hats, you are looking at low sound. Even if you have an expensive drum set and accessories, it may end up being judged as sounding creaky.
Best Hi-Hat Cymbals Review In2021
So, it would be best if you invested in the best quality hats. Besides, it does not make a lot of sense that you have a high-end drum set, whereas your cymbals suck.
But since there are so many cymbal makers and solutions on the market, it might be a bit overwhelming.
In this guide, I will share some of the best hi-hats while demonstrating that quality does not always have to be expensive.
Best Hi-Hat Cymbals for The Money
It would be best if you bought good hi-hats, but this does not mean that you must break a bank for it. Sometimes you just need something simple, yet functional. If you are buying on a budget, many of the cymbals out there will disappoint you. Consider the ones that come with beginner drum sets, for instance. You just have to replace them.
In my experience, there are still several high-quality hi-hats you can buy at a low price, yet still, get a good deal. Here are three of my favorites hi-hat cymbals on a budget.
Meinl has been for long, making incredible solutions for users on a budget. And the Meinl HCS Series is their best product in this case.
They are the most affordable lines of cymbals you will find out there. The cymbals are catered for beginners, but they will still do great for anyone in need of low-priced, but long-lasting cymbals.
If you are in need of quality beginner hi-hats for rock, funk, jazz, and anything in-between, look no further. The Meinl HCS 13-inch
Traditional hi-hats may be all you need. These cymbals are 13-inch in measurement. They are made from machine hammered brass allow, which makes them cheap but functional. You may also want to note that they are sheet hi-hats.
Most users agree that the cymbals have a pretty reasonable price, considering their price. They offer a crisp sound that is needed for most playing styles.
Meinl is among the top cymbal companies. Hence, you will be dealing with very popular brands at a very affordable price.
I have played these cymbals, and honestly, the short sustain they have suck. The sound does not ring for long when hit, something that will not sit very well with some drumming styles.
Also, they are too bright for my taste. But this is a matter of personal preference. Those who love more brightness in their cymbals will find them more useful.
Sabian has been making a high-quality line of cymbals for a very long time. And the B8 Cymbals have been among the most popular value for money entry-level cymbals in the space for a very long time.
The B8X series is an upgrade to this line. They are precision formed and lathed. They are then hand-hammered to ensure a bright, tight sound with a crisp stick and pedal response.
These hi-hats are incredibly affordable. And coming from Sabian, it is no surprise that they are a favorite for many beginners or just anyone who needs quality cymbals, but they don’t want to spend much.
They can work for any style of music. However, you may want to get something better once your experience grows.
The Sabian B8X hi-hats are the best budget cymbals for beginners. They are super affordable, with good value, yet offer top of the line functionality.
They also come from one of the top manufacturers. You will be enjoying the services of a top player at an affordable price.
Even though they are cheaper, they don’t produce the sound quality of higher-end drums.
Best Hi-Hat Cymbals Review
When it comes to choosing the best cymbals, especially hi-hats, the brand is among the main things you need to consider. And in this case, we can all agree that Meinl is one of the best cymbal makers.
The brand has been on the market for a long time; hence, they can be trusted to offer perfection in their products.
The Meinl Vintage Sand Hi-Hats offer a precise stick attack sound that does not disappoint. The hats are very loud, which allows you to hit hard without being offensive. They are great for playing styles like jazz and funk.
The hi-hats are hand-hammered and made from B20 bronze alloy. This is a great feature found on more expensive solutions. They are also cast hi-hats, and the top one is sandblasted.
The main advantage reported by many users is that these hi-hats are greatly responsive and versatile. They are not washy either, and hence, can sustain for so long when played open.
If you are playing in venues where you have to go soft, there are the cymbals to buy. Many gigging drummers find it very hard here, but Meinl has given a true solution.
I was looking at the price tag. You will have to part with around $400. This is a large amount of money, which means you must be sure about your decision before making such a huge step.
Some users have complained the sound tends to get lost in heavier styles. This means they are not the best for playing metal and hard rock.
You can never talk about the best cymbals on the market without mention a Zildjian product. This is the oldest and best cymbal company overall.
The Zildjian New Beat is a legendary set of hi-hat cymbals and the best-selling line from the brand of all time. They deliver a rock-solid “chick” that can be identified in any song and at any time on the bestselling records.
These cymbals are quite simple, and the most versatile cymbals you can ever get. They deliver a brilliant all-purpose sound that will be good for a wide range of music styles.
There sound is bright, expressive, clean, and rich. And with their medium weight and excellent stick definition, you will find them useful for jazz, metal, pop, R n B, and anything in between,
The cymbals are made from premium B20 bronze alloy. They are then machine hammered and lathed for a smooth, pure sound.
These cymbals would have been number one on this list were they hand-hammered. Nevertheless, they are regarded as the best hi-hats of all time.
One of the main advantages of using these cymbals is their legendary tone and versatility. Besides, you can always count on the most popular Zildjian hi-hats ever,
They have been played by a larger number of professionals, as heard on countless records.,
These are some of the most expensive cymbals out there. It would help if you were very sure about the price and your budget before committing.
Meinl is a cymbal brand that does not need an introduction. When it comes to a matter of quality, there are very companies that compete with it.
So, if you consider both quality and price, the Meinl 14-inch Classics Custom hi-hats could be by far the best hi-hats on the market.
They are defined by a wonderful dark, warm and explosive sound. Their refined tone and powerful tone comes from the extra hammering of the quality B10 alloy.
They are super responsive, with a premium dry tone. The dark finish also ensures they deliver an earthly, complex, and rich sound that works well in a wide range of music styles.
When closed, they give a tight, clean ‘chick’ sound that is also mellow and low in pitch. They are explosive when played open.
Generally, the Meinl Classic Custom Dark hi-hat cymbals are top of the line products that will not disappoint. You can count on the quality of the manufacturer for a good end.
These cymbals are made with professional quality considerations. Hence, you will get versatile, and premium sounds for any drumming style.
They are also the best value-for-money hi-hats. And since they come from one of the best manufacturers, you can expect a good deal.
The cymbals are made from B10 alloy, which is not as good as the B20 alloy. This may make some users question the price tag.
Paiste is one of my favorite cymbal brands. This Swiss company is a top contender in the cymbal space. And the Paise 14-inch PST7 hi-hat cymbals are some of their best products.
They are offered at a very attractive price, considering their build quality. The posse the clarity and premium tonal flavors only found with more expensive cymbal sets.
The PST 7 hi-hats are defined by their bold and strong character, with a brilliant open tone. Play them closed, and you get a clean, defined chick sound. When open, they deliver energetic and bright sound. The pieces are generally perfect for all contemporary music styles,
They are highly versatile, with a beautiful tone. And because they are made from a unique CuSn8 bronze allow, popular with the legendary 2002 series, these cymbals have the best to offer. Also, they are lathed to a traditional finish, delivering a distinctive and smooth tone.
These cymbals offer premium quality sounds, and they are slightly more affordable than Meinl Classics Dark Hi-Hats. They come with high-quality manufacturing for a bold and strong character.
We all consider B20 bronze alloy to be the best cymbal material. And since these ones are not made from the material, it can be considered a disadvantage.
Sabian makes the same quality of cymbals as Zildjian, which is why their products can be extremely expensive. A good example is the Sabian 14-inch AAX Medium hi-hat cymbal.
They are professional cymbals derived from the AAX line.This series of cymbals offer a versatile and music sound desired by many professional drummers across the globe.
They are crafted from premium B20 bronze alloy and lathed by cymbal experts who possess all the best knowledge about cymbals.
One of the features that make them stand out is there responsive and articulate nature that is expressive, yet not overly loud. They are very musical and will work with any music styles.
The satisfying stick definition makes it great fun to play on these hi-hats. You won’t hear any noisy or ringy overtones from the closed hi-hats. They deliver a washy, yet music sound when open.
The Sabina AAX hi-hat cymbals are a premium set that will not require an upgrade. They blend perfectly with all music styles.
They offer a highly music playing response, with a strong, satisfying stick definition. They are made with professional quality for professiona use.
The HHX Click hats from Sabian have fully lathed bottoms and partially lathed tops, which offer plenty of control and articulation.
The cymbals are famous for their ‘chick’ sound, which a good feature in a hi-hat. They deliver a crisp sound that is not overly washy when played with the foot. And when half-open, you get a warm tone that is not too overpowering.
They are among the most versatile hi-hats that can be useful in a wide range of music styles.
These hi-hats have lathed bottom. Hence, they deliver a warm tone, with a crisp sound that is pleasing to the ear. They are everything a drummer may need to deliver a perfect performance.
Besides, they are very versatile, which makes them perfect for a wide range of music styles.
Since they are made with premium quality, you can use these cymbals for a long time without changing or upgrading.
The only major concern with these hi-hats is their price tag. But this may not be an issue if you want top-quality and have enough to invest.
Best hi-hats buying guide
We have already seen that getting the right hi-hat cymbal is key to producing the perfect sound. Besides the list of top products shared above, here are some questions that will help you pick the best one.
How Do You Choose A Good Hi-Hat Cymbal?
Choosing a good hi-hat cymbal can be overwhelming when youconsider the number of products on the market. However, there are several features you must always put in mind.
First, consider the size. Hi-hats range sizes range from 12 -inch up to 16-inch or 17-inches. The biggest is not always the best.
Choose the right size based on your music style. Its size and weight determine the sound of cymbals. If it is small, it sounds bright and crispy. This is good for styles like punk, disco, fusion, and similar styles.
Bigger cymbals deliver dark and warm sounds. Therefore, the tone is low-pitched, with a longer sustain than smaller ones, perfect for styles like rock, metal, and sometimes jazz.
Another consideration is the hammering technique. The best hi-hats you can ever found have been hand-hammered. Someone sat down to hammer them manually for a unique pitch, sound, and look. They are also the most expensive, compared to machine-hammered ones.
Last but not least is a material consideration. You either get a sheet or cast hi-hats. Sheet cymbals are made with a combination of certain metals and shaped to sound, delivering brighter sound. Cast hi-hats are crafted by melting down bell bronze and pouring into a mould. It is then taken through a lathe for flattening and hand hammering. They are seen as the highest quality, able to deliver dark sounds.
What Hi-Hat Cymbal Goes on Top?
It all depends on the sound you want to make. If the thinner hat is on top, the set becomes more responsive and opens a little easier. It will also make a little wash. If the thicker bottom comes to the top, you get a faster and more focused sound.
So, just try flipping your hi-hats and see. After all, you have nothing to lose.
Can You Use Crash Cymbals as Hi-Hats?
Yes, you can use a pair of a crash as hi-hats. However, it would be wise to pick the right pair. Consider listening to them together to make sure they produce the exact sound you desire.
Are Hi-Hats Cymbals?
Yes. But there is more to it than normal cymbals since they are played together as a pair. Besides, they are combined with a pedal, played with the foot, and sticks together.
Missing hi-hats in your drum set can create everything sound incomplete. But it would be even worse if you chose the wrong ones. I hope this guide helps you get the perfect pair.