Top 5 Best Hi Hats Cymbals in 2020 Reviews

hi hat buying guide and testHi-hat cymbals (as well as the other types of cymbals) are usually the first elements to be replaced when a drummer goes from a beginner’s set to more professional equipment. Hi hats are the part of the drum set that are often used the most, and it is therefore important to find a high quality hi hat that can withstand some beating.

Hi-hats on Amazon

So how do you find good hi hat cymbals then? That’s what I want to spend the time explaining on this page. I hope to give you a knowledge that will enable you to distinguish between bad and good equipment. In addition, I will show you the hi hat cymbals I believe are the best in the market.

Top 5 Best Hi Hat Cymbals

As promised, I will show you the hi hat cymbals that I think are the best on the market. This is based on a test of 220 different hi hats. Here they are:

Best all-round hi hats


Best hi hat cymbals for jazz


Best hi hat cymbals for rock


Best dark hi hats


Best hi hat stand


Best hi hat mic


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Hi hat cymbals and hi hat stands

The hi hat consists of two cymbals, one of which is typically thicker, and therefore heavier, than the other. The heavier cymbal rests on a special hi hat stand and the lighter cymbal is attached to the stand with a ‘clutch’. Hi hats are available in different sizes for different purposes, but they are primarily available in sizes between 12 ”and 15” in diameter. Hi hats are often thicker than other cymbals to give a louder sound, especially when hi hat is played with the foot.

Some hi hats, typically of very high quality, are manufactured in a special way where the bottom cymbal is “wavy” at the edge. This allows the air to escape more quickly between the two cymbal, giving a more dry sound, and so the hi hat articulates better. Some hi hats even have small holes in the lower cymbal for the same purpose.

The hi hat stand has a pedal which can be used to control the upper hi hat cymbal. Pressing down on this pedal pulls the upper cymbal down to hit the bottom cymbal. It is normal to keep the two cymbals together when playing verses within many genres. Often, the hi hat is “opened” when playing in the chorus. When hi hat is open, the two cymbals strike each other and provide a broad, more open and energetic sound. It is very normal to play this way within the various rock and metal genres.

Hi hats can also be played with the foot. Pressing down on the pedal, the cymbal makes a sound when they hit each other, and many drummers use this sound to keep the pace of the song playing on the hi hat with the foot while playing, for example, on a ride or crash cymbal. If you step relatively hard on the pedal with the heel, the two cymbals hit each other. However, they are not kept tight together. In this way, hi hat gives a sound that resembles a blow on an open hi hat.

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Hi hat materials

Hi hats are made from the same materials as all other cymbals. The most common I have described below.

Brass: Brass is found primarily in beginner cymbals. Brass cymbals are typically produced from 38% zinc and 62% copper and they often do not have as high a volume as other cymbal. In addition, the sound is a bit warmer and subdued.

B8 Bronze: Cymbals made of B8 bronze consist of 8% tin and 92% copper. These cymbals are often produced for the purpose of making cymbals for beginners or lighter practitioners. The sound of B8 cymbals is lighter, and therefore some drummers prefer cymbals of B8 bronze over the finer, more expensive B20 bronze cymbals.

B20 Bronze: B20 bronze is mainly used for more expensive, finer cymbals. Many professional cymbals are produced by B20 bronze, including Zildjian’s highly acclaimed A and K series. The B20 is more flexible than other materials and it is therefore easier for cymbal producers to hammer the cymbal and give them a more distinctive sound.

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Hi hat technique

A hi hat is a unique instrument that can make many different sounds. For example, there is a big difference between the sound, depending on whether you play on the edge of the hi hat or on top of it. If you play with the tip of the drumstick on top of the hi hat the sound is shorter, more controlled and has a lower volume. If, on the other hand, you play on the edge of the hi hat with the drumstick’s “shoulder”, the volume increases as the two cymbals move towards each other, and the sound becomes more energetic and aggressive. Many drummers vary between these two playing techniques to make the sound more lively and dynamic.

The set-up of the hi hat stand is very important when it comes to one’s playing technique: if you play primarily on the edge of the hat or with open hat, it is a good idea to adjust the stand so that the hat is placed relatively high. This way you avoid hitting on top of your hat, and you reduce the amount of hi hat sound that “bleeds” into the snare drum microphone. This makes it easier for sound engineers to make the two different parts of the kit sound good. However, it is important that you do not place the hi hat too high, as this will make it physically strenuous to play on it.

If you vary between playing at the top and the edge of the hat, you should place it at a medium height so that both parts of the hat are easily accessible. If the hi hat is placed too low, it will be difficult to hit the hi hat’s edge, and you will typically not be able to get as much power and energy out of the hi hat.

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Choosing hi hat cymbals

The hi hat is an important part of the drummer’s overall sound image, and it is therefore important to assess which hi hat will best fit the music you play. If you play, for example, pop or funk, it is very normal to acquire a relatively thick 13″ hi hat. At the same time, most rock or metal drummers will prefer a hi hat 14″ or even 15″ hat. 14” is the most common size for hi hats and hi hats in this size often fit most music genres.

Put together your own hi hat cymbals

The hi hat is an important part of the drummer’s overall sound image, and it is therefore important to assess which hi hat will best fit the music you play. If you play, for example, pop or funk, it is very normal to acquire a relatively thick 13″ hi hat. At the same time, most rock or metal drummers will prefer a hi hat 14″ or even 15″ hat. 14” is the most common size for hi hats and hi hats in this size often fit most music genres.

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