Most drummers find themselves needing to dampen their drums. Whether your kit is producing harsh overtones or simply not giving the sound you want, putting something on each drum typically changes the tone to suit your taste.

Dampening a drum is a fairly simple concept. You could do it with household items. However, a few drum companies have come out with some killer drum dampeners that make the process a bit easier. Let’s check them out!

What are the Best Drum Dampeners?

IMAGE RECOMMENDED PRODUCTSPRODUCT FEATURES
Big Fat Snare Drum Steve’s Donut
  • Snare drum dampener
  • Lowers pitch of snare
  • Boosts attack
Snareweight M80
  • Magnets in the strap
  • Leather strap bounces when the drum is hit
  • Mounts onto the rim of a drum
Evans E-Rings Rock Pack
  • Transparent rings to put on drum heads
  • Shaped to fit each drum size
  • The rings do heavy muffling
RTOM Moongel Damper Pads
  • 6 sticky pads
  • Slightly dampens tones
  • Can be placed anywhere
Meinl Cymbals Drum Honey Dampening Gel Pads
  • 6 drum dampening gels
  • Sticks to drums and cymbals
  • Washable with soap and water
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Drum Dampeners Reviews

Big Fat Snare Drum Steve’s Donut

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Snare drum dampener
  • Lowers pitch of snare
  • Boosts attack
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Big Fat Snare Drum Steve’s Donut Review

Steve’s Donut from Big Fat Snare Drum is not only designed as a snare damper. It also lowers the pitch of your snare drum so that you get a vintage snare tone. This product is a great accessory for any drummer to have if they want to dramatically change the sound of their snare drum.

While it lowers the pitch of the snare, it also increases the attack, giving you a whopping thud sound. It’s the perfect tool to get the snare sound that everyone had in the 60s and 70s. That sound is also quite popular in Christian Contemporary worship music.

It has a finger cutout near the bottom that makes it easy to pick up. So, you could remove it very quickly between songs if you needed to.

Pros

  • Provides vintage snare tone
  • Enhances ghost notes
  • Easy to pick up from snare

Cons

  • Has very specific uses

Snareweight M80 Drum Dampener

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FEATURES
  • Magnets in the strap
  • Leather strap bounces when the drum is hit
  • Mounts onto the rim of a drum
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Snareweight M80 Drum Dampener Review

The Snareweight M80 is one of the more unique drum mufflers out there. It’s basically a leather strap that attaches to the rim of the drum with the use of a clamp. It has some epic features that make it a strong contender to consider.

The main feature is that the strap bounces off the drum whenever you hit it. This means that none of the attack is lost when the M80 is attached. It just eliminates the overtones. Most other drum dampeners kill the attack of the drum as well.

The other feature of the M80 is that you can adjust how much it dampens the drum by folding the strap. It has magnets to keep the strap secure, allowing you to easily change the dampening mid-song.

It’s a great snare drum damper thanks to the size, but you can fit it on all the other drums as well. At the end of the day, it’s a highly innovative product that works wonderfully as a quick dampening solution.

Pros

  • Doesn’t eliminate any attack from a drum
  • Easily adjustable
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Expensive if you plan on getting one for each drum

Evans E-Rings Rock Pack

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Transparent rings to put on drum heads
  • Shaped to fit each drum size
  • The rings do heavy muffling
OUR RATING
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Evans E-Rings Rock Pack Review

The Evans E-Rings are a great muffling option for when you need to dampen your whole drum kit. Getting a pack of these will allow you to put one on each drum to control all the unwanted overtones.

The rings have a clear and transparent color which blends into the drum heads nicely. This is great if you prefer having a cleaner look on your drums.

They’re also incredibly easy to use. Since they’re shaped to perfectly fit each drum, you just have to put them on the drum and they’ll fit like a glove. Just make sure to use the right-sized ring for the matching drum.

The 14” ring, in particular, gives your snare drum a beefy and round sound which is good to have in studio settings.

The final point to mention is that these drum dampening rings are fairly durable compared to most drum dampening tools. Since they have a simple design, they tend to last longer.

Pros

  • You can barely see them on drum heads
  • Helps snare get a beefy sound
  • Durable

Cons

  • No control over how much sound they dampen

RTOM Moongel Damper Pads

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FEATURES
  • 6 sticky pads
  • Slightly dampens tones
  • Can be placed anywhere
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RTOM Moongel Damper Pads Review

Moongels are the most popular drum dampening gels. You’ll see these on so many drum kits around the world. They’re inexpensive and highly useful, making them valuable tools for every drummer.

Each pack of Moongels comes with 6 sticky pads. They’re sticky enough to be placed anywhere, even on cymbals. That’s what makes them so versatile. You can also cut them in half if you feel they’re doing too much dampening.

They tend to get dirty when left on the drums for too long, but they can easily be cleaned with soap and water. If you regularly clean them, they can last up to years.

They’re great for gigging with as you can keep the Moongel box in your stick or cymbal bag. If you’re looking for something that has multiple uses, Moongels are a good option. The ability to place them anywhere is why most drummers love them.

Pros

  • Good for dampening cymbals as well as drums
  • Can be split in half for less dampening
  • Easily placeable

Cons

  • They tend to get dirty over time

Meinl Cymbals Drum Honey Dampening Gel Pads

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FEATURES
  • 6 drum dampening gels
  • Sticks to drums and cymbals
  • Washable with soap and water
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Meinl Cymbals Drum Honey Dampening Gel Pads Review

The Meinl Cymbals Drum Honey Pads are essentially the same thing as the Moongels. However, they have a few small differences that may draw drummers to them instead.

Firstly, each pad is quite small and in a circle shape. You typically won’t cut them in half as they’re small enough already. If you want to do more dampening, you can just stick a few more on the drum or cymbal.

The best quality of these drum dampening gels is that they don’t scrunch up like other competitor gels tend to do. If that’s something that will bother you with the other ones, these are the perfect solution.

They also last quite long thanks to the round shape. They don’t seem to be as sticky as Moongels, which some drummers may prefer.

Pros

  • Durable round shape
  • Not as sticky as other drum dampening gels
  • The gels don’t scrunch up

Cons

  • Some drummers won’t like the yellow color

DIY Dampening vs Dampening Products

A popular method of dampening drums is to stick tape on the drum heads. While this typically works fairly well, it often leaves residue on the head once you remove the tape. It’s also quite difficult to remove the tape if you’re in a hurry.

So, brands have designed these dampening products to make things easier for drummers. Instead of getting toilet paper and a roll of duct tape out every time they want to kill some overtones, they can just put a few Moongels or a ring on a drum.

DIY solutions will be cheaper, but specifically designed products will often make things much easier.

When Should You Dampen Your Drums?

Every drummer has preferences when it comes to sound. Some drummers like their drums to be wide and open while others prefer a tight and controlled sound.

The more controlled you want your drums to sound, the more dampening you’re going to need to apply to the drum heads. Just be careful not to apply too much dampening as that will completely kill the tone of your drums.

Whether you like your drums to sound open or tight, it’s always good to have drum dampeners on hand whenever you need them. All the drum mufflers above are great options to consider.

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