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As any experienced drummer knows, mastering the drums requires not just skill, but also consideration for those around you.
Whether you’re a pro or just starting your rhythmic adventure, it’s important to be able to practice without disturbing others. Drum mutes and silencers enable you to do exactly that!
These top selections strike the perfect balance between subtlety and maintaining the authentic drumming experience, making it easy to translate your ideas to regular drumheads.
Whether you’re a late-night groove enthusiast or seeking a silent practice haven, below you’ll discover the best drum mutes and silencers that can transform your kit into a sanctuary of silent beats.
- What are the Best Drum Mutes?
- How I Tested and Selected the Best Drum Mutes and Silencers
- In-Depth Drum Mute Reviews
- Drum Mutes Buyer's Guide
- Drum Mutes Vs Mesh Drum Heads
- Things to Consider When Buying Drum Mutes
- What Is the Purpose of Drum Mutes?
- Drum Mutes FAQs
What are the Best Drum Mutes?
How I Tested and Selected the Best Drum Mutes and Silencers
Over all my years of drumming, I’ve had to find plenty of solutions to lower the volume of my kit so that I can practice.
When I eventually purchased a set of Evans mutes, I was very impressed by how effective they were. Since then, I’ve used several different mutes and silencing pads. I’ve also tried ones out that friends own, giving me a good view of all the available options on the market.
When testing these mutes, I mainly looked at sound control. I assessed how effectively each set of drum mutes dampened tones across different drum components. I then compared how they felt and responded to playing against regular drumheads.
I considered the build quality of each set of drum mutes, ensuring they could withstand regular use. The versatility of the mute set for accommodating various drum sizes and configurations was a factor I also explored.
My reviews aim to provide a detailed insight into each drum mute set’s performance, durability, and user-friendliness, helping drummers choose the right tools for effective sound control during practice sessions.
In-Depth Drum Mute Reviews
The Evans dB One Low Volume Cymbal and Drumhead Set is the latest set of practice accessories to hit the low-volume market. The Zildjian L80 cymbals and Remo Silentstroke heads are the most popular, but this Evans set easily competes with that commonly packaged bundle.
Starting with the mesh drumheads, all of them are single-ply mesh heads except for the snare head. The Shockweave Mesh is a material from Evans that has slight modifications compared to standard mesh heads to improve playability.
I find the Evans dB drumheads are slightly thicker and more responsive than other mesh heads. They feel great to play and offer excellent sound control.
The snare drumhead is made from the same material, but it has two plies instead of one. It also has Evans’ Snare Sim technology, which gives it a snapping snare drum tone to separate it from all the tom drumheads.
I loved how you can play ghost notes and rimshots, and you’ll get similar responsiveness to what you’d get with a standard snare head. It will just be a lot softer.
The cymbals were also of excellent quality. The biggest bonus with them is that they’re the same sizes as regular cymbals, which is a good thing compared to the competing Zildjian L80s which are slightly smaller.
However, I didn’t think they were quite as tonally responsive as the L80s, but that’s to be expected due to the fact that Evans isn’t a brand that regularly makes cymbals, and Zildjian is the biggest cymbal brand in the business.
The cymbals are still amazing for practicing, though. The whole set is highly appealing, and it’s an amazing option for drummers who want to get a complete low-volume practice setup.
- Full-sized cymbals with good aesthetics and sounds
- Realistic feeling from the snare drumhead
- Excellent price for the whole set
- Can be used with drum triggers
- The cymbal tones aren’t quite as good as the low-volume cymbals from Sabian and Zildjian
The Evans SoundOff Drum Mutes is a practical and good-value drum silencer pack that includes drum mutes for each part of the drum set, allowing you to practice at home without disturbing others.
I’ve owned a set of these for years, and I’ve often taken them with me on tours to practice in green rooms where I can’t make a lot of noise.
I’ve always found these to be incredibly reliable as well as affordable, and I recommend this set of drum mutes to my students looking to practice quietly.
Evans has manufactured a selection of box sets to accommodate different drum sizes, so you will need to choose from either rock, fusion, or standard depending on the specification of your drum set.
The Evans SoundOff drum mutes are high quality and fit perfectly in the drums.
They are the best drum mutes that absorb almost all of the sound, and provide slightly less rebound than normal drumheads, meaning they are great for practicing drums at home.
These drum mutes are an excellent option if you want an affordable solution to reducing the volume of your drum set, whilst still playing your existing drum kit setup. These drum mute pads will reduce the volume of your drums by up to 80%.
The snare drum and tom mutes fit snugly on top of the drumheads for the specified sizes, whilst the adjustable bass drum mute fits all 18” to 26” bass drums.
The Evans SoundOff cymbal mutes are high quality and provide a natural rebound. The crash cymbal mute will fit any size, and the hi-hat mute is designed to fit 14” hi hats, whilst the ride cymbal mute will fit 20” ride cymbals.
Overall this is an excellent value and effective solution for drummers looking to keep practice noise to a minimum. These are some of the best drum mute pads that are both practical and affordable.
- Absorbs almost all of the sound
- Affordable solution for practicing without disturbing others
- Simple and easy to use package
- You must choose the correct drum size package
- The rubber pads have a chemical smell
If you are looking for the ultimate home practice drum setup and the most authentic playing experience possible, the Zildjian L80 Low Volume Cymbal Set Plus Remo Silentstroke Drumheads is a great choice for you.
These Zildjian L80 low volume cymbals plus Remo Silentstroke heads replace the existing cymbals and drumheads on the drum set.
When I was in America recording my band Familiar Spirit’s album in 2017, the studio (Graphic Nature Audio) had a practice kit set up with Remo Silentstroke heads across all of the drums.
I loved how the Remo Silentstroke heads felt to play and they offered an incredible level of noise reduction. The playing response was surprisingly similar to that of a real kit.
They offer an immensely realistic playing experience and you get the same rebound and stick definition but without the noise.
From all my testing, I still kept the notion that these are arguably the best option around at the moment. Ideal for apartments and practice rooms, you’ll be able to play without disturbing neighbors.
I’m also very familiar with the Zildjian L80 low volume cymbals, and these come highly recommended by me. They are quite expensive, but well worth it thanks to their volume control, tones, and durability.
The cymbals included in the bundle are a pair of 14” low volume hi hats, a 16” low volume crash and a 20” low volume ride cymbal. The Remo Silentstroke drumheads are sized at 10”, 12” and 16” toms, a 14” snare drum and 22” kick drum.
Both the Zildjian L80 low volume cymbals and Remo Silentstroke heads are the most innovative drumming products to offer a significant noise reduction and a realistic playing experience.
If you are looking for the best drum silencers for your drum set, you will definitely want to consider this pairing. It’s a pricey investment, but without a doubt makes the perfect practice drum set.
- Innovative low volume cymbals reduce noise by 80%
- Same playing experience with rebound and stick definition
- Perfect practicing solution for apartments and practice rooms
- Expensive, but well worth it!
This next set has the same design of the earlier SoundOff pack that we looked at, but the package is a bit smaller and more affordable.
Instead of getting mutes for the cymbals as well, you just get four mutes to place on your drums.
I love how basic but effective this set is. It’s essentially like you’re getting four practice pads to place on your kit.
You can even place these on a hard surface to play, so I think they’re very versatile.
If you don’t have a big budget to get any of the other options, I highly recommend getting these. They’re effective, affordable, and they’ll let you practice without bothering anyone.
Just note that you don’t get a bass drum mute with the pack.
- Simply fit on top of your existing drum heads
- Easy to use and affordable!
- Absorb nearly all of the drum sound
- No bass drum mute or cymbal mutes included
- Significantly less rebound than normal drum heads
This Vic Firth Drum Set Mute Pack is another quality noise reduction solution for your drums to reduce exposing yourself or your neighbors to loud noise.
These were similar to the Evans SoundOff mutes, but I found the material to be a bit softer and more dynamic.
Included in this quality set is 8 drum and cymbal mutes in total. It includes drum mutes sized at 10″, 12″, 14″, 16″ and 22″ for a 5-piece drum set. It also includes hi-hat mutes and 2 cymbal mutes.
These are fantastic drum mutes and cymbal mutes that offer a good level of rebound and they do a great job of absorbing the noise and sustain from the drums and cymbals.
Overall these are some of the best drum mutes that offer great value for money. They dampen the vibrations and eliminate almost all of the noise produced by the drums and cymbals.
- Great at reducing cymbal volume
- Non-slip pure rubber for real action
- Soft, high quality material
- I've struggled to keep the bass drum mute firmly in place
Drum Mutes Buyer's Guide
Drum mutes are a type of drumming accessory that are placed over drumheads and cymbals in order to reduce the volume produced by striking them while playing. This makes them ideal for quiet practice sessions at home or in an apartment without the worry of disturbing your neighbors.
All of the sets of drum mutes and silencers featured in this guide are suitable for beginners and experienced drummers, and no tools are needed, besides a simple drum key to install mesh drumheads onto your drums.
When it comes to choosing the right drum mutes for your needs, there are a few factors that you’ll need to consider, which we’ll cover in this guide below.
Drum Mutes Vs Mesh Drum Heads
The type of drum mutes you choose will depend mainly on your budget and also your goals. Mesh drumheads are usually the most effective at reducing volume, but they may not be suitable for all situations.
Mesh Drum Heads
Mesh drumheads, also known as silent drumheads, are a great option if you want to practice quietly while still maintaining the natural playing feel and rebound of an acoustic kit.
Mesh drumheads are made from a special plastic mesh material that is designed to absorb sound without impairment to the playing feel. They are also very easy to install on any drum set, with no tools required other than a simple drum key.
To install mesh drum heads you replace them with the existing drumhead, which takes a little bit of time and requires a drum key. Because of this, they are ideal for use on drum sets where they will be designated for quiet practicing for longer periods of time.
Silent drum heads are better suited to experienced drummers, who can swap out existing drumheads efficiently and are more likely to want a quieter practice without sacrificing tone or feel.
Drum mutes, on the other hand, are significantly cheaper and easier to install. They are made from textured rubber or foam and are simply placed on top of the regular drumheads, so they can be taken off quickly when you’re ready to practice louder.
Drum mutes provide effective noise reduction, but they do negatively affect the playing experience somewhat. They don’t offer as much rebound, as the rubber absorbs the impact more like a pillow than a traditional drumhead would.
Drum mutes are a great option for beginner drummers who need to reduce the volume of their drums but don’t want to replace the existing drumheads or spend a lot of money. They can also be suitable for more experienced drummers who may just need something temporary.
Things to Consider When Buying Drum Mutes
Buy the right size set
Firstly, take into account the size of your drum kit and the sizes of each individual component. Drum mutes come in a variety of shapes and sizes designed to fit onto all different-sized kits.
Look into different types of mutes
Drum mutes are made from different materials and these offer varying levels of noise reduction and playing responses. Silent drumheads are a more premium option, but rubber or foam mutes are convenient and affordable. Find the one that best suits your needs and budget.
Consider your budget
Finally, your budget can be another deciding factor when it comes to choosing the ideal drum mutes for your needs. There’s a wide range of options available on the market, from low-cost sets to more expensive professional packages with silent heads and low-volume cymbals.
What Is the Purpose of Drum Mutes?
Practice without disturbing others
The primary purpose of drum mutes is to reduce the volume produced by the drums when played. They are ideal for practice sessions at home, or in an apartment complex where noise may be a concern. Drum mutes can help you keep your sound to a minimum and avoid disturbing others.
Develop your skills and play more
Reducing the volume of your drum kit makes it easier to practice more often. This is especially helpful if you have a busy schedule and need to squeeze in as much time at the drums as possible without disrupting anyone.
Drum mutes also allow drummers to practice at lower volumes without losing the feel of a full-sized acoustic kit. This is beneficial for developing technical skills and increasing coordination.
Save money and space
Drum mutes offer an inexpensive way to quieten your kit without having to invest in a separate dedicated practice drum kit. They can also save space, as mutes don’t take up much room to store and are easily portable.
Preserve your hearing
In addition to wanting to minimize the volume of your drums for neighbors and others living in your home, it’s also important for protecting your own hearing. Too much exposure to loud volume levels can cause permanent damage to your hearing over time.
The drums are a loud instrument, and in addition to wearing sufficient ear protection, it’s important to try to minimize exposure to full drum set sound from time to time in order to protect your hearing.
Drum Mutes FAQs
What do drum mutes feel like playing?
Drum mutes are typically made from rubber or foam, and they absorb the stick impact a lot more than traditional drumheads. This means that they don’t offer as much bounce or rebound and offer a more ‘dead’ response. This can also be a good thing as it can help to improve endurance.
Do drum mutes work?
Yes, drum mutes are effective at reducing the volume of a drum kit. Depending on the type of mute you use and how they’re fitted to the drums, they can reduce noise levels by up to 80%.
How do I attach drum mutes?
Drum mutes are designed to fit securely onto the drumhead, as they rest on top and fit within the hoop so that they don’t move around when playing. Mesh drum heads, on the other hand, need to be put on the drum instead of the existing drum head.
Can I use drum mutes on my cymbals?
Yes, most packs of mutes include mutes for cymbals that are designed to fit on top and stay in place without moving. Cymbal mutes can offer up to an enormous 95% reduction in volume and they tend to completely choke out the sound.