We review products independently and our recommendations are genuine. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more
For the last two decades, mesh drumheads have mainly been used on electronic drum kits to make them feel more realistic.
In recent times, drumhead companies have taken mesh head designs and put them into heads that can be placed on acoustic drums, allowing drummers to practice quietly on acoustic kits.
Remo’s Silentstroke heads were the leading product in this category for years, but several other brands have stepped up and started offering their own mesh head drumhead options.
I’ve picked out five of the best mesh drumhead products available. I’ve compared them according to feel, volume, durability, and value.
- What are the Best Mesh Drum Heads?
- In-Depth Mesh Drum Head Reviews
- Features to Look Out for in Mesh Drum Heads
- Hybrid Drum Kits with Mesh Heads
- Mesh Drum Heads FAQs
- Do Mesh Heads Last Longer Than Acoustic Drum Heads?
What are the Best Mesh Drum Heads?
In-Depth Mesh Drum Head Reviews
Remo’s Silentstroke heads have been the go-to mesh heads for years for drummers that need a quiet practice solution. They were the first mesh heads to really hit it big within the drumming industry, and they’ve continued to be a solid option for any drummer.
They have a single-ply design, making them quite thin and responsive. The design allows them to bring as much tone out of your drums as mesh heads possibly can, so you still hear the subtleties from your shells.
They’re also relatively affordable compared to a few other options out there, making them viable for drummers with any budget.
The bass drumhead in this line is perhaps the weak point. While it reduces the volume of the bass drum by quite a lot, you still get a strong booming sound that could bother a few people around you. To really make your bass drum soft, you’ll need to place more pillows or towels inside than usual.
Other than that, these heads are known to be incredibly reliable, and many drummers use them for their quiet practice setups. They also work wonderfully in a setup where you can teach drums online to others without the loud drum sounds being picked up by distorting mics.
- Full mesh design
- Used to replace normal drumheads
- 5-piece set
- White color makes them unnoticeable on acoustic drums
- Dozens of size options to fit any drum kit setup
- Fantastic sound reduction
- 1-ply design offers great response
- The bass drumhead is a lot louder than the other drumheads
RTOM is the brand most famous for making Moon Gels, but they have a few other dampening products that are well worth looking at. The RTOM LV mesh heads are some of the most durable ones out there, as they’re made from a heavy-duty mesh material that makes them a lot stronger.
They also have reinforcement center rings on each head, which tend to reduce the amount of bounce you experience when striking them. This is an excellent feature, as mesh heads often feel too bouncy compared to what you get from regular drumheads.
Many of them feel too bouncy even if the tension rods are at their loosest setting, but you don’t get that feeling with these ones.
I’m most impressed by the kick drumhead in this set, as it feels more similar to a normal kick drumhead than most of the other options on this list.
The only downside about this set is that you don’t hear much tone coming from your drums. That’s due to the heads being thicker, so these sound more like practice pads than heads that allow you to still hear distinct qualities from your drum set.
They’re an amazing practice option, though. They’re also a set that you can get knowing that you won’t need to replace any of the heads for years to come.
- Heavy-duty material
- Center patches for durability
- Black color
- Highly durable, meaning they’ll last many years before needing to be replaced
- Fantastic sound reduction
- The black color looks great on a drum set
- Great responsive feel on each head
- You don’t get as much tone out of your shells compared to a few other options
The Evans dB One Low Volume Set is the latest set of mesh heads introduced to the market. Evans is a brand that aims to push innovation as much as possible, with most of its newer products containing some sort of clever technology.
That’s exactly what you get with these heads, as the brand has designed them to feel a lot more responsive and authentic than most other mesh head options.
They’re made from ShockWeave mesh, which is a special design from Evans that offers fantastic playability and response. The tom and bass drumheads have single-ply designs, while the snare head has a dual-ply design.
The snare head also has Snare Sim Technology, which is what Evans has labeled the material that causes the head to sound a lot snappier than the others. You almost get some snare buzz, causing the head to sound more like a snare drum compared to any other 14” head on this list.
That’s definitely something that most other mesh head sets are missing, as it’s hard to hear the snare drum qualities once you have a mesh head on the shell.
With all that said, this is the most expensive set of mesh heads available. You’re paying almost $100 more for these heads. They’re well worth it, though, especially if you’re looking for the most realism possible.
- ShockWeave mesh technology
- Mixture of single and double-ply heads
- Snare Sim technology
- Incredibly realistic response from each head in the set
- The ShockWeave mesh material is a lot more pristine than most of the other mesh heads on this list
- Excellent realism from the snare head, thanks to the Snare Sim technology
- This is the most expensive standard mesh head set on the market
Aquarian’s mesh heads are arguably the least popular ones, as they’re not as commonly seen as all the others on this list. However, I think they’re more than good enough to compete, as they essentially have the same design as the Remo Silentstrokes.
The one difference is that Aquarian Super Mesh has equipped them with what they call the Safe-T-Loc hoops. These are the rims on the outside of each head that attach to the shells when you equip them.
They’ve been designed to give the mesh heads a more stable performance. They enhance tuning stability and make the heads feel slightly better to play. Tuning stability isn’t something that other brands focus on with their mesh heads, so it gives these a slight edge for drummers that are looking for that sort of thing.
Other than that, they have really standard designs. A few drummers may not enjoy how much rebound they have, but it’s no more than what you get from the Remo Silentstrokes.
The one downside is that the bass drumhead is a lot bouncier than you may expect, so you’ll need to keep that as loose as you can to recreate the feel of a typical bass drumhead.
- Single-ply woven mesh material
- Safe-T-Loc hoops
- Made for electronic and acoustic drums
- Slightly more affordable than all the other mesh head set options
- Safe-T-Loc hoops are a great design that adds a bit of tuning stability, which isn’t something you often get from mesh drumheads
- These work fantastically on both acoustic and electronic drum sets
- They’re not as durable as some of the thicker option
The RTOM Black Hole Mesh Practice Set is a group of mesh heads with the most unique design we’ve looked at so far. The whole idea behind these is that you don’t need to remove your current acoustic drumheads. You simply place these on top of all your shells.
It can often be frustrating to spend time replacing each head to practice quietly just to go through the same process every time you need to use your kit at full volume.
RTOM created these practice heads so that you don’t need to do that. They have a snap-on design, and they easily attach to most shell designs.
They do add a few inches of height to each drum in your setup, so you may need to lower all the drums to feel comfortable. However, that’s a lot easier to do than to completely pull the counterhoops off and go through the whole head replacement process.
These heads bring a surprising amount of tone out of all the drums, and their single-point tuning mechanisms allow you to easily adjust all the pitches.
RTOM also makes triggers that you can connect to these mesh heads. You can connect those triggers to a drum module to produce electronic sounds from your quiet practice setup.
Just note that these are the most expensive mesh heads on this list. That’s to be expected, as the design is completely different from all the simple mesh heads that we’ve looked at up until this point.
- Snap-on design
- Single tuning points
- 80% volume reduction
- Snap-on design stops you from having to completely remove your acoustic drumheads
- RTOM offers triggers to use with them to give you electronic sounds
- Highly durable
- You can tune each head from a single point
- They raise the height of each drum, so you may need to lower all your drums to feel comfortable
Features to Look Out for in Mesh Drum Heads
When looking at mesh heads, you’ll find single-ply and double-ply options. Some brands refer to their products as having heavy mesh material, but that most often means that those heads have a double-ply design.
Single-ply heads are most common, and they’re often more affordable. The best feature they offer is bringing out full tones from your drums. They’re great for having a quiet practice solution that still allows you to hear your drum tones.
Double-ply heads are a lot more durable, but they tend to bring out far less tone than single-ply heads. This is why they aren’t as popular.
It’s up to you on which thickness level to pick. It’s also a good idea to mix things up. For example, you can use single-ply mesh heads on your toms and a double-ply head on your kick drum. Using a thicker head on your kick will give you a more realistic response that is closer to an acoustic bass drumhead.
Each set of mesh heads that I suggested above has a slightly different feel. The feel comes from the design, with some brands focusing on realism, while others focus on volume reduction.
One of the biggest issues that drummers tend to have with mesh heads is that they feel too bouncy. The main idea is that they get bouncier as you tighten the tension rods, but some mesh heads are still too bouncy at the lowest tensions.
If you’re not a fan of the bouncy feeling, you’ll need to find mesh heads that are thicker, or ones that have unique designs to make them feel more responsive.
A good example is the Evans dB One mesh heads. The mesh drum head for the snare in that series has Evan’s Snare Sim Technology, giving it far greater playability than a standard 14” mesh head. It feels closer to playing a snare drum than any other mesh head on the market.
With that said, some drummers don’t mind the bouncy nature of standard mesh heads. If you just need something quiet for practicing, standard mesh heads are incredibly reliable!
Hybrid Drum Kits with Mesh Heads
One of the coolest things about mesh heads is that you can use them to convert an acoustic drum kit into an electronic one. You just need to get a set of drum triggers and a drum module, and you’ll be able to hear different preset drum kits through headphones while you’re playing quietly on your set.
Unfortunately, this kind of setup won’t give you the same quality of responsiveness that you get from proper electronic drums, but you’ll still get an enjoyable rig.
Some companies, like RTOM, even offer products that are specifically designed for this kind of thing. So, it’s a good idea to check them out to see if you’d rather own this setup instead of an electronic drum kit.
Mesh Drum Heads FAQs
Can Mesh Heads Be Used For Electronic Drums?
Yes, most standard mesh heads can be used for electronic drums. However, you need to check out the triggering design first, as some electronic drum brands have different designs.
With some of those designs, you need to buy mesh heads that are fit for that particular brand.
How Loud Are Mesh Heads?
It depends on which mesh drumheads you get, but most of them are about 80% quieter than standard heads when you place them on acoustic shells.
Mesh heads that go on acoustic bass drums are always the loudest, so you may need to do some internal muffling to help lower the volume in that area.
Do Mesh Heads Last Longer Than Acoustic Drum Heads?
Yes, mesh drumheads tend to last a lot longer than acoustic drumheads. Mesh material is more durable than the plastic material that acoustic heads are made from, so mesh heads often last years before showing any signs of damage.
Acoustic heads only last a few months if a drummer hits them very hard.