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Low volume cymbals are an excellent solution when it comes to quiet practicing. They produce only a fraction of the noise that standard cymbals make, but they still feel very similar to play.
Most of them come in cymbal sets, and you can utilize them along with low volume drumheads to create an acoustic kit with heavily reduced sounds.
To set up a full drum kit, you’ll need a set of hi-hats, a crash, and a ride cymbal. Those are the essential standard cymbals to start with, but you can add on to the setup if you ever want to.
When buying low volume cymbals, you should determine how much softer they are than regular cymbals, listen to their sound quality, and see how they’ll fit into your setup according to their size.
In this guide, we’ll look at the best low volume cymbals available. I’ve compared them according to price, sound quality, and playing response.
- In a Rush' Round-Up
- Low Volume Cymbals Reviews
- Low Volume Cymbal Buyer’s Guide
- Benefits of Low Volume Cymbals
- What to Look for in Low Volume Cymbals
- Low Volume Cymbals FAQs
In a Rush' Round-Up
Low Volume Cymbals Reviews
Zildjian’s innovative L80 Cymbals are the industry-leading low volume cymbals that make the perfect solution for drummers that want a quieter sound for home practicing.
These are the best low volume cymbals that offer an enormous 70-80% reduction in volume compared to traditional cymbals! They will allow you to play for longer; whilst avoiding ear fatigue or hearing damage.
I am personally very impressed with the quality and feel of these low-volume cymbals. They are an outstanding invention, and they have taken the drumming world by storm.
This Zildjian L80 Low Volume Cymbal Set includes a pair of 14” hi-hats, a 16” crash cymbal, and a 20” inch ride cymbal. These cymbals are constructed of specialized, lightweight alloy that responds like authentic bronze cymbals.
You get the exact same rebound, stick control, and definition of an actual cymbal, and it means you can enjoy playing as much as you like without worrying about disturbing others.
If you are looking for the best low volume cymbals for home practicing or even small acoustic gigs, the Zildjian L80 cymbals are the original and best products on the market hands down.
- Ultra quiet!
- Excellent build quality
- Lightweight and flexible alloy
- Accurate stick rebound and definition
- Only suitable for quiet practicing
Up next for review is another Zildjian L80 Low Volume Cymbal Set, but the sizes included with this set is a pair of 13” hi hats, 14” crash cymbal and 18” crash/ride cymbal.
This Zildjian L80 Cymbal Set features the same state-of-the-art construction and design, but with slightly smaller sizes that makes these the best low volume cymbals for people looking to practice drums without disturbing others.
The smaller sizes of the cymbals included in this low volume cymbal set provides a great balance of space saving functionality and value for smaller living spaces.
This low volume cymbal set is perfect for practice spaces, lesson rooms, acoustic gigs and home practicing.
The L80 low volume cymbals are lightweight and flexible, offering the same playing response as real cymbals whilst still producing a clean cymbal sound.
If you want the best low volume cymbals on the market to play in a traditional 5 piece set up, this is the ideal cymbal set for you.
- Practice without disturbing others!
- Quiet cymbals for 5 piece setup
- Same playing response as real cymbals
- Perfect for smaller spaces
- Prone to breaking if you play very hard
These Wuhan ORA Low-Volume Cymbals provide an authentic playing experience compared to traditional cymbals and offer a smooth and balanced tone.
Compared with the Zildjian L-80 low volume cymbals, the Wuhan ORA’s also offer an impressive volume reduction, but these cymbals carry a far more attractive price tag.
Wuhan cymbals offer tremendous value for money, and the brand new Wuhan ORA line is sure to satisfy the wants and needs of drummers looking at a new set of low-volume cymbals.
The only caveat is that these cymbals do not offer as significant a reduction in noise as the Zildjian L-80s or the Sabian Quiet Tones. Compared to these established brands, they are slightly louder.
But compared to regular bronze cymbals, they are still around 60% quieter, if not more. So if you are looking for the best low-volume cymbals to buy on a budget, I would recommend the Wuhan ORA line.
- Extremely affordable low volume cymbals
- All the cymbals in the pack offer a smooth, refined tone
- They look fantastic and have a similar aesthetic compared with the Zildjian L-80 line
- Slightly louder compared to other low-volume cymbals
This set of Zildjian L80 Low Volume Cymbals consists of a pair of 13” inch hi-hat cymbals and an 18” crash/ride cymbal. This is Zildjian’s most affordable package of L80 quiet cymbals, and is suitable for very small living spaces.
The Zildjian L80 quiet cymbals have a reduction in 80% volume compared to traditional cymbals, whilst still producing a lively and natural cymbal tone. They feel great to play, having a great amount of stick definition and rebound.
If you are looking for the best low volume cymbals, these are the original and best products on the market. Zildjian have developed a specialized alloy with an innovative pattern that makes these very lightweight cymbals.
The loss of mass results in a hugely beneficial reduction in volume, that makes these the best low volume cymbals for practicing in small space saving setups such as apartments and even backstage at shows!
- Affordable quiet cymbal set
- Perfect space saving setup
- Lively and natural cymbal response
- Feels great to play
- Prone to breaking if you play very hard
Lastly up for review we have the Sabian Quiet Tone Cymbal Set that offers a greatly reduced sonic footprint compared to traditional drum set cymbals.
This affordable cymbal set is designed and manufactured from a high quality and durable alloy that responds and feels just like authentic cymbals.
Just like the Zildjian L80 cymbals, the Sabian Quiet Tone cymbals are designed with numerous holes in the cymbal that makes these cymbals lightweight and flexible.
These quiet practice cymbals produce a natural cymbal sound and feel great to play. They have a remarkable sound reduction compared to normal cymbals that will enable you to practice without ear fatigue or disturbing neighbours.
The 13” inch hi-hats and 18” inch crash/ride is the ideal basic setup for home practicing and backstage warm-ups before a show.
These are some of the best low volume cymbals on the market besides the Zildjian L80 cymbals, and they have a true-to-life playing feel and response.
- Ideal setup for home practicing and backstage warm-ups
- Practice without ear fatigue or disturbing others
- True-to-life playing feel and response
- Lightweight and flexible cymbal alloy
- Prone to breaking if you play very hard
Low Volume Cymbal Buyer’s Guide
The best low volume cymbals have sounds that are much softer than standard cymbals, feel responsive to play, are durable enough to last years of heavy practicing, and sound good enough to use in quieter gigging settings.
Low volume cymbals are excellent practice tools, but they also offer other benefits.
Low volume cymbals protect your hearing, allowing you to practice for longer without straining your ears.
They’re also smaller than standard cymbals most of the time, making them easier to fit into practice setups. For these reasons alone, I think every drummer can benefit from having a set, even if you don’t have any noise constraints.
When buying low volume cymbals, you’re going to need to look at things such as sound reduction levels, cymbal packs, cymbal sizes, and popular brand options.
Benefits of Low Volume Cymbals
- Low volume cymbals are perfect for quiet practicing: If you want to practice without disturbing others, then low volume cymbals are a great solution. They produce only a fraction of the noise that standard cymbals make, but they still feel very similar to play.
- They offer a realistic playing response: If you want an acoustic kit with heavily reduced sounds, then low volume cymbals are a must-have. You can use them along with low volume drumheads to create an acoustic kit that’s perfect for home practicing.
- They’re affordable compared to cast cymbals: One of the best things about low volume cymbals is their affordability. You can get a good set without breaking the bank, and they’ll last long enough to justify the purchase price.
- They sound pretty good for practicing: This is subjective, but I’ve found that most low volume cymbals have a pretty smooth and refined tone. They have a good balance between being quiet and still sounding like cymbals, which is perfect for my needs.
- Low volume cymbals are available in sets: Most of them come in cymbal sets, and you can utilize them according to your needs.
What to Look for in Low Volume Cymbals
Not all low volume cymbals offer the same noise levels. Some will only produce 20% of standard cymbals’ volume, while others are louder.
Knowing about this is vital as you may get a set of cymbals that are still too loud for wherever you’re playing.
Regarding the cymbals that I’ve mentioned above, the Zildjian L80s are the quietest option.
After that comes the Sabian Quiet Tone cymbals. They have slightly glossier tones, boosting their volume a bit and making them sound a bit harsher.
The Wuhan ORA cymbals are the loudest out of all the options I listed above but still offer a respectable reduction in volume.
Single Cymbals vs Packs
Buying a set of low volume cymbals is more affordable than buying cymbals individually, and you can play everything after a single purchase.
However, it’s possible to buy individual low volume cymbals if you want to add on to your setup.
There are also some low volume cymbals that can only be purchased on their own. The Zildjian L80 china is a good example of this. This is an excellent option for metal and rock drummers to practice on.
When looking for low volume cymbals, you have various size options. Low volume cymbals are generally smaller than standard cymbals, making them more affordable and better at saving space.
If you want larger cymbals, make sure to look for the largest packs. While Zildjian has the most popular low volume cymbals, they don’t have any that are larger than 18”, whereas Wuhan and Sabian offer 20-inch options.
The sound quality of low volume cymbals is also important. They should have a good balance between being quiet and still sounding like cymbals. If they sound too dull or muted, then they will not mimic a real cymbal’s tone.
With that being said, low volume cymbals are designed for practicing. They are not designed for recording or live performances, so the sound quality is not necessarily a top priority.
However, if you want the best possible sounds from lower volume cymbals, then look at the Zildjian low volume cymbals. I found these are smoother and more refined.
Budget low volume cymbals have harsher sounds as they are made with inexpensive materials. They don’t bring out rich tones like the more expensive ones do.
The premium brands tend to have better-sounding low volume cymbals. So, you can’t go wrong with Sabian or Zildjian when looking for great quality sound.
Low Volume Cymbals FAQs
How are Low Volume Cymbals so Quiet?
Low volume cymbals have dozens of perforated holes that reduce their volume. The more holes a cymbal has, the quieter it will be. Cymbal companies have designed them this way so that you can hit them hard without them making a massive sound.
The holes take away most of the resonance of the cymbals. If you want to drop their sound levels even more, you can stick some tape to the bottom of them. However, that will completely kill the tone if you apply too much. It will also take away from the responsiveness of the cymbals.
Can You Use Low Volume Cymbals at a Gig?
It’s possible to use low volume cymbals at gigs that are in extremely quiet environments. A good example is a coffee shop where everyone speaks at a casual sound level. However, you may struggle to hear the cymbals as much as you’d like.
In this case, it would be better to use low volume cymbals that don’t have too much sound reduction.
How Long Do Low Volume Cymbals Last?
Low volume cymbals should last as long as standard cymbals. Their lifespan will depend on how you play them. If you hit them with bad cymbal technique, they’ll end up cracking a lot faster than if you preserve them with great playing technique.
The best way to preserve the lifespan of low volume cymbals is by striking across the surface instead of directly at it. Also, ensure not to tighten them too much on all the cymbal stands.