In this guide we’ll take a look at the best bongos for live performances.
I’ve compared build quality, design, sound and cost
to give you my top recommendations.
What Are The Best Bongos?
The Best Bongos Reviewed
Meinl Headliner Range Wood Bongos Review
The Meinl Headliner Range Bongos are an affordable set offered by Meinl, and despite their budget price tag, they produce very musical and warm sounds.
The hardwood shells are well-constructed, and the heads are made of hand-selected buffalo skin for an authentic feel and playing response.
These entry-level bongos really do deliver sounds that exceed their price point. They feel great to play and the drums sing with a pronounced and vibrant tone.
The hardware and innovative rounded rims featured on the Headliner bongos are robust and comfortable to play, even for heavy hitters. The bongos include a tuning wrench to enable you to find your perfect sound.
I find that these bongos really excel when tuned up high, they have a very clean resonant tone and they pronounce rhythms with a delightful melodic note.
These are a very impressive set of bongos that feature a high-quality build construction. Despite the affordable price tag, these are very musical sounding and are suitable for all manners of performances both live and recording!
These are some of the best bongos for beginners and experienced drummers looking to equip themselves with a great sounding and durable set of bongo drums.
- Lively and musical sounds
- Comfortable to play
- Best bongos to buy on a budget
- Experienced some tuning issues with macho
Latin Percussion Aspire Jamjuree Bongos Review
The Latin Percussion Aspire Jamjuree Bongos, are some of the best bongos on the market right now. These Aspire bongos are constructed with premium jamjuree wood shells that deliver really punchy and bright tones.
Latin Percussion is one of the world-leading drum brands in producing innovative and high-quality percussion. They make fine instruments for some of the most discerning musicians and professionals around the world.
I’m very impressed with the build quality these bongos possess for their lower-intermediate price point. They exhibit wonderfully resonant tones that make these some of the best bongos for aspiring musicians and beginners alike.
The natural finish of the jamjuree wood looks fantastic with the quality black powder-coated Aspire side plates and rims that accompany these bongos.
The sizes of the macho and hembra bongo drums are 6 ¾ and 8 inches respectively, and they feature natural rawhide heads that deliver a bright, rich sound.
Overall these are definitely some of the best bongo drums because the beautiful jamjuree wood produces a stunning tone that sets these bongos apart from its competitors within the intermediate price bracket.
- Bright, resonant tones
- The best bongos for the money
- Great build quality
- Very little negatives
Latin Percussion Matador Siam Oak Bongos Review
Up next in second place for the best bongo drums we have this set of high-end Latin Percussion Matador Siam Oak Bongos, which are perfect for working musicians looking for professional quality sounds at an affordable price.
These stunning Latin Percussion bongos feature siam oak shells and these are paired with authentic rawhide heads that produce lively tones from both the 7 ¼ macho and 8 ⅝ hembra drums respectively.
The hardware on these bongos is very durable and robust. The tuning lugs, steel backing plate, and plated cast aluminum bottoms are all solid and high quality.
These Matador bongos produce very lively sounds that add an exciting percussive flavor to lots of musical genres and applications. They sound fantastic on stage when mic’d up and they are very expressive; capturing each rhythm with a musical and articulate tone.
Overall the Matador bongos are a winner in my eyes as some of the best bongos for the money. They do not only sound great, but the construction is solid and the design of them is very attractive also.
If you are looking for a professional level set of bongos that would be perfect for performing shows and recording percussive layers, then these are the best bongos for you.
- Highly expressive and musical bongos
- Durable and robust metal hardware
- Professional quality at an affordable price
- Rawhide heads take a while to seat in
Latin Percussion Matador Wood Bongos Review
The Latin Percussion Matador Wood Bongos are crafted from Siam oak and include 7.25″ and 8.625″ rawhide heads that make these a larger set of bongos that produce a colorful array of sonic textures.
The LP Matador series bongos are for discerning musicians that demand excellent quality. The incredibly resonant siam oak shells produce a fantastic tone with a strong projection for live performances.
When these bongos are tuned correctly they deliver a sound that is warm and resonant. These bongos accurately pick up all the nuances of a percussionist’s playing.
The construction of these bongos is of very high quality. They are solidly built and have an impressive weight. These are certainly a quality set of bongo drums.
If you’re looking for the best bongos that are great fun to play and won’t break the bank, then these are definitely a great set of Matador sized bongos to consider!
- High quality construction
- Fantastic value for money
- Colourful array of sonic textures
- Rawhide heads take a while to seat in
- Larger sizes are not as compact to carry
Meinl Percussion Journey Series Bongos Review
These Meinl Percussion Journey Series Bongos are the ultimate choice for beginners looking for a durable and musical sounding set of bongos.
This is Meinl’s affordable offering to the bongo market, and they did not cut any corners with their build quality or components.
The bongo drums are 6.55″ and 7.5″ inches respectively and they are equipped with natural rawhide heads for an authentic tone. They are comfortable to play and feel great to hold.
The hand-selected buffalo skins produce a musical tone that will sound great at any gig or recording session. They will allow you to infuse funky flavors and exotic percussive rhythms, adding liveliness and energy!
The ABS plastic construction is durable and I found these bongos to be easy to tune. The macho and hembra sound excellent together.
If you are looking for the best bongos that are suitable for a wide range of performances, this is a quality set of affordable bongo drums.
- Excellent value for money
- Strong and durable ABS construction
- Natural buffalo drum heads
- Lacks quality compared to premium bongos