July 3, 2020

Best Bongo Drums

Best Bongo DrumsWant to know more about bongo drums? Or planning to get a new bongo drum?

Stop looking further as we are going to talk about them and the best products to buy.

Bongos drum, are drums that are open at the bottom. You can play them with drumsticks or your hands.

It’s a great choice for anyone who likes to play styles such as salsa, Afro-Cuban, and son Cubano. However, you can also play other genres.

Bongo drums are famous for their unique tone and shouldn’t be confused with conga drums – larger drums often played with bongo drums.

But with multiple options, how to select one?

Let’s understand more about it and review five bongo drums to make this decision easier for you.

[amazon bestseller=”bongo drums” items=”3″]


Five Best Bongo Drums

🏆 Latin Percussion M201-AWC LP Matador Wood Bongos 🏆

Need a professional sounding bongo drum at an affordable price? If yes, this may be a great choice for you.

Latin Percussion Matador is one of the high-end and best bongos available in the industry.

This stunning looking bongos is made up of siam oak shells and authentic rawhide heads. Both 7 ¼ and 8 ⅝ drums offer lively tones.

The material used in the hardware makes it robust and durable. The steel backing plate, tuning lugs, and plated cast aluminum bottoms are of superior quality.

Latin Percussion Matador Siam Oak Bongos produce lively sounds, which will give an exciting percussive flavor to most musical applications and genres. Their sound is kick-ass when mic’d up. The sound is also expressive, capturing each rhythm with an articulate tone.

So, the Matador bongos doesn’t only sound well but also has a solid construction and an attractive design. They are also great value for the money.

[wpsm_column size=”one-half”][wpsm_pros title=”PROS:”]

  • Musical and highly expressive
  • Professional quality
  • Affordable price
  • Great, robust and durable metal hardware
  • No doubt, we consider this the best pick

[/wpsm_pros][/wpsm_column][wpsm_column size=”one-half” position=”last”][wpsm_cons title=”CONS:”]

  • Rawhide may need some time to set in


[rehub_affbtn btn_text=”Check Latest Price” btn_url=”https://www.amazon.com/Latin-Percussion-M201-AWC-Matador-Bongos/dp/B001TEC96Y/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=CSC266M16E5MEDBG5D3Q&linkCode=ll1&tag=thestepkidsband-20&linkId=47f1c24c21e37db04bbdfdd86b0c7ca0&language=en_US”]

🏆 Meinl Percussion Bongos FWB190LB 🏆

The Meinl Percussion Marathon Series bongos are designed for intermediate and professional players.

This drum bongo is made of solid rubberwood staves and made using uniform qualities, such as grain or color, so both the drums compliment each other while playing them.

Its heads are made up of hand-selected buffalo skin that offers dynamic depth and warmth to the sound with sharp highs.

The unique feature of this pair is the free ride suspension system that connects both the drums. It is a patented feature that avoids any holes in the shells, providing greater resonance.

Besides, the rounded rims are at a lower level than the traditional bongos’ rings, which aids in avoiding unwanted or harsh contact with the rim while playing.

The hardware is also robust with steel tuning lugs.

[wpsm_column size=”one-half”][wpsm_pros title=”PROS:”]

  • High-quality
  • Superior build
  • Great sound

[/wpsm_pros][/wpsm_column][wpsm_column size=”one-half” position=”last”][wpsm_cons title=”CONS:”]

  • Premium-priced


[rehub_affbtn btn_text=”Check Latest Price” btn_url=”https://www.amazon.com/Meinl-Percussion-Finish-NOT-Suspension-FWB190LB/dp/B001D4MVQI/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=CSC266M16E5MEDBG5D3Q&linkCode=ll1&tag=thestepkidsband-20&linkId=0fa626cc7a47fe743d19c7f260ab08ef&language=en_US”]

🏆 Meinl HB100V 🏆

Just like RockJam, Meinl Percussion excels in everything related to drumming.

Meinl Percussion HB100V is made up of buffalo skin that provides warmth and superior tonal quality. It also offers flexibility to allow you to play multiple genres

This percussion have hardwood shells, ensuring build integrity and aids in amplifying the volume.

Meinl bongo drum has a tuning wrench and can take aggressive drumming. So, if you are a heavy hitter, you will like the strong feedback you’ll get from the drums along with a consistent intonation.

[wpsm_column size=”one-half”][wpsm_pros title=”PROS:”]

  • Rugged rubber wood shells
  • Can withstand aggressive hits
  • Natural buffalo skinhead
  • Great for afro cuban music
  • Has a tuning wrench

[/wpsm_pros][/wpsm_column][wpsm_column size=”one-half” position=”last”][wpsm_cons title=”CONS:”]

  • Premium-priced


[rehub_affbtn btn_text=”Check Latest Price” btn_url=”https://www.amazon.com/Meinl-Percussion-Bongos-Hardwood-Shells/dp/B01B1JI61I/ref=as_li_ss_tl?&th=1&linkCode=ll1&tag=thestepkidsband-20&linkId=55fbda2fdac712895674805c4cd9bd86&language=en_US”]

🏆 Latin Percussion LP601NY-VSB LP City Wood Bongos 🏆

This percussion is attractive looking and made up of Siam oak. The LP Percussion City Series Siam Oak Bongos have six and 7-inch rawhide heads and offer a colorful range of sonic textures.

The LP City series is created for musicians who prefer great quality without having to spend a fortune.

Now, talking about the hardware, is black powder-coated and is available in various finishes.

But what about sound quality?

Well, this sounds great, which will help you to add funky flavor to your show. The sound is resonant and warm.

All in all, if you are looking for a high-quality bongo drum that is slightly smaller and affordable, the LP City Series Siam Oak Bongos are a great choice.

[wpsm_column size=”one-half”][wpsm_pros title=”PROS:”]

  • High quality
  • Attractive looking
  • Great value for money
  • Powder-coated hardware
  • Six and 7-inch rawhide heads

[/wpsm_pros][/wpsm_column][wpsm_column size=”one-half” position=”last”][wpsm_cons title=”CONS:”]

  • Rawhide may take a while to adapt
  • Higher pitch


[rehub_affbtn btn_text=”Check Latest Price” btn_url=”https://www.amazon.com/Latin-Percussion-LP601NY-VSB-City-Bongos/dp/B00CFBOWS8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=CSC266M16E5MEDBG5D3Q&linkCode=ll1&tag=thestepkidsband-20&linkId=91cbaec339098d6623e81c793bcca7ee&language=en_US”]

🏆 RockJam Bongo Drum 🏆

RockJam is popular among musicians for its percussion instruments.

The first thing that attracts attention is that the bongo set is low at cost and comes with a tuning key and a padded gig bag

It is surprising to see that high-end features, such as chrome hardware, for this price range.

While they may not be aesthetically pleasing, they look amazing in a small venue or a campfire. Both 7” and 8” heads have natural skin that provides versatility in intonation and pitch.

Besides, the bag gives a snug fit, making it ideal while traveling. The strap is thick and robust to prevent chafing.

However, it is essential to know that the skins may require gradual tightening. Furthermore, the bongo drum is not robust and lacks resistance to aggressive tuning.

[wpsm_column size=”one-half”][wpsm_pros title=”PROS:”]

  • Great and natural skin
  • Comes with a padded case
  • Chrome fitting
  • Affordable price
  • It offers high end features

[/wpsm_pros][/wpsm_column][wpsm_column size=”one-half” position=”last”][wpsm_cons title=”CONS:”]

  • Thinner skinheads


[rehub_affbtn btn_text=”Check Latest Price” btn_url=”https://www.amazon.com/RockJam-tambor-color-natural-Natural/dp/B000GG4AWM/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=CSC266M16E5MEDBG5D3Q&linkCode=ll1&tag=thestepkidsband-20&linkId=fb9d399252a02aca384fde2937001f9b&language=en_US”]

What Are Bongo Drums

Bongo drum is a set of two interconnected shells, similar to Congas. These shells are of different sizes, and the smaller one is known as “macho,” while the larger one is known as “hembra.” The head of the bongo drum is made up of animal skin, while its body is made up of wood.

The size of the heads of both the bongo drums is five inches and seven inches that are rod-tensioned or nailed to open-ended shells.

As the drums are attached to each other, you can play rhythmic dialogs using fingers or hands. They are great for afro cuban music and such.

What Features You Should Look For

Many select a bongo drum going by its looks. But this is not the correct way of choosing one.

If you want to buy it, quality is the first thing that should be considered. Look for quality materials and how the parts are assembled. All these factors influence the sound.

Some other factors to consider are:


Basically, the hardware of the bongo drum includes lugs, trim pieces, and tuning rings. Although steel is the common choice of material for the hardware, aluminum too can be used. The more important thing to look at is whether all the parts are assembled to give a deep resonance or not.


Another factor to look for the best bongo drum is its head. You can play to check the type of sound. Besides, it is a good idea to get a bongo drum with a smooth head surface.

The head must also be attached to the bearing tightly as if the fitting is not appropriate, the sound would get affected.

Furthermore, the material (synthetic or natural) of the head also influences its playing. If you decide to get a head made up of rawhide, look if it is colored or not, as it influences the sound produced.

You should also consider the weather while deciding the head material. The warm and humid climate tends to tighten the hide and would produce a higher pitch than what is expected.

Synthetic heads are a better choice in such cases as they are unaltered by warmth and humidity.

Skill Level

Lastly, you should consider a pair that suits your experience level. For instance, lighter drums are well suited for beginners, and they are also less expensive.


This is also a crucial feature to look for, as different materials produce unique sounds and playing experience.

The most popular material for bongo is wood, more commonly Oakwood. However, modern bongos are also available in expensive wood, such as mahogany.

Bongos made up of wood offer deeper sound, while other materials provide sharp tones. Ceramic bongos also have their own distinctive sound.

Metallic bongos have sound similar to that of an actual snare drum, but they are not very popular among musicians.

What are the best bongos?

There are many features, such as material and hardware, which can make a product the best option for you. Read our review article to know more

What should bongos be tuned to?

Generally, the hembra should be tuned so that it has a lower pitch, while the macho should have a sharp and distinct tone.

How do you take care of them?

To clean them, remove the large particles on the skinhead by hand or dust with a dry cloth. You can also wipe it with a damp cloth and store it in a dark and dry area.

Final Thoughts

We hope this review will help you to select the best product for you. For any suggestions or queries, you can comment below.

Related Posts

Cymbal Types: A Guide to Choosing the Right Type of Cymbal

Best Drum Key

Best Electronic Drum Pad

Best Professional Drum Sets


Your Signature

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}