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May 17, 2020

7 Best Hi Hats For Your Kit – Great Sounding and Cheap Hi Hats!

Hi hats are two cymbals in a drum set that are placed atop each other and operated by a foot pedal. Stepping on the pedal closes them while releasing the pedal opens them giving variations in tone. No matter what genre of music one is playing, Hi Hat cymbals have become an indispensable instrument in creating the tempo of the music.

Are you a drum enthusiast looking for the best hi hats for your drum kit? You have come to the right place! We are here to provide a breakdown of what factors to consider while buying the best hi hats, along with our top pick.

What Are The Best Sounding Hi Hats?

Now that you know what to look for choosing a Hi Hat, we have curated a list of the best hi hats available in the market for you to check out. They have been rated according to their performances in different categories, to give you a comprehensive understanding of what makes them the best in that category.

 Most Popular Hi Hat: 🏆 Zildjian K Custom Hybrid 🏆

This particular Hi Hat has been developed with renowned Drum stylist Akira Jimbo. It is called a hybrid because it features the best of both worlds-tradition and innovation- to give the drummer a variation in the rhythm. The cymbals have been designed in such a way as to provide the user maximum control over the sound.

For the best experience, Jimbo specified this custom Hybrid Hi Hat to combine the power of a 14″ size and the control that a 13″ gives. The tone of this Zildjian cymbals is one of the highest-rated because of its crisp tone. It can also be played for all genres.

How Does It Sound?:

  • The hi-hat cymbals have both innovative and traditional surfaces, which helps in giving variations of tones and balances the old and new.
  • The inner half has a quality K Custom Ride finish. In contrast, the outer half has the traditional ending of K Zildjian Lathing.
  • The top cymbal is medium-thin, while the bottom is medium.
  • From the opposite end, the “Hybrid Hammering” hammers into the bottom of the cymbal. It gives the sound of reverse Mastersound grooves.
  • The contact between the top and bottom cymbals gives a warmer chick and wash.
  • It provides quality tone and projection.
  • It has a small bell size.
  • Has a low-medium pitch.
  • In-between size gives control over what kind of tone you want.
  • The hi hats cymbals have a two-year warranty for manufacturer related damages.

🏆 Meinl Byzance 🏆

The Meinl cymbals are best known for the weight relation between its top and bottom cymbals, which makes it sound great. The top Hi Hat cymbal is lightweight and helps in producing a darker tone with little to no wash.

The bottom cymbal is heavy and aids in producing a fat chick sound. This hi-hat cymbals set can genuinely give you an exceptional tone, especially with light touches. It makes it suitable for genres like Jazz, R&B, electronic music. It is indeed the driest hi-hat cymbals you can find in the market to produce that crisp, dark tone.

Design-wise, the cymbals look unique and new. The surface is unlathed and hence, produces a drier tone. The bottom are lathed. Since it’s hand-hammered, the sustains and sticks are extremely short. It is made of b20 bronze alloy and is unlathed.

How Does It Sound?:


  • It is hand-hammered.
  • The hats have short sustains and sticks.
  • The Hi Hat sound is loud, dark, and smoky.
  • It has a diverse range and suitable for both live and recorded sessions.
  • Suitable for all genres of music.
  • It is the best dry model of cymbals due to its crisp, dark tone.
  • Made of new b20 bronze, to provide to provide the best performance.

#1 Cheap Hi Hat: Paiste 2002

The Paiste 2002 Hi Hat cymbals will give you your money worth’s performance. It is known for its crisp and chick sound. It doesn’t fall into the traditional hat cymbals sound but has a distinct tone that makes it ideal for medium soft to loud settings.

The top Hi Hat is medium in weight while the bottom cymbal is medium-heavy. It has a rippled base, which prevents airlock. In the past, drummers like Brant Bjork, Mick Fleetwood, and Beaver Harris have used the Paiste 2002 hi hat cymbals for their music. Wouldn’t you want it to be part of your drum set too?

How Does It Sound?:


  • Made of CuSn8 Bronze.
  • Features a rippled bottom.
  • Pronounced and crisp chick sound.
  • The bronze alloy have a medium sustain.
  • It has a medium bell size.
  • The stick tone is distinct.
  • The intensity of the hats is lively.
  • The high hat sound varies from medium soft to loud.
  • Great for live and recorded sessions.
  • Has a one year manufacturer’s warranty for cracks and defects.
  • Many famous drummers love this brand, proving that it is one of the best hi hats suppliers.

Best Hi Hat For The Money – Paiste Signature Dark Crisp

The Hi Hat cymbals in this set provide a versatile performance in looks and sound both. It has a traditional finish. The top cymbal has a medium-thin top while the bottom is heavy. It has a balanced attack with medium-sized bells. The cymbals have a responsive rhythm. It allows for a wide range of music to be played on it.

How Does It Sound?:


  • It is made of bronze alloy.
  • Very durable.
  • The Hi Hat cymbals have a wholesome tone.
  • The chick has a robust and tight tone, and the stick’s sound is also clear and vintage.
  • The hi hats have a medium sustain.
  • The hi hats can be used in medium soft to loud settings.
  • The intensity of the cymbals is lively.
  • It provides articulate and versatile sounds.
  • It has a low-medium pitch.
  • A balanced amount of dark-crisp.
  • It has a one year manufacturer’s warranty.

Best Hi Hat For Beginners: Zildjian A Series New Beat

Staying true to its name, the Zildjian A Series New Beat provides a refreshing tone. It has a traditional finish and is made of a bronze alloy consisting of 80% copper, 20% tin, and traces of silver. The hat cymbals are machine hammered and lathed.

The top cymbal is medium-heavy while the bottom is heavy. It provides scope for projection and is one of the most versatile hi hats in our list. It has also been a favorite among the Who’s who of the Drumming world.

How Does It Sound?:


  • The hi-hat cymbals are made of cast bronze.
  • Machine hammered and lathed.
  • The cymbals also feature an all-purpose stick and chick.
  • The Hi Hat cymbals produce a loud, distinct tone.
  • Great projection.
  • Versatile and can be used for all genres, also pretty good for live musical events.
  • Good quality.
  • It has a two-year manufacturer warranty.

Cheap Hi Hat Cymbals

If you want to test the waters before buying a high-end Hi Hat cymbal set, don’t worry, we have got you covered. Here a list of the best Cheap Hi Hat Cymbals that you can consider buying before jumping onto the premium ones for your drum set.

🏆 Paiste PST 🏆

The Paiste PST 3 cymbals have a controlled, clean sound to it. It almost has a master sound to it. The cymbals sound best when in a tight setting and have a silvery tone to it while semi-opened.

The Paiste hi hats would be a good recommend who likes bright sounds or is starting. The cymbals fall around an affordable budget without compromising on the quality or the looks. It is a steal at that price!

How Does It Sound?:


  • The top cymbal weighs medium while the bottom is heavy.
  • The hi hats have a volume that fairly ranges from soft to loud.
  • The stick produces a bright but temperamental sound.
  • The chick has a tight but mellow ring to it.
  • It has a wide-open wash.
  • The hats have an energetic intensity.
  • It has a medium sustain.
  • The hi hats are price friendly.
  • The hats have a one-year manufacturer warranty.

🏆 Sabian SBR 🏆

If your drums kit is looking for its first hi hats, the Sabian SBR makes an easy choice. The brass alloy cymbals are hammered and lathered. The best feature of these high hats would be its focused crash. It is relatively loud.

It sounds the best when closed compared to open. It sounds good for live and for recording sessions too. These SBR hi hats also come at a good price. It is the finest looking brass cymbal in the market.

How Does It Sound?:


  • Beautiful design with the Sabian logo.
  • Hammered and lathed.
  • The hihat cymbals are made of brass.
  • The hats will give sharp, bright sounds to your drum set.
  • It has a natural finish.
  • These cymbals will give your drum set the high pitch it needs.
  • It provides good control over dynamics.
  • Price friendly.
  • The hats have a two-month manufacture warranty.

🏆 Meinl HCS 🏆

The Meinl HCS Hi Hats is a value friendly set that provides a range of options in terms of types and sizes. It is designed with holes that provide a sound bite.

You can expect excellent tempo build-up and aggressive sound from the Meinl HCS hi hats. It gives balanced tones and has an explosive attack. It is tailor-made for pop and rock. The high hats complement other cymbals well. They are also quite heavy, so make sure that you stack them up on a proper stand.

The price makes it an excellent choice for beginners who want to improve their hi hats sound. While the standard version is the 14”, is it also available a 13” and a 16”.

How Does It Sound?:


  • The hats are made of durable MS63 brass alloy.
  • The hihats are designed with holes for a sound bite.
  • Short sustains with a quick tempo.
  • Delivers a dry cutting, medium-low sound.
  • It has a mid-high pitch.
  • It has a traditional finish.
  • The hi hats have a professional look.

How Do I Choose a Hi Hat?

The pitch and sound that your cymbals make depend on the size, weight, and the make of the cymbal.

Size: Smaller hi hats of 13″ or 14″ provides a fresh and crispy sound. For a darker sound, consider going for a 15″ or 16″. Smaller hi hats have a bright tone making them suitable for genres that require quick tempos and aggression. It has strong cutting power.

While larger cymbals are packed with bass and low to mid frequencies, it gives them a deeper sound and less brightness. You can experiment with different sizes of top and bottom cymbals depending on the kind of sound hat.

Make: How a cymbal is made can affect its sound. We have hand-hammered cymbals and machine hammered cymbals. Hand-hammered cymbals provide a warm tone and distinct sound compared to a machine hammered one.

The cutting difference between hand and machine hammered cymbals can be the ease of replacement. Since hand-hammered cymbals are unique, you may find it challenging to find the same cymbal to replicate the tones. Also, hand-hammered cymbals are more expensive.

Material: There are sheets and cast cymbals. Sheet cymbals are made of bronze alloy, also consisting of brass or nickel silver. They have a brighter tone and are mostly preferred by drummers who play for pop, metal, and rock music.

Best Hi Hats

Cast cymbal is the traditional cymbal; it is made of bell bronze or B20 bronze, which are renowned for being the best materials for making hi hat cymbals, and hand-hammered. Cast cymbals are made by molding melted bell b20 bronze. Some say that owing to its handcrafted origin, the cast cymbals are preferred by Jazz and orchestral percussionists. Bronze cymbals have a higher value than sheet cymbals.

They are also like wine, which gets better with age. Also, B20 bronze cymbals have a traditional tone with a diverse range, which improves with time, much like guitars made of high-quality wood.

Now that you know what to look for choosing the best Hi Hats, above we have curated a list of the best sounding hi hats available in the market for you to check out. They have been rated according to their performances in different categories, to give you a comprehensive understanding of what makes them the best in that category.

Which Hi Hat Cymbal Goes On Top?

There are specifications on the product about which hi hats goes on top and bottom. It is usually the side with the most obvious curvature. You can also experiment pair with different sizes of top and bottom cymbals depending on the kind of tone and styles you want to get with your percussion instruments.

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