The 4 Best Drum Heads for Rock In 2021

To get straight into the best drum head for rock, check out the Evans G2 Tom Pack.

Are you a serious rocker in need of the perfect drum heads for great sound while sustaining your brutal hits?

If that’s you, we’ve reviewed the best drum heads for rock and a buyer’s guide to walk you through what you need.

Coming up, we have full reviews on these top rock drum heads: 

Reviews of The Best Drum Heads for Rock in 2020

Evans G2 Tom Pack

Best Overall

Evans G2 Tom Pack
Plies: Double-plyAttack: Balanced. Sustain: ShortTone: Dark. Durability: Above averageSize: 10, 12 and 16 inches. Coated or Clear: CoatedDrum Type: Tom

We consider the Evans G2 set the best drum heads for rock because of their consistent sound quality and Level 360 technology.

Consistent sound quality ensures you sound just as amazing on stage as you did in practice. Also, the Level 360 technology is great because it ensures a perfect fit with your drum set. This is an unmatched convenience.

The two 7mm film plies are also responsible for the drum head’s impressive durability. Your head needs to handle the consistent and sometimes brutal force you dish out, and the Evans G2 heads are made for exactly this.

With the coated version, you get extra warmth, depth and accuracy in your sound. This helps ensure the sound tone is rich rather than dull. It also contributes to how easy to tune the drum head is. This is perfectly suited to beginner drummers who don’t know how to tune a drum.

The extended pitch range will also come in handy. This means the smaller heads will produce lower pitches than similarly sized heads, and bigger heads will produce higher pitches than similarly sized ones. In addition, this provides more creative possibilities for your rock music and allows you to add sounds that you wouldn’t expect from rock heads.

Despite these being highly popular heads, customers mention that they have a sub-par performance at low sound levels. With this in mind, don’t consider this as one of the best drum heads for indie rock specifically, where music is quieter and softer. Ideally, drum head sets should be versatile and offer decent performance at all volumes.

In contrast, consider this a good option if you’re on the hunt for the best drum heads for alternative rock, especially if you’re into old school Nirvana and Pearl Jam.

Also, the articulation isn’t bad, thanks to the balanced attack. But, customers who play in enclosed spaces, like studios or garages, prefer a more defined attack for better articulation.

PROS

  • Level 360 technology for the perfect fit. 
  • Great sound consistency due to ply count. 
  • Easy to tune. 
  • Extended pitch range. 
  • Coated to provide extra warmth and depth. 

CONS

  • Low response at very low playing volumes. 
  • Articulation could be better. 

Remo PP-0960-BE Emperor

Best for Studio Recording

Remo PP-0960-BE Emperor
Plies: 7mm double-plyAttack: Balanced. Sustain: ModerateTone: Bright. Durability: GoodSize: 10, 12 and 14 inches. Coated or Clear: CoatedDrum Type: Tom. 

The Remo Emperor offers a balanced attack and impressive durability to handle the hard drumming that comes from rockers. Durability comes from the coating that protects the drum head while also allowing for uniform projection. These features make the set best suited for medium volume areas—especially a recording studio!

Also, the moderate sustain is a step better than our top pick. It controls extreme overtones while ensuring you get a decent amount of sustain. This is important in studio recording, where overtones are more pronounced. It also makes this product one of the best drum heads for stoner rock for the extreme overtones control.

You also get consistent sound quality with the coating. This product goes further than the competition by offering colorful tones, even at the heads’ edges. That’s unusual for most heads because you often have to hit the middle of the drum to get decent overtones.

We need to pick out a couple of issues, though. In particular, customers mention inconsistent sound at loud volume levels. The warmth and focus the coating provides gets lost, directly affecting the sound quality. If you want to avoid this, buy the clear version of this product.

Be aware that customers have reported how difficult it is to get the right size for the 14-inch drum head. They do say that Remo’s customer service was excellent in dealing with this, though.

PROS

  • Extreme overtones remain under control.
  • Bright overtones, even at the drum set edges.
  • Performs well at medium-level volumes. 
  • Handles hard-hitting very well.

CONS

  • Not the best for loud volumes. 
  • Finding the perfect size may be difficult. 
Evans EC2
Plies: 7mm double-plyAttack: Defined. Sustain: ShortTone: Bright. Durability: Above averageSize: 10, 12 and 16 inchesCoated or Clear: ClearDrum Type: Tom. 

The Evans EC2 is great for playing on stages where there’s no limit to how loud your drums should be. That’s because of the UV-cured top, making it suited for hard-hitting.

Unlike the previous drum head, this one has no coating. This lack of warmth from the coating ensures the drum head performs well at high volume levels, making it one of the best drum heads for punk rock.

Also, the drum head control rings dampen the sound when needed and control most overtones. Although, this performance isn’t translated in the recording studio as extreme overtones are more pronounced. This makes the product bad for studio recording when compared to the other brilliant product on our list.

These control rings also contribute to the heads’ impressive attach and focus. A defined attack ensures better articulation and that your sound is punchy, which is exactly the type of sound rockers look for.

Being clear heads creates a problem not experienced in the other products on our list. Customers have reported how the coating on the top pile peels off very easily. This is a direct consequence of not having the additional coating we’ve seen in the Evans G2 or Remo Emperor.

PROS

  • Easy to install. 
  • UV-cured for durability. 
  • Defined and articulate sound.
  • Great at loud volumes. 

CONS

  • Extreme overtone makes recording in a studio difficult. 
  • Customers report the coating on the top ply chips off easily. 

Evans EMAD 2

Best Bass Drum Head

Evans EMAD 2
Plies: 17mm total thickness double-plyAttack: Defined. Sustain: ShortTone: Bright. Durability: HighSize: 22 inchesCoated or Clear: ClearDrum Type: Bass. 

This is one of the best bass drum heads for rock since it has an easy-to-control damping system, allowing you to adjust the drum’s focus and brightness. This is handy when performing different genres of rock.

It also features the same 360 Level technology we’ve seen on other Evans products, making it a drum head that’s easy to tune.

The double-ply consists of a 7mm inner layer and a 10mm outer. These provide the bass drum head with good durability.

Despite it being a popular product, customers mention that the control rings make the heads tricky to install, and the hook clamps don’t fit instantly, so watch out for those. Also, some users found the removable pad to be fiddly and irritating.

PROS

  • Adjustable damping. 
  • Enhanced attack.
  • Available in 5 sizes. 

CONS

  • Rings make it difficult to install. 
  • Removable pad irritates some customers. 

What Kind of Drum Heads Should I Use?

Best Drum heads for Rock

Wondering whether to go for single or double-ply? What about the sound?

Choosing the right drum heads doesn’t have to be difficult with the tips below.

Do Drum Heads Make a Difference in Sound?

The sound quality comes from the level of ringing and tone in the head.

While we’ve covered tones in the reviews, ringing is a combination of overtones and sustain in the drum head.

Overtones are best described as the sound you hear around the edge of the head. 

Sustain is the length of the sound produced, and many rock drum heads don’t offer long sustain. Especially ones that manage to control overtones. 

For the best sound quality, look for products that are either easy to tune—by adjusting the ringing—or have control rings to control the overtones.

From our reviewed drum heads, the Evans G2 is easy to tune, while the Evans EC2 has control rings to keep overtones under control. 

The Ply

You have the choice of either single or double-ply drum heads.

Single-ply heads are brighter and offer a more dynamic range than double-ply heads. They’re better suited for low to medium volume styles of music. With this in mind, they aren’t best for rockers. 

In contrast, double-ply heads are better for loud music styles and provide better attack during live performances.

Durability 

The best heads for rock are ones that can tolerate heavy hitting. They need to be strong enough to sustain the abuse and torture you’ll put them through.

That’s why single-ply heads offer no value to you. They don’t have much protection and are likely to break.

Double-ply heads for rock, like all the products we reviewed, are the better option. 

In addition, each single-ply needs to be thick, even if you’re buying a head for a bass drum. A good thickness is 7mm for each ply. So, your drum head will have a total thickness of 14mm. 

Coated or Clear 

Whether to go for a coated or clear drum head depends on your playing style.

You can gain some benefits of a single-ply head by purchasing a clear head. For instance, they’re a bit brighter and more colorful. Most also offer a more defined attack than their coated counterparts.

Conversely, coated heads offer better durability and warmth.

The difference between the two may be hard to tell for a beginner. But, if you’re looking for an extended sustain and colorful sound, go for a clear head. 

Conclusion 

It’s clear to see why the Evans G2 is our top pick. It offers a consistent sound quality and is very easy to fit. It’s also one of the easiest drum heads to tune, which is beneficial for beginner rockers who may not know how to tune drums.



Michael Southard

Michael is a multi-instrumentalist with extensive knowledge of audio production. He loves trying new gear to discover gems to create unique sound.