If you just want to know what the best drum heads for toms are, we recommend the Evans G2 Tompack.
If your old drum heads are looking beat up or even broken, it’s time to buy new ones for your drum kit. Whether you’re an experienced drummer or buying your first ones, picking the right drum heads is critical for your sound and comfort when playing.
But there are so many options on the market that you might find yourself getting lost in the variety. What should you pay attention to when buying the best drum heads for toms, and which are the top picks for drummers of all levels? We’ll go through everything you need to know in this article.
These are the best drum heads for toms for your drum kit:
- Evans G2 Tompack
- Remo Ambassador Coated Drum Head
- Evans Hydraulic Glass Drum Head
- Remo Pinstripe Clear Tom Drum Head Pack
- Evans Onyx 2-Ply Tompack Coated
- Remo Emperor Coated Drum Head
- Evans Resonant Black Drumhead
Reviews of the Best Tom Heads in 2021
These are the best models of tom heads on the market right now. Also, don’t forget to check out our tips for making your pick below.
Best Sounding Drum Heads
The Evans G2 pack of drum heads of 10, 12 and 14 inches is our top pick for sound. They’re made of two layers of 7-millimeter film and non-coated, so they’re durable enough for hard hitters, but the tone isn’t too dampened.
What customers say about the sound is that it’s warm and full, with a medium sustain and brightness. This is why these drum heads for toms are recommended as ideal for rock and gospel drum heads for church.
Some customers who bought these drum heads even say that they really sing when you use more force. However, when you’re playing at a low level, you’ll risk the sound being a little too dry.
They also include Evans’s Level 360 enhanced collar that keeps the drum heads level all around. This helps with tuning and keeping the drum head balanced, which is especially helpful if you’re new to playing and not a tuning expert.
In rare cases, drummers who bought these drum heads have received a faulty product that wasn’t uniformly glued to the edges. This will make the drum head more uneven, make it harder to tune it, and often leave it sounding dead. However, the common experience among customers is that these drum heads work really well.
The single-ply Mylar film Remo Ambassador coated heads have been around for a long time. They’re among the most common for drummers of all levels because of their all-around versatility for both a snare drum and tom heads. They’re also a good value for the price.
You can use these coated heads both as batter and resonant heads. They have a warm and bright attack with a controlled sustain. The underside is slightly textured, which for some drummers, dampens the sound a bit. However, for beginners and gig drummers who aren’t in a studio and don’t need a really fine sound, it probably won’t affect you.
The metal collar surrounding the coated drum head is large and deep, which affects how the drum head sits on the drum. Some customers comment that this feature makes it harder to tune without killing the sound.
If you like to switch from one style to another or are just learning the technique, the Remo Ambassador is a great option. It’s the kind of drum head that will be great for those that don’t know what to look for or aren’t committed to one style. On top of toms, this model also works well for a marching snare drum.
However, we don’t recommend it for heavy-hitting rock and metal drummers, given that these are only single-ply heads. They can get damaged quickly, and the sound can be a little too bright for this type of music.
Best for Rock
The Evans hydraulic glass line was created for the old school, deep ‘70s rock sound. It delivers on its promise, producing a fat, long sound that also works well for gospel.
It’s made of two layers of thin hydraulic glass with a thin layer of oil in between. This helps you control your sound and doesn’t make it too loud, even if you tend to bang heavy on your drums. Of course, they’re not quiet, but according to customers, they’re much lower-volume than the Remo Ambassador, for example.
The two layers also make this drum head durable, even if you’re a hard hitter, so the price is very reasonable for the quality.
You can find a good selection of sizes for this drum head for a tom or bass drum head, from 6 to 20 inches. The surface is clear, but this model also comes in three other colors. Of the colors, the red and blue are transparent. You’ve also got the option of a fully black model if that better suits the look you’re going for.
The drum head also comes with the Evans Level 360 technology to ensure a perfect, level fit between the shell and the drum head. This helps you when tuning, especially if you’re a new drummer and not yet an expert on fitting them. According to customers, it also helps you get a really even sound with a lot of resonance.
As a possible negative for this drum head, some customers say the sound is too dampened on the smaller tom heads, up to 10 inches. For the larger heads, this doesn’t seem to be an issue. In a bass drum, you likely wouldn’t notice it, but in a tom it can be too much.
Best Drum Head Pack for Toms
This pack of Remo Pinstripe drum heads is another classic alternative ideal for many styles of music. They’re great for pop, rock and R&B, and from beginner to experienced musicians. Many customers comment on coming back to this model for years and years for its quality and its darker sound. They’re also easy to tune and have a great rebound.
The two-ply construction has two layers of clear, 7-millimeter film that don’t give the drum heads a pronounced attack or sustain. They’re thick and excellent for durability. However, if you’re looking for a model with a more defined attack and longer resonance, we recommend picking single-ply heads.
What many customers love about the Remo Pinstripe is the balanced sound that they have an overtone-reducing agent between the two layers, which gives you more control. It can dampen the sound a little too much for some players, but for most pop and rock players, it’s clear enough.
You usually won’t get too much of a ring in this model. It’s more likely that you’ll find the sound too muffled, but in general, customers are happy with their purchase. You can still use a damper to control the sound a little more, but it’s usually not necessary with these drum heads.
Best for Metal
The Evans Onyx is a rock and metal drummer’s choice, with its durable and consistent quality and its long, heavy punch. We recommend it especially for live situations, where you need a heavy-duty drum head with little overtones.
Another thing drummers love about this drum head is that it has a frosted coating. This gives the drum heads a matte black aesthetic that looks great on stage. It also gives your drums a more pronounced attack, with lower sustain.
These coated drum heads are easy to tune and set up on your drums, thanks to the Level 360 technology. This also takes some of the possible problems with overtones, especially if you’re a beginner.
Some drummers think the tone is too dampened and that the tone and sustain suffer too much. This is why we don’t recommend them to everybody. They’re mostly for those who want a tough set of drum heads that can take some heavy handling and give you a dark, heavy sound.
Best Drum Heads for Recording
The Remo Emperor is a widely available pick that’s ideal for medium-strength drumming or the studio. It has a warm tone and soft attack, making it ideal for studio use. It’s also great for rock, as well as softer styles of music, like pop and R&B.
According to customers who bought these drum heads, they have a perfect, classic tom sound. There are slight overtones, but the coating and thickness of the two plies of Mylar film keep them generally well-controlled. If you like a bright sound, though, keep in mind that it can feel a little muffled.
For drummers who bought the Remo Emperor, the sustain on these drum heads is about medium-level. It doesn’t ring, but it’s also not a short thud, either. Many drummers like using the Remo Emperor for a bass drum head, as well as their toms.
This model is a classic pick, not just because of its classic sound but also because of its durability. Customers say that it doesn’t bend or dent easily like single-ply drum heads, and the quality is very consistent.
Best Resonant Drum Heads
This drum head is our top pick for a resonating drumhead. It’s single-ply like most drummers prefer their resonating heads because this way, they won’t affect your sound. It has a single layer of 7.5-millimeter film that gives you a bright tone but doesn’t have a long sustain.
According to drummers who bought this drum head, it has quite a punch to it. Some consider it to be a little dry, but many rock and metal drummers will like their bottom drum head to not ring too much.
It also comes with the Level 360 technology that’s popular among drummers and makes tuning a lot easier. This means these drum heads are a great option for newer and intermediate drummers, especially. But anyone who wants their drum heads to fit evenly and easily will find them a good pick.
We recommend using this together with Evans Onyx or similar batter heads if you want to get a harder sound for rock or metal.
What To Look for in the Best Drum Heads for Toms
Before you make your pick, there are a couple of things to pay attention to when looking for the best tom heads.
Just going out to experiment without finding out what to buy beforehand may make you lose hundreds of dollars. It’s crucial to find the right drum heads that will suit your playing style, and also make your drumming more enjoyable.
Coated vs Clear Drum Heads
Clear and coated drum heads aren’t just a matter of visuals, since the coating affects the thickness and sound of your toms.
Clear drum heads are thinner than coated ones and tend to have a brighter sound. They’re ideal when you want your sound to be more open, especially if you’re in the studio.
Coated heads, on the other hand, are a little more muffled. They can take the hitting better, so they’re better for the styles of music that require it, like metal and hard rock.
Single-Ply vs. 2-Ply Drum Heads
Single-ply drum heads consist of one layer of plastic, while double-ply is made of two and is about double the thickness. There can sometimes be a thin layer of oil between the layers to act as a dampener.
The difference between them is that a single-ply sound can be much clearer than a double-ply. It gives you more versatility in the tone, and it’s common in music styles like jazz.
However, if you’re a hard hitter and play rock, for example, you’ll wear a single-ply drum head out quickly.
Double-ply drum heads can give you a fatter tone, but you’ll likely lose a little on sustain and overtones. This can be an issue for drummers who are looking for a bright and musical tone.
However, rock and metal drummers, as well as beginners, likely won’t care so much about this. These musicians will benefit from the extra strength of the double-ply construction.
Resonant Heads vs. Batter Heads
You’ll need two different heads for your drums. The batter drum head is the one on the top that you hit on, and the impact then travels to the bottom. Resonating heads are the ones that are at the bottom of your drum, which resonate the sound back to the top.
Both are important, but you can use a different drum head style and brand on both sides to alter the tone. What you pick depends ultimately on how and what type of music you play.
Resonant drum heads are usually thinner than batter heads. Since you won’t be hitting the drum head and damaging it, you don’t need two plies of material or coating to protect it.
The thickness of the material is also relevant for the sound. The thicker it is, the more resonant it usually is.
You can generally also use batter heads for a tom or a bass drum, but not for a snare drum.
Just be careful not to use previously-used batter heads, as any scratches or dents will affect the resonance. Always pick a new drum head as a resonant head.
You’ve probably noticed two manufacturers pretty much dominate the drum head market. Evans and Remo are both classic brands that are a good indication of quality, but there are other reliable players in the market, like Aquarian.
If you’re not sure what to buy, you can always go for the classics Evans and Remo that are usually quality picks. While there are differences between models, they’re often minimal, and you’ll mostly notice them at a professional level of playing.
If you’re a newbie, we recommend going for a drum head that can take a little battering. Until you’ve figured out how to properly hit the drums, you’ll likely use too much force. This is especially true if you’re buying drum heads for rock or metal that already require a lot of power.
If money isn’t too tight, you can also experiment with different styles of drum heads. Pick a couple of different options for your toms and see which sound and responsiveness you feel most at home with.
The best drum heads for toms option in our review is the Evans G2 Tompack. It comes with three double-ply drum heads of 10, 12 and 14 inches, ideal for rock and gospel drummers. It’s also a good pick for beginners and intermediate players.
These drum heads have a warm, full sound that can take a heavy beating, but the sound isn’t too dampened. They have medium sustain and brightness, which makes them adaptable for different situations.
They’re also easy to install, thanks to the Level 360 technology that makes tuning a lot easier. And if you want to make sure your investment is as smart as possible, these drum heads are also durable, and you can get a pack of three for a great price.