5 Best Drum and Cymbal Mutes to Practice Drumming Quietly

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I’m here to talk about the best drum and cymbal mutes on the market. Cymbals and drums produce a lot of sounds, so it’s not always easy to play quietly. That’s where drum mutes come in!

In order for drums to be heard in a band setting, they must have some type of drum mute or else it will sound like noise. There are many types of mutes out there but in my opinion, one of the best ones is Evans SoundOff Drum Mute Pack. The reason why I think this is the best one because not only does it do its job well, but it also looks great with its sleek black design and they are adjustable, fit any bass drum.

Drummers use them for practice, or when playing on stage with other musicians who don’t want the percussion drowning out their music. There are many different types of mutes available and not all of them are good. The bad ones can make your drums sound like a pillow.

Here are some of my favorites Drum Mutes:

1. Evans SoundOff Drum mutes

2. Vic Firth Drum Mute

3. Meinl Cymbal Pack (MCM-141620)

4. Edmbg 12 Piece Drum Practice Pads

5. Edmbg 9 Piece Drum Practice Pads

How Effective Are Drum Mutes? Do They Really Work?

Drum mutes are very effective in muffling the sound of your drum kit. While they won’t make your kit entirely silent, they will significantly dampen the sound of your drum heads and cymbals. However, the sound will be slightly different, and even the feel of the kit will be altered.

Our Pick of the 5 Best Drum and Cymbal Mutes

So here are the top 5 drum mutes reviews you will read below with pros, cons.


1. Evans SoundOff Drum Mute Pack

SoundOff by Evans Full Box Set, Standard
  • Drum mutes for standard-sized kits; 12,13,16,...
  • Adjustable bass mute fits 18" to 26" bass drums
  • Realistic cymbal and hi-hat rebound
  • A great gift for any drummer; practice at home...
  • All SoundOff by Evans drum mutes are designed,...
Pros
  • Up to 95% sound absorption
  • Affordable
  • Extremely popular
  • Textured rubber pads
  • Multiple pack configuration available
Cons
  • The chemical smell from the pack

Evans is an extremely popular brand for drum heads, so it is no wonder that their SoundOff Drum mute is one of the most popular choices for drummers who want silent sessions. 

How silent are these drum mutes?

Evans claims that these drum mutes can reduce the volume by up to 95%! The fantastic thing is that their realistic muting capabilities are pretty close to what is being claimed.

They are much better to play on than most other drum mutes as they have a textured design on the top. This is because the textured surface allows your drumsticks to make better contact with the mute. They perfectly fit all standard drums and do not slip or slide even under intense sessions.

They are available in an assortment of different packs. So, whether you play on a rock, jazz, or hybrid kit, you can find SoundOff drum mutes that are perfect for you.

So, what allows them to be so effective?

Well, they are made of a rubber material that can absorb most of the sound produced. The material is highly durable and therefore should last you a long time. It could even protect your drum heads from damage in the long run. 

Are there any issues with Evans SoundOff drum mute?

The only problem we have is that the rubber can give off a chemical smell. This smell is usually intense when you open it for the first time, but the smell goes away with subsequent use. Having an airy room is also helpful in getting rid of the smell.

SoundOff drum mutes are on top of this list for a reason due to their quality. It feels responsive to play on and is capable of significantly reducing sound. The best part is that it’s not even expensive!

If you have a neighbor who cannot stand your drumming, these are simply the best drum mutes for practice you can get to practice without problems.


2. Vic Firth Drum Set Mute

Vic Firth Drum Mute Prepack with Mutes Sized 12, 13, 14, 16, 22', Hi-Hat & 2 Cymbal Mutes
467 Reviews
Vic Firth Drum Mute Prepack with Mutes Sized 12, 13, 14, 16, 22", Hi-Hat & 2 Cymbal Mutes
  • Outfit your kit with mutes for volume control...
  • Includes: 12'', 13'', 14'', 16'', 22'', hi-hat and...
  • Non-slip pure rubber. Black
  • Note : Actual drums and cymbals are not included...
Pros
  • Non-slip rubber, so none of your strikes miss.
  • Durable material
  • Easy to resize
  • Good sound reduction
Cons
  • It has a slight chemical smell.
  • The bass mute might slip.

This is another drum mute pack from a well-known brand in the running industry. Made from non-slip pure rubber, you can be assured that your drumsticks won’t slip like they do with cheap muting packs.

The rubber material will dampen most of the attack and sound of your drums. While the dampening is not as excellent as the Evans SoundOff, it is pretty good! It is also quite durable and will take a beating without an issue. 

Even if a deranged metal drummer pummels them, these drum mutes will ensure that the sound doesn’t wake up neighbors. 

While the rebound is pretty good for a drum mute, it is nowhere near that of an actual drum head. However, it actually feels real, and this is a compromise you will have to make with nearly all mutes.

Vic Firth Drum Mutes are available in multiple pre-pack configurations and even as individual pads. No matter how bizarre your drumming setup is, you can fit these to it. The standard complete kit comes with five sizes 10″, 12″, 14″, 16″, and 22″, along with one hi-hat mute and a couple of cymbal pads. While most of the mutes fit snuggly, a few users have had a tough time keeping the bass drum mute in place.

What to do if you cannot find a suitable sized drum mute pack?

Well, the Vic Firth mutes are good enough to handle a hack job. If your drum is smaller than the pad, outline your drum on the pad and cut it out. It might look a little botchy, but it will get the job done.


3. Meinl Cymbals Pack (MCM-141620)

Meinl Cymbals Drumhead Pack (MCM-141620)
  • Meinl cymbal mutes are made to fit over your...
  • The soft material reduces attack and eliminates...
  • Practice for hours without disturbing close...
  • Sold as individuals and sets
  • Set for 14" Hi Hats, 16" Crash, 20" Ride
Pros
  • Great noise reduction
  • Realistic feel
  • Available as individual pieces and as pre-packs
Cons
  • Installing and taking off the mutes is tiresome.

Unlike the last two products, this is purely a cymbal mute pack. Meinl is known for its exceptional cymbals, and their cymbal mutes are made up to the same high standards as their cymbals!

How are these mutes?!

These mutes have a much better rebound than other options; therefore, you will get a more realistic feeling. The noise reduction is excellent, and it will make sure that the shrill pitches of the cymbal do not travel across to your neighbors.

The standard package includes a couple of 14″ hi-hat mutes, a 16″ crash mute, and a 20″ ride mute. They are also available individually, so you can get some more if you have a bigger configuration. 

The only tricky part with these mutes is the installation. They are quite a headache to put on and remove from the cymbal. Another issue is that if you do not correctly install these mutes, especially the hi-hat, you will end up with a cymbal that sounds dead!

Overall, if you are willing to overlook the installation issues, these are simply the BEST CYMBAL MUTES you can get!


4. 12 Piece Drum Practice Pads by Edmbg

EDMBG 12 Piece Drum Practice Pads - Silent Black Foam Quiet 12-pcs Covers New Set
  • Long Lasting, Durable, Neoprene, Foam and Rubber...
  • Pad thickness: 5/8" Foam and 1/4" Neoprene/rubber
  • Keeps your original drum tone but with lower...
  • Includes: 22", 16", 14", 13", 12", 10", 8" Head...
  • Perfect for use in apartments or for parent's...
Pros
  • 12 different muting components
  • Reasonable noise reduction
  • Cheap for a 12-piece set
  • Can be trimmed
Cons
  • The sound isn’t excellent, especially with the bass mute.

For someone with a large drum set and a limited budget, these are simply the best mutes you can get!

This is simply one of the largest, if not the largest, pre-pack mute kits you can find. With its three cymbal mutes, seven drum mutes, and two sound-off blocks, this drum mute set can tame even the most enormous of kits!!

These pads are made from a combination of rubber, foam, and neoprene, giving reasonable resonance along with good muting. If your drums have a different size, these can also be quickly trimmed with scissors to fit them.

The primary issue with this is its bass drum pad. It tends to fall off repeatedly, even with less intense sessions. The bass also tends to sound quite bad with the mute on.

The rubber pads also tend to stain your cymbals. The stain is also near impossible to get off. So, if you love the beautiful gloss of your cymbals, you might want to avoid these.

Let me be clear; this is by no means among the best drum set mutes. The quality of materials, sound, and muting are nowhere near the SoundOff or the Vic Firth mutes. However, what it does offer is AN AFFORDABLE WAY TO MUTE YOUR GIANT DRUM SET.


5. 9 Piece Drum Practice Pads by Edmbg

9 Piece DRUM PRACTICE PADS - Silent Black Foam Quiet 9-pcs Covers NEW SET
  • 4 - various head covers = 12",13",14",and 16"...
  • 2 - cymbal mutes = fits all cymbals
  • 1 - kick drum cover = 21 1/2"
Pros
  • Cheap
  • Durable material
  • Good muting
  • Can be size-adjusted
Cons
  • It does not sound great.

This is a smaller configuration to the prior mentioned 12 Piece DRUM PRACTICE PADS By EDMBG. Made of the same neoprene, rubber, and foam material, these are durable mutes that can last years!

So, how does this configuration differ from the last one?

Well, as the name suggests, you get only nine pieces. You get four standard drum mutes, one kick drum mute, two cymbal mutes, and two sound blocks for your pedals. The pads are all textured, so they won’t be slipping off the drums that easily. 

Similar to the last kit, the bass drum mute is once again not that great. It will slip and fall even if you give a slightly powerful whack.

Unlike the 12-piece kit, this is meant for a standard drum set. It is a much more affordable option compared to the other drum mutes on the list. While it isn’t as good as the more expensive ones, it gets the job done!

Benefits and Drawbacks of Using Drum and Cymbal Mutes


Benefits
  • They are an inexpensive and quick way of making your drum kit quieter.
  • They can lower the volume enough so that your hearing is not harmed and your neighbors are not woken up.
  • They can easily be placed and taken off.
  • They can help reduce the wear and tear of your actual drum heads during practice.
Drawbacks
  • The sound will always be worse off with a mute.
  • They have a lower rebound, so playing on them can feel a bit unrealistic
  • They can also prevent you from developing proper technique due to the low rebound.

What Are Drum Mutes Made of?

Most drum mutes are made out of a soft rubber material. This material is used as it is able to absorb a lot of the sound while still having a slight bounce. Some use a combination of foam, rubber, and neoprene. While the foam is a cheap and straightforward way to dampen sound, it completely takes away the bounce. You will feel like you are playing through the drums, not on them.

Mesh Heads or Drum Mutes for Silencing Drums

Whether you get mesh heads or drum mutes for silencing drums hugely depends on your situation.

If you want to mute a secondary practice drum kit, you should get a mesh head. This is because no one will want to completely swap all their heads each time they want to switch between a muted kit and a normal one.

Mesh heads are quiet and should be perfect for any apartment situation. They tend to have an exaggerated bounce, so they potentially ruin your technique over time. However, this is much better than a complete lack of response of the drum mutes.

Drum mutes are circular pieces of rubber or neoprene that you place over your kit. They are considerably cheaper than mesh heads, and you can quickly attach and detach them from your kit. They, however, have a worse feeling than mesh heads and can be slightly louder.

Alternatives to Drum Mutes 

Drum and cymbal mutes have a few issues like bad sound quality, reduced range, and a lack of rebound. Even the best drum mutes cannot overcome these. However, there are few good alternatives to practice silently.

Electronic drum sets are an expensive alternative to drum mutes. They make no sound and have a million functionalities that you cannot find in an acoustic drum set. They are one of the best options for home practice as they occupy little space and are virtually silent. However, they cost a whole lot more than the $30 you might spend on drum mutes.

Low-volume cymbals are an excellent alternative to cymbal mutes. While they are pricey, they have a much better sound and feel than the mutes. L80 low volume cymbals by Zildjian is one of the best low-volume cymbals and can lower noise by as much as 80%.

For drum heads, you can try low-volume ones like Remo Silentstrokes. These are incredibly silent but retain all the resonance, bounce, and responsiveness of an acoustic drum head. If you want to practice quietly without ruining your technique, these are the best.

Conclusion

Drum mutes are the cheapest way to play without disturbing your neighbors and waking your family members. While they do compromise the sound and feel, they are very effective in reducing the volume.

If you want the best sound quality and muting, we suggest that you go with the Evans SoundOff. They are durable, significantly reduce noise, and retain most of the sound quality. They are simply a fantastic set of drum and cymbal mutes. For people on a budget, either of the options from EDMBG is good.


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