Best HiHats To Improve DrumSet – Updated Jun 2024

When you think about your cymbal setup, the Hi-Hat plays an important role in it. It’s usually the part mostly played, unless we include the snare and kick. And since you always use your Hi-Hat, it would eventually determine your drums sound quality. So when you purchase a bad quality Hi-Hat, no matter how expensive your drum set is it would bring it down to its level. So when choosing a Hi-Hat, choose the best one that would still be in your budget. Don’t worry if you don’t know where to start because that’s what we’re here for. We won’t only be showing you the best ones because we would also tell you why it’s the best. You can also get the best drum set for teenagers. Are you ready? Read on!

Best HiHats
Reviewed and Compared

Picture Name My Verdict
Meinl Cymbals HCS13H 13 inches Meinl Cymbals HCS13H 13 inches The Most Affordable Check Price
Zildjian ZBT 14 inches Hi-Hat Zildjian ZBT 14 inches Hi-Hat The Best For Rock Music Check Price
MEINL Cymbals B14SAH MEINL Cymbals B14SAH The Most Precise Check Price
Sabian 14 inch X-Celerator Sabian 14 inch X-Celerator The Best For Metal Check Price
MEINL Cymbals HCS14H 14 inches MEINL Cymbals HCS14H 14 inches The Best For Deep and Warm Music Check Price

1) Meinl 13 Inches HCS​d

Meinl Cymbals HCS13H 13 inches
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  • These HiHats produce quality sounds at a low price
  • It’s sound is crispy which works for most music styles
  • MEINL is a known brand but this HiHat is their affordable model
  • Its sound does not last very long
  • The sounds could get too bright for others

This HCS series of MEINL is their more affordable model. These ones are ideally made for beginners that need something good, durable, and budget friendly. Ideally, this one is good for funk, jazz, rock and everything else that’s relevant. You may check out this if you’re looking for Pelican Case Alternatives.


  • It’s a 13 inches cymbal
  • It’s machine hammered
  • It’s made from brass alloy
  • It’s a Sheet type of HiHat


2) Zildjian ZBT 14 Inches​

Zildjian ZBT 14 inches Hi-Hat
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  • Its thick and lasts longer
  • It’s suitable for those who want loud Hi-Hat
  • It’s very good for playing rock music


  • It doesn’t really suit every genre of music because it sounds very bright
  • It’s not really ideal for the church because it’s too loud

Zildjian are also known in the industry, and just like the HiHat mentioned above, this was created to give beginners a Hi-Hat that has a popular brand, good quality at a budget price. This 14 inches Hi-Hat offers a sharp sound together with a bright chick sound to cut any mix. It makes the Hi-Hat heard every time. This HiHat is really ideal for rock music.


  • It’s a sheet Hi-Hat type
  • It’s a machine hammered Hi-Hat
  • 14 Inches cymbal
  • It’s made from brass alloy

3) MEINL B14SAH​​​​

MEINL Cymbals B14SAH
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  • It’s a very versatile and responsive HiHat
  • It’s not too washy so it would not sustain long when played open
  • You can use it even when you need to play softly


  • It’s not really ideal for metal music

This Hi-Hat offers a precise stick attack type of sound. It isn’t really loud so you can hit it hard and you still won’t sound offensive. It’s ideal used for funk and jazz.


  • It’s hand hammered
  • It’s made from B20 Bronze Alloy
  • It’s 14 Inches
  • It’s a cast type of HiHat
  • Its top is sand blasted

4) Sabian AAX Xcelerators 14 Inches​​​​​​

Sabian 14 inch X-Celerator
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  • It would cut through any type of music style you play. No matter how loud your band is people will hear the HiHat
  • It’s very aggressive so it’s ideally used for metal and rock music


  • You can’t use it for jazz because it’s really loud

This HiHat is heavy and provides a sharp sound. The bottom has ripples which causes sharpness. It’s more aggressive when you hit the edge. It’s a really good one for metal or rock.


  • It’s machine hammered.
  • 14 inches cymbal
  • It’s a sheet type of Hi-Hat

5) Meinl HCS Traditional 14″​​​​​​​​​

MEINL Cymbals HCS14H 14 inches
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  • It’s an affordable one but it surprisingly has a good sound
  • Its sound is crispy


  • It doesn’t sustain very long
  • They could sound very bright but some people prefer that

The difference of this one from the other MEINL mentioned above is that this one are 14 inches. As I mentioned earlier larger cymbals have deeper sounds. Basically they have the same crisp but this sounds deeper and warmer.


  • It’s a 14 inches cymbals
  • It’s machine hammered
  • It’s made from brass alloy
  • It’s a sheet type of Hi-Hats

What Should A Hi-Hat Have:

The Size

Hi-Hats are basically a pair of cymbals that ranges from 12 inches to 17 inches. When it comes to choosing Hi-Hats, Bigger doesn’t always equal to better. So how would you know what size you should get? It all depends on what style of music you want to play. Cymbal sounds are different in every size and weight. Small cymbals have a bright crispy sound that would fit punk, disco, as well as fusion. A big one would have a warm and dark sound that could be used in jazz or rock.

The Hammering of a Hi-Hat

There are different methods that cymbal manufacturers use to produce cymbals and there are different ways to change the sound of a cymbal. Most of the best cymbals are hand hammered which means a person literally sat down to hammer is manually so it would have a unique look, sound and pitch.

On this sample picture above, you could see the signs of hammering on its surface. When you buy a hand hammered Hi-Hat, you would be purchasing a pair of cymbals that have a unique sound. There wouldn’t be any hand hammered Hi-Hat that sounds the same.

If you buy Hi-Hats that have been hand-hammered, you will be buying a unique pair of Hi-Hats that sound different to any other pair. There isn’t any hand hammered Hi-Hat that sound the same in the market. Now it’s up to you to choose a how you want your Hi-Hat to be produced.

The Materials

There are two types of HiHats, the sheet and the cast. The Sheet Hi-Hats are created from certain metals combined and shaped. They sound brighter, they have a higher pitch and you could use it for rock and metal. Now, cast HiHats are created from melted bronze poured in a mold. It’s then placed through a lathe to shape and flatten, this material is usually hand hammered. These type of Hi-Hats sound darker and fits Jazz and Orchestral music. These are also known to be high quality.

Our Top Pick For Best Hi Hat

The MEINL vintage Sand Hi-Hat was able to create a Hi-Hat for all around sound, so for this review that would be the best. The great Benny Greb helped in creating these and his artistic expression definitely show through these HiHats.

Bang For Your Bucks

In this review, the MEINL HCS Traditional Hi-Hats was able to prove themselves in this area. Both the 13 and 14 inches have everything a drummer would need. They are warm, crisp, and bright so it could work with any genre. So if you are on a low budget and you’re looking for an amazing Hi-Hat, this one is for you.

What Is The Best Hi Hat Cymbal Size 

You can find hi-hat cymbals in a variety of sizes depending on your need and use. Generally, ranging from 12” to 16”, there’s plenty of makes to choose from. There are brands like Paiste, Sabian, Zildjian, and many more. 

The highest-rated Hi-Hat Cymbal in the 12” range is the Paiste 12” PST X. In the 13” range, you can opt for the Sabian HH Fusion which has received a lot of positive reviews. If you’re searching for 14” cymbals, you get two top options; the Paiste Rude or Sabian AA El Sabor. Moving on, if you’re in search of a 15” hi-hat cymbal, the Paiste Formula 602 would be a wise choice. 

Lastly, from the 16” collection, the best choice would be the Zildjian K Light. Whilst, there may be many more varieties, we have narrowed down some of the top items. Upon your research, you will make a wiser choice by knowing exactly what you need.  

Materials and Production Process (Machined vs. Hammering) For Hi Hat Cymbals 

Just as any other instrument built by a highly experienced and dedicated artisan stands out, cymbals do as well. It is clear to notice the difference in the refinement of an experienced worker and a machine’s works. 

Although the machinery has undoubtedly developed by a long margin over time, they may not overwhelm the highly experienced. And for that level of craftsmanship, you will have to be paying the high prices of the finished products. If you’re not very enthusiastic about emptying your wallets, it is probably wiser to go for the machine built. 

The benefit of using a machine built cymbal is you can consistently opt for the one you’re most comfortable with. The reason being, a machine is more likely to produce the same product more accurately than the hand-hammered. 

Therefore, you can go back and get the same thing over and over again. Cymbals generally fall under either of two categories of production: either sheet cymbal or cast cymbal. The sheet cymbals are made from a mixture of bronze, brass, and nickel, whilst the cast cymbals are made from melted bell bronze. 

Most contemporary musicians prefer the sheet cymbals for their rich sound. On the other hand, jazz and orchestral musicians generally prefer the cast cymbals since they’re not very harsh sounding. However, preferences differ from person to person. 

What Are The Different Options For Hi Hat Cymbals? 

If you’ve hit a wall in your search for Hi-Hat Cymbals, you’ve come to the right place. Here we have cherry-picked the top options for you. Starting with the Zildjian A Series, this 14” cymbal is one of the best. 

It is the most versatile while being properly balanced and dependable. Also, the next choice would be the Meinl HCS, also in the 14” category. It is the finest exclusive cymbal you can get your hands on. It is multipurpose, has a light, pleasant tone, and is also good value for money since it doesn’t cost much. Furthermore, if you’re looking for something on a budget, the Meinl Byzance cymbal will do you good. 

Also, under the 14” category, it is classical sounding. It will give you a great feel under the sticks to play your heart out. Not only that, but it is also versatile. Under a tight budget, it is a good choice to give you a good run. Moving on, the Zildjian S Mastersound is not too far back in the 14” category. It’ll give you a nice clear and a little chick sound, harmonious to the ears. It is a good value option as well. Also, also from Zildjian, is the A Custom Mastersound. Also 14”, will give a fuller sound. It has a bright and sharp sound that makes it melodious. 

Moving on, the SBR 13” from Sabian is suitable for beginners. It is very affordable and produces nicely clear sound. Lastly, the 2002 Classic Sound Edge 15” from Paiste is a good quality hi-hat cymbal. It’s appropriate for the rock music genre and produces a more beefy sound.  

Selecting Your Hi Hat: Materials Matter 

Two processes make cymbals; we get sheet cymbals and cast cymbals. The Sheet cymbals are made through an industrial process of mixing flexible bronze, brass, and nickel silver. Then it is brought in its shape and size. The sheet cymbals are more commonly preferred by pop, rock, and metal genre drummers. 

However, it is not limited to them as jazz, and philharmonic percussionists use it as well. On the contrary, the method of making cast cymbals is more conventional. This method involves melting down bell bronze and putting it in a mold. The cast cymbals go into a lathe to be flattened. 

After the flattening process, they are manually hammered to be brought into shape. The cast cymbals are considered to be more esteemed because of the way they are made. For this reason, they are more valuable as well. Percussionists of jazz and orchestra prefer cast cymbals for this reason as well and their sound. The two most commonly preferred cymbal producing companies are Sabian and Zildjian. They are commonly known for their sound range. They produce some versatile products that are great to use.  

Style of Music For Your Hi Hat 

The musical style or style of music is different from music genres, though not unrelated. The style of music is dependent on what the music is representing. There are numerous music styles that are identified today, though it may have been simpler several years ago. The most common misunderstanding amongst people is that genres are the styles. 

Genres define the type of music that is being played, for instance, rock, pop, electric, etc. By the style of music, we are defining more of the melody, rhythm, harmony, and production. For instance, techno music may be a genre. However, a mixture of 80’s classical with techno is more of a style. In layman’s terms, the music style is more defining of the type of music in any particular genre itself. Improve your skills and technique in playing piano at a faster pace with the Best Weighted Keys Piano.  


There are different Hi-Hats in the market but what we have here are those made with quality materials and sounds good. When searching for a Hi-Hat on a budget, these selection would definitely help you. Find a Best Rock Drum Sticks that makes you and your music feel great.

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