Best HiHats of 2018

When you think about your cymbal setup, the Hihat 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 Hihat, it would eventually determine your drums sound quality. So when you purchase a bad quality HiHat, no matter how expensive your drum set is it would bring it down to its level. So when choosing a HiHat, 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. Are you ready? Read on!

2018 Best HiHats

  • Meinl Cymbals HCS13H 13inches

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  • Zildjian ZBT 14inches HiHat

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  • MEINL Cymbals B14SAH

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  • Sabian 14inch X-Celerator

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  • MEINL Cymbals HCS14H 14inches

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What Should A HiHat Have:

The Size

HiHats are basically a pair of cymbals that ranges from 12 inches to 17 inches. When it comes to choosing HiHats, 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 HiHat

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 HiHat, you would be purchasing a pair of cymbals that have a unique sound. There wouldn’t be any hand hammered high hat that sounds the same.

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

The Materials

There are two types of HiHats, the sheet and the cast. The Sheet HiHats 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 HiHats sound darker and fits Jazz and Orchestral music. These are also known to be high quality.

Best HiHat For 2018

1. Meinl 13 Inches HCS


  • 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 models. 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. 


  • 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 


  • Its thick and lasts longer
  • It’s suitable for those who want loud HiHats
  • 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 HiHat that has a popular brand, good quality at a budget price. This 14 inches HiHat offers a sharp sound together with a bright chick sound to cut any mix. It makes the HiHat heard everytime. This HiHat is really ideal for rock music.


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


  • 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 HiHat 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 HiHats
  • Its top is sand blasted
4. Sabian AAX Xcelerators 14 Inches


  • 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 HiHats
5. Meinl HCS Traditional 14″


  • 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 HiHats
2018 best high hat

The MEINL vintage Sand HiHat was able to create a HiHat 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 HiHats was able to prove their selves 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 HiHat, this one is for you. 


There are different HiHats in the market but what we have here are those made with quality materials and sounds good. When searching for a HiHat on a budget, these selection would definitely help you.

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