While drummers love to play the drums, the sound often turns out to be an inconvenience to others. Maybe someone is taking a nap next door, they’re is pulling an all-nighter for the exam tomorrow, or they simply can’t stand the noise of your drums. Drum mutes are a great solution!
You can now practice quietly without disturbing the peace of the entire neighborhood with a drum silencing pad or mute set. Made from a non-slip rubber material, drum mutes are placed directly over the drum head to greatly reduce the sound. They are widely available, easy to set up, and affordable.
My top recommendation is the Evans SoundOff Full Box Set. This is a very popular and high-quality drum mute set for quiet practice.
My second recommendation is the XCEL 6-piece Rubber Mute Set. This is a decent and very affordable option for those on a budget.
- The 7 Best Drum and Cymbal Mutes (2023)
- 1. Evans SoundOff Full Box Set
- 2. XCEL 6-piece Rubber Mute Set
- 3. Vic Firth Drum Mute Prepack
- 4. EDMBG 12-Piece Mute Pack
- 5. Meinl Cymbals Mute Pack
- 6. Meinl Percussion Drum Mute Set
- 7. Ahead Drum Silencer Practice Mutes
- The Pros and Cons of Drum and Cymbal Mutes
- How effective are Drum Mutes?
- What are Drum and Cymbal Mutes like to play?
- Do Drum Mutes make the bass drum quiet?
- Do Drum Mutes make drums silent?
- Drum Mute Alternatives
The 7 Best Drum and Cymbal Mutes (2023)
Let’s compare these in more detail.
1. Evans SoundOff Full Box Set
These are a very popular option, and they’re under the Evans brand, one of the best manufacturers of acoustic drum heads. The Evans SoundOff Full Box Set reduces the volume by 95% allowing drummers to have non-stop drumming sessions without rousing the neighbors from their deep slumber.
The drum mutes are crafted from a rubber material and have a textured design that sits over the drum head. They can withstand recurrent drumming sessions. You can buy a standard box set with cymbals and bass, which includes everything needed to mute a standard drum set.
|Includes||12”,13”,14”, 16” (drums, snare), 18″ to 26″ (bass drum), 1 x Crash, 1 x Ride, 1 x Hi-hat mute|
The mutes fit snugly over the drum head and decrease the volume. To some extent, the mutes also protect the drum heads from damage that might occur during practices. All in all, the Evans SoundOff Full Box Set is a good choice for the price you pay.
2. XCEL 6-piece Rubber Mute Set
The XCEL 6-piece Rubber Mute Set is a highly-affordable set that does a decent job and reducing the volume of your drums and cymbals. You can finally practice quietly without disturbing anyone, and for a very affordable price too!
These mute pads are made from a high-quality, durable neoprene rubber material that is also water and oil-resistant. For a very amateur price tag, they sure bring value to the table. Plus, they fit a 6-piece drum kit which is excellent.
|Includes||12”, 13”, 14”, 16” (drums, snare), 1 x Crash/ride, 1 x Hi-hat mute|
All in all, this is a highly affordable drum mute set with good quality material that can also make a great gift for any drummer.
3. Vic Firth Drum Mute Prepack
The Vic Firth Drum Mutes are manufactured with non-slip pure rubber. You can buy them either individually or in pre-packs that include a variety of common-size combinations. They have good integrity. The material is durably designed for lengthy and frequent drumming sessions. The mutes also protect drums from wear and tear.
Vic Firth Company has always lived up to expectations when it comes to percussion sticks and mallets, so it’s a great drumming brand.
|Includes||10″, 12″, 14″, 16″ (drums, snare), 22″ (bass drum), 2 x Crash, 1 x Hi-hat mute|
For those of you who are on a hunt for a muting system that fits perfectly and does the job, the Vic Firth Drum Mutes are a good choice. Peacefully play the drums and let your family and neighbors have a pleasant noise-free day.
4. EDMBG 12-Piece Mute Pack
If you’re on a budget and you need drum mutes to cover a big drum set then this is a great option. The EDMBG 12-Piece Mute Pack is made from high-quality long-lasting materials that include neoprene, foam, and rubber.
The set consists of 10 pads and 2 sound-off blocks. For bigger drum sets, it will help keep the sanity of your family members and acquaintances intact. When you place the neoprene pad over the bass drum pad, it should face the kick pedal hammer. You can lock it with double-sided tape or a sticky Velcro.
|Includes||8”, 10”, 12”, 13”, 14”, 16” (drums, snare), 22″ (bass drum), 7”, 8”, 10” cymbal mutes, 2 x Sound off Blocks|
Overall, if you’re going for high-quality drum mutes, the SoundOff or Vic Firth ones are probably better options. Though, if you’re looking for something cheaper and need a bigger drum set to cover, these are not a bad option at all!
5. Meinl Cymbals Mute Pack
Available in a variety of sizes, the Meinl Cymbals Mute Pack is designed to sit directly over the cymbals. They greatly diminish the sound and dampen the vibrations and impacts. You can keep practicing as long as you like, even throughout the night, without waking up your neighbors.
Meinl is a very well-trusted cymbal manufacturer. If you have a lot of cymbals, and you still don’t have enough cymbal mutes to cover them, then this pack is a great high-quality option to consider.
|Includes||14″ Hi-Hat, 16″ Crash, 18″ Crash, 20″ Ride|
This is a 4-piece cymbal set pack but you can also get a 3-piece cymbal set pack. Additionally, there is the option to purchase individual mutes if you already have a set and just need to add to it.
6. Meinl Percussion Drum Mute Set
While we’re on the topic of Meinl, you can combine the previous cymbal-only pack with this 4-piece drum mute pack – the Meinl Percussion Drum Mute Set.
While muting your cymbals does substantially reduce the volume of your kit, there is still the issue of muting your drum heads. This set fully covers a standard 4-piece drum kit and is made from soft rubber to successfully reduce the volume while keeping everything player-friendly.
|Includes||10”, 12”, 14”, 14” (drums, snare)|
The Meinl Percussion Drum Mute Set is a highly effective drum mute solution that reduces the sustain and attack substantially. Now you can practice without disturbing your family members or neighbors. Plus, these mutes are from a reliable source, a highly reputable cymbal manufacturer.
7. Ahead Drum Silencer Practice Mutes
The Ahead Drum Silencer Practice Mutes is the all-rounded mute solution for an entire kit, including cymbal mutes. These mutes greatly reduce the volume of your kit, making practice sessions in apartments and other shared spaces possible.
They are made from neoprene rubber but still manage to pull off a decent response and rebound effect. Additionally, they are fairly easy to set up and are modestly priced so anyone can still afford this entire set.
|Includes||12″, 13″, 14″, 16″ (drums, snare), 22″ (bass drum), 2 x Crash, 1 x Hi-hat mute|
Overall, this is a modestly-priced set that includes everything you might need to dampen your drum kit and practice quietly. For the given price, it brings a lot of value to the table.
The Pros and Cons of Drum and Cymbal Mutes
- They’re a cheap and quick way to lower the volume of your set.
- You can easily take them on and off for practice.
- You don’t need to buy any other drum heads or gear.
- They can make the volume low enough that hearing protection is not required.
- They lower the quality of the sound (muffled).
- They lower the rebound of your drum head – ghost notes, double stroke rolls, etc, don’t feel as natural on them.
How effective are Drum Mutes?
Drum and cymbal mutes are very effective but they definitely come with the cost of producing the rebound and they generally make the drums a little bit less fun to play on.
However, they’re one of the most affordable options to turn your acoustic kit into a feasible practice case that you can use in a house with neighbors and family close by. However, it does not completely make your drum set silent.
You should also try and dampen your bass drum using other dampening techniques, and keep your playing a little bit quiet if you don’t want very loud tapping sounds.
What are Drum and Cymbal Mutes like to play?
Drum and cymbal mutes just feel like you’re playing a heavily dampened and cushioned drum kit with not much noise coming out of it, and not much rebound. It is a little bit like playing an electronic drum set without headphones or a drum amp turned on.
I’m being quite honest about the playing experience here, and I’m not painting a very positive picture of them just to set your expectations right about them. They’re not as fun to play as an unmuffled acoustic drum set.
However, they are a great option if you need to practice quietly, and I spent many of my teenage years playing a drum set with drum and cymbal mutes. I simply would not have been able to practice without them in my living situation.
Do Drum Mutes make the bass drum quiet?
Bass drum mutes certainly make the bass drum quieter, but if you really want to reduce the sound coming out, then you should also place a pillow or blanket inside the drum.
There’s a lot of air movement every time you hit a bass drum, even when there is a mute in front of the head. Therefore, it’s best to put a pillow or other large cushioned object inside the bass drum. If you do not have a porthole on the resonant head then you can just take off the front head of the bass drum and position it directly in there.
Do Drum Mutes make drums silent?
Drum mutes heavily reduce the sound coming from acoustic drum sets, but they definitely do not make a drum set completely silent. You will still hear tapping sounds coming from them as you hit the pads.
If you live in a house with fairly thin walls, very poor soundproofing, neighbors very close, or family members that really don’t like your drumming, then drum mutes still might not be enough. However, they will still dramatically reduce the overall volume coming from the drum set, and that can be sufficient for most drummers.
Drum Mute Alternatives
Drum mutes come with a disadvantage, they inevitably muffle the sound, lower the range, and reduce the rebound of your drum heads. If you want to get a good immersive home-practice experience, then check out our article on the best electronic drum sets.
If you’re looking for alternative options, you can also consider silent-stroke drum heads and low-volume cymbals for your acoustic drum set. They offer a more realistic style of playing, while also keeping the volume very low. In that article, we also go through some other great dampening techniques that will help you reduce the volume of your set overall.
If you’re having trouble with the volume of your drums then it might be time to consider purchasing a set of drum mutes. Play the drums in full confidence without a single ounce of fear. Keep the pros and cons in mind though, and also consider the alternatives before spending money on them.
My top pick is the Evans SoundOff Full Box Set, a very popular and high-quality drum mute set for quiet practice.
My budget pick is the XCEL 6-piece Rubber Mute Set, a decent and very affordable option for those on a budget.