The 5 Best Drum and Cymbal Mutes for Quiet Playing (2022)

drum mutes

While drummers love to play the drums, the sound often turns out to be an inconvenience to others. Someone is taking a nap next door, someone is pulling an all-nighter for the exam tomorrow, and someone simply hates the sound of your drums banging away.

Do your neighbors and family members start complaining as soon as you begin to play the drums?

We have the solution for you – drum and cymbal mutes! You can now practice quietly without disturbing the peace of the entire neighborhood with a drum silencing pad.

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. Here is a list of top drum and cymbal mutes that we tried to help you make a wise decision.

Our Pick of the 5 Best Drum and Cymbal Mutes (2022)

1. SoundOff by Evans Full Box Set
Editor's Choice - Popular option and great quality
2. Vic Firth Drum Mute Prepack
Another great option and fantastic brand.
3. 12 Piece Drum Practice Pads
Affordable 12 piece pack (for large drum sets)
4. 9 Piece Drum Practice Pads
Affordable 9 piece drum mute pack
5. Meinl Drum Mute Pack
A cymbal-only pack

1. SoundOff by Evans Drum Mute Pack

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These are a very popular option, and they’re under the Evans brand, one of the best manufacturers of acoustic drum heads. SoundOff by Evans Drum Mute Pak claims to reduce 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 sit over the drum head. They are able to 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.

Founded in 1950, Evans Drumheads is a well-known American company among percussionists. Their drumming instruments and accessories are manufactured to be durable. Whether you are in your work studio, condo’s cozy bedroom or deep down in the basement, SoundOff by Evans guarantees volume control by significantly reducing the noise.

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, SoundOff by Evans is a good choice for the price you pay.

2. Vic Firth Drum Mute Prepack with Mutes

Vic Firth Drum Mutes are manufactured with non-slip pure rubber. You can buy them either individually or in pre-packs that includes 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.

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Vic Firth Company has always lived up to the expectations when it comes to percussion sticks and mallets, so it’s a great drumming brand. Those of you who are on a hunt for a muting system that fits perfectly and does the job, Vic Firth Drum Mutes are a good choice. Peacefully play the drums and let your family and neighbors have a pleasant noise-free day.


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If you’re on a budget and you need drum mutes to cover a big drum set then this is a great option. 12-piece drum practice pads by EDMBG are 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 through a double-sided tape or a sticky Velcro.

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!


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These silencing pads are similar to the ones above, 9-piece drum practice pads by EDMBG are manufactured from durable neoprene, foam and rubber material that is made to last all frequencies of drumming sessions. The 9-piece muting set includes four head covers, two cymbal mutes designed to fit over all cymbals and one kick drum cover. During the fixing process, make sure to put the neoprene pad over the bass drum pad so that it faces the kick pedal beater. Use double-sided tape or a sticky Velcro to fix the pads. The textured design makes it easier for the pads to stay in a fixed position, and they don’t budge while drumming.

5. Meinl Cymbals Pack (MCM-141620)

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Available in a variety of sizes, these Meinl cymbal mutes are 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. You have an option to buy either a whole set or just an individual mute.

Meinl are 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.

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 drumset silent. And you should also certainly still 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’s 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 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 silentstroke 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. Your children won’t wake up, no one will call the cops on you and your family members won’t have to tolerate the loudness throughout the day! Keep the pros and cons in mind though, and also consider the alternatives before spending money on them.

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Mike O'Connor

Drumming has been my passion for over 18 years. I play quite a few different genres and I really enjoy experimenting with hybrid kits that blend acoustic and electronic drums. I love all things drumming!

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