A modern day drum kit is not really complete without the hi-hat. Can you imagine any major pop band that plays a drumset without a hihat?
With the hi-hat, you get the chance to add depth and variety to your rhythm section. As you can guess, that adds an edge of extra complexity to the beats you produce.
In case you don’t already know, a hi-hat is a pair of cymbals placed on top of each other and operated with a pedal, somewhat like the bass drum.
Stepping on the pedal brings the cymbals together creating a sizzling sound that is quite unique. Now depending on what genre of music you are playing you might also hit it with your drumsticks like you would any other piece of your drumset.
Now picking the right hihat is important if you want to get the best sizzle and effect. However, the truth is that there are quite a number of options out there to choose from. It can be daunting sifting through them all.
We are sure that is why you are reading this and we are glad to be of help. Therefore, we have done the hard work for you and have selected 6 options you can choose from based on different criteria. So, whatever your preferences are, we are confident that you will find something that is good for you. Stay with us and let’s explore them together.
But for those in a hurry, take a look at our comparison table below…
Top 6 Best HiHats On The Market 2023 Reviews
Meinl HCS 13” Hi-Hat Cymbals
Zildjian ZBT 14” Hi-hat
B20 Bronze Alloy
Sabian AAX X-Celerator Hi-hat
Paiste 2002 Classic 14” Hi-hat
1 Meinl HCS 13” Hi-Hat Cymbals
These cymbals are made of a brass alloy. They are strong enough to endure the hits you can dole out with your drumsticks yet still create great sound quality.
This hi-hat is good for beginner drummers who are still trying to familiarize themselves with drumming. It will make a great add-on for an entry-level kit.
The design is such that the heavier cymbal is at the bottom and the lighter one on top. This precise design makes the hi-hat output a clear sound.
With this, you will get the “chck” all drummers love to hear from their hi-hats. Furthermore, the hihatss are clearly labeled so there is no chance of misplacing them.
One good thing about this hi-hat is that it can be used by rookies and professionals alike. A professional might consider this HCS hi-hat as an affordable auxiliary hi-hat to add the extra effect.
This HCS hi-hat is also great for drum instructors as it is affordable and still creates a good enough sound to use as practice.
These are also versatile as they will do well for most genre of music you need them for. They can provide the heavy and deep feel for rock players. In a jazz setting, you can easily create the bright accent when playing with the foot.
2 Zildjian ZBT 14” Hi-hat
If you have been into drumming for a while, you will definitely know this brand. It is one of the most popular cymbals brand in the industry and for good reasons.
Just so you know we are not just partially praising this brand. Travis Barker, the drummer for the Pop/Rock band Blink 182 swears by his Zildjian cymbals. Just to further buttress our point, this brand has been making cymbals since 1623. Now, how’s that for experience?
These pair of hihats is made with ZBT alloy which is 92% Copper and 8% Tin. Playing this hi-hat will give you the definite sound you want whether they are opened or closed.
If you want a bright and fast sound that will not get drowned by other instruments, this is the hi-hat you need. It has lathing grooves on the top side as well as round hammer strikes with a precise pattern that gives you the right character and texture.
This hi-hat is also versatile and can be used in genres such as jazz, pop, rock, etc. Due to this, it is also ideal for beginner drummers who need to learn different playing styles.
3 Meinl Byzance 14-inch Vintage Sand Hi-hat
The Byzance Vintage Sand cymbals are handmade by artisans in Turkey. They are made with B20 bronze alloy beaten to shape with hammers.
This vintage hi-hat is the signature cymbal of Benny Greb, a German drummer. He wanted a hi-hat that can fit with modern kits and has a vintage sound.
These vintage hihats are made through a special process. The surface of the cymbals is then sandblasted which is what gives them the warm sound they give off. And most of all, they look great too.
The sound this vintage hi-hat gives off is crisp and dry. If you have ever heard any vintage drumset played, you will know how articulate this hi-hat sound is.
The beauty of this hi-hat is that it is dynamic and has a soft feel yet you can play it at any volume level. It also has a great stick definition with a short sustain which makes it easy to control at all times.
4 Sabian AAX X-Celerator Hi-hat
If you believe that Zildjian hi-hats are of great quality, then you would believe that a Sabian hi-hat is too. In case you are wondering why that is, Sabian is owned by a member of the Zildjian family.
When Robert Zildjian broke away from the brand, many of the artisans went with him. So, you can rest assured that you will be getting great quality from this brand.
The Sabian AAX series is known for bright sounds which is what drummers want from their hi-hats. It is forged out of B20 bronze and is finished off to be extremely responsive.
The bottom cymbal has AirWave ripples on it which eliminate airlock. This is what makes it deliver a consistent crisp and clear sound.
The X-Celerator hats come with a streamlined design and also sport the Auto-Focus Response feature. This feature represents a huge advancement in the art of making cymbals.
The Auto-Focus Response equalizes high and low pitch levels and filters out any conflicting tones. The result of this is a pure sound that brings to life the beat sequence in a drummers mind in true tones.
Whatever genre of music you love to play, this hi-hat will do justice to your skills. This is the hi-hat you need to add to your kit. The effect you generate with your beats will definitely improve.
5 Paiste 2002 Classic 14” Hi-hat
With over a century of experience, you can be sure that this brand knows what it takes to turn out high quality and top performance hihats.
Paiste can boast of a long line of industry-leading innovations which include colored cymbals, unlathed cymbals, B8 bronze cymbals, etc. With this, you don’t need to worry about how the Paiste 2002 Classic hi-hat matches up to competition.
The hi-hat is made with 2002 bronze which is very similar to B8 bronze. Furthermore, Paiste hammers and lathes its cymbals for longer than competing brands.
This is a 14” hi-hat and most of the other cymbals from Paiste are around this size.
If you want a bright and lively sound, this is the brand you can rely on for that. These cymbals give off a lot of pop and will cut through when you are playing loud. The Paiste 2002 Classic is also great for a recording session.
But note that if you are not an experienced drummer, you might run into some problems playing this hi-hat because it is a bit tricky to control. That said; if the late John Bonham of Led Zeppelin was a huge fan of Paiste hi-hats, then that should tell you you’re in great company with these.
6 Meinl 14” HCS Traditional Finish Hi-hat
This is the second hi-hat we are featuring from this brand. We hope you know that means the brand is top quality.
The size of a hi-hat has some effect on the way it sounds. This 14” Meinl will give off that “chck” sound every drummer with an ear for details wants to hear.
You will get that sizzling undertone that carries over when you play it with drumsticks. If you play it with the pedals, the cutting response you get is nothing but pleasure.
The component cymbals are brass alloys, which are strong enough to endure the beatings from a drumstick. They will also maintain their tones for long so you won’t need to change them anytime soon.
This hi-hat is ideal for beginners and student drummers. The sounds it produces are crisp and loud and are suitable for different music types. You can quickly bounce from rock to jazz and a lot of genres in between and still get a great response.
Even though these hihats are an entry-level grade, there finishing is just like the high-end models. For example, you’ll find the Meinl logo and other engravings on the more expensive variants on this one too. Even if you are a rookie drummer, you can still appear and play like a pro.
Also see: Top 8 Best Autoharp On The Market
Now you have the information you need. All you need to do is to match it with your needs and preferences and you will find it easy to make a choice.
In case you were wondering if we have a recommendation, yes we do.
If you are a professional and you don’t mind paying for the best, we would recommend the Paiste 2002 Classic 14” Hi-hat. It ranks high in both quality and performance. Since you are a professional, you won’t have any problems controlling it and playing it in different genres.
On the other hand, if you are a beginner, you can go for either the 13” or 14” Meinl HCS Hi-hat. These two are great for beginners.
You will also find them responsive and easier to manage, and they still produce good enough sound. Most of all, they are affordable. That way, you can upgrade as your skills get better.
Now go ahead and make the purchase. Your fans are waiting for you. Have fun!