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There are all kinds of special heads that go above and beyond the standard clear or coated, one-ply or two-ply fare. This section will tell you about some of them and what they do. Most specialty heads involve "muffling." The goal of muffling a drum head is to either reduce its volume or focus its tone to give the drum the punchy and dry "studio" tone you often hear when listening to recorded music.


Remo is probably the first name you think of when it comes to drum heads. They do not have an extensive line of specialty heads. Instead, they focus on making high-quality, simple drum heads. That's not to say Remo doesn't have specialty heads though. Their Pinstripe drum heads have a thin black ring about an inch from the drum's rim, which is used to control the head's overtones. These are one of the most widely used specialty heads. Pictured below is the Remo Ambassador head, which is considered to be the industry standard drum head.

Remo Pinstripe


You could probably make an entire page devoted to the vast array of specialty heads Evans provides drummers. While Remo is probably the gold standard of drum head, Evans was the first to create what we now know as the plastic drum head. And they've also been an innovator. One of their most popular heads, for example, is the Hydraulic series. These batter heads are two ply and have oil between the plies, which gives these heads a built-in muffle and are one of the fattest sounding heads. Evans also makes their own version of Remo's popular Pinstripes called "EC2s," which feature a more advanced slotted ring around the head. They also make a snare drum head with holes punched around the edges to give it an extremely dry tone. Here's a picture of the hydraulic heads. They most commonly come in clear, but blue gives them an ultra-distinct look.

Evans Hydraulic


While Remo and Evans are the 1A and 1B of drumheads, Aquarian is the definite No. 3. Aquarian's biggest success in terms of drum heads is its kick drum head called the Aquarian Super Kick II. It features a built-in muffling ring on the head.

Aquarian Superkick II

The Skinny

There could be a whole site written solely on what drum heads to choose when you're in the market for some heads. But the main thing to know is that there is a whole world of heads at your disposal. Most drum head boxes have a sound reference guide on the back. Next time you're out shopping, think about what kind of sound you'd want for yourself and check out heads that work for your sound.