There are so many practice pads out there, but how many of them provide a more quiet experience? You might be looking for a more quiet practice pad if you have housemates or live in an apartment, so we’ll show you some of our favorites.
Our Criteria For Quiet Drum Practice Pads
To us, there are a couple different levels of “quiet” practice pads. There are what we like to consider the most quiet pads, which are specifically trying to be as quiet as possible to cater to those who need to keep volume levels down. And then there are pads that aren’t exactly trying to be as quiet as possible, but end up being serviceable as a more quiet practice pad due to materials used.
We’re also going to stay away from recommending some of the more extreme moongel types of pads. While they are pretty darn quiet, they are intended for a different type of drumming workout, and might not be ideal as a main practice pad.
We have a video demo for each pad that shows estimated sound levels in terms of decibels (dB) so that you can see how they compare and stack up to each other.
Zildjian Reflexx Practice Pad
The Zildjian Reflexx practice pad is designed as a conditioning pad with softer, thicker pads. It plays very well and is very quiet.
This is my favorite low volume practice pad. The top surface feels kind of like the tension of a low tom head and has good rebound while remaining very low in volume. It can be used for daily practice and rudiments. The bottom pad is also very quiet and has much less rebound, and can be used for a wrist and arm workout.
The reason I like this pad so much is because I tend to play acoustic drums with less tension on the drum heads, especially the toms, and this pad is more in line with that type of feel.
Sabian Quiet Tone Practice Pad
The Sabian Quiet Tone practice pad is designed specifically to be a quiet drum pad. It uses a single ply mesh head that isn’t much different than a Remo Silentstroke drum head.
It’s design is a little unconventional for a practice pad. It’s basically a drum hoop or rim with a mesh pad installed, and there are some braces and four legs underneath to give it a little bit of height off of whatever surface you have it placed on. You can adjust the tension of the head to your preference, and it’s available in 14 inch (the same size as a snare drum) or 10 inch sizes.
This is a top recommendation for a silent pad since you can dial in a familiar feel and rebound with the mesh head while keeping volume levels way down. However, it can be a little awkward in terms of portability.
Remo Silentstroke Practice Pad
This pad might look a little familiar. It’s basically the standard Remo practice pad that you see everywhere, except that it has a Silentstroke mesh drum head instead of the typical Remo Ambassador coated head.
This drum pad is pretty quiet since it’s using the mesh head. We like this pad because of the fact that it’s fairly affordable, it has a rim, and it’s also tension adjustable. Sure, rim shots can still get a little loud with this one, but if you stay on the mesh head it’s really quiet, while still providing some familiar stick definition and rebound. If other mesh heads tend to feel a little too springy for your own liking, this one could be worth a look since it has more of a traditional practice pad feel.
Drumeo P4 Practice Pad
The Drumeo P4 practice pad makes it onto this list because of one single section in it’s pad lineup. It can be a good option if you want a good mix of loud and quiet pad options all on one pad.
The gray section on the middle right of this drum pad is a softer material that plays much more quietly than the rest of the sections on the pad. Personally, I like this pad because it offers several different playing surfaces that are meant to simulate the different feel of drums and cymbals around the kit. If you’re at home and trying to keep it quiet, you can use the softer gray pad and avoid the rest. And then you have the rest of the pads available for different practice options when you can make more noise.
Quiet Rubber Practice Pads
This is where we start to get into more of the fairly quiet rubber practice pads. We like to recommend these since drummers often prefer the sticking definition and rebound of a gum rubber practice pad. Many of these can be more on the quiet side if you focus on playing the softer rubber surface and don’t play overly hard, and avoid rim shots and stuff like that.
Prologix Green Logix Practice Pad
The Prologix Green Logix pad is fairly quiet if you stay on the green rubber surface and avoid playing overly hard.
The green rubber surface has excellent feel and rebound, and it’s not very loud. There is a rim, so of course rim shots will produce more volume. The harder recycled rubber surface on the bottom is louder as well. We like this pad because of the rim, it’s multiple surfaces and because of it’s bulky nature, especially the 12 inch version. It’s nice and heavy in a good way.
Vic Firth Practice Pad
The Vic Firth double-sided practice pad feels a little less bulky for a double sided practice pad. The gray rubber surface is ideal for keeping the volume down.
This is a double sided practice pad with a couple different surfaces. The gray rubber surface offers a nice, sharp stick definition and good rebound without producing too much volume. The black surface on the reverse side is harder and louder. There are some other similar versions of this pad as well. One is a single-sided version with just the gray surface, and one is a single-sided version with both the gray and black surfaces on one side. But we prefer the double-sided version for versatility and pad size.
Vater Chop Builder Practice Pad
The Vater Chop Builder double-sided practice pad offers a softer rubber surface (the red side) that can be played at fairly quiet volumes if you don’t play it too hard.
The red rubber pad offers some good stick definition and rebound without being overly noisy. There is also a harder, black rubber pad on the reverse side that is louder with more pronounced stick definition, so you have some options with this pad. We like this pad because it looks slick, it plays nicely and it has some nice bulk to it. There are also single sided versions available with just the softer red rubber surface available in 12 inch and 6 inch sizes.
Evans Realfeel Practice Pad
The good old Evans Realfeel pad can be a fairly quiet option. The gum rubber surface plays pretty quietly if you don’t play too hard.
We like this pad because it’s affordable and can be found in different sizes and configurations. Our favorite is the double-sided 12 inch pad. It has a gray gum rubber surface that can be a fairly quiet as well as a recycled rubber side that is harder and louder. I’ve spent tons of hours playing this pad in various apartments with no complaints. These pads are pretty easy to find and it’s hard to go wrong here if you don’t want to spend the money on some of the more expensive options.
For More Options
We’ve covered quite a few practice pads, and we like to include sound demos that show what they sound like and how loud they are. Feel free to check out our other practice pad reviews to see how all these different practice pads compare and to see just how loud and how quiet they can be.