There are lots of drum head styles out there, and if you are looking for the most quiet drum heads you’ll want to look into mesh drum heads.
Single Ply Mesh Drum Heads Are The Most Quiet
Even within the mesh drum head category there are still some different options. Some mesh heads are single ply, some are 2-ply, and some are mixed with other features such as patches of different materials in the center or foam dampeners underneath. There’s even 3-ply mesh heads out there which can feel more stiff almost like a mylar drum head.
Out of all those options, the plain and simple, single ply mesh heads are usually the most quiet. Remo Silentstroke drum heads are a good example. They provide the least amount of attack and resonance with their sound, which is what you want when you’re trying to be as quiet as possible. Remo claims an 80% volume reduction with this style of drum head.
That’s Not To Say Other Types Of Mesh Heads Aren’t Quiet
Even other types of mesh heads manage to be very quiet, it’s just that the single ply mesh heads usually will edge them out a bit more.
Evans dB One drum heads, for example have a patch to create more attack and resonance, but they also use foam dampening rings to counter any excessive resonance, so they still manage to be very quiet. Evans claims 80% volume reduction with these heads, which is the same as what Remo claims with the Silentstroke heads.
There are also mesh heads out there that are designed to be quiet but not as extreme single ply mesh head. They target a volume reduction of around 60-70%. They usually use some type of material in the center of the mesh to create more attack, such as mylar or a harder material. But they don’t take the extra step to dampen the resonance. So these types heads will sound fairly quiet but have more usable resonance and attack. Mesh drum heads such as the RTOM LV heads can be a good example here.
This Is Why Mesh Heads Are Popular on Electronic Drum Kits
Mesh heads are now very common on electronic drum kits. It’s pretty much the standard. Most popular kits use drum pads that have 2-ply mesh heads, which provide a good balance of feel and low acoustical volume.
The use of mesh heads on electronic drum kits helps keep them more quiet than if they were using rubber drum pads. This makes them useful for drummers who are specifically trying to keep volume levels down. It’s not much different than acoustic drum kits using mesh heads for volume reduction.
For An Example of Single Ply Mesh Heads
Our review of the Remo Silentstroke drum heads includes a video that compares the volume of Silentstroke heads vs traditional mylar heads, and the difference is pretty big. Check it out for a good example of how quiet single ply mesh heads can be.