Best Hi-Hats Under $200 to $300: Budget Cymbals That Sizzle!

best hi hats under 200
Photo courtesy slgckgc via flickr. Used under a CC-BY-2.0 license.

My drum set did not include cymbals or a hi-hat when I bought the kit. I wanted one of the best hi hats under $200 for rock music and home recording. I used some cheap, budget Meinl hi-hat cymbals for a couple year, then found some used Paiste cymbals.

Meinl 13 inch top and bottom hi hat cymbal pairs

Meinl Cymbals HCS 13” Hihats for Drum Set, Cymbal Pair — Made in Germany — Traditional Medium Brass, 2-Year Warranty, Hi hat (HCS13H)
  • Two hihat cymbals — includes two 13" hihat cymbals that you mount on a pedal activated stand to play in a closed position for a crisp "chick" sound or opened apart for a crash sound; you can also use your foot pedal to keep time (stand not included)
  • You'll sound more naturally musical — get the cymbal sound you want without a brash, tinny, or over-the-top piercing pitch; HCS hihat cymbals develop plenty of warmth with a pleasant, balanced tone so you can sound more naturally musical on your drums
  • Specially weighted for a classic sound — your hihat cymbal playing will be easily heard with our special weighting process that leaves the top cymbal slightly lighter than the bottom; this helps produce a cleaner response and better feel at any volume
  • Total inspiration for beginners — Meinl HCS cymbals are an outstanding entry point for beginner drummers with their ultra-clean sounds that let you hear every note with clarity; their classic good looks also make your set look more refined and upscale
  • Multi-use for any skill level — if you're a more advanced player, Meinl HCS cymbals are a solid, musical and reliable fit for practice setups or to use in your main kit to find new sounds; they also blend well with a cajon in acoustic settings

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Meinl makes a good hi hat on a budget. There finish looks good, and they have good sound, which is somewhere between bright and trashy. There work great for playing at home or a small space. At this price, they do not include a stand.

Paiste 14 inch hi hat cymbals

Paiste PST 7 Hi-Hat Pair 14 in.
  • 14"
  • Paiste Sound Technology (PST) adds an affordable line for drummers who like a traditional sound, look and feel
  • PST7's base is CuSn8 bronze which stems from the legendary 2002 series
  • The cymbals are lathed by Paiste's Swiss hand craftsmen to achieve their distinctive traditional look and finish
  • The result of Paiste's precise Swiss manufacturing is a warm and clear overall sound and by offering three weight classes, light/thin, medium and heavy, PST7 covers a wide range of different music styles

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The Paiste hi-hats are under $200 and sound good. They have a clear chick and sizzle when open. These cymbals are good value for the money.

Sabian 14 inch hihat cymbals

Sabian B8X 14" Hi-Hat Cymbals
  • B8X cymbals are hammered for more projection and complexity than any other B8
  • These cymbals ensure you’ll get noticed on stage
  • The SABIAN 14" B8X Hi-Hats are clean and penetrating models that deliver tight, bright sounds
  • Crisp and lively stick and pedal responses are very bright and definite, clean, and penetrating
  • Precision formed, hammered and lathed for pure, tonally tight sounds, B8X is the bright, cutting sound of pure Bronze

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The Sabian hi-hats have a bright and crisp sound. It includes the top and bottom 14 inch cymbals. Like all of the hi-hats listed, you have to supply your own stand.

What hi-hats should I get?

Hi-hat pitch and sound is determined by the cymbal’s size, weight, and construction.

Smaller cymbals offer a brighter tone than larger ones. A 13 inch or 14 inch hi hat will have a lot of sizzle, but a 15 inch or 16 inch hi hat will lack sound darker in tone.

If you have the time, you could use crash cymbals as a hi-hat. This gives the most flexibility when it comes to mixing and matching.

Bestseller No. 1
Meinl 14” Hihat (Hi Hat) Cymbal Pair – HCS Traditional Finish Brass for Drum Set, Made In Germany, 2-YEAR WARRANTY (HCS14H)
  • Two hihat cymbals — includes two 14" hihat cymbals that you mount on a pedal activated stand to play in a closed position for a crisp "chick" sound or opened apart for a crash sound; you can also use your foot pedal to keep time (stand not included)
  • You'll sound more naturally musical — get the cymbal sound you want without a brash, tinny, or over-the-top piercing pitch; HCS hihat cymbals develop plenty of warmth with a pleasant, balanced tone so you can sound more naturally musical on your drums
  • Specially weighted for a classic sound — your hihat cymbal playing will be easily heard with our special weighting process that leaves the top cymbal slightly lighter than the bottom; this helps produce a cleaner response and better feel at any volume
  • Total inspiration for beginners — Meinl HCS cymbals are an outstanding entry point for beginner drummers with their ultra-clean sounds that let you hear every note with clarity; their classic good looks also make your set look more refined and upscale
  • Multi-use for any skill level — if you're a more advanced player, Meinl HCS cymbals are a solid, musical and reliable fit for practice setups or to use in your main kit to find new sounds; they also blend well with a cajon in acoustic settings
Bestseller No. 2
Low Volume Hi Hat Cymbals, 14 inches Practice Hi Hat Cymbal Pair, Quiet HiHat Cymbals (Gold)
  • 🎶LOWER VOLUME & REAL SOUND — The Low Volume Hi Hat Cymbals have great open hi-hat sound and feel like real cymbals when played, but these are up to 60%-70% quieter than traditional cymbals without losing the feel of the metal cymbals.
  • 🎶GREAT QUALITY — The Hi-Hat Cymbals are well built, and the edges are polished and smooth, our proprietary modern manufacturing techniques combined with a stainless steel give you a real cymbal feel with a sophisticated look.
  • 🎶THICKEN DURABILITY — This practice Hi Hat cymbals are 10%-20% thicker than other silent cymbals. The stainless steel material is thickened to ensure durability, making it less likely to break.
  • 🎶CAN BE USED FOR — This High Hat Cymbals Pair are perfect for apartments, bedrooms, rehearsals, and other settings. They can be used with any drum set. The low volume cymbal set is a great option for those who are looking for a simple, cheap way to get cymbals.
  • 🎶PACK INCLUDES — This cymbal pack includes a pair of 14" Hi-hats.
SaleBestseller No. 3
Meinl 14" Hihat (Hi Hat) Cymbal Pair - Classics Custom Dark - Made in Germany, 2-YEAR WARRANTY (CC14DAH)
  • Classics Custom Dark Hihat — when playing these hihats closed, you get all of the definition you need for blazing singles and doubles — playing the hats open sends out a powerful crashing effect
  • Dark finish with extra hammering — a highly specialized finishing process leaves this cymbal with shadowy tones and plenty of volume — extra deep hammering adds complexity to its character
  • Explosive cymbals for power players — Classics Custom Dark cymbals open up to deliver an energetic drive at loud dynamics, making them a sure bet for high octane styles like rock and metal
  • Made from B12 Bronze Alloy — consisting of 88% copper and 12% tin, B12 bronze has a uniform sound that packs a punch and cuts through dense mixes easily
  • A finish unlike any other — the dark finish is a part of the cymbal making process — the look will last a lifetime of playing, traveling and buffing.Made in Germany with green energy — these cymbals feature the Meinl stamp and a small laser engraved logo with the text: Made in Germany — Our Meinl Cymbals Factory in Gutenstetten runs on green energy.

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Which hi-hat is best?

best hi hats under 300
Photo courtesy Frédéric Bisson via flickr. Used under a CC-BY-2.0 license.

Although this does not answer which hi-hat is best, the cymbal’s tonality is relative to the sound you want.

Example: The best 15 inch hi hat may sound better to you than a top notch 13-inch hi-hat based on the cymbal’s size and characteristics.

How can I make a cheap hi-hat sound better?

Sale
Meinl 14" Hihat (Hi Hat) Cymbal Pair - Classics Custom Dark - Made in Germany, 2-YEAR WARRANTY (CC14DAH)
  • Classics Custom Dark Hihat — when playing these hihats closed, you get all of the definition you need for blazing singles and doubles — playing the hats open sends out a powerful crashing effect
  • Dark finish with extra hammering — a highly specialized finishing process leaves this cymbal with shadowy tones and plenty of volume — extra deep hammering adds complexity to its character
  • Explosive cymbals for power players — Classics Custom Dark cymbals open up to deliver an energetic drive at loud dynamics, making them a sure bet for high octane styles like rock and metal
  • Made from B12 Bronze Alloy — consisting of 88% copper and 12% tin, B12 bronze has a uniform sound that packs a punch and cuts through dense mixes easily
  • A finish unlike any other — the dark finish is a part of the cymbal making process — the look will last a lifetime of playing, traveling and buffing.Made in Germany with green energy — these cymbals feature the Meinl stamp and a small laser engraved logo with the text: Made in Germany — Our Meinl Cymbals Factory in Gutenstetten runs on green energy.

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When buying a hi hat, consider how the high-hat is constructed.

Construction differences include a hand hammered vs machine hammered unit.

The best cheap hi hats may be machine hammered, which may not have as warm as a tone as a hand hammered cymbal.

A machine hammered cymbal has benefits. It is budget friendly and can be replicated easily.

If you find a good hi hat for recording, then go touring and damage your high hat, you can buy another cymbal that sounds identical.

A hand hammered hi hat may not be as easily replicated.

Materials make the best hi hats under 300 sparkle

Cymbals come in to flavors: sheet and cast.

Sheet cymbals may make some of the best hi hats for rock because they have a brighter sound.

Cast cymbals made the old school way: Melt bronze, pour it in a mold, hand hammer the cymbal. They are more expensive and for jazz or orchestras.

Find the best hi hats under $200 to $300 on Amazon.

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