Best Bongo Drum Reviews 2018

You’ve heard the scintillating sounds produced by a well-built bongo drums, played by well-practiced hands and now you just have to get a set for yourself. Now you’re faced with the choice of what bongo drums to choose from the wide selection before you and you find yourself thoroughly confused. Well, don’t worry - we understand how you must feel and we’re here to help. We have done research on some of the best bongo drum brands, selecting one product from each. Because there are so many options, we have another review for top 5 Bongos, so be sure to check those out if you don't find what you want here.
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Size
Shell
Head
Tuning
Color/s
Our Top Choice
Meinl Percussion Journey Series Bongos
Meinl Percussion is a leading manufacturer of a broad range of percussion instruments. It works on principles of diligence, precision, and acoustic perfection.
Beautiful and high quality finish; easy to tune and stay tuned for a long time; very durable; produce incredible sounds.
They are heavy.
6.5 inches and 7.5 inches
ABS plastic
Buffalo skin heads
Tuning key included
7 color options
Best Value
Tycoon Percussion Siam Oak Ritmo Bongo Drums
Tycoon Percussion is a globally renowned maker of percussion instruments that define excellence. Its products possess the newest innovations in the market.
Surprisingly rich tones; solidly constructed; gorgeous mahogany finish; easy to tune with the accompanying wrench.
The sound has insufficient range for professional play.
6 inches and 7 inches
Siam oak wood
Water buffalo skin heads
5/16" tuning lugs with tuning key
Mahogany and natural finish
Latin Percussion Giovanni Signature Bongos
For over a century, Latin Percussion has crafted professional grade percussion instruments and holds patents on hundreds of designs.
Stunning fit and finish; the metal hardware is high quality; they can be easily tightened and untightened; their sound is rich and full.
It doesn’t include a carrying bag.
7-1/4 inches and 8-5/8 inches
North American ash
Natural raw hide
5/16" diameter tuning lugs
Natural finish
Toca Synergy Wood Bongos
The birth of Toca Percussion was inspired by the African-Cuban sounds of the ‘90s. These instruments are crafted to give musicians a new sound in a quality package.
Great powerful sound; perfect for beginners and professionals; made with high grade components; can easily be tuned to match your desired sound; very sturdy.
They’re heavy and may not be easily moved.
6 inches and 6-3/4 inches
Ply wood
Natural raw hide
8 tuning lugs
4 color options
Remo Rhythm Club® Bongo Drum
Remo was founded on an understanding of the power of drums. This has made it a worldwide leader in the percussion industry.
Can withstand a lot of use and abuse from kids; not overly loud; can be easily carried around by kids; features a very cute, playful print.
The screws regularly require tightening.
5 inches and 6 inches
Acousticon
Suede
Pre-tuned
1 colorful picture option

(Updated )
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Watch Our Bongo Drum Review

How Do I Choose the Best Bongo Drum?

When you hear the rousing rhythm arising from the intricate combination of patterns struck on different percussive instruments, you immediately picture a care-free, lively group of people, dancing with reckless abandon as the flame of the fire around which they’re dancing flickers on their radiant faces. You can never picture such scenes with participants clad in suits and ties. There’s something totally carefree about these sounds that draw you close to Mother Nature. Such is the allure of the bongo drum.

For the uninitiated, there’s usually some confusion as to the difference between one percussion instrument and another. Some can’t tell the difference between a set of bongo drums and a conga or a djembe, even though these things are about as different from each other as the bass and electric guitar. These are all uniquely different percussion instruments that many times work together, creating patterns that are so interwoven that they all sound as one.

To put things in perspective, the bongo drum is a hand-played percussion instrument unlike some others that are played with some form of drum stick. The bongo drums normally come in a set of two drums, but it could sometimes come with three. The more popular set consists of two drums, one large and one small. The large one is called the female or hembra in Spanish while the smaller one is called the male or macho in Spanish. They’re usually made of wood and raw hide though more of them are now made with other materials like fiber glass and synthetic heads.

Choosing the best bongo drums for your needs require that you define what those needs are. The kind of bongo set you will get for a child isn’t the same you get for a professional player nor is it the same set you’ll get for an intermediate player or an enthusiast. In this guide, we’ll help you understand the important things to look out for so you can easily choose the bongo drums that are best for you. Continue with us on this journey to know more.
Price
Bongo drums are one of those instruments that have a wide price range because of the wide disparity that can be had in quality. You can find a well-made set costing hundreds of dollars and another set costing under twenty dollars. The price disparity is largely due to the quality of the set among other factors.

We found in our research that with a budget of between $20 and $250 you’ll get a good set regardless of the level of proficiency targeted. With this range, you can get a good professional set, a good intermediate set or a good children’s set; all you need to do is identify which you want. We’ve ensured that there are no cheap bongo drums listed here. You can therefore be sure that you won’t find any sub-standard set on our list.

Look through the different options, decide what’s best for you, and pay the price for the quality you want.
Features
There are a number of factors that can affect your choice of bongo drums. Understanding these factors will help you choose the set that’s perfect for you. Some of the factors to be considered include:
  • Size
  • Head
  • Shell
  • Hardware — tuning lug, tuning ring, and rim pieces
  • Skill level
  • Brand
Let’s take a look at these in more detail.
Construction and Design
The factors that contribute to the quality of the bongo drums are the head, shell and hardware. The head was traditionally made from natural raw hide. In fact, some players still believe that buffalo skin still gives the best tonal spread. You’ll find that sets with well-cured buffalo skin will cost more than those made from synthetic materials. Depending on your budget, you can go for either a buffalo skin head or a well-made synthetic head from a reputable brand.

Another thing to consider is the shell. One of the best materials used for this is Siam oak. The best bongo drums will likely be made with Siam oak and buffalo skin heads. Other kinds of wood and fiberglass are also used but not for the very high-end ones.

For hardware like tuning lugs, tuning rings and rim pieces, the best material used is steel. You’ll find some brands that use other materials like aluminum. The most important thing in these cases is going with a brand that’s reputable.

A reputable brand will likely give you a good product even if the very top-end materials aren’t used. With them, you can be sure that a minimum level of quality will be achieved.

A professional bongo drum set will cost a lot more than one for a beginner. Determining the skill level of a player before getting one is therefore very important. It’ll really be a waste of funds to get a high-end, expensive set of bongos for an inexperienced player, who will probably not even appreciate the quality he or she is given.
Performance and Ease of Use
One of the very first things to look at is the size of the bongo set. A set will usually be 6 inches and 7 inches or 7 inches and 8 inches or some similar variation. You can also get smaller sizes that are made especially for children. The size of the set will determine the sound: the larger the size, the deeper the sound while the smaller the size, the higher the sound. This is purely an issue of personal preference.

Again, the size of the player can also determine what size to go for. This is simply a matter of convenience. A smaller player should go for a comfortably sized set and so should a larger sized player.

Like most things in life, it all comes down to personal choice. Know what you need and go for it.

What is the Best Bongo Drum?

After looking at the different important features of a bongo drums set, you should now be able to narrow down the features that are important for you. Are you a beginner, intermediate, or professional? Are you getting one for a child? These and other factors will determine which bongo drum set will be best for you. As we go into the review proper, look out for the features that matter to you.
Our Top Choice
The Meinl Percussion Bongo Drums maintain traditional bongo features while incorporating modern innovations. With carefully chosen buffalo heads and a quality ABS shell, they excel in design, sound quality, and durability. If you prefer bongos with a wooden shell, you may want to try the Meinl Percussion Free Ride Series Wood Bongos.
Meinl Percussion Journey Series ABS Plastic Bongos — Available in Several Colors

Meinl Percussion Bongo Drums HB100WRB - Wine Red Burst


Features
Meinl Percussion is a leading manufacturer of percussion instruments based in Germany. From cymbals to bongos to triangles, it produces a wide variety of instruments with principles of diligence, precision, and acoustic perfection.

Made from sturdy ABS plastic and carefully chosen buffalo heads, the Journey Series Bongos maintain the features of a traditional bongo while incorporating modern innovative technologies. The amazing Meinl craftsmanship is evidenced in these bongo drums which dominate in design, sound quality, and durability. These product’s features include:
  • 6.5" and 7.5" bongos
  • Carefully chosen buffalo heads for natural and traditional tones
  • Suitability for play from a stand or the lap
  • Rugged and lightweight ABS plastic shells with great resonance
  • Comfortable play thanks to the rounded rims
  • Tuning key
  • Hardware coated with Black powder
  • Official Meinl two year warranty
These bongos are available in seven colors. You can choose any of these colors: black, maple, natural, super natural, vintage sunburst, vintage wine barrel and wine red burst.
Best Value
The Tycoon Percussion Ritmo Bongos are lightweight and durable. Made from water buffalo heads and carefully chosen Siam oak, it’s perfect for both beginners and all experienced percussion lovers. Would you prefer a larger sized set? Try the Tycoon Percussion 7 Inch & 8 1\/2 Inch Concerto Series Bongos.
Tycoon Percussion 6” and 7” Siam Oak Ritmo Bongos — Available in Mahogany or Natural Wood Finish

Tycoon Percussion Bongo Drums TB-8 B M — Mahogany Finish


Features
Tycoon Percussion is a world renowned manufacturer of percussion instruments that define excellence in the industry. A laser sharp focus has led to high-quality products with the newest innovations and technological advancements.

The Tycoon Percussion Ritmo Bongos are lightweight and durable drums made for aspiring musicians being introduced to this instrument. Made from water buffalo heads and Siam oak wood, it’s perfect for beginners and all experienced percussion lovers.

This product’s features include:
  • 6" & 7" set
  • Heads made from water buffalo skin
  • Traditional hoops coated with black powder
  • Reinforced side plates
  • 5/16" tuning pegs
  • Tuning key
  • Choice of Mahogany or natural finish
  • Perfect for beginners
The Giovanni Signature Bongos give you a taste of the tools Giovanni used to create his magic. Using natural hide and North American Ash wood, these bongos deliver a combination of impressive snap and volume. Do you need a more affordable pair of bongos, inspired by another legend? Try the Latin Percussion Johnny Rodriguez Jr. Legend Bongos, which are crafted out of a beautiful European beech wood.
Latin Percussion Galaxy® Giovanni Signature Bongo - Natural Wood Look with Chrome

Latin Percussion Bongo Drums LP793X-C


Features
Latin Percussion has existed for well over a century, crafting professional grade percussion instruments and patenting plenty of new designs and innovations. Instruments from this brand have had such a significant influence on the musical world that you can be sure you’ll hear one of its products whenever you listen to the radio or a playlist.

The Latin Percussion Giovanni Signature Bongos are one of the models that Giovanni Hidalgo played in his outstanding career. Using natural hide and North American Ash wood, these bongos are made with the highest level of precision to deliver a combination of impressive snap and volume. This product’s features include:
  • Shell made from quality North American ash
  • 7-1/4" and 8-5/8" bongos
  • Head made from natural raw hide
  • Natural finish
  • Hardware made from chrome
  • LP Comfort Curve II Rims
  • 5/16" tuning pegs
  • Backing plate made of steel
  • Bottoms made from plated cast aluminum
The Toca Synergy Wood Bongos are ecofriendly drums, created from wood harvested in a plantation in Thailand. They’re then handcrafted with raw hide by local musicians who are skilled in creating drums with Toca’s signature sound. Are you looking for the size and sound of full sized drums at an affordable price? Then try the Toca Elite Pro Wood Bongos, which feature Asian oak shells.
Toca Synergy Series Wood Bongos — Available in 4 Colors

Toca Bongo Drums 2100AMB — Amber


Features
Toca was inspired by the African-Cuban sounds of the ‘90s to introduce Toca Percussion. All Toca instruments are crafted to give musicians a new sound. They also have a unique look with vibrant colors, added durability, and a range of professionally tested accessories.

Toca Synergy Wood Bongos are ecofriendly drums, created from wood harvested in a plantation in Thailand. They’re then handcrafted with raw hide by local musicians, skilled in creating drums with Toca’s signature sound. This product’s features include:
  • 6” and 6¾” bongos
  • Natural rawhide
  • Shell made from ply wood
  • Hardware coated in black powder
  • Eight tuning lugs
  • Matching congas on request
You can have these bongos in your choice of any of these colors: transparent black, Bahama blue, amber and red.
The Remo Rhythm Club® Bongo Drum introduces children from ages 3 upwards to the world of percussion in an enjoyable manner. Fun and engaging, they’re specially designed to bring the unique experience of bongos to youngsters. If you need some quality bongo drums for adults, you may want to have a look at the Remo Bongo Set, which comes with 6” and 7” drums.
Remo Rhythm Club® Bongo Drum - Rhythm Kids Bongo Drums with 5"-6" Heads

Remo Bongo Drums RH-5600-00


Features
Remo is a company founded on an intrinsic understanding of the power of drums and the need to provide musicians with high standard percussion instruments. This understanding has led to groundbreaking innovations, and a continued existence as the worldwide leader in the percussion, lifestyle and special needs industry.

Remo Rhythm Club® Bongo Drum introduces children from ages 3 upwards to the world of drumming in an enjoyable manner. This set is specially designed to bring the unique experience of bongos to youngsters. This product’s features include:
  • 5-inch and 6-inch pieces
  • Acousticon shells
  • Black molded leather base
  • Suede drumheads – Pre-tuned
  • High and low pitched
  • Attractively designed body
  • For ages 3 and above

Get the Best Bongo Drum of 2018!

Thank you for taking the time to read through this guide and review of some of the best bongo drums around today. We hope we’ve been able to provide you with enough information to guide your purchase. You now have all the information you need, so place your order without delay and begin to enjoy the exuberant rhythms of the bongo drums.

Our Top Choice
Meinl Percussion Journey Series Bongos
Best Value
Tycoon Percussion Siam Oak Ritmo Bongo Drums
Latin Percussion Giovanni Signature Bongos
Toca Synergy Wood Bongos
Remo Rhythm Club® Bongo Drum