Best Bongo Reviews 2018

Whether you’re a fan of drum circles, Latin music, or simply the odd jam sesh with your friends, bongos are a fun and social way to get the party started! To help you choose the best bongos for you, we have selected the best bongo brands on the market today as well as a product to feature from each. We hope this gives you a better view of what bongos you can expect to find from different bongo brands.
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Skill Level
Size
Material
Color/Finish
Wrench
Our Top Choice
Tycoon Percussion Ritmo Bongos
Founded in 1985, Tycoon Percussion is a Bangkok-based brand that creates a wide variety of high-quality musical instruments for both professionals and students.
Made of carefully selected Siam Oak wood with buffalo skin head. Includes tuning wrench. Lightweight and portable.
Some customers found that the bongos weren’t suitable for more professional use.
Student / beginner
16” x 9” x 8” & 7.8 lbs
Siam oak wood
Natural finish
Wrench Included
Best Value
GP Percussion Pro Series Tunable Bongos
GP Percussion creates high-quality percussion instruments for a variety of skill levels and abilities, using its collective experience in music.
Tunable, natural hide heads. Nickel-plated rims and rubber feet. Looks and sounds great.
Some customers found the skin of the drums wasn’t overly strong.
All skill levels
16.5” x 8.5” x 7” & 6.4 lbs
Hickory
Clear finish
Wrench Included
Meinl Percussion Plastic Bongos
Founded in 1951, Meinl Percussion is a German brand that creates a variety of instruments, including drums, wind instruments, and cymbals.
Made from durable ABS plastic. Powder-coated for stability and comfort. Comfortable and easy to use. Classic sound.
Some customers felt that these bongos were suitable for beginners only.
Student / beginner
8.5” x 9.4” x 17.5” & 6.6 lbs
ABS plastic
Powder coated finish
Wrench included
Toca Synergy Series Bongo Set
Toca is passionate about both music and individuality, and therefore creates stunning, fashion-forward percussion instruments that reflect this.
Environmentally-friendly. Handcrafted by musicians in Thailand. Natural rawhide head. Bahama blue finish.
May not be suitable for beginners.
Professional / advanced
9” x 16.5” x 9.2” & 6.5 lbs
Ply Wood
Bahama blue finish
Wrench included
Remo Rhythm Club Bongo
Remo has been creating drums and drum accessories for well over 60 years and is regarded as the largest drumhead company in the world.
Designed specifically for little hands. Synthetic head prevents fluctuations in pitch with humidity and temperature changes.
Some customers found the sound of the bongos to be quite weak.
Designed for kids
13” x 6” x 7” & 1.7 lbs
Acousticon® Shell
Rhythm Kids Design
Wrench not included

(Updated )
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Watch Our Bongo Review

How Do I Choose the Best Bongo?

Whether you’re a fan of Latin music or partake in drum circles, chances are you’ve heard the mesmerizing beats that can be achieved with a bongo. Unlike a standard drum set, bongo drums are played with your palms or hands and don’t require the use of drum sticks. Bongos also work beautifully with a range of other instruments, including the trumpet and ukulele. Many people enjoy using bongo drums due to the instrument’s ability to create crisp, rich beats in such a small, compact package.

Before you go rushing off and purchasing just any old bongo, however, there are a few things you may want to consider beforehand. Firstly, bongo drums are available for different skill levels depending on how long you’ve been playing the bongos for and how confident you feel playing them. If you’re new to the world of bongos then you may want to opt for bongos specifically for beginners. These products are often smaller in size and require less force to make the infamous bongo sound (they’re also ideal for students because of their light weight).

If, however, you’re a bit of an expert when it comes to the bongo drums, then you should look for professional-style products instead. Although professional-style bongos tend to be more expensive, they make a larger variety of sounds; this makes them more diverse and able to accompany a much larger group of instruments.

You’re also going to want to have a little think about the size of your new bongos. This is going to depend on a variety of factors, including your personal preferences, the space you’ll be using the bongos in, and whether or not you’ll need to easily transport them from place to place. As bongos are designed to be played in either your lap or in the space in front of you, they tend to be much smaller in comparison to other percussion instruments.

With some of these things in mind, let’s go ahead and learn more about what these features mean for you.
Price
When it comes to the cost of your new bongos, this is going to depend on a variety of factors. Most bongo drums will set you back between $18 and $70, depending on what the product is made from and the product’s skill level.

Bongos at the higher end of this scale are usually for more professional use and are made from better-quality materials such as Siam oak or hickory. They may also have more features, such as rubber-gripped feet for stability or a wrench for drum skin adjustments. Sometimes, more expensive bongos are larger in size as well, though not always.

Bongo drums at the lower end of this scale are often more suited to beginners and are made from less-expensive materials such as plastic or rubber. Cheaper bongos are available ($15 or less), but be aware that these products will not be as durable or have as high a quality of sound.
Features
The features you’ll want included in your new bongo drums will depend entirely on your personal preferences as well as your skill level and experience. There are a few features, however, that we recommend watching for to ensure you choose a product that’s of the highest quality.

Here are some important features to look out for:
  • Wrench Included
  • Rubber Feet
  • Round Rims
  • Natural Skin Drum Heads
Construction and Design
Most bongos weigh anywhere between 6 and 8 pounds depending on how large you need the bongos to be. Professional musicians tend to opt for larger bongos, which will usually weigh between 7 and 8 pounds with the two drums measuring around 6.5 inches and 7.5 inches. Beginners, however, are better suited to smaller products weighing in at 6 to 6.5 pounds with drums measuring between 6 and 7 inches.

If you’re going to be travelling around with the bongos or carrying them between classes, then smaller sets will be better suited to your needs. This is the same for those who have a particularly small frame too, as the bongos will need to be able to comfortably rest in your lap or the space in front of you. You may also want to have a little think about where you’ll be storing the bongos, and whether or not you have enough space for a larger set or if a smaller bongo drum will be more suitable.

Another thing to consider when purchasing bongos is the material the product is made from. Most bongos are made in Asia, using locally sourced woods such as Siam oak, ply wood, or hickory. These products are often used by professionals as they make a more traditional bongo sound. Be aware, however, that these products tend to be more expensive in comparison to products made from plastic. As well as the material used, you’re also going to want to think about the type of finish you want on your new bongos.
Performance and Ease of Use
When searching for your ideal bongos, we recommend looking for products that include a tuning wrench. This will allow you to adjust and tune your drums with ease for a variety of bongo sounds! This feature is particularly useful if you’re a musician or play in a band.

We also recommend keeping an eye out for products that include rubber feet. This will stop the drums from slipping whilst you play and offer you more stability for a greater sound. This feature is particularly useful if you’ll be playing the drums on the floor rather than at your side or on your lap.

Rounded rims are also a useful feature to look for in bongo drums as it makes them much more comfortable to play, especially if you prefer playing the drums in your lap or at your side. This will enable you to play the drums for a longer period of time without causing you discomfort.

Finally, we recommend looking for bongo drums with a natural drum skin as this will make for easier tuning adjustments as well as a more authentic sound. The majority of bongo drums use buffalo skin, as this creates a larger variety of sounds at a much louder noise level.

When it comes to caring for your new bongo, there isn’t actually too much to it. You’re going to want to tune your new bongo drum from time to time to maintain a high sound quality. It’s a good idea to tighten the head of the drum about a quarter turn at a time by moving the lug clockwise. You’ll also want to make sure that the lugs are evenly tightened for a greater quality of sound. The best way to ensure your drum is evenly tightened is through the feel of the skin rather than the sound. If the head of your bongo begins to feel coarse or scratchy, then simply rub a small amount of almond or coconut oil onto the skin; you can do this as often as you need to.

Bongo drums are available in a large variety of finishes, depending on your personal style and tastes. If you’re a fan of traditional designs then you may want to opt for products with either a natural or clear finish. If, however, you’re more on the eccentric side, then bongos with brightly colored finishes or pictures may be more your thing.

What is the Best Bongo?

Fingers crossed, after reading through our buying guide you’ve now figured out what type of bongo drums are most suitable for your needs and all the features you would like your new bongo to have. This will make it a lot easier when it comes to narrowing down your options and selecting the ideal bongos for you and your next drum circle! So, let’s get looking at our top five picks, shall we?
Our Top Choice
The Tycoon Percussion Ritmo Bongos are lightweight and portable, making them ideal for music students, and even include a tuning wrench. If, however, you’re after a slightly higher-end bongo set in a larger size, then don’t forget to check out the Tycoon Percussion 7 Inch & 8 1\/2 Inch Supremo Series Bongos instead!
Tycoon Percussion 6 Inch & 7 Inch Ritmo Bongo Drum Set – Available in 2 Styles

Tycoon Percussion Bongos TB-8 B N – Natural Finish


Features
With over 32 years of experience behind it, Tycoon Percussion specializes in creating high-quality musical instruments for a variety of skills and music levels. The Bangkok-based brand is well-known for its quality products in various parts of the world including Europe and Asia, as well as the United States in more recent days. With its resume of incredible instruments and happy customers, Tycoon Percussion is a brand you can rely on for your musical needs.

We wanted to feature the Tycoon Percussion Ritmo Bongos due to the product’s attractive natural finish and the brand’s popularity as a whole. Made from carefully selected Siam Oak wood, these 6-inch and 7-inch bongos are made using soft, durable water buffalo skin heads. As well as this, the bongos have a black powder coating and reinforced side plates, with both lugs and backing plates that are 5/16-inch in diameter. These bongos are ideal for both beginners and percussion enthusiasts, and include a tuning wrench for adjustments. They’re also super lightweight and portable, making them ideal for music students.
The Meinl Percussion Plastic Bongos are designed specifically for comfort and ease-of-use, and produce classically beautiful sounds. If you happen to want a higher-end product (that’s a bit jazzier too!) then you can check out the Meinl Percussion Leopard Burl Finish Wood Bongos instead.
Meinl Percussion Standard Size ABS Plastic Bongos with Natural Skin Heads - Available in 6 Styles

Meinl Percussion Bongos HB50BK – Black


Features
Meinl Percussion is a German-based brand that manufactures high-end percussion instruments. Founded in 1951, Meinl originally sold wind instruments and cymbals until 1960 when it began exporting drum sets to the United States. Today, Meinl ships its top-quality products all around the world, including Europe and Japan. The brand has also collaborated with many famous musicians over the years to create musical instruments that true performers will adore.

We love the Meinl Percussion Plastic Bongos as they’re made from sturdy ABS plastic and even come with a tuning key! The skin of the drums is made from natural, buffalo skin that’s been carefully selected, with rounded rims for maximum comfort when playing. The 6 ½-inch and 7 ½-inch drums are also powder-coated for durability and can be played in your lap or on a bongo stand. This lightweight product also has fantastic resonating tones that work wonderfully at any volume level.
The Toca Synergy Series Bongos are ideal for anyone looking to add a bit of flair to their drum circle, and are available in four colors! But we get that you may be after a product with a more natural finish; if so, don’t forget to check out the Toca Synergy Wood Bongos instead!
Toca Synergy Series Bongo Set - Available in 4 Colors

Toca Bongos 2100BB – Bahama Blue


Features
Toca’s love of the 90s’ drum circle scene and new Latin sound is what drove the brand to start manufacturing a range of hand drum products and accessories. It has based its image around developing products with a different look and creating that signature ‘Afro-Cuban’ sound. All of Toca’s products are created using top-quality materials in order to bring its customers something truly unique.

We wanted to feature the Toca Synergy Series Bongos after seeing their fun design and a variety of color options. The wood used for this product is sourced from an environmentally-friendly plantation in Thailand, where the wood is lathed and handcrafted by local Thai musicians. These 6-inch and 6 ¾-inch drums also have natural rawhide heads. They’re also coated with black powder and feature a stunning Bahama blue finish. The bongos feature 8 tuning lugs and are available in 3 other colors.
The Remo Rhythm Club Bongo is ideal for kids looking to get into the wonderful world of percussion. If you aren’t a fan of this particular design, however, then don’t forget to check out the Remo Fabric Rain Forest Bongo Drum instead!
Remo Rhythm Club Bongo Drum - Rhythm Kids - 5"- 6"

Remo Bongo RH-5600-00


Features
Remo has been creating drum products and accessories for well over 60 years and is regarded as the largest drumhead company in the world. The brand has led the way in finding better ways to make percussion instruments, and is passionate about continuing to go down that path of success. If you’re looking for an innovative brand that offers the very best of the best, then look no further than Remo.

We think you’ll love the Remo Rhythm Club Bongo due to its beautiful design and the fact that it’s a drum just for kids! This product is a fantastic way to introduce your little one to the wonderful world of percussion. This product has a synthetic head to prevent fluctuations in pitch with both humidity and temperature changes. And for those with overly-enthusiastic children, it’s also able to withstand the biggest thuds and bangs! The drumhead of the product is made from durable suede with Acousticon shells and it features a sturdy black rubber base.

Get the Best Bongo of 2018!

We’re hoping that, by now, you’ve stumbled across your perfect bongo drum set and are now busy planning your next jam session with your friends. If, however, this isn’t the case then don’t you worry! We’ve purposefully selected brands that have lots of different products to offer; all you have to do is browse through their other collections to find the best bongos for you!

Our Top Choice
Tycoon Percussion Ritmo Bongos
Best Value
GP Percussion Pro Series Tunable Bongos
Meinl Percussion Plastic Bongos
Toca Synergy Series Bongo Set
Remo Rhythm Club Bongo