Best Conga Reviews 2018

Among the plethora of music genres in the world, Afro-Cuban/Latin music is a favorite for many. For this reason congas have become one of the most-played percussion instruments in the industry. As choosing the ideal conga for your needs can be overwhelming, we have taken away some of that hustle by presenting you with products from some of the best conga brands in the industry. In no time, you will have your Caribbean groove flowing!
Our Top Choice
Tycoon Percussion Supremo Natural Congas
Tycoon Percussion is a 32-year-old brand dedicated to the manufacture of top-notch musical instruments for use by all levels of musicians.
Made of durable, hand-selected oak wood; adjustable dual stand; rust resistant hoops; quality head made of buffalo skin
Doesn’t include a carrying bag
Standard conga set
Dual full-hanging stand
18 x 18 x 29 in/ 37 pounds
Siam oak wooden shell
Tuning wrench
Best Value
Toca Synergy Series Wooden Conga Set
Toca, since making its debut in the world of musical instruments in the early nineties, has continued to provide stylish and quality percussion products.
Made of high-quality and durable maple; powder-coated hardware doesn’t rust, peel or crack; hand-crafted to great quality
May require a lot of practice to perfect tuning it
Conga set with bongos
Dual full-hanging stand
31 x 16 x 31 in/ 65.7 pounds
Two ply maple shell
Five tuning lugs
Meinl Percussion Headliner Series Conga
Meinl Percussion has, over the last 30 years, provided music lovers with quality and top-of-the-range percussion instruments.
Quality buffalo heads to tap on; adequate height of 28 inches; top-of-the-range signature tuning bracket; made of environment-friendly wood
May be a bit pricey due to expert craftsmanship
Standard conga set
Dual basket stands
15.6 x 16.1 x 29.9 in/ 28 pounds
Rubber wooden shell
Meinl tuning brackets
Pearl Compact Size Travel Conga
Pearl is a reputable distributor of percussion instruments made from top quality materials to provide you with pitch-perfect sound.
Compact, portable size; sweet melodic sound; high-quality components; durable Thai oak shell
Quite difficult to get original head replacement
Travel conga
12 x 5 x 12 in/ 9.3 pounds
Wooden shell, remo fiber head
Five Allen tuning bolts
Latin Percussion LP Laptop Conga
Latin Percussion is a brand that has dedicated the last 50 years to crafting percussion instruments that meet high standards of quality.
Inventive design; complementary high/low pitch; durable plywood construction; has a waist strap
Sound doesn’t match up to the usual conga sound
Laptop conga
Innovative cajon
19.5 x 11.5 x 3 in/ 5 pounds
Para wood
Doesn’t require tuning

(Updated )
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How Do I Choose the Best Conga?

Ever been on a tropical island, relaxing by the beach under an umbrella, sipping a sweet coconut drink and listening to some nice Caribbean beats playing in the background? Heavenly, right? There’s something about Afro beats that melts your heart and takes you to another universe. It’s no wonder that people flood Timba Era concerts and dance their hearts out. Well, you can create your own ‘Timba Era’ haven in your back yard by investing in a conga.

A conga is a Latin percussion instrument whose popularity rose in the early nineties as Afro-Cuban music became a favorite among many music lovers. The good resonance and perfect pitch of the conga sound is part of the reason why this instrument is a must-have by anyone who loves music. When in the market for a conga, you need to take some factors into consideration such as the material used to construct the head and the shell.

The best conga has a shell made of wood, which is an ideal material since it helps amplify the sound. Just like a guitar, the head of a conga is also the centerpiece of the instrument since it’s where you tap in different ways for different beats. It’s also important to ensure that the tuning apparatus works right. All in all, playing some nice conga sounds and blending it with some sweet melodies from your harmonica will definitely get your Caribbean groove going.
While paying to watch famous congueros like Poncho Sanchez may cost you a limb, you don’t need to cut off a leg to buy your own conga. For between around $100 and $400, you can acquire this percussion instrument and tap out some nice beats. In this range, you will find a sturdily constructed conga made of wood or fiberglass that will give you a pitch-perfect sound. A key determinant of the price is the craftsmanship of the conga. While most congas are expertly crafted, you may find that some high-end ones are made of hand-selected, quality materials, which often drives the price up.

In our research, we came across cheap congas which we would discourage you from purchasing due to the fact that they don’t produce an authentic conga sound, owing to the fact that they are mostly imitations. Such congas often have a flimsily constructed shell that doesn’t hold for long.
Here are the vital features to keep an eye out for as you shop for a conga:
  • Type - The various types of congas that are common in the market include laptop congas, standard 28-inch congas as well as travel congas that can even fit in your backpack!
  • Design -Some congas are designed to be mounted on a stand while others don’t require a stand. The stand can be full-length or can be designed in the shape a basket. The majority of congas that need a stand often come with one.
  • Size -The size of the conga should be compact and light enough to allow you to move it. The depth of the drum is also important since it dictates how well sound is amplified.
  • Material -The two most common materials used to make congas are wood and fiberglass. Both materials are durable but vary in price with congas made of wood being a bit more expensive.
  • Tuning -Of course the tuning apparatus present in a conga affects the sound. Such an apparatus includes the number of tuning lugs, the tuning wrench as well as the brackets if any.
Construction and Design
The most common design of conga is one that has a tall shell, usually 28-30 inches off the ground, and a screwed-on drumhead where you tap to get a beat. Whereas most congas fall in this bracket, modifications have been made to the original design – some percussion enthusiasts have come up with laptop congas that pitch from a cajon and travel congas that are easy to transport.

The shell of a conga is often made of wood or fiberglass. The most common wood that’s used is oak from Thailand or Argentina, which is loved for its handy and durable nature. Fiberglass is also a commonly used material for the shell and it also gives the conga an elegant, glossy finish. Of the two varieties, congas made of wood tend to cost more than those made of fiberglass.

The head of the conga is often made of skin or rawhide. Most manufacturers have invested in water buffalo skin which is known to enhance sound resonance. Natural rawhide is also commonly used, and is more readily available than buffalo skin. Around the conga’s drumhead, you may find tuning lugs that help you set your desired tune. Some congas include a wrench in their package to assist you with the tuning process. In the case of tall, standard congas, they may be mounted on an adjustable stand, permitting you to play while standing.
Performance and Ease of Use
To start with, playing a conga requires practice in order to perfect the different strokes necessary to produce specific beats. That said, you can learn to play this instrument through online courses, which are quite self-explanatory. Congas don’t normally require any assembly, aside from the standard congas that come with a stand that can be set up quickly and simply.

Congas are very low-maintenance, especially since the head is made of cow hide or buffalo skin, which means that you rarely have to de-tune it once you are done playing. While most beginners believe that the drum’s head should be oiled, it is not so. It is your hands that need oiling to allow you tap efficiently on the drumhead. Cleaning the shell is also easy since it just needs to be wiped clean with a soft cloth and an occasional polish with the right products.

What is the Best Conga?

From the craftsmanship of the conga to how well it amplifies sound, there are numerous aspects to consider before you purchase one. Let’s explore some more details that will go a long way in helping you land the best conga for your needs.
Our Top Choice
The Tycoon Percussion Supremo Series Natural Congas consists of a 10-inch requinto and an 11-inch quinto made using hand-selected oak wood to ensure fine play over an extended period of time. Are these congas a bit too large for you? We believe that the Tycoon Percussion Junior Congas might be a perfect fit.
Tycoon Percussion Supremo Series Natural Oak Wood Dual Congas

Tycoon Percussion Conga STC-1BN/D

Stephen Yu, founder of Tycoon Percussion, abandoned a booming career in the commodities market to follow his passion for making musical instruments. That difficult, but worthy, decision resulted in the formation of Tycoon Percussion and, 32 years later, the brand is still growing and making its mark in the music industry. Tycoon Percussion boasts of fully owning all its instruments since each and every piece is made in their state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. Backed by a dedicated and passionate team, the brand has its eyes on being among the best percussion brands in the world.

One of their marvelous percussion products is the Supremo Series Natural Congas that’s made of high-quality materials. The 28-inch bodies are crafted out of Siam oak wood which is hand-picked by the brand’s experts so that you are guaranteed a remarkable sound that will leave your listeners yearning for more. The congas come in a set of two, consisting of an 11-inch quinto and a 10-inch requinto, whose combined sound is to die for!

Here are more features that accompany this dual conga:
  • Comes with a dual stand that adjusts for flexible playing
  • The head is made of buffalo skin that responds amazingly to your tap
  • Deluxe hoops that are coated in black powder for durability
  • Includes a tuning wrench for sound setting
  • The side plates are reinforced using quality tuning lugs
  • Boasts an elegant, glossy, natural look
  • The set is light in weight and easy to carry around
Best Value
The Toca Synergy Series Wooden Conga Set consists of two hand drums and a pair of matching bongos made of high quality maple that combine to guarantee you unmatched sound production. Do you prefer a set that comes with a mounting bracket for better play? Then you will love the Toca Synergy Series Conga Set that includes a mounting bracket.
Toca Synergy Series Red Maple Wood Conga Set with Dual Stand and Bongo Set – Available in Different Colors

Toca Conga 2300KRR - Red

Toca, a product of KMC Music, was formed out of the company’s appreciation for the fact that percussion music was on the rise. In the early nineties, people’s love for the ‘Afro-Cuban’ sound grew remarkably, resulting in increased demand for percussion instruments and the incredible growth of percussion brands such as Toca. Apart from this boom, Toca’s instruments were loved for their quality and functional designs, which were hand-crafted to high standards. Such high quality is still adhered to now and percussion lovers continue to purchase their products en masse.

Among their remarkable products is the Synergy Series Wooden Conga Set that comes with a matching bongo set to ensure a memorable percussion experience. The package gives you value for money since you are getting two products in one. Each of the instruments is carefully crafted to ensure that you enjoy crisp tunes that will keep everyone entertained for a long time.

Here are the amazing features that accompany this conga set:
  • A 10-inch quinto and an 11-inch requinto for musical harmony
  • Includes a dual stand that’s double-braced for durability
  • The drum is 28 inches tall and encircled by 5 strategic lugs
  • Its heads are expertly crafted using natural rawhide for a crisp beat
  • Its hardware is powder-coated with a black rust-resistant finish
  • The shells are made of two-ply, quality maple
  • Adequate ground clearance for good resonance and a crisp tune
Not digging the red finish on this conga? Well, Toca makes this conga in a variety of colors, such as amber and blue, that will add spice to your musical groove!
The Meinl Percussion Headliner Series Conga Set is the ideal companion for percussion beginners since they feature quality buffalo heads to tap on and an incredible 28-inch height to develop their skills. Do you prefer practicing your percussion using a single conga instead? We believe that the Meinl Percussion Foatune Conga will be a perfect fit.
Meinl Percussion Headliner Series Entry-Level Conga Set – Available in 4 Colors and 2 Sizes

Meinl Percussion Conga HC512WRB – Wine Red Burst, 11’’ Quinto & 12’’ Conga

Since its formation 30 years ago, Meinl Percussion has made it their mission to provide music lovers with percussion instruments of the highest quality. Through continuous research, the brand has continuously come up with innovative designs, some of which have received patents due to their originality. This environmentally conscious company is dedicated to preserving the planet for posterity, which is why they only use sustainable wood to make their products. Their products are not only stylish, but also rich in color, making them a pleasure to play. Artists such as Diego Gale and Luis Conte thrill crowds by playing on Meinl Percussion instruments.

The Meinl Percussion Headliner Series Conga Set is designed with beginners in mind. Its head is made using quality buffalo skin that will ensure that crisp tunes arise from it as you tap on it. As an entrant into the world of percussion music, you will quickly perfect your playing skills by getting these stylish-looking congas.

What will you get once you purchase these congas? Here are the features:
  • Made of high-quality Siam oak sourced from Argentina
  • Its rims are round and 2 millimeters thick
  • Comes with a stylish signature tuning bracket
  • Its tuning lugs are strong and 8 millimeters thick
  • Has an adequate height of 28 inches
  • Hardware is coated in black powder to keep rust at bay
  • Includes a patented basket-style stand that quickly adjusts in height
  • Included is a tuning key to help achieve a good sound
  • Boasts an elegant, high-gloss finish
Not feeling this beautiful wine red burst color? Well, you’re in luck since this conga set comes in a natural look, a vintage sunburst color and even in maple. You may also opt for a different size, comprising of a 10-inch nino and an 11-inch quinto.
The Pearl Travel Congas come in a compact size of 3.5 inches, allowing you to carry them with you in order to make sweet melodic sounds. Do you also need a carrying case for this travel conga? We believe the Pearl Travel Conga Bag will get the job done!
Pearl Compact Size 3.5-Inch Portable Conga

Pearl Conga PTC1250

Pearl is a corporation entity dedicated to distributing musical instruments such as flutes and percussion instruments. The company sources the instruments from its factories in Taiwan and China, while ensuring that quality standards are maintained throughout the chain. As part of the prosperous Pearl Musical Instrument Corporation, this brand can afford to provide you with reasonably priced products without bringing down the quality in the process. Its fast response to changes in the music world has allowed it to remain among the most sought-after brands in the industry.

Their Travel Conga is designed with a traveling musician in mind since it has a compact 3.5-inch drum depth size, making it small enough to fit in your backpack! That said, this tiny but incredibly loud conga invites you to play it anywhere with its sweet tones resonating from deep within it.

Here are more features of the Travel Conga:
  • Head is made of high-quality Remo FiberSkyn
  • Wooden shell made of durable Thai oak
  • The hardware is made of shiny steel, giving it an elegant look
  • The synthetic head is also resistant to fluctuations in weather conditions
  • Boasts 5 precision Allen bolts for accuracy
  • Includes a foam-handled tuning wrench
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
The Latin Percussion LP Laptop Conga boasts an inventive design that gives remarkable conga sounds, arising from its cajon that artfully combines high pitches with low ones. Not digging this laptop design? We believe that you will love the Latin Percussion City Wood Congas that give you an authentic conga sound.
Latin Percussion Cajon Style LP Laptop Conga

Latin Percussion Conga LP1436

For over 50 years, Latin Percussion has crafted percussion masterpieces that are designed to take your Afro-Cuban music sounds a notch higher. Martin Cohen, after falling in love with Cuban music, decided to make it his lifelong mission to come up with functional instruments associated with the music, giving rise to Latin Percussion. Over the years, the brand has achieved remarkable growth and is a pace setter in the industry with a number of patents under its belt.

The brand’s innovative designs include the Latin Percussion LP Laptop Conga that features an inventive Cajon design that complements high and low pitches beautifully. It is set up in a way that emulates the more traditional conga sound. This portable conga never needs you to tune it or set it up. You can tie it around your waist or legs using the strap provided. Its quality plywood construction is made to serve you for years. It has a compact size of about three inches and is light in weight for easy movement.

Get the Best Conga of 2018!

Hopefully, you are more informed now as you step out to get yourself the best conga. Better yet, we hope that you were able to spot a conga featured here that you believe is a perfect fit for you. Not so? Well, check out more options from these expert brands that will surely get your Caribbean juices pumping!

Our Top Choice
Tycoon Percussion Supremo Natural Congas
Best Value
Toca Synergy Series Wooden Conga Set
Meinl Percussion Headliner Series Conga
Pearl Compact Size Travel Conga
Latin Percussion LP Laptop Conga