The Ultimate Sabian Hi-hat Shootout: 10 of the Best Hi-hats for all Budgets

Sabian hi-hat is one of the world’s best hi-hat manufacturers up to date. A close rival to the Zildjian hi-hat, Sabian has been one of the leaders in the innovation of cymbals since 1981. Moreover, various professionals worldwide, such as Slash’s drummer Brent Fitz, trusts Sabian. Therefore, if you are looking for your next hi-hat upgrade, it’s worth giving Sabian hi-hats a shot.

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What’s the Best Sabian Series for You?— A Buyer’s Guide

Sabian hi hat

Sabian was founded in 1981 when Robert Zildjian separated from his company Avedis Zildjian over an ownership dispute. Since then, Sabian has strived to innovate the cymbal trade worldwide.

Sabian introduced the Automatic Anvil (AA) and Hand Hammered (HH) series; thus, skyrocketing their name towards the industry. Subsequently, Sabian signed various professionals, showing it as a sign of trust towards the brand in terms of producing professional-level cymbals.

However, not just because it’s made by Sabian, that doesn’t mean that you should get it instantly. As a drummer, I always ensure that the gear I’m using fits the playstyle and genre I am playing. Therefore, I crafted this buyer’s guide to help you find the perfect Sabian hi-hat according to budget, playstyle, and tone.

HHX Series

The Sabian HHX series is a modern-style cymbal set that produces a dark but rich tone. Moreover, the HHX series utilizes a B20 Bronze alloy, allowing its cymbals to retain their darkness without compromising clarity. Therefore, in my opinion, this series works excellently with heavy music drummers who want a dark underlying chick sound beneath high-gain guitars and trembling bass.

AAX Series

The AAX series is an extremely versatile cymbal set that produces a modern and bright tone. Thus, making them ideal for a wide array of music such as jazz, pop, and heavy metal. Similar to the HHX Series, the AAX series also utilizes B20 Bronze specifically designed for a modern-sounding bright tone.

AA Series

Sabian specifically designed the AA Series to produce a bright and loud sound when hit. Furthermore, the AA Series utilizes a B20 Bronze vintage cymbal style for a classic feel and aesthetic. In conclusion, I advise drummers who play classic rock and hip-hop music to get this Sabian cymbal series.

HH Series

If you want a vintage but hard-sounding hi-hat, then the HH series is perfect for you. The Sabian HH Series features a hand-hammered B20 bronze vintage style that produces a dark and complex tone. Thus, making them perfect for a deep hi-hat tone and response.

FRX Series

The FRX Series is Sabian’s take on low-volume hi-hats. However, Sabian didn’t design them solely for practice. Sabian constructed the FRX Series with a B20 bronze modern body paired with a perforated circular pattern. Consequently, allowing drummers to control their level when playing or practicing.

I would suggest the FRX Series for drummers who use a mic-in setting when playing live. In addition, the FRX Series is also ideal for small-venue gigs where traditional hi-hats would be too loud.

XSR Series

The XSR Series is Sabian’s attempt to introduce their cymbals at a budget-friendly price point. What separates the XSR from other budget-friendly series is its utilization of B20 Bronze— the same metal Sabian uses on its high-end cymbals. Therefore, if you are looking for a budget-friendly B20 Bronze hi-hat, then the XSR Series is perfect for you!

Crescent Series

The Sabian Crescent Series is a nod to the Turkish traditional handcrafted cymbals. Furthermore, this is Sabian’s take on the traditional Zildjian cymbal sets. Although this series is not as famous as the others, they still provide the premium feel and quality that comes with the Sabian logo.

Artisan Series

The Artisan Series is Sabian’s top-of-the-line cymbal set that produces a dark and traditional rich tone. Sabian constructed this series with a B20 Bronze material that will surely leave dark-tone lovers satisfied.

Paragon Series

Neil Peart worked hand-in-hand with Sabian; consequently, producing the Paragon Series. The Paragon Series provides users with an all-out volume that retains the hat’s articulation and clarity. Moreover, the Paragon Series utilizes a vintage style B20 bronze construction that helps the cymbals sound bright.

B8X Series

Sabian crafted the B8X Series with the B8 Bronze material, making it a good budget-friendly option for drummers. In addition, the series utilizes a modern cymbal style that produces a bright tone. Therefore, I suggest this series for beginners who want to step up from their entry-level brass hi-hats.

SBR Series

The SBR Series is Sabian’s entry level cymbal line. The SBR utilizes brass materials on modern cymbal construction, making them exceptionally cheap and budget-friendly. However, don’t get it wrong, the SBR provides a bright tone despite its entry-level specifications. Thus, making the series ideal for beginners who are on a tight budget.

10 of the Best Sabian Hi-hat from Amazon

Sabian SBR 13″ Hi-Hat Cymbals

SABIAN 13' SBr Hi-Hats

Series: SBR Sabian Hi-hat

Ideal for beginners on a budget, the Sabian 13” SBR Hi-hat utilizes brass materials that produce a tight clean chick. Don’t mistake this hi-hat as a simple entry-level cymbal, as Sabian specifically designed the SBR with excellent dynamic control. Thus, allowing users to utilize the SBR on performances, recording sessions, and everything in between.

Furthermore, the Sabian SBR 13” features a crisp and focused bright tone, making them clear enough for practice sessions. All in all, the Sabian SBR 13” is an excellent hi-hat for beginners on a tight budget who doesn’t want to cheap out on tone.


  • 13” brass hi-hat
  • Bright sound
  • Hand-guided hammering and aging
  • High pitch hi-hat sound
  • Medium top and bottom weight


  • The SBR’s hand-guided hammering and aging provide the hi-hat with unparalleled musicality considering its price point.
  • Budget-friendly hi-hats.
  • Suitable for recording sessions and live performances.
  • Ideal hi-hats for a beginner drummer’s first kit.


  • The SBR’s brass material lacks durability in comparison with the XSR’s B20 bronze material.

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Sabian 41403X 14″ B8X Rock Hi-Hats

SABIAN 14' B8X Rock Hats

Series: B8X Sabian Hi-hat

The B8 is a suitable upgrade for the Sabian SBR 13” Hi-hats. Firstly, the B8X Rock Hi-hats features a B8 Bronze material that produces a crisp and booming tone. In addition, Sabian precision formed the B8X. Consequently, providing users with a tight and bright sound that will surely cut under any playing conditions.

Moreover, the Sabian B8X underwent a hand-hammering process followed by full lathing. Thus, allowing the B8X to produce tonally tight drum tones. Lastly, Sabian paired a heavy top and heavy bottom cymbal for the B8X, giving users a crisp and cutting definition.


  • Sabian B8 Alloy material
  • Bright sound
  • Heavy top and bottom
  • Hand-hammered
  • Pin-point Lathing


  • Budget-friendly price point while featuring a better material than brass.
  • Ideal upgrade for entry-level brass hi-hats.
  • Produces a booming and crisp tone.
  • Meticulously hammered, aged, and inspected by Sabian professionals for the best tone possible.


  • I think if you’re going to upgrade from a brass hi-hat, go for a B20 bronze hat instead.

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Sabian Hi-Hat 14″ AAX Thin Hihats

SABIAN 14' AAX Thin Hats, Brilliant Finish

Series: AAX Sabian Hi-hat

Excellent for drummers who play a wide array of genres, the Sabian 14” AAX is the versatile hi-hat for you! Featuring a premium hand-tuned B20 bronze material, the AAX is suitable for studio recordings, live performances, and more!

Furthermore, the Sabian AAX features a modern definition and clean wash, providing a clear sound even within a dense mix. In addition, Sabian reduced the AAX’s bell size, resulting in a bright tone with more highs.

Moreover, the AAX incorporates a thin construction; consequently, making them ideal for studio recordings and mic-in live settings. Therefore, I suggest the 14” AAX Thin Hi-hats both for recording sessions and live settings.


  • B20 Bronze material
  • Smaller bell size
  • Thin weight construction
  • Artisan-cast cymbals
  • Bright sound


  • Produces a medium sound, making it ideal for recording and mic-in playing.
  • Provides a wide frequency band, allowing the AAX hi-hat to fit in any genre and playstyle.
  • Extremely versatile hi-hat set.
  • Thin and lightweight construction.


  • Offered within a premium-level price point.

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Sabian 14 Inch XS20 Medium Hats

Sabian 14 Inch XS20 Medium Hats

Series: XS20 Sabian Hi-hat

A predecessor to the Sabian XSR, the Sabian XS20 features a premium B20 Bronze cymbal within a budget-friendly price point. Moreover, Sabian crafted the XS20 with a medium top and medium-heavy bottom, providing users with a crisp and articulate attack. In addition, this specification gives the hi-hat a deeper splash and wash, resulting in a balanced sound.

When tightened, the XS20 produces a thick chick that will surely cut within a mix. Conversely, a loosened XS20 boasts a balanced sizzle that is extremely versatile for all music genres. Therefore, if you want a premium-feeling hi-hat without spending much, give the Sabian 14” XS20 a shot!


  • B20 Bronze material
  • Medium top
  • Heavy bottom
  • Available in brilliant or natural finish
  • Sabian 2-year Warranty


  • Utilizes a premium B20 Bronze material within an affordable price point.
  • Provides a thick chunk or balanced sizzle depending on its tightness.
  • Suitable with any music and drumming style.
  • Produces a deep wash and splash, resulting in a balanced sound.


  • Although they provide users with professional-level features, the XS20 still lacks in comparison with Sabian’s Mastercrafted Hats.

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Sabian XSR 14″ Monarch Hi-Hat Cymbals

SABIAN 14' XSR Monarch Hats

Series: XSR Sabian Hi-hat

Similar to the XS20, the Sabian XSR Monarch utilizes the sought-after professional-level B20 Bronze material on its hi-hat. Moreover, the XSR Monarch provides users with the best hi-hat performance for a cheaper price.

The Sabian XSR 14” comprises a thin top over a medium-thin bottom, producing a dry tone and woody stick sound. Therefore, I recommend the XSR 14” Monarch Hi-hat for drummers looking for a fat tone with ample tone articulation.


  • B20 Bronze material
  • Thin top
  • Medium-thin bottom
  • Bright, fat, and articulated sound
  • Hybrid finish


  • Provides drummers with the sought-after B20 Bronze material without costing a fortune.
  • Produces a dry, crisp, and woody stick sound.
  • The utilization of a thin top over medium-thin bottom produces fat and articulated hi-hat tone.
  • Incorporates a reshaped bell for a better hi-hat attack.


  • Comparatively more expensive than the Sabian XS20 Hi-hat.

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Sabian AA 14″ Rock Hi-Hat Cymbals

SABIAN 14' AA Rock Hats, Brilliant Finish

Series: AA Sabian Hi-hat

The Sabian AA 14” Hi-hat offers a powerful and penetrating performance suitable for the loudest of genres. In addition, the AA 14” Hi-hat features rugged construction, allowing it to withstand the hardest of hitters.

The Sabian AA 14” Hi-hat utilizes a B20 Bronze material that has undergone traditional lathing. Consequently, the hi-hat produces a responsive feel that is easy to control depending on how hard a player hits. Lastly, the AA Hi-hat produces a strong, cutting, and intense sound, making them perfect for classic rock and roll playing.


  • B20 Cast Bronze material
  • Traditional Lathing
  • Comes in a natural or brilliant finish
  • Responsive feel
  • Vintage sound


  • Suitable for rock, blues, and jazz drumming.
  • The AA Series’ responsiveness allows drummers to easily control their volume by changing their playing intensity.
  • The AA Series’ natural finish provides a glassy shimmer while the traditional finish provides a warmer tone.
  • Perfect for live playing thanks to its powerful and penetrating sound.


  • I do not recommend this product as a practice hi-hat due to its louder sound profile.

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Sabian HHX 13″ Fierce Hi-Hat Cymbals

Sabian HHX 13' Fierce Hi-Hat Cymbals (11302XNJM)

Series: HHX Sabian Hi-hat

Specifically designed for Swiss virtuoso Jojo Mayer, the Sabian HHX 13” Fierce Hi-hats provides users with professional-level specifications. The Sabian HHX 13” also incorporates a raw-surfaced pairing. Thus, providing the cymbals with a tight, dark, and dry tone. In addition, this combination allows drummers to have a clear projection throughout the mix.

Furthermore, the Sabian HHX 13” Fierce utilizes a B20 Bronze material that helps the hi-hat produce a heavy driving punch. Moreover, the hi-hats provide users with a dark “chick” and fast sustain, making it excellent for jazz and other genres.


  • B20 Bronze material
  • Two-stage hammering process
  • Balanced sound output
  • Thin profile
  • Pinpoint lathing


  • The pinpoint lathing allows the cymbals to become responsive for a faster cut.
  • Produces a dark and controlled tone.
  • Allows users to easily control the hi-hats dynamics, enabling them to control the hat’s volume without compromising musicality.
  • Features a crystal clear projection for better articulation and tone.


  • I think that this hi-hat sounds darker and harsher than other HHX models.

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Sabian HHX 15″ Complex Medium Hi-Hat Cymbals

SABIAN 15' HHX Complex Medium Hats

Series: HHX Sabian Hi-hat

The Sabian HHX 15” combines the HH and HHX hammering on a B20 bronze material. As a result, the HHX 15” produces a dark tone without compromising responsiveness and articulation. In addition, Sabian combined a medium top over a heavy bottom, providing users with a fat and dark sizzling tone.

Moreover, the HHX 15” provides users with a wide dynamic range. Thus, ensuring that the HHX 15” will be heard in any mix. Finally, Sabian specifically designed this hi-hat with a versatile sound, allowing users to utilize the HHX 15” in any genre.


  • B20 Bronze material
  • Smooth wash
  • Traditional finish
  • Pinpoint lathing
  • Dark sounding tone


  • Produces a rich, dark, and fat sound.
  • One of the fattest and richest hi-hats within Sabian’s line.
  • Extremely versatile hi-hats, allowing users to use them in any genre and drumming style.
  • Combines the HH and HHX hammering, resulting in an incredible-sounding hi-hat.


  • The most expensive Sabian hi-hat on our list.

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Sabian 13″ Paragon Hi-hat Cymbals

SABIAN 13' Paragon Hi-Hats, Brilliant Finish

Series: Paragon Sabian Hi-hat

Sabian worked hand-in-hand with legendary prog drummer Neil Peart, creating the ever-clear Paragon hi-hat. Firstly, the Sabian 13” Paragon hi-hat utilizes a pure B20 bronze material. Thus, providing users with a  powerful yet dynamic tone. In addition, the Paragon incorporates medium bottom and top cymbals for a crisp, bright, and clean response.

Secondly, Sabian used the AA-style hammering on the Paragon. As a result, constructing an extremely durable cymbal that will surely awe professionals and beginners alike. Lastly, the Paragon combines incredible sound and musicality, making them ideal for recording and live performances.


  • B20 Bronze material
  • Medium top and bottom
  • AA-style hammering
  • Powerful and cutting tone
  • Enhanced cymbal response


  • Designed by legendary drummer Neil Peart, ensuring professional-level specifications and feel.
  • Features volume-boosting bells, allowing the hi-hat to cut through any mix.
  • Consistent tone and response with bright articulation.
  • Suitable for heavy music.


  • I wouldn’t use this hi-hat for light jazz or blues playing.

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Sabian 14″ Quiet Tone Hi-Hats

Sabian 14' Quiet Tone Hi-Hats

Series: Quiet Tone Sabian Hi-hat

The Quiet Tone hi-hat is perfect for low-volume training to avoid ear fatigue. The Sabian Quiet Tone series utilizes a stainless steel material, making them extremely durable against hard-hitting drummers.

Furthermore, the Quiet Tone hi-hat utilizes an accurate standard cymbal construction, effectively replicating an authentic cymbal feel. Therefore, if you love practicing your chops, you will surely love the Sabian 14” Quiet Tone hi-hat.


  • Stainless steel material
  • Perforated alloy design
  • Authentic cymbal response
  • Pronounced bell
  • Alloy finish


  • The hi-hat’s construction encourages natural playing, minimizing the risk of injuries while practicing.
  • Lowers the hi-hat’s volume to avoid ear fatigue.
  • Budget-friendly price point.
  • Replicates the feel of authentic cymbals, allowing users to accurately practice for live performances.


  • Not suitable for live playing settings.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Sabian Hi-hats

Q: Which hi-hat is best?

The best Sabian Hi-hats that you can buy are the following:

  • SBR 13″ Hi-Hat Cymbals
  • B8X Rock Hi-Hats
  • 14″ AAX Thin Hihats
  • Sabian 14 Inch XS20 Medium Hats
  • 14″ Monarch Hi-Hat Cymbals
  • AA 14″ Rock Hi-Hat Cymbals
  • HHX 13″ Fierce Hi-Hat Cymbals
  • 13″ Paragon Hi-Hat Cymbals
  • HHX 15″ Complex Medium Hi-Hat Cymbals
  • 14″ Quiet Tone Hi-Hats

Q: Are Sabian hi-hats good?

As we know, Sabian hi-hats are one of the dominating manufacturers in the cymbal market. The company has cemented its position within the drumming world since 1981 through its AA and HH lines. Trusted by a wide array of drummers spanning from beginners to professionals, you can never go wrong with Sabian.

Q: Who uses Sabian cymbals?

Sabian Cymbals provides a wide array of cymbals that features their respective use. Today, Sabian cymbals are utilized by over 1000 professionals worldwide, such as Mike Zimmerman and Joe Babiak to name a few.

Q: Are B8 Sabian Cymbals good?

The B8X Series is Sabian’s cymbal series that utilizes B8 bronze material. In this light, the B8X series provides users with excellent cymbals for a portion of the price of B20 cymbals. Typically, B8 Sabian Hi-hat and cymbals produce a brighter tone in comparison with brass cymbals. Therefore, the B8 Sabian Cymbals are excellent for beginners looking to upgrade their brass cymbal set.

Q: Is Sabian a good brand?

Sabian is currently one of the biggest names in the world of drumming. Moreover, every series Sabian produce has its unique characteristics and sound. With an arsenal that big, Sabian is easily one of the best brands you can purchase at any given price point.

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