This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Which gong is best?

A gong can be a musical instrument, a healing tool, a focal point in a room, or some combination of all three. The gong has been around since at least the sixth century and it possesses a mystical element of intrigue that captures the imagination and can add a little sonic wonder to your life.

Finding the best gong is a personal journey because your choice needs to resonate with you on multiple levels. We like the Zildjian 12-Inch Tabletop Gong and Stand Set — it’s an attractive instrument with a rich and versatile sound. To learn more about gongs, including which qualities are the most important to consider when shopping, keep reading.

What to know before you buy a gong


Although it’s possible to purchase a gong that’s larger than your flatscreen TV, most people are looking for something more conveniently sized. Your first decision should be to determine if you want a tabletop or a floor model.


The tone of a gong is largely dependent on its size. The larger the model, the deeper, richer, and more resonant the tone is. You can get an extremely pleasant sound from a brighter, smaller gong, but if you’re after that deep, blossoming tone, you need something larger than a tabletop model.


For the most part, hammering is how gongs are made. It’s a necessary process that compresses the metal to add the needed tension to create a pleasing sound. Hand-hammered gongs have a unique, individual tone, while machine-hammered gongs offer consistency. In the end, however, it’s your ear that tells you if the sound is right for your needs.

What to look for in a quality gong


If it’s a decorative piece, you can mount a gong against a wall. But in most instances, you’ll want a stand. Look for a stand that not only meets your aesthetic needs but also one that is well-built. While it’s possible to purchase the stand and gong separately, many are designed to be sold as a set.


An inexpensive mallet is often included with a gong. Unfortunately, the quality of the mallet has a great deal of bearing on how good the gong sounds. If a top-notch mallet doesn’t come with your gong, you can purchase one separately.


Some gongs are little more than hammered metal with a bullseye design, while others feature elegant artwork. The design element doesn’t drastically alter the sound of your gong, so when it comes to the artistic element, choose a model that’s pleasing to your eye.

How much you can expect to spend on a gong

If you’re looking for an inexpensive tabletop gong that can serve as a conversation starter, you can find one for under $100. Alternatively, you may spend up to $800 or more on a gong that better serves your meditation or musical needs. If you prefer a top-of-the-line, handcrafted, precision-tuned gong, you can spend up to $3,000.

Gongs FAQ

How does sound healing work?

A. Brain states are categorized by frequency and amplitude (height). When we’re awake, faster beta and alpha brainwaves with a lower amplitude are prevalent. When our bodies are relaxing and healing, the brainwaves (theta and delta) are slower with a higher amplitude, resembling a drum hit or a gong strike. The right gong can help the brain transition to a meditative healing state that is normally only achieved during sleep.

Does sound healing work?

A. While it has been proven that certain frequencies of sound can make an individual physically ill, science is hesitant to fully embrace the notion that sound can do the opposite — reduce pain and heal. However, there’s a growing library of research that seems to suggest this is true.

What gongs are best to buy?

Top gong

Zildjian’s 12-Inch Tabletop Gong and Stand Set

Zildjian’s 12-Inch Tabletop Gong and Stand Set

Our take: A quality tabletop gong manufactured by the largest cymbal and drum stick maker in the world.

What we like: This beautifully designed 12-inch gong not only has a surprisingly resonant sound for such a small instrument, it makes a great conversation piece for either the home or your office desktop.

What we dislike: To get the most out of this impressive tabletop set, it’s advisable to upgrade the mallet.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon

Top gong for the money

KT’s Chinese Zodiac Zen Table Gong

KT’s Chinese Zodiac Zen Table Gong

Our take: Appropriate for individuals seeking a functional novelty piece.

What we like: This model receives high marks for its low price and fun design elements. It produces a more chime-like sound that can be used in a variety of situations.

What we dislike: The stand that supports the gong doesn’t feature the most durable build.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon

Worth checking out

Woodstock Chimes’ Desk Gong

Woodstock Chimes’ Desk Gong

Our take: A handcrafted tabletop gong that’s reasonably priced. The compact design makes it suitable for a smaller desktop.

What we like: This Woodstock gong was developed by Grammy Award-winning instrument designer Garry Kvistad. A great deal of care has gone into the crafting of both the gong and the stand of this model.

What we dislike: The sound is a bit brighter than some users may be expecting.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon


Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.