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I don't know exactly but "snare" heads used to mean the head just for the bottom of the snare drum. It's thinner than an average head so that the head can vibrate more freely when the top head is hit and allows the snares to vibrate easier and more freely. Or I have seen where it describes the types of regular or toms heads that can also be used as snare heads. Such as a Remo coated Ambassador has been used for snare heads for years as well as tom heads. Same "general" things you may want in tom head but not a snare head: *Two or more plys (deadens a snare) *Oil filled or highly muffled heads (deadens a snare) * a totally clear head with no center dot or outer ring to contain over rings ( you need a coated head to play brushes on the snare well, control dots in the center and rings around the edges (built in or not) can help keep the snare from overtones and rings when playing without choking the overall snare sound that much. My Two Cents....
"As in drug rehab? or derhh, I crashes muh motorcycle rehab??" (Cross Eyed Mary) *** One of the founding members of The Geezer Guild***
Even if drumheads came with "snare batter" or "tom batter" written on them, you would still have to decide what head sounds best for your drum. Would you not consider putting a head that says "tom" on your snare drum? Unlikely that it would matter.
There is no difference.
Cymbals are the same way. Some say "ride" and some say "crash" but don't most of us sometimes crash our rides and ride our crashes? The ink label doesn't tell us what will work, our ears do.