This study sought to evaluate the performance of the first 32-channel head coil for in vivo hyperpolarized 13C brain imaging by comparison against a conventional 8-channel receiver array. Initial phantom experiments characterized the B1+ homogeneity and SNR profiles associated with each hardware configuration via EPI-based imaging techniques. As part of a clinical trial, in vivo dynamic EPI data were also acquired from patients with brain tumors. Phantom and patient data revealed improved uniformity, coverage, and SNR with the 32-channel array that will promote higher resolution and acceleration. In vivo data also demonstrated unprecedented detection of bicarbonate using both hardware platforms.