9 Best Electronic Drum Pads – Reviews with Buyer’s Guide in 2020

There is no doubt that electronic drums earn their mark every day. They get closer to matching acoustic drums’ live performances.

Nowadays, using your electronic drum set, you can have a quiet practice. You can also have live performances and recordings. The level of confidence to start such a stride means that the makers have become impressive. There is a continuous innovation of high-end best electronic drums pads.

The electronic drum can now do more than replicate the acoustic drum. It can enhance it in live performances. There is also more quality to expect. At the entry-level, the rubber heads are paving the way for the better sounding mesh heads. Most low price models will still have quality sound.

In this guide, you will get a review of the best electronic drum pads available in the market today. It is not easy getting the right drum kit for the first time. This review will cover everything that you should consider before making that commitment.

There is more than one reason why a model will be better for you than another. All you need as a budding musician is a solid piece of an electronic drum.

Comparison table

 IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS 
The Best overall Roland SPD-SX1. Roland SPD-SX – The Best overall 
  • Unique sampling-pad concept
  • 4 GB internal memory
  • Expanded USB functionality
Best AffordableAlesis SamplePad Pro2. Alesis SamplePad Pro – The Best Affordable 
  • 8 dual zone rubber pads
  • 200+ built in sounds
  • Midi and USB in / out ports
Best for stage and studioAlesis Strike Multi Pad3. Alesis Strike Multi Pad-Best for stage and studio 
  • 9 velocity-sensitive RGB pads
  • Built in Looper
  • 32GB of storage
Best Digital Percussion SoundsRoland SPD-1E4. Roland SPD-1E– Best Digital Percussion Sounds Pad 
  • 22 onboard sounds
  • Powered by batteries
  • Floor or tabletop mounted
Best Compact soundsAlesis Sample Pad 45. Alesis Sample Pad 4– Best Compact 
  • 25 onboard sounds
  • Four velocity-sensitive pads
  • MIDI output
Best unique soundsRoland Octapad SPD6. Roland Octapad SPD-30 – Best unique sounds 
  • Pad-sensing technology
  • Four dual-trigger inputs
  • Phrase Loop function
Best playing stylesYamaha DTX Multi Pad7. Yamaha DTX Multi Pad– All-In-Best playing styles 
  • 216 Keyboard sounds
  • Mute/Layer function
  • 64MB Flash-ROM
Best for Entry – levelKAT Percussion Electronic Drum Pad 8. KAT Percussion Electronic Drum Pad  – Best  for Entry – level 
  • Four velocity-sensitive pads
  • 50 High quality sounds
  • USB/MIDI Connectivity
Best lightweightRoland Percussion SPD 1P9. Roland Percussion SPD 1P – Best lightweight 
  • 22 onboard sounds
  • Powered by (4 x AA) batteries
  • Floor or tabletop mounted

1. Roland SPD-SX – The Best overall

Roland SPD-SX – The Best overall

Unique sampling-pad concept

4 GB internal memory

Expanded USB functionality


Things we liked

Has responsive and sensitive pads
It supports foot pedals
You can customize your samples
The Roland SPD-SX has lots of memory space
It has a good menu system and reliable controls
High-end build and construction

Things we didn’t like

The Roland SPD-SX has only two external pad inputs

The Roland SPD-SX is a hit for professional drummers who use them for their live performances. A sample pad will make you expand your drum kit and a better way to make loops and trigger playback songs with ease.

This drum can pair an acoustic kit with an electronic computer. It makes it easy to run your custom samples.

The Roland SPD-SX top feature is its ability to import and trigger any wav file. For this reason, this model has two trigger inputs that connect to four mono triggers. The Roland SPD-SX can also act as an audio interface in the studio. It has flexible connectivity like the USB and dual output.

Roland SPD-SX has nine pads that you can give individual sounds. These are acoustic, electric drum, and percussion sounds.

The three top pads are smaller, and the design favors them for hitting with the shaft of your drumstick. The built-in section of the Roland SPD-SX will enhance your live performance. It uses effects like EQ filter, loop, and delay. It will also process all your sounds on the fly.

Even though the sample has a preprogram kit, its major strength lies in its customization. You also have ample storage to save all your customizations. Its extra features include external connectivity like a kick pad and a snare pad.


2. Alesis SamplePad Pro – The Best Affordable

Alesis SamplePad Pro - The Best Affordable

8 dual zone rubber pads

200+ built in sounds

Midi and USB in / out ports


Things we liked

The set comes with all cables and the dynamic Samson headphones
Has an SD card reader and USB port options
It has versatile output and input options.
It has a simple design and user-friendly interface.
It supports foot pedals
It also has an extensive selection of inbuilt sounds and percussions.

Things we didn’t like

Some people find it is slow to switch between the kits.

You can save on costs but still get a quality electronic drums kit if you buy the Alesis SamplePad Pro. It has eight pads with six at the front and two on the sides. The pads have good sensitivity to velocity and will detect all subtleties when you play.

The Alesis SamplePad Pro has in-built drum sounds and drum kits. These are good for live performances as they have minimal outward complexity. The interface is friendly, and this makes every percussionist find it easy to play on it.

The Alesis SamplePad pro has a futuristic design. The blue LCD screen is a treat to watch and is next to four navigation buttons. The simplicity of the Alesis SamplePad Pro makes it a hit for non-programmers to enjoy playing.

All the eight pads have the dual-tone ability, and this means you can assign two tones to each pad. The panel features are at the back, with only volume controls at the front. There is an AUX-In port that can play all 8-inch Jacks and has its volume control on the side.

There is also the Hi-Hat and Kick input, where you can have an extra foot pedals pad like the snare and kick drum. You a USB port option, which favors this design. You can upload your music and percussions from your computer easily.

Another great feature of the Alesis SamplePad Pro is the SD card slot that has 32 GB storage. It comes with 200 handcrafted sounds and only ten ready to play kits. All are programmable by the user.


3. Alesis Strike Multi Pad-Best for stage and studio

Alesis Strike Multi Pad-Best for stage and studio

9 velocity-sensitive RGB pads

Built in Looper

32GB of storage


Things we liked

The LCD screen is vast and informative
The model comes with a 32 GB memory storage
All nine pads have different LED colors
It also supports foot pedals
It has more than 8000 pre-custom sample sounds
It has a comprehensive editing feature

Things we didn’t like

It makes automatic naming of your samples
The kits take a few seconds before they load.

A professional drummer will always want to mix acoustic setup with electronics. The Alesis Strike Multipad is technical but the best electronic drum for its price.

The first feature that makes it the best electronic drum pad is the effective use of lights. It is a creative way to give feedback and keep you aware of your on all stages of your performance. You can configure each of the nine pads to mean something when playing.

 It gives you intricate control over your performance. You can associate the lights with function. For example, the lights may flash, remain solid, or dim to medium or bright. What this means is that the pad is holding a role as per your customizations. The lights also help you keep track of where each sound is on the different pads.

You can record and edit all the samples that you register using the audio inputs. When using a USB input, you feed in sounds and clips that you have already done editing. The editing option of the Alesis

Strike Multiple Pad is comprehensive enough. The LCD screen shows the wave of the sample sounds and makes it easy when editing.

You can reverse, normalize, copy, pitch, and delete. You can also trim or cut the start and endpoints of your sample sounds.

It comes with a 32 GB memory sample for the user as well as with 8000 plus percussions and sounds. The pad comes with many effects on the control options. As a result, it becomes versatile for use in almost all performance situations.


4. Roland SPD-1E– Best Digital Percussion Sounds Pad

Roland SPD-1E- Best Digital Percussion Sounds Pad

22 onboard sounds

Powered by batteries

Floor or tabletop mounted


Things we liked

Quick and easy setup
You can use sticks, hands, and feet
Portable
Can use both AC and batteries
Has only four knobs which makes it user friendly
It comes with 22 preset kits for sounds
It has a 4GB storage capacity for wav audio files

Things we didn’t like

It does not have a line-in

The Roland SPD one kick is a new design that gives all musicians an original sound of percussion. It also gives them the kick drum while performing live.

 It is easy to set up and ready for use once you unpack it. It is a single and robust pad that you can play with sticks, give a kick or bare hands. The pads are sensitive enough to provide you with the sound you desire with little effort.

It is small and portable. It can use both batteries and AC, which makes it adaptable to almost any environment. The Roland SPD One

Kick is a hit for all musicians as it has a use anywhere on the set. You can place it on the floor as a kick drum or mount it to a set.

It is easy to control as it has only four knobs and a large pad that is the hitting surface. You can select the sounds by turning the 12-band selector.

You have volume control and balance knobs as well. There are no hidden sub-menus, which makes it user friendly for beginners.

With the USB port, you can import 5-second long custom sounds in wav form. This option gives you the chance to enjoy your bass drum kit electronic.

All you need is to drag and drop, and your sounds will be available. The Roland SPD One Kick has a storage capacity of up to 4 GB wav audio format.

The model gives a natural rebound for your bass drum and percussion pad sounds. The rebound is useful when adding to your sound palette.


5. Alesis Sample Pad 4– Best Compact

Alesis Sample Pad 4- Best Compact

25 onboard sounds

Four velocity-sensitive pads

MIDI output


Things we liked

Has LED lights to guide your strikes when giving a night performance
Portable and sturdy
Affordable and compact
You can play with sticks or hands
You can trigger MIDI sounds via USB

Things we didn’t like

There is no editing software available

It is one of the best electronic drum pads for beginners as they start on sample pads. It is also suitable for players with experience, and that want to use the pad sparingly while on live gigs. This sample pad has a great sound, and that is what makes it a contender under this review. It has a durable build and good on the road.

However, if you are a professional player, you can instead opt for a high-end drum kit.

It comes complete with a library of preset kits and sounds. You can also add custom sounds to your library and store them for your performances. This electronic drum pad can convert all sounds and make them acceptable to the unit. You can drag and drop any sound format, and it is ready for use.

This sample pad has a few sound options, and if you want more, you can import and store it in the SD card. The sounds are snares, kicks, and assorted percussion. 

It has only four pads, which make it easy to play. The design is simple; two large pads and two small edge pads that you can play with the shaft of your drum stick. There is also a USB output that makes you connect to the computer allowing you to use it as a MIDI controller.

It has only two outputs, which you can use to plug in your amplifier or headphones at the same time.

Read full review Alesis Sample Pad 4


6. Roland Octapad SPD-30 – Best unique sounds

Roland Octapad SPD-30 – Best unique sounds

Pad-sensing technology

Four dual-trigger inputs

Phrase Loop function


Things we liked

It has a good selection of quality sounds
It is simple to understand, tweak, and use.
It has safety mechanisms to prevent tweaks when recording custom sounds
The phrase looping will reward your creativity

Things we didn’t like

You must buy the footswitch separately
You cannot import external samples.

The Roland Octapad SPD-30 has lots of great features.

It comes with 50 preset kits that will give you an option between traditional and modern sounds. You will also enjoy worldwide percussions, melodic patches, and unique sounds.

Even though you can customize your sounds, you can only do it on the Roland Octapad SPD-30. You can use the 50 preset kits as your starting points when developing your sounds.

As you explore the features, you will find that all the drum sounds and internal kits are user kits. This means that if you record over an internal kit, the pad will save the custom over the original kit.

The Roland Octapad SPD-30 has eight pads that will illuminate when you hit them. The pads are in a series of four pads in each row and are separate to avoid striking the wrong pad. As should be with all-electric drum pads, a screen is useful. However, the screen for this electronic drum pas is not that user friendly.

The illumination below each pad guides your hand when playing in dark conditions. It is a feature that makes it the Roland Octapad SPD-30 a professional drum.

Sounds on the Roland Octapad SPD-30 are insts. You can assign each pad on this best electronic drum pad two insts making it a layer.

To get the most from the Roland Octapad SPD-30, you can buy a footswitch separately. The drum chain function will give you a smooth transition when moving between preset kits.


7. Yamaha DTX Multi Pad– All-In-Best playing styles

Yamaha DTX Multi Pad- All-In-Best playing styles

216 Keyboard sounds

Mute/Layer function

64MB Flash-ROM


Things we liked

The Yamaha DTX sound pad has twelve pads on a compact and elaborate design electronic drum pad.
It has a high capability of programing and customization
It features 64GB of user samples and 100MB of ROM waves.
Useful for professional electronic drum pad players

Things we didn’t like

It is not a ready-to-use electronic drum kit
It is laborious to use and create drum sounds

It is a compact and limitless 12 pad best electronic drum set. It features a wide variety of percussions and playing styles.

The most significant advantage of the Yamaha DTX Multipad is the infinite usability. You will get the most from this electronic drum pad as you have great acoustic and percussion to music. It also has 1277 voices that are ready for use in your sampling techniques.

The Yamaha DTX Multipad does not only have digital sound, but DJ sounds as well. It is an electronic drum pad that features a vibrant chromatic percussion. It also features folk, and drum sounds instruments. You can enjoy custom sample drum sounds and mix them up using your USB to import them.

The Yamaha DTX Multipad features excellent effects for your musical experience. These include flanger, pitch shifters, and phasers, among others.  You can assign more than four voices on each pad, and this will help you have variety when out on a gig.

With a weight of only 3Kg, this is a lightweight electronic drum pad. You can play it on the lap, desktop, or mounted. The Yamaha Multipad has 128 different patterns. You can play MIDI tunes from world-known genres using them. It features rock, pop, folk, and house, among others.


8. KAT Percussion Electronic Drum Pad  – Best  for Entry – level

KAT Percussion Electronic Drum Pad - Best for Entry – level

Four velocity-sensitive pads

50 High quality sounds

USB/MIDI Connectivity


Things we liked

It is a very affordable electronic drum pad
It allows you to connect external hi-hat and kick inputs
It supports USB and MIDI connectivity
It is easy to set up
You can easily carry it as you travel

Things we didn’t like

Its pads are very small and very close to each other
It cannot store external samples

If you are operating on a low budget, KAT electronic drum pad might be your best choice. It is a drum pad that is suitable for entry-level drummers. You can have it at a very fair price.

One unique feature of this drum pad is that it is compact. As a result, it is the perfect pad for you if you are traveling. In addition, it is also easy to set up.

This electronic drum pad has 50 drums and percussion sounds. Its four pads are velocity-sensitive.

You can easily program the sounds you want on the four pads. Moreover, it allows you to adjust the volume of each pad as you like. You can also adjust the reverb and sensitivity.

The only major challenge that you may encounter with it that the pads are very small. Moreover, they are very close to each other. It is possible to hit the wrong pad, especially when playing fast rhythm patterns.

This electronic drum pad also comes with two additional inputs. You can use them for a hi-hat controller pedal and bass drum trigger. It also comes with a USB/MIDI connectivity.

If you are an entry-level drummer, then this drum pad will serve you well. As you start your journey, you do not need to use so much money.

Also, it will offer you so many sounds to choose from. You also cannot say that the quality of the sounds is that bad at all.


9. Roland Percussion SPD 1P – Best lightweight

Roland Percussion SPD 1P – Best lightweight

22 onboard sounds

Powered by (4 x AA) batteries

Floor or tabletop mounted


Things we liked

It is lightweight hence to transport
It has an amazing selection of sounds
It has a rugged design
It allows you to create your own sound effects

Things we didn’t like

Its sensitivity fades quite fast
It is not very durable

If you are a drummer who desires to add electronic drums to your setup, this may be your choice. Coming from the Roland brand, this drum pad is of high quality.

The drum pad has 22 different great sounds. Their sound effects range from electronic cowbells, handclaps, snares, among others. Moreover, you can also bring in your own sound effects since this electronic drum pad comes with 12 sound banks.

Another wonderful feature about this drum pad is that you can play it using your hands or sticks. Also, you can play them using your feet. On the other hand, you can place this drum pad on either the floor, a tabletop, or a stand.

This electronic drum pad also comes with other additional functions and features. The controls are intuitive, and they allow you to adjust the trigger threshold, among other settings.

This electronic drum pad is also very light and compact. You can easily move with it from one place to another. It also has a wide range of great sounds that are very helpful in improving your skillset.


Ultimate Buyer’s Guide to find the Best Electronic Drum Pads

1.     The electronic drum pad head

The quality of the best electronic drum pads lies in the head. A good electronic drum pad has a head that will have a resonance of the sound you want. Some sample pads regulate the function by the hit force you apply on the surface.

Some sample pads allow the use of bare hands, drum sticks, and stomping by the foot. The thickness of the sample pads also plays a role in sound quality. The thicker they are, the more vibrant and focus the sound will be.

2.      The type of best electronic drum pads

In every stage of your music journey, there are many different types of electronic drum kits. Some designs are suitable for beginners. Such have only the essential features that will make them enjoy simplicity. However, expert drummers look for models with limitless creativity options.

An electronic drum set that has plenty of features can have so many creative uses. They are suitable for live performances and gigs.  When deciding which electric drum kits to buy, you must consider the model. 

Some are costly, yet offer the same experience as cheaper models.

3.     Portability

How you plan to use your electronic drum kit will determine if you need a heavy or light model. Some models are good for the go.

They are lightweight and easy to carry. These kinds of electronic drum pads are useful if you are a performer and on tour.

However, your preference may be a model that you will enjoy playing in your basement and has no movements. In such a case, portability is not a significant concern.

 Portability also decides where you place the electric drum pads on the set. Some are bulky and need to be on a desk while others are light others can be on a stable mount.

4.     Sound and Output

Sound quality is everything when it comes to getting the best electronic drum pad. You must also consider your environment. Unlike electric drum sets, Electronic drum pads do not carry too much sound.

However, where you live also determines the model you get. You can get a silent model if you live in a quiet neighborhood or a loud noise electronic drum pad when you live in a noisy residence.

Each electronic drum pad has a different sound output option. It is, therefore, crucial that you get the one that appeals to your preferences.

5.     The number of Pads in the electronic sample pad

More level entry drum pads continue to join the market. At the same time, the number of pads is significant. Some models have a single pad and hence have some limited use. The models with many pads like the Yamaha DTX Multi Pad have 12 pads.

As a drummer, you will need to enhance your drumming or musical performances. Consequently, you need an electronic drum pad that can accord you more creativity. Electronic sample pads with only one pad are suitable for beginners. But they offer little versatility and sound enhancement.

Also, with many pads, you can store many voices under each. Such will give you an array of sizzling percussions when you need it.

6.      Size and compactness

The best electronic drum kits have a functional space between the pads. Whereas compactness is good quality, to avoid hitting the wrong pads, you must have a good reach of all pads. What this means is that special features like lighting can boost your accuracy on the pads as well.

The compactness also matters as some models have many pads on a small design. It can be a challenge for beginners to use such electronic drum pads. When you are new, it is best to start with less complicated models as you earn your way through music.

7.     Storage and compatibility

The best use of sample pads is to record and play custom sounds. Some models offer straightforward means of doing this. They accept SD card transfers and imports. It is crucial to be able to transfer other sounds to add to your samples and effects.

Some models have high storage capacity and can allow wav files. Before you settle on a model, look at the storage capacity. Also, consider how ready you can use other devices to boost the capacity.

8.      Editing software

Some electronic drum pads have an editing software that makes you edit sounds on the pad. It gives you an easy time when you want everything on the electronic drum pad. You can cut out the start and end of unwanted noises with ease, and even merge different sounds.

Editing is a critical function. It enhances your musical creativity to give out the perfect performance. However, few models have all the editing features necessary for the ideal crisp sound. You can edit your sounds using professional software on your computer then load them via a USB.

  9.   Price

The price of electronic drum pads varies from around $60 to over $700. As such, there is a wide variety to choose from depending on your budget.

If you are a beginner, it is recommendable that you go for a cheaper drum pad. As you progress in experience, you can then invest in a better pad.

Another critical factor to consider while comparing price tags is the product features and quality. Products may be in the same price category but differ in features.

In such a scenario, go for what suits your needs without compromising on quality.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is an Electronic drum Pad?

The best answer lies in the difference between a drum set and an electronic drum pad. An electronic drum pad has speakers and pads that are functional in place of a drum set. Additionally, you can use an electronic drum sample pads to enhance your drum set range.

Therefore electronic drum pads are compact electronic drum kits. They are especially handy when you have a small space and want to spend less on the initial investment.

2. How do you use electronic drum pads?

It is difficult to reach all the levels of contemporary music using only an acoustic drum set. For this reason, you will need an electronic drum pad to enhance the range of your sound. The best musical performance should have electrical sounds that are unique. They should not be easy to emulate.

You will need electronic percussions that will fill the void of a producer and a live drummer. The advantage of adding a percussion pad is it gives your performance a personal feel.  It will also add professionalism as you will not press play and get a digital quantized track.

3. Are electronic drum pads any good?

Yes. It will make up for a lot of space that you would have to sacrifice if you are using an acoustic set or electronic drum set.

A sample pad is compact and has many sounds in the preset pad. It is an advantage considering that an electronic drum kit is quite expensive. Another great feature is the quiet level. Drum pads are less noisy than electronic drum sets. Therefore, your practice sessions will not be a nuisance to your neighbors.

Electronic drum pads are also durable, and they will last longer than acoustic drums.

4. How do you make or mount electric drum pads?

It can be intimidating if you are trying it for the first time. However, you have a user manual. In most cases, the same process is applicable to different electronic drum kits. The first step is always to assemble all the mount system in one place.

The next step is to attach your drum pads to the mount rack. Here you will use the mount arms and the drum rack clamps. It is a simple process, but you must make sure to secure all your mounts safely. They should be tight.

After mounting the drum racks, you can now safely install your drum pads on the mounting arm at the top. Ensure that you then tighten it well.

Adjust your electronic drum pads to the position you feel you have the best reach.

5. What is the purpose of an electronic drum pad?

The good thing about drum pads is they can play as standalone, or to enhance an already existing set. For beginners, it is advisable that they use it as a standalone.

The purpose of an electronic drum pad is to get custom sounds into your performance and training sessions. You should make use of the recording and editing options. They help to make rich sounds that will enhance your musical performance.

You can also connect your drum kit electric pad to a Public Address system or an amplifier. These two generate sounds internally.

You can also use an electronic drum pad in place of an electric drum kit. They provide you with all the sounds and percussions preset.

6. What is the difference between high-end and low-end pads?

Price is a major difference that sets them apart.

Low-end drum pads are cheaper and have fewer features. On the other hand, some expensive drum pads have fewer features.

Another difference is that high-end drum pads have features that lack in low-end pads. There is a difference in class and quality when it comes to the materials in us also. The high-end drum pads add more in terms of a complete performance. On the other hand, low-end drum pads feature only one or two uses the entire night.

High-end electronic drum pads also have lots of storage space. You can store your custom sounds while the low-end has limited space and functions.

7. Can I connect other pads to my e-drum pad?

Yes, you can connect other cymbal and e-drum pads like mesh or rubber pads directly. It is possible through the external inputs of your pad.

Other devices have specific hi-hat pedal inputs. As such, you can use the open or close functions of the hat.

8. How do I load personal custom samples?

You load custom samples through an SD card or a USB drive.

Ensure that you go through your device’s specifications before you load the samples. It is necessary because some samples require special bitrates or formats.

9. Must I have an amplifier?

It is not mandatory to use an amplifier alongside your e-drums. But depending on how you plan to use your pads, you may need it.

You can use an amplifier or a PA system to connect your audio outputs. Also, most drums come with a headphone input. You can use it instead of an amplifier, especially if you want to limit noise.

10. How can I record my e-drum pad?

Recording your electronic drum pad on your PC is straightforward. The most crucial thing you need is an audio interface.

Usually, the interface connects to your PC only through a USB or MIDI. You also need to know how to do the connection. Connect outputs from your e-drum to the inputs on the interface using instrument cables.

As such, you can use music production software instead of on-board sounds.


Conclusion

To find the best electronic drum pad in the market, you must know what you intend to use it. You also need to know the level you are in, whether entry-level, intermediate, or an expert.

There are different drum pads for entry-level and expert levels. The drum pads that you choose should reflect your confidence. They should also offer you more in terms of creativity.

In this article, we select Roland SPD-SX as the best electronic drum pad. It has all the necessary features that are standard in all electronic drum pads. It has proper storage and custom options that will make your experience enjoyable. 

It is also one of the best electronic drum pads for both beginners and expert drummers. It helps them to create original sounds.

If you are a professional drummer, this pad will be a good deal for you. It will allow you to import and trigger any wav file.

Go ahead, get your best electronic drum pad, and enjoy the music today!

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