Are you a drummer looking for reliability, performance and control over your sound?
Electronic drum kits made their first appearance in the world of music in the 1980s. They have since then gotten better each day. They have become vital in both live settings as well as recording studios. With the best electronic drum set, you have a guarantee of unique music experience.
Electronic sets take care of every type of player. There are electronic drum kits for beginners who need to rehearse often without much noise. They also come with teaching software. If you are an intermediate drummer, there are also great options for you.
Also, if you are a pro drummer, there is an electronic drum kit for you. You will enjoy the reliability and total control whether recording or live performance.
What’s more? The best electronic drum sets come with better sound and expression technology. Their technology makes them ideal for quiet home practice. Besides, they have many outputs. The outputs allow you to connect each kit to a separate channel.
To get the best electronic drum set, you have to know what you want. Depending on your situation, some qualities can be deal-breakers for you. Others will make your music life very easy. Here is a review of eleven best electronic drum sets.
1. Alesis Drums Turbo Mesh Kit – Best pocket friendly
The Alesis Turbo Mesh is an excellent entry-level electronic drum kit. Besides, it is very affordable, and its parts are of high quality.
This beginner-friendly kit comes with seven-pieces and mesh drumheads. It has a very light steel hardware frame. Moreover, you can easily fold this kit and store it.
Other hardware features that come with it include cables, a drum key, and power supply. It also comes with drumsticks.
Its snare and tom pads are 8″ in diameter. You can easily tune all its four pads since they have tension rods.
Another feature of this electronic drum kit is the cymbal pads, which are 10″ in size. Although not very advanced, they are quite suitable for a beginner.
This set also comes with an electronic foot pedal controller. It also has a very simple module. The module has only a few buttons as well as ten preset kits.
Other accessories that you will get along with this kit are a metronome, drum coach, and 40 free lessons.
This electronic drum kit allows you to connect your phone, tablet, or laptop as you play your favourite bit. It has an aux input.
However, the sounds produced are not that good. They are a bit dull and may sound lifeless.
2. RockJam Electronic Mesh 8-Piece Drum Kit – Best low price Kit
Rock Jam Mesh Head is also a mesh head that comes with eight configuration pieces. They include 9-inch diameter mesh drum pads, two cymbals and, a 9-inch diameter mesh snare pad. It also has a control pad with a 10-inch diameter hi-hat.
It comes with many demo songs that you will find helpful when training. It also features 30 original electronic drum kit voices.
Rock Jam’s most robust feature is compatibility with other devices. You can connect this drum set to other devices using the USB MIDI output. It supports both headphones and auxiliary cables.
As much as it may appear like other superior models, this kit is not for advanced musicians. The features have limits, and the price is low. It is a useful model your kids can use to train to beat the drums.
The design set is quite appealing and looks professional. The full set includes drum sticks and two bass control pedals as this is an out of the box model.
It is quite easy to install because of the accompanying rack.
3. Alesis Surge Mesh Electronic Drum Kit – Best affordable kit
Alesis Surge Mesh is an electronic set that comes with drumheads and mesh pads to support an ultra-clear and natural response. It uses four-post chrome racks, as it also supports an easy assembly and disassembly.
Additionally, this comes with a kick drum tower and drum pedal. The entire kit consists of a power supply, drum key, drum cables, and connection cables.
It has a mesh snare pad and dual-zone mesh drum pad. The kit also consists of a crash wire choke, ride cymbals and, Hi-Hat. The drum module comes with an internal sequencer for recording all your practicing sessions if you want.
The module has 60 pre-install play-along tracks, 385 sounds, and 40 kits. Besides, you can also connect it with your Mp3 players using the AUX input. The kit will also support all MIDI and USB connections.
The Alesis brand is familiar with delivering suitable drum kits. It is top with its inventions, and this electronic drum kit shows the advanced steps they take.
Read full review: Alesis Surge Mesh Kit
4. Donner DED-200 Electric Drum Kit – Best intermediate drum kit
The Donner DED-200 Electric Drum Kit is easily one of the most professional and rich in design drum kits that you can also get in the market today. It has a good user experience because of all of the premium qualities that come along with this drum kit.
Even though most people think of it as a beginner set, there is much you can do with this set and enjoy your time. It has 30 preset demo songs. It also has 225 authentic sounds for you to use while playing your drum kit.
The sound modules are for you to use as you get to learn to pound the drum kits at your own pace. The overwhelming price is a disappointing factor, though. However, if you are willing to pay handsomely for an outstanding quality drum set, this would be the ideal choice.
The drum set features a real acoustic drums sound that will improve your skills as a drummer. Not everything about this brand is challenging. The connections are easy to set up.
5. Alesis Drums Nitro Mesh Kit – Best Beginner Drum Kit
Alesis Nitro Mesh is the best entry-level drum set in the market today. If you are looking to buy a new drum set, there are a few things you have to know. Like the pieces that come with it. In this case, Alesis Nitro Mesh is a seven-piece mesh drum set. It will come with four drums and three cymbals.
The difference lies in the mesh, which makes this series a pro series at an affordable price. The ability to pick on the slightest of strokes is impressive, and the rebound makes your drum stick bounce back to its natural position. It saves you energy and makes you get the feel of playing an acoustic drum set.
The modules have some great sounds. Alesis Nitro Mesh comes with ten modern and classic ready to pound the drum kits with an additional 30 tracks for you to play along. It also has over 100 perfectly curated sounds you can use in your drumming sessions.
Read Full Review: Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit
Things we liked
Things we didn’t like
6. Roland TD-1DMK – Best recording drum set
Roland V Electronic Drumset is a drum kit electronic that has double mesh pads. These drum pads will deliver great tune tension and a natural crisp acoustic response. It is a set that is suitable for places with a restriction or a specified mechanical noise level.
Most people find the drum set to be comfortable after the first use. It is straightforward and borders well with both expert drummers and beginners. The drum kit has modules also, which will let you enjoy up to 15 preset kits as you produce a real-life acoustic drumming chord. It is inclusive of 256 notes of polyphonic sounds.
The complete kit includes ten interactive training functions, helping you gauge your progress. Most people find this feature useful as it motivates them towards daily drumming rehearsal sessions as progress shows.
The drum kit consists of a control pedal, dual-zone snare pad, rand, kick drum. It also has Hi-hat, a stable stand, and three single-zone tom pads. The double mesh heads will give you the best acoustic drums chord from your toms, as well as adjustable tension. You will have the same feeling as if you are playing on real kits. The wide array of presets will make you dance to different kinds of genres.
7. Alesis Command Mesh Kit – Easy assemble kit
The Alesis Command Mesh Kit offers value for money if you are one who is looking for a good electronic drum set. Some consider it an entry-level drum set while it is a mid-range drum kit.
The Command Kit some extra features that make it the best value for your money. This brand will give you a module that gets you as close to the superior Crimson II module.
Another great advantage of the Command Kit is that it has double mesh pads. You will get 10-inch mesh pads together with an 8-inch mesh head bass drum. Having mesh heads on the bass drum is not standard popular for most models, and this is what makes this drum kit deliver a near-perfect acoustic drums’ chord.
It is a bonus considering such a feature is on an electronic set that appeals to professionals. Many people who have experience with the Alesis Command kit see this model as a fusion between the Alesis Crimson II and the Alesis Forge. The Crimson II comes with an all-mesh pads setup, while the Forge Kit has an all rubber drum pad set up.
Read full review: Alesis Command Mesh Kit
8. Yamaha DTX522K – Best sound
Yamaha DTX522K is a model that is suitable for the professional drummer. It is an excellent kit for people who enjoy the great qualities of this drum kit. The DTX522K features over 400 wave ROM and over 690 sounds.
You will find this module also very responsive as it produces a high-quality acoustic drum chord. Because of its diverse library for sound, all music genres are available, making it the best for advanced drummers.
The drum set uses the solid drum rack, which makes it easy to transport and set up in different locations. It includes a pedal bass drum pad, with two cymbal pads, and three tom pads.
The hi-hat pad comes with a unique pedal controller. The kit has a three-zone pad, which gives the effect of a smooth feeling and a rebound.
The DTX522K set comes with Samson’s SR950. It is the best professional headphones for studio references, and it will always give a real-life studio experience.
Read full review: Yamaha DTX522K
9. Roland TD-17KV Electronic Drum Kit – Best expert drum kit
The Roland TD-17K has an 8-inch diameter dual-zone PDX-8 mesh snare, CY-5 as a hi-hat pad, two chokes CY-8 cymbal pads (crash & ride), and three single-zone PD-8A rubber tom pads. Most users feel that this model is an upgrade version. It is a fusion between the previous versions of Roland.
The hi-hat pedal borrows its features from the previous version Roland FD-8 that is now known for mail functions after some years. It is a new hi-hat control pedal made out of quality metallic components.
It comes with a sensor technology that is wear-proof. If you have this brand, the pedal will never fail you and you as it is also insanely quiet.
The KD-10 comes with a twin cloth mesh head. The importance of mesh heads is that they reduce noise. However, there are no changes to the rebound effect.
The noise emission effect is an improvement from previous versions. It makes this model very friendly in terms of noise control. The manufacturers focus on keeping producing apartment-friendly drums and bass kicks.
10. Roland High Performance TD-25KV – Best professional drummers
If you intend to use the Roland TD-25KV for practicing at home, this will be a waste of time and money. It is true because practicing on the best electronic set needs a standard setup. You need two cymbals, a bass drum, snare, two drum pads, and a Hi-Hat. You will need to hook it to a line if you want to hear yourself playing via headphones, an amplifier, or in-ear monitors.
The TD-25KV does meet advanced requirements that other electronic drum kits of low price can have. It means you will use lots of money to buy extra cymbal. From logic, the TD-25KV has a metronome so that you can train your timings.
It has a recording function that lets you play and hear yourself later for your evaluation. It also has a coach feature on which you can emulate preset beats and get score basing on your performances. However, the downside is that lower price electronic drum kits can do this as well.
But if you want the professional look of a drummer, then this set will give it to you. Its appearance is bold.
11. Alesis Strike Pro Drum Kits – The Best Acoustic sound
Alesis Strike kit is one of the best in the market and a top money brand. It has a large head that gives it an authentic-looking body. The surface area should mimic the feel and chord of acoustic drums. When you take a look at the cymbals, they are not a full size. The crescent shape takes no quality away from these sets of the best electronic drum.
The kick drum will give you excellent resistance to the kick pedal. You will feel it and see that it is a high strength for this drum set. It responds to a hit by sounding like the real drum set. The look is not deceptive all.
The set comprises of an auxiliary input that can be of use when you need to connect tune to an external speaker or amplifier.
It comes with a drumstick that rebounds well on the electronic drum kits giving you an enjoyable experience.
It can record training sessions. It is a plus because then you can review and see if you are making progress. However, everything is not easy. The set up is a little confusing for beginners.
Read full review: Alesis Strike Pro
BUYER’S GUIDE for Best Electronic Drum Set
Benefits of Electronic Drum Kit
From the 1980s, electronic sets are gaining popularity and significant market share. Their fame is more so evident in the present times. Millions of beginners, professionals and trainers across the globe are using them.
The good news about kit electric is that they evolve with technology. The present models are user-friendly and easy to use, unlike earlier models.
You can never go wrong with the best electronic drum kits. It is the ultimate tool that you need to achieve your personal goals as a drummer.
Whether doing it for fun or as a profession, electronic kit never disappoints. It has tons of incredible benefits, as discussed below.
Electronic drums, also e-drums, are the most appropriate for practice sessions. For many years, drummers across the globe had to limit their play sessions. This was before the introduction of electronic drum sets. They would only rehearse at particular times of the day at specific places.
However, with the coming of electronic drums, drummers can now play anywhere, anytime. These drums are preferable for rehearsing due to their low volume and small size.
3 Incredible Reasons for Practicing on Electronic Kits
It Allows You to Practice Quietly
Unlike acoustic drums, the electronic set has a volume knob. Also, it allows you to use and headphones or earphones while playing. As such, you can play as loud as you want, and nobody else will hear the chord.
You can plug the kit into an amplifier or speaker for others to hear.
These characteristics make the kit ideal. You can rehearse in environments where volume has to be minimal.
The only audible chord in an electronic set is that of the stick hitting cymbal pads and drum. Also, when the kick pedal beater hits the kick pad, others can hear the chord. Nonetheless, other beater-less kick pedals produce a volume close to a whisper.
Therefore, you can comfortably do late-night practice in an apartment without disturbing people.
The volume knob gives you total control over the sound, thus protecting your ears from damage. On the contrary, this is impossible with an acoustic set when playing loud cymbals.
Also, the use of headphones or earphones in an e-drum encourages creativity and innovativeness. It gives you a chance to try a variety of musical styles secretly.
You Get Access to Built-In Training and Timing
Most electronic kit modules also have built-in timing and training exercises. These tools not only challenge you to better your skills, but they make practice enjoyable.
Usually, the built-in features include:
- Training Modes – This package has exercises meant to make you a fast and better player. They help develop your timing and play with dynamics. Also, they make reading drum music notation easy and fun.
- Metronome – It is the most commonly used tool of an electronic set module. To play along with the metronome, you should either hear the click and/ or see it. As such, you can determine your pace comparing it with that of the beat.
- Play-Along Songs – The module’s memory comes with recorded songs with which you can play along. Besides, you can hook up your music player if you want specific songs.
The songs in most modules are hip hop, rock, pop, Latin, jazz, metal and EDM.
They Come in Compact Sizes
The best electronic kit is smaller than an acoustic set. Therefore, you can set up your E-drum in a room that has limited space. Besides, you can store it in a closet or even under the bed after use.
Another benefit of the electronic drum is that it is adjustable to your height and other specifications. For instance, you can bring tom mesh pads closer to each other and low to the ground.
In acoustic sets, the toms sit on top of the bass drum. They cannot go lower than that.
If you are a drummer who does a lot of travelling, an electronic set is ideal for you.
The drum is incredibly light, thus more portable than acoustic sets. As such, you can always carry it along wherever you go.
The e-drum is ideal for carrying on vacation or weekend visits. This set ensures that you continuously enjoy your hobby every moment of your life.
An electronic set is convenient to store as you travel. You can pack it in a case or soft bag. It takes up less space at the boot of your car.
The latest version of Roland’s e-drums, TD-4KP V-Drum, is incredibly portable. You can simply collapse the entire set and carry it under your arm.
You can carry it as it is or with a CB-TDP carrying case. The case has kick pedals, detachable pouches for hi-hat and pockets for beaters and sticks.
These portable features make the best electronic drum kits preferable for frequent rehearsals. They are ideal for garage studios, youth retreats, small stage gigs and Christmas musicals.
The most significant shortcoming of acoustic drums and cymbals is their high volume. On the contrary, an electronic set and cymbals produce very little or zero noise.
Unlike acoustic kits, electronic drums have volume knobs which ease volume adjustment. As such, electronic kits are suitable for churches, small stages and anywhere high volume is aa nuisance.
In a home environment, you can monitor the volume of your e-drum using headphones. Consequently, you can practice even late into the night in a shared apartment. Moreover, you will not inconvenience the peace of other people nearby.
Extreme volume and excessive noise not only inconvenience the people around but also the player.
Usually, cymbals and percussions produce unnecessary sounds which are hard to control. However, the volume control knob makes it possible to regulate the chord outcome. Besides, the use of headphones in an electronic kit is far more beneficial.
Roland and Yamaha are the leading manufacturers of electronic kits. Their products are high-tech with excellent quality and features.
The latest white-padded Yamaha DTX kit is the quietest in its category. Also, Roland’s e-drums with mesh heads have excellent quietness.
These two models are ideal if you live in an apartment with people below or above you.
However, if you are working on a tight budget, Alesis have great budget-friendly electronic kits. Besides, their models are all-mesh toms and snare.
In the market, you will encounter a low price electronic drum kit with mesh pads. These are, however, not appropriate if you live in an apartment where silence is a requirement.
Tips to Make Your Electronic Kit Quieter
- Buy an electronic set that has a silent kick pedal, with no beater.
- Use thick foam interlocking tiles on the floor under your kit. Doing so reduces noise from the drum that travels through the floor.
- Use thinner sticks
- Buy chord isolation feet and mats and put them under your stands and pedals. These noise eaters reduce drum noise travelling through the floor.
- Use a fluffy bass drum beater, or wrap a thick towel around your bass drum pad.
- While using cymbal, hi-hat, or snare stands, make sure that your feet are as wide apart as possible. Doing so reduces the amount of chord penetrating through the floor downwards.
When it comes to sound quality, electronic kits are much better than their counterparts. Apart from quality, you get a wide range of digital sounds in e-kits.
Each component has a wide array of bass and snares drums, cymbals, hi-hats and tom-toms. Also, the ability to change sounds with ease make them fit for different music genres. You can play a music style that requires more than just conventional configurations with e-kits.
The availability of different sounds allows you to experiment with different beats and frequencies. It is easy to set electronic drums to sound like acoustic ones.
With the best electronic drum kit, changing the chord of your kits is by the touch of a button. With hundreds of chord effects at your disposal, you can change your drum’s chord to anything.
You can tune it to be like a top-notch studio acoustic kit. It can be like a funky rock kit or a vast arena hip-hop kit.
Besides, you can creatively come up with your chord within seconds. Another fantastic feature of electronic kits is that you don’t need microphones and preamplifiers. The lit automatically produces professional soundtracks while playing live or recording.
An electronic set produces top-notch, studio-quality sounds and effects at no extra price.
Navigating through an electronic drum module is practical and easy. You only need to know which buttons to press to tune the kits and cymbals.
Most modules have tons of internal sounds which you can customize according to your needs.
When playing your e-kits, you can hardly tell if you are playing on time. As such, recording yourself alongside a metronome or pre-recorded song helps in keeping track of your speed.
For this purpose, getting an electronic set that has a built-in recording feature is preferable. Alternatively, you can use a USB MIDI to connect the kit to your computer or sound mixer. This process is straightforward and works right away.
Also, you can download a recording software app and connect it to your module. Doing so allows you to record an excellent video using your phone’s camera and the drum module.
Recording and playback are exceptional and exclusive qualities of the best electronic drum kit.
Playback enhances the quality of music. It adds sounds of other instruments to the original drum beats.
You can connect the drum pad with an MP3 or CD player. As such, jamming becomes possible, and this greatly improves the skills of a drummer.
You can access the playback music on your phone or PC via a USB device. Then, you can play them along with your beats, which will help horn your skills.
For optimum functionality, you must connect your e-drum to a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). However, before you can use it, you need to connect it to your computer. As such, you need to install driver software.
After configuration, connection and installation of the module, you can enable it as a MIDI controller.
Electronic kit modules only connect to your DAW via a USB or MIDI. USB is the most preferable because it carries a MIDI message to and from your computer. It also powers the module.
You can use MIDI cables to send MIDI data from your drum module. However, this method does not power the module.
If you are using the MIDI cable, first connect the MIDI OUT port on the module. Then, connect it to the MIDI IN on your interface.
7.Audio Input / Outputs
When recording the module in a DAW as an audio track, a virtual drum instrument is vital. Alternatively, you can record the sounds to an audio track from your module.
For the recording, you need TRS and TRS cables and an audio interface. To record sounds to an audio track to your module, you need to:
- Connect two of the TRS cables from the module’s main outputs to your interface’ input.
In case your interface has one input, plug a cable from the L output of the module. Then, connect it to the input of your interface.
- Create an audio track, Stereo. Do an update on the input routing to make sure that it matches with the module inputs.
- Enable the record function on the audio track and press record.
If you fail to see the input or output, set the audio interface as the primary audio device. Also, make sure that you select the correct outputs and inputs.
FAQ About Electronic Drum Sets
Electronic drums are excellent for places of worship, entertainment joints, and home use. Here are the most frequently asked questions about electric drum sets.
How to choose an electronic drum set?
The primary factors to consider while choosing an electronic drum set are the tone and feel. Strike each drum pad and cymbal hard and soft from every angle. The best drum set should produce a tune that feels full and real.
If you want a quieter electronic drum set, go for V-Pads and mesh heads. E-kits that have layered rubber pads have higher decibels.
It is recommendable to choose a kit that allows additional hardware upgrades. An ideal electronic drum set should have onboard songs and allow for MP3/ CD connectivity.
Is an electronic drum set good for beginners?
Yes. An electronic drum set is suitable for beginners. First, it is more compact and smaller, unlike acoustic drums. As such, they are the most appropriate to use in a home environment.
Secondly, an electronic drum is quieter. Beginners can practice with it at home as frequently as possible.
Also, an electronic drum set has interchangeable sounds, cymbals, drums, and effects. As such, beginners can learn how to swap and customize a variety of qualities.
Besides, these drums have a variety of tools to help users improve timing and track progress. With this, beginners can quickly learn and become experts.
Are electronic drum sets quiet?
Generally, electronic drum sets are quieter than acoustic drums. However, the level of quietness depends on the type of kit you’re playing. Mesh heads electronic pads are so far the most peaceful in the market today.
What makes electronic drum sets quiet is the presence of a headphone jack. They also have noise-reducing pedalsand drum sound isolation boards. These drums come with drum keys, which allows you to adjust their tension with ease.
How to set up an electronic drum kit?
It is relatively simple to put up an electronic set. However, the steps may vary depending on the kit’s model and manufacturer.
Nonetheless, the first thing to set up is the pedals. Take a stable and comfortable sitting posture and then put the bass pedal at the position of your feet.
Next, attach the bass drum behind the bass drum pedal. Then, mount the toms and the cymbal stands and attach the cymbals.
Finally, adjust the height of the drum stool, snare stand, and other hardware. During putting up, avoid over-tightening the parts to prevent them from striping. Besides, place your drum set on a drum rug so that triggers will not absorb vibration.
Can you hook up the electronic drum set to Xbox?
Yes, it is possible to hook up an electronic drum set to an Xbox. However, you require a legacy adapter and a midi adapter. They both must be RB 3 or RB 4 series depending on the model of your Xbox.
If connecting Roland TD-11K to a PS4, you need the Rockbound 3 MIDI adapter for a PS3. Otherwise, Roland TD-11K may not work.
Unlike for Roland TD-11K, if connecting the XB1 version, you require the Rockbound 2 MIDI adapter for the 360.
Can you add cymbals to an electronic drum set?
Yes, you can add cymbals to an electronic drum set.
Most electronic drum sets, especially V-drums, are open-ended and flexible. As such, they provide additional hardware, including cymbals.
Connecting them up is simple via the module’s trigger in jacks. Adding cymbals to your e-drum may be vital in the future. The extra cymbals bring different sounds for your musical needs.
Do electronic drums need amps?
Yes, you need to connect the brain of your electronic drum kit to an amp. Since the amps act like speakers, they enable the drums to produce great sound.
The amps are necessary when you want to carry your kit with you to a gig. Also, when jamming with others, you may need the amps. They serve as personal drum monitors when gigging.
A good amplifier amplifies high and low-frequency sounds while keeping music clear.
It is recommendable to use specific drum amplifiers for excellent tone and safety.
To amplify an e-kit, you need a ¼ inch long cable. Plug one end to the output jack of the kit. The other end, plug to the input jack of the amplifier.
In conclusion, the onset of electronic drum sets has completely revolutionized the music experience. Drummers, whether beginners, intermediates, or pros, have an opportunity to enjoy music as they like.
Besides, for both live performance and recording in the studio, electronic drums will give total control over your sound. The best electronic drum set will even allow you to tune individual drums as you please. Other advanced kit types will also allow you to design your drums.
From our review, the winner in Best Cheap Electronic Drum Set category is Alesis Drums Turbo Mesh Kit. It is a high-end and affordable drumkit, suitable for entry-level beginners. This seven-piece drumkit has mesh drumheads, a drum key, drumsticks, and cables. It is easy to fold and store.
In the category of Best Electronic Drum Set Under 500, Alesis Surge Mesh Electronic Drum Kit wins. It produces an ultra-clear and natural response with the help of drumheads and mesh pads. The module has 40 kits, 385 sounds, and 60 pre-install play-along tracks. Also, you can connect it with your Mp3 players. The drum kit also supports all USB and MIDI connections.
Lastly, the winner in Best Electronic Drum Set Under 1000 category is Roland TD-17KV Electronic Drum Kit. This drum set is an upgraded version of the previous Roland models. It is high-tech and uses sensor technology, which is wear-proof. The most distinguishing feature of this set is its quietness. It has a twin cloth mesh head, which incredibly reduces noise.