The Best Way to Amplify Electronic Drums (3 Simple Options)

Initially, electronic drums were solely used for quiet drum practice, especially in residential areas.

So, what’s the best way to amplify your electronic drums? Here are the three simple options:

  • Use a drum amp
  • Use a PA system to amplify electronic drums; or
  • Use headphones (ideal for a tight budget)

The current advancement in drumming technology makes electric drums an excellent choice for gigs and performances.

So, if you’re going to be playing out, the need for an electronic drum set amplifier is unavoidable. Read on as we explain in detail how you can amplify your electronic drums

1. Using a Drum Amp

In order to get the best sounds from your electronic drum kit, you need to buy an amplifier made for drums.

Here are some reasons why electronics drummers like you need an amp

  • Playing with a live band to hear your own playing
  • Amplify sound for your audience
  • Prefer not to use a headphone
  • Prefer not to use a speaker due to weak sound quality
  • Prefer to use a mixer with amp to control the volume


Can I Use Any Amp for Electric Drums?

Drums amplifiers are one of the ways a drummer can use to amplify their drum set. All you need to do is to get a huge subwoofer, which is an excellent compact unit.

The price for a drum amp is also quite low. Another benefit is that they are specifically made for drums. As such, they tend to produce better sound.

As much as it is possible, try to buy drum amplifier equipment from the same manufacturer. This way, you can get an optimized one for your set.

However, it is also possible to buy an electronic drum amplifier from another manufacturer. We recommend the Roland PM-100 as the best AMP for electronic drum set

In this case, ensure you check the specification requirements of your sound system. Knowing the specifications will ensure that your electronic drum kit is compatible.


Be sure to check out our list of the 8 Best Amp for Electronic Drums for more great items like this.

How To Connect Your Electronic Drums To An Amp

​Connecting drum amps is quite simple. All you need is a ¼ inch cable that will connect the “direct out” of the drum module to the amplifier input. The “direct out” is on the back of your drum module.

connection with amp

You can do the connection using the L Mono or both L and R if your amplifier supports it.

Ensure that the amplifier you are using is specifically for an electronic drum set. If you use a bass amplifier, you may not get the best output.

Bass amps do not have the high end sound produced by the cymbals on the set.

2. Using a PA System

Using a PA system as your drum set amplifier is a bit expensive than using a drum amp. However, a PA system is the best choice if you want flexibility.

Unlike a drum amplifier that is limited to only one extra input, a PA system will offer you several connection options.

If you are playing or practicing as a band, having a drum amp will highly limit you. However, if you use a PA, each member of the band will be able to hook in.

The other benefit of using it is if you and your band perform in a small-mid-sized venue. A PA system will be able to fill up the place with sound.

Using a PA system also has other benefits than just powering your kit. You can connect it to your phone or even a turntable.

The disadvantage of a PA system is that you won’t get a deep, rich bass like that of a drum amp. If you want the bass, you will have to buy a subwoofer. That will come at an extra cost.

However, it offers you a good quality sound. It also allows you to produce a high volume sound that a drum set amp.

Passive Speakers vs. Active Speakers.

As you buy your PA system, you also need to consider whether you will purchase passive speakers or active speakers.

If you purchase active speakers, all you need is to connect them to a mixer, and you are ready to go. However, a passive speaker will require you to run it through a speaker amplifier and then into your mixer.

When dealing with amplifiers for electronic drums, always pay attention to the watts of the speakers. Your drum set amplifier should be able to handle the watts comfortably.

How To Connect Electronic Kits To a PA System

There are two ways of connecting your electronic drum set to the PA system. The first option is by use of the ¼-inch cable for the L and R outputs. You can use the cable to connect the single output to the mixer’s single input. You can also do some panning and use both the L and R outputs.

The second option is by use of an XLR cable. An XLR cable allows you to use a very long wire without compromising the signal.

However, you will require a direct box (DI box) to convert a guitar cable into an XLR. A direct box comes with ¼ cable input and an XLR output.

Be sure to check out our list of the Best XLR Cables for more great items like this.

All you need to do is to use the ¼ inch cable to connect the drum module into the direct box. You will then need to join the DI box to the mixer using the XLR cable.

Note that there are DI boxes that have one input only. However, if you need many inputs, you can buy a box with two or more inputs. Alternatively, you can also buy two DI boxes.

3. Using Headphones

Electronic drums are made to work with headphones or amps. if you are on a tight budget or just doing virtual drumming, using headphones will be a more cost-effective option.

Every electronic drum kit should have a headphone port to connect headphones to and some in the market even provide free headphones in the set.

However, one important thing to take note of is the auxiliary input on the module. The most common size will be 1/8″ to 1/4″.

To play safe check the electronic drum set that you have and get a suitable adaptor for your headphones if needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What amp is best for electronic drums?

Loud sound and frequency range are two significant factors you need to consider when shopping for an e-kit amp. Not all amplifiers in the market are suitable for your kit.

Specialized drum amps are the best for drums. You can also use keyboard amps that come with multiple channels. They can handle a wide range of frequencies, thus ideal for e-kits.

You know check article about Best Amp

How do you amplify an electronic drum kit?

First, arrange your equipment in your practice area. Connect all cables into their respective ports on the equipment before plugging anything into a power source.
Locate the output/ headphone jack on the module, and that is where you connect the drum kit to the speaker.
Most output jacks are compatible with 1/4-inch cables. Plug one end of the cable to the input jack of your amplifier and the other end to the output jack of your kit.
Then, using another cable, connect the amplifier’s output to the speaker’s input.

How can I make my electronic drums sound better?

To make your electronic set sound better, you need to adjust your drum module settings. You can change the drum sets (timbre of the notes) or adjust the volume of the high and low notes.
You can also use a sound mixing board or try to adjust the treble and bass knobs on your amp. If the sound is still not appealing, consider upgrading your drum set to a high-end module.

Can you use a guitar amp with electronic drums?

Technically, you can use a guitar amp with drum kits, but it is not recommendable at all. It is because they handle particular bands of high and mid frequencies and not the broad range as it is the case with electronic kits.
When you use one, you risk blowing your speaker pretty quickly. It also produces a terrible sound. Consider using a drum amp or a powered PA speaker. Some keyboard amps that have flexible connectivity are also fantastic.

Can You Play Yamaha Electronic Drums Without an Amp

Yes. You can play Yamaha electronic drums without an amp as long as you have a headphone with a 1/8″ to 1/4″ adaptor. There should be an auxiliary input on the module so you can plug your music player into the module and have the music also go through your headphones.


Drum amplifiers are an ideal choice for band rehearsal and small venue gigs. However, if you play a lot with other musicians/ bands and want to hook them up in one system, a PA system is the best choice.

Drum amps are a cheaper option, and the high-end ones have superior sound quality. Don’t make the mistake of using guitar amps in a bid to save money.

Using them on the electronic kit will undoubtedly mess up with your sound quality. Go for specialized amplifiers as well as keyboard amps for the best results.

Our Opinion: A Drum Amp is the Best Way to Amplify Electronic Drums.