Electronic drum sets have come a long way since their appearance in the 1970s. The first electronic drum set is attributed to Graeme Edge of the Moody Blues and it was used in the song ‘Procession’ from the 1971 album, ‘Every Good Boy Deserves Favor’.
In the mid-1970s, they were commercially introduced and were soon adopted by drummers like Keith Moon, Terry Bozzio and many more. However, they lacked in many ways. The drums back then consisted of rubber coated sensor pads which were velocity-sensitive and the sound quality & variety- both were limited. They were sensitive to noise and were more like today’s entry-level models. Even playing them was not easy. But the electronic drum sets we see today offer much improved feel and response. Also, they allow you to tap into an endless variety of sounds.
An electronic drum usually consists of the drum, foot pedal controllers, pre-loaded drum sound kits, module, pads and headphone jack. The pads trigger sounds and the module synthesizes them. Each pad has a sensor that generates an electric signal when struck. So, when the pad is struck, the module receives impulse and plays the sound assigned to that channel. This sound signal can be then plugged into an amplifier for use in a live band performance or listened to with headphones for practice at home or studio.
Playing drum sets is fun and it can be great way to unwind and relax. If you are looking to buy an electronic drum set, you have come to the right place. This guide will walk you through their types, benefits, disadvantages and best models. We will help you find the best electronic drum set for you. So, let’s begin.
Top 10 Best Electronic Drum Set Comparison Table
|Pyle PED041 - 7 Piece Electric Drum Set with 5 Pads and 2 Kick Pedals||Light weight.|
Ability to record and playback sessions.
|Carlsbro CSD130XXX Electronic Drum Set||One year warranty and the option to purchase an extension.|
Free online drum lessons.
Easy to assemble.
250 percussion voices and 20 different drum kits.
Compatible with most devices
|Roland TD-11KV V-Drums Electronic Drum Kit with Drum Stick Sampler||Adjustable frame.|
High-quality and responsive drum pads.
Super NATURAL-enhanced sound engine with Behavior Modeling.
Free coaching facility and practice exercises.
|Neewer Beginner Electronic Drum Kit||Extremely light weight.|
Features 250 SFX, drum and percussion voices.
Compatible with most audio sequencer software programs.
Compatible with teaching software programs
|Alesis DM10 Studio Kit | Ten-Piece Professional Electronic Drum Set||High quality and responsive Mylar pads.|
Strong StageRack for support.
Access to over 1000 built-in sounds of diverse genres.
Alesis Dynamic Articulation technology for realistic results.
Built-in sequencer with full editing capabilities.
Two color options.
|Yamaha DTX450K 10 Customizable Drum Kits Electronic Drum Kit||High quality and responsive pads.|
Interactive training functions.
Access to 169 high-quality drum sounds and 127 instrument sounds.
Deluxe HH65 remote hi-hat controller pedal for hi-hat effects.
|Roland TD-30K V-Pro Series Electronic Drum Kit||High quality components.|
Responsive mesh pads.
Excellent sound quality.
SuperNATURAL sounds with behavior modeling.
Plenty of customization options.
|BEHRINGER XD8USB||Comfortable and responsive pedal.|
Includes 15 different drum kit styles and 175 different sounds.
Use of HDS (High Definition Sampling) technology.
Icon-driven user interface pads.
|Yamaha DTX400K Customizable Electronic Drum Set||Use of high-end technology.|
Training functions and apps for beginners.
Includes 297 high quality sounds.
|Alesis Nitro Kit | Electronic Drum Set||Great sound quality.|
Cross-compliant module that works with all devices.
Inbuilt metronome and built-in learning features.
Includes 385 drum, cymbal & percussion sounds, 40 kits and 60 built-in play-along tracks.
What Type Of Electronic Drum Sets Are There?
Electronic drum sets are broadly classified by the types of pads and module capabilities.
Talking of pads, some companies have their pads made of secret patented materials but most simply use rubber, mesh or cymbals. Rubber pads are cheap, more portable and take up less space. They tend to have a similar feel from one pad to the next, due to which their use is limited. However, they are a good choice for sustained tones. These pads are ideal for hobbyists or beginners.
Mesh heads or trigger pads can be considered as more suitable for professionals. They have a firm woven surface that gives stronger rebound and more realistic feel. Also, they allow customizing the tension and tuning. They are costlier but a lot nicer than rubber pads. They can have up to three sensors. Single sensor heads can trigger only one sound while dual or triple trigger heads can trigger multiple sounds depending on what part of the drum is struck.
Cymbal pads allow an even more realistic playing experience. These are usually shaped like real cymbals and have multiple sensors beneath their surface. This allows producing a greater variety of sounds by striking different parts of the instrument such as the rim of the snare or bow or edges.
The module, which is another differentiator, is the brain of the drum set. Modules vary in the type, number and the quality of sounds they include. While some have hundreds of drum and percussion sounds, some have only a few. Some produce better sound quality and customization options while some others are noisy. Some even have independent volume levels for each pad, which helps create custom live or studio mixes. The more advanced the module is, the higher will be the price.
Benefits of Best Electronic Drum Set
There are various electronic drum sets in market for every budget and need. The key is to identify the product that performs well and is also reasonably priced. As you know, the versatility and possibilities with the best electronic drum set are endless.
There are a few points or benefits that differentiate best models from the rest. Sound quality is definitely the biggest advantage over poorly built drum sets. The best drum set should have an excellent sound quality and control system. It should not only have a rich library of sounds but also allow you to import your own sounds.
It should allow you to edit your performance and adjust timing or sounds as per requirement. Adding pre-recorded percussion phrases and songs into performances should also be easy. It should be compact enough to be carried along for practice. How convenient it would be if you can practice your drum set anywhere and anytime with your headphones!
The module should have enough connectors, so that the user can expand the electronic kit with more pads in future. Some brands even offer learning tools and metronome functions with modules, helping beginners learn the drumming techniques better and quickly. Such features are not seen with low quality drum sets. Therefore, we always suggest you to invest your money in the best products.
Downsides Of Electronic Drum Sets
There are a few downsides too which you must be aware of. Though the module is capable of handling several hundred notes per second, there may be a sensation of delayed response when playing on an electronic drum set. Latency issues are common.
If you have been playing on an acoustic drum and are now switching to an electronic set, you will need good practice to make your ears adjust to these minute delays. Also, it is difficult to translate the dynamic range of this percussion instrument to electronic pads. Most modules restrict the dynamic range to MIDI standard (0 to maximum velocity 127). Hence, modules can be adjusted both for sensitivity and velocity curves but most drummers struggle at doing so.
10. Pyle PED041 – 7 Piece Electric Drum Set with 5 Pads and 2 Kick Pedals – MP3 Play Along and Headphone Compatible -11 Adjustable Sound Presets and MIDI Output
Pyle PED041 is a low budget electronic kit that’s perfect if you have just started and are not sure if you would like to spend much time or effort on drumming. It’s an all-in-one kit with all necessary pieces for hardcore digital drumming. It features a digital sound module with LCD display, audio tempo configuration, 5 drum pads, 2 digital foot pedal controllers, a headphone jack and a metronome for easy learning.
Like all modern drum sets, it supports MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) input and output for recording and playing back music. There is also an aux (3.5mm) input, allowing you to connect and drum along with your favorite instruments or devices. It come pre-loaded with drum sounds and can effectively recreate all sounds of a conventional drum set.
The set measures 33.5 x 8.5 x 9.2 inches and once fully assembled, takes up less space than a traditional bulky drum set. The pads are rugged, touch-responsive and can be adjusted according to one’s height. Adults and kids – both can easily use the set. Note that it is a 7-piece set, so it is expandable and user can add more drum pads if required.
With 21.6 pounds, it is light weight too. With it, one can enjoy a truly personalized drum session at the convenience of home. And all this comes at a very low price! If you want a decent set in lowest price, this is probably the best electronic drum set for you.
- Light weight.
- Adjustable frame.
- Ability to record and playback sessions.
- Low price.
- Very time consuming to set up.
9. Carlsbro CSD130XXX Electronic Drum Set
The Carlsbro CSD130XXX Electronic Drum Set is a basic but highly rated drum set with one year warranty. Buyers also get the option to extend their warranty policy or sign up for free online drum lessons. The set measures 30.8 x 16.5 x 20 inches and is easy to assemble, saving a lot of time. Weighing 38.8 pounds, it is not as light weight as some of the other drum sets.
As it is powered with Digitron display, so you can easily set things with buttons and other controls. It has wide sound modules that feature soft tri-zone snare trigger pads for real drum feels. The sound quality is very good for its price. The drum is loaded with 250 percussion voices and 20 different drum kits.
It is an intuitive drum set that’s compatible with nearly every device. There is an AUX input for external music players so that you can play the drum with other tracks of your choice. There is a headphone output too. You can connect the set to an amplifier if you are in a live performance or to your headphones if you want to silently practice at home.
For users’ convenience, there is a MIDI in and out connection and a USB interface. In case you want to edit the MIDI notes you have entered or recorded, you can use the EZDrummer software which is highly compatible with the set. It is actually a basic model. It may not be the best electronic drum set in market but it is great for the price.
- One year warranty and the option to purchase an extension.
- Free online drum lessons.
- Easy to assemble.
- 250 percussion voices and 20 different drum kits.
- Compatible with most devices and editing software.
- Low price.
- The user manual is difficult to understand.
8. Roland TD-11KV V-Drums Electronic Drum Kit with Drum Stick Sampler, Audio Cable, and Austin Bazaar Polishing Cloth
The Roland TD-11KV is a higher end compact kit solution with great sound quality. It features a complete set of electronic drums, drum stand, TD-11KVS drum module, a polishing cloth, 3 sets of drum sticks and mesh V pads (snares and toms). The mesh pads are high on quality and are worth the higher price. The goal of mesh heads is to give the feel and sound of a real acoustic set and with the TD-11KV, Roland has definitely achieved this goal.
The module is highly advanced as it includes the Super NATURAL-enhanced sound engine with Behavior Modeling. This feature helps create a natural drumming experience. Also, the module has a large sound library which covers almost all musical genres. You will need to purchase a drum pedal separately but other than that, it includes everything you need to get started.
The stand and drums – both are adjustable and can be positioned according to your comfort level. The controls are located to be easily accessible and enable quick editing. A single button press is all that’s required for most functions. Also, there’s a large LCD and icon-driven user interface for easy operation. The set measures 34 x 34 x 34 inches and weighs 68.8 pounds, making it heavier than normal.
As a learning tool, it is extremely well-equipped. It has a coaching facility which helps players build drumming skills effectively. There’s a Quick Record/Quick Play feature and also the ‘quiet count’ feature which drops-out the metronome for some time slots and awards you the percentage score at the end of the sequence. This is a great way of instilling a sense of time into your drumming.
The set has two USB sockets. One of these is designed to allow direct connectivity to computer applications. The other is designed for a memory stick or flash drive for data backup and playback of WAV or MP3 songs. This set is easy to use, even for beginners and gives a more natural and realistic playing experience. Overall, it’s a great buy!
- High-quality and responsive drum pads.
- Super NATURAL-enhanced sound engine with Behavior Modeling.
- Free coaching facility and practice exercises.
- The set does not include pedals.
7. Neewer Beginner Electronic Drum Kit Includes: (1) Module + (1)Snare + (3)Tom + (1)Bass + (1)Triangle Hihat + (1)Triangle Ride + (1)Crash + (1)Hi-hat Pedal + (1)Bass Stand + (12)Cable Tie
This is another great beginner kit on our list. It includes a module, a Hi-hat pedal, an adapter, a foldable bass stand, 12 cable ties and pads for Snare, Tom, Bass, Triangle Hi-hat, Triangle Ride and Crash. Basically, the kit includes all necessary equipments except drum bench, drum mat and drum sticks. It measures 26.5 x 25.5 x 12 inches weighs just 17.4 pounds. If you are looking specifically for a light weight set, this is probably the best electronic drum set for you. It is compact and easily portable. It is easy to assemble too and does not take much time to set up.
The drum is compatible with various MIDI devices. When connected with an external MIDI keyboard or audio sequencer, it receives the MIDI output signal via USB cable and plays effective signals. When the drum kit is switched, the output voice also changes. The set is compatible with GM standard parts and can be used with most audio sequencer software programs. It uses latest Soundking audio source and a good range of voices to meet various sound requirements. It features 250 SFX, drum and percussion voices.
The set is also well equipped as a learning tool. It is compatible with teaching software programs that help building drumming skills effectively. The controls are easily accessible and the functioning is superb. It offers full value for your money and is definitely a good option to consider.
- Extremely light weight.
- Features 250 SFX, drum and percussion voices.
- Compatible with most audio sequencer software programs.
- Compatible with teaching software programs.
- Low price.
- The set does not include drum bench, drum mat and drum sticks.
6. Alesis DM10 Studio Kit | Ten-Piece Professional Electronic Drum Set with Black Aluminum StageRack (Mylar Drum Pads)
Alesis is a DM10 is a professional grade set with impressive features. It comes with a drum, drum sticks, user manual and an advanced module with sequencer, metronome and play-along tracks. Its four 8” dual-zone toms, a 10” dual-zone snare, 8” kick pad and 2 cymbals further complete the set. Kick pedal is not included in the package and you will need to purchase it separately.
The pads are Mylar and have a really nice bounce to them. They attach to the new aluminum four-post system called ‘StageRack’ which adds to the stability of the set. Alesis DM10 measures 23 x 47 x 12.8 inches and weighs 70.4 pounds. It is easy to assemble and doesn’t take much time to set up. It comes in two colors: aluminum and chrome.
The module features a USB port, 12 trigger input sockets, MIDI In and Out ports, AUX Ins and Outs and stereo audio outputs to connect with external sources like CD or MP3 players to play along. It lets you practice, perform and record with over 1000 built-in sounds of diverse genres. As you play harder or softer, Alesis Dynamic Articulation technology changes sounds’ timbre, not just volume, which produces realistic results.
It also has a built-in sequencer with editing capabilities. With 75 preset sequences and 25 user sequences, the sequencer allows playing back ‘demo’ songs and recording or editing your own playing. The number of control buttons you get is incredible for a set in this price range. Alesis DM10 is built for real world playing conditions and real players. It has more pads, more sounds, more flexibility and more value than most other drum sets.
- High quality and responsive Mylar pads.
- Strong StageRack for support.
- Access to over 1000 built-in sounds of diverse genres.
- Alesis Dynamic Articulation technology for realistic results.
- Built-in sequencer with full editing capabilities.
- Comes in two color options.
- The set is heavier than most electronic drum sets.
5. Yamaha DTX450K 10 Customizable Drum Kits Electronic Drum Kit with Yamaha Drum Throne, FIRTH5A Drumsticks and JVC Full Size Headphones
DTX450K is one of the top models in Yamaha’s DTX400K series. It comes with 10 interactive training functions which are ideal for any beginner or seasoned player. These can be a great way to learn, practice or teach the instrument. It also includes a Yamaha drum throne, Vic Firth drumsticks, JVC full size headphones and DTX rubber pads. Basically, it comes with everything you need to get started.
Its pads are compact and have soft heads which provide for a moderate non-slippery bounce. Also, they give a genuine acoustic drum feel. The most important requisites for any electronic drum kit are its drum module and sound quality. The DTX450K excels at both. The module features 169 high-quality drum sounds and 127 instrument sounds.
It is equipped with 10 preset kits which you can use to begin playing immediately or you can replace them with your own custom kits. Thus, you can customize the sound as per your need. The module also features 10 play-along songs for practice. You can download more songs through a USB connection to your computer.
The DTX450K measures 9.1 x 9.1 x 9.1 inches and weighs 52.2 pounds. It is easy to setup and has an adjustable rack which allows you to position the drums to a convenient height. It also features a deluxe HH65 remote hi-hat controller pedal which can produce a wide range of hi-hat effects like the full open, full closed, half open and foot splash. This ensures that you get an amazing feel and response from the set. It is one of the best sets for learning and is very affordable too.
- High quality and responsive pads.
- Adjustable frame.
- Interactive training functions.
- Access to 169 high-quality drum sounds and 127 instrument sounds.
- Deluxe HH65 remote hi-hat controller pedal for hi-hat effects.
- Some users have complained that the included hi-hat controller pedal is difficult to use.
4. Roland TD-30K V-Pro Series Electronic Drum Kit
This Roland kit is truly a masterpiece in terms of how closely it emulates the sound and feel of a real acoustic drum. It is a professional grade set that comes with 5 trigger pads, 4 cymbal pads, mounting gear, module and input/output audio cables. One may say that these are just bare essentials but note that they are of extremely good quality. Hi-Hat stand, double bass pedal, drumsticks, headphone, throne- none of these is included in the package.
The kit is highly crafted and has an impressive outer appearance. Unlike most entry-level kits, it does not use sampling loops or pre-recorded sounds. It uses ‘SuperNATURAL sounds with behavior modeling’, which means that every time the pad is hit, it produces a unique sound. This is just like with an acoustic kit. It has plenty of customization options and editing is easy. Through the USB ports, you can connect it with MP3 players too.
Its drum pads are made of mesh and resemble real shells in terms of surface and depth. They are quiet but produce great sound. Its dedicated ambience fader keeps the sound noise-free. This kit is for those who want to harness all the opportunities of an electronic kit and unleash their creativity. With 1 x 1 x 1 inches, it is a compact kit and doesn’t take much time to assemble. It is quite heavy (132 pounds) though. This kit is actually built for studio recordings or live shows and though it is expensive, it is totally worth the price.
- High quality components.
- Responsive mesh pads.
- Excellent sound quality.
- SuperNATURAL sounds with behavior modeling.
- Plenty of customization options.
- The set consists of only the basic items that one needs to start drumming. Yet, it is very heavy.
3. BEHRINGER XD8USB
BEHRINGER XD8USB is a cheap electronic drum set for beginners and people of all age groups find it easy to play. It includes 4 snare pads, a kick drum pad, 3 cymbals, a pedal, a set of drum sticks, a LCD module, mounting gear, 15 rack clamps and 4 rubber feet for the rack to rest on.
The components may not be top notch but are decent enough for the price. The pedal is comfortable and unlike other cheap drum sets, it rebounds with the same intensity as it is pressed with. The module has an integrated metronome and an icon-driven interface for ease of use. Having a metronome helps when learning to develop a sense of timing and rhythm. The module features 15 different drum kit styles (10 preset) and 175 different sounds.
This gives beginners a wide spectrum of material to experiment with. The sound quality is also good. It uses HDS (High Definition Sampling) technology to give an authentic drumming experience. The sound variances are limited though since it is targeted for beginners. Using the USB port, you can relay the sound to your computer, into GarageBand or into any recording platform of your choice.
The set measures 33.1 x 22.8 x 13 inches and weighs 35.9 pounds, making it easily portable. It’s a low priced, easy to use kit with impressive features and if you are just getting started, it is definitely one of the best options to consider.
- Comfortable and responsive pedal.
- Includes 15 different drum kit styles and 175 different sounds.
- Use of HDS (High Definition Sampling) technology.
- Integrated metronome.
- Icon-driven user interface pads.
- Low price.
- The set does not include a drum throne, amp or headphones.
2. Yamaha DTX400K Customizable Electronic Drum Set with Drum Throne, Vic Firth 5A Drumsticks and Stereo Headphones
The DTX400K is the cheapest model in the Yamaha’s new range of entry-level electronic drum kits. It is also the best model in the range. It uses the technology that’s found in the Pro DTX models and Yamaha’s Motif synths. It includes ten professional drums, a pair of drum sticks, a drum throne, Tascam TH-02-B multi-use studio grade headphones and 6 pads.
The pads are made of rubber but are not too hard and give a good rebound. The module is a black matte unit with no LCD display. It has a minimalist design but superior performance. It features 297 high-quality sounds. Also, it offers 10 training functions with ‘Voice Guidance’, enabling beginners to improve their timing and learn new patterns.
Yamaha has even released two iPhone and iPad apps dedicated to DTX400 training lessons. On the left of the module, there is a USB socket for computer, an Aux In mini-jack for external audio sources such as MP3 players and a single quarter-inch output that can be used as an output for headphones or even for stereo audio.
As with most low-priced electronic sets, all items in the set are attached to the rack rather than being free standing. It measures 35.1 x 12.4 x 22.7 inches and weighs 39 pounds. It is easy to assemble and doesn’t take much time or space. Yamaha is a reputed brand and DTX400K is an amazing product by them. The quality of sound is particularly great considering the price.
- Use of high-end technology.
- Training functions and apps for beginners.
- Includes 297 high quality sounds.
- Low price.
- The training apps are available only on iPhone.
1. Alesis Nitro Kit | Electronic Drum Set with 8″ Snare, 8″ Toms, and 10″ Cymbals
Alesis Studio Electronics was one of the first manufacturers to make affordable drum sets for home studios and they have continued this tradition till date. Their Alesis Nitro Kit is inexpensive and includes everything that you need to get started, without compromising on the quality. It is a complete 8-piece kit with 3 cymbals, 5 rubber drum pads, drum sticks, a bass drum pedal, a hi-hat controller, a sturdy aluminum mounting rack and a module. It is a big sturdy set that measures 27.6 x 47.3 x 43.3 inches and weighs 50.9 pounds. Setting it up isn’t difficult and takes less than an hour to do so.
The Nitro module has 385 drum, cymbal & percussion sounds, 40 different kits (both classic and modern) and 60 built-in play-along tracks. In terms of sounds, this is more than enough to experiment and enjoy. The backlit LCD screen makes it easy to navigate through the mind-blowing variety and customization options that the Nitro Kit offers. There is even an advanced sequencer to expand users’ music-making potential.
The buttons are arranged to resemble the layout of a traditional kit, so it becomes simple to assign sounds quickly. The module is cross-compliant. On the left of it, there are MIDI I/O jacks, a headphone jack and some stereo ins/outs to connect with external music players or amplifier or recording console. With an inbuilt metronome and built-in learning features, it is also an excellent set for developing drumming skills. The design, customization options, sound variety & quality- everything is awesome!
- Great sound quality.
- High quality components.
- Cross-compliant module that works with all modern PC and Mac devices without needing to download any software or driver.
- Inbuilt metronome and built-in learning features.
- Includes 385 drum, cymbal & percussion sounds, 40 kits and 60 built-in play-along tracks.
- Low price.
- The rack sits a bit lower than a traditional set. The good thing is that it is adjustable and can be raised but due to its heavy weight, this requires some effort.
Editors Choice of Best Electronic Drum Set
It is tough to choose but if we have to name one, we would say that Alesis Nitro Kit is the best electronic drum set. It really surprises us in terms of its sound quality and variety. It is an inexpensive model but very closely emulates the sound and feel of a real acoustic drum. The module too is highly advanced. With 385 drum, cymbal & percussion sounds, 40 kits and 60 built-in play-along tracks, it offers more variety than we have seen in any other drum set.
With its big sound library and highly efficient sequencer, it greatly increases music-making potential. Another good thing is that it is extremely easy to use and customize, even for beginners. It has some excellent training functions, making it super-easy to learn drumming. Adults and kids both can use it. If you are buying for kids, it is more like an investment as they will get the right set of equipments to grow with. We find it almost perfect and rate it 9/10 on our scale. So, get your drum set today, grab your sticks and hit the stage like no one’s watching!
What are your views? Which drum set do you like to use? Like always, we’ll be waiting for your valuable comments. For more reviews related to music have a look at this if you’re a fan of vinyls!