Have a look at 10 Best Electronic Drum Sets [2020]

Drumkits are one of the essential additions to any drummer’s life - from the time they pick up their first drumstick to playing sold-out shows all over the world, a drummer needs to know his drum-kit well to practice. There are plenty of electronic drum-kits available today, and narrowing your choice down to the best requires a bit of research which we've done for you.

There are drum-kits which come as complete sets and ones that come as shell packs. Shell packs are those kits where you purchase the drums alone. A shell pack can be bought with any amount of drums, complete with hoops and heads, as well as tom mounts. Shell packs do not include a full hardware set, and this means you’ll have to purchase stands, for your cymbals, snares and more. It is essential that whatever kit you buy, you do the necessary research that gives you what you’re looking for. Some of the best electronic drum kits come as full sets and they can be set up immediately to practice while there are those which comes as a part of a deal. We've simplified the process for you so that you'll know what needs to be done when you're purchasing.

Electronic drum kits at the entry-level have improved in quality over the years, with mesh heads replacing the rubber heads which are inferior in quality. There have been models which makers have innovated, and they provide an innovative approach to their manufacturing. We’ve written this electronic drum set review guide, so you can understand the different styles and choose the one that is best for you. Some of them are great for beginners, and if you want a slightly better one that’s out of your reach, you could opt for used drum sets as well.

Electric drum kits are perfect for quiet practice, recording and even live performances, so buy one, and it’ll fit everything you need. Here are some of the best:

TOP RATED ELECTRONIC DRUM SETS 

1. Alesis Drums Nitro Mesh Kit

Alesis Drums Nitro Mesh Kit Eight Piece All Mesh Electronic Drum Kit

The Alesis Drums Nitro Mesh Kit is one of the quieter drum kits that make it perfect for practice and getting yourself ready for a concert or show. While electronic drums aren’t the most peaceful, they are quieter than acoustic drums. The Alesis Nitro Mesh has mesh heads which reduce the sound made from the drums. It has rubber on the left, followed by a mesh head on the right.


Since the noise isn’t much, you’ll be able to practice without disturbing your neighbours or family. When we played them, the pads don’t feel like an acoustic hit as the acoustic ones are made out of mylar which is a type of plastic. When you play the Alesis Nitro Mesh, you won’t feel the acoustic hit. What you do get is the advantage of playing your drum kit and making it sound like 40 different sounds, with the help of the modules available.

ADVANTAGES


  • It also allows you to record your drum playing without the need to work with a microphone as it is in-built into the module.
  • You can also use the metronome or get coached with the training available. The drum does a lot more than what you’d expect from a standard electric drum, and that is enough to give you what you’re looking for.
  • For practice, you will need to work on those grooves and beats, and it can get hard to get yourself to begin.
  • We thought the “learning mode” provided is one of the best features as this was usually only applicable to higher-end models, which came with in-training functions. It is useful as it makes it simpler to practice and have someone guide you when the process is a learning curve.

SHORTCOMINGS


  • The learning mode allows you to play along to a pattern or rhythm after a count-in or plays a pattern or rhythm without the drum parts, which you have to fill in for. Both cases allow you to listen back and understand the kind of changes you’ve to make. You’ll also receive a score for accuracy, and this is objective.
  • Also, once you outgrow these drums, it will become harder for you to adjust to another style of drums, so do mix it up from time to time.

VERDICT -

The various beats and grooves add for a smooth experience and the learning mode ensures you’re able to become a better player.

2. Roland V-Compact Series

Roland V-Compact Series Electronic Drum Kit

Roland is known for being one of the pioneers of music instruments, and the V-Compact series features very modelled drum sounds as well. There are also great in-built functions to track progress and improve the technique and ensure better motivation. We also learnt that the model could be upgraded with a second snare or a crash cymbal as well.


The drum kit comes with cymbals and five drums, and it is one of the more popular models from Roland and for a good reason.

ADVANTAGES


  • The mesh heads provided on this drum kit are much more responsive and enjoyable to practice on and feels much more real to play on.
  • We played the drum and realized the mesh snare comes along with a standalone bass drum pad which gives a better feel than the other competitors in the same group.
  • The “natural-feel” kick pad make it stand out from the rest as well. The pads are also not as springy as other models and absorb the beats much more realistically. The sounds provided are impressive as well and is an ode to Roland’s high standards of quality that they are always known for.
  • The drum kit also comes with a Coach Mode which makes it feel like a personal trainer for drumming. It will give you the encouragement you need to practice each day and complete the warm-ups correctly as well.
  • The built-in recording system allowed us to hit the record button and playback whatever we played as well so you can keep improving.
  • Also, the parts can be easily arranged to ensure that beginners get the best feel and can arrange them on their own from the time they are purchased.

SHORTCOMINGS


  • The cymbal pads and drum provide a standard drum feel, and you’ll need a better snare and kick to get the right effect. While the drum kit is good, it does come with an expensive price tag which makes it harder to budget in.

VERDICT -

​​The kit tracks progress and gives you the motivation to become better. There is also Bluetooth connectivity that comes with the drum kit so you can connect your monitors/headphones via the smartphone to the drum system and listen to a video lesson, making this a good kit overall.

3. Alesis Surge Mesh Kit

Alesis Surge Mesh Kit

The Alesis Surge Mesh Kit is an entry-level drum kit built for those who want to learn drumming from scratch. The eight-piece kit comes with three cymbal pads and five mesh drum pads. The four drums are dual-triggered and are incredibly sturdy as well. The bass drum pedal for Alesis is also attached. The smaller cymbal pads are the only single trigger, with no separate crash sounds or ride bells.


The rack is easy to assemble and doesn’t use poles like the ones present in higher-end Alesis frames. It holds everything properly with no unwanted movement restricting it as well. The model is similar to the Nitro Model from Alesis and has been re-labelled. There is also a 6cm LCD screen that has a navigation system which allows you to move from “kit”, “Voice” and “song” menus, in addition to many training features as well.

ADVANTAGES


  • There are a total of 385 individual instruments to play around with, and these sounds vary from percussion, electronic sounds and sound effects such as DJ scratches and more.
  • There are also 60-inbuilt MIDI backing tracks that can be played with/without the original drum track.
  • There is also a mini-jack for headphones out and aux in, and the mesh pads have jack inputs for an extra cymbal and a fourth tom.
  • The module is easy to understand as it is pretty straightforward and performs well out of the box. There are also some dynamic expressions available and addictive grooves as well.
  • The wealth of learning features such as the metronome makes it an excellent tool for drummers, and this is a unique device for anyone who wants to learn to drum the right way.

SHORTCOMINGS


  • The kits and sounds aren’t named, but numbered, making it trickier for us to find what you need exactly without memorizing every one.

VERDICT -

​​The drum kit is a great tool for it comes with backing tracks and individual instruments to play with. The kit is great because it also has an auxillary input to plug-in and out whenever required.

4. Donner DED-200 Electric Kit

Donner DED-200 Electric Kit Electronic

The Donner DED-200 Electrical kit provides a beautiful acoustic sample of a real drum and allows you to adjust and test each timbre individually. The 8-inch mesh drum head offers a feel closer to a real drum and will enable you to get the necessary practice to become a better drummer.


There is also a 12-inch silicone cymbal with a well-distributed tone that is stable and provides good response at any cymbal position. We found out the electric drum kit is ideal for both beginners as well as seasoned players and comes with 30 demo songs and 225 sounds as well. You can also connect an MP3 player or phone to learn newer songs.

ADVANTAGES


  • The DED-200 uses the DREAM sampling tech, which uses digital technology to record real instruments and collects sound quality from the original drum.
  • It also gives you efficient software algorithms and helps in chip computing as well, so that there is no delay. From punk, rock, jazz, blues and more, different styles can be tried.
  • The drum kit comes with the all-mesh drum head that can solve issues such as slackness or mesh deformation. The mesh is much denser and drumhead with the dual-trigger technology.
  • The cymbal of the drum is injection-moulded from specific materials that act as a shock vibration to the sensor.
  • There are also custom sensors which have a dynamic response to the different characteristics of anti-interference. The drum stand is also safer and steadier. Each drum can be easily set up and fixed so you can concentrate purely on music.
  • The kit can also be disassembled and carried along, making it highly portable and viable. Overall, it’s a beautiful electric drum kit to work with, and we had a great time.

SHORTCOMINGS


  • The drum kit requires you to adjust to your position of preference. You’ll also need to connect the computer or MP3.

VERDICT -

​The mesh kit drowns out heavy noise and also contributes to a steadier and rhythmic beat, making it an ideal kit to practice with.

5. Roland High-performance (TD-25 KVX)

Roland High-performance, Mid-level Electronic V-Drum Set

The TD-25K has a snare pad but uses the smaller mesh pads for the floor toms and the rack. There is also an onboard audio recording function, with multi-effects and USB connectivity that gives the usual audio facilities. The clean layout of the TD-25 makes it stand out from the rest, and it looks brilliant.


The illuminated rotaries, soft-press switches and backlit screens are just the beginning. There is a grey rotary control right in the centre of the module, and you can navigate around the kits, and we found that pretty cool.
There is a collection of electronic kits as well, with samples such as the classic 909 to the “Modern Swag” set. They represent larger drum sizes and cymbals as well. The graphics also make things clear and creates a more natural way to edit on-the-fly.


The SuperNATURAL term can be applied in different ways to catch the nuances of the way an instrument responds and reacts to being played. There is a mixture of various sensors as well with some smart switching that can be done. A buzz roll on the same drum, for example, doesn’t play the sample repeatedly or quietly.


The snare pad can detect stick positioning all over the head like a real snare drum, and you’ll be able to get a weightier sound towards the centre of the drum and a thinner one around the edge.


We found that the playback and audio recording also requires a memory stick which can be placed into a port on the side of the device. It can help in capturing ideas for songs and recording a jam track to accompany a YouTube video, for example.

ADVANTAGES


  • All the sounds are split into different categories, and the other genres can also be accessed easily.
  • There are options for ‘7-s backbeats, massive hats and kick drums among others.
  • The Vintage sounds are more in line with the sounds of classic rock as well.

SHORTCOMINGS


  • The metal group sounds aren’t as organic as the other ones, and some of the snare and tom sounds also feel over-processed.
  • The Speed Metal kit has pointy bass drums and tom sounds, with a cutting snare as well and we loved that.

VERDICT -

​The kit makes it easier to choose a sound that works best for your style of play, and allows you to sample classic songs as well.

6. Yamaha DTX432K

Yamaha Electronic Drum Set (DTX432K)

Known for having the trusted quality of Yamaha and its technology, the DTX432 is powered by the DTX402 module. It comes with 287 professional percussion and drum sounds with the Accent Articulation which provides dynamic expression. You can customize ten kits to match your style or even practice with the many training functions that feature Voice Guidance as well.


The pads also come with a 10” ride, crash cymbals and hi-hats. The crash pad has a choking function, and the drum pads are also designed for better playability, durability and authenticity among others. The DTX432K also has a bass drum pedal and a KP65 kick pad to get the authentic feel of the kick drum. The HH65 hi-hat pedal allows for hi-hats that sound “half-open” and they are usually found on kits that cost higher. 4-rack steel delivers a framework that creates a better playing experience as well.


The drum kit also comes with an Android and iOS app for players to edit and train, making for a better experience that is more user-friendly. It is also compatible with the Rec ‘n Share app to record, practice and share performances.

ADVANTAGES


  • The drum kit allows for silent practise sessions with fabulous headphones, and also come with a recording function.
  • You can create great drum kits and videos as well, allowing you to improve your skills and set yourself up to play in minutes.
  • There is also a sturdy rack and an aux input that allows you to work with your favourite tunes as well.

SHORTCOMINGS


  • The drum kit can get a bit noisy when you’re practising at home, so you must adjust the meshes well enough to avoid any disturbance.

VERDICT -

The drum kit can connect via Android and iOS, making it a great tool to continually keep listening to your recordings. It’s a nice kit to purchase as the Yamaha quality shines through with the sound and the durability.

7. Ivation Portable Electronic Drum Kit

Ivation Portable Electronic Drum Pad

One of the most critical tasks a drummer faces is carrying gear everywhere. Drums are the most significant part of a band on-stage, and it can be tiring having to lug it all over the place. The Ivation Portable Electronic Drum Pad comes with a rollaway drum set that allows you to travel with it.


We found out that there are three tom-toms, three cymbals, one snare drum, two working pedals and two drumsticks that come with the kit and they’re all labelled to make it easier to understand as well.


There are AAA batteries that can be installed for hours of music practice and experimentation and that for us is a beautiful addition. There are also a variety of drum tones available for you to keep working with different tones by genre and practice with demos and metronomes as well. You can also work with compatible MP3 players to play along with the backing track as well.


The drum also comes with an LED backlight, so you know they are powered and ready to work.

ADVANTAGES


  • The digital drum set kit has a digital system that replaces a usual professional kit with the help of the space-saving package.
  • You can also work with speakers or headphones for true-to-life percussion sounds, and the markings make it easier to understand where each part of the instrument is.

SHORTCOMINGS


  • The drum kit may be harder to figure out as it can be foldable. The sounds may not be completely authentic owing to the overall build it comes with.

VERDICT -

​​Owing to its compact size, this is the ideal drumkit to carry if you’re travelling because you’ll be able to work with it at any place at any time.

8. ​​PAXCESS Electronic Drum Set Review

PAXCESS Electronic Drum Set, Roll Up Drum Practice Pad Midi Drum Kit

The PAXCESS Electronic Drum Set is designed specifically for kids, and it comes with its own set of pros and cons. However, for the range that it comes in, it is quite impressive in its own right.


The drum set comes with a 2,400 mAh rechargeable battery that means you don’t have to be near a power source to charge it or make it work. It lasts long as well and can deliver at least ten hours of playtime on a full battery.

ADVANTAGES


  • The drum set comes with its built-in speaker, and even though it is portable, it doesn’t need to connect to an external speaker. You can plug in a headphone jack and listen.
  • The seven drum pads are also a versatile addition and give a beginner a decent selection to start with, and we found that out.
  • The drum kit is built to practise. The user-friendly interface makes it easier to understand, and an onboard metronome ensures you’re always on time.
  • The compact build and portable option are an added advantage as well, and it can be rolled up whenever needed.
  • The pad also works as a game controller which is why kids love it. This can be done with the standard MIDI output and the USB controller as well.

SHORTCOMINGS


  • The foot pedal is a little flimsy and wobbly, so you’ll need to be wary of that. The drum sticks too, are short as it is aimed towards kids more than any other demographic.

VERDICT -

​​The kit is ideal for kids starting, and adults could find it harder to work with the drum set. It is an excellent kit for those looking to introduce their kids to the basics of drumming as they will appreciate and enjoy it to the fullest.

9. Alesis Command Mesh kit

Alesis Command Mesh Kit Electronic Drum Kit

The Alesis Command Mesh Kit comes with mesh heads and a bass drum along with a snare, making it an excellent set for experienced drummers. If you’re making the transition to an electronic kit to an acoustic kit, then this is the best one to work. The quiet mesh heads make it a great instrument to practice on, and the cymbals and toms are made from rubber, so they make a bit more room noise than mesh heads.


The mesh lead on the kick pad keeps the noise down as well, allowing you to play at any time without disturbing anyone. There are higher-end features which make it a great live kit as well, and we were able to sound like rockstars! Your drum sounds can be imported, and it is a great experience to work with stopping and starting samples.

ADVANTAGES


  • The Alesis kit comes with a five-piece drum setup, replete with cymbals, modules and a drum rack as well. There are three cymbals and a playable rim on the snare drum which can be used to create and mix different stickings and sounds.
  • Rim clicks and sounds can be adjusted. They can be adjusted and easily replaced, and the mesh heads don’t need access to lugs to make adjustments.

SHORTCOMINGS


  • The pad is also super quiet compared to the other towers in the category. The mesh head also absorbs the noise on impact and can be fully adjusted to make sure the rebound is to your liking.
  • The mesh head triggering is good and leads to “hot spots” which are areas that are more sensitive compared to others.
  • The three rubber pads come with two front rack toms which are 9-inches in diameter, and the 11-inch floor tom is larger. The response is a little springy, and it can be played on the rims and head surface as well.

VERDICT -

​​​The Alesis kit is a nice addition to your set because it allow you to work with both live and recording, while having the capability to sample and import sounds as well.

10. Behringer XD-80 USB

BEHRINGER XD80-USB High-Performance

The Behringer electronic drum kit has a pretty straightforward setup, making it user-friendly and compact for anyone who is beginning drumming. It comes with a bass kick pedal that is ready and reliable, and any new drummer wouldn’t have an issue configuring the set.


The user-friendly module includes a metronome, 175 sounds and around 15 different drum kit styles. The USB port allows you to relay sound from the kit onto the computer to record it according to your preference.

ADVANTAGES


  • The sweet sound module comes with advanced compatibility along with the basic setup. It is specially designed for newer drummers who want to make it sound like the real thing.
  • There is also an icon-driven UI that allows you to press the instrument pad and relay the sound onto an external speaker or headphones. The sound module also includes a running metronome that you can adjust according to the tempo you require.
  • Having a metronome is essential to set the tempo to practice and play your favourite song as well. Students can use a drum tablature and set up to work with tunes they love. There is also a lot more functionality that comes with the kit, and it can help develop a “musician’s ear.”

SHORTCOMINGS


  • The drum kit can be a little extensive to grasp at first, but with time, it can be easy to understand.

VERDICT -

The Behringer XD-80 is a good beginner electric drum set for anyone who is just starting out because it has a user-friendly module that allows you to record it according to your preference.

Things to consider while buying an Electronic Drum kit

One of the first things you must consider is the fact that the kit doesn’t make noise compared to an acoustic kit. It is supposed to be used for practice more than anything else and the more it muffles the sound, the better it is for you and the people living around you. 

Equipment provided

You’ve to also note the equipment that comes with the entire drum kit. Most kits come with racks, sound modules, hi-hat controller as well as cables in their basic form. They may not contain items such as a drum throne, kick pedal, headphones, sticks and hi-hats. These add-ons can be costlty, adding hundreds of dollars to the overall bill. If you have the same equipment on a normal drum kit, you could use them interchangeably and that would be fine!

There are some lower-end kits that do include these parts and you’re more likely to find them there. Companies target kits to newer players who won’t have drum gear through the year. The mid- and upper-level kits may also require a hi-hat stand and a snare drum as well.

Once you do play for a few years, you’ll begin to get a better understanding pedals and sticks and the ones provided on these e-kits won’t be adequate to accommodate your playing skills. But if you’re just starting out, most of the ones provided along with the kit should work absolutely fine.

You need the e-drums to sound good and playing them well to maximize your experience. If they don’t sound good, then you won’t end up playing as much. Purchase a good quality set of professional headphones to give yourself a great experience.

Space

The space you dedicate to your e-drum is another important aspect to consider. The higher-end kits can have a larger footprint than even the acoustic versions and this can be a problem in a smaller studio setup.

Before you do purchase your kit, ensure that there is enough space in your house for you to effectively place it somewhere. If the kit is bigger than the space you’ve allotted, you can mount some of the pads onto a traditional hardware frame instead of the rack included to help you save some space.


Sound quality

Sound quality is a subjective thing and you need to find the sweet spot when it comes to choosing your drum kit. While you purchase, ensure that the modules have all been initialized to the factory specs, so you get to hear the sound that the manufacturer intended for the same.
Ensure you listen to how natural a cymbal sounds and the change in sound character once you play every pad right from soft to loud.


FAQs

1. How to choose the right sound for an electronic drum? 

The drum module and the variety and quality of sounds offered have a direct relationship. Most modules include the standard sounds expected, but there are other instruments as well, which provide special effects, non-percussion instruments and more. These modules allow you also to edit your sounds. Choose modules that have download capabilities.

2. How to select preset patterns?

Most modules come with their own set of preset patterns and thee consist of two-bar parts or patterns that are related to the music styles and drum kits. These can be exceptional learning tools and a source of inspiration to create significant drum parts.

3. How to choose a natural sound and feel?

The best modules can offer an accurate trigger response that gives drummers feedback they receive from an acoustic kit. A module that responds to nuances in playing techniques can provide audio feedback that is in line with the playing. The velocity and sensitivity of these responses can be worked to give a better experience while playing. You can also adjust the EQ of the cymbals and drums for a good mix.

4. How to understand the pad feel and touch?

The attack characteristics and rebound, along with the stick response or mesh heads are different from acoustic counterparts. Mesh heads allow for tension adjusting, and there is no need to adjust the dynamics and stick techniques to match the response.

Also, working around technique is demanding for hand-percussion players who may find it disorienting, so there are controllers that are available for hand percussions.

5. How to adjust latency and distant sound?

While a MIDI is fast, processing hundreds of sounds, there might be a lag between the sound you hear and the sticking. This is because of preconditioning from playing traditional acoustic drums. This will diminish with time, and you’ll be able to adjust soon. Also, drummers can find that the kit sounds through the PA may feel disorienting. A good pair of monitor speakers or in-ear monitors can eliminate the issue and ensure you don’t feel the difference.

CONCLUSION

Thus, choosing the right electric drum kit is essential as you will be able to work with some of the best machines in the world. With time, you’ll find the difference in these electronic kits. They can be used for practising as well as playing live, and the mesh heads ensure there are no disturbing sounds in and around the places you’re playing.

Make sure you understand the drum kit you require and gauge your individual needs before you head over and purchase. Once done, you’ll have a great time improving and becoming better at the art, and we'd recommend watching videos as well to understand specific nuances.

Get yourself a drum kit that works best in your space and understand the requirements and genre that you will need. With time, it will be the best investment you give yourself as a drummer.

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