electric-drum-buying-guide

Buying The Best Electronic Drum Set

An electronic drum set gives you a drum set with lots of versatility. This electric drum set guide will explain how they work and what to look for when buying one. No longer do you have to carry around a big drum kit to have all the different sounds you want. Instead you just carry the minimum electric drum kit and you can assign the sounds you need them to make with the controller. This is great because you can even change the sound a particular head makes during the middle of a gig, so if you need to change something up for one song you can without any issues.

What To Look For In Your Electronic Drum Set

An electric drum set functions relatively simply. You have a head which can be mesh or rubber and you hit it. Under the head is a sensor and when it is hit it takes the pressure and sends a signal to the controller or brain and that converts it to the sound it is assigned. That is the basics, but there are a few things to keep in mind when trying to find the best electric drum set for your needs.

Sound Presence

The first thing to consider when switching to electronic drum sets is sound presence. Now that the sound is electric it comes from the speakers in the house and you may not be used to hearing yourself in this way. This is why you should get a couple monitors to help you hear the sounds your drum is making. Some electronic drum sets come with these, while others you may have to buy them extra, but it will help you hear what you are playing.

Electronic Drum Latency

Another change that you will have to get used to is latency. While with an acoustic drum set you get the sound instantly with an electric drum set there is a few milliseconds delay. This delay can vary depending on the quality of drum set and controller you get. This is why it is a good idea to find an electronic drum set with as little latency as possible.

Pad Types And Feel

Pad feel is another big area that you got to get used too. They have mesh pads and rubber pads. Mesh pads can be tensioned and feel a lot more like a normal drum head then rubber pads. The rebound of the mesh pads are similar to normal drum heads. Rubber pads feel a lot like practice pads. They don’t have as much bounce and can take some time to get used to, but rubber pads are a lot cheaper than mesh pads.

Dynamic Response

Dynamic response is another area that you have to make adjustments. Most modules limit the range that can be produced, but there is generally always a setting within the controller. You just have to take the time to mess with the setting to get the right feel so the sensitivity and velocity curves are at the point you want them to be.

Stricking Technique

Lastly you may have to change up your striking technique. With an electronic drum set you get all the sound at once. This shouldn’t throw you off too much though and electronic drum sets offer a lot of benefits from being convenient, to allowing quitter practice.

This electronic drum set buying guide will walk you thru some of the best electronic drum sets on the market so you will be sure to be able to find an electric drum set that is right for you.

Our Top Recommendations

We have assembled 8 electric drum sets that we think will include the best one for you. They range in price, quality, and material so surely one will fit you needs.

Alesis Nitro Electronic Drum Set Kit

The Alesis Nitro Electronic Drum Set offers an extremely stable feel to allow you to really get into your playing. Check latest prices here >>

The set is assembled on four aluminum post that are stable, but also allows with flexibility during set up. Included in this kit is an eight inch duel zone snare, and three eight inch toms.

Also, there are three ten inch symbols, and a kick pad tower with bass drum peddle. This combination allows for nearly unlimited possibilities.

The pads are rubber, but are dynamic with a natural feel to it.

The drum module with the Alesis Nitro Electric Drum Set comes with hundreds of programmed sounds and even has forty different kits and sixty play along tracks or you can create your own custom kit.

The pads are really good quality for the price which many users love. The value that this kit provides is considered highly by users of it.

There are some complaints that the pads have a bit more latency then some might want and this may not be the best kit if playing metal, but depending on your playing style the Alesis Nitro Electric Drum Set might be the best electronic drum set for you, especially if you are on a tighter budget.

Alesis-Nitro-Electronic-Drum-Set
  • Rubber pads with a natural feel
  • Hundreds of programmed sounds
4/5

Over 520 reviews


Pyle-Pro PTED01 Electronic Table Digital Drum Kit

If you are looking for a really budget friendly unit or an easy set up, then the Pyle-Pro PTED01 electronic drum set is a great option. Check latest prices here >>

This all in one drum set easily sets on a table and gives you access to seven rubber pads and two peddles. It includes 25 preset drum kits which allows for a lot of potential for any kind of music playing needs.

On top of this it has 5 user kits and 215 percussion voices so you can set up whatever kit arrangement you are needing.

It also has one hundred programmed songs to allow you to have tracks to play along to or play in the background. There is even an USB port to hook up whatever you need too.

The LCD screen on the controller is bright and easy to read. It also has a sound configuration controls, so you can get everything set up the way you want.

Another cool feature that it has is you can record your playing so you can make our own drum solo tracks. The set is powered with an AC cord or if you really need to go mobile you can power it with six C batteries.

This makes it convenient and so you can play literally anywhere. There is a head phone jack so you can keep the drumming quiet when you need to practice or you can hook it up to speakers and make it as loud as you want.

It also hooks to a Mac or PC if need to be transfer things or can be used as a controller with your favorite software.

Users love the price and the portability of this little electronic drum set. The only complaint is the build quality can be lacking compared to some. You have to be careful not to hit the drum pads to hard and also be careful in transporting it. If you need an easy to carry small kit though than the PTED01 Electronic Drum Set may be the best electric drum set for you.

Pyle-Pro-PTED01-electronic-drum-set
  • 7 Drum Pads with Touch Sensitivity
  • 5 User Kits, 215 percussion voices and 100 songs.
  • USB Port (MIDI In/Out)
4.4/5

Over 230 reviews


RockJam Electronic Roll Up Drum Kit

If you are a person who hasn’t played the drums much or interested in starting than the RockJam Electronic Drum Set may be the one for you.

This drum set is about as cheap as you will find and it is still decent quality.

It rolls up which makes it easy to take this electronic drum set anywhere you want too. Also, the speakers are built in so you don’t have to worry about buying them separate and you can start playing it as soon as you take it out of the box with very little set up.

This electric drum set includes 9 pads which allows for a lot of options. You can set up the basic things such as a snare, tom, and so on. You can also set up cymbals, hi-hat, and whatever else. There are even two peddles which allows for even more options.

The rubber in the pads are decent quality especially if you are not used to a real drum set. You can even make beats and upload them to your computer with the built in USB port.

Users love that you can connect your phone and add music that you can play over for a more layered sound. Also, you can plug in external speakers, so if you need it quiet you can use headphones, but if you want to rock out you can plug in better speakers than the built in ones.

Another bonus is it comes with a power supply so you don’t have to constantly use batteries which are an added cost. Instead you just plug the AC adaptor into a wall and start playing away.

The drum sticks that it comes with are also good quality and all wood to give you the real drumming feel. The only thing is the sticks are shorter than normal sticks.

If you are a beginner drummer than the RockJam Electric Drum Set could be a great option for you to consider. It is also a good option for a kid that you may want to get interested in drumming.

If you have been drumming for a while however, then you should probably invest in a more expensive electronic drum set from this buying guide.

RockJam-Electronic-Roll-Up-Electronic-Drum-Set
  • Built-In Speaker
  • 9 drum pads with variety of sounds
  • USB Midi
4.1/5

Over 115 reviews


Rockpals Electronic Drum Set

The Rockpals Electronic Drum Set is another budget friendly beginner set. It is another table top roll up one so you can take it anywhere you need to go. It is rubber with seven drum heads which include one snare, three toms, one crash, one ride, one hi-hat, and two pedals. It has five timbers, eight demo songs, and three rhythms. Check latest price here >>

It also comes with two built in speakers. The speakers are decent quality and have good bass effect. You can also connect it with USB to your computer to play a drum game on it and can charge it with a computer or phone.

The only complaints users have is that it doesn’t have AC power which can be a bit annoying, but the sound quality is better than most users expect.

The pedals are also a bit cheap and can fall apart, but they still tend to work. The best thing about this kit though is that it is small and easily portable.

You can roll it up and take it wherever you want. Also, since it runs on internal power you can play anywhere. If you want a decent sound electronic drum that is cheap then the Rockpals Electric Drum Set is a good option for you.

Rockpals-Electronic-Drum-Set
  • USB MIDI and USB Micro Jack
  • Two build-in Speakers
4/5

Over 50 reviews


Yamaha DTX400K Electronic Drum Set

If you are an advanced drummer, then the Yamaha DTX400K might be the best electric drum set for you. This drum set is advanced and packed with lots of features.

It has ten professional drum sets packed into one kit. The pads are a quality rubber and are pressure sensitive which in lesser sets is hard to find. The drum pads for the snare, tom and others are seven and a half inches which is plenty big to hit directly.

The cymbals pads are ten inches and are comfortable to hit as well. It also has two peddles for bass drums.

The controller can produce 297 sounds and the electric drum set is preloaded with ten kits. You can also customize them.

Users love that not only do you get the drum set, but you also get a stool that works well. Most users, even larger ones, said they could play for a good couple hours before they got sore. Also, the Yamaha DTX400K Electronic Drum Set comes with a good pair of sticks and even a quality pair of stereo head phones. These head phones are nice for being able to hear the sounds you are playing and also to practicing quietly.

Other top comments on this electronic drum set is it is super easy to set up and the metal bars are stable. The clamps used to hold the heads on are also top quality. If you are looking for a professional level electronic drum set, then the DTX400K is a great option for you.

Yamaha-DTX-450K-Electronic-Drum-Kit
  • Free iOS App with lots of features
  • 297 high quality sounds
  • KU100 Silent Kick Unit makes it quiet
4.2/5

Over 70 reviews


Kat Percussion KT3 Electronic Drum Set

The Kat KT3 Electronic Drum Set is newly designed and offers an excellent ability to be flexible. It has six rubber heads for the drums that are duel zone and a large eleven inches. The pads have a great natural stick rebound and the nine inch bass drum is duel pedal compatible.

The four cymbal pads are also top quality and are mounted on movable boom arms. This means you can move them to a variety of positions for the ultimate in comfort for your reach and playing. The cymbal pads also range from twelve inches to fourteen inches so you can be sure to get a good hit on them.

The controller with this kit is also top quality. It offers 550 studio quality sounds with 45 factory preset kits and 25 additional kits that the user can program for their needs. There are also 100 play along tracks to make your own unique mixes.

Users also love that you can record your own tracks and transfer them and that you can hook up a phone or mp3 player to transfer music over. Users love all the built in features that it has.

Some people complain that you got to get in dialed into your style, but admit once you do it is worth it. You do have to take some time though in the controller menus to get the settings right for your need, but you can play any type of music on this drum set.

The Kat KT3 electric drum set is one of the best electric drum sets on the market. It may be geared towards more advance professional players, but can really be used by anyone and if you start with this unit you won’t have to upgrade down the road.

Another reason why this is a great electronic drum set for beginners is it has a built in learning mode which can get you on the right path for being a great drummer. Read more here >>

Kat-Percussion-KT3-electronic-drum-set
  • Ultra-sentitive and quiet pads
  • 550 studio quality sounds with 45 kits
4.1/5

Over 5 reviews


Roland TD-11K-S V-Compact Series Electronic Drum Set

The Roland TD-11K-S V-Compact Electronic Drum Set is another drum set that is excellent for professionals. It is high quality with stable metal bars that allow for easy compact set up. It has two pedals and the bass drum pad has a natural feel kick to it. Check latest prices here >>

The snare pad is also a top quality mesh pad so you get more of a real drum feel from it. The tom pads and cymbal pads are rubber, but they are still top quality and give a responsive natural drum feel. It total there are eight pads and they can be programed for multiple sounds.

Users love that this set is light weight and easy to move around even though it is extremely good quality and stable. One complaint is it doesn’t come with a bass pedal, but the hi-hat pedal can be programmed to do that, but then you lose the hi-hat, so you will need to buy another pedal.

Also, it doesn’t come with a seat or sticks. It is solely the set when it comes out of the box so you got to keep that in mind when it comes to trying to play straight out of the box.

Other than these minor issues though it is an excellent set and worth the cost. The pads are really good and the sounds it produces are also top quality. The sounds can be programmed and adjusted to meet whatever you needs have.

If you are looking for a higher end set, then the Roland TD-11k-S Electric Drum Set is a great option that will last you for years. Read more here >>

Roland-TD-11K-S-V-Compact-Series-Electronic-Drum-Set
  • Light weight and easy to move around
  • Extremely good quality and stable
  • Natural feel kick pad
4.4/5

Over 45 reviews


Behringer XD8USB Electronic Drum Set

The Behringer XD8USB is a great midlevel drum set. It has a lot more features than a beginner electronic drum set has, but it comes with the price of a beginner model. The eight pads are top quality rubber and they mount easily to the bars. Check latest prices here >>

The bars are easy to assembly and it is balanced when standing, but still compact so you can play it anywhere. There are four drum heads, three cymbal heads, and then the base head with peddle. There is also a second peddle for duel bass or hi-hat.

The sound model is programed with ten presets and you can make five custom sets which gives you plenty of playing options which should be more than enough for most regular drum players.

If you have the software you can connect to an external interface using the built in USB port and it ships ready to play. For some users it is a little short and the sound quality isn’t as great as some more expensive models, but it is still a great steeping stone if you are just starting out.

The kit is also easy to set up and light weight so it is easy to move around from gig to gig. If you are just starting out with gigs and can’t afford a full large drum set or a more expensive electric drum set, then the Behringer XD8USB Electronic Drum Set is a great option. Once you start earning some money you can upgrade to a better set and sell this one off or keep it for practice.

Behringer-XD8USB-8-piece-Electronic-Drum-Set
  • 10 factory presets
  • Large LCD for easy operation
4/5

Over 30 reviews


Conclusion

This electric drum buying guide offers you a lot of different options to pick from. No matter your budget you should be able to find an electronic drum set that is perfect for you. If you are a new player, then you may want something cheaper, and if you are a more experienced player, then you may want a more expensive option, but one of these electronic drum sets is probably perfect for you.

Just try to find one that offers the customization you need and don’t be afraid to get into the menus to get the electronic drum set programed the way you want it. Once you do you will love the flexibility that an electronic drum set offers.

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