House & Beyond is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
Since drums play a vital part in the music that we are accustomed to, it is only natural if we progress with them. The introduction of an electronic drum set revolutionized how people experience music. Now we have drums that you can take with you anywhere without breaking a sweat. Getting the best electronic drum set means low noise levels, access to free training, personalized practice sessions, and less space consumption. Those are significant advantages in the world we live in.
The marketplace has catered for every type of drummer, whether beginner or veteran. You need to know which kind of electronic drum set you need. People can either settle for the full-sized drum kit with mesh heads or the electronic tabletop drum set. Once that is established, we can look at the configuration and vet the features offered, i.e. learning programmes, effects, and the number of percussion sounds or songs offered among others. The more features you want, the more likely it will cost more.
During the hours spent pouring over product details, we have come across many products in the market, but only a few seem to stand out. Look over the comparison table and the detailed reviews to understand what each electronic drum set has to offer. Use the buying guide to understand more on these kits. Let’s start!
The Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit Eight Piece Set features mesh heads that closely imitate the natural. It is not a noisy set, and thus you can drum away without hearing complaints from the people around you. The mesh heads installed are of good quality providing sensitivity. The higher the sensitivity, the better the feedback you receive from the drums once hit.
The 8-piece kit features 4-post aluminum rack, 10-inch hi-hat, a 10-inch crash pad that can be choked, 10-inch ride pad, nitro drum module, 8-inch dual-zone snare pad, three tom pads measuring 8 inches, and a power supply. In addition to that, there is a kick pad tower, kick pedal and hi-hat peddle that you can use. The drumsticks and drum key are added accessories to make your life simpler.
In the list of things provided is the nitro drum module. The module possesses features that you will find useful as you progress in your musical journey. It features 40 modern and classic play kits. As a music lover, you can tweak these kits or create your own. This is done by utilizing the cymbal, percussion, and 385 superior drum features in the module.
As a beginner, you may need a few guidelines here and there. This LED display module shows 60 play-along tracks for practice. You will find the metronome feature very helpful in improving your precision. The kit also features a sequencer and performance recorder. There are several ports to plug in various electronic devices you may need. The USB, midi, 1/8” headphone jack, stereo ports are installed and ready for use.
What are our favorite features?
Well-priced for the features offered
Set-up takes up little space
Extra accessories like drumsticks included
Educational programs available
Excellent sound quality
You can tweak or customize kits provided in the module
Configuration: snare, 3 toms, 2 cymbals and a hi-hat pad, kick pedal and hi-hat controller
Warranty: 90-day parts and labor
More features: DM6 drum module, 108 top-notch drum, cymbal, and percussion sounds, dual-zone 8″ snare pad
The Alesis DM6 USB Kit is a full-sized kit presenting eight pieces to play on. The kit utilizes soft rubber heads to provide high sensitivity while playing. Once you tap on the mesh heads, the sensors pick it up quickly to prevent any delays. You’ll get three toms, two cymbals, a snare drum, hi-hat, and two-foot pedals. One is to control the kick drum and the other the high hat. The snare drum has a dual zone with multiple sounds available from one head.
A well-positioned module on the aluminum rack is there to control all the features included. The LCD module has well-illustrated buttons to make sure you understand which function is at play. With the Alesis, module, expect to find 40-preset patterns that you can use to practice and 108 percussion sounds. Also, the drum kit provides 15 drum kits that help you create new sounding. Out of 15, ten are preset, and five are for you to utilize.
To connect to other devices, you have the input and output ports. For the input section, there is a 1/8″ stereo port and a 25-pin D-sub port that connects the cable snake. For output, the unit features a 1/8″ headphone jack and a 1/8″ stereo master. There is a USB port dedicated to transferring MIDI files to your computer. The kit comes with drumsticks, a cable snake, and a drum key for you to set up.
What makes it special?
Takes up little space
Dual-zone snare to produce multiple sounds
Wide range of programs to choose from
Quality mesh heads
Can be switched around to suit left-handed users
Accessories and user guides included
Easy to set up
What cons did we find?
No headphones and speakers included
Hi-hat foot pedal may respond slowly
Needs frequent re-tightening of joints to keep everything in place
Configuration: 7 velocity-sensitive drum pads and 2 pedals for hi-hat and kick drum
Warranty: 1-year limited
More features: drumsticks and power adapter, 45 preset drum kits, 265 percussion voices, 100 play-along songs, self-recording feature, built-in metronome, hand percussion feature enabling the use of hands instead of sticks
The Alesis CompactKit 7 is a fun-size electronic tabletop drum set that can be used by both beginners and seasoned players. It comes packed with seven velocity-sensitive pads to effect timely play. The seven pads in conjunction with the two pedals work together synchronizing the play. The two-foot pads are meant to stand in for the hi-hat and kick drum.
Want to have some fun? Well, you are in luck. This electronic tabletop unit has a wide library that you can access through the control center. There are 45 pre-set kits, 265 percussion voices, five user kits, and 100+ play-along songs. The metronomes are available in the case you want to practice more. There is no limit to how you can play these. Another advantage of this kit is that you have a choice to use your bare hands or the drumsticks that come with it.
You can use this set with batteries or plug it in the socket. If you are on the move, make sure that you have six polaroid ‘c’ batteries. The batteries will provide you with about 7–14 hours of running time before dying. They, however, don’t come with the purchase, so you’ll have to buy them separately.
When you need to record some music or use additional software, use the USB/MIDI ports to connect to the relevant devices. Also. the set comes with 1/4” headphones jack to use when you want to play silently. This unit only weighs 3lbs, so you can take it everywhere you go.
More features: non-toxic and harmless environmental protection silicone, complies with ISO10993
The PAXCESS Electronic Drum Set gives you nine pads to work with. It relies on 3.7V batteries to work optimally. The built-in lithium-ion batteries will give 6–8 hours of play before needing to be recharged, which takes 2–3 hours. The well-designed electronic drum set comes bearing two hi-hats, three toms, one snare, one crush, two drum pedals, and one ride. The pads used on this model are highly sensitive to provide you with quality sound.
Users liked how simple this tabletop unit is to use. You’ll have an option to plug in headphones and drum just for yourself. Alternatively, you can play without the headphones and reduce the volume of the units inbuilt speaker. The kit comes with a USB port, headphone jack, mp3 plugin, and the port to connect the pedals.
If you have been looking for a drum set for your child, this model would be perfect. It is made of non-toxic materials and has gone through rigorous testing. Also, it is waterproof and can stand a few dribbles of juice from your little one. The surfaces are quite easy to clean, too.
It is a small and lightweight unit that you can take with you anywhere. It doesn’t take up a lot of space.
Configuration: foot pedals and drum sticks, tom-toms, hi-hat, snare drums, crash and ride cymbals
Warranty: 1-year limited
More features: 2 different voice metronome system, LCD screen
The PylePro PTED01 is another great portable kit. It is not a large unit, and thus easily portable, so you can take it wherever you want. Another great thing that adds on to its portability is that you can decide to play on the tabletop with the power cable plugged in or use batteries. The kit needs six ‘C’ batteries to operate free of cords.
Configuration-wise, this model features digital foot pedals, inbuilt speakers, tom-toms, crash/ride cymbals, snare drums, hi-hats, and the all-important drumsticks. The control center is placed at the top of the unit to allow easy access to the controls. The LCD assists in navigating the various programmes available. There are 215 percussion voices, two metronome systems, 25 preset drum kits, 128GM voices, and five user drum kits. With all these programmes at your disposable, the options are limitless.
For connection purposes, there are headphone and USB outputs. It is important to know that the USB port doubles as a MIDI in/out port also. The kick, DC and hi-hat inputs are also available. Depending on your current needs, you will be able to tweak the tabletop model as you like.
Configuration: snare, tom, hi-hat, hi-hat control pedal, crash, ride, kick, drum stand
Warranty: 1-year limited
More features: sound module: TD-17 x 1
The Roland TD-17KV-S provides a bit more pizzazz compared to the beginner kits. The full-sized drum kit is easy to set up and comes with high-quality mesh heads that can mimic the sensitivity of well-made acoustic drums. The drum kit features nine pieces that include dual-zone snare drum, three tom drums, a hi-hat, a hi-hat pedal, one ride, one crush, and a kick drum.
Users noted that there are several awesome features that make playing it more fun. The module, for example, is manageable and provides access to different programmes. The module holds access to 50 pre-set kits and a whopping 310 percussion/drum sounds. For user customization, there are 50 slots to make use of.
The module features effects that can be integrated into the music being played. The effects include ambiance, tuning, 3- band equalizer, snare buzz, muffling, strainer, and multiple effects. You can also use wireless Bluetooth to connect your phone to the module and play along with your favorite tunes. Plug in headphones and listen to yourself play. The type B USB will connect to your laptop to access different software.
What are our favorite features?
Wireless Bluetooth access
Wide range of sounds to use
Tunable mesh heads
Metronomes and coaching function
Produces high-quality sound
Easy to assemble
Can be switched around for left-handed players
The mesh heads give an excellent response
What could be better?
The bell is missing from the ride
The hi-hat and the corresponding pedal are not very responsive
You’ll need to purchase additional items like the kick pedal, drumsticks, and hi-hat stand
Configuration: foot pedals and drum sticks, tom-toms, hi-hat, snare drums, crash and ride cymbals
Warranty: 1-year limited
More features: 2 different voice Metronome System, LCD screen
The Roland TD-1KV is a dependable full-sized kit with mesh pads. There is a PDX-100 10-inch snare pad that is well supported to facilitate cross-stick drumming. It comes with all the pieces that you might need to make music. It features a supernatural sound engine that can facilitate the creation of quality sounds. The entire unit takes a small space without restricting the player’s moves.
The unit features foot pedals, tom-toms, drumsticks, drumsticks, and crash-ride cymbals. The 3-mesh tom pads paired together with the VH-11 V-Hi-Hat and the Two CY-12C 12-inch crash cymbals, work well together.
Positioned at the top of the structure is a simple control panel with an LED display. You will be able to control the volume, engage in training sessions using the metronomes, and play along to preset songs. Also, you can record your music by connecting to a laptop by USB, and plug in your headphones or make use of the MIDI port.
If you want a unit that grows with you, this might be a good pick. As your skills improve, you can switch out some of the sections for upgraded options, like a better snare drum and cymbals, available from the manufacturer.
The PAXCESS Electronic Drum Set Mini is another cool-looking electronic tabletop drum set. It features pads that are sensitive to touch to ensure that the response time is as needed. The pads provided include thee toms, a snare, a hi-hat, a crush, two foot pedals, and a ride. The two-foot pedals function as the bass drum. It is possible to switch the hi-hat and snare drum using the special button on the control panel. This is just so that you can play in a comfortable position.
This model is a great learning tool for young kids from the age of 3. It has valuable tools that they can use to expand their skill. This drum set comes with five timbres, three rhythms, and eight songs to play along. The unit has a 5-pin headphone jack so that the drumming is confined to the user only. This feature is valuable don’t want to make any noise.
If you wish to play it out loud, there are high-quality speakers installed. The speaker relays sound well without compromising mids and highs.
The model is powered by a 2400 mAh battery. The inbuilt battery is rechargeable through the USB cable that comes with the set. The batteries take 2–3 hours to charge fully. You’ll get 8–10 hours of playing time before requiring a recharge. In the delivered package, expect to find a manual, a 3.5mm audio cable, a USB cable, and the roll-up drum.
The Pyle PTED06 is an electronic tabletop drum set that may change how you experience your music. The tabletop model weighs 11.3lbs, so it is light easily portable. This 120V model can be plugged in or use six ‘C’ batteries to work without cords. The batteries are not included, so you’ll have to purchase them.
Since it is a tabletop model, you have everything combined under one surface. Apart from the toms, snare drums, a hi-hat, and crash/ride cymbals, you will also find built-in speakers and an LED display. The LED display with well-illustrated buttons allows you to see what programmes are running. The control enter will give you access to the equalizer, volume level, beat, tempo and rhythm of the music you want to make.
The electronic tabletop’s module features seven drum pads that are highly sensitive to provide the response needed. You can record and edit your drumming sessions. There is a drum trainer feature and metronomes so that beginners can expand their skills. The set includes 65 drum kits and other built-in sounds, as well as an array of 120 songs to select from.
More features: drum sound module, quick record/quick play, coach function
The TD-11KV is another great product from the Roland company. The 8-piece full-sized drum kit is fitted with mesh heads. The mesh heads are of good quality, and thus the sound will not be compromised. In the similar full-sized kit fashion, the unit is comprised of toms, kick pad, cymbal pad, kick pad, V-pads (snare and tom), crash/ride V-cymbals, a high hat controller, but lacks a kick pedal.
Able to cater to both beginners and advanced drummers, the Roland TD-11KV features a large library to work with. You can practice with the songs availed or use the coaching function to improve drumming techniques. There are open slots where you can customize the music you want to play. The module even features a quick play and quickly recorded function so that you can later assess what you played.
When you need to use more software, you can use the USB function to connect to your computer. The USB also functions as a means of backing up music or playback mp3 tunes. The drumming set comes with a 3.5mm male stereo cable, a polishing cloth, set up guide, and three pairs of drumsticks. You can start drumming as soon as you set up the kit.
Why did it make our list?
High sound quality
Large library available
All necessary accessories included
Coaching function and metronomes for skill retention
Easy to set up and doesn’t take too much space
Tunable and high-quality mesh heads
Good for both beginners and experienced players
What is not ideal about it?
Kick pedal needs to be purchased separately
Audio cable could be of better quality
Things to Consider
As a drummer, beginner or professional, a dependable drum set is a gift that keeps on giving. To get the best electronic drum set, a bit of knowledge goes a long way. Below are a few tips and valid information that will allow selection to be straightforward.
How electronic drum sets work?
Electronic drums seem complicated at first, but they are quite simple. Electronic drums feature sensors in the form of a rubber pad or mesh head. Whenever the drum is hit, the sensor picks up the voltage value and transfers it to a sound module. The sound module is then able to translate the sound value into audible notes that can be heard. The intensity of a hit on the rubber pad/mesh head determines how soft or loud the sound will be. Considering the kind of drum set you want, it is possible to get models that feature multiple sensors under one surface. These sensors allow the user to play more than one sound from one surface. For example, a cymbal pad can be programmed to remove a bell or bow effect.
What to look for in an ideal electronic drum set?
When you look at a drum set what choice do you have when it comes to the features? Getting to know the various features offered provides an understanding of the pros and cons each product possesses. What works for one user might not work for another. Use the information below as a guide when navigating the world of electronic drum sets.
In the market, as it is, there are majorly two types of electronic drum sets. The electronic tabletop drum set or the full-sized drum kit with incorporated mesh heads. Both these types of instruments adapt well to different environments.
The full-sized drum set kit with mesh heads is a popular option. This is a regular drum set with mesh heads installed. The sensors present in these type of drum sets can be built in or permanently attached to the cymbals. Depending on the model you fetch, you can find a fixed or removable sensor.
Sensors that can be disengaged or removed allow the user to play the drums normally without any enhancements.
Electronic tabletop drum sets made their presence known in the musical world. They are simple with all the features assembled under one compact structure can be placed on a table. They are lighter than complete drum sets and therefore more portable. They are also comparatively less expensive than the full sets. The experience of playing the tabletop model is different from that of a full kit. The feel of the tabletop model and the need to change technique prove challenging to many. With the tabletop, it is less physically strenuous. They also feature modules that give the player a chance to adapt to different genres of music.
Typically, a full-size drum is comprised of eight parts. These parts include kick drum, three toms, a snare drum, hi-hats, and cymbals. In full sized electronic drum kits there are key parts that play a crucial part in the performance. For example rubber pads and mesh heads among others. These are sensors that are vital in the translation of sound.
Mesh heads – Mesh’s heads have gotten quite the reputation due to their high sensitivity. This sensitivity allows rudiments and drumming dynamics to be showcased effectively. Mesh heads can contain more than 2 triggers so that different locations on the surface produce different sounds.
If you don’t want to make too much noise, these kinds of sensors prove much quieter. It is feasible to tune the tension of the surface to get the feedback that you need.
However, they can be a tad costly depending on the brand. It is only prudent to plan and make a budget for the quality of mesh heads you want.
Rubber pads – Rubber pads are sought after because of their bounce that imitates a normal skin drum. They are compact and can be installed without taking up too much space. Since they are made of rubber, they are cost-effective and easy attainable. When one wants to produce lingering tones/loops, rubber pads adapt well.
Electronic cymbal pads – Due to advancement in technology, cymbal pads have transformed to offer more features. These new models such as the v-cymbal have a few tricks up its sleeve. One can choke the cymbal, introduce inertia and swinging motion. If you know what you are doing, you could have some fun with your electronic cymbals.
Triggers – The basic work of triggers is to transmit the hits you make on the surface into sound. These transducers can be placed on the cymbal or drum to do their work effectively. They allow you to play with various sounds such as percussion and various drum sounds.
Drum modules – Consider the drum module as your control center. The best electronic drum kits never lack one. Many modules come equipped with different functions for you to tweak. You can tweak the quality and type of sound that you want. Whether you want to play jazz or rock-inspired music, the module will take care of it. You can control the volume, fiddle with pre-set patterns and add effects if you wish.
If you’re a beginner, select drum set kits with simple modules with fewer features. Once you master how to control the module, moving to more complex modules will be simpler.
Warranties make us feel safer about the products that we purchase. The longer the warranty, the better we fee. Selecting products with warranties provides a platform to deal with any mishaps that may come up. Warranties cover the replacement or repair of goods that have problems due to production-related reasons. Read the terms and conditions to understand what the warranty covers. Many warranties will cover labor and parts provided. Anything above the conditions of the warranty will have to be covered from your pocket.
A drummer kit with extra features makes the experience more exciting. Some models in the market have a coaching function. As the name suggests, it is there to coach you. The module lets you practice timely playing so that you don’t go off tune. Synchronizing your hits with the metronome produced is a good way for beginners to learn timing techniques.
It can only be the best electronic drum set if it fits all your requirements. When you want to fit in a mic or connect the drums to your PC, there need to be compatible ports. Look at the product description to confirm whether USB and MIDI ports are available.
It’s not enough to choose and buy the best electronic drum set. Here are some tips how to care of it so it lasts much longer.
Regular cleaning is required to prevent dirt from piling. Layers of dirt affect the acoustic quality.
Use soft fabric when cleaning the surfaces and cymbals to avoid unappealing scratches.
Purchase compatible cleaning liquids, waxes and polishes to maintain the appearance of your drum kit.
Avoid fixing electrical problems by yourself. Call a pro if you don’t know what is wrong.
Take your time when unplugging cables to avoid tugging at them too hard and causing damage.
Handle the module with care; you don’t want to wear out the controls fast.
Tighten bolts and nuts regularly to avoid things from falling apart.
Consult a drum smith to replace spear parts or attend to any major
As a matter of fact, yes. There is a model that allows you to change mesh heads to rubber pads. The Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit is a good example of a model that will let you switch out the heads. With this model, you will have to switch out the mesh heads for compatible Alesis mesh pads. You need to be careful when completing this task so as not to damage sensors. Find adequate videos online on how to do it step by step.
Assembling a drum kit is not rocket science as long as the instructions provided are adequate. First, you will have to read the manual and follow the provided instructions. They will indicate which tools to use if any. Many of the products feature here happen to be easy to assemble. The Alesis DM6 USB Kit and the Roland TD-17KV-S are good examples of easy to assemble drum kits. If you find the instructions inadequate, you can always refer to tutorial videos that have been created by other users.
To set up a drum kit can be simple especially if you have already gone through the instructions. For one, you need a drum key. Consider your drum keys like some sort of screwdriver to tighten nuts and bolts. Once you have this, then you can set up according to the instructions provided. Make sure that the set-up allows you to play comfortably. If you re left-handed make sure you switch the pads to provide a better playing position.
In as much as tabletop drum sets are fun one needs to understand the basics first. For the beginner, we would recommend a full-sized drum kit. This is especially if the beginner will be invested in playing the drums for a long while. The best electronic drum kits will allow the player to grow with it. This means that you can switch out some of the parts for upgraded ones. Also, these full drum sets come with coaching functions and songs that you can use to raise your skill. Things like metronomes will help the player have the precision that is required.
Finding the best electronic drum kit is not a task for those with keen eyes. We selected the Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit to be the best all around. This is because the price is attainable for many, but the quality is not compromised. It has features that will help you grow your skill. Although it does not have an intricate system, both beginners and experienced payers can manage it.
The Alesis DM6 USB Kit is easily the best electronic drum set with rubber heads. This full-size set is sure to impress you with its quality and multiple features, including the ability to produce multiple sounds with the dual-zone snare and a wide range of programs.
Finally, if you’re looking for a tabletop option, then we recommend the Alesis CompactKit 7. Not only this product is compact and lightweight, but it’s also packed with lots of sound options.
We hope that that has been an insightful piece to help you find the best electronic drum set for your needs.