If you are looking into the best electronic drum sets because you are buying your first set or just adding another piece to the collection you need to take everything into consideration before making a permanent decision.
In this article, I will be going through the top ten currently available electronic drum sets by pointing out their pros and cons. Make sure you understand each of these beasts before deciding which one are you going to rock on for the years to come because the drum set you get will last you a long time.
Electronic Drums Have Changed (For the better)
As you already may know the first digital drum sets appeared back in the 80s but their fame lasted for a short period of time and not long after they were forgotten because they weren’t developed enough and artists generally weren’t pleased with them.
Even if digital drums started as something that did not have a huge impact in the beginning, we are so happy that Roland and Yamaha didn’t give up on them and eventually turned them into something that can be good as acoustic drums and even better than them for certain artists needs.
Benefits of Going Digital
There are various benefits of using an electronic drum set versus using an acoustic set. And depending on your level as a drummer they will vary, but that just means that even a beginner can benefit as much as a professional player.
One of the main advantages of electronic drums is the ability to play a huge array of sounds using just one drum set. Electronic drums can also play a various pre-recorded samples and most of them come with a lot of pre-installed ones.
Thanks to their digital systems it is very simple to jump from one sound effect to another, you can experiment with them easily and it will offer you a lot of different options to compose.
If you are hitting drums in an apartment where your family lives, electronic drums can be very quiet which will allow you to play them at all times. It is simple as plugging in headphones and you can be isolated within your drumming experience.
Although not all of the drum sets in this review are designed to minimize the space occupied by the set, most of the electronic drum sets are smaller than the regular acoustic drum set. Keep in mind that you are not loosing anything with their reduction in size, digital drum sets are smaller than acoustic sets because they don’t need bulky drums.
These are just some of the reasons to consider acquiring electronic drum sets. Further down below I will outline some of the things which you should know if you are a beginner before deciding which drum set to purchase. If you are familiar with how things work on a set, just go ahead and skip to the reviews further below.
Rubber Pads vs. Mesh Heads
Even if you are a beginner you have probably heard about the difference between rubber pads and mesh heads on electronic drums. The difference is real and it can be felt even if you are just a beginner.
Rubber Heads are there to provide you with a cheaper solution, they make a bit more noise and are less responsive. Rubber pads are thinner and smaller in size which is good as it allows for more freedom when setting up your set.
But on the other hand, they are less responsive and do not offer an experience similar to the one of playing an acoustic drum set.
Mesh heads are far superior when it comes to the playability and the response of the drums. The bounce and response from the flexible mesh surface makes rolls and paradiddles much easier. Sensitivity of a mesh head is greatly improved. This results with a different range of sounds depending on where you strike on the mesh head surface.
Mesh head is constructed of a mesh skin which is stretched across the surface. And their light and thin skin is sensitive enough that it will produce a sound with the lightest touch you can produce which gives you absolute freedom.
One huge advantage the mesh head option offers is the ability to adjust the tension of the mesh skin so that you can set it up accordingly to your style.
Rubber Pads are found in cheaper solutions but they are not all beginner rated, some of the rubber pads offer near professional set experience. As the technology advances so do their abilities.
Monitoring and Amplification
Since these are electronic drums you should be aware that the drum set needs to be connected to an amplification system via the audio cable, especially if you are playing with other musicians.
It is advisable to have a good pair of monitor speakers so that you can hear your music exactly the way you are playing it.
Switching From Acoustic To Electronic Drum Set
Make no mistake, if you are a long time acoustic drummer you are going to feel the difference. The good news is that you can get used to it and use it as an advantage over time as you get better with your electronic drum set.
Another thing that you are going to experience is the change in the source of the sound. If you were using acoustic drums then you are used to the sound spreading from the drums over the entire room, but once you change to the electronic drum set you will notice that the sound is originating from the speakers.
The best solution to this problem is placing several speakers around the room which will give the similar feeling of spreading sound as when using acoustic drums.
Best Electronic Drum Set – Top 10 Picks
I will be listing digital drum sets by their quality and price ratio, unfortunately, most of us artists are not loaded so the price is something we have to take into a consideration and that is why I will be listing drum sets which are actually best for the money.
Many factors influenced the drum sets I chose for my top 10 choices. Such as the quality of the set, the quality of the sound and most importantly what were the experiences of other people that had the chance to play these drums.
Without further a due, the following electric drum set represents a perfect ratio between the quality and the price and that is why I have decided to write about it first. It offers optimal performance for the money invested.
1. Roland TD-30K V-Pro Series
Roland is known for being best in the game and TD-30K is known among professional drummers. This model stands out as a perfect example of what digital drum sets are capable of.
Make no mistake, this is a professional electronic drum set and it will cost you, but if you are looking into getting something serious and want a performance for the money you pay then this is your choice.
Roland TD-30KV is the model that shook the ground by breaking the limits of electronic drum sets. The difference between acoustic and electronic is not present.
It offers everything from high-quality mesh heads to the advanced sensing technology and SuperNATURAL sounds. The sensation is identical like when playing the acoustic drums because of the introduction of the advanced sensing technology which is responsible for making it an instrument that reacts and responds to all the subtleties, nuances, and dynamics of a drummer’s technique.
Features of the Roland TD-30K:
- Advanced Sensing Technology making it respond to any drummer’s technique
- SuperNATURAL sounds which have changed the game when it comes to sound quality in the world of electronic drums.
- Professional V-Edit mode for modifying sounds
- Dedicated Ambience fader with room ambience and overhead mic simulation
- USB port which makes it easier than ever to import and save your MP3/WAW files.
- Offers separated USB-MIDI port which makes computer connectivity faster
This is the best electronic drum set that was ever made and it will remain that way for some time because the sound quality coming from this badass is unmatched until the present day. There are not any downsides to this beast really, apart from the price everything else is perfect.
The sound of this drum set is beautiful no matter which sounds you choose and when you sit behind this beauty, you know that you are sitting behind the best electronic drum set in the world today.
If you have the money go for it, if you are a professional drummer and you need something to up your game then this one will definitely do that for you.
But if you are a beginner or someone who is not prepared to separate a huge amount of money for a set then move on to the article below and let’s find a drum set that works for you.
2. Yamaha DTX700 Series – DTX750K
Yamaha was there from the beginning along with Roland and its no wonder that they offer an electronic drum set which is one of the best in the world.
Created for professional usage like a stage performance and studio recording, Yamaha DTX750K is well known as a right choice when purchasing a digital drum set for serious drumming.
When I look at this Yamaha set I think quality. Even the tiny details are done in a way that makes Roland sweat because Yamaha really made its move when releasing this drum set.
Every part of this set was designed with care from the mesh heads drums to the Realistic Cymbals.
This set sits on the pricier side but that brings a lot of advanced features that improve the quality of the sound as well as the improved experience while you play.
One of the features I would love to point out is DTX technology which when paired with high quality mesh heads creates a perfect mix that contributes to the natural feeling of using drums.
Yamaha DTX750K Features:
- Yamaha’s Natural Sound which brings the natural feedback
- DTX Pad’s – Used for quiet playing and practice
- Allows for quick and easy samples import
- Stuffed with technique enhancing tools
- Comes with songs which are suitable for beginners (Not sure if this is a plus because of the price tag many beginners can’t just purchase a set like this, but can’t really call this as a minus either)
- AUX Input – This is to be expected from a set like this
- Yamaha’s original Trigger Function
- Hi-Hat System – Its there to enhance and provide subtle details
Overall this is one of the best electronic drum sets and it deserves to sit on this list on a second spot. But I did notice that there is room for improvement because there are some things that this set falls short of.
I don’t like the fact that the bass drum doesn’t come with the mesh head. Instead, it is covered with the rubber pad and generally, mesh head covered drums respond better than the rubber ones and that is a first thing that would visually differ high end from mid ranged digital drum sets.
Still, with this minor drawback this set will not disappoint you, it is ready for some serious work and if you have the budget and feel that this one is for you then I say go for it.
3. Roland TD-30KV V-Pro Series Electronic Drum Kit
This is pretty much the same drum set as the first choice apart from one difference. The price of this set is way higher than the one I decided to go with as the number one choice. This is the best drumset that Roland has to offer but I believe that a miniature improvement in quality can’t justify the huge difference when it comes to price and that is why this electronic drum set sits on a third place instead of first.
Again, this is the prime model of Roland industry, everything is perfect from the sound quality to the responsiveness and feedback. There is nothing negative I can say when it comes to sound quality, models TD-30K and TD-30KV are best from Roland and they are setting the bar when it comes to quality, this is as good as it gets.
Roland TD-30KV-Pro Series Features:
- SuperNATURAL Sound Engine – Making the perfect sound quality
- V-Edit Mode – It simplifies sample customizing process
- Behavior Modeling technology
- Flagship V-Drums with advanced sensing technology
- Dedicated “Ambience” feature which allows for room-ambiance adjustment
- Designed for serious stage use and performance
- Redesigned and improved mesh heads along with the cymbals in order to provide even more natural feeling
- Standalone USB port for easier connectivity
The only reason why I would recommend this drum set over the first pick is in the case if you were looking for a 7 piece digital drum kit. Otherwise, I would suggest sticking with the first Roland TD-30K model, the quality is the same but the price is way lower for the first choice.
4. Roland TD-11K-S V-Compact Series:
Alright now let’s move on to something that’s in an affordable range of almost everyone who wishes to play on a digital drum set. This right here is one of the best electronic drum sets there are for the smaller amount of money than the big boys above.
However this is a high quality set, it will not disappoint you and it will satisfy all of the beginner needs and even more than that. If you are a solo drummer enthusiast and love to play for the feel of it, then this drum is a perfect option.
But you must understand that the sound quality is not going to be like in any of the professional drum sets above. Still, this is a great choice because unless you are doing something that requires every tone to be absolutely perfect you will not even notice the difference.
Roland TD-11K-S V-Compact Series Features:
- SuperNATURAL sound engine with all new behavior modeling
- Extended sound samples library which is suitable for a wide array of music genres
- It has a Quick Record/Quick Play practice features along with the unique COACH mode which is great for new and experienced players
- Easy to use and navigate LCD display
- USB port for connectivity and sound streaming
- Comes with a mesh-head V-Pad snare (PDX-8)
Roland states that this electronic drum set is perfect for beginners and professionals alike but even if they claim that this drum set would do great on stage I wouldn’t bang the drums during a live performance with anything that’s below the professional league.
But if your budget is low and you need something that can be almost professional then this is a right choice.
As the price goes down some high quality features were replaced with mid ranged ones, mesh heads were replaced with rubber pads making it an affordable quality Roland electronic drum set.
Even if this is not a highly professional digital set it can still produce some beautiful sounds and if you are playing for yourself or your friends then give it a shot you will not make a mistake.
This is also a great option if you are planning to do drums on stage but are not ready to spend a lot of money, sure you will miss some of the high-end features but this set will keep you in check until you earn for your next more professional set.
5. PINTECH PDK1000
If you are looking for a lower price but high quality drum set then this set will not disappoint you and is worth being on this list here for your consideration.
The main advantage of this electronic drum set is that it has all mesh heads which puts it up there with the big boys. However, this brand is not as famous as the shot callers such as Roland and Yamaha so some people might not feel as confident about it but there are many features offered by this digital drum set that I hope might breach that wall of insecurity.
Pintech might not be as famous as Roland or Yamaha but they are trying very hard to provide you with high quality features and this set does just that. There is one thing that the Pintech is famous for and that is their amazing customer support service.
PINTECH PDK1000 Features:
- 10 inch Single-zone ConcertCast Mesh Pad w/EZ-Tune Technology
- 8 inch Single-zone ConcertCast Mesh Pads w/EZ-Tune Technology
- 14 inch TC Series Single-zone Cymbal
- 10 inch TC Series Single-zone Cymbals
- GIG KD High-Quality Kick Pad
- Fully metal GIG Hi-Hat Pedal
- PDM1 Advanced Drum Module
- Series 3000 Rack coming with all of the hardware
One flaw that this set has are the cymbals, they are not made with the same quality and precision as the drums and that’s a real shame considering how responsive and natural mesh heads drums are.
Still, this is a really good electronic drum set with a really affordable price considering that it offers almost all professional features and let’s be honest, you won’t find another drum set with all mesh heads in this price range.
6. Yamaha DTX532K Electronic Drum Set
This is one of the great choices for a mid-range electronic drum set but in my opinion, the model above offers better value. Still, this is a branded option which offers more trust and it will probably keep you banging for a longer time.
This model features all rubber pads which makes it be in the affordable range of a set with some outstanding features. One thing worth mentioning is the XP80 snare pad which has unbelievably good feel and response while eliminating the cross-talk between pads.
Yamaha DTX532K Features:
- The XP80 snare pad
- Yamaha DTX502 Drum Module
- Over 690 sounds and 50 preset drum kits
Yamaha states that this electronic drum set is good for practice and live use but I would say to stick to practice or performing for friends or smaller music projects. I don’t want to lie to you and write here that this will be great on the stage because I doubt that it will provide those perfected detailed sounds.
This set is a great choice if you are a Yamaha fan and want something that will help you practice or if you are just playing drums for the heck of it. The sound quality is in the mid range and that will do great as long as you are not expecting a professional sound quality.
7. Alesis Command Kit
Even thou Alesis is not as famous brand of digital drum sets they still manage to make a nice model. This is not a perfect drum set and it has its flaws but it has a good price for people who can’t afford to purchase anything better with this quality.
It features a super sensitive snare drum and some pretty cool features like a wide range of built-in sounds and songs.
If you are looking for something that is good for a smaller amount of money then this drum set is for you, but this is far from a professional drum set. However, it can do just fine for a beginner and maybe even a little more than that.
Alesis Command Kit Features:
- 10 inch dual-zone snare for better feel and increased playing response
- Mesh Kick and Kick pedals are included with the set
- Three Big dual-zone tom pads
- It has 70 kits presets and 600 samples
- Playing any track is easy using a USB stick
When it comes to sound quality, it is good for the price. You get what you pay for, it is on the cheap side but the sound quality can’t go toe to toe with anything that’s more on the pro side.
One thing I like the most about it is the fact that they included a super sensitive mesh head snare drum, it is a surprise to see something like that at this price point. So if this is your budget then this is your set. But in case you are interested in this electronic drum set and you need it even cheaper there is an option to purchase it with a rubber snare drum. This lowers the quality but the price is significantly lower.
8. Yamaha DTX400K
Now I will move on for the absolute beginner options which is this one along with the 9th and the 10th electronic drum set.
This Yamaha model is for beginners who are looking into drumming and for people who are doing it for fun and don’t have a lot of money to spend on their drum set.
This is a budget option and as such the sound quality is far lower than anything that is considered professional, still a beginner wouldn’t be able to notice it until reaching a higher level.
Yamaha DTX400k Features:
- DTX400 Module which has 297 samples
- 10 Professional drum presets (not a lot but great for a beginner)
- 10-inch Hi-Hat cymbal
- Drum Throne, Headphones, drumsticks and a large JVC stereo are included in a set
If you are just starting out your drumming journey I think that this model will do just fine for you. However, if you can spend a little bit more money I would go with the drum set above.
The main advantage of this beginner option is its low price and still pretty good sound quality. This set will serve you well until you step up your game.
9. ROLAND TD-1K
Similarly priced as the digital drum set above this set from Roland packs pretty much the same punch. At this point, the way I see it, only significant difference between this set and the one above is the manufacturer. If you are more of a Roland fan you can stick with this set as a beginner.
What I like specifically about this drum set for beginners is the design of it, it is very compact and quite small which is a good thing. That just proves that it was designed for a beginner use with a thought in mind that not everyone has their big studio and that most of the beginners will be using it in their apartment where every inch of saved space counts. Trust me I know.
ROLAND TD-1K Features:
- Even if this cheap it is still Ready to Play upon setting it up
- Has a decent amount of Quality samples and sounds
- It has an easy to use module
- Supports USB connection
If I was beginning again and had to play drums in my small apartment where I used to live I would go with something like this. Small, compact, affordable and pretty good for a beginner use.
10. Alesis Nitro Kit
This is the last in the series of the best electronic drum sets. It is an absolute beginner option and it is the most affordable one so don’t expect miracles from it.
This set is for people who never had a chance to hit a drum but still feel like this is something they wish to try, but are afraid of putting a lot of money in a fairly expensive investment such as electronic drum set.
Alesis Nitro Kit Features:
- Pads that offer Very nice feedback and playing sensation
- Quality pads and kick pad (pedal included)
- Ride cymbal, hi-hat and crash with choke
This is a great affordable chance to enter in the drumming world and see how do you feel about it after some time. With a price similar to a mobile phone I am sure that most people who feel that this is something they should try can afford it.
I invite you to try it, it is a beautiful hobby even if you never go on stage. You can always be a stage player for your friends and family. And thanks to Alesis and this model of theirs, people who are not ready to give a lot of money on this can actually get a decent beginner electronic drum set.
No matter which drum set you choose, depending of your level, from this guide you will not regret it. If you are a beginner I would recommend you to go with something mid range if you can afford it, and if you can’t then feel free to choose one from the cheaper options at the bottom. They are all good for the money invested, it depends of your level and what you are looking for which one you are going to get.