Electronic drum kits are far more than just a modern instrument that converts percussive strikes into drum sounds. Because electronic drums are actually advanced computers, they can create a wide spectrum of sounds beyond just standard percussion sounds. For example, it’s perfectly possible to program an electronic drum to create hundreds (if not thousands) of sounds, including custom clips, samples, or even (truly) musical notes.
Electronic drum kits are usually playable with either drum sticks or with a bare hand/finger tap. Depending on the sophistication of the kit, it’s possible to modulate or customize even standard percussive sounds, adjusting the echo, fade, timber, and many other settings. And thanks to improvements in commercial electronic drum kits, you can now combine realistic sounding hi-hats with a full complement of drums, including kits that permit foot-operated pads along with the standard touch/stick-operated pads.
But perhaps the greatest attraction of an electronic drum kit is that you can channel the output via headphones to practice playing without disturbing other people. Of course, no electronic instrument using synthetically generated sounds will ever be able to truly replicate the sound of a physical drum. That being said, many hit songs have been recorded using only electronic drum kits to provide the percussive elements of the music.
Once relegated to professional studios, now electronic drum kits are available at prices affordable to amateur musicians. Many electronic drum kits for home use are also compact and lightweight enough that they are easy to transport.
Things to Consider When Buying an Electronic Drum Set
Whether you’re in the market for an electronic drum kit to recreate a professional musician experience or simply want to enjoy learning this versatile instrument at home, there are a few key points to consider when choosing the right kit for you.
Compact or Freestanding –
Some drum kits are multiple pads on a single board, which is far more compact and easier to transport, or several freestanding pads and pedals that more authentically recreate a standard acoustic drumming experience.
An electronic drum kit is no good if you can’t connect it to your other devices. Each electronic drum kit comes with its own unique set of connectors, a critically important aspect to consider when buying one.
Most electronic drum kits are designed to be plugged into a standard A/C outlet but others give you the opportunity to use batteries,
an important aspect to consider if you want to play the drums on the go.
Pads – Pads serve as both cymbals and drums, and each kit has their own unique layout. Although all electronic drum kits come with foot pedals,
not all of them have a foot-operated drum pad, a critical distinction depending on how you prefer to produce music with your drum kit. Pads also vary in size,
surface material, and sensitivity, all incredibly important to note when choosing the right drum kit for your needs and budget.
Here’s Our List Of What We Think Are The Ten Best Electronic Drum Sets In 2017
With so many different models, styles, and makes to choose from, it wasn’t easy to find what we believe are the best electronic drum sets on the market today. After carefully reviewing electronic drum sets, we have narrowed down our favorites to the 10 top list below.
The Pyle-Pro PTED01 comes with seven total drum pads that are sensitive enough to be played with a finger or bare hand. It also comes with 100 songs and 215 different percussion “voices” already programmed as well as one demo song. There’s also has two foot pedals and can be powered by 6 “C” batteries (not included) or via a standard wall outlet. The Pyle-Pro PTED01 control center allows you to save your presets and connects to your computer via a USB cable that functions as a MIDI controller.
- USB/MIDI port
- Runs on batteries or A/C outlet
- Ships with two drumsticks and two foot pedals
- Weights just 7.3 pounds
The Carlsbro CSD130XXX features seven different freestanding pads and two foot pedals that can be easily adjusted to create a full drum set experience. It also features a line output port, a USB port, and a MIDI in/out port for increased versatility when connecting to your favorite devices. The v has 250 built-in percussion “voices” and 20 full drum kits.
- Full-size drum kit
- Comes with seven adjustable pads and two foot pedals
- Digitron controller allows you to save/choose presets with ease
- Full compliment of input/output ports
The Alesis Nitro is a full-size, freestanding drum kit with 8-inch snares, 8-inch toms, and 10-inch cymbal pads for a truly authentic drumming experience. The Alesis Nitro has five drum pads, three cymbal pads, and two foot pedals that can be arranged to your preference using the included four-post aluminum rack.
- 40 built-in kits with 385 “voices”
- Generous 8-inch drum pads and 10-inch cymbal pads
- Dual use USB/MIDI port
- Comes with foot pedals, aluminum stand, and drum sticks
RockJam Electronic Roll Up MIDI Drum Kit with Built in Speakers, Foot Pedals, Drumsticks, and Power Supply
Incredibly compact and easy to transport, the RockJam kit has nine different built-in pads able to create a full range of percussion sounds, perfect for any beginning musician. Although it is designed to be rolled up when transported, the RockJam is ruggedly constructed to provide drumming pleasure for years. The RockJam kit ships with two foot pedals, two drum sticks, built-in speakers, and a power supply for A/C current. Once rolled up, the entire RockJam kit is small enough to be carried with just one hand.
- Dual use USB/MIDI port
- Built-in speakers
- Weighs just 1.5 pounds
- 9 built-in drum/cymbal pads
An excellent kit for any drumming enthusiast wanting a full-size set of pads and symbols, the Alesis DM6 using proprietary technology to create truly realistic percussion sounds. The Alesis DM6 features 8-inch drum pads and generous 12-inch cymbals along with two foot pedals for a complete drumming experience. The Alesis DM6 ships with 108 built-in percussion sounds, three cymbal pads, four drum pads, and one kick drum pad.
- Dual USB/MIDI port
- Full-size kit with 8-inch drum pads and 12-inch cymbal pads
- Real rubber drum/cymbal heads
- Comes with heavy-duty aluminum rack for mounting
The Behringer XD8USB kit is a freestanding drum set with four drum pads, one snare drum pad, three cymbal pads, and two foot pedals to create an authentic drumming experience. The USB port makes it easy to control or record the output with a computer while the 10 factory preset drum kits and 123 built-in sounds make it easy to begin enjoying drumming right out of the box. The Behringer XD8USB uses high-definition sampling to create a full range of realistic percussive sounds.
- 4 drum pads, 1 snare drum pad, 3 cymbal pads
- Comes with drum rack, sticks, and mounting hardware
- German-engineered controller for realistic sound production
- Elegant all-black design
Roll-Up Drum Kit Portable Electronic Drum Set with Rechargeable Battery Foot Pedals Drumsticks Built in Loud Speakers
This roll-up drum kit from Everyone Gain is a compact yet comprehensive drum kit that comes complete with 10 different drum surfaces and two foot pedals. The entire kid can be rolled up with ease and weighs just 2.4 pounds, making it easy to enjoy drumming on the go. The kit can be powered by three AA batteries (not included), a BL-5C lithium battery (included), via the USB port, the included D/C car adapter, or with the included A/C power adapter. The kit ships with nine different demo songs and 11 accompaniments and
- 10 different drum/cymbal pads on one compact board
- Built-in stereo speaker
- Battery, D/C, or A/C outlet powered so you can play anywhere
- Water-resistant design for added durability
Exceptional Value Drum Set From Yamaha – The Yamaha DTX400K Electronic Drum Set Is Ideal For Beginners
From one of the leading manufacturers of musical instruments, the Yamaha DTX400K is a full-size kit. The Yamaha DTX400K comes with five drum pads, two cymbal pads, two foot pedals, and a throne (chair), everything you need to begin playing the drums right out of the box. The Yamaha DTX400K has generous 10-inch drum and cymbal pads and comes with three sets of drum sticks. The Yamaha DTX400K has 169 built-in percussive sounds and ships with a pair of Yamaha headphones, perfect for “silent” drumming that won’t disturb the neighbors.
- 5 drum pads, 2 cymbal pads, 2 foot pedals
- Comes with sticks, headphones, and throne
- 169 built-in percussion sounds
- Includes preset warmup routines and drumming games
Eight-Piece Electronic Drum Set from Alesis Forge | Comes with Forge Drum Module – USB Port to Record Or Upload Samples
The Alesis Forge kit comes with either rubber or mesh snare heads for added versatility in sound reproduction. The Alesis Forge ships with three cymbal pads, four drum pads, and one kick drum pad along with two foot pedals for a truly immersive drumming experience. This freestanding kit has the company’s signature Forge drum controller that includes 50 built-in drum kits (with room for 20 more) and 600 percussion sounds. You can also load your own percussion sounds into the Alesis Forge kit using the USB cable.
- 11-inch snare, 8-inch tom/snare pads
- Professional chrome mounting rack
- Can record internally or via USB/MIDI port to a computer
- Comes with 3 cymbal pads, 4 drum pads, and 1 kick drum pad + 2 foot pedals
From a leading name in electronic musical instruments, the Roland TD-11K-S is a full-size yet compact kit with four drum pads, one kick drum pad, and three cymbal pads along with two foot pedals. The mesh drum heads added a realistic feel while playing, and the built-in TD-11 sound module allows you to play a wide range of percussion sounds.
- 4 drum pads, 1 kick drum pad, and 3 cymbal pads
- Compact mounting rack perfect for setting up in tight spaces
- TD-11 Sound Module is packed with preset percussion sounds
- Built-in video instruction manual and tutorials