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Best Electronic Drum Sets For 2020 Reviewed
The past decade has seen a tremendous growth in the sound quality of digital instruments in general, and electronic drum sets have likely seen the most dramatic shift for the better.
Along with great sound, designers have put tremendous effort into making electronic drums nearly identical to playing the real thing. But real drums definitely have some downsides that you won’t find in a quality electronic drum set.
Your vintage Ludwig set might sound amazing, but your sleeping roommate is unlikely to agree. Your next door neighbor might side against you as well.
That’s just one scenario that might find a fitting solution in an electronic drum set. But finding the best electronic drum set for your needs is going to depend on how you intend to use it, your budget, skill level, and some other important considerations.
We hit on all those points that make one drum set better than another throughout this article. While we’re at it, we review a spread of electronic drum sets that will appeal to a variety of skill levels and budgets.
Without further adieu, you can see our feature comparison chart below followed by our picks for the top 5 electronic drum sets.
Top Electronic Drum Set Comparison Chart
Best Electronic Drum Set
Alesis is one of the most high-profile names in the world of electric drum sets. The beauty of this brand is that it caters for a wide range of budgets, producing kits that are suited to everyone from skilled percussionists to novices. The Alesis Nitro Mesh Set is currently one of the best-sellers at the lower end of the price range, making it an appealing option for beginners and those who don’t want to spend a lot on an electric kit.
Available for less than $400, the Alesis Drums Nitro Mesh Set offers excellent value for money. Featuring an eight-piece configuration, the kit contains 8-inch dual snare pads, 8-inch tom pads and 10-inch cymbals. The set includes everything you need to get started, including a 4-post aluminum rack, power cables, drum sticks, a drum key and a performance recorder.
One of the best things about this kit, especially for those who are learning to play the drums, is the educational features. There are 60 play-along tracks designed to develop skills and build confidence, and drummers have access to over 350 professionally-curated sounds.
The pros and cons
The Alesis Drums Nitro Mesh Set offers a lot for its relatively small price tag, and it’s likely to appeal to a wide range of buyers. Beginners will love this kit, but it’s also suitable for those who have been playing for a while and don’t want to blow the budget. There are limitations, which might put more advanced drummers off, with a less diverse range of drums available than more advanced sets, but this is potentially the best electronic drum set for the money.
Who should buy the Alesis Drums Nitro Mesh Set?
The Alesis Drums Nitro Mesh Set is ideally suited to shoppers looking for an affordable electric drum set that provides high-quality sound, a comprehensive set of drums and added extras that are designed to promote learning and expand the repertoire. With 60 play-along tracks and over 350 sounds, even novices will be making sweet music in no time.
This video shows all the details of the Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit:
- Next generation mesh Performance: All-mesh drum heads deliver the most realistic, responsive and immersive playing experience modern drummers demand
- Premium eight-piece configuration: 8" Dual-zone snare pad, (3) 8" Tom pads and (3) 10” cymbals: Ride cymbal, hi-hat, crash w/choke
- In-demand sound: Nitro drum module with 40 ready-to-play classic AND modern kits, 60 play-along tracks and 350+ expertly curated sounds
- Powerful educational features: 60 built-in play-along tracks, sequencer, metronome, aux input and performance recorder help to hone and develop your drum skills
- Everything you need: 4-post aluminum rack, connection cables, drum sticks, drum key and power supply included
Roland is a name synonymous with cutting-edge electric drum sets that break the mold. Roland is known for producing high-performance kits that are popular with amateurs, as well as those who have been honing their craft for several years.
The Roland TD-17KV-S electric drum set is a comprehensive kit, which is configured to cover all bases. The set contains a snare, a drum sound module, a tom, a hi-hat, hi-hat control pedal, crash, ride, kick and drum stand. There’s also an extra trigger input jack and a whole host of accessories designed to optimize the playing experience. The kit comes with everything you need to get started in an instant, including a sound module mount, a drum key, an AC adaptor, a special connection cable, a knob bolt and a setup guide.
Sound quality is a priority for most shoppers, and the Roland TD-17KV-S offers a real acoustic quality thanks to the solid kick drum. The kick drum on this set is great for drummers who want to experience the thrill of playing and the clarity and power of sound without causing any troubles with their neighbors or deafening their relatives or housemates. With this kit, you can enjoy the best of both worlds. Another major advantage of this set is its versatility. With a range of modules and settings available, you can program your drums to create a wealth of different sounds and enjoy a customizable experience. You can also import samples and connect your drums to your phone if you want to play along to your favorite tracks. There are also play-along tracks, and you can download Melodics software to improve your skills and perfect your timing.
Who should buy the Roland TD-17KV-S
Roland produces electric drum sets for all abilities, covering a range of price-points. This particular model is one of the more expensive options, and as such, it may be better suited to more proficient drummers than beginners. There’s a huge range of features, and the kit is sleek, sophisticated and versatile. This set offers buyers the chance to customize their kit and integrate their drums with other applications.
- Natural, rich and dynamic drum sounds, inherited from flagship TD-50 sound engine
- Learn expressive foot control and pedal technique with the KD-10 Kick pad
- Customize the preset drum kits to match your preferred drum sound
- Develop your playing and timing with free to download 'Melodics for V-Drums' software (PC/Mac)
- Adjust the ambience of each kit to match the venues you perform at
Priced at just under $500, the Alesis Surge Mesh Kit is an eight-piece electronic drums set, which contains everything you need to either learn to play the drums or to hone your skills. A product that is likely to appeal to beginners, as well as more advanced drummers, this is a great option for the money.
The Alesis Surge Mesh Kit includes a 10-inch dual-zone mesh snare, 8-inch dual-zone mesh tom pads, an 8-inch mesh kick tower pad and three cymbals. This kit is compact and cool, and it has a range of features that cater for novices looking to sharpen their skills and play like the pros. There are over 60 play-along tracks, a built-in metronome and over 380 sounds. Buyers can also benefit from Melodics software, which provides bonus lessons.
The Surge Mesh Kit is powered by the Surge Drum Module, which boasts 24 preset kits and 16 user kits. You can also add effects and take advantage of an on-board sequencer.
The pros and cons
The Alesis Surge Mesh Kit isn’t the most advanced set of drums in terms of its capabilities or compatibility with other devices, but it is a solid, robust and smart set, which is a brilliant option for beginners and those on a budget. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that can be found on pricier models, but it does deliver value for money. The kit contains everything you need to get set up quickly and effortlessly, and it is designed to facilitate learning, as well as catering for those who already know their way around a drum kit.
Who should buy the Alesis Surge Mesh Kit?
The Alesis Surge Mesh Kit is an appealing option for those who are just starting out, as well as drummers who want to invest in an electric drum set that won’t cost a fortune.
- Natural feel, premium response; 8” mesh kick drum Tower with kick drum pedal (included), 10” dual-zone mesh snare and three 8” dual-zone mesh Tom pads
- Express yourself: (3) 10” cymbals: Ride cymbal, hi-hat, Crash w/choke
- In-demand sound: Surge drum module with 40 kits, 60 play-along tracks and 385 sounds
- Connectivity covered: Inbuilt sequencer to record your own playing, connect your MP3 player to the aux input for jamming to your favorite tracks or record/control MIDI using on-board USB/MIDI inputs/outputs
- Everything you need: 4-post Chrome rack, connection cables, drum sticks, drum key and power supply included
Another major name in the world of electronic drums, Yamaha is famed for its modern musical instruments. The DTX522K is part of the famous DTX family, a collection of drums that is favored by professional musicians.
The Yamaha DTX522K is an advanced electric drum set, which is designed to provide drummers with the same sensation as playing a traditional drum kit. The DTX pads, including the XP80 3-zone silicon snare pad, have been developed with the knowledge that drummers spend hours practicing, repeating the same actions over and over again. The aim is to ensure an enjoyable, authentic experience.
With this drum set, Yamaha has created three distinct zones with ride, crash and hi-hat cymbals that are designed to encourage players to unleash their creativity and express themselves. The layout and contents of the set make this an attractive investment for enthusiastic amateurs, as well as more experienced players. The heartbeat of the kit, the playing module, offers a staggering 691 sounds plus the option to import sounds and connect your kit to your phone or tablet using iOS apps. By integrating your set and your phone, you can import tracks, play along to songs and take advantage of interactive lessons and training sessions.
The most significant advantage of this set over others is the playing experience, which mimics that of playing conventional drums. The choke feature, the advanced snare pad and the option to mute cymbals before hitting them enables drummers to really let loose.
Who should buy this product?
This product is suitable for all levels, but will most likely appeal to more advanced drummers looking to have fun and hone their skills at the same time.
- Item may ship in more than one box and may arrive separately
- FREE iOS Apps allow easy customization, song importing, and training programs
- XP80 3-zone textured silicon snare pad with realistic feel, dynamics, and rimshots
- 3-zones of expression on ride, crash, and hi-hat cymbal pads
- The included DTX502 Module provides 691 Drum and percussion sounds, plus layer and import options.Note Resolution:96 ppq (parts per quarter note)
Last but certainly not least from the Roland brand is the V TD-25KV. Within the Roland line-up, this set is a mid-priced option with significant upgrades from the TD-17KV-S set.
This 5-piece set features 6.5 inch toms, an 8 inch floor tom, 5-inch kick tower, 12” crash cymbal, 13” ride cymbals and 12” hi-hat cymbals. The kit also includes the PDX-100 10 inch digital snare drum. Similar mid to top level acoustic drum kits easily cost $1500 for the shells alone. This is really an affordable electronic kit in comparison.
The Roland V TD-25KV electric drum set is a cutting-edge product, which is designed to accommodate drummers in the 21st century. This kit’s sound engine is derived from the TD-30 flagship kit, and provides an unmatched level of expressiveness. The expandable technology makes it the perfect option for those who like to integrate apps and play along to tracks from their phone or USB drive.
One of the best aspects of this set is its simplicity. Despite its cool, modern, sleek exterior and advanced sound engine capabilities, this is a kit that is so simple to program and customize. The interface is accessible, and you have control over every drum. You can adjust the ambiance, you can adapt your kit to different environments and settings and you can take advantage of crisp, clear sound thanks to the advanced superNATURAL sound engine.
Another benefit of this particular set is its versatility, as you can adjust virtual microphone settings to make it feel like you’re in a recording studio. And when you are ready to record, the USB host port provides easy connection for laying down tracks and MIDI data directly to your DAW software of choice.
The pros and cons
The Roland V TD-25KV drum set is a streamlined, modern drum kit, which caters to drummers who want high-quality sound. Few kits rival the technological advances and the option to customize their set and tweak the programs to create custom sounds. The set is quite comprehensive, which also comes with a slightly more expensive price tag. However, the price tag is less than comparable acoustic kits which offers a lot of appeal to shoppers searching for a cutting-edge product that won’t bust the budget.
This video showcases the sound quality from the Roland V TD-25KV:
- Equipped with a sound engine derived from the flagship TD-30, the TD-25K delivers all the acclaimed expressiveness that makes Roland's top-line V-Drums the undisputed choice of pro players everywhere
- PDX-100 10-inch mesh-head snare pad with support for positional sensing and rim shot/cross stick playing
- Three mesh-head tom pads: two PDX-6 6.5-inch pads for rack toms and one PDX-8 8-inch pad for floor tom; KD-9 kick pad with cloth head for great feel and solid playability
- VH-11 V-Hi-Hat mounts on a standard acoustic hi-hat stand and offers realistic motion and a natural acoustic feel
- CY-12C 12-inch crash cymbal with natural swinging motion, edge/bow sensors, and choke control; CY-13R 13-inch ride cymbal with natural swinging motion and edge/bow/bell triggering