Are you searching for the best electronic drum set to get your creative juices flowing? There are plenty to choose from, so checking out solid reviews is a smart approach.
We’ve whittled down the extensive selection to ten worthy products. Our guide also includes detailed reviews of the top three electronic drum sets and a look at some points to consider as you shop around.
To get you get into the groove, we’ll kick things off with a look at key features you will need to pay attention to when comparing models.
What Are the Most Important Features?
Electronic drums come in a variety of styles meant to match your personal preferences, as well as your budget. Here’s what’s out there:
- Rubber Pads Versus Mesh Pads. The rubber pads are more economical and more portable. The mesh pads will give you a feel more similar to playing on an acoustic drum set and are location-sensitive, producing different sounds depending on where you hit.
- Number of Pieces. Going for the standard 5-piece setup will get you a snare, hi-hat, crash, tom and kick. A set with more pieces will likely include at least a ride cymbal and a floor tom.
- Design. Whether you’ll be playing in your apartment, in a studio or onstage will affect your choice of electronic drum set design. So, will a roll-up set do, or will you need a professional-looking kit that closely resembles an acoustic set.
Top 10 Electronic Drum Sets Chart
How to Determine the Quality of an Electric Drum Set
Every drummer and band will have different needs. The best electronic drum set for you will depend on what your needs are, including whether drumming is a hobby for you or a serious professional pursuit.
Here are the factors you’ll most likely want to keep in mind.
- Available Sounds. The ability to import sounds into your module is a definite advantage but will make the set pricier. On a set that can’t import, pay attention to the list of available sounds to see if what’s there will satisfy your needs.
- Durability. This is somewhat related to the brand you go with. Popular brands that have built up a good reputation and favorable customer feedback tend to be the ones that produce better quality instruments.
- Budget. How much you are willing to spend on an electronic drum set may ultimately be determined by how you plan to use it. If it’s for income generation, then spending a bit more to ensure you get all the best features, is good idea and a wise investment.
- The Extras. There are some basic extras you should definitely check for, especially if this electronic drum set is meant for practice. One is a metronome to help you play in time. Another is a recording function, so you can playback and critique your progress. A great “must have” is the capability to plug your smartphone or MP3 player into the set so you can play along with your favorite tunes.
Top 3 Best Electronic Drum Set Reviews
If you are looking for the best electronic drum set, then you will most certainly find that the Alesis brand features very prominently among your options. This is reflected in the fact that Alesis has walked away with all three of our top spots!
To start us off, we have the Alesis Nitro Kit. It’s a complete 8-piece set that includes three 8-inch tom pads and three 10-inch cymbals, plus a crash with choke. There are also an 8-inch dual-zone snare drum and a kick drum pad with pedal.
We felt a special liking for the solidly built 4-post aluminum mounting rack that comes with the set. It lets you play with all the energy and emotion you feel while knowing your equipment is secure. What’s more, the mount is adjustable to match your preferred playing height and comes with convenient memory lock.
Apart from those physical components, something else we found exciting about the Alesis Nitro is that it’s compatible with both Mac OS X 10.7 or later, as well as Windows 7 or later.
Your playing options include hundreds of percussion sounds, along with 40 different kits ranging from classic to modern and 60 built-in play-along tracks. That’s more than enough to get a beginner player started and to keep a more experience player well occupied.
Tabletop electronic drums kits are not for everyone. Some players simply NEED a tower-mounted arrangement that closely mirrors the setup of an acoustic drum kit. The tabletop versions do have their place, however, and many drummers enjoy the portability and flexibility they offer.
If there is a tabletop set out there that can truly compete with any tower-mounted version, then it’s the Alesis CompactKit. The 4 pads on this electronic drum set are velocity sensitive so you get a sound comparable to an acoustic drum set.
Furthermore, it gives players 50 play-along songs to select from, 70 percussion voices and a total of 10 effect voices. So, you can feel free to let your creativity loose, plus you can start doing that as soon it arrives, since the set comes with drumsticks and an AC adapter.
The portability of the Alesis CompactKit is enhanced by the fact that it uses 6 C-size batteries.
Our third placed contender among the best electronic drum kits is the 8-piece Alesis Forge. It features an 11” dual-zone snare, three single-zone toms and three 10” cymbals (ride cymbal, hi-hat and crash with choke). There’s also a kick pad tower with bass drum pedal.
The set can be bought with either tightly-woven dual-zone mesh pads or dynamic, natural-response rubber pads for selected pieces. So, you don’t have to feel limited in any way.
The Alesis Forge is built to be compatible with versions of Mac OS X 10.7 or later, and Windows 7 or later. Just like us, beginners and avid drummers will probably be drawn to the convenient way it lets you load samples of your own and then assign them to any zone of any pad of your choice.