Best Electronic Drum Set 2017

With an ever growing number of electronic drum sets on the market, it’s important to know the features and benefits before you decide on a purchase. Otherwise, you could end up missing out on something you would really prefer to have, or paying for something you don’t even need.

Have no fear, though. This expert guide will break it all down so you get the kit that works best for you.

Compare: The 10 Top Rated Electric Drum Sets

RankPictureNameBrandPriceRating
1roland-td-11k-s-v-compact-series-electronic-drum-setRoland TD-11K-S V-Compact Series Electronic Drum SetRoland$$$$4.7
2yamaha-dtx-series-dtx400k-10-inch-electronic-drum-setYamaha DTX Series DTX400K 10-Inch Electronic Drum SetYamaha$$$4.6
3alesis-dm6-usb-kit-five-piece-electronic-drum-setAlesis DM6 USB Kit Five-Piece Electronic Drum SetAlesis$$4.6
4alesis-dm10-studio-kit-six-piece-professional-electronic-drum-setAlesis DM10 Studio Kit Six-Piece Professional Electronic Drum SetAlesis$$$$4.6
5simmons-sd5xpress-full-size-5-piece-electronic-drum-kitSimmons SD5Xpress Full Size 5-Piece Electronic Drum KitSimmons$$4.5
6ddrum-dd1-complete-electronic-drum-kitddrum DD1 Complete Electronic Drum KitDdrum$$$$4.5
7pyle-pro-ped04-professional-electric-drum-kitPyle-Pro PED04 Professional Electric Drum KitPyle-Pro$4.3
8acorn-triple-d5-us-digital-drum-kitAcorn Triple-D5 US Digital Drum KitAcorn$$$4.5
9yamaha-dtx-450k-electronic-drum-kitYamaha DTX-450K Electronic Drum KitYamaha$$$$4.4
10kat-percussion-kt3-electronic-drum-setKat Percussion KT3 Electronic Drum SetKat$$$$4.4

Our Electric Drum Set Reviews

Alesis DM6 USB Kit Five-Piece Electronic Drum Set – Best Cheap Electronic Drum Set

This kit is best suited for beginning players. The relatively slow trigger response prevents more nuanced playing, and the simple velocity sensitivity isn’t going to cut it for those who want a truly realistic and responsive drum sound.

Pros:

Great value for beginning players, easy physical setup, durable hardware

Cons:

Poor trigger response, limited articulation, confusing documentation, important firmware update out of the box requires additional USB cable

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Yamaha DTX Series DTX400K 10-Inch Electronic Drum Set – Best Electronic Drum Set for the Money

This is a great middle of the road drum set for those who want a responsive kit with more options but don’t want to break the bank. There are an incredible amount of tones available, and the Accent Articulation produces a nice variety of sounds that lend personality to your playing. The module features a number of deep customization and visualization options, provided you have an iOS unit like an iPhone or iPad and are willing to purchase the extra adapter.

Pros:

Great value for intermediate players, easy setup, very durable hardware, good trigger response and articulation make kit feel real, silent kick pedal

Cons:

No screen on module makes navigating and customizing a challenge, real kick pad available but kick pedal must be purchased to play it, iOS adapter not included, limited connectivity

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Roland TD-11K-S V-Compact Series Electronic Drum Set – Best Electronic Drum Set Overall

Made for players of all skill levels, with a wonderfully intuitive module that has plenty of features, this kit performs beautifully as a home practice tool or a fully functional piece of a live rock band. The connectivity options allow for a great deal of flexibility in setup, whether it’s playing with other musicians, recording, or practicing on your own using the Coach software.

The feel of playing a live drum kit has been difficult for manufacturers to replicate on an electronic drum set. The Roland TD-11K changes that, with excellent trigger response, a wide range of available tones, and the incredible SuperNATURAL sound generator that gives every hit its own unique flavor.

Pros:

Easy setup, indestructible build quality, SuperNATURAL sound generator and trigger response combine to give realistic sound and feel, playback from USB storage

Cons:

No kick pedal included

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Our Top Rated Electric Drum Sets

 

Best Overallroland-td-11k-s-v-compact-series-electronic-drum-set

Best For The Money yamaha-dtx-series-dtx400k-10-inch-electronic-drum-set

Best Cheap alesis-dm6-usb-kit-five-piece-electronic-drum-set

What Is An Electric Drum Set?

Electronic drum sets typically consist of several rubberized pads and a control module, or “brain”, that handles all the inputs and outputs for the set. Hitting any of the pads sends a signal to the module, which produces the corresponding sound and sends it to your speakers or headphones.

Electric drum sets modern electronic musical instruments in which a special type of synthesizer or sampler primarily is designed to serve as an alternative to an acoustic drum kit or other percussion instruments. An electronic drum consists of an electronic or digital sound module which produces the synthesized or sampled percussion sounds and one or more electric sensors to trigger the sounds. Like regular drums, the sensors are struck by drum sticks or by the hands (depending on the type of drum pad) and they are played in a similar manner as an acoustic drum kit.

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Strictly speaking, sequencers playing pre-programmed electronic drum tracks and electronic or digital drum machines are not electronic drums, because a drummer or other musician is not triggering the sounds.

The electronic drum (pad/triggering device) is usually sold as part of an electronic drum kit, consisting of a set of drum pads mounted on a stand or rack in a configuration similar to that of an acoustic drum kit layout, with rubberized or specialized acoustic/electronic cymbals. The drum pads themselves are either discs or shallow drum shells made of various materials, often with a rubber/silicone or cloth-like coated playing surface. Each pad has a sensor that generates an electric signal when struck.

What Are The Advantages Of Owning An Electric Drum Set?

Electronic drum sets have seen a sharp rise in popularity over the last decade or so for several reasons. First, they have come down in price substantially since they first entered the market, making them far more affordable than traditional acoustic sets.

Second, the variety of tones available to the user number in the hundreds on most electronic kits, as the module can be configured to produce a variety of sounds, and many can change while you are playing. For example, if you are playing a beat and want to add congas to your kit, it’s just a couple quick button presses on the module.

The last reason, and the primary concern for most users, is the ability to practice the drums without making a racket. Just strap on a pair of headphones and plug them into the module, and parents, neighbors, and roommates won’t be disturbed by the high volume that an acoustic set normally generates. The only sound is the dull thud of the drum sticks on rubber pads, which is barely audible just a couple rooms away.

What Are The Different Types Of Electric Drum Sets?

Most electronic kits are very similar in form and function. The main difference you will see on most high end sets is the presence of a silent kick pedal, which allows you to play the bass drum without hitting a pad – simply pressing down on the pedal will trigger the sound.


Considerations for Choosing the Best Electric Drum Set

While there are many factors that go into the decision of which electronic drum set to buy, there are four specific considerations that should be at the forefront – durability, connectivity, capability, and ease of use.

Durability 

An electronic drum set is something you’ll be hitting fairly hard with wooden sticks, over and over again, day after day, month after month, year after year. How well do the drum and cymbal pads hold up? How well is the rack that holds the pads designed? Are the sound triggers still responsive after years of use?

Connectivity 

Control modules from different companies will have different options as far as inputs and outputs go. What does one brain allow you to do that others won’t? The ability to add extra pieces to your kit or play alongside external sources are just a couple of ways that extra connectivity can enhance your playing experience.

Capability 

The operating system on the module, and the number of samples it has stored inside, should be an important concern when making your buying decision. Are the tones that fit the mood of your project available? Are you going to be paying for tones you don’t need? What other capabilities does the module have?

Ease of use 

Getting an electronic drum kit unboxed and set up is probably going to take a good chunk out of your day, and you need to know that the process will be as painless as possible so you can get started playing right away. Also, how easy is the module to use? Is navigating the software intuitive? Does the accompanying documentation provide sufficient support?

Conclusion

The technology that drives electronic drumming has grown leaps and bounds over the last several years, with more durable and realistic sounding kits hitting the market. There’s never been a better time to invest in a practical, quiet solution for home, studio or live drumming with plenty of features and options.

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