Best Electric Drum Set Updated for 2017

The Best Electronic Drum Set of 2017

best-eletronic-drum-setIf you’re wondering what the best electronic drum set is, look no further. I’ve already done a bit of research and playing pleasure in hopes of answering that very question. Whether you are a professional looking to upgrade to the latest system, or a newbie hoping to find a cheap electronic drum set to feed that musical monster in your mind, there are some basic things you should know. And in the best electronic drum set review I could come up with I will help you understand and navigate the wild world of what makes the best electronic drum set and how to get on the bandwagon.

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Here Are Our Top 5 Electronic Drum Sets (Full Reviews Available)

Product NameProduct ReviewEditors Final ScoreAvailability
Alesis Forge KitFull Review Here5 / 5Available on Amazon US
Yamaha DTX400KFull Review Here4 / 5Available on Amazon US
Behringer 8USBFull Review Here4 / 5Available on Amazon US
Carlsbro CSDI30XXXFull Review Here4 / 5Available on Amazon US
Roland TD-1KFull Review Here3 / 5Available on Amazon US

Alesis Forge Kit

Alesis Forge Kit

First up, coming in at the top of its game and financial bracket is the Alesis Forge Kit. It is an eight-piece set- complete with snare, a kick drum, three tom pads, and three cymbals. This is definitely a major contender on a professional level, with a highly-advanced module and a wide range of options. Features of this set include:

  • 600 different sounds
  • 50 pre-programmed kits
  • Ability to make your own
  • USB/MIDI adaptability

Breakdown of the Features

The Alesis Drum module is not only one of the most advanced (with a shocking 600 different sounds, 50 pre-programmed kits, and space for you to make 20 more of your own) it is also one of the most compatible with a wide variety of other electronic devices. Additionally, it comes with USB/MIDI adaptability and headphone port, which are fairly standard and should be expected when looking at equipment this expensive. All of these features allow you to hook your drum set up to your computer as it is compatible with both Windows and Mac. It comes with rubber pads and dual sensors with a motion option on the cymbal for a realistic and accurate sound.

The Advantages of the Product

The aforementioned are advantages enough, but there are a few that make the Alesis one of the best on the market. Included in this is the ability to hear 600 different sounds from this machine, along with the ability to make your own. Having such versatility allows your creative juices to continuously flow. Beyond this, there’s adaptability for certain connectors (USB and MIDI) for ease of operation and a seamless use.

The Disadvantages of the Product

The first, and likely the most obvious, the disadvantage is the price. It is on the higher end price-wise, however, the sheer playability of this set coupled with the array of sounds and recording potential more than justifies the expense. Arguably, what might put the Alesis Forge Kit at a more severe point of criticism is the lack of smartphone accessibility. Though you can certainly connect it to your computer for manipulation in music software and to use your music library to play along to your favorite tunes, you will not be able to do so with your phone. The aforementioned don’t affect the performance of the feature, though, just simply may be personal preferences in the way.

Product NameProduct ReviewEditors Final ScoreAvailability
Alesis Forge KitFull Review Here5 / 5Available on Amazon US
Yamaha DTX400KFull Review Here4 / 5Available on Amazon US
Behringer 8USBFull Review Here4 / 5Available on Amazon US
Carlsbro CSDI30XXXFull Review Here4 / 5Available on Amazon US
Roland TD-1KFull Review Here3 / 5Available on Amazon US

 

Yamaha DTX400K


Yamaha DTX400K
Jumping back up into the mid-price range, we have the Yamaha DTX400K. This set comes with a nice beginner’s setup with an option for easy upgrades. It covers the basics but nothing fancy. This is probably the most well-known brand name on this list, so that may swing some opinions as well. Features of this fancy electronic drum set include the following:

  • DTX400 drum trigger module
  • 297 high-quality sounds
  • Ten drum sets in one
  • Multiple pads included

Breakdown of the Features

Having a drum trigger module like the DTX400 means that the sounds provided will be of the highest quality and you don’t have to worry about any muffled tunes and tiny sounds (unless that’s what you’re going for). Beyond this, the ten different types of drum sets in one allow you to experiment with versatility and tones, providing a more customized and personalized playstyle. With multiple pads included, you can take personalization of your sound even further for a great price.

The Advantages of the Product

This drum set comes with 169 sounds and 10 preprogrammed drum kits. It also has a practice option and an advanced App integration for playing along with your phone on the single sensor drums. It comes with rubber pads but is additionally very quiet, even for an electronic drum set, making this particular model ideal for those in an apartment and looking for something that will help keep the peace with the neighbors

The Disadvantages of the Product

This set comes with the single sensor drums and requires an upgrade to enhance the playing experience. For a set in this price range, the required upgrade is a bit of a setback. However, the upgrade is an option, like with many other sets. Another setback for this model is that doesn’t have a personal drum kit recording option and only the 10 preprogrammed kits. This means you can’t record what you play directly on the drum set, which seems to be somewhat standard when looking at other drum sets in the same range.

Product NameProduct ReviewEditors Final ScoreAvailability
Alesis Forge KitFull Review Here5 / 5Available on Amazon US
Yamaha DTX400KFull Review Here4 / 5Available on Amazon US
Behringer 8USBFull Review Here4 / 5Available on Amazon US
Carlsbro CSDI30XXXFull Review Here4 / 5Available on Amazon US
Roland TD-1KFull Review Here3 / 5Available on Amazon US

 

Behringer 8USB


Behringer 8USBManufactured by Behringer, the XD8USB isn’t one you want to miss out on. Here, we observe another eight-piece set in its natural environment. If you are looking for a cheap electric drum set with some pretty cool amenities, then this might be the one for you. Features of this simple, but appealing electric drum set include the following:

  • 8-piece with HDS110USB sound module
  • Ready to play immediately from the box
  • USB interface to connect with any instrument
  • 10 factory presets, 5 user-programmable sets for the drums

Breakdown of the Features

The versatility within this set comes with the USB features. Being able to plug in your instruments and begin playing allows you maximum control and ease of use while operating this sound machine. Having so many factory presets, along with the option for user-programmable sets allows your creative juices to start boiling for creation. Whether you’re entry-level or weaning out into a more seasoned player, this set will definitely guide you in the right direction for your journey. Coming equipped with 8 pieces, you can’t go wrong with how many options you have with this set, especially for someone who’s entry-level.

The Advantages of the Product

This model comes with 132 sounds combinations, a USB port and a total of 15 drum kits, 10 preprogrammed and 5 of your personal creations. It is iOS adaptable and can play MP3’s of your songs or recordings. Additionally, it has a play-along practice option with a metronome to help beginners with their timing. Probably the coolest thing about this drum for the price range is its price is that it does have a dual sensor snare so you can hit the rim for different sound effects and the rest of the drums are velocity sensitive for realistic pressure responses. You also needn’t bust out your tool box to assemble this bad boy either, as it offers a tool free setup for playing right out of the box.

The Disadvantages of the Product

There aren’t many disadvantages, although if you’re looking for something with drum software that can help you customize your sound, you’ll have to purchase the drum software from somewhere else, as this set doesn’t come included with the excess software. The actual performance of this product isn’t bad and is great for the price. It does exactly what it says it does for those easing more into the drumming game.

Product NameProduct ReviewEditors Final ScoreAvailability
Alesis Forge KitFull Review Here5 / 5Available on Amazon US
Yamaha DTX400KFull Review Here4 / 5Available on Amazon US
Behringer 8USBFull Review Here4 / 5Available on Amazon US
Carlsbro CSDI30XXXFull Review Here4 / 5Available on Amazon US
Roland TD-1KFull Review Here3 / 5Available on Amazon US

 

Carlsbro CSDI30XXX Compact Drum Set


Carlsbro CSD130XXXIn the lower end of the price range, the Carlsbro is an excellent set for the price. For entry-level players, you’ll enjoy the versatility of this machine all while taking advantage of its ease of use. Features of this machine include the following:

  • Display that’s Digitron
  • Aux input, headphone, and line output
  • USB interface (to device), MIDI in/out
  • 250 high-quality percussion sounds
  • 20 presets for drum kits

Breakdown of the Features

If you’re someone who’s entry-level and want to begin learning drums, the CSDI30XXX is a great set for you to do so. Having a Digitron display makes it easy to see your settings, along with the interface options that allow you to connect to a device. Those who are looking for MIDI options will enjoy the in/out capabilities Carlsbro has to offer in this set. With 250 various high-quality percussion sounds, on top of how many presets there are for the drum kit, you won’t get bored or see a decline in your creativity anytime soon.

The Advantages of the Product

This model comes with 20 preprogrammed drum kits and has space for 10 of the user’s own creations. It also comes with a surprising 250 sounds for a wide variety of play. Featuring headphone inputs, AUX input, as well as USB adaptability you can still play along with songs in your computer library and record tracks into music software on your PC. You can also adjust the sensitivity of the drums to pick up the more nuanced sound. And finally, the most impressive feature of this little-drum-set-that-could, is how small it becomes when folded up. As the name suggests, the compact drum set has the ability to fold to about the size of a large backpack for easy transportation to band practice or gigs. Perfect for kids who want to play with their friends but aren’t old enough to drive.

The Disadvantages of the Product

The big downfall for this set it that it doesn’t seem to come with all the necessary components to play with sound. Speakers are enormously important for an electric drum set, and you may have to buy those separately, along with a throne and some adapters. However, these are simply extra accessories that come later when you learn the importance of them or learn how to play a bit better. They don’t affect the performance of the set at hand whatsoever.

Product NameProduct ReviewEditors Final ScoreAvailability
Alesis Forge KitFull Review Here5 / 5Available on Amazon US
Yamaha DTX400KFull Review Here4 / 5Available on Amazon US
Behringer 8USBFull Review Here4 / 5Available on Amazon US
Carlsbro CSDI30XXXFull Review Here4 / 5Available on Amazon US
Roland TD-1KFull Review Here3 / 5Available on Amazon US

 

Roland TD-1K Electronic Drum Set

Roland TD-1K
This next drum set also packs a punch in the price department. Once again you are looking at a higher level of playability, and some top of the line features with impressive upgrade capabilities. Features of the Roland TD-1k include the following:

  • Multiple configuration pads
  • Rubberhoop material
  • 7″ snare pad size
  • Kick pedal

Breakdown of the Features

Simple in design, you have everything you need to get started with the Roland TD-1k electronic drum set. With a ton of configurations for the 7″ snare pad composed of rubberhoop material, you can begin creating even the wildest of musical dreams. Having a kick-pedal included is a nice feature, so you don’t have to spend more money in the future on accessories. The packs include cymbal pads and snare pads, along with tom pads so you can have it all with this basic kit.

The Advantages of the Product

This particular kit is USB, MP3, and MINI adaptable. This means that no matter what type of format you use to make your music, the Roland will be compatible. Coaching functions and standard recording capabilities including 15 drum kits, though no additional sounds. With this model, you can also plug in your phone to play along to your favorite songs.

It is also very easy to adjust to your growing skill with updating your pads and cymbals to the most advanced technology the industry has to offer, including a motion option for your cymbals. These upgraded cymbals and Hi-hats to allow for advanced techniques while playing, and offers updates for the other pads. This allows you to perfect your personal preferences as you become a more advanced musician. The user-friendly interface makes programming, recording, or practicing as simple or complex as you like.

The Disadvantages of the Product

The main disadvantage here is, though they do offer the motion enabled cymbal it does not come with the original set, and you will need to upgrade in order to take advantage of that technology. Additionally, the Roland is not as advanced as the Alesis with its number of drum kits and sound options. In fact, it doesn’t appear to have any additional sound options apart from the kits. Though, it could be argued that the Roland makes up for it with the functionality with which you can play with the upgrade as well as the capability of using your phone to practice and not a PC. It remains in the higher price range, making it a more serious commitment than some others on this list, however, you certainly get what you pay for. It’s imperative to note that the aforementioned doesn’t affect the incredible performance it offers each and every time.

Product NameProduct ReviewEditors Final ScoreAvailability
Alesis Forge KitFull Review Here5 / 5Available on Amazon US
Yamaha DTX400KFull Review Here4 / 5Available on Amazon US
Behringer 8USBFull Review Here4 / 5Available on Amazon US
Carlsbro CSDI30XXXFull Review Here4 / 5Available on Amazon US
Roland TD-1KFull Review Here3 / 5Available on Amazon US

 

The Final Verdict

After careful consideration, I must conclude after conducting research for this electronic drum set review, the best electronic drum set is the Roland TD-1k. Though there were some great contenders, when it comes to the best electronic drum set it’s a little like the rules of the highlander… there can only be one. For the price and upgrade options, I believe this is the best electronic drum set for both beginners and musicians at the professional level.

It comes with some great features to start with and available upgrades if your proficiency in percussion is more advanced. But truthfully, the feature that really sold me on this model was how quiet it is compared to other electric sets. This particular aspect would allow those in apartments to keep their skills sharp without offending the sensibilities of their neighbors. Yeah, I’m looking at you, Cheryl.

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What Are the Benefits of an Electronic Drum Set?

Well, I’m glad you asked, as the benefits are plentiful and I wouldn’t have known where else to start had you just sat there all silent-like not asking rhetorical questions. Though some benefits may seem like a given, there are other standard features when moving from conventional drums to going electric that might not occur to you when thinking about making the switch. So, sit back and let me drop some knowledge on you with the best electronic drum set review there is out there.

Volume: While volume is an obvious benefit, it’s still extremely imperative. With an electronic drum set you can control the volume and even use headphones with most types. The primary problem with acoustic drums is how much actual sound they make, especially if you want to practice and your crappy upstairs neighbor doesn’t appreciate your sessions at 2:30am. (I know what time it is Cheryl, that’s when the bar closes and I sound the best!) Seriously, though, this is a major factor for anyone in an apartment, or if you are buying for a novice. Just think of how much they won’t torture everyone within ear shot trying to figure out how their high-hat works with the base. With an electronic kit the sound made when hitting the drums is no more than a dull thumping, the rest is generated electronically through the speakers. Which brings me to my next point.
Sound Variations: With an electronic drum set you can really branch out and practice with a wide range of drum types. You can also hook the kit up to your computer to play with music making software and download more sound variations and really start getting weird with it. I mean creative. Whichever. Basically, the sound combinations you can come up with are practically limitless (depending on the amenities of your particular set).
Space: Going electric really spares you the space an acoustic drum set as it can fit nicely in most areas as the drums are small discs rather than large, well… drums.
Portable: That is to say, more easily moved than a conventional acoustic kit. Rather than having to disassemble and entire set with full-sized drums, you simply unscrew some joints and carry a few discs. Load them up in your coup and you are good for your gig. It’s easily a one-person job and doesn’t require the van to haul your gear.

What to Look for Before Buying an Electronic Drum Set

Lots of things, really. Like with any other type of digital equipment there are a wide range of personal preferences and features, that you wouldn’t think about with a conventional set but become important with the best electronic drum sets.

Drum Modules: The module is the real meat and potatoes of your kit, it’s the computer and software that dictates how much or how little your set will be able to do. This is where you can get really heavy into the special features like sounds, individual volume control to isolate the sounds of each drum, to crazy sound effects. The module you choose is going to be mostly responsible for how hard your set can rock. This is also where you will notice the greatest difference in price. The more advance the module to higher the price is going to be.

Rubber vs. Mesh: You will notice when looking at a variety of drum sets they are typically made from two types of material, rubber pads and mesh heads. The material and features of the each will drastically change the range of sounds you can emit as well as the way you can play each.

Rubber heads are commonly similar to practice pads with the feel of each stroke in how the stick will rebound off the surface. The feel and rebound lacks variation from one drum to another in a single set and are often found on more affordable sets. This lack of variation and “bounce” can pose a difficult transition if you are used to playing a conventional drum set. But since they are typical on cheap electric drum sets, the price difference might be worth it.

The mesh heads are constructed with an interwoven material which is more firm than rubber and generates less bounce with your sticks, due to the way the mesh absorbs impact. This is similar to the same rebound generated by an acoustic drum set and are usually more expensive due to the manufacturing process. Though the advantage of mesh is that the rebound can often be adjusted to find a good tension for your preferred playing style.

Sensors: Since the drum is electric and lacks the formation to generate authentic sound you may have guessed that they rely on sensors to interpret play. Both mesh heads and rubber pads come with sensors and both can feature one of two types. The single sensor will generate one sound when hit anywhere on the head or pad, allowing for a more consistent tone though not a more advanced style. The dual sensor will provide a different tone depending on which part of each drum is struck, allowing for a much more professional sound. However, this level of precision could prove daunting to a new player.

Electric Cymbals: Similar to the concepts used in order to generate sound in heads and pads, the cymbals of your electric drum set can vary as well, though in a much different way. Typically, for a conventional drum set the symbols will move allowing for different sound techniques to be utilized. This is often not the case with an electric set, however, newer high end models may apply a movement option to allow the player more complex sounds and greater control, like that needed to choke the cymbal.

Reactions in Real Time: By this I’m simply referring to whether or not the sound come out the moment you hit the pad or if there is any kind of delay. An accurate sound trigger is important because the lag can mess up the player’s rhythm, timing, and overall style with which they play. And, as you may have guessed, the closer to an instant response time the trigger in a set has the higher the price is going to be as it requires the use of a good sensor in the equipment.

Selecting the Right Set for You

This is where your personal preferences, style, and skill level become important. Below, I have included the best electronic drum set review order to help you with your kit considerations.