Electronic Drums

Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit Review — A Great Option For New Players

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If you’re reading this right now, you most likely already know that the Alesis Nitro is one of the cheapest electronic drum sets available.

The company has made a remarkable impact on the electronic drumming world, creating many lines of different kits for all budgets and skill levels of drummers.

Alesis Nitro Mesh Review at a Glance

Nitro Mesh Top Down

Nitro Mesh Front

Nitro Mesh Parts

Nitro Mesh Module

Nitro Mesh Alesis Image Angled

Nitro Mesh Alesis Image Pad Bottom

Nitro Mesh Alesis Image Pad Top

Nitro Mesh Alesis Image Kit View

Nitro Mesh Top Down

Nitro Mesh Front

Nitro Mesh Parts

Nitro Mesh Module

Nitro Mesh Alesis Image Angled

Nitro Mesh Alesis Image Pad Bottom

Nitro Mesh Alesis Image Pad Top

Nitro Mesh Alesis Image Kit View

Alesis is no stranger when it comes to making affordable electronic instruments. The Nitro Mesh is a perfect introductory kit for beginners and intermediate players.

A great introductory electronic kit for beginners
Alesis Nitro Mesh Electronic Drum Set

The Alesis Nitro Mesh is perfect for new drummers—it's affordable and fun to play.

View Price at Sweetwater View Price at Guitar Center
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
  • Great brand name
  • Affordable
  • Mesh heads
  • Sounds aren’t the greatest
  • No loading custom sounds or samples

The options a new drummer has for e kits today are staggering, especially being that they are so affordable.

I remember the first kit I bought, my Yamaha DTX, being so expensive. I just needed a kit to play in my college apartment. That was almost ten years ago and my have things changed.

That being said, the lower-end of kits on the market is flooded with different options, mostly from Alesis.

There’s the Nitro, Surge, Command, Crimson, Burst, Forge, DM10, and others. How can you choose when they all look so similar?

We will help you figure that one out. Today we’ll be breaking down the Alesis Nitro Mesh (Sweetwater) kit, giving the pros and cons of all features.

Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit

From first glance, the Alesis Nitro looks to be an impressive kit.

You get the Nitro module, four tunable drum pads, a small kick pad, three cymbal pads, a hi-hat controller pedal, and a kick pedal.

One thing to note is that this is a cheaper electronic kit. It’s not going to have all the advanced features that a top-of-the-line kit may have.

The added benefit, however, is that you won’t have to pay thousands of dollars for your kit.

There aren’t too many differences between this kit and the Alesis Surge Mesh. The Surge includes a bigger kick pad, a bigger snare drum, and dual-zone tom pads. This might not be a big deal if you’re just using this kit for practice.

Alesis Nitro in the back seat of my car, fits easily with plenty of room
Fits easily with plenty of room in the Civic!

Regarding size of the box, it fit easily into the back of my Honda Civic. You don’t have to be afraid if you’re picking it up from the music store.

Visual reaction

The all-black design looks awesome. The build quality isn’t terrible either. One would expect the kit to be made with poor materials, but Alesis has done a great job making quality affordable.

One thing to note: the Nitro Mesh is an upgrade of the original Nitro kit. The older kit featured rubber pads exclusively.

They seem to be phasing out the original model, as I can’t find it for sale anywhere anymore.


  • Mesh heads
  • Great price
  • Awesome for a beginner
  • Decent drum module


  • Pads are relatively small
  • Sounds aren’t the greatest
  • Kick pad is small

Notable features of the Nitro Mesh

The Nitro Mesh shares a common design and look to other drum kits in Alesis’s catalog. Let’s take a look at some of the best features.

Eight playable surfaces to drum your heart out

Alesis Nitro Mesh Pieces

The Nitro kit features your standard five-piece drum setup, complete with four drums, a kick pad, and three cymbals.

Dual-zone snare

The included snare drum is in fact a dual-zone pad, allowing you to get a different sound from both the mesh pad and the outer rim.

Unfortunately, the tom drums are only single zoned.

Three cymbals

Included with the kit are three cymbal pads: a ride cymbal, hi-hat, and a crash that is chokable. All three cymbals are 10″ in diameter.

Mesh drum heads that are tunable

Alesis Nitro Side Picture

A huge upgrade for this kit is obviously the heads. The original Nitro shipped with regular rubber pads, which are less than ideal in today’s market. I for one am happy these relics will finally be put to death!

The Nitro Mesh ships with, as the name implies, mesh drum pads. I’m sure you’ve seen or felt them before. They are generally reserved for higher-end kits from brands like Roland.

What are mesh heads?

Simply put, mesh drum heads are a type of playing surface for kits, both electronic and acoustic, that are made from strands of nylon woven together at a 90 degree angle.

The heads are designed to be extremely quiet and are surprisingly durable.

Bouncy drum heads

Mesh drum heads are superior to rubber pads in that they feel better to play on, in my opinion. However, they do place a false sense of realism on your playing.

Mesh drum heads act as a trampoline does.

When switching back to an acoustic kit, you may have a harder time playing than normal.

The noise of the pads

First off, despite what I said earlier about electronic drum kits being quiet, the truth is, they may still be loud. E drums may in fact be significantly quieter than real drums, but they can pose a problem still.

I recall being in my first apartment and having my next door neighbor quite upset with me playing my kit after a certain time.

Rubber pads are going to be much louder than mesh pads. That doesn’t mean that mesh heads will be the winner of the quietest playing surface. Yamaha makes an electronic drum kit with Textured Cellular Silicone that is far quieter than mesh drum heads. Take a listen to the noise comparison here.

With all this being said, if noise a concern, you may want to check out one of Yamaha’s DTX kits with TCS.

Overall thoughts on sound

The Alesis Nitro Mesh is a very entry-level kit. The sounds you get included are not the greatest. In fact, I think they sound pretty poor. But as I’ve mentioned before, it is a great entry-level kit that serves a need for many beginning drummers or those needing a reliable drum kit to practice quietly with.

If you have a laptop, you can always pick up drum VST software like EZDrummer 3, and use your computer as a sound source—your Nitro Mesh will sound better than a Roland TD-50KV!

The size of the kit

The Alesis Nitro is a small kit.

The height of the kit alone can be a big problem if you’re tall, say over 5 foot 10 inches. That being said, how high you sit on your throne can also have an impact here.

If you’re having an issue with drum heights, you should be able to find a DIY solution to raise the entire rack up off the floor.

Pads are very close together

Being that the kit is so small, you will have to get used to playing with a tighter, more compact setup. When you return to your acoustic kit, you may find the setup to vary drastically from what you’ve been used to.

Setting the Kit Up

The instruction manual provided for the Alesis Nitro isn’t the most intuitive, so be prepared to spend a little time setting up your kit.

You should be able to get up and running in a half-hour to an hour if you’re a seasoned drummer. If you’re a parent of a little drummer, setup time may be a bit more.

Don’t just take my word for it. Be sure to read some owner’s reviews at Amazon before you decide to purchase.

Alternatives to the Alesis Nitro Mesh

If the Nitro Mesh seems too inexpensive and cheap, here’s a few options we’d recommend instead.

  1. Alesis Surge Mesh Special Edition
  2. Alesis Surge Mesh Special Edition

    Excellent intermediate electronic drum set with all-mesh drum heads, dual-zone technology, 10" snare, 8" toms, and 8" kick.

    View Price at Sweetwater View Price at Guitar Center

    We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

  3. Roland TD-27KV
  4. Roland TD-27KV

    The TD-27KV dominates every other kit at this price on the market. There’s a reason Roland is king when it comes to electronic drums.

    View Price at Sweetwater View Price at Guitar Center

    We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Another great option to consider is the Simmons Titan 50 (our review).

Alesis Nitro vs. Turbo?

Another option you may be considering is the Alesis Turbo Mesh. While similar, it doesn’t have as many features as the Nitro. In particular, the Turbo doesn’t feature a kick tower.

Instead, you get a kick pedal – one that’s not as realistic as using a kick tower. The module is also a bit more limited on the Turbo. Some food for thought.

So, if you’re thinking of picking up the Nitro, or any other electronic kit, I highly suggest shopping with Sweetwater or Guitar Center, and not Amazon. Their customer service is far better and you’ll often times find better deals or bundles.

Plus, you’ll be supporting awesome music retailers and not Jeff Bezos, who grew his net worth $24bn in the midst of the 2020 pandemic. Food for thought.

Alesis Nitro Mesh Drum Kit
  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Compatibility
  • Sounds
  • Value


I can’t get enough of Alesis these days. They have done a remarkable job bringing electronic drums to a wider range demographic. Those who could never afford an electronic drum set now may have a chance. Drumming in an apartment isn’t as tough as it used to be. The Nitro Mesh is super affordable and is perfect for beginners and pros who need a quiet kit to practice on.


Very affordable


No custom samples

Do you own an electronic drum kit? What do you think of the Alesis Nitro Mesh? We would love to hear your feedback! Thanks for reading.

Images courtesy of Alesis.com

Nick Cesarz

Nick is a drummer, percussionist, and blogger from Milwaukee, WI. He toured extensively with Vinyl Theatre, opening up for acts like twenty one pilots, Panic! at the Disco, and more. Now no longer touring, his passion lies in gear and playing the kit as much as time allows.

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    1. The cables are loomed together and connect to the Alesis module with a pin connector, so you’d need to get new cables (which wouldn’t be too big of a deal, really). I haven’t tested the pads with other modules, but I would think it would work.

  1. It looks like there’s a USB port. Could I plug in to my DAW with USB midi and run a better-sounding VST (essentially using this as a MIDI controller)?

  2. Yes, it works great this way in the setup I’m using. I run the drums to the computer via the USB on the module. I’m using Addictive Drums in Logic with the Nitro Mesh without any problems.

  3. Hello,

    I want an kit to fit in my closet so can someone tell me the size of the full kit with all the features on it? For measuring purposes, i cant find this anywhere.


    1. When I had it setup, it was approximately 4ft by 2ft. And when you collapse the stand with some of the pads still on the rack, it gets even smaller, so you can easily fit it in a closet.

  4. This was a great review. Then at the end you have to crap on Jeff Bezos. While I’m no great fan of his, the man has done a great service by providing convenient retail goods during a time when it was difficult for many people to shop. He has earned his money. Just think if it were 1990 and there were no internet, much less online retailers, and we suffered through this pandemic. Also look at Amazon’s income statements and balance sheet, and then claim that they are swimming in cash. Bezos’ wealth is entirely based on the confidence that his investors have in the Amazon business model, not gouging consumers. THERE’S some food for thought. I’m not saying that other retailers aren’t worthwhile, but Bezos does not deserve this derision.

  5. Hey I just got up and mesured my Alesis Nitro mesh 8 pc drum kit as it sits in a playing pos. Now bear in mind your height and how far you would open up the drum frame work for your comfort when playing. I am 6 foot 2 in tall about 230 pounds so my kit is opened up all the way and I have added 4in in height to my framework . Kit was just a little too low for my comfort when on my throne. these are the Dim I just got off my kit as it sits. You would need 58 in in length 32in in width or depth and 50 in in height. my kit would fit as it sits for playing with all heads in playing pos in that amout of space. But could be folded to decrese that amount by about half if you removed heads and folded the frame work together. Like I said these dim are for my kit as it sits in playing pos. Hope that helps you out a little more in your quest for { the space required ? }

  6. It’s not just small — it’s like a toy for kids. You will not be able to properly set the snare to the right height unless you are five feet tall. The rack is AT LEAST a foot too short. You won’t be able to match this kit to your acoustic kit unless you are a child playing with a child’s kit. It’s a serious issue because proper form is necessary for efficient and healthy drumming. As the the “feel” of the kit, it is nothing like an acoustic kit. This may be the best electronic drum kit for about $400, but I would not buy it unless you are a child.

  7. Bezos deserves that derision plus a foot up his ass. I’d love to hear you say that again after working in one of his warehouses for a month. Confidence in his business model. Gimme a break…

  8. Personally, I really love my Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit. I bought it a little over four months ago and itZ been great so far! I agree that the sounds aren’t the best. However, if you create your own custom kitZ, you can easily get really good sounds. The actual pitch of each voice iZ adjustable, which I find incredible for a kit in this price range. I sincerely enjoy playing this kit 🙂 Now, I must point out that I’m only using this kit for home practice… I’m not trying to play arenas with it. For my use, itZ an amazing electronic drum set. 😀☕🥁🥁🥁

  9. I bought a used Nitro set. My only problem with it is that on the four mesh heads, there is one sweet spot, near the rim (directly across from the mounting hardware). If you stood the drum on it’s edge with the hardware facing up, the sweet spot is just inside the rim at the bottom of the drum, just above the tuning bolt. This makes playing impossible due to the rim height and the location of the sound trigger. I’d really like to know if there is a fix for this within the module, or perhaps by tuning the mesh somehow to even it out. Even on full volume, the drums are pretty quiet, but when the sweet spot is struck, it’ll dethrone you with the sudden jump in volume. I’m hoping for a reply, yet not planning on one given the very few comments here. Any solution to my problem will be appreciated.

  10. Why do people who can’t be successful cry about people who have. Always looking for a opportunity to bash someone because you can’t except accountability for yourselves. If i want to read jealous opinions,i will log on Facebook. Stick to drum info,cry on your own time. Amazon bad!!! 😢Sweetwater good!!😂😂😂😂

  11. You can take the heads off and move the triggers to the middle. I had this problem with my kick tower and doing this was an easy simple fix. Be careful not to put your trigger to close to your mesh heads. So i would check this out it usually is what it needs is the triggers being moved its an easy fix just be careful doing it. I hope this helps you out some.

  12. If I Want to ADD a : Nitro – Drum & Cymbal Expansion kit……….WILL it plug in the the Existing Computer / Module or do I HAVE to Upgrade To FIT : Added Stuff.?

  13. Thank you for a great in-depth review. Anyone have any thoughts on the best way to raise up the kit? I’m 6ft3 and I’m reading it is on the short side. Happy to add height but as a beginner, wondering if there are any standard ways to do this? Or do I just add some bricks? :-)

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