Electronic Drums

The Ultimate Alesis Electronic Drum Set Comparison Guide (2024)

Exploring Practice Kits to Professional Stage Electronic Drum Sets from Alesis

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When you’re looking for an affordable electronic drum set, picking out a kit from Alesis can be quite confusing.

I found their own e-drum comparison page to be outdated and clunky to use on both mobile and desktop.

There are countless updates and changes to products with no resource that tries to untangle the mess and make it easier for us drummers to pick the right Alesis electronic drum set.

Trying to make sense of all the different kits available is overwhelming.

To fix this, I decided to create a simple and comprehensive Alesis electronic drum set comparison guide.

Alesis Electronic Drum Sets

In the past, I’ve written tons of reviews and made videos on specific Alesis kits, but this post ties everything together.

I’ve used or owned almost every electronic drum set Alesis has made and have shared my very experience with them on this very website.

And in this article, I’ll tell you which Alesis electronic drum kit to choose based on your budget and needs.

I’ll also guide you through options if you want to upgrade your current Alesis drum kit to one that offers a far better playing experience.

Finally, I’ll address other important aspects like maintenance, cleaning, ordering spare parts, and getting the most out of your Alesis electronic drum set.

So let’s get into it.

The current state of Alesis electronic drums

Alesis Nitro Mesh Top Down

Alesis, currently owned by inMusicBrands, is one of the biggest three electronic drum set brands alongside Roland and Yamaha.

The company is particularly popular in Europe and the USA, but they ship to dealers all around the world.

Their beginner to intermediate electronic drum kit, the Alesis Nitro MAX, has more than 9,000 ratings on Amazon, so it’s safe to assume it’s probably the most popular electronic drum set in the world.

Alesis only makes electronic drums with mesh heads, meaning the part you hit with the sticks is made from a nylon-mesh material that makes playing the drums a lot quieter.

The more advanced and more expensive Alesis drum kits feature incredible sound modules, bigger drums, and a more realistic playing experience.

So which are the Alesis electronic drum sets you can buy right now?

Well, here they are (from most expensive to cheapest):

  • Strata Prime (new)
  • Strike Pro Special Edition Kit
  • DM10 MKII Pro Kit
  • Command Mesh Special Edition Kit
  • Command Mesh Kit
  • Crimson II
  • Surge Mesh Special Edition Kit
  • Surge Mesh Kit
  • Nitro Max Kit
  • Turbo Mesh Kit
  • Debut Kit
  • E-Drum Total Kit

For certain models, there are Special Edition kits, usually denoting the old and new generations—some are discontinued, like the Nitro Mesh kit, and some still available.

In the comparison section, I will present everything in an easy format so you’ll be able to figure out which Alesis kit to get.

Alesis Electronic Drum Sets Comparison Guide

The table below shows a comparison of every specification on all of the newest Alesis electronic drums.

I have chosen to omit a few, like the Nitro Mesh, Crimson II, and Command Mesh, as there are newer models available today.

Click the blue links to jump directly to each e-kit within our guide.

Strata PrimeStrike Pro SEDM10 MKII ProCommand Mesh SESurge Mesh SENitro MAXTurbo Mesh
Street Price$3,499$2,300$1,399$699$599$399$329
KickFull-size 20″ MeshFull-size 20″ Mesh8″ Mesh Kick Pad8″ Mesh Kick Pad w/ Pedal8″ Mesh Kick Pad w/ Pedal6″ Rubber Kick Pad w/ PedalKick Pedal (DMHat V2)
Snare14″ Dual-Zone Mesh w/ Stand14″ Dual-Zone Mesh w/ Stand12″ Dual-Zone Mesh w/ Stand10″ Dual-Zone Mesh10″ Dual-Zone Mesh10″ Dual-Zone Mesh8″ Mesh
Rack Tom8″ Dual-Zone Mesh8″ Dual-Zone Mesh10″ Dual-Zone Mesh8″ Dual-Zone Mesh8″ Dual-Zone Mesh8″ Mesh8″ Mesh
Rack Tom 210″ Dual-Zone Mesh10″ Dual-Zone Mesh10″ Dual-Zone Mesh8″ Dual-Zone Mesh8″ Dual-Zone Mesh8″ Mesh8″ Mesh
Floor Tom12″ Dual-Zone Mesh12″ Dual-Zone Mesh12″ Dual-Zone Mesh8″ Dual-Zone Mesh8″ Dual-Zone Mesh8″ Mesh8″ Mesh
Floor Tom 214″ Dual-Zone Mesh14″ Dual-Zone Mesh12″ Dual-Zone Mesh
Hi-Hat14″ Stand-Mounted (not included)14″ Stand-Mounted (not included)12″ w/ Pedal10″ w/ Pedal10″ w/ Pedal10″ w/ Pedal10″ w/ Pedal
Crash16″ Triple-Zone w/ Choke14″ Dual-Zone w/ Choke14″ Dual-Zone w/ Choke10″ w/ Choke10″ w/ Choke10″ w/ Choke10″
Crash 216″ Triple-Zone w/ Choke14″ Dual-Zone w/ Choke14″ Dual-Zone w/ Choke
Crash 314″ Dual-Zone w/ Choke
Ride18″ Triple-Zone w/ choke16″ Triple-Zone16″ Triple-Zone10″ w/Choke10″ w/Choke10″10″
Sounds215K+1,800+700671385440120
Presets7513680544032 from BFD10
Custom SamplesOn-Board, SD Card, USBOn-Board, SD Card, USBUSB DriveUSB Drive
Built-In Songs120606030
BluetoothYes, pending updateNoNoNoNoYesNo
USB MIDIYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
5-Pin MIDI I/OYesYesYesYesYesNoYes
Audio Input2x 1/4″ in1/8″ In1/8″ In1/8″ In1/8″ In1/8″ In1/8″ In
Outputs2x XLR (main), 4x 1/4″ TRS (assignable outs)(2) 1/4″ Main Out, 1/4″ Headphone Out. 8 Assignable Outs(2) 1/4″ Main Out, 1/4″ Headphone Out(2) 1/4″ Main Out, 1/4″ Headphone Out(2) 1/4″ Main Out, 1/4″ Headphone Out(2) 1/4″ Main Out, 1/4″ Headphone Out(2) 1/4″ Main Out, 1/4″ Headphone Out
Extra Trigger Input(s)31 (Labeled Ride 2)222

The table is a bit daunting, as there is a lot of information. Let me simplify:

  • Strata Prime: the newest flagship electronic drum set just released from Alesis—some of the best sounds I’ve heard in a module
  • Strike Pro SE: ideal for drummers who want the best playing experience possible and have the biggest budget
  • DM10 MKII Pro: best electronic drum set under $2,000 for drummers who want an upgraded playing experience with larger drum pads
  • Command Mesh SE: perfect for drummers on a budget of less than $800 who want more sounds out of the drum module
  • Surge Mesh SE: very similar to the Command Mesh SE with fewer drum sounds
  • Nitro MAX: good for first-time drummers looking for a decent playing experience with professional drum sounds from BFD
  • Turbo Mesh: ideal for young drummers under 10 years old who want to play the drums

Let’s get into the detailed reviews of each Alesis electronic drum set.

Alesis Strata Prime

The best electronic drum set of 2024

The Alesis Strata Prime is a massive 10-piece e-kit featuring 360-degree cymbals, a 10.1" touchscreen module, and an incredible drum sound library.

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CONFIG6x mesh drum pads, 4x cymbal pads
KITS75
SOUNDS1092 articulations
INPUTS14 pad/cymbal inputs, 2x 1/4″ (aux in), USB type A, USB type B, MIDI in, SD card slot
OUTPUTS2x XLR out (main), 4x 1/4″ out (assignable), 1/4″ TRS & 1/8″ TRS (headphones), MIDI out
HARDWARE4-post steel rack, locking clamps

The Strata Prime is the best and newest model from Alesis. The kit has an incredible 10.1″ touchscreen drum module filled with amazing-sounding drum sounds.

CONFIG14″ snare, 20″ kick, 8/10/12/14″ toms, 3x 14″ crash, 16″ ride, 14″ hi-hats, Strike Pro Sound Module
KITS136
SOUNDS1800+
INPUTS12x 1/4″ TRS (drum triggers),1/4″ TRS (hi-hat control), 1/8″ (aux in)
OUTPUTS2x 1/4″ TRS (main), 7x 1/4″ TRS (individual outs), 1/4″ (headphones), MIDI In/Out/USB (type B), SD/SDHC Card Slot (64GB max)
HARDWARE4-post steel rack, snare stand
WHAT WE LIKE+ Great sounds and module
+ Actual kick drum is a plus
+ Mesh heads
+ Large drum shells
WHAT WE DON’T LIKE– Hi-hat is a little wonky
– Module is confusing to use
– Cymbals sometimes misfire when hitting drums
– No Bluetooth

Undoubtedly, the Strike Pro SE is the best model from Alesis—it’s on a similar level to Roland’s TD- 50KV2 or VAD706 (but at a fraction of the price). Back in 2019, I owned the original Strike Pro kit (you can read my review here).

Key Features

  • Real drum shells
  • Dual-zone drum pads
  • Triple-zone ride cymbal
  • 1,760 multi-sampled instruments
  • Onboard sampler

The Alesis Strike Pro Special Edition is designed to replicate the familiar feel of an acoustic drum set, allowing for nuanced performances with sensitive mesh heads and rubber cymbal pads. 

Its vast sound library features 136 complete drum kits and over 1,800 multi-sampled sounds, allowing users to create custom samples. 

Alesis Strike Pro Drum Shells

The wood shells and tunable mesh heads respond like acoustic drums but with low noise, while the “hammered” cymbals have a controlled bounce and good stick response.

Fusion drum sizes provide a comfortable transition from acoustic to electronic kits, and dual-zoned toms, snare, and cymbals alongside a 3-zoned ride yield dynamic performances. 

The Strike Pro Module offers an easy way to edit drum sounds with its 4.3″ color LCD screen, while mixer faders give you complete control over your headphones or speakers. 

With eight direct outputs for studio-level editing, the Strike Software Editor for importing new sounds into the module, and an onboard sampler for capturing organic sounds directly from the kit itself, this e-drum kit holds its own with some of the industry’s best.

In Use

Alesis Strike Pro Drum Module

The drum module is limited. Compared to Roland’s TD-50, it’s night and day. But, at a fraction of the cost, Alesis does give Roland a run for their money. The kit feels great to play on. The snare and toms are big shells and feel like an acoustic kit. 

Although the hi-hat triggering may not be as realistic as Roland (especially compared to the newer VH-14D), the playing experience is still great.

Originally on the Strike Pro (before the SE model), the hi-hat triggering was terrible but has since been corrected, as it is much better.

Why pick the Alesis Strike Pro SE?

While it does have its quirks, the Strike Pro SE is a fantastic option for professional drummers looking for an alternative to Roland’s high-end kits.

Specifications
Configuration10-piece Electronic Drum Set with 12″ Snare, 8″ Kick Tower, 2 x 10″ Toms, 2 x 12″ Toms, 2 x 14″ Crash Cymbals, 16″ Ride Cymbal, 12″ Hi-hats, and DM10 MKII Pro Module
Kits50 presets, 30 user, 700+ sounds/voices
Connections2 x 1/4″, 1 x DB25 (snake included), 1 x 1/8″ (aux in), 2 x 1/4″ (left, right), MIDI In, Out/Thru, USB 1 x Type B, 1 x Type A, USB memory stick storage compatible
Included Hardware4-post chrome rack with clamps and arms, snare stand, module mount
What We Like+ Load custom drum sounds
+ Mesh heads
+ Great name brand
What We Don’t Like– Poor sounds
– Pedal and throne not included
– No Bluetooth

The Alesis DM10 MKII Pro is the complete digital drumming experience. Featuring full-sized shells with mesh heads, this kit provides an unprecedented level of realism and playability. 

Its tightly woven black mesh pads offer the best drumming experience yet, with an adjustable response to accommodate any playing style. In contrast, its quiet mesh heads provide easy practice in any space. 

This set includes a fully-loaded drum module with 50 preset kits (30 user kits), and 700+ drum sounds for endless exploration.

Plus, an onboard sequencer with 100 preset patterns, built-in recording capabilities, and an auxiliary input jack for jamming along to music makes this kit unbeatable for performance and practice. 

And with a double bass pedal-ready kick pad and features like the triple-zone ride cymbal (which can be used as two separate zones), this kit offers an expansive range of sonic possibilities.

Specifications
Configuration3 x 8″ Dual-zone Mesh Toms, 1 x 10″ Dual-zone Mesh Snare, 10″ Mesh Kick Pad Tower, 1 x 10″ Hi-hat, 1 x 10″ Crash with Choke, 1 x 10″ Ride with Choke, Command Drum Module
Kits54 preset kits, 20 user kits, 671 drum voices
ConnectionsTrigger inputs: 1 x 1/4″ TRS (tom 4), 1 x 1/4″ TRS (crash 2), 1 x DB-25 (cable snake)
Analog inputs: 1 x 1/8″ (aux in)
Analog outputs: 2 x 1/4″ TRS (main out)
Headphones: 1 x 1/8″ (stereo)
MIDI I/O: USB 1 x Type B, 1 x Type A (WAV samples, MP3 tracks)
Included HardwareKick pedal, 4-post Chrome Rack, Hi-hat pedal, Cable Snake
What We Like+ Load drum samples via external thumb drive
+ 671 sounds and 54 preset drum kits
+ 60 built-in training songs
What We Don’t Like– No Bluetooth connectivity
– Sounds are of poor quality
– Rack-mounted hi-hat

The Alesis Command Mesh Special Edition electronic drum set is the perfect choice for aspiring drummers of any age with a budget of less than $800.

Featuring superior factory kits and sound expansion capabilities, this is an electronic drum set you can grow into as your playing develops. Plus, a complete set of tunable mesh heads make it a pleasure to play and allow you to adjust those sounds precisely to your liking. 

With 74 total kits and 671 drum/percussion sounds, plus helpful practice features like onboard recording with 5 internal track slots (and 99 via thumb drive) and 60 built-in play-along practice tracks, this kit offers endless possibilities for both performance and practice. 

The included kick pedal, hi-hat pedal, rugged black powder-coated drum rack, 1/8 inch aux input for jamming to your favorite songs, power supply, connection cables, and mounting hardware make this set complete for years of enjoyment.

The Next Step Up from Nitro
Alesis Surge Mesh Special Edition
4.5

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

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PROS+ Great price
+ Mesh heads
+ Great response from the heads
CONS– Mounted hi-hat
– No custom samples
– Limited dynamic range of sound

The Alesis Surge Special Edition electronic drum set provides a complete package for aspiring and experienced drummers. 

Featuring unheard-of practice and performance features, the Alesis Surge Mesh Kit has a complete set of tunable mesh heads with dynamic response and a natural feel like classic acoustic drums. 

It also includes 24 kits and 385 drum/percussion sounds, making it as versatile as any professional kit. In addition, helpful practice features like the onboard metronome help you build chops and learn grooves, plus 60 built-in play-along practice tracks make this kit ideal for performance and practice. 

Additionally, dual-zone pads for playing two different sounds from the same pad let you get creative alternating between the rim and pad.

The included kick pedal, hi-hat pedal, rugged black powder-coated drum rack, 1/8 inch aux input for phones or music players, power supply, connection cables, and mounting hardware make this set perfect for the starting drummer.

Why pick the Alesis Surge Mesh SE?
The Surge Mesh SE is an excellent intermediate electronic drum set with all-mesh drum heads, dual-zone technology, 10″ snare, 8″ toms, and 8″ kick.

Alesis Nitro MAX

The best electronic drum set for beginners

This electronic drum set is affordable, compact, and is perfect for learning with 90-days free to Drumeo, the best place to learn drums online.

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PROS+ Great price
+ Mesh heads
+ Bluetooth audio streaming
+ Professional drum samples from BFD
CONS– Mounted hi-hat
– Small kick tower
– No custom samples

The Alesis Nitro MAX drum set is the perfect choice for beginner drummers, offering an easy and affordable entry into the world of digital drums. This 5-piece kit includes a module, pads, hardware, and accessories to get you playing right away.

Alesis Nitro Max Top

Featuring tunable mesh heads that deliver a custom playing experience and 32 preset drum kits from BFD with 440 drum, cymbal, and percussion sounds, plus USB/MIDI for multitracking and triggering virtual instruments with a desktop PC or laptop computer. 

You also get an 8″ dual-trigger snare with expressive head and rim zones and 8″ single-zone tom pads that play fast and naturally. The stable kick tower comes with 10″ crash cymbal with choke, 10″ ride, 10″ hi-hat with a foot controller so you can control every hit. 

Play along with 60 backing tracks or your mobile device using the included 4-post aluminum rack stand. The compact size makes it easy to store away when not in use – everything you need for hours of fun! 

Accessories include cables, power supply, drum key, and drumsticks – making this an incredibly affordable option for new players looking to learn how to play the drums. A 90-day free trial to renowned online drum lesson platform Drumeo is also included.

Why pick the Alesis Nitro Max?
The Alesis Nitro MAX is perfect for new drummers—it’s affordable and fun to play. The new sounds included in the module from BFD are much better than the original Nitro samples and the integrated practice tools work wonders for new drummers.

The Alesis Turbo Mesh is the perfect choice for young drummers and one of the best electronic drum kits under $500. Equipped with expressive pads, tunable mesh heads, and folding steel stand, this 5-piece kit offers 10 preset kits; 120 drum, cymbal, and percussion sounds.

PROS+ Very affordable kit
+ Mesh heads
+ Great name brand
+ Perfect for young, first-time drummers
CONS– No kick tower
– Cheap sounds
– No custom samples
– No Bluetooth connectivity
– Single-zoned snare drum pad
– Hi-hat pedal is not velocity sensitive

In addition, the 1/8″ aux input on the drum module makes it perfect for practicing or recording with apps like Spotify. 

It also includes integrated practice tools like the metronome, drum coach, and Melodics with 40 free lessons making it easy to develop your timing, groove, and stamina. 

Additionally, MIDI over USB allows you to trigger virtual instruments with a computer. Jam along to 30 backing tracks or even music on your own laptop/mobile device!

Accessories included are cables, power supply, drum key, and drumsticks – all allowing for an incredible playing experience that is both fun and convenient!

Why pick the Alesis Turbo Mesh?
The Turbo Mesh is the most affordable electronic kit from Alesis — perfect for beginners looking to start playing.

Conclusion

After thoroughly evaluating the pros and cons of different drum sets from Alesis, the Strike Pro SE is by far the best electronic drum set for experienced and touring musicians. 

For younger beginners, I suggest the impressive Alesis Nitro Mesh kit; it may cost less but still offers a generous array of features for its price tag. 

Hopefully, this post has given you a great starting point as you search for your perfect drum kit. If you didn’t find an Alesis kit that piqued your interest, don’t miss my roundup of the best electronic drum sets.

To help other visitors of this blog, let me know your favorite electronic drum kit down below in the comments, whether it be Alesis or something else. Good luck with buying your dream drum set!

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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