Electronic Drums

7 Best Electronic Drum Set Amps and Monitors

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In this guide I’ll be sharing what I consider to be the best electronic drum set amplifiers you can buy.

This article will help you find an amplifier that’s loud, clear, and suitable for your needs, from good low-end to flexible inputs and outputs.

Using an appropriate amp is a key aspect that’s often overlooked in most roundup articles of the best electronic drum amps.

When it comes to e-drumming with an amplifier, our needs and preferences are different and a particular amp won’t be ideal for every drummer.

I’m not endorsed or sponsored by any of the brands I recommend — I’m just a regular dude sharing my own personal experience.

The 7 Best Electronic Drum Set Amplifiers

We have individual reviews listed below of each of our favorite e-drum amps. They’re in no particular order, but I do have Editor’s Choice and Budget Pick labeled throughout.

1
Roland PM100
Editor's Choice

Roland PM100

  • 2-channel, 80-watt powered drum monitor
  • Optimized for Roland V-Drums
  • 10" woofer and onboard tweeter
  • Additional 1/4" and 1/8" inputs

The PM100 is ideal for home practice. It's loud, but not loud enough for live gigs.

Pros

  • 2 Band EQ at 80 watts
  • Wedge design directs the sound up from the floor
  • Additional 1/4" and 1/8" inputs for other musicians or devices

Cons

  • Despite being the editor's choice, $300 isn't cheap
  • Some may not prefer a floor monitor
  • If you want great sound, you will have to spend more

The Roland PM-100 is a high-resolution sound monitor. It fits my V-Drums system well.

First off, this 80-watt amp is small but powerful. My V-Drums sound great owing to a 10-inch speaker and tweeter. The angled shape gives me the best sound even when I’m sitting to jam.

It’s not just for drumming, which is cool. This bad boy’s mixer lets me connect my iPhone and other devices. I can jam to my favorite songs with the V-Drums and line inputs’ independent volume settings.

And that top full-width bar handle? Very useful for positioning and carrying the monitor. No problem.

The PM-100 elevates my V-Drums to pro level. It’s my perfect partner for home practice or jamming with friends.

Roland PM-100
(Image Credit: Roland)

I originally purchased the Roland PM-100 after debating between the 100 and 200. Before writing this roundup, I wanted to avoid constant reliance on using my headphones while playing. The unit has pristine sound quality and has a high maximum volume.

The 1/8″ input is very convenient for connecting devices for music playback while playing. The speaker has a small footprint and is perfect for use at band practices.

2
Alesis Strike 8
Budget Option

Alesis Strike 8

  • Powerful two-way active speaker system
  • Compact personal drum monitor system
  • XLR output for daisy-chains

The Strike 8 is super affordable, compact, and loud.

Pros

  • The small amp can pack up to 2000 watts of power (at a brief peak)
  • It can be used as a floor wedge or pole mount
  • Even at loud volumes, it is still relatively clear for this low of a price

Cons

  • High wattage and power does not always equal the best sound
  • Low frequencies can be an issue at higher volume levels

The Strike 8 is our budget option for compact personal drum monitors. It has just an 8″ woofer and high-frequency compression driver. Despite its price and size, it does have a lot of power. 

The 8-inch woofer provides great kick drum sounds, and the high-frequency compression driver pops snare drums and cymbals.

The catch—it’s not simply power. This amp has several features. It may tilt back like a stage monitor or stand vertically. With an XLR output, you may connect another Strike Amp 8 or send sound to another device. Contour EQ lets you perfect your tone.

There are two XLR 1/4″ inputs and one output the same size. It’s not going to be the most incredible amp in the world but will make do if that is what you have.

The Alesis does include an output for daisy-chaining, which was unnecessary for my needs. Additionally, it offers mounting alternatives that are not available with the Roland model.

3
KAT Percussion KA1
Budget Runner Up

KAT Percussion KA1

  • 50-watt drum amplifier
  • Perfect for stage or studio
  • Angles sound up at you
  • Stereo inputs 
  • Onboard 3-band equalizer
  • Non-EQ'd 1/4" aux input

Good for small gigs, basement band practices, or on your own.

Pros

  • It may be a low price, but it has a lot of great reviews
  • Sturdy construction and durable for young players
  • Tilt design aims the sound right at your seat

Cons

  • This amp will need proper EQ adjusting, find the sweet spot
  • It can sound a little thin like most low price models
  • Suitable for practicing but not for gigging with

This KAT percussion monitor is also another low budget option for those who cannot wait to save another $100. This amp has a 10″ woofer and 1/4″ tweeter with 50 watts of power.

The amp sounds incredible for the money. The KA1 easily handled low-end frequencies with no buzzing or distortion. And I could see people using this amp at gigs with no issue.

The on-board 3-band EQ makes it easy for us drummers to crank the high and low end (which we all do).

It has two 1/4″ main inputs with an added 1/4″ and 1/8″ aux. And it is only a floor wedge model. Nothing spectacular, but it works for the price. 

4
ddrum DDA50 BT
Great for light gigging

ddrum DDA50 BT

  • Powerful output for practice and gigging
  • Robust 2-way speaker system
  • 10-inch woofer
  • 2.5-inch HF tweeter
  • 50 watts of output
  • Powerful 3-band EQ

The DDA50 is perfect for practice at home, or small gigs. Big sound fills a small room at just half-volume.

Pros

  • Affordable model that has many great reviews
  • With proper EQ, the speaker will sound ok for practice
  • Similar to other models below the $300 price range

Cons

  • Again cheaper models do not have the necessary punch or kick
  • Any live gigs this is used for need to be small
  • The flashy red design and carpet sides may be a bit much

This 50-watt amp has a 10″ woofer and .25″ tweeter. It is roughly at the $300 range where it can work as a practice amp and maybe even for light gigging.

What’s cool about the DDA50 is that it now comes with Bluetooth connectivity. So, if you want to jam along to your favorite tracks, you can just connect your device wirelessly and play your tunes through it. No more hassles with cables!

ddrum DDA50

The amp features a 10-inch woofer that delivers a powerful punch and a crystal-clear 2.5-inch tweeter for those crisp highs. Plus, there’s a 3-band EQ to fine-tune your sound, so you can dial in the perfect tone.

There’s also an 1/8-inch input for music playback from your device. This amp isn’t just for practice, either. It’s got the power to handle rehearsals and small stages too.

5
Alesis Strike Amp 12
Best intermediate pick

Alesis Strike Amp 12

  • Powerful output for practice and gigging
  • Robust 2-way speaker system
  • 10-inch woofer
  • 2.5-inch HF tweeter
  • 50 watts of output
  • Powerful 3-band EQ

The big brother of the Alesis Strike 8. This monitor is much louder, boasting 2000 watts of power.

Pros

  • This one is just loud enough to play decently with a band
  • Some of the highest favorable ratings on this list
  • Likely the best model if you own an Alesis electronic drum kit

Cons

  • All the controls are on the back of the amp
  • 2000 watts is only a peak rating, regular more like 200
  • For better sound with a band, spend a little more

This is, of course, the next step after the Alesis 8 we mentioned above. As far as powerful drum amps go, the Alesis Strike 12 is one of the best. It lets players make their sound sound completely unique.

This bad boy puts out a huge 2000 watts of bi-amplified power, so no matter where you play, the sound will be loud and clear.

Your kick drum gets extra punch from the 12-inch low frequency driver, and your snare drum and cymbals get more shine and snap from the high-frequency compression driver.

The Strike Amp 12 gives you full freedom because you can set it up vertically or tilt it back horizontally like a stage monitor.

Want to send your sound somewhere else or add another Strike Amp 12? There’s an XLR output for that. Want to make sure your tone is just right? Use the EQ setting.

And with two XLR/TRS 1/4-inch combo inputs, you can connect anything without thinking about distortion.

6
Roland PM-200
Best E-Drum Amp for the $$$

Roland PM-200

  • Powerful output for practice and gigging
  • Robust 2-way speaker system
  • 10-inch woofer
  • 2.5-inch HF tweeter
  • 50 watts of output
  • Powerful 3-band EQ

The PM-200 is a portable speaker designed to accompany Roland's V-Drums.

Pros

  • A great budget right at the level of starting PA monitors
  • Perfect for rehearsing and gigging 
  • Most reviews mention excellent sound clarity and quality

Cons

  • Only floor mounting options are available
  • A 12" may not be enough to produce the low-end sound you want
  • For $200 more, some more features would be nice

If you have the budget, this is another great model to pick up, along with most monitors in the $500 price range. The PM-200 boasts 2 channels at 180 watts with a 12″ woofer and a 1″ onboard tweeter. It has two 1/4″ inputs, one 1/8″, and 2 XLR outputs.

Many great reviews claim the sound has excellent lows and crisp highs. For half a grand, it better sound pretty good—the next step is a PA!

7
Electro-Voice ELX200
The Ultimate Solution

Electro-Voice ELX200

  • 15" woofer and high-performance tweeter
  • Lightweight, easy-carry loudspeaker
  • QuickSmartDSP offers best-in-class signal processing
  • Efficient LCD menu

Powered wedge monitors are a great solution for e-drum players. While typically used for all types of musicians on stage, the ELX200 is a great option for electronic drummers.

Pros

  • It sounds fantastic as a drum amplifier
  • Comes with Bluetooth tech and a QuickSmartMobile app
  • LF and HF transducers more accurately timed

Cons

  • Way out of budget range for most players
  • It also may be overkill for the drum kit you have
  • If you have this high of a budget, take your time shopping around

Suppose you have the money to start getting a decent PA system. In that case, this traditional wedge monitor will also work great as a drum amp.

The Electro-Voice features a 2-way powered speaker with a 15″ woofer and high-performance tweeter. It also uses digital signal processing and Class D amplification.

E-Drum Amplifier Basics

Let’s get some terminology out of the way. An e-drum amplifier can be referred to as a monitor, amp, wedge, or speaker. In general, these terms all mean the same thing, but can have multiple purposes.

Is it necessary to get a specific style amplifier for your electronic drum kit? That answer can depend on what sound you are going for and your level of patience. Of course, you can plug your set into most any form of Bluetooth speaker or guitar type amp. But your sound will be horrible!

A drum kit covers a broad range of frequencies compared to bass or guitar. Plugging your kit into a guitar amp merely is not going to sound good. Even if you want distortion, there are better ways! For the best audio quality, you want an amplifier dedicated to the drums or at least the range.

PA monitors will work wonderfully because they are used for both low and high frequencies. They are built to handle all the instruments, vocals, and sound ranges. However, these systems can cost a fortune, and many of us don’t have that much to spend! 

Keyboard amps also handle a wide range of frequencies, and like PA systems, they can also work fine as an E-drum amp. In some cases, you may find a better deal on wattage or quality depending on what style of amp you get. Of course, shop around and focus on speakers that provide for the drums’ full sonic palette!

Price Range

The basic entry-level amps will cost under $300 and are not going to sound that great. Yes, they will get the job done, but it is worth spending $300 or more to get an excellent sounding amp. It’s simply not that much more to save to get better quality.

The entry-level amps aren’t the greatest. They can get loud, but that doesn’t equal good. But that is the range most people want to spend in, so we will provide examples. Once you get into an intermediate level amp, it will cost around $300-500 (the budget area we are targeting).

And of course, once you start moving too high in price, you might as well be buying a PA system. Many of the higher-end drum and keyboard amps will have similar parts, just with different names. Even with a high budget, don’t overspend. 

EQ Properly

Regardless of the price you spend, nothing will matter if you don’t set the monitors up correctly. The EQ on the amp allows us to adjust our frequencies and sculpt our sound. As a beginner, you will find plenty of videos that teach you how to do this properly. Perfection isn’t essential as long as you understand what you are doing. As you get better at playing, you will also up your EQ skills.

Wrapping Up

There you have seven great electronic drum monitors to amplify your kit. If you can’t decide, then pick the Roland PM 100. It is an excellent starter budget with many positive reviews. Otherwise, listen to videos online (with headphones!) and try other monitors out when you can. As long as you have a decent budget and find an amp with a wide frequency range, you will find a perfect monitor for your drum kit!

Staff

Contributions from Drumming Review Staff are from drummers and percussionists with a variety of different backgrounds, both professional and amateur. Interested in making a contribution? Click on 'Contact Us' at the bottom right of the page.

4 Comments

  1. Thanks so much for the information on these drum amplifiers. I will probably look into a PA system for gigs.

  2. Hey, thanks for the review. Is it possible to connect a classical guitar, an electro piano and an electro drum set at the same time with an additional device? Maybe also a microphone… Thanks.

    1. Depending on the inputs of the amp, this may be possible. If it’s not, you’ll need to use a small mixing board with the amp.

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