No one wants to spend all day playing an electronic drum set with their headphones on. Yeah, it is excellent for practice, but eventually, you want to give your ears a break. Plus, it is essential to have a monitor if you plan to practice with other players. In this article, we will discuss the best electronic drum set amplifiers for your budget and needs.
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)
This Roland is very popular. You will find it on many best-of lists. As for speakers, it has a 10″ woofer and a 2″ tweeter. And with two-band EQ (bass and treble), it provides a clean and full range for your e-drums. While it is optimized for the Roland V-Drums, it can, of course, be used with other drums.
- 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
- 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
2) Alesis Strike 8 (Budget Option)
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.
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 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
- This puts us under the $300 mark, so we can expect some problems
- High wattage and power does not always equal the best sound
- This amp is new, so there are not that many reviews out there yet
3) KAT Percussion KA1
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. 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.
- 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
- 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
4) Ddrum DDA50
The DDA50 is perfect for practice at home, or small gigs. Big sound fills a small room at just half-volume.
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. It has two primary 1/4 “inputs and an aux of the same size. There are also extra plugins for the headphones and mp3.
- 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
- 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
5) Alesis Strike 12
This is, of course, the next step after the Alesis 8 we mentioned above. This model has a 12″ woofer and a high-frequency driver. Like the Alesis Strike 8, it also delivers peak wattage of 2000, making it loud. It also has dual XLR 1/4″ inputs. If you like the Alesis but want a better model, the 12 is the way to go.
- 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
- 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
6) Roland PM-200
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!
- A great budget right at the level of starting PA monitors
- Perfect for rehearsing and gigging
- Most reviews mention excellent sound clarity and quality
- 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
7) Electro-Voice ELX200
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 drummers.
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
- It sounds fantastic as a drum amplifier
- Comes with Bluetooth tech and a QuickSmartMobile app
- LF and HF transducers more accurately timed
- 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
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!
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.
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.
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!