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The 7 Best Electronic Drum Sets in 2024 for All Budgets

My expert guide to choosing an electronic drum set for beginners and pros

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In 2024, it takes work to decipher and trust many of the ‘best electronic drum set’ lists when arriving from a search engine. It’s so bad that even popular magazines with no relation to drums or music have attempted to lure users in to recapture lost revenue from the decline of print media advertising—all with zero testing or even seeing the drums in person.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

If at any point you need assistance picking out a kit, or have any questions related to electronic drums, hit the blue button in the bottom right corner to message me directly!

Whether you take my advice or not, I want to emphasize that I currently own more than ten electronic drum sets and frequently attend conventions to cover the latest releases in the drum world. I have extensive hands-on experience with electronic drum sets.

Since the word “best” can be subjective, each kit listed has a specific use case that may or may not fit your needs. Each electronic drum set entry will be concise, so read the full linked review for more details on each kit.

Most realistic
Best sounds
Budget friendly

Roland TD-27KV2

Alesis Strata Prime

Alesis Nitro MAX

4.6
4.7
3.9

The most realistic hi-hat, ride, and snare

The best electronic drum set of 2024

The best electronic drum set for beginners

  • Ultra-realistic feeling
  • Bluetooth compatible
  • Expand sounds via Roland Cloud
  • 10.1" touch screen display
  • Amazing drum sounds
  • 90-days free to Drumeo
  • Bluetooth compatible
  • Affordable price
  • Perfect for a beginner drummer
Most realistic

Roland TD-27KV2

4.6

The most realistic hi-hat, ride, and snare

  • Ultra-realistic feeling
  • Bluetooth compatible
  • Expand sounds via Roland Cloud
Best sounds

Alesis Strata Prime

4.7

The best electronic drum set of 2024

  • 10.1" touch screen display
  • Amazing drum sounds
  • 90-days free to Drumeo
Budget friendly

Alesis Nitro MAX

3.9

The best electronic drum set for beginners

  • Bluetooth compatible
  • Affordable price
  • Perfect for a beginner drummer

What I look for

High-quality sounds
I search for electronic drum kits with the best sounds to ensure a rewarding practicing experience—when you think you sound good, you want to practice more and play better

Bluetooth compatibility
Every kit on the list has Bluetooth audio, meaning you can stream audio from any device right to the drum module to play along with your favorite songs

Electronic drums for every price point
Drums, especially electronic, are expensive, so I made sure to include options for people of all budget ranges

Reputable drum makers
I chose electronic drum kits from manufacturers who have good product support, warranties, and overall good reputations, to ensure satisfaction after you buy

Update log:

  • March 24, 2024: completely re-wrote the piece for the 2024 year—will continue to update the article as the year progresses.
  • April 21, 2024: added additional images, buying information below the list, added additional information to each kit on the list, and a separate section highlighting my experience picking out multiple electronic drum sets.
Best budget e-kit
Alesis Nitro MAX
3.9

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.

Read our full review

View Price at Sweetwater View Price at Guitar Center

What do you think of this product?

2
1

Perfect for beginner drummers on a budget: For the price, there’s no better mesh electronic drum kit available with as many features, and the included Drumeo lessons will get you cookin’ on the kit in no time.

Avoid if you are a taller person or want the best sounds: While this drum kit is useable for most, some drummers will find the kit very compact if taller. The included sounds, while a big improvement over the previous generation, still seem a bit robotic.

In October last year, Alesis unveiled the highly anticipated successor to the best-selling Nitro Mesh—the Nitro MAX. The kit has a larger 10″ snare drum and a far better-sounding drum module.

Appearance-wise, it looks similar to the Nitro Mesh, with an upgrade to the shell color and white mesh heads instead of black. The red wood grain finish with the all-black hardware design looks striking in person.

CONFIG4x mesh toms/snare, bass drum tower, hi-hat pedal, ride, crash, hi-hat
KITS32 factory, 16 user
SOUNDS440
INPUTSPad inputs (cable snake), aux input, 2x trigger inputs, USB, Bluetooth
OUTPUTSL/R audio output, headphone output

Reviews from customers at major retailers:

(at the time of publishing)

The kit has 440 individual drum sounds, and 32 kit presets—many of which were developed with legendary drum sample maker BFD. They’re some of the best sounds I’ve heard on a sub-$400 e-kit.

Alesis also included 16 user kits for deeper customization of your favorite sounds. Additionally, the free BFD Player pairs nicely with the Nitro MAX when connected to a computer via USB.

Sizes on the kit include a 10″ dual-zone snare drum, three 8″ single-zone tom pads, a 6″ kick drum tower, a 10″ choke crash cymbal, a 10″ ride cymbal, 10″ hi-hat pad, the Nitro MAX module, and a four-post rack.

The 6″ kick tower worked well with my DW9000 double-kick pedal, though it did seem like the beaters were right up the edge of the pad. Some double pedals may run into an issue when connecting to the tower—your mileage may vary.

Alesis Nitro Max Behind
Image: Drumming Review

Bluetooth compatibility is another standout highlight of the Nitro MAX, and during my tests, it worked flawlessly. The kit makes it easy to jam to your favorite tunes or follow along with YouTube videos. Many high-end kits still lack this function, so it’s a welcome upgrade for the Nitro lineup. The Nitro MAX also has a tablet holder perfect for reading music or watching lessons while playing.

Alesis offers a 30-day trial of the learning software Melodics and a 90-day trial of Drumeo, further cementing this kit as the best option for beginners. Intermediate and advanced drummers in challenging shared living spaces may also benefit from the Nitro MAX, as it’s one of the most affordable options available.

Me testing the Alesis Nitro MAX

I tested the kit for a solid week after recording my initial impressions review video. Based on my 20+ years of drumming experience, the Nitro MAX gives a reliable playing experience for younger beginning drummers. The biggest upgrades for this one? I’d love to see larger cymbal pads, 10″ pads across the board, and a larger kick tower pad if they ever make a Nitro MAX Special Edition.

What do you think of this product?

0
0

Ideal for big-kit drummers on a budget: There’s no other kit available at this price-point that offers this many toms and cymbals.

Avoid if you have thin walls: Since the snare pad is fully enclosed, it tends to be significantly louder than some of the other pads I’ve listed.

Simmons’ latest release to the Titan family is appealing if you like big drum sets. With 11 pieces, the Titan 70 is Simmons’ flagship electronic drum set featuring a new 12″ triple-zone ride cymbal, quiet mesh drum heads, a drum module with sounds recorded at a legendary recording studio, and a big kick tower.

CONFIG5x mesh toms/snare, bass drum tower, hi-hat pedal, ride, 2x crash, hi-hat
KITS75
SOUNDS314
INPUTSPad inputs (cable snake), aux input, 2x expression inputs, USB, Bluetooth
OUTPUTSL/R audio output, headphone output, MIDI output

Reviews from customers at major retailers:

(at the time of publishing)

The Titan 70’s configuration includes a 10″ dual-zone snare, four 8″ dual-zone tom pads, a 7″ kick drum tower, a 10″ hi-hat, two 10″ chokable crash cymbal pads, a 12″ triple-zone ride cymbal pad, Titan 70 sound module, a hi-hat pedal, a kick drum pedal, and the drum rack.

Since the snare drum has no opening on the bottom of the shell, the drum tends to be louder than other e-kit designs, so keep that in mind if you’re apartment drumming.

The kit features beautiful blue shells, grey rubber rims, and white mesh drum heads. The shells are thin, similar to the Nitro MAX, but they look great when set up. The module comes with 314 sounds and 75 preset kits.

The module seems to be an upgrade of the Titan 50 and includes Bluetooth audio for streaming songs for playing along. The top of the drum module sports a device holder, which can easily accommodate your iPhone or iPad with no issue.

Simmons also released a companion app that extends the drum module’s functionality. It gives quick access to kit changes and mix volumes, a standout feature for the Titan 70.

What do you think of this product?

0
0

Buy if you want the best sounds currently in a drum module: Of all the drum modules I’ve tested over the years, the Strata Prime has the best sounds right out of the box.

Avoid if you want the most realistic hi-hat triggering: The innovative magnetic hi-hat system, while impressive, still doesn’t compete against Roland’s digital VH-14D hats.

The Strata Prime is Alesis’s newest flagship electronic drum set. It’s not an upgrade of the previous Strike Pro SE, either. The kit was built from the ground up with many new features typically reserved for more expensive e-drums. Some big highlights include incredible sounds, a large 10.1″ touchscreen drum module, and new triggering tech.

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

Reviews from customers at major retailers:

(at the time of publishing)

The kit’s finish resembles that of the Nitro MAX, and despite being a flagship model, the shells on the toms and snare drum aren’t as deep as you’d expect. Still, the kit doesn’t feel small to play and works nicely if you’re transitioning back and forth from an acoustic drum set ergonomically.

The Strata Prime’s configuration includes a 20″ real-sized kick drum, a dual-zone 14″ snare, 8″, 10″ 12″, and 14″ dual-zone toms, two triple-zone 16″ crash cymbals, an 18″ triple-zone ride, and the Prime drum module.

Nick Cesarz of Drumming Review testing the Alesis Strata Prime
Image: Drumming Review

The mesh drum heads feel excellent when playing, and overall, it’s the most realistic electronic drum set in the under $5,000 range, both in playability and sound.

As with the Strike Pro SE, the Strata Prime’s hi-hat is weak, but I commend Alesis for improving their previous design. It’s hard to compete against the realism of Roland’s VH-14D digital hi-hat. But it’s a close second and well worth the value.

The sounds of the Prime drum module are some of the best I’ve heard, and extra expansions will be released soon. While testing, issues didn’t stick out to me as they do when I play a lot of e-kits—I was just enjoying playing the drums. The Strata Prime feels seamless when swapping back to your regular acoustic drum set.

What do you think of this product?

1
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Buy if you want the most realistic hi-hat, snare, and ride triggering: Roland’s digital trigger sensors are the best in the business and respond just like acoustic drums.

Avoid if you’re on a strict budget: The TD-27KV2 is a pricier, mid-range e-kit built with impressive tech. Roland’s solid reputation for reliability and trust ultimately will cost you more.

The Roland TD-27KV2 is one of the most impressive entries from the e-kit giant, and it has arguably the best electronic hi-hat system available. It’s the second-generation kit in the TD-27 line and shows no signs of losing popularity within the drum community.

CONFIG5x mesh drum pads, 4x cymbal pads
KITS55 presets, 45 user
SOUNDS728
INPUTSDB-25, 3x 1/4″ (aux), 1/4″ (crash), MIDI In/Thru, USB
OUTPUTS1/4″ TRS (mix), 2x 1/4″ TS (L/mono, R), 2x 1/4″ TS (direct), 1/4″ TRS (headphones), MIDI out

The TD-27KV2 is a mid-to-high-level electronic kit featuring a 14″ digital snare pad, three 10″ PDX tom pads, a 12″ crash, 13″ crash, an 18″ digital ride, 12″ hats, a KD-10 kick pad, and TD-27 module.

And it’s not just the hi-hat that’s impressive. The ride cymbal and the snare drum use a digital connection, allowing for more detailed triggering with Roland’s advanced sensors. Cross sticks, rim shots, and regular hits are easily detected with no issue, and the ride cymbal can even be muted with your fingertips. Time will tell if Roland will include this digital tech in a future e-kit on all drums and cymbals.

The sound quality output from the TD-27 brain is decent, but Roland’s most recent drum modules fail to compare to the newer sounds from Alesis and Yamaha.

What do you think of this product?

0
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Buy if you want the quietest e-kit with the most features: Yamaha’s proprietary TCS drum pads feel great to play, but they’re also the quietest available.

Avoid if you want the latest gear: Yamaha’s DTX PROX module arrived in 2021, and despite it’s simple design, it still feels a bit outdated.

A big highlight from NAMM last year was checking out Yamaha’s DTX10 series electronic drum sets. Matt Rudin from Yamaha Drums gave me a rundown on all their current kits, and the DTX10 series stuck out.

The kit includes a 12″ snare drum, two 10″ mounted toms, a 12″ floor tom, a 12″ kick drum pad, a 13″ hi-hat, 13″ crash, 15″ crash, 17″ ride, and the sound module.

At the heart of the DTX10K-X is the premium DTX PROX module. This little powerhouse offers drummers superior kit customization opportunities. Though it looks a little ugly and outdated, the module has decent sounds and is remarkably easy to use.

CONFIG5x mesh drum pads, 4x cymbal pads
KITS70 presets, 200 user
SOUNDS733
INPUTS14 pad inputs, 1/4″ aux in, 1/8″ aux in, MIDI In/USB, Bluetooth, USB type B, USB type A, USB storage
OUTPUTS2x 1/4″ out (main), 4x 1/4″ out (assignable), 1/4″ & 1/8″ out (headphones), MIDI out

The sounds on the DTX PROX module sound over-processed to my ears, but there are plenty of awesome preset kits (like Trash 2 and Black Vinyl). One thing the Yamaha DTX PROX module does exceptionally well is cymbal chokes. They have just the right amount of sustain and decay, making them sound very realistic.

Yamaha has equipped the DTX10K-X with Textured Cellular Silicon drum heads. These heads deliver a snappy response and a realistic playing feel, mimicking the sensation of playing on an acoustic drum kit. They feel fantastic to play and are far quieter than mesh drum heads.

Nick Cesarz of Drumming Review testing the Yamaha DTX10 Series at NAMM

Overall, the cymbals and drum pads have accurate stick response, and the kit felt incredible to play during my time at the booth.

Yamaha’s included hardware is also worth mentioning since they make the best stands, in my opinion. The snare stand (SS662) is adjustable, single-braced, and lightweight. 

The hi-hat stand (HS740A) from the 700 Series is medium-weight, chain-linked, and has rotating legs. The DTX10K-X also comes with three medium boom cymbal arms (CH755).

I’m happy that the included ball mounts/clamps (CL940MB) have stayed the same over the years and still perform flawlessly. The rock-solid HexRack II drum rack system is fantastic and supports the DTX10K-X with no wobble.

What do you think of this product?

0
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Buy if you want an e-kit for looks: The EFNOTE 5X looks beautiful and is more affordable than most “full-sized” real-shell electronic drum kits.

❌ Avoid if you want tons of sounds: The 5X only has 17 kit presets and 127 individual sounds, making it a bit more limited when compared to other e-kits at this price.

The EFNOTE 5X is by no means affordable. Compared to all the other high-end e-kits with real drum shells, the 5X is the most budget-friendly for this look. I tested the EFNOTE 5X in 2022, and while it’s not their newest flagship kit, it deserves a spot on this list.

CONFIG5x mesh drum pads, 5x cymbal pads
KITS17 presets, 83 user
SOUNDS127
INPUTS1/8″ in (aux in), USB micro type B, MIDI in, Bluetooth audio/MIDI
OUTPUTS2x line out (main), 1/8″ out (headphones), MIDI in

The drum module has natural-sounding kit presets, and though some lack punch, it is easy to find a kit for almost any style. The bop-sized e-kit comes with 6-ply wood drum shells with a 12×5″ snare, 10″x7″ rack Tom, 12×12″ floor tom, and 13×13″ secondary floor tom.

The cymbals are a warm grey color and trigger excellently. The 5X cymbal configuration includes two 16″ triple-zone crashes, an 18″ triple-zone ride, 14″ hi-hats, and an 8″ splash. The crash and ride cymbals feature 360-degree sensing, so worrying about where you hit is no issue.

Nick Cesarz of Drumming Review testing the EFNOTE 5X
Image: Drumming Review

The side rim on the snare drum is a bit of an odd design choice, but it is practical and works well with rim clicks or cross sticks. All EFNOTE modules feature Bluetooth, so you can connect your device and play your favorite songs wirelessly.

What do you think of this product?

0
0

Buy if you want the supercar of electronic drum sets: Drum Workshops’ DWe is more than impressive featuring wireless triggering technology, high-quality drum sounds, and incredible handcrafted shells,

❌ None of us probably have the money: While impressive, the DWe is too expensive to justify—we’ll have to wait for other kits to come along to hopefully, bring down the price of this technology.

DW, a renowned drum manufacturer with over 50 years of experience, has produced a high-quality electronic drum set with the DWe despite it being their first official release. The kit features real DW Collector Series drums, 9-play maple shells, top-quality hardware, and various finishes. It also includes a wireless trigger system and metal electronic cymbals.

CONFIG6.5″x14″ snare, 8″x10″/9″x12″ toms, 14″x16″ floor tom, 16″x22″ kick, 14″ hi-hat, 2x 16″ crash/ride, 18″ crash/ride
KITSN/A, requires laptop with DW SoundWorks with included R-Tap Audio Processor
SOUNDS30, 18 layers per articulation
OUTPUTS1/8″ TRS (mix), 2x 1/4″ outs, 1/8″ out (headphones), USB-C
NIck Cesarz's photo from PASIC 2023 of the Drum Workshop DWe setup at the booth
Image: Drumming Review

What sets the DWe apart is its ability to convert from electronic to acoustic, offering versatility for different playing scenarios. The drum shells are designed for improved tone and sustain. The wireless trigger system supports up to 30 inputs, allowing for kit expansion.

While the cymbal design may appear unimpressive, it offers an authentic playing experience with three-zone triggering. The triggers inside the drums use innovative technology for a realistic dynamic range.

Despite minor concerns, the DWe impresses with its sound quality and customization options. However, the DWe’s high price may limit its accessibility to many drummers.

Nick Cesarz Playing DWe at PASIC 2023
Nick Cesarz Playing DWe at PASIC 2023

I recently tried out the new Drum Workshop DWe electronic drum kit at PASIC 2023. I was blown away by the sound, feel, playability, quality, and the fact that it’s a wireless electronic drum set. 

It comes with a hefty price tag, but it’s by far the most realistic and best-looking electronic drum set I’ve ever played. It requires the use of a laptop running software instead of a traditional drum module, which is a significant downside.

Kits and brands that missed the mark

I wanted to keep this list to 7 electronic drum kits max. But I’ve played and tested far more than what you see on this list. Here’s some other kits and brands you may want to check out.

  • Alesis Nitro Mesh
    • If you can find a used Nitro Mesh, pick it up. Watch the market, as I’m certain we will used prices fall on this kit very soon. The Nitro Mesh is one of the most popular selling e-kits of the last few years.
    • Why it missed the mark: it’s outdated with the release of the Nitro MAX.
  • ATV Electronic Drums
    • Back at NAMM, I also had a chance to stop by the ATV booth to play-test their electronic drums. They seemed decent, but I couldn’t wrap my brain around the drum modules. They seemed overly complicated and looked to only have a few presets available. I only had about ten minutes at the booth, as lots wanted to play, so I can’t make a complete judgement yet. They’re worth checking out if you can find a dealer near you to test one out.
    • Why they missed the mark: Unimpressive drum modules, not enough personal experience to include in our list.
  • GEWA Electronic Drums
    • I dropped by the GEWA electronic drums booth at PASIC last year. I spent a little time on each kit and thought they seemed promising—a more positive experience than my time at ATV. From what I recall, the modules had decent sounds and the kits were fun to play.
    • Why they missed the mark: Not enough personal experience to include in our list.

Where to buy?

This is a big purchase, no doubt. Make sure you watch as many YouTube videos as you can, and ideally, visit a local store to try out an e-kit before you buy. Also, don’t shy away from trying to find a kit used.

Musical instrument retailers: Sweetwater, zZounds, Guitar Center, Sam Ash

Musical instrument stores might be an obvious choice, but they do offer advantages over buying elsewhere. Most offer some sort of warranty, financing, and extra support. You’re also buying a new instrument, so you don’t have to worry about instrument abuse from a previous owner that can sometimes go unchecked.

Unfortunately, large music store chains don’t have many e-kit options setup on the salesfloor anymore. Part of it makes sense—most people coming into the store aren’t walking out with a $5,000 electronic drum set.

While I can’t recommend that you do this, many retailers offer financing options on expensive items, like musical instruments. I’ve gotten 0% interest for 48 months before with Sweetwater, my favorite place to order drum gear.

Used retailers, social, & marketplace sellers: Reverb, Music Go Round, Chicago Music Exchange, Sweetwater Gear Exchange, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, Ebay, Amazon

The big player in the used instrument market is Reverb, hands down. They have the largest collection of used instruments I’ve seen. Since they don’t have a brick & mortar presence, you can’t physically go and test instruments yourself. However, if you have a Music Go Round near you or live near Chicago Music Exchange, you may be able to test out a used electronic drum set, but the selection may be a bit more limited.

Ebay is another obvious marketplace for used e-kits, but I’d say their popularity has dwindled in the past decade. Be sure to watch out for sellers who do not offer a return policy.

While a bit sketchier, buying directly from a seller will often yield the best deal. Be sure to check your local Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace, but watch for scams. Red flags include extremely low prices or requiring pre-payment.

Returning an electronic drum set

In the event you don’t like the kit you bought, you are able to return it to most retailers. The process of doing so is annoying and challenging, so here’s what I recommened.

  • Be careful with the packaging while opening: Do not destroy the cardboard or plastic wrap while unboxing the drum set. Do your best to keep it clean and tidy in the event that it needs to go back.
  • Take a photo of the inside of the box while unboxing: The packaging is very difficult to re-assemble without some sort of visual guide. E-kits come in many boxes inside one or two large boxes. They’re packed really tight and having a reference to how it all fits together will seriously help you if you need to send it back.
  • Wipe away stick marks with a soft cloth: If you want to get your full money back and not pay a restocking fee (some retailers will charge one regardless), take a damp soft cloth and wipe the pads and cymbals to get rid of any stick marks before re-packing the kit.

My experience buying e-kits

My first electronic drum set was the Yamaha DT-Xpress IV, which appears to have been released back in 2006—very old by today’s standards. It was awful compared to the kits out today, but at the time, served me well for practicing in my small apartment while attending music school. When I was home with my parents, it gave me the luxury of practicing late at night while they were asleep. It’s hard to recall what retailer the kit came from, but I think it was around $1,000.

Fast forward to 2019 after selling the DTXpress IV, I decided it was time for another kit, and this time I chose the Alesis Strike Pro. I ordered from the almighty Sweetwater, and it came lightning fast, two days max. My experience working and ordering with them is superb. After two years with the kit, I longed for Roland’s quality, so I decided to sell the Strike Pro.

In 2021, I visited my local Music Go Round store (they sell used musical instruments), and picked up a used Roland TD-50K-S for $3,999. I was able to play the kit in store before buying, making sure to test every pad, since I don’t always trust them to do the job.

Since then, I’ve been sent more than a dozen electronic drum sets from various companies and have showcased reviews of many of them on my YouTube channel. One of the latest kits I’m playing is the Strata Prime, which I talked about above.

Hopefully this guide has helped you make a decision. If you’re still on the fence or have questions, don’t hesitate to click the blue button in the bottom right to talk to me directly.

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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