Best Electronic Drum Set – Reviews and Buyer’s Guide in 2018

Best E-Drum KitPicking out an electronic drum set is no easy decision. Whether you are an experienced drummer or a parent shopping for an electronic drum set for your child, you need to have all the best information before making a purchase.

Technology is rapidly changing how we interact with the world. For drumming, it’s no different. In the past twenty years, we have seen electronic drum sets morph from simple sample engines, to full-blown velocity sensitive, multi-layered, drum modules. It truly is incredible to imagine where we are headed.

Electronic drum sets are perfect for drummers who live in apartments or require an instrument that makes significantly less noise. In addition to the volume reduction, they can also unleash a ton of creativity. You aren’t just limited to traditional acoustic drum sounds. You have the ability to choose from acoustic drum sounds, electronic drum kits, and even synthesized samples.

Electronic drum sets are different than electronic drum pads, such as the Roland SPD-SX. I wrote a review recently on my favorite electronic drum pad, which you can read here.

When I first began looking for my first electronic drum kit, I was completely overwhelmed by the amount of choices available. I could buy a budget-friendly e-drum kit, and have limited options, or I could have gone full-blown and purchase the top of the line electronic drum set.

Visiting my local music shop provided me lots of trials and testing, but even a brick and mortar store doesn’t always have the best options anymore. I eventually figured out which e-drum set is best for each purpose and I plan to give you the best information for buying an electronic drum set.

In this buyer’s guide I will tell you which kit is best for beginner players, noise reduction, practicing, for live performance, and for recording. I will also break them down into different price categories to give you an idea, for example, the best electronic drum set under $1000.

Best Electronic Drum Set Reviews – Our Top Picks

These electronic drum kits are our best picks for 2018, ranging from cheap to very expensive. Each manufacturer has different strengths and weaknesses with their products. It’s up to you to decide which one of these e-drum kits suits your current needs.

  • Alesis Nitro
  • Most Affordable E-Drum Kit
    Amazon Best Seller!
  • Alesis Forge
  • Features Over 600 Sounds
    Amazon Best Seller!
  • Roland TD-11KV-S
  • All Pads Feature Dual-Zone!
    A Bit More Expensive
  • ddrum DDBETA DD
  • Affordable Kit!
    All Pads Are Single Zone

Best Electronic Drum Set Under $500

Alesis Nitro - Best Electronic Drum Set for Beginners
  • Alesis Nitro E-Kit

Alesis has produced an insane amount of awesome products for us as drummers. For starters, this is an e-drum set under $500. A quick glance at the Alesis Nitro reveals some amazing features and impressive specs. It includes 385 sounds, 60 play-along songs, and a very simple drum module. To me, this e-drum kit is much better than the Alesis DM6 for beginners.

The Alesis Nitro electric drum kit is the best selling set on Amazon (over 1,000 models per month). It provides an amazing value at such an awesome low price. This kit is an 8-piece e-drum kit featuring tom pads, a dual-zone snare pad, cymbals (both chokable and non-chokable), a mounting rack, and a powerful drum module.

When setup, the Alesis Nitro takes up about 6’x4′ in a room. Don’t blame us, real drums take up space too!

Build Quality

To say that the Alesis Nitro is a brand new product would be a bold faced lie. By turning the drum module over to the back see, we can see this is reconfiguration of a DM7X. Alesis simply re-branded this product and it became the Nitro kit.

The “new” DM7X (aka Nitro) features an 8″ dual-zone snare pad, three single tom pads, dual-zone 10″ crash cymbal pad, two additional single cymbal pads, a hi-hat controller, and a drum rack with four posts. Included, as well, is the Alesis DMPAD kick pad, which features a strong steel housing, grounding spikes, and a single zone pad. The e-drum kit comes bundled with its own kick pedal. It’s pretty poorly made, so I suggest upgrading this one piece of hardware to something like the DW3000 kick pedal for a better experience. You also get an assembly key as well as a set of drum sticks.

The Nitro’s drum module does have expansion features with two inputs in the back and buttons for each expanded pad on the front of the module.

Using The Nitro

The stick from the response is decent. It feels like a rubber practice pad when playing. You aren’t going to get the feeling of the Roland V-Drums, that’s for sure. However, even though the feel isn’t on par with a $4,000 e-drum kit, the Alesis Nitro still plays great!

Unfortunately, the snare drum pad is the only one that features a dual-zone. This means that the snare drum can produce multiple drum sounds on the same pad. For example, you can program the pad to play one snare sample and have the rim play another sample. The other pads can only produce one sound at a time.

Using the drum module, you can create you own drum kit setup with the available 385 sounds or just use a preset. The drum module is very intuitive and easy to learn your way around it.

If you own a laptop, you can use the USB MIDI connection to connect to your laptop or desktop computer. This is useful if you plan on recording your performance into a Digital Audio Workstation, such as Logic or Pro Tools. From here, you can either use the included sounds from your Alesis Nitro, or you can use virtual instruments, such as EZ Drummer or Addictive Drums, to playback what you recorded. This is a great way to record band demos.

With the Alesis Nitro being so affordable, it’s no wonder why it’s the top selling e-drum set on Amazon. This kit is perfect for a beginning young child or for an experienced drummer looking for a cheap way to practice on the quiet.

Best Electronic Drum Kit
Alesis Nitro
Ease Of Use9.6
Build Quality9
Reader Rating1 Vote9.4
Easy To Learn Drum Module
Double Bass Drum Pedal Ready
Sturdy Aluminum Rack
Best Value For A Kit Under $500
Fewer Pads Than Alesis' Last Model
Could Include More Key Features Such As Triple Zone Ride
Our pick for best electronic drum set has to be the Alesis Nitro. The value is truly unbeatable and the kit is perfect for anyone who plays drums.