Electronic Drums

Best Electronic Drum Sets Under $500 for Apartments

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Hey there fellow apartment and condo drummers! I understand the struggle of wanting to jam out and practice our passion while living in close quarters with family or neighbors. That’s why I’m here to help you find the perfect budget-friendly electronic drum set for under $500. Let’s dive in!

Simmons Titan 50 – A Solid Option Under $500

Simmons Titan 50

Our Recommendation: First-floor drummers with thin walls

What We Like
  • Awesome built-in sounds
  • Bluetooth compatible
  • Mesh drum pads
  • Rock-solid rack
  • Double-bass pedal compatible


What We Don't Like
  • Only 25 presets and 10 user kits
  • No throne included
  • Kick pad is a bit loud

The Simmons Titan 50 has awesome sounds, is affordable, and is geared towards drummers of all skill levels. The kit is ideal for drummers living on the first floor who have thinner walls.

I’ve been testing the Simmons Titan 50 for a while now, and I can’t emphasize enough how great it is for the price.

The Simmons Titan 50 is a solid electronic drum set for under $500. The drum module has some insane-sounding drum kit presets. The pads, especially the 10″ snare drum, are fun to play.

The rack comes fully assembled, a feature rarely seen with electronic drums. Whenever I get an e-kit to review, the worst part is putting the thing together. Since I know how to set up electronic drums, I can’t imagine the nightmare it must be if you’ve never done it before.

All the pads on the kit, minus the kick, are nylon mesh, giving you good response and a quieter presence to those living with or near you.

The snare drum is a 10″ dual-zone mesh pad, allowing different sounds on the rim and head. Rim shots feel very natural, unlike on the Nitro MAX, which requires you to change your technique for them to trigger correctly.

The cymbal pads are single-zoned, and the crash has a choke feature. Most kits at this price range usually feature one cymbal that one can choke.

For all the metal heads, the Simmons Titan 50 kick pad supports double bass drum pedals. The pad on the tower is wide enough for two bass drum beaters.

The drum module has 25 awesome-sounding presets that, to my ears, are better than the kits of the Nitro Mesh module (that is, until the Nitro MAX was released). You also get ten user slots for saving custom drum kits.

I know many people like to tinker and adjust settings on drum modules, but I want them to work right out of the box. I want to play drums, not be an audio engineer. 

And that’s one thing that Simmons has done right with this kit. When selecting drums, I load a preset, and I’m ready to play. If there’s one weak point, it’s the tom samples. The kick and snare samples sound incredible!

The drum module also features Bluetooth connectivity, so playing along with YouTube lessons, streaming services, or drumless tracks is easy. For the home studio engineers, the module has a USB out for grabbing MIDI.

Simmons also offers an iOS app for configuring module settings, making it easier than fumbling with the drum module controls.

Simmons Titan 50

The verdict: The Simmons Titan 50 is a fantastic electronic drum set, boasting awesome sounds, usually reserved for higher-end drum kits at a more affordable price.

Roland TD-02K – Ideal for Drummers on Upper Floors

Roland TD-02K

Our Recommendation: Upper-floor drummers with thicker walls

What We Like
  • Very quiet electronic drum set
  • Affordable
  • Easy to fold away for storage
  • Bluetooth compatible


What We Don't Like
  • Kick pedal design isn't ideal for proper technique and speed
  • Rubber pads

My drummer friend, who lives on the fourth floor of an apartment building in Madison, Wisconsin, bought the Roland TD-02K a few months ago. It’s been a lifesaver for her since she moved into a one-bedroom. Her neighbors don’t even hear when she plays (the walls are most likely made from concrete block if I had to guess).

One of the challenges of electronic drum kits in apartments is the kick drum beater. The vibration and noise travel through the floor, annoying the downstairs neighbors. Drummers who play e-kits with kick towers end up sounding to their lower-level neighbors like they’re bouncing a basketball above them.

The kick pedal of the TD-02K is essentially silent, making it perfect for drummers who live on any floor other than the ground level.

The Roland TD-02K is specifically designed for apartment use. Its mesh snare pad and compact design make it perfect for those living on upper floors who want to minimize noise concerns. You can practice comfortably without worrying about disturbing anyone below you.

The TD-02K is geared towards beginners, but this is one of the best options for apartments. It features a super compact design and can easily be folded up for storage in a closet. The rack features a unique tripod design I don’t see on many e-kits. It’s portable and easily fits in the back of my sedan.

All four pads on this kit are single-zone rubber pads. And you might think, “I thought mesh pads were better for apartments?” And you’d be correct. However, Roland has done a great job keeping these rubber pads quiet. So, I’d still recommend this as the best choice for drummers above the first floor.

Also, for a Roland kit, this one’s affordable. They saw the Nitro Mesh’s success and needed to respond. The kit has some decent sounds, Bluetooth connectivity, and a compact design, and overall, it is a simple, effective, and quiet practice tool.

Roland V-Drums TD-02K

The verdict: The Roland V-Drums TD-02K is ideal for beginners, but lacks a kick drum tower, which to some, may be essential to learn proper technique.

Alesis Nitro Max – The Most Affordable with Feature-Rich Options

Alesis Nitro MAX

Our recommendation: First-floor drummers with thin walls

What We Like
  • Mesh drum heads
  • New sounds from BFD
  • Bluetooth compatible


What We Don't Like
  • Rack is wobbly
  • Older Nitro sounds are poor
  • Very compact

I recently was sent the Nitro Max by Alesis, and I was blown away by the features it offered at such an affordable price. I’ve covered this kit here on Drumming Review, and you can read the review, with video, here.

The Alesis Nitro MAX is the latest Nitro electronic drum kit series version, ideal for beginners and young players. It includes four mesh drum pads, three rubber cymbal pads, a Nitro MAX drum module, and a durable aluminum rack. 

The Nitro MAX boasts premium mesh drum heads, a larger 10″ dual-zone snare drum pad, and realistic drum and percussion sounds from BFD.

The kit supports Bluetooth and USB MIDI, making it versatile for various applications and practice tools. It’s an excellent choice for new drummers with integrated practice tools and improved sound quality compared to its predecessor.

The Nitro MAX is compact and easy to transport, fitting into most vehicles for convenient storage and travel. It also easily folds up for storage in a closet or the corner of a room.

As a bonus, Alesis offers a free 90-day subscription to Drumeo, the best online drum lesson platform.

The kit feels a little cramped for me (and I’m sure other experienced drummers who play acoustic would agree), and the smaller footprint might be less comfortable for taller players.

The kick pad is relatively small, which may only accommodate some double pedals, though I had luck using my DW9000 double kick pedal in a very elementary fashion (I could improve at double bass).

The aluminum rack, while lightweight and easy to fold for storage, can be wobbly, but I only noticed it a little while playing. The plastic clamps on the rack could also be more durable.

While the new sounds from BFD are an improvement, the kit’s original Nitro sounds may not meet the expectations of some drummers, especially those with higher standards for drum samples.

Alesis Nitro MAX

The verdict: The Nitro MAX is an excellent choice for beginners. If you’re buying this for your son or daughter, it will make a fantastic gift.

See the price and other reviews of the Alesis Nitro MAX at zZounds.

Yamaha DTX402K – Versatility and Silent Practice

Yamaha DTX402K
What We Like
  • Excellent built-in sounds
  • Yamaha connectivity apps work fantastic
  • User-friendly drum module
  • Suitable for upper-floor drummers


What We Don't Like
  • Odd hi-hat triggering
  • Kick tower is a bit loud

Our recommendation: Upper-floor drummers with thicker walls

I recently had the chance to try out the Yamaha DTX402 electronic drum kit, a popular choice for beginners. Here’s what stood out to me about this kit:

When I fired it up, I was impressed by the ten built-in kits that cover a range of music styles, from pop to jazz. To my ears, the snares and kicks are awesome, but the hi-hat triggering sounds a little weird. The rubber pads felt pretty natural to play, responding well to different playing dynamics.

What’s cool is the Yamaha Touch app that lets you tweak the kits and even mix in 287 expressive drum sounds. You can also connect your own software with the USB and MIDI options.

The rubber drum pads, while less fancy than mesh heads, are rugged and responsive. The standalone bass drum pedal keeps things quiet, especially on floors above ground level. 

You can even use the hi-hat pedal for double kick beats if you’re into metal (though the technique required for consistency might be an uphill climb when compared to playing regular kick pedals).

The DTX module is user-friendly, with clear buttons for kit selection, volume control, and tempo changes (you can go from 30bpm to a blazing 300bpm). Plus, it connects easily to your computer or allows you to jam with your favorite tunes via the AUX input.

What sets the DTX402 apart is its learning features. It’s got ten training functions to help you with timing and precision. The Rec’n’Share app lets you record and share your progress with your drum teacher. The Touch app offers fun games and enables you to customize kits.

Yamaha DTX402K

The verdict: The Yamaha DTX402K is ideal for first first-time drummers living on upper floors. The drum module has fantastic sounds and utilizes Yamaha's proprietary apps for customization and further features.

Donner DED-200 – Hidden Gem for Budget Drummers

Donner DED-200
What We Like
  • Everything you need to get playing
  • Perfect for first-floor drummers


What We Don't Like
  • Newer brand, not well known
  • Not the greatest sounds

Our recommendation: First-floor drummers with thin walls

The Donner DED-200 is often overlooked since the brand is somewhat unknown, but it’s an absolute gem in the budget category. I’ve recommended it to several fellow drummers, who were thrilled with it.

You’ve got an 8-inch dual-zone mesh snare pad – that means it can make sounds from both the rim and the head. The toms are the same size as the snare, and they’re single-zone mesh pads. 

Cymbal-wise, you’re looking at 10-inch single-zone pads, and guess what? The crash and ride pads can even choke. The kick drum pad plays nice with regular kick drum pedals, and it’s got a roomy 6-inch surface, so there’s space for a double pedal if you’re feeling fancy.

Now, let’s chat about the module. It serves up 30 preset drum kits, and there’s room for one custom kit you can save. Considering the price, the sounds are decent, and the preset kits cover many styles. Plus, you’ve got a USB connection for MIDI, an aux input, headphone outputs, and line outputs.

This kit throws in some nifty extras: a drum throne, headphones, drumsticks, and a kick pedal. It’s awesome that you get all these out of the box, but I’ll be real with you – they do feel a tad on the budget side. That said, and I recommend this, you can always swap them out for more reliable gear.

Donner DED-200

The verdict: The Donner DED-200 has everything you need to get drumming in a package under $500.

Alesis Turbo Mesh – Ideal for Young Drummers

Alesis Turbo Mesh
What We Like
  • Ideal for a younger drummer
  • Very compact, easy to store


What We Don't Like
  • Sounds aren't great
  • Need to buy a drum throne

Our recommendation: Upper-floor drummers with thin walls

Based on my recommendation, my uncle bought the Alesis Turbo Mesh for his teenage daughter, who wanted to learn to play drums. It’s been perfect for her to practice quietly in her room.

This seven-piece kit comes with mesh drum heads, the gold standard for electronic kits. Setting it up is a breeze; it won’t hog all your room space. Alesis throws in cables, a power supply, a drum key, and sticks. The only thing missing? A drum throne – you’ll need to grab one of those yourself.

The snare and toms sport 8-inch mesh pads, and while they’re single-zone (one sound per hit), you can tweak their tension for that natural feel. The 10-inch dual-zone cymbal pads get the job done without fuss.

Instead of a kick tower, you get an electronic foot pedal controller. It saves you from buying an extra kick pedal, but the feel differs from a real one. The upside is that it’s much quieter, as is with the Roland TD-02K. These pedals reduce the noise a neighbor will hear below your apartment or condo.

The module is as simple as it gets—just a handful of buttons and ten preset kits, but it boasts 120 drum, cymbal, and percussion sounds. Plus, you get 30 play-along tracks to jam along with, fueling your creative drumming juices.

For beginners, Alesis throws in a metronome, drum coach, and 40 free lessons from Melodics. The metronome’s got your back with various time signatures and tempos so that you can practice multiple styles and genres.

The aux input lets you jam to your favorite tracks or online lessons. And if you’re into recording, the USB/MIDI connection lets you hook up to your computer.

Now, here’s the deal – the sounds aren’t mind-blowing, but they do the job for practice. Expect ten kits ranging from garage rock to jazz. They won’t cut it for gigs, but for honing your skills, they’re solid.

The Alesis Turbo Mesh is designed for younger drummers starting their musical journey. Its responsive mesh heads provide a realistic drumming experience and a quiet learning environment for young players.

Alesis Turbo Mesh

The verdict: The Alesis Turbo Mesh is ideal for young drummers who live in apartments above the first floor.  The kit is packed with learning features.

Advantages of Electronic Drum Sets for Apartment Drumming

Noiseless Practice: Sometimes

One of the biggest perks of owning an electronic drum set as an apartment drummer is the ability to practice quietly. Or at least that’s what most people tell us.

While electronic drum sets are quieter than regular drums, they can still make noise that travels through thin walls. 

With that in mind, they are far quieter than traditional acoustic drums and are almost certainly a welcome switch for anyone you live among.

There are two things to consider when attempting to play electronic drums in an apartment:

  1. The thickness of your walls
  2. What floor you live on

First Floor E-Drummers

The ideal scenario for playing electronic drums in an apartment is having thick walls and living on the first floor. You don’t have to worry about noise traveling down to lower levels from a kick beater, and you shouldn’t have an issue disturbing people next to you on the same floor.

Second Floor and Up

If you’re on the second floor or higher, you may need an electronic drum set with a silent kick pedal instead. While these types of pedals lack the same response we’re used to, it’s the safest way not to get evicted. 

There’s also the concept of building a tennis ball riser, but I’ve had mixed results making one myself. You’ll also want an electronic drum set with mesh heads to reduce the noise.

Also, some electronic drum sets have plastic rims and plastic/rubber cymbal pads, which can be very loud depending on how they’re played. You may need to adjust your playing style when practicing to avoid disrupting others.

To be a good neighbor or housemate, choose a spot for your drums away from shared walls. Chatting with your neighbors or family is also good to see if they can hear your drumming. Devise a practice schedule that works for everyone and keeps the peace. 

I don’t live in an apartment anymore, so I’m fortunate I can practice my acoustic kit whenever I like. But when I did, I used the last generation Alesis Nitro Mesh electronic drum set.

Versatility and Features

Electronic drum sets offer versatility and features that can enhance your drumming experience. From tons of unique drum sounds, MIDI connectivity, and practice modes, you’ll have many tools to improve your skills and experiment with different sounds.

Factors to Consider When Buying an Affordable Electronic Drum Set

When you’re on a budget, making an informed decision is crucial when choosing your electronic drum set. Here are some factors to keep in mind:

Budget and Specific Needs

First and foremost, establish your budget and identify your specific needs. Are you a beginner looking for a basic kit, or do you require more advanced features like recording MIDI drums in your home studio?

Quality and Durability

Even with a limited budget, it’s essential to prioritize quality and durability. A well-built electronic drum set will last longer and provide a better playing experience. Cheap-made kits may save you money initially but can lead to frustrations in the long run. Some of the best brands of electronic drums include:

  • Alesis
  • Roland
  • Yamaha
  • Simmons

Playing Style and Preferences

Consider your playing style and preferences when selecting a kit. Do you prefer mesh heads for a quieter and more luxurious feel, or are rubber pads sufficient for your needs?

In my opinion, rubber pads are being phased out slowly, with more and more companies producing mesh drum heads. Still, some kits have them, potentially making for a cheaper electronic drum set.

In Conclusion

Electronic drum sets have come a long way, and they only get better as technology improves over time. No matter your age, or preferences in play style, this list contains many solutions for drummers, no matter where you’re practicing.

Of course, many e-drums can get a little higher in price range, but each one described in our article offers features built for the long term while remaining cost efficient.

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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