Best Electronic Drums – Ultimate Guide (2022)

In this article, I will cover the topic of the best electronic drums for beginners and professionals, what they offer and what you need to know before buying.

If you are in the apartment and need a quiet electric kit, I got you covered! 

Also, if you are a professional drummer, get ready for an upgrade with one of the best electronic drum sets of today. Then, get ready to make your decision after we’re done.

High quality electronic drum set for beginners is around $600. The ones on the budget can find them at around $400. Electronic drum set for intermediate and pro players can cost much more, from $1000 to $8000.

The three main things I’ll be covering today are:

  • what to look for when buying an electronic drum kit?
  • how loud they are?
  • how to set up and record electric drum kit?

These are just some essential questions that we need to know, among others I explained. Stay tuned and enjoy.

electric drum set

Better modules 

Modulus is an electronic or digital music device that functions as the central processing unit and sound module.

They are directly connected with pads. Depending on your preferences and needs, you can change your modules and change your pads. 

Rule of thumb: The better module, the better the sound

You can have one pad and change modules and reverse as well. The pads will deliver better drumming feeling with the higher quality modules. 

More pad zones 

The classical rubber pads have a single zone only. It means that when you hit it on edge or in the middle of a pad, you will hear no difference. 

The modern pads now have more zones or so-called triggers that provide a much more natural and acoustic-like sounding. So when you hit the different parts of the pads, you will get a different sounding. 

It is an excellent imitation of an acoustic set. If you strike it lightly, it will be quiet. If you strike it hard, it will be louder. This will result in better feeling and better dynamics as well. 

You can find these pads at around $90 and above.

Better feeling 

And to reach that ‘real feel’ lookout for mesh heads

Mesh’s heads mimic the response, the feeling, and the rebound of acoustic drums sets. These are a much better choice than the rubber mentioned above pads.

These mash pads are usually included in the electronic drum sets that are $1000 or higher.

How do electronic drums work?

Electronic drums have a straightforward operating system. Its sensor is located underneath a rubber pad or a mesh head. Upon striking the pad, sensors transmit voltage values to the sound module. This process is also known as ‘the brain.’

best electronic drums

How loud are electronic drums?

Electronic drum pads are quieter than acoustic sets, but it largely depends on the type of kit you are drumming on. So, whether you have a rubber pad or mesh head, your kit will be louder/quieter. 

Sets with thin layers of rubber or so-called ‘rubber drum heads’ can be acoustically loud when played. But, besides that, the drummer’s playing feels poor as well.

Some statements say rubber pads are around 10 times louder than mesh heads. It is not official information, but it is a warning to know the sound when opting for an E-kit.

Mesh heads, on the other hand, produce much less noise. Its material is soft and pliable, so they deliver more quietness. Moreover, the striking sound is less defined because the surface is not as solid. Nevertheless, you can still hear the sound of the drumstick as it strikes the fiber.

My recommendation is Roland mesh heads since they are the quietest electronic drum pads that you can find on the market today. 

Overall, mesh drum heads are undoubtedly a better option than rubber pads if you seek silent treatment.

3 Best Electronic Drums for Beginners

Value for money pick

7.8

ThatScore

Budget pick

7.8

ThatScore

No products found.
Editor's pick

7.3

ThatScore

7.8Expert Score
LyxJam 8-Piece Electronic Drum Kit

Versatile solution

Built quality
7
Sound quality
7.5
Value for money
9
Pros
  • Throne and headphones included
  • 100% mesh fabric
  • Advanced educational sound module
  • 448 Sounds, 70 Songs
Cons
  • Intended for a little more advanced-beginner players
  • Song selection can be somewhat tricky for beginners

Overview

If you are a beginner and found this kit a bit small for you, you can make a few updates. You can add some extensions to the four posts to adjust the heights. When it comes to kids, the height will be just right.  

A few complaints about the volume itself stated that it was not loud enough. However, through an amp, it can be louder as drummers desire. They have over 250 preloaded songs and patterns for song selection, but they can be a bit difficult if you are a total beginner.

According to users, the bass pedal could be louder than well. It is easy to set up since instructions are included, and each step is thoroughly explained. For this price, you get a lot of features with a 100% mesh fabric. That’s a plus!

Ultimately, it’s a great setup if you’re a beginner, suitable for kids as well, or even if you just want to keep practicing.

WHAT COMES IN THE BOX?

Drum sizes:

  • 3 x 8” Mesh tom pads 
  • 10” Mesh snare pad
  • 6” Kick pad

Hardware include: 

  • Sound module
  • Drum sticks

Cymbals include: 

  • 12” Crash cymbal
  • 12” Ride cymbal
  • 8” Hi-Hat cymbal with controller
7.8Expert Score
Donner DED-90 Electric Drum Set

Budget pick

Built quality
6.5
Sound quality
7.5
Value for money
9.5
Pros
  • 43 demo songs
  • Quick Fold-Down
  • Built-in 272 sounds&15 drum kits
Cons
  • Not so sturdy
  • Hi-hat us not loud as it should be

Overview

The set is easy to assemble since you will only need around 15 minutes. The sound is acceptable in light of its price, but a few customers said that this kid lacks sounding authenticity. 

Another minus is the hi-hat that is stated it is too quiet even when cranking the amp. Nevertheless, the Doner DED-90 is an excellent upgrade from the DED-200 since the module is more complex but has more functions. 

You will also have an option to add a crash cymbal and an additional floor tom. It is a massive advantage because you can modify the kit to advance your drumming skills.

The whole set is pretty lightweight, so you will be able to carry it around if you plan to travel or lack space. Moreover, the price point is desirable considering its pros and the whole compactness of the kit!

The only ‘downside’ that a few drummers singled out is that there are no headphones or drum thrones in the set. But if we look at the bigger picture, almost all drummers already own these or made additional purchases that are not so great in cost terms.

Another ‘bad’ side was the bass pedal, but that is more a matter of personal preferences, so it does not necessarily mean it will not suit your needs or drumming style. 

WHAT COMES IN THE BOX?

Drum sizes:

  • 3 x 6” drum pad 
  • 1 x 8” snare drum

Hardware include: 

  • Drum stick holder
  • Kick pedal 
  • Hi-hat pedal 
  • Audio cable 
  • Drumsticks

Cymbals include:

  • Hi-hat
  • 10″ Crash cymbal
  • 10″ Ride cymbal
7.3Expert Score
Alesis Drums Nitro Mesh Kit

Best feel

Built quality
7
Sound quality
7
Value for money
8
Pros
  • Mesh pads
  • 350+ sounds
  • 60 play-along tracks
  • 40 ready-to-play classic and modern drumkits
Cons
  • Clicking/buzzing sound can occur
  • The kick drum is the weakest point of the kit

Overview

You can see by yourself that these drums are either loved or hated by drummers; there is no in the middle!

The kick drum is the weakest point in this drum set. Many users have complained about it since it is way too quiet compared to other drums. They stated that when the kick drum button on the module is pressed, it’s deafening. But if you stomp the pedal hard, it’s very faint. 

The audio input seems to be on the wrong side of this drum set. Therefore, the audio output tends to be quiet regardless of what drummer’s headphones you are using. As a result, the sounds from the drum set are quieter, even at the maximum volume, than when the sticks are hitting the pads.

The instructions for setup are not so obvious, but the whole setup is pretty straightforward. Here are a few tips from the Alesis Drums Nitro Mesh Kit users.

You can slightly turn the floor tom bracket upside down and extend the bracket out of the right bar. It is beneficial for grown-ups that decide to buy this kit.

The sounds available are more than decent at this price point. But again, you can expect the same quality with some higher-end e-kits. Another plus is that you can adjust them a bit if you want.

The training features are excellent and diverse. Therefore, you can still use this kit as you progress since it has excellent features.

WHAT COMES IN THE BOX?

Drum sizes:

  • 8” Dual-zone snare pad
  • 3 x 8” Tom pads 

Hardware include: 

  • 4-post aluminum rack
  • Connection cables
  • A pair of drumsticks
  • Drum key 
  • Kick and Hi-hat pedal
  • Power supply

Cymbals include:

  • 3 x 10” Ride cymbal
  • 3 x 10” Hi-hat
  • 3 x 10” Crash with choke

3 Best Electronic Drums for Professional Drummers

Budget pick

9.2

ThatScore

Editor's pick

9.2

ThatScore

Best value for money

9.5

ThatScore

9.2Expert Score
DTX10K-M Electronic Drum Kit w/Real Wood Shells

Budget pick

Built quality
9.5
Sound quality
9
Value for money
9
Pros
  • Birch shells with a natural wood finish
  • 70 preset kits and 200 user kits
  • 733 drum and percussion sounds
  • 10 types of training
  • 256 note polyphony
Cons
  • Kick-drum pedal, drum throne, and drum sticks not included

Overview

The DTX kits are experiencing high demand from a lot of drummers. They have been one of the favorites, without a doubt, since they came out. And since it is a Yamaha we are talking about, no one can dispute its quality.

Many users claimed that this set has the aesthetics and authority of an acoustic kit featuring large shells. However, the most loved feature is the pads that feature natural birch wood shells available in two finishes along with their unique TCS Silicone heads. 

The sound it produces when drumming is incredible, almost like playing the traditional acoustic drums. 

Another great thing that Yamaha users have stated is its appearance. Although rare, it can be very tempting, especially for the drummers who opt to play electric drums on the stage. These drums sound like acoustic kits, but they look like ones too.

When assembling the kit, you will get a user manual, so it is pretty easy to assemble it since the steps are pretty straightforward. The only downside is that the price is higher than, e.g., acoustic sets for beginners. However, this is expected. 

Additionally, you will need to make an extra purchase since no kick-drum pedal or drum throne is included. But Yamaha offers a wide range of accessories, so you are pretty much already provided with this equipment. 

WHAT COMES IN THE BOX?

Drum sizes:

  • 12” Snare Pad with mesh head
  • 2 x 10″ Toms 
  • 12” Tom with mesh heads

Hardware include: 

  • Hi-hat controller
  • RS10-HXR Rack
  • Snare stand
  • Hi-hat stand

Cymbals include:

9.2Expert Score
Roland TD-50KV Electronic Drum Kit

Editor's pick

Built quality
9.5
Sound quality
9.5
Value for money
8.5
Pros
  • Digital snare with a high-resolution multi-sensor system
  • Prismatic Sound Modeling
  • Play your own WAV samples
Cons
  • Restricting price tag
  • No hi-hat and snare stands
  • No bass drum pedal

Overview

This kit is ideal for the modern drummer seeking a variety of sound textures. In addition, many users love its heavy-looking and futuristic look.

The 14” snare drum is one of the biggest reasons why this kit resembles so much of an actual acoustic kit. The setup is pretty intuitive since almost no user has had any problems assembling it. So even if you have never set up an e-drum before, it should not take you so long. 

Drummers love the Roland TD-50KV bass drum since it is very solidly made, and there was almost no movement when drumming. However, there is a slight downside here. As with most e-drums, the feel is a lot bouncier than the acoustic drums.

There was confusion with the toms. Some drummers stated that the feeling was not as quiet as they expected. Nevertheless, you can adjust it since it uses the same tension as a standard drum head.

The cymbals are good, but it is hard to compare them with acoustic cymbals. It is acceptable since it’s the e-kits we are talking about.

WHAT COMES IN THE BOX?

Drum sizes:

  • 22” Bass drum
  • 10” Rack tom pad 
  • 2 x 12” Floor toms

Hardware include: 

  • Kick trigger pedal

Cymbals include:

  • VH-13 hi-hats
  • CY-14C crash 
  • CY-15R crash ride cymbal
9.5Expert Score
Roland V-Drums Acoustic

Value for money pick

Built quality
9.5
Sound quality
9.5
Value for money
9.5
Pros
  • Full-size wood shells and double-braced chrome stands
  • Prismatic Sound Modeling
  • High-resolution, multi-sensor triggering
Cons
  • A kick pedal, a snare stand, a hi-hat stand, a drum throne, and an SD card are not included!

Overview

This drum set was intended to mimic the acoustic drum sets, and they did a pretty good job according to their satisfied users.

One of the most incredible things about this kit is the kick drum. It is said that it gives you an acoustic feeling when burying the beater while providing you with great feedback. The floor tom is also a great feature since the drummers could tune very low for the minimal rebound, just like you can on the traditional sets.

However, the snare drum did not update the Roland VAD 506 series since it is the same as the TD50. But these drums are also praised since you can increase the tension of a drum head a bit higher than the floor tom, so you can better mimic acoustic-like playability.

Snare and ride pads are the favorite things from this kit. According to users, both have many more sensors than anything they have previously drummed on. And, I saved the best for last. 

Thanks to it, the sound will be richer and have more harmonics. The only ‘bad’ thing is that the kick pedal, stands, and drum throne is not included. But when we talk about high-end e-drums, this is rarely the case anyway. So overall, that’s not a big minus compared to the overall quality. 

WHAT COMES IN THE BOX?

Drum sizes:

  • 10” PDA100-MS rack tom
  • 12” PDA120-MS rack tom
  • 14” PDA140F-MS floor tom
  • 20” KD-200-MS kick

Hardware include: 

  • Drum key
  • Setup guide
  • Owner’s manuals

Cymbals include:

  • 12” VH-10 V-Hi-Hat
  • 14” CY-14C-T crash
  • 16” CY-16R-T crash/ride

How to set up electronic drums?

The first thing you need to do is set up your rack. Ensure that the rack is placed at a flat surface, even, and stable. The legs ought to be perfectly flat. 

Once your rack is set up, you can begin mounting the drum pads and pedals.

electronic drum set rack

Simply sit down on your drum throne and figure out where your feet naturally fall. When you feel comfortable, put your pedals in the desired place. Take your bass drum pedal and set it up on the right while the hi-hat pedal is left. 

If you are a left-handed drummer, simply set the kit up opposite.

Position the snare stand in between the two pedals. Assemble the toms first and then set up the cymbal stands.

electronic drum set parts

Three simple steps to set up your pads: 

  1. After placing the rack, install a drum rack and secure it with a screwdriver or drum key.
  2. On the mounting arm, place your drum pad and tighten it down. Make sure it is not too loose or too tight, so they don’t strip.
  3. After all of the pads have been installed, find the most comfortable position for you.

Three simple steps to set up your cymbals: 

  1. Into the whole drum rack clamp, place the cymbal arm. Again, tighten it down as usual. 
  2. Take the cymbal and put it on the cymbal arm. Tighten down the top wing nut to secure it.
  3. If you have rubber cymbal pads, ensure that the logo points at you since the trigger is located.

Connect the module with the pads

Look at the directions and see where the module should go. It is usually on the left-hand side of the hi-hat.

Some kits have modules that use multiple TRS cable connections. However, most of them require breakout cables. 

Typically, breakout cable connections are located underneath or on the back of the module. 

Cables are generally labeled, but it is essential to be careful when plugging each cable into its corresponding pad. 

Here are the steps:

  • It is necessary to insert a cable end into the module. If it’s a breakout cable, insert the breakout connector and ensure it’s properly seated.
  • Connect the other end of the cable to your drum pad.
  • There are also inputs for an additional tom or cymbal in most modules. If you want to expand it, plug a 14” TRS cable into one of those inputs.
  • There will be two cables on hi-hat triggers. One is for the foot pedal, and the other is for the pad. Cables for hi-hat pedals are usually labeled HHC or Hi-Hat Control.
play electric drums

How to connect electronic drums to a computer?

Use either a USB cable or MIDI cable to connect the drum module to your computer. 

To connect the drum module with a MIDI cable, you need to connect the cable from the MIDI OUT port to the MIDI IN port of the audio/MIDI interface.

Heads up! Specific latencies can occur! It means that your sound might be a second late. 

To avoid this, seek out a better external sound card

How to connect electronic drums to speakers?

If you want to connect your speakers, use a ¼ inch cable. Place the speaker’s input jack to the drum module’s output jack. 

Another way to connect it is simply by using the mixer directly to the speaker. You may be able to connect to a direct input box on stage in some venues.

Plug it into the L (mono) output jack to connect a single speaker.

how to record electronic drums

How to record electronic drums?

Follow the given steps:

  1. Using the USB cable, connect your e-kit with your computer.
  2. Make sure your computer recognizes your drum kit by installing any necessary drivers.
  3. Open DAW (Digital Audio Workstations) recording software. It will allow you to record, mix, edit, and export your audio sounds.
  4. Record audio according to your DAW’s instructions. 

The process for recording via DAW’s:

  • Make an audio track (in track > new track… or the equivalent)
  • In the ‘input’ box for that track, select your electronic drum kit’s name
  • Typically the red button is the ‘arm’ of the track
  • Start drumming and make sure your track is receiving a signal
  • Press on the record
record electronic drums on android

How to record electronic drums on an iPhone?

To record your drums on your iPhone, you will need an iRig electronic device. This device will allow you to use your iPhone (and the iPod Touch and iPad) as mobile effects to record your electronic drums. 

Here are the simple steps:

  • Apply audio adapter into the lightning 2.8” adapter that comes with the kit. 
  • Plug the lightning adapter into your iPhone
  • Connect one end of the quarter-inch audio cable into the audio adapter for the iPhone
  • Plug the other end of the audio cable into the mono output of your drum module
  • Connect the provided aux cable into the output of your audio playing device 
  • The other end of the aux cable plug into the mix input or aux input of your drum module
  • Make sure your headphone is plugged into the drum module, not your phone*
  • Open your video camera on the phone and start record
  • Start playback on your audio device 
  • Start playing your drums and record your cover
record electronic drums on iphone

How to record electronic drums on an android phone?

Follow the above steps to record your drumming with your Android phone using iRig 2. This one is compatible with Android devices but with Apple devices as well. 

Another thing you can try is using OTG cable. The On The Go adapter will allow you to connect a USB A or a USB flash drive to your Android phone or even tablet through USB-C charging port or the Micro USB.

Conclusion

If you live in an apartment or have little kids around, e-drums are your savior. In comparison with traditional acoustic drums, these are quieter.

However, do not assume that electronic drums are silent. In some cases, depending on the brand and price range, some e-drums can be almost as loud as acoustic ones.

In this article, I have stated the most important thing to look for when buying your e-drums, and that’s better modules, more pad zones, and a better feeling.

If you want to buy an e-drum but you are a beginner, there is a section with the best drum sets for beginners and, at the same time, electric drum sets for kids. Alongside that, if you are a professional, there is also a section on the best e-drum sets for pro players.

Once you make a purchase, finding out how they work is the simplest. Then, setting it up can be done with ease if you follow the given steps and instructions.

There is also a section about playing e-drums and saying it right away; it is different from playing acoustic drums. Then, when you begin practicing, start recording your songs on your smartphone with ease, thanks to thoroughly explained steps on how to connect your device with e-drums.

Denis Loncaric

Denis Loncaric

My name is Denis. I am a drummer, percussionist, music enthusiast, and blogger. Drums have been my passion for 15 years now. My idea is to write about the things I like and I am interested in. I want to share my drum passion with fellow musicians who walk, talk, and breathe drums.

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