The Best Electronic Drum Sets - $500 to $5000

Electronic Drum Sets

We have sought to make this the most comprehensive and accurate guide to electronic drum sets for recording and playing live.

We set out to do this by conducting a detailed survey of the most popular and highly rated electronic kits at major online American music gear stores, which led to us short-listing 27 kits for detailed analysis for which we examined over 1,900 reviews, ratings, videos, and forum posts. The results are below for you to see with our algorithmically produced Gearank Scores out of 100 and reports on what drummers liked and didn't like about each kit.

Contents

The Best Electronic Drum Sets

Best Electronic Drum Sets Under $1000

Most of the drum kits that topped this price category have compact profiles and student-friendly features.

Roland TD-11K-S V-Compact Electronic Drum Set

91
GEARANK

91 out of 100. Incorporating 150+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$1000
Roland TD-11K-S V-Compact Electronic Drum Kit

Roland earns the top spot in this price range with their mid-priced electronic drum kit, the TD-11K. At the core of this kit is Roland's SuperNATURAL sound engine, which gives it the same realism and sound quality as more expensive units. And you're not getting just one good set of sounds, because the Drum Module lets you choose from a wide variety of drum kits and sounds. If that's not enough, you can also adjust the sound to your liking. Student's will appreciate the built-in Coach Function, recording and other practice friendly features. For playability, the TD-11K features dual trigger pads, which include the mesh snare and rubber toms. The cymbals also have two triggers, and they can be choked. Finally, this kit is mounted on Roland's compact MDS-4V drum stand, which is ideal for small spaces.

Specifications:

  • Snare: PDX-100 (2-trigger 8" Mesh Pad)
  • Toms: 3 x PD-8 (2-trigger 8.5" Rubber)
  • Cymbals: 2 x CY-8 (2-trigger 12" Rubber with Choke)
  • Hi-Hat: CY-5 (2-trigger 9.5" Rubber with Choke) and FD-8 Controller
  • Kick Pad: KD-9 (Kick Pedal Not Included)
  • Drum Stand: MDS-4V
  • Drum Module: Roland TD-11 with 10 Trigger Inputs
  • Module Sounds: 50 Drum Kits, 190 Instrument Samples
  • Extra Features: Coach, Metronome, Recording
  • Module Inputs: 1 x 1/8" (mix in), 1 x 1/4" (crash 2 trigger)
  • Module Outputs: 2 x 1/4" TRS (main out), 1 x 1/4" (headphones), MIDI Out
  • USB: 1 x Type A, 1 x Type B
  • Power Supply: AC adaptor
  • Dimensions: 47.25" x 43.31" x 49.25"
  • Weight: 47.40 lbs.

Pros

The quality difference between the Roland TD-11K and others from different makers were very evident to many reviewers, with most of the commendations pointing to its playing feel and realism. Sound quality was commended, along with the drum module's versatility. Finally, a good number of drummers were very happy with its adjustable design, making positioning each pad easy.

Cons

While retailers and Roland itself made it clear that this kit does not come with a kick pedal, some users still found this lack to be annoying. A few others were not too happy with the feel of the rubber toms, but still found the overall playability to be a positive experience.

Overall

This market favorite compact electronic drum kit is your best pick in the sub $1000 price range, especially if you jump between different musical styles.

Roland TD-1KV V-Drum Compact Electronic Drum Set

88
GEARANK

88 out of 100. Incorporating 90+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$600
Roland TD1KV V-Drum Compact Electronic Drum Set

The TD-1KV is Roland's entry-level electronic drum kit that showcases their build quality in a more space saving form factor. And more importantly, it comes with a more budget-friendly price without compromising too much on its features. To start with, the TD-1KV sports a PDX-8 dual trigger snare with mesh pad, something that's usually seen on more expensive kits. The snare is complemented by a complete set of toms, ride, crash cymbal and hi-hat, albeit smaller, to allow for full drum kit functionality without the bulk. While it doesn't feature Roland's SuperNATURAL sound engine, the drum module lets you choose between 15 drum kits, which should be enough for popular music genres. It also has essential student-friendly features like Coach mode, Metronome and Recording. Finally, the entire kit rests on a compact stand that does not require much space, and weighs significantly lighter than other electronic drum sets.

Specifications:

  • Snare: PDX-8 (2-trigger 8" Mesh Pad)
  • Toms: 3 x Toms (Rubber)
  • Cymbals: 1 x Crash, 1 x Ride (Rubber with Choke)
  • Hi-Hat: 1 x Hi-Hat (Rubber with Choke) with Pedal
  • Kick Pad: Beater-less kick pedal
  • Drum Stand: Compact TD-1 Stand
  • Drum Module: TD-1 with 10 Trigger Inputs
  • Module Sounds: 15 Drum Kits, 15 Songs
  • Extra Features: Coach, Metronome, Recording
  • Module Inputs: 1/8" Stereo
  • Module Outputs: 1/8" Stereo
  • USB: MIDI
  • Power Supply: AC adaptor
  • Dimensions: 39.375" x 47.25" x 49.25"
  • Weight: 26.063 lbs.

Pros

It is surprising that while this kit is aimed at students, many drummers with years of experience also expressed their approval. Market sentiment can be summed as the Roland TD-1KV being "just what the doctor ordered", providing just the right playing feel and sound quality at just the right price. It's compact size was prominently mentioned, along with its quiet operation. Many students and teachers reported being satisfied with its performance.

Cons

Some experienced users found the positioning of the stand to be limited. A few others complained about the fewer sound options.

Overall

If you're looking for something that's budget-friendly, compact, and from a reputable manufacturer, then get the Roland TD-1KV.

Roland TD-4KP V-Drums Portable Electronic Drum Kit

87
GEARANK

87 out of 100. Incorporating 150+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$700
Roland TD-4KP V-Drums

With their years of experience building portable instruments and amplifiers, Roland knows how to balance quality, affordability and portability, as exemplified by this drum kit. The TD-4KP's distinct feature is its foldable drum stand, which hastens breakdown/setup, and lessens its overall footprint for convenient storage and transport. And it does all this without straying too far from the familiar drum kit setup, making it ideal for drummers who are always on the go, and for those who reside in small dorms and apartments. It comes with a complete complement of pads and cymbals, all of which feature Roland's brand of reliability and playability. The TD-4 drum module has 25 drum kits to choose from, and it allows you to customize the sound of each pad/cymbal with a variety of instrument sounds. Roland's student friendly features are available, including metronome, recording and Coach function

Specifications:

  • Snare: 1 x Snare (Rubber)
  • Toms: 3 x Toms (Rubber)
  • Cymbals: 2 x CY-5 (2-trigger 9.5" Rubber with Choke)
  • Hi-Hat: CY-5 (2-trigger 9.5" Rubber with Choke) with FD-8 Pedal
  • Kick Pad: Built-in Kick Pad (Kick Pedal Not Included)
  • Drum Stand: Foldable Stand
  • Drum Module: TD-4
  • Module Sounds: 25 Drum Kits, 86 Instrument Sounds
  • Extra Features: Coach, Metronome, Recording
  • Module Inputs: 1/8" Aux In,
  • Module Outputs: 2 x 1/4" (Stereo Out), 1/4" Headphones, MIDI Out
  • USB: None
  • Power Supply: AC Adapter
  • Dimensions: 39.38" x 47.25" x 49.25"
  • Weight: 27.56 lbs.

Pros

Many experts and experienced users describe the Roland TD-4KP as the best portable electronic drum kit. The unit's foldable design, and build quality were among its most commended features. Many were surprised with the drum module's versatility, especially when considering its diminutive size. Sound quality also got a lot of thumbs up, even from drummers who weren't expecting much from the kit.

Cons

The most common complaint is that you have to buy the kick pedal separately, even when it is already explicitly mentioned by Roland and their retail partners. Some users cautioned that it feels a bit fragile and suggest folding and moving the drum around with a bit more care. Finally, some users got more out of their TD-4KP when they swapped the rubber snare pad with a mesh head snare like the Roland PDX-6.

Overall

It doesn't get any more portable than the Roland TD-4KP, so get it if mobility and space-saving are your priorities.

Alesis Crimson Mesh Electronic Drum Set

86
GEARANK

86 out of 100. Incorporating 60+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$999
Alesis Crimson Mesh Electronic Drum Set

For the price, this kit sports all-mesh pads that include the snare, kick pad and toms, something that's usually only available from more expensive drum sets. Another noteworthy feature is its three-zone ride cymbal. While it doesn't have many training features, the Crimson Drum Module does have a built-in metronome and it lets you load up tracks via USB for backing use. What makes It stand out from the rest is its extensive array of drum kits, including 20 user customizable and 50 factory presets. All of which can be further customized with over 600 built-in samples, you can even upload your own samples via a USB drive. Finally, all the toms and cymbals are mounted to a sturdy four post chrome rack, and the snare has its own double brace stand.

Specifications:

  • Snare: 12" Dual-Zone Mesh Snare Pad
  • Toms: 2 x 8” Dual-Zone Rack Toms, 10” Dual-Zone Floor Tom
  • Cymbals: 12” Crash with Choke, 14” Three-Zone Ride
  • Hi-Hat: 12” Hi-Hat with DMHat Pedal
  • Kick Pad: 8" Mesh Kick Pad (Kick Pedal Not Included)
  • Drum Stand: 4-Post Chrome Rack with Double-Braced Snare Stand
  • Drum Module: Crimson Drum Module
  • Module Sounds: 70 Drum Kits (50 factory + 20 user) and 600 sounds
  • Extra Features: Metronome
  • Module Inputs: 1/8" Aux In
  • Module Outputs: 2 x 1/4" Stereo, 1 x Headphones
  • USB: USB/MIDI Output
  • Power Supply: AC Aadapter
  • Dimensions: 49.6" x 23" x 13.6"
  • Weight: 62.6 lbs.

Pros

While others in this price range are mostly used for practice, reviewers have reported using the Alesis Crimson Mesh Kit in live performances with outstanding results. The overall appearance and professional looking design of the kit got a number of thumbs up. Good playability and value for money also came up often among the positive reviews.

Cons

There was one user who had triggering issues with the kick pedal, but is seems like an isolated case. A few others found the interface of the module to be a bit confusing, especially when customizing kits.

Overall

If you're looking for a great looking electronic drum kit that works well for practice and live performance then check out the Alesis Crimson Mesh Kit.

Best Electronic Drum Sets from $1000 to $2000

This is the price range where drum kits start to cross over into the professional realm, with more stage/studio friendly features while still being beginner-friendly.

Yamaha DTX532K Electronic Drum Set

88
GEARANK

88 out of 100. Incorporating 40+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$1200
Yamaha DTX532K Electronic Drum Kit

Yamaha is a major contender in the electronic drum market, and the DTX532K has helped them secure their prominent spot. It packs as many features as they can put in while keeping the price reasonable and without sacrificing quality. The inclusion of a true-to-form hi-hat stand with pedal easily sets it apart from others in this price range, while the three-zone cymbals and snare add to its expressiveness. Speaking of the snare, it features Yamaha's TCS (textured cellular silicone) material, a silicon gel based drum head which they developed for their DTX pads. It is described as having increased sensitivity while being quieter than regular pads. As expected, Yamaha is not one to pull punches, so they packed the DTX502 module with various kits and sound samples. It also has a training feature with a scoring algorithm so you can keep track of your learning progress.

Specifications:

  • Snare: XP80 (Three-Zone 8" Textured Cellular Silicone)
  • Toms: 3 x TP70 (7.5" Single-Zone Rubber Pad)
  • Cymbals: 2 x PCY135 (13" Three-Zone with Choke)
  • Hi-Hat: RHH135 (13" Two-Zone) with HS650A Pedal Stand
  • Kick Pad: KP65 (Kick Pedal Not Included)
  • Drum Stand: RS502 Rack
  • Drum Module: DTX502 with 12 Trigger Inputs
  • Module Sounds: 50 Drum Kits, 128 Instruments, Effects (Reverb, Master EQ)
  • Extra Features: Groove Tools, Practice Score Generation, Metronome
  • Module Inputs: 1 x 1/8" stereo
  • Module Outputs: 2 x TS, 1 x 1/4" headphone
  • USB: Import Drum Sound Samples
  • Power Supply: Power adaptor (PA-130)
  • Dimensions: 48" x 17" x 12"
  • Weight: 41.7 lbs.

Pros

From practice, to school bands, to indoor stages, the Yamaha DTX532K has been put to good use by a good number of drummers. Many describe it as a truly satisfying kit, specifically for beginner to intermediate players, thanks to its training features and professional level quality. Experts and pros also gave this kit their thumbs up, specifically for the realistic feel of its hi-hat, snare and cymbals.

Cons

A few users cautioned on controlling the weight of your strikes on the pads. The single-zone toms annoyed a few users who expected at least dual zone. One user reported that at times, the snare triggers without hitting, and that he had to reboot the drum module to fix the problem.

Overall

There's no denying Yamaha's reputation when it comes to student friendly instruments, so if you are serious at taking your drumming to the next level, but you don't want to disturb your neighbors, then you may want to check out the DTX532K.

Roland TD-11KV V-Compact Electronic Drum Set

88
GEARANK

88 out of 100. Incorporating 200+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$1599
Roland TD-11KV V-Compact Electronic Drum Kit

The Roland TD-11KV is a step up from the TD-11K, gone are the rubber toms, and in their place are mesh pads. One tom is the same as the 8" mesh snare, while the other two toms are slightly smaller at 6.5" but also feature mesh pads. This makes the playing feel more consistent as you hit the snare and the different toms. The cymbals are also bigger, having a 12" crash cymbal with two triggers and choke, and a 13" ride with three triggers. Other features of the drum kit are similar to the TD-11K, including the TD-11 Drum Module which houses the company's SuperNATURAL sound engine, 50 drum kits and multiple instrument samples. Student friendly features are also retained, making this a more realistic playing electronic drum kit that will help students of the instrument.

Specifications:

  • Snare: PDX-8 (2-trigger 8" Mesh Pad)
  • Toms: PDX-8 (2-trigger 8" Mesh Pad), 2 x PDX-6 (2-trigger 6.5" Mesh Pad)
  • Cymbals: CY-12C (2-trigger 12" with Choke), CY-13R (3-trigger 13")
  • Hi-Hat: CY-5 (2-trigger 9.5" Rubber with Choke) and FD-8 Controller
  • Kick Pad: KD-9 (Kick Pedal Not Included)
  • Drum Stand: MDS-4V
  • Drum Module: Roland TD-11 with 10 Trigger Inputs
  • Module Sounds: 50 Drum Kits, 190 Instrument Samples
  • Extra Features: Coach, Metronome, Recording
  • Module Inputs: 1 x 1/8" (mix in), 1 x 1/4" (crash 2 trigger)
  • Module Outputs: 2 x 1/4" TRS (main out), 1 x 1/4" (headphones), MIDI Out
  • USB: 1 x Type A, 1 x Type B
  • Power Supply: AC adaptor
  • Dimensions: 47.25" x 43.31" x 49.25"
  • Weight: 48.56 lbs.

Pros

The word "awesome" came up a number of times within the reviews, and it makes for a good one-word summary of how most users felt about the TD-11KV. Many users were impressed by its playability, thanks to the all-mesh pads. Experienced drummers appreciated the ability to tighten/loosen the mesh heads to get as close as possible to the bounce and feel that they prefer. The ability to tweak the kit's sound and sensitivity were also prominently mentioned, along with its overall build quality.

Cons

While it does have a lot of kits already built-in, some users still wished for more sound options. The need to get a separate kick pedal came up on a few comments.

Overall

The Roland TD-11KV is ideal for drummers who want a reasonably priced all-mesh electronic drum kit.

KAT KT4 Electronic Drum Set

87
GEARANK

87 out of 100. Incorporating 10+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$1200
Kat Percussion KT4 Electronic Drum Set

After being under Kaman and Fender, Kat Percussion was acquired by DW Drums, and is now serving as their electronic drum kit sub-brand. They enter this list with their flagship model KT4, which features the best that the company can offer, while retaining a mid-tier price. It is packed with features, most notable of which are its four 11" dual zone pads that can be programmed to reproduce various snare, tom and percussion sounds. And since the pads are white, they provide a nice contrast to the black color dominated designs of other manufacturers. This kit also comes with three-zone cymbals - two 12" crash and a 14" ride. Even the hi-hat has three trigger zones, which is quite exemplary in this price range. The package also includes a traditional hi-hat stand, but for some reason, you will still have to buy a kick pedal separately. The drum module has a library of 99 drum kits and 780 sounds, more than enough to cover virtually any music styles. It also comes with built-in DSP reverb and EQ, which allows for more control over the sound.

Specifications:

  • Snare: White 11" Dual Zone Pad
  • Toms: 3 x White 11" Dual Zone Pads
  • Cymbals: 2 x 12" Crash and 1 x 14 "Ride (All with Three-Zone with Choke)
  • Hi-Hat: 12" Three zone cymbal + Actuating Sensor
  • Kick Pad: 8" Single-zone mylar headed pad
  • Drum Stand: KT4 Curved Chrome Rack
  • Drum Module: KT4 with 9 Trigger Inputs
  • Module Sounds: 99 Drum Kits (50 Factory, 44 User)
  • Extra Features: Panning, Pitch Adjustment, Reverb, Decay, Four-band EQ, Integrated Sequencer
  • Module Analog Inputs:1/8" Aux In, 2 External Trigger Input Jacks, MIDI In
  • Module Analog Outputs: 2 x 1/4" Stereo Out, 1/4" Headphone, MIDI Out
  • USB: USB 3.0 Compatible
  • Power Supply: DC Adapter
  • Dimensions: 38" x 13" x 20"
  • Weight: 21 lbs.

Pros

A good number of drummers were simply amazed at the overall performance of the Kat Percussion KT4. They describe the factory sounds as being resonant and open, while others were able to dial-in great sounds after some tweaking. The real-like feel of the mylar kick pad was prominently commended, while others found the chrome rack to be versatile in terms of positioning.

Cons

Other than the need to buy a kick pedal separately, there weren't that many notable concerns. One user recommended wiping the white pads after use to keep it looking good as new.

Overall

If you're looking for a versatile electronic drum kit with built-in effects, or you just want one with white pads, then check out the Kat KT4.

Yamaha DTX562K Electronic Drum Set

86
GEARANK

86 out of 100. Incorporating 30+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$1800
Yamaha DTX562K

The Yamaha DTX562K is a step up from the DTX532K, with the main difference being the use of Yamaha's TCS (Textured Cellular Silicone) pads on the toms. This means that all the pads will have a more uniform response and playing feel. The cymbal set is the same 13" size with choke, with an interesting feature called "pre-choke" which gives you muffled cymbal sounds much like when you're gripping a cymbal as you strike. Yamaha's DTX502 drum module allows for a wide variety of sounds with 50 drum kits and 128 instruments. It also allows for deep customization, including the ability to use your own samples. Other features include Groove tutorial, practice scoring and advanced metronome, all of which make the DTX562K a viable tool for learning the instrument.

Specifications:

  • Snare: XP80 (Three-Zone 8" Textured Cellular Silicone Pad)
  • Toms: 3 x XP70 (7" Single-Zone Textured Cellular Silicone Pad)
  • Cymbals: 2 x PCY135 (13" Three-Zone with Choke)
  • Hi-Hat: RHH135 (13" Two-Zone) with HS650A Pedal Stand
  • Kick Pad: KP65 (Kick Pedal Not Included)
  • Drum Stand: RS502 Rack
  • Drum Module: DTX502 with 12 Trigger Inputs
  • Module Sounds: 50 Drum Kits, 128 Instruments, Effects (Reverb, Master EQ)
  • Extra Features: Groove, Practice Score Generation, Metronome
  • Module Inputs: 1 x 1/8" stereo
  • Module Outputs: 2 x TS, 1 x 1/4" headphone
  • USB: Import Drum Sound Samples
  • Power Supply: Power adaptor (PA-130)
  • Dimensions: 77.3" x 41.3" x 26.8"
  • Weight: 41.7 lbs.

Pros

The Yamaha DTX562K got most of its positive reviews from users who were impressed with its sound. Some reviewers even claim that the Yamaha DTX502 Module has the best sounds in this price range, specifically the presets that are based on actual Yamaha acoustic drum kits. The playability of the pads and the cymbals also got Yamaha some perfect rating scores.

Cons

There were some who commented that the headphone and aux ports where awkwardly positioned. Limited upgradeability was also raised by a few others who wanted to add more pads or cymbals.

Overall

With Yamaha's reputation for quality and the DTX562K's improved features and good market reputation, this electronic drum kit is easy to recommend.

Best Electronic Drum Sets from $2000 to $3000

Only the Roland TD-25K met our standard in this price range, where users are much harder to please.

Roland TD-25KV Electronic Drum Set

89
GEARANK

89 out of 100. Incorporating 70+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$2500
Roland V-Drums TD-25KV

The Roland TD-25KV is a true high-end electronic percussion instrument that's meant for professionals and advanced users. While it is not the top of the line model, it does have most of its features, with the main difference being fewer connectivity options, slightly smaller pads and a more streamlined drum module. The snare has an interesting feature called positional sensing, which changes the sound depending on where you strike the pad. This allows for the use of brush sticks, and other snare techniques. The hi-hat is also designed to be as close to the real thing as possible, so it has to be mounted on a standard hi-hat stand, which has to be bought separately. All the toms feature mesh heads, while the cymbals feature multi-zone triggering and choke. At the core of this kit is the TD-25 module which features a streamlined interface for quick and easy setup. It lets you choose between 18 drum kit sounds, which seem limited but you can download kits and load up custom samples for more sound options. However, what makes this module special is its deep customization, allowing you to expand your sound options much more than what the specification suggests. The demo video below showcases the Roland TD-25KV's impressively intuitive sound customization.

Specifications:

  • Snare: PDX-100 (10" Mesh with Positional Sensing, Rim shot and Cross Stick)
  • Toms: 2 x PD-85BK (8" Mesh with 2-Triggers and Rimshot)
  • Floor Tom: 1 x PDX-100 (10" Mesh)
  • Crash Cymbals: 2 x CY-12C (12" Crash with 2-Triggers and Choke )
  • Ride Cymbal: CY-13R (13" Ride with 3-Triggers)
  • Hi-Hat: VH-11 (Hi-Hat Stand Not Included)
  • Kick Pad: KD-9 (8" Cloth Pad - Kick Pedal Not Included)
  • Drum Stand: MDS-9SC
  • Drum Module: TD-25
  • Module Sounds: 18 Kits
  • Extra Features: Reverb, Multi-Effects, EQ
  • Module Inputs: 1 x 1/8"
  • Module Outputs: 2 x 1/4" Stereo Out, 1 x 1/4" Headphones, MIDI Out
  • USB: 1 x Type A, 1 x Type B
  • Power Supply: DC Adaptor
  • Dimensions: 51.19" x 47.25" x 49.25"
  • Weight: 58.44 lbs.

Pros

Many reviewers described the Roland TD-25KV as a true professional instrument. Some even commented that there is a night and day difference when compared to their previous kit. Playability was compared to an acoustic kit multiple times, with one user even blurting that the TD-25KV is more fun to play than an actual acoustic kit. Most of the reviewers also regarded its sound highly, with emphasis on its customizability.

Cons

Although they did like its sound and playability, there were a few users who found the kit to be a bit smaller than what they like it to be. Some users also warned that the this kit has limited upgradeability and connectivity options, and recommended buying the TD-30K if you think you will need more pads/cymbals in the future.

Overall

If you are ready to take your drumming to the next level and you're in the market for something within the sub $3000 price range, then the Roland TD-25KV is your best bet.

Best Electronic Drum Sets from $3000 to $5000

Roland TD-30K V-Pro Electronic Drum Set

94
GEARANK

94 out of 100. Incorporating 90+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$4000
Roland TD-30K V-Pro Electronic Drum Set

There's simply no denying Roland's dominance in this market, and for many years, the TD-30K led their advance. This particular drum kit provides drummers with the best that Roland had to offer in terms of playability, sound quality and versatility. At the heart of this kit is the TD-30 Drum Module, which runs on Roland's SuperNATURAL sound engine, and hosts a staggering number of features, including 100 Kits and 1362 instrument sounds. And if that's not enough, the module allows for deep editing, which exponentially increases the possible sounds and combinations. It even comes with built-in effects, mic placement emulation, ambience and much more. Connectivity options are also expanded to allow for more pads and controllers. On the playability side, the kit features bigger PDX-100 pads for the toms, and a nice looking black finish 12" snare with positional sensing to better detect the nuances in your playing technique. It has a 15" Ride, two crash cymbals (13" and 12"), and features the same VH-11 hi-hat as seen on the TD-25K, all of which allow for various techniques like cymbal swell.

Specifications:

  • Snare: PD125BK (12" Mesh Positional Sensing)
  • Toms: 3 x PDX-100 (10" Mesh)
  • Crash Cymbals: CY-13R (13" Crash 3-Triggers), CY-12C (12" Crash 2-Trigger with Choke),
  • Ride Cymbal: 1 x CY-15R (15" Ride 3-Triggers)
  • Hi-Hat: VH-11 (Hi-Hat Stand Not Included)
  • Kick Pad: KD-120-BK (12" Mesh Head - Kick Pedal Not Included)
  • Drum Stand: MDS-12V
  • Drum Module: TD-30
  • Module Sounds: 100 Drum Kits, 1,362 Instruments
  • Extra Features:
  • Module Inputs: 1 x 1/4" TRS Stereo Input, MIDI In
  • Module Outputs: 2 x 1/4" (Master Out), 8 x 1/4" (Direct Out), MIDI Out/Thru
  • USB: 1 x Type A, 1 x Type B
  • Power Supply: Adaptor Included
  • Dimensions: 59.06" x 47.25" x 49.25"
  • Weight: 86 lbs.

Pros

Even though the TD-30K is no longer Roland's flagship kit, it continues to impress drummers world over. Reviews point to it as the most sought after, even in the presence of recently released kits. Most users credit its acoustic-like response and sound as its best qualities, while others were very pleased with the drum module's in-depth sound editing capability. There were also a number of drummers who reported using the TD-30K for many years without issue - attesting to its reliability.

Cons

One user complained about the lack of balanced outputs, which should have simplified PA connections. There were a few users who felt that while the quality of the TD-30K is topnotch, the price tag is a little over the top.

Overall

If you want to go the tried and tested route, then get what the market hails as the best. If budget permits, or if you're willing to invest then the Roland TD-30K should be your top consideration.

Things To Consider When Buying Electronic Drums

  • Drum Pads

    Electronic drum pads are designed to be compact replacements for the acoustic snare, tom and floor tom. More affordable kits usually have rubber pads, while more expensive ones feature mesh pads. The general consensus is mesh pads are better, because they feel similar to acoustic drums. Since they are woven from strong polyester plastic (Mylar) they are also sturdier and quieter. Rubber pads are preferred for practical reasons, because they are usually lighter and affordable, ideal for compact and portable electronic drum kits. Note that pads are not limited to just mesh or rubber, as shown by Yamaha's silicon gel based pads.

  • Cymbals and Hi-Hat

    Electronic drum kits utilize plastic cymbals with specially designed rubber pads on top. They are designed to replicate the playing feel of metal cymbals and metal hi-hats - but are usually smaller, probably to save on cost and space. You'll want a kit with at least a crash cymbal, a ride cymbal and a hi-hat. As for quality and feel, more expensive ones usually have more realistic bounce and feel, so you get what you pay for. Based on our market research, Roland cymbals are widely considered to be the gold standard, specifically the ones in their V-Pro series.

  • Number of Zones/Triggers

    Zones, also called Triggers, specify the number of sounds you can get from a pad, cymbal or hi-hat. Basic ones will just have one zone, which means that you get the same sound regardless of where you hit the pad. Advanced kits will have two or more zones. Dual zone pads usually have dedicated triggers for the head and the rim, allowing for rim shots and cross stick playing. Dual zone cymbals have dedicated triggers for the bow and edge. There are also triple zone cymbals that have triggers for the bow, edge and bell. Basically, you'll want kits that have as many triggers as your budget permits. Take note that, more expensive kits allow for "positional sensing" where-in the sound varies as you hit different areas of the pad.

  • Cymbal Choke

    Cymbal choking is a technique used by drummers to mute cymbals with their hands. You'll want drum kits that have at least one crash cymbal with choke. Some technique adjustments are required to trigger cymbal choking, and it may vary from kit to kit. There are some that require pinching at the outer edge, while more advanced cymbals allow for easier choking. Some of these premium cymbals even allow for muffling and pre-choking.

  • Drum Sound Module

    The Drum Sound Module serves as the central hub of the kit. It is where all the pads and cymbals are wired to, and it is where all sound processing and production take place. It also houses the controls for which you can vary the sound of your kit.

    • Sound Quality and Versatility

      Sound quality is the primary concern, but it is inherently subjective, thankfully we only included top rated kits that many deem to be good sounding in this list. Still, the data we gathered suggest that sound quality improves as price increases. Versatility is also important, you should watch out for the number of factory and user preset kits, available instrument sounds, and sound editing.

    • Music/Technique Training

      If you're looking to improve your drum playing and musicality, training features should be an important consideration. Thankfully, many of the kits featured in this list have built-in student friendly features that include Advanced Metronome/Click Track functions, Recording and Playback, Songs/Tracks Play Along, and Training exercises.

    • Computer Connectivity

      If you are planning to use your electronic drum kit to trigger virtual instruments in your computer, then USB/MIDI connectivity is imperative. Most modern drum kits utilize USB ports to send/receive MIDI data, so they may not dedicated 5-pin MIDI ports. Check the specs carefully if you need to connect the kit with MIDI devices that require 5-pin connection.

    • Audio Input / Outputs

      The drum module is where the audio input and output ports are located. Essential audio connections are usually provided, which include a 1/4" output that goes to an amplifier or mixer, and a headphones out for quiet practice. Some modules have two 1/4" output ports for sending stereo signal, one being Left/Mono, and the other Right. Take note of the port sizes, especially with the headphones out, so you'll know if your headphones will fit, or if you'll need an adapter.

  • Amplifier / Speaker System

    Electronic drum kits don't have built-in amplifiers and speakers. You can use headphones when practicing on your own, otherwise they have to be plugged into a separate amplifier or PA system. Since electronic drums produce wide range of frequencies they are best paired with a dedicated drum amplifier or full range Powered PA Speakers. Keyboard Amps and Acoustic Amps also work well, and in case you have one available.

  • Drum Throne, Kick Pedal and Hi-Hat Stand

    One of the most often skimped and overlooked part of a drum kit is the drum throne. While you can use regular chairs, drum thrones offer more comfort, stability and movement freedom. So if you don't already have one, we recommend getting one along with the kit you will buy - see our guide to drum thrones.

    You should also shop around for a good kick pedal if the kit you're buying does not have one bundled. The same goes with advanced kits that require hi-hat stands, best get all required hardware ready so you can enjoy your new electronic drum kit as soon as it arrives.

Methodology

We first scouted for electronic drum sets that fall within the $500 to $5000 price range, and limited the search to those that are widely available in the US. We then gathered relevant information about each kit, from customer feedback, YouTube reviews, Expert review articles and forum discussions. The data we gathered were fed to the Gearank algorithm, which gave us the scores that we used to rank the kits appropriately. We then divided the list into different price ranges, and featured only those with the best scores. For more information about this process see How Gearank Works.

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