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6 Best Electronic Drum Sets Reviewed For 2021

Can electronic kits really stand up to the demands of real-world drummers? And which one qualifies as the best electronic drum set that fits your particular needs?

Our top 3 picks at a glance are:

What is the Best Electronic Drum Set?

We certainly hope you benefit from the information we provide in this article! Just so you know, we may receive compensation if you use the links on this page. If you do, thank you so much!blank

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On A Budget? What’s The Best Electronic Drum Set Under 1000?

With a host of quality electronic drum sets and manufacturers to choose from, finding the right one can be a challenge. Still, only the best names will rise to the top.

If you want to start rocking out on the best electronic drum set under $1000, or even $500, use the following reviews and buyer’s guide to make an informed choice.

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Best affordable electronic drum set comparison:

Product

Best Feature

Rating

Relative Price

#1 Best Choice

Roland V-Drums TD-1K Electronic Drum Set

Roland V-Drums TD-1K Electronic Drum Set

Excellent professional features for the price

4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5) $$$
#2 Best Value

Alesis Nitro Mesh Electronic Drum Set

Alesis Nitro Mesh Electronic Drum Set

Includes 40 kits out of the box

4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5) $$
#3

Yamaha DTX402K Electronic Drum Set

Yamaha DTX402K Electronic Drum Set

Advanced features available through a free app

4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5) $$$
#4

Roland V-Drums TD-1DMK Electronic Drum Set

Roland V-Drums TD-1DMK Electronic Drum Set

Includes tuneable V-Drums

4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5) $$$
#5

Alesis Surge Electronic Drum Set

Alesis Surge Electronic Drum Set

Includes a full set of tuneable mesh heads

4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5) $$$
#6 Premium Pick

Alesis Command Mesh Electronic Drum Set

Alesis Command Mesh Electronic Drum Set

Complete pro-level kit

4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5) $$$$

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Top Six Electronic Drum Sets in Review

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1. Roland V-Drums TD-1K Electronic Drum Set

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Roland V-Drums TD-1K Electronic Drum Set

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Roland V-Drums TD-1K Electronic Drum Set

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The Roland V-Drums TD-1K electronic drum set is a relatively affordable choice for the best inexpensive electronic drum kit.

It often sells for just under $500 and includes many of the features you expect in an electronic drum set, including a drum module with preset sounds and quiet pads.

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TD-1K Overview

Roland is a leading manufacturer of musical instruments. The Roland company was founded in Japan in 1972 and made a name for itself releasing electronic synthesizers and drum machines in the 1980s.

So, it should not come as a surprise that the Roland V-Drums TD-1K is one of the best value electronic drums.

This set includes a compact rack stand, four drum pads, three cymbal pads, two kick pedals, and a drum module. The drum module includes 15 preset drum kits, a built-in metronome, and a USB connection.

The USB connection and built-in MIDI controller allow you to connect the drum set to a computer to use a variety of popular music software, including Roland’s V-Drums Friend Jam series and the DT-1 Drum Tutor.

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Roland V-Drums TD-1K Electronic Drum Set

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Roland V-Drums Highlights

The Roland V-Drums TD-1K includes many useful features for beginner drummers, including a drum module with 15 drum kits. While the selection of sounds is limited, the preset options provide a complete range of musical styles.

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Roland TD-1K Features

  • Four drum pads and three cymbal pads
  • 15 preset drum kits
  • Built-in metronome
  • USB connection for computer recording
  • 1/8-inch audio input and output

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The Good:

The Roland V-Drums TD-1K is designed for beginners from the compact stand to the limited selection of sounds.

The simple design and configuration options allow beginners to quickly pick up their sticks and start practicing. The compact design is also useful as it requires less floor space compared to most of the other options.

The TD-1K set includes several other features that may help beginners, including a built-in metronome and USB connectivity.

With the USB connection, you can connect the drum set to your computer and use various electronic music lesson computer programs.

While many of the features are basic, the TD-1K is equipped with a 10-inch snare, which is slightly bigger compared to the snare on other sets.

The Bad:

The simplicity of this set may appeal to beginners but experienced drummers may prefer something with more configuration options.

With just 15 built-in drum kits, you may be forced to upload custom sounds via the USB connection. Unfortunately, the module does not save your sounds.

The selection of pads is also limited as many sets include five drum pads instead of the four found on the Roland TD-1K. This set also lacks a kick pad tower, choosing to include two kick pedals.

Another missing feature is a TRS output. The TD-1K simply has two 1/8-inch stereo audio jacks.

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What We Like

      • It is a relatively affordable option
      • The rack stand takes up minimal space
      • It is easy to assemble, configure, and play
      • It is compatible with computer music software

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What We Don’t Like

      • A limited selection of sounds
      • Four drum pads instead of five
      • No TRS analog output

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Check Roland TD-1K availability here >>

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2. Alesis Nitro Mesh Electronic Drum Set

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Alesis Nitro Mesh Electronic Drum Set

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Alesis Nitro Mesh Electronic Drum Set

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The Alesis Nitro Mesh Electronic Drum Set is one of the more affordable entry-level drum sets. Featuring five drum pads and three cymbal pads, this e-drum set has everything needed for a beginner.

It even includes an eight-inch mesh kick pad tower, which is typically only included in higher priced sets.

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Alesis Nitro Mesh Overview

The Nitro Mesh Electronic Drum Set was developed by the Alesis company as an entry-level option for those with a limited budget.

Alesis is a well-known manufacturer of electronic musical instruments, which has been the focus of the company since its start in the 1980s.

Alesis has always focused on utilizing the latest technologies to release innovative products. With the Nitro Mesh Drum Set, the company has released a top contender for the best value electronic drum set.

The Nitro Mesh Set is a five-piece electronic drum set. It includes pads, a drum module, cables, and accessories, including drumsticks. The kick tower, cymbals, and other pads all feature tunable mesh heads for a custom playing experience.

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Alesis Nitro Mesh Electronic Drum Set

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Alesis Nitro Highlights

The Alesis Nitro Mesh drum set stands out compared to other budget options due to its drum module. The Nitro Drum Module comes with 40 preset drum kits covering a wide range of musical styles from classic acoustic beats to modern electronic beats.

Drummers can even create their own custom drum kits from a selection of 385 onboard sounds. Other highlights of the drum module include 60 play-along tracks, a metronome, and an audio input.

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Nitro Mesh Features

  • Five drum pads and three cymbal pads
  • Eight-inch mesh kick pad tower
  • 40 electronic drum kits
  • 385 total sounds
  • Analog and headphone outputs

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Alesis Nitro Mesh Electronic Drum Set

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The Good:

The top feature of the Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit is the drum module with 40 preset drum kits and 385 sounds. However, the quality of the pads is another important highlight.

Each pad has a tightly woven mesh drumhead with a natural response. The pads are very responsive compared to other budget sets. As each pad is tunable, you can also adjust the responsiveness to suit your preferences.

The Bad:

While this is a quality entry-level drum set, it has a few limitations, including a short rack stand. The height is also adjustable.

However, tall individuals may find that the maximum height is still a little too short for comfort. If you are tall, you may need to sit on a shorter throne.

The snare drum is also a little small, especially for those who typically play on acoustic drum sets. The average diameter for a snare drum is 14 inches while the snare on this kit measures 8 inches.

Some drummers have also complained about low volume when using the headphone output. This does not appear to be a major issue as the set has other outputs, including USB and a 1/4-inch analog output.

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What We Like

      • Quality drum module with 40 drum kits
      • Tunable mesh drumheads
      • One of the most affordable options
      • Stable four-post rack stand
      • All necessary accessories included

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What We Don’t Like

      • The rack stand is relatively short
      • The snare drum is a little small
      • There is low volume output on the headphones

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Check Alesis Nitro Mesh availability here >>

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3. Yamaha DTX402K Electronic Drum Set

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Yamaha DTX402K Electronic Drum Set

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Yamaha DTX402K Electronic Drum Set

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The Yamaha DTX402K Electronic Drum Set is built especially for beginner drummers with 10 preset drum kits, play-along songs, a metronome, and several training modes. It includes all the features needed to teach you how to play the drums.

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Yamaha DTX402K Overview

With the DTX402K, the Yamaha company has released a decent electronic drum set with a stable four-post rack stand and a standard selection of drum pads.

Yamaha is a name that musicians know and trust as the largest manufacturer of musical instruments in the world. The company also has decades of experience with electronic instruments, which shows in the design of the DTX402K.

The rubber pads are responsive and provide a natural feel. You can even choke the cymbals as if using an acoustic set. However, the provided drum module has a small sampling of sounds.

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Yamaha DTX402K Electronic Drum Set

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Yamaha Highlights

The Yamaha DTX402K is a mid-range electronic drum set for beginners. It has a stable rack stand.

The hi-hat and cymbal pads sit on offset poles that extend up from the stand while the drum pads are attached to bars on the lower portions of the stand. The entire setup is adjustable to accommodate your height and playing style.

The provided drum module is user-friendly. It does not have an LCD screen. It simply has buttons with clear labels and several LED indicators. You can quickly choose from the 10 preset drum kits by pressing a single button.

The setup includes four drum pads and three cymbal pads. The snare only measures 8 inches in diameter, which is smaller compared to the snare on some of the other sets.

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DTX402K Features

  • Includes four drum pads and three cymbals
  • 10 preset custom kits
  • 10 built-in play-along songs
  • 415 built-in sounds
  • 1/8-inch inputs and outputs
  • USB/MIDI connection

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Yamaha DTX402K Electronic Drum Set

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The Good:

While the DTX402K only has 10 preset drum kits, it includes 287 percussion sounds and 128 keyboard sounds. You can also upload custom sounds and drum kits using the Rec’N’Share mobile app.

The mobile app increases the functionality of this set, allowing you to upload tracks directly to YouTube. You can also add downloaded or custom-made drum kits or tune the drum pads using your smartphone or tablet.

Unfortunately, these options are only available through the app and not the drum module itself.

The Bad:

Novice and advanced drummers may be disappointed by the lack of preset drum kits and no TRS output. The need to connect a mobile app to use custom sounds is also inconvenient for some users.

The 8-inch snare may also pose problems for experienced drummers who typically play on acoustic sets. Until you become accustomed to the smaller size, you may occasionally strike the pad off-center.

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What We Like

      • Easy-to-use drum module
      • Many training features for beginners
      • Ability to instantly upload recordings via the mobile app
      • Ability to create custom drum kits using the mobile app

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What We Don’t Like

      • It has a limited selection of preset drum kits
      • The snare only measures 8 inches
      • You need to use a mobile app to add sounds

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Check Yamaha DTX402K availability here >>

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4. Roland V-Drums TD-1DMK Electronic Drum Set

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Roland V-Drums TD-1DMK Electronic Drum Set

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Roland V-Drums TD-1DMK Electronic Drum Set

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The Roland V-Drums TD-1DMK Electronic Drum Set is a quality product designed for beginner and novice drummers. It includes the same drum module found on the TD-1K set but offers a different selection of pads and a large rack stand.

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Roland TD-1DMK Overview

The TD-1DMK is another option in the V-Drums series of electronic drum sets from Roland. It costs a bit more compared to the TD-1K sets and comes with more features. Instead of four drum pads, it has five pads.

The TD-1DMK also includes more preset sounds, including 15 drum kits and 15 built-in play-along songs. The connections include a USB/MIDI port and two headphone jacks.

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Roland V-Drums TD-1DMK Electronic Drum Set

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V-Drums TD-1DMK Highlights

The Roland V-Drums TD-1DMK has tunable mesh pads with a realistic, responsive feel. Beginners may also enjoy using the 10 interactive exercises that are built into the drum module.

The lessons help you learn the basics without needing to connect your drum set to a computer.

The TD-1K drum module has limited built-in features but one of the simplest interfaces. With just a few buttons, you can easily navigate between the different music lessons and preset drum kits.

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TD-1DMK Features

  • Includes five drum pads and three cymbals
  • Comes with 15 preset drum kits
  • Includes 15 built-in play-along songs
  • Includes a USB/MIDI connection
  • Uses two headphone jacks for audio input/output
  • Uses dual-layer, tunable mesh pads

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Roland V-Drums TD-1DMK Electronic Drum Set

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The Good:

The Roland TD-1DMK is not the most customizable electronic drum set but it stands out for providing one of the most natural playing experiences.

The V-drums feature dual-layer mesh pads that you can tune up or down to achieve the right level of responsiveness. The pads also have dual-trigger designs that create realistic rim and head articulations.

These features help recreate the feel of playing on an acoustic set without the noise.

The TD-1DMK set also includes two kick pads with wide, stable bases. In fact, the kick pads secure to the bottom portion of the rack stand to keep them from sliding around on the floor.

The stand itself is completely adjustable. The poles for the cymbals can be positioned at any angle or height.

The Bad:

For a relatively expensive electronic drum set, the TD-1DMK has a lack of built-in sounds. It includes 15 preset custom drum kits.

However, as with most electronic drum sets, you can add custom sounds and drum kits using the USB/MIDI port.

The Roland TD-1DMK also has limited connectivity options as it does not have a stereo TRS output. It has two 1/8-inch stereo headphone jacks for audio input and output.

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What We Like

      • The pads provide a natural response
      • The dual-layer mesh pads are tunable
      • The stand is completely adjustable
      • The kick pads are wide and stable

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What We Don’t Like

      • Is one of the more expensive options
      • Offers a limited selection of sounds
      • Does not include a 1/4-inch TRS output

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Check Roland TD-1DMK Set availability here >>

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5. Alesis Surge Electronic Drum Set

Alesis Surge Electronic Drum Set

Alesis Surge Electronic Drum Set

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The Alesis Surge is a quality entry-level electronic drum set that comes equipped with everything that you need to start jamming. You get five drum pads and three cymbal pads, a kick pad tower, drumsticks, and an electronic drum module.

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Alesis Surge Overview

The Surge was designed by Alesis as a mid-range option for those who want the best inexpensive electronic drum set. It provides a standard selection of pads, including three 8-inch dual-zone mesh toms and a 10-inch dual-zone mesh snare.

The cymbals all have a diameter of 10 inches. The selection of I/O ports includes a 1/8-inch auxiliary input, a 1/4-inch TRS output, and a headphone jack. The drum module also features a USB port.

Alesis Surge Electronic Drum Set

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Alesis Surge Kit Highlights

The highlight of the Alesis Surge is the customizable drum module. The Surge drum module has a total of 40 drum kits, including 16 custom kits. Choose from 385 sounds to create a custom kit and save it to the module.

The Alesis Surge drum kit is also equipped with dual-zone drum pads. The mesh pads are quiet, which allows you to practice without waking the neighbors. Each mesh drumhead is also tunable, allowing you to achieve the perfect response.

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Surge Features

  • Has five drum pads and three cymbal pads
  • Includes 24 preset drum kits
  • Allows users to set 16 custom drum kits
  • Comes with 385 sounds
  • Includes a TRS output and a headphone jack
  • Comes with a four-post chrome rack stand

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The Good:

The Alesis Surge is a step up from the Alesis Nitro. Both options include five drum pads, three cymbal pads, and a kick pad tower. The drum modules are also comparable.

However, the Surge offers more customization. The Surge Drum Module comes with 24 preset drum kit sounds and 16 user-defined drum kits. You can build your own kit from a selection of 385 sounds.

Compared to the Alesis Nitro, the Surge features a larger snare. While the Nitro has a small 8-inch snare, the Surge has a 10-inch snare with dual zones. This should create a more natural feel for those who are used to playing on acoustic sets.

The Bad:

The Alesis Surge only has a few minor drawbacks, including a lack of instructions. Many customers have struggled to assemble and configure their sets when following the provided instructions. Luckily, there are many YouTube videos with demonstrations.

Another potential issue is the quality of the drumheads. The mesh pads may start to show signs of wear after a year or two, which is a relatively common issue when searching for the best inexpensive electronic drums.

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What We Like

      • 16 custom drum kits
      • 385 electronic sounds
      • 10-inch snare with dual zones
      • 60 built-in play-along tracks
      • Tunable mesh drumheads

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What We Don’t Like

      • Not the most durable set of drum pads
      • Unclear instructions
      • Inconsistent quality control

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Check Alesis Surge Electronic Set availability here >>

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6. Alesis Command Mesh Electronic Drum Set

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Alesis Command Mesh Electronic Drum Set

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Alesis Command Mesh Electronic Drum Set

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Manufactured by Alesis, the Command Mesh Electronic Drum Set includes a wide range of drum sounds and the ability to load custom samples.

It is a complete kit with a standard selection of drum pads and cymbal pads. You get everything needed, including the module, rack stand, and accessories.

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Alesis Command Mesh Overview

The Alesis Command Mesh Drum Set provides a premium playing experience, thanks to high-quality mesh drumheads and a versatile drum module. Alesis continues to produce reliable products at decent prices.

While the Command costs more than the other options, it still offers a great value due to its versatility and the variety of components and accessories. You get all the necessary cables and a kick pad tower. The only thing missing is your chair.

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Alesis Command Mesh Electronic Drum Set

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Alesis Command Kit Highlights

The Alesis Command Mesh Drum Set is a higher-end electronic drum set compared to the previous options from this company. However, it includes a similar setup.

As with the other Alesis sets, this drum set includes five drum pads, three cymbals, a chrome rack stand, and a drum module with a variety of sounds and preset kits.

The main difference between the other Alesis sets and the Command set is the variety of sounds. The drum module includes 50 preset drum kits and allows you to create up to 20 custom kits with a selection of 629 sounds.

The module also provides the ability to import songs or samples in WAV or MP3 formats. If you want to review your drumming sessions, you can record up to five tracks on the module’s internal memory.

With a USB memory stick, which is not included, you can record up to 99 tracks.

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Command Mesh Features

  • Five drum pads and three cymbal pads
  • 70 drum kits (including 20 custom drum kits)
  • 629 sounds
  • TRS output and a headphone jack
  • Adjustable four-post chrome rack
  • USB input/output port

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Alesis Command Mesh Electronic Drum Set

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The Good:

The feature that we like most about the Alesis Command drum set is the drum module. Along with providing more sounds, preset drum kits, and custom drum kits, the module has a sleek interface with a high-contrast LCD screen.

The menu is easy to navigate, allowing you to quickly build a custom drum kit or select one of the 70 built-in play-along songs. Adding custom sounds is also easy.

Simply plug in a USB memory stick to transfer WAV or MP3 files. You can then assign the sounds to any of the zones on the pads. As the pads feature dual-zone designs, you have a wide range of configuration options.

The Bad:

The variety of options may be a little intimidating to beginners. If you are just learning to play drums, you may not need 629 percussion sounds. However, the large selection of sounds also provides room to grow your playing skills.

Another potential problem is the height of the rack stand. It is adjustable but the bars are relatively short. Taller individuals may need to sit on shorter chairs for a comfortable playing experience.

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What We Like

      • Includes the largest selection of sounds
      • Allows you to record tracks internally or on a USB stick
      • Comes with a kick pad tower
      • Comes with drumheads that are dual-zone and tunable
      • Includes 70 built-in play-along songs

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What We Don’t Like

      • The variety of settings can be intimidating
      • The rack stand is relatively short
      • It is one of the most expensive options

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blankCheck today’s Alesis Command Mesh Kit price >>

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What To Look For In A Good Electronic Drum Set

Electronic drum sets come in a wide range of styles. To find the best cheap electronic drum set, pay attention to the drum module, the responsiveness of the drumheads, connectivity options, and the overall quality of the components.

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A Versatile Drum Module

Electronic drum sets include a module that handles all the sound. These modules typically come with preset drum kits, which are a collection of sounds for each of the drum pads.

With a greater variety of sounds, you have more options for configuring the overall sound of your setup.

E drums under $500 are less likely to include drum modules that offer a large selection of sounds. However, there are a few exceptions, such as the Alesis Nitro Mesh.

While the Nitro drum set is one of the most affordable options, it includes 40 preset drum kits and 385 sounds.

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Responsive Drumheads

Electronic drumheads have become much more sophisticated in recent years, providing a more natural response compared to older designs.

However, drummers who are used to playing on acoustic sets tend to notice the difference when playing on electric drums.

The best electronic drum sets provide a natural feel when you hit the pads. They also tend to offer multiple strike zones or tunable designs, allowing you to adjust the responsiveness to suit your style.

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Connectivity Options

A budget electronic drum set typically only includes two 1/8-inch headphone jacks and a USB port.

Some of the higher-priced options may include a TRS output for connecting the drum set to other audio gear, such as a mixer or soundboard.

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Overall Quality and Durability

Electronic drum sets often have rubber or mesh drumheads. The cheaper sets are more likely to show signs of wear after repeated use.

The quality of the rack stand can also vary. Some designs are more stable or allow you to adjust the configuration to match your preferences.

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Electronic Drum Set FAQ

What Is the Best Electronic Drum Kit for Beginners?

Beginners may want to start with a simple drum set that comes with built-in sounds, play-along songs, and music lessons.

Popular recommendations include the Alesis Nitro Mesh Drum Set and the Roland TD-1K Drum Set. Both options have easy-to-use drum modules and exercises to work on your playing abilities.

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Are Electronic Drum Kits Any Good?

Yes, many quality electronic drum kits produce an accurate, clear sound. However, there is a clear difference compared to playing on an acoustic set.

Electronic drum sets are typically not as responsive or articulate. Luckily, many electronic drum sets include tunable drumheads and dual-layer designs to increase the realism of playing on rubber or mesh pads.

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Is it Okay to Learn Drums on an Electronic Kit?

Yes, you can learn to play the drums using an electronic drum kit. As electronic drumheads are not as responsive compared to acoustic drums, beginners may struggle to learn the nuances of striking the pads to create different sounds.

This problem can be overcome by buying a quality electronic drum set that mimics the responsiveness of an acoustic set, such as the drum sets listed in this review.

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How Do I Choose an Electronic Drum?

To find the best budget electronic drum set, you should decide on the features that matter most to you. For example, the variety of input and output ports may impact your buying decision.

If you want to send the audio to other professional gear, such as a mixer, look for drum sets with TRS outputs. Some of the cheaper options only include 1/8-inch headphone jacks.

In the end, you should choose an electronic drum set that matches your experience level. If you are a beginner, you may prefer a set that comes with an easy-to-use drum module. A module with a limited selection of preset drum kits may also be a little less intimidating.

You should also consider the customization features, such as the ability to add sounds from external sources. Many drum modules include a USB/MIDI connection. However, these options are not always available.

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Final Thoughts On The Best Value In Electronic Drum Sets

So, which electronic drum kit is the best? If you’re new to electronic drums, our first choice is the Roland TD-1k set, as it provides the best overall balance of utility, user-friendliness, quality, and price.

For those on a budget, consider the Alesis Nitro Mesh Drum Set. It offers fewer sounds but produces decent sound and a good selection of pads, including a kick pad tower.

The Alesis Command Mesh Kit stands out as the best electronic drum set due to the natural response and sound reproduction.

It also provides the most versatility with 629 different percussion sounds and 70 drum kits. The shear scope of the kit will provide everything you could want in a good electronic drum kit – but it comes at a price.

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  • Overall Build Quality
  • Overall Sound Quality
  • Overall Value Factor
4.8

Summary

Overall Score:

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