One thing is clear. You might very well own the best electronic kit for your purpose. But if you don’t also use the best electronic drum amp, that wonderful kit won’t be of much use.
For what people outside of your headphones hear is entirely what comes out of your drum amp. This is true for an audience in a gig venue as much as for the other members of a band you’re playing or rehearsing with.
But as I’ve found to be the problem with many different pieces of musical equipment: amplifiers don’t come cheap. And I guess the last thing you want is to spend your hard-earned cash on a subpar product. Also, electronic drum amplifiers offer the additional challenge of needing to be able to capture and amplify a wide range of sounds, from the low-pitched kick pad to the high-frequency cymbal pads and snare.
So to make life easier for you, I’ve reviewed what I think are the best electronic drum amps money can buy. I’ve based my reviews on sound quality, special features of each amplifier, the physical robustness of this equipment, and given an indication of their price as well.
Hopefully, these reviews will help you buy the right amplifier to bring the best out of your electronic drum set.
1. Behringer Ultratone KT108 20WE
- Two different channels
- Headphone jack and CD Input
- Not powerful enough for a large venue
Sound Quality: The Behringer Ultratone KT108 showcases 20 watts of clear, high-quality sound. This speaker is perfect for small, intimate performances, the studio, or practicing at home.
The dual-cone speaker allows for wide frequency response for a nice crisp sound and the VTC mimics tube sound, a warm, vintage sound that I simply adore. It’s also perfect for the large variety of sounds your electronic drum kit can create.
Features: This amp features 2 channels with separate volume control so you can easily input two different instruments to play simultaneously. A 3-band equalizer then allows seamless manipulation of the sound, depending on your venue.
The KT108 also has a headphone jack, so you can play at home without disturbing your family or neighbors and with a little bit of privacy.
This amp also has a CD input that allows you to play along to music or substitute in a missing instrument for practice.
Physical Specs & Durability: This little amp is as ready as you are to hit the road. The cabinet itself is made out of wood and all the electric parts of your new amp are protected in a metal enclosure. It’s also easy to transport, weighing in at just over 10 lb.
2. PowerWerks PW50 RMS Personal PA System 50W
- Multiple units can be linked
- Headphone jack and music input
- Some buyers report that it sometimes produced crackling sound when used at high volume
Sound Quality: The PowerWerks PW50 RMS Personal PA System 50W packs a punch in terms of volume, boasting 50 watts of power. This amp is suitable for many different environments and multiple units can be linked together to play in larger venues.
High-frequency drivers on this little speaker allow for the ideal balance of mid and high range sounds and eliminate harsh residual noise.
Features: This small but powerful amp boasts a 3-channel mixer for the ultimate sound. You can create clean, crisp music or a warm, deep and sexy sound with a simple adjustment of your settings.
You can also connect headphones to this amp for a little bit of privacy and to be respectful to the people surrounding you. This same jack allows you to input music to play along to.
Physical Specs & Durability: Weighing in at about 14 lb., this amp is highly versatile and portable. A heavy-duty steel grill protects your speakers while the corners on your amp are safe from dings with metal corner protectors.
3. Peavey KB 1 20W Keyboard Amp
- Reasonably priced
- Good starter amp
- Solid sound
- Fairly heavy (16 lb.)
Sound Quality: The Peavey KB 1 20W Keyboard Amp offers clean, crisp sound while eliminating unwanted, harsh, or white noise. A keyboard amp is ideal to use with your electric drum kit because it is able to project the wide range of sounds that your drum set produces.
This small but powerful 20-watt amplifier features an extended range speaker to allow your sound to reach further and also to allow you to get more bass. The KB1 is ideal for practice or for a smaller venue.
Features: This Peavey amplifier has 2 channels, each equipped with a 2-band equalizer to help you manipulate treble and bass on each channel to produce the perfect sound.
It is also equipped with a headphone jack, which allows you to be respectful of your surroundings and also entitles you to some privacy while practicing.
Physical Specs & Durability: Weighing in at 16 lb., the Peavey KB1 is fairly easy to transport and is convenient. This amp also features a metal grill to protect your speakers and metal corner protectors to protect your amp from bumps and scratches along the way.
Finally, the Peavey KB1 comes with a 5-year warranty. If you’re anything like me, you like to protect your investments.
4. Simmons DA50 Electronic Drum Set Monitor
- Capable of amplifying both high-pitched and low-frequency sounds
- Headphone jack and AUX input capabilities
- Solid sounds, high volume capabilities
- Expensive (but serious quality inside)
- Heaviest amp in this review (33 lb.)
Sound Quality: The Simmons DA50 Electronic Drum Set Monitor is an awesome system for practicing at home or performing in a small venue environment. With 50 watts of power, this amp also features a high-frequency tweeter to accommodate high-pitched sounds with more clarity.
The Simmons DA50 also has a heavy-duty woofer, which allows this loudspeaker to produce deep, low-frequency sounds. Coupled with the tweeter, this gives the DA50 a huge range of sound capabilities, ideal for your electric drum kit.
Features: The Simmons DA50 boasts a 3-band equalizer, allowing you to manipulate sound and create the perfect harmony between instruments.
This amplifier features a headphone jack, which allows you to practice in private and also to practice without bothering those around you.
And the Simmons drum set monitor also has AUX input capabilities and will allow you to plug in an mp3 player or stereo so that you can play along to your favorite music.
Physical Specs & Durability: A metal grill protects the front of the Simmons DA50 from damage. This is good but also means that this amplifier is quite heavy. In fact, it is the heaviest on my list (33 lb.) and therefore the most challenging to move around.
Best of the Best Electronic Drum Amp
Update December 2017: The Simmons DA50 is currently not available and I haven’t been able to find out if it will come back any time soon. In the meantime, the PowerWerks PW50 takes the stage and is both the best and the most budget-friendly electronic drum amp on the market.
Although by far the most expensive product on my list, as well as the heaviest, the Simmons DA50 Electronic Drum Set Monitor is my pick for the “Best of the Best” electronic drum amp on the market today. The tweeter and woofer combination on this compact, high-quality speaker offer a range of sounds for your electronic drum set that the other products on this list simply can’t compete with.
Best Bang for Your Buck
The PowerWerks PW50 RMS Personal PA System earns itself the title of “Best Bang For Your Buck”. I really like the fact that multiple units can be hooked up to allow you to play in larger venues. This lightweight, small but powerful amplifier has the ability to grow with you as a musician and outputs high-quality sound.
Have you tried one of my best electronic drum amps? Let me know what your experience was and if you agree with my final assessment in the comments below! I’m also happy to answer any questions or queries you may have about drum set amps!