Operating TD-1K is as easy as taking a walk in the park, which is why it is the ideal choice for beginners who may need to play live. Due to its clear layout, you can easily access all functions quickly and easily using the control panel. The LED display and the metronome flashing tempo indicator help you see all info at a glance.

TD-1K fits into the tightest living spaces and gives it a stylish and modern look. For better use, the sturdy drum rack is adjustable, allowing the drum positions to be set up for both adults and children. The height of each cymbal and the angle of the snare pad can be set to suit your comfort and playing style.

The drum kit comes fully furnished with everything you will need to play, except the sticks. Its set-up includes three toms, one snare, one bass drum, a hi-hat, a crash cymbal, and a ride cymbal.

Cymbals that come with TD-1K are dual-zoned in the sense that you can get different sounds from each pad depending on how you play it. Aside from that, the cymbals can quickly be muted simply by grabbing the outer edge.

9. Roland TD-27KV Drum Set

Roland TD-27KV E-Drum Set
Roland TD-27KV Drum Set
TD-27KV is a high-quality, mid-range electronic drum set that offers a variety of options and features that come only with the best models, but for a lesser price. So, whether you are a beginner on the lookout for an excellent quality drum set or a professional looking for a budget-friendly option, TD-27Kv is ideal for you.
  • Good sound quality
  • Value for money
  • Highly advanced
  • Suitable for Double-bass drum pedals
  • Bass drum tower does not have a mess head

TD-27KV is a nine-piece drum kit with five drums and four cymbals. So, there is a bass drum, two crash cymbals, a ride cymbal, three toms, snare, and a hi-hat. The pads, toms, and snare have realistic mess heads which give out more natural response than rubber pads. However, the bass drum tower does not come with a mesh head. It is equipped with a rubber-type pad, which makes it somewhat quiet to play.

As regards sound, TD-27KV comes with a total of 728 sounds that spread over 100 drum kits, and 55 presets that you can use. The best part is that you can upload your favorite sounds through the SD card and use them while playing.

Also, the drum set features a revolutionary Mic stimulator that allows you to set your drums to sound as though they were being recorded from different Mics in different positions. As for connectivity, there are a total of seven ¼ jacks, SD card slot, USB jack, and a MIDI I/O. These connections allow you to expand your drum set if the need arises.

10. Alesis Strike – Most Affordable High-End E-Drum Kit

Alesis Strike - Affordable Electronic Drum Kit
Alesis Strike
There simply is no other kit on the market that offers a similar range of sounds, a design as professional or sound modification options as intricate at such a low price. For this reason, the Alesis Strike is my best electronic drum set for recording at a fully professional level.
  • The mesh heads on snare, toms and kick are super-responsive & have very realistic rebound characteristics
  • Offers more than 1600 realistic-sounding drums, cymbals, percussion instruments (and more)
  • Comes with one of the most solid racks I’ve seen so far
  • Hi-Hat has issues registering / playing opening and closing sounds accurately. The previous firmware update has improved the situation considerably, but unintended sounds still can occur

When Alesis launched the Strike Pro, most people assumed this simply couldn’t be a high-end kit at such an affordable price. But the Strike came, saw and succeeded.

There simply is no other kit on the market that offers a similar range of sounds, a design as professional or sound modification options as intricate at such a low price. For this reason, the Alesis Strike is my best electronic drum set for recording at a fully professional level.

The only issue really is the HiHat which you can read more about in my review below. For me, though, even this “issue” has never limited my joy in playing the Alesis Strike in any way. And you’ll have to pay thousands of dollars more to find a similar range of features when looking at another brand (see Roland TD-30KV below).

So about this HiHat issue – and all other great things about the kit – see my full review of the Alesis Strike.

11. Roland TD-30KV – If Money Doesn’t Matter

The Roland TD-30KV is not available at the moment, so here is my recommended alternative.

Roland TD-30KV Expensive Electronic Drum Set
Roland TD-50KV2
The Roland TD-50KV2 is a fully-professional set that you can take into any high-profile recording studio in this world – and people will be impressed
  • Multi-dimensional drum sound that feels organic
  • Realistic and consistent trigger pad feedback
  • Customize and modify the settings to your heart’s content!
  • Not really for new players looking for a starter electronic kit
  • This product does not come with a warranty

I didn’t even consider this kit in the comparison table, because it would – in all fairness – just be unfair to the other e-drum kits presented here. After all, the Roland TD-50KV2 is more than three times as expensive as the Roland TD-11K and the price of the other kits in this review don’t even compare.

BUT: neither can they compare in terms of quality. The Roland TD-50KV2 is a fully-professional set that you can take into any high-profile recording studio in this world – and people will be impressed. And this is because…

So there’s really nothing negative to say about the Roland TD-50KV2. Quite the opposite: it’s a stellar electronic drumset and will bring you as close to acoustic sets as possible while preserving all the advantages of an acoustic one.

Only: it might not be for you. For the lots of room for customization that this kit brings with it, also mean that you need to spend a least a bit of time using those features. They are fairly easy to learn, but if you have absolutely don’t want to be concerned with tweaking the sound through your module – better save the money.

Also, when a legend like Jim Keltner gets excited about using this MIDI electronic drum kit and the drum sounds that it makes, I’m all ears. So while the Roland TD-50KV2 is the most expensive kit in this review, it also is my best MIDI drum set.

If you’re good with that, the Roland TD-50KV2 will take your breath away! Guaranteed!

Wanting to modify your shell depth, microphone positon, muffling and a dozens of other parameters? Discover how in my in-depth review of the Roland TD-30KV.

Carlsbro CSD130 Electronic Drum Set

Carlsbro CSD130 Electronic Drum Set

The Carlsbro CD 130 electronic drum set comes complete with 8 pieces and features a realistic kick pedal for a great feel. Easy to sest up in minutes thanks to stereo outputs that connect directly to recording consoles, PA systems, and amplifiers, it is equipped with the Commander 120/130 drum module, which gives you 250 different percussion sounds and 30 drum kits – 20 are preset and the other 10 are user assignable. Full dynamic, sensitivity, and crosstalk adjustments help you create the sound you want.

Key features:

Check Price on Amazon


Carlsbro CSD 180

Carlsbro CSD180 Electronic Drum Set
This electronic drum bundle contains almost everything you need to get started including a Commander 300 sound module with 26 preset drum kits and 20 demo songs. The kit features three tom pads, a bass drum pad, hi-hat, crash, and ride cymbals, a kick pedal, and of course, the necessary drum rack and mounting hardware. Over-the-ear stereo headphones and drumsticks are included.

Key features:

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Roland TD-17KV-S Electronic Drum Set Bundle

Roland TD-17KV-S Electronic Drum Set Bundle
With realistic pads designed to mirror the acoustic drumming experience, The Roland TD-17KV-S is fully equipped with all the toms, and cymbals needed, plus a bass and snare. Foot pedals are included, as are a rack, many accessories, three pairs of drumsticks, a throne, and an audio cable that connects your phone to your drum set so that you can play along to any track. Full electronics round out this exceptional electronic drum kit.

Key features:

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Roland V Entry Electronic Drum Set TD-1DMK

Roland V Entry Electronic Drum Set TD-1DMK
The Roland TD-1DMK electronic drum kit features dual-ply mesh heads with adjustable tension for a realistic experience. A built-in metronome helps you improve tempo and timing, and 14 preset kits let you create unique musical expressions. The kit includes a kick, snare, hi-hat & pedal, 3 toms, a crash cymbal, ride, and the drum stand. This set is also available in a Roland V Drums bundle that includes a throne, drum sticks, and a double bass drum pedal.

Key features:

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Vault ED-5 4-Piece Electronic Drum Kit

Vault ED-5 4-Piece Electronic Drum Set
With a convenient pre-assembled rack, the Vault ED-5 4-Piece electronic drum kit offers quick, easy set up in minutes. The set includes a bass drum pad with a pedal, a snare, 3 toms, an 18” hi-hat with a pedal, a crash pad with a stop function, and a ride pad. The sound module is fitted with 3.5mm stereo jack inputs and outputs, USB, and MIDI. A metronome helps you keep time.

Key features:

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Yamaha DTX402K Electronic Drum Kit

Yamaha DTX402K Electronic Drum Set
This is a great electronic drum kit for beginners thanks to a user-friendly design and an affordable price point. With ten built-in training functions, apps for iOS and Android, USB connectivity and more, it covers different genres of music that make practice sessions even more enjoyable. All toms, cymbals, and pedals are included, along with a snare, a bass, and a compact rack.

Key features:

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Yamaha DTX452K Electronic Drum Set

Yamaha DTX452K Electronic Drum Set

The Yamaha DTX 452K electronic drum set is specially designed for beginners to improve their performance and expression as drummers. Loaded with ten built-in training functions, novice drummers will find it more comfortable working on their rhythm and timing. These functions include Rhythm Gate, Fast Blast, Pad Gate, and the Recording function.

To access these training functions, drummers make use of the Yamaha Touch app on their Android or iOS device. You can also practice and perform with your favorite music using the Rec N’ Share app. The app will also help you share your drum covers with your family and friends.

Equipped with a kick drum tower, an adjustable tower, and a hi-hat controller, the set produces high quality and realistic sound.
There is no big deal when it comes to setting up Yamaha DTX 452K electronic drum sets. Since it comes with a simple design, less effort and time is required to assemble, and you can start performing almost immediately.

Though the rack is made with sturdy steel, it is also lightweight, foldable and compact, making it easy to move around.

Key features:

Check Price on Amazon


Yamaha DTX522K Electronic Drum Set

Yamaha DTX522K Electronic Drum Kit
With triple-zone snare and cymbal pads for realistic performances, the Yamaha DTX522K drum kit includes 3 toms, 2 cymbals, a snare, a hi hat, a drum module, and a complete rack system with hardware. Bass and kick pedal are included, along with a foot pedal for the hi-hat. The module provides playing analysis to help you improve. On-ear stereo headphones and drum sticks are included.

Key features:

Check Price on Amazon

What makes a good drum set?

Learning and playing drums is more than just making music and creating art, as there are enormous health benefits that come with drumming too. However, a drum set that offers versatility will guarantee that you enjoy drumming regardless of the genre of music that you prefer. You get to play jazz, rock, and blues, among other styles conveniently, without having to buy a new set. Drummers also love to experiment, and a good drum set makes it possible for you to switch and try different selections while producing quality sounds.

What Makes The Best Electronic Drum Set?

Now you know about the features of 7 very good electric drum sets. But what if you’re not sure which features you need – and which would be a waste of money?

That’s where this buyer guide comes in. I’ll show you what you should look for in your e-kit – and what you can safely ignore.

1. Checking for essentials

You value your money, right?

So the first thing you should consider is this: what will you get for the price?

I’ve never seen an electronic drum set pack that doesn’t include the actual pads and the “rack” (the mounting system). But quite often the bass drum pedal is not included. And even more often there’s no drum throne and the kit doesn’t include drum sticks or headphones.

But to start playing you need all of this. (And in case you’re not a headphone type, consider getting a electronic drum amplifier or in-ear monitors)

So make sure you know what you get for your money – and what you have to pay for on top of the kit.

Tip: Even if drum throne / sticks / headphones aren’t included, Amazon will often give you a discounted package deal. Just look at the “Frequently Bought Together” section right underneath the product picture on Amazon.

2. Determining Your Purpose

There’s one thing to realize that makes buying an electric drum set much easier:

it doesn’t have to be very good in every respect. Not only would you have to spend thousands of $ to get there (as you saw with the Roland TD-30KV above) – but you’d also perhaps not make use of all you paid for.

So better determine whether you want to use your electric kit for practicing, playing live or home/studio recording. Do that now!

Now you can simply scroll to the respective section below and ignore all the rest. (If you want your kit for multiple purposes, add up the important aspects.)

Purpose #1: Practicing

An e-drum kit for practicing should:

In particular, this means…

a. Setup

This is paramount but often overlooked: an electronic drum set should be set up like a regular acoustic kit.

Because if it doesn’t, you’ll store motions in your muscle memory that you would have to change once you sit down on an acoustic set again.

And this doesn’t work instantly. It needs a lot of un- and re-learning and is truly boring. So don’t buy an electronic drum kit like this (Pyle PED041):

This isn't a candidate for the best electronic drum set - because it looks like something different altogether

Because it doesn’t resemble a regular acoustic setup at all:

This is what your best electronic drum set should approximate in terms of setup

Even if you’re looking for portable electric drums, you’d do yourself no favor going for one with the above setup. For yes, it would be easier to fit into a car or under a bed – but I think the un-learning aspect is much more important. I think you can afford to spend 10 more minutes disassembling a kit, but hardly anybody can afford to spend 2 months un-learning useless data in one’s muscle memory.

b. Noise

Chances are this is why you’re going for an electronic drum kit in the first place: you want to practice without freaking out your family or neighbors. Honorable intention…

…but the problem is: electronic kits are not completely silent! Yet, depending on their pads some are more silent than others.

The crucial distinctions in terms of the pads (applying to cymbals, toms, and the kick) are between:

Rubber pads have a steel core that’s covered with, well, rubber and they look like this:

A rubber pad as it appears on an electronic drum set

And hitting a rubber pad will produce peak volumes of about 70 decibels. That’s like hitting the pages of an open book with a stick. Not very loud, but potentially annoying if there’s a person in the same room or directly next door.

But judge yourself:

Pads with mylar heads:

A mylar pad as it appears on an electronic drum set

Mylar is a material that’s used in real drum heads too. But of course, the mylar PADS won’t be as loud as real drums, because there’s no shell that amplifies the tone.

Yet, hitting a mylar pad will again peak at around 70 decibels (think open book hit with a stick).

Pads with mesh heads:

A mash pad as it appears on an electronic drum set

Mesh heads finally are the most quiet option as the sound waves are dispersed on the woven mesh.

Imagine the “noise” to be similar to hitting a sturdy cushion. It’s perhaps too loud to do when someone’s sleeping or watching TV right next to you. But usually, it won’t bother people next door.

Again, I’d like you to judge yourself:


And the “feel” of the pads?

Many people seem to be reluctant to go for electric drums, because they’re concerned the pads won’t feel like acoustic drums. And there’s really only one thing to say about this:

If you want something that feels exactly like an acoustic drum set, buy an acoustic drum set.

Don’t get me wrong: e-drum sets have become very advanced and the pads do mimic the feel of an acoustic drum set quite well (mylar and mesh better than rubber). But there will always be a slight difference. Emailing doesn’t feel exactly like writing a letter either, right?

The upside is of course that electric drums can do lots of different things that acoustic drums can’t.

They can help you practice effectively, change your drum set sound instantly on stage, record on a budget or make your drum set sound like a piano (see video below).

c. Practice Tools

This is the final cornerstone to watch out for in a practice kit: tools to help you make efficient progress.

The absolute essentials for this are:

Finally there is one nice-to-have-but-not-quite-necessary tool for practicing:

Finally, if you’re a beginner and operating on a budget, electronic drum pads can be a good alternative to an electronic drum kit when starting out.

Purpose #2: Playing live

If you want to take your electric drum set on stage, it should:

a. Sound Range & Quality

With respect to the sound range, there are two crucial questions to consider:

  1. Can you import sounds into the module?
    If so, that would make your sound range virtually limitless which is obviously a good thing. But it’s also expensive as only the higher-priced sets like the Alesis DM10 are able to import sounds.
    If the kit you’re looking at can’t import sounds, you should google for the manua. In there will be a list of the sounds in the kit. If you want to play Rock or Jazz you’ll find appropriate sounds in any kit – but higher-priced ones will have more. If you’re into Latin or even Electro, it depends on the individual set whether it has some at all.
  2. Does the kit have enough presets for your gig?
    A preset is a whole drum set compiled out of the individual sounds. Usually, that’s one sound for each pad, so 9 for a standard e-drum sets (3 tom, 1 snare pad, 1 kick, 1 Hi-Hat and 2 Cymbal sounds).
    The number of presets can range from 10 to 100 and there is also a variable number of kits to customize yourself from product to product. I recommend you think about how many songs you’re usually playing/going to play on a single gig and how often you want to change the sound of your kit. Depending on your music and the level of proficiency, this could be every single song, once per gig, or never.

As for the sound quality of a kit, I can’t give any hard and fast rules, because taste is obviously subjective. The simple test would be to search for the electric kit you’re interested in on YouTube where you’ll usually find lots people playing this set for you. Just give it a listen and decide yourself.

b. Design

It’s scientifically proven that audiences will judge you by how you look on stage as well as by your skills. So better make sure that you’re really reaping the fruits of your practice by having a professionally-looking set.

What this entails isn’t set in stone, but generally a kit that resembles a regular drum set will be familiar to an audience and thus look like it’s up there on stage for a reason.

Just think about what you’d expect on stage and I’m sure you’ll agree it isn’t this (DDrum Beta):

And that this Alesis Forge looks much more professional:

Purpose #3: Recording

Finally, electronic kits are a great and very affordable way to professionally record music at home (or in the studio).

And the only thing you really need to worry about for this purpose is if and how your electronic kit connects to a computer. Once that’s done, even sound quality and range don’t matter any more, because you’ll be able to modify them in any way you wish inside your music recording software.

How Does an Electronic Drum Set Work With MIDI?

Everything you need in order to use your electronic drums to a computer is a MIDI output at the back of your kit’s module.

Usually you’ll be using the MIDI-USB port, but with an audio interface (for more advanced recording) you might need to use the 5-pin outputs. With the Alesis DM10, for example, both are situated just below the Alesis logo at the back of the module:

Discover how electronic drums work with MIDI

Once you’ve connected the module to your computer, your electronic drums act as a MIDI trigger. That means, each time you’re hitting any drum pad, a MIDI signal is sent to your computer.

That signal doesn’t carry any sound information, which is actually a good thing. Because once you’ve opened your recording software (Audacity and Reaper are free; Ableton, GarageBand or Logic paid), you can match the signal with any sound in your library.

This way, you can make your drum set sound very, very good for any style of music. Or you can make it sound like something entirely different:

So choose an electronic drum set that has a MIDI output and you’ll be recording in no time.

Previous Best E-Drum Kits

Alesis DM6

best electronic drum set reviews

  • Module easy to handle
  • Can be used with double bass pedal
  • Bestselling electronic drum kit on Amazon (1000+ /month)
  • 200 5-star reviews on Amazon
  • Limited sound range (108)
  • No advanced features (cymbal pad can’t be choked, no half-open Hi-Hat)

In my view, the Alesis DM6 is WAS the cheapest electronic drum set that’s actually useful. That is, until the Nitro (above) came along.

The Nitro has more sounds, more functions in its module and looks more professional in my view. That’s why I don’t recommend the Alesis DM6 plain anymore. Not because it’s bad, but because the Nitro is even better.

But I still have an in-depth review of the DM6 lying around. It covers all the tricky questions: from playing Rock Band for Playstation on it to connecting it to a computer.


I hope I could convince you that choosing an electronic drum set isn’t that difficult once you know what to look for.

I also hope you saw that an electronic drum kit isn’t just an acoustic set turned quieter, but that it can improve your practice, your stage performance or your recording – and even open up new dimensions to your creativity.

If you’ve got a question about any of the e-drum sets reviewed here, I’ll gladly answer them in the comments. And I’d love to hear about your experiences with any of these kits!

Reader Interactions


  1. Jonel Ray says

    Hi Yannick,

    Thank you for this review. It helps me a lot in deciding on what e-drum kit should I buy.

    I have just one question regarding DM10 (x Mesh). You mentioned that this is the best drum set for recording, can this be also good for live performance? Can this be a good drum set for a church service?

    Once again thank you and have a great day ahead.



    • Yannick says

      Hey Joel,

      yes, both the DM10 and the DM10X are very good for performing live as well. The huge variety of sounds have very good quality right out of the module and you can change your whole drum set sound via presets with the push of a button. It also has all the connections you need to plug into an amp, PA or whatever sound system you / your band use. And I think electronic drum sets are better for worship than acoustic ones, because you can modify the sound so easily and quickly and don’t have to deal with all the natural sustain produced by acoustic drum sets in churches.

      What specific band setting and amplification setup are we talking about?


  2. Ben says

    Yannick, hi,

    My name is Ben. I’m seventy years old and have finally decided to live my dream of playing the drums.

    I have found your various reports to be highly informative and well worth reading as a novice. I especially appreciate your electronic drum set reviews as well as your review of Drumeo. I am currently enjoying drumming on a practice pad before I decide to actually purchase an electronic set. Found your recommendations of good value.

    I have one technical question which I hope you can answer to satisfy a concern that I have with the electronic sets. Here’s my question:

    When I buy an electronic set it will be shipped to me in Mauritius from the USA. I’m concerned about the compatibility of the electronic part of the set with the electrical system in Mauritius which is 220 volt. I believe different to that of the USA.

    I would greatly appreciate your comment and advice on this issue. Thank you in anticipation of your assistance. Looking forward to your comment.

    Happy drumming.


  3. Jean says

    Hi Yannick,

    Amazing work! Will buy according your intel! You answered almost everything that I had in mind. I can tell You’ve put a lot of effort in this piece so I will buy from your links.

    I’m a beginner, I need it for practicing and would like to be quieter… so, If you could choose an option for these variables what would you recommend?


    • Yannick says

      Hey Jean,

      Thank you very much! I appreciate you going through the links!

      For practicing alone I’d say Alesis Nitro. For practicing + quiet though, I’d say Yamaha DTX450K, since its kick drum is quite a bit more silent and I personally find that the kick drum is the most annoying / noisy part, because you use it all the time and the vibrations travel so well through the floor (to the people living, possibly, underneath).

      Hope that helps!


  4. Nacho says

    Hi Yannick, how are you?
    I’ve been playing the drums for some years now in a municipal band and I’d like to start playing something different, something more dynamic.
    I feel like i’ve stucked in my level and i ‘d like to improve, although you have said that the yamaha is the best one for practicing im really intersted in the alesis forge.
    I think that its the best overall option for its price, do you agree?
    Its seems that the yamaha s and rolands of the same price are very simple, its like if you were paying for the brand only.
    In regards to this, is Alesis a good choice? Does it worth to buy a better device from a worse band? Or is it better to pay for a more basic instrument but a better brand?

    Well, i have some questions about edrums in general but specially about the forge kit.
    Are edrums sensitive enough to make a good roll? Does it rebounce propperly?
    Are the toms and snare drum too small in the forge kit? I have never tried a edrum and im very worried about the size compared to an acoustic.
    In the forge, is it possible to connect my phone or something to play to my own music? This is something very important for me because i really enjoy doing it, i find it a bit boring playing the drums without a song in the background
    Are edrums very noisy?
    Your post really helped me, sorry for this huge text? , sorry for my english too.
    Greetings from Spain

    • Yannick says

      Hey Nacho,

      Thanks for your comment!

      I can fully recommend the Alesis Forge in terms of quality (for the reasons above). It’s not only a practice kit but also good for playing live in my opinion. In that price range, I’d always go for the Forge.

      And as for your questions:

      1. You can perform drum rolls on edrum kits / the Alesis Forge for sure
      2. The Forge also has good rebound – very similar to that of a drum practice pad
      3. Sure, you can connect your phone, computer or anything else that has a cinch output and play to the music coming out of that device

      Finally: what do you mean by “are the toms / snare too small”? Too small for what? I’ve never had a problem with their size.


  5. Nilesh says

    Hi Yannick,

    Its a great inside information that you have shared here. Super efforts put in.
    I’m just a beginner on drums, starting to learn drumming. I have my eyes on Alesis Nitro Kit, but just a thought, if it does really matter if the sound travels thru floor of our apartment, like is it really annoying?? I plan to use a headphone.

    Also, is it possible to connect bluetooth headphones with this Nitro Kit??
    And as u said, 40 presets, is that good enough to practice for a newbie??

    Also is it possible for connect my iPhone with my music to this? And still listen thru my bluetooth headphones??

    Thanks & cheers, from Dubai

    • Yannick says

      Hey Nilesh,

      I’m glad the article is helping! As for your questions:

      Sound travelling through floor: well that depends on your sentiment and that of your neighbours / family. The kick pad will emit about 40-60 decibels of sound depending on how hard you’re hitting. As I say, try hitting an open book with a drum stick – or a spoon if you haven’t got sticks yet – continuously for about a minute and see if that annoys you 🙂

      Bluetooth headphones: No, the Alesis Nitro doesn’t have a bluetooth connection. Would be a great add-on though.

      Connecting iPhone with music: For sure, you can just plug this into the module with a cable like this and get going.

      Best regards!

  6. Dennis says


    What do you think about the new Alesis Strike Pro kit??

    I hear that the computer is slow with loading. And some hi hay problems. Did u tested it?? I’m really curious about this set.

    Thanks from Holland!

  7. Wojciech says


    Oh man, what a great help that set of reviews is. Thanks a lot!
    That being said, doing a bit of research, Roland TD-1KV pops up frequently in the lists of great beginner sets, swapping first and second spot with Alesis Nitro. So I wonder, why did you skip it here? Is Nitro kit that much better, that we shouldn’t bother with Roland? If it was up to you, which one would you suggest?

    Thanks a lot!

    • Yannick says

      My pleasure, Woijciech! I say thank you for your kind words!

      I know the Roland TD-1KV comes up frequently, and I’m a proponent of Roland’s quality kits. But in this case, I think the Alesis Nitro is the much better option, because:

      • The TD-1KV looks more like a toy than a proper electronic drum kit and I wouldn’t go on stage with it. And I’ve been on stage with the Nitro with full confidence multiple times.
      • The TD-1KV has 15 preset kits while the Nitro has 40
      • Compared to this I don’t see why the Roland TD-1KV costs twice as much as the Nitro
      • Best,

  8. Tony Latina says

    Hello Yannick,

    Another question for you or rather your opinion.

    I am new to the edrum world,but have been playing drums 30+ years on acoustic drums in multiple genres.
    I have done much research and reviewing on ekits with your reviews being most helpful and complete.

    One area that is mentioned on many threads and links is how long a new ekit will last. Of course I know this takes into account how heavy of use it gets and how it is cared for.

    I believe you have sold me on the Alesis Nitro ekit and it should serve me for my needs. So my question for you is: In your experience, how long has the Nitro and/or similar ekits lasted? Are there any parts that require replacement from just regular practice?

    I do plan on using it with a double pedal(a DW 5000), so more wear on the kick pad? Just wondering what I should expect for life of the kit.

    Thank you for your knowledge.

    • Yannick says

      Hey Tony,

      Glad you like the Nitro! 🙂

      How long it lasts? Hard to say. I’ve played on this kit for about 6 years without having to replace any part. And I did use a kick pedal (DW 7000) too. I didn’t practice every day and I took care to use a pair of sticks I didn’t use anywhere else – but generally: these kits are built to last…for a long time!

      Hope that helps!

      • Tony says

        Thanks again Yannick for your prompt reply.

        Just wanted a ball park range of possibly lifespan.

        Not sure if you meant the Nitro when you said “six years”? Thought this ekit(the Nitro)was released in 2016?
        Anyway, you may have just been referring to a similar kit.

        Appreciate the feedback!

        • Yannick says

          Happy even this ballpark range helps!

          I was referring to the DM6 Nitro – meaning: I got the Alesis DM6 6 years ago and upgraded the module to Nitro last year. This didn’t change anything about the hardware though. And I figured you were asking mainly about hardware wear & tear?!


          • Tony says

            Thank you for clarifying Yannick.

            Appreciate your prompt responses.

            I was simply wanting to know the lifespan of the ekit as a whole. As technology advances, I know modules will need updating just as you had mentioned in your response.

            Thanks again!

  9. Sam says

    Hi Yannick, loved your reviews. I’m a new drummer and I’m looking for a kit. The Alesis Nitro looks appealing, but I’ve read some reviews that it’s a very quiet drum kit or that the cymbals barely make sound. How do you feel about this? I’m also looking for a longer lasting one, so if you recommend a more expensive one let me know.


    • Yannick says

      Hey Sam,

      Thanks for your feedback and question!

      Could you point me to the reviews you’ve read or tell me what the exact issue was in these cases. For generally, the Nitro is as loud or quiet as any other drum set (and that means: as loud or quiet as you want it to be).

      Common for people telling about a silent Nitro kit are:

      The links are there in case you want to get a detailled picture of what caused these issues and how people were able to resolve them in all cases.

      Still: if you want a longer-lasting, more advanced kit, I strongly recommend the Alesis Forge. I’ve given you my reasons for doing so here.

      Hope that helps!


      • Sam says


        Thank you! The Forge/Command looks good. Will probably go with Command because I love the mesh heads. I’m guessing you’re able to buy more mesh heads to replace the rubber ones? I’d love to do that to upgrade after I can save some more money.
        The reviews I have referring to are the ones on Amazon’s page.


        • Yannick says

          Hey Sam,

          Good choice: I like the Alesis Command a lot!

          And yes: you absolutely can replace the rubber with mesh heads. You can buy both the 8” and 10” on Amazon too.

          Hope that helps! Have fun with your kit!

  10. Les says

    Hi, Thanks for writing this. I recently started having two hour long lessons a week at my community center and will soon be buying an electronic kit. I’m 61, so not looking to advance to playing in a band, rather have some fun playing along to music I love – I listen to a lot of music, psydub, reggae, soul-funk, and a lot of modern tunes. I do want to progress though to become as good as I possibly can. Considering the Nitro, or as it’s a bit cheaper the Gear4Music 420 http://www.gear4music.com/Drums-and-Percussion/Digital-Drums-420-Starter-Electronic-Drum-Kit-Package-Deal/TBS

    • Yannick says

      Hey Les,

      I would definitely recommend the Nitro in this case. I haven’t tried Digital Drums 420 yet, but it looks much more toyish than the Nitro and has 200+ sounds less. Of course that’s not required to play along to the kind of music you’ve mentioned, but certainly is the better long-term option (in case you want to take your kit on stage someday, or record a song you’re playing to, or… or…).

      I know it costs a bit more (70 Pounds currently) but I think that would be money well-spent!


  11. Mark says

    My son is turning 6 and has been playing a kid-sized acoustic kit since he was 3.

    He has now outgrown it and is getting pretty good, so I want to upgrade. We have limited space and also close-by neighbours, so after careful consideration, I have decided that an e-drum is the way to go.

    I want to get him a kit that he can grow into and use for a number of years, but still deliver good quality sound at an affordable price. I am thinking of the alesis Nitro.

    Is this a good choice, given the considerations I have mentioned?

    • Yannick says

      Hey Mark,

      I think it is. I still use the Alesis for practicing and I’ve also played acoustic sets at smaller venues with it. And I’ve been drumming for 20 years now.

      So I see no reason that the Alesis Nitro shouldn’t be the first adult drum kit for your son.


  12. Tony says

    Hi Yannick,

    Great article, a good read and very informative.

    I would like to know your opinion of the Pearl E-Pro Export as I believe it’s based on the DM-10 module but is on a full size kit. I’m intending on using it for practice as I’m just learning the drums and I find the size and position of the pads on my Roland HD-1 too cramped and too different from a full acoustic kit.

    I’m getting it discounted to it’s closer to the price of a Roland TD-11 which I think is reasonable.

    I am going to play test it first, but do you think it’s a good choice?

    Thanks and regards,

    • Yannick says

      For all readers: Tony did get the set (without me being able to tell him anything about it, since I hadn’t tested it)…

      …and went on to write a review for all of you interested. You can see it here

      …and if you have played a drum-kit first-hand, you’re more than welcome to write for KickstartYourDrumming too.

      Big thanks to Tony anyway!

  13. Jim Waldron says

    I’m a beginner. I don’t have the space for a ekit.
    What is your opinion on the roll up ekits? Any recommendations is appreciated.
    Great reviews.

    • Yannick says

      Hey Jim,


      Well, if you truly want a roll up electronic kit, I’ve heard good things about the this one (but I have never played it myself).

      That said, if you really want to learn the drums, I think those pads are only of limited use. Yes, you could practice hand technique – but you’d not be able to build up the muscle memory necessary to hit the relevant drums / cymbals on a proper electronic or acoustic kit. Just compare the roll up with this electronic kit and see how different their setup is.

      So if you’re really short on space, but want to learn the drums in such a way that you can sit down behind a proper kit soon, I recommend to start like this (which doesn’t cost a dime moreover).


  14. Zac H says

    Hey Yannick,

    Great breakdown of these kits! I’m wondering how the Alesis DM10x performs when recording into a DAW, preferably as MIDI, as I have a few drum libraries that I’d like to use. I’d like a kit that feels comfortable when I play it (I generally gravitate towards metal and rock) and records smoothly.

    What are your thoughts?

    • Yannick says

      Hey Zac,

      Here is an example of the Alesis DM10 as played through a DAW with Addictive Drums plugin. Couldn’t find one of the Alesis DM10x – but that would make no difference in terms of sound…

      The only difference is the feel – and that should be more authentic with the DM10x because of the mesh head. Whether you like the feel or not is hard to say though. The mesh head will feel somewhat like hitting a sturdy cushion with a stick – and the rubber pads will feel somewhat like hitting the pages of an open book with a stick. I encourage you to try it (and take it with a grain of salt) 🙂

      Static Friend sounds good! 🙂

      • Zac H says

        Thanks for the quick and helpful response, Yannick! I checked out the video, and the set sounds great with Addictive Drums, especially in terms of dynamics. I’ve been using the GetGood drums library recently, and I’m itching to use it to record live. And yes, I did mention the DM10x because I’d rather play on something that feels a little more natural—especially since I intend to use it to finally learn how to play double bass!

        Thanks for the compliments on Static Friend! I love recording my own music, and I’ve always felt guilty about not being able to drum live on any of my home recordings…hence the desire to buy an electronic kit.

  15. Ronald John Hammant says

    Hi Yannick, wondered if you could give your impressions of the Sonic Drive Deluxe 5 Piece Digital Electronic Drum Kit they seem to be the same as the Lorden kits. Thanks, Ron.

    • Yannick says

      Hey Ronald,

      It seems the Sonic Drive Deluxe is only sold in Australia. It looks like a good deal with mesh heads for about $999 – but unfortunately I never even seen this kit on a stage, so I can’t judge its quality. Is going to a local store and trying it out an option?

      Sorry I can’t be of more help here!


      • Ronald John Hammant says

        Thanks Yannick, wish it were as simple as visiting the local music shop to demo the Sonic Drive. I live on Russell Island which is just off the SE Queensland AU coast, all the Sonic Drive kits that I’ve seen are sold online. I originally went looking for the Alesis Nitro kit after reading and watching your reviews, stumbled across the Sonic Drive kits in the process, which are more expensive but look like a good deal to me also. I’ve played drums on and off through the years but it has always been secondary due to work commitments. Recently bought a practice pad and rudimentary sticks and have started back into drums, now in earnest as I’m free of the everyday work routine. Thanks again for your input.


  16. Ron Hammant says

    The lowest delivered price that I could find in Australia for the DM-10 is around A$1,400.00 as opposed to the Sonic Drive at the following store: ( https://www.bavasmusic.com.au/sonic-drive-deluxe-5-piece-digital-electronic-drum ) which can be delivered for around $870.00 give or take. I’ve no doubt about the quality of the Alesis kits, I see nothing but good reviews on the product. I set out to spend A$600.00 on the Nitro, but my budget blows out looking at various other kits (I’m sure you can relate) I’d kill for the Strike Pro Kit. I doubt at this stage that I’d ever be playing again in a band, but I’d still be using my eventual kit as well as my practice pad kit on a regular basis. I like the setup of the Sonic Drive because of the true hi hat stand and bass drum not to mention the mesh pads, so the price has influenced me a good deal. I’ve also looked at the Lorden kits in this store: ( https://www.musocity.com.au/products/lorden-deluxe-5-piece-digital-electronic-drum-kit?variant=28363221073 ) The drum module is EDS-908 which is the same on the Sonic Drive kit, and the mesh pads (magnified view) also look the same, and as they say: “If it walks like a Duck” I’m sure you know the rest. More than likely I won’t buy for another month or two, and I’ve also read your methods of playing without a drum kit. Fortunately I already have a practice pad kit minus the foot pedals, so I’ve plenty to keep me busy until crunch time.

    Thanks again Yannick.


    • Yannick says

      I see. So take your time to decide. Would be interested to hear from you again once you’ve bought a kit. Simply let me know here or email me.


  17. Ronald John Hammant says

    Will keep you informed Yannick, I’m getting a little impatient at the moment, my index finger is itching to click the buy now button.


  18. Shane says


    Thank you for this excellent review of several products. It was very helpful. However I do have a question.

    I have a seven year old who has been mimicking drummers and watching videos since he was 3 years old. He got a chance to sit down and play on a set of electronic drums last week ( first time ever playing real drums ). He lit up like a Christmas tree… and he was actually pretty decent. His music teacher thought he had played before.

    We want to encourage him but I live in an apartment building. Ive looked at a few beginner sets between 300-600 but I am unsure whats is best for a seven year old to begin to learn and play on.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    • Yannick says

      Hey Shane,

      Awesome – I’m really happy your son liked it and showed talent. That’s great!

      How tall is your son? If he’s below 5ft, I’d recommend you choose from here.

      If he’s above 5ft or quickly approaching that site, I’d say you choose from amongst the adult beginner kits.

      Or were you thinking about an electronic kit for him?


      • Shane says

        Thanks for your response. He is under 5ft tall. We were considering an electronic drum set because he can just play with the headphones. I think we are considering between The Alesis Nitro and the Yamaha DTX400K. We are leaning toward the Yamaha because of the Kick pedal being more quiet ( we have downstairs neighbors). He played on an Alesis system which his music teacher recommends.

        Our biggest concern is getting something that works well. We dont want to buy something that isnt good and discourages him from playing and learning.


        • Yannick says

          Sure, Shane. The Yamaha DTX400K is a very good beginner kit. Your thought about the neighbors and the silent kick makes sense and there’s plenty of room with the DTX400 to lower the pads, so you’re son can reach everything comfortably and grow with it too.

          Sounds good to me!

  19. Tony Latina says

    Hello Yannick,

    Had a quick question about how to best clean or dust the Alesis Nitro kit.

    Thought about windex and a soft cloth?

    Any suggestions or input would be appreciated.

    (a satisfied Alesis Nitro buyer)

    • Yannick says

      Hey Tony,

      Awesome that you like the Nitro! I always clean it with a standard cleaning cloth that’s a little wet.

      Hope that helps!


    • Yannick says

      Hey Troy,

      Which mesh snare pad your looking at specifically? Generally they should work, but there might be exceptions.

      Just tell me which one you’re looking to buy and I can answer this conclusively.


  20. Brian says

    Which kit do you think is the easiest to setup and break down? This is a big deal for live performance. They advertise the TD 4k as portable but the video roland puts out doesn’t even make it look quick and easy.

    • Yannick says

      Hey Brian,

      Easiest is hard to say – but I think the Alesis Nitro is easy (and quick) enough to set up. Plus it’s the best budget electronic drum kit on the market in my opinion.

      Hope that helps!

  21. Ajgor says

    And what do You think about Behringer XD80USB? All drum pads are two-zones, both cymbals are two-zones plus chokable, hi-hat closed,half-open and open. All of that in the same price, as Alesis Nitro.

  22. Adam Arthur says

    Love this article…helped me answer several questions.
    I am still wondering about 2 other sets. Do you have opinions on the Behringer XD80USB or the Simmons SD50?

  23. Brooke says

    This is such a useful article! Thank you! I have a tall 8 year old who has played the drums this year and found his calling 😉 he practices until he has blisters on his hands and it is very loud for the rest of us!

    We are now looking for an electric kit for him. Neighbours are not an issue and I’m not too worried about how much noise it makes (as long as it is quieter than what he has now!). He has lessons every week and in between he teaches himself the songs he likes off of you tube and similar.

    We are keen to not spend heaps but want to get him a better than average kit that will last him a few years.

    Ideas on the best kit for a kid who is keen to learn all he can about drums?

    • Yannick says

      Hey Brooke,

      I’m happy your son is so enthusiastic about drumming. I started at the age of 8 and drumming has enriched my life so much since then!

      As for the kit, I believe that this is a very good first choice, since he gets a quality kit with many functionalities for the price. Plus: he can grow with it.

      Hope that helps!


      • Brooke says

        Thanks a lot Yannick! Do you have any links for Australian sites? Or sites that shop to Australia? Would like for you to get some benefit for all the work you do here!

        • Yannick says

          That’s very thoughtful, Brooke, but unfortunately I’m not affiliated with any drum gear retailers in Australia. The benefit would be you having found the right drum kit for your needs then.

          All the best,

  24. Gabriel says

    Hi Yannick

    What would you recommend for a child’s starter kit. My son is 9 and this will be his first drum kit.
    I want to go electronic to keep the noise down!


    • Yannick says

      Hey Gabriel,

      Thanks for your question and very cool that you’re getting your son a drum kit. (I started at 8 years old and I’d do it all over again.)

      As a first kit, I’d recommend the Alesis Nitro. It provided by far the best value for the money and you can see what it can do specifically here.

      Let me know in case you have any more questions.


    • Yannick says


      Thanks for your question!

      The Alesis DM5 is an old module and drum set and this means that both the range and quality of the sounds would be inferior to what’s inside the Nitro module. The same goes for the hardware.

      The only “edge” of the DM5 over the Nitro I can see is that it comes with a module with 12 trigger inputs, while the Nitro has only 9. That means, you could potentially add more pads to the set.

      But since the sound quality would still be inferior, I’d say you’d get better value out of the Alesis Nitro (unless the DM5 would cost you less thhan $100 or so).

      Hope that helps!


  25. Royal Massey says

    Thanks a lot YANNICK
    Actually the alesis nitro kit cost $540 in India. Is it worth that much amount of money? Also, will Roland pads and cymbals work good with the kit?

    • Yannick says


      Hm, I see that all electronic drum kits are a good bit more expensive in India (I only checked Amazon). Nonetheless, I don’t see many convincing alternatives there. Only: at the moment you could go with the Behringer, which normally is more expensive than the Nitro in India but currently there is a discount on it making it slightly cheaper.

      In terms of pads and cymbals: I would have to know the particular pad you’re talking about to give you a useful answer here. In any case I wouldn’t be able to guarantee it though.

      Sorry for being of such limited help her. Hope it gets you at least 1 step further!

  26. Ed says

    Hi Yannick. Thanks for the comprehensive reviews, they’ve been of quite some use in my quest for a drum kit.

    I’ve decided to fulfill my dream of getting a drum kit. For the usual reasons (noise mainly) it’s gonna be an e drum kit. I’ve had limited experience in the past (some lessons, some spells of jamming with a band) with acoustic drums, though it’s been some years since that, and I’d describe myself as halfway between beginner and intermediate. My plan is to learn proper techniques and have fun with it (no live playing, no serious recording) and I’d like a kit on which I can use the limited experience I have with a-kits. I like the TD11KV, but the real hi-hats and the module on the TD25K has got me thinking over and over. The TD25 is probably more than I’d be willing to spend, but I’d consider it if it’s worth the step-up in money.

    Does the real hi-hats make a real difference compared to the 11’s controller? Or would I be comfortable as a former acoustic set user with the controller on the 11?

    Is the positional sensing on the 25 worth the extra money or would the 11’s module be just fine for my experience. Will I grow out of it quickly or otherwise miss that feature?

    I’m also willing to accept another suggestion regarding the kit (I considered Yamaha’s 532K as an option too).

    I highly appreciate your help!

    • Yannick says

      Hey Ed,

      Congrats to the decision! I’m certain you won’t regret it.

      In terms of the kits, I think you would be comfortable with both the TD-11 hihat as well as with the module as long as you’re mainly looking to practice, have fun at home and play on stage with this kit. I did all those things with the TD-11K for years just fine (and I had been drumming for about 12 years at that stage).

      Yet, if you’re set on getting a few fully professional features, check out the Alesis Strike (Pro). It’s way cheaper than the TD-25K and my current favorite among the high-priced kits.

      Hope that helps!


  27. Tom says

    Hi Yannick,

    Thanks for the review.

    I am new to drumming and am looking for a first drum kit.
    Would you advice an electronic drum kit or an accoustic drumkit with mesh drumheads (and mute cymbals)?

    Best regards,


    • Yannick says

      Hey Tom,

      Thanks for your question! That depends on what you’re particular circumstances are:

      If you don’t have to worry about neighbors complaining about the noise when practicing, I recommend you go for an acoustic kit. And you can find my comparison of my favorites beginner models here.

      If you want to practice more quietly, I recommend you pick an electronic kit from the ones above. For you as a beginner, I can’t recommend the Alesis Nitro enough – for both its price and the value it delivers.

      Hope that helps!


      • Tom says

        Thanks Yannick,

        I do worry about the neighbours so that is why I thought of changing the standard drum heads with mesh ones (like Remo silentstroke) and the cymbals with Zildjian L80 Low Volume ones.

        Do have any experience with those drumheads and cymbals?

        So my question really was: can you mute an acoustic drumkit and practice without disturbing the neighbours?

        Best regards,


        • Yannick says

          Well, Tom, you can’t literally mute any drum kit – be it electronic or acoustic. If you go with an acoustic kit with rubber pads, hitting those would be somewhat as loud as hitting the pages of an open book with a stick.

          If you go with an electronic kit with mesh heads, hitting those would produce about the amount of “noise” that hitting a sturdy cushion with a stick produces. The same goes for the Remo Silentstrokes since they are made of mesh too.

          As for the Zildjian low volume cymbals: I haven’t tried them, so I don’t know how “quiet” they really are. They get good reviews on Amazon though (although some of them are seem to be faked).

          Hope that helps at least a little bit!

  28. Kevin says

    Hey man!

    Great article. I did want your opinion on one thing though. I have limited space and small children in my house and would most likely want a kit that I can tear down and pack up quickly on a daily basis. Or a kit that folds up small enough to hide in a corner somewhere if that makes sense. Is there a kit that you would recommend with this in mind? Thanks!


    • Yannick says

      Hey Kevin,

      Makes absolute sense – I’ve been there too (without the kids yet though).

      My answer depends on how / where you want to store it.

      If you want to push it into a corner (i.e. in a 90 degree angle), then I’d recommend the Alesis Nitro, since you could simply swing back the outer right pole and would have a somewhat long but flat thing to kit to push against the 2 walls beside the corner.

      If you want to push it flat onto 1 wall, I’d recommend the Yamaha DTX450K. That kit is more straight than V-shaped (most other kits are like that) and you would only have to adjust the feet, so you can push the kit fairly close against the wall.

      Hope that is what you meant!


  29. James says


    A great article and very helpful. I am a total beginner, I play guitar and bass and now want to get into drumming.

    What do you think I should go for out of the Alesis Nitro or the Yamaha DTX400K or Roland TD1K. They are all around £325-360.

    Does the Alesis have tools like the Yamaha to practice and get in time?

    Many thanks,

    • Yannick says

      Hey Jim,

      Thanks, I appreciate it!

      The Yamaha DTX400K would be my choice (if I were you) if you need a very quiet electronic drum kit. The DTX400 has the silent kick pedal, so one of the major sources of noise will be taken care of. At the same time, though, you’ll not have a regular bass drum beater attached to the pedal, so you might have to un-/re-learn certain motions when switching to an acoustic kit later on.

      If you can accomodate a regularly “loud” electronic kit (we’re talking about the same as hitting the pages of an open book with a stick) – I’d definitely recommend the Alesis Nitro over the TD-1K and DTX400K. It’s cheaper and great value for the money all around in my opinion.

      Hope that helps!


      • James says

        Hi! I went with the Roland TD11K in the end as the shop had £200 off plus I traded in an old guitar. I tried the Nitro but the build quality wasn’t as good… plus the assistant wasn’t that hot on it.

        Thanks for the article and advice!

  30. Wayne says

    Hi Yannick, Thank you for your great review, it has helped me narrow the choices down. I consider myself a low level intermediate drummer, I am looking for a practice kit that I can set up in my house, while continuing to learn. So I’m trying to decide if the Alesis Nitro or the Yamaha DTX 450 would be a better choice. I will never play it live as i have an acoustic set for that) and recording will be only for my own learning benefit. so what would be your recommendation? or do you think there is a better kit out there to suit my needs. (under $1000 if possible)

    • Yannick says

      Thanks a lot, Wayne!

      Since it’s only for practicing I’d go with the Alesis Nitro. Yes, the DXT450K has various learning functionalities and they are nice to have but not essential. A built-in metronome and the ability to plug in your own music to drum along to are essentials – and the Alesis offers them. So for practicing I think you get a far better value for the price with the Alesis Nitro.


  31. Alex says

    Hey there, great article!

    I’m just wondering if you know what the cheapest (would likely be buying used) electric kit which has cymbal muting by hand, half hi-hat, and preferably mesh heads?

    I’m not a drummer but am getting one for my drummer friend to record drum parts for me, so sound module/sound quality is not an issue. Also USB connection is preferable…

    I was really close to getting an Aleis DM6 used, but the lack of cymbal muting, and half hi-hat sort of put me off it for serious recording.

    Many thanks


    • Yannick says

      Hey Alex,

      Thanks for your question and sorry of answering it only now.

      You can get cymbal muting (on the crash) and half open hi-hat sounds with the Alesis Nitro – my favorite beginner drum kit with an amazing price / performance ratio.

      Mesh heads do raise the price bar quite a bit and the “cheapest” kit I know of that comes with mesh heads all around is the Alesis DM10 MKII. I haven’t put up a review of this kit, but it’s basically an updated version of the Alesis DM10X – and I do have a review of this kit over here.

      Hope that helps!

  32. Vickie says

    I have a 12 year old son who has been playing percussion for a year now. His instructor wants him to learn set so he can try out for Jazz Band next year. I am looking for something that would translate well between practicing at home and transitioning to an acoustic set at his school. What would you recommend?

    • Yannick says

      Hey Vicki,

      For transitioning between electronic and acoustic sets it’s important they have a similar setup. This is the case for all sets I’ve written about in this article, but the best bang for a junior drummer is, in my opinion, the Alesis Nitro.

      Hope that helps!


    • Yannick says

      Hey Richard,

      Thanks for your question!

      Am I right in assuming that you’re looking to add a drum pad to the Medeli? Then I’d need to know which one in particular to help you out in terms of compatibility.


  33. Mitty says

    Hello Yannick,

    Do you know if it’s possible to add a dual-zone cymbal (e.g. CY-5/8) to the Alesis Nitro module to use as ride with drum software? As in, so that it registers both zones properly.

      • Mitty says

        Thank you for your answer. Will it be a problem that those cymbals are also chokable? Does it use one of the zones to choke them, or do they work well as two zones plus choke?

  34. Rishi says

    Hi Yannick,

    Does adding external sounds via MIDI achieve the same thing as adding them via USB stick, or am I missing something here? Seems like they both have the same objective – making your drums sound different. If this is true, then not being able to add samples via USB on kits like the Alesis Nitro seems inconsequential, since you can always add them via a MIDI.

    Also, thanks for this great introduction to electronic kits. I am a total beginner and I learned a lot from this.


    • Yannick says

      Hey Rishi,

      Thanks for your kind words!

      Actually, you cannot add sounds into the module via USB. You can only change them on your computer while it’s connected to your drum kit. So adding new sounds via USB does serve a different purpose.

      Hope that helps!

  35. Murat says

    Hi Yannick

    I am in between two drum set : yamaha dtx532k vs roland td11kv..almost same price…it is for my son, home play and practicing..

    any pick ?

          • Murat says

            a few commentary from web..not sure if they are personal view but true facts but ;

            Commentary 1- The DTX532K has one upgrades that TD-11K does not. there’s the vertical motion hi-hats which look and feel WAY more realistic than the remote pedals we’ve seen thus far in the earlier kits.
            Commentary 2 : Con for Roland TD 11 series is No proper hi-hat stand..DTX 532 kit comes with a proper hi-hat stand. This is a breath of fresh air in electronic drums as most don’t have this feature.
            Commentary 3: Pros: DTX 532 Hi-Hat: has it’s own stand, real HH feeling.

            not sure if this hi-hat thing is so critical but worth for checking with you 🙂

          • Yannick says

            Hey Murat,

            Now I understand that by “inferior” you meant the difference between having a hihat stand or not. Well, that makes the Roland TD-11K different from a real drum kit, but the hihat isn’t inferior in quality at all. In fact, I prefer the Roland precisely because of the sounds of its pads.

            So the decision for you comes down to:

            • Having a real Hihat stand – then go for the Yamaha DTX532K
            • Or not having a real Hihat stand but potentially better sounds – then go for the Roland TD-11K

            So what do you prefer?

            And sorry for the confusion I caused!

  36. Jimmy says

    Hey Yannick,

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your review, very well written and covered everything that I needed to know.

    I have recently began learning drums, and I have a lesson once a week. I’m looking at getting an electronic kit to have in my room so I can practice inbetween lessons.

    My two picks at the moment are the Yamaha DTX450 and the Alesis Nitro. Could you shed some light on which you think would be better suited ?

    Noise isn’t too much of an issue (obviously going electronic to not annoy family/neighbours) but I may eventually end up playing in a band so I’d like to get a kit that I can learn to play properly on.

    Is it advantageous to have chokable symbols ? And different zones on the pads ?



    • Yannick says

      Hey Jimmy,

      Thanks for your encouraging feedback! I appreciate it!

      I’d recommend chokable cymbals, because they emulate how an acoustic drum set would work and I guess you’ll get to play one someday. 2 zones on the pads are nice to have for the same reason.

      That being said, you won’t get 2 zones on all pads for the price range you’re looking at – and I also think it’s not crucial for a beginner.

      Both kits you mentioned certainly are good candidates, but I think the Alesis Nitro gives you a better value for the your money. For all the reasons why I think this is so, check out my review of the Nitro.


  37. Sam says

    Hey Yannick,

    I’ve been on this page a good few times reading and re-reading the info trying to make a decision, I just noticed you’ve been keep up with replies after all this time, that’s amazing! So I hope you see this.

    I played acoustic (I’m basic, bot nut a novice) but had to stop after moving into a flat. I’ve been contemplating an Alesis Nitro, but I’ve come across the Millenium range at Thomann.

    Apparently the kit parts are sourced from Medelli who provide parts for Alesis (word of mouth, I’ve not been able to verify). So I know it’s off point, but do you have any experience of Millenium kits? (I’m thinking about the MPS-500) and if not, can you advise if there is a lot of movement on the Alesis Nitro e.g. pads slipping down then hit?

    Thanks 🙂

    • Yannick says

      Hey Sam,

      Thanks for your kind words. The MPS-500 does look good and I’ve been asked about it before, but I haven’t been able to test it yet, so I can’t say much else about it – sorry!

      Can’t you buy it, test it and send it back in case?


  38. Jay says

    Hi Yannick,

    Great article. I am curious though on where you would place the new Alesis Surge. All mesh pads for $499. I understand the Roland TD11k would still be superior but would the Alesis Surge be a better bang for the buck?


    • Yannick says

      Hey Jay,

      Thanks for your question. I’m actually in the process of finishing up my review on the Alesis Surge.

      From what I can tell so far, its module is as great as that of the Alesis Nitro – and its mesh heads all around are unheard of at that price. Not even the Roland TD-11K has mesh heads all around despite being much, much more expensive.

      So I highly recommend the Surge.

      Hope that helps!


  39. Umesh says

    Hey Yannick,

    What do u think abt the Carlsbro CSD500 kit?

    I’m confused between Alesis Nitro and this.

    While I initially decided to buy the Nitro, introduction of this new kit has confused me.

    The Nitro is definitely worth the price and has proved its capability. But belongs to the ‘rubber pads’ category.

    For a little extra money, CSD500 is providing all MESH pads and is being touted as the cheapest mesh drum kit. But it’s a very new kit, not much is known about it and I don’t know how good its drum module is. We know Nitro has a decent drum module.

    Kindly help me with my query.


    • Yannick says

      Hey Umesh,

      No, I haven’t had a chance to test the Carlsbro CSD500 – sorry. It doesn’t look to bad, but that’s about all I can say.

      I’m curious though: I only see it offered for $700+. Where can you get it for “a little more money” than the Nitro. That seems like a VERY good deal.


  40. Evan Caminker says

    Hello Yannick. Thanks so much for this very helpful review. I was an intermediate-level drummer in my youth; put it aside for 30 years; and now hope to play again just for my own pleasure (mostly to tracks, perhaps sometimes with friends, but never live). I want good value for my $$ but am not looking to spend an arm and a leg. Based on reading your comprehensive reviews, I’m inclined toward either the Alesis Nitro or Alesis Surge. (1) Would you have a strong recommendation? (2) Volume matters — do either of them have an option for mesh, and does that add significantly to the price? (3) And for such “practice models,” do you have (or can you point me to) a comprehensive list of equipment (such as stool, headphones, pedals) that do not come with the basic set and therefore have to be purchased separately? Thanks again for your very helpful (and friendly!) advice to many on this website.

    • Yannick says

      Hey Evan,

      Thanks for your question and sorry about the delay in answering it! It’s great you’re getting back into drumming!

      As for your questions:

      1. + 2.: The Alesis Surge has mesh pads all around and is very, very cheap for that. Yes, the Alesis Nitro is cheaper, but that would be comparing apples with oranges. Usually kits with mesh all around cost $700+.

      3.: Both kits include everything you see on the picture if you go through the links above – so the only thing you need is a sound output device. Here it’s up to you whether you want to go for a drum amp or headphones.

      Hope that helps!


  41. royor says

    is NUX DM2x okay because most of alesis in store was sold out but I will try my best patience to wait for the next supply of either alesis nitro or forge kit I was a beginner and wanted this as a gift for my 7 yrs old daughter this edrum will definitely use in my baby first year birthday.

    thanks, this helps a lot.

    • Yannick says

      Hey Royor,

      Thanks for your feedback and your question!

      I think the Alesis Nitro would make a very good choice for your daughter. However, I’m not sure what you mean by “NUM DM2x”? Can you clarify please?

      In any case, the Alesis Nitro is in stock on Amazon US right now.


  42. Joe Foley says

    Hi Yannick
    First off, may I say that yours are by far the most informative and helpful articles and reviews of electronic drums that I have been able to find. Thank you for all your work and testing and for sharing all your opinions!

    I am planning to buy electronic drums and I am currently leaning towards the new Alesis Surge with the mesh pads. I do see that there is a Simmons set (SD550) with mesh pads also, and I’m wondering if you have an opinion on which is better for a true rank beginner. I would be looking for good sound and good features but also I’d like to have the best training/learning I can find as well. You mention that Yamaha and Roland have good training but do the others at least come close?

    In terms of sound, I would say half-open hi hat would be somewhat important and probably multiple zone snare but multi zone toms is probably not that critical, do you agree?

    Thanks again!

    • Yannick says

      Hey Joe,

      Thanks, I appreciate your feedback.

      Yes, I think multi zone tom pads are rather unimportant.

      As for the kit comparison, I do think that the Simmons SD550 is decent, but like the overall quality and build of the Surge more. That said, I think you shouldn’t focus on the learning tools all that much. They are certainly nice to have, but won’t substitute a systematic drumming curriculum (for example this one).

      So, have you had a look at the all new Alesis Nitro mesh kit? It’s cheaper than both the Surge and the SD550 and the Nitro itself is one of my absolute favorites for the reasons explained here.


  43. Max says

    Hi Yannick,
    great reviews and suggestions.
    I have one question, I’m buying a set for my kids to practice and want to follow your advice with Alesis Nitro. I’ve found that they sell both the rubber and the mesh version, the latter being just a little more expensive. A part from being less noisy, is there any advantage or disadvantage with the mesh? I’m inclined towards the mesh but not completely sure.
    Thanks in advance for your help

    • Yannick says

      Hey Max,

      Thanks for your kind words and your question!

      The mesh version of the Nitro is all new, so I haven’t yet included it in the review (but will do as soon as I return from holidays).

      Reduced noise is the primary benefit of the mesh version, but your kids would also get a slightly more realistic feel and therefore be slightly more comfortable switching between the Alesis Nitro mesh kit and an acoustic one.

      The feel aspect is not a world of a difference, but I’d go for the mesh version at the current small price difference.


  44. ttt says


    interesting article.

    But I think something very important should be added for live : many audio outputs are needed (at leats 4, 6 better), to send the sound of individual instruments to the mixing deck. Unfortunately only expensive kits have such outputs.

    • Yannick says

      Hey there,

      That’s a good point! If someone’s looking for a live kit that can send the sound of individual drums to the mixing deck, he / she needs to go with the Alesis Strike (or more expensive).

      Still, most people reading this article are, I think, looking for a kit to practice on or play live in small venues (where intricate mixing is not necessary most of the time).


  45. Daan says

    Hi Yannick,

    I am looking at the Nitro Mesh for my first e-drum kit (actually my very first drum kit). However, I do want to use my double bass pedal on it.

    You say in you review of the Nitro (non-mesh) that it can be used with a double bassdrum pedal, but you don’t mention that in the piece about the Mesh version (even though the hardware is supposedly the same). On the website I want to purchase it (bax shop) they specifically mention that it cannot be used with a double bassdrum pedal, but in the promotional video you post, the guy mentions that it can accomodate “any double bassdrum pedal of your choice” (around 1:40).

    Which is it? Can you help me? Thanks in advance!

  46. Felicity Abiodun says


    Your reviews are easy to understand and very helpful. I was looking at the Yamaha as we don’t have much space but the limitation of the choke put me off. Please have you had a chance to test drive the new Roland TD-1DM and the TD1KPX and TD1KPX2? I am seriously considering one of these three for my son’s big 16th birthday/Christmas gift for this birthday next month.


    • Yannick says

      Hey Felicity,

      Thanks very much for encouraging feedback! I haven’t tested the Roland TD-1KPX(2) yet, but I’m not entirely fond of them, because the triangular rack causes the setup to be somewhat different from acoustic drums which your son might want to swap too without friction later on.

      Is there a particular feature that you’re after?

      Is it the mesh heads? If so, have you checked out the Nitro Mesh? I fully recommend this (and play it myself).


      • Felicity says

        Hi. Many thanks for your response. The Alesis Nitro would have been the best all round cost, mesh, kick-pedal-included deal but its big for my small apartment. The Yamaha DTX450K came tops (even without the mesh tops) because of its size, cost and option of folding the arms out of the way after playing. Then shopping online, I noticed some stores in the UK have dropped the DTX450K and now stock the DTX402K series instead. So I’m looking at the DTX432K and DTX452K.

        Transition to ‘A’-kit, space and durability are important. If the money was available, my preference would be:

        Roland TD-11KV all mesh,
        Yamaha DTX562
        Roland TD-1DMK the beginner version of the 17
        Roland TD-17K-L with mesh snare or the all mesh TD-17KV if we also had the floor space

        So 2 questions please:

        1 – Yamaha DTX432K and DTX452K, which one is the good enough substitute if the DTX450K is being phased out?

        2- Is the above order of preference correct for a fast learner to grow with, as I’m prepared to wait till we can afford a good kit to use for a couple of years. Also, for transition as he wants to play acoustics at school.

        Thank you for sharing your love of drumming through the detailed information you provide here.

        • Yannick says

          Hey Felicity,

          Thanks for your questions and your detailed observations!

          1.) As far as I’ve heard and seen, both kits are the same in hardware, the only difference being that the DTX452K has a about 150 more sounds inside the module – and that wouldn’t matter very much to me. Yet, in terms of space, both kits are bulkier than the DTX450K, since they come with 4 poles that the DTX450K doesn’t have. SO why do you not go for the DTX450K? Online it should still be available somewhere.

          2.) If growing with a kit (i.e. keeping it for a long time) is your goal, I would go for any kit on your list except the Roland TD-1 – this is more a beginners kit only to me. Yet, you might have gotten out of the article that I’m a fan of Alesis and their great bang for your buck kits – so do consider their kits also. According to what you say, I think this one would be a good candidate.

          Hope that helps!


  47. Lindsay says

    Hi Yannick

    Which would be the better option for a beginner?
    New Alesis Surge or Used Roland TD-11K for $200 more.

    Thanks for the great advice

    • Yannick says

      Hey Lindsay,

      Thanks for your question!

      If the TD-11K is in really good shape, that would make for a really good deal. At the same time, it really depends on your needs. If you were looking to use this as a practice kit primarily, I’d go with the Surge for sure and save even the $200 dollars (despite the good deal).

      So the crucial question here is: what do you want to use the drum kit for?



    Hi Yannick,

    You are an awesome dude – mainly for replying (in detail !!) to all the responses! every single one of them! (I think)

    Bless ya!



        Also, Yannick, this is one of the most useful Electronic Drum Kit comparison and review that I have read. (I am only reading and not practising! :-))

        Hopefully, someday, using your link, I will purchase an Alesis and learn to play the Drums.

        My first hyper-ambitious Target is: Jeff Porcaro’s – Rosanna – from TOTO and many others after that.

        • Yannick says

          Thank you very much, Sylvester!

          Rosanna is a very ambitious goal indeed – but it’s certainly worth the ride I think.


  49. Beth says

    Hi Yannick,

    My boyfriend loves to play the drums, but unfortunately doesn’t have his own set. He usually travels to his parents house in order to play his father’s acoustic drum set. I have thought about getting him an electric drum set for Christmas and am totally lost! I’d love to surprise him… it just seems like most things are based on preference. Do you have any suggestions for an e-drum set that most people would like? Ideally, I’d like to spend around $1,000.

    Thanks so much for your post! It explained a lot of different elements to me.

    • Yannick says

      Hey Beth,

      Thanks very much for your question and great you want to surprise him with a drum set. That’s a generous present and I would be absolutely amazed!

      That said, I don’t think you need to spend that much. Instead, this kit is something that I as well as most of my drummer friends love (and it currently is the best-selling electronic drum set on Amazon). So I really recommend you check out that one.


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