There is no shortage of outstanding electronic drum sets. The marketplace is full of kits with comprehensive sound libraries, free demo songs, built-in metronomes, and realistic strike pads. They also produce a fraction of the noise of their acoustic counterparts.
The search for an electronic drum set can be overwhelming, though, as you try to balance features, reliability, and functionality. Our goal is to find you one that delivers on all fronts without breaking the bank. Here are ten of the best electronic drum sets under $500 on the market.
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- 10 Best Electronic Drum Sets Under $500
10 Best Electronic Drum Sets Under $500
1. Roland V Drum TD-1KV
It’s hard to go wrong with a Roland drum set. The company has been an industry leader since opening up shop in the 1990s. The Roland V Drum TD-1KV is no exception.
This electronic drum set provides a clear and intuitive layout, making it straightforward for new players to develop their skills. That includes a control panel that lets you navigate different functions, including metronomes and sound effects.
Roland makes practicing, learning, and recording as easy as possible. The drums come with free training software that teaches notation and essential drumming techniques. There is also a built-in USB-MIDI interface, which makes recording tracks possible without extra hardware.
The Roland TD-1KV packs high-level performance into a compact design. The electronic drum set fits neatly inside any home and includes an adjustable drum, cymbal, and snare positions. Plus, it is ergonomic, so you can maintain proper posture while you play. Read more about Roland TD-1KV here.
2. Alesis Surge Mesh Kit
Alesis has recently made a name for itself with electronic drums that offer professional features at a reasonable price. The company has joined the conversation with Roland and Yamaha regarding who is the best in the business. For example, the Alesis Surge Mesh Kit offers everything you’d expect from a $1,000 set at half the price.
This electronic drum set comes with 385 drum and percussion sounds, as well as 60 play-along tracks. That includes dual-zone mesh snares and tom pads. Therefore, when you strike these sections, the notes will correspond to location and velocity similar to the real thing.
The brain behind the machine belongs to the Surge Drum Module. The device stores the library of sounds and effects, and it includes an onboard sequencer for simplified recording. The Alesis Surge Mesh Kit can connect to any smartphone, MP3 player, or auxiliary-compatible device via the USB-MIDI inputs and outputs.
This electronic drum set gives drummers a platform to develop their skills, too. Alesis teamed up with Melodics to include 40 bonus lessons that span popular genres while exploring a range of different techniques. Moreover, the rich interface and instant feedback will ensure drummers of all ages stay on track.
3. Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit
The depth and versatility of e-drums today is incredible. Take the Alesis Drums Nitro Mesh Kit, for example. This aluminum set features 385 sounds, 60 play-along tracks, and connectivity to all your favorite devices via USB and MIDI.
The Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit comes with four drum pads, a kick pad, three cymbals, a hi-hat, and a kit pedal. Each head is mesh, so you get responsive feedback while playing. The heads are an upgrade over previous models, which were exclusively rubber.
You will also find a comprehensive library of sounds and effects. The different components are tunable, which allows for precision adjustments to reverb, decay, volume, and more. While the sounds are not hyper-realistic, they are serviceable for the price tag.
The Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit has everything you need right out of the box. That includes the cabling, power supplies, and drum key to enable a set up in an hour or less. It’s just one of the ways Alesis is making drumming accessible for players of all levels.
4. RockJam Mesh Head Kit
RockJam is an up-and-coming name in the world of electronic drums. While it does not have the name recognition as some of its peers on this list, the RockJam Mesh Head Kit is a worthy entry.
The RockJam Mesh Head Kit features four mesh-head pads that are responsive to strike velocity. This sensitivity lets players show off proper technique when it comes to precision play. The set also comes with three toms, a snare, a hi-hat, two cymbals, and two pedals.
RockJam features a sound module with 30 different drum kit voices and demo songs. That way, you can find the right genre and pace when you practice, play, or perform. Each RockJam Mesh Head Kit comes with a headphone jack so you can listen to tracks without disturbing others.
The process of recording audio is simple, too, though the sound is not as realistic as its higher-end counterparts. All you have to do is connect the MIDI output with a USB. The RockJam Mesh Head Kit will then directly visualize your songs on any audio recording software. This e-kit offers an affordable way for first-timers and beginners to learn the drums.
5. Donner DED 200 Electric Drum Set Kit
The Donner DED 200 Electric Drum Set Kit adds an aura of professionalism to introductory drum kits. Beginners have a pathway to drumming excellence thanks to the all-in-one functionality. That includes 30 demo songs, 225 sounds, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Donner uses French DREAM’s sample technology to recreate the sounds of acoustic instruments. You can test and adjust each effect, too, to ensure the soundscape meets your expectations. Thanks to the software algorithms and chip computing, those adjustments can also include sound delay, reverb, repetition, decay, and more.
Each panel comes with an all-mesh head. Donner tests each one up to 200,000 times in the lab to ensure it is durable enough for the most aggressive drummers. And the mesh complexion helps prevent deformation or sagging.
The Donner DED 200 Electric Drum Set Kit features 30 demo songs that give you the chance to play along to your favorite genres. That includes hit genres like blues, rock, jazz, and punk. Meanwhile, you can connect your electronic drum set to your computer via USB to MIDI to ensure no performance goes unrecorded.
6. Pyle Pro Electronic Drum Kit
The Pyle Pro Electronic Drum Kit does not look like other options on this list. Instead of replicating the traditional acoustic style, Pyle opts to bring the world of drumming into a 16.5 by 22 by 5.5-inch space. This space-saving design allows for drummers to play whenever and wherever they want.
Each set comes with tom-toms, hi-hat, snare drums, crashes, and rides. There are more than 300 sound effects that you can adjust based on rhythm, EQ, volume, tempo, and more. Pyle also includes two foot pedal controllers that connect wirelessly to the rest of the set.
The Pyle Pro Electronic Drum Kit lets you record, save, and edit recordings with the press of a button. That includes versatile syncing with PC and Mac platforms. You can even sharpen your skills beforehand with the Drum Trainer feature.
Perhaps the most compelling selling point, though, is its portability. All you have to do is insert six C class batteries, and you can drum without worrying about wires. That way, you can practice or perform whenever it is the most convenient.
7. Behringer XD8USB
This eight-piece drum kit offers everything you need to get into electronic drumming. The set includes ten factory presets as well as five user-programmable options. Behringer also gives drummers 123 studio-grade drum and percussions to choose from.
The Behringer XD8USB features hi-hats, a bass drum, snare, and cymbals. The snare is the only component that has a dual-zone surface. Therefore, you can get a distinct sound, whether you strike the drumhead or the rim.
The electronic drum set comes with audio input, too. You can connect it to almost any device, including iPads, computers, iPhones, and MP3 players. This feature allows you to jam out to your favorite song just like you’re playing in Madison Square Garden.
Behringer includes one of the best warranties for electronic drum kits. The company offers a standard one-year warranty. Customers that register the product within 90 days can extend that to three years. If anything breaks, Behringer will repair the malfunctioning parts or entirely replace the component.
8. Carlsbro CSD130 Electronic Drum Set
The Carlsbro CSD130 Electronic Drum Set provides up-and-coming drummers with all the essentials. That includes 250 percussion sounds, 20 preset drum kits, and secure connectivity. There is also an easy-to-use interface for intuitive navigation.
Simplicity is the name of the game for this eight-piece drum set. For starters, you can assemble it within minutes of delivery.
The kit comes with highly sensitive heads and realistic pad bounces. The snares also include dual-zone capabilities while the crash and ride offer manual chokes. Additionally, the bass drum trigger activates along with the controller pedal for a crisp open and close effect.
9. ZHRUNS Electronic Drum Kit
ZHRUNS offers beginning and intermediate drummers one of the best kits under $500. The set comes with three tom pads, kick drums, snares, crashes, rides, and cymbals. Plus, there are more than 300 different drum and percussion sounds.
The ZHRUNS Electronic Drum Kit uses French DREAM’s sampling technology to create effects. The polyphonic system produces sounds comparable to an acoustic version. Meanwhile, you can tune the drums and cymbals separately before recording.
ZHRUNS also includes 30 demo songs and six metronomes that let you build skills and stay in time. Speed controls range from 30 to 250 beats per minute, so drummers of all abilities can find their rhythm. Additionally, the ZHRUNS Electronic Drum Kit is easy to assemble and comes with an exhaustive instruction guide.
10. Vault HD005 8-Piece Electronic Drum Kit
The Vault HD005 8-Piece Electronic Drum Kit is ideal for entry-level users. The affordable and easy to assemble set comes with the essential components to begin the drumming journey. That includes everything from 20 ready-to-play songs to 200 different drum and percussion sounds.
The e-kit features natural rubber drum pads for sensitive responses. While the feel is not as representative as mesh heads, the pads do a respectable job of creating a natural feeling. Plus, they are quiet, so there is no chance of disturbing roommates, neighbors, or family members.
Vault includes a handful of other features to cover all the bases. For instance, there is a 1/8-inch stereo auxiliary input for headphones and a USB to MIDI outlet. The electronic drum set even comes with a built-in metronome that plays from 40 to 240 beats per minute.
The best electronic drum set is the one that meets your needs. Maybe you value an extensive library of hyper-realistic sounds? Then the Alesis Surge Mesh Kit is for you. Or, you might want portability, which would make the Pyle Pro Electronic Drum Kit a top option.
Each drummer is different. Whether you want to hone your craft or pick up a new skill, the e-drums should cater to those needs. No matter what drum kit you pick on this list, though, it is sure to get you where you need to go.