Throughout the years we have tested numerous drum kits and we have decided to compile a list of the best options under $500. The sets from this price range are suitable for individuals, that are making their first steps or looking to practice without going over their budget.
Back in the days, when electric drum sets made their debut, the quality of the sound wasn’t as good as it is now. Thanks to the technological advancements in recent years, drum sets have become both affordable and of higher quality. Now, you can get an electric drum that provides a magnificent sound without paying a fortune.
The electric sets provide numerous benefits such as the option to adjust the volume or insert headphones. Buying an acoustic drum would mean that you will have to deal with law enforcement if you have neighbours. However, with the electric drum sets all you have to do is plug your headphones and you can enjoy the music without irritating everyone around you.
Nowadays, the market for electric drum sets is flooded with numerous options and you might have a hard time picking your set. That’s why we have compiled this modest list to give you an insight of some of the best budget-friendly drum sets.
Our list starts with Alesis Nitro Kit electronic drum sets, which is considered as one of the best products when it comes to great value at low costs.
It’s a complete 8-piece kit, with everything required to perform at a high level. There are three 10” cymbals, three dynamic 8” tom pads for a better feel and everything is put together by the 4-post aluminum rack that secures the set-up. There is a USB port and MIDI jack at the back of the device, in case you have some old technology you want to use.
There are 60 built-in tracks and 40 kits. For beginners, there’s a metronome implemented to improve your skills. Moreover, you can try the performance recorder while practising as it can be of great use.
Roland is one of the first companies that introduced the electric drum sets and they are considered an authority in this industry. Years have passed and their products are still one of the best available on the market.
The TD-1k comes with four pads, three cymbals and two pedals, whereas the frame is constructed of durable materials to ensure your set’s safety.
Unlike traditional sets, the hi-hat and kick drums are replaced by two pedals for a more intuitive performance.
Looking for an electric drum set that’s cheap, but still provides the functionalities of the leading models? Then the RockJam Electric Roll-up kit is the one for you!
It comes with 9 drum pads, each unique on their own, providing everything from snares to cymbals and more. The set is highly suitable for travelling as you can easily roll it up and take it on your trip. Of course, the roll-up factor will decrease the quality, but we can assure you that it is pretty decent.
The speakers are built-in and a microphone for recording purposes. Plug in your headphones using a USB or MIDI port and enjoy your performance silently. At this price, RockJam can hardly lose to its competitors.
As you might have already guessed, the Pyle-Pro drum set comes in a flat “table” layout. This ensures the portability of the device, making it perfect for travelling or storing purposes.
The kit includes 2 pedals, 7 pedals, one module, LCD screen and a variety of audio controls. Note that you can save your configurations and swap quickly back and forth when you practice.
Moreover, you can add batteries to use it wirelessly or plug it in using its AC adaptor. With the USB jack, you can plug in your computer or mobile device. As you can see, there are many options and it is up to you.
The world-renowned company Yamaha introduces their budget-friendly model – the DD-65 Kit, which comes with 8 drums suitable for both beginners and advanced musicians.
What makes this set so special is the fact that it offers an AUX jack, along with the USB port. You can connect an MP3 player or use some of the pre-loaded sounds in the device.
For travel enthusiasts, there’s an option to insert batteries and go fully portable. Moreover, the control panel offers a ton of features that you can enjoy playing with while recording.
6 . Alesis DM6
A few years ago, Alesis DM6 was one of the cheapest and most convenient electronic drum sets on the market, before the company released its successor – the Alesis Nitro – which we have featured above.
The back of the DM6 model features an integrated USB port, instead of the old-fashioned MIDI output. There’s also a 1/8’’ mini-jack for headphones, AUX input and main output. There are two switches – the main one that turns the power on/off and a smaller switch that changes the bass type. The pads of the drum set can be easily connected with a cable snake.
The front features a master volume, on/off button, tempo, start/stop button, drum off, pattern select, voice select, volume for individual control, and a record button.
The DM6 is one of the few sets that allow the recording of your personal pattern. Moreover, it has a stereo snare pad, which is used to assign a sound to the head’s surface, and another one to the rim.
All in all, this is a set that provides everything required for the professional performer to practice without going over his budget.
7 . Ddrums DD1
Two decades ago, Ddrums was one of the companies that started the electronic drum revolution and they have been playing an important role in the industry ever since.
The front of the device is where most buttons are placed such as the kit selection, start/stop, volume, save, drum mute, song selection and more.
The back features a MIDI output, power-input jack, on/off switch, stereo output, and nine trigger inputs as well. On the left side of the module, you can find the aux input and the volume control.
What makes this model stand apart from others is that you can adjust the sensitivity of each pad. You can choose from 15 available settings for sensitivity and 15 levels of rejection. This means that you can adjust the sound in different values, depending on your preferences.
Unfortunately, this electronic kit does not feature a bass drum pedal, which you have to buy separately.
One of the fresh names on the market – KAT. Even though that they are considered as a newcomer to the electronic drum industry, they a great competitor to the reputable brands.
The design of the top panel is minimalistic for easier use. On the left side, you can find page buttons, power and mode controls. The master volume and the on/off button are situated on the right. Right in the middle, you will see “+” & “-“ buttons that control the value of some parameters.
At the back, you will find the power input, USB, MIDI output, stereo outputs, auxiliary input and a headphone jack.
The KT1 offers four main modes: voice, drum kit, pattern & click. To enable them, you have to press the mode button and then navigate using the page control and the plus/minus buttons.
The interface is quite simplistic, but it lacks buttons for individual actions, which might be a problem for some people. Similar to the previous model we reviewed, this one lacks a bass drum pedal as well.
9 . Yamaha DTX400K
Yamaha is known everywhere in the world as a brand that delivers value above everything else. The DTX400K is yet another successful model that justifies its costs.
The set comes with KU100 electronic bass drum pedal, but it doesn’t have a bass drum pad. According to the company’s representative, this pedal system is more efficient and silent. The hi-hat pedal offers foot splash, open, closed and foot closed sounds.
Yamaha’s interface is simplistic and easy-to-use. It features a variety of buttons including a metronome, start/stop, tempo, kit & song select, volume, drum mute and controls for the pads.
The company emphasises on training with this kit as there are different commands for accuracy, playing drum patterns and learning new ones. Moreover, there’s something called “fast blast”, which is some sort of a challenge, where you score points by playing faster. The 400K is highly suggested for beginners and individuals looking to improve their skills.
10 . Carlsbro CSD130XXX
Carlsbro’s electronic drum set is preferred by many due to its simplicity and durability. It features a Digitron display for seamless button set up and a wide variety of options.
The kit comes with a variety of pre-made kits and there are over 250 high-quality voices and a headphone jack in case you wish to stay private. In case you need to plug in another device, there’s an AUX input, MIDI in & out and a USB port. A great plus is the fact that it’s a full-standing set suitable for professionals.
Choosing the right equipment isn’t about reading reviews on the internet, but about testing and feeling it nicely beneath your hands. After all, it has to suit your needs perfectly and not every model can do that.
The second way is to pick the most expensive from the list as that’s the main factor that determines the quality of the components. However, you can’t depend solely on the price factor. Determine what you need, define your goals and pick the right model for you.
How to choose a drum set suitable for me?
First and foremost, you have to know what you expect from your electric drum set.
If you need a better sound quality – then you might want an acoustic drum kit, but the noise levels will be high. The electric drums allow you to plug in headphones to isolate the sound.
Ask yourself these questions to narrow down the list of options:
- Do you have neighbours?
Being a musician and having neighbours can be quite unpleasant if you want to practice. That’s why electric drums are preferred when it comes to silence as they offer a headphone jack. However, you have to choose appropriate pedals to eliminate the noise as much as possible. Make your research properly, as some kits are created with silence in mind.
- “Roll-up” / “Table” or “full-standing” set up.
If you are travelling or you need storage space, then you should go for “roll-up” or “table” as they are portable. On the other hand, the full-standing set up is for practising more advanced skills.
- Do you have external hardware?
Generally, most set-ups provide a USB port, but you might need an AUX or MIDI port. That’s why you must know your equipment well and keep in mind that important factor.
Last but not at least, the most important factor is your budget. The market is flooded with electric drum sets and the options are literally numerous. Set yourself a limit to narrow down your options and then compare characteristics.
How to set up an electric drum set?
There are two ways to set up an electric drum. First of all, you have to configure it electronically, so that you can choose the particular sounds you want from each drum and cymbal. Some devices offer pre-programmed settings that might be suitable for your practising, so ensure to check them all.
From there on, you have to connect the hardware of the electric drum. For the purpose, you have to attach the drums, cymbals and other stuff to the frame before starting your performance.
If you don’t want to assemble the kit every time you change locations, then you might want to purchase a “table” or “roll out” electric set. They are portable, which would allow a seamless transition. Another benefit is the fact that they are more affordable than the full-standing kits.
Is assembling the same as with acoustic sets?
As we have already talked above, there are numerous electric sets and the set-up can vary. The “table” & “roll-out” sets are completely different to the acoustic sets and they don’t require any setting up.
If you are looking for a similar experience to the acoustic drums, then you might want a full-standing kit. However, if you are looking for the exact same experience, then you won’t have it with an electric set, but you will have the freedom to choose how each drum will sound.
At first, electric drums weren’t popular, but as technology advances, their popularity skyrockets. Back in the days, the quality of the sets was low, while the prices compared to the acoustic one was way too high.
However, as years pass and technology improves, the electric sets have become rivals to the acoustic kits as now they provide greater quality at cheaper prices.
With the electric set, you have a full control over the sounds of the drum. Some kits are fully portable, making them suitable for travelling and you can insert your headphones to eliminate the noise for the neighbours.
All in all, the budget electric kits are perfect for practising your music without irritating your neighbours and roommates. We really hope that we’ve made your choice a bit easier. In case you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.