It’s very tempting to buy electronic drum sets because they seem advantageous for some reason. So, we made a list of the best electronic drum sets under $500 for those who have a limited budget.
This article will help you realize that there are cheaper products out there that are way better than expensive ones.
We include 10 electronic drum sets from popular brands like Roland, Alesis, Yamaha, and so on. One of the most apparent reasons why electronic drum sets are the choice for many is its space-efficiency and portability. You can easily fold and store the drum if not in use and unfold if you’ll use it.
If you want to do the quest yourself, we include a buying guide to help you on your journey. It includes the basic considerations you must have to get the best electronic drum set for your needs. Just keep on reading for a chance to find your next electronic drum set right here.
The Best Electronic Drum Sets Under $500 (2021 Reviews)
People are still sticking to the old wooden drum sets because a lot of electronic drum sets lack responsiveness. However, the Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit is a one-of-a-kind, delivering the most realistic and responsive playing experience. This is an 8-piece mesh kit including 8-inch dual snare pad, three 8-inch toms, and three 10-inch cymbals.
At its affordable price, you can enjoy around 40 classic and modern lessons from Melodics, 60 play-along tracks and over 350 curated sounds onboard. This is the drum set that has the convenience of electronic drum sets combined with the response and playability of the traditional drum sets. It’s versatile and can take on whatever genre you want to play.
- All mesh drum heads are very responsive
- Setup is easy and straightforward
- Quieter than acoustic drum set, perfect for late-night sessions
- Features are limited, especially with the cymbals sounds
- Bass drum doesn’t have the best quality
- Snare drum is quite small for some
The most expensive on this list, Roland TD-1K Electronic Drum Kit promises realistic drumming experience through its double-mesh drum heads for snare and toms. It’s very compact and easy to move around with everything you need to start playing. The simple yet powerful drum set offers 15 preset drum kits, 10 onboard coaching functions, a built-in metronome, and record function.
If you think drumming is in your blood, you’ll surely enjoy playing the most popular electronic drum set in the world. As mentioned, the toms and snare drum pads use two layers of mesh material for a realistic ‘rebound,’ like the acoustic drum set. You can use headphones for silent practicing, so you won’t disturb your family or neighbors.
- Sounds amazing even when you play with headphones
- Mesh heads feel like real drums, the drumsticks bounce off of them
- Simple and very nice sound module, easy to figure out
- Doesn’t have speakers, so you need to invest on an amp
- Not a portable drum set
All electronic drum sets promise responsiveness like the acoustic drums, but only the Alesis Surge Mesh Kit gives you a natural feel and authentic response. It’s an 8-piece electronic drum set with 10-inch dual-zone mesh snare, three 8-inch dual-zone mesh toms, and 8-inch mesh kick tower with a pedal. All these mesh heads give you natural response and dynamics.
There are three cymbals in this drum set, giving you more versatility — ride, crash (with choke function), and hi-hat. The configuration is very compact and has a collapsible design. No wonder it is one of the best electronic drum sets under $500 and the choice for many professionals.
- Chrome stand is reliable, very easy to adjust
- Mesh heads are top-notch, you can feel the ‘rebound’
- The sound is a bit louder than expected
- Control box is kind of complicated to operate
- Not enough option to customize the sensitivity
- Bass drum doesn’t have the best quality
If you need a roadworthy electronic drum set that still gives you CD-quality sound, look no other than the Calsbro CSD130. With years of experience and innovative technology, Calsbro brings forth a drum set that modern drummers will surely love. It’s a complete 8-piece drum set that’s easy to set up and stage-ready in minutes.
You’ll find 7.5-inch dual snare pad, three 7.5-inch toms, two bass drum pads, and 10-inch crash, ride and hi-hat cymbals. It has a complete 3-footed stand and all hardware, so all you gotta do is unfold the stand, rotate the pads into your preferred position and you’re good to go. It’s offered with 250 high-quality percussion voices, 20 preset drum kits with a few inputs/outputs, USB interface, and MIDI I/O for added flexibility.
- The look and the feel seem to be an expensive drum set
- Pads are smooth with silky feel which play way better
- Sensitivity feature makes it sound more realistic
- Snare drum is a bit quiet compared to other drum sets
- Rack isn’t that solid
- For beginners only, not for professionals
A packed electronic drum set for complete beginners, the Yamaha DTX420K is the one for you. It’s designed to give fun and more interactive for beginner drummers to enjoy learning. The pads used are engineered to have genuine playability, making practice sessions more inspiring.
It’s equipped with stereo drum samples which are directly recorded from acoustic drum sets, built-in interactive training modules and more. Hence, you’ll find 415 drum sounds, 10 drum kits, 10 songs, and 10 training functions. It’s USB-enabled, so you can easily connect to a computer, phone or tablet.
- Good sound and it’s solidly built
- Practically easy to set up out-of-the-box
- Easy to fold or store, plus it’s lightweight to transport
- Cymbals are not that resonant as the real ones
- Drum heads are a bit smaller
Pyle Pro Electronic Drum Kit
If you don’t want to bring all the hardware and accessories for your gig, what about a tabletop drum set? Yes, Plye Pro Electronic Drum Kit gives you a complete drum set with the option to play loud with a built-in speaker or quietly using headphones. The most intriguing part, it only cost you less than $200.
You’ll find seven drum pads, hi-hat, and bass drum digital pedal controller to help you achieve a full drum set sound. It has 55 presets, 10 custom preloaded kits with 300+ cymbal and drum sounds, plus a trainer learning module for beginners. You can play anywhere since it can be powered by six ‘C’ battery — very mobile and portable.
- Sounds are clear and crisp — more realistic
- Not just for practice, but for jamming, recording and even on stage
- You can easily experience and use different virtual drum kits
- Pads are smaller, so you have to pay attention to what you’re hitting
- Bass drum volume is way too loud compared to others
- Can get accidental double kicks with the pedal
It’s the third Alesis electronic drum set in the article and still, it has some features that are not in the first two. Instead of mesh drum pads, this one has rubber pads and cymbal pads that offer great sound with a realistic feel. It’s a 7-piece drum set with a kick, three 8-inch toms, 9-inch snare, and three 10-inch cymbals, which you can play silently using headphones.
You can find an exclusive electronic drum module with 10 drum sets of over 100 drum and percussion instruments. With these, you can practice easily and become a pro in no time. It includes everything you need to start playing, plus USB-MIDI output, headphone jack, built-in metronome, and more.
- Not so difficult to set up; adjustable to the player’s height
- It’s a wonderful drum set with gorgeous sound
- For under $500, this electronic drum set is the best
- The bass drum and high-hat pedals need hard beatings or you won’t get anything
- Metronome has a separate volume
For those who are looking for a tabletop drum set, we give you Yamaha DD-65. It has eight touch-sensitive drum pads, which help you achieve expressive drumming. It’s a drummer-friendly electronic drum machine that allows you to get a professional and versatile drumming instrument.
You can take advantage of the two drum pedals and AUX In, so you can play any song from your MP3 player. Or, you can easily search any song from the internet and load it to the internal memory of the drum set. Get real-time feedback while you play through the bass-boosted speaker system.
- Control panel is very intuitive and easy to operate
- Portable, can be powered by six C-size batteries
- Sound quality of the drum set is quite good
- It’s more difficult to play than real drums since they are small
- Pads seem to be insensitive sometimes
- Hi-hat isn’t super responsive
Rockjam Mesh Head Kit
A professional electronic drum set that doesn’t only focus on real-feel, but with sturdy construction as well, Rockjam Mesh Head Kit is worth checking out. Though it belongs to the entry-level kit, we would say this is a premium electronic drum set and the best under $500. It features velocity-sensitive mesh heads that give you that organic feel and natural skin experience.
This is an 8-piece drum set with three 9-inch toms, 9-inch snare, 10-inch rubberized hi-hat, and cymbals. It includes USB out, AUX in, headphone jack and MIDI out for more flexibility in terms of connectivity. This machine provides 30 authentic drum kits and multiple demo songs you can easily play along.
- Beginner model with fun and flexible features
- Sound quality is remarkable, the kick drum is loud
- Changing between drum types is a breeze
- Drumsticks won’t bounce much as they do with real drums
- You need to connect speakers if you want to be heard
- Inconsistent quality of the drum pads and rubberized cymbals
If you need an electronic drum set that has a huge collection of authentic drum sound samples, get the Donner DED-200. It utilizes the French Dream’s sampling technology that uses digital technology to record from real instruments, making its samples more realistic. It has over 225 sounds with 30 demo songs, you can also connect your phone or MP3 player to play your favorite songs.
DED-200 is an 8-piece configuration with 8-inch all mesh drum heads that feel almost like real drums. These mesh drum heads have an average life of around 200,000 times, so it can still grow old with you. Lastly, the silicone cymbals have a well-distributed tone and are responsive no matter where you hit them.
- Has collapsible metal stand, so you can easily store it
- Lots of sound and options
- The feel of the mesh heads is great and has excellent quality
- Kick pad is relatively small
How to Choose the Best Electronic Drum Sets Under $500
Gone are the days that you should have an acoustic drum set to practice. Beginners can choose to practice with electronic drum sets because of several advantages. You can play quietly using headphones and you can take advantage of some preset kits with play-along tracks.
Yet, it’s quite tricky to choose only one from the sea of electronic drum sets in the market. That’s why you need a simple buying guide with the following considerations:
Pad and Feel
The overall response and the ‘rebound’ are what you need to have from the electronic drum sets. You need to check whether the response is realistic or you can’t be expressive with such a drum set.
Some drum sets are touch-sensitive. Will you consider hand-percussion or you want to play with real drumsticks? The player will be the one to personally check the pads and how they feel.
Rubber Pads vs Mesh Pads
You might have observed, there are two types of drum heads commonly used in an electronic drum set — rubber pads and mesh pads. The former is economical, compact with a consistent response. The latter, on the other hand, is more realistic, sensitive, and tunable.
With mesh heads, you can adjust the tension, while with rubber pads, you can only match your technique to their response. Again, you should check the responsiveness of the drums by playing them.
With electronic drum sets, you have the freedom to dial in the drum kit sounds you want to play. This means you can play just anything —from jazz, the 1970s best hits to pop, and so on. Since you can connect your machine to your phone and MP3 player, the possibility is endless.
Whether you’re on the road, at home or in a gig, you can bring an electronic drum set anywhere. Nothing beats the compactness and portability of electronic drum sets.
Most of them are lightweight, with a collapsible stand so you won’t need to assemble/reassemble the set. Another advantage is, whether you bring it anywhere, it’ll be in tune and in proper setup. When you’re on your gig, all you gotta do is unfold the stand (with all the drum pads and cymbals), position the pads to its place and you’re good to go.
This YouTube videowill help you think out of the box when you’re shopping for an electronic drum set. You’ll learn five more considerations and the reality behind these drum sets. It seems an eye-opener that everyone should check before picking just any electronic drum set in the market.
Our Top Pick
Two of our best electronic drum sets under $500 are here — Carlsbro CSD130 and Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit. However, our ultimate choice is the latter. It’s a complete set with very responsive mesh drum pads that give you realistic playing experience.
It’s affordable and has the best value for your money. What more? You got a lot of samples onboard and lessons from Melodics.
Since the setup is straightforward and easy, beginners will not have any problem with this. It’s a quiet drum set, definitely the one that can help you practice more and progress easily.