Cheap doesn't mean poor quality! We take a look at our top 5 best cheap electric drum kits that don’t suck!
Often, we see the word “cheap” as another meaning for poor quality, but these days when it comes to musical instruments, it’s totally not the case especially with the huge amount of budget friendly options out there for musicians of all levels. When it comes to electric drums especially, there’s a massive range of cheap electric drum kits out there that are superb quality, made to last a lifetime and sound absolutely amazing without breaking the bank.
With that in mind, we’re going to look at our top 5 cheap electric drum kits that don’t suck, so you can get the best sound for your home studio or live set up or grab a fantastic Christmas/birthday present for your young rock stars and budding musicians. These are fantastic options when looking for a kids drum set (although they’re ideal for people of all ages), or just a cost effective solution to lay some drum tracks down without ruining your relationship with your neighbours!
So, when it comes to “cheap” – think “budget friendly” instead! These are our top 5 cheap electric drum kits that don’t suck in price ascending order.
1. Alesis DM Lite Electronic Drum Kit
When talking about cheap electric drum kits, or cheap electronic drum kits that don’t suck, the Alesis DM Lite Electronic Drum Kit is a contender for the most budget friendly and easiest to use. This economical and super high quality electric drum kit is a perfect solution for those in need of a practice drum kit, something to record with without the noise an Acoustic drum kit makes or as an ideal kids drum set for the budding rock stars out there. Again, this may be “cheap” in terms of cost, but it’s by no means a toy or of poor quality. The DM Lite features a snare, 3 toms, 2 cymbals and hi-hat, pre-assembled rack for easy set up as well as kick pedal and hi-hat pedal. In addition, you also get the DM Lite drum module with built-in drum coach with play-along patterns and 30 songs as well as 200 sounds with 10 kit presets.
The LED Illuminated drum and cymbal pads are perfectly synchronised with the unique learning features within the kit, making it a great electric drum kit for beginners and those who want something that looks cool on stage! If that wasn’t enough, you get all the cables you need, power supply drum sticks and mounting hardware – this is definitely cheap electric drum kit that certainly does not suck!
2. Yamaha DTX400K Electronic Drum Kit
The Yamaha DTX400K Electronic Drum Kit is one of our favourite cheap electric drum kits capable of providing a professional level sound at budget friendly pricing. This highly responsive and extremely expressive electric drum kit delivers a fantastic playing experience thanks to 'Accent Articulation' within the high-quality trigger pads. This means the 169 sounds (23 Snares, 21 Kicks, 36 Toms, 31 Cymbals, 16 Hi-Hats, 42 Percussions) within the DTX400K module respond the same way a real kit would depending on how hard or soft you hit the pads.
In addition to all those fantastic sounds on offer, you also have 10 drum kits built in to play with – all of which can be sculpted to your own needs. If you want to mix a tight reggae snare with a bass drum from a Zeppelin style recording, go for it! With an extended 5 years warranty, there’s also peace of mind should anything go wrong on stage or whilst you’re in the studio. A cheap electric drum kit that is capable of pro level functionality. Ideal for beginners as a first drum kit, intermediates and professionals alike.
3. Alesis Nitro Mesh Electronic Drum Kit
The Alesis Nitro Mesh Electronic Drum Kit replaces the original Alesis Nitro kit and is now widely regarded as one of the best cheap electric drum kits around thanks to its budget friendly price tag and superior playability – for just over £300 you get a professional level mesh kit! This electric drum kit makes a great kids drum set especially for beginners and those parents out there who don’t want to have to listen to an acoustic kit all day long, too! Just hook up some headphones and enjoy high quality drum sounds. Don’t be fooled by its budget friendly price tag, this thing is packed full of sounds usually associated with electric drum kits in a much higher price bracket. You have 40 classic and modern drum kit presets to play with as well as a built-in sequencer, metronome and performance recorder – all of which make this a fantastic kit for live musicians and those who need a reliable product for studio use.
The 60 internal songs built in are perfect for beginners to get to grips with timing and how drums interact with a song as a whole but also give pro drummers a chance to hone their skills with a virtual backing band. The smaller footprint and collapsible frame allows you to store the drum kit away when not in use or leave it out in a corner of a room for easy access. With 385 drum and cymbal sounds packed in, connection cables, drum sticks, drum key, and power supply included – this is certainly one of the best cheap electric drum kits that doesn’t suck.
4. Roland TD-1K Electronic Drum Kit
Future-proofing a drum kit is no easy task, what with the number of updates and new pads being released on a yearly basis. However, the Roland TD-1K Electronic Drum Kit has been designed to roll with the times and allow you to update the sounds on a regular basis via the Roland V-Drum community and even add new and update the existing pads should the time call for it – or when you’re ready for world drum domination (we believe in you!).
Straight out of the box, you have 15 highly expressive drum kits at your disposal covering a wide range of genres with superior clarity and response usually associated with the higher tier electric drum kits out there. A beater-less kick pedal ensures you can enjoy silent practice – ideal for beginners and those in apartments. The AUX in jack can also allow you to hook up your MP3 player and jam along to your favourite tracks and the DT-1 Drum Tutor app provides a fun and easy to use platform for learning notation or honing those rusty drum techniques when you need to brush up on your skills.
A great cheap electric drum kit that certainly stands up to electronic drum kits twice the price. For those who are in need of a more “realistic” feeling snare, you can upgrade and get the Roland TD-1KV V-Drums Electronic Drum Kit which includes a mesh-head PDX-8 V-Pad which provides a more realistic snare drum feel with head/rim triggering – ideal for the recording artists out there.
5. TOURTECH TT-22M Electric Drum Kit with Mesh Head
Finally, we have one of our favourite cheap electronic drum kits on the market today – the TOURTECH TT-22M Electric Drum Kit with Mesh Head. This is an 8-piece monster kit that is completely budget friendly, of superb build quality and packed full of drum kits, sounds and functionality that will have you playing for years without ever getting bored. Again, the word “cheap” does in no way mean poor quality – this electric drum kit is capable of providing high quality professional drum sounds and realistic response straight out of the box.
The dynamic and entirely comfortable mesh heads like the 10" tensionable mesh-head snare drum with Cross-stick and Rim-Shot function and three 8” tom pads will last a lifetime of (ab)use and the 3 x cymbals provide an almost unlimited range of expression thanks to the “choke” function. A sand-blasted frame stand rack allows you to hit hard without worrying about the kit moving and can be packed away and set up quickly due to the ‘Fold-Out and Play' design.
The kick drum pad with attached pedal and hi-hat pedal are also included allowing you a complete playing experience. However, it’s all about the sounds! The TOURTECH TT-22M Electric Drum Kit contains a whopping 41 kits (26 factory + 15 user) and over 350 percussion voices for you to play with and real-time recording ensures you can record your performances for listening back later.
The TOURTECH TT-22M Electric Drum Kit with mesh heads proves that a cheap electric drum kit can still be a professional level one! *Available August 2018*