When you’re looking for the best electronic drums for live performance, there are hundreds of options available to you, but finding the best kit for your needs, whether you need an electronic drum kit for church performances, theatre, stage or just an electronic drum kit for gigging with, the selection process doesn’t need to be difficult.

Electronic drum kits come in different formats and are designed for a myriad of uses, but there are a few kits which are more geared towards live performance in particular.

If you want ultimate control over your sound and fantastic playability for playing live there’s nothing better than an electronic drum kit, so today we’re going to look at the best electronic drum kits for live performance ranging from the most expensive options to the more budget-friendly electronic drum kits.


There are many aspects that make an electronic drum kit ideal for live performances and these aspects are part of the reason we’ve selected these particular kits. Our selection process takes into account the following:

  • Hardware designed to last the many rigours of touring (it’s got to be tough)
  • Mesh pads for a realistic playing experience
  • Great sounding kits
  • Responsive control over your kit
  • Easy to set up and pack down

Of course, each kit has its own merits, but these are the main aspects live musicians would appreciate when looking for an electronic drum kit for live performance uses. So, let’s get down to the best electronic drums for live performances in price descending order.


The Roland TD-50KV V-Drums Pro Electronic Drum Kit is one of the industry-standard electronic drum kits for live performances and often used by professional musicians thanks to the stellar performance capabilities, realistic feel due to the mesh pads and of course – professional-level sound quality.

The new Prismatic Sound Modeling feature which is built-in to the Roland TD-50KV module provides the most lifelike, resonant and expressive sound you could hope to hear. This means you not only get a fantastic acoustic sound but the same response and subtle nuances as you would get from an acoustic kit.

The superior response is also attributed to the high-quality pads, which includes a newly developed 14-inch PD-140DS digital snare with a high-resolution multi-sensor system and three-layer mesh head.

This new snare along with the all-new 18-inch CY-18DR digital ride provide exceptional realism without the negative aspects that can sometimes occur from acoustic kits such as sound bleed and unwanted onstage noise.

Live performance artists, musicians and even studio musicians will enjoy the fact you have an SD card slot that allows you to load your own WAV files and assign them to any trigger pad you wish.

As far as professional electronic drums for live performances go, the Roland TD-50KV V-Drums Pro is the pinnacle of professional sound and playability.

This is one of the best electronic drumkits for church musicians owing to the fact that it offers a world of different sounds you can trigger through the responsive pads and thanks to the fact there’s no acoustic noise, you can tame the drum kit to the specifications of your church PA sound system.

Pictured: Roland TD-50KV V-Drums, Pro-Grade Electronic Drum Kit


Next up we have the Yamaha DTX582k Electronic Drum Kit, which is the top of the range, flagship Yamaha electronic drum kit designed for everything from live performance to studio work and even practising at home thanks to its space-saving design.

We think this is one of the best electronic drum kits for live performance as it is packed with 50 kits pre-loaded as well as space for another 50 user kits that you can create yourself.

There’s also 1500 hyper-real drum sounds packed in, so you’re covered whatever your musical inclination or preferred genre.

Live musicians will appreciate the new DTX pads which offer a realistic playing experience by detecting velocities accurately and providing the same response as an acoustic kit.

The sturdy hardware is easy to set up and will withstand decades of touring – which is ideal if you’re a hard-working live musician. Best of all, this package comes with everything you need to start playing, straight out of the box including hi-hat and kick pedal.

Whether you’re a pro-level musician or just starting out on the live circuit, you’re ready to go as soon as you get this home.

Pictured: Yamaha DTX582k Electronic Drum Kit


The Pearl e-Merge Hybrid Electronic Drum Kit is one of the best electronic drums for church bands and live performers offering the flexibility and complete control over your sound that an electronic drum kit provides, but the familiarity and response that an acoustic kit offers.

One of the key features of the e/Merge is the fact it's powered by Korg's powerful e/Merge MDL1 module. This incredible module has an impressive library of high-definition samples including a plethora of beautiful Pearl drum kits.

You also have a huge amount of percussion sounds at hand too. The cool thing about this electronic drum kit and one of the major reasons we feel it's one of the best electronic drum kits for live use comes down to the use of Pearl's PureTouch pads which makes it feel like you're playing an actual acoustic kit.

There are 6 sensors that respond to every nuance of your playing, whether you're smashing the drums hard or just jazzing it up a bit. You can even choke the cymbals like you would an acoustic kit.

The hardware has been designed for the rigours of the road and the wide variety of connectivity options make it great for live and studio use. Easily one of the best hybrid drum kits available today.

Pictured: Pearl e-Merge Hybrid Electronic Drum Kit


The Roland TD-17KVX Electronic Drum Kit has been produced to replace the coveted TD-11 series, however, rather than just offer a slight upgrade, Roland has really gone to town on this one and equipped this electronic drum kit with professional-level tools and some of the best drum pads you could ever hope to play.

A key feature that we think helps the Roland TD-17KVX Electronic Drum Kit qualify as one of the best electronic drums for live performance is the fact you get a large 12-inch double-mesh snare, which is ideal for those who want to be able to make a smooth transition from an acoustic kit to an electronic kit.

This larger mesh snare also really helps new learners to develop correct playing techniques and stick control as smaller electronic snares can be a little difficult to navigate at first.

Again, you have the Prismatic Sound Modeling technology on-board which is taken from the flagship TD-50 sound module so you’re getting 50 premium quality drumkits which have been meticulously sampled to provide you with the best sound possible.

You can even tune the ambience of each kit to match the venues you’re performing at, making it a sound engineers dream kit! There’s still the ability to create your own kits and import your own sounds too, so it’ll work as part of your touring rig.

To keep your skills sharp, there’s also a warm-up menu which provides a basic daily exercise routine to help you keep you gig-ready – a great feature for drummers who need to stay on top of their game.

Pictured: Roland TD-17KVX Electronic Drum Kit


When you’re looking for the best electronic drums for live performance, you should be looking for kits with mesh heads.

However, with mesh heads, there’s usually a bigger cost involved due to the amount of research and extra materials needed to develop them. Fortunately, with the TourTech TT-22M Mesh Electronic Drum Kit with Monitor, you get professional level mesh pads and the exceptionally realistic response you need at a budget-friendly price point.

At just over £600 the TourTech TT-22M Mesh Electronic Drum Kit with Monitor bundle is still very affordable for players of all levels and even musicians who need a recording kit to jam out some ideas on.

This kit makes our best electronic drums for live performance list thanks to the fact you get a 10” tensionable mesh snare and three 8” mesh toms to play with as well as an 8” mesh kick drum tower that offers superb control over your kick thanks to the included drum pedal.

You also get 3 x 10” cymbals including a ride cymbal, hi-hat and crash w/choke as well as the hi-hat pedal – it’s everything you need to gig or practice with! The Tourtech TT-22M Module comes complete with 468 high-quality percussion voices, 26 pre-set drum kits and 15 user-defined drum kits.

There's also 20 tracks you can play along with as well as a lush reverb effect. Connecting backing tracks you already have to your kit is easy due to AUX connection and you can even transmit MIDI information to your computer via USB making it a formidable recording partner.

Best of all its extremely lightweight and the collapsible chrome 3-way rack system is rock solid – both great features that a gigging musician would need.

If you’re on a budget and need a great electronic kit for live performance, recording or practice – this is an ideal option that’ll give you the playability and response of an acoustic kit without disturbing your neighbours.

The fact you get a drum throne, monitor and more also makes it one of the best electronic drum sets for church as you're ready to go!

Pictured: TourTech TT-22M Mesh Electronic Drum Kit with Monitor bundle

Shop a full range of electronic drums over at PMT online or call into your local PMT store to try out a full range.

Our team can help you get the best option to suit your needs whether you need a small electronic drum kit for home recording, the best electronic drums for church performance or a full live set up that'll last decades of touring - we've got you covered.

Updated: 2020-07-02