So you’re a lover of percussion music. You might already have an acoustic set, and you’re looking to go electronic. Maybe you’re just starting with an computerized drum pad before switching later on to a full-blown drum kit, and you’re very eager to learn how to play. Here we review the best electronic drum pads so you can find which one is best for you.
If you’re running short on time, our top pick for the best electronic drum pads is the Pyle Pro Electronic Drum Kit electronic drum pad. They’re also the best drum practice pads for those who are looking to rediscover their passion for percussion.
Our recommendations for the best electronic drum pads are:
- Pyle Pro Electronic Drum Kit
- Paxcess Electric Drum Set
- Ivation Portable Electronic Drum Pad
- Alesis CompactKit 7
- Yamaha DD-75 Electronic Drum Pad
- RockJam Portable MIDI Electronic Roll Up Drum Kit
Which Electronic Drum Pads Are the Best?
Designed by Pyle Audio, the Pyle Pro electronic drum kit is pretty comprehensive as well as versatile.
With this set of seven touch-sensitive pads along with pedal controllers, you will find yourself making all the sounds you want to play, from tom-toms, hi-hats, and snares, to crash and ride cymbals.
Moving around and playing in all kinds of places will not be a problem with this compact-sized set. It can easily go wireless for an outdoors, beach, or street jam.
This drum set also features a good amount of preset sounds as well as drum kits, where you’ll have a lot of different drum and cymbal sounds to use in making your music.
If you’re a beginner, you can use the set’s trainer mode, which will help you practice and hone your skills. For purposes of keeping your tempo, the kit also comes with an in-built metronome.
You can plug your set into your computer, whether it’s a Mac or PC, and use the USB cable as a MIDI connection for the software you’d like to use in tandem with the set. If you want to immerse yourself in your percussion, you can easily plug-in a headset.
Best for Children
A product by Paxcess, a brand that is not well known in the music industry, the Paxcess drum set is an amazing choice for your child as a birthday gift due to their durability, waterproofness, and portability.
The seven pads in the kit correspond to the different toms, snares, and cymbals. It also has two foot pedals that provide the kicks and hi-hats you seek. The pads are touch-sensitive, and their loudness corresponds with how hard you hit them with the drumstick. You can also play on them using your hands.
The set also comes with a built-in metronome that you can use to start learning or honing your skills with timing and rhythm.
Location is not a problem at all having this set. You can easily carry it around and set it up. You can play silently to avoid annoying your neighbors by plugging in your headset. You can even connect it to your computer and the music software that you use through a USB cable.
The drum set also possesses a built-in dual speaker system that is not only compact but also delivers a powerful bass effect. As such, there’s no need for you to use any additional speakers to get that good volume.
Best for Portability
A design by Ivation, this drum set was devised to shrink down what is otherwise a bulky traditional kit into something much more travel friendly and easily portable.
It provides seven pads that cover all the main pieces of an acoustic set. The hi-hat foot pedal makes a noticeable metallic sound, and the kick pedal gives you that deep bass sound that booms in the ear. The pads also have nice graphics and visible labels on them, which help you to know which pad corresponds to which type. Text is also present under each label, so there’s no way for you to be confused.
You don’t have to worry about foot space using this set since the pedal’s cables have a total length of nearly 170 cm. You will find yourself comfortably seated with the pedals easily well positioned.
There is a modest set of drum tones to choose from to cover all the main genres. Recorded songs are also present as demos, which you can always use while learning. It also comes with three different rhythm options.
Volume adjustment is easy using the controls on the built-in speaker, which is designed to provide stereo audio as well. However, if you want to be quiet, there’s always the option of plugging in your earphones while you bang away.
The set also comes with a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which can keep things working for as long as 24-hours before a recharge is required. Along with its foldability, compact size, and being light in weight, this makes it one of the most portable.
It can be connected to the computer via a micro USB jack, which also charges it up.
Best for Beginners
Made by Alesis, the CompactKit 7 will give you that amazingly real feeling of banging away on the drums, whether you are a professional or not.
It comes with seven pads that are sensitive to pressure and respond the same way real drums do. Two pedals provide the hi-hat and kick drum. If you prefer using your hands to play, you can do so as well.
It comes with a wide array of different drum sounds as well as presets for drum kits, which you can customize in any way to your liking and make your own preset. The LED display on the drum kit will give you feedback instantly as you play.
If you’re someone who is learning, the metronome that comes with this set will help you hone your skills and perfect the timing of your hits. You can always watch the progress of your work by recording what you play within the set or simply just save your favorites.
If you have a digital audio workstation, you can easily connect this set to using a USB cable, which is plugged into the set’s MIDI output.
In addition, there are as many as 100 songs with which you can practice or play along with. The set is portable and can be easily set up anywhere, so going to lessons or those jam sessions at your friends’ houses will be a piece of cake.
Best for Pros
Made by Yamaha, the DD-75 is designed with the drummer’s point of view in mind, combining all the different features a drum set can have into one compact-sized kit.
You will find no trouble expressing yourself as a beginner or a pro drummer with the drum’s eight touch-sensitive pads. They’re laid out in a similar arrangement to that which you’d find in a full acoustic drum set.
The set is also portable. You can easily carry it with you and then set it up almost anywhere. Do you want to try busking on the streets? No problem.
If you don’t want to disturb other ears with your experimentation or learning, you can do it all in silence with the headset plugged into the drum kit. Only you’ll be listening to what you play. This works very well too if you want to play along to one of your favorite songs.
The set comes with a wide variety of sounds that you can use to make all kinds of rhythms suited to various genres of music: rock, funk, Latin pop, etc. On top of all of this, you don’t need to use drumsticks to make percussion. Hand percussion is also another feature of this neat gadget.
There’s also an option for you to get a snare stand with the set, which makes for an even more realistic drumming experience.
Best for Touring
Coming to you from RockJam, the RJ760MD comes with everything that you would need to get started.
It comes with nine drum pads that provide all the cymbal, tom, and snare sounds. Additionally, there are two foot pedals you can use to make all the hi-hats and kicks you want.
The kit comes with a sound module that has various functions. The first one is providing nine different drum kit presets to add to your arsenal of sounds. Another is the presence of 12 recorded songs that you can use for practice or play.
You will also be able to control the volume in the built-in speaker, adjusting to a suitable noise level and playing as quietly as possible, or as loudly if nobody complains. Plugging in your headset is also an option for full immersion. Additionally, you have a selection of 9 different rhythms to choose from, and 16 different tempos which have their own separate control.
The drum set is manufactured from a tough but flexible material, which you can easily roll up around the speaker and move around with you in an instant.
There’s also a power-saving mode that triggers when the kit is turned on but left idle for one minute. Buttons will not work in that mode, but a quick strike on any of the pads is sufficient to ‘wake’ the setup.
The drums also have a MIDI USB output, which you can use to plug in your kit to the computer, Mac or PC, and start digitizing, editing, and archiving the music you play right away. The set is also able to record on its own, up to 300+ beats and play them back.
What Makes the Best Electronic Drum Pads?
Before you start venturing out there looking to get electronic with your drumming, there are several things that you should know and consider. Here we list and explain a few things which we believe are essential in what makes for the best drum pads.
Pads and Pedals
Even though you’re getting electronic drum pads, you still want to be able to simulate the feel of what it’s like playing on an acoustic drum set. Typically, a drum set consists of crash and ride cymbals, two hanging toms and a floor tom, a snare drum, hi-hats, and a bass drum. Collectively the drums, apart from the cymbals, are described as mesh heads.
Accordingly, what you should be looking for is a set that has enough pads, at least 7, to substitute for each of the pieces as well as two foot pedals that make the hi-hat and bass drum sounds.
Although not always, pads can be pressure sensitive and will react in a similar way to the mesh heads that you find in a traditional set, by being louder when hitting harder. They should have the right balance of firmness and softness to give that bouncy feel you get with a mesh head.
By virtue of the age of electronics, a single drum set can encompass a wide variety of different drum sounds. You don’t need to go out there and get a different type of drum, like a bongo or tabla. Their sounds and the sounds of other drums would already be recorded there. The same applies to an entire drum kit.
Now, as a drummer, and depending on how creative you are and how many options you want to have with your sound, you can choose which kit fits you the best. The higher the number of sounds a set has, the more versatile it will be, and you will have more room to be creative and to experiment.
For professionals, having a higher versatility allows them to adapt to whatever type of music needs to be played. In whatever gig they land, be it a soothing jazz night in a cafe, or a more energetic rock or pop concert, you will find yourself quickly adjusted and ready to go.
With the best electronic drum pads, you will have the power to record your music much easier than having to drag your traditional set all the way to a studio to record a jam session.
With MIDI outputs available on the best drum pads, you can easily find yourself recording all your works on your computer. Whether you’re training and you want to keep track of how well you’re improving, or you’re someone who has a lot of music to express and wants to record it all, you just plug it into your computer and archive all of it.
Some of these sets even have their own internal memory and can record a number of your own head-banging creations. You can put all your favorites in there to play them back easily without the need to use a computer at all.
Freedom to Practice
It’s always amazing to be able to hear the sound of your drumming. However, everybody who practices music knows how sometimes people make complaints about noise and volume.
It’s always best to have an electronic set where you can jack in your headset and envelop yourself in your own music while keeping quiet. Nobody else needs to get bothered.
Additionally, a set with a metronome is a great aid to those who want to practice and improve their rhythm. We all appreciate having some training wheels when we’re just beginners. Having recorded songs you can use to play or practice to significantly helps as well. The more of them, the better.
One of the great advantages the best drum pads have over the others, they’re perfect for those of us who move around a lot.
Some of the sets are made using a flexible material which can be rolled up. These are even lighter in weight compared to the non-flexible ones and are much easier to carry around. However, that can come at the expense of a few features possessed by sets that do not roll up, like having pressure-sensitive pads.
We’ve taken a look at some of our options for the best electronic drum pads; it’s now time to announce the champion.
The winner is the Pyle Pro drum kit, with its insanely diverse collection of recorded drum sounds, presets, along with songs as well as having great recordability with MIDI output and internal memory.
Our first runner-up is the Paxcess drum kit, with its durability and extreme portability, as well as a built-in metronome that allows for timing practice. Lastly, the Ivation kit comes as our last runner-up being an illustrative foldable set, which also provides an excellent drumming experience as well as training.