5 Best Drum Triggers in 2021

In a hurry to start playing? From the best drum triggers, the Roland RT-30HR Dual Trigger for Hybrid Drumming takes the top spot.

Even if you’re more of an acoustic drummer, drum triggers can add extra dimensions to your music and give you the functions of an electronic drum pad.

That’s not to mention allowing you to record your sounds and customize them!

Right now, these are the top 5 best drum triggers:

Reviews of the Best Acoustic Drum Triggers

Roland RT-30HR Dual Trigger for Hybrid Drumming
System compatibility: Compatible with most modules. TRS cableDrum type: UniversalTrigger type: Head and rimSingle or dual: Dual

The Roland RT-30HR is a high-quality, dual trigger that picks up vibrations from both the head and the rim. This is great since it allows for more variety and preciseness when recording or amplifying the drum sounds.

Note that it’s compatible with most drum modules according to customers and comes with a ¼-inch TRS (tip, ring and sleeve) cable.

With the self-guided mount, the trigger adjusts to fit the sensor to your drumhead by itself, making installation a breeze.

It’s a universal trigger that works on all drum types, making it super versatile. But, at the same time, it doesn’t pick up sounds as good as the ones made for specific drum types.

Even so, users praise its sensitivity and how well you can use it with both basic and advanced modules, making it a good choice for both beginners and more experienced drummers.

While it’s advertised as working on most drum heads, buyers find that it doesn’t work great on inward-curved hoops. It does work great with mesh heads, though; some buyers even state that this trigger works better with these equipped, making it one of the best drum triggers for mesh heads.

You can also customize your sound with this trigger and go from ‘80s-sounding pop to an 808 snare in a heartbeat. It adds an extra punch and kick to the snare and the bass.

The trigger’s quality and durability is another thing customers like. But, even though the trigger is long-lasting, you have to keep tightening the screws for it to sit properly on your drums.

PROS

  • Compatible with all drum types.
  • Great for mesh heads.
  • Superb sensitivity.
  • Self-guided mount.
  • Long-lasting.
  • Customizing sound is easy.

CONS

  • Not the best for inward-curved hoops.
  • Screws loosen regularly.
Roland RT-30K Bass Drum Trigger for Hybrid Drumming
System compatibility: Works better with newer modules. TRS cableDrum type: KickTrigger type: Head contact triggerSingle or dual: Single

The Roland RT-20K is ideal for kick drums and comes with an 11-inch-long ¼-inch TRS cable, which is a decent length and has the versatility for mono, stereo and speaker connections.

Its body is durable fiberglass, and it’s advertised as having a protective grip that won’t harm bass drum hoops. Buyers agree that it’s long-lasting, indicating you won’t ever need to replace it.

The self-guided mount adjusts automatically to fit your drum, making installation super convenient. Users state that it takes them seconds to screw it on the kick drum and plug it in.

Another feature customers like is that it doesn’t miss-trigger and is very sensitive to vibrations at the same time. In short, it has an almost-perfect triggering response.

Roland also states that it works well with most trigger modules, and buyers seem to agree. However, some state that they work better with newer, more modern modules than older ones.

Additionally, some users who have double kick drum pedals mention this kick drum trigger doesn’t register all their kicks, especially when double-kick drumming.

PROS

  • Superb triggering response.
  • Ideal for kick drums.
  • Very durable.
  • Mount automatically adjusts to your drum.
  • Works with most modules and kick drums.

CONS

  • Not as sensitive to double-kick drumming.
  • Not great with older modules.
Ddrum Acoustic Pro 5-Piece Drum Trigger Kit
System compatibility: XLR outputDrum type: 3x toms, 1x snare, and 1x bass drum triggerTrigger type: Head contact triggersSingle or dual: Dual snare trigger, and single tom and bass triggers

This ddrum kit comes with enough triggers for your whole 5-piece drum set:

The snare trigger is also a dual trigger, meaning it picks up vibrations from both the drum head and rim and plays two different sounds from the same drum, making the sound more realistic.

Installation is easy since the triggers don’t require adhesives. Simply clamp onto the drum hoop sides, which customers say is a breeze. Also, you can adjust the tension for increased sensitivity, depending on where you place them.

Users state that these triggers have great sensitivity and no muffling, especially considering the affordable price. This makes them suitable for metal and punk-pop drummers that want to save money and customize their drum sound without mics.

Be aware that customers warn not to screw them too tight since that might bust the drum treads. Others state that there are quality inconsistencies and that some triggers don’t work very well while others do.

PROS

  • A lot of bang for your buck.
  • Dual trigger for snare drum.
  • Good sensitivity.
  • No muffling.
  • Easy to mount.

CONS

  • Inconsistencies in product quality.
  • Can bust the drum treads if screwed too tight.
Pintech Percussion RS-5 Acoustic Head Trigger
System compatibility: TRS. Cables not includedDrum type: UniversalTrigger type: Head contact triggerSingle or dual: Single

Advertised as the number one selling trigger globally, this is a popular inexpensive alternative for an acoustic head trigger. It’s a universal trigger that works on all types of drums, including snare, bass and toms.

Customers really like how compact it is and that it doesn’t take up much space on your drum kit.

Installation is simple via a sticky disc, but it’s not the stickiest one out there. It might need some electrical tape reinforcement. Otherwise, there’s no risk of damage since they’re only clipped on.

Users are especially impressed with how well this drum trigger works on cymbals. They describe it as a cheap way of adding hi-hats to your kit. Even so, you can use them on a snare, tom and kick drum, too.

The sensitivity is OK, but probably not enough for performances. Buyers state that it double-triggers sometimes, and it misses some hits if you play fast, putting its reliability in doubt.

Note that the Pintech trigger doesn’t come with the necessary cables to connect to drum modules.

PROS

  • Affordable.
  • Universal trigger.
  • Doesn’t take up much space.
  • No risk of damaged drums.
  • Very compatible with cymbals.

CONS

  • Adhesive tape isn’t the stickiest.
  • Unreliable sensitivity.

Aquarian Kickzone Bass Drum Trigger

Best Bass Drum Trigger

Aquarian Kickzone Bass Drum Trigger
System compatibility: Compatible with TS. Cable not includedDrum type: BassTrigger type: Head contact triggerSingle or dual: Single

Aquarian advertises its Kickzone bass drum trigger as being suitable with any bass drum head, which customers back up. They particularly say how good it is for both live stage performances and recording studios, without needing to muffle the bass drum.

For installation, it has an adhesive backing and keeps connected cables safe from drumstick impact through a cord control bracket. Users feel like it sits securely on the bass drum after you mount it.

In addition, buyers report how it’s more on the affordable side and gives realistic-sounding final mixes.

Just note that while it triggers quite accurately, it can be a little sensitive and double trigger. Also, the cable is short, limiting where you can place your trigger, module and bass drum.

PROS

  • Sits stable on the bass drum.
  • Affordable.
  • Realistic electronic sounds.
  • Cord control bracket.
  • Works well in live settings.

CONS

  • Can sometimes double trigger.
  • Short cable.

How To Pick the Best Acoustic Drum Triggers

5 Best Drum Triggers in 2021 INFOGRAPHIC

System Compatibility

While you may have your eye on one of the drum triggers, work through this guide to ensure you’re focusing on the right features.

The first thing you need to look at is if the drum trigger is compatible with your drum or MIDI interface. Most brands work with most modules, but double-check to be completely sure.

Also, make sure you check what kind of cable the trigger uses:

In general, TRS cables are cheap and versatile, while XLR connections provide more precise sound.

Drum Type

The best drum triggers include specific triggers for each drum type to maximize your drumming range. For example, the Aquarian Kickzone works well for bass drums, while the ddrum Acoustic has specific tom, snare, and bass drum triggers.

There are universal triggers as well that can go on almost any type of drum. The Roland RT-30HR is a good example of this.

But, remember that a trigger specifically made for a bass drum will pick up the sound better than a universal trigger on that specific drum.

Drum Trigger Type

A drum trigger picks up vibrations from the drum’s head, shell or rim and converts them to electric signals.

When you’re striking a drum, all of these components vibrate. This means that the drum head and rim make different sounds.

Head Contact Drum Triggers

These are the most popular drum trigger types. They pick up vibrations from the drum head or shell, perform really well but are more fragile due to their position on the drum—they tend to get hit easily.

Rim Mount Drum Triggers

Rim mount triggers pick up vibrations from the drum’s rim and are mounted with housing. For this, they tend to be pricier but less prone to getting hit and are less sensitive.

Single or Dual

While most triggers register vibrations from one single point, dual triggers pick up vibrations from different sources simultaneously.

You mount these to a single point on the drum, and when you strike several different points, e.g., the rim and head, the drum trigger picks up two different sounds.

Since they provide more versatility, the best drum triggers are dual. The best dual trigger, according to us, is Roland RT-30HR.

If you did want a single trigger, look at the Roland RT-30K.

black acoustic drum kit in front of a blue wall
(Source)

Wrapping Up: Which Is the Best Drum Trigger?

You should aim to look for several drum triggers to make your sounds as versatile as possible. But, the most important drums to equip with triggers are the snare and bass.

The best drum trigger that does this is Roland RT-30HR Dual Trigger for Hybrid Drumming. It’s a dual trigger that picks up sound from both the rim and the head; it’s very durable and has great sensitivity.
If you’re looking for an affordable kit with multiple triggers, check out the ddrum Acoustic Pro 5-Piece Drum Trigger Kit.



Michael Southard

Michael is a multi-instrumentalist with extensive knowledge of audio production. He loves trying new gear to discover gems to create unique sound.