Best Budget Electronic Drum Kit: 5 Choices under $500

Best Electronic Drum Kits for BeginnersElectronic drum kits are great for beginners as they don’t take up a lot of space and don’t make anywhere near as much noise as a full kit.

They’re usually a go-to choice for people learning as they are great to practise on, in-between lessons when you can’t play a full kit.

They also make a great practice kit for pros where size and portability are usually key factors.

I’m going to run through the best electronic drum kits for beginners that you can pick-up for 500 bucks or less!

But before we get to that, for those of you that don’t have much time, here’s a quick comparison table for you.

Budget Electronic Drums Compared

DrumkitRatingPadsDrum ModuleKick styleLatest Price
Alesis DM6(3.7/5)Rubber Snare (Dual Zone)
Rubber Toms (Single Zone)
108 soundsKick pad
View Latest Price
Alesis DM6 Nitro
Editor's Pick
(4.2/5)Rubber Snare (Dual Zone)
Rubber Toms (Single Zone)
385 soundsKick pad
View Latest Price
ION Redline Drums(4.0/5)All Rubber Pads (Single Zone)200 soundsElectronic pedal
View Latest Price
Roland TD-1K
Editor's Pick
(4.5/5)Single Zone Pads
Supports Cymbal Choking
15 kitsElectronic pedal
View Latest Price

Best Budget Electronic Drum Kits under £500/$500!

Budget can often be a limiting factor when starting out, but you can still pick up a great sounding, budget electric kit.

ALESIS DM6 Kit

The DM6 by Alesis has been a staple beginner electric kit. It comes in a five-piece configuration, perfect for playing nearly all popular music out today as well as practising for drum exams!

It features 108 different sounds that can be played on the drum and cymbal pads. The snare is also ‘dual zone’ which allows you to generate two distinct sounds depending on where you hit the pad.

A big-plus for this kit is that is uses a pad for the kick drum. This means you can use your own kick pedals with it or even double pedals if you’re playing heavier music.

Don’t worry though, a kick pedal’s included in the kit.

Pros:

  • 5 piece kit with dual-zone snare pad
  • USB connection to use as a VST
  • Incredibly easy to set up
  • Kick pedal and drumsticks included

Cons:

  • Hi-hat pedal feels a bit flimsy
  • Snare pad’s rebound isn’t as consistent around the edges
  • Drum throne not included
  • Heavy-hitters stay away, this kit is for light practise.

Check Price on Amazon

See it action:

ALESIS DM6 Nitro Kit

Another entry from Alesis here, with the spiritual successor of the very popular DM6, so what’s the difference?

The hardware is similar (if not the same).

Both feature:

  • An 8 inch dual zone snare
  • Three 12 inch cymbals
  • Three 8 inch single zone toms
  • A kick pad + kick pedal

The difference comes in the ‘drum brain’ (also known as a module). This is the part of the kit that makes sense of what you play on the pads and converts them into drum sounds.

Check out the differences in the module below.

ALESIS Nitro vs DM6:

FeatureNitroDM6
Pieces5 piece kit5 piece kit
No. of sounds385108
No. of custom kits4015
Training moduleYesNo
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Pros:

  • 40 programmable drum kits
  • 385 drum and cymbal sounds!
  • Good dynamic response (soft hits sound soft and loud hits sound loud!)
  • Dual zone pads
  • Kick pedal included

Cons:

  • Volume can be a little low, even with headphones
  • Headphones not included
  • No mesh pads

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See it in action:

ION Audio Redline Drums

The cheapest set in the list is the ION Redline electric kit. The interesting part of this one is that I’m sure the ALESIS actually provide the module/sounds for the kit so the main difference between this and the ALESIS DM Lite kit is the hardware.

Pros:

  • 200+ drum and cymbal sounds
  • Built-in drum coach
  • USB connectivity to record playback (MIDI to USB)
  • Headphones and drumsticks included

Cons:

  • No kick pad (uses a pedal instead)
  • Unnatural drum layout for the snare
  • Not many custom kit options (4 custom, 10 built-in)

Check Price on Amazon

See it in action:

Roland TD-1K

The Roland TD-1K is widely considered to be the best electronic drum kit you can buy for less than $500.

Roland has a long history of creating world-class “v-drums” and the TD-1K is the culmination of years of design of high-end electronics into what many believe is the perfect electronic kit for beginners.

With Roland you have peace of mind when it comes to the basics like build quality, cables and durability in general.

Pros:

  • Dual-zone cymbals (and you can choke them!)
  • Adjustable hi-hat tension
  • Good dynamic range
  • USB connectivity to record playback (MIDI to USB)
  • Space-saving design
  • Customisable metronome (time signatures, sound and volume)
  • Completely height adjustable – perfect for kids!
  • Upgradable with other pads

Cons:

  • No kick pad (uses a pedal instead)
  • On the expensive end of entry-level electronic kits
  • Setup can be a bit fiddly

Check Price on Amazon

Bonus: Roland TD-1KV

If you happen to have a little more than $500 to spend (only about $100 more) it’s worth getting the TD-1KV!

Here’s a quick rundown of the main differences between the TD-1K and TD-1KV!

I’ve actually written a full Roland TD-1KV review now too which will give you a bit more information about it.

Roland TD-1K vs. Roland TD-1KV

FeatureTD-1KTD-1KV
Pieces5 piece kit5 piece kit
Snare padRubberMesh head
Metronome controlsSound / Volume / RhythmSound / Volume / Rhythm / Tempo
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So there you have it, are there any kits you think are worthy of this list? Have I missed any killer features off? Let me know in the comments.

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