Best Budget Electronic Drum Set – Top 3 Kits Under $500

At this price range you are going to get an e-drum kit that will most likely be no thrills and may fall a bit flat. You won’t have the same sophisticated onboard functions and brain as with the mid or higher-end models, nor will the mesh or (more likely) rubber pads will be as receptive. The pressure and zonal receptors will be much more limited and so you may well face the problem of picking up poor techniques and a false sense of your ability as we discussed on the main electronic drums write-up as well as in our article Acoustic vs Electronic. But never fear! As we mentioned in that article, a way around this is to make sure that you unplug the brain (the drum’s, not yours), take off the headphones and just listen to the sound of you connecting with the pads and cymbals. Also, make sure when you can to have lessons on acoustic drums. Problem solved!

Top 3 Best Budget Electronic Drum Kit Under $500

As a beginner, this is still a sizeable investment so don’t listen to anyone saying that if you are not spending a $1000 on electronic sets then there is no point. $500 is not cheap. We all have a budget and you should only spend what you feel comfortable with and moreover what suits your needs. These will be fine for practicing whilst getting a hold of some different styles and sound. You can buy these without the guilt of having spent up to $1000 on an instrument you have never played before. Here are the top 3.

ModelName/ RatingSummaryCheck Price
Best Budget Electronic Drum Set Under $500

Yamaha DTX400K

Score:    (4.75 / 5)

Sturdy and durable pads and stands. A good range of sounds. A solid entry-level kit at an affordable price
AMAZON
GUITAR CENTER
MUSICIAN'S FRIEND
Best Budget Electronic Drum Kit

     

Alesis Nitro 8-Piece 

Score:    (4.60 / 5)

Incredibly cheap 8-piece kit. Perfect for a beginner on a budget
AMAZON
GUITAR CENTER
MUSICIAN'S FRIEND
Roland TD-1k

 

Roland V-Drums TD-1K 

 Score:    (4.65 / 5)

Sophisticated module and good array of sounds and classic Roland quality
AMAZON
GUITAR CENTER
 

Yamaha DTX400K (Best Budget Electronic Drum Set!)

Best Budget Electronic Drum Set Under $500

Shells and heads:  
Hardware and cymbals: 
Sound: 
Value:

Coming in at our top spot and taking the title for the best cheap electronic drums is the Yamaha DTX400K which comes in at just under $400 and considering the price and that this is a Yamaha e-kit, that is exceptional value for money. You will have lost a lot of the sound features of the 522K and the 562K and the heads are now rubber pads and not mesh, but all that being said this set represents the best in its price bracket and as a first set to play around on, this can’t be beaten. This no-frills set by Yamaha has more than enough in the trunk to entice a beginner to enter the drumming world, while doing so on a budget.

Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • Sturdy and durable rack and pads
  • Has Yamaha maple and oak drums recorded sounds
  • 10 training programmes covering different skills
Cons

  • Pedals aren’t great on floor and triggers are slow to respond
  • Rubber pads aren’t as responsive as mesh
  • The module has no LED display

Alesis Nitro 8-Piece

Best Budget Electronic Drum Kit

Shells and heads:    
Hardware and cymbals:  
Sound:  
Value:

Next up is the Nitro, an unfathomably cheap kit by renowned audio innovators, Alesis. They have continued to inspire and advance the electronic music scene and with this kit, created after their best selling DM6, they have produced an incredibly affordable kit that any beginner can shell out for (pun always intended). At the same time, they have retained some of the tech and quality they are known for. You are getting an 8-piece drum set with pedals, training programmes, 40 songs and hundreds of drum and percussion sounds for under $300. If you are looking for a kit on a tight budget then you need to look no further. This is the kit.

Pros

  • 8 piece kit with pedals under $300
  • An intuitive module that allows easy editing
  • Hundreds of built-in drum and percussion sounds and songs for great versatility
  • Good kick/bass pad
Cons

  • Assembly instructions aren’t clear and parts not labeled
  • Quite a small kit that can’t be adjusted
  • No room for double bass pedal
  • Pad sensitivity not consistent
  • Basic pads and training programmes

Roland V-Drums TD-1K

Roland TD-1k

Shells and heads:
Hardware and cymbals:  
Sound: (3.8 / 5) 
Value:  

Wherever Yamaha goes, you can be sure that Roland won’t be far behind and with their most affordable kit to date, they have good reason to do so. If you have been reading the reviews at the different price brackets it may just look like we have started at the top model Yamaha and Roland have to offer and worked our way down! This is a testament to these two superior manufacturers and their ability to produce kits that are competitive at any price point. This kit is identical to the Roland TD-1KV except that it has a standard rubber pad as opposed to a mesh snare head. As a result, it is $100 cheaper and fit in perfectly with our under $500 category. It has all the same onboard features and module functionality so the TD-1KV review will be the same as this kit apart from the snare. As it is $100 more than the Yamaha it couldn’t take the top spot but it is still exceptional quality and value for money

Pros

  • Responsive dual zoned cymbals
  • Beaterless kick and hi-hat pedal for silent playing
  • A host of onboard coaching programmes
  • Intuitive module
Cons

  • Preloaded sounds are ok, more functional than authentic
  • Single-zoned rubber pad toms and snare are acceptable but not great
  • Fiddly to assemble

Plug-In Cheap

Starting out it is all about how you learn and not so much what you learn on. On a budget, provided you unplug as above then these will be great to practice and progress on. They will give you a good sense of the drums. As well as this you can have great fun on e-kits as their features really allow you to experiment with sounds and genres. You may want to pick yourself up some new drumsticks depending on what comes with the above packs.

One thing you may want to do if you just don’t think any of the above will cut it, is check out some 2nd hand electric kits that are in your price range as you will get an upgrade without compromising on cost. Unlike acoustic kits where buying 2nd hand can open you up to quite a few problems, buying a used electronic drum kit is a much simpler process as what you see if what you get. (Just check that it turns on!). We would advise a reputable seller like Guitar Center who sell used instruments with warranties and no fuss 45-day return policies, whether faulty or not.

Best Electronic Drum Set Under $300

If you really can’t stretch yourself to $300-$500 then we would definitely recommend buying a more expensive set 2nd hand. That being said you will see that the Alesis Nitro is in our top 3 under $500 and comes in at $300. So if you were looking for less than $300, the Alesis above will be your perfect match.