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Best Budget Electronic Drum Kit: 5 Choices under $500

Best Budget Electronic Drum Kit: 5 Choices under $500

Electronic 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.

Fernweh Editions Fern & Petals Candle

The Options Compared
  • Rubber Snare & Toms
  • 108 sounds
  • Kick pad
  • Rubber Snare & Toms
  • 385 sounds
  • Kick pad
  • All Rubber Pads
  • 200 sounds
  • Electronic pedal
  • Single Zone Pads
  • 15 kits
  • Electronic pedal

Best Budget Electronic Drum Kits under $500!

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

Alesis drums DM6

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.


  • 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


  • 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.

See it in action:

Alesis Nitro drums

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.


  • 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


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

See it in action:

ALESIS DM6 vs Nitro:
  • 108 sounds
  • 15 custom kits
  • No training module
  • 385 sounds
  • 40 custom kits
  • Training module

ion audio drums

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.


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


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

See it in action:

roland drums

Roland TD-1K

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

Fernweh Editions Candles

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.


  • 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


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

See it in action:


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! from Roland! 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

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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