Technology has taken the drumming industry to a whole new level. And electronic drum pads are a good example.
For a while now, I have been planning to review some of the cheap drum pads on the market. But I have not really understood why they are so popular and of what good they are to me.
I always thought a full acoustic or electronic drum kit was the best. Well, having been a drummer for some time, some of these new things coming up on the market didn’t interest me very much. A kinda hands-on drummer – if you know what I mean.
But I changed my mind when I traveled far and wanted to perform to some students. I then realized a super-compact e-drum kit could be helpful. And this is exactly what electronic drum pads are.
Besides, you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to enjoy drumming. A simple investment in quality drum pads and headphones could be all you need.
And that means e-drum pads are the best option for those who don’t have a lot of space for full gear. Or they don’t need significant investment just yet.
Besides, now you can practice quietly without disturbing your neighbors.
If you are such a person, then this review is for you. In this best electronic drum pad review, I will be looking at some of the most popular products in the market.
What is the difference between Electronic Drum Pads and Sample Pads?
The main difference is in the way they are built. Even though the terms are used sometimes to mean the same thing, you need to understand what sets each aside.
Electronic drum pads feature pads and speakers; hence you can use them instead of a drum kit. Sample pads, on the other hand, are used specifically as an addition to the drum set.
This means a drum pad can be used with an acoustic drum kit for more sound ranges. Also, they can be used with an e-drum kit to add loops and effects.
There, in this case, we are not talking about sample pads for drumming enhancement. Note that I am looking at an electronic drum pad for beginners.
What to look for in a good electronic drum pad
Before we get into the business, let me quickly share a few things that make a drum pad good or bad. This is important because it will guide you to understand why I chose the ones on this list.
Pads and pedal
An electronic drum pad may not serve you forever. So I am assuming you will want to pick up a full drum kit in the future.
Hence, you need to pick something that has the same number of drums and pads. This is for the purpose or learning and understanding how each drum set should be played.
Hence you are looking for something with four drum pads, their cymbals, and two pedal.
With these, it will be very easy switching to a real drum kit. You will need just a few things to adjust.
The In and Outs
Note that you want to play along with your favorite piece for the sake of motivation. And for this, you will need to plug in your smartphone or computer. Go for a pad that ¼ inch input to enable you to do this.
Also, you can practice drumming silently using these pads. So, do the kits allow you to use headphones to avoid disturbing your neighbors and family?
USB and MIDI input is not essential. You need them for recording. But before that, we have to learn to drum first.
Range of sounding
How many individual sounds are or can be stored on the pad?
Some pads come with hundreds of in-build sounds, while others only have a few. I would advise you to go for more sounds.
For electronic pads, you can assign sounds on a pad-to-pad basis. Some will only let you change the sound of all pads together. As you can see, the first option is better because it allows you to customize the pad as you wish.
The quality of sounding
Nobody wants poorly sounding drum pads. Even for you are buying the pad for your child, make sure they come with the best sound because your child will not be motivated to play if they sound like crap.
But the sound is a subject matter. Everyone likes different sounds; hence I cannot go into so many details. As long as you get what fits your needs, you are good to go.
8 Best Drum Pads Reviewed
Now lets us look at the best drum pads on the market.
First on this list is the PTED06 electronic drum by Pyle. This is a very reputable brand in the drumming industry. It is a company that produces excellent drums and accessories.
They Pyle Electronic Pad PTED06 carry all the drumming and learning tools you need. It has a metronome, recording capability, groove trained, and other features at a very competitive price.
It features seven touch-sensitive drum pads on a tabletop house, two pedals, 300 songs and 55 presets, tow speakers. 3.5mm jack output, 1.4-inch input, and USB MIDI output. This means it comes with everything you need to start playing drums.
I can say this is one of the best electronic drum pads of all time. And the fact that it comes at a competitive price is enough to give beginners something to learn with.
- A large range of sounds and presets
- A built-in metronome
- An excellent learning mode.
- The pedals are not steady during an action.
This is another excellent device for beginners. It comes with seven touch-sensitive drum pads – one snare, three toms, one hi-hat, and two cymbals. They are on tabletop housing measuring 19-65 by 14.5 by 6.2 inches.
You also get two pedals, one for the hi-hat and one for the bass pedal.
On the module, there are 250 sounds and 25 presets in-built. Also, it has two stereo speakers with a ¼ inches jack for headphones or amp. It also has USB MIDI for PC connection, and it is power by batteries or a 12V AC adapter.
The control panel features a wonderful LCD screen. This allows you to see everything you are playing.
This is an excellent choice for those looking to start drumming at a budget. It is also portable enough to fit small places.
- A wide range of onboard sounds and presets
- Touch-sensitive pads
- A bunch of songs for practice.
- Some users have complained about the poor quality of MIDI connection
- The pedal is not very steady.
Yamaha is a true leader when it comes to creating electronic drum musical instruments. And the DD65 Drum pad is good proof.
It features eight touch-sensitive drums pads and two-foot pedals. These are one snare, three toms, one hi-hat, and three cymbals.
It carries a total of 254 sounds and 50 present kits. You can listen to them through the two built-in stereo speakers or connection to headphones or amp via the ¼ inch jack.
It also comes with MIDI output for PC connection. And it is powered with batteries or an AC adapter.
The LCD screen is pretty impressive.
This drum pad allows you to play a wide range of musical styles. Though it is more expensive, the features are excellent. But I would not recommend it for MIDI use.
- Aux input for MP3 play along
- More pads than similar products
- A highly functional control nation.
- The second hi-hat is to the left of the snare instead of the center.
- The normal package does not include an AC power supply.
Alesis is another leader in musical instrument technology. And the Compactkit4 says it all.
It features four velocity-sensitive drum pads on a tabletop housing and measures 18.1 by 10.2 by 5.9 inches. It is, therefore, small enough to fit in small spaces.
The drum pad carries 70 drum sounds and ten preset kits you can listen to from the two in-built stereo speakers. There is also a ¼ stereo output for headphones or amp.
It also has a control panel, an LED screen, and runs on batteries or AC adapter.
This pad is perfect for children. But it does not have recording capability or a metronome. This is why I would not recommend it.
The price tag is justified, though. It can be a great tool for your child to learn drumming basics.
- Feature game and coach function, excellent for kids
- Very few buttons
- Offer 80 varying sounds.
- Four pads and no foot pedals
- No metronome and recording.
Paxcess has also been very instrumental in building electronic drums and accessories. And the Roll-Up Pad tells a lot.
Its surface feature seven drum pad zones – one snare, three toms, one hi-hat, and two cymbals. You will also get two foot pedals, one representing the open and closed hi-hats and the other for bass drums.
It features two built-in stereo speakers as well as a ¼ inch output for headphones. The input for MP3/ music devices measures 3.5mm. And the USB output is for charging while the MIDI connection lets you record yours on sounds.
This rechargeable pad is designed specifically for children. It is more of a toy geared towards helping children learning to drum while having some fun.
Where it not for the cross-sticking issues, I would say go for this device. But I would want you to endure the nuisance this problem brings.
- A roll-up drum for portability
- A MIDI trigger
- Up to ten houses or battery power.
- Its setup cannot be transferred to real drums
- A little pricey for the features.
There are two versions of the RockJam roll up e-drums. One has in-built speakers, and the other does not have. They are both affordable, so, perhaps you should pick the one with speakers.
It comes with nine drum pad zones on a roll-up surface. On it, you have one snare, four toms, one hi-hat, and three cymbals.
It also has two-foot controllers for the kick-drum and hi-hats. There are MIDI and USB out, and headphones out for easy connection with other devices. The ¼ inch aux allows you to connect other music devices.
I would recommend you try to put this drum pad if you are looking for uninterrupted learning. I have not seen anything big to complain about, so it will offer you the services you need.
But it is only good for beginners. You may not enjoy it if you have been playing with complete kits.
- Strong and durable
- Many pads
- Built-in recorder
- A short cord
- Its sticks are very small.
These pads come at an incredibly low price. Note that it does not come with speakers and only four pads.
- Very affordable
- Good for beginners
- Customizable arrangements and samples.
- It lacks preset and MIDI capabilities
- It does not have built-in speakers.
The Alesis SamplePad Pro is a highly recommendable device. But it is very costly; hence you may want to consider its younger brother, the SamplePad 4.
It has half the number of pads as the SamplePad Pro, but the price takes care of that. Also, it is a fully functioning pad.
It features custom sampling, custom presents, SD card storage, and MIDI out. It also comes with built-in speakers and an AUX input.
- Fully functioning pad
- Very affordable
- Easy to use
- Limited internal sounds – only ten presets.
Should I buy a high-end or low-end pad?
One thing I have learned is that it is not much difference between a high-end and a low-end drum pad. All you need is to look for features that fit your playing needs.
However, a drum pad will cost more is it has more features and a sturdier build. They also have more user presets.
But for a beginner, some of these features are useless. Hence, I would recommend you buy based on your budget.
I am glad you read through this review. And I hope I have helped you get what you are looking for.