Top 10 Best Electronic Drum Pads: Go Great With An 808

Considerations for the best electronic drum pads out in the market become more important as music leans more towards electronic. As a beginner getting into drums and music in general, or as a parent willing to nurture and foster your child’s creative development through giving them instruments to play on, electronic drum pads become a quite accessible and desirable alternative to the traditional acoustic drum setups.

In our desire to keep up with the times and to serve as a reliable source for beginners and parents entering into the drumming world, we at Basic Drummer would like to highlight and review some of the best electronic drum pads out there right now.

What are Electronic Drum Pads?

best electronic drum pads (1)

Electronic Drum pads is a smaller version of a drum set that uses computer modules and rubber or silicone pads to produce percussion sounds.
Each of these drum pads have a trigger sensor technology that gives off an electric signal whenever they’re hit. Electronic drum pads allow a person to translate a rhythm from their hands into sound and it does this in a number of ways. Let us try to break down what electronic drum pads actually do, and how they do it.

Electronic Drum Pads as a Stand-Alone Instrument:

Most of the best electronic drum pads out there can function as a stand-alone instruments. As instruments, for the most part, they are essentially made of rubber or similar materials with a trigger that sends signals to a control unit that will produce the actual sound. It is quite similar to a keyboard. When you hit a key, a letter will appear. Hit a pad and a sound plays.

As a stand-alone instrument, the best electronic drum pads will serve mainly as the sole instrument. However, one great thing about these is that they can be a supplement to acoustic drums. Obviously, acoustic drums cannot make electronic sounds so adding an electronic drum pad to an acoustic drum set will allow a drummer to play electronic drum sounds along with acoustic drums.

Electronic Drum Pads as a MIDI Input Device:

In our opinion, this is where the best electronic drum pads shine the most. Being a stand-alone electronic instrument, the quality of the sounds electronic drum pads produce are limited by how powerful the computer in it is. Yes, electronic drum pads use some sort of computer to produce sounds independently. As a MIDI input device, however, an electronic drum pad can produce a stunning variety of sounds. When an electronic drum pad is used as a MIDI input device, it essentially becomes a keyboard that lets you input signals to a computer. This lets you play instruments installed on your PC or laptop, which generally outperforms an independent electronic drum pad. This is also how most electronic music producers create their music: using virtual instruments installed in their laptops or PCs through the use of MIDI input devices, such as an electronic drum pad.

As a beginner drummer or a parent looking to buy an electronic drum pad for your child, the best electronic drum pads for you, might be something along the lines of a stand-alone instrument to play around making beats or practising on. Thus, we will be focusing on electronic drum pads that function mainly as stand-alone instruments.

Best Electronic Drum Pads:

Paxcess 7-Pad Roll-Up Electronic Drum Pads

Paxcess 7 Pads Electronic Drum Set, Roll-Up Drum Practice Pad Drum Kit with Headphone Jack Built-in Speaker Drum Pedals Drum Sticks 10 Hours Playtime, Great Holiday Birthday Gift for Kids (Colorful)

Features:

  • 7 Drum Pads
  • 1 Foot Pedal Input
  • Rechargeable Battery
  • ⅛ Phone Out
  • ⅛ Audio Input

Pros: Space-Saving Roll-Up Design | Foot Pedal Input | Audio Input

Cons: Not Velocity Sensitive

Description:

The Paxcess 7-Pad Roll-Up Electronic Drum Pads are one of the most affordable and best electronic drum pads for beginners and young players. It features 7 drum pads plus a foot pedal that replicate the pieces of a full-sized drum kit. It comes in green or a colour-coded design. Colours are great for kids, especially the colour-coded design because a allows children to engage their visual, motor, and aural senses all at the same time.

The Paxcess 7-Pad Roll-Up have a standard ⅛ audio input and a ⅛ phone output that allow a child or a beginner to play quietly. It also could be easily stored because it features a roll-up design.

Overall, the Paxcess 7-Pad Roll-Up is a great way to start having a child or a beginner practice playing the drums.

Paxcess 9-Pad Roll-Up Electronic Drum Pads

PAXCESS 9 Pads Electronic Drum Set, Electric Drum Set with Headphone Jack, Built in Speaker and Battery, Drum Stick, Foot Pedals, Best Gift for Christmas Holiday Birthday

Features:

  • 7 Drum Pads
  • 1 Foot Pedal Input
  • Rechargeable Battery
  • ⅛ Phone Out
  • ⅛ Audio Input

Pros: Space-Saving Roll-Up Design | Foot Pedal Input | Audio Input

Cons: Not Velocity Sensitive

Description:

Just like the Paxcess 7-Pad Roll-Up Electronic Drum Pads, the Paxcess 9-Pad Roll-Up Electronic Drum Pads is a simple roll-up electronic drum pad that allows a child or a beginner to start playing some music right out of the box. However, the Paxcess 9-Pad Roll-Up Electronic Drum Pads has 2 extra drum pads that allow for extra diversity when playing.

It essentially has the same features as the Paxcess 7-Pad Roll-Up Electronic Drum Pads namely;  a foot pedal input, a ⅛ phone out and a ⅛ audio in.

If you are looking for a more diverse version of the Paxcess 7-Pad Roll-Up Electronic Drum Pads, the Paxcess 9-Pad Roll-Up Electronic Drum Pads is what you need.

Buy on Amazon

RockJam Portable Roll-Up Electronic Drum Pads

RockJam Portable MIDI Electronic Roll Up Drum Kit with Built in Speakers, Power Supply, Foot Pedals and Drumsticks

Features:

  • 7 Drum Pads
  • 1 Foot Pedal Input
  • Rechargeable Battery
  • ⅛ Phone Out
  • ⅛ Audio Input

Pros: Space-Saving Roll-Up Design | Foot Pedal Input | Audio Input

Cons: Not Velocity Sensitive

Description:

While technical the same as the Paxcess 9-Pad Roll-Up Electronic Drum Pads, the RockJam Portable Roll-Up Electronic Drum Pads are an alternative take on the former’s design. Featuring a different shape for the cymbal pads which are reminiscent of some of the electronic drum sets offered out in the market, RockJam offers a different take on the roll-up design electronic drum pads.

If you are more interested in an electronic drum kit over drum pads, check out our reviews of the best electronic drum kits here.

Featuring a ⅛ phone out, a young drummer or beginner can play silently with headphones on. Alternatively, the RockJam Portable Roll-Up Electronic Drum Pads can be plugged into a speaker system for full rock-out sessions.

Definitely one of the best electronic drum pads offered, the RockJam Portable Roll-Up Electronic Drum Pads is a great instrument.

Buy on Amazon

FOVIUPET Roll-Up Electronic Drum Pads

Electronic Drum Set For Kids, Foldable Adult Beginner Pro MIDI Drum Practice Mat Kit, 9 Drum Pads & 2 Electronic Drum Kits,Built-in Speakers,Suitable For Children’s Holiday And Birthday Gifts

Features:

  • 7 Drum Pads
  • 1 Foot Pedal Input
  • Rechargeable Battery
  • ⅛ Phone Out
  • ⅛ Audio Input

Pros: Space-Saving Roll-Up Design | Foot Pedal Input | Audio Input

Cons: Not Velocity Sensitive

Description:

Yet another take on the ubiquitous roll-up design that is a big hit for young drummers or beginners, the FOVIUPET Roll-Up Electronic Drum Pads feature a different design from other competitors in its class. It features images on the pads which correspond to the drum parts it emulates. This is great for beginners and children because it allows them to distinguish which is which when playing.

In terms of features, it is essentially the same as all the other roll-up electronic drum pads in this review.

Buy on Amazon

Alesis CompactKit 4 Electronic Drum Pads

Alesis CompactKit 4 – Tabletop Electric Drum Set with 70 Electronic and Acoustic Drum Kit Sounds, 4 Pads, Battery- or AC-Power and Drum Sticks

Features:

  • 4 Drum Pads
  • Velocity Sensitive
  • 70 Percussion Voices
  • Coach/Educational Feature

Pros: Velocity Sensitive

Cons: No Foot Pedals

Description:

The Alesis Compact Kit 4 is great for beginners and young drummers. It features 4 input pads that are velocity-sensitive. Because the Alesis Compact Kit 4 is velocity-sensitive, the player can play a note either softly or hardly and the Alesis Compact Kit 4 will recognize the dynamics. This allows the player to control how strong they want a note to sound. This is great not only for beginners but for young players as well because it enables them to train their dynamic control when playing.

It has 70 percussion voices or tones. This allows the player to mix and match their favorite tones and assign each one to a specific pad. Customization is key when it comes to the best electronic drum pads and the Alesis Compact Kit 4 has it in spades.

Another great thing about the Alesis Compact Kit 4 is that it has a coaching/educational feature that can teach a young player coordination. Play along the 50 songs included in the Alesis Compact Kit 4 and the coach feature will teach a player which notes to hit.

Buy on Amazon

Alesis CompactKit 7 Electronic Drum Pads

Alesis CompactKit 7 - Tabletop Electric Drum Set with 265 Electronic and Acoustic Drum Kit Sounds, 7 Pads, Battery or AC-Power and Drum Sticks

Features:

  • 7 Drum Pads
  • Velocity Sensitive
  • 2 Foot Pedals
  • 265 Percussion Voices
  • Self-Recording Feature
  • Metronome Feature
  • USB and MIDI Output

Pros: Velocity Sensitive | USB and MIDI Output

Cons: None

Description:

When squaring the Alesis CompactKit 4 against the Alesis CompactKit 7, the former seems like just a toy. It might very well be because the Alesis CompactKit 7 has all the bells and whistles that make these actual useable electronic drum pads for serious music producers. The Alesis CompactKit 7 has 7 drum pads and 2-foot pedals. The pads are velocity-sensitive like the Alesis CompactKit 4, however, it has 3 additional pads and 2-foot pedals that allow the simultaneous use of both a  player’s hands and feet.

Recording a drum track has never been easier with the Alesis CompactKit 7 due to having 265 built-in percussion sounds and a self-recording feature supported by a metronome

However, the one thing that sets the Alesis CompactKit 7 from its 4-pad sibling is that it has a USB and MIDI output which allow it to be used as a controller for a laptop or a PC. This feature is certainly very useful for serious producers and allows it to be not just a toy, but a serious piece of music and recording gear.

All these great features come at double the price though, compared to the Alesis CompactKit 4. Still, it is worth every penny.

Buy on Amazon

PylePro PTED01 7-Pad Electronic Drum Pads

Pyle Portable Drums, Tabletop Drum Set, 7 Pad Digital Drum Kit, Touch Sensitivity, Wireless Electric Drums, Drum Machine, Electric Drum Pads, LED Display, Mac & PC - PTED01

Features:

  • 7 Drum Pads
  • Velocity Sensitive
  • 2 Foot Pedals
  • 215 Percussion Voices
  • Self-Recording Feature
  • USB and MIDI Output

Pros: Controllable Velocity | USB and MIDI Output

Cons: Lesser Voices compared to the Alesis CompactKit 7

Description:

PylePro offers a direct competitor to the Alesis CompactKit 7 with the PylePro PTED01. It essentially has all the features available with the Alesis CompactKit 7 albeit with lesser voices. However, it is more affordable than Alesis’ offering in the same class. Needless to say, the PylePro PTED01 is also a very capable piece of gear for the serious music producer.

The PylePro PTED01 has 7 drum pads and 2-foot pedals along with a self-recording feature like the Alesis CompactKit 7.

A strong point with the PylePro PTED01 is that it allows the user to connect to a PC or laptop via the USB and MIDI connection.

Buy on Amazon

PylePro PTED06 7-Pad Electronic Drum Pads

Pyle Electronic kit-Portable Electric Tabletop Set Machine with Digital Panel, 7 Pad, Kick Bass Pedal Controller USB AUX Toms, Hi-Hat, Snare Drums, Cymbals-PTED06 (PTED06)

Features:

  • 7 Drum Pads
  • Velocity Sensitive
  • 2 Foot Pedals
  • Self-Recording Feature
  • USB and MIDI Output
  • Drum Trainer Feature
  • External Audio Streaming

Pros: Velocity Sensitive | USB and MIDI Output | Stream Music via External Device

Cons: None

Description:

The PylePro PTED06 is a direct upgrade over the PylePro PTED01 for around an additional 30 dollars. It has the same capabilities as the PylePro PTED01 namely; 7 velocity-sensitive drum pads, 2-foot pedals, self-recording, and USB and MIDI PC connectivity. What the PylePro PTED06 adds however are a drum trainer feature and external audio streaming.

The drum trainer feature allows a beginner or a younger player to practice their coordination. Playback one of the built-in songs with the drum trainer activated and practice away.

The external audio streaming is another nifty addition that allows a player to stream their favorite songs on the PylePro PTED06 and drum along.

Buy on Amazon

Alesis SamplePad 4 Electronic Drum Pads

Alesis Sample Pad 4 | Compact Percussion and Sample Triggering Instrument with 4 Velocity Sensitive Pads, 25 Drum Sounds and SD/SDHC Card Slot

Features:

  • 4 Drum Pads
  • Velocity Sensitive / Velocity Control
  • Dual Zone Pads
  • Built-in Reverb
  • Plays Samples
  • SD/SHD Card Slot
  • USB and MIDI Output

Pros: Controllable Velocity | USB and MIDI Output | Stream Music via External Device

Cons: No Foot Pedals

Description:

Sample pads perform a different function from the typical electronic drum pad. A sample pad allows the user to play a custom sample instead of relying solely on the built-in sounds featured. Given this flexibility in choosing playable sounds, a sample pad’s usual function would be to supplement an acoustic drum kit with custom sounds instead of being a stand-alone drum pad. In today’s music styles where electronic drum sounds are incorporated in music where an acoustic drunk kit is still the main percussion instrument, a sample pad allows a drummer to play custom samples while still using an acoustic drum kit.

The Alesis SamplePad 4 performs this function very well. With 4 velocity-sensitive pads that can accommodate 2 different sounds/samples via a dual trigger.

The medium used by the Alesis SamplePad 4 to play custom samples is an SD/SHD card slot. It can accommodate card sizes of up to 32 GB.

As sample pads start becoming a common feature in a drummer’s arsenal, the Alesis SamplePad 4 provides drummers with a great and feature-packed electronic instrument.

Buy on Amazon

Alesis SamplePad Pro Electronic Drum Pads

Alesis SamplePad Pro - Percussion and Sample-Triggering Instrument With 8 Velocity Sensitive Drum Pads, 200+ Built-in Sounds

Features:

  • 4 Drum Pads
  • Velocity Sensitive / Velocity Control
  • Dual Zone Pads
  • 200+ Built-In Sounds
  • Plays Samples
  • SD Card Slot
  • USB and MIDI Output
  • Kick and Hi-hat Pedal Inputs
  • 2 Extra Drum Pad Inputs
  • Software Utility

Pros: Hardware Expandable | USB and MIDI Output

Cons: Pricey

Description:

The Alesis SamplePad Pro is the older and bigger sibling of the SmaplePad 4. It has some features that are no available with the smaller SamplePad 4 namely; 2 extra pad inputs, a kick and hi-hat pedal input, and a ton of additional built-in sounds. However, it is intended towards the more professional drummer market than for a beginner or a young player.

The features of the Alesis SamplePad Pro allows it to be used in a variety of different ways. Because it is expandable, it could function as a  stand-alone electronic drum pad. It is small and lightweight and even without an additional hi-hat and kick drum pedal, its playability allows the user to perform with it by itself. It is great for gigs where a drummer needs to travel light. However, the Alesis SamplePad Pro shines in its role as a sample pad to complement an acoustic kit. Serving as an electronic brain to play loops or samples, this electronic drum pad it a great addition to a gigging drummer’s arsenal.

See this great piece of gear in action here.

Buy on Amazon

FAQs:

Are electronic drum pads any good?

An electronic drum kit is a very convenient and affordable alternative to regular drum sets. But the quality of the sounds will still depend on the price and brand of the product you’re buying. That’s why in this article we have listed the very best electronic drum pads that you can try out if you’re a beginner drummer.

Is a drum pad a good way to learn drums?

Electronic drum pads can help a beginner drummer develop and master his or her drumming techniques. It’s a great alternative for beginners who don’t have enough space in their apartment for a full size drum set or if you’re avoiding the noise complaint!

Do professional drummers use electronic drums?

Yes, definitely. As music continues to evolve, electronic music genres have started being prominent in popular music, such that other genres have started incorporating electronic drum sounds into their respective styles as well. It is also a nifty tool to have when recording or playing live because it has many uses.

Can you use headphones with electronic drums?

All of the drum pads we’ve included in this list come with a headphone jack and are designed to work with headphones. These headphones are great to help limit the noise if you’re practicing inside your apartment at night or inside your church.

Why do drummers hate electronic drums?

We at Basic Drummer do not discriminate against electronic drums or drummers who use electronic kits or pads. We keep an open mind when it comes to electronic drum gear because that is where technology is taking music. Still, the primary reason why some drummers hate electronic drums is because they are different from acoustic drum kits. They sound very different from acoustic kits, they lack the nuances dynamics have on the sound of an acoustic kit and they just do not feel like an acoustic kit. Electronic drums must be treated as separate instruments from acoustic drums.

Want to check out some of the best and most affordable drum sets for beginners, and young children? Check out our reviews here.

Conclusion:

In the turn of the last two decades, independent music creators and musicians have started to adopt a more electronic-based approach to music and production as electronic music technology becomes cheaper and more accessible Gone are the times when artists with big names and equally big budgets are the only people who are able to afford great electronic instruments. Nowadays, as long as you have a decent computer or laptop and can spend a couple hundred on virtual instruments, you can make electronic music. Some virtual instruments are even offered for the low price of free around the internet! Truly, it is fair to state that it is such an amazing time to be a musician.

Seeing as how lo-fi beats and EDM and its many branching styles have proliferated in every form of media, and most of it being produced by independent artists, one can say that electronic music has become a fixture in our music, art, and culture.

Share with friends

Leave a Comment