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The 6 best Roland electronic drum sets 2021: The top Roland e-kits for beginner to pro drummers

The 6 best Roland electronic drum sets 2021: The top Roland e-kits for beginner to pro drummers
(Image credit: Roland)

When you think of electronic drum sets, Roland is the first name that springs to mind. Well-known for their impressive build quality, innovative design and arguably the best drum sounds on the market, the best Roland electronic drum sets are intended to stand the test of time, and to be played hard.

Whether you’re just starting out and looking for the best beginner electronic drum set on which to learn songs and practice your rudiments, or a pro drummer needing a powerful, expressive and customisable e-kit for demoing, recording or playing live, Roland makes an electronic drum set for you.

To read our expert buying advice, click the 'buying advice' tab above. If you'd rather get straight to the products, keep scrolling.

Best Roland electronic drum sets: MusicRadar's Choice

At the budget end of the scale, the Roland TD-1DMK is the best Roland electronic drum set on the market. It’s simple, easy to use, and features all-mesh heads - making transitioning to and from an acoustic kit feel easy and natural. Onboard, there are 15 preset kits full of high-quality drum sounds, allowing you to nail the tone for virtually any style of playing. Granted, it’s a little more expensive than other budget kits on the market, but Roland doesn't do anything half-heartedly. 

In the higher echelons of Roland’s range, our recommendation is the TD-27KV. Borrowing the ‘Prismatic Sound Modelling’ technology from the flagship TD-50 range, the feel and sound of this e-kit goes virtually unmatched. PSM is applied to super high-fidelity samples to bring them to life, so instead of a basic drum sound, you’ve got access to a huge sonic palette that will help take your playing to the next level. 

Best Roland electronic drum sets: Product guide

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1. Roland TD-1DMK

Simplicity is key with Roland’s cheapest ever mesh headed e-kit

Price: $797/£598/€709 | Pads: 4x mesh tom/snare pads, 1x rubber bass drum pad, 3x cymbals | Kits: 15 | Connections: Headphones mini-jack, aux-in, USB MIDI

Mesh tom and snare pads
Neat rack design
Great value
Module may be too limited for some

This kit packs an 8" dual-zone mesh snare pad, three 6" single-zone mesh tom pads, three choke-able 10" dual-zone cymbal pads (hi-hat, ride and crash), a hi-hat controller pedal and a bass drum pad. The compact four-post rack is built around a narrow H-shaped central section and houses an in-built rubber bass drum trigger pad that’s wide enough to accommodate a double pedal. 

The TD-1 module has been around for a while but is packed with practice aids, some challenging coaching functions, plus quality backing tracks. Despite missing some bells and whistles, the module’s simplicity makes it incredibly user friendly, so it’s particularly well suited to beginner or younger drummers. The 15 kit presets on-board are varied in style and provide a usable selection of sounds that cater for many styles of music. 

The two-ply mesh heads respond well and the dynamic range afforded by the module is commendable - from a gentle, open bass note through to the hard attacking slap of a bass drum head. The dual-zone snare also allows rim-shots for further expression. The dual-zone cymbals help in broadening the tonal horizons and maximising options within this compact setup.

Read the full Roland TD-1DMK review

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Best Roland electronic drum sets: Roland TD-07KV

(Image credit: Roland)
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Best Roland electronic drum sets: Roland TD-07KV

(Image credit: Roland)
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Best Roland electronic drum sets: Roland TD-07KV

(Image credit: Roland)
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Best Toland electronic drum sets: Roland TD-07KV

(Image credit: Roland)

2. Roland TD-07KV

A new choice from Roland, with exceptional connectivity

Price: $1,029/£907/€835 | Pads: 4x mesh snare/tom pads, 1x rubber bass drum tower, 3x cymbals | Kits: 50 | Connections: Bluetooth, USB output, stereo line/headphone outputs, Mix input

Dual-zone cymbals all round
Great value for money
Bluetooth connectivity a game-changer 
Small pads take some getting used to 

Roland’s TD-07 is a response to those who don’t mind spending a little more for something that will stand the test of time. Although a fairly simple setup, features such as dual zone cymbals and industry-leading mesh heads encourage a natural playing style that is easily transferable from an e-kit to an acoustic drum set. A full mesh setup also helps to bring the volume down to ‘midnight drum practice’ levels. 

The TD-07 module is sleek and minimal, with a focus on connectivity and ease-of-use. Loaded with 143 sounds, 50 kits and countless effects - including an overhead mic simulator and room ambience - you'll never get stuck looking for the right tone to suit your playing. The TD-07’s pièce de résistance however, has to be its Bluetooth connectivity. Drumming along with your favourite tracks is unbeatable, and it couldn’t be easier with the TD-07.

Our only criticism is that the pads are a little smaller than we’d like, and took us a while to get used to. That being said, one man's loss is another man’s gain - as this makes the TD-07 perfect for practicing in your room or any smaller space. The smaller pads also help to boost your playing accuracy, making transferring skills from an e-kit to an acoustic kit a painless experience.

Read the full Roland TD-07KV review 

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3. Roland TD-1KPX2

The ultimate space-saving kit for beginner to intermediate drummers

Price: £1,033/€1,204 | Pads: 4x mesh tom/snare pads, 1x rubber bass drum pad, 3x cymbals | Kits: 15 | Connections: Headphones mini-jack, aux-in, USB MIDI

Compact folding design
Recording functionality
Great coaching features
Some pad positioning limitations

What makes this set-up different from the rest is the unique rack design which allows it to fold down to around half its playable size - small enough to stash in a cupboard/corner of the bedroom or, for a gig or rehearsals in between passengers on the back seat in a small car. 

Playing the kit for only a short while, the compact footprint and pad positioning feels surprisingly natural to play and the four mesh-headed tom and snare pads feel great. The TD-1KPX2 also features a wider kick pad to accommodate single or double bass pedals. 

The partnered module comes with 15 pre-programmed kits. The interface is fairly basic but, as a result, is also incredibly intuitive. The kits comprise a mixture of live and recording sets, electronic sounds and a choice of percussion. There are a range of 15 onboard songs to play along with and the module provides a mix-in jack to input your favourite audio source and jam with. 

Aside from the compact design and mesh pads, one of the best features is the module's 10 coaching features, designed to help you improve everything from tempo to technique.

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4. Roland TD-17KVX

The most feature-packed, mid-range electronic drum set on the market

Price: $1,899/£1,816/€1,647 | Pads: 4x mesh snare/tom pads, 1x cloth bass drum tower, 4x cymbals | Kits: 50 | Connections: CD/MP3 aux input, USB/MIDI, MIDI out, stereo line/headphone outputs

Load your own samples
Bluetooth connectivity
Responsive snare and hi-hats
Quality sounds borrowed from the TD-50 module

Roland’s TD-17 is available in three configurations, but our top pick is the top KVX model, which includes all-mesh pads (including a newly-designed PDX-12 snare pad with raised rim for a more acoustic feel) and the awesome one-piece VH-10 hi-hats which mount to a conventional stand. 

The quality of sounds on the TD-17 module is striking and Roland’s processing gives players plenty of tweak-ability to the base sounds. Selecting a voice and making tonal changes is scarily intuitive. It’s all laid out and labelled clearly along with dedicated switches for common functions such as tuning, muffling, ambience, EQ and volume levels. When it comes to loading samples into the TD-17 module the process is undeniably easy. 16-bit, stereo or mono, you can throw wav samples onto an SD card and load them into the TD-17’s pool of 100 user sound slots. From this point, you assign it in the same way as any other sound, by hitting the pad and then scrolling through. 

The jewel in the TD-17KVX’s crown is the ability to effortlessly pair a smart device via Bluetooth and jam along with Spotify. The outlay is a big investment, but the level of sound quality, features and playability sets a new benchmark for those looking for V-Drums they won't outgrow in a hurry.

Read the full Roland TD-17KVX review

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Best Roland electronic drum sets: Roland TD-27KV

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Best Roland electronic drum sets: Roland TD-27KV

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Best Roland electronic drum sets: Roland TD-27KV

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Best Roland electronic drum sets: Roland TD-27KV

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5. Roland TD-27KV

A great mid-priced e-kit that’ll drag you kicking and screaming into the future

Price: $3,099/£2,657/€2,998 | Pads: 4x mesh snare/tom pads, 1x rubber bass drum tower, 4x cymbals | Kits: 100 (55 preset, 45 user) | Connections: Bluetooth 4.2 , USB input/output, 3x aux trigger inputs, stereo line/headphone outputs, Mix input/output, Footswitch input

Scope for expansion
Super high-quality sounds
Ultra-realistic feel 
It’s pretty expensive 

The TD-27KV is comfortably positioned within Roland’s mid-range - but it’s far from ordinary. At its heart is the powerful TD-27 module, which not only contains endless (and amazing) drum tones, but also takes cues from the TD-50 series in the form of Prismatic Sound Modelling and PureAcoustic Ambience Technology - all designed to help your drums sound bigger, fatter and more alive. 

Hardware-wise, the TD-27KV is as solid as they come. With fatter drum pads, a heavy-duty reinforced rack and independent hi-hat and snare stands, the TD-27KV is virtually bomb-proof - allowing you to lose yourself in your playing without worry. This hardware setup also provides huge scope to tweak your setup to your exact preference, so getting comfy or accurately replicating your acoustic kit is simple.

Roland’s ace-up-the-sleeve however, has to be their digital PD-140DS snare pad and CY-18DR ride cymbal pads. Usually reserved for the TD-50 range, this is the first time we’ve seen them included with a more affordable e-kit. Both come equipped with Roland’s digital sensor technology, meaning ‘hot spots’ and mis-triggers are eliminated - resulting in a vastly improved playing experience.

 Read the full Roland TD-27KV review

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6. Roland TD-50KV

The absolute pinnacle of electronic drum kit technology and acoustic realism

Price: $7,749/£5,999/€7,094 | Pads: 4x mesh snare/tom pads, 1x mesh bass drum pad, 4x cymbals | Kits: 50 (plus 50 user kits) | Connections: Stereo XLR master output and eight TRS direct outs, MIDI in/out, Stereo mix in, XLR master out

Groundbreaking technology
Superb digital snare drum and ride
Huge kit customisation options
Powerful tool for studio and live work

The KV is supplied with a 10" mesh rack tom pad and two 12" floor toms. It also includes Roland’s groundbreaking and sensor-packed digital snare and ride, which plug into the module via USB and bring not only an extended range of dynamics, but also a more familiar, acoustic feel to the table. 

Rounding out the package is a crash, crash/ride, hi-hats and a bass drum pad. It’s also worth considering an upgrade to the KD-A22 bass drum, a triggered mesh pad system which replaces the batter head of your existing 22" acoustic bass drum. 

The module itself utilises Roland’s Prismatic Sound Modelling technology, which helps recreate every last dynamic of your performance, plus a powerful processor which manages neat features like importing your own samples via the in-built SD card slot. The SD slot can also be used to play full tracks or loops. It’s then possible to record a drum take to your chosen track, which is automatically saved to the external card ready to be exported as MIDI. 

Huge kit customisation options include shell depth, head and muffling, microphone positioning, cymbal size/thickness and even ping level/type. For a kit at this level Roland hasn’t failed to deliver with the endlessly customisable TD-50. It’s absolutely brimming with features and edges ever closer to the realism of an acoustic kit.

Read the full Roland TD-50KV review

Best Roland electronic drum sets: Buying advice

Best Roland electronic drum sets

(Image credit: Roland)

When searching for a new electronic drum set you will find multiple brands vying for your attention, with Roland, Yamaha and Alesis sitting at the top of the tree in terms of the product ranges, innovations and features on offer. 

If your Google searches read something along the lines of ‘Roland vs Yamaha electronic drum set’, then let us enlighten you - starting with this guide to the best Roland electronic drum sets. 

A brief Roland V-Drums history

Established in 1972, Roland has had drums at its heart from the get-go, with the TR-33/TR-55 and TR-77 rhythm machines being launched as the first official Roland-branded products. Roland has been at the forefront of music tech ever since, responsible for products such as the RE-201 Space Echo, the JC Series guitar amps, the V-Piano range and loads more. 

Roland is, undoubtedly, the industry leader when it comes to e-kits. Since launching their first electronic drum set in 1985, and their V-Drums range in 1997, they have been constantly innovating, and their new technologies re-shape the e-kit landscape on a regular basis.

What you need to know about Roland V-Drums

For Roland, the playing experience comes first. A common issue with most electronic drum sets is an unrealistic playing feel, and Roland’s mesh-headed answer to that problem has become one of the most widely desired features in the world of e-kits. Designed to replicate the feel of an acoustic drum head, the rebound and response of a mesh head is far more realistic-feeling than any rubber alternative. This makes switching from an e-kit to an acoustic kit a breeze, and means you don’t have to learn the same technique twice.

On some high-end Roland e-kits, such as the TD-27KV and the flagship TD-50KV - both featured in this guide - the appearance of digital pads has caused quite a stir of excitement. The PD-140DS snare drum and CY-18DR ride cymbal both possess a trio of positional sensors to compliment the standard zone trigger, allowing for greater sample resolution and removing the potential for mis-triggering. These digital pads have their own individual processor to capture the zone and placement of your strike with zero latency. Cool, huh?

Another mind-blowing innovation from Roland is their SuperNATURAL technology. Obviously, when playing an acoustic drum, the location of the strike and how heavily you strike alters the tone as well as the volume - and SuperNATURAL is there to replicate that and give you the truest sound possible.

Playing an electronic drum set obviously has its upsides compared to an acoustic set - but feel and feedback has always been where an acoustic set prevails. Now, we’re not saying that Roland has absolutely cracked the code, but when you combine their epic drum sounds, industry-leading mesh heads, various realism-inducing technologies and hunger to always one-up themselves, you’d be forgiven for thinking they have.

New Roland VAD706 and TD-50 kits

Roland continues to innovate with the recent launch of three new kits, including the VAD706, a fully electronic kit housed within full drum shells and available in a range of finishes. You want an e-kit for gigging? This could be the one. In addition, the new TD-50X module, which accompanies the VAD706, plus two new flagship kit configurations - the TD-50K2 and TD-50KV2 - is fully loaded with sounds, deep editing options and realism-boosting technology. To cap it off, Roland has also launched a new 14” VH-14D digital hi-hat, joining the CY-18DR and PD-140DS line-up of acclaimed digital pads. We’re yet to test the new gear, but we’ll let you know what we think as soon as we do.