9 Best Electronic Drum Amps 2023, Compare Drum Monitors
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When playing electronic drums, your two options for hearing the drums are using headphones or an amp. Headphones won’t allow other people to hear what you’re playing.
So, you’ll need an amp for performances or when you want to jam with other musicians. Some electronic drum kit packages come with an amp, but most of the time, you need to buy one separately.
Here are the best drum amps available.
Roland PM-100 – Best Overall
The Roland PM-100 (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is one of the most popular drum amps available on the market. It’s optimized for Roland’s V-Drums, but it sounds incredible when used with electronic drum kits from any brand.
The thing that stands out most about this amp is its sound quality. While it’s fairly balanced in all the frequencies, it provides a rich bass tone that makes playing a kick drum sound particularly good. The 10-inch woofer is to thank for that.
The wedge design of the amp allows you to place it next to your kit, and the sound will be directed straight up at you. No matter where you place the amp around the kit, you’ll get the same directional effect, and it gives you extreme clarity with what you’re playing on the drums.
The size of the amp makes it ideal for setting up in tight spaces at home. However, the large carry handle also makes it convenient to move around easily. So, it’s a versatile amp to use at home and at small gigs.
It’s not the most powerful amp out there, but it’s good enough to use in most settings where volume isn’t being blasted.
Overall, it’s a top choice for electronic drum kits, as it offers quality, durability, and excellent playability.
Number of Channels: 2
Size: 13.93” x 15.31” x 16.06”
Weight: 29.8 lbs.
Roland PM-200 – Premium Option
The Roland PM-200 (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) takes everything good from the previous amp and steps it up a level. It’s Roland’s highest-quality drum amp, and when you have a top-tier amp from a top-tier brand, you know things are going to sound good.
It’s one of the largest and most powerful amps on this list, making it an excellent option for live stage performances.
The 12-inch woofer makes the bass and floor tom tones sound incredibly rich and beefy, and the cymbals sound amazing on the high-end as well.
The most impressive thing about this amp is its build quality. It’s built tremendously well, and it feels as though it will last decades of daily use without any issues. This makes it a great amp to travel with if you don’t mind the size and weight.
It’s a powerhouse amp that is ready to take on any setting you put it in. If you want to get the best single drum amp that you can possibly get, the Roland PM-200 is the answer. It’s very expensive, though, so you’ll need to save a bit to get it.
I highly suggest getting this amp to get some amazing electronic drum kit sounds. You probably won’t have to think about getting another amp again once you have it.
Number of Channels: 2
Size: 16.56” x 18.06” x 18.5”
Weight: 46.3 lbs.
Donner DDA35 – Best Budget Option
The Donner DDA35 (Amazon) is a good option to consider for people on a tight budget. It’s a lot smaller than the other amps on this list, making it great for drummers who just need something compact to use in their practice space.
The initial sound quality you get from this amp is noticeably lower than many others. However, you get extensive control over the EQ settings with three knobs to alter the lows, mids, and highs. If you dial them in just right, you can get a fairly good sound from your e-kit.
It’s a great bonus to have an additional channel on this amp, even though it’s so affordable. If you’re a musician who has a keyboard in your practice space along with your drums, you can run both instruments with this amp.
The 35-watt power is the lowest out of all the amps I’m recommending, but that’s what makes this amp suitable as a budget practice amp.
There are several amps available that are cheaper than the Donner DDA35, but I’d say that this is the most affordable amp I know of that still has relatively decent sound and build quality.
Overall, I highly recommend it for beginner drummers. If you’re an experienced audiophile, you won’t enjoy the sound of this one.
Number of Channels: 2
Size: 13.78” x 11.02” x 11.02”
Weight: 17.6 lbs.
Alesis Strike Amp 8
The Alesis Strike Amp 8 (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is one of the relatively affordable amp options from Alesis. It was designed to pair with the brand’s flagship Strike kit, but it works just as well with any electronic drum set.
The unique thing about this amp is that it’s basically a small PA speaker. It has a slot at the bottom that allows you to mount it on a stand, making it a good outside amp to use.
It still remains compact, though, being the second lightest amp on this list apart from the Donner DDA35.
I’m highly impressed by the potential output volume this amp has, even though it’s so small. 2000 watts is an excellent amount of power.
The amp has dual XLR ports, so you can happily connect it to a mixer via XLR cables if you want to, giving you a great PA setup.
In terms of sound, the highs are quite crisp, while the lows are very warm. The mids suffer a bit compared to the outer ranges, but not enough to chase you away from using the amp.
Number of Channels: 2
Size: 17.1” x 10.1” x 9.6”
Weight: 20.2 lbs.
KAT Percussion KA1 Drum Monitor
The KAT Percussion KA1 (compare prices on Sweetwater and Amazon) is another excellent small amp to consider. I’m not a big fan of KAT Percussion’s electronic drum kits, but their drum amps have always surprised me with their quality.
This 50-watt amp packs mean punch, and it gives you the option of adjusting the lows, mids, and highs to get a good EQ setting.
Apart from two standard input channels, it has a third 1/4” input that works independently from the EQ settings you’ve set. This allows you to plug in another instrument and not have it get affected by the sound settings you’ve set for your drum kit. Very useful!
It also has 1/8” inputs for your phone and headphones, which may come in handy at certain points. They also work independently from the EQ settings that you’ve dialed in.
KAT Percussion is an electronic drum brand that is often looked over, but I highly recommend checking this amp out.
Number of Channels: 4
Size: 16.25” x 15.5” x 15.5”
Weight: 31.4 lbs.
ddrum Bluetooth Drum Amplifier
The ddrum Bluetooth Drum Amplifier (compare prices on Sweetwater and Amazon) is a similar amp to the KAT Percussion KA1, but it has the added benefit of Bluetooth capability.
The Bluetooth function allows you to connect a device wirelessly to it to allow you to jam along while hearing the drums come out of the amp at the same time.
I suggest getting this amp if the drum module on your kit doesn’t have Bluetooth functionality already. It’s typically entry-level drum modules that don’t include it.
This ddrum has 50 watts of power with a 10-inch woofer and 2.5-inch tweeter, giving it pristine sound quality. You also get to tweak the mids, highs, and lows to get an optimal overall sound.
I wouldn’t say that the sound is as clear as some of the higher-priced speakers on this list, but this amp is a good option in its class. The Bluetooth function is a great selling point.
Number of Channels: 2
Size: 15.5” x 15.5” x 16.25”
KAT Percussion KA2
The KAT Percussion KA2 (compare prices on Sweetwater and Amazon) is the bigger, better version of the KAT Percussion KA1. If you’re willing to spend a bit more money and you have the space for it, I suggest getting this amp instead.
The great thing about this amp is that it competes with all the top-tier drum amps from other brands, but it’s a bit more affordable.
It’s a large amp with 200 watts of power, making it great for stage performances and loud band practices.
It has the same feature as the KA1 of the extra input that is unaffected by the EQ. So, you could get a good EQ for your drum kit, and then a guitar player could plug his guitar in and get a different EQ from his guitar and pedalboard.
The mid-range tones aren’t as good as the lows and highs through the channel that doesn’t get affected by the EQ. That’s where you’ll run music through, so you may notice the quality being a bit lower than on higher-tier drum amps.
This amp is almost as heavy as the large Roland PM-200, so keep that in mind if you’re thinking about getting it. It’s great for performances, but it’s not the easiest amp to carry around regularly.
Number of Channels: 4
Size: 19” x 18” x 16.5”
Weight: 44.25 lbs.
Alesis Strike Amp 12 Drum Monitor
The Alesis Strike Amp 12 (compare prices on Sweetwater and Amazon) is the ultimate electronic amp to get if you want to create a full PA system setup. This version is a bit bigger than the Alesis Strike Amp 8, making it more suitable for getting a large and defining sound.
If you’re going to go down the PA route, then I suggest getting two of these Strike Amp 12s. Having two of them set up on stands around your electronic drum kit will give you the most amazing sound quality and atmosphere.
The thing I like most about the Strike Amp 12 is the clarity it has. All the notes you play on your e-kit will come through very distinctly, even when you play softly. The bass tones are fairly deep and impactful, while the highs and mids are quite crisp.
This is the amp I suggest getting if you ever plan on taking your electronic drum kit outside. It can get incredibly loud, so it’s the perfect option for an outside gig. Even better if you have two of them!
Number of Channels: 2
Size: 23.76” x 13.68” x 13.92”
Weight: 35.12 lbs.
The Laney DH80 (Amazon) is a fantastic and reliable drum amp from a brand that purely specializes in making amplifiers for different instruments.
I’d argue that this is one of the best-sounding small amps available. With a height of just under 16”, this amp competes with the other compact amps on this list. However, its sound quality is far better.
It has two main channels for your electronic drum kit and another instrument, and it has two more slots for headphones and an aux input. The other cool thing about this amp is that it has Bluetooth connectivity.
It’s a bit more expensive than the compact amps that it competes with. However, the Bluetooth connectivity and the build quality boost its selling factor.
If you need a small amp that still sounds incredibly good, this is the amp you should get. It doesn’t have massive output power, so it’s perfect for a small home practice space.
Number of Channels: 4
Size: 12.52” x 14.17” x 15.28”
Weight: 28.8 lbs.
What To Look For In An Electronic Drum Amp
Sound quality is one of the most important factors to look for when buying an electronic drum amp. All amplifiers come with varying frequency ranges that make them better suited for certain instruments. Bass amps have a focus on lower frequencies, while guitar amps focus on higher ones.
When it comes to electronic drum amps, they need to have a wide frequency range that covers low, mid, and high frequencies. This is because drum kits have a large array of sounds that cover all the frequencies.
Hi-hats and cymbals are prevalent in high-frequency ranges, and bass drums and floor toms boom in the low-frequency ranges. Other drums fall somewhere in between.
The amps that you should look for to use with electronic drums are ones with built-in woofers. The easiest way to find amps like this is just to look for ones that are specifically made for electronic drum kits.
Buying an amp with “drum” in the name will always be a safe bet. If you’re thinking of purchasing an amp that isn’t specifically designed for drums, just make sure that you get one with the widest frequency range numbers that you can find.
Keyboard amps are often a safe bet, considering that keyboards also range from low to high frequencies like drum kits do.
The price you’re willing to pay will affect the quality of the drum amp that you can get. Budget amps are often the most attractive options, but many people find them to be underpowered after they get them.
So, carefully consider a few aspects when deciding on your budget for a drum amp. The amount of money you should spend will also be determined by the environment you’re going to use the amp in.
Are you a beginner drummer who just wants to set the amp up with the kit in your bedroom? A budget amp will be more than good enough for that setting.
Do you need an amp to amplify your kit at band practices? You’ll need to spend a bit more on a higher-powered amp.
If you’re planning on using an amp for live performances, I’d advise getting the highest-quality amp possible within your budget range. A better amp will also allow other musicians to connect their instruments to it, which can save a bit of space on stage.
If you try to use a budget amp for live settings, the sound quality will start to dip as your raise the volume. If the power is low, it’ll even start to distort, which no one wants to hear.
The power of an electronic drum amp will be represented by its wattage. The higher the wattage of an amp is, the louder it can be pushed while still keeping a clean tone with no distortion.
Many people think that having a higher wattage number is better, but that’s not always the case. You should look to get a high-wattage amp if you’re planning on using it live or at a band practice.
If you just want to use an amp for practicing alone, you won’t need so much power.
Some amps have high wattage, but their tone quality isn’t as good as ones with less power. You can often get a cheaper amp that sounds better. You just won’t be able to turn it as loud.
Another thing to remember is that you get more sound control over higher-powered amps.
There are pros and cons to high and low-powered amps, so decide which type will suit you the best and aim to get one of those for your kit.
Number of Inputs
The number of inputs a drum amp has determines how many things you can plug into it to amplify.
Realistically, you only need one input channel for your kit as a single cable will run from your drum module to the amp. Some drum amps come with a jack-to-jack cable for this, but you’ll need to buy one separately most of the time.
However, it’s a nice feature for drum amps to have more than one input and channel. If a drum amp has multiple channels, each channel will be able to be edited using a few EQ tools on the amp.
Some amps have more inputs for other things, such as headphones or a phone. Headphone inputs are arguably the least necessary thing a drum amp can have as you can plug headphones into the drum module, but there may be certain occasions where they are useful.
If a drum amp has two channel inputs, you can plug two electronic drum kits into it. This is incredibly useful for environments like a drum teaching classroom where there are multiple drum kits. Instead of each drum kit having its own amp, you can plug them into a single one.
Sound Control Settings
Admittedly, sound control and EQ settings on an amp aren’t the most important things for electronic drum kits. This is because, depending on the module you have, you can do all the sound editing necessary on the drum module itself.
However, EQ settings are useful for cheaper electronic drum kits that don’t have any EQ settings. They’re also useful for times when you want to jam with another instrument that is plugged into the same monitor.
Most electronic drum amps will have a few EQ knobs on them for you to fiddle with. I’d suggest spending some time learning which settings sound the best so that you get the best sound possible from your kit.
Higher-powered amps tend to have more EQ knobs on them than lower-powered ones.
Size and Weight
Size and weight are factors to think about as they affect comfort and portability. Some amps are incredibly large, making them fantastic amps for high volume but not for easy placement.
If you’re playing an electronic drum kit in your bedroom, a 20-inch-high amp may be a bit big to fit comfortably. That same amp would be perfect for a live stage, though.
Check the weight and size of an amp before buying it to make sure that it will fit whatever environments you plan to use it in. Heavy and powerful amps are amazing for large crowds but carrying a heavy amp to your weekly coffee shop gig is going to become quite frustrating after a while.
If you practice in a small area but also play gigs with your kit, my suggestion would be to get two amps that you can use for both settings. You could save a bit of money by getting a smaller amp that you keep in your practice space that won’t get damaged.
For a traveling amp, you’ll need to get something that is highly durable as well as large.
Bluetooth compatibility isn’t something that most drummers will think about when it comes to amps, but it’s worth mentioning as there are a few amps with this feature.
A Bluetooth amp will allow you to connect a device wirelessly so that you can play music from it through the amp. It eliminates the need for a cable, keeping your setup neat.
The best reason to have a Bluetooth amp is if your drum kit sits quite far away from the amp. It will stop you from needing to use an extra-long aux cable to connect your device.
Again, this isn’t a necessary feature for most, but it’s nice to have!
Creating a PA Speaker Setup
If you want to get the most high-quality sound possible from your electronic drum kit, the best thing to do is set up a PA system. You can do this by getting two electronic drum kit monitors and then running them and your kit through a central mixer.
The mixer will give you more control over your sound settings, and you’ll get a much more impactful sound around your kit. The larger setup is what professional drummers use to ensure they hear every detail of their kit.
The cool thing about having a PA setup is that you can easily get other musicians to plug their instruments through the mixer to play along with your kit.
To have a PA setup, it’s best to get electronic drum kit monitors that have XLR inputs that you can plug into the mixer, as they’ll give a more balanced sound compared to jack inputs.
It’s also ideal to get electronic drum monitors that can be mounted onto thick tripod stands. Check to see if the drum amps have a hole in the bottom with some sort of wing nut to tighten on the stand once they are mounted.
Best Drum Amp Brands
Are you looking to get an electronic drum monitor from a trusted brand? Check these out.
Roland is the leading electronic drum kit brand. They create high-quality electronic drum amps to match their successful line of V-Drums.
Alesis is a popular electronic instrument company that is well-known for making affordable products that compete with the higher-end ones from other brands.
KAT Percussion is a small electronic instrument company with products that are excellent for people with tight budgets.
ddrum are a high-quality electronic instrument group that are constantly pushing the boundaries of electronic drumming.
Donner is another smaller instrument brand with some amazing and reliable products. Their drum amps are particularly good!
Top Electronic Drum Monitors, Final Thoughts
Every drum amp that I mentioned above is a good option, but make sure to get one that fits the environment that you play your electronic drum kit in.
High-wattage amps are good for live performances, while small and low-powered amps are better for bedroom practicing.
Carefully look through all the features available and choose the best electronic drum amp for you. Make sure to choose one from a trusted brand too!
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