Alesis Nitro Max Review

Alesis Nitro Max Review

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The Alesis Nitro Mesh has been one of my top recommended beginner electronic drum kits for several years. It’s a great kit, but it may become a thing of the past with Alesis releasing their new Nitro Max version.

In this review, we’ll be looking at all the features of the Alesis Nitro Max. I’ll share my experience with it, and we’ll compare the features to what came before on the classic Nitro Mesh kit.

If you’re looking for a good beginner e-kit, this might just be the one for you! So, let’s see where this drum set stands.

Alesis Nitro Max

Key Features

  • White mesh drum pads
  • 440 onboard drum set sounds
  • Sounds derived from BFD
  • Kick Pedal and tower included
  • 90 days free of Drumeo
  • Bluetooth connectivity


Sound Quality
Build Quality


Alesis Nitro Max Ratings

Sound Quality


Build Quality









With the Alesis Nitro Max, you receive everything you need to begin playing right away, besides a drum throne and headphones.

You get all the cymbal and snare pads, a kick tower with an Alesis pedal, a hi-hat pedal, a 4-post drum rack, Nitro Max drum module, as well as some sticks and a drum key. All the mesh heads are quiet and offer a nice playing response.

And there have been some big improvements – most notably with the inclusion of drum sounds from the BFD sound library, as well as an improved module, an upgraded snare drum, bluetooth connectivity, as well as a host of other things.

In terms of sizing, it’s still super compact and it takes up a small footprint, which means it’s ideal not only for beginner drummers but also more experienced players who want a space-saving practice kit.

Sound Quality

The first thing I noticed when playing this kit was how much better the drum samples sound compared to the original Alesis Nitro Mesh kit. They’re a lot more refined and detailed, and each drum head seems to be far more responsive to dynamics. 

I’m genuinely so impressed by the quality of the sounds and how it feels to play, especially compared to the original Nitro Mesh.

Alesis derived the sounds from BFD sound libraries, and you truly get a sense that you’re playing a high-quality kit when jamming out. The first 8 kits on the module sound especially good, as those are the ones coming straight from BFD. 

I also love how you can do foot splashes with your hi-hat on this kit. That’s a feature that I honestly haven’t seen in most other entry-level kits, so it definitely boosts the playability here. 

The last big thing to mention is that this kit has a 10-inch snare drum, while the older Nitro kit only had an 8-inch one. 

The larger snare drum pad makes a massive difference to how the kit feels when playing, and I’m very impressed by the dynamic range of the pad. It feels far more solid to strike, and I love the sound of rimshots and ghost notes from the preset module kits. 

With all that said, the sounds still don’t compare to what you get from higher-end kits from Roland and Yamaha. However, you’ll be paying double or even triple the price for those, so I’d say that this Alesis Nitro Max kit has the best sound quality in its price range. 

Drum Module

The drum module is the biggest difference when comparing the old Alesis Nitro Mesh to this new Alesis Nitro Max kit. It’s been completely redesigned, offering far better features and tools to use when performing and practicing. 

I already touched on the module sounds earlier, but one of the new features is that you can make 16 of your own kits using 440 high-quality samples. 

I spent some time putting together some new kits using my favorite sounds I encountered. I was also able to adjust the reverb, as well as change the volume and panning of individual sounds.

Importantly, the module now has Bluetooth connectivity, so you can connect your phone to run tracks through it for practicing. You even get a little stand above the module where you can rest your device.

I also like the new recording feature. You can record yourself playing and then play it back to see what you sounded like. It’s an excellent practice tool to ensure what you play actually sounds good. The module allows you to save up to five recordings, so you can store those and come back to them at a later stage. 

Another feature I l found helpful is the metronome. While all drum modules have one of these, there’s a visual part on the interface that allows you to see the beating pulse. I’ve always found this type of thing very useful when practicing, as hearing AND seeing a metronome really ensures that I stay in time when playing. 

Build Quality

There are a few key differences when comparing build quality of this set and the previous generation model. The biggest difference is the appearance of the pads. 

On the Nitro Max, you get white mesh heads with a red stripe across each drum pad. I think these pads look way better, as they have an almost vintage appeal.

When I received the kit, everything was shipped in a single box. It’s relatively easy to set up by following the instructions. The plastic wingnuts were a little bit awkward and sometimes got in the way of each other, however.

The kit has 4 setup posts. It is quite stable, but you need to make sure that all of the clamps are positioned at the exact same height otherwise it will wobble a lot more. You also need to tighten all of the screws firmly using the allen key provided.

The whole kit is super compact and lightweight. When it’s set up it only takes up about 4 and a half feet of space. And you can fold the posts together to make it flat for easy storage when not in use.

One of my main gripes with the older Alesis Nitro Mesh kit was that it sat very low to the ground. I find the Nitro Max still does, and I really do feel like this kit would benefit from being a little taller, as myself, along with many other drummers like to sit higher up.

My last point to mention about build quality relates to the kick pedal. I’ve always been impressed by the kick pedals that Alesis includes with their beginner kits, and this one keeps that trend going. It feels really smooth, and I’d honestly just use this with the kit instead of replacing it with a higher-end pedal from my acoustic kit. 

However, I did find the kick tower was creeping away a lot. I had to add some extra velcro underneath to keep it in place, even with the retractable spikes.

If you want to play double bass with this kit, I was actually surprised how well it works! I managed to set up my Tama Speed Cobra pedal with the Nitro Max and I found it worked well enough!


While this is an amazing drum set, it’s important to remember that it’s mainly aimed at beginner drummers. All of the features and add-ons make it an attractive option for newer players. 

The sounds are great, but an experienced drummer may still find a few playability features lacking. For example, a professional drummer would want multiple trigger zones on each pad and really authentic responsiveness. 

They’d also want a proper hi-hat stand so that the kit felt more similar to playing an acoustic kit. The Nitro Max doesn’t offer those things, so more experienced drummers would be happier with something more expensive that has higher-quality features.

With that said, I’ve seen a few drummers use these kits as practice kits as well as MIDI controllers. This is when you connect an electronic kit to a computer and primarily use it to make recordings on a DAW while using virtual drumming software. With that use in mind, it’s useful for making demos and laying out ideas. 


With a price tag of around $400, the Alesis Nitro Max is one of the most affordable electronic drum kits available. What I find incredible is that there hasn’t been a price increase compared to the older Alesis Nitro Mesh version even though this kit is clearly much better. 

That older kit was already one of the best-value electronic kits available, so the value is even better with this one. If you’re a beginner drummer looking for the most affordable drum set, this is the perfect option for you. 

To increase the value even more, Alesis includes two educational platform subscriptions so that you can start learning with lessons straight away. 

The first one is a 30-day subscription to Melodics. This is a song play-along app that kind of imitates Guitar Hero. You can learn how to play songs by visually seeing notes fall down the screen.  

The second inclusion is a 90-day subscription for the Drumeo platform. Drumeo is an extensive platform that includes thousands of drum lessons for all levels, and it’s definitely one of the best ways for a beginner to learn how to play drums without having a teacher. It’s really valuable for experienced drummers as well!


Overall, I’m a huge fan of the Alesis Nitro Max. I think it’s hands-down the best beginner electronic kit available at the moment. 

The fact that it comes with two educational drumming platform subscriptions further proves that point. 

If you want to start playing drums and you can’t buy an acoustic drum set, the Alesis Nitro Max is undoubtedly your top option. 

If you’re a more experienced player who needs something to practice with, you may need to consider getting something with better playability features. 

What Comes In The Alesis Nitro Max Box?

  • 1 x 10” dual-zone snare pad
  • 3 x 8” single-zone tom pads
  • Kick drum tower with an Alesis kick drum pedal
  • 10” hi-hat pad
  • 10” crash pad
  • 10” ride pad
  • Alesis Nitro Max drum module
  • 4-post metal drum rack
  • A pair of drumsticks
  • Drum key

Alesis Nitro Max At A Glance


  • The best value-for-money beginner kit on the market
  • Massive quality improvements over the original Nitro Mesh drum set
  • Good playability despite its compact size
  • Redesigned drum module which is incredibly user friendly and has Bluetooth
  • Includes 30-day subscription for Melodics and 90-day subscription for Drumeo


  • The kick tower crept away whilst i played, so it needed extra velcro to keep it in place
  • Doesn’t come with a drum throne or headphones, which is true for most e-kits anyway
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