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If you’re looking to expand your electronic drum kit setup to include additional cymbals, then you’ll need to buy a dedicated electronic cymbal pad.
Electronic cymbals are typically compatible with most drum modules and types of E-kits. However, when it comes to high-end electronic cymbals, you’ll want to buy from the same brand as your existing electronic drum set.
The best electronic cymbals have separate triggers for each playing zone so you can play each part of the pad separately, and this offers more realistic sounds and more lifelike performance.
Although electronic cymbals can sometimes be expensive, it’s worth investing in options with superior realism that are responsive to a wide range of playing dynamics.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the top electronic cymbals on the market, and give you our picks of the best options for every budget.
What Are The Best Electronic Cymbals?
The Best Electronic Cymbals Reviewed
Roland are the pioneering world leaders in electronic drums. They make highly responsive and lifelike electric drum sets and the best electronic cymbals that are simply a joy to play.
If you are looking to upgrade your electronic drum set with accurate and responsive electronic cymbals then you will need to take a look at the Roland CY-15R 15 Inch Ride Cymbal Pad.
This 15-inch ride V-cymbal pad simulates the authentic playing of real cymbals, with a larger shape and size than most electronic cymbal pads.
It provides the full spectrum of realistic sounds with three-way triggering, allowing you to play on the edge, bow and bell of the cymbal.
This is Roland’s flagship V-cymbal pad that faithfully recreates the playing experience of acoustic cymbals with revolutionary triple-sensing capabilities, and it makes a lively addition to any existing electronic drum set.
This is an incredibly lifelike electronic ride cymbal that has a superior feel compared to other electronic cymbals. It picks up each stick note accurately and each part of the cymbal and it’s easily the best electronic ride cymbal on the market.
The CY-15R ride cymbal pad is ultra-sensitive and works great with any existing electronic drum module. Roland makes the best electronic cymbals on the market that are highly responsive, accurate, and velocity sensitive for an authentic playing experience.
- Revolutionary triple-sensing capabilities
- Highly responsive and lifelike performance
- Best electronic cymbals
- Premium price tag
Up next we have another flagship level Roland electronic cymbal pad that is designed with an optimal weight-balance and sensitivity for a superior playing experience compared to other cymbal pads for electronic drum sets.
The Roland CY-12C 12 Inch Crash Cymbal Pad provides a lifelike, natural swinging motion when it is struck, and it feels great to play for all styles of music.
This one of the best electronic cymbals because of its incredibly accurate triggering for a highly authentic crash cymbal performance. It is velocity sensitive and has choke control for a realistic playing experience.
These 12 inch Roland electronic cymbal pads make the perfect addition to any existing electronic drum set and are ideal for expanding with additional crashes. They are very well made and the triggers can certainly survive years of playing.
Roland electronic cymbal pads are premium priced, but they are worth the money. You won’t be disappointed with their accuracy and sensitivity, because these are some of the best electronic cymbals in the industry.
- Choke control for a realistic playing experience
- Lifelike, natural swinging motion
- Velocity sensitive and accurate triggering
With advanced multi-sensor triggering, the Roland V-Pad VH-14D Digital Hi-Hats are some of the most advanced and fun-to-play electronic hi-hat cymbals available.
This pair of advanced electronic hi-hats come complete with top and bottom 14-inch pads with relatively thin profiles for an authentic playing response.
They easily mount onto a regular hi-hat stand and the set also includes the stand-mounting hardware to set these up correctly.
In use, they feel amazing to play, and that’s the hallmark of Roland’s high-end V-drums.
The playing action and feel are incredible, and the multi-zonal sensors help to produce a feel just like a real set of hi-hats.
These hi-hats produce a smooth and natural tone when played in all different ways. For example, while playing open/closed, when operating the hi-hat pedal with your foot, and when playing on the bell of the top cymbal too.
With high-resolution sound triggering, they are ultra-responsive and they also have wide-range sensors that are even responsive to muting them with your hands.
If you are looking for the best upgrade for your electronic drum set, then I highly recommend the Roland V-Pad VH-14D Digital Hi-Hat Controller.
These electronic hi-hats truly produce a feeling as close as you can get to playing on a real acoustic set.
Just one final note to mention – these electronic hi-hats use USB-A digital trigger outputs which makes them only compatible with Roland’s latest sound modules including the TD-27, TD-50, and TD-50X.
- Super responsive to all different dynamics and playing styles.
- The best electronic hi-hats available with superior realism and sound detailing
- Immaculate sensitivity from the multi-zonal sensors
- Very expensive price tag
- Only compatible with the latest Roland sound modules
The Yamaha PCY135 Crash Cymbal 13 Inch Cymbal Pad is a high quality 3-zone electronic cymbal that is suitable for use with any existing electronic drum set.
This is a highly responsive and sensitive electronic cymbal pad that accurately responds to all playing nuances. The pad produces unique sounds each time the cymbal is struck, accurately reproducing natural dynamics.
The Yamaha PCY135 crash cymbal faithfully reproduces both delicate cymbal playing and explosive crash cymbal hits, and everything in between. It also has accurate choke functionality.
What I love about this electronic cymbal is its natural cymbal swinging and realistic rebound that feels natural to play. It also offers excellent value considering it can be triggered from every part of the surface, with 3-zone trigger functionality.
If you are on the market for the best electronic cymbals, this is one of the top products on the market. It is accurate and effective, and is built to last for years.
- 3-zone trigger functionality
- Excellent build quality
- Realistic cymbal swing and cymbal choke
The Roland CY-5 Crash Cymbal 10 Inch Cymbal Pad is an affordable and high quality electronic cymbal pad that has two trigger zones and is very responsive.
This is one one of Roland’s more affordable electronic cymbals, and therefore only a portion of the surface area is playable. However, it is velocity sensitive and works perfectly as a hi hat and potentially a splash or crash cymbal.
The only thing to consider with using the Roland CY-5 electronic cymbal pad as a crash is that it won’t offer a natural cymbal swing, because the hole is not in the centre. In order to play on the rubber portion of the surface area, the pad will always be in an optimal playing position.
This electronic cymbal offers a lot of bang for your buck, and you can be confident it has the great quality you can expect from Roland drums.
If you are looking for a great feeling and reliable hi hat electronic cymbal pad this is one of the best electronic cymbals that won’t break the bank.
- Great value cymbal pad
- Velocity sensitive
- Can be used as hi-hat, splash or crash
- Only a portion of the surface area is playable
- Doesn't go up and down like authentic hi-hat cymbals
Up last for review is the Pintech Percussion TC14 14 Inch Crash Cymbal Pad, which is a basic yet functional electronic cymbal for your electronic drum set.
It is a budget electronic cymbal, and because of this it is NOT velocity sensitive. This is a big drawback, but it is a very cheap product that gets the job done as a crash cymbal pad.
The cymbal pad itself is heavy-duty and virtually indestructible. The unit is 100% American made and is backed by Pintech’s exclusive lifetime warranty.
This is an electronic cymbal that is suitable for entry level drum sets, but it lacks the performance and functionality of more expensive Roland and Yamaha alternatives.
If you want a budget cymbal pad to expand your drum set, this product will trigger accurately despite the lack of sensitivity and dynamics because it uses authentic Piezo technology. It is hard wearing and will certainly get the job done as a crash cymbal.
- Budget electronic cymbal pad
- Lifetime warranty
- Piezo triggering technology
- NOT velocity sensitive - only has one volume
- Lacks quality of Roland and Yamaha products