If you’re looking to upgrade the pads on your E-kit, a new electronic snare drum ought to be the first on the list. In this guide, I share the best electronic snare drums that offer accurate triggering and a realistic playing experience. I’ve compared design, build quality, performance, and cost to give you my top recommendations.
What Is The Best Electronic Snare Drum?
The Best Electronic Snare Drums Reviewed
Roland PDX-12 V-Pad Electronic Snare Drum Review
The new Roland PDX-12 is an exceptionally high-quality electronic snare drum that is sized at 12” for an authentic playing experience. The pad itself has a shallow design that means it’s unobtrusive and fits easily into any setup.
The electronic snare drum features a smart dual trigger system that accurately picks up all types of playing across the head and rim. Rim shots, buzz rolls, cross-sticking, and solid backbeats – it brings them all to life with great detail.
The Roland PDX-12 electric snare offers fantastic performance, and the unit is very robust and of high quality. The mesh head is tunable to enable you to achieve your desired playing tension.
From playing this electronic snare on the Roland TD17KV, I think it’s the best electronic snare drum on the market. It’s versatile, feels great to play, and offers great value considering it has an impressive build quality and performance.
- Authentic rimshots, cross-sticks, and buzz rolls
- Shallow and compact design
- Great value for money considering the quality of the pad
- Very few negatives
Roland PD-128S V-Pad Electronic Snare Drum Review
The Roland PD-128S Electronic Snare Drum is another great quality electric snare drum that will enhance your electronic drumming experience to feel like you are playing acoustic drums.
The PD-128S translates musical ideas with ease through its advanced triggering and exceptional sensitivity. The new multi-element sensor system detects each playing stroke with astonishing detail.
Roland’s V drums offer the ultimate in performance and accurate sonic detailing. The PD-128S produces an uncanny snare drum-playing response.
The playing response and sensitivity from this electronic snare drum are both fantastic. Ghost notes, buzz rolls, strong backbeats and even brush playing are all brought to life with amazing detail.
If you are looking to upgrade your snare drum pad on your electronic drum set to something that is more realistic and enjoyable to play on, then the Roland PD-128S is the best electronic snare drum for you.
- Advanced triggering and exceptional sensitivity
- Incredibly realistic buzz rolls and ghost notes
- Perfect electronic snare drum upgrade
- Expensive price tag
- Slightly older model
Roland PDX-6 V-Pad Electronic Snare Drum Review
The Roland PDX-6 is a compact electronic snare drum that is very enjoyable to play on. It accurately picks up all different types of playing across the head and the mesh head offers an authentic playing experience.
The PDX-6 is small in design but big on performance! It is a dual-trigger electric snare drum which means it accurately picks up playing both on the snare as well as the rim for an authentic playing feel and sound.
Overall the PDX-6 is the best electronic snare drum pad for those on a budget. It features a strong build quality and it’s a great overall choice to play on for all styles of music.
- Separate rim and head triggering for superior sounds
- Best electronic snare drum pad on a budget
- Perfect upgrade from a beginner e-kit
- Smaller 8" pad isn't as realistic as a real snare drum
Roland PD-140DS V-Pad Electronic Snare Drum Review
The highly advanced Roland PD-140DS is one of the most sophisticated electronic snare drums on the market. It boasts a staggering 8 sensors across the head and rim that register playing with incredible realism and accuracy.
This is the best electronic snare drum that can translate musical ideas with ease through its advanced triggering and exceptional sensitivity. The new multi-element sensor system detects each playing stroke with astonishing detail.
The Roland PD-140DS undoubtedly carries a premium price tag, but it really delivers the very best in performance and playability. It feels unbelievable to play on, and it truly offers the most realistic level of performance available.
Whether you are playing strong backbeats, delicate ghost notes, snare rolls, rimshots, cross-sticking or even brushwork – the PD-140DS captures all the emotion from your playing and brings these sounds to life with huge character.
The PD-140DS electronic snare drum pad is the ultimate in expressive drumming and the 14” size helps to create the most authentic playing experience possible. This is the best electronic snare drum but the only big downside is that it is only compatible with Roland’s flagship TD-50 module because of the digital trigger outputs.
- The most advanced electronic snare
- Innovative multi-element sensor system
- 14" diameter for realistic and expressive playing
- Very expensive electronic snare pad
- Only compatible with Roland TD-50 Module
Yamaha DTX XP120SD Electronic Snare Drum Review
Lastly, we have the Yamaha XP120SD Electronic Snare Drum Pad that features a unique textured cellular silicone head instead of a multi-ply mesh head that all Roland models are equipped with.
The Yamaha XP120SD electronic snare drum is ideal for practicing and live performances. It offers a slightly different playing feel when compared to the Roland mesh heads, but I do really enjoy playing on this electric snare drum pad.
The dual-zone trigger pad is sensitive and highly responsive to all types of snare drum playing. It produces a really satisfying backbeat when playing rock or pop music and feels great to play jazz and RnB, too.
The triggering of this electronic snare drum is highly accurate, and it would make an excellent upgrade for any beginner electronic drum set.
- Realistic performance and expressive playing
- Solid build quality and design
- Great rimshots!
- Dated model
- Not great value for money