The 5 Best Electronic Cymbals Reviews

It’s easy enough to understand why you’d want to get the best electronic cymbals for your drum kit. Cymbals add the musical pop you need to make your sound complete, and that’s why no drum kit setup is complete without them.

Electronic cymbals have come a long way since they were first introduced. Now the sound is consistently clear and authentic not like before.

But which electronic cymbals are right for you and your drum kit? That’s a question that we can help answer for you. Your choice can depend not just on your budget, but also on how you plan to use the cymbals. Whether you’ll be using them for your performances, recordings, or practice, we have several excellent options for you to choose from.

Top 5 Electronic Cymbals: Comparison Chart

Name of product
No. of zones
View on Amazon
11.6 x 11.6 x 3.4 inches
2.42 pounds
14 x 14 x 1.4 inches
1.4 pounds
9.7 x 9.7 x 1.8 inches
13.4 ounces
12 x 12 x 1.4 inches
1.4 pounds
17.4 x 17.3 x 4 inches
4.6 pounds


Best Picks of Electronic Cymbals

#1: Yamaha PCY100 10″ 3-Zone “choke-able” Electronic Cymbal Pad

Perhaps the most notable characteristic of this PCY100 is that it’s chockfull of advanced features, yet its price is among the lowest in this list. The most notable of these features is that you have 3 striking zones for you to use.

There’s one at the edge, another at the bow, and finally one at the cup. Because of these multiple strike zones, you’re able to make the distinct sounds that you were able to make from your traditional acoustic cymbal.

Yamaha PCY100 10" 3-Zone "choke-able" Electronic Cymbal Pad, Black
  • 3-Zone (Edge, Bow and Cup)
  • Cymbal "choke" capability
  • Accurately responds to subtle differences in dynamics

Last update on 2020-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

In all the 3 strike zones, the responsiveness is consistently authentic. Shift the dynamics just a little bit and it will also recreate a subtly different sound. You even get to enjoy the choke capability.

Even the feel of the PCY100 has been designed to faithfully mimic that of the acoustic cymbal. The way this cymbal stands is like how a traditional cymbal stands. Your stick even bounces off it in the same way. So for those who are afraid that moving to electronic cymbals will be a foreign experience, you can let your worries rest. It very much feels the same.

Highlighted Features
  • The price is extremely reasonable, which makes it among the best electronic cymbals for beginners.
  • It offers 3 strike zones to let you recreate a wider range of different sounds.
  • It responds to different playing dynamics.
  • It feels the same way like that of the acoustic cymbal.
  • It has choke capability.

#2: Alesis DMPad 14″ Ride

These Alesis cymbals make for a great choice if you’re worried about device compatibilities. It works with just about every electronic module and device out there. It can fit on the vast majority of cymbal stands and mounts. It’ll work with a continuous or open/closed Hi-Hat control pedal.

The rubber hi hat pad you get with this really feels quite natural. If you’re used to acoustic cymbals, then it won’t be too much of a difference when you make a switch to field electronic cymbals.

Alesis DMPad 14" Ride
  • Multiple triggering zones for up to three different sounds at the bow, bell, and edge
  • Grab the edge to stop the cymbal sound
  • Natural-feeling rubber cymbal pad
  • Realistic cymbal movement
  • Works with virtually all electronic drum modules and devices

Last update on 2020-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This has multiple zones located at the bow, bell, and edge. It’s chokable, so you can stop the cymbal sound effect simply by grabbing its edge.

This will wow you with its consistency, and it proves just how well-made it really is. It’s also quite durable, as you can play with this every day for the next 2 years and it won’t show any serious wear and tear after all that time. You even get a protective sleeve for the cymbal stem.

Just make a few adjustments on the sensitivity and threshold, and you’re good to go. It may not be absolutely plug and play, but you can make it work for a wide variety of drum kits.

Highlighted Features
  • It’s compatible with just about every drum kit and module out there for drummers.
  • The feeling is quite natural when you play it, as if you’re dealing with a traditional acoustic cymbal.
  • It offers several strike zones for different sounds, plus you can choke the sound of just by grabbing the edge.
  • It performs consistently, so you know what kind of sound you’ll get by what actions you take.
  • The durability is terrific, as it will last for years even if you play it daily.

#3: Roland Electronic Drum Pad (CY-5)

One of the more commonly voiced complaints about the V-Drum from drummers is that the hi-hat pad isn’t exactly what you’d call realistic. Now this issue has been addressed by the release of this CY-5 cymbal pad.

This time, the hi-hat sound you get is nicely crisp, and it’s a lot more realistic. It can also act as another peripheral cymbal on your V-Drum kit, such as a crash or a splash.

BOSS Electronic Drum Pad, Black (CY-5)
  • Improved Cymbal Pad for Hi-Hat or Splash
  • 10" playing zone
  • Separate bow and edge triggering
  • Can be also used as an additional cymbal pad, such as a splash, on V-Drum kits

Last update on 2020-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Though the 9.5-inch diameter doesn’t sound like much, it’s actually quite ample for many drummers. After all, you get separate bow and edge triggering along with the 12-inch playing zone.  You also have this more natural feel as it uses swing movement like standard cymbals.

With its authentic sound and versatility, it’s a great option. It works with any drum module which connects with ¼” TRS cables. It mounts on a standard cymbal mount, so it’s an easy way to upgrade your drum kit.

Finally, over time the pads will wear down after countless bouts of beating on it with a stick. When that happens, you can just replace the pads and you’re okay.

Highlighted Features
  • It offers ample playing space.
  • It’s very durable and can last for a long while.
  • It has its own mounting arm along with a notched base for rack mounting.
  • It works with a lot of drum kits.
  • You get separate edge and bow trigger zones.

#4: Alesis DMPad 12″ Hi-Hat

Many people have come to use and love the Alesis Surge cymbals, but this one is actually better. When you wish to replace the hi-hat trigger in the Surge cymbals, you can pick this as your replacement instead.

The feel with this one is much better. It replicates the way it feels like when you’re using standard acoustic cymbals. It doesn’t feel strange, and those who are making the switch to electronic cymbals shouldn’t be upset about how different everything feels. In the initial strike and the rebound of the stick, it feels just right.

Alesis DMPad 12" Hi-Hat
  • Natural-feeling rubber cymbal pad
  • Realistic cymbal feel
  • Works with virtually all electronic drum modules and devices
  • Mounts on most cymbal stands and mounts

Last update on 2020-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The stick noise is also greatly reduced with this one. The stick noise can be annoyingly prominent but that’s not the case here.

The sensitivity of this DMPad is also outstanding. You have greater control over the dynamics and overall sound because it can respond appropriately to the speed and force of your strike. It also has a dual-sensing trigger zone so you get different sounds from the rim and from the head. So you can get rim clicks and rim shots, along cowbells, gongs, wind chimes and other auxiliary percussion sounds.

This works for just about all the electronic percussion devices out there. So regardless of the drum kit you use, this will pretty much work with it.

Highlighted Features
  • It has a great feel, like natural acoustic cymbals.
  • The strike and rebound feel right.
  • It offers reduced stick noise.
  • It’s sensitive, so you can control the dynamics and the overall sound.
  • You can get different sounds from the rim and the head.

#5: Roland Ride Cymbal, Metallic Gray, 15-inch (CY-15R-MG)

Let’s admit that compared with the others, this is a relatively pricey option. This costs more than 4 times as much as the Yamaha PCY100 10″ 3-Zone. But then this isn’t just bigger, but in many ways it’s superior to the others. Expensive though it may be, but you sure get your money’s worth.

Let’s start with the 3 triggers. With triggers in the bow, bell, and edge, you can get a wide range of different tones to help make your music sound fuller.

The triggering is also quite accurate and the sensitivity is excellent. That goes for the entire surface of the cymbal, and you sure do get a lot of playing area here. Even the feel you get gives you a nice natural swing.

BOSS Roland Electric Drum Ride V-Cymbal, 15 Inch, Grey (CY-15R-MG), Metallic Gray, 15-inch
  • 15-inch ride cymbal with realistic playing feel; designed with same inertia (movement) as acoustic ride cymbal
  • Selectable dual-trigger system (edge/bow or bow/bell) allows use as ride cymbal or large crash cymbal
  • Three-way triggering (edge/bow/bell) available with TD-20, TD-20X, TD-12, TD-9 and TD-4 modules. Also available with the TD-10 sound module equipped with the later version of TDW-1 Wave and System Expansion Board (TDW-1 with V-Cymbal Control)
  • Compatible with all Roland TD-Series/SPD-Series sound modules

Last update on 2020-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This comes with all your peripheral needs too. Your purchase comes with cable ties so the setup you have is a lot tidier. You get a stopper, wingnut, and felt washer too. It even looks great so it’s perfect for performances.

Highlighted Features
  • This offers 3 triggers, with one in the bow, bell, and edge. These give you the range of different tones you need.
  • The triggering is very accurate and consistent.
  • The sensitivity is excellent, and it can react differently to how hard you strike the cymbals.
  • It feels just right.
  • You get the peripheral equipment as well.


Why You Need Electronic Cymbals

There are several good reasons why you’d want to get the best budget electronic cymbals for your drum kit, aside from simply getting one that you can afford. The most obvious reason involves the ruckus you make when you practice at home.

With an old-fashioned acoustic drum set with traditional cymbals, you’ll make a lot of noise when you play at home. It’s not the kind of disturbance that the rest of your household will appreciate. You certainly can’t practice when people are asleep or trying to watch TV. But with electronic cymbals, you can dial down a volume to the relief of your neighbors and housemates.

You also get more variety with the tones and sounds you can make when you use electronic cymbals. Plug this to a computer and the appropriate software, and you can record and edit to really tweak the sounds to the way you like them to come out.

How to Choose Electronic Cymbals

Choosing your electronic cymbals depend greatly on several key factors. The first, of course, is whether or not it will work with your electronic drum modules and devices. It should also mount on your cymbal stands and mounts, so that you won’t have to get another one for it.

There’s the price to consider too, which is a practical consideration that you can’t afford. It’s also good if you can limit your choices to the more reputable brands so you can have a fair assurance that you’re getting good-quality devices. Brands like Yamaha, Alesis, and Roland are good options.

Finally, you need to choose your electronic cymbals that will match your purpose for getting them. If you wish to use them for your performances, then you need to make sure that you have more than one trigger zone so that you can produce a wider range of sounds. You can produce a different sound or texture without having to take a pause to change your settings.

If, however, you just want to practice and play your drums and cymbals at home (without making too much noise), you don’t really need an advanced model that will cost you a lot more money. You don’t really need as wide a range of sounds. However, it will be very important that your drum kit should feel natural, so that it remains an authentic drum play experience.

Things to Consider before Buying Electronic Cymbals

Here are the factors you need to consider:

  • It’s compatible with your drum kit.
  • You can afford it.
  • It’s durable enough so that you can pound on it without worry you’d have to replace it soon.
  • The number of zones, which will affect its versatility.
  • The size of the playing zones should be large enough.
  • It feels close enough to what a real cymbal feels like when you play it.
  • It should react properly to subtly different playing dynamics.
  • A choke capability would be nice.

Final Verdict

If budget is not an issue, then you can just get the Roland V-Cymbal Ride CY-15R-MG. It’s works very well in terms of advanced features and natural feel. It gives you the range you want, the triggering and sensitivity is fantastic, and it’s durable as well.

But for most of us, the best here would probably be Yamaha PCY100 10″ 3-Zone. It’s still an excellent option, yet it’s much more affordable than the expensive Roland. It feels very much like a standard acoustic cymbal, but when all considerations (including price) are factored in then it’s your first choice among all the best electronic cymbals on this list.

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