Behringer XD80USB Review – the Budget Drum Kit Choice

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Electronic drum kits aren’t known for being the most affordable instruments, which is largely in part to the power and creative versatility that they provide. Behringer’s XD80USB marks a budget-friendly entry point into the world of electronic drumming, offering an interesting mix of features and hardware without breaking the bank.

What’s in the Box

You’re not going to get a ton of extras with this kit, which is one of the ways it’s able to achieve such a low price point compared to other models. That means no throne, no travel bags, and no sticks. However, you do get a complete eight-piece kit as well as a fully-functioning drum module, which is what you really need to start playing. I was pleased to learn that this kit comes with both a kick pad and a kick pedal, since some models only offer the pad or skip both completely.

Though the kit does come with drum sticks, it doesn’t come with headphones. Since there are no built-in speakers to process the sounds, you’ll need to either connect it to an external sound system or use headphones to hear yourself play. A drum throne isn’t necessary to actually be able to play, but if you do need something to sit on you can use a chair or purchase a musical stool. These stools are not always adjustable, but are typically designed to be a passable height for a wide range of musical instruments.

Overall Configuration

There aren’t any major surprises when it comes to the drum layout, which is really a huge benefit when you think about it. Some drum kits can have a lower price because they eliminate key drumming features, or don’t follow the standard drum head layout. These kits won’t allow you to play properly, and are essentially toys rather than actual musical instruments. The XD80USB is definitely no toy, as it comes with three toms, two cymbals, a kick drum, a snare drum and hi-hats with a functioning pedal, which is quite a bit when it comes to drums.

The rack doesn’t allow for a lot of flexibility in terms of fine tuning the positioning, but that’s to be expected on a kit like this. The rack isn’t going to offer the same sturdiness as a steel frame like you would find on a professional kit, so keep that in mind when you play. Excessive force could cause some damage to the racks and the hardware, and it’s best to exercise some caution when playing to avoid damaging the kit or yourself.

The Module

This electronic drum kit includes the HDS240USB module, which features 175 sounds programming into its internal library. It’s definitely less than you’re going to see on a lot of other models, but it’s still more than enough to be able to play in a good range of styles. The module also includes 15 factory default drum presets, so you can quickly choose from multiple different styles with the touch of a button, rather than have to program each piece separately before you play.

If you do want to create your own custom setups, you can design your own user presets. The module features a simple button-based layout that enables you to easily identify which sound is mapped to what component, which is a nice feature that should make playing a less complicated experience overall. You can also attach a fourth tom and second crash cymbal through external ports, though you will need to purchase these separately.

Low Cost, High Performance

The biggest factor that contributes to the price of this kit is the sample library, which is probably the best limitation to experience on a budget kit. Most drummers won’t ever use all of the sounds that come in a sample library, so think of it as cutting out unnecessary features rather than losing anything extra. The samples that you do get are high definition, studio quality sounds, which is definitely worth more than having hundreds of low quality samples.

The pads that come with the XD80USB are also multi-zone, which is definitely not something you see in budget kits. Three of the drum pads and three of the cymbals are dual zone, so you can actually achieve different sounds depending on where you strike them. This allows for a huge amount of versatility that more than makes up for the smaller sample library. Take into account the MIDI in and out ports, the built-in equalizer, and the five user preset slots, and you’re definitely getting more with this kit than you’re missing out on.

The Verdict

Keeping costs down is not easy when it comes to buying instruments, and electronic drum kits are probably the worst of them all. This kit manages to provide a powerful drum brain, dual zone pads and a two foot pedals at an impressively low price, making it an easy pick for any budget.

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