Alesis DM Lite Kit 5-piece Electronic Drum Set Review

In a nutshell, here’s my opinion:

The Alesis DM Lite Kit 5-piece Electronic Drum Set is a complete electronic drum kit that is great for new drummers who want an affordable kit to start learning and practicing or for parents who want a nice looking, no-frills and relatively quiet drum kit for their child.

Check how much Alesis DM Lite cost today here

However, at it’s price point, you should really be considering cheaper electronic drums that provide similar functions and features such as:

I explain in more details below.


Summary of my Alesis DM Lite Kit 5-piece Electronic Drum Set Review

  • Easy to set up
  • Height and Width of drum kit can be adjust easily too
  • Can be adjusted for both adults and children
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Takes up little space
  • Has coaching function that is beneficial for beginners
  • LED fitted pads provide great visuals
  • Overpriced
  • May not be durable
  • Pedals might be noisy
  • Lack of advanced triggers
  • Limited expansion options
  • Not sturdy for heavy hitters

Here’s what I’ll cover in detail below, click to skip to specific section for quick reading:

What is the Alesis DM Lite?

The Alesis DM Lite is a beginner electronic drum kit that comes with the essential components you’ll need to start drumming immediately.

This is what you’ll get in the box:

What’s included?

  • Alesis DM Drum Module
  • 1 x 7.5″ Snare drum pad (Single zone, LED fitted rubber pad)
  • 3 x 7.5″Tom drum pads (Single zone, LED fitted rubber pad)
  • 3 x 10″ Cymbal pads (Single zone, LED fitted rubber pad)
  • Hi-Hat Pedal (open/close)
  • Kick Pedal (velocity sensitive)
  • Drum Sticks

Other than the hardware, here are some additional features that you might find useful:

Additional Features

  • 10 pre set drum kits
  • 30 play-a-long music track
  • 200 percussion sounds
  • Metronome
  • Coaching function
  • 1/8″ Aux input
  • USB MIDI output
  • 1/4″ output

*Do note that the Alesis DM Lite drum kit does not come with a drum throne.*

You should be able to get a comfortable chair that suits your playing height.

Who is the Alesis DM Lite suitable for?

alesis DM Lite drums

In my opinion, the Alesis DM Lite is suitable for beginner drummers – both children and adults.

It comes with everything you’d need to start drumming. And also comes with a drum coach function that will help you develop the fundamentals of drumming.

But do keep in mind of its price point.

The issue with Alesis products is that it is known for it’s lack of durability.

Only consider the Alesis DM Lite if you don’t mind spending more for a beginner drum kit fitted with LED lights and don’t mind having to upgrade to a better kit or get a new one in 5 years time.

5 reasons why the Alesis DM Lite is worth your attention

Although I strongly think that there are better alternatives to the Alesis DM Lite e-drums, it does has it’s merits.

Here are 5 of them:

1) Foldable Drum Rack

The incorporation of the foldable drum rack in the Alesis DM Lite provides several benefits for its users.

Source: DM Lite Kit – Assembly Guide v1.1

i) No-brainer easy set up

The Alesis DM Lite comes pre-assembled for easy set up.

All you need to do is to cut the cable tie, adjust the height of your drum rack and the angles of your drum pads and connect the well labelled cables. Easy.

This feature is really a lifesaver if you are a brand new drummer, or a parent with no drumming knowledge.

Heck, even for drummers with experience, this is a convenient benefit.

There’s no need to fumble with the individual poles of the drum rack to figure out which goes where.

And, no need to spend hours figuring out if the individual drum and cymbal pads have specific functions or if they are interchangeable.

It takes us about 15 minutes to get the kit calibrated for our drummer’s height.

And oh, the folding rack also allows you to adjust the width and height of the final set up.

This means the kit can be adjusted for both children and adults.

JamStageCz’s (Youtube) video will give you an idea of how the DM Lite feels and looks when played by an adult drummer:

And this Youtube video from Donny Gochuico will give you an idea of how the Alesis DM Lite can be set up for kids:

Can’t believe how easy it is? You can see the Alesis DM Lite Assembly Guide here.

ii) Portable

The foldable rack design also means that you can easily disassemble your drum kit should you need to transport it.

iii) Storage

A fully folded up Alesis DM Lite takes up 9.4 inches by 20.5 inches area.

With the foldable rack, you can easily store your Alesis DM Lite drum kit when you need to.

2) Compact

For a rather complete electronic drum kit that comes with a snare, 3 toms, 1 hi-hat and 2 cymbals, it has a rather compact foot print.

If you have limited space in your apartment for the drums, this kit will suit your needs.

It can open up to about 47″ (wide) by 19″ (front to back, not inclusive of throne)

With its flexibility, the Alesis DM Lite provides a good balance between its compact size and playing comfort.

Adults should be able to drum in this kit comfortably when it is fully set up.

3) Coaching function

The Alesis DM Lite comes with a coaching function that allows you to practice using 5 drum exercises that will help you improve your drumming fundamentals, timing and speed.

These exercises are the same as those programmed in the ION Audio Redline drums.

You can read about the coach function’s drum exercises here.

4) LED fitted pads

Visual quality aside, this feature will help new drummers improve way faster, especially when it comes to timing.

It’s not easy for a new drummer or musician to determine if they are accurate simply by using a click or by sound.

Adding a visual guide through the LED really helps you identify if you are playing too fast or too slow.

Mastering tempo and timing doesn’t have to be so torturous:

Source: Youtube (“Movieclips coming soon” channel)

And oh yes, it’s pretty cool to play the Alesis DM Lite in the dark too.

5) Well thought out essential features

The benefits mentioned above are very useful for new drummers who have never drummed before.

On top of those benefits, Alesis has managed to include other essential features into the DM Lite, that most drummers will find useful:

i) Metronome

Any drummer who wants to build a strong foundation and improve their skill, will need to practice with a metronome.

The Alesis DM Lite module comes with a metronome function that allows you to keep time in

  • 5 time signatures
    • 1/2
    • 2/2
    • 3/4
    • 4/4
    • 6/8
  • 6 time intervals
    • 2 (half note)
    • 3 (triplet)
    • 4 (quarter note)
    • 6 (sextuplet)
    • 8 (eighth note)
    • 16 (sixteenth note)

And oh, there are 5 different metronome sounds to choose from if you wish to.

ii) Inputs

You can choose to use the 1/8″ (AUX) input to feed music or tracks to the drum module and drum to your favorite tunes. This definitely makes drumming fun for drummers of any skill level.

The MIDI/USB connection allows you to customize your drumming experience by pairing your Alesis DM Lite recording software or virtual instruments.

iii) Output

Practice with minimal noise by using the 1/8″ headphone output.

Or bring the Alesis DM Lite with you and use the 1/4″ stereo output to broadcast your drumming on any external amp or sound system.

Check how much Alesis DM Lite cost today now

4 key disadvantages that could stop you from getting this e-drums

1) Cost

In my opinion, the Alesis DM Lite comes with a rather hefty price tag for what it offers.

It’s features are pretty close to that of the ION Audio Redline, except for an extra cymbal pad and possibly better pedals.

However, those differences do not seem to justify the difference in price tag.

For about half the price, you can consider either of these electronic drum kits for beginners instead:

2) Lack of advanced triggers

As a beginner drum kit, the Alesis DM Lite is sufficient for basic drum rudiments and fills.

However, it does not give you to option for:

  • rim shots on the snare
  • cymbal bell or bows or edge shots
  • cymbal choke
  • half open hi-hat pedals

This means you’ll definitely need to upgrade to a better drum kit later on, if you want to be able to perform the full range of triggers.

3) Limited Expansion options

Although the DM Lite has a MIDI/USB connector that allows you to feed virtual instruments, it doesn’t allow you to add more drum pads or other components to the kit.

You could get better drum pads or cymbal pads from Alesis to upgrade the DM Lite’s stock pads. However, this is dependent on the compatibility of the pads.

4) Not as sturdy

The Alesis DM Lite was designed for portability. Hence it comes with a foldable drum rack that is rather lightweight.

On the flipside, it feels less sturdy especially when used by a heavy hitting drummer.

My Verdict on Alesis DM Lite

Although there are some differences as compared to the cheaper Ion Audio Redline Drums, I am not convinced that the Alesis DM Lite is worth its price really.

The ION Audio Redline has been pulled out of production, but you can still grab the last few kits on Amazon.

If those are no longer available, you might want to consider the Alesis Nitro electronic drums instead.

Real User Feedback

Don’t just take my word for it.

I’ve also compiled what other drummers using the Alesis DM Lite said here:

The Good

  • Quieter than acoustic drums, useful if you want to drum without disturbing the neighbors.
  • Good as a beginner electronic drum.

The Bad

  • Sound quality could be better.
  • Volume is an issue for some. Bass drum sound might over power the rest.
  • Price has been increasing, not worth the price currently.

The Potential Deal Breakers

  • The pedals can be quite noisy.
  • Might not last; some users have mentioned that their pedals or pads have stopped working after 3 months, others have said that theirs have been working for years.

You can read the latest review on the Alesis DM Lite here. Do keep in mind that the kit was sold at a cheaper rate in the past and hence some reviews might be skewed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some FAQs that I usually get:

Alesis DM Lite vs ION Audio Redline Drums?

Alesis DM Lite vs ION Audio Redline Drums

The drum brains look the same to me and their functions are almost identical.

Here are the differences between these 2 kits that we picked up:

Alesis DM LiteION Audio Redline
Drum Pads1 Snare Pad, 3 Tom Pads1 Snare Pad, 3 Tom Pads
Cymbal Pads3 Cymbal Pads2 Cymbal Pads
PedalsLooks bigger and better.

Kick pedal is velocity sensitive.
Simple pedals, not velocity sensitive.
Drum RackFold-able drum rack, easy to set up. Drum kit comes pre-assembled.Regular wingnut assembled drum rack. Drum kit comes un-assembled.

*My Thoughts*

Both Alesis and ION Audio are under the same parenting company. My view is that they want to concentrate the sales of edrums under the Alesis brand.

Hence they have stopped the production of the ION Audio Redline drums and started selling it as the rebranded and upgraded Alesis DM Lite.

Pricing the Alesis DM Lite at the same price as the Redline drums might confuse consumers because the Alesis Nitro is also along the same price point.

That could be the reason why the Alesis DM Lite is given a higher price tag.

Whatever the reason, I do not think that it offers sufficient value for that price.

You should consider the Alesis Nitro or the Carlsbro CS D130 instead.

Read our comparison of the best electronic drums for beginners here for other options.

Alesis DM Lite vs Alesis Nitro?

Alesis DM Lite vs Alesis Nitro

Alesis DM LiteION Audio Redline
Drum Pads4 x Single Zone Rubber Drum Pads

Drum pads are 7.5"
1 x Dual Zone Rubber Drum Pads

3 x Single Zone Rubber Drum Pads

Drum pads are 8"
Cymbal Pads3 Semi Cymbal Pads

No choke function
3 full-circled Cymbal Pads

Crash cymbal has choke function
LED LightsAll pads are fitted with LED LightsNone
Kick Pedal (aka bass drum)Trigger based kick pedalKick Pedal comes with drum pad for more realistic rebound
Hi-Hat PedalHas open and close triggersHas open, half-open and close triggers
Drum RackFold-able drum rack, easy to set up. Drum kit comes pre-assembled.Regular wingnut assembled drum rack. Drum kit comes un-assembled.
Portable?More portableLess portable

For about half the price (at the point of writing), I would say that the Alesis Nitro provides way more value than the Alesis DM Lite.

*My Thoughts*

Although the Alesis Nitro comes with a skinnier price tag, it packs way more value than the Alesis DM Lite in my opinion.

You get the essentials a new drummer needs (coach function, metronome, etc) along with some advanced triggers like the choke function and the dual zone snare drum.

The downside however, is that the Alesis Nitro is less showy because it doesn’t come with LED lights.

If you are good with electronic circuits or someone who does, this can be easily modified.


In short, there are better options than the Alesis DM Lite for beginners. So, unless you really want the LED fitted pads for visual effect, go for the ION Audio Redline (see my review), Alesis Nitro electronic drum kit (Read my review here) or Carlsbro CS D130 drum kit (doesn’t have coaching function).

Or, save up a little more for a longer lasting beginner drum kit from Yamaha or Roland, or get a more advanced drum kit from Alesis:

Leave a Comment