Alesis Nitro vs Roland TD-1K

Are you a ‘Generalist’ or a ‘Specialist’?

That’s the key difference between the Alesis Nitro and the Roland TD-1K.

And here are the rest of the differences, in a nutshell:

Alesis Nitro vs Roland TD1K

Alesis NitroRoland TD1K
the Generalistthe Specialist
Check latest promos for the Alesis Nitro hereCheck latest price of the Roland TD-1K now
Type of drum kitElectronic Drum KitElectronic Drum Kit
What You GetAlesis Nitro Drum Module
1 x 8″ Snare Drum Pad (Rubber pad, 2 zones)
3 x 8″ Tom Drum Pads (Rubber pads, 1 zone)
3 x 10″ Cymbal Pads (Rubber pads, 1 zone. Crash cymbal has choke zone)
Hi-hat Pedal (open/close/half-open/splash)
Kick drum pad with Pedal
Drum key
Drum Sticks
Roland TD-1 Drum Module
1 x 7" Snare Drum Pad (Rubber pads, 1 zone)
3 x 7" Tom Drum Pad (Rubber pads, 1 zone)
3 x Cymbal Pads (Rubber pads, 2 zone. Crash cymbal has choke zone)
1 x Hi-hat Pedal (open/close/half-open/splash)
1 x Kick Pedal
Drum key
Drum ThroneNot IncludedNot Included
Additional Features40 pre-set drum kits
60 Play-a-long drum music tracks
385 percussion sounds
Metronome Function
Coaching Function
Has MIDI input and output
Has AUX input and output
15 pre-set drum kits
15 pre-set songs that cover 9 genres of drumming
Ability to modify kit through the use of MIDI pads or pedal
Metronome Function
Coaching Function
Sound Quality
Noise LevelNoise of tapping against rubber pads.Noise of tapping against rubber pads.
DurabilityLess durableMore durable
Space requirementBetween 4ft x 3ft - 6ft x 4ftAbout 3.3ft x 3.9ft
Price Range$$$$$$$


Our Verdict:

  • The Roland TD-1K is great for drummers who want a well built, features packed electronic drum kit.
  • Alesis Nitro is the best value for money electronic drum kit for beginners, in the market. If you want an affordable, general e-drum kit and don’t mind taking the risk that it may malfunction, the Nitro is for you.

We have researched and compiled our findings on the best electronic drum kits for beginners previously.

But in this article, we’ll focus solely on the Alesis Nitro and Roland TD1K.

We’ve analyzed, researched and even took other drummers’ opinions and compiled it in this article, you’ll find:

Let’s jump right in:

Alesis Nitro

Complete electronic drum kit with an attractive price tag.

alesis nitro kit

Read our detailed Alesis Nitro Kit review here

With the Alesis Nitro, you get an impressive looking electronic drum kit that will definitely leave a memorable first impression.

Its design replicates an acoustic drum kit set up closely. You can expect to pick up useful drumming habits that’ll allow you to transition between acoustic drum kits and electronic drum kits.

Components included with the Alesis Nitro

The Alesis Nitro packs the major components that most drummers need. You’ll get:

  • 4 x 8″ drum pads – 1 snare, 3 toms
  • 2 cymbal pads
  • 1 hi-hat  cymbal pad
  • 2 pedals – hi-hat and bass drum
  • Bass drum kick pad
  • A pair of drum sticks

It is good to note that the snare drum pad comes with a dual zone trigger function so that you can practice those rim shots.

Another feature to note is that its bass drum kick pad and pedal set up replicates that of an acoustic drum kit.

This means that you can experience a rather accurate feedback and feel when you are practicing your bass drum kick techniques.

Alesis Nitro Module

With the Alesis Nitro module, you get one of the widest range of electronic drum presets and trigger libraries for entry level electronic drum kits.

Although this sounds great from a consumer’s point of view, our take is that it doesn’t really add much benefit to a beginner drummer.

If you are a planning to perform live, you might if the sound libraries rather useful.

With the module, you also get to play around with the individual volume of each pad on your kit. This allows you to customize the sound level to your playing comfort.

Other users have shared their views on the Alesis Nitro too, you can read about their thoughts here.

Noise level

With electronic drum kits, noise level is usually the key factor.

However, with the Alesis Nitro’s pricing you could actually afford to ignore this very factor.

I mean, it costs less than most full sized acoustic drum kit!

But in case you’re wondering, here’s how loud the Alesis Nitro can get:

Video from DRUM ON

Electronic drum kits are relatively quieter than acoustic drum kits.

But as you are still using 2 hard materials to hit against each other, there will still be sound created.

Depending on the type of apartment you are living in, you might need extra sound proofing if your neighbors still complain about the noise.


With acoustic drum kits, you can easily expand your kit whenever you see a need to.

All you need to do is to buy a particular drum or cymbal and add it to your kit.

However, electronic drum kits might be more restrictive.

You’ll need to check if the pre-existing drum module has enough input ports and if it can even handle the additional signals.

alesis-nitro-panelSource: Alesis Nitro User Manual

These are the input and output options on the Alesis Nitro’s drum module.

You have options to upgrade the toms and crash pads in the future.

With all these features offered at its price, the Alesis Nitro is easily the most value for money entry level electronic drum kit out there.

Roland TD-1K

An entry level, well built compact electronic drum kit built to minimize space.

The Roland TD-1K is a compact entry level e-drum that was design to minimize its footprint.

Hence, it’s perfect for drummers who are facing space constrains.

On the flip side, experienced drummers may find this design a little cramped. And new drummers learning on the TD-1K will take some time to adjust to a regular sized acoustic drum kit when they need to transition to it, in the future.

Components included with the Roland TD-1K

Although the Roland TD-1K looks minimal, if you scrutinize its components, you’ll notice that it actually provides similar functions as the Alesis Nitro.

You’ll get:

  • 4 x 7″ drum pads – 1 snare, 3 toms
  • 2 cymbal pads
  • 1 hi-hat cymbal pad
  • 2 pedals – hi-hat and bass drum

Roland has been in the game for 48+ years, focusing and honing their craft of manufacturing electronic musical instruments.

They have established themselves as a reliable electronic drums manufacturers over the years.

Hence, you can be pretty sure that you’ll be getting an e-drum of trustworthy quality that lasts.

Roland TD-1K Module

With the Roland TD-1K module, you are getting 15 preset drum kits.

You can also read what real drummers say about the drum kits here.

Or listen to how they sound via this video:

It also comes with Metronome and Coaching functions that beginners will find very useful.

You can read my training regime to developing hand speed and control for ideas on using the metronome to improve your skills.

Noise level

Here’s how ‘noisy’ the TD-1K can get for your neighbors, and the people living with you:

Video by Sean P Twomey

The rubber pads on the TD-1K are regular pads that are made of relatively dense and hard rubber.

This will create noise from the impact made by your drum sticks.


The TD-1K module allows input of 4 drum pads and 4 cymbals.

You can choose to add an additional cymbal pad to the TD-1K out of the box.

Or, choose to upgrade the drum or cymbal pads later.

If you’re a savvy shopper, you’d probably want more details on how we arrived at our verdict.

Here’s a detailed breakdown of our comparison on Alesis Nitro vs Roland TD1K.

We try to remove as much bias as we could by using hard facts (and getting multiple of our writers to fight it out). We’ll share our thoughts after these key comparisons:

Differences between the Alesis Nitro and Roland TD-1K

Differences between Alesis Nitro vs Roland TD1K

Here are the key differences that (we think) could potentially sway your final decision here:

1 – Sound library

If you want the widest range of preset drum kits, sound triggers and preset songs, the Alesis Nitro is for you.

The Nitro comes packed with 40 preset drum kits and 60 preset songs that you can drum to while the TD-1K only has 15 preset drum kits and 15 preset songs.

With all that said, I would urge you to not be swayed by this feature, especially if you are a beginner.

You’ll notice that the Nitro’s selling strategy is to stuff as much features as they can into the kit.

However, you might not be able to fully utilize them as a beginner. On the flip side, if you’re a pro, you might find the sound library very wide, but slightly lacking in musical quality. There are kits with better sounding drum samples (and a fatter price tag too).

Having too many options on your e-drum module only serves as a form of distraction.

2 – Durability

With low cost entry level e-drums, you should have the right expectations.

Although the Alesis Nitro is a winner in the features front, there have been reports against its durability.

The Roland TD-1K on the other hand is praised for its build quality.

If you want a reliable e-drum that lasts for years, the TD-1K is a better option.

3 – Sound Quality

The Alesis Nitro works well. With 40 preset drum kits, you can also be sure that there will be an option that suits your playing style.

This is how it sounds like:

Video from: Kraft Music

The Roland TD-1K has been commended by users for its great sound quality.

You can read what other users of the Roland TD-1K say here.

And you can listen to how the TD1K sounds like here:

Video by: Jared Chontos

4 – Playing Feel

Although both electronic drum kits feature rubber pads, the rebound on these drums feel slightly different.

The Alesis Nitro’s drum pad feel slightly thinner than the TD-1K’s and seems to provide better rebound.

You’ll also notice that the kick pad on the Alesis Nitro gives you more accurate feedback when it comes to training your kick technique. You’ll be able to feel the bounce and timing of the kick pedal as you play the bass drum.

Although the subtle difference of the bounce varies across drum kits, having this feedback on the Nitro allows you to build muscle memory that will be useful when you are ready to master double stroke bass drum techniques.

5 – Size

The Roland TD-1K’s footprint is about 1/3 times smaller than that of the Alesis Nitro.

The TD-1K’s compact design allows drummers to comfortable fit a drum kit into a smaller space while retaining key functionalities of a drum set.

However, this also means that there is a limit to how wide your TD-1K can be tweaked to.

The Alesis Nitro wins in this segment as its frame gives you more flexibility to adjust the height and width of the drum kit.

6 – Pad Zones

Although both the Nitro and TD-1K feature 4 drum pads and 3 cymbals, there are slight differences in their trigger zones.

Drum Pad Trigger Zone

With the Nitro, the snare pad comes with 2 trigger zones which will allow you to trigger edge shots as well as regular shots.

The drum pads on the TD-1K only have a single trigger zone for regular shots.

Cymbal Pad Trigger Zone

The Nitro cymbal pads are single zone, with exception to the crash cymbal that has a choke function.

In comparison, the TD-1K cymbal pads are dual zone.

This means that you can trigger both the regular cymbal bow shot and edge shot.

The cymbal pads on the TD-1K can also be choked.

As mentioned above, the Nitro’s selling strategy is to squeeze as much features as they can into an affordable electronic drum kit. However, a handful of Alesis Nitro owners have complained about durability. In our opinion, that is a key concern for potential buyers.

Similarities that the Alesis Nitro and Roland TD-1K share

Here are the similarities we noticed:

1 – Noise Level

The rubber pads on both the Alesis Nitro and Roland TD-1K are equally silent.

As mentioned above, there will still be a basal level of noise when you hit the rubber pads.

There have also been users who note that the pedals may be a source of noise, especially if you are using the kits in an apartment with neighbors living downstairs.

2 – Number of pads

Despite their design, both the Alesis Nitro and Roland TD-1K feature 4 drum pads and 3 cymbals.

Our thoughts on Alesis Nitro vs Roland TD-1K

As mentioned above, we think that:

  • The Roland TD-1K is well build and has all the essential features that a beginner electronic drum kit needs. (Check latest price of the TD-1K here)
  • Alesis Nitro is the best value for money electronic drum kit for beginners, in the market.

We’d recommend the Roland TD-1K in a heartbeat for beginners.

It, together with the TD-1K(V) that comes with a mesh snare V-drum pad are popular among new drummers as well as experienced drummers who want a kit that fits into a tight space.

The TD-1K provides great sounding drum kits in its module along with its durable hardware.


We’ve shared our verdict and our thoughts on the Alesis Nitro vs Roland TD1K above.

The ball is now in your court.

Of course, with all its features, the Roland TD-1K can be slightly costly if you are on a tight budget.

In that case, you might want to consider the Yamaha DTX400K (Read our DTX400K review here). We’ve done a comparison between the Alesis Nitro and the Yamaha DTX400K as well.

If you want a durable electronic drum kit with great build quality but don’t want to pay too much for it, the Yamaha DTX400K may be the option you should consider.

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