My thoughts on the ION Audio Redline Drums in a sentence:
It is an electronic drum kit that’s perfect for beginners who want to learn to drum at home.
However, it is not the best option for seasoned drummers.
You want to start learning to drum but don’t want to burn a hole in your pocket to get a drum kit?
The ION Audio Redline Drums are right up your alley.
This review will tell you why and also highlight the good, the bad and the key considerations you’ll need to make before you buy the kit.
Summary of our ION Audio Redline Drums Review
What is the ION Audio Redline Drums?
The ION Audio Redline Drums are an electronic drum kit featuring electronic drum pads and cymbals fitted with LED.
It’s (almost) a complete drum kit with all the components you’d need to plug and start playing.
This complete electronic drum kit comes with:
- Redline Drums Sound Module
- 4 x Single Zone, Rubber Drum Pads
- 2 x Cymbal Pads (Single Zone Rubber Pads)
- Drum Pedals x 2
- Drum Rack
- And all the accessories you’d need like: Hex Key, Cable Snake, Power Adapter
They even included drumsticks and headphones so that you can start practicing once you’ve set it up.
Plus, you can practice rather silently without disturbing your neighbors, parents or housemates.
All that’s missing is the throne, which in all honestly you can easily substitute with a chair of a suitable height.
The best part?
Its footprint is so small, you don’t need to set aside too much space to set it up at home.
6 key features that makes the ION Audio Redline Drums worth its price tag
For an electronic drum kit that comes with 200 sounds and the option to work with other sound recording software to expand on that library, the ION Audio Redline Drums are really worth your dough.
Yes, it does have some disadvantages.
After all it costs just a low 3 figure sum (price might vary depending on where you buy from), it makes no sense to compare it against other electronic drum kits that cost more than $300.
2) Versatile Drum Module
The Redline Drum module is rather versatile, it comes with 200 sounds, 10 preset drum kits, metronome function and coaching function.
If those are not enough, there is an input jack that allows you to connect your laptop to the ION Audio Redline Drums and feed sound tracks to the drum kit.
Plus, it also comes with a earphone output that allows you to drum silently, so that you can play in your apartment without disturbing the neighbors.
Or, allow your kids to drum to their hearts content without driving you insane.
The Redline electronic drum module also has a ¼” output jack for the option of using an amp, or feeding your drum sound into recording software.
And oh, if you’re wondering, the in-built metronome function is also very useful.
It comes with 5 metronome sound types; Chime and click, Clave, Side-stick, Cowbell, Vocal and 5 different time signatures for you to choose from; 1/2, 2/2, 3/4, 4/4, or 6/8.
3) LED light fitted drum and cymbal pads
This feature is perfect for beginners in my opinion.
For an untrained drummer, identifying sounds and timing can be challenging.
By adding in a visual element, you’ll be able to immediately tell if you have been playing the drums ‘correctly’.
Plus, it’s also pretty fun for kids to be able to play the ION Audio Redline drums in the dark. This will definitely keep them entertained for hours.
This drum kit is small and takes up very little space.
If you are facing space constrains, this drum kit is perfect for you.
I would say it’s perfect for a small sized adult, probably of up to 5ft5. If you are taller than that, you might find the drum kit a little restrictive or cramp when you are playing.
With that said, it is perfect for kits between 8 to 13 years old.
The height of the drum rack is adjustable, so you can adjust it as your child grows taller as well.
Hopefully by the time your child gets too big, they are due for an instrument upgrade ^^
5) Drum Coaching function
If you’re a beginner or if you’re looking to get the kit for your child who wants to learn to drum, you’ll find the coaching function very attractive.
These exercises when practiced correctly and consistently will help any new drummer develop strong fundamentals in drumming.
6) Complete e-drum set
You’ll get everything you need to start drumming inside this kit, so there’s no worry about having to run down to the store for a missing part.
It even comes with drumsticks and headphones!
All you need to do is to assemble the kit, hit the power button and start your drumming journey!
5 Key disadvantages that might stop you from getting the ION Audio Redline Drums
1) Pad sensitivity and Response
Some users have complained that their ION Audio Redline Drum pads are not as sensitive or do not respond immediately while they play.
I did not face such issue, here’s a video of the electronic drum kit in play:
And oh, you cannot adjust the pad sensitivity on the ION Audio Redline Drum pads. It only has 1 setting.
As mentioned above, it is smaller than most electronic drum kits.
If you are taller than 5ft5, you might want to consider other e-drum options (that will probably cost more too).
3) Velocity detection
The Redline drums pads are velocity sensitive. The harder you hit, the louder the sound.
However, you are not able to change the settings for its velocity sensitivity.
And the default settings have a rather narrow range; i.e. there is difference in the volume of the sound but there is only a slight difference between the lowest volume triggered and the highest volume triggered.
4) No Cymbal Choke or Bell
The cymbal pads only come with a single trigger zone. So there’s no chance of trying out a cymbal choke or getting that cymbal bell sound.
A workaround is to feed that sound in from your laptop and program one of the drum to trigger it.
A new drummer wouldn’t use these functions often, and at that price point it’s really not a surprise that the pads only have a single trigger zone.
5) Drumming experience
Points 2 to 4 already hint that this drum kit will never play like a real drum.
Plus, the rubber pads do not offer the same rebound as a regular drum kit, nor does the bass drum pedal really.
So…with these in mind…
Who will find the ION Audio Redline electronic drums useful?
You definitely should consider the ION Audio Redline Drums if you are:
- A beginner drummer who is looking to own your first electronic drum kit without having to pay through your nose,
- An aspiring drummer who stays in an apartment with limited space and can’t drum without affecting your neighbors
- A parent looking to purchase an affordable electronic drum kit for your child who wants to learn to drum, or
- If you are just looking for a cheap alternative to the professional drum kits and don’t mind something of slightly lower performance with a huge discount
Of course if you’re a pro drummer, this drum kit won’t do much for you.
Except in the case where you are looking for single trigger drum or cymbal pads to expand your current electronic drum kit.
I’d only recommend this electronic drum kit to absolutely new drummers who are getting their first drum kit to pick up drumming.
And to parents who want an affordable but highly functional drum kit that will keep your child entertained, without driving you nuts ><
You’ll definitely find the coaching function useful in helping you build up your drumming basics.
This is what you can expect in the coaching exercises included with the ION Audio Redline Drums:
Drum Coaching Function of ION Audio Redline Drums
There are 5 drum coaching exercises included that will help you build your drumming fundamentals and improve your timing.
a. Beat Check
Beat Check is an exercise designed to help new drummers improve their ability to time and play on the beat.
You can choose to practice on the 5 different time signatures available.
The drum coach will give you a visual feedback (via the drum module) on how accurate your timing was.
b. Gradual Up/Down
The Gradual Up/Down exercise helps will help you to improve both your speed and tempo.
You’ll be playing on one of the 5 different time signatures again, but this time the tempo will vary as you drum along.
Your aim is to make sure you stay on beat and on time with the beats even as the tempo changes.
Again, you’ll get visual feedback from the drum module with each beat so that you can adjust while you practice.
c. Rhythm Change Up
Once you have mastered the previous exercises, it’s time to increase the level of difficulty.
This time, you’ll have to keep time while playing along to different rhythms. (i.e. counts; whole note, quarter notes, etc)
You’ll get visual feedback as you drum and also get a score after the exercise so that you know how well you did.
d. Follow Me
The ‘Follow Me’ exercise is one that I think you should start with.
It’ll get you familiarized with the drums on your drum kit, while introducing you to the concept of timing in music.
The module will play a random drum pattern and your aim will be to replicate the pattern using the correct drum or cymbal, at the correct timing.
This will be a fun exercise for anyone who is new to drumming.
e. Drum Mute
This exercise was originally created to help you pick up the art of creating drum fills.
The ION Audio Redline Drum comes with drum patterns for you to play to.
You can choose to mute any drum sound within the drum pattern and start learning how to create drum fills within drum patterns.
Another way of using this function is to improve your timing.
During the muted portions, continue playing the drum pattern and check if you are on time when the sound comes back on.
I’ve also shared my personal drumming exercises that will help you improve beyond these exercises.
You can get them here:
Real user feedback
I’ve had a good time playing the ION Audio Redline Drums.
Its performance is really great, for a complete electronic drum kit with this price tag.
If you are a beginner or are purchasing the drum kit for a child who wants to learn to drum, the ION Audio Redline Drum kit really provides good value.
We really love the coaching function and would definitely recommend new drummers to give it a try.
If you are a beginner drummer and prefer an acoustic drum kit, you might want to consider this range instead.
Here’s a quick compilation of what other drummers using the ION Audio Redline Drums say:
- Great starter drum kit for the price, almost silent when our kid plays it with the headphones on.
- Kids love this kit, possibly due to the illuminating pads.
- The sound quality isn’t too impressive.
- Not suitable for an experienced drummer; doesn’t have ‘advanced’ functions and the placement of the drum pads are a little awkward.
The Potential DealBreakers:
- Instructions could be clearer.
- Might not be responsive enough.
- Drum pads do not feel sturdy, especially for a tall or ‘strong’ adult.
Who are ‘ION Audio’, can we trust their products?
ION Audio was founded in 2002 and provides innovative electronic products for consumers.
Today, they are under the same parent company, inMusic that also features brands and companies like Alesis, Akai Electronics, Numark, and many other music technology companies.
They used to produce the Drum Rocker electronic drum kits, Sound and Pro Session electronic drum kits, Discover Drums tabletop electronic drum set, Discover Guitar Plus for aspiring guitarists, and several other musical instruments.
Using the technology behind their previous electronic drum kits, they’ve created the Redliner electronic drums.
Important resources for ION Audio Redline Drums owners
If you already own the Redline drums, you might find these resources useful:
Do share your thoughts about this e-drums in the comment below.
We would be very grateful if you could be specific when sharing your feedback 🙂
I’ve shared about the pros and cons of the ION Audio Redline drums above.
For its price, it’s a pretty good catch. I think beginner drummers would find the Redline drums a good option that is gentle to your wallet.
If you have a bigger budget, you might want to consider other electronic drum kits that are also suitable for beginners.
The remaining question for you is:
Would you be willing to commit to starting your drumming journey now?