The XD80 from Behringer uses efficient German engineering for a kit that provides excellent sounds and superior functionality.
But with so many different kits available these days, how does it stack up against the competition? And does it live up to the high-quality reputation of Behringer products? Read on to find out more.
At a Glance – Our Initial Thoughts
This kit from Behringer is on the not-to-be-missed lists of many. With an emphasis on replicating both the feel and tones of an acoustic kit, we think you’ll be able to play this for hours without getting bored. It offers a lot of customization in its set up, as well as how sounds come out of it. In addition, having recording capability of the kit itself, or MIDI triggers, help seasoned players to get the most well-rounded recordings on their demo tracks. It’s a powerful tool that any serious drummer should consider adding to their arsenal.
What’s In The Box
Behringer includes all parts and pads you need to get going on this kit quickly.
Breaking down the 8 piece configuration, you get 8” dual-zone pads for the rack and floor toms, along with a similar-sized snare that provides the same dual function for head and rim shots. As for the cymbals, all 3 of them measure 12 inches in diameter, are dual-zone for bell hits, and both the crash and ride can be choked for accents.
Taking a look at the foot pedals that are supplied, the hi-hats use a silent trigger that picks up on foot nuances to dial in an open, half-open or closed hi-hat. The kick drum uses a 4.75” pad for cushioning the beater, helping to replicate the feel of an acoustic kit. Behringer claims this pad is large enough to accommodate double beaters for that metal drum tone. However, users contradict this information, reporting that while it can physically fit double beaters, the clean striking of the pad becomes problematic when you double them up.
Dimensionally, it stands 33” x 23” x 13”, and weighs 37 lbs., for a relatively compact and lightweight structure. It’s framed by 7 posts that provide sturdy support while allowing for fine adjustment of pads and cymbals in both height and angles.
Factory loaded with 10 drum sets to start playing immediately, Behringer designed the module with 5 custom kit creations to get that perfect sound you are looking for. Left-handed drummers will love this function so they can switch everything around and make the XD80 work for them. There are 175 studio-grade drum, cymbal, and percussion sounds that use hi-definition sampling to provide as authentic a tone as possible.
There is also a lot of connection flexibility in the XD80 – midi in/out, USB out, 1/4” stereo out, 3.5mm in, and a 1/8” headphone input. Additionally, a sequencer allows for playing along with various styles of pre-loaded music while in practice mode, and you can also turn on the click so your drumming stays in time. Needless to say, this e-kit doesn’t leave you short of options.
How Does It Stand Out?
With so many connection points on the drum module, you gain a lot of flexibility in how you can use the XD80.
Obviously, the 1/8” headphone input is for use with your headphones. However, you can also use the port, or the 1/4” left/right stereo out, to send the signal to a PA system or keyboard amp when you want to fill the room with loud drums. Rigging up dual headphones is also possible for quiet rehearsals with a friend.
If you are tired of playing along with the supplied studio tracks from Behringer, you can attach your MP3 player via 3.5mm auxiliary input. This is great for not only playing along with your favorite songs but also practicing with any apps on your device that help you with your technique.
As for recording your performances, Behringer also has you covered there. The USB out can be connected to the USB in on your computer for single-cable recording capability, and the MIDI in/out ports allow you to trigger the software kits on your computer program when you strike the pads and cymbals.
Double Your Fun With Dual-Zones
As a good drummer will attest to, the more weapons you have in your arsenal, the more dynamic your playing can be. With dual-zone functionality, you are not limited to playing just the basics all the time.
The snare can be struck cleanly, or you can cross-play to trigger rim shots and change up the sound. Additionally, the toms are also dual-zone, as are the cymbals, which provide large open bow sounds, or bell hits when you want to sprinkle into your playing a bit of precision. Choking the cymbals is also possible to give you even more dynamic options.
People like options. While Behringers outfits the kit with 10 presets to choose from, they also make it easy for you to just put together a kit of your own if you get bored of them. This function is great for those that may set up their kit in an unorthodox way, are left-handed players, or want to experiment with a different setup. With 175 sounds to choose from, you can make your pads sound however you want, giving you a lot of flexibility to fit your style.
Can I add in any additional pieces to the kit?
Yes, you can add in a fourth tom or a second crash cymbal. What is nice about this is that you aren’t limited to using them as they are intended to sound. With the custom kit function, you can trigger them to make whatever sound you’d like when they are struck.
Can I use a double bass pedal with the kick drum pad it comes with?
This is a tricky question. Behringer has advertised that you can use double beaters on the bass drum pad. While this may be technically true due to the almost 5” diameter of the pad, getting it to work properly is a whole other thing. Various users have reported that the bass drum pad needs to be struck directly center for a clean sound. With 2 beaters both striking the small pad off-center, the result is less than ideal for most drummers that are looking for the double-bass goodness they crave.
Can I hook this up to a computer for recording?
Yes, it can be hooked up to a computer for recording purposes. There are a few ways to do this.
The first (and simplest way) is running a single cable from the USB port to the USB in on your computer. Easy peasy.
The second way is to use the MIDI in/out ports. Running MIDI into your computer won’t record the sound of the kit, though. What it will do, however, is trigger the software kits on your computer’s recording program (ie. Garageband, Pro Tools, etc.) when you strike the pads and cymbals.
The third way (if your computer is so old it doesn’t have USB in), is to run left/right stereo out into your computer’s 3.5mm microphone input slot. You will most likely need an adapter for this configuration, or a specialized cable at the very minimum, but it will record your drum kit into the computer.
Our Final Thoughts
In the XD80, Behringer has made a very good kit for all levels of players. While there seems to be a slight nuance issue in regard to the response time of the hi-hats opening and closing unless you are strictly a jazz player this might not be anything you would be concerned with.
Behringer includes a limited 1-year warranty on the kit that automatically extends to 3 years when you register the product through Music Tribe. This is some nice peace of mind, as any product that is repeatedly struck with a blunt object for months on end will eventually have some issues that need to be fixed.
With excellent sounds, flexible customization, and recording capability, you should have a great time with this kit.
If this electronic drum set is not what you were looking for, check out our Best Best Electronic Drum Set post.