The Behringer XD8USB is a German drum set made for beginners. Here I’ll take a look at the pros and cons of owning this set, so you can decide for yourself whether or not it’s one that you’d like to get.
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If you are already pretty sure this is the electronic drum set you are looking for, click here to head over to Amazon to check the latest pricing and available discounts for the Behringer XD8USB.
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What Are the Benefits of Owning the Behringer XD8USB?
First, let’s get one thing out of the way. Behringer markets this as an 8-piece drum set. Even the “8” in the model name itself seems to indicate that you’ll be getting a larger than usual set for a beginner.
That is misleading, to say the least.
Drummers (and other musicians) normally only count the drums, not the cymbals (and other equipment like a cowbell) when assigning a size to a kit.
The XD8USB (and its cousin, the XD80USB) is a 5-piece drum set. It has the usual snare, 2 toms, floor tom, and kick bass. That’s all for the drums.
It also has the usual hi-hat, crash cymbal, and ride cymbal, but you don’t count those in the total number of pieces.
One of the XD8USB’s coolest features is the USB audio interface. You might have guessed from the set’s name that there was a USB port included somewhere.
As you can see below, the USB port is located at the top end of the sound module. That is also where you’ll find the output jack the aux in port.
You can connect the drum set directly to your computer. While this isn’t likely going to be something that a beginner will do right away, it’s one of those features that you’re likely to come back to later.
When you connect to a computer, you can use additional sounds, specialty drum software, and even a Digital Audio Workstation (commonly referred to as a DAW) for making professional grade recordings.
Your XD8USB already comes with 123 sounds of its own. It has 10 drum kits that were preset at the factory and allows you to create and save 5 more of your own.
Here is the front face of the sound module. The “HDS” in the name stands for “High Definition Sampling”. Behringer is saying that the sounds you hear coming from the module are very high quality, being recorded (sampled) from real instruments.
The sounds are velocity-sensitive. That is, when you strike a drum pad or cymbal hard, it produces a loud sound, and when you strike one lightly, it sounds soft. This is just as you would expect but is not a feature found on all electronic drum kits, especially those in this price range.
The snare pad on this set is dual zone. This means you get a different sound in the center compared to the edge. You can do rim shots with this setup just like on an acoustic drum.
Behringer throws in a pair of drumsticks with the kit. That’s a nice touch that not every manufacturer will include.
One other item for future use is the built-in sequencer. With a sequencer, you can record your performances (each of which is called a sequence) and play along with them later.
As long as you register your XD8USB drum kit within 90 days of purchase, you get a 3-year warranty on it. This is quite a generous period of time compared to many other warranties.
What Are the Downsides of The XD8USB Drum Set?
As a beginner, you might not care about some of these negatives, but you should be aware of them all the same.
The cymbals are supposedly not chokeable; that is, after striking them, you cannot stop them prematurely from sounding by grabbing them with your fingers.
That said, I have found some conflicting information in the video below. The cymbals this demonstrator is using are definitely chokeable.
So perhaps this isn’t a negative after all.
Some owners have found that the beater on the kick drum is not lined up properly. It needs to hit the center of the pad as close as possible for the system to trigger the bass drum sound with the correct volume. This seems like a problem that would vary from set to set, so it may not be something you need to be concerned about.
The rim zone on the snare may only trigger properly if you hit a certain section of the outer circle. This is probably the section you would strike anyway when doing a rim shot, and you may be able to make adjustments within the sound module.
The hi-hat sometimes has problems keeping up with you if you play it in rapid succession. This may not matter for most songs that you play.
There can be big differences in volume from one drum to another, especially between the floor tom and the kick drum. This too may vary from set to set.
Other reviews of the XD8USB are generally mixed. It seems to depend a lot of the experience of the drummer. Beginners are not likely to notice the problems encountered by more advanced players. So if you are a beginning drummer yourself, you will probably consider this a wonderful set as many other starters do.
What If the Behringer XD8USB Is Not What I’m Looking For?
Despite the negatives mentioned above, I think this will be a good starter kit for all but the pickiest beginning drummers.
The sound quality is good, based on what I can hear in well-made videos. And that is to be expected, since Behringer used that HDS sampling technique to collect all their sounds in the first place.
However, if you found that this is not the electronic drum set you want, check out this article that describes several others you might find interesting.