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Top 7 Electronic Soft Tip Dartboards: Reviews and Buying Guide!
Last updated 31st May, 2020

20 years ago, very few people would have ever heard of an electronic dartboard (often spelled ‘dart board’), but they’ve grown in popularity in recent years in homes and bars alike - so much so that they are now the second most common board type after bristle.

In this post we’ll cover the reasons for buying an electronic board, our top 7 recommended electronic soft tip dart boards, and the most important factors to consider when buying. There’s much greater variation in quality with electronic dart boards than bristle boards so it’s worth taking the time to make sure you buy the right one.

But first, let’s take a step back...

What is an electronic dart board?

Electronic dartboards are soft tip boards that automatically detect where the dart lands, record the score and display it on a screen or connected device such as a smartphone. They are powered with batteries or a power cable. The typical size of an electronic board is a 15.5 inch diameter, which is smaller than the standard 18 inches for a bristle dartboard. Like all soft tip boards, the target is typically made of plastic or resin and covered in tiny holes that the dart nestles into when it hits the board.

Why buy an electronic soft tip dart board?

Safety

Electronic dartboards use soft tip darts, as opposed to the sharp steel tip darts used with bristle boards. As the name suggests, soft tip darts have blunt plastic tips that are less likely to cause injury or put holes in your wall when you miss the board. This is why soft tip boards are a popular choice for parents with small children running around!

Automated scoring and features

For anyone who’s been to Flight Club, you’ll know how satisfying it is when the board automatically records your score so you don’t have to bother with all the mental arithmetic. This keeps the game moving quickly, it’s great for parties, and it can help you improve by tracking metrics like average score per throw. Be careful though, some of the lower quality boards aren’t great at registering the dart and this feature can become more of a frustration than a benefit.

Electronic dartboards usually offer a variety of different games and allow for multiple players, keeping the gameplay fresh and meaning you don’t get bored playing 501 for the tenth time in a row!

Top 7 electronic soft tip dartboards

Below you’ll find reviews of our favourite electronic dartboards on the market from a variety of manufacturers, including Arachnid and Viper, two of the biggest brands. They are roughly in order of price, from low to high, and look out for those with the added feature of cabinet doors to hide the board when it’s not in use.

1. Unicorn Electronic Soft Tip Dartboard

Very much an entry-level board, we recommend this Unicorn for kids or for those who want to try out an electronic dartboard before investing in a higher quality product. The board can accommodate up to 8 players, it comes with two sets of darts and it has a small LCD screen underneath the board that tracks your score.

  • Size: 15.5 inch
  • Number of games: 25 games with 176 variations
  • Power source: Batteries
  • Price: £
  • Retailer: Amazon

2. Viper Showdown Electronic Soft Tip Dartboard

A great value board given the relatively low price, this Viper dartboard boasts a number of cool features such as an ultra thin spider to reduce bounce outs, a sharp LCD display, and countless games to choose from! It’s not the best board on our list but it’s a great option for the occasional player, and comes from a trustworthy manufacturer.

  • Size: 15.5 inch
  • Number of games: 32 games with 590 variations
  • Power source: Batteries
  • Price: ££
  • Retailer: Amazon

3. Ultrasport Electronic Dartboard with Cabinet Doors

Let’s be honest, electronic dartboards are not the prettiest things, so buying one with cabinet doors is a great way to hide away the board and store your darts while it’s not in use. This is a good quality mid-range board and one of our favourites! It comes with loads of extras like 4 sets of darts, 100 replacement soft tips and an oche toe line, and the gameplay allows for up to 16 players with four levels of difficulty - seriously impressive!

  • Size: Not stated
  • Number of games: 38 games
  • Power source: Power cable
  • Price: ££
  • Retailer: Amazon

4. Viper 787 Electronic Dartboard

The Viper 787 is a good quality middle of the range board that’s a great choice for those starting to take their darts a bit more seriously. The board is made of tournament quality thermal resin to increase durability, and boasts an ultra thin spider to reduce bounce outs. With this on the wall you’ll be able to enjoy hours of darts on your own and with friends, while avoiding the frustrations that can sometimes come with electronic dartboards.

  • Size: 15.5 inch
  • Number of games: 43 games with 241 variations
  • Power source: Batteries or power cable (sold separately)
  • Price: £££
  • Retailer: Amazon

5. Arachnid Cricket Pro 800 Electronic Dartboard

We are now getting into the upper echelons of the electronic dartboard world! The Arachnid Cricket Pro 800 doesn’t come cheap but in return you get one of the best boards out there. It’s tournament quality, durable, holds darts better than most (fewer bounce outs!), and has a large LED score display that shows up to four scores at once. On top of that, it comes in a unique red, yellow, and black colour scheme so it’ll stand out and become a feature in your man cave. Oh and look out for the hilarious heckling feature as well!

  • Size: 15.5 inch
  • Number of games: 39 games with 179 variations
  • Power source: Power cable
  • Price: ££££
  • Retailer: Amazon

6. Viper 797 Electronic Soft Tip Dartboard

Another top of the range dart board with cool design is the Viper 797, coming in a sleek red, black and silver. This one gets great reviews from customers thanks to its sturdy build, accurate score tracking and huge range of game options. The Viper 797 is for anyone looking to invest in a great board that will help them develop their game while also offering great entertainment when their friends come round for a match!

  • Size: 15.5 inch
  • Number of games: 43 games with 240 variations
  • Power source: Power cable
  • Price: ££££
  • Retailer: Amazon

7. Viper Neptune Electronic Dartboard in Wood Cabinet

Blending modern and traditional, the Viper Neptune is a top quality electronic dartboard built within a beautiful wooden cabinet. You’ll struggle to find anything else like this so we recommend it for those who want to make a statement with their choice of dart board. The cabinet doors are a great way to protect your walls from stray darts, while hiding away your board when it’s not in use. If you think that a cabinet could be for you, then take a look at our reviews of the best dartboard with cabinet sets.

  • Size: 15.5 inch
  • Number of games: 57 games with 307 variations
  • Power source: Power cable
  • Price: ££££
  • Retailer: Amazon

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Buying guide

There’s a lot to think about when buying an electronic dart board. In this buying guide we cover the most important things to consider and questions to ask yourself.

Quality

The quality of electronic dartboards varies a lot more than bristle boards, so this is particularly important to get right. When considering quality, the two things to think about are how well the board holds the darts when they land and how accurately the board records the score. Poor quality boards can have a high proportion of bounce outs and they often don’t register the score when a dart does land. This can be really frustrating, especially given the main reason for buying an electronic board is because it’s supposed to make your life easier!

All of the boards in our list pass this test, except the low price Unicorn Electronic Soft Tip Dartboard, which we suggest is good for kids and for those wanting to test out an electronic board before investing in a better board.

Power source

Some electronic dart boards are powered using batteries, while others connect to the mains with a power cable, so you should consider which is right for you.

The advantage of battery-powered is that you don’t have to worry about mounting the board near a power socket, and there won’t be any ugly wires going up the wall. On the other hand, the cost of batteries can add up over time and you’ll need to make sure you always have a spare set nearby in case they die mid game!

If you're considering buying a board with a power cable, check whether the plug will work with the sockets where you live. If not, you may need to buy an adapter as well.

Scoring

When buying a board, check that it has the games you want to be able to play and that it is able to accommodate the number of players you are likely to be playing with. Some of the boards in our list have dozens of games for up to 16 players!

Also make sure you’re happy with the score display on the board. A general rule here is that the bigger it is, the easier it is going to be to read and understand the score.

How much does a dartboard cost?

As you’ll see in our reviews of the top electronic dart boards, the price of a board can vary enormously, from as little as £20 ($25) up to over £250 ($320). If you go for something at the lower end of that range, you’re almost certainly going to be disappointed. We recommend spending a minimum of £80 ($100) to avoid being let down.

FAQs

Can you use steel tip darts on an electronic dartboard?

No, you should not use steel tip darts with an electronic dart board because they will cause damage and they won’t stick in the board. Electronic dartboards use soft tip darts.

Electronic vs bristle dart board: what’s the difference?

Electronic dartboards are soft tip boards, which means the target is covered in tiny holes that the soft tip dart lands in. Bristle dartboards, on the other hand, are made of sisal fibre and work with steel tip darts. Electronic dartboards automatically register where the dart lands and display the score on a small screen.

Conclusion

So that rounds up our reviews of the top electronic soft tip dartboards and buying guide - we hope it has helped you make your choice! To wrap up, for those just starting out, we’d recommend the Viper Showdown as an affordable first board. If you’re looking for something towards the top end of the market then the Viper 787 represents great value for money, and if you truly want the creme de la creme then go for the Viper Neptune in its beautiful wooden cabinet!

For the rest of your man cave needs and desires, why not explore our site or head over to the Darts section to see more posts and recommended products!

Affiliate disclaimer: on some or all of the products above, we receive a small commission if you make a purchase via our site. This does not impact the price you pay, but it allows us to keep helping people by writing these reviews, so thank you!


Louis
Co-founder at Mancaves HQ

Dreams of having his own fully-specced man cave with all the bells and whistles one day. Until then, he loves to play poker around the dining table and pool at the pub, and occasionally get out of the house for a run along the Thames.