Best Ukuleles Reviewed & Rated for Quality
The benefits of investing in one are enormous, and the sky is the limit. Our guide to choosing the best of these instruments is designed to help you navigate the snares and help you understand some jargons. We also explore different brands out there and make your shopping hassle-free.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
What is ukulele? It is a question on many people’s mind. However, it may not come as a surprise that it is associated with traditional Hawaii. However, much as it is a Hawaiian brand, it traces its roots in Europe. It looks like a small guitar, and on the contrary, it is a small musical instrument that produces vibrant, warm and high-spirited sound or tune.
For you to understand about this fabulous tool, it is important to preview the accessories that make up a uke. It goes without saying that without them, there is no uke. It is a four-stringed instrument and consists of the body which is made of the back, top, and sides. The sound hole has an opening on the top and lets the vibrations out.
The bridge is mounted on top and holds the strings in place above the fretboard. The nut holds the strings while the tuning pegs helps harmonize the strings by optimizing the tune. These pegs are fixed on the headstock, and the neck supports the fretboard. The body connects to the headstock here.
The fretboard holds the frets with the first one being near the head while the last is next to the body. The fret markers are put systematically at the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 10th and 12th fret. These typically enable you to know where the action is. The type of string affects the quality of the sound.
Your package may also include the case or the tote bag, instructions book, songbook, DVDs or an online tutorial. On the whole, by familiarizing yourself with these parts, you can tune and restring quite quickly.
What makes a good uke? What makes it produce a sweet, seductive, and well-balanced sound? Before picking one, it's essential to understand its use first. For a beginner, a complicated or top notch uke wouldn’t be the ideal choice to start with. For an expert, your reason for picking could be to jive with your playing style. Therefore a good uke is subject to the user's need and requirements.
Several aspects affect the performance of this musical instrument. Its size affects the sound, playing style and tone, and the different variations. For instance, the sopranos and the concert are more rounded for different playing styles.
The type of wood affects the quality of the sound where the best woods are the Koa, spruce, and cedar tops. Some aged wood produces a rich and full sound. The saddle affects the quality of the intonation such that it should not be too flat or sharp. For the fret, it’s essential to get the right balance to ensure a clean note.
The strings also affect the quality of the sound. Most experienced players prefer Aquila Nylgut instead of Nylon since the later requires a lot of stretching before settling down and in holding the tune.
With all factors considered, it’s essential to test its sound by listening and playing backward rather than normal. Most importantly, the composition of the uke widely affects its performance.
A uke just like any other product is available at different prices, and your preference entirely depends on how much you are willing to spend.
For a beginner, you may not be aware of the risks of spending too much on a new product. Before buying, look at the ratings and what other clients are saying about it. For an experienced player, you probably have on your fingertips what you want, and price may not be an issue.
Whatever level you are playing, quality, and price go hand in hand. The best product is one which will satisfy your needs and serve you for many days to come regardless of the cost.
If you are starting and you are looking for something quite affordable, look for a complete kit will all the accessories. In the long term, it is economical rather than spending on specific accessories. Regardless of the options out there, the best uke is one which will give you value for money.
Ease of Use
For a beginner, it can be overwhelming playing the uke, especially if you are trying out at home with no professional trainer around. It is beneficial if your package includes a songbook and instruction book to guide you as you practice. Most often, the guide usually has easy to learn lessons, whereas the songbook has a collection of tunes.
Some advanced kits have videos or online tutorials with complete lessons and sounds to play along. All these are to make your uke experience quite comfortable and straightforward. Therefore the ease of use will depend on how quickly you adapt to your musical instrument.
Can you imagine performing at a concert with a heavy and bulky musical instrument strapped across your shoulder? It can be quite draining, make you lose focus and definitely affect your performance. Uke is a small musical instrument that is generally lightweight and sleek for ease of use.
If you are looking for one for your child, it’s essential to consider his age. A baritone may be bulky and a little bit complicated. The ideal instrument for such a child or a beginner is a soprano since it has a design for little hands.
It is lightweight, and your child can carry even outdoors. If you are traveling or performing at a concert, choose a less bulky musical tool that will serve your needs.
10 Best Ukuleles
1. Kala Mahogany Soprano
The Kala brand is continually coming up with high quality instruments and is well known and trusted by thousands of music enthusiasts globally. This instrument offers a rich, loud projection and neutral tone. Musicians can quickly revive their original performances since there is an assurance of a stable tune as compared to classical guitars.
Ease of use
The soprano’s version is an excellent choice for beginners, schools and generally people willing to learn to play the instrument. There are lessons available online on the website with easy to follow tutorials that allows you to kick start your music foundation. Here you learn basics such as tuning, strumming and much more.
You can also quickly download the Kala app from your iOS or Android phone. This app has easy songs to play along and easy to learn lessons. Also included is a quick start guide which will get you started. It is popular among top players in the world such as; Twenty One Pilots, Zac Brown and Vance Joy.
The Kala soprano has an elegant design and a long neck that makes it comfortable to play. It is made of classic Hawaiian laser engraved Rosset and the satin gloss which makes it have a traditional appeal. Other features include; Graphtec NuBone, lumber and Aquila Super Nylgut strings from Italy.
These smooth strings are less stretchy and stronger and allow you to set your preferred tuning faster and ensuring a stable, continuous tuning. It is smallest among Kala brands and has tight fret spacing with a short scale length.
Cost and value
The Kala’s are relatively new and have made an impact on musicians looking for a high-quality brand at a great price. They are a great choice, and they offer a beautiful soprano and a full-bodied tone. It is made from the quality craftsmanship to produce the best tunes, and overall, it’s a product worth every penny.
2. Hola! HM-21MG Soprano
The HM-21MG is one of the best soprano ukes from Hola! It has an ample design that provides outstanding performance. Its frame is made from mahogany and is beautifully crafted to give a comfortable outline.
It has a traditional look that makes it an ideal choice to play anywhere and anytime.
It is carefully constructed to help you create a warm tone with Hawaiian harmonies. The sides, top, and back, are made of maple and decorated with beautiful colors. The bridge and fingerboard are made of walnut and has silver geared tuners and nylon strings. It has twelve silver nickel frets embedded on the fretboard that are uniquely spaced to produce a great tone.
If you are looking for an instrument that offers quality and at an affordable price, this product from Hola! got you covered. It is suitable for beginners and professional players as well. The tone is well balanced from corner to corner to produce a smooth tune.
Easy to follow lessons
This excellent product is your link to the world of music and comes with a video with specifications and full description. The starter kit is rich and consists of tutorials from America’s biggest lesson company.
The offer also includes free live videos for two months and video lessons that allow you to learn and get to interact with the instructors.
Cost and value
This instrument is just what you need on your journey to stardom. It is reasonably affordable and an excellent product for a music enthusiast starting. The lessons are quite easy to follow, yet have so much information to get you started.
It is cheaper when you compare to the Kala; however, it produces beautiful and well-balanced tones hence good value for the money.
3. ADM Beginner
The ADM is made of high quality materials and features a classical guitar with sides, back and top made of premium basswood that provides a warm, bright and unique tone. You can play solo, or follow the beats and jam with friends. It has a nylon string uniquely designed, and this will definitely be your favourite tool.
It is useful for children taking music lessons and teachers in a music class. It is incredibly portable due to its lightweight design, and thus you can carry it along for travel.
Play and have fun
The fingerboard is made of basswood and together with the bridge provides a sturdily crafted and smooth feeling. The combination ensures freely rolling over of the frets on the strings regardless of whether you are playing on single notes or chords.
All in one set
The ADM is a complete beginner set that includes the full-bodied uke and a waterproof case made from nylon. Also in the package is a clip-on tuner that has an LED screen, a hook in strap, a spare string, microfiber polishing fabric and plectrums.
The kit is a great gift ideal for someone looking to start music for fun or career and has easy to understand instructions for self-practice. You can also gift your loved ones for birthdays, Christmas, graduation and much more.
Cost and value
The ADM costs much lower than the Kala and Hola brands. Nevertheless, it is a 21 soprano instruments ideal for beginners and crafted from some of the best materials you will ever find. The quality of the tones produced is seductive, warm and beautiful. The lower price makes it ideal for beginners looking for an affordable guitar to get started.
4. Everjoys Soprano
The Everjoys produces unique, smooth and melodic tunes and is a twenty-one soprano set suitable for beginners. It is a great way to learn how to play and teach yourself since it comes with a great starter pack.
The beginner’s kit includes a songbook with clear instructions of how to play. Therefore it is ideal for someone willing to kick start their musical journey. You can also buy as a gift to a budding musician, your child and teachers also find it useful for teaching lessons in a music class.
An all-inclusive set
This comes in a complete starter pack, which allows you to play and at the same time, have fun. It consists of perfectly positioned twelve nickel silver frets on the Blackwood fingerboard. It also features a nylon string that stays in tune even after playing. A
lso in the set is a digital tuner, two spare picks, and strings and a bag for keeping the items. You will also find a microfiber fabric for polishing, a strap, a printed box and a harmonica as a bonus.
High quality craftsmanship
This amazing traditional instrument is a blend of high-quality basswood for the full body, Blackwood for the bridge and fingerboard while the neck is made of solid wood. It is a beautiful instrument which looks like a small guitar and this makes it your ideal musical instrument for all occasions.
Cost and value
This great melodious instrument is an excellent value for the money since it lets you learn music lessons for an incredibly low bargain. It costs more than the ADM but less than the Kala and Hola brands.
However, it’s a good starter kit for an up-and-coming musician since it has a beautiful design and produces high-quality notes. It is a good buy for the price.
5. Kmise Soprano
The Kmise is a high quality 21-inch soprano musical instrument made from an outstanding and unique tiger Okoume frame from Africa. It produces a well-balanced sound, bright with a lovely echo for the woods to produce a warm and beautiful tone.
It is a beautiful musical tool and a great gift idea for music lovers and promising musicians. You can gift your loved ones for Christmas, graduation, birthday and much more.
The package is comprehensive and consists of all items suitable for starting your musical journey. In there you will find; the soprano instrument, a tote bag, string, felt picks, strap, capo, cleaning fabric, tuner and rhythm shaker.
This is a gear tuning tool made from high premium pure copper that does not rust or corrode. It effectively means that at high gears, it can play more precisely and ensures you maintain a perfect sound without going out of tune.
High quality gears
Most beginners usually worry about scratching their fingers on the frets. However, this instrument is made from well-manicured fret wires. The fretboard is made of high-quality smooth walnut on each side. Thus, you can roll the frets comfortably without worrying about being bruised.
Unlike most such instruments with nylon strings, the Kmise has high-quality Aquila strings that produce a full sound. The side strips are elegant and form a zebra design on the side and around the sound hole. They also protect the sides of this tiny guitar.
Cost and value
The Kmise is a high-quality musical instrument that sets the bar quite high as far as playing Ukuleles is concerned. It is ideal for both beginners and experienced musicians since it produces great tunes. It is highly priced, however, it is a deal worth every penny. You will be on your way to stardom once you make this your ideal choice.
Little kids can now play real music with a real instrument. The Kangaroo musical tool is ideal for kids from the age of three upwards. Its sleek design makes it suitable for small hands. For accessories, the pack comes with a case for carrying the instrument with a strap, a tuner and the decoration stickers brings out an elegant appeal.
Easy to learn
This musical instrument is a great starter kit and ideal for kids willing to showcase their talent and adults beginning the fantastic musical journey. It contains an instruction songbook, well-detailed for kids and beginners. It is easy to learn and understand.
The kangaroo is a premium instrument that features geared tuners and high quality strings made of special plastic and faux wood. These have a reputation for producing optimal sound quality and acoustics. It is sturdy, well built and the electric tuner has batteries that add to your convenience if you are travelling. The playing sounds are high quality, well balanced and smooth.
Cost and value
For the price, you are getting something beautiful worth every penny. It is a great starter kit and delivers everything as expected yet incredibly cheap. It is designed with comfort, beauty and ease of play to produce high quality tunes.
7. Honsing Soprano
The Honsing brand gets its design inspiration from classical Hawaiian body alignment. The primary material is premium basswood for the sides, top and back. It is a phenomenon musical tool for kids and adults, particularly beginners, are finding it useful for playing great tunes. It is available in beautiful colours that appeal to little kids. The package includes one gig bag, one tuner, a spare string and one plectrum.
The Honsing is a stable and sturdy tool made from high-quality wood materials. Some of the notable features include twelve frets which are well-spaced, nylon strings and machined tuners.
Others are; an ABS bone nut and eco-friendly paint and artwork. It measures 21 inches, which makes it suitable for small hands and is easy to use.
This magnificent tool encourages kids to develop their talent and enhance their creativity and auditory skills. It is a portable tool easy to use and ideal for camping and travel. You can gift your loved ones, especially kids and budding musicians on any occasion such as birthday, graduation and much more.
Cost and value
The Honsing is a sleek musical instrument that comes with premium nylon strings with the resonance and sound already tuned. It is a good product at a great price. You will not regret buying this excellent tiny guitar, and it is a deal worth the money.
Most beginners are looking for a player-friendly and convenient way to kick start their melodic journey on their new musical tool. This kit from Ukulele has all the features to deliver a beautiful and well-balanced tune. The package comes with tons of accessories and just enough to get started.
This beautiful musical tool has a full-bodied concert body carefully crafted and well-spaced frets for a beginner to learn their way on the fretboard. It is a simple instrument with an elegantly polished body and engraved Soundhole decoration.
The fretboard is made of rosewood and has eighteen frets clearly market by tiny triangle inlays. It is easy to play too with much room to help you grow as a player.
This musical tool from Bondi is designed with die-cast tuners made from high-quality sturdy chrome. It has Aquila strings which are some of the most premium strings you will ever find. The gig bag is padded with a compression sponge and is a stylish addition.
In the pack is a training video with easy to follow lessons. Some other quality accessories are a digital tuner, neck strap, plectrums, capo and a gold plated bookmark.
Cost and value
Undoubtedly, Bondi is a high premium product and quite expensive. However, the bundle is pretty the haul and essentially beneficial. It produces some subtle sounds and is a perfect set for beginners and experienced players as well. It is awe-inspiring and has a luxurious offering.
9. Enya Pineapple Soprano
If you are looking for a small uke elegantly designed, the Enya comes across as a natural choice. It is a 21-inch soprano with a surprisingly smooth and warm sound. This beginner set is made of high quality HPL and mahogany materials. It is ideal for beginners to experts' level players, and since there is a wide array of accessories, you can start playing right away. It is environmentally friendly since it's made from natural materials such as wood and no paint is used.
Wide variety of accessories
The Enya is an elegantly designed instrument with a matte finishing. It also has a Rich lite fingerboard with high-end tuner pegs. The package includes a case, an extra string set, sand shaker, and capo. Others are; strap, picks, carbon strings and a polish cloth.
This model produces high-quality sound, and its tune is fuller and broader as compared to other small types. The high number of frets enables you to reach high notes without stretching. It is the reason why music performers love it.
The HPL is sleek to optimize the acoustic vibration of the instrument's body. The carbon strings is a smooth experience and produce a sweet tone.
Cost and value
This set is pricey as compared to other such on the markets; however, the inclusion of the bits and pieces makes it a money saver since you get everything in one bundle. It is a good value for the money since it's made from high quality materials and produces a well-balanced, smooth tune.
Many of these instruments have been around for long; however, the Vangoa is the new kid on the block and will surely thrill music enthusiasts. If you are looking for something different, then we highly recommend this instrument since it fits pretty well for kids, beginners, and experts as well. It is a professional set and features a mahogany body that makes it louder.
Full bodied sound
This bundle is equipped with carbon strings that are of high quality with a comfortable touch to produce a balanced tone. The fingerboard and the bridge ensures a satisfying feeling to provide high-quality notes without buzzing.
The Vangoa set comes with a starter pack, tuner, strap, gig bag, string and a booklet for beginners to get started. It steals the show as an attractive package that you can use to gift your loved ones for any occasion such as birthdays, anniversary, wedding, graduation and much more. Music teachers find quite useful since the booklet has easy to follow lessons.
Cost and value
The Vangoa costs less than Honsing and Bondi however, it’s a premium product made from high-quality materials. It relatively new in the market; however, it is an excellent value for the money. The sound quality is excellent with a beautiful design and a 100% money back guarantee.