Best Ukulele For The Money 2022 | Reviews & Buying Guides

Harvey Fletcher
  Nov 30, 2022 4:36 PM

Well, these low-priced, endearing, and entertaining tiny ukuleles have won the hearts of many players in recent years, and it's no surprise why: they're very accessible.

The ukulele is more than just a stepping stone to learning other instruments like the electric guitar or bass. Several high-end ukuleles may cost as much as a mid-range guitar. We can assist you in your quest to learn the ukulele or to choose a better instrument to play.

You'll find the best ukulele to fit your style and budget in our comprehensive guide, which includes models from respected manufacturers like Martin, Fender, and Mahalo. If you want further information on making a purchase, please follow the link provided at the end of this tutorial. You may keep scrolling if you want to skip right to the goods.

Best Ukulele Reviews

#1. Donner Concert Ukulele Mahogany - Best Overall

Important Specifications

  • Brand: Donner

  • Color: Mahogany

  • Top Material Type: Mahogany

  • Body Material: African Mahogany

  • Back Material Type: Mahogany

  • Neck Material Type: Mahogany

  • Fretboard Material Type: Rosewood

  • String Material Type: Nylon

  • Hand Orientation: Right

  • Guitar Bridge System: Fixed

Product’s Highlights

The ukuleles from Donner's DU-1 series are very well-made considering the price. This degree of quality in construction, playability, and sound is unexpected from an inexpensive mass-produced ukulele.

The DUC-1 exceeded my expectations, and I believe the positive ratings are a fair reflection of the quality of this product. If you're in the market for a quality introductory ukulele, this is a name you should consider.

My DUC-1 has a really solid build quality. Excellent focus on specifics. The quality of this ukulele exceeds my expectations, especially given its low price.

In terms of acoustic instruments, the instrument's small weight is a major plus. Low-end ukes tend to be bulkily constructed, which may lead to an uninteresting sound. A larger, richer sound is achieved with a lighter body that enables the ukulele to vibrate more freely.

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What We Like

  • Simple, no-frills design

  • Tight construction with excellent fit and finish

  • Loud, full tone

  • Decent accessories

Things to Consider

  • As many ukes have open-geared tuners, this isn't an issue from a practical standpoint, but it is apparent

#2. Caramel Concert Ukulele CC207 - Best Appearance

Important Specifications

  • Brand: Caramel

  • Size: 23" Concert

  • Color: Dark Acacia

  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 24.3 x 8 x 2.7 inches

  • Top Material Type: Acacia

  • Back Material Type: Acacia

  • String Material Type: Fluoro-carbon

  • Finish Type: Polished

  • Instrument: Guitar, Ukulele

  • Number of Strings: 4

Product’s Highlights

The tonewoods used to craft the instrument are the single most crucial factor in determining the quality of the sound produced by the ukulele. Acacia, which shares some of the characteristics of mahogany and rosewood, is the preferred tonewood for high-end instruments because it is brighter, fuller, and louder than the other two.

Is the red mahogany on your screen getting to you? Consider acacia if you're looking for a wood that will stand out in any performance environment. Its color varies from yellow to brown, and its gorgeous, diverse grain pattern makes it ideal for nighttime beach strolls and campfire singalongs.

These tuners are often only seen on ukuleles that cost more than $80 and have been meticulously hand-crafted. Your ukulele is one of a kind with its dark coloration, robust metallic texture, excellent polishing, and gold-plated gears. To make tuning your ukulele simpler and smoother, we improved upon the previous design, which used 15:1 gears, by switching to 18:1 gearing and using a more stringent manufacturing method.

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What We Like

  • Good strings

  • Best design

Things to Consider

  • Some players will find the tone lacking

#3. Ranch Concert Ukulele 23 inch - Best For Concert

Important Specifications

  • Brand: Ranch

  • Size: 23 inch

  • Color: Walnut-23

  • Top Material Type: Rosewood, Okoume, Walnut

  • Back Material Type: Walnut, Basswood

  • String Material Type: Nylon

  • Finish Type: Polished

  • Instrument: Ukulele

  • Operation Mode: Acoustic

  • Number of Strings: 4

Product’s Highlights 

Many people who have tried the Ranch professional ukulele, which is 23 inches in length, have fallen in love with it because of its great build and low cost. You won't find another ukulele of comparable quality for the pricing elsewhere.

This ukulele is a great example of the quality, value, and attention to detail that Ranch is known for, and is perfect for a beginner or advanced player. This ukulele is up there with the greatest Ranch ukuleles.

This device includes a lifetime guarantee on the instrument and free access to online classes. Gig bag is made of cotton. A number of people have mentioned how hard it is to stay in step with one another. While some found the frets to be just right, others disagreed.

The color was another issue. The Starry Blue, Brown Coffee, and Picaya Red 23-inch professional concert ukuleles by Ranch provide great tone and playability to beginners and intermediates alike.

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What We Like

  • Smooth, polished frets

  • Arched back for resonating sound

  • Stays in tune

Things to Consider

  • None

#4. Everjoys Soprano Ukulele Beginner - Best For Beginners

Important Specifications

  • Brand: Everjoys

  • Size: 21 inch

  • Color: Rainbow String

  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 21.3 x 6.9 x 2.5 inches

  • Top Material Type: Basswood

  • Back Material Type: Basswood

  • String Material Type: Nylon

  • Finish Type: Polished

  • Instrument: ukulele

  • Item Weight: 1.2 Pounds

Product’s Highlights

What Everjoys calls "basswood" is really a cheap ply laminate, yet it's fashioned like a classic double-bout soprano. In my line of work, I come across many inexpensive ukuleles, and some of my readers may imagine that I have nothing but bad things to say about them. 

But that is top/rosewood, and there are really a few that aren't terrible. Of all, there is also a great deal of garbage out there. Perhaps I shouldn't pass judgment on this one too quickly. It looks like a spruce top / rosewood back & sides instrument, but it was probably done with a Sharpie on the flat back & sides and a different color on the top.

Given that it is meant for children, a slotted bridge would have been preferable to the tie bar used here. It is secured with screws, and the Amazon description claims that it is constructed of maple. The maple has obviously been dyed or painted to get this color. Despite what the Everjoys website claims, the rosewood used in this product is not AAA quality. It's neat enough overall, and it has a plastic saddle with a flat top. The 42mm string spacing used here is rather broad.

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What We Like

  • Better build than many at this price

  • Thin (ish) laminate top with traditional bracing and lining

  • Decent volume

  • Light

Things to Consider

  • Sharp fret ends

  • No side dots

#5. POMAIKAI Soprano Ukulele for Beginners - Best For Kids

Important Specifications

  • Brand: POMAIKAI

  • Color: Light Blue

  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 20.6 x 6.4 x 2 inches

  • Top Material Type: Basswood

  • Back Material Type: Basswood

  • String Material Type: Nylon

  • Instrument: Guitar, Ukulele

  • Number of Strings: 4

Product’s Highlights

Created with love, this set will make you and your baby smile. Children's musical theory of cognition can be nurtured over time with the help of soothing music that can mimic the effects of memory training, hearing improvement, auditory development,  intelligence inspiration, hand-eye coordination training, and emotional intelligence (EQ) cultivation.

The soprano (or "standard") ukulele is one of the most common. However, there are also a concert, tenor, and baritone ukuleles. In POMAIKAI's eyes, music is everything. The primary focus should be on developing superior musical skills. The accumulation of technology over the last three decades has allowed us to establish a benchmark of excellence in our art. 

POMAIKAI provides well-made instruments. Our ukulele starter kit includes all the tools you'll need to learn to play the instrument in a way that's both enjoyable and accessible. So let's have some fun and take in some tunes!

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What We Like

  • Get In Tune

  • 4 Nylon Strings

Things to Consider

  • It's not exactly an instrument, but it's not a toy, either

#6. Martin Smith Soprano Ukulele - Best Ergonomic Design

Important Specifications

  • Brand: Martin Smith

  • Size: Soprano

  • Color: Natural

  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 20.9 x 2.8 x 6.7 inches

  • Top Material Type: Basswood

  • Back Material Type: Basswood

  • String Material Type: Nylon

  • Finish Type: Varnish

  • Instrument: Ukulele

  • Item Weight: 0.82 Pounds

Product’s Highlights

To begin, the pictures of this ukulele should give you a good idea that it is a standard, nondescript soprano uke like many others you may find on the web. In addition, many readers have requested that we test out this particular ukulele, so we're giving the Martin Smith Ukulele a fair go in our review.

A Martin Smith ukulele is an instrument built to perform flawlessly for decades. It's built to last with sturdy wood and polished chrome cogs. This is an excellent buy for anybody, given that it's a soprano ukulele of standard size.

The laminate woods used in the construction of this ukulele are not identified, and it has an unnecessarily thick glossy gloss finish. In the end, we were able to determine that it was constructed from linden wood.

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What We Like

  • Comes with a great tuner

  • Very affordable

  • Convenient bag and strap are included

  • Bright and clear tone

Things to Consider

  • The frets are too sharp

#7. Paisen Tenor Ukulele Professional 26 inch - Best High-Quality

Important Specifications

  • Brand: Unknown

  • Color: Silver

  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 26.18 x 8.66 x 2.95 inches

  • Top Material Type: Rosewood

  • Back Material Type: Rosewood

  • Finish Type: Polished

  • Instrument: Ukulele

Product’s Highlights

Otherwise, the form of this concert ukulele is typical for the double bout kind. The second point of uncertainty is its composition; the product description makes it seem fancier than it really is. The whole description of the product is a textbook example of hyperbole.

The stripe on the top, curved back, and (poorly bookmatched) sides of this four-piece structure are pleasant enough, but it doesn't do much to elevate the design.

It is certainly not unsightly and offers a welcome change of pace. The black body provides a lovely contrast to the light neck wood. The heel and headstock are joined. However, they are not very noticeable. Unfortunately, it's too thin (only 34mm at the nut and 27mm G to A) and has an unpleasantly rounded (like a broom handle) back for my taste. The size of my hands makes that uncomfortable.

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What We Like

  • Price

  • Rosewood is striking to look at

  • Nice edge binding

  • Nice finish

Things to Consider

  • Narrow rounded neck

  • Terrible tuners

  • Gap under bridge

#8. Soprano Ukulele Beginner Pack - Best Sound-Quality

Important Specifications

  • Brand: NOT HOME

  • Size: 21 inch

  • Color: purple

  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 21.8 x 3.2 x 7.7 inches

  • Top Material Type: Basswood

  • Back Material Type: Basswood

  • String Material Type: Nylon

  • Finish Type: Painted

  • Instrument: Ukulele

  • Item Weight: 0.88 Kilograms

Product’s Highlights

Blackwood is used for the bridge and fingerboard, while solid wood is used for the soprano ukulele's neck. It is designed to help you create harmonic blends that sound like they came from Hawaii. And painted using non-toxic paint is safe for both people and the environment.

When playing traditional Hawaiian ukulele tunes, the sophisticated and durable nylon strings prevent stroke and provide a full-bodied tone. They provide a solid foundation and long-lasting strength. In the early beginning, it is essential that the ukulele be tuned.

Ukuleles with basswood bodies not only look and sound better but are also more on-trend. In addition to having good resonance, the intonation is also spot on. It's a lot less difficult to get started studying and maintain a high-performance level. Fingers need not worry, as the fret wires are polished and soft.

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What We Like

  • Great deal

  • Easy to play

Things to Consider

  • Flimsy toy

Compare Products

TOP Choice
1
  • JG Score

    JG Score is measured by Jacob Golden. JG Score is objective because it can not be impacted by any manufacturers or sellers. Learn more

    9.4
  • Brand
    Donner
TOP Choice
2
  • JG Score

    JG Score is measured by Jacob Golden. JG Score is objective because it can not be impacted by any manufacturers or sellers. Learn more

    9.4
  • Brand
    Caramel
TOP Choice
3
  • JG Score

    JG Score is measured by Jacob Golden. JG Score is objective because it can not be impacted by any manufacturers or sellers. Learn more

    9.4
  • Brand
    Ranch
Most Saving
4
  • JG Score

    JG Score is measured by Jacob Golden. JG Score is objective because it can not be impacted by any manufacturers or sellers. Learn more

    8.8
  • Brand
    Everjoys
Most Saving
5
  • JG Score

    JG Score is measured by Jacob Golden. JG Score is objective because it can not be impacted by any manufacturers or sellers. Learn more

    8.8
  • Brand
    POMAIKAI
Most Saving
6
  • JG Score

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    8.2
  • Brand
    Martin Smith
7
  • JG Score

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    9.4
  • Brand
    Unknown
8
  • JG Score

    JG Score is measured by Jacob Golden. JG Score is objective because it can not be impacted by any manufacturers or sellers. Learn more

    8.8
  • Brand
    NOT HOME

Last update on 2022-11-30 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

FAQs

How much should I spend on a ukulele?

An entry-level ukulele may be purchased for $50 to $150 if you take your time researching brands and choose wisely. Those just starting out on the ukulele can look at brands like Lanikai and Cordoba, which provide quality instruments at entry-level prices. There's a wide range of ukulele sizes available.

Is it better to get a soprano or concert ukulele?

The soprano ukulele is suitable for anybody who wishes to listen to the most recognizable and classic ukulele sounds. One argument for the concert ukulele's larger and longer dimensions is that it is easier to play than the tiny soprano ukulele. However, everyone has their own tastes.

What is the most common ukulele?

The sound and tone you usually identify with the ukulele come from the soprano size, the original and conventional ukulele size.

Final Words

The ukulele is a great instrument to learn if you've been thinking about picking up an instrument. The best ukulele is a great long-term investment in your musical career since it is both lightweight and one of the simplest stringed instruments to learn. When you're in the market for either your first or a newer model, we know it may be tough to narrow down your selections from all the available models. Our evaluation of the many brands and kits should help you narrow your options.