5 Best Ukuleles of 2024

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If you're not sure how to pick out a ukulele as a beginner, we've got the solution for you.

Our favorite beginner ukulele is the Kala KA-15S.

It's an amazing soprano ukulele that's lightweight and has great playability for new players. It has a warm tone and an amazing build that'll last plenty of years.

The best ukulele for seasoned players is a concert ukulele (a bit bigger than a soprano uke) - the Cordoba 15CM. This is a great pick because of its increased size, volume, and depth, which experienced players love.

In this article, we'll help you find the best ukes for your needs, and we'll also go over the features that make a good uke a good uke - size, build, and electronics.

Here are our favorite ukes! Enjoy.

Quick Summary of the Best Ukuleles

  1. Kala KA-15S Soprano Ukulele (Best Beginner Soprano Ukulele)
  2. Cordoba 15CM Concert Ukulele (Best Concert Ukulele)
  3. Ukulele Kala KA-T Mahogany Tenor Ukulele (Best Tenor Ukulele)
  4. Kala KA-BE Baritone Ukulele (Best Baritone)
  5. Martin 1T IZ Tenor Ukulele (A High-End Ukulele)

Best Ukuleles

Best Soprano Ukulele

Why We Love It
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Beginner Friendly
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Lightwweight
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Affordable

SPECS

  • Type: Soprano
  • Wood: Mahogany
  • Number of Strings: 4

The KA-15S is one of the best ukuleles for beginners; it's reasonably priced, and the construction is amazing. Of course, we also have to call out what makes it most appealing to beginners, which is playability. The beginner-friendly design is a soprano, which we highly recommend for beginners.

Sopranos are the smallest of the bunch and are pretty lightweight. The fretboard is smooth, and the action is comfy for young musicians and new players.

The KA-15S is made of mahogany, giving uke players a warm tone that's great for various playing styles. Overall, you're getting a reliable soprano ukulele that comes from a reputable brand that's affordable (under $65).

So, if you don't want to splurge as a beginner but don't want to sacrifice quality, this is the perfect soprano ukulele.

Best Concert Ukulele

Why We Love It
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Beautiful construction and finish
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Great volume levels and tonal depth
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Warm tones

SPECS

  • Type: Concert
  • Wood: Mahogany
  • Number of Strings: 4

Cordoba is another quality brand trusted by ukulele players. The Cordoba 15CM concert ukulele is a high-quality concert ukulele. You'll want to consider a concert uke if you're an intermediate or experienced player getting back into playing.

The difference between this and a soprano ukulele is that this ukulele will have increased volume and tonal depth. It still has a warm tone, though, with plenty of projection. It'll be great for a variety of genres.

Something we like about the Cordoba 15CM concert ukulele is that it is beautiful! A ukulele for $100 that looks and sounds this nice is such a steal. It has an ivoroid binding for an elegant look and a hand-inlaid abalone rosette that is normally only found on more expensive ukes.

The construction and finish are great for those who want to prioritize a nice aesthetic. Why not? You'll be using this concert uke throughout your ukulele journey (it's great for beginner and intermediate players).

Best Tenor Ukulele

Why We Love It
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Great for finger style players
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Warm and full bodied tone
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Great for experienced players

SPECS

  • Type: Tenor
  • Wood: Mahogany
  • Number of Strings: 4

The solid mahogany uke will give you a warm and full-bodied tone. This is a tenor body ukulele, so keep in mind that this size may not be the best pick for beginners, but the size, projection, and resonance will be something that intermediate and advanced players fall in love with.

The tenor ukulele provides more room between frets, so fingerstyle players can expand on this style. It does have a comfortable neck profile, though the action is set at a comfortable level.

It is a versatile ukulele, so use it for strumming or experimenting with techniques. Overall, it's a great ukulele for experienced players. If you've been playing for years and are ready to begin playing intricate melodies (or already do), this is a great ukulele to get your creativity flowing.

Consider gigging, songwriting, or teaching with it.

4. Best Baritone – Kala KA-BE Baritone Ukulele

best ukulele

SPECS

  • Type: Baritone
  • Wood: Mahogany
  • Number of Strings: 4

Baritone ukuleles are for experienced players. This is the biggest size standard uke out there, but if you're no newbie, it won't freak you out. The large uke allows for different chord voicings, basslines, and melody arrangements for a variety of performances and recording sessions.

The quality baritone ukulele is made of solid mahogany, which is a big factor when it comes to a warm and resonant sound. Overall, the baritone ukulele has well-balanced tones, and you're going to love the projection.

Also, you can use this baritone uke for plenty of gigs in small to mid-size venues; the ukulele is equipped with a built-in pickup and preamp system so you can amplify the sound.

Overall, we really love this musical instrument for gigs. The onboard electronics will make this sound even better when amplified, so if you're shopping around for ukes you'll take from gig to gig, you'll love it. It's a big uke, but still very much portable.

5. A High-End Ukulele – Martin 1T IZ Tenor Ukulele

best ukulele

SPECS

  • Type: Tenor
  • Wood: Mahogany
  • Number of Strings: 4

Professional guitar players will enjoy the craftsmanship of Martin. Martin has been in the acoustic guitar game for quite a while. They date back to the 1800s, but their expertise has proven they're not going anywhere. From Elvis, Neil Young, and even guitar players such as John Mayer and Seth Avett, Martin is known for being the standard for many musicians.

Their 1T IZ tenor uke has an excellent build, with a solid mahogany top, back, and sides; it has superior tone and resonance. It's warm and rich, and of course, the projection is top-tier. This model is a tribute to Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, known for his soulful renditions of classic Hawaiian songs.

It's a special model, plus it comes from Martin. The ukulele is held in high regard! This ukulele will make for a great uke to take on tour or in the studio. It packs a warm, soulful punch.

We love Martin's instruments and truly think you'll be blown away in comparison to most ukuleles out there. If you want a ukulele, you'll use for a very long time; this is very fitting for your professional career.

Best Ukulele Buyer's Guide

There are lots of things to consider as you begin to narrow down your ukulele options. We created a buyer's guide to help you pick the best ukulele for your needs -- below we'll go over size and type, wood, playability, and more.

After reviewing these factors, you'll have a better idea of why you shouldn't or should go with a specific ukulele.

Budget

First, budget. Your new ukulele may or may not be expensive. If you're a beginner, set a budget for a ukulele under $250. If you're a seasoned player, you may consider stretching your budget to a high-end professional ukulele.

Ukulele Size and Type

Ukuleles come in different sizes ranging from soprano body, concert body, tenor body, and baritone ukuleles. Soprano ukuleles are small and traditional ukes. They have a bright tone and a classic ukulele sound. If you're a beginner, give a soprano-size uke a go.

Concert ukuleles are a bit larger than a soprano uke; they have increased volume and tonal depth (compared to sopranos). They're not a bad pick for beginners, but they are best for experienced players or players with larger hands.

Tenor ukes are long (around 17 inches), and they have a loud, full, and rich sound with increased bass response. They are terrific choices for live performances.

Baritones are the largest of them all (around 19 inches in length). They are deep and mellow (like a classical guitar). They also have a wider neck, so if you're used to a guitar-like feel, you'll enjoy them.

Wood Quality

Mahogany has a warm and balanced tone, great for projection. Super popular amongst traditional ukuleles! Koa is a special kind of wood that offers a bright, sweet, and rich tone. Many quality ukuleles from Hawaii are made with Koa.

Spruce has a bright and well-balanced sound. It's great for various genres. Cedar is commonly used; it produces a warm, rich, and mellow tone with pronounced overtones. It's also popular for fingerstyle playing.

Lastly, there's acacia. Acacia ukuleles offer a well-balanced sound with a strong midrange and good sustain. It's bright and punchy and sounds similar to Koa but is typically more affordable.

Construction and Build Quality

Look for ukuleles with solid construction and sturdy hardware. It needs to be able to withstand regular use, and of course, a nice, clean finish is always great!

Playability

Type plays a big role in playability. A smaller ukulele is best for beginners. Just make sure you have a good understanding of how a ukulele will feel in your hands before purchasing.

Electronics

If you plan to play gigs, consider ukes with a pickup or preamp system so you can connect it to an amplifier or sound system.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What size ukulele should I choose?

That depends. We recommend going with Soprano if you're a newbie. They are small and traditional. If you have a preference in size or are experienced, you can size up.

What is the best wood choice for a ukulele?

Depends on what tones you want. Mohagany is warm and balanced, koa is rich and bright, spruce and cedar are also bright but with an articulate sound, and acacia is warm and punchy.

What is the importance of playability in a ukulele?

This typically is up to size -- consider the neck shape, fretboard material, string height, and overall setup. Also, a ukulele with good playability allows for smooth chord transitions.

Conclusion

Shopping for your traditional uke is easier than you think. Remember, these amazing instruments come in different sizes, and a soprano body shape makes for great beginner ukuleles.

Soprano ukes are small and truly make ukulele playing much easier in the beginning. Playing music is tricky at first, so make sure you get a soprano instrument. Our favorite is the Kala KA 15S.

If you're an intermediate player, consider a concert model. Our favorite is the Cordoba 15CM. The concert size uke has plenty of projection and a nice mahogany body. It's a beauty!

If you're a pro, you may want to consider something large (tenor or baritone). Large ukulele sizes could make a world of difference when playing gigs.

Discover top-tier sound! Explore our collection for the best tenor ukuleles and elevate your music.

Happy uke shopping!

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