September 7, 2020

Best Sounding Ukulele For Every Budget

Besides guitars, ukuleles are widely loved for the happy and vibrant sounds they make.

Some people take up playing the ukulele as a hobby at first, but after time, it grows on them and becomes an important part of life, especially those who have a special spot for music in their hearts.

The uke was underrated in the past, but it has observed a bit of renaissance recently. Because of that, you might find it hard to buy the best sounding ukulele as there are so many options to choose from.

Knowing that we’ve narrowed the list down to 5 ukes that will surely suit any budget. Check them out!

The Best Sounding Ukulele

We made this list based on the ratings of these instruments and the feedback from former customers, so you don’t have to worry that we bias any product on this list.

1. Ranch Professional Wooden Ukulele - Budget Pick

We’re going to start off the list with a concert uke - the Ranch Professional Wooden Ukulele.

Ranch Professional Wooden Ukulele - Budget Pick

This ukulele makes a great option for beginners as it is not only easy to play, but it also comes with a complete set of goodies to save you some extras on the money.

It is a great deal compared to other products with the same price range but no extras.

At first glance, you’ll be impressed by the stunning design of this uke.

It is made of Sapele wood, so it looks a bit darker than standard ukuleles, making it look expensive and high-quality as if you bought it from one of those luxurious instrument stores.

In terms of performance, it sounds just as quality and professional as any other double-priced ukes, just like the name suggests.

However, some advanced players noticed that the intonation was a bit off. Yet, it is not noticeable, especially if you’re a novice.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Comes with a complete concert ukulele set
  • Stunning design
  • Decent sound quality

Cons

  • Included tuner sometimes doesn’t work
  • Intonation is a bit off

Final Verdict: It’s easy to find ukuleles with similar quality at this price range, but you can’t go wrong with the Ranch Professional Wooden Ukulele if you have a limited budget.

2. Luna UKETCMAH Tattoo Concert Mahogany Ukulele - Best Design

Luna UKETCMAH Tattoo Concert Mahogany Ukulele - Best Design

Luna Guitars is known for making ukuleles with eye-catching engraved tattoo designs, and the Luna UKETCMAH Tattoo Concert Mahogany Ukulele is no exception.

Most people purchase this ukulele because of its unique looking design.

The top, back, and sides are made of laminated mahogany; some say that maghony wood changes the tone of this ukulele, but we can assure you that there is no such thing.

The engraved lines on the body were meticulously done. They were inspired by the traditional Hawaiian and Polynesian tattoo style, making this uke a one-of-a-kind design that you can hardly find another.

The design has yet to be the best thing about this uke. In terms of performance, the sound quality of this little guy is considered decent, better than most mass-market ukes out there.

The only real problem is the size of this ukulele. It is rather small for a concert ukulele, and the body is thin, so you’ll have to treat it with tenderness and care.

Pros

  • One-of-a-kind design
  • Solid tuning
  • Fairly priced
  • Decent sound
  • Travel bag included

Cons

  • Fragile body
  • Buzzing frets

Final Verdict: If the style is what you’re looking for besides the sound quality, Luna Tattoo Concert Mahogany Ukulele is just what you need.

3. Cordoba 15TM Tenor Ukulele - Best Sounding Ukulele

Cordoba 15TM Tenor Ukulele - Best Sounding Ukulele

Those who have big hands usually struggle to switch from one chord to another because of the small gaps between the frets.

Not with this tenor uke! The Cordoba 15TM Tenor Ukulele is ideal for grown-up beginners due to the 26” size.

Even though 15TM doesn’t come with any extras, every penny you pay goes towards the value of this uke, and it shows.

The tuners are precise with pearl tuning buttons that feel nice and solid when you tune the strings.

The body is entirely made of laminated mahogany with a sleek satin finish while the bridge is made of rosewood.

Compared with the two ukes mentioned above, the sound of 15TM is a total banger. It has excellent tone and sustain, but keep in mind that 15TM isn’t like any other concert or soprano ukuleles.

Its sounds are deeper and warmer as the vibrations produced are slightly higher than other ukes, so if you’re looking for something that sounds fun and bright, this uke might not be the one.

Nonetheless, you’ll encounter a very common problem seen in most ukes: it will constantly go out of tune. You can solve this by tuning it often for the first few weeks.

Eventually, the strings will stretch, and it will be quite some time until you need to tune it again.

Pros

  • Rich, eloquent sound
  • Good value of money
  • Great intonation
  • Plenty of resonance

Cons

  • Lots of tuning required at first

Final Verdict: The Cordoba 15Tm Tenor Ukulele is undoubtedly a worthwhile investment for the price and quality it offers. It is perfect for adults who want to get into playing uke!

4. Makala MK-B Baritone Mahogany Ukulele - Best Ukulele for Those Who Play Guitar

Makala MK-B Baritone Mahogany Ukulele - Best Ukulele for Those Who Play Guitar

The Makala Baritone Mahogany Ukulele makes a great option for guitarists who want to play ukulele, and here’s why.

As you can tell from the name, the vibrations produced are much lower in pitching, providing slightly larger, clearer sounds than regular ukes.

This uke makes a perfect transition for guitarists who are eager to expand their musical arsenal with a new instrument.

Even though most baritone ukes are quite bulky, the MK-B will fit perfectly on your lap when you play it sitting down.

However, some customers were very upset that the strings kept going out of tune. Unlike the Cordoba 15TM, they won’t stretch after a time of use, so it is best that you replace them with a new set in the first place.

We highly recommend you get a string set of the Ko’olau Mahana Baritone Ukulele. Trust us on this one; you won’t regret making that purchase!

Pros

  • Well-constructed
  • Suitable for both beginner and advanced players
  • The perfect size
  • Deep, mellow sound
  • Lightweight and easy to hold

Cons

  • Flimsy strings
  • Too much buzz on the 2nd and 3rd frets

Final Verdict: The Makala MK-B Baritone Mahogany Ukulele is a decent instrument for the price. It is suitable for guitarists who want to play a new instrument without putting much effort into learning new things.

5. HUAWIND Soprano Ukulele - Best for Little Kids

HUAWIND Soprano Ukulele - Best for Little Kids

We’ve finally come to the last product on today’s list - the HUAWIND Soprano Ukulele. This is a soprano made of basswood, measuring around 21 inches from end to end, making it one of the smallest ukes on the market.

The sounds created by this ukulele are rather crisp and focused thanks to the basswood material. Don’t expect it to be loud, though, because of the size.

Also, those with big hands might struggle to play this uke, which is why it is more suitable for kids who want to take up playing ukulele. It is the perfect size for them, and they also get to choose the color they want.

Nonetheless, some complaints were made about how the included case doesn’t look anything like the pictures, and it feels quite leathery.

Well, it comes as a free gift! What else do you expect?! And the uke itself  has affordable price, so that pretty much explains.

Pros

  • Comes in various colors
  • Sturdy basswood construction
  • Reasonably priced
  • Gives a classic, bright sound

Cons

  • Leathery case

Final Verdict: Surprise your kids this Christmas with this HUAWIND Soprano Ukulele. We’re sure they’ll love it!

Buying Guide

At the end of the day, the best sounding ukulele is the one that best meets your needs. When choosing a ukulele, there are a few things that require your attention.

A good ukulele can be found in any brand, at different sizes and prices. The ultimate factor that makes a difference is the tone of the ukulele such as: baritone ukulele, concert or tenor ukuleles.

It might sound subjective, but the best sounding ukulele should be bright, focused, and happy. After all, that’s why ukuleles were created!

Another factor is the material of the ukulele. Hands down, a wood ukulele is much more likely to be better than a plastic one, regardless the price.

Take note, folks. If you’re new to playing ukulele, a wood ukulele makes a great option for beginners despite how little it costs.

After you’re familiar with switching between chords and frets, you can upgrade that uke into a more advanced, professional one.

Now, how much should you pay to have a good ukulele? As stated above, a good ukulele for beginners can be found at around $50-100. But if you’re looking for something more unique with better projections or so, $200-300 should be an ideal price range.

Next, the brand.

Brands like Kala and Lanikai are known among ukulele lovers since they’re specialized in manufacturing ukuleles with the best quality you can find on the market.

For that reason, the price might be a bit higher than other competitors.

There are other brands you can take into consideration, such as Fender, Cordoba, or Luna.

Fender and Cordoba are known for making high-quality guitars, but their ukuleles are also great at a budget-friendly price than that of Kala and Lanikai.

Luna targets those who want a ukulele that looks rather more aesthetic than regular ones.

In Closing

Have you made up your mind on the best sounding ukulele yet? Because we have!

Even though the five options above were all carefully considered, there can only be one winner. That being said, we’re partial to the Cordoba 15TM Tenor Ukulele.

While it doesn’t come with any extras, it ticks all the boxes in terms of design, performance, and cost. This uke is a match made in heavy for not only beginners but also advanced players.

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