- 1 Cheap Ukes & Toy Ukes $20-40
- 2 Martin Smith UK-222-A Soprano Ukulele
- 3 Budget Ukuleles - $50
- 4 Kala Learn to Play Ukulele
- 5 Beginner Ukuleles $50-$150
- 6 Mid Range Ukuleles $150-500
- 7 High-End Ukuleles $500+
- 8 Independant Ukuleles Makers $500+
You always wanted to buy yourself a ukulele, but now that you finally have a chance, you don't know where exactly to start.
Which one to choose, and more importantly, what price range to expect?
Well we are here to help you, and guide you step by step through the different choices on the market today. The price of a ukulele can depend on a variety of factors - from the overall quality of both manufacture and sound, the brand, the materials, and much more.
If you are looking to buy a top notch professional ukulele you should certainly expect a hefty price tag, but know that your options are not limited to either high or low quality. As a matter of fact, the ukulele market has a varied offer, and you can find a good option for almost all budgets.
The cheapest choices are the toy or kids ukes, followed by budget ukuleles and the beginner ones. The next step is for the serious musicians - mid range and high end ukuleles are usually the best on offer. And then there are the unique independent quality ukuleles that can really change the way you viewed this instruments so far.
In the following guide we are taking you into the details about each of these categories, and showing you the best choices that the market has to offer.
Cheap Ukes & Toy Ukes $20-40
What to expect from cheap ukuleles?
When the budget is tight but the need is high, you can always opt for the cheapest option available. These low grade ukes are considered as toy-grade, and their quality is somewhat lacking. Don't expect a concert ukulele in your hands. What you get instead is a low quality, often plastic instrument which is both fragile and not very good for musical output. Toy ukes are often impossible to properly tune, and won't have a very long lifespan.
When to purchase a cheap Uke
People often go for cheap ukuleles as a test option. These can be good for simply seeing your capabilities if you are just starting out. If you see that you have what it takes, you can advance to a more advanced model. Moreover, people often purchase these cheap ukes as a starting instrument for the kids. A good way to introduce them to ukuleles.
Recommended Cheap Ukes Models
Martin Smith UK-222-A Soprano Ukulele
The Martin Smith ukulele for beginners could very well be the cheapest choice on the market. Accordingly, you shouldn't expect too much out of it, but for the basic uses or first uke steps, it still comes as an acceptable start. If you are tight on budget - go for it.
POMAIKAI Soprano Wood Ukulele
This beginner's uke has a solid wood body, which comes as a welcome change from the plastic. It has four nylon strings and is not too hard to tune up - as far as tuning a cheap uke goes. Add a passable sound to the mix and you get yourself an acceptable beginner ukulele or a great gift for the kids.
Mahalo MR1BK Soprano
Mahalo offers a soprano ukulele which stands close to being an acceptable mid-range or budget uke. It comes with Aquilla strings and metal tuning pegs, and overall it holds it sound well once tuned properly. A good choice for a travel or kids ukulele.
Budget Ukuleles - $50
What to expect from budget ukuleles?
Budget ukes are a next step and some of them can be surprisingly well made, with good sound. The price ranges are around $50, so if you have a limited budget but still want something slightly better than the cheap ukes, you can surely find a good uke in this category. But keep in mind that there are still a lot of mediocre ones as well.
When to purchase a budget Uke?
Budget ukes are a good option for a gift. They aren't rubbish, and can prove to be a nice little instrument. Also, they are a good choice if you are looking to practice and aren't ready to take the step towards the professional, concert ukulele. If you are looking for an affordable middle ground and have basic needs from your instrument, this can be a good solution.
Recommended Budget uke Models
Kala Learn to Play Ukulele
Kala is one of the most popular ukulele brands in the world, and here is their well known "Learn To Play" model. An affordable but very decent mahogany soprano uke, it will provide a great basis to start your journey into the world of uke players without having to resort to more expensive solutions right away. Kala instruments boast a fantastic craftsmanship.
Hola! Music HM-21NT
Hola! ukes are a great addition to the market of budget learning ukuleles. Featuring a quality build made from walnut and maple, including a kit of several useful products, this neat little uke is a fantastic choice. Numerous reviews praise this instrument, as it features the perfect blend of affordability and efficiency.
Made from natural woods - mahogany in this case - the Aklot uke produces a much better sound than the cheaper laminate instruments. A unique and high quality uke, it comes in 3 different sizes and is one of the pricier budget ukes. Aklot is another one of the well known brands that offers fine choices in beginner instruments. The basic size is 21 inches, but you have two more options as well.
Beginner Ukuleles $50-$150
What to expect from a good beginner ukuleles?
Now we are talking about the next stage in your choice of ukuleles. Beginner ukes are especially deisgned to act as low-end professional instruments, and are often chosen for young learners. Their price range might be higher, but the size, quality, and the ease of playing will be well worth the investment. With these ukes you can quickly notice several key advantages - such as the baritone and tenor ukulele versions, quality of strings and ease of playing, and a better customer support. All of these make the prices more than justified.
When to purchase a Beginner Uke?
If you are getting serious about your career as a ukulele player, buying a true, quality beginner uke will be a logical step for you. You can study and learn the nature of the uke much better, and prepare yourself for the future and a professional instrument.
Best Beginner models
Lohanu offers a semi professional uke that comes in soprano concert and tenor ukulele version. A solid wood instrument, it features everything you can get at this price range. A warm sound and great playability will certainly soften the learning curve for you.
Donner Soprano Ukulele Spruce DUS-3 21
This traditional ukulele is made from mahogany and spruce and has a rich, natural sound. It comes equipped with a tuner, picks, a quality instrument bag, and a strap - all you need to get going! Donner is a reputable brand, and this product is a proof of their quality.
This beautiful walnut and mahogany ukulele has a warm and professional concert sound. If you mean to invest, this quality instrument will certainly be a good choice.
Mid Range Ukuleles $150-500
What to expect from a mid range ukuleles?
This price range offers the best bang for your buck. If ukes are your passion, and you want a quality experience, this price range is where its at. Don't hesitate to invest because you know that the instrument you are getting will be well worth it.
When to purchase a mid range ukuleles?
If you are very passionate and serious about playing the uke professionally, buying a mid range one will be a good step. You can learn, develop your skill, and even perform.
Best Mid Range Ukuleles
Kala KA-ZCT-T Ziricote
Another offer from Kala - a beautiful rosewood and mahogany professional concert ukulele, with a Graphtech Nubone saddle. It boasts a high quality sound and a solid wood body. The price is good for this range, and it also comes with all sorts of added goodies. Can't go wrong with this one.
Oscar Schmidt OU5
With a lifetime warranty, and a quality wood body, you can rest assured that this uke is one of the finest on the market. Abalone binding and a Hawaiian Koa body ensure a professional sound, and an ease of play that will be noticed by experienced players.
Kala KA-ATP-CTG Cedar & Acacia Tenor
One glance at this high end instrument and you know that it is a fantastic choice. An elegant cedar and acacia body with walnut elements, and a modern design. This tenor ukulele might cost you a bit, but the price is well worth it for a quality instrument as this one.
High-End Ukuleles $500+
What to expect from a high end ukulele ?
If price is of no concern, and you want to play a solid, beautiful sounding ukulele, then these high end models are a logical choice. Professional strings, concert-style play, and proven brands are all present here, and they have everything a professional and passionate uke player might need.
When to purchase high end ukukeles?
If you mastered the art of the ukulele, or you are ready to take the next step in your career, opting for an expensive uke is a natural choice. And it will be worth it.
Martin C1K Concert Ukulele
This Mexico-manufactured concert sized ukulele is as good as it gets. A beautiful hardwood neck and a Hawaiian Koa body, this instrument sounds as good as it looks. Perfect for concert performances, this is a high quality uke for the pros!
Luna Koa Concert w/ Cutaway & Electronics
It doesn't get better than this. A stunning uke made from tropical hardwoods, with amazing abalone details. A professional, deep sound, and high-quality strings will make it easy and enjoyable to play. If money is no obstacle, don't think twice - this is the uke to get.
Independant Ukuleles Makers $500+
What to expect from an independent ukulele maker?
Independent makers are always attempting to deliver unique designs that can push forward the boundaries of ukulele musicianship. Often offering one-of-a-kind sound quality, and experimenting with unique woods, these independent ukuleles can be a revolution in your learning and experience.
When to go with an independent uke maker?
If you are at that stage where you are confident and ready as a professional ukulele player, that you want to try something challenging and advanced, you can opt for an independent ukulele. Don't be afraid to accept the higher price in order to experience something new and highly professional.