Best Ukuleles

Review & Comparison, Last Update September 11, 2018
Today, a variety of music instruments doesn't fail to amaze and one can find an instrument to any needs and liking. In this review, we'd like to present one of the most peculiar musical instruments known by the name "ukulele", with the sound bearing no resemblance to any other sound produced. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2018
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Type
Material
Number of Frets
Size
Peculiarities
 
PROS

Luna Tattoo concert ukulele looks great thanks to its traditional Hawaiian ornament with unique tattooed patterns and layout.

CONS

You might need to spend some time, customizing the fret sound.

OUR VERDICT

Luna offers you a bit more than a traditional ukulele. It's a uniquely-designed Hawaiian model with a wonderful sounding.

detailed parameters
Type
Concert
Material
Mahogany body, Rosewood fretboard
Number of Frets
18
Size
15 inches
Peculiarities
Inlays resemble shark teeth
PROS

This four-stringed ukulele offers surprisingly good sound quality and playability for the price.

CONS

If you have long fingers, you will need to get used to the uke.

OUR VERDICT

The Kala KA-15S uke is suitable for beginners and enthusiasts alike. For those who are just starting their music career, Learn-to-play-kit is also available.

detailed parameters
Type
Soprano
Material
Mahogany body, Rosewood fretboard
Number of Frets
12
Size
13 inches
Peculiarities

Classical shape, Learn-to-play kit is also available

PROS

The bridge is uniquely designed so that you could change strings super easily.

CONS

It's rather fragile.

OUR VERDICT

This concert-sized ukulele is a very affordable model great for beginners. It comes with a fantastic set to get started on.

detailed parameters
Type

Concert

Material

Mahogany body, Rosewood fretboard

Number of Frets

18

Size

15 inches

Peculiarities

Comes with ukulele bag, ukulele strap, carbon nylon string and digital clip-on tuner as gifts

PROS

This uke is supplied with a generous set of accessories (tuner, bag, strap, 2 picks and a holder for them, Aquila super Nylgut strings).

CONS

The notes get a bit out of tune after the 5th fret. 

OUR VERDICT

If you want to get all at once, choose this bundle. The uke is supplied with numerous accessories and everything is covered by a lifetime warranty.

detailed parameters
Type

Concert (Soprano and Tenor are also available)

Material

Mahogany body, Rosewood fretboard

Number of Frets

18

Size

20 inches

Peculiarities

Accurate tuner, battery included; Sturdy bag; Polyester ukulele sized strap; Two picks; Pick holder; Aquila super Nylgut strings installed; Extra set of Aquila strings

PROS

The package includes a tuner that allows you to maintain the proper tonality while playing.

CONS
Glossy coating is easily stained.
OUR VERDICT

One of the best options for those who only starting to master a ukulele. The concert, Pineapple, Soprano, and Tenor options are also available.

detailed parameters
Type
Baritone (Soprano, Tenor, Concert also available)
Material
Mahogany body, Rosewood fretboard
Number of Frets
18
Size
20.25 inches
Peculiarities

Comes with Aquila Nylgut premium strings, gig bag, clip-on digital tuner, instructional DVD, and polishing cloth

Luna Mahogany Series Tattoo Concert

Welcome to the Tribe!

Luna Guitars are comfortable and attractive instruments created for musicians of all ages. And this uke is no exception. It's beautifully and carefully crafted to engage your mind, spirit, and talent. You will definitely feel comfortable holding this 23-inch Luna ukulele in hands. This is a concert ukulele that is quite universal, and that's the reason why it's so popular among adults and kids alike.

This concert-style ukulele will be a great choice for everyone, no matter whether you are an adult with grand plans of conquering the stage and capturing peoples' hearts or a small child only beginning your musical journey. Paired with this wonderful Luna Tattoo uke, you will be a star of every party. The instrument has a unique Polynesian design that can reflect your personality best. It is tattooed in black against brown skin and boasts so many extra patterns in addition to traditional Hawaiian engraving. The symbols on its casing represent the natural island world: fish, turtles, sharks, birds, stones, waves, rain, and sun. We would like to note that this ukulele is available in Mahogany and Spruce colors.

Review of Luna Mahogany Series Tattoo Concert Ukulele

Superb Quality

The body of this Luna Tattoo ukulele is made of mahogany. This kind of natural wood is known for giving musical instruments wonderful and quality sounding. The fretboard is made of high-quality rosewood and it completes the astonishing look of this ukulele. Moreover, the fret markers of this ukulele are made to look like shark teeth, adding to the image of fun and danger you can find in Hawaii. We believe this is what the Luna creators wanted to show. So, if you want something stylish, durable, and unique, this Hawaiian uke is your choice.

Luna Mahogany Series Tattoo Concert Ukulele in the use

Going Deeper into Details

The scale length of the Luna Mahogany Series Tattoo Concert Ukulele is 15 inches, and it features 18 frets to provide you with a stunning sound. This wide frets selection gives you the opportunity to try different tones and choose what you like most. You will surely enjoy the ukulele's beautiful sound and aesthetic possibilities to the fullest!

Detailed review of Luna Mahogany Series Tattoo Concert Ukulele

VIDEO
Luna Tattoo Concert Electric Ukulele Review
 

Kala KA-15S Mahogany Soprano Ukulele

Compact in Size but Beautiful in Sounding

This Kala KA-15S soprano ukulele has a small size, so you can take it just anywhere to boost your mood and make the people around you smile. The Kala ukulele offers a good playability and nice sound. Playing this ukulele will totally carry you away. It has a professional build system with premium Aquila Nylgut strings which sounding will conquer the heart of every listener. You will definitely enjoy playing on this soprano ukulele and it will surely fill your life with awesome music. However, if you're not sure if this very type of ukulele suits you best, you can also order a concert or soprano model from the same manufacturer. Kala ukuleles are played by such renowned bands and musicians around the world as Twenty One Pilots, Zac Brown, and Vance Joy. Want to become as popular as they are? Choose Kala!

Review of Kala KA-15S Mahogany Soprano Ukulele

High-quality Construction

Kala is a well-known and trusted manufacturer of ukes. The body and neck of the Kala KA-15S are made of mahogany, while the fretboard is produced of rosewood. Owing to the vibration of nylon premium Aquila Nylgut strings and special guitar construction, the sound is more sonorous and deeper than other models of its price range provide. The satin finish ensures pleasant sensation while playing this Kala ukulele mahogany, while the thorough construction delivers a bright tone which can easily capture the soul of people listening to you. This uke takes you into the atmosphere of the Hawaiian night full of dance and music. So with this ukulele, you will always have a great entertaining tool at hand.

Kala KA-15S Mahogany Soprano Ukulele in the use

Extra Edition for Beginners

Kala ukuleles are often purchased by musical schools, since most novice players prefer Kala to other ukulele brands. They are simple and high-quality. And if you're just about starting playing this wonderful musical instrument, you'll be pleased to know that the manufacturer kindly offers the special Learn-to-Play Ukulele Soprano Starter Kit. Besides the ukulele itself, this extended kit includes a Kala logo tote bag, free Kala ukulele app with tuner, How to Play Ukulele Quick Start booklet, and free comprehensive online lessons.

Detailed review of Kala KA-15S Mahogany Soprano Ukulele

VIDEO
Kala KA-15S Soprano Ukulele Demo
 

Donner Concert Mahogany DUC-1

Excellent Playability

The Donner DUC-1 is a great ukulele for beginners. It's very reasonably priced and just can't be beaten! This traditional model feels very smooth around the Rosewood fretboard. It has 18 brass frets with the position marks at 5th, 7th, 10th, and 12th frets. The frets are well-polished and won't catch your fingers. The neck is ergonomic enough to let you change your position easily.

The ukulele has four carbon nylon strings that hold up well and stay in tune for a good while. By the way, it comes with some tuners to re-tune the instrument whenever a need be. The unit produces very clear sound with beautiful, rich tone and resonant. The volume can be even compared to that of acoustic guitars. In all, this is an amazing ukulele to get started on.

Review of Donner Concert Mahogany DUC-1 Ukulele

Perfection in Every Detail

For the price, the build quality of the Donner concert ukulele is just amazing! It's carefully crafted from the natural wood, not plywood. The body and neck are made of solid mahogany and have a nice satin finish. They can help you achieve a very rich and bright sound.

The bridge is uniquely designed by Donner team of professionals. It allows players to smoothly change strings and ensures excellent playing tone. The carbon nylon strings are made in Japan. They are reasonably soft to the touch and boast a very sweet sound. In a word, this concert-sized ukulele has a fantastic tone and appearance.

Donner Concert Mahogany DUC-1 Ukulele in the use

Some Extras

Pretty often the package includes just a ukulele and a few cheap items just to catch your attention. However, that's not the case with the Donner ukulele. It comes with everything you'll need to start playing. The kit includes a high-quality tuner Donner DT-2 with a battery, a solid ukulele case, colored ukulele strap with a nice pattern, and an extra set of nylon strings. The tuner works well and is very accurate. It can be used not only for this ukulele but for any other string/vibration instrument as well. The well-padded case is quite durable and has a pocket with zippers for some accessories. It has two straps and can be worn as a backpack. So, if you need an affordable ukulele with a great start "bundle", this is it.

Detailed review of Donner Concert Mahogany DUC-1 Ukulele

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Lohanu LU-C Concert

Stunning Sound

Lohanu company offers a lovely uke at a very fair price. For less than $90, you can get a fantastic ukulele with about $65 worth of accessories. This concert instrument gives out the clear sound with no buzzing noises or tuning problems. Even when you play on the highest frets, the sound is loud and bright. By the way, it has 18 frets that are widely spaced for better sound performance. Yet, take note that the frets are comfortable for adults and 9+ children only.

Although most ukes are notorious for frequent re-tuning, the strings of this one hold a tune quite well. And thanks to the slightly arched back, it gives richer and warmer sound compared to ukuleles at this price point. The icing on the cake is that the company provides FREE online video lessons (with the numbered cord charts) that can guide you through the uke basics to help you get started. The easy-to-follow lessons include:

  • Beginner's lesson;
  • How to tune your ukulele;
  • Super catchy & fun must-learn 'Hawaiian Songs'.

If you need a uke with good projection and online tutorials, this is a sound choice.

Review of Lohanu LU-C Concert Ukulele

Unmatched Quality

You'll be definitely thrilled with the nice materials and craftsmanship of this uke. It has a Sapele/Mahogany body, Rosewood fingerboard and looks exactly as shown in the pictures. The best part is that it's supplied with Aquila strings installed. These are currently the best uke strings that are very easy on your fingers. What is notable, this ukulele and all accessories are covered by an unconditional lifetime warranty.

Lohanu LU-C Concert Ukulele in the use

Useful Extras

The uke comes with a strap, buttons, and two pre-drilled holes for the strap. Although the strap is rather plain, it's good-quality and adjustable. It'll be much easier to play the uke and change the chords with a strap attached, especially if you're a beginner.

Also, the package includes a case, tuner, 2 picks, pick holder, and an extra set of Aquila strings. The bag offers very little padding, yet it's very lightweight and easy to carry. The picks are made of plastic and come in 2 different sizes. As for the included tuner, it's very accurate and can be used for different types of stringed instruments.

Detailed review of Lohanu LU-C Concert Ukulele

 

Kala MK-B Makala

For Any Taste

The Kala brand offers you the MK-B Makala ukulele. It's a baritone type ukulele that has been known since the 1940's. What's so special about this kind of a mini guitar? It has a universal size that is great for beginners and experienced musicians alike. It boasts the beautiful wood construction that's a bit rustic but flawless. The uke comes with Aquila Nylgut strings preinstalled and geared. The strings are very easy to press down, which makes playing frustration-free. The strings stay fine-tuned for quite a long while and ensure surprisingly loud sound. The sound is quite deep and meaty. Some users note that it's pretty close to a guitar and can make them feel less pathetic and more cheerful.

If you want, you can select another type of ukulele as the manufacturer offers it in concert, soprano, tenor, and pineapple options as well. Everyone will definitely find the perfect model for their taste and level.

Review of Kala MK-B Makala Ukulele Bundle with Gig Bag

By Austin Bazaar

Austin Bazaar has manufactured this baritone ukulele using the finest mahogany and rosewood so as to create a superb quality musical instrument. The body boasts an outstanding satin finish and a distinctive white binding on the top and back. The fretboard and bridge are made of rosewood, a pretty rare kind of wood which makes this baritone ukulele really elegant and stylish. Thanks to this design, you will never confuse this ukulele with any other.

Overall, this uke looks pretty well-built - the finish is varnish, the neck is smooth. Tuning the keys are also smooth, and the action is right without any fret buzz. The Kala MK-B Makala has 18 frets, giving you the opportunity to play a variety of tones and notes. Whatever you play, the sound will be rich and appealing. The strings of this baritone ukulele are the nylon Aquila Nylgut premium ones. Be sure, their quality is excellent.

Kala MK-B Makala Ukulele Bundle with Gig Bag in the use

The Optional Bundle

The delivery package is very generous. Besides the MK-B baritone ukulele, you'll get a special gig bag for it, digital clip-on tuner, Austin Bazaar instructional DVD, and polishing cloth. The tuner will help you adjust the sound, while instructional DVD will explain how to set up the ukulele, play chords, and more. Out-of-the-box you get everything to start playing.

Detailed review of Kala MK-B Makala Ukulele Bundle with Gig Bag

VIDEO
Makala Baritone Ukulele Review
 

What Is an Ukulele?

Ukulele is a guitar of a distinctive shape and sound which certainly can give a lot of positive emotions and uplift your mood. A lot of people mistakenly think of ukulele as of a children's toy guitar and this is not surprising considering its small guitar-like design. Yet, it's a full-fledged musical instrument with several tunings. Due to its compact size, an ukulele is convenient to hold and you can take it anywhere with you. This instrument can also be called "a uke". If you want to join the ukulele revolution, our review will help you choose a suitable model. Also, our review will be of use for avid musicians willing to try their hands at something new.

Whether you are a stringed instruments enthusiast or a professional guitar player, you will definitely appreciate one of the electric guitars represented in our review.

What Features to Compare

Firstly, we will recommend you to consider the type and size of ukuleles. Depending on the size there are four main types, each with its own name: Soprano, Concert, Tenor, and Baritone ukuleles. Soprano uke is 21 inches long, and it is a standard length for ukuleles. This is the most popular type, and also the best possible ukulele for beginners who only start to learn this instrument. The Concert ukulele is a little bigger, it is over 23 inches long, a very convenient size to play. This type of ukulele has more frets. The next type is the Tenor, a ukulele of the convenient size for those who are used to a guitar fingerboard, about 26 inches long. These ukuleles have a deeper and louder sound as against the Soprano ones. The last is the Baritone uke. It is 30 inches long and it will be tuned like a full-size guitar. There are also Bass ukuleles which may be of the same size with Baritone ones, but they are slightly rarer and intended for giving out the low-frequency sound. Bass ukuleles are kind of resemble the sound of a contrabass, but you do not need to hold them vertically to play. Apart from the size, there are a lot of different shapes of ukuleles. They can be in the shape of a pineapple, paddles, in a triangular and square shape. The most popular are guitar-shaped ukuleles that resemble the number "8".

After deciding on the size, you should pay attention to the material which ukuleles are made of. The traditional Hawaiian guitar is made of a koa wood, it is a local wood similar to mahogany. Nowadays, manufacturers often substitute it with ash, Agathis, rosewood, or mahogany. Sometimes soundboard may be made of spruce, walnut or maple - less expensive types of wood, but nonetheless perfect from the acoustic point of view. Also, there exist ukuleles, completely or partially made of plastic. Those are good ukuleles for beginners.

Ukuleles also can have different peculiarities like bright drawings or paintings, photos, or varnish covering to reveal the wood structure. The tuners can be chrome or gold plated, wood, of various shapes and designs - to make your ukulele stand out. Also, the more frets your ukulele has, the more melodic and the richer sounding will be. Depending on the guitar size, the fingerboard may have from 12 to 20 frets. The strings' scale length (the maximum length of a string between the nut and the saddle) affects the melody too. The longer it is, the more tones and sounds your ukulele will be able to produce.

Nowadays you can find electric ukulele models. The housing might have a miniature battery-powered amplifier. This type of ukulele can be connected to the combo amplifier, to play the sound through the speakers. It is a perfect solution for those who play on the stage or who love the amplified sound of their musical instruments.

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