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Generally being more expensive than their acoustic counterparts, electric ukuleles tend to require more research to make sure you spend on the right model. There are plenty of options on the market, but which are the standout models in each category?
This is what we share today; the best electric ukuleles. We also go into what you’ll want to look out for when buying an electric uke, so check that out below the product recommendations.
Luna Tattoo Acoustic/Electric – Best Overall
The Luna Tattoo Acoustic/Electric (compare price on Sweetwater, Amazon, and Guitar Center) is a concert-sized ukulele that sounds great without requiring the upfront costs of the premium options. While some people have hands and fingers tiny enough for a smaller ukulele size like a soprano, this concert size is ideal for most people.
Luna is a well-respected brand in the ukulele marketplace, and they make high-quality instruments at every level, from beginning to advanced.
Furthermore, this particular product is the best choice for most people because it blends affordability with quality—you are not paying premium prices but can still create fantastic sounds and have visual details that resemble Hawaiian instrument construction.
Like the Luna Tattoo Acoustic model, this acoustic/electric model also has a mahogany construction that produces a resonant and clear sound. And with the EQ capabilities of this preamp, you can adjust the bass and treble channels to dial in the perfect sound balance for your situation.
Other notable features of this Luna Tattoo preamp model include:
- Traditional Hawaiian ornamentation
- Fret markers styled as shark teeth
- Walnut fretboard and bridge
- Natural satin finish
Additionally, this wins as best overall because this fantastic-sounding instrument also comes with a gig bag. And even though you might not be taking gigs while first learning, it’s good to know that you can travel with your new instrument!
Lanikai ACS-CEC – Premium Option
The Lanikai ACS-CEC (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is a concert-sized acoustic/electric ukulele that you should consider a premium option. At almost seven times the price of the budget option and four times the Luna Tattoo model above, this instrument is for the people that do not mind paying a high price for the best quality.
Not only does this instrument have the features and build of a professional quality ukulele, but it also comes from a well-respected brand name.
This concert-sized ukulele has a cutaway shape with an acacia wood body. Acacia wood resonates with the rustic, bold, and percussive tone of authentic Hawaiian ukulele playing. This instrument also has maple binding that helps with sound quality and looks visually beautiful.
Besides the unique acacia wood on this instrument, another crucial factor differentiating it from the lesser models is the rosewood fingerboard. Most mahogany instruments have walnut fingerboards, but this rosewood fingerboard means you will have better response and more ease playing technical passages while fingerpicking. Other fantastic features include:
- Wide and comfortable neck
- Fishman Kula preamp and tuner
- 18 frets
- Satin finish
- Grover Open Geared tuning machine
Overall, this ukulele has thoughtful construction and high-quality materials, making it an ideal option for both acoustic and electronic environments—you will sound great no matter where you are.
Aklot AKES21 – Best Budget Option
The Aklot AKES21 (check price on Amazon) is one of the most popular ukuleles for people on a strict budget, and it is a cutoff point for an article on the best electric ukuleles. If you can afford better instruments, you probably should, but this ukulele will still do the job if its price is at the top of your budget.
Avoid going below this budget option as there are cheap and poorly made ukuleles on the market that are not worth buying.
But those caveats aside, the Aklot AKES21 surprisingly comes with many accessories considering its price. Besides the instrument and strings, you also get picks, a gig bag, a strap, a cleaning cloth, and a starter manual. There is also an acoustic version of this model that eliminates the pickup and preamp, and both versions have tons of great reviews.
This ukulele is soprano-sized, making it fabulous for beginners and anyone with small hands. While it will not have the resonance and projection of the larger ukuleles—concert, tenor, and baritone—its small size does capture the percussive and compact sound of Hawaiian ukulele playing. The strings also have a lower action that beginners find easier to play.
In terms of construction, the body is made of solid mahogany wood and has a much better sound than the cheaper laminated wood instruments. In terms of electronics, the preamp includes a tuner and 3-band EQ adjustment. Other notable features include:
- 21 inches long
- Aquila strings
- Low action strings (easy playing and lack of buzzing)
- Pre-tuned for more tuning stability
Despite being a budget option, this ukulele provides more than you think and is worth your consideration.
Luna Uke High Tide Baritone Ukulele
The Luna Uke High Tide Baritone Ukulele (compare price on Sweetwater, Amazon) is next in this collection of the best electric ukuleles because it is a professional quality instrument that is not quite as expensive as the premium option listed above. This ukulele is one of the top products, and this instrument sounds just as good as it looks.
This ukulele has a zebrawood body, which has a different sound quality than the mahogany-body constructions and is aesthetically pleasing to the eye. More specifically, with sound quality, this material resonates a bright sound that brings clarity to the high and low overtones. This clarity combines nicely with the baritone size of this product to create a balanced sound.
Larger instruments produce a naturally darker sound, and a baritone ukulele—assuming you have hands big enough to negotiate the technique—will create a projection and depth of sound you could never achieve on a smaller soprano-sized instrument. But the zebrawood body and maple binding give you the best of both worlds. Other notable features of this model include:
- Under-saddle piezo pickup
- Walnut bridge with set-neck construction
- Abalone soundhole ring
- High Tide fingerboard inlays
- Mahogany neck with walnut capping
- 2-band EQ
Considering the size, you should have hands that are large enough to feel comfortable on the large fingerboard. With 19 frets and a wide fingerboard, the right player can make this ukulele sound fantastic!
An acoustic-electric ukulele, this model is a tenor size that is large enough to produce a professional quality of resonance and projection. Mahogany wood comprises the body and neck of this instrument, which in combination, has a warm tone.
This Cordoba ukulele is not in the budget category of electric ukuleles, but if you appreciate quality, it should stay on your shortlist. Many folks cannot justify the cost of a premium instrument like the Lanikai ACS-CEC, but still want to avoid feeling like they sacrificed quality for the price.
And this Cordoba tenor electric ukulele sounds fabulous, looks sleek, and is designed to make playing as easy as possible. It has a traditional Portuguese design with a soft cutaway that makes access to the higher register far easier. Cordoba also includes thoughtful and beautiful detailing that adds a visual experience to the remarkable sound quality.
Other crucial features include:
- Premium tonewood material
- Hand-crafted precision
- Piezo pickup with 2-band EQ
- Mahogany body with satin polyurethane finish
- Pearloid fingerboard dots
- Rosewood fingerboard
Like the pattern you may have noticed with the higher-end ukuleles in this article, the combination of a solid mahogany body and rosewood fingerboard in this ukulele work together to create a uniquely warm and rich sound quality. You will not be saving the most money on this instrument, but you will get close to the premium sound and feel.
The Lanikai MA-CEC (compare price on Sweetwater, Amazon) is a concert-sized electronic ukulele that approaches the premium sound of Lanikai’s top instruments without costing you nearly as much. Many folks are on a budget but want to avoid the usual budget options, and this instrument might be the right choice if that sounds like you.
Cutaway designs—where the bottom half of the instrument has a curved cut—are an increasingly popular design that looks sleek and gives a player effortless access to the higher frets. This cutaway design, combined with a wide neck, means that you can produce a bold and warm sound on this ukulele while also having a comfortable playing experience.
Another detail worth noting about this model is that it has quality electronics—the pickup and preamp produce an electronic sound that maintains the subtlety of the acoustic vibrations. Part of that superior sound quality and comfort comes from the rosewood fingerboard, whose denser wood produces a clean sound and a consistent feel.
These details aside, the Lanikai MA-CEC has a mahogany body and satin finish that look great and resonate beautiful sounds. In particular, the cream binding makes a stark contrast to the darker mahogany body. Other notable features of this ukulele include:
- 18 frets
- Fishman Kula pickups
- D’Addario strings
- Open geared tuning with chrome buttons
- Responsive and comfortable rosewood fingerboard
As a bonus for a higher-end model, this ukulele also comes with a gig bag which is crucial if you plan to travel and perform with this instrument.
Lohanu Cutaway Electric
The Lohanu Cutaway Electric (check price on Amazon) is not the cheapest model. But the price is extremely fair compared to many of the instruments you will read about in this article. And considering this competitive price, you get a tone of features and qualities that should surprise you.
Firstly, this ukulele is concert-sized, which means it will grow with you and is a suitable instrument should you ever find yourself performing. Secondly, this particularly Lohanu design includes an arched back that produces the darker sound of larger instruments while still having the playability of the smaller size. Other notable features include:
- Cutaway body for easy high-register access
- 3-channel EQ preamp to adjust sound quality
- Chrome tuning gears
- Sapele and mahogany wood material with a matte finish
- Technical wood fingerboard
If you are keeping track, you probably noticed that professional and intermediate ukuleles use high-quality materials like solid mahogany and rosewood fingerboards.
You might also observe that this instrument comprises some of those designs. But considering that this instrument still sounds legitimate, has a 3-band EQ, and comes in multiple sizes, you should not write this model off—it is likely the right fit for many budgets.
Lastly, this model—like many beginner instruments—comes as a bundle. Bundles are crucial for folks who want to make one order and have all the needed accessories as they advance through the learning process.
Kala KA-CE Acoustic Electric
The Kala KA-CE Acoustic Electric (compare price Amazon and Guitar Center) is a concert-sized ukulele that uses mahogany for the body and neck construction. If the previous Lohanu model struck you as below your budget, this instrument could be a solid upgrade.
In terms of acoustics and electronics, you get that beginner-level package with all the accessories you need to get started.
In terms of sound quality, this Kala model outputs sharp and cutting high register notes while still resonating a deep and sweet sound quality in the lower register. The KA-CE has a satin finish and a traditional white binding and looks and sounds great. Some of the other fantastic features of this model include:
- 19 frets
- A preamp with 2-band EQ and chromatic tuner
- Battery status display and long battery life
- Omega II Piezo Cable pickup
- Rosewood fingerboard and bridge
- Chrome cast tuning gears
The thoughtful combination of mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard, and precise construction means that the standout feature of this instrument is sound quality. You might not find some of the aesthetically pleasing features of other ukuleles in this collection, but you can count on a professional sound and feel.
It’s worth noting that this package does not include a case like most of the electric ukuleles listed here.
Donner Electric Tenor Ukulele
The Donner Electric Tenor Ukulele (check price on Amazon) is remarkably cheap considering its tenor size and stable sound quality.
This ukulele has similar features to the other offerings that Donner makes at this price range and includes the bonus of an electric pickup and preamp. It has a mahogany body and neck, which help produce a warm and full sound—the larger size helps even more.
Additionally, a larger instrument with more frets and a wider neck allows you to play melodies and faster passages (such as fingerpicking techniques) with less struggle. Besides the mahogany body and neck, Donner used rosewood for the fingerboard. While walnut fingerboards are softer and easier for beginners, rosewood tends to sound better and feel more comfortable on technical passages.
With this instrument’s rich and warm acoustic sound quality with the 3-band EQ, you get enough flexibility to blend with other musicians in a concert setting. If you were looking for a budget-friendly ukulele that can also be appropriate for concert settings, consider further researching this model. Other notable features of the Donner Electric Tenor Ukulele include:
- 18 frets with four fret position marks
- Solid mahogany body and neck
- Comfortable armrest for your forearm
- Real bone bridge
As a bundle, this package includes a gig bag, extra strings, picks, and a cleaning cloth. And lastly, at this point, you should understand that larger-size ukuleles tend to be more expensive, and you should buy the size that most fits your playing ability and body type. Although the tenor ukuleles produce a better sound, if it is too big for you, then you will not enjoy playing on them!
Kala Teak Tri-Top
The Kala Teak Tri-Top (compare price Sweetwater and Amazon) has a cutaway design that might make you think of a classic electric guitar design, but the four strings and small concert size will break that illusion—you should note, though, that you can upgrade the size of this model to tenor for a slight price increase.
Nevertheless, in either model, that florentine cutaway means that you will easily access the higher register of the instrument.
While this Kala model does not have the usual combination of high-quality mahogany wood in the body and rosewood on the fingerboard, this instrument still has visual beauty and makes an authentic ukulele sound. The body is made from teak, an Asian wood that has fantastic durability and a varied grain structure that produces unique visuals.
Kala did include a small amount of mahogany in the body to complement the teak colors and texture. The neck material is meranti, and the fingerboard nandu—considering these unique materials, you can expect the sound quality to also be one of a kind. Other notable features of the Kala Teak Tri-Top include:
- Mings MET-A20 EQ and preamp
- Florentine cutaway
- 18 frets
- Satin finish
- Fingerboard inlay dots
Compared with many of the instruments that used mahogany as their main material, this instrument is worth checking out as it has a unique sound quality. Depending on your budget, spending a bit more on higher-quality materials might be worth it. But considering the brand name reliability and price, keep this model in mind as you make your decision.
Ellen Acoustic-Electric Ukulele Beginner Kit
The Ellen Acoustic-Electric Ukulele Beginner Kit (check price on Amazon) is a product that any beginner should be considering.
Despite the name and clear aim at beginners, the materials and build of this instrument surpass some of the more expensive models from other brands. So even though Ellen may not be as reputable of a ukulele company as Luna or Kala, this instrument comes with several noteworthy features.
Firstly, this product is a concert-sized ukulele, something that beginner kits avoid. While soprano instruments are good for absolute beginners, concert sizes grow with you, and you can eventually perform with them. With more frets and a 23-inch length, you will learn to play on an instrument that sounds deeper and teaches you more professional finger placement.
Secondly, the material quality is surprisingly good. This instrument has a mahogany body and rosewood fingerboard that provides the legitimate sound you expect from those materials. It is impressive that a budget beginner kit like this Ellen model uses these materials. Other standout features of this Ellen beginner kit include:
- Padded case
- Chromatic tuner with LCD
- Slow battery consumption
- 5-band EQ controls on the preamp
- Suitcase amp
- Rosewood fingerboard with fluid frets
Lastly, as you would expect from a beginner kit, Ellen provides all of the accessories a beginner might need as they dive into the art of ukulele playing. Besides the 12mm-thick gig bag for traveling, this ukulele also comes with an extra set of strings, a strap, three picks, a suitcase amp, and an AC adaptor.
Considering the budget-friendly price, the fact that this product comes with an amp is a huge plus. Do not expect any miracles from the amp—you will likely upgrade in the future—but it is a nice touch that will get you started with proper electric ukulele playing.
What To Look for in an Electric Ukulele
Now that you have had a chance to compare some of the best electric ukuleles at different prices and qualities, you might be overwhelmed by the technical specifications and insider terminology.
Professional musicians might understand the lingo and subtle differences in instrument build and features, but these small differences often get lost on the average consumer.
So let’s check out some of the features and specifications you should understand at a deeper level so that you can better judge an electric ukulele’s quality and price. Besides finding the best deal, these features will also help you choose the right size and sound quality that will grow with your ukulele playing over time.
No matter someone’s financial situation, price is always a factor when buying a musical instrument because nobody wants to spend more than they have to.
Generally, with musical instruments, you want to avoid spending too little because it is usually not worth the poor quality. Part of learning an instrument is being able to implement new techniques as you get better, and poor workmanship makes that too difficult on a cheap instrument.
So with ukuleles, avoid the cheapest ones unless you are on a strict budget or you are shopping for an extremely young beginner. You can consider the budget option at the top of this article as the cheapest that is worth going, as anything cheaper is usually made of cheap wood or, even worse, plastic. Plastic ukuleles rarely stay in tune, and the sound quality is awful.
Other notable factors with pricing include the brand names, and often paying more for a reputable brand name is worth it.
The most expensive ukuleles are made in Hawaii, and you usually have to buy them directly from a small manufacturer. But luckily, big-name companies like Martin, Fender, and the brands in this article approach ukulele making with the same rigor as they have with other instruments.
You should always be delicate and mindful when it comes to musical instruments, but the reality is sometimes they encounter unfortunate wear and tear.
And like most products, investing in a high-quality ukulele from a reputable brand means you will have a more durable instrument. Expensive materials and thoughtful construction create an instrument that will maintain its quality over time.
So if you can afford the slightly higher prices, you should avoid ukuleles laminated wood or cheap plastic materials. Cheap material cracks and scratches easily, and the unstable construction makes an instrument that will go out of tune easily.
Lastly, take note of the ukulele’s neck when you purchase it to make sure there is no damage or bending. Any instability or twisting in the neck, especially with cheaper wood, will result in poor intonation.
Size is a confusing aspect of ukuleles, and if you read through the product list above and do not understand how sizing works, this section is for you. The right size for you depends on your hand and finger size, your skill level, and how you plan to use the instrument—for example, soprano sizes are fantastic to bring to a camping trip but not ideal for performing a concert.
So let’s briefly explore each of the sizes and what they offer.
The soprano-sized ukulele is the smallest, and it can easily create the traditional Hawaiian ukulele sound of percussive harmonies. This size is ideal for beginners because it gives them easier access to the fingerboard, and it is great for children or adults with small hands. Soprano ukuleles are also ideal for traveling because they are so small!
The next larger category from the soprano size is concert ukuleles, which were many of the products in this article. The name of this size comes from the fact that it is a large enough instrument that you can perform more advanced music on them with a resonant and projecting sound quality.
With more length and width, this size gives players more room to work, and there are more frets which means more notes. Besides the darker sound, this size also allows you to begin learning more advanced finger-picking techniques.
If you have only experimented with playing a soprano ukulele, you might not even recognize the length, width, and weight of a tenor model. Most professional players tend to use tenor ukuleles, both for the superior sound quality and the wider neck size.
This instrument size dials up the qualities of the concert ukuleles even more, with a darker and bolder tone. Fingerpicking is much easier on tenor ukuleles.
The largest size category for ukuleles is baritone, which is large enough to start having a tone quality similar to the guitar. The baritone size naturally gets more expensive, and it is unnecessary for most players. Only consider this option if you have extremely large hands or if you are a guitar player who wants a smoother learning curve to the ukulele.
The quality of the instrument is indeed about how it sounds and not how it looks. But most people want an instrument that looks beautiful, and the cosmetic factor of ukuleles is something that fits into the traditional Hawaiian roots.
The cheapest instruments have plane wood and little to no decorative value, but keep an eye out for aesthetic qualities that will visually enhance the instrument. For example, the Luna Tattoo models, as the name suggests, include traditional Hawaiian shapes that decorate the wood body.
Some cosmetics look beautiful and enhance the sound simultaneously. Maple binding, for example, helps the wood resonate better while also giving an expensive and authentic visual aesthetic.
Unlike many electric guitars that require an amplifier to be heard, most of the electric ukuleles in this article are a combination of acoustic and electric. This duo means that you can play your electric ukulele as you would any other model, but it gives you the freedom to plug into an amplifier when the need arises.
But because your instrument will be acoustic, the materials and build become critically important. As with most wooden instruments, the type, quality, and balance of the wood are the primary determining factor in whether your ukulele will sound beautiful or not.
In terms of build, professional models will be the most hand-crafted, but even beginner models benefit from the right materials. The following are various wood types and how they affect an instrument’s sound quality.
When it comes to the body of a ukulele, mahogany wood is the most common material. We recommend avoiding any cheap ukuleles made from plastic materials as they sound bad and have horrible intonation. But having a mahogany body is a huge plus for sound quality as it produces a warmer sound.
Mahogany also resonates with the mid-range of a ukulele, which helps with clarity.
Acacia is another common wood type for a ukulele’s body construction. The price difference is not much, but you should know that the sound quality between mahogany and acacia is a factor. Mahogany tends to resonate more with bass and treble frequencies to give a more balanced tone quality.
But acacia wood creates a much more rustic and full tone, one with less moderation than mahogany.
Koa wood is less common in electric ukuleles, but it is the material you will find in the most expensive acoustic instruments. The classic sound of the ukulele is the percussive strumming with a solid mid-range, and koa wood captures that authentic Hawaiian sound the best. Koa wood also creates the best balance between the bass, mid, and high ranges.
Walnut vs. Rosewood Fingerboard
As you probably read in many of the instruments above, walnut is a common choice of wood for ukulele fingerboards. Walnut wood is a great choice for beginner instruments because it has a soft texture that makes learning technical passages easier.
But rosewood is another common material in ukulele fingerboards, and you can find this material in the more expensive instruments. Compared to walnut, rosewood is harder and denser. While it is more difficult to play for beginners, the sound quality of a rosewood fingerboard is warmer and more resonant.
Beginner vs. Intermediate/Professional
Aside from choosing a reputable company, it is also crucial to understand why certain categories of instruments jump up in price. There are no fixed lines between the categories of ukuleles, but these instruments tend to fall into three loose camps: beginner, intermediate, and professional.
You can expect the sound quality and feel to get better as you move into the more expensive models.
Since beginners do not need many of the features of high-end instruments, beginning ukuleles tend to compromise the material and build quality to keep the price lower. Some of the beginner models from well-respected brand names will surprise you with their sound quality, but they do not come close to the resonance and balance of professional instruments.
The main factor to look for in beginner models is a material that is high quality like mahogany—avoid plastic instruments—and a bundle deal that comes with a case and other accessories.
Intermediate and Professional
Intermediate and professional instruments are different, but the line separating them is a bit vaguer. While beginner ukuleles are often less than 100 dollars, intermediate models can be a few hundred dollars. Professional models have a range and are sometimes well over 1000 dollars.
If you are shopping for an intermediate or professional ukulele, look for a range of sizes, and wide necks made from rosewood—wide necks with a firm material are ideal for advanced fingerpicking techniques. For electric ukuleles, these expensive instruments should also have a high-quality preamp that preserves the natural beauty of the acoustic sound.
The main factor determining an electric ukulele’s quality is the build of the instrument—the materials and construction factors noted above. But putting those acoustic factors aside, you should also take note of the quality of the electronics. The preamp and pickup of your instrument are how the acoustic signal is translated into the electronic signal that an amplifier requires.
Most acoustic instruments with electric capabilities use a piezo under-saddle pickup, which is far superior to pickups attached to the soundboard. Look for this type of pickup, especially if you plan to use your ukulele as an acoustic instrument. But the main factor separating beginner instruments from professional models is the quality of the preamp.
Line signals coming into a microphone are too low, and preamps are the devices that boost a signal without introducing unwanted noise. High-quality preamps, like the Fishman Kula model on the premium Lanikai ACS-CEC model, will amplify your instrument with almost no distortion.
A good preamp is also crucial if you plan to use pedals and other effects as part of your performance.
EQ is the standard abbreviation for Equalization, and in music electronics, it refers to the act of altering an audio signal’s frequencies. Any given audio signal contains a range of audible frequencies—even though a musical note sounds like one thing, it is comprised of multiple frequency bands. And altering certain bands of frequencies changes the sound quality.
So besides the quality of your ukulele’s electronics, you might also consider how many EQ channels you need to alter. Many of the less expensive models eliminate EQ—this absence is fine in many situations but leaves you without enough flexibility in performance situations where you need to blend with other musicians.
So having either two or three EQ channels—three being preferable—gives you the ability to subtly alter the sound quality of your ukulele. It is important to note that these EQ channels only affect the electronic audio signal, and your acoustic sound quality does not change.
Lastly, just because an electric ukulele only has two EQ channels does not guarantee lesser quality. Some models have such high-quality material and build that the mid-range does not require any boosting.
For those not familiar with musical terms, intonation refers to how well an instrument plays in tune. An instrument with high-quality intonation will not only sound beautiful right after you tune it but will also stay in tune for long periods. Low-quality instruments can easily slip out of tune and will leave you frustrated.
Another factor of intonation is the actual build of the instrument—how accurately the frets line up with proper intonation. This factor is especially important in the higher register of the instrument where the frets are close together. When the instrument’s high register is out of tune, playing in octaves will result in horrible sounds.
While the entire build of an instrument affects the intonation and resonance, the main factor that determines an instrument’s intonation ability is the neck.
A poorly constructed neck or one that has damage will have a slight twist that negatively impacts the intonation. The more expensive and professional models will tend to have better intonation, but whatever instrument you buy needs to be visually checked to ensure a straight neck.
You can check your instrument’s intonation by comparing open strings to the same fretted note in different octaves, either with a tuner or by ear. You should also use a tuner if you are not confident in how well you hear intonation. And speaking of a tuner, the last intonation quality to look out for is whether or not your electric ukulele preamp includes tuning capabilities.
How You Will Use Your Ukulele
Aside from the qualities above that you should have in mind while comparing the best electric ukuleles, you should also take your plans into account. How you plan to use your instrument will influence some of the choices you make, especially what upfront costs are worth investing in.
For example, if you know that you will be gigging with the instrument, then investing in a larger instrument—either concert or tenor sized—will give you a more legitimate sound.
Larger instruments produce warmer, deeper, and more resonant sounds that can project in whatever venue you play in. And larger instruments also render the advanced fingerpicking techniques to be much more playable.
And with electric models, you should also keep an eye on how many EQ channels an instrument’s preamp has. Again, if you plan to eventually gig with your new electric ukulele, it is worth investing in a model with a better preamp.
Best Electric Ukulele Brands
Ukulele is a popular instrument among amateurs and professionals, and as such, there are a ton of quality brands out there. And the number of brands makes it difficult to separate the most reputable names from the shoddy workmanship. Considering this, it is important to avoid buying a low-quality instrument that will disappoint you.
And while it is difficult to recommend one brand entirely—so much depends on your specific needs—most of the recommendations for the best electric ukuleles in this article center around five of the top brands. These companies have a strong reputation in the ukulele market, and even their beginner models are well constructed and worth considering.
So let’s explore some of these top electric ukulele brands.
Luna is a unique ukulele company in several crucial ways. Most notably, they apply the same care to their beginner and intermediate models so that even the budget instruments sound decent and have pleasing aesthetics.
Another unique quality of Luna is that they offer every size of ukulele, even in their beginner models. This size range is ideal for adult learners with larger hands and fingers.
Aside from the sound quality, they construct the instruments thoughtfully to avoid the cheap appearance of beginner models. For example, the Tattoo series gets its name because Luna puts traditional Hawaiian shapes as decorations on the wood body.
Kala has a similar offering to Luna, and they have been specializing in ukulele production since the beginning of their company. This focus on ukuleles separates Kala from some of the companies that are mainly guitar manufacturers that later transitioned into making ukuleles.
You read about the Kala KA-CE Acoustic Electric ukulele earlier, but this brand has options for everyone. The brand is based in California, and its regularly updated offering of ukuleles ranges from the cheapest budget instruments to professional models. Especially with electric pickups and preamps, you can count on Kala putting out updated instruments regularly.
Lastly, reviews tend to converge on the superior sound quality of Kala ukuleles. While many instruments have sound qualities that are exclusively percussive and dry or dark and rounded, Kala instruments blend both of those sound concepts.
Donner is a relatively new company in the ukulele market, which you might consider a downside compared to those brands with over a hundred years of production experience. But in terms of electric ukuleles, Donner gets some bonus points—they are known for making fantastic electric string instruments.
As such, you might not decide on a Donner instrument if you were interested in the fanciest acoustic ukulele. But for high-quality electric instruments with pickups, preamps, and EQs that sound fantastic, this brand is competitive. Donner also boasts about its continually updated designs and ideas.
Some folks prefer the time-tested traditions of old brands and instrument builders, but if you like innovation, you should check out Donner!
Lohanu is a brand you should consider if you want a beginner ukulele, especially if you are shopping for a young student. Like many beginning models, Lohanu manages to sell affordable instruments that come as a bundle that includes extra strings, a tuner, a case, and other accessories that help beginners.
You should not expect the professional sound quality and feel that the most expensive models have, but Lohanu instruments like the Cutaway Electric ukulele in this article are fantastic bundles for beginners. And aside from the price, Lohanu also pays attention to aesthetics by using a maple top and glossy finish that adds great visuals to their instruments.
Lanikai makes a range of instruments from beginning to professional. You can find their beginner models at retailers worldwide, but some of their best instruments are hard to find and only made in Hawaii. Models with LK in the name are made in Hawaii, which gives them some extra points for authenticity.
You read about two Lanikai ukuleles earlier in this article: the intermediate MA-CEC and the premium ACS-CEC. Those two instruments should give you an idea of the range of quality Lanikai offers. Considering this brand has remained popular for years, you can trust the quality of their instruments.
Top Electric Ukuleles, Final Thoughts
There is a lot to consider before choosing the best electric ukulele for you, and you can end up investing a ton of money in the most premium options. But luckily, the same reliable companies that make the professional models also make budget-friendly instruments that balance sound quality, playability, and affordability.
Whatever type of ukulele player you are, hopefully, you now have a much better idea of the best instrument for you!