Best Cajons Reviewed in Detail

8 Awesome Cajons with a Powerful Sound: Make an Impact with Your Performance!

34 Models Considered
56 Hours of Research
7 Experts Interviewed
184 Reviews Analyzed

Are you in the market for the best cajon? We have a solution for you—several to be exact. Cajones are very fascinating musical instruments that have been around for decades. And many drumming enthusiasts appreciate them for their ease of use. Whether you’re a professional or novice instrument player, you’re likely to find a cajon interesting, thanks to the unique sound it produces.

Picking a cajon isn’t easy and straightforward as there are so many different types at your disposal. To help make your selection process easier, we took it upon ourselves to give you a few recommendations. The brands which made our list were picked based on a number of factors including materials used and construction. We also compared the different finishes, sizes and weight of the individual products. From our list of recommendations, we’ve picked the A Tempo Percussion El Artesano Cajon as our Editor’s choice. It ticks all the right boxes where durability and performance are concerned.

Top 8 Cajons Review 2019

To gather the best products for you, we spent a little over 120 hours going through different customer reviews. Here we picked up the positive and negative aspects of each unit in order to give you an unbiased best cajon review. Using the information gathered, we’ve compiled a comparison table highlighting the major specs of each product. We went on to include detailed product reviews as well as a buyer’s guide. All that’s left for you after reading the aforementioned is to pick the right cajon for your needs.

Image and Rating
Name and Features
Price
9.8
Editor’s Choice

Fantastic-sounding cajon made from a combination of different hardwoods, this model provides a balance of the traditional cajone as well as a Flamenco cajone

9.7
Best Cajon Under $200

Walnut and MDF cajone with a matte finish, features 2 forward-facing sound ports for incredible bass

9.6
Best-Sounding Cajon

For those that want the best of both worlds, this cajone combines a traditional Peruvian cajon and a Flamenco sound

9.5
Best Multi-Sound Cajon

Versatile and sturdy drum that combines three different models: a cajon, conga and djembe drums

9.5
5. Meinl BC1NTWR Cajon Box Drum
Best Cajon Under $100
Best Cajon Under $100

Compact cajon with a matte finish and rubber feet for extra stability and low-vibration noise

9.4
Best Design

High quality cajone with a unique whiskey-barrel style design, which allows for a better sonic range

9.4
Budget Pick

Small-sized birch cajon with an adjustable playing surface, weighs just over 6 lbs.

9.1
8. Meinl Slaptop Cajon Box Drum
Best Slaptop Cajon
Best Slaptop Cajon

One of the more comfortable cajons to play, and with great sound porjection, too, thanks to the front-facing sound port

Features
  • Material(s): mohena, American muskwood, tropical walnut, Spanish cedar, and lupuna
  • Mechanism: internal snare wires
  • Finish: satin
  • Dimensions: 18.5 x 13.5 x 13.5 inches
  • Weight: 11 lbs.

Extra features: balances characteristics of a traditional cajon and a Flamenco cajon; comes with a gig bag

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What caught our attention with this cajon was its unique and attractive appearance. This is the product to pick if you want one that’s carefully handcrafted with precision. The cajon is constructed using individual pieces of hardwood which contributes to the amazing sound produced by the unit. It features a satin finish which adds to the appeal and durability of the product.

Weighing only 11lb, you can tell that it’s a relatively small and lightweight unit.

By picking this brand, you’ll get the best of both worlds because it features characteristics of the Flamenco and traditional cajon. The sound produced is a combination of a warm bass and slap tone. How does the unit manage to achieve this balance of tones? This is thanks to the presence of snare wires designed to ensure the sound isn’t compromised when playing both the bass and slappy tones.

For easy carrying of the instrument, the manufacturer included a free padded carry bag so you can transport it to your gigs hassle free.

For such a beautiful piece which features a solid construction and impeccable sound, the price tag is quite reasonable.

It is considered to be ideal for individuals who prefer low end sounds as some users feel the snares aren’t as loud. But this is highly subjective depending on the user’s sound preferences.

Pros
  • Solid construction
  • Visually attractive
  • Impressive sound quality
  • Reasonable price
Cons
  • Snares not very loud
  • Mostly bass
Features
  • Material(s): walnut, MDF
  • Mechanism: internal snare wires
  • Finish: matte
  • Dimensions: 13.5 x 13.8 x 19.8 inches
  • Weight: 13 lbs.

Extra features: forward-facing sound ports; rear handle for transportation; adjustable snare wires; large anti-vibration rubber feet; vibration 2-year warranty

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After our intensive research, we’ve found this unit to be the best cajon under $200. It’s also considered to be one of the biggest and bassiest cajones on the market. For this reason, we’ve also voted it the best bass cajon on our list. This is thanks to the extra deep body which allows the unit to produce an impressive low sound.

What adds to the bass sound is the forward facing sound ports which feature internal bass reflex. The position of these ports is different from the traditional rear facing ones and help produce a mixture of warm bass sounds.

This cajon comes complete with internal fixed snares that are designed to add the dimension of a crisp sound. The same snares are also responsible for providing cutting corners when you play near the top part of the cajon.

This cajon features adjustable top front plate corners which you can adjust using a screwdriver to alter the distance between the body and playing surface.

You’re likely to be impressed with the front plate which is made of walnut. The body is ultra-sensitive to finger rolls which in turn gives you a wide range of sound to play with. This same body is made of solid MDF and has thick rubber feet which feature anti-vibration properties.

Thanks to the rear handle, you’ll find the cajon easy to transport.

The quality isn’t the best especially for the price, but it still produces excellent sound. Also note that it doesn’t come with a seat cushion, but you can always purchase one.

Pros
  • Easy to transport
  • Impressive bass
  • Anti-vibration properties
Cons
  • Quality questionable
  • No seat cushion
3.

A Tempo Percussion Dos Voces Cajon Best-Sounding Cajon

Features
  • Material(s): mohena, Spanish cedar, lupuna
  • Mechanism: internal snare wires (on one side)
  • Finish: gloss
  • Dimensions: 18.5 x 11.8 x 13.2 inches
  • Weight: 6.8 lbs.

Extra features: two playing surfaces: one with a traditional Peruvian sound and the other with a Flamenco cajon sound; comes with a gig bag

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What’s unique about this cajon is that it features two playing surfaces to give you diverse and distinct sounds. For this reason, we’ve also voted it as the best sounding cajon on our list. On the one side you’ll get a traditional sound which is characterized by warm and mellow tones including a pure bass tone. You can play this side if you want to hear softer songs or acoustic sounds.

For louder sounds you can play the opposite side which features a more aggressive sound reminiscent of the El Flamenco cajon. This is the ideal side to play during loud gigs.

Moving on to the construction, you’ll appreciate the solid frame made up of high furniture grade panels of Mohena. The panels coupled with the dovetail joints and gloss finish complete the impressive appearance of the unit.

This is the cajon to pick if you also want a hand-crafted unit that’s designed with care and precision. You’ll be happy to find a gig bag also included with this cajon for easy transportation. It helps that the unit is pretty small and portable too.

The sound is impressive though a few users would have wanted it to have more snare sound. But this is a matter of individual preference. Also note that you’ll have to spend a little extra to own this unit.

Pros
  • Beautiful finish
  • Two distinct sounds
  • Solid construction
  • Free carry bag
  • Portable
Cons
  • No much snare sound
  • Slightly expensive
Features
  • Material(s): fiberglass, Asiatic hardwood
  • Mechanism: internal fixed snare wires
  • Finish: matte
  • Dimensions: 17 x 16 x 21 inches
  • Weight: 21 lbs.

Extra features: three-in-one: cajon, conga, and djembe drums; includes a strap to convert to a conga drum

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If you have more money to spare, then you can consider this Pearl cajon which has a slightly higher price tag compared to other units on our list. You’ll be impressed by the unique appearance of this cajon which comprises of fiberglass and a wood face plate.

Aside from the appealing visuals of the unit, you’ll get a three-drum-in-one cajon. This essentially means if you pick this unit, you’ll enjoy three distinct sounds for the same price namely: cajon, conga and timbao. We voted it the best multi-sound cajon on our list because of its versatility in sound.

What’s also unique about this cajon is that it features fixed snares which significantly contribute to the sounds produced. You’ll appreciate the practical design of this cajon as it features a built-in stand for easy handling and playing. You have the option of strapping it across your waist when playing.

It’s slightly heavier than the average cajon and weighs 21lb. And unfortunately, the manufacturer didn’t include a carry bag so transporting the unit isn’t the easiest of tasks.

Bear in mind that when you sit on the unit, you must ensure that you lock it in place or you risk breaking it. Also, the screws aren’t fastened securely which makes durability of the unit questionable.

Overall, you’ll appreciate this cajon if you’re into quieter sounds as this unit is less likely to disturb your neighbor during practice.

Pros
  • Impressive design
  • Three sounds in one
  • Built-in stand
  • Versatile
Cons
  • Durability questionable
  • No carry bag
5.

Meinl BC1NTWR Cajon Box Drum Best Cajon Under $100

Features
  • Material(s): Baltic birch wood
  • Mechanism: internal fixed snare wires
  • Finish: matte
  • Dimensions: 15 x 15 x 23 inches
  • Weight: 9.5 lbs.

Extra features: four large rubber feet to reduce vibration; comes with a gig bag; 2-year warranty

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If you’re not willing to spend more than $100 on a cajon then this is the model to consider. We’ve rated it the best cajon under $100 on our list. The low price in no way means you’ll be getting a sub-standard product. In fact, you’re likely to be impressed by the high-quality construction of this cajon. It’s made of 100% Birch wood which is known for its highly responsive tone quality.

The cajon comes with a heavy duty carry bag made of nylon which features a strong grip for easy carrying. This makes the cajon hassle free to travel with and store. You’ll appreciate the fact that it’s also very comfortable to hold.

The cajon has crisp snare sounds built inside which are designed to allow for a full range of drum set sounds.

You’ll find a rear sound port cut into the back of the frame that allows air to escape the unit during play. This is necessary to create maximum resonance and you can also use this port for mic placement.

Stability is guaranteed with this unit thanks to the four rubber feet that also protect the cajon from unwanted vibrations. This significantly preserves and enhances the sound ultimately produced by the unit.

You’ll like that this cajon weighs just under 10lb so it’s small and portable. Moving it from one place to the next will be quick and easy. This also makes it a great choice for younger cajon players.

What you won’t like is the fact that unlike most cajones that use elastic bands to secure your feet, this model has velcro straps which may be uncomfortable. Also, it features a rounded edge which unfortunately isn’t ideal for extended play. But those are minor features, so it’s still a practical investment.

Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • Portable
  • High quality construction
  • Comfortable to hold
Cons
  • Not the best for extended play
  • Uncomfortable for feet
Features
  • Material(s): New Zealand pine shell, poplar
  • Mechanism: internal snare wires
  • Finish: not specified
  • Dimensions: 21 x 16 x 13.8 inches
  • Weight: 12 lbs.

Extra features: whiskey-barrel style design; rounded belly and smaller top allow for a better sonic range

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Here is another attractive cajon you can consider investing in. The unique barrel shape isn’t the only reason we’ve included this Latin Percussion cajon on our list of recommendations. We were impressed by the New Zealand pine shell used in its construction and we’re certain you will be too.

This cajon is actually among the most popular soundboards sought after by many drumming enthusiasts. And it helps that it comes at a reasonable price so you won’t be breaking the bank to own this unit.

Weighing a little over 10lb, you can tell that it’s a lightweight unit so carrying it to and from your gig destination will be effortless.

One reason it’s among the most popular cajones’ is because of its ease of playability. You’ll find the bass quite low and the snares snappy which allows the unit to produce a fantastic sound.

Unfortunately, a few users have noted that they received their units damaged, but you can always contact the seller for any replacements.

We’re also a bit concerned with the durability of the cajon’s design elements, as the black strips are made of paper. But overall it looks and sounds amazing which you’ll appreciate. You’ll enjoy the bass tones and crisp response it delivers.

Pros
  • Impressive design
  • Awesome bass sound
  • Easy to transport
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to play
Cons
  • Design elements somewhat flimsy
  • May arrive damaged
Features
  • Material(s): Baltic birch wood
  • Mechanism: internal fixed snare wires
  • Finish: matte
  • Dimensions: 10.2 x 10.2 x 15 inches
  • Weight: 6.2 lbs.

Extra features: adjustable playing surface; 2-year warranty

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Looking for a cheap cajon? We’ve rated this Meinl cajon as our budget pick. So, if you’re looking for the best cajon drum for the money, then this is the brand to use.

First off, it’s the ideal cajon to use for both jam sessions and acoustic shows, making it a versatile unit.

You’ll love how compact it is making it the perfect musical companion for those small and intimate gatherings. The small size also makes it easy to transport from one place to the next.

This cajon features an all Birch construction and comes complete with internal snare wires. Thanks to these snares, you’ll enjoy deep and punchy sounds as well as responsive finger rolls.

What you’ll like about this model is that you’ll find it easy to play regardless of your skill level making it the best cajon for beginners.

The adjustable playing surface is a bonus as you can easily adjust the front plate corners using a screwdriver. This way you can vary the sound produced depending on your preference.

With this model, you’ll find a rear port which you can use to place your mic if you desire amplification. The same port also allows air to escape during play to deliver an enhanced tonal quality.

This cajon comes with a two-year limited warranty on any manufacturer defects. But note that the warranty is only valid if you purchase the unit from authorized retailers.

Keep in mind that the edges of wood aren’t sanded down as well as some other units, which may result in accidental finger grazes during play. We strongly advise that you exercise extra caution or have this tended to by a professional before you start using it.

The sound isn’t very smooth when compared to other cajones but it’s still decent enough to consider purchasing—especially for such a low price.

Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • Compact
  • Easy to transport
  • Not noisy
Cons
  • May cut you during play
  • Sound not very smooth
8.

Meinl Slaptop Cajon Box Drum Best Slaptop Cajon

Features
  • Material(s): walnut
  • Mechanism: fixed snare wires
  • Finish: not specified
  • Dimensions: 25.6 x 12 x 27.6 inches
  • Weight: 9 lbs.

Extra features: forward-facing sound port; upright playing style; 2-year warranty

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These cajones produce different sounds depending on the type you pick. And we’ve rated this model as the best slaptop cajon on our list. This is thanks to the unique T-shaped design of the unit that allows you to sit up comfortably with the playing surface positioned on your lap. As a result, you don’t have to assume awkward positions or reach down to strike the cajon during play.

This unit has a playing surface which is made of walnut and it also comes with internal fixed snares. The position of these snares allows the unit to produce bass notes when played in the middle.

This cajon features forward-facing ports that allow the notes to be projected towards the audience with clarity. And the separate ports are strategically positioned for bass and snare sounds projection.

You’ll appreciate how versatile this unit is; you can play it in either live or studio settings. You can decide to play this cajon using your hands or brushes which adds to its versatility.

Another aspect you’ll appreciate is that it’s relatively cheaper than some on today’s market so you won’t have to part with much money to own this unit.

This unit weighs only 9lb making it very small and compact so transporting it will be easy. Individuals who prefer soft finger rolls will particularly be impressed by the ultra-sensitive playing surface that allows for softer acoustic gigs. But this means to get a louder sound you’ll have to strike the cajon heavily which may hurt your fingers. Also, you might notice a few cracks after a few uses which makes durability of the unit questionable.

But overall, this model will work especially for a first cajon.

Pros
  • Reasonable price
  • Easy to transport
  • Soft finger rolls
  • Clear sound
Cons
  • Not loud
  • Durability questionable

Buying Guide

To help make your selection process quicker, we’ve compiled a detailed buyer’s guide. Here we’ve highlighted the major features you must look for in each cajon to determine if it’s the right one for your needs.

What makes a good cajon drum?

8 Awesome Cajons with a Powerful Sound: Make an Impact with Your Performance!From the above list, you may have noticed that there are different models to pick from. Ideally the one you purchase must tick the following boxes:

  • Designed to last long
  • Allow for easy and comfortable playing
  • Simple to transport
  • Produce a clear and distinct sound
  • Have snares included that determine the quality of sound

Types of cajones

There are different types of cajones at your disposal. With each type you can expect a different sound depending on your preferences. Do you want low bass sounds or strappy tunes? We list the most common types below:

  • Traditional Peruvian style cajon: This is a hollow box that has six sides. Usually this type features a rear port that’s designed to enhance sound projection. In some cases, the same port is used to place your mic to amplify the sound projected. The Meinl JC50LBNT Compact Cajon Box Drum is one such example of a cajon that has a rear hole.
  • Flamenco cajones: This type of cajon is characterized by the presence of wires, guitar strings or rattles positioned against the back of the tapa.
  • Modern cajones: Pop music lovers will appreciate the modern cajones which usually have snare drum wires inside. These wires are responsible for producing louder sounds which make this type ideal for use in unamplified settings.

Features to consider when choosing a cajon

8 Awesome Cajons with a Powerful Sound: Make an Impact with Your Performance!Cajones look almost identical but there are certain features you must consider before making the final purchase. These specs influence a number of factors including performance and durability to mention a few.

Mechanism: strings or wires

Which sound are you hoping to achieve? Is it a loud or quiet sound? If you want a louder and more rattling sound, then you must consider a cajon that has wires. For gentler and quieter sounds then you must pick cajones that have strings.

Materials and construction

The material used in the construction of the cajon is equally important because it determines durability, weight and sound produced. Below are few examples:

  • Cajones made of hardwood generally produce the best sounds and are also very sturdy.
  • Cajones made of softwoods usually don’t deliver much sound and aren’t very sturdy.
  • Cajones constructed using oak project the loudest sounds.
  • If you want a durable and loud cajon, then you can pick one made of either fiberglass or carbon fiber. But note the trade-off is it’ll be much heavier and expensive.

Finish

We all love a cajon for its practicality in terms of the sound it produces, but you don’t have to sacrifice aesthetics. Some manufacturers design beautiful cajones with glossy finishes that significantly add to the appeal of the products. The A Tempo Percussion Dos Voces Cajon is one example of a cajon that features an attractive gloss finish.

Other cajones such as the Meinl SUBCAJ5WN Jumbo Bass Subwoofer Cajon have a matte finish.

Cajon size

The size of the cajon you pick will determine the sound projected. Smaller models are generally quieter and known to produce a high-pitched bass sound. Larger cajones project more volume and a deeper bass.

Slap corners and sound port

8 Awesome Cajons with a Powerful Sound: Make an Impact with Your Performance!Are the slap corners rounded or square? The shape will determine how easy it is to play the unit. Cajones which feature rounded edges make it difficult and uncomfortable for extended play.

The presence—and positioning—of sound ports also affect the quality of sound produced. Some cajones, such as the Meinl SUBCAJ5WN, feature forward facing ports which allows the audience to experience clear and direct sound. Other models have a rear sound port that allows air to escape during play and also helps project a deep & warm bass sound.

Weight

If you want a cajon that’s easy to move around then you can pick a smaller unit such as the Meinl BC1NTWR Cajon Box Drum which weighs only 9.5lb. Heavier models tend to be difficult to transport so keep that in mind.

Extra features

Some manufacturers include a few extra features with the cajones such as free carry bags. Not only will this make transporting your cajon much easier, but it also allows for protection and hassle-free storage.

Other extra features you can look out for include rubber feet that add to the unit’s stability during play, and also help in reducing excess vibrations.

Some cajones feature straps where you can place your feet comfortably during play. The Meinl BC1NTWR Cajon Box Drum is one such example that comes with such a strap.

Additional features to look out for include the warranty period and whether the playing surface is adjustable.

FAQ

Beginners must rather opt for smaller cajones which have internal snare wires and allow for responsive finger rolls. This way players don’t need much skill to play such units.

A cajon is a practical instrument and is relatively easy to learn.

Vibrations will largely be reduced if you pick a cajon that features rubber feet designed to drown such occurrences.

Our Verdict

From our list of recommendations, we’ve rounded up the top three products you can pick from. The A Tempo Percussion El Artesano Cajon is our top product which we’ve voted as our editor’s choice. We’re impressed with its stunning appearance and impressive sound to match. Thanks to the solid construction, it’s also built to last.

Second on our list of favorites is the Meinl SUBCAJ5WN Jumbo Bass Subwoofer Cajon because of its impressive bass sound capabilities. In addition, it also features anti-vibration properties, so you’ll enjoy a clear sound without any annoying distortions. We also appreciate the adjustable playing surface and the fact that it’s easy to transport.

Last but not least is the A Tempo Percussion Dos Voces Cajon which features two distinct sounds: the bass and snare. Aside from the fantastic sound you’ll appreciate that it features a beautiful glossy finish. The easy to carry gig bag is also a welcome bonus.

From these three, which one do you consider to be the best cajon for your needs? Which model will you be adding to your musical collection?

9.8/10 Total Score
A Tempo Percussion El Artesano Cajon - Editor's Choice
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