In addition to being a private violin teacher, Alecia started writing music-related articles 3 years ago and has been enjoying this experience greatly. Loves quilting and scrapbooking in her free time.
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Last updated: May 21, 2021
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Perhaps you’re searching for the best ukulele under $200 to lower your stress levels, boost your hand and eye coordination, or play for enjoyment. While you can eat balanced diets, sleep, or exercise to improve your health, the truth is, a ukulele can also boost both your physical and mental health. They’re great for avid singers seeking to play songs with complicated chords due to their simple construction. You can even play popular culture songs that other conventional guitars can’t.
We reviewed 20 ukuleles under $200 to select the best yet cost-effective ukes that blend with several songs. Our editor’s choice is the Hadean UKB-23. It is made with the finest quality materials and efficient strings for tuning stability. It’s outstanding due to its frets that are easy to adjust and the strings with varying densities that boost fret-intonation. The other ukes under $200 that we reviewed include the Cordoba 15CM which is our budget pick, the Luna UKECORAL, Luna Guitars Starry Night, the Kala KA-SCG, Ibanez 4-String Ukulele, Fender Zuma Concert Ukulele, and the Caramel CUB402.
We spent hundreds of hours each week going through reviews on Amazon and consulting Ukes experts and sellers. Some of the factors we narrowed into when making our picks include the type, size, dimensions and weight, tonewood, and tuning. We prepared an in-depth table and reviews of the awesome products plus a guide to walk you through your selection for the best ukulele under $200.
The Hadean UKB-23 comes with fine quality material and a preamp with an integrated tuner that suits amplified use for bass, volume, mid, and treble control.
Its Aquila Nylgut strings absorb little to no moisture for tuning stability. The gauge strings which come with varying densities also boost the accuracy of your fret-intonation. It also has an integrated tuner and an adjustable truss-rod that are tailored towards fast and easy tuning.
Most users mentioned that this ukulele suits playing standard bass guitar notes from (E, A, D, G low to high). You will find it super-easy to adjust the smaller spacing between your frets. However, some users complained that the tub next to the plug doesn’t open easily when you want to switch batteries, and it will take you a while to pull it out.
Most users loved how it’s fretted and sounds as good as the Kalas even when unplugged. They claimed to love its effective preamp with an accurate tuner and also mentioned that it’s great for performing or practice at half the price of Kala.
However, some users still complained that it’s neck heavy because of the tuning machines. Others didn’t like how it sounded like a standup when amped.
The Cordoba 15CM is the perfect ukulele for beginners seeking a Uke with a fine-tune. It’s handmade and features mahogany back, top, sides that give it a full yet rich sound. The fingerboard binding and the 15 CM’s abalone-style rosette sets it apart from other Ukulele models.
Other additional features that you will love about it include its silver tuners with pearl buttons, sleek satin finish, and premium Aquila strings. Most users appreciated its stylish look and the easy playability that it offers.
You can get the 15 CM in tenor (15TM) sizes, soprano (15SM), and an edge cutting finish with pickup (15CM- E EB). If you’re a left-handed person, you may consider to switch your nut as well having it intonated by a professional luthier.
Experts mentioned that it’s a great tenor ukulele under $200 though you should expect it to go out of tune every hour because the strings take some weeks to adapt. Just re-tune your string and do it 3 to 4 times for it to stay in tune much better.
Most users mentioned that this Uke has a warm tone compared to other models like the ADM concert Mahogany. It sounds amazing, and it will take you only a few weeks to stretch out its strings. Some customers complained that it doesn’t stay in tune for long, and it has a defective buzzing.
The Luna UKECORAL concert ukulele comes with a body material made from solid mahogany. It has a total of 20 frets, and the fretboard material is crafted from walnut. It also has etched kelp and fish design with abalone shell inlay.
It has a 15” scale with a Rosewood fingerboard and bridge, and boasts of a natural satin finish and set-neck construction. The Luna UKECORAL comes with a tan gig bag that is a durable yet impressive alternative to conventional bags.
Several users mentioned that it’s a nice uke with a comfortable volume, size, and its tone is remarkable. They claimed that they preferred playing it the most compared to the other Ukes. Some loved its laser design and how it’s solidly designed.
Other users insisted that this was their first uke with Aquila strings, and it stayed in tune for long. Other customers advised anyone with kids, pets, or those who loved traveling to get another sturdy bag since the gig bag doesn’t guarantee much protection. By the way, if you’re in search of an instrument to take with you wherever you go, take a look at our compilation of the best travel ukuleles.
With a concert size, mahogany top and body, the Luna Guitars Starry Night suits anyone with little to no experience playing. It comes with everything you need in a single box and a gig bag for carrying it anywhere you go.
Its clip-on tuner is easy to use, and it will aid you in keeping your Luna in tune every time. It has other add-ons like Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD that will walk you through some of the tips and tricks to use during your learning.
You will also get an additional Austin Bazaar polishing cloth to keep your precious instrument in mint condition. Most users confessed that its stunning design matches the quality of its sounds. Whether you have several recurring gigs, you are an upcoming player, or you do songwriting on the go, the Luna Guitars Starry Night is perfect for your needs.
Other users boasted that it has a clear resonate sound while being played. Some were happy that it came with both a padded canvas case and a gig bag.
The sellers confirmed that this uke is acoustic and not acoustic electric – like some mentioned in the reviews. However, it does not come with Aquila strings and a strap.
Few users complained that the strings loosen easily, and they were compelled to use a screwdriver to tighten the screws after some hours.
The Kala KA-SCG Concert Ukulele under $200 is tailored towards fingerpicking, and its spruce will give you a uniquely punchy yet warm sound.
It has laminated mahogany back and sides, Aquila strings, a solid Sitka spruce top, white and black binding, and a catchy gloss finish. Mahogany sides and back enhance the tonal richness. The solid spruce top will project your volume, and the die-cast sealed gear tuners are designed for reliable tuning stability.
Most users mentioned liked how its back and sides add an organic character to your tone. One user even mentioned that the contrasting wood is beautiful; the sound produced is great and has a deep tone.
Experts mentioned that its spruce top distinguishes it from other ukes. Though the strings need tuning occasionally, some users mentioned that it became simpler with time.
Some users loved its concert size and claimed it easier between frets on their fingers. Overall, it can be pretty too loud for a beginner. One user claimed that the stock strings doesn’t hold a tune perfectly. Another user stated that though it has an exceptional finish, it occasionally got out of tune and hurt his ears.
The Ibanez, 4-String Ukulele has an original Ibanez shape, a flamed mahogany body, and an onboard tuner. Like several ukuleles, it has sturdy nylon strings, a flawless finish, a nice setup, and an outstanding Ibanez tech support.
This uke’s super-smooth, and you will appreciate its nice wood. Its built-in tuner, onboard EQ works seamlessly, and it even comes with a pair of batteries installed. Some users claimed that their unit came with menaces on the EQ, and Ibanez managed to send them a new EQ tuner for free.
Most users loved how it came fully set up that they could quickly begin playing. You can strap on it though this will require some effort. You’re prone to struggle to get your strap to stretch over the ¼ inch jack on the back of your instrument.
Few users advised anyone purchasing this instrument to get straps that you can tie to the head of your instruments under the strings. Some even recommended a mandolin strap for anyone finding it daunting to get a great one for their ukulele.
Others loved its high-quality electronic sound. Experts also claimed that the hard cases that work with Ibanez 4-String Ukulele are the Pukana La and the concert uke case.
With a bound top, striking abalone rosette, back, and fingerboard, the Fender Zuma Concert Ukulele comes with a concert body style that provides a top-notch playing experience for gamers with large hands.
Its 16-fret neck extends your range while the no-tie bridge fosters quick and easy changing of your strings. The four inline Tele headstocks come with amazing vintage-style tuners that are great for home and studio use.
It has a gloss finish, and you will enjoy its warm and pleasant sound that blends perfectly with other instruments. Some customers were disappointed that it didn’t come with a casing.
Overall, most users loved its gloss finish and even mentioned that the tele headstock sounds awesome when playing above the 5th fret. Other users were disappointed that the lower frets sounded too tiny and occasionally went out of tune.
The Caramel CUB402 is a high-quality Ukulele with an impressive EQ to aid you to adjust the bass, treble, middle, and volume. It comes with a solid mahogany body, Aquila bass string, wall hanger cleaning cloth, strap, and a free padded gig bag.
Experts claimed that it suits the needs of both beginners and professionals alike. They even mentioned that its EQ has a strong endurance that is ideal for a long time playing.
Some users mentioned that this ukulele even works in the same octave as a conventional bass guitar like the Kala U-bass while others stated that playing bass is straightforward, and it’s like a bass guitar (E1, D1, A2, G2). Few users, however, were disgusted that they had to install add-ons like the strap and its strap pegs. Most of them recommended it due to its well-built nature and how it plays seamlessly.
One user mentioned that the booklet contains instructions for a regular ukulele and not for a bass ukulele. Prepare to take some time to figure out how you can tune this instrument.
A few users didn’t like its unplugged volume more so from the E to the G strings. The output from the A and D strings is stronger than the E and G strings.
What are our favorite features?
Easy to play bass
What could be better?
Hard installing add-ons
Time consuming to tune
Things to Consider
Ukuleles are fun to play, and they’re super-addictive. Most of them are light, and their dulcet tones make them sound laidback and airy. Compared to the ordinary guitars, ukuleles are fairly easy to learn, and you will only need a few chords to play a variety of songs. Considering the number of ukuleles in the market, you shouldn’t opt for a cheaper one. You want to make sure that you will land on an effective one that will give you maximum ROI. So, in this guide, we will look at the features to expect in a ukulele under $200, the elements to consider when purchasing, and the frequently asked questions.
What to Expect from a Ukulele under $200?
Whether you’re purchasing a soprano, tenor, concert, or a baritone ukulele under $200, you can still land on a high-quality instrument that is free from rough frets, dark tones, and glue spots.
This does not mean that you will fall on an utterly flawless instrument. A $195 and $140 ukulele may be in the same price range, but some unique features set them apart.
Most ukuleles under $200 are laminates though some come with solid tops like Luna UKECORAL. Considering your budget, you can get an awesome uke with a body made from mahogany, though it’s possible to land on some made from rosewood.
It’s also possible to stumble on ukes with tattooed bodies like the Luna Guitars Starry Night. Regarding hardware, most ukes under $200 have basic yet versatile electronics that prove reliable than expensive ukes. Expect to purchase a uke like Hadean UKB-23 with preamps with built-in digital tuners that are very convenient.
Features to consider when choosing an ukulele
There are tons of cheap ukuleles, and some of them are pretty good while others give awful experiences. If you’re a seasoned player, you might consider to boost your skills by opting for a quality instrument with a higher price tag.
However, depending on your preferences, you can still land on a ukulele under $200 that plays better than the ones with a higher price tag. The quality set up, and accessories are just some of the features you might consider looking into. We will look into other key ones like the type, size, dimensions, weight, and the type of tonewood.
Most ukuleles come in one of these standard tonal ranges and sizes: concert, baritone, tenor, and soprano.
Concert ukulele like the Cordoba 15CM comes with a scale of around 15” in overall length, and it produces a more profound yet louder output than the soprano.
Overall, its sound quality is similar to the soprano. Most soprano models under $200 have an approximate scale length of around 13” and are perfect ukuleles for kids.
It offers a bright sound compared to the baritone ukulele. A baritone ukulele under $200, on the other hand, provides a more in-depth bass notes and a smooth transition for guitarists. Unlike baritones and most concert ukes, the tenor ukulele has a deep, resonant sound and accommodates players with giant fingers.
The three main types of ukes are acoustic, bass, and acoustic-electric, and they have unique characteristics. Acoustic ukulele for under $200 like the Luna Guitars Starry Night is made of wood and comes with a hollow body that amplifies the sound of its strings.
It’s great for beginners and singer-songwriters seeking to fingerpick their songs on. Semi-acoustic ukuleles are often thin like electric guitars though they have hollow bodies like acoustic ukes. However, they don’t produce loud sounds like unplugged acoustic ones.
Unlike ordinary ukes, the best bass ukulele under $200 like the Hadean UKB-23 has big, thick strings that produce lush sounds.
It’s a great pick if you’re seeking to build a nice rhythm with your drums. On the other hand, the tenor ukulele under $200 with pickup is more like standard ukes though some come with electronic you can plug into an amp.
Smaller soprano ukuleles like the Cordoba 15CM are often tuned to the open. Ukes with electric tuners have a mode that matches up with your strings on the uke, making the process of tuning easy.
Additionally, remember that it’s common for ukes with nylons strings like the Ibanez 4-String Ukulele to go out of tune quickly since their strings have not adapted.
You can tighten your screws to help stabilize your instrument.
The type of wood that your ukulele comes with affects the quality of your sound. Ukes made from mahogany like the Cordoba 15 CM have a warm woody sound. Mahogany is exceptionally light, and it has a darker brownish coloring. Such ukes are perfect for players seeking clear and direct sound with little to no overtones.
Ukuleles like the Luna UKECORAL with fingerboards made from rosewood that are beautifully dark, rich and resonate warm tones. This leads to excellent and consistent sound quality.
Ukes made from spruce are great for full-on strumming since they’re stiff and relatively light. It’s easily recognizable, and the sounds are bright and full.
You can play several songs on your Ukulele like the Riptide by Vance Joy, Tears in Heaven, Upside Down by Jack Johnson, Hey Soul Sister by Train, Tonight You Belong to Me by Patience and Prudence. You can also play other songs like Mele Kalikimaka by Robert Alex Anderson.
Experts claim the Cordoba 15 CM is the perfect model for beginners. It’s handmade, produces fine tunes and the top, sides, and back are made from high-quality mahogany. It offers easy playability, and left-handed people can also use it with ease.
There are several sizes of ukuleles, with unique sounds from the baritone, soprano to bass. With a uke under $200 made from nylon strings, it’s easy to start learning how to play, and your fingers will adapt to the nature of the strings easily even when you’re green.
All the ukes we’ve selected above are budget-friendly and come with features that distinguish them from the costly kinds. For instance, the Hadean UKB-23 is an awesome acoustic-electric ukulele under $200 with an awesome preamp that is great for amplified use for treble, volume, and bass control.
Unlike other ukes, it even comes with an adjustable truss-rod that makes tuning easy and super-fast. Our second choice, the Cordoba 15CM, is a perfect fit for any beginner looking for a durable uke that produces a rich sound.
Its tone is warm, and the strings take some time before they stretch. The Luna UKECORAL is another splendid solid wood uke under $200 with 20 frets. Its set-neck construction and natural satin finish separates it from the pack. Experts love it due to its ability to stay in tune for a long time.