Have you been scouring the internet, trying to find a way to keep busy and learn a new skill?
Learning a new instrument is a great way to spend your free time and what better way to start than with a ukulele?
Ukuleles have a certain charm that you just can’t pinpoint and the only thing that makes them better is being able to blast the sweet sound through some speakers.
Buying an acoustic-electric ukulele will allow you to play plugged-in. That’s how we help, by doing the heavy lifting and finding you the best acoustic-electric ukulele on the market.
Quick List: Top 8 Acoustic-Electric Ukuleles
- Kmise Acoustic-Electric Concert Ukulele – Best Under $100
- Ellen Acoustic-Electric Concert Ukulele Kit
- Cordoba 20TM-CE Acoustic-Electric Tenor Ukulele – Best Under $200
- Luna Tattoo Mahogany Acoustic-Electric Concert Ukulele
- Enya EUC-M6 EQ Acoustic-Electric Concert Ukulele – Best Under $300
- Caramel CT402 Acoustic-Electric Tenor Ukulele
- Kala KA-SMHTE-C Acoustic-Electric Tenor Ukulele – Best Under $500
- Enya EUT-MG6 Acoustic-Electric Tenor Ukulele – Best Under $1000
Researching Acoustic Electric Ukuleles
If you’re in the market for an acoustic-electric ukulele, you’re probably wanting the best of both worlds. Throughout our search for the best acoustic electric ukuleles, we looked for ukuleles that were still fantastic in their acoustic form.
This included researching the best materials and designs for the best sound. We also considered the build quality so that you can be sure to have a reliable ukulele that will stand the test of time. Our research looked at other aspects such as the hardware and the ukuleles intonation. As well as the strings used and the nut and saddle material.
However, that is only half of the story. We also focused on the electronics of the ukulele and compared the different quality options with the price tags. The pickup and the preamp system were considered, as well as other controls such as the equalizer.
Whether you’re wanting to plug in for stage performances or for recording sessions, both the acoustic and electronic aspects will affect how you sound.
That’s why we worked hard to find you the best deals with a balance of good quality acoustic design and reliable electronics so that you always sound your best.
The Best Acoustic Electric Ukulele in 2020
1. Kmise Acoustic-Electric Concert Ukulele – Best Under $100
If you’re on a tight budget and want value for money, Kmise has your back. This acoustic-electric concert ukulele comes in way under $100.
✔️ What we like: Solid Spruce wood top
❌ What we don’t like: Some people experience cracking issues
- Bright and crisp sound
- Bone nut and saddle
- Aquila strings
This Kmise ukulele comes in ahead of many of its competitors in terms of price. It is rare to see a ukulele priced under $100 with a solid wood top and that is not even considering the electric capabilities. The solid Spruce top gives this concert-sized uke a wonderfully bright tone with crisp notes.
It is rigged with Aquila strings, which is nice to see, instead of a no-name brand of strings that you often see on ukuleles at this price. These Aquila strings will hold their tune nicely and are comfortable to play with. This instrument has a real bone nut and saddle, giving you better sound transmission. Kmise also boasts smoothly sanded fret edges so that you won’t scratch your fingers when you play.
In terms of electronics, this concert ukulele is equipped with a pickup and preamp system so that you can enjoy your sound plugged in. It also has a 3-band EQ system that gives you onboard controls for bass, middle, and treble. On top of that, you can rest assured that you will always be able to do some last-minute tuning for a gig with the built-in tuner.
This Kmise ukulele may not be the epitome of high-quality ukuleles in terms of build and quality control but it still sounds fantastic, especially with the solid wood top. It also has all the necessary electronics for you to play with an amp and do onboard tunings. Overall, this Kmise Acoustic-Electric Concert ukulele is great for a beginner and gives you everything you need.
For everything you get, this price is very hard to beat!
2. Ellen Acoustic-Electric Concert Ukulele Kit
Ellen may not be a brand that you have heard of, but you don’t need to be a big brand to offer a remarkable deal. This kit is the perfect setup for a beginner who wants to play around with electric capabilities on a ukulele.
✔️ What we like: Outstanding value for money
❌ What we don’t like: Bad quality electronics
- Tortoiseshell binding
- Mahogany body
- Extra accessories
- 5-band EQ
This little ukulele has a Mahogany laminate body with a Rosewood fingerboard. For the price, it sounds amazing! The tones may not be particularly special, but it still does a good job of reflecting a wonderful concert-sized sound.
It also looks great! The dark body with the pale top gives a nice contrast to the usual one-color look of a ukulele. This is finished off with a tortoiseshell binding which gives this ukulele some wonderful character.
Of course, this ukulele also includes electronics. It is fitted with a pickup and preamp system, as well as being completed with a 5-band EQ. You have controls for bass, middle, and treble so that you can adjust your sound and personalize it to your own style of playing. This Ellen ukulele is also rigged with an onboard tuner so that you can tune easily and quickly each time you play. Some people have some issues with the electronics but if this is experienced upon the arrival of the instrument, you can contact the suppliers for a refund or replacement.
This Ellen Acoustic-Electric Concert Ukulele kit isn’t just good value for money for the ukulele and electronics. It is worth the investment because it includes everything you may need for both acoustic and electric playing. The bundle includes extra strings, a strap, picks, an amp, a padded gig bag, and an audio cable. This means that you are completely set up to start learning how to play both acoustically and electrically from the first day. No need to externally source an amp or cables so that you can plug in.
All in all, this is a fantastic deal!
3. Cordoba 20TM-CE Acoustic-Electric Tenor Ukulele – Best Under $200
Cordoba is a well-known Spanish brand in the guitar industry but don’t be fooled by the focus on guitars. Their ukuleles are also deserving of the same recognition!
✔️ What we like: Solid Mahogany top
❌ What we don’t like: Tuners can be difficult to use
- Herringbone rosette
- Mahogany body
- Gig bag included
- 2-band EQ
- Aquila Nylgut strings
Cordoba has done an awesome job of making a tenor ukulele that ticks all the boxes. The 20TM-CE has a solid Mahogany top with laminate Mahogany sides and back. The sound from the solid top is wonderful! It is warm with a good balance between the highs and lows. The solid wood shines through with the resonance and ability to carry the vibrations.
In addition to the beautiful tone, there is a beautiful exterior. Cordoba keeps it simple with a satin finish and lets the color of the Mahogany radiate. The cutaway design improves playability while giving it some character. They have added some detail to the rosette by giving it a traditional wood pattern. Overall, this is a very sleek ukulele!
The hardware is a bit of a mixed bag. The nut and saddle are made from a composite, which isn’t necessarily good or bad. The strings are Aquila Nylgut which are the industry standard and generally perform very well. However, the tuners seem to lack precision which can make the tuning process a little bit tricky.
The 20TM-CE is kitted out with a piezo pickup which is quite standard for this price range. There is also a Cordoba preamp with a 2-band EQ. You have controls for volume, bass, and treble. It doesn’t have an onboard tuner, but many people prefer an external digital tuner anyway.
One of the benefits of buying a ukulele from a brand like Cordoba is the build quality. They offer ukes that have been handmade and are both lightweight and stable. This Cordoba also comes with a gig bag which is an awesome plus, especially if you are a beginner ukulele player.
All things considered, this Cordoba 20TM-CE Acoustic-Electric Tenor Ukulele is worth every penny and is sure to bring you joy!
4. Luna Tattoo Mahogany Acoustic-Electric Concert Ukulele
Luna is known for adding some artistic flair to their ukuleles and is perfect for any players who want a ukulele that looks as great as it sounds. This Tattoo ukulele is a great option for both beginners and intermediates.
✔️ What we like: Beautiful tattoo design on the top
❌ What we don’t like: Strings may need to be changed
- Traditional Hawaiian design
- Stylized fret markers
- Clear and crisp sound
This Luna ukulele is exquisite. The laser-engraved tattoo design on the top will make any player fall in love. The swirls and geometric shapes represent the natural island world. Even the fret inlays have been upgraded from the usual plain dot to triangles to symbolize shark teeth. If you want a beautiful ukulele that will excite you every time you look at it, then this is perfect for you.
You will be happy to hear that it isn’t all looks. It also sounds fantastic. The body is made from Mahogany with a Walnut fretboard. The sound is clear and truly wonderful! However, the strings that come with the ukulele don’t do it justice and with a simple string change, it will sound even better.
For the electronics, Luna has used its own UK-9000 preamp system. The electronic system is nothing mind-blowing but for the price, mind-blowing is maybe asking too much. Overall, it works well and will do a great job of letting you play plugged-in. Whether you’re playing on stage, recording, or even just jamming at home, you can have a lot of fun playing with the electric capabilities on this uke.
This Luna Tattoo comes with a graphite nut and saddle and some open-gear tuners. The tuners seem to hold their tune well so no complaints here! At this price, we are not expecting perfection, but Luna does a great job of coming close. This Luna Tattoo Mahogany Acoustic-Electric Concert ukulele is a fantastic instrument in its acoustic capabilities and that with its electronics makes it a ukulele that anyone would be ecstatic to own!
5. Enya EUC-M6 EQ Cutaway Concert Ukulele – Best Ukulele Under $300
Enya may not be as popular as many of the other companies on this list, but the EUC-M6 is an excellent instrument. This is the acoustic-electric ukulele of our dreams!
✔️ What we like: AAA solid Mahogany for top, back, and sides
❌ What we don’t like: Blue tinted version can sometimes turn green
- 1:18 gold agate tuners
- Three colors available
- Corrosion-resistant gloss finish
This concert ukulele boasts an all AAA solid wood body which gives a wonderful sound. This ukulele even indulges in a solid mahogany neck. Now that is dedication! This Enya ukulele is also offered in three different color options. The gloss coating used is corrosion-resistant and adds to the crisp and clear tone. The colors range from black, which looks like more of a dark brown, to natural and even blue. Unfortunately, the blue tint may start to turn a bit green over time so that is something to watch out for.
The EUC-M6 is kitted out with 1:18 Gold Agate die-cast tuners, which are great and better than the brass-plated zinc alloy often used by other brands. These tuners will do a fantastic job of holding their tune so that you need to do minimal re-tuning. In terms of strings, this uke is fitted with Enya Fluorocarbon strings. These provide stability and give a full sound, meaning you won’t be left with a ukulele that sounds weak and dull. The fingerboard and bridge are both Rosewood and the uke is topped with a NuBone nut and saddle.
For electronics, Enya has stuck close to home and has installed an Enya Double A1U pickup. Overall, the electronics seem to hold their ground quite well, but the onboard controls are quite limited, so you will need to do any fine-tuning on your amp. This is perfect for performing on stage, recording, or even for your own enjoyment!
On top of the awesome sound and the solid electronics, the Enya EUC-M6 is also accompanied by a gig bag. All in all, the ukulele without electronics is well worth the money.
With the addition of a pickup, it means that this is fantastic value for the price and will prove to be an exciting and long-lasting acoustic-electric ukulele.
6. Caramel CT402 Acoustic-Electric Tenor Ukulele
This Caramel CT402 is a perfect example of how high-quality ukuleles don’t need to be a crazy price. They offer a solid wood ukulele for a very reasonable price.
✔️ What we like: All solid Mahogany body
❌ What we don’t like: May have a few rough edges
- D’Addario EJ87C strings
- 1:18 Copper geared tuners
- Built-in tuner
If you’re wanting all the benefits of a solid wood ukulele without the insane price tag, then look no further! This CT402 is made from all solid Mahogany wood. This offers longer sustain and improves the resonance so that you can get the most out of the sound. This is further improved by the arched back design which helps with volume and sustain.
This tenor is strung with D’Addario EJ87C strings which are fantastic and offer a full sound. In addition to that, the 1:18 geared tuners will allow for precise and easy tuning. The ukulele also has a built-in tuner so that small adjustments and fast tunings are convenient and effortless.
The fun doesn’t stop there! This CT402 also has a truss rod with an included Allen key. This means that you can easily adjust and change the action to suit you and your playing style. This Caramel ukulele has been made well and is a fantastic foundation with its acoustics.
On top of being a terrific ukulele for acoustic use, it is also rigged with all the electronics needed to plug into an amp. It is fitted with a 3-band EQ which gives you onboard control of the volume, bass, middle, and treble. What more do you need?
Well even if you didn’t expect more, you’re getting it! This bundle also includes a gig bag, extra strings, picks, a tuner, a cloth, bridge pins, a metal nail drawer, and a strap. If you’re looking for value for money, it doesn’t get much better than this.
All in all, this Caramel CT402 acoustic electric ukulele sounds good, looks good, and is worth every penny.
7. Kala KA-SMHTE-C Acoustic-Electric Tenor Ukulele – Best Under $500
Kala as once again brought us a fantastically made ukulele. This one is a beautiful Mahogany tenor which you can also enjoy plugged in.
✔️ What we like: Completely solid Mahogany body
❌ What we don’t like: Can have a buzzing sound on some strings
- Venetian cutaway design
- Walnut fingerboard
- Tortoiseshell binding
Kala has a reputation for making high-quality ukuleles at an affordable price, and this solid Mahogany tenor is no different. The top, back, and sides are made from solid Mahogany which gives this tenor a hearty resonance. While solid wood is revered for its sound quality, it does also require extra care since it is more vulnerable to temperature and humidity damage.
The KA-SMHTE-C has a Walnut fingerboard and a slotted headstock which helps make the instrument more lightweight. The Venetian cutaway design means that you can more easily reach the furthest frets. Altogether, the lightweight cutaway design makes this ukulele easy to play and very comfortable.
This tenor ukulele is a beautifully simple and classy instrument, but Kala has added some wonderful character with the faux tortoiseshell binding. If you’re a fan of effortless charm, then this is perfect for you!
The electronics on this uke also live up to the high expectations for Kala. It is equipped with a UK-300TR system so that you are always ready to jam plugged-in. It doesn’t have a built-in tuner, but you are still covered since it comes with an external tuner. The bundle also includes a hard case, which is an awesome touch since many of the usual soft gig bags don’t do the best job of preventing damage to your ukulele. On top of that, you will also find an instructional DVD and a polishing cloth. This ukulele itself is magnificent and with the added electronics and accessories, it is an incredible deal.
You can’t go wrong with this KA-SMHTE-C acoustic electric ukulele!
8. Enya EUT-MG6 Acoustic-Electric Tenor Ukulele – Best Under $1000
Enya has once again stolen the show with an incredible ukulele. This solid wood ukulele offers everything we need and want, while keeping the price affordable.
✔️ What we like: Bright and rich sound
❌ What we don’t like: Fret wires may need extra polishing
- 5A grade solid Mango wood
- Ebony fingerboard
- D’Addario EJ87 strings
- Gold Agate die-cast tuners
This Enya ukulele is really something beautiful. It is made from solid Mango wood for the top, back, and sides. This wood gives a remarkable bright tone with a smooth richness to balance out the highs and lows. The strings, which are imported D’Addario tenor EJ87 strings, also contribute to a fantastic tone.
This tenor is quite the looker as well! The Mango wood has a wonderfully unique pattern and grain. This is complemented with simple touches like the abalone rosette and the red and black purfling. This aesthetic is tied together with the detailed fret inlays of the flower pattern. Enya has also chosen a cutaway design with a headstock that is reminiscent of electric guitars. Truly a work of art.
Enya holds the standard with the hardware as well. This ukulele is fitted with Gold Agate die-cast tuners which are higher-quality than the common Brass-plated Zinc Alloy tuners. These 1:18 geared tuners are sure to be precise and hold the tune well.
The build quality of this ukulele is fantastic. It is sturdy with a good finish and is an example of skilled workmanship. On top of the exceptional construction, the electronics stand tall. It is equipped with a double pickup to project every sound with reliable stability.
Furthermore, this ukulele comes with a padded gig bag, an adjusting handle, and an audio line. This Enya EUT-MG6 acoustic electric tenor ukulele is the perfect marriage of functionality and aesthetics.
All in all, a remarkable deal!
A Guide to Choosing Acoustic-Electric Ukuleles
The build quality of a ukulele can impact the sound, the feel, and even the look of the instrument. This can vary quite drastically from brand to brand and within different price ranges. Often, higher-priced ukuleles will tend to have a better build but that isn’t always the case. So, keep a lookout for brands that prioritize build quality but be aware that if you are expecting perfection in the lower price range, you will probably be a bit disappointed.
Most ukuleles will use a piezo pickup which isn’t always the best. It can sometimes produce what some people refer to as a “quack” which may be problematic if you are recording or performing on stage. However, as with most things, this depends a lot on the quality. If having a particularly clean plugged-in sound is important to you then it is worth looking out for the good quality piezo pickups or even ukuleles that use a different kind of transducer, such as a microphone.
The material can play a huge role in both the sound and the durability of the instrument. Generally, solid wood produces a better sound, but you sacrifice durability with solid wood since it is more vulnerable to temperature and humidity changes. However, you can still find laminates that produce an exceptional sound and have the benefit of durability. It really depends on what you are looking for so try to decide what material you want. That way, you can have a clear focus on finding the best quality of that chosen material. It’s also important to note that other materials such as carbon fiber exist for instruments as well, and they can sometimes be a fantastic option.
Sometimes extra features can improve the whole experience of the ukulele, especially if you are a beginner. They can be a great addition, but they are by no means the most important part of buying the best ukulele for you. Extra features can also be accompanied by a price jump. So, it is important to focus on features that you need so that you can make the best price choice for your own preference.
The quality of the hardware can also vary quite a lot depending on the price and the make. Looking at the specifications can tell you most of what you need to know about the hardware on a ukulele. However, looking at customer reviews can also tell you a lot about how well a ukulele holds its tune.
The strings that a ukulele comes with can impact how it sounds when it arrives and while most ukuleles have industry-standard strings that aren’t bad, some of them can be worse. However, if the strings are not the quality that you want, but you can easily change them, so it is not the be-all or end-all of a good ukulele.
Acoustic Electric Ukuleles for Everyone
Having electric capabilities on a ukulele can open all sorts of new doors.
It allows you to further individualize your sound, record songs, and perform on stage without any microphone issues. Thankfully, electronics are not exclusive to expensive ukuleles, which means that even someone on the tightest budget can have fun plugging in.
With this list of the best acoustic electric ukuleles, you have a huge variety to choose from so that you can confidently choose the perfect ukulele for your budget.
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Simon is a music lover, musical instrument player and passionate audio afficionado. When he is not playing the guitar or listening to music he is either eating tacos or snoring too loudly.