If you’ve been scouring the web for a cheap and cheerful ukulele to teach yourself to play, I’m proud to say you’ve found the right place.
If you’re completely new to ukes, you’re probably a bit confused as to where to start.
Here’s a list of the best cheap ukuleles to narrow things down for you!
Snapshot: Top 4 Best Cheap Ukuleles
- Enya Nova Carbon Fiber Concert Ukulele
- Ranch Professional Concert Ukulele
- Hola! Music HM-121MG+ Deluxe Mahogany Soprano Ukulele
- Pomaikai Soprano Ukulele
Choosing a Great Cheap Ukulele
I’m sure you’ve already noticed that there are a lot of affordable ukuleles on the market so I had my work cut out for me when I began my research.
Although this article is all about cheap ukuleles, I only wanted to recommend the very best.
Even if you’re not splashing much, you still want your money’s worth, right?
So, I made sure each ukulele on this list is both beautifully crafted and great sounding. Oh, and they come with some great extras. Every little helps, especially when you’re a beginner!
The world of ukuleles can be a little confusing with all of the different sizes and models, here is a great ukulele buying guide to help you choose.
So, for this list, I have focused on the two smallest sizes of ukes on offer. Now you can get ready to learn to play the ukulele!
The 4 Best Cheap Ukuleles In 2020
1. Enya Nova Carbon Fiber Concert Ukulele Review
- ♫ Made of carbon fiber composite polycarbonate with durable construction. Waterproof and easy-to-clean body.
- ♫ Much more bright sound compares to wooden ukuleles. Side sound hole design ensures better self-resonance during playing.
- ♫ Super lightweight (1.25 lbs.) and thin body (2 inch). Designed to be your travel partner and ignore temperature and humidity.
I’m really surprised at how inexpensive this Enya Ukulele is. Enya are known for producing great-sounding ukuleles with beautiful designs but are usually quite pricy, so this is a real steal.
Usually, you can expect cheap ukuleles to be made of laminate wood or plastic so this carbon fiber uke really stands out from the crowd. Its cutaway alongside its super thin body makes it incredibly comfortable to play. I think that’s important for beginners, especially if this is your first instrument. The great thing about this uke is that you won’t have to worry about changes in temperature or humidity affecting your uke.
It’s also water-resistant and incredibly durable so if you’re new to instrument maintenance this Enya ukulele will be your new best friend. Just to top it off, it has a no-tie bridge which is an absolute lifesaver if you’re new to changing strings. So don’t worry, you’ve got this!
Neck & Hardware
Okay, so the only thing that’s not great about this ukulele is the neck. Although it is incredibly well finished, the dark frets blend in with its fingerboard and make it a little bit more difficult to see where each fret is. Although this won’t be an issue for more advanced players, it could make things a tad harder for beginners. Don’t worry though, there are white markers on the 5th, 7th, 10th, and 12th frets.
I absolutely love how sleek it makes the neck look, so it wasn’t enough to stop me from putting this Enya ukulele at the top of my list. Plus, beginners tend only to use the first few frets, so it shouldn’t be a massive issue. Personally, I’d love to have this uke on display and its other features definitely make up for the neck.
This Enya concert ukulele comes with a capo, a strap, a semi-hard case, and some spare strings. Beginners often don’t realize that they’ll need accessories like this until a few weeks down the line. Going for a uke like this that comes with all the necessities is, therefore, a great choice. Don’t be put off that it doesn’t come with a tuner, there are plenty of free apps you can use to tune your ukulele!
This uke sounds awesome. Most cheap ukuleles sound just that – cheap. However, this uke is incredibly soulful and a little bit edgy sounding. It actually sounds a little bit more like a guitar than a uke when fingerpicking but it does have that lovely classic ukulele twang when strummed. It also has incredible volume considering its thin body.
- Body: Two pieces of carbon fiber (comes in black, white, pink, blue, and orange)
- Neck & hardware: Carbon fiber neck with gold open-geared tuners
- Fretboard: Carbon fiber
- Bridge: Carbon Fiber
Final Thoughts on the Enya Nova Carbon Fiber Concert Ukulele
It would make the perfect gift (or treat for yourself of course). Again, I’m really surprised that there are ukuleles like this available at this price and I think it’s amazing that a quality brand like Enya offers affordable models.
2. Ranch Professional Concert Ukulele Review
- ★ COMPLETE CONCERT UKULELE SET - Do you want to learn to play Ukulele? This starter Ukelele kit gets you started! Comes with: 1x Ranch UK-23 Concert ukelele (Aquila String Installed), 1x 10mm Gig...
- ★ TOP QUALITY MATERIALS - Our 23 inch Concert Ukele top, back, and sides are made of the elegant Sapele wood. An tiny stringed instruments body fashioned from Sapele exhibits a pleasingly warmer and...
- ★ CLEAN AMAZING SOUND - When you are shopping for a ukele hawaiian instrument don't shop by price, cheap beginners ukalali can be bad quality and the sound from it same. Our Concert ukalalee sounds...
Okay, let’s get back to the classic ukes. This Ranch concert ukulele is a great choice if you’re into more traditional looking instruments. It is good value for money but still incredibly well crafted with a beautiful sound.
My favorite thing about this ukulele is its curved back. If you’re new to ukes you’re probably wondering what the heck that means. Basically, it moves sound towards the soundhole, working wonders for volume and tone. This is a lovely touch for a laminate-wood ukulele, which would otherwise sound a bit bright for my liking.
Neck & Hardware
This Ranch uke has a lovely neck (wow, that sounds weird). Its frets are finished perfectly so you don’t run the risk of scratching your hand as you play, which is something that happens quite often when playing cheap ukes.
On top of a great ukulele, you’ll also get a tuner, a strap, some spare Aquila strings, and a little cloth. To be honest, I prefer to use the ukulele feature on the GuitarTuna app instead of digital tuners. Especially at this price, you can’t be sure of the quality of the tuner so tuning your uke could quickly become frustrating.
This uke sounds absolutely brilliant. That’s definitely why it made my list. Although it has a classic look, it actually has a really warm and mellow voice, especially when strummed.
- Body: Laminate mahogany top, laminate Sapele back and sides
- Neck & Hardware: Mahogany neck with chrome closed gear tuners
- Fretboard: Rosewood
- Bridge: Rosewood
Final Thoughts on the Ranch Professional Concert Ukulele
This uke is a great choice for beginners and advanced players alike. It sounds so lovely and warm, you’ll quickly fall in love with playing it.
3. Hola! Music HM-121MG+ Deluxe Mahogany Soprano Ukulele Review
- Don't miss!! We’ve joined with America’s largest lessons company. When you purchase this bundle, you will get TWO MONTHS of FREE live, video lessons where you can interact and learn from an expert...
- Make sure to watch the Video on the left for full description and specifications.
- HM-121MG+ Soprano Ukulele features: All Mahogany body, Nato neck, Walnut fingerboard and bridge. Silver plated geared machine heads with black rubber pegs, 15 silver nickel frets, bone Nut and Saddle,...
So here’s a soprano option for you all! Soprano ukuleles are quite often labeled as instruments for kids but they’re actually a great option. Whether you’re looking for that classic, bright sounding uke or you’ve just got small hands, this soprano uke will be perfect for you.
Hola! Music kind of rule the cheap ukulele market. You can pretty much be sure you’ll receive a well-crafted, great quality instrument from this company. Hola! Music always curves the back of their ukes which, again, is great for their sound. On top of that, this uke has a bone saddle which gives the strings incredible intonation.
Neck & Hardware
This Hola! Music uke’s fretboard is incredibly well crafted. Its nickel-silver frets are finished beautifully and I just love its inlaid fret markers. It also comes with some really nice silver-plated open geared tuners which I absolutely love.
Okay, so this is the best part for beginners. This Hola! Music ukulele comes with two months’ worth of free online lessons so you can learn to play in no time. On top of that, it comes with 3 different pick options, a strap, and a soft bag. Everything you need to get started!
If you’re searching for that traditional Hawaiian ukulele sound, this is it. I love how this uke balances the classic bright sounding treble and mellow bass. It is just beautiful!
- Body: All laminate mahogany
- Neck & Hardware: Laminate mahogany neck with silver-plated open geared tuners
- Fretboard: Walnut with nickel-silver frets
- Bridge: Walnut
Final Thoughts on the Hola! Music HM-121MG+ Deluxe Mahogany Soprano Ukulele
This would be the perfect ukulele for a complete beginner. It has that lovely classic Hawaiian sound and comes with really great extras. Those free lessons will make your learning time fly by!
4. Pomaikai Soprano Ukulele Review
- Perfect Gift for Music Lover: Soprano ukulele with mahogany body and four advanced carbon nylon string. It is a very good 21 inch ukuleles starter kit for kids, adults, beginners who are just getting...
- 4 Nylon Strings: This ukeleles for kids is fitted with 4 nylon strings. Compared with the steel strings, nylon strings are more soft, which are easier on the fingers of the beginners or younger...
- Quality Material & Excellent Sound: AAA Mahogany body and black walnut fingerboard bring you richer and brighter sound. The real cattle bone nut has higher density and producing a strong tone. All...
I am so surprised this ukulele is under $50. It is just beautiful and has such a pretty sound. If you’ve been looking for the perfect gift for a friend, this is it. Or, if you fancy giving the uke a whirl yourself, you’ll love this little uke.
This uke has such a pretty body, it looks so much like solid wood. Its natural satin finish is a lifesaver if you tend to get sweaty hands (don’t worry, you’re not alone). Unlike the other ukes on this list, it doesn’t have a curved back which is a shame. However, its beautiful finish makes up for that in my opinion.
Neck & Hardware
When it comes to really affordable ukes like this, there’s always a chance of a badly finished fingerboard and poor quality tuners. However, this uke is the complete opposite of what you might expect. Its frets are finished perfectly and it comes with some really nice high-precision tuners.
This uke only comes with a case but at least you can be sure all of your money has gone towards the instruments! Plus, there are plenty of free tuning apps you can use and you won’t struggle to find a cheap strap and capo.
This uke has a very traditional sound. It is really quite bright but, don’t worry, it’s not plinky. It actually has a little bit of a mellow edge which adds a nice warm tone to its voice. I also love it for percussive playing, so if you fancy giving that a go, you’ll have a lot of fun with this uke.
- Body: Laminate mahogany
- Neck & Hardware: Laminate mahogany neck with precision tuners
- Fretboard: Black walnut
- Bridge: Black walnut
Final Thoughts on the Pomaikai Soprano Ukulele
This Pomaikai Soprano uke would make the perfect first ukulele. It may be the cheapest on this list, but it is still incredibly well crafted. At this price, it is an all-round winner in my book!
Now’s the time to start learning!
These ukuleles definitely prove that cheap doesn’t have to equal a bad quality instrument.
If you’re looking for an affordable new hobby, get yourself a little ukulele, and start learning.
You’ve got this!
I hope my reviews have made the world of ukuleles seem a little less confusing.
All four of these top cheap ukuleles are great options and I’d happily own any one of them. Your choice really just depends on your own personal style, no judgment here!
I hope your new uke brings you as much joy as mine does for me.
I hope you stay safe and enjoy learning your new favorite instrument.
Good luck and happy playing!
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Fiona is a musician and writer. When she’s not working, she’s either playing the ukulele or finding another instrument to add to her collection.