So, you’ve been scouring the internet for the best ukulele under $200 and you’re still unsure about what to choose?
Allow us to shed some light on your situation with some in-depth facts about our top picks.
Whether you’re a first-timer or you’re looking for an upgrade, $200 can get you a very decent instrument.
Of course, it won’t be perfect but there are some impressive options out there for that price.
Read on for our list of the best ukuleles that will surely give you the best value for your brass.
Quick List: Top 6 Ukuleles Under $200
- Fender Grace VanderWaal Signature Ukulele – Best Concert Ukulele
- Kala Pacific Walnut Tenor Ukulele – Best Tenor Ukulele
- Cordoba 20BM Baritone Ukulele – Best Baritone Ukulele
- Lohanu Spalted Maple Concert Ukulele
- Luna Honu Tribal Turtle Soprano Ukulele
- Kala Pacific Walnut Soprano Ukulele – Best Soprano Ukulele
Researching Ukuleles Under $200
When searching for the best ukulele less than $200, we considered a variety of features. We wanted to dig deep to find you the best deals at the best prices. One of the main considerations was the sound of the ukulele since there isn’t much point in buying an instrument that doesn’t bring you joy when you play.
The material of the ukulele was also a big factor in deciding which ones were the best. In the under $200 category, you are still mostly looking at laminates. However, we did lookout for any solid tops as well as evaluating the quality of the laminate material.
The overall look of the ukulele was examined, and any extra features were also accounted for. Furthermore, we wanted to find the gems that have fantastic build quality without breaking the bank.
At the end of the day, choosing a ukulele is a very personal decision but with these key aspects in mind, we can at least give you a solid place to start looking.
The Best Ukulele Under $200 in 2020
1. Grace VanderWaal Signature Ukulele – Best Concert Ukulele
The wonderful singer-songwriter, Grace VanderWaal, has paired up with Fender to give you a stylish ukulele worthy of both their stamps of approval. Notwithstanding the notoriety of both those names, this concert-sized ukulele is overflowing with all the best features in its range.
✔️ What we like: Has electric capabilities
❌ What we don’t like: Glossy finish on the neck can make your hands stick
- Gold sparkle rosette
- Warranty is included
- Fishman Kula preamp system
- Youthful style
- Pull-through capabilities
This ukulele has a beautiful design with a distinct aesthetic associated with Grace. It’s got a dark walnut gloss finish with a sparkly gold rosette. It’s nice to see that the rosette is in no way overwhelming with its sparkle and overall, the ukulele looks very stylish and well put together. The gold accents are also carried through with some gold hardware.
But is that the only appeal?
The answer is an easy no! This ukulele is way more than just pretty.
The body is made from Sapele laminate and has a delightful bright sound. It feels good in the hands and is easy to play with decent action. It is also kitted out with a Fishman Kula preamp system. Fishman has made a very respectable name in the industry and seeing a Fishman on this ukulele is definitely a happy sight.
It also comes with a built-in tuner which means that you are completely set to walk on stage with great sound quality and easy last-minute tuning.
Whenever you brand an instrument with a celebrity, it’s easy for people to start questioning what they’re paying for.
Are you paying for just the name or are you paying for a ukulele that will live up to its price tag?
We can say that in this case, Fender has done a great job of giving you your money’s worth. That’s not to say that you aren’t paying for the Grace VanderWaal name at all, but the quality of the instrument is in line with others of the same specifications range. On top of the specs being on par with what we would expect for this price, it also includes a branded and padded gig bag.
Overall, we think this is a great deal!
2. Kala Pacific Walnut Tenor – Best Tenor Ukulele
Kala has won us over again with a tenor ukulele that looks and feels like a top-quality instrument. It’s hard to beat a company that has this kind of consistency!
✔️ What we like: Sounds incredible when played fingerpicking
❌ What we don’t like: Tonal clarity can be lost a little when strumming
- Exceptional craftsmanship
- Pacific walnut body
- Satin finish
- Rosewood fingerboard and bridge
For starters, this ukulele is a fine example of experienced craftsmanship. This is the exact level of build quality that you would expect from a company like Kala. This instrument feels like it is worth more than its price tag and the sound isn’t too shabby either.
When this Pacific Walnut tenor is played, you can hear the characteristic of the wood ring through. It has a glorious bright tone and an impressive tonal clarity that you don’t often find at under $200. This makes it an undeniably great choice for anyone who is into their fingerpicking.
When it is strummed, it still sounds magnificent, especially given the fact that it is laminate wood and not solid wood. However, it does seem to lose a little bit of that lovely clarity when strummed. So, that is just something to be aware of if you’re looking for a tenor that will be strong in the strumming department.
The Pacific Walnut doesn’t only sound good, it also looks amazing. The paler body gives the ukulele a more unique look and the darker grains that run through the light background are a sight to be seen. The satin finish tops off the ukulele in a very classy way, showing off all the glory of those dark grains.
All in all, this is a gorgeous instrument with very little fuss and an impressive sound that sets a high bar for other competitors.
3. Cordoba 20BM Baritone Ukulele – Best Baritone Ukulele
Cordoba is another name that should catch your eye and although you may know them more for guitars, their ukuleles also deserve the recognition. The Cordoba 20BM comes in full force with a simple but sturdy ukulele that will make any minimalist bounce off the walls with excitement!
✔️ What we like: Has a solid mahogany top
❌ What we don’t like: Lacks extra features
- Aquila Nylgut Baritone strings
- Rosewood fingerboard and bridge
- Rich and full sound
- Herringbone pattern rosette
Upon first look, this Cordoba 20BM might not look like much but if you look deeper, you will find that this ukulele is one to remember. It has a body made from laminate mahogany but the real kicker is its solid mahogany top. Finding a ukulele with a solid wood top below $200 is clearly not impossible but it is not exactly the norm either. Most ukuleles that are in this price range will be fully made of laminate, which isn’t all bad, but it’s not quite the same as having at least a solid top.
Most of the sound is affected by the quality of the top piece of wood, rather than the sides or the back. This means that companies will sometimes use solid wood for the top and leave the rest laminate to give you the sound benefit of solid wood while still giving you the price benefit of a laminate body.
This can be a great compromise if done right and, in this case, the combination has definitely worked out to our advantage. The result is a wonderfully full and rich sound with a resonance that can only be achieved with solid wood!
This 20BM is the perfect example of doing the basics well. You won’t be getting any fancy features or more than you need, but what you do get is a fantastically built instrument with the best materials and a sound that trumps many of its competitors. The Herringbone pattern rosette is also a nice addition to the otherwise simple design.
If you aren’t too fussed about flashy looks and features, and just want a good quality ukulele that does its job exceptionally well, then this is perfect for you!
4. Lohanu Spalted Maple Concert Ukulele
Lohanu has done a great job of giving us fantastic value for money with this concert ukulele. Not only is it a beautiful instrument, but it is also accompanied by a bundle of extra accessories.
✔️ What we like: Great value for money
❌ What we don’t like: Not the best quality electronic system
- Spalted Maple body
- Armrest feature
- Built-in tuner
- Arched back
When you’re looking for a ukulele, it is difficult not to be drawn in by this wonderful spalted maple. The unusual patterns and discolorations mean that every instrument is going to be unique. This is also enhanced by a pleasant glossy finish and special binding design.
Another feature that catches the eye and makes this Lohanu ukulele one-of-a-kind is the armrest. They have designed this instrument with a special arch where your arm rests to make the playing even more comfortable. If that isn’t a customer-focused design, then I don’t know what it is!
Besides the beautiful exterior, this ukulele also sounds amazing! Lohanu has even given this concert ukulele an arched back which improves the resonance. You can expect an exquisitely rich and full sound from this beauty.
This instrument also has electric capabilities with a 3-band EQ and an electric pickup. It even includes a built-in tuner! While there have been some comments on the electronics not being quite as good quality as the rest of the ukulele, it is still an impressive addition in this price range.
This bundle is also full of all the ukulele accessories you could possibly need. It includes a case, tuner, strap, extra plastic picks, a wall hanger, a leather pick, and a set of Aquila strings. On top of that, Lohanu boasts an unconditional lifetime warranty.
This is nothing short of a bargain!
5. Luna Honu Tribal Turtle Soprano Ukulele
Luna is known for its wonderful artistic flair and this Honu Tribal Turtle Soprano puts those skills on full display! It also comes in just over $100, making it one of the most affordable options in the under-$200 category.
✔️ What we like: Beautiful Honu tribal turtle design is laser engraved on top
❌ What we don’t like: Frets may be slightly rough
- Mahogany body
- Pearloid inlays
- Aquila Super Nylgut strings
Luna really doesn’t play around with their aesthetic! This is the kind of instrument that just looks so wonderful that you can’t help but pick it up and start practicing. However, the large tattoo on the top may not be for everyone. If you are more into the sleek and simple look then this may not be the best option for you.
The ukulele has a mahogany body and neck, with a spruce top. The sound is great and has a wonderful tone but where it really shines is the volume. For such a small instrument, you would be surprised by how loud it gets! This ukulele is kitted out with some Aquila Super Nylgut strings which have really made a dent in the industry and have become a trusted standard. They also give a wonderfully bright aspect to the instrument’s sound. For this price, you could do a lot worse!
Talking about value for money, this bundle also includes a gig bag, a tuner, cloth, and an Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD. This is a great ukulele from a reputable brand, and it would be best suited for beginners and intermediates.
Overall, this is a fantastic deal where you can be assured that you are getting your full money’s worth.
6. Kala Pacific Walnut Soprano Ukulele – Best Soprano Ukulele
Kala has proven time and time again that they are a brand to stay. This soprano ukulele is just a continuation of Kala’s fantastic quality and affordable ukuleles.
✔️ What we like: Graph Tech NuBone nut and saddle
❌ What we don’t like: Less clarity when strumming
- Pacific walnut body & top
- Crisp sound
- Aquila Super Nylgut strings
Much like its tenor sibling, this Pacific Walnut Soprano is quite something in terms of its raw beauty. The dark grains that run through the pale background give it a bold look. This accompanied with black binding, gives it a very sleek and expensive look.
It is rigged with Aquila Super Nylgut strings which do a great job of adding brightness. It also has a Graph Tech NuBone nut and saddle which improves its consistency with tone. Overall, this soprano has a magnificent sound! It is crisp and clear, and the quality of the ukulele really shines through. However, it does not shine as brightly in the strumming, which you should note if that is important to your playing style.
This ukulele is really the epitome of simple, good quality products. The craftsmanship is everything you would expect from Kala; above the standard. It may not have all the bells and whistles. It also won’t tick your boxes of added accessories. But – and this is an emphasized but – it goes beyond our expectations in terms of quality and sound in the price range.
If you’re looking for a well-priced ukulele that doesn’t play around with distractions and is pure value for money, then this is your guy.
At this price, it is almost a steal!
A Guide to Choosing A Ukulele Under $200
Most of the ukuleles under $200 are going to be made from laminates. With that being said, you can still sometimes find options that have a solid top. In these cases, you will likely have to compromise in some other department, such as extra features.
Keep an eye out for those solid tops but don’t get too fixated on that one aspect, since you can still get a laminate ukulele with a fantastic sound! If you have your heart set on a solid top you will need to up you ukulele budget. We did a post on the best ukes under $500 that would be worth looking at.
This can differ quite a lot based on a company’s quality control but try to seek the companies that stand by their good quality construction and are meticulous with their quality control. This is an aspect where customer reviews can be especially helpful. Particularly in weeding out the brands that aren’t committed to providing uncompromised quality every time.
Unfortunately, in this price bracket, you are still likely to encounter many ukuleles that don’t have the best quality hardware. This can often negatively affect the tuning as well as the intonation of the ukulele. However, if you have a keen eye, you can often pick out the brands that do a better job of fitting their instruments with decent hardware.
Sometimes, some extra features can really enhance the whole experience of the instrument. They can be a wonderful addition, but they are by no means the bread and butter of a good ukulele. So, when searching for the best ukulele, we find that the best approach is to consider the features and how they add value but to prioritize other aspects such as the sound and feel of the instrument.
In this price category, you can expect a slightly better tone than the under $100 range. However, the tone will fluctuate greatly depending on what material has been used, as well as the design. So, try to look out for richer and more balanced tones to give you an indication of the material quality.
Searching for Ukulele Gems
Finding the best ukulele under 200 dollars can be a journey, and it can be a rough one, especially if you don’t know where to start. As much as your choice in a ukulele will be individual to your own preferences, there are some aspects that are like-minded.
In this list, we have provided you with the best options based on the united recognition of some features, while still adding variety for everyone’s taste.
The vast range of brands gives you a foundational understanding of what certain brands tend to offer. The different prices also mean that you have some awesome options, whether you’re scraping the surface of the under-$200 category or you’re pushing the limits!
- 10 Different Types Of Ukulele Explored & Explained
- 4 Best Cheap Ukuleles (Low Budget & High Quality)
- 5 Best Soprano Ukuleles In 2020 (Under $100 to $500+)
- 5 Best Ukuleles Under $100 In 2020
- 5 Best Ukuleles Under $500 In 2020
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.