Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
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Last updated: May 23, 2021
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Ukuleles come in different sizes with the concert ukulele falling in between the soprano, which is the smallest one, and the tenor which is one size up from the concert. The reason why someone might want to opt for the concert ukulele is that since it is slightly larger than the soprano, it is also easier to play for most adults. At the same time, the best concert ukulele like its another larger counterpart, the tenor, will offer more bass and volume than the soprano, that’s why many players gravitate towards this model. Ideally, it is a well-sized ukulele for beginners to try their hand on since it has a longer scale length.
If you have tried searching for the right ukulele for yourself, then you’ll know that this instrument comes not only in a variety of sizes and lengths but also woods. The right combination of the overall size and the type of wood used to craft the ukulele will make all the difference in the quality of sound it produces. Some woods give the uke a softer sound than others, while a laminated model will sound very different from one that is constructed from solid wood. All these aspects factor in when you decide to purchase a uke, and that is why we have included them in our upcoming reviews.
To give you the best idea of which uke will meet your needs optimally, our testers have spent tens of hours stringing away on these six concert ukuleles. Take a look at the comparison table below to see product highlights and then follow up with a detailed product description. And if you still need some more information then read through our buying guide to be even more prepared for a perfect purchase.
Sold as a bundle, this ukulele is an excellent option for anyone looking for a quality piece on a budget. Along with a good sounding instrument, you also get lots of extras such as strap, case, pick, tuner and additional strings, all thrown in the mix to improve your experience.
The ukulele itself comes pre-strung which makes it ready to use on purchase. The design delivers in the aesthetics department while the construction yields awesome tone. There are no buzzing sounds as you play your instrument and the uke stays in tune well despite practically any weather changes.
This model uses Aquila strings which is one of the best brands in the business. The body, including the top back, sides and neck, is a mixture of sapele and mahogany with a rosewood fingerboard. Adding attention to detail, the design features an arched back which adds to the uke’s beautiful sound. Two preinstalled strap buttons give you the choice of using your instrument with or without a strap, whichever feels right for you.
The company offers a lifetime warranty with this purchase which is backed by excellent customer service should any issues arise with your instrument. The only concern you may want to look into is the somewhat flimsy carry case that only provides minimal protection from dust.
If you’re looking for the best concert ukulele under 200 dollars, then our Editor’s Choice is the way to go.
The Donner Concert Ukulele is a sensible piece that conforms to traditional styles and settings without compromising quality and durability. It features a larger than usual fingerboard for concert ukes, making it a good piece to start with if you are a beginner. This instrument offers a nice, full, loud sound that suits the needs of a functional entry-level concert sized ukulele well.
This model sports a mahogany laminate body and neck with a rosewood bridge and fingerboard. The mahogany gives the instrument a warm tone, although it may lack the volume one would find in an all-solid body. The soft carbon nylon strings make strumming easy and smooth yielding a bright and pleasant sound.
One feature that separates this uke from others in the same price range is that this one comes with geared tuners. They can help keep your instrument in tune so that you can practice or gig regularly.
Available at a bargain price that includes a case, strap, clip-on tuner, and extra strings, we would recommend this for anyone learning to play this instrument. The only thing is that it is heavier than many other concert ukuleles, so it may take a while getting used to carrying the weight. But if weight becomes an issue, you can always add on the strap to make things easier.
Another contender on the list for the best concert ukulele, this model from Ranch is elegantly designed with a sapele top, back and sides. This unit comes as part of a complete concert ukulele set that includes a gig bag, extra strings, digital tuner with battery, strap, and a polishing cloth.
The frets can often be a point of troubling contact when playing, but with this Ranch ukulele, you get a smooth experience that causes no inconvenience whatsoever. It is a well-finished model with no sharp edges. This model also uses industry standard Aquila strings to deliver superior sound quality and performance.
The aesthetics on this piece deliver well too with a nice, polished look. There is an open pore finish, and a laser etched design around the sound hole for added visual appeal. The sound it delivers comes out bright and clear with enough volume to entertain a small group, but perhaps not a crowd.
Despite being a starter kit, the quality of the accessories included has not been compromised. Users especially appreciate the gig bag included which is exceptionally sturdy and very well padded. The inclusion of 12 free online lessons to get started is also a welcome feature for beginners. Moreover, you get a 30-day money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied for any reason.
All in all, this ukulele offers excellent value for its price. You can be sure that you used your money right when you get this as a complete starter kit.
Like many of its contemporaries, the Forever Trustly Concert Ukulele is also made from a mahogany body with a rosewood fingerboard and bridge. This piece features a basic design with not many bells and whistles. But its best feature is the amazingly cost-effective price tag it boasts which is why it has made it as the Budget Pick on our list.
If you are looking for a first time ukulele without having to spend a bundle then look no further than this Forever Trustly Concert ukulele. At an unbeatable price you get an instrument that comes with a gig bag, adjustable strap, nylon string, and guitar picks.
It features a bright and clear sound that could easily match some of its high end counterparts. To keep your instrument well-tuned, there are chrome plated guitar style tuning pegs that come with the promise of a decent sounding, quality uke. Given its modest price, this ukulele tunes rather well and stays tuned between uses for a long time.
While the overall finish is nicely done, there has been some concern about the frets hanging just a bit over the side. As a result, you may feel them when you run your finger down the side.
Made from quality mahogany for the body and rosewood for the fingerboard and bridge, this Ohuhu Concert Ukulele makes an impressive statement. Featuring a traditional design, this is an easy to hold and the portable piece that delivers decent sound quality, although it is on the heavier side of things, weighing more than three pounds.
The Ohuhu ukulele is made of high-quality wood which resists everyday wear and tear and delivers a professional quality sound. Staying in line with its competitors this uke also comes as a complete starter kit with all the essentials included. You get a tuner, strap, picks, strings, cleaning cloth, and carry bag with your purchase. The manufacturers have also added in a user manual to get you started quickly.
You get this model with two pre-installed strap pegs which is not a standard feature for many other models, even the more expensive ones. The unit is easy to tune with precise tuning pegs and produces accurate notes every time you strum.
To keep you strumming non-stop, the unit stays in tune well, there are no gaps in seams, and the frets aren’t sharp at all.
On the flip side, some customers were complaining of the quality of the strings used.
We like to think of this particular model as the most economical solid wood construction ukulele, considering that solid woods can be much more expensive than laminates. But that is not the case here.
This is a nice-looking uke with all its joints and edges clean and well-polished. It comes with a rounder-than-usual shape which is great for comfortable holding as the rounded corners are less likely to dig into your forearm as you play. This feature makes the Aklot Concert Ukulele the most ergonomically designed piece on this list.
The fret board on this model is actually bound eliminating the chance of catching on the fret ends as you slide up and down the neck. The head is in mahogany with geared tunes, and there is a delicate rosette etched on the front of the instrument.
One exceptionally distinctive feature of this model is the bridge. The bridge has been shaped like a dove with its wings outstretched detailed with a small inlaid eye. You can feed the strings through the bridge and then knot them through the sound hole.
The unit comes as a complete starter kit with a gig bag, tuner, strap, cleaning cloth and picks to take care of all your ukulele playing needs. You also get a quick start guide with instructions and diagrams to explain the different features of your instrument. Plus, you get access to online lessons as well.
If anything, there seem to be some complaints about the strings popping early, but otherwise customers are happy with their purchase.
What do we love it for?
Solid mahogany top
Smooth finish on frets
Strap buttons included
What were we disappointed with?
Strings may not be very durable
Things to Consider
On the smaller side of things, the ukulele is a stringed instrument that resembles a somewhat miniature guitar. However, it’s an entirely different instrument with its particular features. In this section, you’ll find the most essential of them together with short explanations to make your shopping as easy as pie.
What to start with when learning to play the ukulele?
To start off, you need to invest in a quality instrument. Ukulele prices can vary substantially, starting around the $20-$30 and going up to a couple of hundred dollars. As a general rule, anything less than $50 could prove questionable in terms of durability and performance, even for beginners.
Once you have your instrument of choice in hand, you need to learn how to hold it right before you can start strumming. It’s recommended to take a few minutes to try some different positions to see which you’re most comfortable at. You can either sit or stand holding the uke and see how you feel.
Start off slow with the majors and minors before moving on to other chords. And once you’ve got the chords nailed, you can add in some slapping and palm muting to add to your groove.
Features to consider before buying a ukulele
At a quick glance, all ukes may seem the same, but it helps to get to know their essential features. This will help you figure out your playing technique and what kind of results to expect when you play.
Some people, often new to playing the ukulele find it easier to play the concert or tenor ukuleles. This is mainly given the scale length of the instrument.
The scale length refers to the distance from the nut to the saddle on the unit. In other words, this distance between the nut and the saddle is the length of the string that vibrates when you play.
The scale length also determines how far apart the frets are on the uke’s fingerboard. Frets are the thin metal bars positioned in the fingerboard. Since sopranos have a very short scale, the frets are also significantly close together. Concerts and tenors have longer scales, so the frets are also spaced further apart.
The quality and price of the ukulele are determined by the type of wood used in its construction.
Among these, koa is the most common type used for ukes made in Hawaii. It has a beautiful grain and yields a very warm sound. Koa wood is used for models with an expensive price tag.
Mahogany yields a softer sound than Koa and is considered a suitable type of wood for ukuleles that fall in the middle end of the price range. Most of the models featured here today have mahogany in their construction and will give you the result you desire.
Another popular option is spruce which is used on lower end ukuleles.
Not all ukuleles, however, are constructed entirely out of solid wood. Models that are made of solid wood use it not only on the outside but the inside as well which yield a very well-sounding instrument.
The laminated versions, on the other hand, use the less expensive types of wood on the inside with a thin layer of better wood on the outside. While this does have the effect of improving the instrument’s aesthetics, it does little to improve the sound when compared to their solid wood counterparts.
To enjoy the full acoustic potential of your instrument, you need to have good strings. Once, again there is an extensive array of string materials available ranging from nylon and fluorocarbon to titanium and even steel strings.
Among these options, nylon is the most common material used for ukulele strings. Since nylon is a stretchable material, you will need to retune your uke over time.
While humidity may not affect nylon so much, temperature changes can cause the strings to stretch more or less.
Traditionally used as a fishing line, fluorocarbon is another type you could consider. This type of string provides a brighter sound than nylon and may be better suited for someone who plays their instrument outdoors a lot. Fluorocarbon is not as affected by temperature changes as nylon.
For a stronger, more durable, and brighter tone than nylon you can look for titanium strings. The sound produced by this type of string also comes with more volume and projection.
Steel strings are rather uncommon, and unless the instrument is specifically constructed for this type, such as a banjolele, it isn’t recommended to use these. This is because steel exerts tension on the top, bridge, and neck of the instrument and may cause it to damage.
The type that you choose for your instrument should match your playing style. Luckily, the strings are not too expensive, including the high-quality ones, so there is wiggle room for experimentation. You can try different types and different brands until you find one that complements your style.
Ukuleles are very lightweight compared to their larger stringed counterparts, with many weighing less than three pounds. This makes a uke easy to hold and play, even without a strap. The overall weight of the ukulele is also subject to features like add-on strap buttons, electronic components, the finish of the unit and whether the tuners are open or closed.
To make sure that you get the best concert ukulele for the money, look for something that comes with a warranty. Warranties may start off with something as little as a 30-day money back guarantee such as those offered by the Ranch Concert Ukulele and the Donner Concert Ukulele DUC-1. If you’re looking for a longer warranty period than consider the Ohuhu Concert Ukulele which comes with a two-year limited warranty that needs to be purchased separately. That said, the lifetime warranty offered by the Lohanu Concert Ukulele speaks volumes for its durability and performance. No wonder it’s our Editor’s Pick.
In addition to the standard features, you can also look for some extra ones. If you find it easier to carry, attach a strap to your instrument. For cleanup and care, some models will throw in cleaning or polishing cloths with your new uke. Others will even offer online lessons, booklets, and instructional videos just to get you started on your ukulele playing journey.
Unfortunately, there are not so many specialized models for left-handed players provided by manufacturers, but such players can tune their instrument accordingly. The easiest way to do so is to switch the two middle strings around since the outer two strings are very similar in thickness. If you’re not confident doing so yourself, you could visit your local music store, and they can do it for you.
Models that come as starter kits are ideal for beginners. They include all the necessary accessories to maintain and take care of your uke, and you won’t have to invest into buying anything extra. The models we have recommended here for you today are all starter kits, and you can choose one that fits your playing and budget needs best. Feel free to go for the Editor’s Pick if you want the best of everything in one complete set or settle for our Budget Pick if you’re going to keep expenses within the minimal.
Since the entire soundboard of the unit is made from one solid piece of wood, the sound that emanates from the uke vibrates more freely as opposed to laminates where the laminate top may be concealing internal blemishes such as knots or holes not visible to the eye. This can have an effect on the quality of tone and sound the uke makes. Take a look at the AKLOT model for a quality solid wood top ukulele.
Absolutely, and why not! However, concert ukes may be too large for most five-year-olds. The smallest of the little ukuleles, the soprano, is sized aptly to fit into a child’s hand. Nevertheless, the best age for a child to start playing an instrument is when they show an interest in it. For many children, this can be around the ages of five and six, and even though it is possible for children to start playing an instrument as young as three, they will need that particular degree of coordination and patience to sit through a music lesson.
Newbies may want to start off with a concert or tenor instead of a soprano. This is given the length scale of the instruments as it provides a larger space for you to maneuver your fingers and practice your chords. As such, these models may seem a little more comfortable to play, and then you can move onto a soprano as you get better and more confident about your ukulele playing skills. Of course, many traditionalists start off with a soprano and then move on to other models as well.
For a ukulele that has it all, we recommend our Lohanu Ukulele Concert Size. This is a piece that will not let you down whether you are a first time player or an advanced one. This Lohanu concert ukulele is not only backed by brand reputation but is also one of the most comprehensive bundles you can get on the market.
If you are looking for a more traditional model, then the Donner Concert Ukulele fits the bill well. But with this model traditional is not a limitation. You get the complete package here as well with all accessories included and if you want something that won’t limit your finger navigation, then enjoy the wide fingerboard that comes with this model.
For those looking for something on the less expensive side, we recommend Forever Trustly Concert Ukulele that delivers all the goods sans the hefty price tag. With this piece, you can enjoy playing soulful music without hurting your wallet.