Best Electric Ukulele Review – Top Rated Models in 2018 with Buying Guide
If you want to find the best electric ukulele and you have little time on your hands, you have come to the right place. After a careful examination of the most popular electric ukulele reviews, consumer reports, and surveys, we have concluded that the model you should consider is the Epiphone Les Paul Acoustic-Electric. This model comes equipped with a high-quality piezo film pickup that is located under the saddle to give a natural tone. It is constructed of solid nickel hardware with open 14:1 ratio tuners. Concerning the design, this is a solid mahogany ukulele that sounds just as good as it looks. If the Epiphone Les Paul Acoustic/Electric is not available for sale, we recommend you consider the EleUke Smart Bluetooth.
Highly Recommended Choices – Reviews & Comparison
To make things easier for you and to save you some much needed time, we have gone and selected some of the best models available so that you can choose the best acoustic electric ukulele. These are the critically acclaimed products that have garnered the best reviews of acoustic electric ukuleles.
Epiphone Les Paul Acoustic-Electric (B0053CUHMG)
The Les Paul option features an Okume neck with a comfortable “D”-profile shape that is bolted to the body with the help of four recesses screws. The screws help achieve rock-solid stability so that you can play as long as you want without the instrument losing its tune.
This alternative is also equipped with a high-quality piezo film pickup that is located under the saddle. This particular construction help this model achieve a natural tone of the strings and the sound of the body are captured accurately and routed to a durable, rim-mounted, and all-metal ¼-inch output jack.
This will allow you to plug this guitar into any PA system or amplifier so that you get a true acoustic and tone perfect sound suitable for any size stage.
EleUke Smart Bluetooth (B06XXTHBPP)
This great option will allow you to use your smartphone as an amplifier. All this is done wirelessly with the help of Bluetooth technology which means that you will be hard-pressed to find a smartphone that is not compatible with this instrument.
This will allow you to practice even during the night time as you can connect the ukulele to your smartphone and listen to the music it creates through the earphone, thus removing the need of worrying about your neighbors.
What’s more, to ensure that you don’t have to worry about always having a pair of charged batteries with you at all times, this model uses a rechargeable battery. The rechargeable battery is already equipped which means that no battery change is required.
Vorson FSUK1BK (B00GXMYYF6)
Customers that have tried it have reported that this model feels and looks just like any awesome beginner electric guitar but the tunes that it produces are specific to those of a ukulele. This electric ukulele features a cutaway body, and it comes together with a gig bag so that you can transport your favorite instrument with you at all times.
This will allow you to be ready for any impromptu playing session. The neck is candlenut with a rosewood fretboard and dot markers that do not only look good but will also allow you to play effortlessly, and the strings can be easily adjusted.
The neck is also very comfortable, and the adjustable truss rod and bridge make it easier for you to personalize the experience you get from your product to your liking. As a plus, the real wood finishes and the high-quality craftsmanship of the Vorson FSUK1BK inspire great durability.
Oscar Schmidt OU5LCE (B001XI71BO)
This is a concert-size ukulele and despite the small size, it feels sturdy and able to handle a lot of frequent use. It does not feel like you’re handling a fragile toy, but a serious instrument that can help achieve the sound that you always wanted to reach. Customers that have tried this model can attest to the fact that the sound it creates is simply amazing.
Even when not plugged into an amplifier, this unit can easily hold its own. The neck of the OU5LCE is longer than what you would typically see on a concert-sized ukulele, and this helps give it more balance. The Grover geared tuners are of high quality and once settled in, they can keep the strings in tune.
Kala KA-TE Mahogany (B005ETZCNC)
These free accessories will make the life of an amateur player that much easier. For the amateur player, the Austin Bazaar instructional DVD is a must-have as it will teach you all the basics and help you make the most out of your newly bought electric ukulele. The gig bag will help you keep your purchase safely packed and transport it in one piece when you’re on the go.
An easy-to-use clip-on tuner is also included to make it easier for you to tune your instrument and keep it sounding excellent. The mahogany neck and body is not only a joy to look at, but it will also help get the sounds that you crave. The frame is also durable enough to ensure that the integrity of your purchase will never be in danger even when using it for countless hours on end.
Kmise Solid Spruce (B010DEZ2H8)
The Solid Spruce construction offers good resonance performance and sustainability. This alternative comes with a great design that features beautiful and calming graphics to help you feel more connected to your instrument. The sounds that the Kmise Solid Spruce boasts are bright and full and the customers that have played it are all satisfied with the experience that this unit offers.
The no-scratch hand is smooth to hold and offers a comfortable feeling when you play the thin uke. The bone nut and saddle provides a lossless sound transmission to make the sounds richer and to have less tone loss. Tuning this option is also an effortless task, and if you ever want to get new high-performance ukulele strings, you can easily replace the stock ones.
Cordoba 20TM-CE (B007SQZJU0)
This model captures the unique charm of Portuguese ornamentation and exotic wood. It is a gorgeous instrument that will have you be filled with confidence while playing it. This is a best-selling option that is lightweight and stage-ready.
The Corboda ukuleles, just as their range of best-selling acoustic guitars, are built to satisfy both the ukulele enthusiasts and the players that just want to expand their musical horizons. The Cordoba 20TM-CE is a versatile instrument that will assist you to achieve just that with the help of its rich sound.
The top is solid and vibrates and resonates more freely than the alternatives that use a laminate top. Because looks play a big part in any purchase, this product utilizes traditional wood patterns to make it stand out and please the user. The Aquila Nylgut Tenor strings are easy to play and are designed to remain perfectly tuned for longer.
Ellen Ukulele Beginner Kit (B06XF4QRP1)
The kit contains a high-quality and great sounding acoustic-electric ukulele and a small suitcase that is sized correctly to house your new favorite instrument. Just as is the case with awesome violin cases, this suitcase also offers additional compartments for you to store your accessories.
What’s more, the kit also contains an amplifier with audio cable, a strap to make playing more comfortable, a tuner, Hawaii ukulele picks and spare nylon strings. The Ellen Ukulele Beginner Kit is built to ensure the quickest and easiest adjustment for new aspiring musicians so that their first contact with this instrument is a pleasant experience.
To use it, you just have to connect it to the amplifier, press the tuner button and the LCD will show that you’ve activated the tuning mode. To use the amp, you’ll have to press the tuner button again.
Yearly Guide & Report
Finding a good electric ukulele to play to your heart’s content can end up becoming a real adventure, and not a fun one at that. There are countless amounts of alternatives available on the market and finding the right choice can be time-consuming unless you do some proper research.
Getting yourself informed is the first step in making it easier for you to sift through all the models available and highlight the ones that meet your requirements. We understand that time is a problem for everyone and not every customer has the time on their hands to do their homework.
As a result, we have taken this task into our hands, and we have compiled the following buyer’s guide just for you. Take a quick read if you want to learn how to find a cheap electric ukulele that sounds great and is comfortable to use.
Know your sizes
Unlike instruments such as guitars which are standardized even if they come in a couple of different sizes, ukuleles come in four different sizes that offer unique features and that are built for specific situations and players.
Once you consider your own size, mainly that of your hands and the primary purpose, and the sound that you want to achieve, these are the four types that you can choose from.
The Soprano type is also known as the standard size and is the oldest type of ukes. Its age and the fact that it is the instrument that comes in the smallest available size makes the soprano one of the most popular sizes out there. The overall length of this option is around 21 inches in length.
The size makes it a compact and lightweight alternative that is ideal for small musicians or kids that are looking to take up music. When it comes to the sound, the soprano’s sound can be best described as bright. It is the sound that you imagine when you think about a traditional uke sound.
The concert is the next on our list, and it is a bit larger than the one previously mentioned and allows for a better grip for people that have small hands but are unsatisfied with a soprano. If you want to look at substantial numbers, the concert features a body that is usually 23 inches long and 15 inches scale.
The difference between this and the soprano may not seem much but these kinds of subtle differences are what gives the artist an advantage. Due to a larger resonance box, the sound that this option creates is known to have higher volume levels and a richer low end.
The tenor type boasts an overall length of around 26 inches with a 17 inches scale. The larger body of this alternative will give you the means to produce an intense and resonant sound. The interesting music that this option creates makes it a great instrument to experiment with for hours on end.
Finally, we have the baritone which is the biggest of the lot. With a body that measures around 30 inches in length, the baritone is known to offer quite a unique experience. With a 19-inch scale, it feels almost like you’re playing an excellent beginner electric guitar. What’s more, since tuning this alternative is the same as of a guitar, you can save money and use your faithful guitar tuner.
As far as sound goes, this option offers an intense sound that somehow manages to be quite warm at the same time. This feature makes this instrument couple well with other instruments such as excellent-sounding electric violas.
The build types
When the time comes to talk about the build types of the electric ukuleles, most people prefer to think of them as small guitars and this is because just as is the case with electric guitars, ukes come with solid or hollow bodies.
There is one important thing to consider when looking to buy an electric instrument because it can make a lot of difference and you would hate not to know about it. There are electric ukes and acoustic-electric ukuleles. The difference is that the acoustic-electric ones are built like a standard acoustic ukulele with the sole difference that they have a built-in pickup as well as some electronics that can be plugged into an amplifier.
Electric ukuleles are like a small version of an electric guitar. They have a solid body, and the pickups are on the outsole. This means that the electric alternative can only be used with an amplifier, while the acoustic-electric offers more versatility as it can be used both as an acoustic and electric instrument.
The difference between the hollow and solid body is that the hollow body ukes will perform a sound that is just like that of a regular, acoustic uke. What this means is that you can play this type with or without an amplifier.
The solid body, on the other hand, relies on an amplifier to deliver sound. As a result, you are conditioned by technology to play it; you can’t just pick it up and start playing. The music is also somehow different since the wood is solid and doesn’t resonate as well.
Set a small budget aside for a good strap
No matter how much you’ve spent for your instrument, you want to keep it in pristine condition. While reading some reviews of electric ukuleles, we’ve noticed a theme present in every review: customers care about their products.
A strap is the best investment you can make for the safety of your dear instrument, and to make things even better, it is also the cheapest. You would hate to drop your newly bought instrument and to watch it crumble on the ground. A ukulele strap can save you from such a possibility by anchoring it to your shoulder.
Furthermore, such a product can also help you perform for longer and feel more comfortable while doing it since you’ll no longer have to carry a voluminous ukulele with your hands. The strap will do all the hard work and let you enjoy the beautiful sounds.
Frequently asked questions about electric ukuleles
Are electric ukuleles any good?
Certainly, they are just as good as any acoustic ukulele since they are the same thing, with the added benefit of having the capability of connecting to an amplifier. An electric ukulele is a great purchase for young students or musicians that want to practice their craft without having to worry about their neighbors or about any background noise that could interfere with their music.
With an electric instrument, you can simply connect your headphones to it and have the music blast through your ears alone. This will allow you to practice any day, any hours, and you will also get a clear sound.
How much are electric ukuleles?
Just as is the case with any instrument, there are many models available for purchase and each one comes in a specific price range. Most artists and experts recommend you start with an instrument that is under one hundred dollars as that is the sweet spot that offers the best value for your money.
The advantage of the electric ukulele is that you can find excellent models at an affordable price, and for students or amateur artists, this is a high selling point. For people that want to get even better performance, there are quite a lot of options that go up to two hundred dollars and more.
How do electric ukuleles work?
There are two types of electric ukes out there. There is the acoustic-electric version which allows your instrument to work both through an amplifier while also being able to be played as a classic ukulele. Then there’s the electric ukulele that needs an amp to work and cannot be used without it.
Unlike the regular ukulele which relies on acoustic resonance to produce sound, an electric option relies on electronic amplification. An electric alternative lacks a resonance chamber which is why the sound needs to be amplified electronically. The amp will carry the sound from your instrument all the way to the speaker.
What resources can I use to learn how to play the electric ukulele?
There are many resources that can help you learn how to play the electric ukuleles and it is up to you to decide on what works best for you. First, some manufacturers will provide a learning guide together with their ukulele, so if you’re a beginner going for such options is recommended.
There are also many books that you can buy and that are quite efficient if you can learn well from written material. If on the other hand, you want a more hands-on experience, you can find free videos on the internet or purchase a video guide to help you through every step.
What are electric ukuleles made of?
The body of the electric ukulele is quite similar to that of a standard uke since the instrument is designed to offer similar sounds and experience. As such, the body is primarily made of wood, even though there are some instruments that are built from plastic or other materials.
Aside from the wood, other materials used in the manufacture are nylon, steel, coatings, plastic, and glues. There’s also the magnetic pickup that needs to be installed within the body. The pickup responds to the vibrations of the string, thus the energy is transformed into electric impulses that are then amplified by the loudspeaker system known as the amplifier.
How to tune an electric ukulele?
If you’re a beginner and this is your first instrument, you will need to get yourself familiar with the many pieces involved and how they all work together seamlessly. This is the first step to learning how to tune your instrument, and unfortunately, it is not something that can be grasped quickly.
The easiest way to learn is to ask your instructor, a specialist at the local music store, or a friend musician. It is much easier to learn by having someone show you in person. If this is not possible, we recommend you browse the internet for a video tutorial as it is much easier to learn by visualizing every step.
Do I need an amp for my electric ukulele?
It all depends on what kind of electric ukulele you’ve bought. There are two main types: the acoustic-electric and the electric. The acoustic-electric can be used without an amp as this alternative features a hollow body that will allow for sound to resonate without the need for other devices.
The electric option, on the other hand, has a solid body which means that for sound to be played, an amplifier is absolutely necessary. With the lack of a hollow body, a pickup is necessary. The pickup will respond to the vibrations of the strings and transfer these waves in the form of electricity to the amplifier which can then transform those waves into sound.
Best electric ukulele brands
As their motto “Performance is our passion” says, Epiphone is a brand that seeks to offer the best performance to the amateur and professional artists. They create many instruments such as guitars, ukuleles, cellos and some of the best-received electric violins. It is the passion that they pour into every product that sets them apart.
Epiphone is one of the oldest instrument makers in America, and they are also one of the most revered. Ever since 1873, Epiphone has made instruments to fit every style of popular music. In 2013 they celebrated their 140th anniversary, 140 years of quality and customer satisfaction.
For more than 20 years, Vorson has been producing and designing high-quality travel guitars, lap steel guitars, electric ukuleles, and leather straps for the professional musicians all around the world. They seek to offer the best instruments money can buy and this is why they use only first quality wood, leather, and electronics that have been hand selected.
This ensures that when it comes to quality, customers can turn to Vorson knowing that they will get what they paid for, and more. Vorson’s team of engineers, designers, and artisans are all musicians who pride in their meticulous craftsmanship, playability, tone, and performance.
The Oscar Schmidt Company was founded in 1871 and by the early 1900s they had five factories in Europe and one in Jersey City. They are known for the wide variety of stringed instruments that they produce, from guitars, banjos, and ukuleles, to mandolins and zithers.
A testament to their quality is the fact that in early 1920 they were sold with the help of salespeople and not through music stores. This helped them stand out and be chosen on merit alone as the superior volume and tone spoke much of their performance. Today, each product is inspected and adjusted carefully by skilled technicians before the product makes it to you.
Corboda is a well-known brand in the industry that is recognized for offering one of the widest variety of models, and it produces many stringed instruments such as ukuleles, guitars, violins, and more. The products they create are aimed at both amateur and professional musicians, and the quality that these units offer can be seen in the near flawless reviews that they get.
If you’re looking for a new ukulele, Cordoba offers many units at different prince rages. You can get great options at one hundred dollars and less, ideal for amateur artists, or you can pay extra if you want more from your instrument.
Lanikai is a brand that is part of the Hohner music company. It is known as a manufacturer of accessible ukuleles that offers high quality and performance at a fair price. Lately, they have started to move increasingly into the market of higher-end ukes, which is excellent for customers since they will now have more options to choose from.
With a wide range of premium features and tonewoods, the Lanikai alternatives offer musicians the instruments that can meet their advanced skill level and that can provide them with the inspiration they need to create new and beautiful music.
Kala is a well-known brand in the industry because of its high-quality ukuleles, guitars, and u-bass models. Apart from that, it also creates accessories for your favorite instruments, including some awesome ukulele strings. Its products have garnered some of the best reviews both from users and critics, and this has only helped the company gain more and more popularity.
Its Elite models are probably some of the popular products and for a good reason. Kala strives to offer some of the best-quality instruments on the market, all while not going overboard with the price in such a way that only the professional musicians could afford them.
About ukulele amps
While the ukulele is traditionally an acoustic instrument, over the recent years the electric alternative has started to gain popularity and become almost as famous as the standard model. The difference between the two is that an acoustic instrument can be played with no other device needed, while an electric one needs to have a pickup installed and a compatible amplifier to go with it.
If you have an acoustic ukulele and you want to transform it into an electric one, it is also possible to install a pickup into an existing acoustic model. The catch is that the process involved is not that easy and even the idea might scare some of you away. You have to cut into the ukulele, and that is not a task everyone is comfortable with. As such, installing a pickup should only be done by a professional.
Just as an electric guitar, the electric ukulele needs to be powered by an amplifier to generate the sound. This is done with the help of the pickup which reacts to the vibrations of the strings, waves that are then converted into electrical signals. The electrical signals are then sent to the amplifier that has the job of transforming those signals into the lovely sounds you have grown to love.
A cool thing that the electric ukes can do that the other alternatives cannot, is to produce a much wider range of sound. This opens new and exciting ways that you can use your instrument and it is certainly one of the reasons why the popularity of the electric ukulele has skyrocketed in the last years.
The primary function of your amplifier is to use a speaker to project your ukulele’s sound, in that sense this is a function that all models have. To adjust the volume of the amp, most models are equipped with a knob that makes picking the right volume an easy and straightforward process.
Another feature that any good amp should have is the equalizer adjustments that can help you personalize the sound that your instrument creates. You will be able to identify and eliminate distortions or fine-tune the sound of the amplifier. It’s a great feature if you want to create a specific effect that an acoustic uke might not be able to replicate.
A final feature that we consider to be quite important is the presence of a headphone output port. The port will allow you to listen to your music through your headphones only, thus being able to practice quietly without disturbing or getting disturbed by others.
Featured image credit: Lardy Fatboy