The Essential Guide to Finding the Best Cajon Box + Reviews
To find the best cajon box on the market, all you have to do is to read this short paragraph and have a clear idea of the product worthy of your hard-earned cash. Our research team focused on the critically acclaimed models on the market, compared and examined their sales figures and other performance indicators, and concluded that the Meinl Cajon Box Drum JC50LBNT deserves to be mentioned before all the others. The Baltic birch used for the cajon was carefully processed by the manufacturer to be both sturdy and sensitive to different playing techniques you may want to employ. A crisp snare effect is easy to achieve with the help of the internal snare wires strategically placed. Other aspects, such as the compact shape and the rear microphone port, make this model versatile and convenient. Should this model be no longer available, the Meinl Cajon Box Drum BC1NTWR is the next recommended choice.
Our Top Choice
This beautiful drum box is an excellent example of how a cajon should sound like. For snare and bass sounds, you will only have to hit the box in different places, and you will be able to create a harmony that other people will love to listen to. Available in a compact shape, it is easy to carry with you when traveling.
It is a low-entry model, so don’t expect it to be as loud and crisp as competitive cajons.
Built from Baltic birch wood, a material well-known for its superior acoustic properties, this musical instrument will allow you to hit a plethora of sounds that will turn any performance into a sensation.
The wine red finish might be the first thing that catches your eye when you look at this cajon. But that is not all, and the sound performance of this drum box will convince you that there aren’t many other instruments that can compete with it. There is a rear port for convenient microphone placement.
The dynamic range is somewhat subpar, and you won’t be able to play it quietly.
Replicating drum set rhythms like a pro, this Meinl cajon is ideal for anyone who wants to perform gigs and jam sessions with confidence. As it comes in full size, it is convenient to use and ideal for all skill levels.
Also To Consider
At only 10.9 pounds, this musical instrument is lighter than other similar products and ideal for traveling gigs. The attention to detail is superior, as proven by the rubber-capped feet that ensure you will not experience any unpleasant vibration when playing the cajon. The drum box is hand-crafted.
You might have to fiddle with it a little to tune it correctly for the desired sound.
What makes this model stand out from the crowd is the ease with which you can adjust the guitar strings placed on the inside so that you can obtain a wide variety of sounds for a fantastic cajon performance.
9 Best Cajon Drums (Updated Reviews) in 2020
We want to help you find the perfect musical instrument if the cajon is your choice. Below, you will find the top-rated cajon drums at the moment, with their ups and downs, so that you can make a decision that will assist you in creating and playing beautiful music.
- 1. Meinl Cajon Box Drum JC50LBNT
- 2. Meinl Cajon Box Drum BC1NTWR
- 3. Pyle String Cajon Full Size
- 4. Sawtooth ST-CJ120B Cajon
- 5. Meinl Subwoofer Bass Cajon SUBCAJ1AWA
- 6. Meinl Headliner Series Cajons
- 7. Sawtooth Harmony Series Cajon
- 8. Roland EC-10 ELCajon Cajon
- 9. Donner DCD-1 Full Size Cajon Box Drum
- Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions
1. Meinl Cajon Box Drum JC50LBNT
Acoustic performance can benefit significantly from a wooden box instrument like this cajon made by Meinl. For starters, it is a beautiful model, and that goes to show that the manufacturer thought about investing good materials and craftsmanship into a cajon that is supposedly addressed mostly to beginners.
It is among the affordable cajon boxes you can currently find, so if you think of studying an easy to play instrument, the Meinl Cajon Box Drum JC50LBNT should be right up your alley. You can render both bass and snare notes, so creating beautiful music is literally at your fingertips.
The manufacturer used only Baltic birch wood when making this instrument. Usually, this material is found in drum sets of superior value, and it provides an acoustic performance that cannot quickly be supplied by other woods. The placement of the fixed snare wires is executed so that you can promptly obtain the sounds you want without a problem.
For a wood cajon, there is no better choice of material than the Baltic birch used for this one, which is responsible for the crispness of the sound produced.
The manufacturer picked stainless steel snare wires and attached them on the inside of the drum box to allow you to hit a variety of notes without a glitch.
Because of the rear sound port, you will obtain articulated sounds even if you are just starting.
To play deep bass sounds, you must hit the box in the center, while for snare sounds, you move your hands toward the top corners.
You must bear in mind that this model is among the low-entry instruments offered by this manufacturer, so your expectations should match this aspect accordingly.
Another thing you may notice about this instrument is its small size, which makes it a good option for a teenager or a short person.Buy from Amazon.com for ($69.99)
2. Meinl Cajon Box Drum BC1NTWR
If there is something Meinl knows how to do is how to enhance a regular percussion box and turn it into something more. One of the essential features of this instrument is the placement of the internal snares, which are coiled metal wires that ensure that you can obtain crisp sounds, and not only deep bass sounds.
That makes this cajon snare drum a lot of fun to play. As you may be well aware, hand placement is essential for playing a cajon the right way. In this case, you will be happy to see that snare sounds are a breeze to perform. Another thing that must be mentioned is that a mesh strap keeps the internal snares secure without affecting the sound.
Another thing you may appreciate about this model is that it comes with a gig bag made from nylon. Not only will this bag help you move your cajon around with ease, but it will also protect it from damage and dust when not in use.
For high and low sounds, the Baltic birch wood used for making this cajon provides excellent acoustics, the type you mostly hear in superior quality drum sets.
On the back of the instrument, you will notice a cutout that allows the sounds to remain crisp and articulated, as it lets the air go in and out.
The same cutout serves as a perfect rear port for placing a microphone so that the sounds are heard better when playing in large rooms.
Since it’s a full-size instrument, it is perfect for performers of all skill levels, and anyone can sit on it to make music as he or she sees fit.
Something you might not be crazy about is the limited dynamic range that will prevent you from playing it quietly when you want to practice without having your neighbors hear you.
For the performance offered, it may feel like this product is a bit overpriced.Buy from Amazon.com for ($99.99)
3. Pyle String Cajon Full Size
Using a traditional blueprint, the manufacturer obtained a musical instrument that sounds like the original instrument from Peru. There is a wide variety of wooden box drums, but the cajon has its rightful place among them, due to the particular sounds that can be obtained with little effort, but a lot of enjoyment.
An interesting aspect of this model is that it is hand-crafted. Also, the placement of guitar strings on the inside makes it a particular option for musical performers. Furthermore, the guitar strings can be adjusted from the bottom of the box with an Allen key that is readily provided by the manufacturer. You will find it inside the box upon delivery.
One of the cheap cajon boxes you can find at the moment, it provides a lot of satisfaction for the price. It is lightweight and compact, and you will be able to take it with you anywhere you go.
If you prefer the classic traditional look of a cajon, look no further than this particular instrument modeled and hand-crafted in its image.
Due to the guitar strings installed on the internal front wall, you will notice that achieving a wide variety of sounds is a breeze.
With the help of the Alley key provided by the manufacturer, you will be able to adjust the strings by fiddling with the screws you will find on the bottom of the box.
Small details matter and the fact that the feet of this instrument are capped with rubber contributes to the overall performance, reducing vibrations.
While some people might be pleased with this model out of the box, you may have to tune it a little to get out of it the type of sound you want.
The snare sound fails to be as distinctive as you might expect, and inferior to other snare cajons you might have heard played before.Buy from Amazon.com for ($82.29)
4. Sawtooth ST-CJ120B Cajon
Several things make this cajon stand out from the crowd. While the acoustics provided and the possibility to adjust your instrument for better sound performance are important, it appears that the manufacturer thought of the performer’s comfort, too. This cajon drum comes with a padded seat cushion so that you can sit on the wooden box and play it for as long as you want.
Any cajon review of this particular instrument will tell you that the adjustable system of snares placed on the inside will help you achieve the sounds you desire. Also, the front place is adjustable, something that you don’t usually see in similar models. The birch wood used for the front panel ensures perfect acoustics.
You will receive a carry bag with your purchase so that you can easily transport your instrument when traveling for gigs. The feet are made from durable rubber and will ensure that you won’t experience any noticeable vibrations.
The choice of birch wood for this instrument is ideal since it can produce brighter tones than maple while remaining loud and crisp.
It is essential to note that this model is a full-size cajon, so players will be able to sit on it without a problem and perform in perfect comfort.
Speaking of comfort, it is also important to mention that the manufacturer offers a padded seat with your purchase to make it easier for you to sit on it and play for hours.
To adjust the way your cajon sounds, you will only need to customize the tension of the internal snares, which can be done with much ease.
While there’s a carry bag included with your purchase, it’s nothing special, and it’s not particularly sturdy, so don’t count on it too much.
The front panel requires some work to produce the right sound, but nothing that cannot be handled with ease.Buy from Amazon.com for ($59.67)
5. Meinl Subwoofer Bass Cajon SUBCAJ1AWA
As you may have well noticed, most of the cajon box reviews you read point out at Meinl models as being the most popular and accessible for players of different skill levels. There is one thing that makes this particular model stand out from the first moment you look at it, and that’s the presence of two front sound ports.
While it’s common to find a rear sound port on a cajon, Meinl went all out and created a new and improved design. The front ports create a bass reflex system, which means that the air going in and out of the drum box will help you obtain deeper bass sounds than usual.
That helps with the placement of a microphone, as well. For sound amplification, you will only need to put a microphone in front of the ports, and you will be able to play in a large room where the audience won’t have any problem hearing your performance.
The most important trait of this model is the internal bass reflex system created by the presence of sound ports in the front for manipulating the air that goes in and out when playing.
At the same time, the instrument is capable of producing crisp snare sounds due to the presence of the coiled wires on the interior of the front model.
The front panel is made from American white ash, while the body is made from MDF, increasing the dynamic range you can achieve.
You will get enough area to play on, as well as enough to sit on, two essential aspects when purchasing a cajon.
The snare tone leaves something to be desired, so if that’s an issue for you, you might want to explore other options offered by the same manufacturer.
While the overall sound quality is great, the bass may not be as deep as you expect.Buy from Amazon.com for ($149.99)
6. Meinl Headliner Series Cajons
As you will find right away from this cajon box review, this model from Meinl uses a particular mix of materials for the boxy to obtain a broad range of sounds that will allow you to improvise and enjoy your instrument more. The body is made from textured MDF to ensure that the bass notes can be expanded while corner hits will have more punch.
The front plate is made from American white ash, which is a highly responsive material and provides you with rich sounds like no other material can. Nothing beats this combination when you want to achieve sounds by using light finger rolling motions or backbeats.
For amplification purposes, this model comes with a cutout in the back that serves as a rear sound port. When you need to amplify the sound made by your instrument, you only have to place a microphone close to the rear port, and you will obtain the desired effect.
Bass and snare notes are easy to achieve when using this musical instrument, due to the particular construction of the cajon and the internal snares.
This cajon is ideal for live acoustic performances in settings such as open mic venues, jam sessions, and coffee houses. With a microphone for amplification, it could work for larger venues.
You will be able to adjust the steel strings to obtain the wanted snare effects as you see fit.
Because of the American white ash front plate and MDF body, you will be able to obtain a broad range of effects such as ghost sounds and deep bass beats.
The inside strings create a rattling sound that lasts a bit too long, so you will have to use tape to keep them tightly to avoid this problem.
Out of the box, it might not sound the way it should, which means that some tweaking will be needed.Buy from Amazon.com for ($119.99)
7. Sawtooth Harmony Series Cajon
This model from Sawtooth is a cheap cajon box ideal for traveling gigs, and a suitable choice for young players, due to its compact size. If you want a unique instrument, you will find it a good option because of the way it is hand-painted and stained. Since the worker applying the finishing touches never creates the same patterns on the wood, no two cajons will look the same.
Among the many hand drums you can currently find, this one stands out with the image on an elephant imprinted on the front plate. Because of its small size, you may place it on a tabletop and play it like that. On the bottom, you will notice the rubber feet, which are durable and prevent vibrations from ruining your performance.
The six coiled wires placed on the inside of the front panel will make sure that you get a snare response, making it a reliable instrument, even if it’s not a full-size cajon.
To play different corner sounds, you will make good use of the adjustable front plate that lets you customize the playing surface with ease.
A compact shape is ideal for a young person who wants to get the hang of making music with this type of instrument.
With the help of the internal wire system, you will be able to obtain snare effects, just like you would when performing on a full-size cajon.
Each of these cajons is unique as the body is hand-painted and stained.
Equipped with sturdy rubber feet, the construction of this cajon is guaranteed to eliminate vibrations, and will also be stable to prevent any mishaps.
While hitting the right bass notes is not a problem, you might not encounter the same ease when trying to play high notes.
Striking the front panel will create a rattling sound, so that’s something you might want to keep in mind.Buy from Amazon.com for ($44.98)
8. Roland EC-10 ELCajon Cajon
This particular cajon instrument is different from the ones reviewed so far since it comes with a modern technology twist. It is a hybrid that combines the acoustics of a traditional cajon with electronic percussion for obtaining sounds and harmonies that would not be easy to achieve otherwise.
At first glance, this model doesn’t appear that different from a regular cajon box drum. But it can run on batteries or by being connected to an electrical outlet. The beauty of this design is that it comes with 30 built-in kits that layer the acoustic sounds produced by the instrument.
You will be able to trigger different sounds when using the playing surface, and that’s what makes this model stand out from the crowd. Covering a wide dynamic range, it is an instrument that will help you play various music styles without a glitch. The control panel is intuitive and user-friendly.
The layered electronic sounds produced by this instrument will enhance any performance and make learning how to play the cajon truly enjoyable.
To run, it uses AC power, and batteries can also be employed, ensuring 12 hours of continuous playing, which is ideal for open venue performances.
At the same time, it remains an acoustic instrument, too, only that you can put the 30 built-in electronic kits to work to make each of your performances more memorable.
The overall sound quality is superior, and the electronic sounds were selected to add depth and punch.
Along with your purchase, you will receive an integrated amplifier, as well as a coaxial speaker.
This instrument is heavy, so not as easy to carry around as other cajons, even when using a carrying bag.
Compared to the bass sounds that are easy to obtain, the snare sounds are not as satisfying.Buy from Amazon.com for ($399.19)
9. Donner DCD-1 Full Size Cajon Box Drum
Since many people prefer a cajon they can take along when traveling for their performances, it is a great thing that this model is compact and lightweight. At only 9.9 pounds, it is among the lightest cajons you can find without sacrificing sound quality and overall sturdiness.
To have an idea about what it is capable of doing, you should know that this affordable cajon box can hold a person weighing up to 330 pounds. Even more, you will be able to take this instrument with you wherever you go with the help of the backpack made of nylon provided with your purchase.
All the cajones drum configurations you can find right now vie to the players’ attention by offering extras. In this case, you will be happy to learn that you can adjust the internal strings with the help of an Allen key, also readily provided.
This cajon is made from sturdy birch wood, and it’s hand-crafted, so you can expect it to be both durable and ideal for creating acoustic sounds.
A nylon backpack is provided so that you can carry this cajon with you to any gig; the inside is padded to ensure that you won’t damage your instrument by accident.
The internal guitar strings help you obtain a wide range of sounds, and they can be adjusted with the help of the provided Allen wrench.
To limit vibration interferences, the cajon is equipped with rubber-capped feet.
You will sit comfortably on this cajon since it can support weights of up to 330 pounds.
The instrument is sturdy, but its overall appearance is somewhat basic, and not something you may necessarily want to parade at an important concert.
Sound quality is fair, but nothing extraordinary, which might be expected for the price.Buy from Amazon.com for ($82.99)
Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
The cajon is a widely popular type of drum original from Peru that has made many fans recently due to the ease of playing and its incredible fun factor. If you are looking for the best cajon, check out the helpful information below that will give you a good idea about what aspects to focus on when shopping for one.
The type of wood used for its construction
A musical instrument needs to be sturdy and capable of producing the right type of sounds to qualify as a reliable purchase. In the case of the best cajon boxes, you should know that birch wood is preferred above others because of the quality of acoustics provided. American white ash is another good choice, and some manufacturers use it to make cajon drums.
As you may well know, what makes a cajon drum box different from other percussion instruments is the presence of internal wires or strings that help create a wide range of sounds. When learning how to play cajon drums, you will learn a lot about the role of these internal strings that are essential for obtaining snare effects.
They can be adjusted so that you can get the sound you want when hitting the front plate that has the snare system attached on the inside. But that’s not the only adjustability option available. Some models allow you to adjust the front plate or the corners so that you can adapt your instrument to the type of music you want to play.
Rear port or front port configurations?
These wood box drums come equipped with a sound port or more to allow the sound to be heard. Some models have the sound port on the back, and it can be located either in the center of the back panel or lower. Front port configurations are available, too, and there are models with one port, while others have two.
There is not a lot of difference between the two, but you may choose the most convenient for your needs, depending on where you want to place a microphone to amplify the sound. This aspect is essential when you need to perform inside a large room.
A cajon percussion instrument may come equipped with electronic kits that layer the acoustic sounds for more power. These electronic versions are not exactly standard, but you can find models to satisfy your needs for a more extensive dynamic range.
Another feature you will find on good quality models is the presence of rubber-capped feet. While this aspect is vital for stability, it also eliminates vibration for better sound accuracy. Last but not least, check the size of the cajon you want to buy, as well as its general aesthetics to make sure you get the desired model.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is cajon easy to learn?
If you’re interested in how to play cajon, you may wonder whether this instrument is easy or difficult to learn. This type of instrument is pretty straightforward. The upper edge of the front panel will serve for hitting the high notes, while the middle will serve as a playing area for deep bass notes.
Since it’s a box instrument, you will get the gist of it right away. Creating the first harmonies gets easier and easier, as you understand which hit you apply on the surface creates which sound. If you’ve ever touched a drum, you’ll know that musical instruments don’t get any easier than that.
However, while it is easy to learn the cajon, and among other instruments, it’s on the lower scale of difficulty, if you want to master it, you’ll still have to employ a lot of work, just as you would when learning other percussion instruments.
Q: How does a cajon drum box work?
What is a cajon box? To understand how it works, you first need to know what it is. Basically, it is a wooden rectangular box that can be used to perform music. The box is pretty sturdy, and the easiest way to play it is by sitting on top of it. It is even believed that the first cajons must have been simple wooden boxes that people discovered to be fun to make music with when hit the right way.
The most crucial element of a cajon is the front panel, which may be used from a type of wood different from the rest of the housing. Manufacturers use certain woods for creating this front panel to ensure proper acoustics.
On the internal side, you will commonly find a set of strings or coiled wires. These are used for creating snare effects and can make a cajon sound a certain way.
Q: Can you play a cajon with drumsticks?
When learning how to play the cajon, you will discover that you can use plenty of accessories to obtain a larger variety of sounds. You can hit the playing surface with your palms, but you can also use a pair of drumsticks.
It is not wrong to use the same drumsticks you would get with a drum set, but there are drumsticks made for cajons, and they have certain particularities. For instance, they come equipped with a rubber finish since cajons are good at rendering low notes. Therefore, they won’t affect the intensity of your beats.
You can use them along with brushes and even your hands, to create interesting harmonies that will make your performance stand out. Whenever you want to get creative, bring more cajon accessories into the mix. People who don’t like the idea of using their hands directly will also find drumsticks a convenient choice.