5 Best Ukuleles Under $200 – A Price Tag To Respect

Best-Uke-Under-$200

If you have $200 in your pocket, a whole new world of quality in the ukulele market opens up to you. While we’re not totally clear of entry-level instruments, as the price increases, so too does the quality and variety of ukuleles.

Whether you’re a beginner looking for an easy-playing model with a little more quality and punch than something you’d find in the budget ukulele market, or are looking for your second, third or fourth uke, this sub-$200 range can leave you with a very satisfying instrument.

To help save you sifting through every single model in every single online/physical store, we’ve put together a short chart, highlighting five of the most popular ukuleles on the market today. Naturally there is a bigger range available, but the five below (which include a soprano, concert, tenor and baritone) will give you a good flavor of what’s on offer. Let’s check it out.

Top 5 Ukuleles Under $200:

ImageUkuleles / RatingSummaryCheck Price
+ - Ibanez UEW15E Concert Ukulele Ibanez UEW15E Concert Ukulele

Total of 4.78/5  

Ibanez impress on all accounts with this electro-acoustic concert uke.

+ - Kala KA-PWS Soprano Ukulele Kala KA-PWS Soprano Ukulele

Total of 4.72/5  

A great-looking Pacific Walnut soprano ukulele from Kala.

+ - Kala KA-B Baritone Ukulele Kala KA-B Baritone Ukulele

Total of 4.70/5  

Hard to fault this mellow mahogany baritone uke from Kala.

+ - Cordoba 20TM-CE Tenor Ukulele Cordoba 20TM-CE Tenor Ukulele

Total of 4.63/5  

A classy tenor ukulele from the famous classical masters Cordoba.

+ - Epiphone Les Paul Ukulele Epiphone Les Paul Ukulele

Total of 4.63/5  

A faithful ukulele remake of an absolute guitar legend!

Ibanez UEW15E Concert Ukulele

Ibanez UEW15E Concert Ukulele

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The electro-acoustic Ibanez UEW15E Concert Ukulele is the definition of a solid, all-rounder in this sub-$200 price range. It offers seriously good looks with its dark, flamed mahogany body cut to the familiar Ibanez EW Series shape (albeit in a concert ukulele size!), and quality appointments such as ivory binding, black Grover tuning keys, and a no-nonsense open-pore finish. It’s a fun instrument to play too, with a sleek mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard and 19 easily-accessible frets. As for electronics, it’s loaded with an undersaddle piezo pickup and Ibanez UK300-T preamp, with volume control, 2-band EQ, and a good built-in tuner. As we mention in the full review of the Ibanez UEW15E, it sounds pretty great too!

Kala KA-PWS Soprano Ukulele

Kala KA-PWS Soprano Ukulele

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If looks could kill, this Kala uke would be very dangerous! With a delightfully grained Pacific Walnut body, this soprano sized ukulele offers a minimalist high-end design at a price anyone can afford. The black binding around the top and back is an elegant touch, while the satin finish and general craftsmanship is excellent. The KA-PWS features a mahogany neck, with either a rosewood or walnut fretboard, featuring 12 frets (all in the clear). Playability out of the box is very smooth, while the tone on offer is also lovely – articulate and bright, and very well-suited for fingerpicking styles. For a more in-depth look at Kala’s KA-PWS, be sure tocheck out the full review.

Kala KA-B Baritone Ukulele

Kala KA-B Baritone Ukulele

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While this baritone uke from Kala isn’t the most striking in appearance, there’s a feeling of real quality when holding and playing it. Part of Kala’s flagship Satin Mahogany series, the entire baritone body (30” in length) is made of laminated mahogany, with a nice satin finish and simple cream binding. It’s good fun to play, thanks to the mahogany neck, which features a rosewood or walnut fretboard, and 18 frets (14 in the clear), while the hardware – including sealed chrome die-cast tuners – add to the quality feel. Meanwhile, the sound is very appealing, with great warmth and projection. Be sure to check out all the details in the full review of the Kala KA-B.

Cordoba 20TM-CE Tenor Ukulele

Cordoba 20TM-CE Tenor Ukulele

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Cordoba know a thing or two about making beautiful classical guitars, and their knowledge has been put to good use with their affordable line of ukuleles. In particular this very attractive 20TM-CE electro-acoustic tenor, which is made entirely of mahogany (solid on the top, with laminate back and sides). With no frills to talk of, it shows off plenty of elegance and feels nicely put together. Playability is great too, with a soft cutaway giving ample access to the sleek satin-finished mahogany neck, which features a total of 18 frets. As we mention in the Cordoba 20TM-CE’s full review, the slightly loose tuners are one of the only things that lets it down, otherwise it offers very good value to any ukulelist.

Epiphone Les Paul Ukulele

Epiphone Les Paul Ukulele

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Are you ready to rock? I said, ‘ARE YOU READY TO ROCK?!’. Good, because we have this gorgeous little Les Paul electro-acoustic concert uke from Epiphone, with kick-ass looks and great playability to match. It features a solid mahogany body with a flamed maple top, cut to the iconic Les Paul shape. There’s a very playable D-shaped mahogany neck, with rosewood fretboard and 19 frets. It’s equipped with an undersaddle piezo pickup and, through an amp, the sound isn’t bad, although it lacks a little punch when played acoustically. Still, with some good hardware, this uke shows great value. You can read everything about it in our full review of the Epiphone Les Paul ukulele.

Who Are These Ukuleles Aimed At?

Unlike the budget market, the majority of models in this range aren’t solely aimed at beginners. Although that’s not to say that beginners wouldn’t enjoy using them – after all, who wouldn’t want to learn on a ukulele that offers better sound, style and playability!?

However, with a step-up in quality, these ukes will likely be seen as upgrades for intermediate players, or an affordable style change for experienced players (perhaps those moving from tenor to baritone), or even as a reliable travel ukulele.

If you are a beginner, and want to check out more models across a range of prices that would suit you, take a look at our guide to buying a beginner’s ukulele.

What to Look for in a Budget Ukulele?

Regardless of whether you’re buying a baritone, tenor, soprano or concert ukulele, there’s one thing all ukes in this sub-$200 price range should share, and that’s an increase in quality.

That’s not to say that these instruments will be flawless, but most should be free from the glue spots, rough fret edges and lacklustre tones that plague some of the models in the budget category. Of course, this depends on the level you purchase at. A $105 uke may well be in the same price category as a $195 uke, but they’ll probably show off some big differences!

More often than not, the woods in this sub-$200 price range are still laminates, although you do find some models with solid tops. As with the budget market, mahogany remains one of the most popular tonewoods used in body construction, although some more exotic woods can also be found.

As our chart demonstrates, in this price range you can also stumble across some cool uke designs that just aren’t seen in the budget market, such as Epiphone’s Les Paul or Fender’s Hau’oli ukulele.

When it comes to hardware you’ll find that, in this price range, electronics remain pretty basic, although these are a lot more versatile and reliable than some of the budget systems around. Some preamps will come with a decent built-in digital tuner, which are so handy these days.

As for components, it’s still worth keeping an eye out for cheap plastic, although nuts and saddles tend to be bone or a composite material in this range, so you’re generally safe.

The Final Word

While dropping up to $200 on a ukulele probably isn’t a life changing decision, it’s still more than simply buying a cheap instrument, and you will want something that justifies the cash you spend.

If you’re not sure what to go for, something from trusted ukulele brands like Luna, Kala, Mitchell, Epiphone, Cordoba, Fender or Lanikai will usually see you safe. When you’ve settled on a shortlist, do your best to listen to some sound samples, watch some videos of the uke in action, read plenty of reviews, and – if possible – try some out in a local guitar store.

Meanwhile, unless $200 is your ultimate limit, it’s also worth checking out the best ukuleles under $300, as something just a tad higher in price may be exactly what you are looking for!

Whatever you go for, good luck with your new ukulele!


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