Best Electric Ukuleles of 2021 – Buyer’s Guide

| Last Updated: May 7, 2021

If you ever considered performing live with your Ukulele you may get to the situation when there were too many people around you, so their chatter silenced your effort to entertain them.

 Luckily, there are many Electric Ukulele and those could be amplified with any portable amp out there.

What is an Electro Acoustic Ukulele?

Apart from its name, it has a lot in common with an Acoustic Ukulele. More precisely, the only difference between those models usually lies in the installed pickup and preamp system.

How Does an Electric Ukulele Work? 

Electric Ukulele or also known as a/e Ukulele can be played in both ways - acoustically and electric. Due to its small body format, it is usually equipped with the active pickup which amplifies the sound generated in the soundhole via piezo pickup.

If you seek for even better performance with Electric Ukulele, having steel strings installed will improve the overall sound output.

How Do I Choose an Electric Ukulele? 

Here are some questions to answer to yourself before you go out and buy your Electric Ukulele:

Define Ukulele Type

Depending on your physical size, Soprano Ukulele might be too small for your hands or a  Baritone might be too big. If you’re uncertain about the size, we would advise regular-sized women to consider Concert Ukulele while men should go at least with the Tenor models. Those two models have a little bit more depth in the sound as well. On the other hand, kids would fit the Soprano the best.

Define Your Playing Level

If you’re a beginner, you won’t have a lot of benefits from investing in solid wood models. Going for a solid top model will be worth considering, but for most situations, purchasing a budget Laminate model will be just fine for a while.

Wood Type

Apart from the Solid wood vs Laminate debate, the wood type can define a sound a lot. Based on your preferences, you may go towards Spruce models if you like bright sound or Mahogany if you’re more about softer and warmer sound. Or, you may go and experiment with exotic woods or some unusual wood combos Electric Ukulele may provide.

Advantages of Having Electric Ukulele 

Here are some most usual pros of having a Electric Ukulele:

Live Performing

If you get good with playing the Ukulele, sooner or later you will get an invitation to perform live at some venue where the acoustic Ukulele won’t be loud enough. Sure, you can put a microphone to it, but it will limit your movement a lot as every sway may result in capturing the sound of your Ukulele differently. 

On-Board Tuner

Having an Electric Ukulele usually means that it will provide you with the built-in chromatic tuner. It will be usually a basic one, but it will be reliable enough so you can tune your instrument without purchasing any additional equipment and at any place, even in loud and crowded spaces.

Tone Control

Every preamp comes with at least some tone control and most often 2-band or 3-band EQ features. This will allow you to fine-tune your instrument sound after the initial mixing setup.

Recording

As modern sound cards are incredibly affordable and portable, all you need to record your instrument is a computer and USB cable. From that point, you can use various programs and effects to spice up your sound and start writing your own songs.

Comparison of the Best Electric Ukuleles

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Solid 5A Mango Tenor Ukulele
  • Preamp placed in the sound hole
  • Cutaway design with general modern appearance
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  • Cedar solid wood Top
  • Incredibly loud in acoustic playing mode
  • Upscale slotted vintage headstock with open tuners
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  • Solid Mahogany wood edging
  • 3-band EQ and tuner onboard
  • Great and durable gig bag
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  • Best Solid Body Electric Ukulele
  • Fishman Kula preamp installed
  • Traditional vintage look
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  • Best Electric Concert Ukulele
  • All made from Carbon Fiber
  • Additional effects in preamp
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Review of the Best Electric Ukuleles 

We will provide you with at least one model from each Ukulele type and will include even Electric Bass Ukulele and some budget models on this list:

Best Overall:
Enya EUT-MG6 EQ Tenor

Enya Electric Acoustic 26 inch Tenor Ukulele with Pickup 5A Solid Mango Wood Ukulele with Padded Ukulele Bag EUT-MG6 EQ

PROS

  • Solid 5A Mango Tenor Ukulele
  • Preamp placed in the soundhole
  • Comes with padded bag and strap
  • Rosewood fretboard with a unique inlay
  • Cutaway design with the general modern appearance

CONS

  • Preamp controls should be black
  • Could be a bit more louder acoustically

What Recent Buyers Report

They comment that this model is gorgeous to look at and play. Gig bags seem to be padded enough to be useful and the only complaint goes towards frets who might need to be polished a little bit more. Even though, they feel content with this purchase a lot.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This model is made from Solid Wood and even if it were coming without a preamp, 5A Mango solid wood could justify the given price. Sound is unique and every next year due to the break-in feature it will become more mature and open.

Ebony fretboard is our favorite wood for electric models as it requires a bit more effort while playing. Cutaway design goes pretty well to electric guitar type headstock and the custom inlay printed at the fretboard.

Preamp is placed in the soundhole with the basic sliders for double piezo magnets so you can blend the sound to your personal taste.

Bottom Line

Enya EUT-MG6 could be the only Ukulele you will purchase ever. Pickup works pretty well, solid wood Mango is a nice and unique choice for your premium Ukulele and the cutaway design will follow your technical improvements.

Runner-up:
Kala KA-ATP-CTG-CE Cutaway

Kala KA-ATP-CTG-CE Cedar Top Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Tenor Ukulele Natural

PROS

  • Cedar Solid Top Tenor Cutaway Ukulele
  • Incredibly loud in acoustic playing mode
  • Equipped with Aquila Super Nylgut Strings
  • Mahogany neck with Acacia sides and bottom
  • Upscale slotted vintage headstock with open tuners

CONS

  • A padded gig bag would be welcomed
  • Could come with better preamp at this price

What Recent Buyers Report

Professional players say that it might be less bright than a spruce Ukulele, but it has an overall clearer and punchier tone. Tension seems to be a bit higher than usual and it feels and plays like it’s more expensive than what you would pay for.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This Ukulele was made from three different woods with Gloss finish - Solid Cedar on the top, Acacia on the sides, and the back and Mahogany for the neck. This combination works pretty well as the whole instrument resonates pretty well. Thanks to the Cedar top, this Ukulele will be significantly louder.

Design is plain and vintage, so those who are looking for classical design may enjoy upscaled slotted open tuners. We must emphasize that the unusual red padauk rosette and bindings give the instrument an interesting 3D effect and join the cedar top with the acacia much better than typical black or white color.

Bottom Line

If you’re considering shifting from a usual Mahogany Ukulele sound, this Kala will give you a unique wood combination that will produce a different sound with the pickup that will satisfy all typical semi-pro requirements with the traditional vintage design.

Best for the Money:
Donner DUC-4E Acoustic/Electric Concert

Donner Acoustic Electric Ukulele Concert Size Built-in Tuner Solid Top Mahogany 23 inch Electro Ukelele Beginner Kit With Online Lesson EQ Gig Bag Strap String Picks DUC-4E Professional Ukele Ukalalee

PROS

  • Frets marked at the side
  • Great and durable gig bag
  • Solid Mahogany wood edging
  • 3-band EQ and tuner onboard
  • Incredibly affordable Mahogany Concert Ukulele

CONS

  • Poor quality control
  • Acoustic sound could be a bit louder

What Recent Buyers Report

Users can’t believe that Ukulele can have such good features at this price. Those who got functional models tend to compare it with the sound of 4 or 5 times more expensive models.

Nothing seems to be wrong with build quality as well, but quality control must be improved.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Getting an electric ukulele under the $100 mark is something we didn’t expect to be possible. And this one is not even a Soprano, but a Concert one!

The design feels vintage with nice black bindings that match the color of the darker rosewood fingerboard. 

Preamp comes equipped with the 3-band EQ and a fully functional chromatic tuner.

Accessories that are included are great added value as the gig bag is padded really nice while the strap matches the color of the instrument. Oh, and you won’t have to lose time for strap buttons as they come preinstalled.

Bottom Line

Donner really excels at delivering great products at an incredibly low price. For the price of the regular budget-Soprano model, you will get an electric Concert Ukulele that will work just as good as any other model in this tier.

Best Solid Body Electric Ukulele:
Kala KA-SMHTE-C

Kala KA-SMHTE-C Solid Mahogany Cutaway Electric Tenor Ukulele

PROS

  • Rosewood Fingerboard and Bridge
  • Aquila Super Nylgut tenor strings installed
  • Traditional vintage look with cutaway design
  • All Mahogany Tenor Ukulele with Natural Satin finish
  • Fishman Kula preamp with tuner and 3-band EQ onboard

CONS

  • Not the best quality control
  • Might be expensive for someone

What Recent Buyers Report

The sound is reported to be professional, especially when it’s plugged in due to a great preamp onboard.

However, at this price, it’s unacceptable to hear any buzz from playing or get faulty tuners, so guess this Kala didn’t have the quality control like the rest of their catalog. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This model was made from all solid wood. It comes with a vintage plain reddish Mahogany color accompanied by the basic white rosette, nice black bindings, and lighter rosewood fingerboard with chrome frets.

Soundwise, it resonates much deeper when compared to Laminate models and its tone will develop further as it ages. Lower tones stand out in a completely different league.

To match its league, a premium Fishman Kula preamp with Sonicore Pickup was installed. It gives you 3-band EQ and volume knob control along with the dedicated LED display for the chromatic tuner. It allows you up to 240 hours of battery life.

Bottom Line

Solid body Ukuleles are usually the keepers. They are often bought once in a decade and this model will grow on you as its sound breaks in so you’re going to really appreciate the premium electronics installed in this model.

Best Electric Concert Ukulele:
Enya Nova U/BK Cutaway

Enya Concert Ukulele AcousticPlus Nova U/BK EQ 23” Cutaway Carbon Fiber Beginner Travel Ukulele Kit with Case, Strap, Capo, Strings (Black)

PROS

  • Available in 5 plain colors
  • All made from Carbon Fiber
  • Water-resistant, easy to clean
  • Side holes installed for better playing control
  • Transacoustic pickup installed with additional effects

CONS

  • Delay effect is missing
  • We would prefer EQ control instead of effects

What Recent Buyers Report

People who are buying this model are usually aware of how Carbon Fiber can be good sounding, especially at low G setup. And they love how modern it looks, especially with those side holes.

However, they would like those pre-installed effects had more “in your face” presets. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Solid wood Ukuleles might be expensive, but Carbon Fiber models can be easily made with the same concept at a much lower price. 2 pieces were used to make this model, one for the body, other for the neck, and fretboard.

Apart from such a futuristic approach, the sound hole is also changed so a part of it is placed on the side panel so a portion of the sound is sent directly to the player.

Also, unlike usual setups, the installed preamp has 3 knobs, but those control reverb and chorus effect instead of typical 2-band EQ. A nice and unexpected modification. 

Bottom Line

Carbon Fiber is a futuristic material and something that will probably be exploited a lot in the years to come so even if you’re not overwhelmed with this specific model, there could be nothing wrong to get used to it on time.

Best Electric Bass Ukulele:
Kala UBASS-JYMN-FS Journeyman

Kala UBASS-JYMN-FS Journeyman Acoustic-Electric U-Bass With F-Holes Ukelele Bass Guitar

PROS

  • Exceptionally deep sound
  • Padded gig bag included
  • Laminated Mahogany with Satin finish
  • Equipped with Aquila Thundergut Strings
  • Venetian Cutaway shape with f-holes design

CONS

  • Action is set too high
  • Not very loud in acoustic mode

What Recent Buyers Report

Several bass players reported that they were really impressed with what huge sound they can pull out from such a small body. They tend to carry it around for jamming sessions instead of upright basses. 

The only complaint was pointing out that the action could be lowered a little bit more.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

The Journeyman shares the original tone quality of Kala’s U•BASS lineup at a more affordable price and nice visual design with Venetian cutaway shape and f-holes installed on the soundboard. The cream binding matches the string color really nicely.

It is equipped with Kala’s Round Wounds strings which are actually re-branded Aquila Thundergut Strings. They contribute to the overall sound a lot which could easily replace most bass guitar sounds on a blind test.

Speaking of electronics, it is equipped with a UK-500B pickup, optimized for bass models, so that both 3-band EQ and the chromatic tuner will respond accordingly. 

Bottom Line

A proper and affordable Bass Ukulele was not easy to find, so the electric model was an even harder task. Luckily, Kala had a clear winner for us, especially for bassists that would like to have a portable instrument in their arsenal.

Best Electric Soprano Ukulele:
Luna Guitars UKE HTS KOA High Tide

Luna High Tide Koa Acoustic/Electric Soprano Ukulele with Preamp & Gig Bag, Satin Natural

PROS

  • Travel bag included
  • Preamp with 2-band EQ onboard
  • Walnut fretboard with black binding
  • Laminated Koa wood with Satin finish
  • Wonderful abalone rosette and fretboard inlays

CONS

  • Should provide 3-band EQ
  • No chromatic tuner on board

What Recent Buyers Report

If you disregard the unnecessary false advertisement about Koa wood (it’s actually laminate), the workmanship is reported to be quite good and the same goes for tone and intonation. 

The design details found on this model are reported as probably one of the prettiest on the market.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Luna Ukuleles were always exceptional regarding visual appearance and this Soprano Ukulele is no different. It’s one of those instruments that will catch everyone’s attention.

The thick black bindings on a Koa wood with Satin finish are marvelous and the abalone decorations on rosette and fretboard inlays along with the full moon on the first fret are one of the kind on the market.

Pickup seems to deliver a loud and clear sound with three sliders controlling the basic 2-band EQ and volume. The overall acoustic sound seems to be warmer than usual from this Ukulele size. 

Bottom Line

If you love details, then Luna is a brand we must recommend for you. You’re going to love the abalone wave shapes on the frets, while full moon detail on the first fret will make you feel truly unique.

Best Electric Baritone Ukulele:
Caramel CB103

Caramel 30 inch CB103 Zebra wood High Gloss Baritone LCD color display Electric Ukulele Professional Ukelele Kit Beginner Travel Guitar Starter Pack Bundle, Padded Gig Bag, Strap and Wall mount Set

PROS

  • Zebrawood Baritone Ukulele
  • Left-handed model available
  • Extra set of GCEA strings provided
  • Decent accessory bundle included
  • 3-band EQ and a built-in tuner with LCD color display

CONS

  • Poor customer service
  • Might be a little bit heavy

What Recent Buyers Report

If you take the time and just scroll over the reviews you will notice one simple advice - buy one. It was intended to be an affordable model for beginners.

So, to conclude, check the intonation upon arrival and if your model tunes well, the rest will be just fine.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This Baritone Ukulele is made from Zebrawood, so you can expect full tone with darker overtones which goes pretty well with this Ukulele type.

Having an extra set of GCEA strings, a Ukulele stand is a great add-on as it will allow you to tune the instrument just like the rest of the Ukulele models.

And what seems to be the most important thing, there is a model for left-handed players (Caramel CB103L) which seems to be identical to this one. It’s quite rare to find a left-handed Ukulele, so having an electric one under $200 is something worth remembering.

Bottom Line

Baritone Ukulele is an ideal middle ground for all guys who want to take an easy step between guitar and ukulele because of its string tuning. Having such an affordable electric model will help you save money for the next big step.

Best Acoustic Electric Ukulele Under $200:
Oscar Schmidt OU2E

Oscar Schmidt Concert Active EQ, Acoustic Electric Ukulele, OU2E w/Padded Gigbag & PC

PROS

  • Rosewood fingerboard and bridge
  • Fret markers printed on the neck top
  • Comes with padded gig bag and cloth
  • Equipped with UK2000 Active EQ pickup
  • Laminated Mahogany body with Satin finish

CONS

  • Poor quality stock strings
  • Frets could be better polished

What Recent Buyers Report

Users who bought this instrument were looking for something affordable they could bring out to the gig when needed. Apart from occasional quality control issues, the only real thing they didn’t like at all is the stock strings. In general, feedback is quite positive and they would gladly recommend this model to the others.

Why it Stands Out to Us

While being a budget model, it offers more than an entry-level sound quality of Mahogany body and really nice playing action on the standard Rosewood fretboard. The design is almost solid wood-like with no bindings on the side except for white sides on the Mahogany neck. 

The preamp does a good job of reproducing the sweet and mellow sound of a typical Soprano when being amplified with a basic set of tone control.

We must also say that it’s also provided with a decent padded gig bag, so you don’t have to worry about transportation issues. 

Bottom Line

This is a budget model that didn’t compromise too much on the soundboard of the instrument and it’s powered with a decent preamp. It will do a good job either as your first ukulele ever or your first electric ukulele.

Best Electric Tenor Ukulele:
Oscar Schmidt OU7TE

Oscar Schmidt Spalted Mango TENOR Acoustic/Electric Ukulele, OU7TE

PROS

  • 2-band EQ onboard
  • Abalone binding and rosette
  • Bright and clear ringing sound
  • Spalted Mango body with Gloss finish
  • Handcrafted quality and lifetime warranty

CONS

  • No tuner onboard
  • Mango pattern may vary a lot between models

What Recent Buyers Report

People would gladly buy this instrument again. They are very impressed by appearance but they do advise you to go to local music stores and put it on a one-time professional set up so that the action is optimized and you can get the most of its features.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Handcrafted models are special because there will be no exact copies of your instrument. They are also built with extra care compared to the factory models.

Such an approach goes excellent with Spalted Mango wood as there is no chance you will get two exact textures while the sound won’t be so different. Every model will produce loud, bright, and clear sound with warm overtones.

The only similarities you will get are the abalone rosette and bindings, ebony buttons, incredibly soft neck with low action setup, proper preamp equipped with the 2-band EQ, and the lifetime warranty.

Bottom Line

If you want a Ukulele that will stand out by its appearance, you can get a lot from this handcrafted Spalted Mango body grain lottery. Set it up with low G tuning and we guarantee that your ears will be refreshed.

Types of Electric Ukuleles 

Just like Acoustic Ukuleles, Electric Ukuleles are available in the same sizes. But, in case you’re unfamiliar with the types, let’s break it down in short for you:

Soprano

The soprano is the smallest Ukulele and probably the one you imagine in your head. It has the brightest sound and it’s the lightest model of all. As a size-matching compromise for adults, there are long neck models which have a Soprano body and Concert-like neck.

Concert

Concert Ukulele is a bit larger and this is mostly felt in fret sizes. It will be probably a much more convenient size for adults and the sound will have more depth when compared to the regular Soprano Ukulele. 

Tenor

It’s one of those Ukuleles where you can feel all the pros of having a low-G tuning instead of the regular high-G found at Soprano and Concert models.

Due to its bigger size, there are some subtypes such as Travel Tenor which are specially optimized for those who plan to play outside a lot.

Baritone

The baritone Ukulele is ideal for all guitar players as it’s the biggest Ukulele out there, but still smaller than a Guitalele and it still comes with 4 strings, but this time tuned the same as in guitar.

How to Use an Amp With an Electric Ukulele

Plugging an Electric Ukulele into the Amp is quite an easy process:

Besides the obvious necessity of having the Electric Ukulele and amplifier, all that you will need is a guitar cable, also known as 1/4” TS or unbalanced cable.

  1. First, connect your cable with both amplifier and instrument and then turn it on. If it’s already turned on, turn the volume down on either your amplifier or instrument first to prevent unwanted cracks and pops.

  2. Once connected, turn the volume up slowly to prevent unwanted feedback issues. If you hear distorted sound, turn down the volume on your instrument or gain knob on your amplifier - once it’s gone, increase the volume on the amplifier instead. 

  3. Based on the features on your amplifier you can tune up the sound or even add the effects such as reverb, delay, chorus, flanger or even turn on the amp simulation.

  4. Removing your cable goes the opposite way - turn your amplifier off and then remove the cable.

  5. Also, remember to remove the cable from your instrument once you’re finished with playing, as the battery will remain in an active state as long as there is a jack inserted.

Check the video below for a full overview: 

Conclusion 

Having an Electric Ukulele over Acoustic is a no-brainer for us. For just a little bit more money, you can have a lot more fun in both playing and recording. Also, you won’t have to worry about the venue size for any performance that may come up.

People Also Ask

Now let’s break some usual misconceptions about Electric Ukuleles and explain why they are worth considering it, what kind of amp, strings you need and what music genres are most suitable for this type of instrument. Also, let’s give you a short hint about the main difference between passive and active pickups: 

Is an Electric Ukulele Worth it?

We believe so. From our perspective, if you’re serious about playing the Ukulele, investing in an electric model is a great idea. 

The sound difference between acoustic models will be minimal, so, for just a little bit more money, you will always have an option to play at any venue. 

What Kind of Amp Do I Need For an Electric Ukulele?

Any guitar amp will work with Electric Ukulele. If an Amp has a drive you can even experiment and play on it as you would with a real electric guitar, so you can have a lot of fun. You can also play on PA speakers as well.

Are Electric Ukuleles Any Good?

In general, there should be no sonic difference between acoustic and electric models. Perhaps only Soprano Electric Ukuleles can sound a bit different as the preamp will occupy a decent part of the soundboard so those models can sound a bit thinner when played acoustic. Luckily, pickup and plugging in will solve that problem.

What Does an Electric Ukulele Sound Like?

It should sound pretty much the same as the acoustic Ukulele or what you would get if you put the microphone in front of an acoustic Ukulele. However, if you use some pedals in the FX chain, you can get various tones that are not possible otherwise.

What Strings to Use For an Electric Ukulele?

You would use the same strings as you would for your acoustic Ukulele. However, for models such as Tenor and Baritone, Titanium strings could produce a much louder tone which will be amplified by the pickup when you perform in electric.

Enya EUT-MG6 EQ Tenor

What Kinds of Music Can You Play on an Electric Ukulele?

The music genres won’t be any different. However, thanks to the effects you can stack on it, you can easily broaden your music range to blues, rock, and jazz songs. You can even try out and play lead themes just like you would on an electric guitar.

Can You Play an Electric Ukulele Without an Amp?

Yes, all Electric Ukuleles can be played acoustically with the given limitations in terms of loudness and the soundboard and string qualities. You can also skip the Amp and plug it in into the mixer directly, but in that case, you may need at least a passive DI box.

What is the Difference Between an Active and Passive Pickup on an Electric Ukulele?

The main difference lies in the dynamic range. Passive pickups are more affordable and they will capture subtle tones much better. 

Active pickups are louder and they can improve the overall tone if your Ukulele belongs to budget-class. But, they require battery power so, remember to always have a spare one in backup.



I'm a 35-year-old rock-oriented professional musician from Belgrade, Serbia with 20 years of field experience in various areas of the music industry. After graduating from elementary music school I joined my first band Alogia in 2001 which had incredible initial success with the debut album and became one of the greatest Balkan heavy metal acts ever. We have recorded several studio and live albums and played as an opening act for Whitesnake, Apocalyptica, and Paul Di’Anno. Meanwhile, I got a chance to collaborate with Roland Planet shop and get familiar with various music equipment for more than a decade. For the last eight years, I have done live audio mixing for numerous bands and other live and studio events, including some TV audio mixing for national television broadcast as well. Currently, I’m playing keyboards for one of the most authentic Serbian music rock legends - Dr. Nele Karajlić, also known for his work with Zabranjeno Pušenje and No Smoking Orchestra.