Did you know that the ukulele isn’t a Hawaiian invention? That’s right; ukuleles were invented by Portuguese sailors who landed in Hawaii back in 1879, which is how the ukulele got its Hawaiian identity.
Concert ukes are sized just right for beginners, experts, and intermediate ukulele players, making them a good all-around choice for most concert ukulele players. If you’re looking for a reliable concert ukulele, the Hricane UKS-2 should be at the top of your list because of its high-quality design and unmatched sounds.
In this guide, we’ll help you pick the best concert ukulele for your needs. So, let’s get started right away!
What’s a Concert Ukulele and Why Should You Buy One?
A concert ukulele is a type of ukulele that sits right in the middle between the soprano ukulele and the guitar when it comes to size.
Its sounds are fuller and the tones are warmer than soprano ukuleles, thanks to its bigger size. At the same time, concert ukuleles are compact enough for beginners to learn comfortably without being as large as acoustic guitars. The size of a concert ukulele is just right for you to easily reach all strings without stretching your fingers.
Concert ukuleles are capable of producing pro-level sounds. With a concert ukulele, you’ll be able to get those distinctive sounds produced by the traditional Hawaiian ukuleles.
The 10 Best Concert Ukuleles in 2022
Alright, now let’s take a look at some of the most promising concert ukuleles you can buy right now and what makes each of them worth considering.
1. Hricane UKS-2 – Best Overall
The Hricane UKS-2 concert ukulele flaunts a beautiful satin finish that lets you see the tiny wood grains, so if aesthetics are a big thing for you, this concert ukulele won’t disappoint.
The UKS-2 concert ukulele is mostly made from Sapele wood, with an 18-brass-fret walnut fretboard that looks and feels premium. Not to mention, there are position marks near the frets, which make it easier for you to play the instrument if you’re a beginner.
The Hricane UKS-2 is capable of generating harmonious, smooth sounds that’ll make you fall in love with it every time you use it.
The carbon nylon string setup can be easily changed whenever you want to, making this ukulele a good choice for newbies.
- Beautiful, high-quality design with a satin touch
- Bright sound
- Easy to play for beginners
- Interchangeable carbon strings
- Requires sanding the frets every once in a while
2. Ortega Guitars RUMG-CE – Best Concert Ukulele for Experts
The Ortega Guitars RUMG-CE provides the best tradeoff between quality and cost. With a sub-$500 price tag, the RUMG-CE concert ukulele features a high-quality construction made from mango wood.
Yes, you heard that right; this concert ukulele is made from a mango tree! As a result, you’ll notice this ukulele looks unique. You won’t probably come across a concert ukulele that looks like this one.
On top of that, the RUMG-CE’s satin finish compliments its unique design, and with a maple fretboard, the contrast between the colors of the two wood types makes it look gorgeous.
Oh, I almost forgot, the fret buttons are gold-colored and boost a black accent. Sounds premium, doesn’t it?
Moving on to the sounds, the RUMG-CE concert ukulele features a cutaway pattern, in addition to a built-in tuner, which greatly contributes to its unparalleled sounds.
The Ortega Guitars RUMG-CE isn’t exactly a beginner-friendly ukulele, though. You’ll only get the most out of this instrument if you have some experience playing the ukulele.
Along with the concert ukulele itself, you get a gig bag, but that’s about it. I would’ve liked it if more accessories were included, like some of the other best concert ukuleles, or at least that’s what I would expect at this price tag.
- Exotic mango tree build
- Beautiful fret buttons with gold and black accents
- Rich sound with built-in tuner and cutaway pattern
- No accessories except for a gig bag
3. Kmise KMU23C – Best Beginner Ukulele
If you’re just starting out with your ukulele journey, the Kimse KMU23C would be a fantastic choice for you, thanks to its affordable price tag.
It sports a premium mahogany-constructed design that makes you wonder how this ukulele was made available at such a low price. What makes things even more interesting is the beautiful satin finish that’s mostly found in higher-end models only.
The walnut fretboard has smooth-ended fret wires that prevent scratching, something that most beginners struggle with.
Along with the Kimse KMU23C, you get a strap, tuner, gig bag, and strings, in addition to some free online tutorials and an instructions manual. For less than $100, the KMU23C offers insane value as an entry-level model.
My only concern with this concert ukulele is that the strings are comparatively tight, but they should stretch out with continuous usage.
- Affordable price tag
- Smooth-edged fret wires
- Comers with lots of accessories and free instructions and online lessons
- High-quality mahogany build with satin finish
- Tight strings (in the first few weeks)
4. Luna Tattoo Mahogany Acoustic-Electric Concert Ukulele – Best for Tattooed-Design Enthusiasts
One of the things that make the Luna Tattoo concert ukulele stand out from the crowd is its eye-catching laser-tattooed design.
It features a laminate wood build with a mahogany veneer that not only looks great but also feels durable. The neck is made of rosewood, while the strings are constructed from nylon. The bridge is made of walnut, and the frets are made of nickel.
The Luna Tattoo’s sounds are rich and warm despite its low price tag. For a beginner, this concert uke seems like a pretty solid pick. It’s made of high-quality materials, looks beautiful, and produces amazing sounds. An experienced ukulele player would enjoy it too.
The only downside of the Luna Tattoo is that the frets wobbled a bit when I tried to tune the uke. Nevertheless, things got better after I used the instrument for a while.
- Beautiful design
- Laser-tattooed body and walnut fingerboard
- Warm and rich sounds
- Nylon Aquila strings are easy to play
- Wobbly frets
- Build quality isn’t on par with higher-end models
5.Lanikai LU-21C – Best for Beginner and Intermediate Uke Players
The Lanikai LU-21C Professional concert ukulele boasts a wooden satin finish and sound hole. The back of the body is constructed from Nato wood, which ensures a warm tone. The front, as well as the neck, are made of Eastern mahogany for aesthetics. What’s more, the fretboard is made of rosewood for the perfect balance between style and sound.
The Lanikai LU-21C comes with lots of accessories to complement your setup. These include a gig bag, an extra strap, an additional set of Aquila strings, a polishing cloth, and a digital clip-on tuner with a battery. You won’t likely need to purchase anything extra once you get this bundle.
The sound of this instrument is pretty impressive for its price. Despite being an intermediate-level instrument, you should be able to get high-quality pro sounds with it. It’s also worth noting that it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
My only complaint about this concert uke is the tuner. It’s a bit unstable, and the tuning instructions can be complicated, but it shouldn’t be that big of a problem when you get used to it.
- Nato wood construction
- Warm sounds
- Lots of accessories included
- Affordable model
- Unstable, hard-to-use tuner
6. Oscar Schmidt OU2 – Best Concert Ukulele for Players With Big Hands
The Oscar Schmit OU2’s size is just right for people with big hands. There’s adequate space for you to move your fingers freely without compromising the sounds. Speaking of the sounds, this uke is capable of producing smooth, soothing sounds that’ll remind you of Hawaiian ukes.
The top and back sides are constructed from mahogany, while the bridge is made of rosewood. This ensures a warm, balanced sound while making the instrument look beautiful.
I also like the satin touch, which definitely adds to the overall premium look and feel of the instrument.
The open geared tuners are made of chrome, and you should have no problem using them as a beginner.
The cherry on top is that you get some accessories with the Oscar Schmidt, which include a gig bag, an Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD, a clip-on tuner, and a polishing cloth.
I’ve found this instrument to be spectacular for most songs, but when I use high frets, I start to feel that the performance is compromised a bit.
- Excellent build quality with a rosewood bridge
- Easy tuning and playing for beginners
- Good price with instructional DVD
- Beautiful design
- Performance in higher frets could be better
7. Enya EUC-M6 – Best for Glossy Uke Lovers
The Enya EUC-M6 ditches the common satin touch that most concert uke manufacturers adopted in favor of a glossy finish. While satin makes the wood look beautiful and natural, the glossy finish gives the EU-M6 a rock ‘n’ roll vibe.
This concert uke looks like a mini guitar, partly because of its glossy finish and top cut out. It’s made of mahogany, and the die-cast tuners are made of gold agate. Additionally, the fretboard features a mother-of-pearl inlay. This means you can make some curls and birds in a mother-of-pearl setting, something that you won’t likely find in other concert ukes.
The Enya strings are super high-quality and enable you to nail those rich tones even if you’re still starting out. You’ll notice that your low tones are bold and high notes are sharp.
The EUC-M6 can be a good choice for both beginners and advanced musicians that enjoy guitar-style tuners. Its price tag is neither too low nor too high, which also makes it suitable as a gift for a music lover. You wouldn’t want to give this one to a kid, though.
On a side note, keep in mind that the EUC-M6 lacks some accessories as it only comes with a padded gig bag.
- Unique glossy finish
- Precision tones with high-quality strings
- Mother-of-pearl inlay
- Limited accessories
8. Martin C1K – Best for Left-Handed Players
If you want a concert uke that mimics the sounds of Hawaii, the Martin C1K is capable of delivering just that. The top, back, and sides of the C1K are made of Hawaiian Koa wood, providing you with the authentic resonant sound of the Hawaiian uke.
The pure sound is made possible with high-quality tonewood, and that’s exactly what makes the Martin C1K a great choice for most ukulele players.
The Sipo fingerboard provides better bass that balances the neutral sounds produced by the Koa wood. What’s more, the sanded fret wires are excellent, but they make it obvious this isn’t a beginner instrument.
In addition, the satin touch is eye-catching and complements the uke’s overall look. This is one of the most beautiful musical instruments you’ll ever lay your eyes on.
The nickel-plated tuners provide utmost stability, something expected from a Martin ukulele.
It’s also worth noting that this uke is perfect for left-handers. You can easily reverse the order of the strings and play the ukulele just like a right-handed person would.
Plus, the carbon nylon strings ensure a high-quality sound and uncompromised playability and durability.
The Martin C1K comes with a branded gig bag that looks stylish and provides adequate protection for your uke.
- Hawaiian Koa body
- Simple and classic design
- Superb tonal qualities
- A bit pricey
9. Kala KA-PWC – Best for Intermediate Uke Players
The Kala KA-PWC boasts a walnut construction that produces excellent sounds without costing you more than $200. This makes the KA-PWC one of the most affordable models.
The tone quality is just right; nothing too aggressive here, although I noticed that it has a little bit of extra treble, especially when you fret the bass notes on the low G.
The rosewood bridge and fingerboard in this uke are definitely appreciated. They take this uke into the professional-level category. I’m also a big fan of the geared tuners.
The sound produced from this uke is super stable, making it a good choice for intermediate players. It also comes with lots of accessories like a gig bag, polish cloth, and a tuner.
The bone nut included in this uke is a bit high for the strings, though.
- High-quality tuners
- Warm sound with rosewood fingerboard and bridge
- Comes with multiple accessories
- Bone nut is too high
10. Cordoba 15CM-E – Best Beginner Alternative
The Cordoba 15CM-E appealed to me almost instantly once I started playing with it. The playing experience is fantastic, and the sound quality is top-notch.
Plugging this concert ukulele into an amp will open up a whole new world of possibilities for you. The treble-filled notes aren’t affected by the bass notes, something that most uke manufacturers almost never get right.
Moreover, the 15CM-E provides easy access to onboard volume control. You can also customize the tone blend by playing around with the EQ, and you’ll get a great sound.
As for the build quality, the Cordoba 15CM-E boasts a mahogany body, along with cream-binding contours for a traditional ukulele look. The satin finish looks quite fancy too.
Moreover, the Cordoba 15CM concert ukulele is equipped with nylgut Aquila strings that maintain a consistent pitch quality. The height of the strings is very suitable for beginners to produce excellent sound.
I would’ve preferred a rosewood fingerboard with this uke, but I was surprised that the neck and bridge are made of a composite material.
- Superb playability and sound quality
- Aquila nylgut strings
- Mahogany body
- The fingerboard is composite, not solid wood
How To Choose the Best Concert Ukulele For Your Needs
Here are some of the things that you need to take into consideration when shopping for a concert ukulele:
Rosewood is often incorporated in the fingerboards and backs and sides of ukuleles to improve overtone and low-end transmission.
Since rosewood is a relatively dense tonewood, it’s usually coupled with a softwood for the other parts of the concert ukulele, especially when there’s a rosewood fingerboard.
Spruce is an exotic wood that ukulele manufacturers use to make the top part of concert ukes.
It provides a dynamic midrange, as well as amplified highs and resonance. When used alone, solid spruce wood can make your uke sound weird, so manufacturers combine it with maple or mahogany to balance it out.
Because cedar isn’t a very dense tonewood, concert ukes made of cedar boast sweet tones, with particularly high responsiveness to strumming. Cedar concert ukes are capable of producing warm or dark tones depending on how you play with your instrument.
Mahogany is one of the most commonly used tonewoods in concert ukes. Manufacturers like to use it because of its versatility. It produces rounded top-ends and full low-ends, as well as a dense mid-range.
A concert uke made of mahogany will likely have a mahogany neck too. Manufacturers also use other tonewoods with mahogany, but there’s a good chance that at least the top, sides, and back will be 100% mahogany.
Koa is a classic tonewood that was more commonly used in traditional ukes in Hawaii, but some manufacturers still release commercial Koa concert ukuleles.
Koa wood is pretty dense and has exotic grain patterns that can be noticed almost instantly. The tones produced by Koa ukes are unique, and the tonality is perfectly balanced. Koa wood is also strumming and fingerpicking-friendly.
Concert ukuleles don’t have major size variations. However, even slight size changes can make a difference in how you play the instrument. You might want to try out a few concert ukuleles to find the best one for your playing style and hand measurements.
Most ukuleles come with gig bags. However, some manufacturers take it a step further by including accessories like a strap, a polish cloth, and an extra clip-on tuner, providing more value for your money.
If you’re a beginner, opting for a budget concert ukulele would make more sense. You should find some good beginner-level concert ukuleles for under $100. Advanced players, on the other hand, might want to explore higher-end concert ukes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Concert Ukuleles Good for Beginners?
Concert ukuleles are great for beginners. They’re not designed exclusively for beginners though, but since a concert uke is a middle ground between a soprano and baritone uke, it’s very versatile.
Should I Get a Soprano or Concert Ukulele?
The soprano size is suitable for casual uke playing. Soprano ukes are also portable and easy to carry. On the other hand, the concert size allows for a bigger number of frets and is more playable than the smaller soprano uke. You’ll probably need a gig bag to move around with a concert uke, though.
To recap, the choices are vast when it comes to the best concert ukulele.
The price range is pretty vast and there are lots of manufacturers, but that’s a good thing since you’ll have more freedom to choose the concert ukulele that suits your playing style and experience the most.
My favorite is the Hricane UKS-2 concert ukulele, as it ticks all boxes for me. It’s made of high-quality materials and looks great. The sound quality is also spectacular, making it one of the best concert ukuleles on the market.