7 Best Concert Ukuleles In 2020 For All Budgets

So, you’ve been stacking up some serious screen time hours trying to find the best concert ukuleles.

Maybe you are in search of an upgrade or you know a concert ukulele would make the perfect gift for a loved one. Either way, you are in the right place! 

I have done all the heavy lifting for you and curated this list of the best concert ukes on the market.

Snapshot: Top 7 Concert Ukuleles in 2020

  1. Cordoba 25CK Concert UkuleleBest Under $1000
  2. Eastman EU3C Concert UkuleleBest Under $500
  3. Kala Solid Mahogany Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Concert UkuleleBest Under $400
  4. Kala Ziricote Concert UkuleleBest Under $300
  5. Concert Ukulele Professional Series by Hola! Music (Model HM-424SSR+)Best Under $200
  6. Oscar Schmidt OU2 Mahogany Concert UkuleleBest Under $100
  7. Paisen Rosewood 23-inch Hawaii Ukulele Professional Concert Ukulele

Researching a Great Concert Ukulele

While researching the concert ukuleles, I took a couple of things into consideration. When it comes to high-end ukuleles, I always want to take a close look at the craftsmanship that has gone into each ukulele.

Small details and unique craftsmanship really make all the difference to both the way the ukulele sounds and, of course, how it looks. We also did a post on the best tenor ukuleles and the best baritone ukuleles so you can check those out as well or if soprano ukuleles are more your thing that post is also worth reading.

Now, I do realize our bank balances are not unlimited, so I also included some great affordable options. When buying a lower-end ukulele, I always check exactly what materials are used and pay close attention to how the concert uke sounds straight out of the box, as they don’t age the same as solid wood ukes.

Okay, now that is out of the way, on with the reviews!

1. Cordoba 25CK Concert Ukulele Review – Best Under $1000

Cordoba 25CK Concert Ukulele with Deluxe Gig Bag
47 Reviews
Cordoba 25CK Concert Ukulele with Deluxe Gig Bag
  • Solid acacia top and back
  • Acacia sides
  • Natural satin finish

Cordoba turned to the master craftsman Pepe Romero Jr when designing the 25CK concert ukulele. If there are any guitarists reading this – are you fangirling yet? I am a huge fan of Romaro Jr’s work, so the Cordoba 25CK had to make my list of the top concert ukuleles . Here is why…

Body

I just love how much grain you can see coming through on the Cordoba 25CK’s body. I feel like it almost looks vintage. So, if you are into your retro interiors, this guy will look perfect on display. Its body is made of all solid wood (which does wonders for the sound, but I’ll get to that later). You can really see the attention to detail that went into crafting the Cordoba 25K. It has a beautiful herringbone rosette around its soundhole, which is a really nice contrast to its warm, grainy body. A herringbone tie-bar adorns its bridge too – which is such a nice touch.

Neck & Hardware

The Cordoba 25CK has a beautiful mahogany neck. Its natural satin finish feels lovely when playing, especially if you are more of a plucker than a strummer. The icing on the top of this uke is its gold open-geared tuners. We all know how much I love those! They add to its sort of retro-looking aesthetic and their pearl-white tuning heads go nicely with the ukes herringbone rosette.  All these little details add up to make the Cordoba 25CK much more than just an instrument – it’s a work of art.

Sound

This concert ukulele strikes the perfect balance between the classic, bright ukulele and the modern mellow sound. It’s such a happy sounding ukulele. I mean, I have never played a sad sounding concert uke, but the Cordoba 25CK honestly makes me smile every time I hear it. You will hear such a lovely blend of tones when strumming. Even if you prefer finger plucking, you’ll love this uke. Sometimes concert ukuleles can sound a bit plinky (for lack of better words) but the Cordoba 25K keeps its lovely warm sound, especially when strumming.

Spec Summary

  • Body: Solid acacia top and back with a natural satin finish
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard Material: Ebony
  • Bridge: Rosewood

Spanish design concert ukulele with a retro look

Final Thoughts on the Cordoba 25CK

The Cordoba 25CK is easily the best concert ukulele you will find under $1000. I just love its blend of retro-looking and classic Spanish design. It looks as if it’s straight out of a vintage store, but it sounds fresh and beautiful. The Cordoba 25CK would be the perfect upgrade. If you’ve been thinking about making the investment in an instrument but just haven’t found the right on yet… Well, now you have!

2. Eastman EU3C Concert Ukulele Review – Best Under $500

Eastman EU3C Concert Ukulele
1 Reviews
Eastman EU3C Concert Ukulele
  • Concert Size Ukulele
  • Top: Figured Mahogany - Back: Figured Mahogany - Sides: Figured Mahogany - Fretboard: Rosewood - Binding: Rosewood
  • Tuning Machines: Grover - Nut: Bone

The Eastman EU3C is a cracking little instrument. The amount of volume it can produce is insane.

Can you tell I’m excited?

You’re going to love this one. When a ukulele really makes you excited – that’s when you know you’re on to a winner.

Body

Well, if you thought the Cordoba 25K was vintage – wait until you see this uke. The Eastman EU3C’s body, sides and back are made of figured mahogany.

What’s the difference between straight grain and figured mahogany you ask?

Well, there’s not a huge difference (if any) when it comes to the tone of the uke. Figured mahogany has more of a sort of “tiger stripe” finish. Oh no, did I just manage to make a ukulele sound tacky? It’s not, I promise. Joe exotic won’t be knocking on your door any time soon, don’t worry! But, when I’m paying a little extra for a uke, its these stylistic differences that I look out for.

Okay, now can we just take a moment of silence for this gloss finish. I’m not usually the biggest fan of gloss but man, it’s like looking in the mirror… You can’t really make it out from the photos, so I thought I’d throw that in there. You’re welcome!

Neck & Hardware

The Eastman EU3C Concert ukulele has a beautifully curved heal that is just to die for. It’s a very minor detail, but again, that’s exactly what you should look for if you’re going to splash the cash on a higher end uke. The rosewood fingerboard almost looks like it’s been polished, which makes it blend in really nicely with the gloss finished mahogany. The Eastman EU3C has 12 frets before the neck-joint. As concert ukuleles go, that’s not very generous. However, if you tend not to travel too far up the neck or if you prefer strumming, this won’t matter.

Another thing I will note is that the neck is not edge-bound so make sure you check that the frets are nice and flush when it arrives! I mean, they should be, but it’s always good to make sure.

Sound

The top of the EU3C is almost wafer-thin, giving this concert ukulele so much volume it’s unreal. One thing I love about this uke is how bright it sounds, which is kind of surprising for a solid wood concert ukulele. The Eastman EU3C sounds amazing straight out of the box but, of course, it will sound even better over time. So, make sure you play your solid wood ukulele regularly to get the best sound out of it.

Spec Summary

  • Body: Solid figured mahogany front, back and sides with a mirror gloss finish
  • Neck: Figured mahogany
  • Fretboard Material: Rosewood with nickel-silver frets
  • Bridge: Rosewood

A loud, bright sounding concert uke with vintage design

Final Thoughts on the Eastman EUC3 Concert Ukulele

The Eastman EUC3 is the best concert ukulele under $500, especially if you play in a band or on stage often. With its sheer volume, you’d soon outplay drums! Plus, you’d be the star of the show any day of the week with this glossy, vintage-looking, tiger-striped beauty.

3. Kala Solid Mahogany Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Concert Ukulele Review – Best Under $400

Sale
Kala KA-SMHCE-C Solid Mahogany Concert Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Ukulele, Small
4 Reviews
Kala KA-SMHCE-C Solid Mahogany Concert Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Ukulele, Small
  • Concert size
  • Faux Tortoise Shell Binding w/ Black and white purfling
  • Rosewood Fingerboard and Bridge

Okay, the Kala Cutaway Concert has a special place in my heart. It is the best ukulele you can buy under $400 by a mile. This is the first acoustic-electric uke I ever bought, and I’ve never looked back. So, I’d better get on with the review before I start pouring my heart out.

Body

Honestly, this Kala concert ukulele is so cute. Bad word choice? Maybe, but I can’t help it, it looks like a baby guitar with its tiny little cutaway.

Can you tell how excited I am to be writing this review?

I find ukuleles with cutaways really comfortable to play. For any ladies reading… Do you sometimes find that your ukulele kind of catches in places, shall we say? Well, a uke like this with a cutaway is the solution. Its body sits perfectly as you play, either with a strap or without.

Neck & Hardware

Something I really love about this Kala Concert uke is its faux tortoiseshell binding. What can I say? It matches my sunglasses… Just kidding, but it is a unique touch. This concert uke actually has 20 frets – I know, crazy right? There’s 14 before the joint, which is just perfect if you love fingerpicking as much as I do. So, if you’re someone that needs a little bit more room in the finger department – you’ll love this uke. However, I’m not going to lie, there’s one thing I’d change about this concert ukulele. If it were up to me, the tuning heads would be tortoiseshell too. Then it would be perfect in my books, but we can’t have everything, right?

Sound

Fingerpickers – I bet you’ll have the Kala Cutaway Concert in your basket by the time you’re finished reading this review. It sounds so incredibly soulful. I mean, if Oatis Redding was a ukulele, he’d be the Kala Cutaway. You can actually get a really nice bluesy effect with this uke too. It’s so much fun to play around with.

Spec Summary

  • Body: Solid mahogany with a satin finish and faux tortoiseshell binding
  • Neck: Solid mahogany
  • Fretboard Material: Walnut
  • Bridge: Walnut

A soulful acoustic-electric ukulele, perfect for fingerpicking

Final Thoughts on the Kala KA-SMHCE-C Cutaway Concert Ukulele

This soulful ukulele is absolutely perfect for your first acoustic-electric uke. If you love fingerpicking, you’ve got to try this instrument out. You won’t regret it. It’s got that classic ukulele sound when strumming but picking is when it really comes to life.

4. Kala Ziricote Concert Ukulele Review – Best Under $300

Okay, okay, I’m a fan of the Kalas, but they’re definitely the best ukes you’ll find in this price range. So, I wanted to include my favorite acoustic Kala Concert ukulele too. The Kala Ziricote is a very quirky looking instrument (my favorite) and it sounds divine.

Body

This uke is another little figured wood number. It’s ten times more unique looking than any of the other concert ukuleles featured on this list.  So, if you really want to stand out, the Kala Ziricote is your best bet. Now, I’m a bit of an environmentalist, therefore, one thing I really like about this uke is that ziricote wood is actually very sustainably harvested. That may not mean much to you, but it’s always good to know. I love the eye-catching stripe down the middle of this concert ukulele. I’ve never really seen anything like it before and that’s what makes it the best concert ukulele under $300.

Neck & Hardware

When you’re looking for a good concert ukulele, always check that the neck is made of nice solid wood. I love that the Kala Ziricote has a nice straight, solid mahogany neck. Yes, dark woods like ziricote are beautiful, but they move way too much overtime to be used to make the neck of a ukulele. Concert ukes usually have between 15-20 frets. Personally, I think the more frets there are the better the uke, especially for fingerpicking. Luckily, the Kala Ziricote has a whopping 20 frets, so I think we’re covered where that’s concerned.

Sound

The beautiful dark ziricote wood gives such a deep, warm sound. The Kala Ziricote can sound a tiny bit plinky if you tend to strum using your fingernails, but you can always use a leather pick to combat that. I really think Kala have hit the nail on the head for fingerpickers like me. This concert ukulele sounds so beautiful. It’s not quite as soulful as the Kala Cutaway Concert, but it’s definitely a close second.

Spec Summary

  • Body: Solid ziricote with a gloss finish
  • Neck: Solid mahogany
  • Fretboard Material: Walnut
  • Bridge: Walnut

A striking solid ziricote ukulele with a beautiful warm sound

Final Thoughts on the Kala Ziricote

The Kala Ziricote would make the perfect gift (preferably for me, but if you’ve got someone else in mind, I guess that’s okay). This is an incredibly unique ukulele with a beautiful warm sound. To be honest, I’m surprised it’s under $400 – it definitely doesn’t look it.

5. Concert Ukulele Professional Series by Hola! Music Review (Model HM-424SSR+) – Best Under $200

Sale
Concert Ukulele Professional Series by Hola! Music (Model HM-424SSR+), Bundle Includes: 24 Inch SOLID Spruce Top...
181 Reviews
Concert Ukulele Professional Series by Hola! Music (Model HM-424SSR+), Bundle Includes: 24 Inch SOLID Spruce Top...
  • Hola! Music HM-424SSR+ Limited Edition Professional Concert Ukulele Bundle, SOLID Spruce Top, Ebony Back & Sides with Aquila Strings, Padded Gig Bag, Strap and Picks - Satin Finish
  • Built to perfection using the best materials, this ukulele is the best gift you can buy for yourself or your loved one!
  • HM-424SSR+ Concert Ukulele features: Solid Spruce top, Ebony back and sides, Mahogany neck, Rosewood fingerboard and bridge.

This is a more affordable, solid wood concert ukulele. I’m a huge fan of Hola! Music’s professional series. It’s always great when you find a really nice solid wood ukulele under $200. I definitely think this is the best concert ukulele you’ll find for this price.

Body

The use of contrasting woods is what really draws me to this concert ukulele. I love spruce, it gives the ukulele such a pretty tone and, of course, this only gets better with age. The uke’s beautiful inlaid binding and rosette add something a little bit different too. One thing I love about the Hola! Professional concert ukulele series is their compensated saddles. They fit the gauge of the strings perfectly and really help give it a perfect tone. If you are in the market for a more budget-friendly ukulele, this is something to look out for.

Neck & Hardware

This Hola! Music Concert ukulele has a bone nut, which alongside its compensated saddle makes for a beautiful sounding uke. It only has 18 frets, which is to be expected on concert ukuleles under $200. If you prefer strumming to plucking, this won’t be an issue, but it is something to keep in mind. I love this uke’s classical guitar headstock. It’s really pretty. The way you can see the gold tuners through the headstock is a lovely touch. Also, yay – more open geared tuners! That’s what I like to see.

Sound

Thanks to this Hola! Music Concert Ukulele’s compensated saddle and bone nut, the strings give off a really precise tone. The precision tuners are also really high-quality. Something you’ll often find with ukuleles under $200 is that the quality of their tuners begins to deteriorate. Luckily, the high precision tuners on this concert ukulele hold the intonation well. It has a lovely mellow sound and is great for percussive playing.

Spec Summary

  • Body: Solid spruce top with ebony back and sides
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard Material: Rosewood
  • Bridge: Rosewood

The best solid wood ukulele you will find at this price

Final Thoughts on the Concert Ukulele Professional Series by Hola! Music (Model HM-424SSR+)

This is the best concert ukulele if you are past the “beginners” stage and looking to make an upgrade. It’s beautifully unique with its classical guitar headstock and inlaid binding. If you are used to playing a 20-fret concert ukulele, it might take a little bit of time to adjust, but other than that this is a brilliant little instrument.

6. Oscar Schmidt OU2 Mahogany Concert Ukulele Review – Best Under $100

Oscar Schmidt OU2 Mahogany Concert Ukulele Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD, and...
406 Reviews
Oscar Schmidt OU2 Mahogany Concert Ukulele Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD, and...
  • Everything you need to start playing straight out of the box! Bundle includes Oscar Schmidt OU2 Concert Ukulele, Gig Bag, Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD, Clip-On Tuner, and Polishing Cloth
  • Mahogany top, back & sides
  • Rosewood bridge

The Oscar Schmidt OU2 concert ukulele is really good value for money. Not only does it look great, but it sounds great too. There are a couple of things you should check before you buy a concert uke at this price tag, but I will get into that in more depth in just a sec. If you are looking for an affordable concert uke, the Oscar Schmidt is definitely the best under $100.

Body

As is expected at this price point, the Oscar Schmidt OU2 is made of laminate mahogany. So, you still get that solid wood look without the expensive price tag. If you are one for sitting around a campfire with your ukulele, the OU2 is a great option. Laminate wood keeps the stress at bay. You won’t have to worry about any changes in temperature or humidity messing with your uke.

Solid wood ukes are so sensitive. I mean, you put one foot out of line and they’ll pack their bags, I’m telling ya! Sorry, bad joke… What I am trying to say is, you can easily give this uke to a kid and it will still come back in one piece. Depending on the kid, of course…

Neck & Hardware

The Oscar Schmidt OU2 comes with great action. This is something you should check before you buy a more affordable ukulele. Lower action is much easier to play with but if it is too low you’ll get a horrible buzzing sound when strumming. However, this concert ukulele gets an A+ from me for its action, so we’re all good in that department.

Sound

This concert ukulele can get loads of volume and has a really mellow sound. Also, the great thing about laminate wood is that you can play as percussive as you like and you don’t have to worry about scratching up his lovely body. It is worth noting too that if you’re going for a more affordable uke, maybe spend a little extra on some nice Aquila strings. You know, just to vamp it up a bit!

Spec Summary

  • Body: Laminate Mahogany
  • Neck: Laminate Mahogany
  • Fretboard Material: Rosewood
  • Bridge: Rosewood

The perfect starter ukulele for percussive playing

Final Thoughts on the Oscar Schmidt OU2 Mahogany Concert Ukulele

If you want to start learning how to play percussively but don’t want to scratch up your solid wood ukulele, the Oscar Schmidt OU2 is for you. This concert uke is also the best beginner uke you will find under $100. Personally, I think when you are just starting out you should look over the $50 mark because that’s when you’re going to get some nice, mellow sounding ukes like this one.

7. Paisen Rosewood 23-inch Hawaii Ukulele Professional Concert Ukulele Review

Paisen Rosewood 23 inch Hawaii Ukulele Professional Concert Ukulele with Tuner, Capo, Trim Folder Thick Piano Bag,...
56 Reviews
Paisen Rosewood 23 inch Hawaii Ukulele Professional Concert Ukulele with Tuner, Capo, Trim Folder Thick Piano Bag,...
  • 1. 1.This is an upgraded version :No engraving "Ukulele guitar" on the surface of ukulele, Rosewood panel , with 199 Hawaiian traditional manufacturing process, with excellent sound, treble bright,...
  • 2.Material:The body,neck,fingerboard and bridge are made of rosewood.High quality production process bring you more delicate and brighter sound.
  • 3.Easy to learn, anyone can do it !

Okay, so I wanted to add this Paisen in because it is another great affordable option.

Quick disclaimer – the only reason I don’t think it’s the best concert ukulele under $100 is because it does sound a tiny bit plinky (guys, if you’ve got a better word than “plinky” please let me know!) but that can easily be combated with some better strings. So, I put the Oscar Schmidt over the Paisen because it sounds great straight out of the box.

Body

This concert ukulele has a lovely curved back, bringing the sound to the center of the uke. Some people prefer straight backs for comfort reasons, however, I think it is a great feature on affordable ukuleles as it improves the sound quality. I just love how this uke looks. It is almost steampunk in design. I can honestly imagine a character in mad max playing one of these up on those big trucks. Now, that’s something I’d like to see…

Neck & Hardware

I just love the asymmetric cut of the fingerboard, it really adds to the steampunk vibe. It does, however, compromise the last three frets. So, if you are experienced in fingerpicking and like traveling all the way up the frets, this maybe isn’t the concert uke for you. This wouldn’t really have an impact on beginners or younger players though.

Sound

As I mentioned earlier, the Paisen’s back is nicely curved, so it has the ability to produce a lot of volume and a nice mellow sound. I believe it comes with SHENG strings, which really aren’t my favorite. They do have quite a nice bright sound, so if you are a beginner, they’d probably be great. I prefer a mellow sound so I would swap them out for some Aquilla 7Us which you could buy for around $10. I think this uke would also sound beautiful with a low-wound G. It is really great to play around with more affordable ukes. Get creative!

Spec Summary

  • Body: Laminate rosewood
  • Neck: Laminate rosewood
  • Fretboard Material: Rosewood
  • Bridge: Rosewood

A beautiful looking, affordable ukulele – the perfect gift!

Final Thoughts on the Paisen Rosewood 23-inch Hawaii Ukulele Professional Concert Ukulele

I think this Paisen concert ukulele would make the perfect gift for a beginner. It looks really unique and it can produce some great mellow sounds. Personally, I love how it looks and am thinking about getting one for my little sister. I think she would love it.

Concert Ukuleles for Everyone!

Well, I hope this has given you some more clarity on the best concert ukuleles on the market.

Ultimately, if you have got a large budget to work with, first of all – fancy sharing? Just kidding.

Jokes aside, if you do have the budget for a great concert ukulele, I highly recommend either the Cordoba 25K or the Eastman EU3C. Alternatively, if you’re not ready to splash the cash, but still want a beautiful solid wood concert uke, the Kala Ziricote is just wonderful.

Of course, I must mention my first love again, the Kala Cutaway Acoustic-Electric. In fact, I will be surprised if you haven’t all already ordered him. If this guy isn’t in your basket yet, what are you waiting for?

Lastly, if you are a beginner or just not ready to take the plunge into the world of solid wood, the Oscar Schmidt OU2 will be your new best friend!

Further Reading:

Last update on 2020-08-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About Fiona

Fiona is a musician and writer. When she’s not working, she’s either playing the ukulele or finding another instrument to add to her collection.