Top 7 Best Baritone Ukuleles – Chasing The Deeper Sound

Contrary to what most people think, the ukulele family is quite diverse. There are many different sizes and types to choose from. One of the less popular uke styles is the baritone. With that said, it's definitely an uke that has a lot to offer when it comes to sound and performance overall. Today we are going to show you our picks for the top 7 best baritone ukuleles on the market. As you'll see later, some of these are among the best ukes overall. Once we're done with that, we will discuss this type of uke in further detail. 

Top 7 Best Baritone Ukulele

PRODUCT

FEATURES

PRODUCT

IMAGE

PRODUCT

FEATURES

Kala-KA-SA-B-300x300

AR RATING 96/100

  • One of the best looking baritones out there.
  • Features binding around the top and pearl inlays.
Kala-KA-BEM-300x300

AR RATING 90/100

  • Great bang for the buck value.
  • Features solid mahogany body and neck.
Donner-DUB-1-300x300

AR RATING 88/100

  • Great design and awesome choice of tonewood.
  • Features a built in preamp system.
Lanikai Baritone Ukulele

AR RATING 88/100

  • Features great build quality all around.
  • Made out of good materials and hardware.
Kala-KA-BG-300x300

AR RATING 87/100

  • One of Kala's best bang for the buck models.
  • Features awesome mahogany body and binding around the top.
Oscar-Schmidt-OU52-A-U-300x300

AR RATING 85/100

  • Simple yet attractive and traditional design.
  • Features a nice rosette which adds to the aesthetics.
Caramel-CB103-300x300

AR RATING 84/100

  • Decent build quality and good tonewood.
  • Nice finish with plenty of aesthetic details.
Kala-KA-SA-B-300x300

AR RATING 96/100

At the very top of our list we find a nice Kala baritone that goes under the name of KA-SA-B. While Kala definitely has a very system for labeling ukuleles, they sure do know how to make a good one. Compared to most other models out there, this one has both the looks and the performance which makes it great.

The whole thing is made out of Acacia tonewood. In that regard it has a lot of similarities with some of Kalas smaller models. The neck is a mahogany piece and the whole thing features maple binding. Best of all, the fretboard comes with pearl inlays. In terms of tone, this Kala is on point just as we have expected.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    One of the best looking baritones out there.
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    Features binding around the top and pearl inlays.
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    Good sound which offers that authentic baritone experience.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    Its walnut fretboard takes some getting used to.
Kala-KA-BEM-300x300

AR RATING 90/100

That first Kala model represented what this brand can do in the high mid range. The one we are looking at here is more within the lower mid, higher entry level segment of the market. Even so, it's an awesome piece of kit which comes with a whole array of cool accessories. It has all you need to get started.

Despite its rather simple look, Kala KA-BEM features a nice mahogany body that is treated with a satin finish and black binding all around the top. It has that simple, authentic look to it. In terms of sound, you are looking at great range and plenty of depth. The kit that comes with it includes a tuner and more.

WHAT WE LIKE

  • check
    Great bang for the buck value.
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    Features solid mahogany body and neck.
  • check
    Great sounding baritone with plenty of accessories.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    Doesn't come with a spare set of strings.
Donner-DUB-1-300x300

AR RATING 88/100

Next we have a model that comes from Donner. It is the DUB-1 and it comes with a great set of features and a gig bag. What really took us by surprise was the level of detail this thing features. Donner did a great job at ensuring that you get the best bang for your buck in terms of looks.

Best of all, this value extends to its performance as well. The uke is a full mahogany build which gives it a nice, punchy sound. It comes with a built in preamp setup and uses a set of Aquila Nylgut strings. In essence, it is a perfect choice for performers who need a solid workhorse. Needless to say, it's great.

WHAT WE LIKE

  • check
    Great design and awesome choice of tonewood.
  • check
    Features a built in preamp system.
  • check
    Awesome tone and plenty of projection.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    On board tuner isn't always perfectly accurate.
Lanikai Baritone Ukulele

AR RATING 88/100

No list of ukuleles would be complete without at least one Lanikai model in there somewhere. This time around we are looking at Lanikai MAB. It is a great baritone that features a pretty unique look and great performance. At this kind of money, it might just be the optimal bang for the buck option on the market right now.

The uke features mahogany tonewood, awesome glossy finish and great hardware. We are talking good quality chrome tuners, NuBone XB bone and saddle, as well as a good bridge. The sound you are getting from this bad boy is full of depth but also definition. It is by far one of the best sounding baritones in this particular price range.

WHAT WE LIKE

  • check
    Features great build quality all around.
  • check
    Made out of good materials and hardware.
  • check
    Good sound with plenty of depth to it .

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    The fretboard is not as playable as we'd like.
Kala-KA-BG-300x300

AR RATING 87/100

As you can probably tell by now, Kala is going to be a dominant brand in this segment of the market. They simply offer the best and most diverse selection of baritones available at the moment. Their KA-BG is a very interesting model that features a traditional look and high levels of craftsmanship. It's a great value for the money.

What we like the most about it is its all mahogany build. Kala wouldn't be Kala if they didn't spice thins up with cool binding around the top and a simple, yet awesome rosette. In terms of sound, this thing is really amazing. You can expect a full, rich tone with plenty of projection. That makes it a great choice.

WHAT WE LIKE

  • check
    One of Kala's best bang for the buck models.
  • check
    Features awesome mahogany body and binding around the top.
  • check
    Great sound for the money.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    Could benefit from a change of strings.
Oscar-Schmidt-OU52-A-U-300x300

AR RATING 85/100

Oscar Schmidt is slowly rising to take on the largest brands in the business. What used to be a small guitar manufacturer became a proper player in a rather competitive industry. Because of all that, we are seeing more and more of their models in the ukulele segment of the market. We are talking models such as Oscar Schmidt OU52-A-U.

This simple baritone features a mahogany construction with a nice satin finish. One thing that you won't see elsewhere which this uke offers is an engineered wood fretboard. By using alternative wood for this purpose, they have managed to cut the costs down and make this uke more competitive. Combined with its awesome sound, it really is a great options.

WHAT WE LIKE

  • check
    Simple yet attractive and traditional design.
  • check
    Features a nice rosette which adds to the aesthetics.
  • check
    Great choice of tonewood and good sound.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    The strings are definitely not the best ones.
Caramel-CB103-300x300

AR RATING 84/100

Moving into more affordable models, we find the Caramel CB103. This is a pretty unique looking uke that packs a whole lot of great features at a competitive price .If you're just starting out but you simply need to have something that looks good and sounds good, this might be your best bet. It's a budget performer that looks awesome.

The whole thing is made out of zebra woo. The finish is a high gloss natural one, and there is binding around the top. All of that makes it quite attractive. Then we have the 3 band EQ with a built in tuner, which allows you to plug yourself in. Overall tone is great considering the price of this uke.

WHAT WE LIKE

  • check
    Decent build quality and good tonewood.
  • check
    Nice finish with plenty of aesthetic details.
  • check
    Good sound both plugged and unplugged.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    The built in tuner isn't always accurate.

The Story Behind Baritone Ukuleles 

It is no secret that baritone ukuleles aren't getting nearly as much love as the rest of their brethren. Sopranos and tenors are by far the most popular of the bunch, which we can mostly attribute to the general perception of uke tone. So, what's the deal with baritone ukuleles? What is their purpose and how do they fit into the whole picture? Those are the questions we will try to answer in this segment. 

To start things off, lets discuss what baritone is. As you probably know, this is the largest type of ukulele you can find. Because of that, it packs a massive amount of volume and projection. Its lower bout is close to that of a travel guitar, which means that it packs a pretty mean punch for an ukulele. Similarities don't end there, though. Already you can tell that baritones are not something a beginner would want to start on. If you are interested in beginner ukuleles, check out our dedicated guide for more.

Different Tuning 

One of the main differences between the baritone and other ukuleles is the fact that baritones are tuned differently. Where as your average uke will sport a GCEA tuning, a baritone is going to have DGBE. Do you see anything familiar with that tuning? If you are a guitar player, chances are that you recognize that tuning as top four strings on a guitar. That's a pretty fun fact which has a number of implications. At this point you are probably wondering whether or not you need to learn new chords. The answer is no. All of the chord formations will still work on a baritone but the root notes are going to be different.

The Ultimate Transitional Tool

The best thing about this different tuning is that you can easily transition into baritones if you have any guitar playing experience and knowledge. Many guitar players who are getting into jazz like to play baritones because most of the essential jazz shapes are played on the top four strings. With that said, a baritone can be a perfect transitional tool for a guitar player. Its size is closer to an actual guitar which also applies to the fretboard.

Much Deeper Sound 

Here is where baritones are starting to break away from your traditional ukuleles and step into a territory of their own. A baritone has a much deeper sound than a soprano. This is also the main reason why baritones are not so popular among average uke players. While the depth is definitely tangible, baritones generally lack that traditional ukulele vibe. Many like to compare them to a mini classical guitar in this regard. However, all of that depends on the uke itself. There are baritones out there who do a good job at preserving that classic uke tone, while others really do sound like a classical guitar. Finding the one that fits your needs is the key.

What To Look For In A Good Baritone? 

Generally speaking, baritone ukuleles are measured by the same set of standards as any other ukulele. The only real difference is that most of the good ones have a solid cedar or spruce top of some kind. This would be another thing they have in common with acoustic and classical guitars. Due to their size, baritones are generally more expensive. Because of that, you won't really find them in the entry level segment. The ones you do find there won't be all that great.

Conclusion

Baritones, despite all of their quirky features, are definitely an awesome instrument. This type of ukulele has a lot to offer if you can look past its different tone. We've chosen what we think are the best baritones on the market right now, and as you can see, they belong to diverse price ranges. This way you're guaranteed to find something that fits your budget and style. If you're a guitar player wanting to get into ukuleles, baritones are probably your best bet. All you really have to do is learn a few new chords and you're good to go.

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