Top 7 Best Soprano Ukuleles – Great Picks In The Most Popular Category

To most people, ukuleles are just that - ukuleles. Most see a simple instrument that has that funny, Hawaiian sound to it. However, when you take a closer look, you'll learn that ukuleles are divided into several categories depending on their size. One of the most popular, if not the most popular category are soprano ukuleles. Today we're going to show you our picks for the top 7 best soprano ukuleles on the market and talk about why some of these are among the best ukuleles overall. Afterward, we will look into this specific uke size and what makes it popular.

Top 7 Best Soprano Ukuleles

PRODUCT

FEATURES

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PRODUCT

FEATURES

Martin-110XKUKE-300x300

AR RATING 95/100

  • Good build quality as expected from Martin.
  • Features a simple design and aesthetic.
FAMOUS-by-KIWAYA-FS-5G-300x300

AR RATING 94/100

  • An awesome, traditional ukulele that sounds great.
  • Features good hardware and exotic tonewood.
Kala-KA-ZCT-S-300x300

AR RATING 90/100

  • A very attractive design which is full of surprises.
  • Comes with a great set of accessories.
Kala-KA-SSTU-300x300

AR RATING 89/100

  • A very attractive design which is full of surprises.
  • Comes with a great set of accessories.
Oscar-Schmidt-OU17-300x300

AR RATING 89/100

  • One of the best looking soprano ukes out there.
  • Features Spalted Mango construction which is fairly exotic.
Makai-LK-70E-300x300

AR RATING 88/100

  • A very good bang for the buck ratio.
  • Features exotic woods and proven construction.
Luna-Honu-Turtle-300x300

AR RATING 85/100

  • A truly unique look which makes it attractive.
  • Comes with a good choice of tonewood for the top.
Martin-110XKUKE-300x300

AR RATING 95/100

If you are just wondering what Martin is doing on this list, you should know that they have expanded their production to cover ukuleles a long time ago. The result of this action are awesome models which combine Martin's knowledge, experience and know how with good quality materials. Models such as Martin 110XKUKE are nothing to joke about for sure.

This particular one is made of koa patterned HPL, which is a high end laminate. That might come across as a deal breaker, but it really isn't. Even though we are no fans of laminates, especially in this price range, Martin's HPL is well known for its tonal properties and overall quality. In other words, there's nothing to worry about.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    Good build quality as expected from Martin.
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    Features a simple design and aesthetic.
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    Great sound with plenty of range to it.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    Use of laminates is the only drawback we could find.
FAMOUS-by-KIWAYA-FS-5G-300x300

AR RATING 94/100

Those who are familiar with higher end ukuleles have probably heard of Kiwaya. This Japanese brand is known for authentic, quality ukes which deliver in all fronts. Famous is to Kiwaya what Squier is to Fender. In other words, it is their affordable subsidiary which build ukuleles optimized to be affordable. As you can tell, this particular model isn't cheap.

That goes to show what proper Kiwaya ukes offer. The one we are looking at today is made of Hawaiian core and features good quality construction all around. It's a simple design with a subtle rosette. In terms of sound, you can expect a proper soprano experience. Also, this uke comes with a gig bag, pitch pope and a strap.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    An awesome, traditional ukulele that sounds great .
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    Features good hardware and exotic tonewood.
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    Comes with few accessories which make it a great kit.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    Might look a bit too simple considering the price.
Kala-KA-ZCT-S-300x300

AR RATING 90/100

Kala designs are always a surprise, even if you are looking at a very traditional model. Things become much more interesting when something like Kala KA-ZCT-S enters the mix. This soprano is truly an awesome example of what Kala offers in this particular price range. If you are looking for something that is both functional and attractive, this is it.

What makes this model so attractive is its Ziricote build. Exotic tonewoods are nothing new in the world of soprano ukes, but you really see this particular one. Ziricote gives this uke a very attractive look and awesome sound. Combined with a mahogany neck, it really offers a great performance. Also, the gig bag and clip on tuner are great.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    A very attractive design which is full of surprises.
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    Comes with a great set of accessories.
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    Features good sound and plenty of range.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    Could use a change of strings.
Kala-KA-SSTU-300x300

AR RATING 89/100

Sopranos are currently the smallest standardized ukulele body shape. However, there are models which are designated as travel ukes. In the world of acoustic guitars, a travel guitar is a smaller version of a normal instrument. In the uke world, a travel prefix means a shallow body. Even though you'd think that sopranos need depth, these models still work fine.

Made by Kala, KA-SSTU brings all of the features and quality you would expect from this brand. It consists of a solid spruce top and mahogany back and sides. The hardware is pretty decent and the entire thing is put together with confidence. In terms of actual performance, you are looking at decent sound despite the lack of body depth.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    A simple yet functional design.
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    Features spruce and mahogany body construction.
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    Good sound with a satisfactory amount of range.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    Not the best uke for volume.
Oscar-Schmidt-OU17-300x300

AR RATING 89/100

Speaking of interesting ukulele designs, Oscar Schmidt definitely has a few awesome sopranos to offer. One of the reasons why this brand is so popular these days is the fact that they aren't afraid to experiment with materials. Oscar Schmidt has been doing unorthodox designs long before they got acquired by Washburn. However, that practice has only been amplified since.

What we have here is a spalted mango soprano uke. That has got to be one of the rarest tonewood combinations on the market. From a purely aesthetic point of view, this uke is gorgeous. That tonewood looks incredible but abalone binding and rosette definitely help out too. Sound wise, you're getting a traditional soprano experience with its distinct tone.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    One of the best looking soprano ukes out there.
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    Features Spalted Mango construction which is fairly exotic.
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    Great sound and range for this kind of money.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    Factory strings feel a bit cheap.
Makai-LK-70E-300x300

AR RATING 88/100

Next we have a model coming to us from Makai. It goes under the name of LK-70E and it offers a variety of awesome features at a very reasonable price. Makai has found a very fine balance between good performance, good build quality and price. If you are looking for a good workhorse ukulele, look no further. This one rocks.

LK-70E features a solid spruce top paired with lacewood back and sides. As you can probably tell, this is another one of those ukes which come with an exotic type of tonewood included. The entire package feels very good in your hands and inspires confidence. In terms of tone, this ukulele offers that traditional sound in a slightly different package.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    A very good bang for the buck ratio.
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    Features exotic woods and proven construction.
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    A pretty playable soprano that packs a good sound.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    A change of strings would make it sound much better.
Luna-Honu-Turtle-300x300

AR RATING 85/100

If you are familiar with acoustic guitars, you have probably heard of Luna. This brand is known for their unusual motifs and strange designs which often dig into mythology. Luna Honu Turtle soprano isn't that extreme, but it still brings a very unique package that you won't see that often in the world of ukuleles. It's pretty interesting for sure.

What Honu Turtle offers is a spruce top paired with a nice mahogany shell. The neck is a set type and is connected to the body in a very reliable way. The whole turtle thing comes from the rosette, which features a turtle design. Overall, Honu Turtle is a well balanced uke. It looks pretty great and sounds even better.

WHAT WE LIKE

  • check
    A truly unique look which makes it attractive.
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    Comes with a good choice of tonewood for the top.
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    It packs a good sound which has plenty of range.
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    Comes with a fairly decent gig bag included.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    As usual, the strings are nothing to write home about.

Why Are Soprano Ukuleles The Most Popular Type? 

The story behind ukuleles is a long and interesting tale of Portuguese workers finding a way to entertain themselves in a time when there wasn't much else available. There is much more to it, but this is a short summary that works for our needs right now. The reason why we are even mentioning this is due to the fact that original ukes were based on a traditional Portuguese instrument which resembled a small guitar.

Right off the bat it was apparent that size was a factor when constructing ukes. If you really think about it, the smaller and more mobile the instrument was back in the day, easier it was for people to carry it around and play it. That stuck over time and that is why all ukuleles, not just sopranos, are small and compact. Speaking of soprano ukes, they are the smallest standardized type of ukuleles. In recent years we have seen an emergence of a smaller uke known as sopranissimo, although these won't become too popular any time soon. Now that we know why sopranos were popular back in the day, let's discuss why they are popular today.

The Classic Ukulele Sound 

The main reason, by far, why soprano ukuleles are so popular these days is their sound. The sound everyone associates with a ukulele is exactly the sound you will get from a soprano model. There are other uke sizes which offer that as well, but once you move into larger types, that classic uke sound starts to diminish and get lost in what is essentially a weaker classical guitar sound. Baritone ukuleles are especially guilty of this.

Price Makes A Difference 

Aside from its unique tone, it is worth stating another pretty obvious reason why sopranos are popular. They are small and take very little material to make. Because of that, they are cheap. Cheap means attainable and attainable means widespread. If you look at the beginner category of the market, you will mostly find soprano ukes. Same goes for ukuleles under $100. As you start increasing your budget, larger models will start appearing in the mix.

Are Sopranos Easier Or Harder To Play Than Other Types? 

The answer to this question depends on a number of things. If you have absolutely no experience with stringed instruments, every type of uke will be equally difficult to learn. However, if you have some knowledge of guitar, the larger uke types will be much more familiar. This is because baritone tunings are close to standard guitar tunings while smaller ukes like soprano are a whole different ballgame. One thing that might make sopranos easier to play is the short scale, which means that all of the notes are close together and there aren’t too many frets to worry about. From that standpoint, sopranos are probably optimal for beginners and kids as well.

Conclusion 

Soprano ukuleles are considered by many to be the gateway instrument for this entire family. They are compact, mobile and so easy to bring with you no matter where you are headed. The models we have chosen for this list are some of the best on the market. We have selected ukes from various price segments in an effort to show you what is available on the market. All you have to do is figure out is which model meets your needs, style and budgetary limitations. Pretty much all of them will offer a satisfactory performance at the very least.

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