Top 8 Best Ukuleles Under $300 – The Mid Range Segment Full of Surprises

Mid range ukuleles are the most interesting segment of the market if you are looking for the optimal performance to price ratio. The price range we have chosen for today is pretty much in the middle of that segment. We are going to show you our picks for the top 8 best ukuleles under $300, some of which are easily among the best ukuleles available on the market. Later we'll get into what makes this price range so interesting and what new things it offers compared to lower segments. With that said, lets get right into the thick of it.

Top 8 Best Ukuleles Under $300

PRODUCT

FEATURES

PRODUCT

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PRODUCT

FEATURES

Fender-Montecito-Tenor-300x300
  • A very high level of build quality.
  • Features solid Koa construction.
Oscar-Schmidt-OU57-R-U-300x300

AR RATING 94/100

  • One of the best looking ukes out there for sure.
  • Features spalted mango all around.
Kala-KA-ZCT-C-Ziricote-300x300

AR RATING 94/100

  • One of the most unique looking ukes out there.
  • Features great sound and good projection.
Enya-EUC-M6-300x300

AR RATING 93/100

  • Good build quality all around.
  • Features good sound and plenty of volume.
Kala-KA-SSTU-T-300x300

AR RATING 93/100

  • Great build quality as expected from Kala.
  • Features a solid spruce top over mahogany body.
Lanikai-ACSTS-300x300

AR RATING 91/100

  • A unique type of tonewood adds some diversity.
  • Great sound and build quality.
Fender-Grace-Vanderwaal-300x300
  • Great kit that features everything you could need.
  • Good build quality and choice of materials.
Kala-KA-TEME-300x300

AR RATING 90/100

  • A gorgeous and unique looking tenor.
  • Comes packed with awesome accessories.
Fender-Montecito-Tenor-300x300

AR RATING 95/100

Their legacy and authority in the world of guitars has allowed Fender to experiment with different types of instruments. Branching into ukuleles was only logical if you really think about it. Fender Montecito is a tenor ukulele which brings an awesome combination of design, performance and price. It is both traditional and very much Fender inspired at the same time.

What seals the deal is the tonewood. Fender went with solid Koa all around, which gives the Montecito a very traditional vibe. The only real design feature that breaks the tradition is the headstock, which was borrowed straight from a Telecaster. The entire top and fretboard are bound. In terms of tone, this uke is very easy on the ears.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    A very high level of build quality.
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    Features solid Koa construction.
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    Great sound for the money.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    That Telecaster headstock takes some getting used to.
Oscar-Schmidt-OU57-R-U-300x300

AR RATING 94/100

Oscar Schmidt has always been known for their ability to bring quality at a reasonable price. Their acoustic guitars were also known for their interesting designs and exotic tonewood. Needless to say, Oscar Schmidt took some of those practices and applied them to ukuleles. The result are models like Oscar Schmidt OU57-R-U. This thing is gorgeous looking and awesome sounding.

Right off the bat you'll notice that it features odd type of tonewood. Your eyes are not deceiving you. What you are looking at is spalted mango which is what the entire uke is made of. Tone wise, it still retains that classic uke sound everyone's after. Further more, they've added abalone binding and rosette as well as Grover tuners.

WHAT WE LIKE

  • check
    One of the best looking ukes out there for sure.
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    Features spalted mango all around.
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    Grover hardware makes it rock solid.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    It is a baritone ukulele.
Kala-KA-ZCT-C-Ziricote-300x300

AR RATING 94/100

Although this price range is definitely not the place where you expect to see bundles and kits, Kala offers a few and they are pretty good. The one we have chosen to show you is the Kala KA-ZCT-C Ziricote. If you are starting out and need a proper uke with all of the accessories, this is definitely a great option.

Ziricote is a very peculiar type of wood which shows when you take a look at this uke. Its aesthetics are pretty unique to say the least. In terms of sound, it still has that classic ukulele vibe to it. The only difference is that it's a bit deeper due to the concert size. Overall, this is an awesome kit.

WHAT WE LIKE

  • check
    One of the most unique looking ukes out there.
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    Features great sound and good projection.
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    Comes with awesome accessories in the kit.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    Black binding gives it a strange appearance.
Enya-EUC-M6-300x300

AR RATING 93/100

Ever since ukuleles became popular different brands were trying to find new ways of spicing things up. This has lead to a few fairly interesting designs. Enya EUC-M6 is definitely one of them. This ukulele is anything but traditional. While purists might find it disturbing, those who need something different and unique will certainly appreciate its odd features and aesthetic.

To start things off, we have to mention that this is a full mahogany build. The cutaway, although quite significant, doesn't really affect the sound too much. Then there is the Ibanez like headstock which really gives the whole package an odd look. Lacquered fretboard with an intricate inlay design is also kinda awesome. Overall this ukulele is pretty great.

WHAT WE LIKE

  • check
    Good build quality all around.
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    Features good sound and plenty of volume.
  • check
    Made out of solid quality mahogany tonewood.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    The design is an acquired taste to say the least.
Kala-KA-SSTU-T-300x300

AR RATING 93/100

Next comes another Kala model. This one goes under the name of KA-SSTU-T, which doesn't really tell much. To really get to know it, you need to spend a few minutes observing it. What you'll find is a great little tenor uke which is appealing to those who need something that is modern but also traditional at the same time.

The ukulele itself is made out of solid spruce for the top and mahogany for the rest of the build. This gives it a somewhat mellow tone but one that still doesn't stray too much away from the classic uke tone. Overall, this model offers good combination of price and performance. That is something we're used to seeing from Kala.

WHAT WE LIKE

  • check
    Great build quality as expected from Kala.
  • check
    Features a solid spruce top over mahogany body.
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    Has a very modern look to it.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    The gig bag it comes with isn't the best.
Lanikai-ACSTS-300x300

AR RATING 91/100

It was only a matter of time before we ran into a Lanikai in this segment. The model we've chosen for you offers a good representation of what this brand is capable of doing. Lanikai offers the ACSTS with a gig bag, which makes up for a nice little kit. That might appeal to you if you're just starting out.

When it comes to build quality and materials, you are looking at an Acacia build. Exotic woods aren't really unheard of, but Acacia is definitely rare. Overall, the sound it offers is nice and has a unique flavor compared to your run of the mill mahogany build. The hardware is also quite nice, including good quality tuners which work great.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    A unique type of tonewood adds some diversity.
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    Great sound and build quality.
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    Comes with a well padded gig bag.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    Factory strings don't do it justice.
Fender-Grace-Vanderwaal-300x300

AR RATING 91/100

Next we have another Fender. This time around it is a Grace Vanderwaal signature model and it comes packed with all kinds of cool features. For starters, the kit includes Fender's deluxe bag, a good quality Fender clip on tuner and an instructional DVD while you gain access to Fender's online lessons as well. That's pretty decent all things considered.

The ukulele itself is a failry standard Fender design. It is a concert body made out of sapele with a nice walnut finish. White binding around the top and the fretboard give it a very nice look, especially when you add its
simple but gorgeous rosette. In terms of sound, this bad boy really has that classic flavor to it

WHAT WE LIKE

  • check
    Great kit that features everything you could need.
  • check
    Good build quality and choice of materials.
  • check
    Good sound that offers plenty of range.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    That Telecaster headstock take some getting used to.
Kala-KA-TEME-300x300

AR RATING 91/100

Last but not the least we have to mention one more awesome Kala tenor uke. This is an amplified ukulele which comes packed with a whole bunch of awesome accessories. They ship it with a gig bag, a clip on tuner and DVD lessons. The thng that really sets it apart from the rest of its competition are its looks.

Kala went with an exotic mahogany body which gives the top its tiger stripe look. The entire uke is wrapped in black biding, which can be found in the back as well. The sound it offers makes it one of the best tenors in this price range. When plugged in via its Kala UK-300TR electronics, you're getting pretty authentic performance.

WHAT WE LIKE

  • check
    A gorgeous and unique looking tenor
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    Comes packed with awesome accessories.
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    Features Kala's UK-300 TR electronics.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    A change of strings could improve the performance.

What Can You Expect To Find In The $300 Price Range? 

When you decide to spend $300 on a ukulele, you are basically committing to an instrument which should last you a long time and get you the level of performance you need. Many are wondering if that is what you get? The answer is a firm yes. Investing that kind of money into a ukulele gets you consistent performance and a sound which is on a whole new level of goodness compared to the lower mid range or entry level segment of the market.

While there may not be too much difference between absolute beginner ukuleles and ukuleles which cost $100, there absolutely is a lot of difference between a $100 uke and a $300 ukulele. What are these differences, though? Are they worth the extra money? Or are you just paying for branding? That is exactly what we are going to discuss in our next segment of this guide.

Brands 

Before we get to actual design improvements most often seen in this price range, lets briefly discus one phenomenon which is often overlooked. Brands play a major role when it comes to ukuleles just like they do with anything else. Once you reach this price level, you will start to run into a few brands which aren't that often seen below this point. That not only adds a bit of diversity into the mix, but it also ensures that you are getting the absolute best bang for your buck. Being able to get a proven brand's ukulele means that your investment is safe and that your chances of running into trouble are slim to none.

Diversity of Design And Materials 

Materials and design are the most obvious and important area where these ukes stand apart from their cheaper counterparts. If you really think about it, it is only normal. For starters there is much, much more solid mahogany  being used. Despite mahogany not being the traditional tonewood for ukuleles it is still a the most popular choice if you want the optimal sound for the money. With that said, there are different grades of mahogany which also makes a difference in tone quality and overall build quality. The wood used in this particular price range is often times very good. You will also run into a few exotic options like Acacia or similar. What it all comes down to is the fact that you get to choose just about every component and design feature.

Electronics 

Speaking of components, ukuleles in this price range often times come with built in electronics. This also applies for $500 ukuleles. Even though there are cheaper models on the market with preamps, it is worth noting that this segment of the market introduces more refined electronics which naturally offers better quality of sound when plugged in. If you need or want to record your music, going for an amplified uke is about as painless as it gets.

Conclusion 

At the end of the day $300 ukuleles are the sweet spot of the entire market. Sure, these aren't cheap but you're getting a whole lot of performance and features for this kind of money. If you're serious about playing ukulele, chances are that you will end up getting one of these ukes sometime in the future. If you can, you might as well start off with one. The models we have chosen were selected based on their performance, quality and overall reputation. We also wanted to show you how diverse this segment is, which explains the more exotic models.

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