The Best Soprano Ukuleles in 2020 – reviewed and rated right here!
There are plenty of models vying for the title of best soprano ukulele and it can be hard to choose just one. The soprano size is the most common uke size after all, plus it’s the one that’s most often recommended for children to use.
Out of all the excellent soprano ukuleles out there, we’ve managed to pick out six of the very best. It was quite a feat we assure you, but we did enjoy selecting what we think should be on your list when you go shopping for your first or your next ukulele. Here we go!
Our Top Soprano Ukulele Picks
|ADM Soprano Ukulele||The ADM Ukulele - wait, what? You haven’t heard of it? We were completely oblivious to its existence before as well, but we were very pleasantly surprised upon getting acquainted with it. The ADM soprano uke is designed for beginners and comes with a bunch of accessories including a gig bag and ukulele note stickers. The bundle costs less than $35!|
|Kala MK-S Soprano Ukulele||A mainstay when it comes to recommendations as the best soprano ukulele, the Kala MK-S Makala uke meets every need. It’s affordable and easy to play for beginners, and it’s also a great option for experienced players looking for a decent backup or travel ukulele. For more savings you can even get the Kala MK-S bundled with ukulele accessories.|
|Diamond Head DU-150 Soprano Ukulele||The Diamond Head DU-150 is another affordable soprano uke that beginners to long-time players would like. It has a classic look, with a maple body and neck, geared guitar-style tuners and a simple yet charming rich mahogany brown finish. The materials aren’t premium but they do keep the cost of the uke down, and sound quality isn’t sacrificed at all.|
|Luna Honu Turtle Soprano Ukulele||Now if you’re looking for something that’s far from being plain in appearance, this is the best soprano ukulele for you. The Luna Honu Soprano Ukulele is beautifully designed and features a traditional Hawaiian tattoo pattern laser-etched around its soundhole. We’re looking at the Honu Turtle variant, which also features stylized shark’s teeth-shaped fretboard inlays. It’s a breathtaking little uke!|
|Luna High Tide Soprano Ukulele||Here’s another Luna uke, and this time it’s an electro-acoustic. The Luna High Tide Series Koa Soprano Ukulele features a koa body, a nato/mahogany neck and a rosewood fingerboard. It’s equipped with a pickup/preamp system so you can shape your tone and amplify your sound as you wish. Highly recommended for players who want more from their uke.|
|Martin OXK Soprano Ukulele||Martin makes amazing acoustic instruments and the OXK Uke is no exception. This soprano ukulele is part of the brand’s X-Series and features a koa-pattern high pressure laminate body, a sturdy Stratabond neck and a morado or rosewood fingerboard. This is a quality soprano ukulele with a simple and elegant construction you’ll be surely proud to have in your collection.|
The ADM ukulele features a basswood top and lindenwood back and sides. This tonewood combination produces a bright tone that’s just right for a soprano. The sound is actually very good for an entry-level model. The fingerboard is also made of basswood, providing a smooth playing feel.
Because it’s designed for beginners, it’s offered along with a complete set of accessories. These include a waterproof nylon gig bag, a clip-on tuner with a digital LED display, a hook-in strap, a polishing cloth, an extra set of strings and ukulele picks. The starter pack bundle also comes with a card showing basic chords and ukulele note stickers you can put on the fingerboard to guide you as you learn.
The ADM soprano ukulele measures 20.88 inches long and 6.9 inches wide. It’s available in a variety of colors, including brown, purple, pink, mocha and black, among others.
- Plenty of colors to choose from
- Complete starter kit for a cheap price
- Great to give as a gift for beginners
- Action is high out of the box - needs a setup
- Factory strings not the best, replacement necessary
- Doesn’t stay in tune long even after strings have stretched
The Kala MK-S Makala Soprano is one of the best beginner ukuleles you can find today. It’s also a favorite among ukulele enthusiasts because of its playability, good build and affordable price.
Part of the Makala Classic line, the Makala Soprano ukulele features a mahogany top, back and sides. It has a simple, classic satin finish that makes the surface smooth while allowing the wood to vibrate freely. The neck is also made of mahogany. On top of it is a walnut fingerboard with 12 frets.
The youngest beginners will find it easy to play the Makala Soprano, thanks to its compact size. It measures just 20.875 inches long overall, with the scale length measuring 13.625 inches.
The Kala MK-S bundle comes with a complete set of accessories so beginners can start playing right away. There’s a gig bag with backpack straps to keep the uke safe from dust and scratches and make it more portable. There’s also a standard ukulele strap, which is attached to the uke’s soundhole via strap clips. Beginners will also receive a clip-on chromatic tuner, an instructional DVD covering ukulele basics, a cleaning cloth and an extra set of Aquila Nylgut strings.
The Diamond Head DU-150 soprano ukulele is a fantastic option for players who like to keep things simple. This uke sports a body and neck made of maple and stained with a rich mahogany brown finish. The finish not only makes the ukulele more attractive, it also protects it from scratches and makes the DU-150 more durable. The dark-stained hardwood fingerboard and bridge provide a nice contrast.
What sets this model apart from other soprano ukuleles in its price range are its guitar-style geared tuning machines. The nickel-plated tuners with their white buttons have a high gear ratio and a smooth turning action, making it easy for ukulele beginners to tune their instrument. The tuners add a level of sophistication to the otherwise simple, humble uke.
The Diamond Head DU-150 soprano ukulele also features a tie-on bridge, which minimizes string breaking and makes it easier for players to change their strings when necessary.
This soprano ukulele comes with a sturdy black nylon gig bag for hassle-free storage and transport. For a few more dollars you can get the complete starter kit, which also includes a pocket guide and picks. The ukulele comes set up with colored educational strings by Aquila.
- Starter kit option with color-coded strings
- Good intonation
- Low, comfortable action
- Stock strings don’t hold tension well and go out of tune constantly - replacement recommended
- More suitable for kids, not adult beginners serious about playing ukulele
Excellent playability, a beautiful design and a wonderful sound – these are what the Luna Honu Turtle soprano ukulele offers the discerning player. This uke, along with other Luna ukuleles, boasts embellishments inspired from the body tattoos of native Pacific Islanders. The geometric patterns are laid out in different shapes to represent what we see in nature, such as waves, the sun, fish and the like.
This particular soprano ukulele we’re recommending features an exquisite design based on the honu, a Hawaiian turtle. The honu symbolizes endurance and longevity. The honu design is laser-etched around the ukulele’s soundhole in place of a traditional rosette.
The Luna Honu Turtle ukulele has a mahogany body and neck as well as a rosewood fretboard. Serving as position markers on the 12-fret fingerboard are mother-of-pearl stylized shark’s teeth, though at first look they may simply look like triangles.
This soprano ukulele also has a set neck for greater stability, a C-shaped neck profile for playing comfort, an expertly carved rosewood bridge, open gear tuners and a satin natural finish. The Luna Honu comes with a gig bag so it will be easier for you to bring it along wherever your feet may take you.
The ukuleles in Luna’s High Tide Series are all made using exotic tropical hardwoods. In terms of design, the ukuleles feature fretboard markers that represent the waves that rise with the pull of the moon. A pearl full moon sits on the first fret, and below it are the abalone wave fret markers that ‘rise’ the closer they are to the moon. It’s a clever and unique fretboard inlay design.
The Luna High Tide Soprano ukulele boasts a solid koa body and a mahogany neck, producing a deep, rich and full sound with clarity and lasting sustain. Koa has long been the tonewood of choice among ukulele traditionalists for its looks and tonal quality.
And if you need a little more oomph from your uke, you’ll be glad to know that the Luna High Tide koa ukulele also has an onboard pickup/preamp. The piezo pickup captures the acoustic sound seamlessly and the proprietary RD-0904TL preamp lets you dial in your volume and tonal preferences.
This acoustic-electric ukulele also has an abalone ring around the soundhole, walnut fretboard and bridge, pearloid open-style geared tuners, multi-ply binding of maple and walnut, a C-shaped neck profile and a satin natural finish.
Martin instruments are some of the best in the world. The OXK Uke is just one of the many Martin ukuleles that prove why the brand deserves the trust and continued patronage of musicians. It’s a well-designed soprano uke that’s built to last.
The Martin OXK is part of Martin’s X-Series. In fact, it’s the first ukulele to be included in that lineup. The top, back and sides of the OXK are made from a high-pressure laminate wood with a Hawaiian koa pattern textured finish. The laminate makes sure the ukulele is as durable and sturdy as it can be. The body is paired with an equally strong and resilient brown-colored Stratabond neck with a fingerboard that’s made from either rosewood or morado.
The Martin OXK uke has a simple, toned-down look that many players find appealing. If you’re not into flashy ‘tribal’ designs, you’ll love this Martin uke’s quiet and unassuming presence. The use of alternate materials (HPL and Stratabond) in no way compromises the sound quality that Martin instruments are known for.
Other features include a white Tusq nut and saddle, nickel Grover tuners with white buttons, dot position markers, a single-ring rosette and a morado bridge.
The Best Soprano Ukuleles and Their Strings
Any experienced player would tell you to change your strings even if you’ve only just gotten hold of your ukulele. A different set of strings can make a ukulele sound like an entirely different instrument, and can make a dull-sounding uke sound better instantly.
How is this so? What is it about ukulele strings that can make or break your playing experience?
Let’s dive into a discussion of ukulele strings. Many beginners don’t exactly think of the strings when they get their ukulele, excited as they are to start playing. But the strings play an extremely important role in how the ukulele sounds. It works together with the other parts of the ukulele such as the nut, saddle, fretboard and the top, back and sides of the uke to produce sound.
If you’re starting out playing ukulele, here’s what you need to know about ukulele strings.
What soprano ukulele strings are made of
Traditionally, ukulele strings were made of catgut, which is a cord made from the natural fibers found in the intestinal walls of goats, sheep, horses, hogs, donkeys, cattle and mules. Why it’s not called goatgut we have no idea, but we’re positive there were no cats involved in the making of catgut.
Over time ukulele manufacturers shifted to a more animal-friendly material: nylon polymer. There are many nylon string variations used for ukulele strings, including fluorocarbon, titanium, aluminum and probably the most common, Nylgut. Nylgut is a synthetic (man-made) material that has the best qualities of nylon and the traditional gut strings.
There are strings made specifically for soprano ukuleles as well as concert, tenor and baritone ukuleles. The different ukulele sizes also have different tension requirements, so the strings they have should be able to properly meet those requirements.
Why soprano ukulele strings need to stretch
When you first get your soprano ukulele, you may feel frustrated because it won’t stay in tune. Don’t be. The first few days of ukulele acquisition can test your patience, but you need to understand that going out of tune is a normal part of a new ukulele’s life – more particularly, it’s normal for new strings to take time to stay in tune.
Because the core material of the string (nylon) is stretchy, new strings are constantly adjusting to the tension or the pull coming from the tuners and the bridge. You will need to retune your ukulele every now and then for new strings until these have settled. You will know when the strings have more or less stabilized when you check your tuning and you find you don’t have to adjust as often.
So when you get your ukulele and tune it, expect to do so several times during the next few days. Don’t wail and complain that your uke never stays in tune – be patient! We know you’re excited to play for hours, but as with many great things big and small, it just takes a little time.
When to change the strings on a soprano ukulele
Changing the strings on your soprano ukulele is another normal part of life as a uke player. There’s no hard and fast rule about when exactly to change your strings aside from “when they break.” That’s definitely a signal you need a new set. But you can, and in some instances should, change your strings before something snaps.
Upon receiving your ukulele – some ukuleles that come straight from the warehouse may have strings that have been on them for months or possibly even years. They’re probably not in the best condition when you receive your uke. Even the best soprano ukuleles when new could benefit from a complete string change.
If the strings look, feel and sound ‘cheap’ – some soprano ukes, particularly entry-level or budget models, may have strings that aren’t of good quality. When you get a new ukulele, assess the condition of the strings if they need to be changed. In most cases, the verdict is yes.
When you want to improve the sound of your uke – a new set of strings – clean, without any dirt or grime, and preferably of a higher quality, can make your soprano ukulele sound better instantly. If you feel like the sound coming from your uke isn’t as bright or tinkly as before, your strings may have worn out so they don’t perform as well as they used to. Time to swap them out for new strings!
Ukulele String Tips
● Wipe down your ukulele before and after you play. Use a soft and clean cotton cloth. Pay special attention to the strings to make sure they’re free from dirt and dust and so that grime won’t accumulate.
● Always have a spare set of strings handy. You’ll never know when one can break!
● Watch videos on how to properly restring a ukulele so you can do it yourself. It’s easy!
● When restringing, take the opportunity to give the fretboard a thorough cleaning.
● Let new strings stretch until they have stabilized for good intonation.
● Try different strings that fit your soprano ukulele. Different strings offer a different sound and playing feel. You may lean toward strings that produce a brighter sound or perhaps a more mellow one. Just keep testing until you find the set that fits your playing style and sound preferences.