I’ve collected the best electric ukulele reviews for beginner and intermediate shoppers.
FYI, an electric ukulele is often called an acoustic-electric ukulele. It’s simply a uke that has special electronics that allow it to be plugged into a ukulele amp. These electronics are known as a pickup.
Lohanu Acoustic-Electric Concert and Tenor Ukuleles
Available exclusively on Amazon, Lohanu’s concert and tenor electric ukuleles are some of the most affordable models you’ll find online.
Lohanu’s online-only business model allows them to offer excellent quality and customer service at lower prices than some other brands.
Their all-acoustic ukuleles are among the highest-rated ukes on Amazon, and their electric models are basically the same but with the addition of a pickup.
The Lohanu pickup system includes volume, treble, and bass controls, as well as a built-in tuner. These models both come in a package that includes a gig bag, clip-on tuner, strap, and extra strings.
Donner DUC-4E and DUT-4E
Until recently, I didn’t know much about Donner ukes, but I kept seeing them pop on the Amazon bestseller list.
I decided to buy one for a review and was extremely impressed. The build quality and craftsmanship were excellent, and the uke sounded great. I felt it was an amazing value and one of the best overall beginner ukes on the market.
While I haven’t played one of their acoustic-electric models, I would assume that these ukes offer the same level of quality and value as Donner’s non-electric models.
Kala KA-TE & KA-CE
During my time managing a small acoustic music store, I’ve played hundreds of Kala ukes over the years. In my opinion, Kala makes some of the best acoustic-electric ukuleles for under $200.
As I mentioned in my article on the best beginner ukuleles, Kala is a well-established brand and they deliver a lot bang for the buck.
The concert-sized KA-CE and tenor-sized KA-TE are among the least expansive electric ukuleles in the Kala lineup. These models only cost about $50 more than their non-electric counterparts, which is a pretty good deal considering the high cost of a quality aftermarket pickup.
The under-the-saddle pickups on Kala’s acoustic-electric ukes are basic but good. They have controls for volume, bass, and treble, as well as a built-in tuner.
For the most part, these pickups offer a good reproduction of the instrument and are perfect for casual situations like jamming with friends or playing the coffee shop scene.
Cordoba 15CM-E & 20TM-CE Electric Ukuleles
I’ve been extremely impressed with the build quality, tone, and playability of Cordoba’s ukuleles. They make a great product for the money and should be on the shortlist for any player seeking a good beginner electric ukulele.
Both models feature a simple Cordoba-made pickup with volume control. Their more affordable 15CE-E is an ideal entry-level choice, while the tenor-sized 20TM-CE has a larger body and solid top for boosted resonance and richness.
The 20TM-CE also has a herringbone rosette and bridge inlay, adding a touch of class without going overboard.
Luna Electric Ukuleles
Luna is another company I feel offers good quality instruments at a reasonable price.
The pickup has basic volume, bass, and treble controls but no built-in tuners like the Kala models. The above-pictured package includes a gig-bag.
These model’s laser-etched tattoo patterns may not be for everybody, but it’s perfect for players seeking something a bit more unique.
If you’re interested in learning more, check out my full review of the Luna Tattoo concert ukulele.
Best Cheap Electric Ukuleles
The Aklot ukuleles above are the highest-rated cheap electric ukes available online.
At first, I was leery of their ultra-low price point, but after I purchased an AKT26 tenor (no pickup), I was convinced. My Aklot is beautifully made, plays like a dream, and sounds amazing. You can learn more at my full review.
The overall quality of Aklot ukes are hard to beat for the price, and the glowing customer reviews seem to indicate I’m not alone in that opinion.
If you don’t want to break the bank or just want a second uke to goof around with, these models seem to be a pretty safe bet.
Adding a Pickup to Your Ukulele
It’s possible to amplify a non-electric ukulele by adding a pickup. There are a number of different types of pickups, and they all have various pros and cons.
Brad Bordessa over at Live Ukulele has written what I consider the definitive guide to ukulele pickups, so for more on this topic, I’d check out his article.
For what it’s worth, my favorite ukulele pickup is the K&K Aloha Twin. I think these sound amazing, but you’ll probably want to turn to a pro for the installation.
Should You Install a Pickup or Buy an Acoustic-Electric Uke?
So, should you install a pickup in your existing uke, or invest in a new ukulele that already has a pickup installed?
In many cases, it may not make financial sense to pay for an aftermarket pickup installation. Having a skilled tech install a quality pickup can easily cost over $100, which is more than many people paid for their uke in the first place.
For many players, the best option is simply to buy a new ukulele with a pre-installed pickup.
There are a handful of DIY pickup options available online. Most are simple stick-on transducers that you attach to the top of the ukulele with double-stick tape or a tacky putty.
In my experience, these pickups are OK but not great. They get the job done, but the sound is never as good as professionally-installed pickups.
These stick-on pickups are fine if you just you want a cheap and easy way to electrify your uke, but if you plan on performing live or recording, I don’t think they’re the best choice.
You can’t take full advantage of acoustic-electric ukulele without an amp. I’m posting a handful of good entry-level ukulele amps here, but if you want to learn more, check out my review of the best ukulele amps to find out which model fits your needs and budget.