The topic of today’s article is acoustic electric ukuleles, one of the most popular choices among today’s musicians and ukulele enthusiasts. These models deliver all the sonic greatness of an acoustic ukulele and also boast the ability to get plugged in and deliver that sound through a PA or amplifier.

I’ve encountered plenty of these puppies throughout the years and gladly offer my years of experience to make your choice easier. Let’s kick things off a quick look and then delve deeper, shall we?

Standard ukuleles are acoustic instruments, just like any unplugged stringed instruments, such as violins, guitars, and such. Acoustic electric ukuleles (which are sometimes called semi-acoustic or semi-electric ukuleles) feature the same design, but they can be plugged into electric amplifiers.

When unplugged, acoustic electric ukuleles sound the same as their fully-acoustic counterparts. However, if wired to an amp, semi-acoustic ukuleles gain a completely different tone, and you will be able to control their volume more easily.

Quick Look: Best Acoustic Electric Ukuleles

#1 Best Acoustic Electric Ukulele Overall: Luna Tapa


The main difference between an acoustic electric ukulele and an acoustic ukulele is the magnet (pickup) system. It absorbs the vibrations the strings produce, which are transferred to the amp.

Things to Consider When Choosing an Acoustic Electric Ukulele

You should approach buying an acoustic electric ukulele in a similar way that you would approach shopping for an acoustic one.

best acoustic electric ukulele

Its size and weight, sound, and price are the most important elements to consider. Let’s dive a bit deeper into these details.

Size and Tone

Semi-electric ukuleles are available in all sizes and types. However, the sonic signature of each ukulele type reacts to the pickup system differently. Additionally, the size of a ukulele influences its overall playability, especially in for beginners and children.

Soprano semi-electric ukuleles are perfect for youngsters, while concert ukuleles are great for teens and adults with smaller hands.

A tenor is an excellent all-around pick for a bit more experienced player, while baritones are for people who don’t mind handling the extra size and weight for the sake of a deeper tone.

Durability and Maintenance

Acoustic electric ukuleles are more delicate than fully acoustic ukuleles due to the built-in pickup system. This typically entails drilling a hole in the body so that the pickup can be placed, which means that the physical integrity of such a ukulele is compromised to some degree.

That being said, semi-electric models are inferior to acoustic models in terms of durability. I recommend investing a bit more in a model made of robust tonewoods, such as maple or mahogany.

However, you should avoid ukuleles that are completely made of hardwood or PVC. This particular tonewood is remarkably sturdy, but it offers little sonically.

An acoustic electric ukulele that features laminated sides or any individual part made of hardwood is still a good catch.


Pickup systems are hard to construct, so it’s only natural that acoustic electric ukuleles cost a bit more than acoustic models. Even so, you shouldn’t overpay any model, as the addition of a magnet won’t immediately transform a poor-sounding ukulele into a proper instrument.

The price point categories of semi-electric ukuleles span from below $100 to above $1,000. It’s up to you to determine how much cash you’re willing to part with, but in my experience, pricier models are more reliable, sound better, and are generally more durable.

10 Best Acoustic Electric Ukuleles

Acoustic electric ukuleles are among the youngest ukulele types, and the market is still catching onto this trend, so you may not find as many models of this kind as you would sopranos and tenors, for example.

a musician playing an acoustic electric ukulele

More popular brands have at least a few semi-electric ukuleles in their catalog, but even lesser-known companies have entered the race with some degree of success.

I’ve picked ten of the best-sounding, sturdiest, and most playable acoustic electric ukuleles, so you don’t have to search far and wide. Let’s take a look.

Luna Tapa Solid Spruce Acoustic/Electric Concert Ukulele

Dimensions: 27 inches by 6 inches by 10 inches
Type: Concert
What’s included: Gig bag
Material & finish: Mahogany construction, satin natural finish
Best for: Best acoustic electric ukulele overall

Luna Tapa Solid Spruce is one of my favorite brands, and it has been my go-to instrument for most of my tours in the past few years. Its playability is remarkable, it’s made of sturdy mahogany, and it offers a warm, full-bodied tone.

✅ Quality Piezo-style pickup system
✅ Unique Kala graphic on the body
✅ Warm, full-bodied tone
✅ Durable
❌ Pricey
❌ Flimsy factory strings

Why I Recommend It

I recommend Kala’s Tapa Ukulele for its sound and playability before anything else. The warm-sounding mahogany offers consistency, while the Piezo pickups allow you to control the tone with more versatility. It’s pricey, but it’s certainly one of the most versatile ukuleles out there.



Vangoa Soprano Ukulele Beginner Kit

Dimensions: 23.4 inches by 10 inches by 4.4 inches
Type: Soprano
What’s included: Gig bag, tuner, three picks, replacement strings, uke strap, clip-on tuner
Material & finish: Mahogany construction, ABS binding
Best for: Best cheap acoustic electric ukulele

The Vangoa Soprano Ukulele Beginner Kit is an affordable option for beginners on a tight budget. It’s packed with a variety of handy accessories and the uke itself is surprisingly durable, mainly due to the laminated back and sides.

It sounds good for the money, and it has a formidable built-in pickup that evens out some of its shortcomings.

✅ Highly versatile bundle
✅ Terrific for beginners
✅ Very affordable
✅ Durable
❌ Huge frets
❌ Poor-quality picks

Why I Recommend It

I recommend Vangoa’s beginner kit to people who haven’t played an instrument before. Aside from being cheap, it also sounds great and is highly playable. Furthermore, the box features a neat little How to Play Ukulele manual, which will help you learn the basics pretty quick.



Lanikai MRSCET Tenor Acoustic Electric Ukulele

Dimensions: 26.14 inches by 9.13 inches by 3.11 inches
Type: Tenor
What’s included: What’s in the box?
Material & finish: Morado construction, gloss finish
Best for: Best acoustic electric ukulele under $1,000

The Lanikai MRSCET is unique in every regard. It’s made of Bolivian rosewood that helps it produce the most exquisite tones. It’s equipped with a renowned Fishman Kula pickup with a built-in tuner, and it’s pre-strung with D’Addario strings.

✅ One of the best-sounding ukuleles on the market
✅ Unique tonewoods
✅ Perfect intonation
✅ Excellent-quality preamp and pickup
❌ Very expensive
❌ Small frets make it hard to use for beginners

Why I Recommend It

If you value sound quality and performance above everything else, Lanikai’s MRSCET may be exactly what you’re after. I’ve never played a better-sounding ukulele in my life, and even though it costs an arm and a leg, I dare say it’s well worth every cent.


Kala KA-ATP5-CTG Tenor Cutaway Acoustic Electric Ukulele Bundle

Dimensions: 29.37 inches by 17.87 inches by 7.09 inches
Type: Tenor
What’s included: Snark SN6X tuner, GSA70B strap, XPIX TRS cable, Fibertique cleaning cloth
Material & finish: Cedar construction, natural finish
Best for: Best acoustic electric ukulele under $500

Kala KA-ATP5-CTG is a high-value bundle that can cater to the needs of both professionals and beginners. It’s made of sturdy, great-sounding cedar, and the box features highly convenient accessories.

In a nutshell, this is a road-worthy uke bundle that doesn’t make any compromises between sturdiness, sonic performance, playability, and intonation.

✅ Excellent quality accessories
✅ Sturdy cedar construction
✅ Loud, but controllable sound
✅ Good intonation
❌ Flimsy factory strings
❌ Pricey

Why I Recommend It

Kala’s KA-ATP5-CTG is versatile enough for starters and seasoned veterans, but it would best sit in the hands of intermediate ukulele players. It’s just a bit heavier than average in terms of size, but the same can be said about its sound and tone as well.




Dimensions: 25 inches by 9 inches by 4.92 inches
Type: Concert
What’s included: Padded gig bag
Material & finish: Quilted maple construction, gloss finish
Best for: Acoustic electric ukulele with the best playability

Lanikai ukuleles are some of the finest on the market, and Lanikai QMBLCEC is a true representative of the brand. This ukulele features quilted maple construction, and it’s pre-strung with highly playable nylon strings. It comes with a sturdy, thoroughly padded gig bag.

✅ Sleek, wide neck
✅ Lightweight
✅ Excellent sound quality
✅ Beautiful gloss finish
❌ Expensive
❌ Slightly less durable than average

Why I Recommend It

Even though MRSCET is a personal favorite of mine, Lanikai’s QMBLCEC is easily in my top three semi-acoustic ukes. I recommend it to anyone who spends a lot of time refining their ukulele skills, as this model’s playability is absolutely huge.



Eddy Finn EF-9-CE Concert Acoustic Electric Ukulele

Dimensions: 24 inches by 10.87 inches by 6.5 inches
Type: Concert
What’s included: Standalone ukulele
Material & finish: Mahogany construction, gloss finish
Best for: Best aesthetics acoustic electric ukulele

Eddy Finn EF-9-CE is a gorgeous, great-sounding, and remarkably light concert ukulele. It features a mahogany construction and a reinforced back and sides. It’s pre-strung with Aquila Nylgut strings, and it has an excellent quality built-in pickup system.

✅ Beautiful design
✅ Pre-strung with quality strings
✅ Excellent intonation
✅ Great tone
❌ Not ideal for beginner players
❌ Slightly thinner-than-average frets

Why I Recommend It

The EF-9-CE is a remarkable instrument that offers much in terms of tone and playability. It also brings a robust construction to the table, although its relatively thinner frets may confuse beginner players.



Caramel CT103

Dimensions: 27 inches by 11.5 inches by 4.5 inches
Type: Tenor
What’s included: Padded gig bag, replacement strings, polishing cloth, cable, three picks, bridge pins
Material & finish: Zebra wood construction, Xylonite edge frames
Best for: Best-sounding mid-range acoustic electric ukulele

Made from top-quality zebra wood, Caramel CT103 is a model that offers a controllable, full-bodied tone and a high level of durability.

It’s equipped with a 3-band equalizer and an integrated tuner, and the box contains a gig bag, a cable, a polishing cloth, and replacement strings.

✅ Highly versatile bundle
✅ Sturdy construction
✅ Exquisite zebra wood construction
✅ Built-in tuner
❌ Potential problems with intonation
❌ Flimsy hardware

Why I Recommend It

Any beginner who’s searching for a quality ukulele starter kit should take a look at Caramel’s CT103.



Aklot Acoustic Electric Ukulele

Dimensions: 25 inches by 9.5 inches by 4 inches
Type: Tenor
What’s included: Gig bag, replacement strings, picks
Material & finish: Mahogany construction, high gloss finish
Best for: Best cheap acoustic electric ukulele bundle

Uke bundles are typically more expensive than standalone models, but that’s not the case with the Aklot beginner kit. It contains numerous high-quality accessories, such as replacement strings, a handful of felt picks, a padded gig bag, and a beginner’s tutorial book.

As for the ukulele itself, it’s equipped with a 3-band pickup system and it’s made of decently sturdy mahogany.

✅ Excellent-quality accessories
✅ Comprehensive beginner’s tutorial
✅ Decently affordable
✅ Sturdy
❌ Relatively shallow acoustics
❌ Flimsy factory strings

Why I Recommend It

I recommend Aklot’s ukulele kit to beginners on a cash-strapped budget. The accessories in this bundle are of excellent quality, but more importantly, they’re dependable and reliable. The uke itself is sturdy, although its sonic performance isn’t exemplary.



Kmise Electric Acoustic Ukulele UK-24A

Dimensions: 24.41 inches by 9.84 inches by 3.94 inches
Type: Concert
What’s included: Standalone ukulele
Material & finish: Spruce construction, gloss finish
Best for: Best for music students

The Kmise Acoustic-Electric Ukulele is made of highly durable spruce. It contains a built-in 3-band pickup system and remarkable hardware. It’s pre-strung with Aquila’s Nylgut strings. Aside from sturdiness, it also offers great playability and decent intonation.

✅ Perfect for people who’ve never played an instrument
✅ Superb playability
✅ Warm, controllable tone
✅ Cheap
❌ No accessories
❌ Short scale length

Why I Recommend It

The UK-24 is an excellent choice for a beginner ukulele player. It sounds great and offers much in terms of playability, but it doesn’t come equipped with any accessories.



Kadence Mahogany Concert Electric Acoustic Ukulele

Dimensions: 25.28 inches by 9.37 inches by 4.09 inches
Type: Concert
What’s included: Gig bag
Material & finish: Mahogany construction, gloss finish
Best for: Best cheap mahogany acoustic electric ukulele

The last pick of the day is the Kadence Acoustic-Electric Ukulele. It’s made of sturdy mahogany, and it’s the cheapest model on the list. It comes with a robust nylon bag. It may not be the best-sounding uke out there, but it has a warm tone and a decently durable body.

✅ One of the cheapest ukes on the list
✅ Complementary gig bag
✅ Small, light, and highly playable
✅ Decently durable
❌ Inferior sonic performance
❌ Possible problems with intonation

Why I Recommend It

Affordability is the main benefit of Kadence’s mahogany ukuleles. It’s cheaper than most models in its price range while offering similar levels of performance. Even if you decide you don’t want to use it, it can still be a great gift.



Acoustic Electric Ukuleles Aesthetics & Build

Acoustic electric ukuleles are slightly more complex than standard acoustic models. The features that normally influence the sound and durability of an acoustic ukulele are even more important and have an even greater effect on the tone of acoustic electric models.

one of the best acoustic electric ukuleles

Consider these factors before you make the final decision.


Tonewoods heavily influence the sound of any ukulele. The differences between tonewood types are minor and barely audible in the case of acoustic ukuleles. They’re fairly easy to spot on semi-electric models.

Koa wood is generally expensive, but it sounds the best. Or, search for maple or cedar-made ukuleles if you can afford such models. Mahogany is an excellent all-around option. Ukuleles made of mahogany are available at all price point categories.


Be it natural, gloss, or satin, the finish doesn’t play a key role in the performance of an acoustic electric ukulele. It’s only important in terms of aesthetics.

Pickup System

Acoustic electric ukuleles are equipped with a pickup, unlike regular ukuleles. My personal favorite model is Fishman’s Kula magnet system, but only a few models are equipped with it straight out of the gate.

You shouldn’t pay too much attention to the factory magnet, as most ukulele players eventually purchase a standalone upgrade later on. Boutique magnets can cost well above $100, but quality models can also be found at a much cheaper price.

Buying New vs Used

Given the fact that acoustic electric ukuleles are typically more expensive than acoustic ukuleles, people on a cash-strapped budget often consider purchasing used ones. However, I don’t think that’s cost effective in most cases.

Acoustic electric models are more difficult to maintain, and the only proper way to store them is in a hard-shell case. Most amateurs and beginners don’t have them since they often cost as much as the ukulele itself, so if you can, try saving up for a new ukulele.

What’s in the Acoustic Electric Ukulele Box?

Acoustic electric ukuleles are available as standalone instruments, but they also come in bundles.

musician playing an acoustic electric ukulele

A typical semi-acoustic ukulele box contains:


Some of the best models feature a built-in tuner. Other ukulele bundles feature clip-on tuners that serve the same purpose. Integrated tuners are a bit more difficult to use, but on the upside, you’ll never lose it.


A regular ukulele strap is a typical component of an acoustic electric ukulele bundle. There are no differences between acoustic ukulele straps and semi-acoustic ukulele straps.


Wider, thinner, and lighter than guitar picks, ukulele picks are a fairly typical part of acoustic electric ukulele packages. Some brands provide three, others up to five, but rarely more than that.

Gig Bag

Even certain standalone acoustic electric ukuleles are equipped with a gig bag, while this feature is an essential piece of any ukulele bundle.

This is one of the most important accessories, as it allows you to store your ukulele more safely while also providing you with the ability to take your instrument to band rehearsals, gigs, and lessons.


Polishing cloths, replacement strings, guitar cables, and ukulele manuals are not as common. Even so, these accessories are highly convenient and valuable, so if you’re an immediate beginner, you may want to consider purchasing a package that is supplied with these features.

Frequently Asked Questions:

I’ve dedicated this section to miscellaneous things I haven’t touched on in the previous segments of the review.

How Much Do Acoustic Electric Ukuleles Cost?

Acoustic electric ukuleles are slightly pricier than regular ukuleles, but the price point categories are pretty much the same. Cheap semi-electric ukuleles can be found under $100 while boutique acoustic electric ukulele normally cost more than $500.

The average cost of a quality ukulele is somewhere between $200 and $300. High-value semi-acoustic bundles are typically more expensive by $50-$100 than standalone instruments.

Where Are the Best Acoustic Electric Ukuleles Made?

The leading brands in the industry are located in America. The United States is also the place where this instrument originated from, so it’s only natural that the biggest companies that make the finest acoustic electric ukuleles are seated there.

What Is the Best Sounding Acoustic Electric Ukulele?

Personally, I think that Lanikai MRSCET is one of the best-sounding acoustic electric ukuleles. It’s made of exquisite Bolivian rosewood, which offers a unique tone, but it’s also very expensive.

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In Conclusion

Even though there are more things to consider when purchasing an acoustic electric ukulele, the process is fairly simple mainly because there are fewer models to choose from.

If you’re shopping online, make sure that the company offers refunds or at least some kind of warranty, as you can’t inspect the instrument before it arrives at your doorstep. You can form a clear picture of how the ukulele will sound based on the tonewoods it’s made of.

I hope that you’ve found my review of the best acoustic electric ukulele models helpful, and I wish you luck in finding the model that will cater to your needs.