The best baritone ukulele

String Instruments

Despite being commonly associated with Hawaiian music, historians believe that the ukulele was originally introduced to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants.

Which baritone ukulele is best?

The ukulele is a great instrument to learn if you want to play something that sounds great in a compact and portable size. More affordable and easier to learn than a guitar, these four-stringed instruments deliver a unique sound and boast a rich and storied history. 

There are four common types of ukulele: soprano, concert, tenor and baritone. While the soprano is currently the most popular choice, the baritone ukulele is a great option if you’re looking for something larger that delivers a rich, deeper tone. Due to their size and similar tonal qualities, many guitar players are also drawn to the baritone ukulele. That being said, whether you are a beginner or an experienced musician, there are some important factors to consider when purchasing a baritone ukulele.

What to know when buying a baritone ukulele

Price

While still considerably cheaper than most standard guitars, baritone ukuleles are typically more expensive than other types of ukuleles due to their larger size. Typically around 30 inches long, the prices of baritone ukuleles can vary widely from $57 on the lower end to nearly $400. The more expensive ukuleles are often made from high-quality woods like acacia or koa that will improve tonally with age. Less expensive ukuleles will usually be crafted from durable, common wood types like mahogany or spruce. 

Acoustic vs. acoustic-electric

Do you plan on bringing your baritone ukulele to an open mic or is it an instrument that you’ll casually play at home? There are many acoustic-electric baritone ukuleles available that can be plugged directly into a guitar amp, PA or recording interface; purchasing one of these is a great idea if you plan on performing in public.

Tuning

Cordoba C5 SP Classical Acoustic Nylon String Guitar

Similar in tone to a classical guitar, baritone ukuleles are also tuned to the same notes as the top four strings of a standard guitar (D-G-B-E). This makes the baritone ukulele a particularly easy instrument for most guitar players to learn. The player can also match the tuning of a standard ukulele by placing a capo on the fifth fret of the baritone ukulele. This method is particularly convenient when playing alongside other types of ukuleles.   

Manufacturers

As with buying any other instrument online, you should verify the brand before making a purchase. An obscure manufacturer might sell a baritone ukulele for cheap, but you may regret investing in a subpar instrument later on. While most ukulele manufacturers may not have famous names like Gibson or Fender, there are plenty of reputable companies that produce exceptionally high-quality ukuleles at affordable prices. Look for respected ukulele manufacturers like Cordoba, Oscar Schmidt, Kala and Kmise. 

The best baritone ukuleles

Best of the best baritone ukulele

Kala KA-SA-B Solid Acacia Series Baritone Ukulele

Kala KA-SA-B Solid Acacia Series Baritone Ukulele

Our take: With a body crafted from acacia wood, this Kala baritone ukulele also has a walnut fingerboard, a mahogany neck and comes pre-strung with Aquila strings.

What we like: It has a deep, warm tone and a quality of sound that improves with age, thanks to the acacia body.

What we dislike: At close to $400, the Kala Solid Acacia Baritone is pricier than most ukuleles on the market. 

Available at Amazon

Best bang for your buck baritone ukulele

Kmise MI0639 Baritone Ukulele

Kmise MI0639 Baritone Ukulele

Our take: Made from durable mahogany wood, the Kmise Baritone Ukulele is affordable and makes for a great beginner’s ukulele. 

What we like: This baritone ukulele comes with an adjustable truss rod that can be used to adjust the action on the instrument. This simply means that you have the ability to adjust the ukulele to your preference, making playing the instrument more comfortable. 

What we dislike: The instrument comes pre-strung with G-C-E-A ukulele strings, instead of the standard baritone D-G-B-E strings. This means that you’ll need to purchase baritone ukulele strings separately if you want to play in the normal baritone tuning. 

Available at Amazon

Top-rated baritone ukulele

Kmise KMU30B Baritone Ukulele 

Kmise KMU30B Baritone Ukulele 

Our take: With a mahogany wood finish, this popular baritone ukulele has a classic look and a reasonable price tag. 

What we like: The Kmise KMU30B bundle works as a great ukulele starter kit, complete with a gig bag, ukulele strap and five ukulele picks. It also comes with an adjustable truss rod and high-quality 18:1 tuners. 

What we dislike: There have been several reports of the ukulele not staying in tune properly. 

Available at Amazon

Best acoustic-electric baritone ukulele

Oscar Schmidt OU52E Mahogany Baritone Acoustic Electric Ukulele 

Oscar Schmidt OU52E Mahogany Baritone Acoustic Electric Ukulele 

Our take: Crafted from rosewood and mahogany, this acoustic electric ukulele is backed up by Oscar Schmidt’s stellar reputation. 

What we like: This stage-ready baritone ukulele has chrome tuning knobs, volume control and a distinctive satin finish.

What we dislike: There have been reports of fretboard malfunctions. 

Available at Amazon

Best budget baritone ukulele

Kay BU10 Baritone Ukulele

Kay BU10 Baritone Ukulele

Our take: Boasting an appealing price tag, this is a solid choice for a beginner ukulele player or if you’re looking for something simple to bring on a camping trip. 

What we like: This budget-oriented ukulele is made from high-quality materials like mahogany and rosewood and has a Hawaiian koa wood finish. 

What we dislike: Since it’s one of the most affordable baritone ukuleles available, many experienced musicians may be disappointed by its mediocre playability and quality of sound. 

Available at Amazon

Best baritone ukulele bundle

Kala MK-B Makala Baritone Ukulele Bundle

Kala MK-B Makala Baritone Ukulele Bundle

Our take: With a reasonable price, this Kala ukulele bundle has everything you need to start playing the baritone ukulele. 

What we like: This bundle includes Kala’s well-received MK-B baritone ukulele, in addition to a gig bag, digital tuner, instructional DVD and polishing cloth. It also comes pre-strung with Aquila nylgut strings. 

What we dislike: While all of the accessories found in the bundle should be useful for beginners, experienced ukulele players likely won’t have much use for many of the items included.  

Available at Amazon

 

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Patrick Farmer writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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