Top 5 Soprano Ukulele Entry Level
Our Top 5 Soprano Ukulele recommendations for your first ukulele! Duke of Uke picks the best soprano ukuleles for beginners or players on a budget.
If you’re new to the ukulele or simply want an inexpensive grab and go instrument, here are our new recommendations under £100. Ukuleles featured in our previous Top 5 have continued to be big sellers and customer favourites. See which ukuleles made the Duke of Uke 2017 selection.
Laka VUS10 Sapele Soprano Ukulele
Amazing value with gigbag included
The VUS10 soprano offers a significant improvement in sound over other coloured ukuleles for only a few extra pounds. This makes the VUS10 the most affordable high quality instrument in this price range.
A relative newcomer to the world of ukes, Laka have unquestionably turned up trumps with their VU series of entry-level ukuleles.
The VUS10 Soprano really delivers with a soft easy to carry gigbag included making this uke a steal for the price.
The sapele construction is where the VUS10 really shines, providing some of the warmth characteristic of mahogany instruments with added sparkle, this Soprano really has a lively spring in it’s step!
One of the best quality soprano ukuleles under £50, an absolute steal for your first wooden construction beginner ukulele.
Aria AU1 Mahogany Soprano Ukulele
Traditional looking, relaxed sounding starter
The Aria AU-1 is a Duke of Uke customer favourite and with good reason. We previously voted this the best starter ukulele of the year, and whilst the Aria now faces some very very stiff competition the AU-1 Mahogany Soprano remains a fantastic value entry-level Soprano Uke to rival the more popular Kala and Makala entry-level ukuleles.
Established in Japan in 1956 and fast gaining a solid reputation for producing quality classical guitars, Aria also had a reputation for producing well made and great sounding ukuleles based on the Martin S-0 shape. The AU-1 follows in this tradition, and is a great little uke to get you started!
Visually, Aria have kept things simple with the AU1, sacrificing decorative appointments for an instrument that is minimal in presentation, but tight in construction. The slightly wider 35mm nut width lends a little extra comfort to the fretting hand for easy playing. A stain matte finish completes the look, which has a red hue that is very pleasing to the eye.
The mahogany top, back and sides lends the typical warm and present mid-range so characteristic of the tonewood, yet the AU1 imparts a more relaxed, mellow roundness to the tone. Along with the wider nut, this makes the AU1 (unusually for a Soprano), rather suited to fingerpicking.
If you’re willing to take a punt on a lesser known Ukulele brand, you won’t be disappointed.
Snail 212 Mahogany / 215 Zebrawood / 220 Rosewood Soprano Ukulele
A decorative, well constructed easy-player
A relatively recent brand, Snail Ukuleles have proved a more than welcome addition to the ukulele roster and have found high favour among the staff here at the Duke of Uke.
The Snail range of ukuleles are very competitively priced, offering a higher level of detail and playability to similar priced alternatives. The entry-level sopranos are beautifully constructed, with just a slightly wider than usual neck width (affording extra fretting hand comfort), and an additional two frets to completing a more versatile 14 fret neck. Chrome plated die cast tuners and red tortoiseshell binding are also luxury appointments included here, unusual for an instrument in this price range.
They sound great too, the 212 Soprano has a classic percussive ‘slap’ to add to the underlying warmth of the Snail sound. The mahogany top back and sides lends a characteristic warm, expressive tonality.
Snail Ukuleles feature a selection of handsome wood grains, giving each instrument an individual look, so be sure to check out the Rosewood and Zebrawood alternatives to the Mahogany soprano if you’re looking for something a bit different.
For an overall softer tone with slightly more attack than the Mahogany version, the Rosewood 220 presents a beautifully mellow interpretation on the Snail ‘sound.’ For a brighter, bouncier tone look to the Zebrawood 215. The Zebrawood provides not only an attractive stripe grain finish, but a slightly harder edge to the sound, perfect for anyone who likes a ukulele with more ‘zing.’
A fantastic, beautifully finished, competitively priced soprano – a joy to play.
Kala KA-S & KA-SEM Mahogany Series Soprano Ukulele
Attractive Step Up Ukulele
KA-S is, by anyone’s yardstick, the industry standard entry-level Soprano Ukulele. Kala’s entire range of ukuleles is nothing short of impressive and the KA-S Mahogany Soprano can be considered a fantastic entry into the world of this reliable brand.
The KA-S ukulele offers a sound with balance and clarity which makes these entry-level ukuleles sonically very appealing. In the looks department the KA-S is classic with tasteful traditional white binding and white plastic button geared chrome tuners.
The KA-SEM is every bit as good as it’s sibling, the KA-S featuring the same balance and clarity to the sound, and the same styling. The SEM has the same tasteful contrast binding, only this time in black, and an attractive exotic wood top, back and sides in flame Mahogany. The Kala Exotic Mahogany is an excellent choice for players wanting the characteristic brightness of the KA-S with a more premium looking finish.
The signature sound of the Kala entry level Mahogany Series are bright and ringing, containing sweet ‘highs’ and mellow ‘lows’, that will most certainly inspire confidence in the beginner ukulele player. Being mahogany, the sound has a warmth that is pleasing to the ear, lively with plenty of character.
Well constructed and finished ukuleles, with reliable tuning and intonation. Kala never fail to disappoint in this area, bestowing the same level of attention to detail on the KA-S and KA-SEM as they do on their higher end instruments.
They’re quite simply put, one of the best and most reliable of entry level soprano Ukuleles around, a steal for the price.
Kala KA-15S & KA-15S-S Mahogany Series Soprano Ukulele
Attractively Styled Starters
Kala KA-15S and KA-15S-S are Kala’s entry level instruments, perfect for beginner players or for a travel anywhere companion for more experienced players wanting a quality instrument at little cost.
For ukulele beginners who are looking for a reasonably-priced but serious instrument, many find a friend in the KA-15S. Made with the same passion and expertise that Kala put into their instruments across the board, it’s hard to find another ukulele that so perfectly sits at the crossroads of affordability and richness of tone.
Once again, this understated and elegant soprano is afforded a level of clarity and warmth by its mahogany body, embellished with an attractive ‘Sun’ style etching around the soundhole. The chrome die-cast open back tuners with pearloid white buttons will ensure you stay in tune.
While the 15S is a great instrument in its own right, the real winner in this model is the 15S-S spruce-top variant. A striking visual contrast to the mahogany back and sides, it is a rare but welcome treat to have a spruce-topped ukulele affordable enough to include in our starter line-up. The spruce adds sparkle and heft to the mahogany’s rich warm tones, giving this instrument a ‘punch’ uncommon in this price range.
This is without a doubt one of the finest instruments you’ll around the £50 mark, but if you’re looking for something with a little more nuance and style, the 15S-S is well worth the extra five pounds.
This fantastic Entry Level instrument Laka is definitely worth a look!
If you’re looking for a feature filled ukulele under £100, the VUS50 wins hands down. Not only does it include a solid mahogany top, it also features a built in tuner, making this an excellent value starter package. For a great sounding, reliable ukulele that is a first great step up into the world of solid top ukuleles, look no further.
Cordoba are a company renowned for their spanish guitars who in addition have developed a beautiful range of ukuleles. Their best-selling 15-SM soprano is no exception; from the moment you pick this ukulele up it feels well-crafted. From the shimmering abalone-style rosette to the high-finish body and fingerboard, this ukulele is a cut above many others in its price range.
If you can afford to spend a little more, this instrument’s craftsmanship and angelic tone really set it apart from other starters on the market, and make it an excellent gift for musicians who are branching out into the ukulele, or beginners of any kind.