If you are into music and love playing guitar, you will know how difficult it is to find the best tenor ukulele of high quality that produces beautiful acoustic sounds, yet is not too expensive for your wallet. If you are planning to purchase a ukulele online, then it would be harder for you as you have to rely on the images without experiencing the actual feel of the sounds it produces.
Nowadays, tenor ukuleles are much in demand and have become the in-thing for the music lovers. The problem most of you may face is not much information is available about how to select the right one. So, we tested 17 of the industry’s top tenor ukulele products side-by-side and compared them on parameters like quality, price, etc. We also evaluated each tenor ukulele in other areas of concern for the buyers like build quality, sound quality, overall quality, weight, and stability. Here is a brief review of the top 5 ukuleles that I felt excelled on these parameters among the 17 guitars tested.
Tenor ukuleles have a warmer, and deeper sound thank its big body style.
- What is the soprano ukulele? Read it here: Ukulele Models – The Complete Beginner’s Guide
Top 5 Best Tenor Ukulele Reviews
Best Tenor Ukulele #1: TOM Tenor Ukulele TUT-200 (African Mahogany Top with Gig Bag, Spare Aquila Strings, Tuner, Pick, and Belt-26inch)
Priced at a bit higher range, this product does offer value for money. I would say it’s a beautiful instrument that plays so great. Right off the bat, I could tell it is a well-constructed guitar made from high-quality materials. It doesn’t have a gloss finish but appears like a hand-rubbed oil finish. As a bonus, it’s supplied with a few accessories.
The Frets are smooth and have the perfect height for compression. The Neck is well finished and straight and meets the body quite clearly. Fretboard too is smooth with beautiful inlays.
The body is also well finished, and the bridge is mounted and aligned properly with the string holes well-aligned and equally spaced. Another feature of this ukulele that puts it above the others is its tie-bar for the strings: it has a beautiful trim that I liked.
What I really liked about this product is that the tuning keys are of closed variety. So, they hold the position better than the open mechanisms. This suits the beginners like me. I would advise you to go for this if you are just starting out, even though the price is on a bit higher side.
In short, it was a satisfying purchase, though I won’t call it thrilling. This electronic tuner is quite easy to use. I learned more chords using it. I also learned to play a few songs, and I’ve noticed that it sounds richer than most other instruments.
Best Tenor Ukulele #2: Caramel CT102A Zebra Wood Tenor Acoustic Ukulele
I tried this one sheerly looking at the price. Priced at less than $50, it makes up for a new purchase. Though I must say I didn’t have many expectations from this ukulele; when I actually laid my hand on it, I simply loved it. It works well with a nice low action and sounds great.
A minor problem I faced with this ukulele was it doesn’t have the strap buttons, but you can add them quickly.
Another point I would like to make for those whom it matters, it does not come with a case. So, you may have to order one separately. But, wait for the guitar to arrive before ordering the case so that you can order a case into which your ukulele can fix correctly.
Some more points I observed are the buttons on the keys have a rubber-like coating, which makes it easier to grip and tune. Also, there is a white binding on the back and the front. The frets and back are also perfect. It is a bit rough to the touch and sounds nice, not too loud, but well-balanced and clear.
To cut it short, it has excellent intonation, great sound, great price, great everything.
Best Tenor Ukulele #3: Ukulele Tenor Size Bundle From Lohanu (LU-T) 2 (Strap Pins Installed FREE Uke Strap Case Tuner Picks Pick Holder Aquila Strings)
This one is the perfect for the beginners. A very well constructed outfit, though the cloth bag isn’t something to write about. I would call it a nice purchase considering the host of accessories that come with it and the top notch quality sound it produces. The product is packed with extra strings in case you break one. I found the strings to be of best quality.
The wood grain is smooth and sweet. I also liked the etching around the “sound hole.” What I particularly appreciate about this product is its tuning pegs that are enclosed on the back side. I am not quite comfortable with the inexpensive Ukuleles, which have visible “gears.” I prefer to have them enclosed; so this one works as a plus point for me.
What makes it a good purchase for beginners is that the strap buttons are already installed. It comes with many accessories, makes no buzzing noises, and causes no tuning problems when you play the higher frets.
I think it comes as a great package of high quality, freebies in the form of accessories, great sound and high-quality material at a price around $100. All in all, a terrific ukulele if you are just starting out!
Best Tenor Ukulele #4: Hola! HM-227SSM+ Deluxe Tenor Ukulele, SOLID Spruce Top w/Aquila Strings
This one turned out to be better than I expected. Surprisingly, the photo hardly does any justice to the actual product; it looks much better than how it appears in the picture and feels great too.
The strings are of high quality and charming. It took me just 5 minutes to tune it. The sound is incredible. I would say it’s made for the musicians who can easily use it from concerts. It’s one of those professional quality ukuleles that play smoothly and produces mesmerizing sounds. The size is also just right.
This ukulele also has enclosed tuners that seem to be of high quality. Another plus point of this product is it has longer scales, which make it easier to play by those with bigger fingers. I am very much pleased with the intonation: I could easily play to 12th fret all in tune. This is a major plus point considering most low-end ukuleles do not have a good tone past the first position.
The only criticism I have about this product is its nut was cut off with sharp edges. I had to file it to make it blunt so that it won’t hurt me.
Best Tenor Ukulele #5: Kala KAA-15T Limited Edition Satin Mahogany Tenor Ukulele
This ukulele is constructed of mahogany body and neck, along with a rosewood fingerboard and bridge. In fact, its lovely mahogany was the first thing I noticed when I opened the box. I also liked its satin finish and attractive rosette design. I would say it looks as beautiful as it sounds.
The artistry is exceptional, and the tone is snappy. The strings are beautiful. The soprano size is big enough. However, I was not too comfortable using it as I had troubles in fitting my big fingers on its smaller neck after playing the tenor.
It has geared tuners and comes pre-strung with Aquila nylgut strings. This feature works for beginners as it ensures your instrument sounds sharp and stays in tune.
Overall, a beautiful and neat purchase though I felt it was slightly overpriced. For a cost nearing $100, I expected it to be smoother and of better quality.
I hope this list provides you the information you are looking for while making your purchase. I have tried to evaluate these ukuleles on the parameters that a beginner, as well as a seasoned player, would consider. Personally, I liked the ‘Caramel CT102A Zebra Wood Tenor Acoustic Ukulele’ above all others mainly because of its lower weight, cost effectiveness, high-quality, and sturdiness. I would advise you first to decide what qualities you are looking for and prioritize them. Then, compare your requirements with the qualities offered by each product to determine the one that’s the best tenor ukulele for you.