The Best Soprano Ukuleles - Regular & Pineapple Shaped

The Highest Rated Soprano & Pineapple Ukuleles

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The soprano ukulele is the smallest variant of the uke, in-demand for its compact size, novice-friendly playability, and lively tone.

High demand prompts manufacturers to continuously flood the market with new releases and updated versions, hence the need for another look at current market favorites. And sure enough, this 2022 edition features an almost entirely new list of the top rated soprano ukuleles, based on the most recent reviews and ratings data that we gathered.

We also have a section which showcases highly rated pineapple ukuleles, aptly named because of their distinct shape. They are similar to standard soprano ukes in terms of overall size, but have a bit more surface area that give them subtly different sound and projection.

The Best Soprano / Pineapple Ukuleles

Author & Contributors

Alexander BrionesAlexander Briones

I've written about and researched music gear for many years, while also serving as a music director at my local church, in addition to teaching guitar, bass and mentoring young musicians.

The Highest Rated Standard Shape Soprano Ukuleles

At publication time we had a 5-way tie for the Highest Rated title between the First Act Blippi, Winzz Soprano, Donner DUS-3, Donner DUS-1 and Cordoba 15SM.

First Act Blippi Soprano Ukulele

94
GEARANK

94 out of 100. Incorporating 950+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$25
First Act Blippi Soprano Ukulele

Having been made by First Act, this soprano ukulele is meant to appeal to younger up-and-coming musicians. And to do just that, it comes with a kid-friendly graphic, inspired by an educational show called Blippi.

At 20", it is small enough to be considered a toy for children to play with or learn on.

But underneath its compact size and colorful appearance, it retains elements that make it work like a real instrument, which aligns with its purpose of inspiring children to play an instrument and appreciate music in general.

Key Features

  • Top: Not Specified
  • Body: Not Specified
  • Neck: Not Specified
  • Fretboard: Not Specified
  • Frets: 12

Pros
Most of the reviews are from adults who have gifted the First Act Blippi to children, and they have good things to say about it. The gift givers are pleased with its overall quality, from the finish, to its playability, to its sound. More importantly, they report that the kids who received the uke are all smiles while accepting the gift.

Cons
There are a few who find it to be too small, while some users had unfortunate shipping related issues.

Overall
Jump-start a child's musical journey by gifting him this highly rated and affordable uke.

Winzz Soprano Ukulele 21" Bundle

94
GEARANK

94 out of 100. Incorporating 375+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$50
Winzz Soprano Ukulele 21" Bundle

The centerpiece of this bundle is the 21" Winzz Soprano ukulele, with a compact body crafted from linden wood, also known as basswood, a type of wood that is also used in making guitars.

This gives it the look and feel of an actual wooden instrument, while it gets extra visual flair with its a burst-style dark hunter green finish that has enough transparency to show some of the wood grains.

Included in the bundle is a gig bag, that works and looks better than what other entry-level ukes offer. The padded nylon gig bag comes complete with a storage pocket and a handle.

Other bundled accessories include a online lessons, fingerboard stickers, a strap, cleaning cloth, digital clip-on tuner, and a set of Aquila strings.

Key Features

  • Top: Linden
  • Body: Linden
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fretboard: Technical Wood
  • Frets: 15

Pros

The ukulele impressed a lot of its owners with its nice looking finish and easy playability. Many also consider it to be well built, considering its cheap price. The quality of the gig bag got a lot of thumbs up, especially from those who had trouble storing and transporting their previous ukuleles. Many appreciate the overall value that they got from this bundle.

Cons

There are a few reports of missing accessories, particularly the battery for the clip-on tuner and the extra set of strings.

Overall

The Winzz Soprano Ukulele Bundle is a great buy if you're looking for a good beginner friendly ukulele with good quality accessories.

Donner DUS-3 Spruce Soprano Ukulele 21"

94
GEARANK

94 out of 100. Incorporating 600+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$61
Donner DUS-3 Spruce Soprano Ukulele

The Donner DUS-3 Spruce Soprano Ukulele's standout feature is its sun pattern around the soundhole, and cloud graphic on the fretboard.

It comes with guitar-like wood composition, spruce for the top and mahogany for the back and sides. This is a popular configuration in guitars, because of its balanced yet trebly sound, and it translates well when used in ukuleles.

Other guitar-like features include having geared tuners, strap buttons, bone nut and bone saddle.

Finally, it comes bundled with essentials that include an extra set of strings, picks, a strap and a clip-on tuner. It also has a nice padded gigbag with shoulder straps and exterior pocket.

Key Features

  • Top: Spruce
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Rosewood
  • Frets: 15

Pros

Reviewers usually point to the DUS-3's value for money as its main strength. They find the overall quality of the uke to be much better than they anticipated for the price. This build quality translates to having good playability and tone, all of which are commended in reviews. Its appealing graphic also gets a lot of thumbs up, along with the quality of the included accessories.

Cons

There are a few who report having issues keeping the strings in tune, and they recommend replacing its factory installed strings. Being a 21" soprano sized uke, some adults find it to be too small for their big hands and fingers.

Overall

With its combination of good build quality, aesthetics, and value the Donner DUS-3 is a good ukulele bundle worth considering.

Donner DUS-1 Mahogany Soprano Ukulele Beginner Kit

94
GEARANK

94 out of 100. Incorporating 1600+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$69
Donner DUS-1 Mahogany Soprano Ukulele Beginner Kit

The Donner DUS-1 is an all-mahogany ukulele in the compact 21" soprano shape.

The back, sides and top are all made from mahogany, which results in a warmer tone that is also popular with guitars.

In addition to its all-mahogany body, other features that are similar to acoustic guitars include having chrome-plated geared tuners, rosewood fingerboard, bone nut and saddle, and strap buttons.

Finally, the DUS-1 is bundled with an appropriately shaped padded gigbag for storage and transport, and it comes with useful accessories that include extra strings, picks, strap, cleaning cloth, online courses and a clip-on tuner.

Key Features

  • Top: Mahogany
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Rosewood
  • Frets: 15

Pros
Owners are generally happy with their purchase, they consider the DUS-1 to be a good buy given the quality of the uke and the bundled accessories. Many users consider it to be very easy on the hands and good sounding, appreciated by both by young students and experienced adults. Among the included accessories, the gig bag gets a lot of thumbs up.

Cons
There are a few reports of tuning problems, and they report that swapping out the strings can help resolve the issue. There are a few nitpicks aimed at the accessories.

Overall
If you're looking for a no-frills, good quality, yet affordable ukulele, then the Donner DUS-1 is for you.

Cordoba 15SM Soprano Ukulele

94
GEARANK

94 out of 100. Incorporating 150+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$109
Cordoba 15SM Soprano Ukulele

Cordoba is a well known manufacturer of quality instruments that focuses mainly on nylon string guitars. And this same attention to detail and quality is applied to their highly rated nylon string soprano ukulele, the Cordoba 15SM.

This is an all-mahogany ukulele, built to Cordoba's specs, complete with classic cosmetic appointments that include cream body and neck binding, and abalone rosette.

One major distinction that this has over other soprano ukes is its longer neck with 17 frets, which means that you get to play higher up the neck. Note that this longer neck will feel a bit different, and it adds to the overall length of the instrument.

Key Features

  • Top: Mahogany
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Rosewood
  • Frets: 17

Pros
Users are impressed at both its playability and sound quality, a testament to Cordoba's strict quality standards. Many consider it to be a big step up when comparing with ukes they previously tried, especially when it comes to tone and projection. The elegant aesthetics of the Cordoba 15SM is also a big factor why people buy, and later on recommend it.

Cons
The longer neck design if the 15SM may not be everyone's cup of tea. Tuning stability is an issue for a few users, but they report that the issue improves as the instrument is broken in.

Overall
The Cordoba 15SM Soprano Ukulele is a good quality starter ukulele for those who have the budget, and it is a great step-up for those who want to upgrade from their entry-level ukulele.

The Highest Rated Pineapple Ukuleles

Luna Guitars Vintage Mahogany Pineapple Ukulele

91
GEARANK

91 out of 100. Incorporating 30+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$69
Luna Guitars Vintage Mahogany Pineapple Ukulele

Luna guitars is a company known for combining good build quality with eccentric aesthetics that visually stand out.

This design philosophy is showcased by the Vintage Mahogany Pineapple ukulele, with its all mahogany pineapple construction and distinct Luna cosmetics.

Cosmetics include mother of pearl shark teeth fretboard markers, distinct Luna branding, and rosette design.

This uke features a C-shaped mahogany neck with satin finish for smoother playability, and it pairs its walnut bridge with a 12-fret walnut fingerboard. Finally, it comes with Aquila Super nylgut strings.

Key Features

  • Top: Mahogany
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Walnut
  • Frets: 12

Pros
Beautiful is a common description found in reviews, expressed by users who love both the look and the sound of this instrument. It exceeds the expectations of many, in terms of tone, given its price. Most of the reviews are from those who gave this as a gift, or those who received it - both share the same positive responses.

Cons
The bright tone of this uke and its compact size may not appeal to some users.

Overall
If you're looking for an affordable pineapple ukulele that's pleasing to both the eyes and ears, then check this out.

Enya X1 Soprano Pineapple Ukulele Beginner Kit

94
GEARANK

94 out of 100. Incorporating 100+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$90
Enya X1 Soprano Pineapple Ukulele Beginner Kit
At publication time this was the Highest Rated Pineapple Ukulele.

In keeping with its Hawaiian themed "pineapple" shape, the Enya X1 sports a body that is crafted from HPL (High Pressure Laminate) Koa wood, a type of wood that's native in Hawaii. This results in the familiar Hawaiian Uke bright tone that many appreciate, while being resistant to humidity and temperature changes.

It sports a mahogany neck with richlite fingerboard, and to give it an edge over others in the price range it ships with fluorocarbon strings.

Finally, it comes bundled with accessories that include a padded case, extra strings, picks and polish cloth. There's even the added bonus of a sand shaker, and a capo.

Key Features

  • Top: Koa
  • Body: Koa
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Richlite
  • Frets: 16

Pros
Owners describe the Enya X1 as a great buy, thanks to the quality of both the instrument and the accessories that it comes with. It gets a lot of compliments for its tone, which they compare favorably over other similarly priced ukes. Playability is also often commended, even by those who have played more premium instruments. The quality of its accessories is another important plus for many reviewers.

Cons
Some users are not happy with its bare look and compact size. Others are not too impressed with its tone, but they still consider it as an OK sounding instrument.

Overall
If you're looking for a highly rated Hawaiian style ukulele, then this is for you.

Things to Consider When Buying a Soprano Ukulele

If you’re not sure which ukulele is going to work best for your needs, or if you want to brush up on your knowledge before making a purchase, check out the information below.

A Quick Primer on Tonewood

Tonewood is a controversial subject because everyone’s ears are different. One person might hear mahogany as a warm and darkly voiced wood, while others might think it sounds relatively bright. The most important thing to remember is that you need to listen to an instrument, because if you like the tone of whatever uke you’re playing the wood it’s made from doesn’t matter.

With that in mind, collected below are some of the most commonly found tonewoods and the general consensus on how they sound. Your experience may vary, but the information below will give you enough information to start the process of making an informed decision.

Spruce

Spruce is the brightest tonewood commonly used in ukuleles, making it a good choice if you’re looking for an instrument that can easily cut through a mix. The only bad part about this wood is that because it lacks the warmth of other tonewoods it generally won’t sound as good when playing by yourself.

Mahogany

Mahogany is a very warm tonewood, though it has a strong enough mid-range response that your tone will still have some “punch”.

Koa

Koa is often described as having a “woody” tone, sounding warm and full. The wood is still focused, but it rarely sounds overly bright. The response of the wood pairs well with the ukulele, as it retains a warm tone but has a slightly more focused tone than mahogany.

Cedar

Cedar is arguably one of the warmest tonewoods commonly used, with a strong low and low-mid response. It’s great for solo play, but has the potential to sound a bit muddled when played in an ensemble setting.

Laminate vs. Solid Wood

When shopping for a uke, something you’re going to hear a lot are the terms “solid” and “laminate(d)”. Laminate, or laminated wood, is several thin pieces of wood glued together. Laminate wood resonates less, so you get a less complex tone (fewer frequencies are produced) and less volume. Solid wood is exactly what it sounds like, a solid piece of wood. Because it’s one solid piece, it resonates more than laminated wood. This gives you a tone that contains more frequencies, giving you a more complex and “musical” tone.

The soundboard, which is generally called the “top” of an instrument, creates the majority of your tone. This is why many instruments use a solid top and laminated back and sides. An entirely solid instrument still gives a better tone overall, but an instrument with a solid top and laminated back and sides can still give you a very respectable tone. Even better, these instruments are generally very affordable compared to their all-solid counterparts.

Size and Its Relationship to Tone

You can think of instruments that are different sizes as occupying different ends of a tonal spectrum, with small instruments having a bright and focused tone while larger instruments have a warmer tone with more depth. For more information on the different sizes of ukulele, check out our article “The Different Ukulele Sizes Explained”.

Best Soprano Ukulele Selection Methodology

The first edition was published in 2017 and the latest edition was published on January 26, 2021.

We began by looking at all the soprano sized ukuleles available from major American online music equipment retailers. And for this 2022 edition, we ended up with an extended list of 53 of the most popular and best rated among what's available. We then collected and analyzed ratings and reviews from retailers, forum discussions, and expert recommendations, including the most recent ones up to late January of 2022. For this edition, the data piled up to over 44,400 sources, all of which were processed via the Gearank Algorithm. This resulted in a rating score out of 100 for each of the short-listed ukes. Finally, we selected the highest rated ones to recommend above, along with a special section for top-rated pineapple soprano ukuleles. For more information about our methods see How Gearank Works.

About the Author and Contributors

Here are the key people and sources involved in this guide's production - click on linked names for information about their music industry backgrounds.

Lead Author & Researcher

Alexander BrionesAlexander Briones

I've written about and researched music gear for many years, while also serving as a music director at my local church, in addition to teaching guitar, bass and mentoring young musicians.

Drawing from his experience in performing and recording, he teaches guitar and bass and mentors young artists to be better musicians. And when he is not busy playing or tinkering with musical gear, he puts on his entrepreneurial hat, which helps fund his passion for collecting guitars, mecha figures and Gunpla kits.

Contributors

Alden Acosta: Product research.
Mason Hoberg: Supplemental writing.
Jason Horton: Editing and Illustrating.

Media

Main/Top Image: Created by Gearank.com using photographs of the First Act Blippi, Donner DUS-3,Cordoba 15SM,Luna Vintage Mahogany Pineapple and Enya X1.

The individual product images were sourced from websites, promotional materials or supporting documentation provided by their respective manufacturers.

The videos above have been embedded in accordance with YouTube's Terms of Service.

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