The top ten brands of ukulele include Kala, Mahalo, Lanikai, Pono, and Kamaka, along with Luna, Kanilea, Oscar Schmidt, Martin and Cordoba. Kala and Lanikai are the top two brand choices for soprano, concert, tenor and baritone ukuleles. Other top brands for each type include Makala and Martin soprano ukuleles, Oscar Schmidt concert and baritone ukuleles, and Cordoba concert and tenor ukuleles. Pono and Kanilea are higher-end ukuleles, while Kala offers lower- and higher-end ukuleles and starter kits.
Popular starter ukuleles include the Makala Dolphin, which is made of plastic but offers quality tone and playability. An option that sets Makala Dolphin ukuleles apart from other brands is their availability of colored ukuleles, including purple, metallic blue, pearl white, pink and yellow. Another popular starter ukulele is the Lanikai LU-21. An alternative to the plastic options from Makala, the Lanikai LU-21 is made of mahogany wood with a natural finish.
For more experienced players, one of the most popular high-end models of ukulele is the Martin 0XK soprano ukulele. Made of Koa wood-patterned high-pressure laminate, the Martin 0XK offers superior playability with balanced and even tone. Unlike other soprano ukuleles, which can sound more metallic and high-pitched, this model emits a warmer, fuller sound.