Best Ukulele Pickup: Buying Guide

All ukulele Pickups have one purpose, and that is to amplify the sound emitting from your ukulele. However, not all Pickups are capable of delivering the right tone. Some might even distort the sound and Pickup background noise! Don’t make the wrong purchase. Here are the best ukulele Pickup you can get today.

As its name suggests, a Pickup picks up the sound produced by your ukulele and takes it to the external amplifier. There is a misconception that this electronic device is not responsible for transforming the produced sound, but that’s not the case; a ukulele Pickup will only transfer the sound.

Most ukulele Pickups use piezo crystals to transform the sound vibrations into electric waves without a magnet. It differs from the magnetic ones used in guitars that need steel strings to produce an electric lock.

Top Ukulele Pickup Review

Most pickups are actually intended for all string instruments. However, some brands have optimized pickup models designed just for Ukulele, and here’s our recommendation:

1. LR Baggs Five.O Ukulele Pickup – Best Overall Ukulele Pickup

The LR Baggs Five.O Ukulele Pickup is designed to monitor and transfer your ukulele’s distinct sound. Plus, it integrates a soundhole accelerated volume control, a custom model of element Pickup, and a microscopic endpin preamp charged by a 3V battery. But despite all of its circuitry, this Pickup manages to be small and light.


  • Accurate frequency response
  • Volume control mounted in the sound hole
  • Tuned to capture the realistic Ukulele dynamics
  • Undersaddle pickup with a mini endpin preamp
  • Lightweight design and non-invasive installation


  • A bit expensive
  • Volume control position may not be appealing to everyone

2. The Feather Ukulele Pickup – Best Ukulele Microphone Pickup

Another worthy ukulele Pickup is The Feather Ukulele Pickup. Since it sits on top of the soundhole, this Pickup doesn’t require complicated installation and can be used immediately right out of the box. Despite being a microphone Pickup, it has a fully installed active preamp that is compatible with most wireless systems.

3. KNA UK-2 Piezo Pickup – Best Slide-in Ukulele Pickup

If you want a no-fuss Pickup, the KNA UK-2 Pieze Pickup is a wonderful choice. All you need to do is loosen the strings, slide the Pickup under the strip loop, and you can leave the Pickup installed on your ukulele.

And the best part? This ukulele Pickup has an inbuilt volume control. As for sound quality, the KNA UK-2 can Pickup natural sound that is so close to a ukulele’s original sound.


  • Made in the USA
  • No Batteries Required
  • Quick and Easy Installation
  • Twin Double-Sensor Passive Pickup
  • Can be installed on acoustic guitars and guitaleles


  • May not fit all Kala Ukuleles
  • It won’t be loud enough for performing without a preamp

4. Kremona KNA AP-1

It works as described and they find it pretty inexpensive for the sound it provides. Kremona customer support seems to be quite responsive and helpful so in case of any trouble you’ll be covered up well.

But, they also say that it’s not so durable regarding drops and any kind of hits, so treat it carefully.

This is a decent example of having a passive piezo pickup that doesn’t require drilling your instrument. It is mounted on the top of the tonewood and it’s packed in a nice wooden casing that should protect the pickup from unwanted background noises.

And the best of all, it may not just suit the Ukulele and other string instruments, it will work well even for Cajon instruments, too.


  • No drilling required
  • Handcrafted in Europe
  • Surface mount piezo pickup
  • Detachable cable with ¼” to ?” input jacks
  • Natural sound, ideal for all string instruments


  • Prone to vibrations
  • Not the best build quality

5. CLING ON Acoustic Pickup – Best Passive Ukulele Pickup

They praise the durability of this pickup as it can withstand even the step on issues and generally can’t find enough good words about it or about their swift customer service.

The only thing on their wishlist is that the volume rocker is placed on the outside, not the inside.

This pickup is one of our favorites. While being passive it still can produce enough volume for practicing. The build quality and the packing is exceptional and you’re going to love the volume rocker option so you can control your playing level without going to the amp or the mixer.

The sound is also on the match with the other features. While it doesn’t require any drilling, it manages to capture the authentic sound of your instrument and sound very close to its ‘mic’ sound.

And on top of that, we like the fact that it will also work on any string instrument


  • Magnetic attach system
  • Volume control rocker installed
  • No instrument modification required
  • Feedback resistant while preserving natural sound
  • Durable heavy-duty ABS construction with silicone padding


  • Might look bulky on Soprano Ukuleles
  • Wished if the volume rocker was placed on the opposite side

6. Luvay Ukulele Pickup – Best Ukulele Pickup for the Money

If you are a beginner and don’t want to spend a huge amount of money on your first ukulele Pickup, the Luvay Ukulele Pickup is right up in your alley. It attaches right on the ukulele’s body and doesn’t require you to punch a hole! Another welcome feature is that it has a volume control knob. If you have other instruments like a violin or an acoustic guitar, this Pickup is also compatible.

7. Adeline AD85 Piezo Pickup – Best Ukulele Piezo Pickup

Users loved the fact they can carry this pickup to multiple instruments without any hussle and they were impressed with the sound quality they are getting at this price range.

Also, some Soprano Ukulele owners reported that this pickup may look a bit bulky if you plan to use it on such an instrument.

Unlike other passive piezo soundboard pickups, this one comes with the volume control knob and a well-built wooden case which is equipped with a ¼” TS female jack. This case will protect the pickup from any environmental interference and instrument vibrations. The sound is more than just acceptable and you won’t have to worry about batteries due to its passive pickup nature.

It provides you with adhesive stickers so it’s easy to mount them on any surface without damaging soundboard finish and all those features make it ideal even for mounting on a classical guitar or a violin as well.


  • No drilling install setup
  • Prone to any environmental interference
  • Well-built wooden case that reduces vibrations
  • Can also work as classical guitar or violin pickup
  • Soundboard passive piezo pickup with volume control


  • Volume knob could be mounted on a top side
  • Wooden case design may be distracting for someone

8. Fishman Matrix Infinity Ukulele Pickup System

The Fishman Matrix Infinity Ukulele Pickup is a wonderful choice if you want a clear and transparent tone. It is an under-saddle type of Pickup with tone and volume controls and preamp. The only issue is this ukulele Pickup commands a price tag, and installation can be tricky.


  • Premium natural sound
  • Works without a battery
  • Ideal choice for professional players
  • Additional preamp accessories available
  • Passive undersaddle Ukulele crystal piezo pickup


  • Requires a completely flat saddle
  • Professional installation is suggested

9. Kremona KNA UK-1 Piezo – Best Ukulele Soundboard Pickup

Users love the look of this pickup. They tend to say it looks really elegant and they tend to keep it on their Ukulele even if it’s not used for a while.

They only wished that it was a little bit less sensitive as it can even capture your arm movement if you’re wearing long sleeves.

This piezo passive pickup is made to be bridge mounted and it comes with a ?” female TS jack with dedicated ?” to ¼” TS cable included. It has a wooden sensor casing and it’s very easy to set it up with no drilling required and can be easily detached as well.

The only modification it requires is to slide it onto the tie block and retighten the strings so it will fit all the Ukuleles that have the tie block.

All these mounting features get even more impressive when you hear how natural the tone sounds when plugged to the amp or preamp.


  • Fits all Ukuleles and looks beautiful
  • Delivers the natural sound of your ukulele
  • Detachable design that requires no drilling
  • Comes with the dedicated ?” to ¼” TS cable included
  • Passive piezo bridge pickup with wooden sensor casing


  • Might be a bit expensive for beginners
  • Sensor could be a little bit less sensitive

10. Kna AP-1 Portable Piezo Pickup

This Pickup effortlessly amplifies your acoustic instrument. It is attractive, practical, and convenient with quality sound. It does not sound like the other high-end ukulele Pickups, but it is a good purchase. It is compatible with violins, guitars, ukuleles, and many other instruments.

11. K&K Aloha Twin Double-Sensor Pickup

This type of ukulele does not use any batteries. However, it does not have an inbuilt preamp ukulele and is challenging to fit into the ukulele.

12. Fishman AG Undersaddle Ukulele Pickup

This Fishman ukulele Pickup model is also worth checking out. It doesn’t need a battery and can be plugged directly into your amplifier of choice. However, you will need to purchase the preamp separately – although the company claims you don’t need one. Professional installation is required.

13. ammoon Piezo Pickup – Best Ukulele Active Pickup

They are amazed at how good it works for the price given. There are also some reports of having this pickup system for more than three years and still working properly.

But they do advise you to measure very carefully before you remove any wood part from your Ukulele.

It’s one of the most affordable active pickup systems on the market and its performance is specially optimized for the Ukulele instruments.

It includes a piezo-ceramic pickup that needs to be installed inside the bridge, an onboard preamp panel with volume control and 3-band EQ for bass (low-shelf at 100 Hz), middle (centered at 300 Hz), and treble (high shelf at 10 kHz) spectrum that can be boosted or cut up to 12dB.

Besides EQ and volume control, there is also a large and clear display for chromatic tuner which will work so accurately that you won’t need any additional tuner.


  • 3 bands EQ control
  • Piezo ceramic pickup
  • Chromatic tuner with large LCD
  • Pickup with onboard preamp panel
  • Volume control knob and battery indicator light


  • No installation manual included
  • Might be too big for Soprano Ukulele

14. Myers Pickups The Grip 3”

They love the fact that the device can be mounted anywhere on the Ukulele without leaving and marks on the finish. Baritone Ukulele players report that the microphone sounds premium and that the low end is captured perfectly.

But, to be fair, they do complain about battery installation.

We like the shape of this gooseneck microphone and the versatility it provides you with. It allows you to mount it anywhere, so it’s up to you to put it in the soundhole or maybe move a bit closer to the neck so you can capture that more percussive sound of your Ukulele.

It’s very similar to soundboard pickups as it comes with the volume control and it’s very easy to set it on and off. Also, due to its specifications, it will work on any acoustic instrument.

And, the best of all, the build quality is superb just like you would expect from the products made in the USA.


  • Made in the USA
  • Easy to set and remove
  • Dedicated volume control
  • Works on all acoustic instruments
  • Smallest gooseneck microphone preamp


  • Battery installation could be a bit easier
  • Mini-XLR female jack would be a better solution

15. GOSONO Clip-On Pickup – Best Clip On Pickup for Ukulele

Buyers were aware they were buying a cheap pickup, so they didn’t expect a lot. It somewhat matched their amateur playing mindset.

However, you should test the ideal setup for clipping on as it may capture too much fingerpicking and buzz noise at some positions.

This is a basic and very affordable plastic pickup made not just for Ukulele but all small-format string instruments such as banjo, mandolin, bouzouki, lute, and even violin. It’s one-piece gear made of pickup with the pre-installed 8 feet cable with ¼ TS male connector.

It’s very easy to set it up and remove so it won’t require any professional assistance and no drilling will be required. It is designed to be placed on the sound hole and it is optimized to capture your natural sound while minimizing the background noise.


  • Sound hole clip-on design
  • Affordable plastic pickup system
  • Easy to remove from the instrument
  • Doesn’t require professional install assistance
  • Suitable for other small-format string instruments, too


  • Mediocre sound quality
  • Cheap build quality and short cable

How Does a Ukulele Pickup Work 

Good Ukulele Pickup shouldn’t change the nature of your instrument sound. It should simply capture the sound and send it to the preamp stage, so once it gets pre-amplified it can be produced by the amplifier on the various kinds of speakers.

It is usually made in the form of piezo crystals as it works much better with nylon strings than a regular electric guitar magnetic pickup.

So, if we want to simplify it – Ukulele Pickup converts sound vibrations into a signal and allows you to play your Ukulele much louder than its acoustic specification allows you to.

When Would I use a Ukulele Pickup

Here are some ideas when Ukulele Pickup may come in handy to your instrument:

Big Venues

You can’t perform in big venues with Acoustic Ukulele. Sure, you can mount the microphone in front of you, but that will limit your stage movement a lot.

Installing a decent pickup to your Ukulele will allow you to connect it to either mixer, DI box, or amplifier and have complete movement freedom. Equip a wireless transmitter instead of the cable and you can even go into the crowd.


While microphones may be a good way to record Ukulele, it may also be a more expensive one. And even if you have such microphones, providing an additional track of Ukulele straight from the pickup can’t harm your recording. On a contrary, it will generate much more clarity and definition of the final mix.

Using Effects

The best thing about Ukulele Pickups is that you can use all the stompboxes and effects dedicated to guitars. Sure, it might feel awkward at first to put a distortion to your Ukulele, but, trust us, it’s going to be a fun trip and you may even end up creating something unique and original from it.

Benefits of Investing in a Quality Ukulele Pickup

Here are some of the most essential benefits of having a quality Ukulele Pickup:

The Sound

Simply put, it’s all about the sound. Quality Ukulele Pickup will preserve the original and authentic sound of your instrument so it will sound just like you have placed a premium microphone in front of you.

So, in general, they will provide a better playing response and will maintain the natural sound while generating a much better headroom. And, most of the time, they will provide you with the additional controls for both volume and tone parameters.

Better Background Isolation

Cheaper pickups are not’ so good at isolating background noises. They might be so sensitive that it may even capture your sleeves movement if your hand goes above the pickup, or they may not transfer all the strings at the same volume.

Build Quality

If you purchase a premium soundboard Ukulele pickup, the first thing you’re going to notice is the difference in build quality. There won’t be any plastic parts, even wooden parts may be omitted as they will put an extra effort in providing a rugged and durable system that will endure any kind of drop or hit.

How to Record a Ukulele Without a Pickup

In case you don’t have a pickup and you need to record a Ukulele, you can use a microphone instead.

Condenser microphones will be an ideal choice for this purpose, and luckily, due to the nature of the Ukulele instrument most unwanted low-end signals won’t have to be treated as this instrument isn’t capable of creating it.

Ideally, you will place two microphones and blend the recorded source together – a small condenser aiming at the spot where the neck joins the body and the large condenser placed close to the sound hole but not aiming directly on it. The small diaphragm microphone should be placed closer than a large one.

However, don’t place your instrument too close to the microphones as Ukulele works the best if a bit of the room sound is captured.

Also, recording a ukulele might be a little bit different than playing live.  So, if the song arrangement requires a bit more percussive sound there is nothing wrong to use a pick for recording. But, if you need more mellow sound, cotton picks can work better than a fingerpicking.

What to Look For in the Best Ukulele Pickup

When shopping for a ukulele Pickup, you’ll have to consider the type of ukulele Pickup, choose between passive and active, and of course, the installation process. Here is a closer look at these buying factors.

Types of Ukulele Pickups

There are various types of ukulele Pickups available for selection. Some of them may help enhance the sound produced by the ukulele, while others only depend on the original sound.

Soundboard Transducer (SBT)

A soundboard transducer is generally a piezo Pickup that fits perfectly underneath the soundboard and is best for ukuleles with permanent bridge saddles. One disadvantage of this device is that it is susceptible to collecting some feedback and background noises, including the sound of your ukulele rubbing against you.

High-end soundboard transducers don’t have this issue, but cheaper and unknown SBT Pickups will most likely have this problem.

Under Saddle Transducer (UST)

As its name suggests, this form of ukulele Pickup is placed at the base of the saddle slot. However, it does need a tiny hole to let the wire connecting with the endpin jack pass.

In terms of transferring the sound, a UST is better than SBTs because it directly transmits the string vibrations without any interference. UST ukulele Pickups are the preferred Pickup because of their simplicity and consistency.


This type of ukulele Pickup is very picky and challenging to use during performance. However, when positioned right, it produces the best-amplified vibrations of the ukulele. As a matter of fact, many ukulele performers use a microphone to get the job done.

The most effective microphone in acoustic instrumentation is usually a large condenser mic at the center of the stage without monitors. You can also use a tiny but strategically positioned microphone, but it’s less efficient than the larger one.

Active vs. Passive

Another thing to consider when buying a ukulele Pickup is choosing between active and passive Pickups. An active Pickup has a pre-built amp that is powered by a 9V battery. On the other hand, a passive Pickup doesn’t have a preamp and connects directly to the jackpin. So, which one to choose?

An active Pickup offers consistency but is heavier and usually requires professional installation to make room for the battery. Passive Pickup is lighter and gives a fuller sound, but you’ll need an external amp.


As there are many different Ukulele pickups, we’re going to review the installation of the most complex one – undersaddle active pickup.

  1. First, of all, remove all the strings from your Ukulele and use a bit to file down the bridge slot to compensate for the height of the pickup. Use the tape to protect the finish around the bridge slot.
  2. Next, make a template of the preamp bottom part on the piece of cardboard and stick it temporarily on a place where you want to install the preamp. Draw the outline on the tape and use the drill or even better a jigsaw to cut inside of the shape then and file it down to match the preamp bottom size. Before completing, try to put the preamp so you don’t file it too much.
  3. The piece of the wood you have cut can be split into four pieces and reinforce the parts where the preamp screws are going to be installed. Sand it down and stick it with the glue beneath the body surface.
  4. Now, drill the hole on the backside of the Ukulele to provide a hole for the female jack. We would recommend it to place it a bit lower than a center so that your instrument cable doesn’t interfere with your strumming hand.
  5. Use the solder and screwdriver to install and tighten the female jack and then, drill a small hole on the top of the bridge so you can install the piezo pickup. Test if the hole is big enough first and then pull the pickup inside of the soundhole and put it through the hole on your bridge. Once it covers the whole bridge part, secure it in such a position with the tape.
  6. Once you’re down with modifications, remove the tape from your body.


Ukulele pickup is a very handy accessory for both premium and semi-pro Ukulele models. It will provide you with extra loudness so there won’t be a venue where you can’t play and it will improve your overall sound for live performance. It’s the next logical step on the road to becoming a professional player.

Remember, when buying the best ukulele Pickup, always consider the installation, type of ukulele Pickup, and if you prefer active or passive. And, if budget is an issue or you’re a beginner, you can always get budget choice – Luvay Acoustic Pickup.

FAQ for Best Ukulele Pickup

What are the best ukulele pickups?

The best ukulele Pickup that you can get today is the LR Baggs Five.O Ukulele Pickup. But other noteworthy models can also provide you with fantastic Pickup performance.

What is a passive pickup on a ukulele?

Most Ukulele Pickups are passive. They need a preamp before the amplifying stage and they may also come in “no drilling” variants.

What is an active pickup on a ukulele?

Active Pickup is nothing more but a regular Ukulele pickup connected with the onboard preamp system. They require a lot of drilling, so you may end up asking professional assistance to install this unit on your instrument.

What is an undersaddle pickup ukulele?

This model has a piezo pickup installed under the saddle, part of the bridge. It can be used for both Passive and Active preamps and it requires just a small drill on the top of the saddle so you can set the pickup just beneath the saddle.

What is a soundboard ukulele pickup?

Soundboard Pickup is considered to be one of the least invasive methods to your instrument. It uses an adhesive tape to mount the sensor pick up on the top of the tonewood.

At this moment, there is no active soundboard pickup available on the market.

What is a gooseneck microphone for ukulele?

Instead of a magnet, a gooseneck microphone can be mounted to capture the sound coming out from the soundhole. These models also don’t require any drilling and belong to Active Pickup systems as microphones can’t work without a proper preamplifier installed, so they usually have at least a volume control included onboard.

What pickup should install on ukulele?

Our choice would definitely go towards passive models. Most of the Active pickups on the market are quite cheaper than Passive while having an additional preamp section. This should probably tell you a lot about the pickup quality installed in those models.

Passive pickup may require additional equipment, but eventually, it will allow you to combine better gear together and it will produce much better overall sound. It doesn’t mean that Active pickup won’t sound good. As a matter of fact, if you’re a newbie, it will be the easiest way to make your Ukulele wired. But, for those who feel more professional, a passive pickup is a way to go.

Speaking of other concerns, if you don’t feel comfortable with drilling your instrument, it’s quite easy – soundboard and clip on pickups are made just for you.

What’s the difference between a preamp and an amplifier?

Preamp boosts the signal up to the line level. It is a necessary sound stage before you can amplify it further.

Luckily, many guitar amplifiers and mixing boards come with some sort of the preamp installed, so, unless you want to plug into your computer, you won’t need a dedicated preamp.

Where should install electric pickup on ukulele?

It should be installed either on the soundboard, beneath the saddle from the inner side, mounted directly on the sound hole, or placed right next to the tie block on the bridge saddle.

It all depends on what exact model you have purchased.

Do need a preamp with a ukulele pickup?

It depends if you have purchased active or passive pickup. For passive models, you will need an additional preamp or an amp, while active models will provide you everything you need so you can plug in directly.

Some passive models may be loud enough so you can play it at your home, though.

How do connect ukulele to an amplifier?

You will need a basic instrument cable, also known as ¼” TS cable. Simply first plug one end to your Ukulele female jack and then connect it to the amp, turn it on and dial the volume at the level you need, and adjust the tone if needed.

Should I buy an electric ukulele?

If you haven’t purchased Ukulele at all yet, or you have an entry-level acoustic model and you don’t like to install things on your own, Electric Ukulele might be a better choice.

But, bear in mind that those pickups we’ve listed have a much better sound quality than most of Electric Ukulele models.

Leave a Comment