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Best Acoustic Electric Guitar 2024? It’s NOT What You Think…

Are electro acoustic guitars worth it? Which is the best for beginners?? We investigate...

Finding the best acoustic electric guitar is like trying to find a tiny needle that some bright spark has tossed into a haystack.

It’s NO walk in the park!

So it’s little surprise that the ‘best electro acoustic guitars’ is not only one of the most searched musical terms on the internet, but also one where there’s the most confusion. See, if you think it’s hard to choose a regular classical guitar, try choosing an electro acoustic (which is in essence, 2 guitars in 1)!! We never said it would be easy…

Nor cheap. Because as you’d expect, with the sheer popularity of electric acoustics + the fact they’re anything but the cheapest guitars in the world, means there’s also a great deal of crummy examples floating around, using a premium price to trick you into thinking they’re a quality product. Team that with the MASS amount of factors you need to consider before buying, & you can soon see why buying the ‘best’ electric acoustic guitar is so difficult.

Question is then, what actually is the best acoustic electric on the market? & how much should you spend on an electric acoustic guitar? Do they have a ceiling price? We reveal all…

After something specific about the best acoustic-electric guitar? Or just curious if it’s worth buying an acoustic electric guitar? Use the menu below to find all the answers you need in a single click…

Here for more than just acoustic electric guitars? Be sure to also check out our Review Of The Best Acoustic Guitars + the Top Acoustic For Beginners.

Trying to narrow down your options & get your hands on the best acoustic electric guitar? Well…

Prepare to be swamped. Because with electric acoustic guitars essentially being 2 instruments in 1, you’ve not only to do double the research, but also be able understand how such an instrument will fit into how you play. Team that with how every brand has their own take on the acoustic electric formula + that some guitars are aimed more at professionals than others, & it’s not hard to see why SO many musicians are misled into buying the wrong electro acoustic (alarm bells).

Thankfully though, that doesn’t have to be you! Because we’ve scoured the world of guitars to bring you a rundown of what we consider to be the best acoustic electric guitars on sale today…

ALL CONTENT IS WRITTEN BY OUR IN-HOUSE AUTHORS & BASED ON REAL WORLD EXPERIENCE. WE MAY RECEIVE A SMALL COMMISSION IF YOU BUY THROUGH THIS SITE.

1: Ibanez AEG70

2: Taylor Baby BTE

3: Mitchell MX400

4: Cordoba Fusion 5 Jet

5: Godin A12

6: Takamine GF30CE-BLK FXC

7: Ovation Applause AE44-7S

8: Gretsch vintage guitar

9: Washburn Festival EA15 Mini Jumbo

Not every guitarist (especially a newbie) has serious £$€ to splash on the ‘best of the best’ when it comes to guitars.

In fact, if this is you, a super professional electro acoustic may not even be for you – especially if you’re not even sure whether you’ll stick with guitar long term. Club that with how (as a beginner) you’re probably not all that sure what you’re even looking for in a guitar, & an affordable acoustic electric guitar for beginners suddenly seems like a safe bet. Not to mention a wise way of investing your budget.

So with that in mind, here’s what we consider to be the best acoustic electric guitar for beginners that performs – yet doesn’t break the bank…

10: Takamine GD93CE-NAT

If you’re really on a budget, then your search for an acoustic electric guitar will be somewhat limited.

Limited to the point that you’ll most likely have to opt for what guitarists would dub as a ‘cheap’ or ‘budget’ acoustic electric guitar. And don’t get us wrong – there’s nothing wrong with that. Not all cheap electric acoustics are bad, BUT fact remains that the cheaper you go, the more guitars with a ‘questionable’ build you’ll come across. To the point that (if you’re not clued up) you could very easily end up buying an inferior guitar – & thus being put-off electro acoustics all together!!

Hardly ideal… so to avoid that from happening, here’s what after a lot of testing, we consider to be the best budget acoustic electric guitar…

11: Ibanez AEG50

We get it.

Sometimes you want to practice guitar ‘on the go’ without having to compromise a whole load of space. Believe us, as an Editorial team with multiple kids, we know ALL about the relationship between a fascination with instruments & a lack of space! But that’s not to say there’s no way around this. See, acoustic electrics which are sized like travel guitars, are now becoming increasingly common. To the point that you could even say that acoustic electric guitars have become portable.

In which case, if you want ‘on the go’ access to the built-in preamp & headphone inputs that you get with acoustic electrics, you can. Say hello to what we deem to be the best acoustic electric travel guitar…

12: Donner HUSH-I silent travel guitar

If you’re a fan of volume & a present top end, then going acoustic electric may only make sense if you opt for to go jumbo.

As any keen guitarist will know, jumbos are not the easiest guitars to play (hands up), BUT they are some of the most diverse when it comes to acoustic tone – i.e. very rewarding! So, if you’re a frequent performer who wants to work a serious amount of depth into your acoustic performance, sizing up to a jumbo wouldn’t be a bad idea. So much so that we actually use a jumbo ourselves – this one in fact…

So if you’re eager to upsize without spending a small fortune, this is no doubt going to be the best acoustic electric jumbo guitar for you…

13: Guild Guitars F-240E

Enjoy this review of the best acoustic electric guitars & eager for more? Jump into our Stringed Instrument Knowledge & advice on whole host of Musical Instruments. Recently we also did a rundown of the Best Electric Guitars For Beginners + another on the Best Guitar For Kids, which may also be a good read.

Or if you’ve still trying to decide what acoustic electric guitar is best for you, keep reading & we’ll answer more of your burning questions…

Yes – no question about it – acoustic electric guitars are 100% worth it!

Admittedly, if you just use acoustic then you may disagree – the difference in price can put some traditionalists off – BUT with electric opening up SO many more avenues in terms of sound, effects & your overall production process, we’d say that in today’s day & age, acoustic electric is just common sense… call it ‘acoustic guitar 2.0’.

Aside from the fact you can use guitar pedals with an electro acoustic, you also open up the possibility of recording audio straight into your DAW, instead of having to record raw audio using a microphone. Plus, because electro acoustics even come with a built-in premap, making small adjustments while recording is super simple too. And if that’s not enough, you can even hook up headphones too!

Ideal if you’re wanting to practice at volume in a restrictive space… those who live in flats/ apartments, we’re talking to you! Then of course, despite all these perks, even the best acoustic electric guitars don’t differ all that much in terms of…

  • Curb weight
  • Size & overall shape
  • General Appearance

Go on to team this with how they can also connect up to an amp with just 1 lead, & yep – if you ask us, acoustic electric guitars are a dramatic improvement on a standard acoustic. So much so that you’d be silly to let the £$€ put you off buying one.

With SO many variants, brands & sizes out there, choosing an electric acoustic guitar can turn into quite the task.

One that without proper guidance can soon turn into a real humdinger. And thus leave you open to choosing the wrong guitar for your style of play, genre of music or general tonal requirements. So to help you hone in on the best electric acoustic guitars super fast, here’s a couple of pointers on what to look for…

  • Pickup Pickup Pickup – The pickup is arguably the heart of any guitar, as it’s what the turns the vibrations in the strings into sound; the quality of a pickup is vital if you want to achieve the best possible tone, especially with an electric acoustic. So when searching, be sure to read up on the various types of pickups & make sure that the guitar you’re buying, has the right one. If not, it’ll come as an additional cost, as you’ll have to get it upgraded. If it makes any form of drumming or humming noise, walk away.
  • Preamp quality – With an electro acoustic guitar, the preamp is where the sound for the electric part of the guitar will be amplified. The quality of the amplification can determine (A) how true the sound is to your live play & (B) the overall quality you’re able to achieve in your DAW. So while cheap electro acoustics may seem on the surface like a good idea, spending that bit more for a better preamp can easily save you time & $£€ down the line.
  • Types of tonewoods – As much as a preamp takes care of the electric side of things, acoustically at least, you’re still reliant on tonewoods. So when looking for the best electric acoustic guitar, be sure to pay attention to the wood type + bear in mind the implications that may have on your sound. For instance, Mahogany is one of the warmest you can get, while Rosewood & Maple can be significantly cooler.

Whether an acoustic electric guitars is the best choice for beginners, really all depends on what sort of beginner you are.

Find yourself seriously considering learning guitar to a hobbiest level (at the very least), then chances are an acoustic electric would be a great place to start. Aside from the fact acoustic electrics open up SO much more possibilities in the way of sound, they’re also a heap more flexible. Something that we’d argue not only makes them a better tool for learning, but also a more adaptable instrument for performing & touring on the road.

And yes – they may not be the cheapest guitars out there, BUT as far as all-rounders go, they’re pretty much unbeatable.

In fact, the only time we’d say stick to acoustic would be if you’re not entirely sure about playing/ learning guitar at all. In which case, an electric acoustic may be (pardon the cliche) trying to run before you can walk.

Ed Sheeran went from being an everyday street musician to a multinational sensation, using nothing more than his voice… & an acoustic-electric guitar.

His ‘go-to’ choice – the Martin LX1E – is actually a 3/4 size guitar, that’s regarded to be one of the best acoustic electric guitars you can buy. Martin guitars in general are pretty close to Ed’s heart. Before the LX1E, he was spotted performing with the equally small & rather more niche looking guitar – the Martin Backpacker.

And while Ed has used multiple guitars to get to where he is today, including other acoustics & a signature Eric Clapton Edition of a Fender Strat, it’s his acoustic electric guitars that have become very much a symbol of him & a key part of his brand.

Want o learn more about Sheeran’s guitar gear? Jump into our full rundown of Ed Sheeran’s Guitars.

Two words: live performance.

See, on stage is really where the best acoustic electric guitars come into their own. Because not only can they be hooked up to an amp with just 1 lead, but they also allow for precise sound adjustments too. What’s more, if you spend that bit extra £$€ & get a jumbo, the projection will be greater than 99% of standard acoustics.

But performance aside, electro acoustics also work really well as creative tools for music production & general learning. Being part electric, the sound you create can be fed directly in a DAW + you can jack in a pair of headphones if you find yourself wanting to practice in a acoustically restrictive place.

Yes acoustics may be the ‘authentic’ guitar & (arguably) be that bit lighter + cheaper too. BUt for all the advantages the best acoustic electric guitars give you, we’d say they’re less so a cheesy gimmick & more so an evolution.

Acoustic Guitar 2.0

Whether acoustic electric guitars sound worse all comes back to what & how you’re playing.

So should you be playing acoustically, then there is an argument that electrics & preamp in the guitar, can alter the tone ever so slightly. A lot of musicians describe the tone of an electro acoustic to be slightly thinner than their acoustic counterparts. However, to be honest with you, we cannot tell all that much of difference.

If anything, it’s when it comes to digital recordings that electric acoustic guitars come into their own. With electric acoustics been able to feed audio direct int your DAW, as far as ease of use in the studio use goes, they’re often regarded the superior choice. Not having to mic up an acoustic virtually eradicates any interference you may occur with the mic. That being said though, the quality of the recording will depend on the quality of your preamps.

Plus, some producers like the character that certain mics bring to certain instruments, & argue that the electric signals you can get from some acoustic electrics can sound a bit lifeless & flat. But really, in the end we’d say it’s like this…

  • Buy a cheap acoustic electric guitar = the sound may well be slightly worse, unless of course you upgrade the pres.
  • Buy a more premium electro acoustic = the sound will be improved + you’ll also get all the workflow hacks that come with having a direct hook-up to your DAW.

Yep – acoustic electric guitars often require a 9V battery to power their in-built preamps.

And while some do NOT, it’s generally regarded that the best acoustic electric guitars do require a battery because of how it enhances their sound. Something that all comes back to the pickups & how they need serious amplification in order to sound their best at line level.

As for how long the batteries last in an acoustic electric guitar, that really all comes back to usage & of course the battery itself. And we know, it sound incredibly petty (maybe even borderline brand snobbish), but we would always suggest using a quality battery from a well-known brand, opposed to a cheap ‘own-brand’ from a supermarket.

Because not only do the pres require a reliable source of power to function at their best, but you don’t want the battery bursting open & the acid eating into the battery connectors on your guitar. A common occurrence with cheap mass-produced batteries. Do so & you may have to replace your entire preamps setup, in an effort to rectify the mess.

A procedure that’s (A) not cheap & (B) could bring a live gig/ tour to a sudden halt.

How much electric acoustic guitars cost differs quite substantially.

So while you can pick up a decent acoustic electric for a couple £100, the price can get as a high as £10k!! However…

Realistically speaking, a good price to pay for an electro acoustic would be somewhere in the region of £400 – £1000 – i.e. the sweet-spot for most intermediate/ semi-pro players in terms of price. And that’s because these acoustic electrics tend to be masters of one thing – balance. Buy a guitar in this price range & you should (providing you do your research) get your hands on a quality piece of kit that ticks pretty much all the boxes…

  • Great tonewood
  • Smooth preamps
  • Durable build (including a solid wood top!)

In other words a guitar that serves as a reliable long-term instrument. It’s only if you’re a dedicated professional or avid collector that we’d suggest going for anything above £1k. Do so however & the main thing you’ll be paying for is the wood. Typically guitars of this calibre are made of solid wood on the front, back & sides + are made in FAR smaller numbers.

Hence the jump in price. And why we’d say a good mid-range guitar is (for most players) the best acoustic electric guitar.