10 Best Acoustic Guitars Under $300 – Better Music on a Budget

Whether you’re a budding guitar player or a musical prodigy, an acoustic guitar is something you shouldn’t be without. As one of the most basic instruments available, the humble acoustic guitar is often the first we learn to play. Simple yet versatile, its strings can belt out harmonious ballads or show-stopping rock and roll.

Needless to say, the acoustic guitar is a mainstay in any musician’s arsenal, regardless of experience or repertoire. But as some of the choices available on the market might be a little too expensive, you might be thinking an acoustic guitar isn’t something you can immediately afford.

But that’s not actually the case. There are a handful of great options out there that cost less than $300, offering you great sound and performance without putting too much of a dent on your wallet.

Don’t believe it? We’ve studied the market and done numerous tests – here’s our take on the best acoustic guitars under $300.

Overview

Perform a basic search for the best acoustic guitar, and you’re likely to be confronted with thousands of options. Needless to say, it can be overwhelming – where do you even begin? We know how overwhelming it can get to sift through hundreds upon hundreds of choices. And that’s why we’ve narrowed down the list to help you fine-tune your search.

Our picks for the best acoustic guitar under $300 were selected using our own set of parameters and qualifications. These considered sound, performance, playability, build quality, and overall value.

After examining every option closely, we narrowed down our list to just 10 picks, each one bringing something unique to the table. Here are our choices for the 10 best acoustic guitars for under $300.

Editor choice 1 Jameson Guitars Full Size Thinline Acoustic Electric Guitar
10
Jameson Guitars Full Size Thinline Acoustic Electric Guitar
(Best Acoustic-Electric Guitar Under $300)

The Jameson Acoustic Electric Guitar boasts full sound and versatility. At just under $300, this model lets you hook up to an amplifier for instantly improved resonance and volume.

10
2 Jasmine S34C NEX Acoustic Guitar
9.9
Jasmine S34C NEX Acoustic Guitar
(Best Acoustic Non-Electric guitar under $300)

The Jasmine S34C’s spruce top and rosewood fingerboard make it especially attractive. But aside from killer looks, this beauty also boasts premium design that’s intended for beginners.

9.9
3 Epiphone DR-100 Acoustic Guitar
9.9
Epiphone DR-100 Acoustic Guitar
(Best Casual Acoustic Guitar Under $300)

The Epiphone DR-100 is the brand’s best entry-level model. Designed will all the basics, this guitar serves as a suitable companion for casual players who enjoy daily strumming.

9.9
4 Bristol BD-116 BD-16 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
9.8
Bristol BD-116 BD-16 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
(Best Finger style Acoustic Guitar Under $300)

Named after the birthplace of country music, this beautiful model offers marvelous sound in a pristine package. Its unique design invites fingerstyle play, perfect for folk music and a range of other genres.

9.8
5 Yamaha FG800 Solid Top Acoustic Guitar
9.7
Yamaha FG800 Solid Top Acoustic Guitar
(Best Budget Acoustic Guitar Under $300)

As one of the most affordable, The Yamaha FG800 brings dynamic sound at an attainable cost. Maximizing playability, the FG800 can be especially pleasant on the fingers, letting you play for hours without discomfort.

9.7
6 Ovation Applause AE44II-4 Acoustic Electric Guitar
9.7
Ovation Applause AE44II-4 Acoustic Electric Guitar
(Best Premium Acoustic Guitar Under $300)

Its smooth, sleek, minimalist aesthetic can draw anyone to the Applause AE4II-4. But more than that, its well-balanced, full-bodied sound makes it a hit among more meticulous musicians.

9.7
7 Washburn Comfort G-Mini 55 Koa Travel Size Acoustic Guitar
9.5
Washburn Comfort G-Mini 55 Koa Travel Size Acoustic Guitar
(Best Travel Acoustic Guitar Under $300)

Washuburn’s Comfort G-Mini 55 Koa is a travel sized guitar that makes a great choice if you’re looking for an everyday music companion. Its warm sound is slightly more hushed, but beautifully melodic and resonant nonetheless.

9.5
8 Alvarez Artist Series AD60 Dreadnought Guitar
9.4
Alvarez Artist Series AD60 Dreadnought Guitar
(Best Durable Acoustic Guitar for Under $300)

Designed to last, the Alvarez AD60 is the kind of acoustic guitar you can pluck and strum for years to come. Solid construction and premium materials make it the ideal lifelong musical investment.

9.4
9 Yamaha APTX2 3/4-Size Acoustic-Electric Guitar
9.3
Yamaha APTX2 3/4-Size Acoustic-Electric Guitar
(Best Compact Electric Acoustic Guitar Under $300)

Fun and compact, the Yamaha APTX was designed for playing on the road. Its premium sound shines through whether you’re hooked to an amp or not.

9.3
10 Washburn Harvest Series WG7SCE Acoustic-Electric Guitar
9.3
Washburn Harvest Series WG7SCE Acoustic-Electric Guitar
(Best Sounding Acoustic Guitar Under $300)

This is a guitar that doesn’t joke around when it comes to sound quality. Loud and bellowing, the Washburn WG7SCE might just give your music that hearty voice you were looking for.

9.3

 

1 Editor choice

Jameson Guitars Full Size Thinline Acoustic Electric Guitar – Best Acoustic-Electric Guitar Under $300

Features

  • Built-in pickup
  • 41-inch length
  • Free gig bag and picks
  • Binding on body and neck to limit dents, scratches, and nicks
  • Thin-line body

At a glance, the Jameson Guitars Full-Size Thin-Line Acoustic Electric Guitar can catch anyone’s attention with its sleek, high-gloss finish. Gentle curves and a classic country appeal make it especially attractive to musicians who are particular about their guitar’s aesthetic appeal.

Holding this Jameson Guitars model in your hands, it’s not hard to see the quality of craftsmanship that went into making it. Smooth exteriors, pristine edges, and a durable feel can impress even the most meticulous of players. And to protect its neat appearance, binding on both the body and neck gives you some sacrificial material for potential nicks and dings.

Moving on to sound quality, the Jameson Guitars Full-Size Thin-Line Acoustic Electric Guitar does not disappoint. Full, bellowing sound is produced from even the slightest of strums, giving you great power that’s perfect for the stage. If you need even more oomph, the guitar comes with a built-in pick-up that easily connects to an amplifier to take your sound to the next level.

At just 3-inches thick, this model stays true to its name. The Thin-Line design provides maximum comfort and playability, letting you sit and strum for hours on end. The strings are light and cooperative, producing melodic symphonies with the greatest of ease – a far cry from the hard-playing, shallow-sounding guitars that usually fall within the same price range.

So, what’s the downside? Aside from the company’s customer support that might not be as reliable or responsive as most of us would prefer, some users have found that a minor sound nuance might arise over time.

A slight buzzing can be heard after a few years of use, which may indicate a loose part somewhere inside. Taking it to a repair shop and getting everything tightened for a few bucks can be more than enough to patch things up.

Positives
  • Excellent, full sound quality that’s deep and well-rounded
  • Built-in pick-up for more versatility
  • Pristine high-gloss finish adds a touch of aesthetic appeal
  • Binding body and neck limits damage from wear and tear
  • Thin body allows exceptional comfort for extended periods of play
Negatives
  • Customer service could be improved
  • Internal parts may loosen with frequent use
2

Jasmine S34C NEX Acoustic Guitar – Best Acoustic Non-Electric guitar under $300

Features

  • Smooth satin finish
  • Elegant Venetian-style cutaway
  • Premium construction and craftsmanship
  • Full-body binding for scratch resistance
  • 48-inch length

Combining a range of different woods and materials, the Jasmine S34C NEX Acoustic Guitar is the beaming example of expert craftsmanship. When you first take it into your hands, it’s smooth laminate spruce top and rosewood finger board seem to invite your fingers to strum and pluck.

Its sapele back and sides are lightweight yet durable, allowing supreme resonance with each chord you play. And to top it all off, the design features a natural gloss finish that highlights the grain of the model’s sanded wood.

Now, if you were worried of damaging the guitar’s gorgeous design, it pays to know that the S34C NEX boasts full body binding for excellent damage control.
In terms of sound, the Jasmine S34C NEX Acoustic Guitar was designed for precision. The model lets out full, well-balanced sounds that are distinct and precise, allowing first timers to accustom themselves to the technicalities of a guitar’s intricate dynamics.

Jasmine S34C NEX Acoustic Guitar-4

Of course, having been designed for novices, the S34C NEX from Jasmine also boasts a bunch of ergonomic features to improve comfort. A Venetian-style cut-out gives you ease of access to higher frets on the board, and the slim body promotes greater comfort during use. So even the most inexperienced of players can feel confident when holding this beaut in their arms.

Now while there is a lot to love about the Jasmine S34C NEX, there are a few downsides. If you’re especially particular about glue marks, then it pays to know that the S34C comes with quite a few. Sure, they don’t affect performance and sound, but they can be a bit of nuance for meticulous guitar owners.

It’s also worth mentioning that the synthetic bone nut and saddle might dampen the sound quite a bit. But bone replacements are easy to find and inexpensive, so you can definitely improve the feature post-purchase.

Positives
  • Great sound quality with precise, distinct notes
  • Cutaway feature allows easier maneuvering to access higher frets
  • Lightweight, slim body enables users to play with maximum comfort
  • Pleasing to the eye with combination of woods and a classy satin finish
  • Easy to play and to become accustomed to
Negatives
  • Synthetic bone can dampen sound, requiring replacement
  • Glue marks on the fret board and body can be an aesthetic nuance
3

Epiphone DR-100 Acoustic Guitar – Best Casual Acoustic Guitar Under $300

Features

  • S42-inch length
  • Mahogany body and spruce top
  • Lively, bold sound quality
  • Comfortable, ergonomic body
  • Ambidextrous design

As Epiphone’s bestselling acoustic guitar, the DR-100 is a well-rounded choice that brings you all the benefits you would look for in an acoustic guitar. Its premium mahogany body and spruce top provide exceptional resonance for quality sound.

Its body is also optimized for comfort and ease of use, coming in at a fairly light weight that’s easy to handle and play. At 42-inches in length, the guitar allows ambidextrous use, great for musical sessions with the gang.

Balanced and warm, the DR-100 lets out bright, lively notes that are deep and powerful. Of course, that’s something you would expect from the Epiphone brand given their positive reputation. Needless to say, their best entry level leaves a lot of other competitors in the dust, providing full-bodied sound that’s complete and well-rounded despite its relatively lower cost.

Comfortable to play and rich in sound quality, the DR-100 is a guitar that’s designed for camp outs, get-together’s, road trips, and any other casual occasion that might come to mind. Combining great sound, optimal comfort, and supreme playability, this all-around guitar can find a suitable spot as an everyday companion.

So, what about the downsides? While we wouldn’t call it a deal-breaker, the DR-100 is pretty lightweight compared to a lot of other choices on the market. Action might also seem a little high on some models, and they have the tendency to adjust on their own even after being fine-tuned.

Positives
  • Premium resonance and sound that’s full and well-balanced
  • Ambidextrous silhouette for multiple users
  • Classic Epiphone aesthetic is sleek and sophisticated
  • Comfortable design for daily use
  • All the essential features in a well-constructed package
Negatives
  • Lightweight body can be uneasy to play for some users
  • Action requires routine adjustment to maintain the proper height
4

Bristol BD-116 BD-16 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar – Best Finger style Acoustic Guitar Under $300

Features

  • Scalloped braces
  • Slim neck
  • Free hard-shell case
  • Lowered action
  • Professional-grade sound

Despite being less than $300, the Bristol BD-112 BD-16 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar promises professional-grade sound. It achieves this by way of its spruce top fitted with scalloped braces that help to improve sound quality for full, rich notes with each strum.

Unlike others in the same price range that tend to produce shallow sound, the BD-116 sings with balanced notes that are bright and lively, great for playing fast-paced tunes.
Named after the birthplace of country music, the Bristol BD-116 BD-16 was designed with folk music in mind. The lowered action in combination with the slim neck pave the way for easy fingerstyle. So the model makes a great choice for exploring more complicated, complex chords that call for speed and dexterity.

Bristol BD-116 BD-16 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar -4

Aside from its exceptionally impressive sound, this pick from Bristol also boasts enticing aesthetics. Simple yet elegant, the affordable guitar just exudes quality craftsmanship – from its well-sanded, high-gloss spruce top, to its warm mahogany backing and sides. Every inch of the BD-116 BD-16 just begs to be traced with your hands and fingers.

Of course, despite being a great guitar, there are limitations to the Bristol’s design. For starters, it might not be the most comfortable to play if you’re a beginner learning the ropes. Its large body and lowered action can make it feel clumsy in the hands of a novice.

Plus, if you were hoping to get more volume out of the model, it might be necessary to resort to flatpicking, since it won’t produce as loud of a sound with old fashioned fingerstyle.

Positives
  • Especially designed for easy fingerstyle
  • Professional sound quality doesn’t disappoint
  • Beautiful body and build that promises durability
  • Bone nut and saddle are great upgrades compared to others on the list
  • Sealed tuners are easy to adjust and stay in place
Negatives
  • Not the most comfortable guitar to play
  • Discrepancy between fingerstyle and flatpicking volumes
5

Yamaha FG800 Solid Top Acoustic Guitar – Best Budget Acoustic Guitar Under $300

Features

  • Adjustable truss rod
  • 42.5 inch length
  • Available in two body shapes
  • Scalloped braces
  • Spruce, rosewood, and nato wood combination

We all know Yamaha as one of the best brands offering musical instruments. Straight out of Japan, Yamaha has become something of an international brand, recognized as a top name anywhere in the world. Their FG800 is a proud testament of the kind of quality that the brand provides, boasting excellent design and impressive sound in a comfortable package.

With this entry-level model, the brand’s goal was to come up with a design that could support all types of genres and play styles. So, they tweaked the ergonomics for supreme playability. A comfortably sized body, a fret board that fits perfectly in the grasp, and an optimally adjusted action make it exceptionally easy to hold, play, and get the hang of.

Yamaha FG800 Solid Top Acoustic Guitar-2

Despite coming in as one of the cheapest choices on our list, the Yamaha FG800 doesn’t lag behind in terms of sound quality. Extensive research went into its design which is what gave rise to its unconventional bracing. In all, its unique interior helps improve sound quality for greater resonance, fuller sound, and lighter, bouncier notes that bring life to your music

Made from a combination of sitka spruce, nato, and rosewood, this impressively built budget guitar offers a lot despite its humble asking price. Sure, its tuners might be a little stubborn and its stock strings a little too thick, the FG800 from Yamaha definitely gives you great value for every penny it’s worth.

Positives
  • Optimized action height for versatile playability
  • Ergonomic design allows comfortable use for extended periods of time
  • Scalloped bracing improves sound quality
  • Great craftsmanship and design
  • Incredibly affordable without sacrificing value
Negatives
  • Stubborn tuners are hard to move
  • Stock strings are too thick and dense, requiring replacement straight out of the box
6

Ovation Applause AE44II-4 Acoustic Electric Guitar – Best Premium Acoustic Guitar Under $300

Features

  • Layered spruce top
  • Mid-depth cutaway
  • On-board Ovation brand pre-amp
  • Scalloped x-bracing
  • Fast Neck fret board design

Bet you didn’t think you could buy something like the Ovation Applause AE44II-4 Acoustic Electric Guitar for under $300. Just from the look of this design, it’s easy to tell that it brings something unique to the table. The premium model features an on-board pre-amp that helps to improve sound quality when hooked to an amplifier.

The Ovation CE304T Pre-Amp comes equipped with treble, bass, and mid sliders that let you adjust sound to a tee so you get precisely the output you were hoping for. This, in combination with the Ovation Slimline Pickup, make the AE44II-4 exceptionally versatile, easily adaptable to any style or sound you want to achieve.

Certain other features of the AE41II-4 also help make you feel more like a pro. Its soft satin finish lets your hands glide over the mahogany neck that’s designed with the Ovation Fast Neck silhouette. This essentially optimizes the shape and size of your fret board to let your hands move across cords and frets with the greatest of ease.

And of course, to top it all off, this choice from Ovation uses an expertly designed body that maximizes resonance, sound quality, and volume. The x-scalloped bracing fits on the interior of layered spruce, aiming to support the soundboard and enhance vibrations for greater, better sound output.

So, why didn’t it make the top of our list? Well for as advanced and sophisticated as most of its features are, the Ovation AE44II-4 falls short of expert guitar players’ expectations. It makes a great entry-level beginner guitar, no doubt about that. But even with its technical features, the guitar plays too easy for those who want to try more complicated play styles.

Other than that, the Fast Neck design might not be too accommodating of flatpicking, which really limits what you can do with the guitar. But if flatpicking isn’t your thing, then there shouldn’t be an issue.

Positives
  • On-board pre-amp improves versatility
  • Ovation Fast Neck improves playability especially for beginners
  • Layered spruce and x-scalloped bracing perfects sound quality
  • Minimalist modern aesthetic is especially attractive
  • Great build and design for long-term use
Negatives
  • Might not evolve with a beginner to accommodate more advanced play styles
  • Not as efficient for flatpicking
7

Washburn Comfort G-Mini 55 Koa Travel Size Acoustic Guitar – Best Travel Acoustic Guitar Under $300

Features

  • 7/8 of full size
  • Solid spruce top
  • Binding Relief
  • Comfort Carve-Away
  • GraphTech NuBone nut & saddle

At 7/8 the size of a full-sized grand auditorium acoustic guitar, the Washburn Comfort G-Mini 55 Koa Travel Size Acoustic Guitar is a convenient, compact little instrument with big sound. The gorgeous natural wood aesthetic is finished off with a satin texture that’s resistant to smudging and finger marks. The guitar uses a solid spruce top and mahogany sides and backing for optimal sound quality that resonates with power.

An ebony fingerboard and bridge allow beautiful contrast with the spruce and mahogany. And golden tuners and a parquet rosette add a touch of sophistication and aesthetic appeal that make the Comfort G-Mini 55 Koa a real showstopper.

As a smaller design, the guitar incorporates a range of unique features that make it more comfortable to use. A comfort bevel called the ‘Binding Relief’ smoothens and curves out the edges of the guitar to rest your arms. A comfort carve-away lies just underneath the highest frets, letting you place your fingers on the frets closest to the body without the discomfort.

Washburn Comfort G-Mini 55 Koa Travel Size Acoustic Guitar

Despite being smaller than your average guitar, the Comfort G-Mini 55 Koa boasts pretty impressive sound. The powerful resonance comes as a result of the solid top and scalloped bracing, letting you play full, well-balanced sounds even with its relatively compact body.

Unfortunately, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies with the G-Mini 55 Koa. If anything, we found its body to be prone to scuffing. Unless you’re into that worn aesthetic, then it might interfere with your maintenance efforts. The G-Mini 55 Koa also tends to have a relatively higher action, which might not be too accommodating of certain play styles.

Positives
  • Binding Relief improves comfort
  • Comfort carve-away allows easy access to higher frets
  • Compact build is perfect for travel purposes
  • Smooth satin finish enables easy playability
  • Well-balance, full sounds despite its small size
Negatives
  • Mahogany backing and sides are prone to scuffing
  • Relatively higher action might hinder certain play styles
8

Alvarez Artist Series AD60 Dreadnought Guitar – Best Durable Acoustic Guitar for Under $300

Features

  • 100% handmade construction
  • Forward shifted x-brace
  • Real bone nut and bridge
  • Hand selected woods
  • Mother of pearl inlays

If you were looking for an acoustic guitar you could rely on for countless plucks and strums through the years, then look no further. The Alvarez Artist Series AD60 Dreadnought Guitar looks humble and simplistic. But its excellent build and premium materials are designed to give it supreme durability compared to any other choice.

The standard aesthetic doesn’t really set it apart – a light sitka spruce top and mahogany backing and sides don’t exceed industry standards. A black pick-guard adds a touch of contrast so the design doesn’t look too monotonous. But other than that, there’s very little that makes it stand out on a store shelf.

However, despite its relatively unassuming aesthetic, the Alvarez AD60 impresses with its excellent durability. The materials come together with supreme craftsmanship that’s obvious just from the feel of the guitar. Holding it in your hands, the AD60 really exudes that feeling of a reliable build, with all its different parts and pieces secured together with no signs of gaps or glue.

Alvarez Artist Series AD60 Dreadnought Guitar -1

Sound-wise, she doesn’t fall short either. The AD60 uses an advanced forward shifted x-brace design that improves the guitar’s voice for more powerful, melodic notes. A real bone nut and bridge also help to improve resonance, enhancing vibrations to give off a truly pleasant audio experience.

What sets the AD60 apart from other choices is the fact that it’s completely handmade. This allows greater opportunity to fine-tune the design from carving the wood to putting the pieces together. You’ll get really well-rounded sound with impressively balanced treble and bass.

On the downside, its sizeable body might feel a little clumsy for beginners and amateurs, requiring an adjusted posture that might feel unnatural to most. On top of that, you might notice a few inconsistencies in the finish due to the fact that the design is completely handmade.

Positives
  • Superb durability that lasts for years
  • Advanced bracing design enhances sound quality for a fuller voice
  • Real bone nut and bridge improves vibration for better sound conduction
  • Completely handmade
  • Well-balanced treble and bass
Negatives
  • Sizeable body might be clumsy in the hands of a beginner
  • Inconsistencies in finishing
9

Yamaha APTX2 3/4-Size Acoustic-Electric Guitar – Best Compact Electric Acoustic Guitar Under $300

Features

  • On-board tuner
  • 34 inch length
  • Slim body
  • Free gig bag
  • Volume and tone controls

Yamaha strikes back with yet another one of their budget acoustic guitars. This time, it’s the APTX 3/4-Size Acoustic-Electric Guitar. The gorgeous compact travel guitar comes in three stylish colours, and features a built-in pick-up for greater versatility.

At a modest 34 inches, this quaint little design was built for use on the road. Its fun travel-sized body delivers punchy, lively sounds that are great for a range of different genres and musical styles. The lowered action lets you adapt a bunch of different play styles, but is especially accommodating of fingerstyle play that requires greater dexterity.

For greater convenience, the guitar also features Yamaha’s proprietary built-in tuner. This eliminates the need to make manual adjustments when tuning your guitar, saving you both time and effort.

Yamaha APTX2 -1

If we’re talking about construction, there’s really nothing left to be desired. The Yamaha APTX is pristine from headstock to body. Premium spruce and rosewood come together with a beautiful high-gloss finish that lends a classy appeal. Full-body binding helps to keep the guitar scratch free, giving you some sacrificial material to take the brunt of wear and tear.

With a free gig bag included with each purchase, you’d think that there’s no way you could go wrong with the Yamaha APTX. In a lot of ways, that might be true.
However, it helps to keep in mind that the tuners can be pretty stubborn and difficult to adjust. On top of that, the edges of the fret board aren’t as rounded, so they can dig into your palms if you’re playing for an extended period.

Positives
  • Compact size is great for travel
  • Lowered action allows greater comfort for different play styles
  • Built-in pick-up allows you to hook up straight to an amp
  • On-board tuner eliminates the guesswork of tuning
  • Premium construction and aesthetics
Negatives
  • Stubborn tuners may be difficult to adjust
  • Sharp fret board edges can be uncomfortable after a while
10

Washburn Harvest Series WG7SCE Acoustic-Electric Guitar – Best Sounding Acoustic Guitar Under $300

Features

  • Cutaway grand auditorium shape
  • Built-in tuner
  • On-board pick-up
  • 46-inch length
  • Solid spruce top in non-glare satin finish

Last but definitely not least is the Washburn Harvest Series WG7SCE Acoustic-Electric Guitar. Most of those who hold the WG7SCE fall in love at first strum with its full, melodious voice that’s deep and resonant. Its construction and shape pave the way for premier sound, leaving many others in the same price segment in the dust.

Its grand auditorium design allows a deep, bellowing sound with perfectly balanced treble and bass. What you get is an exceptionally pleasing voice that transcends music styles and genres. Needless to say, anyone looking to wow the crowds with beautiful music can’t go wrong with the WG7SCE.

Like many others on our line-up, the Washburn WG7SCE uses a solid sitka spruce top and mahogany sides and backing. Its non-gloss satin finish gives it a touch of sophistication and class that perfectly complements the subtle decorative work on the rosette. The feel of the guitar is just as impressive, with a suitable weight and sturdiness that should make any musician feel confident.
As an electric-acoustic guitar, the WG7SCE comes equipped with an on-board 4-band EQ and digital tuner. This lets you adjust bass, mid, treble, and volume from the guitar itself. The digital tuner is also particularly convenient, eliminating the guesswork of manual tuning.

With a perfectly levelled action for fingerstyle and flatpicking, there’s a lot to love about the WG7SCE. Perhaps the only problems we found involved the saddle which uses a synthetic material that can dampen resonance, and the stock strings which could have been improved to enhance sound quality straight out of the box.

Nonetheless, both of these issues can be easily replaced for a minor price. So, all in all, they can hardly be called deal breakers.

Positives
  • Excellent sound quality that’s full, well-balanced, and dynamic
  • On-board tuner for greater ease and convenience
  • Built-in pick-up lets you fine-tune your sound to match your needs
  • Optimal action height to support both fingerstyle and flatpicking
  • Great for both beginners and advanced guitar players
Negatives
  • Poor stock strings might need to be replaced right after purchase
  • Synthetic saddle material dampens vibrations

Buyer’s Guide

What exactly makes a good acoustic guitar under $300?

Go on reading and you’ll find out what features are worth your attention.

With so many choices available on the market, it’s all too easy to fall into a purchase that won’t meet your standards for satisfaction. So, before you go and make a decision, it pays to read up on the factors that make suitable choices.

With an acoustic guitar, considerations that involve sound quality, comfort, style, versatility, and play style should be your main concerns. Taking these qualities into account should help you make sure that you’re buying an acoustic guitar that truly meets your needs and standards.

Best Acoustic Guitars Under $300-3

Body Shapes

One of the first things you’ll notice is the shape of your choices. Truth be told, you could fill up several books just talking about sizes, but for the sake of this guide, we’ll discuss the most common ones available.

  • Parlor – The smallest of all acoustic guitars, the parlor body type is designed especially for fingerstyle play. They have concentrated sound that’s well-balanced, light, and punchy.
  • Concert – Slightly larger than parlor guitars, concerts also have light, bright sounds. They cut through deeper sounds in an ensemble, giving a lively bounce to balance out too much bass.
  • Grand concert – With a solid mid-range register, the grand concert acoustic guitar was largely based off of the classic guitar design. They’re great for all-around use.
  • Orchestra – Otherwise known as the OOO or the Auditorium acoustic guitar, the orchestra design has substantial volume. The thicker body projects sound quite powerfully, which is why it’s often used for stage performances.
  • Dreadnought – Many of the guitars on our list – like the Bristol and Alvarez – are dreadnought guitars. They have a lower register and are ideal for flatpicking. Most balladeers use dreadnoughts because their bass-heavy sound is perfect for supporting vocals.
  • Jumbo or super jumbo – Ideal for strumming, the jumbo and super jumbo are preferred for folk and country music. They offer full sound that’s heavier on bass, producing lower notes that support a melody.

Acoustic vs Acoustic-Electric-1

Acoustic vs Acoustic-Electric

A few of the choices on our list – like our top pick from Jameson Guitars – are acoustic-electric guitars. And what that simply means is that they come equipped with electronics that let you amplify its sound.

Aside from allowing you to hook up your guitar to an amp, the acoustic-electric guitar might also come with a few other features, like sound adjustment and a built-in tuner. Even then, they can be used just like non-electric acoustic guitars if you prefer.

Essentially, the decision falls on whether or not you think you’d need or want the extra feature. Nonetheless, you can buy a separate pick-up for a non-electric acoustic guitar to get the same features.

Best Acoustic Guitars Under $300-2

Comfort

You’d be surprised how uncomfortable it can get to play a guitar, especially if you’re using it for an extended period of time. Callouses on fingers, palms, and arms where the guitar embeds during play can become painful. It really helps to consider the kind of comfort you’re getting.

Guitars like the Washburn Comfort G-Mini 55 Koa are designed with special features that make them far more comfortable than other choices. Lightweight guitars can also be exceptionally effortless to use. But keep in mind that the structure of a guitar has an impact on sound. So, anything too light might sound a little shallow.

Acoustic vs Acoustic-Electric-2

Make and Material

Guitar manufacturers are careful to choose materials for their designs. That’s because different types of wood resonate and vibrate differently. Depending on the specific type of wood used for your guitar of choice, you can expect a variation in the way that it sounds compared to other options.

There are lots of different types of wood used for guitars, and they all bring something unique to the table. Some of the most common include:

  • Cedar – Produces a light, responsive vibration that’s ideal for classical guitar pieces.
  • Ebony – Rigid and slick, ebony is typically used for fret boards for an easy, effortless glide.
  • Mahogany – Mahogany is a dense type of wood that’s far less responsive to vibrations. It gives sounds a more prominent, snappy kind of quality instead of a resonance. Using it for sides and backing keeps sound from escaping, allowing strong projection.
  • Rosewood – Similar to mahogany, rosewood is slightly more rigid than typical guitar tops. They’re a little more forgiving of vibration however, allowing a distinct sound that highlights heavier bass tones. Rosewood is also typically used for fret boards.
  • Spruce – Spruce is the most common type of wood used for guitar tops. They’re especially resonant and vibrate at higher frequencies than more rigid types of wood. This allows greater conduction from strings towards the body for more powerful, fuller sound quality.
  • Sapele – This sustainable African wood – found on models like the Jasmine S34C NEX Acoustic Guitar – is similar to mahogany with a stronger treble. They’re used for sides and backs to add resonance to your guitar’s sound.

Although this isn’t an all-inclusive list, it pays to know that most guitars in the range of $300 or below will typically use these types of wood. That’s because they’re more affordable, allowing manufacturers to produce quality guitars without weighing down on the price.

Best Acoustic Guitars Under $300

Solid vs Laminate Tops

One last thing you’ll probably want to consider when buying an acoustic guitar under $300 is the kind of top it uses. The ‘top’ is essentially the front surface of the guitar where the hole and rosette are. Its construction contributes quite a lot to sound quality, either creating a more subtle sound profile, or a louder, bellowing characteristic.

Laminate tops are more affordable, and use a single high-grade topmost piece which is stuck over a number of thinner generic pieces. While laminate might not resonate as well, they do offer a unique, punchy quality that some players prefer.

Solid wood tops are made from two pieces of high-grade wood that are stuck together. They resonate more readily, and allow greater sound conduction. They vibrate and echo the sound of each note, making them ideal for certain musical styles. Needless to say, they’re also pricier.

Acoustic vs Acoustic-Electric

Conclusion

An acoustic guitar doesn’t have to cost a fortune to provide excellent performance. Even choices that cost less than $300 can give you excellent sound, pristine playability, and lots of room for musical growth and development. So, whether you’re just starting out, or if you’re looking to upgrade your old reliable guitar, these choices under $300 can be suitable investments.

No two guitars are alike. Bringing different sounds and experiences to the table, each one of the choices we’ve listed above caters to a unique kind of guitar player. Which one is you?

The Jameson Guitars Full-Size Thin-Line Acoustic-Electric Guitar is our bet for the best acoustic guitar under $300, offering features that satisfy all playing styles and preferences. But don’t just take our word for it. Check out our picks and find the perfect guitar for your standards, and strum your way to better music on a budget.

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  1. I want to learn to play the guitar, especially electric guitar, but I’ve decided to chose from the acoustic guitars for a start. What does acoustic-electric guitar mean? You can plug it up to an amp?

    • Thanks for reaching out, Ethan! Yes, it’s an acoustic guitar that can be plaugged in an apm. It sounds like acoustic, but you can play louder due to the amp. Such guitar will be perfect for a player of any ability – whether you play on weekends, a beginner, a pro or hobbyist. You can find 4 acoustic-electric guitars in this review: Jameson, Ovation Applause, Yamaha and Washburn Harvest.

      By the way, you can choose your best amplifier in our “12 Best Guitar Amps Under $200 – No Excuse for Not Practicing” review.

      Hope it helps! We’ll be happy to answer any other of your questions.

  2. I’ m looking for an acoustic guitar that doesn’t cost a fortune, will be of a good quality and attractive design as a present for my brother Liam. Does the Yamaha FG800 guitar goes with a case? What strings does it have? Nylon or steel?

    • Thanks for your feed-back, Lucas! The Yamaha FG800 goes without a case and with steel strings. That is a simple guitar with traditional look at an affordable price. This guitar is a choice of millions of guitarists, so you won’t mistake if you purchase it a gift.

      Hope our review of top 10 acoustic guitars was useful for you! Let us know if we can answer any other of your questions.

  3. It seems like I’ve found a guitar for my friend. The Jasmine guitar looks very stylish! Perfect for Christmas present. Does this guitar have an electric plug? And does it have a matte finish on it?

    • Thanks for your question! This guitar is a basic acoustic guitar, so it doesn’t have a plug. Yes, the Jasmine guitar has a matte polish on it. This is an easy-playing guitar with well-balanced sound, so you won’t regret about it.

  4. How often should I tune the Jameson guitar? Does it stay in tune well?

    • It has a big natural sound and is tuned pretty well. You can use an amp with it as well. I found my right here. The guitar is a good bargain!

    • I tune my guitar every time I play it. It stays in tune quite good. I like the quality of a sound. It’s loud with a rich sound. I think you’ll like it!

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