12 Best Acoustic Guitars Under $500 2022

When getting started with learning the acoustic guitar, it is hard to justify spending a lot of money. But you have to ask yourself, will you be getting the best acoustic guitars under 500 dollars? Well you will be very happy to know, there are some fantastic guitars at this price point!

Manufacturers have come a very long way when it comes to design of lower priced models. It was hard to come by a good unit like this years ago. But today, we have many great options to learn on!

Best Acoustic Guitars under $500

The quality of your instrument when getting started is very important. The sound, feel and fit has to be just right. If it is not, then you might struggle when it comes to staying motivated to learn.

A cheap, beat up used guitar is usually the reason why people lose interest in learning. Their instrument was simply not fun to play.

Best Acoustic Guitars Under 500 Dollars

Below, we have a list of some great models that you can learn on that are so easy to get into!

OUR TOP CHOICE

Seagull S6

Seagull S6

BUDGET CHOICE

Jasmine S-34C

jasmine-s34c

BUNDLE CHOICE

Fender FA-115

Fender FA-115

Best Acoustic Guitars Under $500

Seagull S6 Original

TOP PICK

Seagull S6

Lifetime Warranty

The Seagull S6 is one quality instrument. It is described as being a big sound yet soft, and tone that comes alive!

The S6 has a cedar top with wild cherry sides and back. The solid cedar produces a warmth and depth of tone that is very rich yet is bright and comes alive when you play it.

The neck is maple with a rosewood fingerboard and has a 25.5 inch scale with a slightly wider fret board, but is incredibly easy to play. This is a great dreadnought style, steel string acoustic guitar.

The Seagull guitars are made in Canada and come with a limited lifetime warranty right from the manufacturer, which is simply incredible for an acoustic under $500 that sounds and plays this well.

PROS

  • Build Materials and Hardware
  • Balanced and full sound
  • Easy to play
  • Made in North America
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • Many S6 versions available

CONS

  • If you do not own one yet, that could be a problem!

Sounds

Cedar tops are not very common on steel string guitars, and so it is interesting to see it on the S6. Normally they are found on classical or flamenco guitars and is a denser, warmer sounding material. The same is true on the S6 as it has a very warm, fat bass response.

Strumming on the S6 creates a loud volume response from the dreadnought body shape. While it is warm, the sound is still very full and has shimmering top end frequencies as well. It is a very enjoyable tone that I believe is exclusive to the S6.

Who Is It For?

The Seagull S6 is a unique acoustic guitar that is a perfect fit for beginners as well as intermediate players alike. While some guitarists have likened it to that of expensive Martin’s or Taylor’s, we disagree there, but do feel it is the best model for the price point.

This is one versatile acoustic that can be used for many music types, including finger picking.

Yamaha FG850

Yamaha FG850

1 Year Warranty

The Yamaha FG850 features a solid mahogany top, back, sides, and binding.

FG850 delivers a warm, woody, rich sound, incredibly easy to play and has a classy look. This dreadnought style steel string guitar sports a rosewood finger board and has a 25.6 inch scale length.

The Yamaha FG850 is made in China, as would be expected from an acoustic under $500.

But the craftsmanship is excellent and Yamaha’s skilled engineers have designed a cutting edge acoustic that will offer any player an excellent experience.

PROS

  • Great hardware
  • Warm, full tone with strong mid-range
  • Easy to play
  • Looks beautiful and feels good
  • Designed by an experienced and well known brand

CONS

  • Some have complained that the action was high until properly set up
  • Tuners are generic

Sounds

Because the guitar is made exclusively from mahogany, it has a very warm nature to the sound. The low mid-range punch and volume projection are wonderful with each strum. I did enjoy the fact that it still had a very present treble response without being overly bright.

It has a scalloped bracing which is supposed to increase the low end and I will have to say, they nailed it. Of all the guitars I tried in this range, this one has a very broad bass response that was still quite balanced.

Who Is It For?

I found this guitar to be an exceptional strumming acoustic. It has a very mid-range focused sound that is bold yet balanced. While still a beginner guitar, I would suggest it for anyone playing country, bluegrass or modern rock.

It really came to life when my strumming became more aggressive. The way the body resonates seems to begin to produce overtones that then compliment the low end.

Ibanez ALT30 Altstar

Ibanez ALT30 Altstar

1 Year Warranty

The Ibanez ALT30 Alstar is a hybrid made for transitioning player. This guitar is built to be an electric with an acoustic concept.

Ever wanted to shred on an acoustic? Now you can. The neck on the ALT30 is an electric guitar profile with a cut away in the body.

It feels great and has a nice thin body to make it feel like an electric model. The volume it creates is a bit less than your standard acoustic, but it is perfect for its concept.

Ibanez makes this guitar super affordable, and it is worth checking out!

PROS

  • Design and Hardware
  • Concept is Genius
  • Easy to play
  • Built in electronics
  • Can shred on an acoustic in a whole new way

CONS

  • Has a different look to it that may not be for everyone

Sounds

When I first played this guitar, I didn’t know what to make of it. It is a unique acoustic that is also part electric. But after a few minutes with it, I realized it has a very cool sound to it. It is not overly loud and doesn’t have the rich tone that some others do, but it is quite good unplugged.

Plugged into my Fender Acoustasonic 90 amplifier and dialed in right, I was able to get some really great sounds. It is deceiving because it is so similar to an electric guitar, that you just feel like rocking out on it.

Who Is It For?

This guitar is more for a player who likes to transition between an electric and acoustic without any difference in neck. The Alt30 is more like an electric guitar, and so it is easy to move between them.

If you are looking for an acoustic guitar for the big, bold balanced sound, you won’t find it here, and I suggest you choose something else. But it is great for electric guitarists who also want an acoustic tone.

Taylor GS Mini

taylor gs mini

Warranty: Limited Lifetime

Even though a mini, this guitar packs some serious tone!

The Taylor GS Mini features a solid mahogany top, layered sapele back and sides and is no slouch in the bottom end.

Because it is smaller than a dreadnought, one would assume that the sound would be smaller as well. But this acoustic has been designed using the Taylor grand symphony guitar as a reference.

And in doing so, they have crafted a mini that can hold its weight against some of the bigger acoustics it was put up against. The sound is well-balanced and nothing less than incredible for its size.

The Taylor GS mini is assembled in Mexico and is a very well-built acoustic that is light and small. It sounds great and is probably one of the best travel units you can get your hands on.

PROS

  • Presents bigger than it actually is
  • excellent sound quality
  • Perfect travel acoustic
  • Thin neck makes it easier to play
  • Designed by an experienced and well known brand

CONS

  • Some have complained that the action was high until properly set up
  • A bit pricey for the size
  • Tuners are generic

Sounds

This is an interesting little guitar because it still has quite the volume projection. I was most impressed with the sustain and compression it seems to have naturally. It is not overly present in the low end, but the mid-range sure is!

It reminds me of a Taylor 314ce in a much smaller format, but not as full sounding. Overall, very impressive guitar for the size.

Who Is It For?

This is a traveler’s dream guitar. Nice and light, small and still packs a punch. If you want the full sound of a larger acoustic, you won’t find it here. But it is still great to have sitting around when you just want to play quick and not take out a bigger acoustic guitar.

Epiphone Hummingbird Studio

Epiphone Hummingbird pro Acoustic Guitar

Warranty: Limited Lifetime

A vintage look with some modern upgrades and great sound.

The Epiphone Hummingbird PRO is a cheaper version of the popular Gibson model. This acoustic has a solid spruce top, which has the rich and complex tone of wood that gets better with age.

The rest of the body and the neck are made from mahogany with a rose wood fingerboard, which provides a 24.75 inch scale length.

The tone from this acoustic is bright, bold and clear and is very easy to play.

The Hummingbird pro comes with a built-in pickup system that includes adjustable controls via the upper boat. The cutting edge electronics are very good and are easy to use.

PROS

  • Build Materials and Hardware
  • Built in cutting edge pick up system and controls
  • Bright bold sound and easy to play
  • Vintage look
  • Designed by an experienced and well known brand

CONS

  • Some have complained that the action was high until properly set up
  • No built-in tuner
  • Potential fret buzz if not set up properly

Sounds

When I first strummed the Hummingbird Pro, I was very happy to hear a rich, warm and pristine tone from the guitar. Epiphone makes some awesome guitars and this one holds true to their craftsmanship. Not only does it sound good, but it is also quite load and full, which I would expect from an acoustic of this size.

For the electronic test, I did something a bit different and plugged it onto the Vox VT40X and selected a model that I thought would be a great vintage tone. I was not wrong! The sound from the Epiphone Hummingbird Pro was perfect. It was just as clear and full through the amp as it is unplugged.

Playing loud and aggressive with a bit of amp break up mixed lightly in the background was quite the experience. I really enjoy the Hummingbird pro.

Who Is It For?

The Epiphone hummingbird pro is for players who like a vintage sound and look. It is also a wonderful sounding acoustic, great for strumming and finger picking. The electronics built in, and EQ controls are intuitive, and the tone is wonderful. No matter how you use it, this acoustic guitar will serve you well.

Martin OMC-X1E

Martin OMC-X1E

Warranty: Limited Lifetime

The Martin OMC-X1E is an auditorium sized acoustic with good bass and a lot of punch!

The guitar itself is made from laminate throughout, which makes it an affordable Martin acoustic. But don’t make your decision on that. It sounds and feels great!

The neck is laminate with a rich lite fret board. It has a 25.4 inch scale length with 20 frets. The neck on the guitar is nice and very easy to play thanks to Martin’s performing artist profile.

This built in Fish man electronics really make it versatile. The sound quality is balanced with great sustain and projection.

PROS

  • Build quality and hardware
  • Great Presence and Volume
  • Balanced sound overall and easy to play
  • Electronics on Board
  • Designed by an experienced and well known brand

CONS

  • Laminate Build Might Not be Acceptable To Some

Taylor Big Baby

Taylor Big baby

Limited lifetime Warranty

Comprised of solid sitka spruce, the Taylor big baby acoustic is a basic but quality guitar. This is almost a full sized dreadnought and has a solid mahogany neck.

The bolt on neck is comfortable and play ability on par for an acoustic in this price point. It is very light and well-balanced, making it a great guitar for beginners.

The sound is warm and bright, having strong mid-tones that are crisp and well-defined. The lack of a cut away limits the accessibility to the upper frets, but this is perfectly fine for this acoustics body shape.

There are no electronics built in, but the acoustic does project well enough to be heard with its bold volume.

PROS

  • Great Play Ability
  • Warm well-defined sound
  • Comfortable and balanced
  • Durable
  • Looks good

CONS

  • No cutaway
  • No electronics

Alvarez Artist AJ80CE

Alvarez Artist AJ80CE

Body

The AJ80CE from Alvarez is a jumbo electro acoustic guitar made with quality material and craftsmanship. This large body acoustic is very full, warm and balanced with a strong volume projection. The solid sitka spruce top presents not only a gorgeous finish, but a strong bass response and chimey treble.

Neck

Being a jumbo, the acoustic has a nice neck made from maple and has 21 large frets. It is easy to play and feels great in your hand. The nut on the guitar is made from real bone and provides great performance. The premium tuners are also an impressive addition, giving this acoustic guitar a rigid tuning setup.

Sound

The AJ80CE is an impressive acoustic guitar made for beginners and professionals alike. It has a big loud bold sound that is powerful and present! The bass fills a room while still being brilliantly alive in the treble frequencies. This is just what we would expect from a model of this size and is a great acoustic guitar!

PROS

  • Good balanced sound for price
  • Jumbo size
  • Electronics onboard
  • Comfortable neck
  • Beautiful

CONS

  • May be big for some players

Final Verdict Alvarez Artist AJ80CE

While the guitar is a jumbo and may not fit everyone, it is one heck of an instrument. It amazes me that manufacturers can produce instruments of this quality for such a good price. The hardware on board is impressive and provides a great experience.

Real bone nut, quality tuners and electronics to name a few make it perfect for most players. It is not like other guitars in some ways and can be perfect for a beginner. So if you are looking for a great acoustic guitar, you have found it!

The sound, play ability and feel is wonderful, and we highly recommend it if you are looking for a quality instrument!

Best Budget Acoustic Guitars

There are a number of acoustic guitars that are cheaper yet but are of good quality. These are picks that are great for beginners with little money to spend. Or for people who are not quite sure if this will be a long term thing but want to try it out.

Epiphone Song Maker DR-100

Epiphone DR-100 Songmaker

1 Year Warranty

The Epiphone song maker DR-100 is a very affordable acoustic guitar for beginners that offers a ton of great play ability. This dreadnought size model comes with a mahogany body and neck that is easy to use.

A Slim taper C- profile neck gives the player a comfortable experience and is perfect to learn on. It looks beautiful and sounds great for a guitar at this price point. The tone is full and bold with plenty of volume projection.

There are no electronics that come standard, but we didn’t expect there would be either.

Squier SA-150 Beginner Acoustic

Squire SA-150

Body

The Squier SA-150 is built with a laminated mahogany body featuring scalloped X bracing for support. This body is a dreadnought shape and offers a beautiful to look at hardwood stained top. It is ultra light and is a great value for a guitar in the entry level price range.

Neck

The neck on the SA-150 is made from Nato wood with a nice stained hardwood fret board. It features 20 frets and comes stock with fender Dura-Tone strings. We find a plastic nut on the neck and die-cast tuners which are quite good for the price point but are generic.

Sound

The SA-150 being a dreadnought style guitar sounds very big and bold like one would expect! The projection is great from this full sized body. Not only that, but the quality of sound is quite impressive as well. We found that the stock strings were a bit lifeless compared to a higher quality set. But not to the point that the guitar performed poorly.

PROS

  • Great Sound For Price
  • Full Sized Dreadnought
  • Comfortable and Light
  • Easy to play neck
  • Looks great

CONS

  • Tuner quality is poor on some guitars
  • A bit of a rattle from string pegs

Final Verdict Squier SA-150

There are many beginners who have purchased and use the SA-150 regularly. There are also professional players who have been quite impressed with the guitar as well. Some people have had issues with them as the quality is lower due to the price point.

But customer service is great with Amazon and getting things fixed up or exchanged is easy. But don’t worry, there are many more good guitars reaching customers than poor quality units.

We recommend this guitar if you are getting started and are not sure how long you will be interested in learning. Or, if your budget is low, you will be happy with this model.

Jasmine S34C Beginner Acoustic

Jasmine S34C

Body

The Jasmine S-34C is a great looking grand orchestra style acoustic guitar. The top is made of spruce with an X bracing support. We find Agathis wood back and sides and a cut away which offers comfort and convenience.

Neck

The neck is slim, features a rosewood finger board and bridge. This makes the guitar very easy to play. It has a 25.5″ scale and thanks to the body cut away, which makes it easy to access the higher frets. We find a synthetic bone nut and saddle which helps offer better play ability and sound.

Sound

The sound of the Jasmine S-34C is very good! The body presents great projection and the sound quality is well-balanced. I was surprised at how good it is for the price point. Being a Takamine budget model, the craftsmanship supports the tone.

PROS

  • Great Sound
  • Easy to Play
  • Comfortable
  • Looks good
  • Takamine Budget Guitar

CONS

  • Durability of some guitars is poor
  • Tuners are generic
  • Stock strings not great

Final Verdict Jasmine S34C

For the price of this guitar, we were very impressed. Takamine builds them and calls them Jasmine as part of their entry level models. As a result, they have built it very well with lower cost parts and materials. But this is surprisingly good for the price. And so if you are looking for a great beginner instrument, this is the one you want!

Best Bundle Pack Acoustic Guitars

There are many guitars that a beginner can find, but a bundle pack is very convenient. Not only do you get a great model, but all the accessories as well. There are some awesome bundle packs that are available, but our favorite is the Fender FA-115.

Fender FA-115 Bundle Pack

This is an acoustic guitar with a dreadnought body, and it sounds and plays great for the price. You also get a gig bag, strap tuner and more! This makes the bundle incredibly convenient and for the price, you cannot go wrong!

Fender Fa 115

Our Acoustic Guitar Selection Process

With so many acoustic guitars available, it is very hard to choose just a few quality instruments. But when you are just getting started, a long list can be overwhelming. So we decided to keep our best acoustic guitars for under 500 dollars to just a handful. 

These are all guitars that offer great sound, are well-made and have awesome warranties. These are the types that will keep you excited to learn, which is a large part of the experience. 

Truth is, if you are not inspired by your instrument, you may not want to continue learning. It is for this reason alone that these few guitars were chosen. We wanted to select models that will also fit most players. Not only that, but some of them make good travel companions.

What Should You Look for When Selecting an Acoustic?

When it comes time to find your guitar, there are a few things to consider. First, the size is very important. It needs to fit you well and remain comfortable on your person. If it is too bulky or even too small, it may not be as fun to play.

Next, you want to make sure that the thickness of the next is comfortable for your hands. If it is too thick, again, your experience will not be as good.

Your acoustic body shape is also something to take into consideration. The shape and sizes of the models we have chosen in our 5 best acoustic guitars under 500 have a wide range.

There is something for everyone here, it’s just a matter of selecting what’s best for you.

So make sure to spend some time finding the best fit, this way you will remain inspired to play. Especially if you are a beginner!

Is a 500 Dollar Guitar Good?

There was a time when a cheap guitar was just that. But thanks to advancements in technology, the quality of instruments today is so much better. Thanks to CNC machines and routing, guitar bodies can be made so much more efficiently. This means that better woods can be used and the time to make them is so much less.

It requires fewer hands to have to touch the product, which means cheaper to produce. Parts have also become easier to make and for a person looking for a 500 dollar model, this means better quality. Manufacturers have become so good at making guitars that some lower price point models rival those worth more.

All the models in our best acoustic guitars under 500 list are made by professional builders. They have been in the game for a long time and are pioneers that have made this all possible. So purchase online confidently that you will be getting a great instrument for under 500 dollars!

Acoustic Guitar Brands

The instruments we have chosen for our best acoustic guitar list are from experienced manufacturers. These are builders who have been around for a long time.

Most of them are also household names, and for good reason. If you have ever attended the NAMM show, you know these builders strive for quality. In an industry with many builders, every manufacturer must produce great instruments to be competitive.

If not, word of mouth could quickly hurt a brand. But because these manufacturers have so much experience, awesome instruments are easy for them. And not only are they awesome guitars, they are also affordable.

Which Guitar Brand is Best?

It is hard to crown one brand the best at making acoustic guitars. There are so many great builders making instruments today that it is hard to go wrong. Even some new brands to the market are doing some wonderful things.

New shapes and sounds are being introduced each year as manufacturers continue to get better at design and manufacturing.

We selected our best acoustics in this list based also on the brands who make them. And so here are some of the better manufacturers that you should stick to in order to get a great guitar.

  • Seagull
  • Yamaha
  • Taylor
  • Epiphone
  • Fender
  • Martin
  • Squier

These are some great brands that normally show up at the NAMM show.

What is the Easiest Acoustic Guitar to Play?

If you are a beginner just starting out, then it is important to have the best acoustic guitar that is the right fit. This isn’t the same for everyone and needs to be considered before making a purchase.

The easiest acoustic guitar to play will be the one that fits your body and hand size best. While larger acoustics can also be played by smaller people, it is best to learn on the right size for you.

If you are a player of average size, then the dreadnought guitar is a pretty commonly used model. If you are on the smaller size, then you may want to look into models like:

  • Seagull S6
  • Ibanez ALT30
  • Taylor GS MINI

These are guitars on our list that are slightly to very much smaller than a dreadnought. Primarily by their shape and body sizes, these instruments are a better fit for smaller players starting out. Just make sure to include a regular practice schedule to get used to your new guitar.

Final Thoughts

Not only are the acoustics great for all players, they are also amazing back up or travel guitars. So if you are an experienced guitarist, you will find something perfect for a small amount of money.

If you are a beginner, however, then these guitars will be the best place to start. Not only are they built well, but they come with awesome warranties. So not only can you enjoy the great sound, but peace of mind as well.

If you have a few extra dollars to invest into an instrument, we suggest you take a look at an acoustic under 1000! The higher quality your instrument, the better your over all experience will be.

Take your time, read some of our other guides and choose the guitar you feel will fit you best. This way, you stand a better chance when it comes to long term learning. Have a played any of these models? Let us know below.