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Top 8 Best Cajon On The Market Of 2019 Reviews

Okay, funny story. So, we read somewhere that a professional Cajon player calls his Cajon a drum box. Well, in principle, he isn’t actually saying anything wrong. But, you would expect a pro player to know that they have an official name besides “drum box.” They are called Cajons or Cajon drums, and they are our focus today.

A lot of people play the Cajon these days. So, there are all kinds on the market. And, generally, it shouldn’t require much to get a Cajon of reasonable quality. However, you don’t want just anything. You want something that works well and sounds great, that’s why you’re doing the research.

Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got reviews of the top 8 best Cajons on the market. And if you’re, as yet, uninitiated in all things Cajon, don’t worry. We’ve also got you covered, in our buyers guide section.

So, let’s get to on with the reviews…

Top 8 Best Cajons

Top 8 Best Cajon For The Money Of 2019 Reviews

NameTypeMaterialDimensionsWeightColor
Type
Snare
Material
MDF body with thick rubber feat
Dimensions
13.5 x 13.8 x 19.8 inches
Weight
13 pounds
Weight
Walnut
Type
Snare
Material
Birch
Dimensions
11.8 x 11.8 x 19.7 inches
Weight
10.5 pounds
Weight
Black
Type
Peruvian
Material
Baltic Birch
Dimensions
118.5 x 11 x 10.25 inches
Weight
13 pounds
Weight
Natural
Type
Snare
Material
Rubber wood
Dimensions
11.75 x 12 x 18 inches
Weight
10.2 pounds
Weight
Makah Burl String Cajon
Type
Flamenco
Material
Birchwood panel frame
Dimensions
12 x 18 x 12 inches
Weight
10.9 pounds
Weight
Natural
Type
Peruvian
Material
Solid Mohena
Dimensions
19 x 11.5 x 13 inches
Weight
15.43 pounds
Weight
Natural
Type
Snare
Material
Hardwood
Dimensions
11.75 x 12 x 18 inches
Weight
11 pounds
Weight
String Cajon
Type
Snare
Material
Birch
Dimensions
10.25 x 15 x 10.25  inches
Weight
5 pounds
Weight
Birch Cajon with Snares

1 Meinl Percussion SUBCAJ5WN Cajon

In sound and looks, the Meinl Percussion SUBCAJ5WN Cajon is a beast. If you haven’t figured it out yet, the SUBCAJ in its name, stands for a subwoofer Cajon. So, yeah, expect a lot of bass. And, of course, the Cajon looks really cool thanks to a walnut casing.

Now, thanks to its depth and width, this Cajon is super stable. Plus, it also gives this Cajon an exceptionally deep sound. There are internal reflex channels inside the Cajon which do the job of pumping out sufficient bass from the ports in the front. This is what produces the authentic kick drum sound.

In general, we recommend the Meinl Percussion SUBCAJ5WN Cajon to any professional. The Cajon is great for live performances especially when the player needs loads of volume and a high quality tone.


Meinl Percussion SUBCAJ5WN Cajon

Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros
  • Produces a lot of bass.
  • Snare tones are soft yet loud.
  • Comes with internal reflex channels that pump out the sound.
  • Non-slip pad, which makes the Cajon comfortable to sit on.
  • Works well for taller people.
  • Comes with a carry handle for convenient lugging it around.
Cons
  • Not exactly portable due to its weight.
  • The sound is not as warm as entirely wooden Cajons.

2 Schlagwerk CP404-BLK 2inOne Black Edition Cajon

This is a quality Cajon from a premium brand. Now, it does not come with a padded seat like on the last Cajon we reviewed. But that aside, this is one great sounding Cajon and its sound is as beautiful, as the looks, of this drum box.

Its construction is also high quality. Schlagwerk uses eight plies of birch to make it. With an all wooden construction, and not just any wood, we’re talking birch, this Cajon gives a mean sound. That’s for sure. Plus, birch is also very durable.

We also appreciate the finish on this Cajon. It’s flawless from the front plate to the back of the instrument. You can see it in the smooth edges and nicely rounded corners.

It features 40 snares, which press against the playing surface at a precisely defined angle. If you don’t need the snare sound for a particular song, they can be removed from the Cajon in one quick movement.


Schlagwerk CP404-BLK 2inOne Black Edition Cajon

Our rating:4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Pros
  • Plays exceptionally well.
  • Lightweight.
  • Construction is solid.
  • Sounds fantastic.
  • Finish comes out flawless.
Cons
  • Snare could be louder.
  • Although the snare is removable, you can’t adjust the tension.
  • Size might be a little too small for some players.
  • No seat pad.

3 Latin Percussion Americana Groove Wire Cajon

The Latin Percussion Americana Groove Wire Cajon is a beginners’ favorite for many reasons. These include it being made of high-quality wood, as well as, being quite affordable.

This is a Peruvian Cajon. So, it’s a pretty simple instrument, basically a wooden drum box with a beautiful tone. There isn’t much you can tweak on a Peruvian Cajon, which is why you must always insist on high-quality materials. This is why this Cajon is so good – high quality, low price.

You’ll also be glad to know that this Cajon doesn’t require any setup. So, you can begin playing the moment you get this box, out of its box. Plus, it’s super easy to mic this up when you need it for a live performance.

Basically, this Cajon is a no frills setup that newbies can start on. However, although it’s a beginner instrument, we’re not sure we’d advise this for children.


Latin Percussion Americana Groove Wire Cajon

Our rating:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Pros
  • Fantastic Cajon choice for beginners.
  • Does not require any setup. You can begin playing it, right out of the box.
  • Made from Baltic Birch which gives a beautiful tone.
Cons
  • Might be too expensive for some beginners. However, you can be sure it will last.

4 Meinl CAJ3MB-M Cajon Box Drum

The Meinl CAJ3MB-M Cajon Box Drum is a truly beautiful and outstanding instrument. Plus, it comes at a very reasonable price, which is always a bonus.

Like all Meinl Cajons, this comes with four adjustable steel strings on the interior. They are superb for adding some sizzle to your sound when you strike the front-plate.

By simply adjusting the tension of the strings, you open up your sound options. They also allow you to vary your Cajon’s sensitivity.

The sound it produces is quite amazing. It’s crisp and clear which makes it sound quite beautiful. Plus, the bass notes are low and rich. So, when you hit them, they always give that extra snap.

The slight punch to the soft notes, as well as, the deep swells the drum brings when you play harder, make the Cajon respond like a kick drum.

In all, if you have a quieter acoustic gig and you don’t want to use a full drum kit, then the Meinl CAJ3MB-M Cajon Box Drum will do the job for you perfectly. It’s a great portable and musical solution.


Meinl CAJ3MB-M Cajon Box Drum

Our rating:4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Pros
  • Produces a terrific sound.
  • Excellent snare and bass.
  • Great sound when mic’ed up.
  • Comfortable seat.
Cons
  • Slight issues with quality control.

5 Pyle PCJD18 String Cajon

Our next Cajon for review is the PCJD18 from Pyle.

It comes with internal steel strings and is just the right size. It’s handcrafted and you can see the artistry Pyle put into creating a Cajon with such impressive build quality.

The sound from this drum box is exceptionally smooth, mainly because of the strings, which are adjustable. It’s also supplied with a hex key for tuning, which is done from underneath the instrument.

This Cajon is high-quality and is suitable for beginners who have never played the instrument before. It is great for both live and studio work.

To summerize, this is a great instrument and is excellent value for money.


Pyle PCJD18 String Cajon

Our rating:4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Pros
  • High quality sound.
  • Adjustable strings.
  • Durable build.
  • Lightweight enough to carry around.
  • Excellent value for money.
Cons
  • Strings can rattle a bit.

6 A Tempo Percussion Peruvian Classic Cajon

Next, let’s take a look at the outstanding A Tempo Percussion Peruvian Classic Cajon. It comes with an incredible tone and it looks very pleasing to the eye.

This remarkable Cajon is made from truly dependable materials. The crafting here is also quite impressive and the brand clearly made an effort to deliver on a high-quality instrument. The finish is also quite pleasing and the natural color makes it look beautiful without being garish.

It’s quite easy to carry. Plus, A Tempo includes a carrying bag, to easily move it around.

Being a Peruvian Cajon, it’s easy to play. It requires no setup and that makes a wonderful choice for beginners. It might not come with all the thrills and frills, but it’s still a wonderful Cajon.


A Tempo Percussion Peruvian Classic Cajon

Our rating:5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Pros
  • Easy to learn on and play.
  • Comes with a carrying bag.
  • Doesn’t require a setup.
  • Great sound.
Cons
  • A bit expensive for the features and maybe out of the reach of some beginners.

7 Meinl HCAJ1NT Cajon

Next up, we have another Cajon from Meinl – the HCAJ1NT. So, you can expect high quality knowing which brand made it. It comes in hardwood, which is great for creating low drum set grooves. And works whether in a live or a studio setting.

This drum box offers wonderful bass notes that come out very punchy. The snare also sounds great with a snappy feel to it.

The Meinl HCAJ1NT Cajon comes at a very affordable price tag, making it one of the cheapest in this review. So, it’s within the reach of most players but is primarily meant for beginners.

It offers a rich and deep tone and the build quality is also dependable. Plus, we found it to be quite durable. The rubber feet also help to improve the tone of the Cajon by enhancing the bass as well as making sure it doesn’t slide around.


Meinl HCAJ1NT Cajon

Our rating:4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Pros
  • Snares are adjustable.
  • Affordable which makes it ideal for beginners.
  • Mic’s up well for the price.
Cons
  • Snare strings are not easy to adjust.
  • Bass feels a bit too boomy for some.
  • You’ll need to tune this Cajon when you get it and the instructions aren’t very well written.

8 Meinl JC50LBNT Cajon Box Drum

And finally, we come to the last Cajon in our review, the JC50LBNT Cajon Box Drum from Meinl. This is one of the most sought after Cajons on several retail platforms. Which is a testimony to its high quality.

It’s made from the Baltic Birch. And, as you would expect from Meinl, the materials used are of the highest quality.

This Cajon is loved by many for a number of reasons, including its solid construction and its really impressive sound quality.

The bass sounds it produces come out punchy and deep, and it’s super responsive to finger rolls. The sound port here is on the back panel of the Cajon which is great for when you need to mic up the drum.

Lastly, the Meinl JC50LBNT Cajon Box Drum is very adaptable, making it a great choice for small theaters, pubs, acoustic sets, jamming, or studio recording.

It also comes with a gig bag.


Meinl JC50LBNT Cajon Box Drum

Our rating:4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Pros
  • Great for any playing style.
  • Superior craftsmanship.
  • Gives great value for money.
  • Comes with a gig bag.
Cons
  • Doesn’t have as wide dynamic range as some of the other Cajons we’ve reviewed.
  • Sound can be too loud for playing alone in your house.

Buying Guide For Best Cajon

We won’t assume that everyone here knows what a Cajon is. So, if that’s your question, the answer is actually pretty simple. A Cajon is drum box that you play while sitting on it.

There are four types of Cajons. These are the…

Peruvian Cajon

Many people believe that the Peruvian Cajon was the first ever Cajon to be made. Actually, Peruvian Cajons were initially little more than shipping crates. So, people would sit on them and beat them and that’s how it all began.

Peruvian Cajons were first played in the mid 17th century by slave musicians.

cajon review

Now, since the Peruvian Cajon formed the foundation for Cajons as we now know them, they are mostly barebones instruments. You don’t get a snare sound. This ultimately means that, if you’re going to get the best sounds out of one, you’d need to have some really advanced techniques up your sleeve.

Flamenco Cajon

On returning to Spain from Peru, Flamenco guitar legend, Paco DeLucia brought back a regular Cajon with him. But to add a bit of pizzazz, he decided to install guitar strings on the backside. This gave the drum the characteristic Flamenco Cajon sound we now know and love.

Now, this Cajon has spread beyond Spain and is now common in Latin American music, as well as in Flamenco, of course.

Snare Cajon

In modern times, the snare Cajon is the most common Cajon type you can find. The idea of a snare Cajon is to mimic the sound of a snare and kick as used in popular music genres. It’s a step more advanced than a Flamenco Cajon where snare wires now replace guitar wires.

In some snare Cajon models, you might also find kick ports to make the kick sound come out deeper. Plus, they could come with throw-offs with which you can turn off or turn on your snare.

Cuban Cajon

Unlike other Cajon types, you play the Cuban Cajon on the top, just like on a conga drum. So, there’s no sitting on it. Also, this type does not come with a snare, so the sound is quite open. You mostly find Cuban Cajon drums in Afro-Cuban music.

best cajon reviews

Wood For Making Cajons

Again, there are four major types.

Beech: This is high-density hardwood. It offers a balanced sound with great lows, highs, and mids.

Birch: Birch is quite similar to Beech. However, its highs are a tad higher and its mids are also slightly reduced. Besides that, this wood offers a well-rounded sound. It is, however, more expensive.

Mahogany: Mahogany will give you a deep low-end with rich bass, and high frequencies that are somewhat muted.

Oak: Oak is most famous for its volume. So, go for Oak if you intend on doing a lot of live un-mic’ed performances.

Now, besides all these, Cajons can also come on other woods. And of course with different brands will come different looks.

What To Look Out For When Getting A Cajon

Brand

You’ll want to go with a brand that gives you a similar consistency from model to model. Here are three brands we trust: Meinl, Sela, and Schlagwerk.

Quality

Quality is everything when it comes to, well… everything. You should look at the joints on your Cajon. If the build quality is excellent, your Cajon will sound great. This is the most challenging aspect of looking for a Cajon.

Purpose

Cajons might all look the same, but there are different ones for different purposes. As mentioned, Cuban Cajons are more conga or bongo-like. Some Cajon might have buzzing snares; others are snappier. All of these are highly subjective. So, ensure you get a Cajon that sounds to your tastes.

Conclusion

Our best Cajon for today is the Meinl Percussion SUBCAJ5WN Cajon. It’s a truly remarkable Cajon even though it’s not all made of wood. It might lack a little of the warmth of a wood Cajon. But when it comes to the price-performance ratio, this offered the best balance in our opinion. We love this Cajon!

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