Best Cajon Reviews 2018

The box-shaped percussion instrument commonly referred to as Cajon originated from Peru and is typically played by slapping the front or back face using your fingers and hands, or sometimes sticks, brushes, and mallets. Cajons produce a variety of rich sounds that complement numerous musical styles, but choosing the right cajon has never been a simple task, given the wide array of options available on the market. Thankfully, we’ve done our homework right and reviewed five of the best cajon brands that you can find. Read on!
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Color(s)
Size
Weight
Material
Snares
Our Top Choice
Latin Percussion Aspire Accents Cajon
Latin Percussion has become a recognized name for both amateur and professional musicians.
Three wire snares. Siam oak soundboard provides bold tones. Easy to access internal snare wires and frontal panel.
Bass tones deeper in larger models
4 color choices
21.6x13.8x13.4 inches
13.2 lbs
Siam Oak
3
Best Value
Meinl Percussion Headliner Series Rubber Wood String Cajon
For over 25 years, Meinl has proudly offered a wide variety of high-end percussion instruments for all players, regardless of age, budget or playing skill.
Easily adjustable snares. Fits numerous musical applications, like flamenco and world music. Four rubber feet provides ample stability. Include 2-year warranty.
Limited tone range
Beige
11.8x12x18 inches
11 lbs
Siam Oak 
1
Schlagwerk 2inOne Cajon
Schlagwerk is a German company with over 30 years of experience in making cajons. This company’s unique designs can be seen in every instrument they produce.
Easy to add or remove snares. Has over 40 snare wires. Sound port increases ease of use. Dark oak veneer finish on the front plate offers a nice aesthetic touch.
No travel bag included (but can be purchased separately)
5 color choices
11.8x11.8x19.7 inches
10.5 lbs
Birch Wood
40
Tycoon Percussion 29 Series Supremo Cajon
As a world-renowned producer of high-quality percussion instruments, Tycoon Percussion is committed to continually setting the standard for innovation and quality.
Made with perfect-sounding, durable hardwood. Adjustable snare wires. Favorable price. Great for beginners, students and kids.
Sound quality could be better
Brown and black
13x13x21 inches
12 lbs
Asian Hardwood
1
Sawtooth Birch Wood Cajon
By focusing on playability and craftsmanship, Sawtooth manages to deliver high-quality percussion instruments at affordable prices.
Adjustable snare tension. Bass with brighter tones. Padded seat for comfort. Instrument bag included.
Bass is not as “big” as other cajons
Beige
11.8x11.6x19.5 inches
13.2 lbs
Birch Wood
1

(Updated )
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Watch Our Cajon Review

How Do I Choose the Best Cajon?

When a player sits on a gorgeous cajon with a padded seat, playing long jam sessions, performances, and rehearsals is not only more comfortable, but more fulfilling. To add the icing to the cake, warm, punchy bass tones and the adjustable snare tension mechanisms make your musical experience unmatched. In the same way that you’d tighten guitar strings, the adjustable snare tension mechanism allows you to configure the sound tone you want your drum to produce.

Cajons are generally versatile and easy to transport, making them a perfect “take with you” instrument. Having originated from the Afro-Peruvian drums, the Cajon has evolved over the years from a simple box drum into a more advanced percussion instrument with screws for adjusting the timbre, snares for added sound variety, and a sound hole for increased amplification. Most models are played by hand, but you’ll find models played with drum sticks, mallets or brushes.

Whilst the cajon is still prominent in flamenco music, the instrument is now spreading in popularity to other genres, like pop, rock, folk, Latin and much more. Most artists use cajons in place of the conventional drum kit, but there are several other ways it can be utilized to enhance the musical effect in both live and recording situations. With the addition of enhanced microphones and equalizers, you can open up an endless window of opportunities.

Let’s look closely at the features that make each cajon unique and then you can dive into our individual reviews.
Price
If you’re wondering, “Oh, could I really afford a cajon?” we have good news for you—of course you can! For as low as $60, you can get a good quality one that’s durable and sounds great. However, if you need a pro-level cajon, you may spend as much as $220 in order to take home a great quality percussion unit that’ll enhance your musical experience.

In general, a cheap cajon doesn’t necessarily mean inferior quality. Branding by big-name companies in the musical instrument industry can escalate prices on low-quality products. On the other hand, a cajon made by lesser known brands may cost less, but be of better quality. Consider the quality of materials used in the drum’s construction and go for higher density hardwoods. You’ll also want to consider extra features, like storage bags, pads, more snares and so forth, as part of the price tag.
Features
When shopping for a cajon, you need to ask yourself where you’re going to use it. For instance, if you’re going to use it for gigs frequently, you’ll be moving it a lot, which can take a toll on the construction. In such a case, aiming for the highest quality brand with a carrying bag could be a viable option.

A drum meant for occasional home use doesn’t need to be as ruggedly constructed, but that doesn’t mean you should opt for low-quality drums that distort, crack, or buckle with frequent use. Here are the important features to look for:
  • Protection – Your Cajon will last longer if it’s cased in a sturdy material. Most manufacturers make cajons with strong, padded protective bags that make it easy to secure and transport whenever you need to. Some even come with flight cases that are convenient for touring.
  • Quality – Check out the material and the craftsmanship, including joints. Better quality materials are typically high-density hardwoods with thick sides, base, and top. This, by extension, produces a better quality sound with a controlled bass response.
  • Purpose – Most cajons have snares that give a rattle or buzz sound to the high tunes. But, depending on the purpose, some are designed to produce mainly deep bass tones while others, like Cuban-style cajons, are built to produce higher, conga-like or bongo-like tones. Again, cajons with snares will sound differently from those without snares.
  • Sound – Most artists let the sound of the cajon make their purchasing decision. Sound is a very individual and subjective matter. As a general rule of thumb, high tones should be sharp and crisp with some element of pop, while bass sounds should be deep and well defined. There should be a clear audible distinction between high tones and bass tones.
Construction and Design
The body of a Cajon consists of six sides, and most models are crafted out of ¾-inch hardwood material for a solid feel. The side panel opposite the front panel is typically made with at least one hole for air to escape. The front surface is the thinnest of the panels and is fastened to the unit with adjustable screws. With these screws, you can adjust the level of crash you hear while playing. The tighter the panel, the quieter the crash, and the looser the screws, the louder the crash.

To achieve an enhanced bass response, most designs use a backplate to seal the rear hole in the cajon case to increase air compression and to eliminate high and low-mid tones. To allow the internal air to escape, a false button is incorporated into the construction, or the unit is raised off the floor using short legs. An adjustable sound slot is also fitted into the bass of the sound chamber for a more pronounced bass tone.

Some other design elements include:
  • Adjustable feet enable the instrument to be easily tilted for different playing positions
  • Adjustable dual snares for more control of the sound
  • Non-slip rubber feet to give the box a secure feel
  • Padded seat to maximize comfort while drumming
  • Adjustable front plate for extra distinct sound preferences
  • Bass pedals to adjust the level of pressure that snare wires exert on the front plate
  • Brushes for a more defined sound
Performance and Ease of Use
A cajon is quite easy to play whether you’re a beginner percussionist or a professional artist. However, there are several parameters that affect the quality of sound that a cajon produces. You could be a seasoned percussionist, but picking an inferior quality drum can make you sound like a novice while a beginner can sound like a pro by choosing a great sounding one.

The travel cajon is specially designed for travelling percussionists. They’re constructed to break down into a flat-pack unit, and are ideal for travelling in a plane or fitting into small spaces. However, they come at a relatively high cost, making them best suited for professionals or artists with endorsements. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they produce superb quality sound, but with a tight balance between portability and cost.

Many manufacturers are continuously looking for ways to improve the performance and functionality of their cajon products by enhancing their appearance and incorporating niches that were never there before. Most modifications may simply be cosmetic in nature (decorations, designs, color and logos) while others may include changes in materials, relocation of sound holes, modifications of snares and tension adjustment mechanisms, and so much more.

Finally, it’s great to have a cajon with a foot-pedal beater, but the design could pose a challenge if you plan to combine feet and hands (because the beater will land directly on where you want to play with your hands). Your cajon may turn out to be a simple bass drum that frees up your hands for other percussion instruments, like snare drums or maracas.

What is the Best Cajon?

The percussion instrument that originated from the tea plantations of Peru has become synonymous with flamenco music, but is quickly finding room in almost every musical genre. So, whether you’re in a band or play your music at a small acoustical theater, you’ll be able to find a decent cajon type that suits your style! Now that you’re well informed on what to look for when shopping for a cajon, it’s time to dive into our individual reviews and pick a model that best suits your needs.
Our Top Choice
Constructed from solid hardwood, the Latin Percussion Aspire Accents Cajon comes with a set of three wire snares to give you those authentic flamenco trills. Looking for something that’s a little bit higher and with more resonance? We recommend the LP Americana Groove Wire Cajon!
LP Aspire Accents Cajon - Available in 4 Colors

Latin Percussions Cajon LPA1332-BBS- Blue Burst Streak 


Features
For more than half a century now, Latin Percussions (LP) has been crafting classic percussion tools. The company has patented numerous improvements and construction designs for musical instruments that fulfill the exact needs of professional musicians. LP is such a vital part of many musical genres that it’s nearly impossible to listen to a playlist without noticing an LP-brand instrument.

The Latin Percussion Aspire Accents Cajon is not only beautiful, but offers a sound level that’s not easily found on a standard budget model. For starters, this cajon comes with three snare wires to give you the snap and spank that you desire. The snares are well mounted, and the seams and joints are solid for longevity and durability.

With a convenient height of 17.25 inches, the Aspire Accents Cajon is comfortable for all players. Its 12-inch width provides ample resonance and, to ensure the bass tones are not confined to hardwood or non-carpeted floors, this cajon is fitted with rubber feet. The large rubber feet, rounded corners and textured seating surface all add to your comfort while playing.

With its affordable price and sturdy construction, LP’s Cajon is an excellent drum to introduce hobbyists, kids and even club musicians to try on one of the best percussion instruments on the market.

This cajon comes in 4 different colors; you can choose between blue burst streak, dark wood streak, sunburst streak and white streak.
Best Value
The Meinl Percussion Headliner Series Rubber Wood String Cajon comes with internal metal strings that produce a snare effect that can easily be adjusted to fit numerous musical applications. Looking for a different finish to match your décor? Go for the Meinl Percussion CAJ3MB-M String Cajon.
Meinl Percussion Headliner Series Rubber Wood String Cajon, Medium Size

Meinl Percussion Cajon HCAJ1NT


Features
Founded in 1951 by Roland Meinl, Meinl Percussion’s range of percussion instruments continues to grow, and each addition showcases the exceptional craftsmanship of this iconic brand. During their inception, the company produced a number of wind instruments, but, after introducing their cymbals in 1952, they began to produce percussion instruments almost exclusively.

Designed with flexibility and live performance in mind, the Meinl Percussion Headliner Series Rubber Wood String Cajon comes with snare wires at the top of the cover plate, giving you the opportunity to experiment with different rhythmic accents. The ability to adjust the snare wires enables you to get the sound that you require at the right moment. The wires are easily adjusted using a hex key available at the base of the cajon.

Other notable features that this cajon includes:
  • Adjustable top corners for altering the distance between the body and the playing surface. This distance dictates the amount of percussive sound you receive when playing corner hits, and a greater distance is always more suitable.
  • Rear sound port allows air to flow from the cajon while playing for enhanced tonal qualities and general feel. It’s also an ideal place to put a microphone if amplification is required
  • Solid rubber wood body and thick rubber feet provide excellent tonal qualities. The front plate provides cutting snare slaps, full bass spectrum and responds well to soft finger rolls.
  • Supports different styles of music, whether live or in a studio
  • Two different bass zones on the playing surface
  • 2-year Meinl Percussion warranty to give you peace of mind
The Schlagwerk 2inOne Cajon comes with a special mechanism that allows musicians to easily and quickly add or remove snares for a super customized sound! Willing to choose a different finish to save some bucks? Check out the Schlagwerk 2-In-1 Cajon
Schlagwerk 2inOne Cajon Series - Available in 5 Colors and 3 Sizes

Schlagwerk Cajon CP408- Dark Oak, Large


Features
Schlagwerk is a respectable name when it comes to the world of cajons. The company has been making this drum for more than 30 years, and their experience can be seen in every instrument they craft. Their characteristic sound can be attributed to their utilization of distinct cajon strings that are adjustable by tuning pegs on the bottom of the instrument.

With its 2inOne technology and elegant playing surface, the Schlagwerk 2inOne Cajon is a highly attractive package that comes with a high-end price tag to match. This drum is perfect for both traditional percussionists as well as modern musicians who’re looking to add some flavor to their live performances and recordings.

One notable feature that comes with this cajon is the fact that it allows you to easily and quickly add or remove snares to its sound. In fact, this mechanism allows you to completely remove the strings from the playing surface, turning these two instruments into a single package. That way, you can easily and quickly change the sound of your instrument!

The drum body is constructed from 8-ply birch—a tone wood that’s known in the percussion field for its good tonal properties. With 40 snare wires, you’re assured to have sizzle every time you introduce the snares into the tone of your cajon.

The 2inOne comes in 5 different colors and 3 sizes. Choose between black, natural, red, barista, and dark oak!
Made with perfect-sounding, durable hardwood, the Tycoon Percussion 29 Series Supremo Cajon comes with adjustable snare wires that produce strong bass tones and high, sharp slaps. Looking to add a mountable block to your musical setting? We recommend the Tycoon Percussion Small Mountable Wood Block.
Tycoon Percussion Supremo 29 Series Cajon

Tycoon Cajon STK-29


Features
Tycoon Percussion has 32 years of consistent manufacturing excellence in the music and instrument industry. The company was founded by an avid musician, Stephen Yu from Hong Kong, who turned his back on a lucrative music career to venture into manufacturing musical instruments. The company strives to provide clients with the highest quality hand percussion instruments across the globe. Since the business is family owned, every artist, employee or Tycoon Percussion fan is treated as such!

The Tycoon Percussion 29 Series Supremo Cajon is built from environmentally friendly Asian hardwood and is individually handcrafted to ensure superior quality sound. This cajon produces deep, loud bass tones coupled with high, sharp slap notes for a magnificent music experience. It also has snare wires that easily adjust with an Allen Wretch for fast tuning. The unit comes with four rubber feet to provide a sturdy foundation during play. You can also choose to buy the carrying bag and stand.
The Sawtooth Birch Wood Cajon lets you experience bass and brighter tones with its easy-to-adjust snare tension. With it, you can achieve perfect, customized sound! Looking for more extras? Check out the Sawtooth Ash Wood Cajon that comes with a padded carrying bag, pedal and seat!
Sawtooth Birch Wood Cajon, with Padded Seat Cushion and Carry Bag

Sawtooth Cajon ST-CJ120B


Features
Sawtooth is a household name when it comes to high-quality percussion musical instruments. The company strives to design easy-to-play percussion instruments while focusing on quality and professionalism. Craftsmanship and playability are what describe Sawtooth’s cajons—just ask the professional players who swear by this brand!

The Sawtooth Birch Wood Cajon combines ash and maple to give you warm bass tones with a great punch. You can easily adjust the snare tension to generate your desired sound, which makes it perfect for beginners or drummers looking to experiment with different playing styles.

The ash wood front panel, maple sides and maple back give this cajon a classic look and great quality sound. The adjustable internal snare wire functionality makes it easy to generate a wide range of sound tones, and, with its durable rubber base, you’ve got a firm, sturdy base to play on. The unit comes with a padded seat cushion for extra comfort, and it even includes a carrying bag for easy portability and storage.

Get the Best Cajon of 2018!

Almost every established drum & percussion manufacturer is producing some form of cajon. Some models are well built with great aesthetics, but some are built without regard to looks and with more focus on sound quality. Whether you’re looking for a dedicated percussion unit or a handy tool for acoustic gigs, you’ll be able to find a great cajon that does just that. Hopefully, we’ve helped you find one that’ll transform your musical experience. Feel free to sample other alternative models from these brands as well!

Our Top Choice
Latin Percussion Aspire Accents Cajon
Best Value
Meinl Percussion Headliner Series Rubber Wood String Cajon
Schlagwerk 2inOne Cajon
Tycoon Percussion 29 Series Supremo Cajon
Sawtooth Birch Wood Cajon