Top 9 Best Acoustic Guitar Strings to Bang [2021 Updated]

Buying a new set of acoustic strings is probably one of the best investments you can make and if you’re looking for the same, you’re at the right place.

There are almost 32 new sets of acoustic strings that entered the market in the last year. And I almost spend 50 hours of time, testing all the strings and come up with these top 9 absolute best acoustic guitar strings that you can try in 2021.

best acoustic guitar strings

What are the 3 Best Acoustic Guitar Strings?

While testing all these 9 strings on the basis of many factors, I find these three strings stand out from the crowd.



Let’s start to dig in:

Top 9 Best Acoustic Guitar Strings Reviews [Updated]

With my detailed reviews, you can easily find one good acoustic guitar string set that suits your playing style and budget range.

Best Overall: Martin MSP4100 Acoustic Strings

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Key Features:

  • Light Gauge: 12-16-25-32-42-54
  • 92/8 Phosphor Bronze Composition
  • Delivers Deep and Rich Bass

Why I Love These Strings:

These are the best acoustic guitar strings so far and no other set of strings from my testing can come nearly close to this in terms of ease in playability, overall sound quality, and durability.

These are light gauge strings with a 92/8 phosphor bronze composition. This combination allows these strings to deliver a nice full-sounding tone, with deep sharp lows and bright highs. With high-tensile core wire and bronze winding around it, you get a nice consistent tone.

Video of the Day!

Usually, acoustic strings tend to lose their tone after some performances. But I find these strings very durable. While testing, I was playing songs after songs and didn’t notice even a smaller change in the sound quality. Because they are designed to continue delivering excellent quality tones gig after gig.

If you like a bright-sounding tone with deep basses and clear trebles, these strings are just perfect for you. whether you’re an absolute beginner or a seasoned pro player, these strings definitely will cheers you up!

Pros
  • Clear and Brighter Tone
  • Great Value for your Money 🙂
  • Nice Full Sound Deep Lows & Bright Highs
  • Consistent with its Tone
  • Highly Durable Set of Strings
Cons
  • Not Very Flexible!

Best Budget: Ernie Ball Earthwood Medium Bronze Strings

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Key Features:

  • Medium Gauge: 13-17-26-34-46-56
  • Tin-Plated High-Carbon Steel
  • Comes with Element Shield Packaging

Why I Like These Strings:

Looking for some low-budget option, There are no other strings I seen that provide you as much value as this one at a very affordable price. These Ernie Ball Earthwood Strings are just awesome by means of their durability, and quality of the tone.

These strings has a high-carbon steel core wire with a bronze wire wound around it. These are medium gauge strings that might feel little stiff for bending but are very consistent in terms of its tone.

They comes in a element shield packaging that keep the strings fresh and also increase their lifespan. Personally, I find these strings sound very well, provide you crispy high notes with an overall nice projection in the tone.

If you’re a beginner player and looking for a strings that provide you natural feel and nice brighter sounding tone, just get these strings.

Pros
  • Provide Natural Acoustic Tone
  • Affordable Price Tag
  • Clear & Rich Sound Quality
  • Excellent Durability
Cons
  • Might Feel Little Fret Buzz!

Best RunnerUp: D’Addario EXP26 Coated Acoustic Strings

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Key Features:

  • Light Gauge: 11-15-22-32-42-52
  • Ideal Balance of Volume & Projection
  • Sealed Inside and Out
  • Ultra-Fine EXP Coating Layer

Why I Pick These Strings:

D’Addario’s strings are popular for their amazing sound and quality control. After Martin’s MSP strings, these are the best acoustic guitar strings.

I tried these strings on my Yamaha FS830 acoustic guitar. these strings perform exceptionally. They provide you very comfortable feel while delivering nice balance between warm and brighter sounding tone. I terms of volume and sound projection, no one can beat these strings.

These strings are coated with a very thin EXP coating and then wounded with a phosphor-bronze wire. This one twist not only makes them more resistant towards corrosion but also allow you to deliver your high-quality performance.

If you’re looking for a coated strings that last longer without compromising on the sound quality and overall tone, you need to try these strings, buddy!

Pros
  • Suits for Almost All Music Genre
  • Provide Well-Balanced Bright Tone
  • Longer Life with EXP Coating
  • Deliver Nice Projection & Louder Volume
Cons
  • Might Feel Little Expensive

Elixir HD Light Acoustic Strings (Best for Warm Sound)

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Key Features:

  • Light Gauge: 13-17-25-32-42-53
  • Ultra-Thin Nanoweb Coating
  • Extra-Protection Against Corrosion
  • Dynamic Balance of Rich Tone

Why I Like These Strings:

During my testing, I find these Elixir strings are the best suited for the tag of most warm-sounding acoustic strings. These strings delivers you a nice balancing between rich sounding, full-bodied tone and sparkling clarity in the sound.

It comes with a very thin nanoweb coating on them, that prolongs their lifespan by providing extra protection against corrosion and the dirt-n-oil from your fingertips. That means you can rely on this set for quite a long time without worrying about breakage or loss of tone.

Personally, I find these strings amazing, Even being coated strings, almost feels like uncoated ones and delivers you that natural-sounding warm tone, you’re looking for.

Pros
  • Well-Balanced, Natural Warm Sound
  • Elixir’s Ultra-Thin Nanoweb Coating
  • Offers a Long-Lasting Tone
  • High-End Clarity in the Sound
Cons
  • High-E Strings Breaks if Played Bit Hardly.

Ernie Ball Earthwood P02151 Acoustic Strings (Best for Blues)

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Key Features:

  • Light Gauge: 10-13-17-30-42-52
  • Ernie Ball’s Element Shield Packaging
  • Offers Nice Flexibility

Why I Choose These Strings:

Everyone from Keith Richards to Jimmy Page uses Ernie Ball strings both on stage and in a studio, due to their combination of cutting-edge technology with new tonal materials.

These strings come with a phosphor bronze winding that feels very natural and delivers a warmer and rich-sounding tone with excellent projections in it. Although these light strings are well-suited for most of the genres, I find them very resonating especially for playing blues music.

It features Ernie Ball’s Element Shield Packaging technique that ensures the freshness of the strings and also increases their overall lifespan.

Personally, I like these strings for their nicely balanced but little warmer sounding tone with enough flexibility, and easy-to-play nature. If you’re looking for the best acoustic strings for blues, these strings are not going to disappoint you in any way!

Pros
  • Rich Sound with Exceptional Clarity
  • Deliver Amazing Tone that suits Blues Music!
  • Durable & Long-Lasting
  • Light Strings Provide Nice Flexibility
Cons
  • Doesn’t Sound Well with Low Tuning

D’Addario EJ16-3D Acoustic Strings (Best For Country Music)

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Key Features:

  • Light Gauge: 12-16-24-32-42-53
  • Extra Protection Against Corrosion
  • Offers Ease in Playability
  • Long-Lasting Acoustic Tone

Why I Pick These Strings:

D’Addario’s EJ-16 Phosphor Bronze strings are very popular for their gorgeous sound quality, and the nice playability they offer. When it comes to country music, these strings are still a go-to option for many professionals, even in a live performance.

These light gauge strings feature a phosphor-bronze wire precisely wound around the carbon core that allows them to deliver nice mixtures of warm-n-bright sound. These strings are very nicely resistant to corrosion due to oil & dirt and continue to deliver a consistent, long-lasting tone.

These strings consist a round-wound technique that offers a classical touch and all these strings to deliver top-notch performance through its superb sounding tone and flexible playability.

Personally, I find these strings very amazing, they delivers a natural acoustic tone, feels very nice while playing, and are durable, so you can achieve the highest performance. If this is what you want, this is the perfect option for you.

Pros
  • Warm, Bright, & Balanced Sound
  • Enough Versatility that Suits Every Genre
  • Extra-Layer of Protection Against Corrosion
  • Superb, Long-Lasting Tone
Cons
  • Can Buzz a Little if Action is too Low!

Elixir 16052 Phosphor Bronze Strings (Best for Fingerpicking)

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Key Features:

  • Light Gauge: 12-16-24-32-42-53
  • Nice Balance of Rich Tone & Clarity
  • Ultra-Thin Nanoweb Coating
  • Extended Tonal Life

Why I Like These Strings:

Elixir being in the industry from long time, is known for their unique approach, continue trying new innovations and providing superb sounding strings one after another.

These are light acoustic strings with an 80/20 configuration, which I think a perfect configuration of strings for fingerpicking. These strings deliver a dynamic range of sound with a combination of bright, rich tone and high-end clarity.

One thing that I most like about these strings is, their nanoweb coating technology. As they are saying, it is really very thin and provide you almost similar feeling as a normal uncoated strings.

That means you can enjoy a longer lifespan with enhanced protection against common corrosions without compromising on the overall feel and ease in the playability.

If that’s something you look for in an acoustic guitar strings, These sparling sounding strings definitely worth your at least on shot.

Pros
  • Extra Protection with Nonoweb Coating
  • Extended Life-Span & Long-Lasting Tone
  • Great Value for your Money
  • Perfect for Delicate Fingerstyle
Cons
  • Doesn’t Sound Very Nice with Small-Body Guitars!

D’Addario EJ40 Silk & Steel Strings (Best for Sore Fingers)

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Key Features:

  • Light Gauge: 11-14-23-28-38-47
  • Silk Interwinding for Easy Feel
  • Corrosion Resistant Packaging

Why I Choose These Strings:

This is one of the sets that I wish someone recommend me when I was starting out with guitars. When I tie these strings on my guitar and start playing, I got the idea of how softer they are feeling against my fingers.

These strings are doing a great performance in terms of sustaining the life in the strings and retaining that warm, mellow-sounding tone for you. The silk winding we’re getting here on the steel core is the key factor that allows the strings to become easy on fingers while providing you a dynamic range of sound quality.

Really, these strings are going to provide a very gentle touch to your fingertips, which means, now you can practice for hours and play your favorite songs without worrying about finger pain. Especially, If you’re a beginner player or deal with finger pain, these are, I think the perfect strings for your sore fingers.

At last, All I can say is, These are pretty powerful strings that delivers you top-notch sound quality with a great projection of tone. If that’s what you expecting from an acoustic strings, you need to try these strings.

Pros
  • Very Gentle on your Fingertips
  • Warm & Rich-Sounding Tone
  • Very Affordable Price 🙂
  • Shows Amazing Quality Control
Cons
  • Might Feel too Lightweight!

Vibe Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings – Medium

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Key Features:

  • Medium Gauge: 12-16-24-32-42-52
  • Balanced Tone with Rich, Full-Bodied Sound
  • Anti-Corrosion Vacuum Packaging
  • Warm Tone & Familiar Playability

Why I Pick These Strings:

These strings come in a tight vacuum packaging that provides an anti-corrosion environment to the strings, as a result, we’re getting a fresh quality string, right out of the box.

When I replace my strings with these, I instantly feel the enhancement in the sound quality. These strings are known for their warm sounding, consistent & long-lasting tone. Every time you pick your guitar, these strings are going to be ready to deliver a clear-sounding warmer tone.

As corrosion-resistant phosphor bronze wire is wrapped around the core wire here, these strings are going to be very long-lasting and durable. That means they are going to be involved with your music for quite a long time.

Although these strings are suitable for playing all the styles, I personally love how they respond especially while playing lead songs. With easy tuning, dynamic range, these professional-looking strings definitely worth a spot on this list.

Pros
  • Clear, Warm Sounding Tone
  • Anti-Corrosion Phosphor Bronze Winding
  • Perfect Option for Lead Playing
  • Offers Natural Acoustic Feel
Cons
  • Might not Suits All Players

How to Choose the Best Acoustic Guitar Strings? [Buying Guide]

Choosing the right acoustic guitar strings is significantly going to impact the sound of your instrument overall ease in your playability. Let’s get into each factor one by one:

1. Acoustic Strings Materials

Among all other factors, you should always give priority to this factor the most, as it directly impacts the overall sound quality and feels of the strings. One material (or any alloy) wound on a steel core wire is the most common combination in the acoustic strings.

guitar strings

Usually, materials like Bronze, Phosphor-Bronze, Silk & Steel are popular among acoustic players. Each one has its pros and cons but you need to check which strings suit your needs and your playing style.

Bronze:

Bronze strings are popular for their brighter sounding, bell-like tone. Generally, they are construct in a 80/20 proportion (80% copper and 20% Zink), which is technically known as Brass.

These strings put more focus towards the high-end frequencies of your guitar, thus are well-suited for a bass-heavy jumbo body guitars to balance out the boomy bottom end.

But usually, these strings can degenerate pretty quickly. which means you need to change your strings often as they will lose their bright-sounding tone due to the oxidation. That’s where the need for phosphor-Bronze strings came into play:

Phosphor-Bronze:

Phosphor-Bronze strings are made with 92% copper, around 8% of Zink, and little composition of phosphorus. Basically, these are normal bronze strings with a phosphor in them, that not only prolong the lifespan of the strings but also make them richer and a little bit warmer sounding.

If you’re often play heavy strumming and looking for a durable set of string, these material strings are for you.

Silk-n-Steel:

These are normal steel strings with a wound of either silk, nylon, or copper on them. This combination makes these strings softer on your fingers and offers a mellow sounding tone.

You can go with these strings if you’re more into the fingerpicking. Also, if you’re dealing with sore fingers, these kinds of strings can help you a lot.

2. String Gauge

The string gauge is nothing but a thickness of the strings which is measured in 0.0X mm. that means, 12 gauge strings have 0.012 mm of thickness.

guitar string

Here’s the Generic Table to get Idea of String Gauges:

StringsEADGBE
Extra-Light0.0470.0390.0300.0230.0140.010
Custom Light0.0520.0420.0320.0230.0150.011
Light0.0540.0420.0320.0250.0160.012
Medium0.0560.0450.0350.0260.0170.013
Heavy0.0590.0490.0390.0270.0180.014

Heavy gauge strings provides you louder and fuller sounding tone with rounded low-end. If you break strings more often or if you have a jumbo, concert-size acoustic guitar, you should go with heavy or maybe medium gauge strings.

On the flip side, If you have small body acoustic guitar, you can go with light gauge strings that complement your guitar and offer you easy handling and smooth tone.

3. Strings Construction Techniques

As I already mentioned, Usually acoustic guitar strings have a steel wire in the core and another material winded around it. There are mainly three ways to do and each one has its characteristics in terms of playability, lifespan, and overall feel they provide.

Roundwound:

This is a very simple and thus most common way to wind the strings, where another string material is just tightly wrapped around the core.

guitar string winding

These kind of strings provide you bright sounding tone and are easy to bend and play with. Thus I recommend many beginner or even intermediate players to stick with these. But, causes more finger noise and also potentially can more wear out your fretboard.

Flatwound:

This technique allow strings to be softer on your fretboard, they are more comfortable to play and significantly reduces the finger noise. But are more expensive, and relatively less brighter sounding.

If you like a brighter sound with more sustain in it and more into the stuff like bending, you definitely need strings with a round wound winding around them.

FAQs on Best Strings for Acoustic Guitar

These are some of the questions that I came across while my research: If you have any doubts or suggestions for me, feel free to write them down, the comment section is all your…

Can you Put Nylon Strings on Acoustic Guitar?

You could use nylon strings on an acoustic guitar but you may require a guitar setup. Also, Nylon strings feel a little thicker than steel strings and can also lead to excessive buzzing.

Here’s one of my article that emphasis more on this topic.

Can you Use Electric Guitar Strings on Acoustic?

Yes, you can put your electric strings on your acoustic guitar, but as they don’t have any winding around them, they feel a little different and you may be required to make some adjustments with your guitar.

What Happens if you use electric strings on Acoustic?

Will Acoustic Strings work on an Electric Guitar?

You could use your acoustic strings on any electric guitar, but only the first two strings will sound similar to those of electric strings. The other four strings are only partially active towards magnetism thus generate lower signals and uneven tone.

Click Here to read more about my fun experiment, Why you should or shouldn’t put acoustic strings on your electric guitar.

When to Change Acoustic Guitar Strings?

An aspiring guitar player, who plays for 2-3 hours a day, can use strings for around 30 days before changing. But an average player can replace strings after every three months or 100 hours of practice.

Read More, How often you need to Change your Guitar Strings?

Will thicker Acoustic Strings Reduces Fret Buzz?

Heavy gauge acoustic strings need to vibrate less to generate the same volume, as compare to the lighter strings. That’s why you’ll definitely experience a reduction in fret buzz with thicker strings.

What Acoustic Strings Does David Gilmour Use?

David Gilmour uses Ernie Ball Earthwood Light gauge strings on his main Martin D-15 acoustic guitar, almost from late 70’s, and early 80’s.

So,

Final Verdict on The Best Acoustic Guitar Strings in 2021

In the end, I prefer to go with These Martin’s acoustic strings if you want a bright-sounding tone with deep bass and clear trebles in the sound. However, If you’re on a budget and want to keep things simple Ernie Ball Earthwood strings would be a better option for you.

You find this roundup helpful, do share it with your friends and family! Also, don’t forget to write down, which strings set are you most excited to try on? Do you like Martin’s strings or D’addarios’s strings the most? I am waiting for your responses in the comments…

Happy Music!

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